Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 4

1978 Ranger Combined 5For the past week we’ve been taking a trip down memory lane with respect to the main tool in any bass angler’s arsenal – the bass boat. Over the year we’ve covered bass boats from the ’50, ‘60s and the ‘70s. Today we’re going to finish with the boats of 1978.

So far we’ve covered everything from the 1978 list of bass boats from aluminum rigs such as Alumacraft, Dura Craft and Fisher Marine along with their glass counterparts, manufacturers like Bass Cat, Champion, Eldocraft, Hydra-Sport and MonArk. Today we finish with upstarts such as Omni and industry leader Ranger. In fact, the number of Ranger ads placed in 1978 is mind boggling. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 3

1978 Fisher Marine ad.

1978 Fisher Marine ad.

We’ve been running Old Bass Boats 1978 for the last week and today we’re looking at the 10 manufacturers that make up Part 3 – from Dyna Trak to MonArk. Within this piece are a couple of historical tidbits that you may find interesting with respect to bass boat companies.

Through the course of researching the bass boats of 1978 we scoured over 100 bass fishing magazines from the time period and came up with 33 manufacturers that advertised that year. Some companies only placed one ad in one magazines while others placed multiple ads in multiple magazines. If there was an ad placed that year, you’ll find it here. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 2

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the "18" Pro Bass Missile.

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the “18” Pro Bass Missile.

In Tuesday’s installment of Old Bass Boats (click here to see Part 1), we covered the tournament organization boats, namely American Bass Fisherman, American Angler, Bassmaster, Bass Casters Association and National Bass Association. Out of those five organizations, we covered nine different boats and five different manufacturers. It’s hard to believe that only a couple years before this, there was only one tournament organization, B.A.S.S., who offered its members boats. [Read more…]

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…]

John-Rude – 1946

Evinrude ad from 1946.

Evinrude ad from 1946.

A few weeks ago we posted a piece about the start of Mercury Motors in the early 40s. Today we have the two main competitors, or should I say Mercury’s competitors not only for the ‘40s but well through the turn of the century, Johnson and Evinrude.

For those of you who remember the Outboard Marine Company, or more commonly referred to as OMC, you remember that Johnson and Evinrude were both part of that conglomeration. But that wasn’t the case prior to 1936. In fact, both companies were competitors up until that time.

Ole Evinrude is credited by some to be the inventor of the outboard motor industry. In 1882, when he was five years old, his family emigrated from Norway to the U.S. and landed in Milwaukee, WI. By the time he was 25, he’d developed his first outboard motor – a 1.5 horsepower model that was introduced publicly in 1909. [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…]

Fish Tales: Florence, Alabama – Part Five

1974 Bumble Bee Spinnerbait ad. This is how Bill Huntley initially got into the fishing industry.

1974 Bumble Bee Spinnerbait ad. This is how Bill Huntley initially got into the fishing industry.

In this segment of Fish Tales, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, Bill Huntley talks about how he got into the fishing industry. If you’re an old spinnerbait fan, you might remember that it was Huntley who made the Bumble Bee Spinnerbait, the first spinnerbait that incorporated a ball bearing swivel. Huntley talks about how he came to put that little piece of integral equipment on the spinnerbait, the first to sway away from barrel swivels.

Huntley is better known, though, for his ownership of T&H Marine. Even if you don’t own a Hot Foot there’s no doubt that Huntley and T&H Marine have something on your boat. From lights to cleats to livewell plumbing, T&H marine makes nearly all the accessories that go on all of today’s bass boats.

So, click on the video below and listen to Bill spin a pretty entertaining yarn about how he got into the industry. Click on the links to see Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

 

 

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 3

1977 Bass Cat ad.

1977 Bass Cat ad.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of Old Bass Boats – 1977, we covered the boat manufacturers who placed ads in the 1977 vintage magazines. Those manufacturers ranged from Alumacraft to Glastron and Holiday to Rhyan Craft. Today we feature from Sea Nymph to Venture and then four organizational Championship boats from American Angler, American Bass Fisherman, National Bass and Bassmaster.

Here are the remaining boats of 1977. [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…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 1

1977 Terry Bass Boat Ad.

1977 Terry Bass Boat Ad.

In this installment of Old Bass Boats, we again have to split the piece into multiple parts due to the volume of bass boat manufacturers now placing ads in bass magazines. As stated in the last installment, Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 1, the 1975 ad campaign saw 16 manufacturers advertising their goods. In 1976 that number jumped up to 26 and this year that number jumped to a staggering 38 companies placing ads in bass magazines. What is truly amazing about that number is that was not all the companies out there who were making bass boats. [Read more…]

A Look Through Bassmaster Magazine: 10 Years Ago

Bassmaster Magazine, March 2004

Bassmaster Magazine, March 2004

The fishing industry is always changing – new products, new companies, new anglers. I randomly grabbed a Bassmaster magazine sitting on my shelf from 10 years ago (March 2004) and was looking through the ads mostly, when it struck me how much has changed…and how much has stayed the same. Here’s what I found.

Starting off with the cover photo for this issue, a widely grinning Timmy Horton wearing a BOOYAH Baits visor. As best I can tell, it seems Timmy is no longer on their pro staff, a fairly recent event from what I can gather. Next is a big, two page ad for Lucky Craft, where I noticed all the crankbait lines available then are still available now. However, it appears their spinner line has changed, with the current website not showing the BMH and MH-1s from the ad. Looks like they’re sticking mostly with what made them famous, their hi-tech line of hard baits, now expanded and larger than ever. However, a quick look at the national pro staff pics from that ad did reveal a few personnel changes. Still around are Kelly Jordon, Tak, Skeet and Joe Thomas. However, it appears Gerald Swindle, Marty Stone and Mike Auten are no longer part of that team. [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…]