Congratulations to Art Miller for giving the correct answer to this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answer read below.
Denny Brauer’s victory in the 1984 Bassmaster Texas Invitational was the first of his 17 wins with B.A.S.S. Over the next three decades, he achieved just about every milestone possible, including a Megabucks win, a Superstars win and a Classic win. He even won at Rayburn again, just two years later, but that was his last B.A.S.S. victory in the Lone Star State. He liked the Nation of Texas enough to retire there upon leaving the Elites and managed an EverStart Texas Division victory on Toledo Bend earlier this year.
Brauer’s first win at Rayburn set his career on fire, and he overcame tough conditions to truly earn it. The winds blew so hard that Harold Sharp was quoted as saying that if they’d persisted “we’d have had to delay the start of the tournament for the first time in our history.” On Big Sam, 50 mph gusts can be deadly. Using a Basil Bacon Super Jig tipped with a No. 1 Uncle Josh Pork Frog, Brauer totaled 17 bass (out of a possible 21 – a three-day, seven-fish limit) for 55-11, to outlast second place finisher jimmy Houston by nearly four pounds.
How tough was it? Larry Nixon (4th place) was the only angler to weigh in a limit each day and four anglers cashed a check while averaging three or fewer fish per day.
Amongst these tough conditions, Rayburn still showed that it had a few big fish. While the double-digits that regularly show up these days during the pre-spawn were absent, the big bass of the tournament weighed 7-11. To win this week’s trivia contest, tell us who caught it, what made the catch notable, and what the angler in question did for a living.
Here’s the answer.
The 7-11 big bass, which beat out Zell Rowland’s Day Two big bass by an ounce to claim big fish honors for all three days, was caught by Lou Hallamore of Zimbabwe. Like Brauer, he used a jig and pork to land his big catch, but unlike Brauer he had relatively little experience with the technique.
“We don’t fish a jig and eel,” he told Bob Cobb of Bassmaster. “Our water is too warm. We fish worms.”
Hallamore may have had a leg up on the other anglers in chasing larger-than-average specimens. He was at the time and remains today a professional big game hunter. Per the HHK Safaris website, he “is a born and bred Zimbabwean, educated at Falcon College. He was a professional soldier for twenty years and retired as a Master Sergeant. He was brought up on a farm as a child and hunted his first Kudu at the age of nine. Hunting is his life, and having been awarded his license in 1980, he has been a fully licensed professional hunter for twenty-two years. Lou is known as the ‘cat’ man, with his obvious preference for hunting being cats.”
At the time, an African angler was an oddity in the still relatively provincial field of bass anglers, but since that time others have tried to conquer B.A.S.S. competition. Most notable among them is Gerry Jooste, who has competed in five Bassmaster Classics (1994, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2013), finishing a personal-best 15th in 1997, as well as four Invitationals.