Archives for September 2012

The B.A.S.S. Federation – The 1974 Nationals

1974 BASS Chapter Championship winning team – Missouri. Pictured (L-R) Evon Austin, Charlie Campbell, John Haley, Gary Wilkerson, Bud Bartold and Bill Clements. Photo Sept/Oct 1974 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bass clubs nationwide were joining the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society at a fevered pace and by 1973, Ray Scott and crew decided it was time to up the anti for these weekend warriors. In ’73, the first B.A.S.S. Chapter Championship was held to determine the best state team in the nation but that wasn’t all. Scott had decided just prior to the event, that the top individual finisher at the Championship would be invited to the Super Bowl of bass fishing – the Bass Master Classic.

That first year, 20 state teams from as far away as California met to compete at Pickwick Reservoir in Alabama. After the dust had settled, the Tennessee Chapter Team won the honors, beating Missouri by over 20 pounds. [Read more…]

The Beginning of the Toad Invasion?

Long before the Horny Toad…

These days, there’s probably not a basser worth his salt that doesn’t carry a box or two full of “toads”. Those incredibly versatile little rubber creatures, along with their froggin’ counterparts, have proven to be an incredibly potent weapon in the arsenal of bass anglers faced with shallow water filled in by vegetation of all sorts.

If asked, a majority of anglers would likely peg the introduction of the Zoom Horny Toad back in 2005 as beginning the toad trend. However, a look back in the archives reveals a much older history to the storied piece of soft plastic. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Chilling in Oklahoma Answer and Winner

Jim Morton unhooks a Grand Lake largemouth from his 3/8-ounce Spunky Bug buzzbait at the 1992 Oklahoma Invitational. Photo 1993 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Congratulations to Duke Jenkel for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest. Read below for the answer.


With the 2013 Bassmaster Classic field nearly filled, it’s about time for the competitors to start thinking about how they’ll fish Grand Lake in February. The weather has the potential to be miserable – everything from heavy snow to crippling ice to bitter cold. Fortunately, B.A.S.S. has a history on Grand during inclement weather to look back upon. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1974 BASS Master Trail – Part Two

Al Lindner winner of the 1974 Tennessee Invitational on Watts Bar. Photo Bassmaster Magazine July/August 1974.

Editor’s Note: In Part One of the 1974 Tournament Trail, there was an error at the end piece where we posted the top-30 anglers for the AOY race after three events. The table that was inadvertently put there was actually the AOY standings after two events – not three. The table has been corrected and now reflects the standings after three events.

In part one of this series we went through the first three events of the ’74 BASS Master tournament season. In this installment, we’ll go through the final three events and also present the anglers who qualified for the 1974 Classic. To read part one click here. [Read more…]

Applied Science: The Mann’s Hackleback

Hackleback Bullfin

There are two general forms of science or research, ‘basic’ and ‘applied’.

Basic science is what most people typically envision – laboratory discovery stuff, scientific method, pure curiosity with no immediate commercial application in mind. Then there is applied science, which frequently takes the findings from basic science and ‘applies’ them to solve practical problems of the modern world or starts out with that basic operating principle in mind.

The history of bass fishing has numerous examples of applied science used in an effort to create better bass lures, while hopefully generating nice profits for the company that created said product. I’ll be highlighting a few of these over the next several weeks, starting with an old favorite from around 1980 created by Mann’s Bait Co. In this example, create a lure that will allow an angler to trigger and catch more bass based on tank test observations. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Chilling in Oklahoma

Jim Morton unhooks a fish at the 1992 Oklahoma Invitational on Grand Lake. Photo February 1992 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

With the 2013 Bassmaster Classic field nearly filled, it’s about time for the competitors to start thinking about how they’ll fish Grand Lake in February. The weather has the potential to be miserable – everything from heavy snow to crippling ice to bitter cold. Fortunately, B.A.S.S. has a history on Grand during inclement weather to look back upon.

The 1992 Oklahoma Invitational, held from November 4-6 of that year, marked the sole B.A.S.S. win of Jim Morton’s career. The promotions manager for Storm Lures had only fished seven previous B.A.S.S. tournaments, never finishing higher than 79th. After Grand, he fished 70 more tournaments with the circuit, and only cracked the top twenty one more time, in June of 1993 at a SuperStars tournament on the Illinois River (only 28 anglers competed). [Read more…]

Thank You Mr. Brauer

Denny Brauer hoists one of his winning fish at the 1992 Bassmaster MegaBucks Tournament held on Lake Guntersville. Photo January 1993 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

This weekend Bassmaster Elite Series angler Denny Brauer announced his retirement from the Elite Series. One of the most influential anglers of all time, Brauer cited the long seasons and physical toll tour-level angling has had as the reasons for him to step down at the end of the 2012 season. For the full press release by Strike King, click here.

