Archives for July 2014

The Arbogast Jitterbug: You Paid How Much?

JitterbugOne thing I found out rather quickly is that, as a collector and researcher of bass fishing history, I end up spending more and more time scanning the pages of Ebay looking for memorabilia to collect and write about. One item that recently caught my eye was an auction for an old Arbogast Jitterbug.

The Jitterbug is one of those baits that most everyone had growing up, and has become a staple for night bassin’ anglers for years. Most every popular article you read mentioning topwaters for bass at night will include a black Jitterbug. Serious big bass hunters like L.J. Brasher, documented in the pages of early 80s Bassmaster magazines,  made the Musky-sized black Jitterbug the staple night bait of trophy hunters. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name That Angler Answer and Winner (July 28, 2014)

Can you name this youthful Elite Series angler?

Can you name this youthful Elite Series angler?

Congratulations to Steve M for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, read below, and come back for next week’s edition.

All pros have to get their start somewhere, and this veteran apparently was whacking on the panfish from an early age. He’s still active at the highest levels of professional competition, despite having started his career as a national pro in the mid-80s. Beyond that, we won’t tell you much until Thursday.

In order to win this week’s contest, be the first to correctly answer the following four questions: [Read more…]

Jay Yelas – From Cheeseballs to Classic Winner

Jay Yelas ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Jay Yelas ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Around the 1988 time frame I was still working at the tackle shop and going to college. Although I wasn’t fishing, I kept up on what was happening on the tournament scene from the anglers who came into the shop. What happened in ’88 seemed to be a changing of the guard. Long time western pros such as Don Iovino, Bobby Garland, Fred Ward and Larry Hopper had a new angler to contend with – a kid just out of college named Jay Yelas.

I vividly remember some of the local anglers coming into the shop who fished the Red Man circuit in the day – guys that knew “The River Lakes” like the back of their hand. They were donating entry fees to Yelas’ graduate studies – his field of study being professional bass fisherman. [Read more…]

Crankbait Master David Fritts

David Fritts at ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

David Fritts at ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Over the course of time there have been a handful of anglers who have become famous due to the crankbait. Rick Clunn, of course, has made a solid career out of throwing crankbaits and is the reason for the squarebill’s resurrection at least twice since the mid-70s. Paul Elias is another angler who’s kneeling-and-reeling technique brought him fame – and fortune. But if one were to take a poll from anglers over 40 who the best professional crankbait fisherman is, I would bet the results would turn out to show David Fritts as number-1. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name That Angler (July 28, 2014)

Can you name this youthful Elite Series angler?

Can you name this youthful Elite Series angler?

All pros have to get their start somewhere, and this veteran apparently was whacking on the panfish from an early age. He’s still active at the highest levels of professional competition, despite having started his career as a national pro in the mid-80s. Beyond that, we won’t tell you much until Thursday.

In order to win this week’s contest, be the first to correctly answer the following four questions: [Read more…]

Back to 1970 with Roland Martin

Photo Brenda Serrano.

Photo Brenda Serrano.

A couple of days ago I posted a piece on Kevin VanDam and I stated that I’d followed his career before he was actually KVD. Most of that was because of my close friend and mentor, Dave Green, but after 1991 I followed his career because he was nearly my age and he was kicking everyone’s sphincter on the The Trail. You had to follow Kevin in his early years – you were forced to merely because of his success against anglers twice his age.

Today, though, I’m posting a piece about my first bass fishing hero – Roland Martin. You have to understand, when I first joined B.A.S.S. in 1974, Roland was the king. He’d won the past three Bassmaster AOYs and his articles in Bassmaster Magazine taught me how to think as a bass fisherman. Every article he wrote I read, digested and tried to apply to my fishing – as a 10 year-old. I didn’t just go fishing at the park or local lake to practice my casting (sorry Stan, I practiced my casting in the street much to the chagrin of my neighbors and their car windows), I went with the intent on finding a pattern and catching fish. That’s what Roland Martin instilled in me. There was a method and if you could figure out where the fish were with respect to season, temperature, depth and other factors, you’d catch fish. [Read more…]

Magazines – Divisive Details

April 1992 cover of Details magazine.

April 1992 cover of Details magazine.

[In past entries on the Bass Fishing Archives, we’ve discussed numerous articles from old fishing magazines, as well as some coverage of the sport outside of our usual orbit. For example, on two occasions we’ve examined Sports Illustrated’s treatment of bass fishing (click here and here) and we’ve also examined how the topic has been addressed in the New York Times. To date, though, we’ve dedicated little space to how and when publications that would seem to have nothing to do with bass fishing have covered angling. Obviously, magazines like Life and Time have on occasion chronicled the sport in general or certain aspects thereof, and we may cover those later, but today we’re going to look at an article from a periodical that you’d never expect to provide any space at all to competitive fishing – Details magazine.] [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name that Angler Answer and Winner (July 21, 2014)

ProfessionalUnfortunately, no one won this week’s Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! Come back next Monday for a try at next week’s contest. For the answers, read below.

Word has it, the shot of this future pro pictured here was taken right after his mom said he couldn’t go fishing. You probably want a better hint than that, so here goes. This professional just recently surpassed the $1 million mark in total earnings when combining both B.A.S.S. and FLW winnings. One more clue – that million includes wins on both of the major Tour circuits.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following three questions correctly:

1.Who is the angler in the picture?
2.Which Tour events did this angler win?
3.What other professional athlete did he notably go fishing with earlier this year?

The answer and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!

Here are the answers: [Read more…]

How He Became KVD

Kevin VanDam talking about how he started his career at ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Kevin VanDam talking about how he started his career at ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

In the event you haven’t figured it out yet, I used ICAST as a platform to talk with tour-level pros about their beginnings. KVD was no different.

I have always been fascinated by KVD’s career – starting from his Federation days through his first year on tour. The reason for that is I spent my summers in Michigan from 1986 through roughly 1990. Around the 1988 timeframe I went back for my annual summer visit and as soon as I got off the plane, my buddy Dave told me there was some kid cleaning everyone’s clock in the state. That kid was Kevin VanDam. [Read more…]

Roland and Scott – A Cup and a Bunch of Hardware

Roland and Scott Martin having some fun at ICAST. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Roland and Scott Martin having some fun at ICAST. Photo Brenda Serrano.

I look forward to events such as ICAST because it brings everyone together in one setting no matter what trail they fish. At these events I’ve seen Roland Martin and I’ve seen Scott Martin, but rarely have I ever seen them at the same event or if they were, I’d never actually seen them standing together. I’m sure it’s tough on both of them, being pulled in every-which direction due to sponsor obligations, business meetings and signings. 

But this past week in Orlando I, by chance, was able to get the two of them together for a really cool talk.  [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name that Angler (July 21, 2014)

ProfessionalWord has it, the shot of this future pro pictured here was taken right after his mom said he couldn’t go fishing. You probably want a better hint than that, so here goes.

This professional just recently surpassed the $1 million mark in total earnings when combining both B.A.S.S. and FLW winnings. One more clue – that million includes wins on both of the major Tour circuits over the course of his career. [Read more…]

Experiences – Randy Blaukat

Professional Angler, Randy Blaukat

Professional Angler, Randy Blaukat

In this series of videos we ask Tour-level pros questions about how they got their start in professional bass fishing – be it a childhood experience, an early tournament they fished or some other experience they had along the way.

Please understand the sound in these videos is not the best due to the high background noise and the fact our microphones were not working. Still, they provide a cool look back into these pros early careers and what shaped them into the anglers they are today. [Read more…]