Archives for October 2013

Bass History in Photos – A Quartet of Smallmouth Greatness

Editors Note: The old adage is that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So many times while looking through old books and magazines, we’ll come across photos that seem to just reach out and grab our attention for one reason or another. Oftentimes, there really isn’t a story or post ready or needed to go along with these shots. As such, we’ve decided to add a new category to the Bass Fishing Archives site titled ‘History in Photos.’ These posts will simply be a picture with a caption, no story attached. Hopefully you’ll find these old photos as interesting as we do, and perhaps you, our readers, can be the ones to lend some storyline to them via your comments.

(l to r) Jerry McKinnis, Charlie Brewer, Inky Gilmore and Billy Westmoreland. "This was a Lake Cumberland, Kentucky catch; the temperature was 9 degrees and the wind was strong." - December 1973, Fishing Facts

(l to r) Jerry McKinnis, Charlie Brewer, Inky Gilmore and Billy Westmoreland. “This was a Lake Cumberland, Kentucky catch; the temperature was 9 degrees and the wind was strong.” – December 1973, Fishing Facts

Monday Trivia – Tak on Top Answer and Winner (October 28, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.

Photo Bassmaster.

Well, another week and no winner for the week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Come back next week for another try. For the answer, read below.

Takahiro Omori wasn’t the first native of Japan to win a B.A.S.S. event. That honor went to Norio Tanabe. Nor was Tak the most recent — Morizo Shimizu’s 2006 win came later than Omori’s last one. Nevertheless, Omori’s five wins from the front of the boat are by far the most of any of his countrymen.

The first of those five came in April of 1996, when he outlasted over 300 other pros to claim $35,000 in cash and merchandise as the winner of the Missouri Bassmaster Central Invitational. Omori’s closest follower was former Bassmaster Classic winner Guido Hibdon, who’d been an Ozarks-region force before making a name for himself on the national stage. Hibdon’s son Dion, who’d win a Classic of his own the following year, was also a Lake of the Ozarks expert, and he finished fourth. In between the father and son was third place finisher Mark Tucker, another top local stick. He’d yet to fish a Classic but ultimately participated in eight of them. He also won the 2011 Central Open on Lake Lewisville in Texas. Jim Bitter finished fifth. [Read more…]

Rapala – A Look Back

1975 Rapala AdThe Rapala name has been attached to bass fishing ever since one of Laurie Rapala’s first lures made it to the U.S. It all started with the original Floating Rapala and for years that’s all that was available. By the mid-70s, though, Rapala had developed a few other baits to cover a wider range of depths, but for the most part, they were all still “minnow” designs.

What caught my eye in this ad was a bait I’d never seen before – the Deep Diver. After doing a little research I found out that this lure, the DD90 came out in or around 1972 and was produced in two sizes, the 7 and 9 and were 3 -1/4 and 4-1/2 inches in length respectively. They were taken out of production right before 1980, maybe due to the success of the Fat Rap. [Read more…]

It’s All About the Skirts

1975 Daiwa 2500C ad. The first skirted-spool spinning reel.

1975 Daiwa 2500C ad. The first skirted-spool spinning reel.

Although by 1975 the miniskirt had been replaced by the ever-famous polyester bell-bottoms, Japanese tackle manufacturer Daiwa was ready to introduce its new skirt concept to the masses. Not as sexy as the miniskirt to some, the avid angler saw the skirted spool as a thing of beauty – and a solution to the never-ending problem of line slipping behind the spool.

The Daiwa 2500C is the reel that put the company on the map in the U.S. and maybe the world. Despite the fact that many anglers were still swearing by and using the Zebco Cardinal and Garcia Mitchel series reels, the skirted spool was such a game changer that even the most dedicated Swedish and French supporters started to look towards Japan for the solution to their problems. By the early 80s, Daiwa would have a hearty market share while ABU and Mitchell were retooling to make their own versions of new skirted-spool reel. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Tak on Top (October 28, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.

Photo Bassmaster.

Takahiro Omori wasn’t the first native of Japan to win a B.A.S.S. event. That honor went to Norio Tanabe. Nor was Tak the most recent — Morizo Shimizu’s 2006 win came later than Omori’s last one. Nevertheless, Omori’s five wins from the front of the boat are by far the most of any of his countrymen.

The first of those five came in April of 1996, when he outlasted over 300 other pros to claim $35,000 in cash and merchandise as the winner of the Missouri Bassmaster Central Invitational. Omori’s closest follower was former Bassmaster Classic winner Guido Hibdon, who’d been an Ozarks-region force before making a name for himself on the national stage. Hibdon’s son Dion, who’d win a Classic of his own the following year, was also a Lake of the Ozarks expert, and he finished fourth. In between the father and son was third place finisher Mark Tucker, another top local stick. He’d yet to fish a Classic but ultimately participated in eight of them. He also won the 2011 Central Open on Lake Lewisville in Texas. Jim Bitter finished fifth. [Read more…]

This Month In Bass Fishing History – October

Another month, another quick look at what went down in bass fishing history. Let’s begin…

