These days both major tours seem to make at least one stop in Florida every year. In fact, some years a single tour will hold multiple events in the Sunshine State. That wasn’t always the case. Prior to holding a Top 150 on Toho and an Invitational on the St. Johns River on back-to-back weeks in 1999, B.A.S.S. hadn’t been held a major tournament in Florida in seven years.
The Florida residents made sure to show that they enjoyed home cooking upon their return. While Georgia pro Danny Kirk won the Top 150 on Toho, Floridians Terry Segraves and Shaw Grigsby were tied for 2nd, just 7 ounces back. The following week, at the St. Johns Eastern Invitational, Grigsby outlasted the rest of the field over two days of competition to claim his sixth B.A.S.S. victory, and the first from a tournament headquartered in Florida. He’d previously won three times in Texas, once in Georgia and once on Lake Seminole.
The first day was canceled due to fog, but on Day Two Grigsby “sight-fished” his way to a 25 pound bag, using a Texas-rigged Luck E Strike lizard (grasshopper color), a 5/16 ounce weight and his signature Eagle Claw HP Hook (4/0). On the final day of competition he only caught a little more than half that much, but it was enough to hold off fellow Floridian Jerry Stalvey Jr. by almost four pounds. The top four finishers all hailed from the home state.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, be the first to correctly answer the following three questions about the 1999 St. Johns River Eastern Invitational and its competitors:
- Grigsby was making 60- to 70-foot casts to holes in the eelgrass to catch spawning fish on Lake George. He credited his polarized glasses with helping him to see the bare spots. What brand of sunglasses did he wear and what was special about the particular model?
- Second and third place finishers Jerry Stalvey and Terry Modlin were both in the same bass club. What was that club called?
- Who won the previous B.A.S.S. event on the St. Johns?
Here are the answers:
Grigsby wore Ocean Waves sunglasses during his win on the St. Johns. “This was about the strangest sight fishing I’ve ever done,” Grigsby told Bassmaster’s Tim Tucker. “It was nothing like the typical sight fishing where you go out there and actually see the fish and cast at them. This week, I couldn’t see the fish very well. There was just too much wind and cloud cover. But I was wearing a good pair of glasses that enabled me to pick out a little glimmer here and there. I only saw two of the bass I caught. This week wasn’t so much about seeing the fish as it was seeing the spots. Instead of seeing a white spot like a typical bass bed, it was a reddish kind of glow because of the tannic acid in the water.”
Rather than traditional earpieces that spanned the temples and rested on the ears, Grigsby’s glasses had two bandana ends protruding from the frames that could be tied as tight as the wearer desired to minimize glare.
Stalvey and Modlin were both members of the Green Cove Springs Bassmasters.
Fourth place finisher Peter Thliveros obviously liked being able to stay in his own house during tournaments. He’d earned his first of seven B.A.S.S. wins when the Top 100 circuit visited the St. Johns in 1992, beating his closest competitor – Grigsby – by almost 10 pounds. His seventh B.A.S.S. win came in the same venue, when he won the 2008 Southern Open. Stalvey finished 2nd in that event, in which Grigsby did not fish.