Ed Gettys has only fished 12 B.A.S.S. events over the past 25 years, most recently the 2006 Northern Tour event on Kentucky Lake. His success on the circuit has been decidedly mixed, with a few bombs along with a few checks, but if you look at where he’s fished, it’s obvious that the Alabama resident has a fondness for home – nine of the tournaments have taken place on Guntersville, where he’s known as a top stick.
That reputation was forged in part by his earliest efforts with B.A.S.S. He finished 5th in his first tournament with them, the 1989 Alabama Invitational, and then won the same event the following year.
According to Bassmaster, that 1990 tournament favored the locals because the competitors arrived to find the big lake’s once-plentiful grass beds almost entirely gone. “A combination of a severe winter freeze, unusually high, muddy waters the previous spring and an unwavering eradication effort had effectively removed an estimated 60 to 70 percent of the lake’s milfoil and hydrilla,” Tim Tucker wrote.
Gettys reportedly spent 18 hours a day, five days a week on the water every summer. How’s that for a local advantage?
It paid off substantially in 1990 when he ran away with the tournament, beating out his nearest competitor by almost 13 pounds over three days.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, you’ll need to answer the following three questions:
- What did Gettys do to make a living (besides fishing)?
- Who had the big bag of the tournament?
- Who caught the single biggest fish of the event?
Here are the answers:
While Gettys was known for taking others’ money on the Big G, his full-time profession was as a basketball coach. In 1990, he lived in Grant, Alabama, but subsequently he coached at multiple schools throughout Alabama as well as elsewhere in the southeast. A year prior to winning the B.A.S.S. tournament, he coached his team to the 1989 Alabama Class 3A state championship.
In June of this year, he was named coach of the girls team at the Santa Fe Unit School in Santa Fe, Tennessee.
Apparently the summers off of a teaching job served his tournament efforts well.
In addition to his win with B.A.S.S., Gettys has won five BFL tournaments and two EverStarts. Both EverStart victories took place at Guntersville, as did three of his BFL wins.
While Gettys ran away with the tournament, Louisiana pro John Dean finished second despite weighing in only 18 of a possible 21 bass (three days, seven fish limit). It was the top finish of a B.A.S.S. career that spanned 76 events, including two Bassmaster Classic appearances. He led the tournament after Day One on the strength of a seven-bass limit that weighed 34 pounds 4 ounces, which at the time was the third largest limit in B.A.S.S. history.
Gordon Cash of Orlando finished 200th overall, which was more or less par for the course in a career of six B.A.S.S. events that included zero money finishes. Nevertheless, he had the good fortune to catch a 9 pound 8 ounce bass (more than half of his total weight of 18-05), good enough for the biggest fish of the tournament and a $1,000 check.
As a side note, to demonstrate just how much the field has changed in the past 25 years, Shaw Grigsby (12th place) was the only angler in the top forty in the 1990 Alabama Invitational who fishes the Elite Series today. Others, including David Fritts, Larry Nixon, Randy Blaukat, Jimmy Houston, Guido Hibdon and Ron Shuffield fish FLW.