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:
- What was the primary jerkbait color used by both Menendez and Economou, as well as 4th place finisher Rick Clunn?
- Prior to becoming a professional angler, what did Economou do for a living?
- 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?
- What was the profession of amateur side winner Gordon Hardin?
The answer and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!