Lately we’ve been talking a lot about old bass fishing organizations and where they fit into the overall bass fishing picture. Organizations such as American Angler, Western Bass, U.S. Bass, Bass Caster’s Association and others. Today we’re going to continue down that path and look at yet another organization, this time the Poor Boy Bass Association out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Poor Boy Bass Association was founded by Tom Wilson in 1973 and from what I can tell was based on inexpensive tournaments that anyone could afford. The magazines I have, (Thanks Clyde Drury) start with Volume 3, Number 6 “Classic Issue , 1977” (consecutive issue number 20) and run through consecutive issue number 27.
Throughout the magazine you can tell PBBA lived up to its name. The magazine is printed in black-and-white – the cover being the part of the magazine with any color. Aside from that the magazine we full of tournament reports and how-to articles on the subject of bass fishing.
It appears that PBBA was a pretty large organization, hosting tournaments in 11 states from Oklahoma to Virginia and Florida to New York. As of 1977, they had 16 divisions including three in Oklahoma and four in Texas. The top-10 anglers from each division would then compete in the year-end PBBA Classic to decide who was the overall National and Team Champions. The individual who finished on top at the Classic would also be crown Classic Champion.
Membership in 1978 was $12 per year and that included the bi-monthly magazine, a patch, decals, boat protection reward and luyre and equipment offers. It also allowed you to fish any PBBA event – where the entry fees were only $20.
As Clyde Drury has written in his book, “The Books of the Black Bass,” PBBA didn’t last too long. Right around the 1979 time frame it appears they went out of business. I wonder if they got into any copyright/trademark issues with B.A.S.S. with respect to their championship being called the Classic?
PBBA seems just like the many organizations that were and have been around since Ray Scott started B.A.S.S. They offered a good magazine, gear and tournaments that made everyone feel they were a part of some bigger entity. I’d be interested in knowing how many members they had during the 70s and also more about the organization itself. It’s too bad all that remains are a few magazines and maybe a patch here and there.