Bass Master Classic II – Railcars and String Busters

Last time I told you a couple of stories about the first Bass Master Classic held at Lake Mead in Nevada. Now, I’ll let you know about a couple of things that happened during and shortly after the second Classic. I hope you enjoy the story.

The second Bass Master Classic was to be held on Percy Priest Reservoir near Nashville, TN. Before we could commit, though, we had to see if Nashville was interested in holding the event. We called the Chamber of Commerce and they were definitely interested. At this point we had an event location now they had to commit to total secrecy as the second Classic, too, would be a secret until the last minute.

Once Nashville committed to both the location and to secrecy, we arranged a trip for me to head over and meet with our contact to look at the launch, pick out a host hotel and try to find a warehouse in order to rig the boats and store them out of sight.

Ranger Boats was back in business and would be the official Classic boat. But there was a problem – we had two Classic contenders that were from Nashville and we had to make sure they didn’t get wind we were going there. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1972 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three

Don Butler looks on as his winning string of fish is weighed. Photo Bassmaster Magazine Jan/Feb 1973 issue.

This is Part Three of a three-part series on the 1972 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To read Part One, click here and to read Part Two, click here.

The 1972 season ended with Roland Martin placing fourth or higher in all six events of the season and walking away with the ’72 AOY award. All that was left for him to accomplish was to win the 2nd-annual Bass Master Classic.

Again the World Championship of bass fishing would be held at a “mystery lake” somewhere in the country and anglers would only be allowed 10 pounds of tackle.

The previous year’s event at Lake Mead, NV had provided a long flight from Atlanta, GA to the tournament locale for anglers to get in the mindset of fishing the Nevada desert’s stingy waters. This year, though, the anglers would only have a 30-minute flight to get a grasp on the location.

Here are some words, as written by Bob Cobb, from the Jan/Feb issue of Bass Master Magazine regarding the atmosphere on the plane.

“The announcement aboard a ‘mystery flight’ on American Airlines out of Memphis, was greeted with SHOCK! The fizz in the bubbly being served made a louder noise than the two dozen fishermen, who had dreams of a much longer fight than 30 minutes.”

Most anglers thought the event would again be held at some deep, clear western reservoir or maybe even a shallow Florida lake. Instead, Tennessee’s Percy Priest Reservoir was chosen and the five Tennessee locals present were instantly given top billing amongst their competitors.

Ray Scott remarked on why Percy Priest was chosen as the venue and here are his comments.

“We brought the Classic here because Nashville is here. This is the center of the bass fishing universe. More champions have been spawned on Tennessee waters (11 in 32 events) than any state. Last year, we held the Classic in the West. It was only natural that it be returned to this area this year.” [Read more…]