Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 1

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

This column seems to be the one most frequented by readers so we’re going to give you more of what you like – Old Bass Boats 1978 style. In Part 1, we’re going to start out with the various tournament organizations’ specialty boats. This phenomena all started with Ray Scott and the 1971 Bassmasterr Classic when he purchased from Rebel 25 identical boats for use by the 24 Classic contenders on Lake Mead. After the event the boats were put up for sale and became another form of income for the fledgling tournament organization. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 2

1977 Arrow Glass Bass Boat.

1977 Arrow Glass Bass Boat.

Yesterday we talked about the 1977 model-year boats from Alumacraft to Glastron. Today we’re going to start with Holiday and end with Rhyan Craft.

As stated yesterday, 1977 had 38 bass boat companies advertising in the magazines we looked through. A huge increase from the years prior. Many of the companies producing boats back then were new, even in 1977. But there are still a few we’re going to show, that are still around today.

Here’s the boats of Part 2. Remember, click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the ads. [Read more…]

American Bass and California Lunker Club?

American Bass Fisherman and California Lunker Club apparently were thinking of combining forces in the late 1974 time frame. It never stuck as Dave Coolidge, president of the CLC sold CLC to Western Bass. Article from the January/February issue of American Bass Fisherman magazine.

American Bass Fisherman and California Lunker Club apparently were thinking of combining forces in the late 1974 time frame. It never stuck as Dave Coolidge, president of the CLC sold CLC to Western Bass. Article from the January/February issue of American Bass Fisherman magazine.

We’ve done a lot of reporting on the old bass associations that have popped up and fizzled out over the years. Two of those we’ve spent a lot of time on were the American Bass Fisherman (ABF) and the California Lunker Club (CLC). ABF was actually taking a stab at B.A.S.S. for their anglers and doing a pretty good job at it until George Oates got convicted for fraud and the organization eventually sold out to National Bass Association, which folded a couple years later.

The California Lunker Club, on the other hand, was the brain child of Dave Coolidge and designed as an insurance policy for anglers in the event they caught a big fish. Join CLC for $10 per year and if you caught a big’un, you got you fish mounted for free.

CLC started in 1971 but by the time 1972 rolled around, bass tournament fever was sweeping the nation – California included. Coolidge held his first event in 1972 and the rest is history. [Read more…]

More Hubert Greene Patches – Part Three

One of the many patches that Hubert Green Collected over time. A 1982 Hungry Fisherman patch.

One of the many patches that Hubert Green Collected over time. A 1982 Hungry Fisherman patch.

Back in April we posted two stories on the patches that Hubert Greene had collected over the course of time. In those first two pieces, we covered his patches from 1967 to 1972 and the second piece was on patches from 1973 to 1980. In this piece we take a look at his patches from 1981 through 1997.

In the previous parts of this series, many of the patches presented were from organizations other than B.A.S.S. – such as American Bass Fisherman, National Bass Association, Project Sports Inc. and others. This was a sign of the times when B.A.S.S. wasn’t the only game in town. [Read more…]

Dewey Yopp – National Bass Association

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Last week we posted an article on the Last Hoorah for the American Bass Fisherman (ABF) organization. In that piece we talked a little about that organization and its purchase by National Bass Association (NBA) in 1978. There were a lot of unanswered questions about this time in the history of competitive fishing. American Bass Fisherman’s owner, George Oates was being investigated for fraud yet still running events, NBA was organized and purchased the Professional Bass Association and a number of other tournament organizations were coming and going at a rapid pace. It was definitely a time of flux in the industry and many of the anglers who supported these organizations didn’t know if they would still be around for the next month’s tournament that was scheduled. [Read more…]

American Bass Fisherman’s Last Hoorah

American Bass Fisherman Billy Westmorland Bass Fishing School ad from the July/August 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

American Bass Fisherman Billy Westmorland Bass Fishing School ad from the July/August 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Scanning my stacks of magazines you never know what you’ll come up with that might be of interest to share. Old ads always provide a good look back at where we’ve been, what mistakes we don’t want to make again and also provide a laugh or two more so than not. So, while scanning the last issue published from the American Bass Fisherman (July/August 1978), I was a little intrigued by the ad that’s the subject of today’s article.

The ad, titled, “American Bass Fisherman presents the Billy Westmorland Fishing School,” caught me by surprise for more than one reason. [Read more…]

Patch Pirate – Part 1

From top left clockwise: National Bass Association (NBA), Project Sports Inc. (PSI), American Bass Fisherman.

From top left clockwise: National Bass Association (NBA), Project Sports Inc. (PSI), American Bass Fisherman.

Yeah, I guess you can call me a patch pirate – but not in the derogatory sense of the name. I like patches, I’ve collected bass fishing patches all my life and I continue to collect bass fishing patches. It used to be by mail order, tackle shop purchase or early Bass Pro purchases but lately those venues have dried up. Now it’s all about online auctions or the nice person who contacts me and sends me their collection. [Read more…]

Before Wraps There was Wimp

1977 Limited Edition NBA Medalist Hurst ad by Wimp Cantrell.

1977 Limited Edition NBA Medalist Hurst ad by Wimp Cantrell.

Bassmaster had their Classic Ranger-made boats, BCA had their Championship Bass Cat Boats – why not National Bass have their own boat too? That’s exactly what we’re looking at here folks, except this boat differed from their standard Medalist Championship Hurst bass boat in that it was custom painted by Wimp Cantrell and in limited edition.

It’s a pretty cool concept as seen here by Orlando Wilson’s ride. I mean it’s not radically different from today’s wrapped boats. Looks clean and no one in your local Wednesday-nighter is bound to have one. [Read more…]

Another Bass Circuit – National Bass Association

National Bass Association membership ad circa 1978.

National Bass Association membership ad circa 1978.

I mentioned last week or so that Clyde Drury sent me some magazines last week and this week I’m going to continue to put little bits and pieces of those magazines out here for all to see. Two weeks ago I mentioned how he sent me BCA’s “the Lunker Hole” magazines and posted a couple of stories from them here and here. Well, today I’m going to delve into another set of magazines, this time The National Bassman published by National Bass Association (NBA) of Lake City Florida.

Clyde sent me about a year’s worth of magazines from 1977 to 1978. Again, much like “the Lunker Hole,” they’re filled with some really cool ads of the time and better yet, tournament reports that show some interesting names and figures.

To start off the look down the National Bass Association’s existence, I thought it was kind of interesting to look at their 1978 tournament schedule and NBA membership offer that was in one of the magazines. [Read more…]