Eight years after the end of his career with B.A.S.S., Jim Bitter is probably best remembered for a snippet from his low-light reel – watching the winning fish flop out of his hands at the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River, thereby ceding the title to Hank Parker. That’s unfortunate, because the Florida pro produced results that many other competitors would envy. He totaled nearly $850,000 in B.A.S.S. winnings, qualified for seven Bassmaster Classics and won five events.
Archives for September 2013
In 1985 one of the most-respected boat companies came out with a new-concept boat that rocked the bass boat industry. The boat had all the amenities needed for high-level competition. They were fast, offered a passenger rod trough, rod locker ventilation and a console that looked more like it should be in an F-16 than a boat. The boat was the Cajun Ricky Green Fishin’ Machine.
By 1985 Ricky Green had been fishing as a full-time professional for a dozen years. He fished his first tournament at the age of 24 – the 1968 Arkansas State Championship at Greers Ferry – and won it. In that event he met Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon and Jerry McKinnis. [Read more…]
Time again to take a look back at what was happening in the bass fishing world, this time focusing on what occurred during the month of September. Let’s start by going back…
15 YRS AGO: Sep. 19, 1998, and S. Carolina’s Davy Hite Wins what is touted as the largest cash award in angling history when he edges Tommy Biffle in the finals of the $250,000 WAL-MART FLW Tour Championship. The Top-10 in this event was incredibly stout and also included Gary Klein, George Cochran, Rick Clunn, Denny Brauer, Clark Wendlandt and Mike McClelland, all back in the days when most pros fished both the B.A.S.S. and FLW Tours. Those were the days.
Moving on…. [Read more…]
Monday Trivia – Clunn Conquers New York – With a Little Help From His Friends Answer and Winner (September 23, 2013)
Congratulations to Greg Clark for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, read below.
Rick Clunn didn’t finish particularly well in the recent Elite Series event on the St. Lawrence River, finishing just outside of the money in 55th. But 21 years ago he had a banner week in northern New York, winning the 1992 New York Bassmaster Invitational on the same body of water. It marked the 11th win of his B.A.S.S. career and one of two that took place north of the Mason-Dixon Line. [Read more…]
Last week we talked about Kevin VanDam’s 1992 Bassmaster AOY award and about his meteoric rise from nowhere between 1990 and 1991. Well this weekend we found a 1992 The Bassmasters TV show from the same era, featuring then newly crowned 1992 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Kevin VanDam. [Read more…]
Competitive bass fishing has a history that dates back to 1955 when a group of anglers in Texas started the Texas State Bass Tournament. Not long after that in 1960 Hy Peskin started his World Series of Sportfishing which took state champions from all over the east through the Midwest and pitted them against each other in an international championship event. The problem with this event was the rules were always a moving target and the anglers could weigh in essentially any fish, as long as they had fins – although black bass took more points than the other creatures.
Then in 1967 a man by the name of Ray Scott changed all of that. Rained out of a day’s fishing one day he sat in his hotel and envisioned bass fishing being a sport much like bowling or golf – a professional sport where anglers could become stars and make a living by casting and catching bass. By 1968 the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society was born. [Read more…]
Rick Clunn didn’t finish particularly well in the recent Elite Series event on the St. Lawrence River, finishing just outside of the money in 55th. But 21 years ago he had a banner week in northern New York, winning the 1992 New York Bassmaster Invitational on the same body of water. It marked the 11th win of his B.A.S.S. career and one of two that took place north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
The St. Lawrence was a different fishery then – Clunn averaged less than 15 pounds a day to win, and it took less than 10 a day to earn the 50th place check. Compare that to the 2013 tournament where winner Brandon Palaniuk averaged over 22 pounds a day and the 51st place finisher averaged 17 pounds a day over two days. [Read more…]
To anyone but a savvy bass angler, to say, “I got ring worms,” would be a conversation and possibly a relationship show stopper. But to a bass angler in the late 70s through the 80s, the comment may make you new friends or a target for a heist. The Rebel Ringworms were that big a sensation on the scene. In fact, when Rebel quit making the little ringed plastic jewels in the mid 80s, a run went on them and at some shops they were bringing in twice as much as their list price.
The first ringworm introduced in 1975 was a straight tailed bait that actually was credited for Jim McKay’s sole Bassmaster win on Toledo Bend Reservoir in 1976 – which probably had something to do with its initial success. The second bait, the curl tail, was released in 1977 to take advantage of the momentum the earlier introduction had spawned and became an instant success too.
The concept was, “vibra-sonic sound, trapped air bubbles and lifelike feel and action.” I’m not sure about the sound but I know it trapped air and felt softer than other worms of the same diameter – more importantly it caught fish. [Read more…]
1967-1968 is a critical year in bass fishing history. In the Midwest, Fishing News magazine is espousing the discoveries of Buck Perry, and promoting the spoonplugging technique, a system of both trolling and casting used to map and eliminate water, and put you on biting fish faster. Lots of testimonials are coming in about how effective “the system” is. In the South, June 1967 marks the first organized bass tournament put on by Ray Scott, with the official structure and organization (B.A.S.S.) to follow in 1968. Two key rules that will get implemented in the tournaments that organization puts on will be no trolling, and no live bait, both directly in conflict with what is being practiced and promoted to the north. Right in the middle of all this, Evinrude Motors of Milwaukee, WI put out a 16 page manual on primarily trolling titled, “Lunker Lore – A Manual on How to Catch More Fish with Your Evinrude Outboard Motor.” [Read more…]
Well folks, again no one had the right answer for this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. We only had one person submit an answer so maybe that’s one of the problems. Maybe it’s the questions are too difficult. Please let us know what you think below in the comments section and also for the answers, please read below.
These days Michigan pro Kim Stricker is probably best known as the creator of Hook n’ Look, a television program on the Outdoor Channel in which he and his son Danny dive underwater to provide a close up look at the habitat bass inhabit. Fishing fans of a recent vintage may not remember that he fished FLW Tour events for over a dozen years, twice qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup, and also fished 130 B.A.S.S. tournaments, including the 2000 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Michigan. [Read more…]
Kevin VanDam made his initial appearance on the Bassmaster Trail in 1987 fishing the New York Invitational on the St. Lawrence River where he finished a dismal 110th out of 311 anglers. He then fished an event in ’88 and placed 19th, another in ’89 finishing 39th and also the last event of the 1989/90 season at Guntersville where he placed 39th.
A spark must have gone off for him in those last three events as he upped his ante for the 1990/91 season and competed in all the Invitational events. The outcome that year was six top-50s, three top-20s, and two top-3s in six events where the average turnout averaged over 300 anglers. To top that off, he led the 1990/91 Classic qualification for the Invitationals, beating out veteran pro Guy Eaker by a little over 11 pounds. Pretty impressive for a first-year rookie. [Read more…]
Bass Pro Shops came out with their first flat-bound catalog in 1974 and featured everything that the bass angler needed when it came to bass fishing – right? Well, for the most part that could be true. Problem is every region or even lake has its own hot bait and even if Johnny Morris based his fledgling BPS from the concept of “having all the hot local stuff” it was literally impossible to do so. There ws no way that they could know what hot baits or techniques were being used all over the United States.
This is where small local mail order companies started popping up in all the local magazines and papers. We’ve talked about a few of them here on the Bass Fishing Archives before (here and here) and today we’ll touch on another one, this time western-bent Fangard. [Read more…]