I was scanning through a 1985 Today’s Fisherman magazine, a western publication that reported on tournament results and saltwater angling, among other things, and came across this short tournament report. It was the results of the 1985 Red Man All-American Championship held on Lake Havasu, AZ.
Interestingly enough this was the event that Pete wrote about in this week’s trivia contest that Rick Clunn won and Orlando Wilson complained about. Clunn beat out fellow competitor Danny Walden of Mississippi by 9 ounces to take the championship and its $100,000 top prize. Also in the mix was B.A.S.S. pro Carl Maxfield, although Maxfield didn’t make his splash on the Bassmaster Tour until the early ’90s.
Unfortunately Today’s Fisherman didn’t print a picture of Clunn and his win, probably because they didn’t get one in time for this printing, but they did put a picture of the year prior’s winner, young Shaw Grigsby Jr.
Another interesting fact in this piece is the announcement that the Red Man trail would be heading west the next year for the first time with two divisions. The Southwest division would have events in southern California, Arizona and Nevada, while the Western Division would primarily stick with northern California lakes such as Shasta, the Delta and Clear Lake – all standard tour stops still. Although Western Bass/U.S. Bass had a stronghold on the western part of the U.S. at the time, with U.S. Bass venturing east and becoming a big player in the sport, this would mark the first time a national tournament organization would hold draw events in the west with the sole purpose of giving westerners a shot at a national championship.
It wouldn’t be long before the likes of Jay Yelas, John Murray and Mike Reynolds would be creating names for themselves on the Red Man tour.