Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Tom Mann Seminole Champ May June 1971 Bassmaster 300x2842 Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail   Part One

Tom Mann wins the first event of 1971 at Lake Seminole just edging out Roland Martin. Photo Bassmaster Magazine May/June 1971.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1971 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Because some information in the Nov/Dec Issue of Bass Master Magazine was a little fuzzy, retired Bassmaster Weigh-master Harold Sharp was consulted to clear things up.

The 1971 Bassmaster season or as they used to call it, “The Society’s Tournament Trail,” became the second-such season where an angler would be recognized for consistency throughout the year. Many know Bill Dance was the first angler to win the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) award in 1970. The interesting thing in this report is the title, as called out in the 1971 Nov/Dec issue of Bassmaster Magazine, was referred to as the Point Scoring Crown. More on this later.

There were also a number of firsts in 1971, though. This was the first year that the top anglers from the “Tournament Trail” would compete in a year-end championship. This championship of course, being the Bass Masters Classic. An interesting bit of information is found in the Nov/Dec issue, though. It states in the The Classic was not the championship as we know today, but was used to decide who the Bass Angler of the Year was. More will be said on this too.

Here are a few excerpts from the “Tournament Trail” column in that issue.

Regarding the Point Scoring Crown: “[Roland] Martin’s victory also clinched the 1971 point scoring crown on the Society’s ‘Tournament Trail.’”

Regarding the first Bass Masters Classic: “Of course by the time you read this you’ll probably have heard the results of the BASS MASTERS CLASSIC fished Oct. 20-22 at a ‘mystery lake.’ The winner of the super fish-off will be proclaimed the 1971 Bass Angler of the Year.”

Both of the comments were clarified by Harold Sharp, though.

“I’m not sure who wrote that but I can tell you this, The Classic never determined the AOY,” Sharp said. “The B[assmaster]AOY was started in 1970 and was determined by the top angler at the end of the regular season. The Bassmaster Classic winner was deemed the World Champion. Bill Dance was the first Bassmaster Angler of the Year and penned by Bob Cobb and Bobby Murray was the winner of the first Bassmaster Classic and thus the first World Champion.”

Also of note regarding the Classic: “The CLASSIC appears to be a ‘keeper.’ It may well become hook, line and slip sinker equivalent of the Masters golf, the World Series or the Super Bowl. It is designed to be the true test of a Bass Angler’s abilities….”

Little did Ray know at the time The Classic would become the event of the sport.

It’s easy to see from these examples that tournament fishing, specifically the Bassmaster Trail, was evolving and Ray and company were doing their best to give the anglers what they wanted in a tournament circuit.

The year ’71 also marked the beginning of a new era of bass fishing – an era dominated by one angler, Roland Martin. This was the year Martin secured the first of his nine AOY awards. Martin, who had finished in second the year before to Bill Dance, would bring to the forefront something every angler today takes for granted, Pattern Fishing.

The year started off at Lake Seminole on the Georgia/Florida border and anglers expected Martin to repeat his winning performance from the year before. Instead, Tom Mann walked away with the event with Martin finishing in second place. A record 198 entrants signed up for that Seminole event. The top 25 for the event are shown below.

Lake Seminole Lunker Tournament Scoreboard
Place
Name
State
Points
Award, $
1Tom MannAL
10,060
$3,000
2Roland MartinAL
7,420
$1,200
3Johnny AdamsFL
6,190
$600
4Al St RomainLA
5,550
$450
5Ron BobrowKY
4,740
$400
6Bobby MeadorLA
4,590
$350
7Shy PowellFL
4,470
$300
8J. D. RobinsonAL
4,170
$265
9Thomas SappGA
4,050
$260
10Wallace LeaMO
4,030
$250
11Will LittleGA
3,890
$250
12Jerry KidwellIN
3,850
$250
13Mike St. JohnAZ
3,840
$250
14David LeverettGA
3,790
$250
15Clark TaylorLA
3,644
$250
16Pete RobertsOH
3,479
$235
17Stan SloanTN
3,420
$235
18Carl DyessFL
3.310
$235
19Al LindnerMN
3,280
$235
20Larry BlakelyGA
3,170
$235
21David LockhartAL
3,080
$175
22Clark GableGA
2,990
$175
23Herb BaughTN
2,980
$175
24Benny MeadowsAL
2,980
$175
25Glen WellsTN
2,970
$175

 

Powell Win Table Rock Jul Aug 1971 Bassmaster1 300x160 Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail   Part One

John Powell talking about how he won the 1971 Table Rock National. Photo Bassmaster Magazine Jul/Aug 1971.

