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…]

Happy Birthday to a Twenty Year Old Dieting Deep Diver

Twenty years ago one of the best crankbaits that has ever been developed was born - the Bomber Fat Free Shad.

Twenty years ago one of the best crankbaits that has ever been developed was born – the Bomber Fat Free Shad.

Looking through the old “New Tackle for…” issues of Bassmaster, it quickly becomes clear that few new lures survive the open market for even a couple of years, let alone two decades. Of those that do live to fish another day or another year, many take a long time to gather a meaningful following. In that respect, the Bomber Fat Free Shad is something of an anomaly, a lure that was popular almost from the start, due in no small part to good design, a solid pro-staff and more than a bit of on-the-water advertising. While many of us can still remember its introduction, this year it celebrates its 20th birthday.

In 1994, PRADCO introduced the Pro Autograph Series of hard lures – proven baits that each bore a particular pro’s name and his suggested modifications or special paint schemes. They included the following lures: [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 2 Issue 2

Photo Smallmouth Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 2, Feb 1986.

Photo Smallmouth Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 2, Feb 1986.

We’re back to Smallmouth Magazine – this time Volume 2 Issue 2 from February, 1986. This issue was the first where Billy Westmorland hadn’t penned an article for the newsletter, now in its sophomore year. In fact, the newsletter only had three feature articles in it, one from Harry n Charlie legend, Don Wirth, a second from columnist Frank Brooks and a third by Greg Matthews (a Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine reprint).

The Wirth article, a piece on where to go for trophy smallmouths, covered a number of Tennessee waters from the time that were producing smallies that broke the mystical 5-pound range – equivalent to the 10-pound mark for largemouth – Dale Hollow, Percy Priest and Woods Reservoir. Back then these waters were hard to beat – today you rarely hear of them producing big fish. [Read more…]

Fish Tales: Florence, AL – Part Seven

Bill Huntley, Ray Gresham and Tom Smith stand next to Smith's mount of a dozen bass taken from the Tennessee River impoundments in the late 60s and early 70s. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Bill Huntley, Ray Gresham and Tom Smith stand next to Smith’s mount of a dozen bass taken from the Tennessee River impoundments in the late 60s and early 70s. Photo Brenda Serrano.

This installment of Fish Tales, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, features veteran Tennessee River anglers Tom Smith, Ray Gresham and Bill Huntley cutting up on each other.

In this video, Smith talks about some of his early run-ins with Gresham and Huntley, specifically a tackle box he wanted to return to Gresham’s tackle shop and the time he placed an order for Huntley’s Bumble Bee spinnerbaits. Smith went to the “Bumble Bee factory” and was a bit surprised at what he found. [Read more…]

Bobby Murray – The Late ‘60s and Early ‘70s

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late '60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late ’60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

This is a special video. It’s not often you get to see video of the first days of competitive bass fishing – and I mean the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Yeah, there’s coverage on the Bassmaster.com website of the 1971 Classic – and it’s an amazing look back in time – but how many of you have seen video from 1968, 1969 and even 1970? Well, today, thanks to Bobby Murray and Carlisle Tire, we have something special to share with you.

Bobby Murray was kind enough to invite Mike Quinn of Carlisle Tire to his house in Arkansas to talk the old days of competitive bass fishing. During that visit Bobby showed Mike some old 8mm film footage of some early Bassmasterr events. Quinn, with the permission of Murray, had the film digitized and ran it in the Carlisle Tire booth at the Hartwell Classic just a week ago. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Kevin Short

Kevin (K-Pink) Short and two of hi Day 1 Classic fish. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Kevin (K-Pink) Short and two of hi Day 1 Classic fish. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Mike McClelland

Mike McClelland holds two fish from his day-1 Classic XLV catch. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Mike McClelland holds two fish from his day-1 Classic XLV catch. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – David Walker

David Walker receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of the Army for saving a man's life during Classic Practice. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

David Walker receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of the Army for saving a man’s life during Classic Practice. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Ott DeFoe

Ott DeFoe talks to Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer about his day-1 Classic performance. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Ott DeFoe talks to Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer about his day-1 Classic performance. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Paul Elias

1982 Classic winner Paul Elias. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

1982 Classic winner Paul Elias. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Randall Tharp

Randall Tharp talks to Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer after a tough day 1. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Randall Tharp talks to Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer after a tough day 1. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]

Classic XLV Videos: How They Started – Jacob Wheeler

Jacob Wheeler talks about how he got his start in competitive bass fishing. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Jacob Wheeler talks about how he got his start in competitive bass fishing. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

The Bassmaster Classic Media Day offers media folks a great opportunity to find out from the anglers themselves how they think the Classic will pan out. It’s always great to hear what they think and who they feel will do well in the biggest event of the fishing year. [Read more…]