Bass Facts From Tom Mann

Tom Mann image from the Dec. 1974 Fishing Facts story.

Tom Mann image from the Dec. 1974 Fishing Facts story.

In the December 1974 issue of Fishing Facts magazine, Spence Petros was able to catch up with Tom Mann while he was in Chicago. Tom, of course, was the legendary force behind such baits as the Jelly Worm, the Little George, and the “Pig” line of crankbaits. According to his write-up in the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, “Not content with just manufacturing fishing lures, while the owner of Mann’s Bait Company, he also founded and was the C.E.O. of Allied Sports Company, from 1969-1983. As the manufacturer of the “Humminbird Depth Sounder”, Allied Sports eventually became a stock company and was renamed Techsonic Industries: one of the largest selling depth sounder companies in the world. He also founded Southern Plastics, in 1977, a company that today is the world’s largest private brand supplier of soft plastic lures.”

Below are some of Spence’s questions paraphrased, with Tom’s answers excerpted from the interview. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name the Year Answer and Winner (February 16, 2015)

Old school smallmouth bass "grip and grin" photo

1884 Minnesota Historical Society photo

There were 3 correct guesses this week (of 17), and the first of those to post was from Thomas Zaleski. Congrats to Thomas for winning this week’s Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the story behind this awesome picture, keep reading.

Once again we’ll do something different with Monday Trivia. This week, you don’t have to know your bass pros. You don’t have to know any fishing history. You don’t have to dig out any patch-laden jumpsuits from your closet and post a picture of you wearing it – though that would be entertaining. Nope – this week, EVERYONE has a chance at winning our prize package, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits.

Here’s all you have to do.

Take a look at the picture in this post, click to enlarge if that will help you out, and then simply take your best guess as to what year this picture is from. Post it as a comment in this thread. The first person to guess it correctly, or the person who gets closest to the actual year (again, earliest poster wins if multiple same close guesses) will be our winner. Only one guess per reader allowed. We’ll announce that winner, as well as the story/history behind this picture on Thursday. Everyone – give us your best guess!

The story behind this picture follows: [Read more…]

Who Was Virgil Ward?

Virgil Ward (left) and Smokey Falls display a hefty stringer of largemouth bass from Table Rock Lake on Ward's Spider Spins.

Virgil Ward (right) and Smokey Falls display a hefty stringer of largemouth bass from Table Rock Lake on Ward’s Spider Spins. Photo Don Fuelsch’s 1964 Southern Anglers and Hunters Guide.

Many of our “older” readers will certainly recognize the name, and even more so, remember his fishing show. As a pioneer in television fishing shows, Virgil Ward set the standard by which most all modern fishing shows followed when he created “Championship Fishing.” But you can’t be successful in television if you’re not successful on the water. Ward was both. As one of the earliest tournament competitors, he won the 1962 World Series of Sport Fishing, an event created and run by Sports Illustrated photographer and promoter Hy Peskin. He also created the Bass Buster Lure Company, maker of the infamous “Beetle” (Beetle Spin), and put lakes such as Table Rock and Norfork, amongst others, on the map as lunker bass destinations. [Read more…]

Big Old Fish – Photos by Bob McNally

Al Lindner hoists his big fish from the 1977 Virginia Invitational on Lake Gaston.

Al Lindner hoists his big fish from the 1977 Virginia Invitational on Lake Gaston. The fish weighed 10-04. Photo by Bob McNally.

Recently, longtime fishing author and photographer, Bob McNally contacted us here at the Bass Fishing Archives and offered up some of his photographs from days gone by. Back in the day, Bob used to cover all the Classics and other events let alone have a byline in nearly every fishing magazine that’s ever been printed. That includes non-bass fishing print too.

We’ve posted a few of these pictures already here on the site (click here if you want to see the 1975 Currituck Sound Classic) and now it’s time for some more. [Read more…]

The Bearded Viking – Al Lindner

Al Lindner hoists a mixed bag of largemouth bass and walleye. Photo September/October 1971issue of The Lunker Hole magazine.

Al Lindner hoists a mixed bag of largemouth bass and walleye. Photo September/October 1971issue of The Lunker Hole magazine.

We’ve written a number of pieces here that have either been about or have something to do with Al Lindner and the Lindner angling legacy. So excuse me for writing another. Personally, I don’t think you can ever write too much about someone who’s contributed so much to the sport.

What brought this piece about was an article I found recently in a 1971 issue of The Lunker Hole magazine – the magazine put out by the Bass Caster’s Association (BCA). As I turned the pages, I came across some pictures of a familiar face – that of Al Lindner’s. The title of the article, Bass Beard – The Viking, kind of made me chuckle a bit.

The accompanying photographs of Lindner show him in typical form – holding big bass and wearing polarized sunglasses. [Read more…]

This Month in Bass Fishing History – September 2014

In 2009 Gary Dobyns won the 2009 US Open on Lake Mead.

In 2009 Gary Dobyns won the 2009 US Open on Lake Mead.

