Archives for April 2014

A Couple Classic Baits from Strike King

Early Strike King Timber Spin ad featuring Bobby Murray.

Early Strike King Timber Spin ad featuring Bobby Murray.

Oftentimes, I’ll come across posts where guys mention old baits that they really liked that are now long out of production and hard to come by. Today’s post will cover two of them from their introduction around 1979. Being Strike King products, they got a lot of PR from Bill Dance and his television show, but this line of baits actually worked pretty well for many anglers. [Read more…]

CLC 1 – May 1974

The first issue of only four issues printed of the California Lunker Club Newsletter. May, 1974. With full permission.

The first issue of only four issues printed of the California Lunker Club Newsletter. May, 1974. With full permission.

We’ve posted a few stories (here and here) in the past about the California Lunker Club and its meager beginnings in 1971 to offer California bass anglers an insurance policy to mount a fish. Not long after that founder Dave Coolidge expanded the CLC into a tournament organization, the first in California, in order to bring like-minded bass anglers together. The concept was friendly competition and also provide a forum to learn from each other and make friends.

The concept took hold and within a couple years the organization grew to a point that Coolidge couldn’t afford it anymore. That’s when Western Bass, formed in 1973, stepped up and took CLC off of Coolidge’s hands. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Roland’s Revenge (April 28, 2014)

Roland Martin. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Roland Martin. Photo Bassmaster.com.

When B.A.S.S. visited Lake Champlain for the first time in September of 1997, the lake’s riches were largely yet unknown to all but a few northeasterners. When the competitors left after the three-day tournament, however, it was a secret no more. The 111 pros didn’t set the Top 100 record for the number of limits in a Top 100 event, but the field did set a weight record for that series with 4,248 pounds, eclipsing the previous record by over 600 pounds.

Roland Martin came out on top that week on the “Sixth Great Lake.” He tallied 56 pounds 15 ounces of bass over three days of competition to edge out 1997 Bassmaster Classic winner Dion Hibdon by 6 ounces. It marked the 19th victory of Martin’s career, and as of this date his last one. The native son of Maryland, a longtime Florida resident, must’ve found something he liked in the northeastern waters, because his prior win, in the 1994 Connecticut Top 100, was in that portion of the country as well. In fact, three of his last four B.A.S.S. wins were in the northeast, with the third such tournament being the 1984 Hudson River Invitational, which he won by nearly 13 pounds. [Read more…]

Rogers Lures

Rogers Sporting Goods, Kansas City, MO.

Rogers Sporting Goods, Kansas City, MO.

I’ve been wanting to do a piece on Jim Rogers for some time now. Rogers was a major player in the sport back from the late 60s through the 70s, not only with B.A.S.S. but with the other organizations that popped up shortly after Ray Scott held his first tournament on Beaver Lake, AR.

In fact, speaking of the early Ray Scott events, Jim Rogers actually fished the second event held on Smith Lake, AL in October, 1967. Rogers fished 5 full tournament seasons with B.A.S.S. in those early days (1974, 76, 77, 78, 79) and made the Classic once in 1977. [Read more…]

Sunken Brush Piles – It’s Not Even an ‘80s Thing

Tom Mann Jr. was planting brush on Lake Sidney Lanier before it was all the rage. Photo Pro Bass magazine November, 1983.

Tom Mann Jr. was planting brush on Lake Sidney Lanier before it was all the rage. Photo Pro Bass magazine November, 1983.

I have a close friend who’s a pretty stout stick on Lanier. So stout, in fact, he won the 2006 Tour Open on Lanier. Yeah, some say because he’s a guide he should have won but there were a number of stout “locals” that he beat in the process – a lot of them who knew the lake as well as he does.

I talked with him shortly after his win and he credited it to a couple of things; knowing the fish seasonal movements, two techniques he’d been refining (drop shotting and the tail spin) and, most importantly, sunken brush piles located throughout the lake.

The last topic being the subject of this piece – sunken brush. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bailey’s Bubble Answer and Winner (April 21, 2014)

Lee Bailey FLW Outdoors.

Lee Bailey FLW Outdoors.

Congratulations to Rob Shaw for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest! For the answer, please read below.

Missouri’s Table Rock Lake has been a stopping point for the major tours for decades, with the most recent stop producing Mike McClelland’s seventh B.A.S.S. victory, fourth Elite Series win, and his first since 2008. He compiled 61 pounds 15 ounces of Table Rock bass over four days (nearly a 15 pound 8 ounce average) to claim the crown.

Just under 17 years ago, New Englander Lee Bailey won the Bassmaster Missouri Central Invitational on the Rock, putting together three limits of bass that totaled 47-15, an average just a hair under 16 pounds a day. It marked the sole win of Bailey’s 122 event B.A.S.S. career. He came in 3rd on three occasions, coming closest to winning again in 1999 on the Hudson River when he finished behind winner Woo Daves by a little bit less than 3 pounds. [Read more…]

History in Pics: Early Computerized Lure Design

"Surrounded by some of the electronic gear that Rebel finds invaluable in the making of fish catching baits. George Perrin (Rebel founder) checks out a graph recorder for the wave form pattern of a particular lure."

