Archives for August 2014

Jay Yelas – The 1988 Operation Bass Tournament of Champions

Jay Yelas talks about fishing the 1988 Operation Bass Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Jay Yelas talks about fishing the 1988 Operation Bass Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Not many anglers can say they’ve fished bass in Hawaii, let alone fished a bass tournament there. Jay Yelas, on the other hand, can say he’s done both and not only that, he won.

Yelas qualified to fish the 1988 Operation Bass Tournament of Champions – a year-end event that took the top anglers from each Operation Bass region and pitted them against each other to determine who the best of the best was. [Read more…]

The Bass Charger!

1973s Bass Charger!

1973s Bass Charger!

So the exclamation point might be a bit of overkill, but that was how the bass charger was introduced to readers in this 1973 ad. Billed as “a fisherman’s dream,” as well as “one of the greatest topwater bass lures ever made,” I don’t think it quite ever lived up to those accolades, but it was still something different and unique at the time.

It was comprised of a 3/8-oz plastic body, looking much like a modern day crankbait or topwater body. However, there were a few very unique features to this lure. First was the twin set of “free floating hooks” that were held onto the body of the lure via a set of metal pins. Each was independent, but they acted and looked nearly like the popular twin hook configuration on most every soft body frog on the market these days. The other unique feature about this lure was also similar to many of those baits in a way. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Mann Up Answer and Winner (August 25, 2014)

Tom Mann Jr. Photo FLWOutdoors.com.

Tom Mann Jr. Photo FLWOutdoors.com.

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Come back Monday for another shot. In the meantime you can read this week’s answers below.

By 1987, Tom Mann Jr. must’ve felt like he’d never get ahead of the pack. He’d been fishing a few B.A.S.S. events since 1983, including the 1984 Bassmaster Classic, but everywhere he went he’d been preceded by another angler of the same name – lure maker Tom Mann, to whom he was not related. The elder Tom had won two Bassmaster tournaments in Florida in 1971 and 1972, edging out Roland Martin both times.

He wasn’t even the second angler named “Mann” to fish the Classic, as the elder Tom’s brother Don had fished the 1975 and 1976 championships. [Read more…]

James Niggemeyer – Almost His Last Leg

James Niggemeyer. ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

James Niggemeyer. ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

In 1997 professional bass fishing hopeful James Niggemeyer was on what seemed to be his last leg for a while. Tapped out with credit card debt, he knew the final regular season Anglers Choice Lake Shasta pro-am would be his last for a long time. Still he hoped to finish high enough to make the year-end championship. [Read more…]

Stak & Go – The Stackable Trailer

Stak & Go Trailer ad circa 1975.

Stak & Go Trailer ad circa 1975.

With OPEC flexing their muscles in the ‘70s and ‘80s with regards to oil, the bass industry was coming out with a lot of unique concepts on how to cut fuel costs. More efficient hull designs, more efficient motors and smaller tin boats became popular amongst those who wanted to continue fishing yet save enough money to buy a pack of worms or an extra crankbait.

One of the most unique inventions of the period, though, was the stackable trailer. Why use two tow vehicles for two boats when you could buy a trailer for two? [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Mann Up (August 25, 2014)

Tom Mann Jr. Photo FLWOutdoors.com.

Tom Mann Jr. Photo FLWOutdoors.com.

By 1987, Tom Mann Jr. must’ve felt like he’d never get ahead of the pack. He’d been fishing a few B.A.S.S. events since 1983, including the 1984 Bassmaster Classic, but everywhere he went he’d been preceded by another angler of the same name – lure maker Tom Mann, to whom he was not related. The elder Tom had won two Bassmaster tournaments in Florida in 1971 and 1972, edging out Roland Martin both times.

He wasn’t even the second angler named “Mann” to fish the Classic, as the elder Tom’s brother Don had fished the 1975 and 1976 championships. [Read more…]

Yelas Lips Nixon’s 10 from the 1990 Megabucks

Larry Nixon talks about his 1990 Megabucks win on the Harris Chain and about Jay Yelas lipping his personal best tournament bass. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Larry Nixon talks about his 1990 Megabucks win on the Harris Chain and about Jay Yelas lipping his personal best tournament bass. Photo Brenda Serrano.

