Larry Nixon – Mr. Megabucks

Larry Nixon talks about his Megabucks wins and why those events fit his style. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Larry Nixon talks about his Megabucks wins and why those events fit his style. Photo Brenda Serrano.

As we’ve discussed previously in a Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest, Larry Nixon won four Megabucks events over his career with B.A.S.S. In all the years that Megabucks was around, there was only one angler to come close to that mark, Doug Garrett, who won two.

If you look at Nixon’s career earnings with B.A.S.S., nearly 1/3 of that total was from Megabucks alone.

Nixon wasn’t just a multi-time winner of Megabucks, though, he had a penchant for winning off-beat events that B.A.S.S. put on. For example, he won two BASS Champs events, 1978 at the Atchafalaya River and 1982 at the Ohio River, along with the 1987 Bassmaster Team Championship held on the St. Lawrence River. Then, to cap off his string of off-beat wins, he won the 1992 Bassmaster 25th Anniversary event held on Beaver Lake. Add a Classic to the mix, and you can see why Nixon was always a heavy favorite when B.A.S.S. conducted a special event.

Back to Megabucks, though. Why was he so strong in those events? For a five year period, he was nearly unstoppable. He won in 1988 at the Harris Chain, won both events in 1990 (one at the Harris Chain and the other at Guntersville) and he won the 1991 event at Chickamauga making it three in a row.

Then in 1992 he placed fourth at Guntersville and a year later he placed second at Lake Murray. In a span of five years he made nearly 1/2-million dollars just in Megabucks alone. It was as if the format was tailored specifically for him.

Recently at the FLW Cup I had a chance to sit down with Larry and talk to him about his reign over Megabucks. It was a great conversation that shed a lot of light on why he did so well in those events and how he treated them compared to other tournaments.

 

  • Harold Sharp

    I thought up the Megabucks idea while watching a golf show on TV, as I realized that each golfer must play each hole in a certain time limit then move to the next hole. I also saw a way to raise the payback to the winners by increasing the entry fee so we could have the largest payback in tournament history.

    We designed a 10 hole course that was off limits to everyone, then the Top 10 that qualified to fish the 10 hole course were allowed to ride over the course for a quick look before the next day’s event. It was also designed to attract shoreline viewers to watch the anglers as each hole was close to the shoreline.

    The name Megabucks came from the large payback, the time limit came from our thought that it would take skill to win, you only had a short time to find and catch bass, so your skill was important. Larry Nixon excelled in Megabuck because of his fishing skill, he was fishing the clock and he knew how to use it.

    Megabuck was designed to pay a large payback, bring out the fishing skills of the anglers and create spectator viewing from the shoreline, just like golf. We had some gold courses with good fishing lakes in mind to use in the future when I left BASS, but it never happened and soon BASS dropped the Megabuck events, which really hurt the anglers’ chances to make some good money.