Marketing Classic Winning Baits

1975 Rebel Super-R ad advertising Martin’s 1974 Classic win.

1975 Rebel Super-R advertisement.

Anytime a pro wins a major tour event, especially a high profile one like the Bassmaster Classic, it is just a matter of weeks, or sometimes even days, before the winning company tries to capitalize on the victory. Partly this is due to the immediacy of the Internet and social networking, and the “on demand” society we seem to have become. But it didn’t used to be that way, and someone had to be the first to tie the two concepts (tournament winning and advertising/bait sales) together. The Rebel ad in today’s post is likely one of the earliest examples of this melding of marketing and bait promotion. [Read more…]

College Bassin’ Back in My Day

The front cover of the Bass Fishing Institute manual.

The front cover of the Bass Fishing Institute manual.

If you read and follow any of the major Tours or media outlets covering the sport, you know that college bassing has started to take on a life of its own. When you mention “growing the sport”, this and the high school level is where it’s going to happen. But before the current crop of college level competition came to be, and well before the Bass University (Ike, Gluszek) was around, there were other college bass fishing programs in place, sort of. Here’s a couple I was involved in that were right here in Indiana. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – BASSfest Answers and Winner (June 1, 2015)

Jacob Wheeler, the inaugural winner of BASSfest.

Jacob Wheeler, the inaugural winner of BASSfest.

We had a pair of very good guesses, but unfortunately, no winner for this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For detailed answers to this week’s question, read below.

This week marks the return of BASSfest. The inaugural event featuring both Elite Series as well as Open anglers was held on Lake Chickamauga in 2014. The winner of that event was Jacob Wheeler, one of the anglers from the Open side of entrants. He edged out Kevin Vandam in a final day shootout that featured both anglers topping the 20 pound mark. This year, the event moves to Kentucky Lake, with just a few minor changes. While there were again invites sent to Open anglers, that offer went out to just the top 10 in each division, and only 11 anglers accepted. Additionally, the Elite Series anglers will be accumulating AOY points based upon their finish in this year’s event. Unfortunately, there was no invitation extended to last year’s winner, meaning their won’t be any chance of a repeat winner, nor of a possible “rivalry” storyline to develop. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – BASSfest

Jacob Wheeler, the inaugural winner of BASSfest.

Jacob Wheeler, the inaugural winner of BASSfest.

This week marks the return of BASSfest. The inaugural event featuring both Elite Series as well as Open anglers was held on Lake Chickamauga in 2014. The winner of that event was Jacob Wheeler, one of the anglers from the Open side of entrants. He edged out Kevin Vandam in a final day shootout that featured both anglers topping the 20 pound mark. This year, the event moves to Kentucky Lake, with just a few minor changes. While there were again invites sent to Open anglers, that offer went out to just the top 10 in each division, and only 13 anglers accepted and paid. Additionally, the Elite Series anglers will be accumulating AOY points based upon their finish in this year’s event. Unfortunately, there was no invitation extended to last year’s winner, meaning their won’t be any chance of a repeat winner, nor of a possible “rivalry” storyline to develop. [Read more…]

Early “Slow Rolling” – Earlier Than You Thought?

A 1-oz. Go-Devil spinnerbait

A 1-oz. Go-Devil spinnerbait

Spinnerbaits have been one of the most popular lures among bass anglers ever since they first came out. Many noted anglers could claim to have made their professional reputations by using the lures, guys such as Jimmy Houston, Ricky Green, and Hank Parker. Many others have thrown them to win events throughout the history of tournament angling.

Beyond your typical average spinnerbait, one of the first big “revolutions” occurred in the 1980s with the sudden rise in popularity of the willow leaf blade. Previous to that, most spinnerbaits sold were equipped either with Colorado blades, or less commonly Indiana blades. Willow blades were touted for their effectiveness around grass, and it wasn’t too long before some companies figured out you could make a very heavy spinnerbait combined with the decreased lift of the willow-style blade, and the technique of “slow rolling” was soon winning tournaments across the country. However, all this happened more than 20 years after another small company had created and sold a line of spinnerbaits specifically for covering the depths. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lake Eufaula (Answers & Winner; May 11, 2015)

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Congrats to Steven Strasser for edging out the win this week in our Trivia contest. For details about the winning answers, read below.

Following the professional tournament trails around the country, we currently find the FLW Tour pros practicing up on Lake Eufaula in Alabama this week, also known as Walter F. George Reservoir. Word is the bass are post-spawn and starting to move out toward the deep ledges. We might see some big bags weighed in beginning with Day 1 on Thursday. But that’s the present. If you look back at the history on this lake, you’ll find a treasure trove of interesting bassin’ trivia. Therefore, in order to win this week’s Monday Trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to sharpen up on your Eufaula history and be the first to answer the following 4 questions correctly. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Following the professional tournament trails around the country, we currently find the FLW Tour pros practicing up on Lake Eufaula in Alabama this week, also known as Walter F. George Reservoir. Word is the bass are post-spawn and starting to move out toward the deep ledges. We might see some big bags weighed in beginning with Day 1 on Thursday. But that’s the present. If you look back at the history on this lake, you’ll find a treasure trove of interesting bassin’ trivia. Therefore, in order to win this week’s Monday Trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to sharpen up on your Eufaula history and be the first to answer the following 4 questions correctly.

  1. The town proper that sits on the shores of Eufaula and whence it got it’s name, was home to one of the most well-recognized professional bass anglers, as well as the company that he ran. Name that angler and company.
  2. There are two Bassmaster records that still stand to this day from those historic events held on Eufaula. Name those two records and the anglers who hold them.
  3. Back in 1996, this winner of a Lake Eufaula event started a new bait trend by using a novel lure to help him take the trophy, a trend that was recently reinvigorated last summer on Kentucky Lake. Name the angler and the bait/technique we’re referring to.
  4. Finally, there have only been two anglers that have won multiple Bassmaster events on Lake Eufaula over the years, each winning twice. Name these two anglers.

Answers and winner will be announced later this week (Thursday).

Revisiting Lake Havasu – 1985

Rick in the Champions jacket, awaiting the signing of the check. photo by Rodney Boyd/FLW Outdoors.

Rick in the Champions jacket, awaiting the signing of the check. photo by Rodney Boyd/Operation Bass.

When the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers take off Thursday morning on Day 1 of the second arm of their Western series swing, this time on Lake Havasu, there will likely be some strong memories for several of the anglers. One of those will certainly be Rick Clunn. It was 30 years ago when Rick won the RedMan All-American, and the resulting $100,000 prize, his first such six-figure check. Back then, even the Bassmaster Classic only paid $50,000.

The magazine of Operation Bass at the time was called CAST Magazine, and they covered this event in their January/February 1986 issue at great length. Anglers took off each day from under the London Bridge – THE London Bridge from childhood song. The story of the bridge itself is rather fascinating. According to a Lake Havasu tourism website; [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]