Old-School Comms

Newport Marine Ad. Western Bass Magazine 1976.

With the advent of the cell phone, tournament organizations have had restrictions on the use of the devices in order to curb cheating in events. Cell phones are only allowed to be used in emergency situations and anglers can be DQd if they’re caught using one for something other than that.

This isn’t a new rule, though.

For those who fished competitively during the 70s and early 80s citizen band radio craze, you were hard pressed to see a boat that didn’t have a CB radio in it and even a ‘whip’ antennae.

1976 Bass Pro Shops ad.

Eventually CB radios were outlawed in tournaments for the same reasons cell phones have restrictions today. It was too easy for an angler not fishing an event to call over the radio to his tournament-fishing buddy, “breaker-breaker Bubba Hawg, I found you a mess-a fish.”

Anyway I thought you might find it interesting to see these old-school ads from Newport Marine and Bass Pro Shops selling CBs to the bass fishing populace.

Did you have a CB radio in your boat?

  • Harold Sharp

    CB radios were a big part of the B.A.S.S. MegaBucks tournaments in the late 80’s, the first MegaBucks was on Lake Harris in Florida. The tournament format was a 3 day event to cut the field to the Top 10, then move to a smaller area that had been off limits and was divided into 10 holes which the 10 anglers fished for one hour then rotated to the next hole for the next hour. Each boat had an observer with a CB Radio to report the catches made by the angler so the crowd on shore could keep track of the final days. The anglers did not use the CB’s, just the observers to report each catch to B.A.S.S. official on shore.

    Larry Nixon won 4 of the first 7 B.A.S.S. MegaBucks events, the Top 10 anglers fished the 10 hole course the final days and the score was zeroed for the finals with a time limit on each of the 10 holes.

  • We used to call the Megabucks the Larry Nixon Benefit Tourney Series back in the first year or so that ran ’em.
    But wasn’t there a bit of controversy with the 1st one being at Harris? Wasn’t the closed course part supposed to be somewhere else entirely until Brunswick tried to pull a fast one?

    • Harold Sharp

      The first MegaBucks was being planned for Disney World in Florida, but we ran into a problem with an agreement they had with Brunswick that kept us from using Evinrude engines, so we moved it to the Harris Chain.