Congratulations to Rob Shaw for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest! For the answer, please read below.
Missouri’s Table Rock Lake has been a stopping point for the major tours for decades, with the most recent stop producing Mike McClelland’s seventh B.A.S.S. victory, fourth Elite Series win, and his first since 2008. He compiled 61 pounds 15 ounces of Table Rock bass over four days (nearly a 15 pound 8 ounce average) to claim the crown.
Just under 17 years ago, New Englander Lee Bailey won the Bassmaster Missouri Central Invitational on the Rock, putting together three limits of bass that totaled 47-15, an average just a hair under 16 pounds a day. It marked the sole win of Bailey’s 122 event B.A.S.S. career. He came in 3rd on three occasions, coming closest to winning again in 1999 on the Hudson River when he finished behind winner Woo Daves by a little bit less than 3 pounds.
As we’ve previously described on the Bass Fishing Archives, Bailey had a lengthy professional angling career, notable in part for his partnership with the Foxwoods Casino in his home state of Connecticut. He later moved to the Guntersville, Alabama area.
Unlike McClelland this year, in ’97 Bailey primarily sight-fished his way to victory. Like McClelland, he also used a jerkbait – in his case a clown-colored Smithwick Rogue. Both Bailey and second place finisher Bud Pruitt of Texas fished wacky rigs, a technique that was not yet in vogue but would become a standard presentation in short order.
To win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following three questions about Bailey and the 1997 Table Rock tournament correctly:
- When professional anglers decided to adopt personal numbers, NASCAR-style, Bailey went a little bit outside the norm. What number did he choose?
- While Pruitt wacky-rigged a V&M Needle Worm, Bailey utilized a small northeastern bait for the same technique. What was it called and who invented it?
- Fifth place finisher Stan Gerzsenyi relied upon three different Yamamoto products, all of which were relatively new at the time. What were they?
Here are the answers:
Lee Bailey, also known as “007,” wacky rigged a clear/gold flake Jersey Rigg to catch most of his bedding Table Rock bass that week. The stubby 3.5” worm was invented by New Jersey angler Jeff Cammerino from New Jersey (of course) to deal with his home state’s highly-pressured bass.
The lure had been profiled in the March 1995 issue of Bassmaster where Cammerino was quoted as stating: “I didn’t want the worm to sink too fast or too slow,” Cammerino reports. “I wanted it to stay in the strike zone as long as possible. The weight of the hook is all you need. As the Jersey Riggs sinks, you reel slowly, twitching it every so often. That makes the worm bend into a U shape. The fact that the lure doesn’t move very far gives the bass more incentive to strike. Unlike a spinnerbait, plug or even a regular plastic worm, it doesn’t move away from the fish.” Bailey put it on a Number 2 Gamakatsu hook and fished it on 6-pound test Stren MagnaThin.
Gerzsenyi finished 5th on three GYCB products that have become staples over the years – the Ika, fished on a Number 1 Sugoi hook, as well as a smoke/silver Senko, which Bassmaster’s Steve Price referred to as “a new 5-inch soft jerkbait.” He likewise rigged it weedless, on a 2/0 Gamakatsu hook.