Let’s return to this great concept that Brian started up. Another month, another quick look at the anniversaries of major events:

5 YEARS AGO: Western legend Gary Dobyns won the US Open for the first time at age 50, beating 2014 winner (and now three-time champion) Clifford Pirch by over 3 pounds to take the title after numerous near misses. According to the BassFan report of the event, Dobyns battled nausea and dehydration to take the brass ring with a total catch of 32.91 pounds over three days. His primary tools were a Gary Yamamoto Hula Grub, a Lucky Craft DBS4 and a Lucky Craft Gunfish 95. The boat included as part of the prize package was the 40th that he’d won in competition. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Five

Not a "natural lake specialist," Rick Clunn would fight his demons and end up winning the 1977 Bassmaster Classic on Florida's Lake Toho despite the fact he had never weighed more than 13 pounds in any event held in the sunshine state. Photo from a Bagley's ad in the Feruary 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Not a “natural lake specialist,” Rick Clunn would fight his demons and end up winning the 1977 Bassmaster Classic on Florida’s Lake Toho despite the fact he had never weighed more than 13 pounds in any event held in the sunshine state. Photo from a Bagley’s ad in the Feruary 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the final part of the five-part series on the 1977 Bassmaster tournament trail. To read the other parts, click on the appropriate link – part one (the first half of the season), part two (the second half of the season), part three (the Federation Championship), part four (the Classic Contenders).]

Since 1971 Bassmaster Trail anglers fished not only to win, but to qualify for what had become fishing’s biggest event of the year, the Bassmaster Classic. Through six events anglers would accumulate points in hopes of making the year-end event that, even at that time, was being billed as the Super Bowl of bass fishing.

In 1977 the rules stated that the top 24 anglers from the AOY race would be selected plus an additional angler from the Federation Championship. There was also another rule, one that actually brought the Classic contender list up to 26, that stated if an angler fished every event in the year and won one, he’d also qualify for the Classic. Dave Gliebe did such and was the 26th man invited. [Read more…]

Al (Lindy) Lindner 1970

Photo June, 1970 Fishing Facts magazine.

Photo June, 1970 Fishing Facts magazine.

Recently I was scanning through an old 1970 fishing facts magazine looking for ideas to write about and came across this picture of Al Lindner. At the time “Lindy” was guiding on lakes in Minnesota and Texas as well as running Lindy Tackle with his brother Ron.

We’ve discussed this before, the relationship between the Lindners, George Pazik and Bill Binkelman, and how it changed the face of fishing forever. The group took the knowledge of the past, expanded on it and printed it in a much more reader-friendly manner. They also developed their own techniques, tactics and procedures for locating and catching bass. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Four

For the third time in his career, Bill Dance was the Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 1977.

For the third time in his career, Bill Dance was the Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 1977.

In the previous three parts of this series we covered the first half of the 1977 Bassmaster Trail, the second half of the trail and the Federation Championship. In Part Four we’re going to look at the Bassmaster Classic contenders, the 25 top anglers from the AOY race plus the Federation qualifier – Bill Stephens of Alabama.

Also of note, a misunderstanding was discovered in the 1977 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine – the Angler of the Year data we used for the last installment of this series. The Classic entry rules for 1977 stated they would be taking the top-24 anglers in the AOY race. Bassmaster printed the top-25 AOY standings and we took those to be the Classic contenders to include #25 Woo Daves. When looking at the Classic standings, though, we noticed that Dave Gliebe fished the event and not Woo Daves. [Read more…]

The 1975 Lindy/Little Joe Catalog

The 1975 Lindy/Little Joe product catalog.

The 1975 Lindy/Little Joe product catalog.

The Lindy Tackle Company was formed around 1968 by Ron and Al Lindner, with some help from some of the guys in the famed Nisswa Guides League. They were probably most famous for the Lindy Rig, a slip-sinker live bait rig that became a standard in walleye fishing circles. In 1973, they sold the company to Ray-O-Vac,  who also acquired Mille Lacs Mfg. (Joe Fladebo). Together they formed Ray-O-Vac’s Fishing Tackle Division.

In 1974, Lindy/Little Joe staffer Al Lindner won the Tennessee Invitational (B.A.S.S. event) held on Watts Bar Res. This catalog came out shortly after that, and just a little before the Lindner’s left the Fishing Tackle Division of Ray-O-Vac (1975) to form the now legendary In-Fisherman Communication Network. A look through the catalog reveals some interesting trends in the bass world that were popular, or at least common place, at the time. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Bill Dance wins his second Bassmaster AOY title in 1977. Photo 1978 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bill Dance wins his second Bassmaster AOY title in 1977. Photo 1978 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a five-part series on the 1977 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part One covered the first half of the regular season, Part Three will cover the BASS Chapter Federation Nationals, Part Four the Classic Qualifiers and Part Five the Bassmaster Classic. This part will cover the second half of the regular season.]

With the first half of the 1977 season in the books, Bill Dance had a commanding lead in the Angler of the Year points race, 59 points ahead of second-place angler Steve Goodwin. Also among the top 10 were Bassmaster stalwarts Roger Moore (3rd), Jimmy Houston (4th), Al Lindner (5th), Paul Chamblee (7th), Jack Hains (8th), Bill Ward (9th) and Larry Nixon (10th).

Relative newcomer and all-around top money winner for 1977 Dave Gliebe sat in the 11th position while veteram Ricky Green took up the 17th spot. On the bubble were two anglers you would expect more out of, Rick Clunn (22nd) and Roland Martin (23rd). Would they be able to make a charge in the second half of the season and qualify for the Bassmaster Classic? We’d have to wait and see. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Bill Dance was the leader in the 1977 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Race and the midway point of the season. Photo May/June 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bill Dance was the leader in the 1977 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Race and the midway point of the season. Photo May/June 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is Part One of a Five-Part series on the 1977 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part one cover the first half of the regular season, Part Two will cover the second half, Part Three will cover the BASS Chapter Federation Nationals, Part Four the Classic Qualifiers and part Five the Bassmaster Classic.]

It’s been a few months since we looked back on the early Bassmaster Tournament Trail so it’s about time we picked back up where we left off – 1977. The 1976 season ended with Jimmy Houston winning the coveted Angler of the Year award and Rick Clunn won the first of his four Bassmaster Classics. What would 1977 bring? [Read more…]