Over the past week I was introduced to a new Facebook page called Mid-America Tournament Fishing History. Rick Pierce directed me to the page and what I saw really made my mouth water. There was a number of old magazine and news clips posted on the site from the defunct Mid-America Bass Fisherman’s Association, which operated in the 70s, along with a bunch of other pictures from various other organizations, such as the Bass Caster’s Association (BCA).
Just prior to being introduced to this new page, I happened to get in the mail two BCA magazines, one dated November/December 1970 (Number 4) and another from May/June 1971 (number 7). On the cover of Number 4 is Charlie Bumpas – who in his time fished five Bassmaster events between 1968 and 1970 and finished in the top 20 in each of them.
Bumpas won the 1970 BCAS (BCA was actually called the Bass Caster’s Angling Society in 1970) Barkley Lake Invitational and hence the reason he’s front and center on this cover. The article on the tournament not only showcases Bumpas but really shows what tournament bass fishing was like in that era. Plus the names of some of the competitors are amazing too. Anglers such as Terry Pryor, Hugh Massey, John Fox, John Powell, Jerry Crowell, Joe Verbeck, and Charles Moorehead are some of the more recognizable in the final standings.
I really like the two pictures on the first page. Notice how small the boats are. Also notice on the next pages how the anglers were using stringers back in the day. This was a year before Ray Scott started making it mandatory for anglers to use livewells and bags for their fish. The interesting thing is there’s an article in this issue that talks about fish care and the effects of tournaments on fish populations. I’ll post some of that later on.
Here’s the tournament report for you to read in full and shortly we’ll be posting some of the other material in the magazine along with some material from Number 7. We hope you enjoy.