Archives for July 2012

Bassin’ Across the Pond

Basser Magazine 1986 vol 5 no 2.

Most people are aware of Japan’s obsession with bass fishing and lure design. Japanese anglers such as Takahiro Omori, Norio Tanabe, Shin Fukae and Morizu Shimizu have come over and made an impact in the U.S. bass ranks and companies like Lucky Craft, Mega Bass and Yo-Zuri have changed the way anglers in the U.S. look at lures.

The interesting thing is very few Americans outside the west knew bass fishing even existed in Japan until the 1998 timeframe, when Seiji Kato fished the Bassmaster Western Invitational at Elephant Butte, NM and gave the winning bait – a Pointer-78 – to his second-day partner Dennis Hoy (see Scorecard Snapshot – Lure of the Rising Sun). [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Roland’s Dominance

Photo Bass Master Magazine February 1980 issue.

Roland Martin’s victory in the November 1980 Florida Invitational on Lake Okeechobee was hardly a surprise to fishing fans at the time. Not only had he already won 11 B.A.S.S. events, but Okeechobee was his personal playground. He’d not previously had the chance to fish a B.A.S.S. event there, but when that opportunity arose, he made the most of it, beating runner-up Guy Eaker by nearly six pounds to claim $11,700 in total winnings.

Martin’s 48-02 over three days was more than double the amount of weight it took to earn a check in the event – 22-03 was enough for Tommy Martin to slip into the 40th place slot out of 275 anglers. [Read more…]

MO Sticks of the Past – Dwight Keefer

Dwight Keefer holding a nice largemouth. Photo Dwight Keefer.

The name Dwight Keefer may not be a household name amongst today’s fishing crowd but in the mid-60s and throughout the 1970s, the name was taken seriously amongst anyone who ventured into the realm of tournament fishing. Having won the Kansas Open Fishing Tournament in September 1967 gave him the opportunity to fish the 1967 World Series of Sport Fishing Championship held one month later in Wisconsin on Long Lake. Keefer ended up winning that event hands down – as a college sophomore.

After his wins, Keefer went on to finish college and become a sales rep for the Shakespeare Corporation – balancing competitive fishing with his sales job. In 1972 he fished two BASS events and qualified for the second BASS Master Classic held on Percy Priest Reservoir in Tennessee.

The following story is about Dwight Keefer, his early days of competitive fishing and his use of Midwest finesse tactics at a time when if you didn’t throw 20-pound string, you were considered a fool. [Read more…]

Flippin’: A Concept. Not Just a Technique – Part Two

Dee Thomas congratulates Gary Klein on his first Bassmaster win at Lake Powell in 1979. Klein won the event flipping. Photo Bass Master Magazine July/August, 1979 Issue.

This is part two of a three-part series on the concept of flipping and the effect it had on the sport. In this installment, we talked with Gary Klein and Basil Bacon about their involvement with the early years of the technique. Click to read Part One and Part Three.

 

In part one of this piece, Dave Myers talked about the three factors that came together to form the concept of Flippin’. He also talked about how an angler could thoroughly pick apart a shoreline in half the time it’d take an angler using conventional methods.

For part two, I had the pleasure of interviewing two other anglers who took the ground rules developed by Thomas and added considerably to its foundation. Gary Klein and Basil Bacon both played pivotal roles in the progression of flipping and the way anglers approach shallow targets today

These two anglers not only helped flipping progress, they helped design new equipment, terminal tackle and baits to increase the effectiveness of the technique. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – A New York Tragedy Answer and Winner

Congratulations to Brian Waldman for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest with his correct answer! Read below for the answer.

The 1986 Bassmaster New York Invitational was held on New York’s Hudson River. It wasn’t the first time the tournament circuit visited the historic river – they’d been there as recently as 1984 – and they’ve returned there multiple times since.

David Fenton averaged over 16 pounds a day to win there in ’86, his lone B.A.S.S. victory in 89 tries. Much of the field struggled, though. It took just over 10 pounds a day to make the top 20, not even 8 pounds a day to make the top 50 and right at 6 pounds a day to finish better than 100th.

While some anglers may have left Catskill, NY grousing about their bad fortune during the tournament, three of the 12 anglers who zeroed had a real tragedy befall them.

Do you remember what happened? [Read more…]

Ads from the Past – When Daiwa Looked Elsewhere

In 1984, Daiwa introduced what they deemed an “All Star Lineup” of Regal Strike graphite rods. Rather than look to their fishing pro-staff for endorsements, though, they turned elsewhere, in this case to the world of more mainstream sports.

Who knew that Larry Bird was a walleye fiend? Or that Willie Stargell preferred spincast tackle?

It was a solid crew, to say the least. Larry Legend and Joe Montana need no introductions. Stargell was inducted into Cooperstown four years later. Bobby Allison has been deemed one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers. Even Cromwell was a four-time Pro-Bowler and a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. However, the question begs to be asked: What the heck did they know about fishing? [Read more…]

BassTronics Pro-Guide

BassTronics Pro-Guide circa 1983.

Here’s a good one for you. I was scanning through a 1983 Western Bass magazine the other day and came across this little diddy. The BassTronics Pro-Guide. Just enter the daily conditions into the unit and it’ll tell you what Roland and Bill would use if they were on your lake.