Guntersville20 YRS AGO: Built between 1936 and 1939, Guntersville Lake is Alabama’s largest reservoir with waters covering 67,900 acres and 890 shoreline miles. It is also a big bass factory, as well as the site of the upcoming Bassmaster Classic to be held next February. Part of what makes the lake such a great fishery is arguably its fertility as well as its hydrilla and milfoil beds. However, another reason might be the fact that on October 1, 1993, a 15-inch size limit was placed on bass in the lake. That early size limit allowed for smaller, faster growing bass to reach quality size. [Read more…]

Heddon’s Most Famous

1975 Heddon Big Bud ad.

1975 Heddon Big Bud ad.

You can argue all day long about what Heddon lure was the most popular over the course of time. I’d hate to count the number of Zara Spooks that have sold over the years or even the old River Runt. Both of these lures have had a cult-like following for years and the fact that the Spook is still one of the best topwater baits is proof how good it is.

But in 1975 Heddon went a different direction. One that may have had an adverse impact on their company – or maybe it set the stage for something big.

I know when I saw that Heddon had come out with a Budweiser lure I laughed. I wondered why they’d do it – it certainly wouldn’t catch fish. No one I knew owned one, or admitted they did anyway. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Gettys Gets it Done Answer and Winner (Oct 21, 2013)

Photo FLWOutdoors.comUnfortunately no one won this week’s Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, read below and try again next week!.

Ed Gettys has only fished 12 B.A.S.S. events over the past 25 years, most recently the 2006 Northern Tour event on Kentucky Lake. His success on the circuit has been decidedly mixed, with a few bombs along with a few checks, but if you look at where he’s fished, it’s obvious that the Alabama resident has a fondness for home – nine of the tournaments have taken place on Guntersville, where he’s known as a top stick. [Read more…]

Fenwick HMG – What’s Wrong with this Picture?

1975 Fenwick HMG rod ad.

1975 Fenwick HMG rod ad.

We’ve discussed that Fenwick was the first rod company to bring graphite (carbon fiber) technology to the fishing industry before. The year was 1974 and they had the market for a good 18 months before early competitor Skyline came out with their line of rods.

Not only was Fenwick the first to utilize the new graphite material for rods, they really made a dent on the pistol-grip handle industry while designing the blank. If you design a blank that weighs less than an old set of carbaloy guides then you better have a handle that’s worthy of the new rod. So Fenwick developed a new all-plastic handle that incorporated a plastic collet system that didn’t require the butt of the blank to be glued into the collet or handle. The result – the lightest handle on the market for the lightest blank on the market. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1975

1975 Bass Cat Ad.

1975 Bass Cat Ad.

The year is 1975 and by now bass boats have morphed from tubs with a motor into performance fishing platforms that were not only becoming fast but more and more useful. The early days of open decks, stick steering and small slow boats are beginning to make way for hulls designed for speed, dry storage and better electronics.

In the last installment of Old Bass Boats – 1974 we talked about the new Ranger A-series boats, designed by Darris Allison. We also talked about the new kid on the block, Hydra-Sport and their “step-pad” hull known under the name Hydra-Flight. Boat manufacturers were now looking to the race industry to not only make their hulls faster but more efficient due to the gas crunch. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Gettys Gets it Done (October 21, 2013)

Photo FLWOutdoors.comEd Gettys has only fished 12 B.A.S.S. events over the past 25 years, most recently the 2006 Northern Tour event on Kentucky Lake. His success on the circuit has been decidedly mixed, with a few bombs along with a few checks, but if you look at where he’s fished, it’s obvious that the Alabama resident has a fondness for home – nine of the tournaments have taken place on Guntersville, where he’s known as a top stick.

That reputation was forged in part by his earliest efforts with B.A.S.S. He finished 5th in his first tournament with them, the 1989 Alabama Invitational, and then won the same event the following year. [Read more…]

Rooster Tails – The Magazine of Hydra-Sports

Charlie Ingram wins the 1982 Team Hydra-Sports TOC. Photo Jan/Feb 1983 issue of Rooster Tails magazine.

Charlie Ingram wins the 1982 Team Hydra-Sports TOC. Photo Jan/Feb 1983 issue of Rooster Tails magazine.

Anyone that’s bass fished since the 80s knows of Hydra-Sports boats. They probably also know that Earl Bentz played a significant role in not only Hydra-Sports as a company but also in regards to bass boat performance development.  What I wonder, though, is how many of you knew Hydra-Sports not only made boats but printed a magazine and also ran a tournament circuit? Maybe if you owned a ‘Sport in the day but I’d bet a 4-pack of Scuppernong Jelly worms you had no clue.

Pictured here is the cover of the Jan/Feb 1983 Issue of Rooster Tails, Hydra-Sports flagship magazine, which started in 1980. Joe Reeves, owner of Hydra-Sports started the organization, according to the membership ad, “because he wanted to get back to the fun of bass fishing.” Membership in the organization was for owners and their friends, which I assume could own a boat of another make. [Read more…]