A couple of changes happened at the 1975 Bassmaster National Team Championship – first off it was the first time since the inception of the event that the “home team” didn’t win and second, the rules changed for the angler going to the Bassmaster Classic.
An interesting fact about the Classic qualification is this year B.A.S.S. changed up the rules and instead of inviting the top overall angler to the Classic, the top angler on the winning team would get to go. One might argue that the top angler would more than likely come from the top team as did the year before when Charlie Campbell led Missouri to the Championship but in 1973 when Tennessee won the inaugural “Chapter Championship,” Wendell Mann on North Carolina won the top individual honors.
From reading the November/December issue of Bassmaster, it’s still quite confusing exactly what the correct name for the event was. It is the first time that I have seen where the States are called Federations instead of Chapters but they still call the tournament the National Bassmaster Team Championship. In any event, this year’s tournament would be held on the Georgia/South Carolina border at Clark Hill Reservoir, site of the 1973 Bassmaster Classic.
Again, 6-man state teams were competing for the best bass fishing state along with prizes that included a Ranger bass boat for the top individual winner, a Skeeter, Glastron and Hydra-Sports bass boats for 1st- through 3rd-place teams and a Fisher Marine bass boat for overall big fish. The prizes were an all-time high for Federation competition – but would the fish be cooperative?
Clark Hill would prove to be a tough go for the 32 teams with only 895 bass recorded over three days of competition. That’s less than five fish per person over three days.
The top team, led by Nash Roberts III, was Louisiana with a total of 92-02. Roberts guided his team to victory by bringing in 26-02 to the scales (16 fish) over three days. Second place went to Arkansas with a total of 85-03 and Ohio took the third-place honors with a total of 79-10.
Fourth place was held down by hometown favorite South Carolina with 74-08. South Carolina made a late comeback in the last round with 29-11 to jump from the 10th spot. Fifth place went to the Tennessee team with a total of 72-14. Tennessee angler Sonny Lee also won the overall individual angler award with 30-08 for three days.
Tennessee reported that they concentrated on areas of the lake that had good oxygen and water temperatures between 66 and 75 degrees. Roberts, who was a fisheries biologist and meteorologist said they didn’t even fish areas where the oxygen level was below 8 parts-per-million (ppm). Most all the fish caught in the event came on 6-inch plastic worms.
Dave Bostic (PA) and Benny Robinson (AL) shared big fish honors by each catching a 9-pound largemouth. Big fish honors were to be a brand new Fisher Marine bass boat but since the boat couldn’t be split in two, Alabama’s Federation director offered each $400 cash and the Alabama Federation used the boat to raise money for their Federation.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much more to report for this Federation National. Below are the state standings and individual standings.
|Sonny Lee, TN|
|Dave Bostic, PA|
|Andy Sceurman, OH|
|Nash Roberts III, LA|
|Tony D'Ambrose, AR|
|Dave Whitehead, NJ|
|Ed Hallman, SC|
|Gary Dees, OH|
|Deryl Janzen, OK|
|Russell Cook, MO|
|Stan Robert Jr., LA|
|Ken Hattaway, GA|
|Rick Garlough, AR|
|Ed Belken, SC|
|Reece Deaton, NC|
|L. E. Martin, MS|
|Benny Robinson, AL|
|J. C. Wood, AR|
|Danny LeBlanc, LA|
|Russ Hall, CT|