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.

First off, NBA’s masthead looked like this. Jim Jaggers (Chairman of the Board), Dewey Yopp (President), Don Bradford (Vice President), Marty Yopp (Secretary/Treasurer), Gary Stewart (Managing Editor), Jack Atkinson (Tournament Director). Others listed as “members” were Byron Anderson (Exec VP of the Professional Bass Association), John Bailey (Conservationist/Environmentalist), Emmett Chiles (Professional Bass Angler), Jack Moore (Marine Dealer), Marvin Hurst (Bass Boat Designer/Manufacturer), Forrest Ware (Chief Fisheries Research), M. J. “Bigun” Watkins (Professional Bass Angler), Glin Wells (Professional Bass Angler), Orlando Wilson (Professional Bass Angler) and Jack Wingate (Marina Owner/Operator).

1978 National Bass Tournament Schedule

1978 National Bass Tournament Schedule

As with the BCA issues, I noticed a lot of anglers were crossing over to fish al of these circuits. For example, in the “Lunker Hole” post a couple weeks ago we showed a young Guido Hibdon and Basil Bacon fishing the BCA circuit. I also know they fished the Midwest Bass Association and the Project Sports INC. circuits as well. Well here in the NBA rag, I see Glin Wells, Emmett Chiles and Hank Parker’s names all over them. I used to wonder living in California how someone could make professional bass fishing a living with only one circuit available. Well, in the east, there were a number of circuits and if you were good enough, you could “easily” fish a major event a couple times a month and if good enough could make enough to do such.

Anyway, back to the 1978 tournament schedule. Being based out of Florida you can understand why three of the events would be held out of Florida. The season kicked off with an event at Lake Okeechobee in January. The circuit then headed up the line in February to Lake Seminole. From there they went to Watts Bar in Tennessee in April before starting the eastern swing back towards Florida.

In May there was an event in on the Chickahominy River in Virginia followed by the June tournament at Clark Hill in South Carolina. The year ended back in Florida on the St. John’s River out of Palatka.

Entry fees for these National Pro events was $250 with a $50,000 payout. That’s the same as the B.A.S.S. events of the time and it makes me wonder what the competition was like between B.A.S.S. and NBA.

A couple of other interesting events they hosted was the State and National Club Team Championship, which I assume was in response to the B.A.S.S. Federation, along with the Bassman’s Gold Medalist event, which may have been their Classic and the U.S. Open.

The U.S. Open really puts a few questions in my mind. First, it’s obvious that they named this event prior to Western Bass/US Bass naming their event and two, was NBA defunct by the time WBFA came out with their version of the $100,000 tournament in 1981. I need to do some research on that one – or if any of you know that answer please let us know in the comments section of this post or email us through the Contact Form in the upper menu.

The second page I found to be of interest was the membership form. At first glance it has all the normal stuff you’d figure seeing in a membership ad. Three different membership offers from one to three years with varying packets of patches (Pete’s favorite), tackle and even a Wil-e-Go board and Plano tackle box. Not bad for a membership to a national bass association.

But then, out of the corner of your eye it finally strikes you. First you see the National Bass Association emblem and attached to it, some strawberry blond (bikini-clad even) tempting you to join. I have only two questions about this. One, do they really think this type of subliminal messaging works and two, which membership package does she come with?

I can tell you one thing, if I’d known of National Bass back in 1977, I’d have joined for this magazine alone. Of course, it would have only been for the articles.

  • David Peek

    Do you have any more info on the NBA. My father recently passed away and he fished in the NBA. I was looking for maybe tournament results or anything like that.
    Thanks

    • David, I have about a year’s worth of the magazine that was given to me by a reader. I am currently looking for more issues. If you want, I can look in the issues I have and send you anything with your father in it by email.

  • catherine robinson

    Dewey Yopp is my great uncle. He founded National Bass Association in 1976. He is now 82 years old and fit as a fiddle living on the Suwannee River here in Old Town, FL. His e-mail is cousab@hotmail.com. He has just today as a matter of fact created a facebook profile. He still has some mementos and possibly other magazines. I just spoke to him about your article and he was pleased. I know he would be interested in talking with you.

    Cricket Robinson

  • Dewey Yopp is my great uncle. He founded National Bass Association in 1976. He is now 82 years old and fit as a fiddle living on the Suwannee River here in Old Town, FL. His e-mail is cousab@hotmail.com. He has just today as a matter of fact created a facebook profile. He still has some mementos and possibly other magazines. I just spoke to him about your article and he was pleased. I know he would be interested in talking with you.
    Cricket Robinson