Twenty Five Years of Baits Named “RC”

Rick Clunn won his fourth Bassmaster Classic on the first baits that sported his initials - The RC1 and RC3 crankbaits by Poe's.

Rick Clunn won his fourth Bassmaster Classic on the first baits that sported his initials – The RC1 and RC3 crankbaits by Poe’s.

Poe’s Lures was founded by Californian Milton Poe in the 1950s. Rick Clunn was born in 1946. It took approximately 40 years for their two legacies to join up on the most public stage in bass fishing, the 1990 Bassmaster Classic on the James River.

Twenty five years after Clunn’s fourth Classic victory, most fishing fans associate his initials with the RC 1.5, a square bill crankbait from Lucky Craft, initially marketed by Bass Pro Shops, which has more recently been renamed. In many respects it spawned the rebirth of square bills in the public’s eye as the first widely-distributed and popularized plastic bait that acted like the traditional balsa lures. For other anglers with slightly longer memories, Clunn’s initials call to mind the Rico topwater popper, one of the first high-end Japanese lures to gain favor on American soil. Before either of them, though, there were the RC 1 and RC 3 crankbaits from Poe’s. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bull Shoals Lake Events (Answers and Winner; March 2, 2015)

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

We had two guesses this week, and both were correct. However, the first to reply wins, so congrats to JKarbo214 for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. To winning answers appear at the end of this post.

Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas is one of the more famous Ozark impoundments, and B.A.S.S. has stopped there over half a dozen times throughout its history. This week’s trivia question will deal with some of that history surrounding this famous lake. In order to win this week’s contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to answer the following three questions correctly. Good luck! [Read more…]

Was This the First “Creature Bait”?

Cat Claw Bait Company's Super Tail ad from 1977.

Cat Claw Bait Company’s Super Tail ad from 1977.

[Editor’s note: We’re happy to have longtime writer/bass fishing expert Rich Zaleski pen this piece for us on the Cat Claw Super Tail. As many of you probably know, Rich has been writing about bass fishing since the 1970s and has been published in a multitude of magazines and Internet venues.]

Sometime in the early 1970s, New York City Reservoir bass guru Marty Friedman, was vacationing at the 1000 Islands area of the Saint Lawrence River. Back at his cottage after a particularly good day on the water, he was showing off a mixed, largemouth/smallmouth bag averaging over 3 pounds. After complimenting him on his catch, his neighbor in the vacation community showed Friedman his own limit — five largemouth averaging almost twice that much. That was when Friedman met Bob Sickafoose, and learned about the unique soft plastic lure the Ohio angler had developed. [Read more…]

Bobby Murray – The Late ‘60s and Early ‘70s

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late '60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late ’60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

This is a special video. It’s not often you get to see video of the first days of competitive bass fishing – and I mean the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Yeah, there’s coverage on the Bassmaster.com website of the 1971 Classic – and it’s an amazing look back in time – but how many of you have seen video from 1968, 1969 and even 1970? Well, today, thanks to Bobby Murray and Carlisle Tire, we have something special to share with you.

Bobby Murray was kind enough to invite Mike Quinn of Carlisle Tire to his house in Arkansas to talk the old days of competitive bass fishing. During that visit Bobby showed Mike some old 8mm film footage of some early Bassmasterr events. Quinn, with the permission of Murray, had the film digitized and ran it in the Carlisle Tire booth at the Hartwell Classic just a week ago. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bull Shoals Lake Events

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas is one of the more famous Ozark impoundments, and B.A.S.S. has stopped there over half a dozen times throughout its history. This week’s trivia question will deal with some of that history surrounding this famous lake. In order to win this week’s contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to answer the following three questions correctly. Good luck! [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 34

It didn't take Bobby Murray long to show the bass fishing world his talents.  He brought this beautiful stringer to weigh in one day at the first Bassmasters Classic held at Lake Mead in 1971.  Bobby won the event.  He also took the Classic crown again 10 years later. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

It didn’t take Bobby Murray long to show the bass fishing world his talents. He brought this beautiful stringer to weigh in one day at the first Bassmasters Classic held at Lake Mead in 1971. Bobby won the event. He also took the Classic crown again 10 years later. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

As I detailed in my previous column, the “Dog Walker” rod Gary Loomis was marketing for a time in the early days of his rod building business was designed especially for fishing a Zara Spook.