We just got back from the Forrest Wood Cup on Murray this past week and while we were there, we had an opportunity to speak with Larry Nixon and Jay Yelas about their careers. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting these videos (much better audio by the way) for you to see into their pasts and relive some of the more memorable moments of their careers.

Up first Larry Nixon talks about his biggest tournament fish ever, a fish that Bassmaster rookie Jay Yelas lipped. The tournament was the 1990 Megabuck event held on the Harris Chain. Nixon won the event, beating Roland Martin by 9-15, after a hard fought battle in the four-day qualifying round. [Read more…]

More Reel Gear(s)

Greg Enterprises Gear Kit and Power Handle circa 1975.

Greg Enterprises Gear Kit and Power Handle circa 1975.

Having grown up in a tackle shop in the 70s and 80s I’ve always felt pretty confident that I know a bit about tackle from the time. But it seems every time I open up a magazine from that time period, I get schooled again. Case in point – Greg Enterprises of Fayetteville, AR.

As we’ve discussed before, back in the early- to mid-‘70s there were a ton ABU/Garcia 5000s around. Problem was people were realizing that they needed more speed from their reels and the 3.8:1 ratio the 5000 provided didn’t cut the mustard. Around the 1973/4 timeframe, the infamous Lew Childre came out with the Speed Kit to bump your 5000s gear ratio up to 5:1. Then Buzz Gears came out shortly thereafter and did the same job, although not as well. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The FLW Cup; Answers & Winner (August 18, 2014)

Congratulations to Adam Hinkle 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.

AG

Photo: FLW Outdoors

I don’t know about you, but I think yesterday’s Day 4 of the Forrest Wood Cup held on Lake Murray was one of the most exciting in recent memory. Steve Kennedy’s 20 pound sack to make a run at the title from 10th place, not to mention the one ounce difference between victory and 2nd place, a $440,000 difference! And Scott Canterbury gets second again – what a heartbreaker. Congrats to hometown winner Anthony Gagliardi.

With the event fresh in our minds, this week we focus our trivia question on past Forrest Wood Cups. To win all the Yamamoto’s this week, you’ll need to brush up on your FLW history and answer these 4 questions. [Read more…]

More Old Bass Boats from 1975

Venture Bass Boats 1975.

Venture Bass Boats 1975.

Roughly a year ago we posted a piece on the bass boats of 1975. In that piece we documented 15 boat manufacturers along with the Bassmaster Classic boat. As I get more magazines and books from that time period, though, I find that I’ve missed some of the ads and even manufacturers from that year. Therefore today’s feature is on those very ads that we didn’t cover.

There are only seven new ads to show and three of those were from manufacturers we already covered – Ranger, Rebel and Terry. Still, to be complete, we’ll talk about these newly found ads. With these ads, it brings the 1975 model year of bass boat manufacturers up to 19 – and I’m sure we’re still missing some. Compare that to today’s bass boat market and it’s a vast difference. There were a ton of companies out there back in the 70s making boats solely for bass fishing. [Read more…]

Stranded – A Look Back on Two Unexpected Overnight Stays

STRANDED GilliganWhile professional bass fishing is not a contact sport in the same sense as football or boxing, it does offer a set of physical challenges that can often prove dangerous. These risks have been apparent since the early days of the sport and in some ways have increased as time has gone on. As we detailed previously on the Bass Fishing Archives, two boats crashed during the 1986 Bassmaster New York Invitational on the Hudson River, and two competitors – James Atkinson, 37, of Texas, and Daniel Barragan, 36, of New York – were killed, while another angler was hospitalized for injuries sustained in the accident. As we noted in our summary of that tragedy, there have been many other near misses, including Shin Fukae’s 2011 collision with a bridge piling on Kentucky Lake. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The FLW Cup

AG

Photo: FLW Outdoors

I don’t know about you, but I think yesterday’s Day 4 of the Forrest Wood Cup held on Lake Murray was one of the most exciting in recent memory. Steve Kennedy’s 20 pound sack to make a run at the title from 10th place, not to mention the one ounce difference between victory and 2nd place, a $440,000 difference! And Scott Canterbury gets second again – what a heartbreaker. Congrats to hometown winner Anthony Gagliardi.

With the event fresh in our minds, this week we focus our trivia question on past Forrest Wood Cups. To win all the Yamamoto’s this week, you’ll need to brush up on your FLW history and answer these 4 questions. [Read more…]