Archives for June 2014

Monday Trivia – Martin Goes Deep (June 30, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Many modern fishing fans know Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees primarily as the site of Cliff Pace’s career-defining Bassmaster Classic victory as well as for its recent role as a host of multiple Elite Series tournaments, but the lake has a long history as a site of B.A.S.S. competition.

B.A.S.S. first visited Grand Lake in November 1991 for an Oklahoma Invitational won by Arkansas pro Ron Shuffield. The circuit returned almost exactly a year later, for a tournament won by Jim Morton. As described in a previous Bass Fishing Archives trivia contest, Morton defied heavy winds, torrential rains, and temperatures that ranged from just above freezing to well below freezing to win with an unlikely buzzbait pattern [Read more…]

West vs. East

Western Legend Don Iovino graces the cover of the 1995 September/October issue of Bass West Magazine. 1995 was the first year of publication and this was Volume 1 Number 4.

Western Legend Don Iovino graces the cover of the 1995 September/October issue of Bass West Magazine. 1995 was the first year of publication and this was Volume 1 Number 4.

There’s always been a rivalry between the Western U.S. and the Eastern U.S. when it comes to bass fishing. It’s just a plain hard fact of the sport. Having grown up in the Western U.S. and lived there for nearly 50 years, I experienced it firsthand. It was like nothing “bass fishing” existed east of Oklahoma. Yeah, there were the freak fish caught by David Zimmerlee and Ray Easley in 1973 and 1981 and there was Dee Thomas, Gary Klein and Dave Gliebe who ventured back to the cradle of bass fishing and made names for themselves – but they too were freaks of sort – making an imprint on the scene with heavy line and big rods.

Talk to anyone in the East between the late 1970s and 1990s about Western bass fishing and I’m sure they would say one of two things: 1) They have bass in the West? or 2) They fish with sissy rods and 6-pound line. [Read more…]

Categorizing Crankbait Depths

Bagley crankbaits, photo credit R. Yoder Graphics

Bagley crankbaits, photo credit R. Yoder Graphics

The bassin’ world has seen its share of crankbait crazes, usually tied to an approximate depth range that a “hot” bait will run. For example, we seem to have recently come out of a shallow phase with the popularity of squarebills, and are now re-entering a deepwater phase with baits like the 6XD and 10XD, especially with “ledge events” being held during the summer. From a historical perspective, everybody surely remembers the ‘kneel and reel’ period made famous by Paul Elias, as well as the David Fritts deep crankbait era. Somewhere in there was the popularity of shallow runners such as the Mann’s 1-, or the Rat-L-Trap. Some lasted longer than others, but in each case, a series of events would make one style of bait the most popular way of cranking at the time. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Stanley Steams ‘Em Answer and Winner (June 23, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com.

Photo Bassmaster.com.

Congrats to Chad Keogh for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by GYCB! For the answers, please read below.

When Georgia pro Stanley Mitchell won the 1981 Bassmaster Classic, outlasting second place finisher Harold Allen by just under a pound, he became the youngest Classic winner. It was just the 21 year old’s first Classic and his 10th overall B.A.S.S. event, and the first time he’d finished better than 12th. He’d missed qualifying for the Classic the year before by 10 pounds, while his lesser-known older brother Steve had missed the world championship by just 2 pounds. Steve unfortunately missed the big dance again in 1981 by a mere 5 pounds.

The 1981 Classic wasn’t the first to be held in Alabama – Wheeler and Guntersville had hosted in 1974 and 1976, respectively – but it was the first one hosted by Montgomery, home of the tournament organization. [Read more…]

The Whole Flippin’ Story

The Whole Flippin' Story as written in Fenwick's 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 1 of 5.

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 1 of 5.

I will readily admit, I am a Dee Thomas groupie. I give all the credit to him for the flipping technique and concept, amidst the hate mails I get from others who say he didn’t invent it. I’ve taken a lot of time on this site to write pieces pertaining to the subject because I feel the whole story, although it’s been written and told over the years, hasn’t been told in a long time and needs to be consolidated in one place – preferably here at the Bass Fishing Archives.

On this site you’ve undoubtedly seen and hopefully read; Controlled Structure Fishing, Flippin’: A Concept 1, Flippin’: A Concept 2, Flippin’: A Concept 3, The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik 1 and The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik 2. As I said, we’ve devoted a lot of space here to the subject. [Read more…]

Dewey Yopp – National Bass Association

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Last week we posted an article on the Last Hoorah for the American Bass Fisherman (ABF) organization. In that piece we talked a little about that organization and its purchase by National Bass Association (NBA) in 1978. There were a lot of unanswered questions about this time in the history of competitive fishing. American Bass Fisherman’s owner, George Oates was being investigated for fraud yet still running events, NBA was organized and purchased the Professional Bass Association and a number of other tournament organizations were coming and going at a rapid pace. It was definitely a time of flux in the industry and many of the anglers who supported these organizations didn’t know if they would still be around for the next month’s tournament that was scheduled. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Stanley Steams ‘Em (June 23, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com.

