Archives for April 2015

Monday Trivia – The First Megabucks (Answers & Winner; April 27, 2015)

Roger Farmer Classic photo

Roger Farmer Classic photo

Congrats to Al H. for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto’s Custom Baits. For full details on the winning answers, read below. 

In 1986, Ray Scott held a tournament that had the potential to change the way people could watch fishing tournaments, adding spectators into the mix. Billed as “Megabucks”, this April event on the Harris Chain Of Lakes, FL, had a $2,200 entry fee, and the promise of three-quarter million dollars in cash and prizes with the winner netting $101,000. Starting with over 200 anglers willing to shell out that kind of money, anglers competed for 3 days in typical format style to whittle the field down to the Top 10 anglers overall. From there, they would move to a smaller venue for the final two days, the lake sectioned off into “holes,” with each angler getting a chance to fish each hole, rotating throughout the day. Along with the format uniqueness, spectators were able to take up positions along the shorelines, roads and bridges of the final course to watch anglers compete, similar to the way spectators get to watch golfers play from hole to hole. Local news reports put the total number of spectators at roughly 3,000 for this first event, and the finals were covered for later television coverage on the Nashville Network (TNN).

Roger Farmer of Dalton, GA won that initial event with 68-00 pounds of bass, his only win on tour despite fishing more than 100 events and 4 Classics during his career. To win this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll have to answer the following 4 questions about the winner. [Read more…]

How Stanley Jigs Was Born

Lonnie Stanley may not have invented the jig, but he sure made it and the spinnerbait much better baits.

Lonnie Stanley may not have invented the jig, but he sure made it and the spinnerbait much better baits.

The jig and pig is certainly not new to bass fishing. Jigs in various forms had been staples in anglers’ tackle boxes for generations before Bo Dowden won Bassmaster Classic X on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. Since that time, though, the simple combination of a hook, lead head, skirt and weedguard has been perpetually refined.

Lonnie Stanley, a two-time B.A.S.S. winner and five-time Classic qualifier, was one of the major players in those developments. He started Stanley Jigs in the early 1980s, and while he’s no longer the principal owner of the enterprise, he still works there nearly every day, designing new lures. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: Bassmaster Trail 1978 – Part Five

1978 Bassmaster Classic Press Guide courtesy of Ken Duke.

1978 Bassmaster Classic Press Guide courtesy of Ken Duke.

[Editor’s note: This is Part Five of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Click the following links to read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.]

The 1978 Bassmaster Classic would feature the top-24 anglers from the Bassmaster Trail qualifiers plus one angler from the Federation. In years past, qualification was determined by a points system, 50 for 1st place, 49 for 2nd place, etc. This year, though, B.A.S.S. moved to a total weight system – one they’d use for a number of years thereafter.

In this installment of the 1978 Season at a Glance, we’re looking into the anglers who qualified for Classic VIII in the order of their Angler of the Year placement. Note that the data is taken from a 1978 Bassmaster Classic Media and Press guide provided by Ken Duke. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The First Megabucks

Roger Farmer Classic photo

Roger Farmer Classic photo

In 1986, Ray Scott held a tournament that had the potential to change the way people would watch fishing tournaments, adding spectators into the mix. Billed as “Megabucks,” this April event on the Harris Chain Of Lakes, FL, had a $2,200 entry fee, and the promise of three-quarter million dollars in cash and prizes with the winner netting $101,000.

Starting with over 200 anglers willing to shell out that kind of money, anglers competed for 3 days in typical format style to whittle the field down to the Top 10 anglers overall. From there, they would move to a smaller venue for the final two days, the lake sectioned off into “holes,” with each angler getting a chance to fish each hole, rotating throughout the day. Along with the format uniqueness, spectators were able to take up positions along the shorelines, roads and bridges of the final course to watch anglers compete, similar to the way spectators get to watch golfers play from hole to hole. Local news reports put the total number of spectators at roughly 3,000 for this first event, and the finals were covered for later television coverage on the Nashville Network (TNN). [Read more…]

Kiekhaefer’s Greek God

A 1946 Kiekhaefer Corporation Mercury ad.

A 1946 Kiekhaefer Corporation Mercury ad. Even in 1946 bikini-clad ladies were used to sell fishing-related equipment.

Back before there were Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, there were three individual outboard motor companies that ruled the roost. From before World War II and after, these companies had the majority of the market share of all outboard sales, often sharing almost equal portions of it. Those companies were Mercury, Johnson and Evinrude. Today we’re going to look at the start of the black motor – Mercury.

Mercury outboards was technically started in the mid-‘30s under the name of Thor and built by Thorwald Company. Then in 1939 a man by the name of Carl Kiekhaefer took over the company, for reasons other than outboard motor manufacture. Although Thorwald Company’s main business was outboard motor production, the Kiekhaefers bought the company to change it into a magnetic separators manufacturer. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Victorious Velvick Answer and Winner (April 20, 2015)

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Congratulations to Adam Hinkle for winning this week’s trivia contest!!!  For the answrs read below.

Fifteen years ago this month, Byron Velvick won the 2000 Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake by a margin of more than 11 pounds. It wasn’t like he was beating up on the Little Sisters of the Poor, either, as the three anglers directly behind him were Skeet Reese, Aaron Martens and Brett Hite. Other western/national powers like Dean Rojas (6th) and Ish Monroe (9th), as well as legends like Gary Dobyns (13th) and Mike Folkestad (16th) also made the top 20, but all fell well short of Velvick’s 83-05 total.