He named these rods “Dog Walker” because it’s a technique called “Walking the Dog” that has kept Zara Spooks on the market ever since they were introduced by the Heddon Lure Company way back in 1939.

Did these lures start getting results right off the bat? They must have. The records show that the Spook was the first of the Heddon lures to top one million in sales. I’d also be willing to bet that this wondrous old lure has probably had as much or more written about it than any other bass bait. [Read more…]

Humminbird – Another Tom Mann Invention

1973 Humminbird ad featuring Tom Mann.

1973 Humminbird ad featuring Tom Mann.

I’ve always wanted to write a piece on the history of Humminbird but I haven’t been too successful with the folks at Techsonic. Seems most people forget that Tom Mann was not only the figurehead of the original organization – but one of the guys that started the company those many years ago. I’ve been accumulating old ads in hope of putting together a complete piece on the subject but I’m not sure when or if that will ever happen. So, until I can find someone who wants to talk about the entire history of the famed electronics company, I’m going to take this opportunity to post this short piece on some of the ads I have from the early years of the company.

The first ads are from the 1973 time frame and nearly all feature Tom Mann in one way or fashion. To open up (the lead-in photo) there’s the 1973 ad featuring the Super Speed depth sounder. The ad states that the unit will read “even the smallest targets” at “Speeds up to 55 mph.” The flasher was also touted to be readable with the sun at your back. Incorporated into the ad was the Fisherman’s Prayer and the opportunity to buy the print in a number of different forms. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Kreiger’s New York State of Mind Answer and Winner (February 23, 2015)

Koby Kreiger. Photo Bassmaster.com

Koby Kreiger. Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to JKarbo for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, please read below.

Koby Kreiger will be an Elite Series rookie this year, but he’s hardly a newcomer to B.A.S.S. competition. He’s fished 40 Bassmaster events, most recently the three 2014 Northern Opens, and has shown a propensity for ending up in the check line – he’s finished in the money in the last seven tournaments he’s fished, and 26 times overall, a rate of 65 percent.

The 46 year old pro fished his first Bassmaster tournament in September of 1995 on the St. Lawrence River and ended up a lackluster 129th. For a pro living in Indiana, that must have felt like a particular indignity, because no doubt he expected to do well on smallmouth waters. He didn’t get a shot at northern smallmouths in Bassmaster competition again until eight tournaments later, when he returned to the St. Lawrence. He’d earned checks at Eufaula and Hartwell by then, but turned in his best finish to date (24th) in New York. When B.A.S.S. returned to the St. Lawrence in 1999, he headed in the wrong direction, finishing 96th. [Read more…]

The Chowhound

An old Chowhound patch, circa late 1980s.

An old Chowhound patch, circa late 1980s.

This post gets to cover a whole lot of ground. We have an old patch, some applied science, a lure you may or may not recall, and a pretty famous and interesting person to boot. The lure was the “Chowhound,” or as sometimes referred to by it’s full name, the “Chowhound Crankspin.” [Read more…]

Spinnerbaits 1977

Doc Moorehead's Floozy spinnerbait with a plastic curl-tail skirt. This skirt, which came out before Mister Twister's rendition, resulted in a law suit.

Doc Moorehead’s Floozy spinnerbait with a plastic curl-tail skirt. This skirt, which came out before Mister Twister’s rendition, resulted in a law suit.

After four days of Classic coverage we’re back home and back to the grind. So, we’re going to take a little diversion this week and look at old ads. First up on the list is spinnerbaits – a bait that played a huge role in the first six Classic wins – either as the main bait or as a supplement to the winning angler.

In 1971 Bobby Murray won on a Zorro, in ’72 Don Butler won on an S.O.B., in ’74 Tommy Martin used a Fleck Weed Wader, as did Jack Hains in ’75 and in ’76 Rick Clunn followed suit with the Weed Wader. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Kreiger’s New York State of Mind (February 23, 2015)

Koby Kreiger. Photo Bassmaster.com

Koby Kreiger. Photo Bassmaster.com

Koby Kreiger will be an Elite Series rookie this year, but he’s hardly a newcomer to B.A.S.S. competition. He’s fished 40 Bassmaster events, most recently the three 2014 Northern Opens, and has shown a propensity for ending up in the check line – he’s finished in the money in the last seven tournaments he’s fished, and 26 times overall, a rate of 65 percent. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Kevin Short

Kevin (K-Pink) Short and two of hi Day 1 Classic fish. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Kevin (K-Pink) Short and two of hi Day 1 Classic fish. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]