“Surrounded by some of the electronic gear that Rebel finds invaluable in the making of fish catching baits. George Perrin (Rebel founder) checks out a graph recorder for the wave form pattern of a particular lure.”

The above picture is from a late 1960s Fishing News paper. For more information on Rebel’s founding, see the following links:

How They Started – Mark Davis

Mark Davis won the 1995 Bassmaster Classic at High Rock Lake, NC. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Mark Davis won the 1995 Bassmaster Classic at High Rock Lake, NC. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

For those of you new to the sport of competitive bass fishing, the name Mark Davis probably rings a bell as being the angler who’s leading the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Angler of the Year race. For those of you who have been around a tad longer in this cast-for-cash sport, you may remember Davis came to B.A.S.S. from FLW around 2008 after qualifying for the Elite Series via the 2007 Southern Opens. If you’re old enough to have been in the sport pre-2005, though, you recognize Davis as a three-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner and 1995 Bassmaster Classic champion.

Davis first dipped his toes into the B.A.S.S. pond in 1986, when he was 21 years old, and also qualified for his first Classic that same tournament year, 86/87. Seventeen Classics and 50 top-10 finishes later, Davis is having a season reminiscent of his tear through the 1990s.

Yes, Davis has been here before a number of times and is no newcomer to the winner’s circle. This should worry those younger guns out there as it no doubt is on the minds of those who fished against him in eras past. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bailey’s Bubble (April 21, 2014)

Lee Bailey FLW Outdoors.

Lee Bailey FLW Outdoors.

Missouri’s Table Rock Lake has been a stopping point for the major tours for decades, with the most recent stop producing Mike McClelland’s seventh B.A.S.S. victory, fourth Elite Series win, and his first since 2008. He compiled 61 pounds 15 ounces of Table Rock bass over four days (nearly a 15 pound 8 ounce average) to claim the crown.

Just under 17 years ago, New Englander Lee Bailey won the Bassmaster Missouri Central Invitational on the Rock, putting together three limits of bass that totaled 47-15, an average just a hair under 16 pounds a day. It marked the sole win of Bailey’s 122 event B.A.S.S. career. He came in 3rd on three occasions, coming closest to winning again in 1999 on the Hudson River when he finished behind winner Woo Daves by a little bit less than 3 pounds. [Read more…]

Tom Mann – More than Jelly Worms

Tom Mann's Research Angler, Spring 1988 issue.

Tom Mann’s Research Angler, Spring 1988 issue.

I’ve always been a fan of Tom Mann and his contributions to the sport. He started what is considered one of the most revered tackle companies in the world and also played a role in the development of Humminbird Electronics (along with Blake Honeycutt). He was also one of the best anglers at the dawn of the competitive bass scene, winning a number of events and always challenging for the Angler of the Year award. He was, like few have been, an icon in the industry.

Mann had written, or had someone else write for him, a number of books on the subject – many of which I have in my collection. But recently I was at Greene’s Boat and Motor in Spindale, NC and got a big surprise as Andy Greene was showing me some of his literature collection. [Read more…]

Another Great Idea on Paper

A 1987 ad from Bassmaster magazine for the MONITOR ROD from Shakespeare.

A 1987 ad from Bassmaster magazine for the MONITOR ROD from Shakespeare.

This one falls into that category of something that seems great when you first hear of it, but the more you think about it, the less practical it becomes. What if I told you that I was producing a fishing rod that had a built-in temperature gauge. Sounds cool, but apparently it must not have caught on.

The company was Shakespeare, the year was 1987, and the line of rods was called MONITOR RODS. From the ad; [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Alton Emerges Answer and Winner (April 14, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

For the second week straight no one won the weekly trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Come back next week as we’ll have another set of questions and will award a $25 coupon to the winner. For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below.

Today most fishing fans think of Alton Jones first and foremost as the 2008 Bassmaster Classic Champ, but in May of 1997 the Texas pro was a 34 year-old guide and former computer salesman with seven years as a full-time touring pro under his belt. He’d only notched four Top Ten finishes in B.A.S.S. competition to that point, half of them in Alabama. The best of the bunch came when he finished tied for 4th in the 1996 Alabama Top 100 at Lake Neely Henry. That tournament was won by Davy Hite, marking Hite’s second B.A.S.S. victory, both of them in Alabama.

The following year Jones moved up three spots to claim his first B.A.S.S. win in the 1997 Alabama Top 100, edging out Gary Klein by an ounce to earn the 1st-place trophy. [Read more…]