History in Photos – The Gladiators

Popular Mechanics, May 1978

Popular Mechanics, May 1978

Anybody that has followed the careers of either of the two anglers pictured knows the rivalry that has ensued over the years. Whether talking about “The $1,000 Bet” of 1979, or the more recent 2005 ESPN Greatest Angler debate, there’s been no shortage of comparisons and competitions. That’s what makes this picture so special in my eyes. Unquestionably two of the greatest BASS anglers to step foot in a boat, standing together for this photo, likely taken after Clunn’s second consecutive Classic victory on Lake Toho in 1977, and before the rivalry began. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen these two pictured together since, though a little known trivia bit is that the two were once paired together back in a 1972 tournament.