Brauer has won over $2.5-million in B.A.S.S. earnings (3rd of all time) over his illustrious career and fished 21 Bassmaster Classics, winning the 1998 Classic on High Rock Lake. He’s also fished four FLW Cups. [Read more…]

B.A.S.S.: More Than a Tournament Organization Part Two

Permission Ray Scott

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a two-part series on what B.A.S.S. stood for in the early days of the organization. In this part, Ray Scott talks about what he did to help fight pollution and bring safer boating to the industry. To read part one, click here.

Over the course of the last six months we’ve talked a lot about B.A.S.S. and the events held in the early 70s. We’ve also delved a little bit into the rules that Ray Scott implemented in his tournaments along with the horsepower race. What we haven’t really touched on, though, is what it meant to be a part of B.A.S.S. (with the periods and all their glory) and why everyone displayed, with pride, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s sticker and patch. [Read more…]

Bass Club News via the May 1974 CLC

May 1974 California Lunker Club Magazine Bass Club Reports. Courtesy of Dave Coolidge.

I know this is really southern California-centric but I’m posting it for two reasons. One, I want to put out some old material for my friends in California and two, it’s a calling card for any of you readers who may have similar reports stashed away in your closet.

For those of you who reside in Cal (or lived there) and fished during those early years of competitive bass fishing, I hope you enjoy reading these club reports. Not many of these clubs exist today, if any, but I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of the anglers, some of which are still competing. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Co-Anglers or Pros? Answer and Winner


Congratulations to Art Miller for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest. Since we can’t confirm the Miles Hair answer, we’re going to give it to him.  Read below for the answer.

The 1996 Bassmaster Top 100 on South Carolina’s Lake Murray marked Stacey King’s first B.A.S.S. win after a decade of attempts. The King of Table Rock went on to win again six years later at a Central Invitational on Toledo Bend.

The Murray event was unusual for another reason – while B.A.S.S. had previously canceled single tournament days, a long-lingering front forced the cancellation of two competition days. What was set to be a four-day event was cut in half.

Fortunately for King, when the winds subsided he went to town on a very fertile and still grass-laden Lake Murray. On the first day the field actually got to fish, he sacked a 33-02 five-fish limit, a haul which to that point had been exceeded only in another South Carolina event – when OT Fears caught 34-04 at Santee two years earlier. His limit included a 9-04 largemouth. [Read more…]

The 1982 U.S. Open: Now a National Championship Event – Part One

The cover of the 1982 U.S. Open Press Guide and Souvenir Program.

Editor’s Note: The success of the 1981 U.S. Open put the Western Bass Fishing Association on the competitive bass fishing map. Because of this, the 1982 Open would field 262 contestants, many of which were household names around the U.S. – it wasn’t just some western fly-by-night event anymore. In part one of this story, we’ll look at the history and introduce the anglers that participated in the ’82 Open. In part two we’ll take a look at the event and the top finishers. In part three we’ll look at how the event was won and talk with the winner, Rich Tauber, to hear what an effect the win had on his career.


The first U.S. Open held in 1981 was a pie-in the-sky dream thought up by new Western Bass Fishing Association owner Rich Schultz. It was his hope, along with those who worked for WBFA, to draw at least 60 top-tier anglers to an event that would award the highest payout in professional bass fishing history -$50,000. What happened was a far cry from their dream. [Read more…]

Daiwa: em-PHA’-sis on the wrong syl-LA’-ble


1975 Field & Stream Daiwa Ad

I was trying to figure out whether to ‘zig’ or to ‘zag’ with this piece.

The ZIG – One thing that has really surprised me as I search through old bass fishing magazine ads from the 70s has been the amount of sexual innuendo in them. Yes, nowadays we have that a bit with things like the Reaction Innovations product names and colors, and I even read some complaints from ICAST 2012 this year on the skimpy attire worn by some company support personnel, but it seems to have been much more rampant back in the 70ss. Perhaps it’s partly because of all the smoking and alcohol ads that all have a macho man/good looking girl in every piece, but even the wording went along for the ride back then. Rod/reel ads, motor ads, you name it – hot girl. The Daiwa ad in this piece from a 1975 Field & Stream Magazine is no exception. Look close and you’ll find a Daiwa reel advertisement in there somewhere. [Read more…]