Memorial Day Observance

Memorial DayIn observance of those who have given their lives in order protect our country in the past, present and future, we will be taking Monday off. The Monday trivia contest will resume June 1 and all other features this Tuesday, May 26. We hope you have a good weekend and please don’t forget those who gave it all for this day. See you Tuesday with Part 3 of Old Bass Boats 1978. The staff of the Bass Fishing Archives

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 2

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the "18" Pro Bass Missile.

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the “18” Pro Bass Missile.

In Tuesday’s installment of Old Bass Boats (click here to see Part 1), we covered the tournament organization boats, namely American Bass Fisherman, American Angler, Bassmaster, Bass Casters Association and National Bass Association. Out of those five organizations, we covered nine different boats and five different manufacturers. It’s hard to believe that only a couple years before this, there was only one tournament organization, B.A.S.S., who offered its members boats. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Laissez les bon temps roulez Answer and Winner (May 18, 2015)

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Congratulations to Al H. for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits!  For the answer, read below.

As the son of renowned bass biologist and product inventor Loren Hill, Kenyon Hill may have been destined to pursue a career in tournament fishing. He fished his first B.A.S.S. event in December of 1986 at the age of 22, and since then has qualified for four Bassmaster Classics and has won three events. He continues to fish the Elite Series in 2015. [Read more…]

Early “Slow Rolling” – Earlier Than You Thought?

A 1-oz. Go-Devil spinnerbait

A 1-oz. Go-Devil spinnerbait

Spinnerbaits have been one of the most popular lures among bass anglers ever since they first came out. Many noted anglers could claim to have made their professional reputations by using the lures, guys such as Jimmy Houston, Ricky Green, and Hank Parker. Many others have thrown them to win events throughout the history of tournament angling.

Beyond your typical average spinnerbait, one of the first big “revolutions” occurred in the 1980s with the sudden rise in popularity of the willow leaf blade. Previous to that, most spinnerbaits sold were equipped either with Colorado blades, or less commonly Indiana blades. Willow blades were touted for their effectiveness around grass, and it wasn’t too long before some companies figured out you could make a very heavy spinnerbait combined with the decreased lift of the willow-style blade, and the technique of “slow rolling” was soon winning tournaments across the country. However, all this happened more than 20 years after another small company had created and sold a line of spinnerbaits specifically for covering the depths. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 1

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

This column seems to be the one most frequented by readers so we’re going to give you more of what you like – Old Bass Boats 1978 style. In Part 1, we’re going to start out with the various tournament organizations’ specialty boats. This phenomena all started with Ray Scott and the 1971 Bassmasterr Classic when he purchased from Rebel 25 identical boats for use by the 24 Classic contenders on Lake Mead. After the event the boats were put up for sale and became another form of income for the fledgling tournament organization. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Laissez les bon temps roulez (May 18, 2015)

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

As the son of renowned bass biologist and product inventor Loren Hill, Kenyon Hill may have been destined to pursue a career in tournament fishing. He fished his first B.A.S.S. event in December of 1986 at the age of 22, and since then has qualified for four Bassmaster Classics and has won three events. He continues to fish the Elite Series in 2015. [Read more…]

John-Rude – 1946

Evinrude ad from 1946.

Evinrude ad from 1946.

A few weeks ago we posted a piece about the start of Mercury Motors in the early 40s. Today we have the two main competitors, or should I say Mercury’s competitors not only for the ‘40s but well through the turn of the century, Johnson and Evinrude.

For those of you who remember the Outboard Marine Company, or more commonly referred to as OMC, you remember that Johnson and Evinrude were both part of that conglomeration. But that wasn’t the case prior to 1936. In fact, both companies were competitors up until that time.

Ole Evinrude is credited by some to be the inventor of the outboard motor industry. In 1882, when he was five years old, his family emigrated from Norway to the U.S. and landed in Milwaukee, WI. By the time he was 25, he’d developed his first outboard motor – a 1.5 horsepower model that was introduced publicly in 1909. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lake Eufaula (Answers & Winner; May 11, 2015)

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Congrats to Steven Strasser for edging out the win this week in our Trivia contest. For details about the winning answers, read below.

