Fishing Legends: Frank Woolner & Curt Gowdy

In this photo, circa early 1970s, two giants of the sport fishing world take a low-tide break on a Cape Cod strand to discuss the merits of a wooden striper plug.

Standing is Frank Woolner, a Massachusetts native and the editor of Salt Water Sportsman magazine from 1951 to 1985. An avid surf fishermen who, in Pied Piper fashion, led legions of sweetwater anglers to salty Northeast strands, Woolner both documented and influenced the rise of modern marine sport fishing in the post-World War II era through his writing and photography, while also nurturing a generation of outdoor writers that included the likes of Lefty Kreh, Mark Sosin, Al Ristori and Frank Daignault.

Seated is Curt Gowdy, longtime host of the “The American Sportsman” TV series, which aired from 1965 to 1986. Gowdy is perhaps best known for his work as a national sports commentator for ABC and NBC (as well as the voice of the Boston Red Sox in the 1950s and ‘60s), but it was his passion for fishing and hunting—activities learned as a boy growing up in Wyoming—that helped foster a generation of outdoorsmen.