I’ve been reading through a bunch of old Bassmaster Magazines lately looking for relevant Classic information to post and ran across this interesting piece of advertising in the September/October 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Titled “Live From the Bass Masters Classic,” the ad was to not only let would-be Classic followers know that Classic VII was going to be broadcast on the radio, but more importantly let radio stations know they too could host the Bass Masters Classic on their station.
The ’77 BASS Classic Radio Network was obviously the outcome from Classic VI when Scott entitled the use of CB radios for the first time. In Classic VI, each writer/observer who was placed in a boat with the Classic anglers was given a Radio Shack One-Hander 2-way radio in order to not only report up-to-the-minute catches (and losses) back to B.A.S.S. headquarters but to also keep shore-bound spectators up to date and bring excitement to the event.
The other, somewhat confusing, piece of information in the ad was the sentence, “On October 24th, the season’s top ranked B.A.S.S. fishing pros will arrive at the ‘mystery lake,’ which will be announced just prior to the competition.”
What’s confusing about this is the ’77 Classic was announced prior to the event in order to allow for more fan and press participation. I’ve scoured the old issues cover to cover and have not found where the event was announced. Talking with Harold Sharp, though, he thought it may have been announced via press release to the anglers, writers and various other news outlets – since the printing of Bassmaster Magazine usually happened months in advance of its release date.
BASS Classic Radio was to be broadcast for 13 straight days – nine days prior to the event, during the three competition days and then a follow-up day with the winner. As far as I know, we didn’t have a radio station in California that carried the Classic. I’m interested to know if any of you readers did listen in on the radio back then, much like we’re all glued to our computers now during a tournament.