The Pro-Guide would consider weather conditions like wind, sun and rain along with moon phase, water clarity and even cover or structure. Enter the data in the unit and it’d not only give you the lure they’d use but the color, size and retrieve they’d use with it.

It’d be a pretty amazing tool if it worked but even if it did work, wouldn’t it take the fun out of fshing? I mean, my enjoyment out of fishing comes from figuring the puzzle out on my own – not having someone tell me the answers. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – A New York Tragedy

The 1986 Bassmaster New York Invitational was held on New York’s Hudson River. It wasn’t the first time the tournament circuit visited the historic river – they’d been there as recently as 1984 – and they’ve returned there multiple times since.

David Fenton averaged over 16 pounds a day to win there in ’86, his lone B.A.S.S. victory in 89 tries. Much of the field struggled, though. It took just over 10 pounds a day to make the top 20, not even 8 pounds a day to make the top 50 and right at 6 pounds a day to finish better than 100th.

While some anglers may have left Catskill, NY grousing about their bad fortune during the tournament, three of the 12 anglers who zeroed had a real tragedy befall them.

Do you remember what happened?

 

The answer and winner will be posted Thursday morning.

NC Sticks of the Past – Wendell Mann

Wendell Mann, the first Chapter (Federation) angler to fish a BASS Master Classic. Photo Bass Master Magazine Jan/Feb 1974.

At the time there was no better fisherman in North Carolina. He was versatile and could fish deep or shallow. He started me fishing and taught me how to be versatile and to always be on top of what was going on, no matter where it was from. He was my mentor.” 3-Time BASS Master Classic Qualifier Jeff Coble

From weekend warriors to the triple-A level, bass anglers worldwide dream of being in the Bass Master Classic to test their skills against the best in the world. In 1973, unknown to them, amateur anglers’ dreams came true when the first Federation angler would be invited to fish against the best in the nation at the preeminent event in bass fishing.

In 1973 Ray Scott held the first National Federation Championship, then called the BASS Chapter Championship. States held qualifying events to determine their six-man teams and these teams would head to the Championship to be held on Pickwick Lake TN.

B.A.S.S. had set aside some money to present to the top five state teams to go towards their own states’ environmental funds. It was to be a tournament to decide which state had the best bass anglers and make an impact on the environment.

What no one knew at the time was this National Championship would also determine the first angler to go to the Big Show. This story is about that angler – Wendell Mann of Snow Camp, North Carolina. [Read more…]

The U.S. Open 1981: An Event that Changed Bass Fishing – Part Three

Photo Western Bass Magazine Nov/Dec 1981.

This is part three of a three-part article on the first U.S. Open staged out of Lake Mead, NV in 1981. It was my pleasure to interview the inaugural U.S. Open winner Greg Hines about the event and the strategy he and Don Doty developed to take first and second place. To read part-one click here and to read part-two click here.

At the time there was no single tournament that offered a payout anywhere close to the Open. A typical payout for the time was $10,000 for first place with the purse dropping severely after that. At the Open, an angler could make a year’s wage or more by winning and more than double a typical winner’s purse by placing in second. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Broadcast News Answer and Winner

Photo FLW Outdoors.

Congratulations to Brian Waldman for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest with his correct answer! Read below for the answer.

 

For a full-time rancher, Darrel Robertson of Oklahoma has had a hell of a career as a pro fisherman. He’s amassed over $1.7 million in FLW Outdoors winnings, over a third of it as the result of his victory at the 1999 Ranger M1 Millennium tournament held at Cypress Gardens, Florida. His other win came in an FLW Tour Major on Ft. Gibson Lake, just two months earlier. Together, they were worth $860,000.

Robertson’s victory in the M1 was a big deal in the bass fishing industry because his oversized check for $600,000 marked the largest single tournament haul to that date. It was also significant in the sport’s rise for another reason: the potential exposure that would result from it. It was broadcast live on Fox Sports. As FLW wrote in their summary of the tournament:

For the first time in network history, sports fans nationwide were able to see the action unfold live on the network television’s first broadcast of a bass fishing tournament. FOX Sports employed a crew of more than 100 production professionals to cover the 9-mile, 14-lake venue using more than 15 boats, a helicopter, mobile production facilities, and sophisticated radio frequency relay equipment.”

If those technologies sound familiar, it’s probably because many of them have since been employed in both FLW and BASS tournament coverage in the form of live blogs, war rooms and iterative leaderboards. Much of that has been transferred to the internet, but in many ways the M1 provided a blueprint. [Read more…]

The Ole’ Kneel-n-Reel Trick

Paul Elias Kneeling and Reeling. Photo Bassmaster.com

Most people credit Paul Elias with creating the kneel-and-reel technique to get crankbaits deeper. There’s no doubt he played a major role in popularizing the technique after his win in the 1982 Bass Master Classic but even Elias himself states that he didn’t invent sticking your rod in the water to get a bait to go deeper.

So, who did invent that awkward way of retrieving a crank? Well, here’s possibly a look at one of the first people who used or developed the technique.

I was reading Grits Gresham’s book, Complete Book of Bass Fishing – published in 1966, and came across this interesting picture. [Read more…]