Following the professional tournament trails around the country, we currently find the FLW Tour pros practicing up on Lake Eufaula in Alabama this week, also known as Walter F. George Reservoir. Word is the bass are post-spawn and starting to move out toward the deep ledges. We might see some big bags weighed in beginning with Day 1 on Thursday. But that’s the present. If you look back at the history on this lake, you’ll find a treasure trove of interesting bassin’ trivia. Therefore, in order to win this week’s Monday Trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to sharpen up on your Eufaula history and be the first to answer the following 4 questions correctly. [Read more…]

Not so Bitter Anymore: The 1990 Golden Blend Championship

The cover of the January/February edition of Bass Fishing magazine, the publication of Operation Bass, had Jim Bitter front and center for his Golden Blend Championship win.

The cover of the January/February edition of Bass Fishing magazine, the publication of Operation Bass, had Jim Bitter front and center for his Golden Blend Championship win.

Back in November, we solicited information from readers about the history of the Operation Bass Golden Blend tournament series. We’d put together a basic outline of the circuit’s history, but we had little meat to put on those bones. Thanks to one of our great readers and supporters, Andy Williamson, we have a bit more to add.

In that original article, we mentioned Jim Bitter’s 1990 win on Lake Chickamauga. Specificially, we explained that “[t]he win marked a strong period in Bitter’s career, as he’d won MegaBucks IV on the Harris Chain two years earlier.” Left unsaid was the fact that it came on the heels of what is for many – fairly or unfairly – the defining moment of Bitter’s long career, his failure to win the 1989 Bassmaster Classic. As you may recall, Bitter had the winning fish in his hand, but when he went to re-measure it under the gaze of Tim Tucker’s camera, it slipped from his hand and back into the James River. Hank Parker ended up beating him by two ounces. Gone were not only the lasting glory of a Classic win, but also the $50,000 top prize. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: Bassmaster Trail 1978 – Part Six

In 1978 Bobby Murray became the second angler to win two Bassmaster Classics. Photo by Stan Fagerstrom.

In 1978 Bobby Murray became the second angler to win two Bassmaster Classics. Photo by Stan Fagerstrom.

[Editor’s note: This is the final part of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Click the following links to read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five.]

In the last installment of Season at a Glace – 1978 Bassmaster Trail we went over the Classic VIII contestants. Today we’re looking back at Classic VIII, an event held on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir – or “The Rez” as it’s known to locals.

B.A.S.S. had visited The Rez numerous times before and with good reason – the lake flat produced. But by 1978, the lake was in its mid-life crisis, and not only were keepers hard to come by, there weren’t many fish at all. Top that off with the fact that the lake was 2 1/2-feet low and this seemed to be a recipe for a Classic disaster. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Following the professional tournament trails around the country, we currently find the FLW Tour pros practicing up on Lake Eufaula in Alabama this week, also known as Walter F. George Reservoir. Word is the bass are post-spawn and starting to move out toward the deep ledges. We might see some big bags weighed in beginning with Day 1 on Thursday. But that’s the present. If you look back at the history on this lake, you’ll find a treasure trove of interesting bassin’ trivia. Therefore, in order to win this week’s Monday Trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to sharpen up on your Eufaula history and be the first to answer the following 4 questions correctly.

  1. The town proper that sits on the shores of Eufaula and whence it got it’s name, was home to one of the most well-recognized professional bass anglers, as well as the company that he ran. Name that angler and company.
  2. There are two Bassmaster records that still stand to this day from those historic events held on Eufaula. Name those two records and the anglers who hold them.
  3. Back in 1996, this winner of a Lake Eufaula event started a new bait trend by using a novel lure to help him take the trophy, a trend that was recently reinvigorated last summer on Kentucky Lake. Name the angler and the bait/technique we’re referring to.
  4. Finally, there have only been two anglers that have won multiple Bassmaster events on Lake Eufaula over the years, each winning twice. Name these two anglers.

Answers and winner will be announced later this week (Thursday).

Zorro 1977

1977 Zorro Ad.

1977 Zorro Ad.

Stan Sloan will forever hold the distinction of being the first angler to win a Ray Scott event – winning the first All-American held on Beaver Lake in 1967. Sloan could also claim another first, that being the man who designed the built the bait that won the first Bassmaster Classic in 1971 at Lake Mead, NV. Over the course of his professional bass fishing career, Sloan never fished a full year on the Bassmaster Trail. The closest he came to that was the 1973 season where he fished five events. Most years he only fished two or three events, yet he made the Classic the first five years in a row.

Aside from being one of the top anglers in the early history of competitive bass fishing, Sloan was also a corrections officer, but more importantly, he was a superb bait maker. His Zorro Aggravator spinnerbaits were some of the most-used spinnerbaits of the time – winning numerous events in the early years. [Read more…]