Monday Trivia – Nolan’s Big Week at Big Sam Answer and Winner (July 22, 2013)

Photo Jim Nolan.

Photo Jim Nolan.

Three weeks in a row and no one has had the correct answers for the Bass Fishing Archives Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Try again next week for your chance at a $25 coupon good for anything on the Yamamoto website. For the answers read below.

In nearly 200 B.A.S.S. tournaments spanning the period from 1974 to 2001, Jim Nolan of Arkansas finished in the Top 10 nine times and qualified for two Bassmaster Classics.

Through the 1980s, his best finish was a 4th in 1988 at the Texas Invitational on Sam Rayburn, a tournament won by Shaw Grigsby. In 1991, though, he got his revenge on Big Sam in the Texas Bassmaster Top 100, winning by a margin of nearly 14 pounds.

His victory at Rayburn was certainly memorable for Nolan, but it was also memorable for fans of the sport.

In order to win this week’s trivia challenge, you’ll need to answer the following four questions:

  1. What iconic fishing TV moment resulted from his win?
  2. What B.A.S.S. record did Nolan set at Rayburn?
  3. What other B.A.S.S. record was set that week?
  4. What was Nolan’s profession when he wasn’t fishing tournaments?

Here’s the answer:



En route to his dominating victory, Nolan could do little wrong. He set a then-record cumulative weight for a four-day B.A.S.S. event with a five-fish limit, with 86-06. For fans, though, the most memorable part may have been his one slip-up. As he went to set the hook on one of the many big Texas bass he hooked that week, he clumsily fumbled his reel – the footage thereafter became a well-known staple of the opening of The Bassmasters television program.

Nolan used a Poe’s 400 crankbait and a Carolina-rigged lizard to amass his four-day catch, but the other record catch that week came from Denny Brauer, who flipped a Rattleback jig to buck brush and willow bushes to catch what was then a B.A.S.S. record one-day, five-fish limit of 27-14. The prior top mark, 27-01, had stood for nearly 11 years. According to the June 1991 issue of Bassmaster, it had been caught by “Bill O’Connor, who established the previous record in 1980 at Lake of the Ozarks – Brauer’s home lake and during the first B.A.S.S. tournament Brauer ever fished.” At Rayburn, Brauer finished 3rd. He had won there in 1984 and 1986.

When not on the tournament trail, Nolan worked in public relations for Ranger Boats for nearly four decades. He currently guides on Lake Fork and Bull Shoals.

  • Fished with Jimmy in a BASS Invitational years ago, and have enjoyed his friendship ever since. The notable thing about that Rayburn win, was that he was using an 8 to 10 foot leader on his Carolina rig. If you know Jim, you know he ain’t all that tall, and his arms are.. well, they’re flat out short. Watching him cast that long leader is a hoot. But being at the other end of an 18 foot boat from him when he does can be pretty scary.

    • Get a little “whip” on that leader and he could “reach out” and touch someone.