Congratulations to Steve Quinn for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, please read below.
Nearly three decades after his Bassmaster Classic win, the late Charlie Reed remains one of the least well-known Classic champions. By the time he qualified for his first Classic in 1986, he was already past the half-century mark, and the victory that week in Chattanooga marked the high point of a B.A.S.S. career that lasted just 11 more years. His last event was a 1997 tournament on Lake Neely Henry. He finished 5th.
As detailed by John Neporadny Jr. in a “Where are they now?” piece about Reed for Bassmaster.com in early 2012, Reed expressed regret that he started his professional efforts so late in life, waiting to become financially secure. By ’97, “it wasn’t fun,” he told Neporadny, so he quit competing, though he continued to fish three or four days a week.
Today Chickamauga may be the hottest lake in the country, as evidenced by Casey Martin’s four-day catch of 103-03 to win $125,000 in this past season’s FLW Tour event there, but in August of 1986 times were tough. Reed was the only one of the 41 competitors to weigh in a seven-bass limit each of the three days.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following four questions about the 1986 Bassmaster Classic:
- Which members of the 1986 Classic field had previously won B.A.S.S. events on Chickamauga?
- Who led the tournament after the first day?
- Who led after the second day?
- What lures did Reed use to win the Classic?
Here are the answers:
Denny Brauer earned his second B.A.S.S. win at the 1985 Tennessee Invitational with 35-02, but at the 1986 Classic he could muster only 11-04 and finished 18th. A few years later he won again at Chickamauga, claiming the trophy in the 1990 Top 100 with a four-day catch of 72-11. Zell Rowland won the 1986 B.A.S.S. Super Invitational on Chickamauga, his first B.A.S.S. victory and the tournament that put the Pop-R on the national map. His winning weight was 39-06, but two months later in the Classic he finished 12th with 14-13. Rowland finished 2nd to Brauer at Chickamauga in 1990.
Prior to 1986, superstar Roland Martin had made numerous charges at a Classic title, finishing in the top ten on seven occasions and in the top five in three of those tournaments. The closest he’d come was when he was the runner-up to Bo Dowden in 1980 on the St. Lawrence River. He led after Day One in 1986 with 6 fish (one short of a limit) for 10-04, including the day’s big fish, a 5-03 largemouth.
Martin could only muster two fish on the second day of competition and Jerry Rhyne took over the lead. Rhyne eventually finished 6th, his second best result in 11 overall Classic appearances – he’d finished 3rd in the 1978 Classic on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett. He also qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup three times. The North Carolina pro may be better for his efforts to organize the Fishermans Bass Circuit which served as a launching pad for the careers of many southeastern pros.
Reed’s primary weapon was a plum-colored six-inch Toledo Tackle worm, fished on a 3/0 Eagle Claw hook and a 3/8 ounce slip sinker. Prior to the final day, Harold Sanders, a Federation qualifier from Mississippi, recommended that Reed try a Bagley DB3 deep-diving crankbait. Reed used it to cull several times on Day Three. Via that recommendation, Sanders may have undermined the efforts of another of his Federation colleagues – Danny Correia of Massachusetts weighed in 14 keepers over the three days for a total of 22-12, just 13 ounces lighter than Reed’s catch.
- Correia’s Classic jitters were described in Nick Taylor’s exceptional book “Bass Wars”.
- Reed’s wife Vojai was the first woman to compete in a B.A.S.S. tournament.
- B.A.S.S. will head back to the Chickamauga for its inauguaral “BASSFest” this June.
- The Bassmaster broadcast of the 1986 Classic can be viewed here.