We have a bit of a dilemma here with this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest. Only one person made an attempt to answer the questions and he got two out of three right – or 66 percent. So we’re sorry to say no one won this week’s contest. Read below for the answers and check back on Monday for a new question(s)!
Back in the early 1990s, they called it the “Fritts Blitz.”
When Lexington, N.C. pro David Fritts got on a roll, he was virtually unstoppable. It seemed that back then the typical tour-level schedules were more amenable to a crankbait bite, and of course that was right in his wheelhouse.
Between 1990 and 1994, he earned four wins in B.A.S.S competition – two on Buggs Island (Kerr Reservoir), one at the 1993 Bassmaster Classic (Logan Martin) and another regular season trophy at Lake Seminole.
(1) What was special about the crankbaits that he used in that event?
In the late 1990s, Fritts was very public about his efforts to lose weight, and he credited his diet with helping him go on a tear that included three FLW Tour wins in 1997. Fitness wasn’t the only health worry in his time on tour, though. In 2004, he had another health problem that nearly derailed his career.
(2) What was it?
Finally, to cap off that magical 1997 season, Fritts won the FLW Championship on Lake Ferguson in Mississippi. While many competitors left Ferguson and ran long distances on the main river to distant backwaters to try to win the title, Fritts did most of his damage fairly close.
(3) Other than the fact that it was the third $100,000 check he earned that year, what was historically significant about the victory?
Here are the answers:
(1) In 1991, Fritts used a Poe’s 400 Series Crankbait to claim the Buggs Island title, beating second place finisher Denny Brauer (who most assuredly was not deep cranking) by nearly four pounds. Certainly other competitors used similar crankbaits in that October event, but Fritts engaged in a little bit of modification to get the job done. According to Bassmaster’s January 1991 issue, Fritts drove around with a bunch of plugs hanging in the windshield of his tow vehicle in order to fade their paint jobs. “(A)ccording to this well-known crankbait expert, a faded finish will elicit more strikes from bass when fishing under bright skies, which is what the top pros in the nation found themselves under on the final day of the Buggs Island tournament.”
(2) Late in 2004, Fritts started to experience double and triple vision, and visited numerous doctors before he was diagnosed with an eye ligament that twisted his eyeball and thereby worsened his vision. With the help of special glasses, the problem was remedied. “They got me some glasses with some prisms in them, and it seems to be straightening out some,” he said at the time. “I think it’s getting a little bit better. I’ve fished a little bit in some ponds and stuff, but I haven’t done much. Like I said, I’ve just gotten to where I can see in the last few weeks.” Fritts and his doctor speculated that a particular hard hit to the head might’ve caused the problem. “I got hit by lightning at the Elite 50 event in Paducah,” Fritts said. “It knocked me out cold. It knocked out everything in my boat.
(3) Fritts cruised to victory at Ferguson, even laying off his fish the second day once he was sure that he made the cut. On Day Four, though, he put the pedal to the metal and caught a 23-01 limit, the largest in Forrest Wood Cup history. Jacob Wheeler made a run at the record last year on Lake Lanier, but ultimately fell 18 ounces short with 21-15.