Photo Bassmaster.com.

When Georgia pro Stanley Mitchell won the 1981 Bassmaster Classic, outlasting second place finisher Harold Allen by just under a pound, he became the youngest Classic winner. It was just the 21 year old’s first Classic and his 10th overall B.A.S.S. event, and the first time he’d finished better than 12th. He’d missed qualifying for the Classic the year before by 10 pounds, while his lesser-known older brother Steve had missed the world championship by just 2 pounds. Steve unfortunately missed the big dance again in 1981 by a mere 5 pounds.

The 1981 Classic wasn’t the first to be held in Alabama – Wheeler and Guntersville had hosted in 1974 and 1976, respectively – but it was the first one hosted by Montgomery, home of the tournament organization. [Read more…]

It’s All a Buzz

Lebercko's Buzz Gears circa 1975.

Lebercko’s Buzz Gears circa 1975.

One of the first pieces we posted here on the Bass Fishing Archives back in March of 2012 was an article on Lew Childres’ Speed Spool Gear Kit. The kit was made to increase the speed of the 5000-series ABU reels from a paltry 3.75:1 to a 4.8:1 gear ratio – considered fast at the time. Lew’s debuted the kit in the early ‘70s.

There was another company out there, though, that was also in the business of speeding up your older ABUs. The company was Lebrecko Inc and their product was Buzz Gears. [Read more…]

American Bass Fisherman’s Last Hoorah

American Bass Fisherman Billy Westmorland Bass Fishing School ad from the July/August 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

American Bass Fisherman Billy Westmorland Bass Fishing School ad from the July/August 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Scanning my stacks of magazines you never know what you’ll come up with that might be of interest to share. Old ads always provide a good look back at where we’ve been, what mistakes we don’t want to make again and also provide a laugh or two more so than not. So, while scanning the last issue published from the American Bass Fisherman (July/August 1978), I was a little intrigued by the ad that’s the subject of today’s article.

The ad, titled, “American Bass Fisherman presents the Billy Westmorland Fishing School,” caught me by surprise for more than one reason. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Buck Stops at Truman Answer and Winner (June 16, 2014)

Truman parkerThis week’s winner is Patrick Staley, even though he didn’t come up with all three of the answers I anticipated. For the answers read below. Come back next week for another round of Bass Fishing Archives Monday Trivia sponsored by GYCB.

Just 11 months after winning the 1988 Missouri Invitational, Hank Parker won the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River and effectively retired from life as a touring pro, competing in just seven subsequent B.A.S.S. events. Those seven events included the subsequent Classic and three “SuperStars” events, in which he twice finished as the runner-up.

Accordingly, the 1988 tournament on Truman Reservoir was the last of Parker’s regular season victories. Fittingly given his superstar profile, he won it by more than 12 pounds over his nearest competitor, home-state angler Stacey King. In fact, Parker could have won without getting out of bed on Day Three, which was lucky because he only boxed two fish on the final day. His limit weighing 19-15 on Day One would’ve carried him to a top 25 finish even if he’d skipped the second and third days. [Read more…]

The 1975 Lindy/Little Joe Catalog

The 1975 Lindy/Little Joe product catalog.

The 1975 Lindy/Little Joe product catalog.

The Lindy Tackle Company was formed around 1968 by Ron and Al Lindner, with some help from some of the guys in the famed Nisswa Guides League. They were probably most famous for the Lindy Rig, a slip-sinker live bait rig that became a standard in walleye fishing circles. In 1973, they sold the company to Ray-O-Vac,  who also acquired Mille Lacs Mfg. (Joe Fladebo). Together they formed Ray-O-Vac’s Fishing Tackle Division.

In 1974, Lindy/Little Joe staffer Al Lindner won the Tennessee Invitational (B.A.S.S. event) held on Watts Bar Res. This catalog came out shortly after that, and just a little before the Lindner’s left the Fishing Tackle Division of Ray-O-Vac (1975) to form the now legendary In-Fisherman Communication Network. A look through the catalog reveals some interesting trends in the bass world that were popular, or at least common place, at the time. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three

Alabama wins the 1977 Federation Team Championship on Kentucky Lake. Phot 1977 November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Alabama wins the 1977 Federation Team Championship on Kentucky Lake. Phot 1977 November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Somewhere between 1976 and 1977, the name of the B.A.S.S. Chapter had become the B.A.S.S. Federation. What didn’t change between those two years was the fact that the leader of the winning Federation team would again be invited to the Bassmaster Classic to compete against seasoned professionals and a chance at winning what was then called the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.”

1977 would also mark the fifth year for the Federation State Team Championship and the record-setting turnout of 35 states proved the championship had legs. As with the past, each state held qualifying events in order to put together a 6-man team to send to the Championship. In the past, the southerners had won every event – Tennessee (1973), Missouri (1974), Louisiana (1975) and Tennessee (1976) – and in the 1977 November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine, B.A.S.S. poked a little fun at the teams outside of the South by saying: [Read more…]