Monday Trivia – Menendez Mows ‘Em Down Answer and Winner (May 12, 2014)



Congratulations to Andy Williamson for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by GYCB! For the answers, please read below.

In early 1998, Mark Menendez was a 34 year-old Kentucky pro with a spotty record over seven years of B.A.S.S. competition. He’d qualified for the 1997 Bassmaster Classic, but had only a single Top-10 finish to his credit, just eight months earlier. He turned that around in March with a victory in the Alabama Top 100 on Pickwick and Wilson Lakes.

While the majority of the field stayed in Pickwick, Menendez locked through to Wilson each day where he jerkbaited his way to three consecutive limits totaling 60-03, a tiny bit over 4 pounds per fish. Most were smallmouths, although he did land a few largemouths.

Despite the winner’s impressive catch, the weights fell off relatively quick thereafter and it took only 36-08 to make the top ten. The difficulty in catching better limits was caused largely by heavy winds, up to 30 miles per hour at times, that made navigation and positioning difficult if not treacherous.

Second place finisher Chuck Economou stumbled out of the gate, landing under 7 pounds on Day One, only to bounce back with 29-05 on Day Two, an amount that was reduced by a 4-pound late penalty. Had he not erred in his decision making those two days, he might’ve been able to bridge the 7-03 gap between the top of the leaderboard. He fished his last B.A.S.S. tournament in 2004.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following four questions correctly:

  1. What was the primary jerkbait color used by both Menendez and Economou, as well as 4th place finisher Rick Clunn?
  2. Prior to becoming a professional angler, what did Economou do for a living?
  3. Almost a year to the day earlier, Menendez landed what was then the largest bass in B.A.S.S. tournament history? What did it weigh, where did he catch it, and who later broke the record?
  4. What was the profession of amateur side winner Gordon Hardin?

Here are the answers:

Chuck Economou. Photo

Chuck Economou. Photo

After locking through to Wilson each day, Menendez would slowly work a clown-colored Smithwick Rogue for most of his fish, later telling Bassmaster’s Louie Stout that he’d let it sit for “60 seconds or more before I jerked it again.” He was able to gain that suspending action despite changing to lighter wire hooks by adding both a rubber core sinker on the front treble and some Suspen-Strips. He also caught a few key fish on a Bomber Long A and a ½ ounce Oldham’s jig. Economou, who used both a Rogue and a Husky Jerk (both clown), also modified his baits with additional Storm weights. Clunn’s Husky Jerk was – you guessed it – clown-colored.

Economou, originally from Michigan, was an accountant. He moved to Florida to pursue a career in pro fishing and appeared in the 2002 and 2004 Bassmaster Classics as well as the 1996, 1999 and 2002 Forrest Wood Cups.

Mark Tyler and his still-current Bassmaster record big bass.

Mark Tyler and his still-current Bassmaster record big bass. Photo

Menendez beat a 24 year old B.A.S.S. record for big fish when he caught a 13 pound 9 ounce largemouth during the 1997 Megabucks tournament on Richland Chambers Reservoir in Texas, in which he finished 8th. He donated “Miss Patty” to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Two years later Mark Tyler caught a 14-09 in competition on the California Delta to take over the record. Tyler’s big bass record still stands.

Hardin was and is a guide on Pickwick.