The next event would take the field to Table Rock where 82 anglers vied for the top spot.  John Powell won the tournament, the second of his career. Tom Mann finished in sixth place and Martin finished in eighth place. After the second tournament of the season, Mann was in the lead for the AOY with Martin a close second. The top 25 for the Table Rock National are shown below.

 

Table Rock National
Place
Angler
State
Points
Award, $
1John PowellAL
9,570
$3,000
2Marvin MillerIA
8,900
$1,000
3Bill FletcherAR
8,270
$500
4Glen WellsTN
8,180
$350
5Emmett ChilesAR
7,930
$300
6Tom MannAL
7,670
$250
7Bobby MeadorLA
7,320
$200
8Roland MartinAL
7,270
$165
9Carlos MayoAR
7,070
$160
10Bobby MurrayAR
6,700
$150
11Ron DeardoffAR
6,640
$150
12Roy FairchildTX
6,470
$150
13Drew ReeseMO
5,920
$150
14Shorty EvansMO
5,630
$150
15Paul WagamanMO
5,380
$150
16Bill BowlingAR
5,360
$135
17Fred BristTN
5,230
$135
18Don ButlerOK
5,120
$135
19Wallace LeaMO
5,110
$135
20Tony AllbrightMO
5,100
$135
21Ken WallenMO
5,100
$135
22Benny MeadowsAL
5,080
$125
23George OatesFL
5,000
$125
24Dennis PopeKS
4,620
$125
25Tommy DillonKS
4,600
$125

 

Part two will cover the remaining two events while part three will cover the first-ever Bassmaster Classic.

 

Comments

  1. I never know Clark Gable was a fisherman too….(joking..he passed away in 1960!!)

  2. kyle lawson says:

    my grandfather was marvin klare, a b.a.s.s. angler from indiana he was indiana state champion,,, finished 21 in the 73 flordia inv, ..how did b.a.s.s crown state champs back then?

  3. Hi Kyle,

    I looked up your grandfather on the Bassmaster website. I see he finished 26th and 25th in the Florida Invitationals in 1974 and 1975 respectively. I don’t see that he was entered in the ’73 Invitational. As for how B.A..S.S. crowning state champions back then, they actually didn’t do that. The Federation didn’t start having a Championship until 1973 and it was up to each state to have their qualifier and put together a State Team of 6 anglers. 1973 was also the first year that the Federation angler who won the Championship was invited to fish the Bassmaster Classic. Did this help at all?

    • kyle lawson says:

      well he has a b.a.s.s triphy that says indianas state champ.? i think it was 71 he fin ished 21 in flordia. i might have the state champ in the 80 s for him but it says bass state champ but thank you any more info on my grandfather would help thank you or tell me how to figure it out

  4. kyle lawson says:

    if anyone remembers my grandfather marvin klare write back

    • Hi Kyle,

      The best way to go about looking him up would be on the Bassmaster website and look under “Anglers”. They have all the records – although they aren’t that good. The reason I say he was in the 74 and 75 FL tournaments is that that’s where I found him. You can even see his name in the articles I wrote for those years, Season at a Glance: The 1974 and 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part 1 for each year. I’ve also looked at my old issues of Bassmaster and don’t find anything prior to 1974. Also, Bassmaster didn’t go to Florida for the first time until 1972.

      Could you take a picture of the trophy and send it to me at terry@bassfishingarchives.com? I’d be interested in seeing it.

      Not sure where else you can look other than the Bassmaster website.

      Thanks,

      Terry

  5. kyle lawson says:

    WELL THANKS TERRY, THE FEDERATION MAKES MORE SINCE NOW THAT I KNOW THE TROPHY SAID INDIANA ILL TALK TO HIM AND TAKE A LOOK, HE ALSO FISHED THE FLY ROD TORNY AND SAID LOTS OF GUYS TYED ON LITTLE BASSS LURES,. HE DIDNT FISH VERY MANY NATIONAL EVENTS BUT DID GOOD FOR ONE OF THE ORIGANALS BACK THEN,, AND NOT REALLY COMING FROM A BASS FISHING STATE. AND I DIDNT SEE WHERE ANYTHING WAS WRITTEN ABOUT HIM IN YOUR ARTICLE WHERE WAS IT? I LOOKED IN N 74 75 WHEN U TALKED ABOUT FLORDIA?

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