The St John’s River ’73 – A Pool Full of 10s

The first part of the 1973 B.A.S.S. tournament season was posted last week and it brought back some good memories for me. One I had was all the big fish that were weighed in that event, something we hadn’t experienced yet in a B.A.S.S. tournament. Here’s the story.

We had the weigh-in set up at an old resort on the banks of the St John’s in Palatka, FL. The resort was closing down and they were staying open just long enough for us to finish thee tournament. We were actually set up alongside an old swimming pool.

Like I said, we weren’t used to seeing all these huge bass so when an angler came up with one, we’d weigh it and then release the big fish into the pool and put the smaller ones back in the river.

That tournament we broke the all-time single-bass weight record a number of times. I remember the looks on the anglers’ faces who were standing in line with a very large bass when we told them how many fish over 10 we’d weighed.

When it was all over, Bob Tyndall had the record with the 12-13 and Larry Hill had the daily-limit record with 60-01. Larry’s record, in fact, had to be split up into two sacks because our scale only went up to 50 pounds.

When the tournament was over, we had that old swimming pool full of 10-pounders. We were going to leave the fish there for our tournament sponsor who wanted to give them to the Florida Game and Fish Department to see if they wanted to release them in a special place.

I later heard that during the night someone had stolen several of the fish for food but the others were taken and released by the FL G&F. The Rodman Pool and the Big-O were both hot and they produced many B.A.S.S. records during that event.

  • BillM

    Man, would I love to see a picture of that pool of tens! Heck, I might even have jumped in.

    • Yeah Bill, it was a pretty amazing story. I’d love to have been there!