Velvick certainly wasn’t a newcomer to the sport, having previously won the 1990 and 1996 U.S. Open Championships, but the Clear Lake victory marked the first of his three B.A.S.S. wins to date. In winning, he also set the B.A.S.S. record for total weight in a three-day, five-fish-limit event. [Read more…]

Bass Facts From Tom Mann

Tom Mann image from the Dec. 1974 Fishing Facts story.

Tom Mann image from the Dec. 1974 Fishing Facts story.

In the December 1974 issue of Fishing Facts magazine, Spence Petros was able to catch up with Tom Mann while he was in Chicago. Tom, of course, was the legendary force behind such baits as the Jelly Worm, the Little George, and the “Pig” line of crankbaits. According to his write-up in the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, “Not content with just manufacturing fishing lures, while the owner of Mann’s Bait Company, he also founded and was the C.E.O. of Allied Sports Company, from 1969-1983. As the manufacturer of the “Humminbird Depth Sounder”, Allied Sports eventually became a stock company and was renamed Techsonic Industries: one of the largest selling depth sounder companies in the world. He also founded Southern Plastics, in 1977, a company that today is the world’s largest private brand supplier of soft plastic lures.”

Below are some of Spence’s questions paraphrased, with Tom’s answers excerpted from the interview. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1978 Bassmaster Trail – Part Four

Alabama not only broke the combined weight record for a Federation Championship, they won an unprecedented back-to-back victory. Photo February 1979 issue of Bassmaster magazine.

Alabama not only broke the combined weight record for a Federation Championship, they won an unprecedented back-to-back victory. Photo February 1979 issue of Bassmaster magazine.

[Editor’s note: This is Part Four of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Click the following links to read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.]

So far we’ve covered the six Bassmaster Classic qualifying events for the 1978 Bassmaster Tournament Trail along with the mid-season Bass Champs event. Today we’re looking at the 1978 Bassmaster Federation Championship, which was held on Lake Eufaula, AL, in August, 1978.

Up to this time no state team had won back-to-back championships, although the Tennessee team had won twice, the inaugural event in 1973 and again in 1976. Other winners had been Missouri (1974), Louisiana (1975) and Alabama (1977). [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Victorious Velvick (April 20, 2015)

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Fifteen years ago this month, Byron Velvick won the 2000 Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake by a margin of more than 11 pounds. It wasn’t like he was beating up on the Little Sisters of the Poor, either, as the three anglers directly behind him were Skeet Reese, Aaron Martens and Brett Hite. Other western/national powers like Dean Rojas (6th) and Ish Monroe (9th), as well as legends like Gary Dobyns (13th) and Mike Folkestad (16th) also made the top 20, but all fell well short of Velvick’s 83-05 total.

Velvick certainly wasn’t a newcomer to the sport, having previously won the 1990 and 1996 U.S. Open Championships, but the Clear Lake victory marked the first of his three B.A.S.S. wins to date. In winning, he also set the B.A.S.S. record for total weight in a three-day, five-fish-limit event. [Read more…]

Catching Up With John Hale

John Hale hoists a big Texas bass.

John Hale hoists a big Texas bass.

Between 1989 and 2002, John Hale fished in 68 Bassmaster events. That time span is a bit deceiving, since all eight events after 1993 took place within a short drive of his Texas home – one on Lake Livingston, one on Toledo Bend and six of them on Sam Rayburn.

During the earlier portion of his career as a professional angler, he’d traveled more extensively fishing not only Invitationals, but also the Top 100 series (one of the forerunners of the modern day Elite Series) and he showed substantial prowess outside of his home region, finishing in the top 20 on 15 occasions. He finished in the top 10 six times, all of them on the east coast – twice in Florida, followed by two in Virginia, and capped off by two in Maryland. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – January Bassmaster Events (Answers & Winner; April 13, 2015)

The Sunshine State is a popular January B.A.S.S. stop.

The Sunshine State is a popular January B.A.S.S. stop.

Unfortunately, nobody won this week’s Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto’s Custom Baits. For more about this week’s correct answers, read below.

When you think of Bassmaster tournament events, January isn’t necessarily the first month that comes to mind. While schedules have varied over the years, the winter has usually been considered kind of an off-season. As it turns out, there have been more than 2 dozen professional level events held by B.A.S.S. over the years that at least had one or more event days falling during some part of the month. Not surprisingly, nearly all of them were held in Florida. To win this week’s trivia contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll have to brush up a bit on your January tourney knowledge and answer the following four questions correctly. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1978 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three

Roland Martin wins his 5th AOY in 1978. Photo February 1979 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Roland Martin wins his 5th AOY in 1978. Photo February 1979 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s note: This is Part Three of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Click the following links to read Part One and Part Two. We’re sorry for the lack of a story yesterday – we were experiencing server problems and hope we got it figured out.]

By the beginning of May, the Bassmaster Trail was half way through the 1978 season with three Classic qualifiers completed along with the Bass Champs event. By that point the Bassmaster Angler of the Year race was getting pretty heated with Californian Dave Gliebe in the lead by 10 ounces followed by Jerry Rhyne. The top 10 was fairly stacked with anglers such as; Roland Martin (3rd), Larry Nixon (5th), Tom Mann (6th), Bobby Murray (7th) Rick Clunn (8th). See the table below for the entire top 40 in the 1978 AOY race. [Read more…]