Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 1

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

This column seems to be the one most frequented by readers so we’re going to give you more of what you like – Old Bass Boats 1978 style. In Part 1, we’re going to start out with the various tournament organizations’ specialty boats. This phenomena all started with Ray Scott and the 1971 Bassmasterr Classic when he purchased from Rebel 25 identical boats for use by the 24 Classic contenders on Lake Mead. After the event the boats were put up for sale and became another form of income for the fledgling tournament organization. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 1

1977 Terry Bass Boat Ad.

1977 Terry Bass Boat Ad.

In this installment of Old Bass Boats, we again have to split the piece into multiple parts due to the volume of bass boat manufacturers now placing ads in bass magazines. As stated in the last installment, Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 1, the 1975 ad campaign saw 16 manufacturers advertising their goods. In 1976 that number jumped up to 26 and this year that number jumped to a staggering 38 companies placing ads in bass magazines. What is truly amazing about that number is that was not all the companies out there who were making bass boats. [Read more…]

American Angler’s Tackle Selection 1979

American Angler also tried to get into the fishing tackle sales business in the 70s. They weren't that successful.

American Angler also tried to get into the fishing tackle sales business in the 70s. They weren’t that successful.

Last Friday we ran a feature on The Outhouse, B.A.S.S.’s mail-order tackle shop, that was in business from the mid-‘70s through maybe the mid-‘80s. This week we’re going to cover another one of the magazine tackle shops, this time American Angler’s Selection.

By the late 70s, the success of Johnny Morris’ Bass Pro Shops was obvious – so obvious that nearly every magazine publisher in bass fishing was getting into the mail-order tackle business. John Fox’s American Angler was another of the organizations to open shop.

In each of their magazines of the day they had a four to five page section devoted to their shop with tackle for the season. The problem with American Angler’s tackle was they didn’t sell too many “name brand” manufacturers gear and when they did, it was generally the cheap stuff. [Read more…]

Can’t Get Under the Cover, Skip It Then

One of the first Skipping articles published in 1982 in Pro Bass Magazine.

One of the first Skipping articles published in 1982 in Pro Bass Magazine.

The technique of skipping a bait under docks, limbs and any other overhanging cover isn’t something that only the pros do today, it’s a technique that’s mastered by every single bass angler serious about their trade. Just search the internet for “skipping a jig” and volumes of articles and YouTube videos will flood your screen.

This wasn’t the case some 30 years ago as few anglers, even amongst the pro ranks, utilized the casting method – or even knew about it.

You don’t get many things past your non-boaters or the press, especially when you win a major event like the Bassmaster Florida Invitational. [Read more…]

The Fishin’ Machine

Ricky Green holds his second 1st-place Bassmaster trophy from his win on Sam Rayburn in 1974. Photo May/June 1974 issue of  Bassmaster Magazine.

Ricky Green holds his second 1st-place Bassmaster trophy from his win on Sam Rayburn in 1974. Photo May/June 1974 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

In 1985 one of the most-respected boat companies came out with a new-concept boat that rocked the bass boat industry. The boat had all the amenities needed for high-level competition. They were fast, offered a passenger rod trough, rod locker ventilation and a console that looked more like it should be in an F-16 than a boat. The boat was the Cajun Ricky Green Fishin’ Machine.

By 1985 Ricky Green had been fishing as a full-time professional for a dozen years. He fished his first tournament at the age of 24 – the 1968 Arkansas State Championship at Greers Ferry – and won it. In that event he met Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon and Jerry McKinnis. [Read more…]

More Tournament Associations – American Angler

American Angler Cover Winter 1978Competitive bass fishing has a history that dates back to 1955 when a group of anglers in Texas started the Texas State Bass Tournament. Not long after that in 1960 Hy Peskin started his World Series of Sportfishing which took state champions from all over the east through the Midwest and pitted them against each other in an international championship event. The problem with this event was the rules were always a moving target and the anglers could weigh in essentially any fish, as long as they had fins – although black bass took more points than the other creatures.

Then in 1967 a man by the name of Ray Scott changed all of that. Rained out of a day’s fishing one day he sat in his hotel and envisioned bass fishing being a sport much like bowling or golf – a professional sport where anglers could become stars and make a living by casting and catching bass. By 1968 the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society was born. [Read more…]

Sticks of the Past: Jack DeBord – “The Midwest Angler”

While many of us are familiar with the stories and achievements surrounding the “household names” in this sport, part of what makes the history and story of bass fishing so great are the less publicized regional and local personalities. One such individual here in the Midwest was an angler by the name of Jack DeBord.

Jack was a Muncie, Indiana native born in 1936. He graduated from Royerton High School in 1955, a small unincorporated town that Wikipedia lists as being located “near Pizza King and the fire station.” After graduating, Jack did a stint with the Navy, joining the Muncie Police Deptartment upon his return. After a move out to California that saw him working on and with dragsters, he returned to central Indiana and started pursuing his love for fishing. Initially, he wrote and was a contributor to several fishing publications, “helping get the pro bass circuit off the ground,” as one local write-up put it. [Read more…]