Here are a couple of ads that really show how big bass fishing was getting in the early 70s. Here we have two, not one but two, lure companies vying for their share of the bass boat market. One was good enough to get first billing at the first Bassmaster Classic held in 1971 at Lake Mead – The Rebel Bass Boat.
The thought of having an inboard motor on a bass boat of today is kind of ludicrous but all the manufacturers made them back in the day. I personally fished out of one, one time, and vowed that if I ever got drawn with a guy that had one again I’d sit on the bank. Notice the ample deck space this design offers the back-seat angler.
The second ad shows that if Rebel is gonna get in the market, well by golly so is Cotton Cordell! From the looks of this picture, Cotton was more of an avid bass angler – he has an outboard hanging off the back – than the folks that designed the Rebel.
It’s amazing how we’ve come in the boat industry from these two pictures. When I first got into the picture, ~1976, people still sat in their seats to fish and the butt seat was just making it’s way into boats. By the early 80s, the butt seat was beginning to wane and seats were becoming an after thought.
Still, these two boats were state-of-the-art in 1972 and it’s dang cool to go back and see where we’ve come from.
As an afterthought, though, I wonder if either of these “boat” companies placed treble hooks on their hulls?