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…]

More Bombers

1977 Bomber Speed Shad and Model A being sold in American Bass Fisherman magazine.

1977 Bomber Speed Shad and Model A being sold in American Bass Fisherman magazine.

A couple of weeks ago we did the first part of the 1978 Bassmaster season and in that article, we mentioned Hurley Board’s Lake Gaston win. Board attributed his win not just to sticking to his game plan but also to the use of a Bomber Speed Shad.

After that event, the Speed Shad became the predominant bait on both Gaston and Bugg’s (Kerr depending upon what side of the boarder you’re on) reservoirs. In fact, original Speed Shads are still in high demand for the North Carolina/Virginia boarder waters.

That article sent me on a mission to try and find an old Speed Shad ad to share with you – and I found one from 1977. Not only that, but I found three other Bomber ads dating from the same year, two of which feature crankbait legend, Floyd Mabry. [Read more…]

More Cuba – The 1978 ABF Bass Tournament

Anglers flew to Mexico in order to get to Cuba. Read the original caption from the Mar/Apr 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman to see who was signing up. Photo American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Anglers flew to Mexico in order to get to Cuba. Read the original caption from the Mar/Apr 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman to see who was signing up. Photo American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Last week when Pete posted the piece on the relaxing of political ties between the U.S. and Cuba – and the renewed possibilities of U.S. anglers being able to fish the mythical lakes on the island – it jogged my memory of the first (maybe the only) bass tournament ever held on the island. That event was sponsored by the now-defunct American Bass Fishing organization who used Dan Snow as the conduit for getting a number of American anglers from the U.S. to Cuba via a tortuous path through Mexico. [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…]

Bagley’s Better Baits 1975

Bagley's Better Baits ad from January 1975.

Bagley’s Better Baits ad from January 1975.

I’ve been a fan of Jim Bagley’s creations (and Lee Sisson’s too) pushing 40 years now. I bought my first Bagley’s bait somewhere in the 1976 timeframe, a baby bass colored Honey B, and it was the bait I caught my first crankbait fish on – a 1 1/2-pound largemouth at Lake Irvine’s Santiago Flats. Since that time I’ve had a sort of fetish with the company, although it’s obvious that I didn’t know all they made.

I recently received a 1975 American Bass Fisherman magazine from a close friend and while thumbing through the pages came across this ad from that era. The ad touts that that six of the top 10 from the American Bass Fisherman World Championship caught their fish on the baits shown. What grabbed me was I’d only seen one of these baits in the flesh, seen another in an old ad during the time and had never seen the other two baits until I got this magazine. [Read more…]

American Bass and California Lunker Club?

American Bass Fisherman and California Lunker Club apparently were thinking of combining forces in the late 1974 time frame. It never stuck as Dave Coolidge, president of the CLC sold CLC to Western Bass. Article from the January/February issue of American Bass Fisherman magazine.

American Bass Fisherman and California Lunker Club apparently were thinking of combining forces in the late 1974 time frame. It never stuck as Dave Coolidge, president of the CLC sold CLC to Western Bass. Article from the January/February issue of American Bass Fisherman magazine.

We’ve done a lot of reporting on the old bass associations that have popped up and fizzled out over the years. Two of those we’ve spent a lot of time on were the American Bass Fisherman (ABF) and the California Lunker Club (CLC). ABF was actually taking a stab at B.A.S.S. for their anglers and doing a pretty good job at it until George Oates got convicted for fraud and the organization eventually sold out to National Bass Association, which folded a couple years later.

The California Lunker Club, on the other hand, was the brain child of Dave Coolidge and designed as an insurance policy for anglers in the event they caught a big fish. Join CLC for $10 per year and if you caught a big’un, you got you fish mounted for free.

CLC started in 1971 but by the time 1972 rolled around, bass tournament fever was sweeping the nation – California included. Coolidge held his first event in 1972 and the rest is history. [Read more…]

Dewey Yopp – National Bass Association

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Last week we posted an article on the Last Hoorah for the American Bass Fisherman (ABF) organization. In that piece we talked a little about that organization and its purchase by National Bass Association (NBA) in 1978. There were a lot of unanswered questions about this time in the history of competitive fishing. American Bass Fisherman’s owner, George Oates was being investigated for fraud yet still running events, NBA was organized and purchased the Professional Bass Association and a number of other tournament organizations were coming and going at a rapid pace. It was definitely a time of flux in the industry and many of the anglers who supported these organizations didn’t know if they would still be around for the next month’s tournament that was scheduled. [Read more…]

National Bassman Magazine Covers

National Bassman Magazine Cove

National Bass Association (NBA) was operated by Dewey Yopp from late 1976 through the start of the 1980s. The organization was a spinoff of American Bass Fisherman (ABF) after the owner of that organization, George Oates, was convicted of fraud and rigging tournaments. Yopp was the ABF tournament director until he found out about Oates and decided to start his own organization. NBA competed against B.A.S.S. for top tournament anglers and ended up folding due to the major financial backer pulling out. From February 1977 through July 1979 they produced a well put together magazine called The National Bassman. There are 14 known issues that were printed. Here are the covers for 13 of those issues. Issue Volume 2 – Number 2 is the only issue I am missing. It would cover the gap between April and June 1977 – a three-month gap, which makes me wonder if it was even printed. If you happen to have this or any other issues of The National Bassman and would like to donate them, please contact us at terry@bassfishingarchives.com.

We hope you enjoy looking at these old bass magazine covers.

 

American Bass Fisherman’s Last Hoorah

American Bass Fisherman Billy Westmorland Bass Fishing School ad from the July/August 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

American Bass Fisherman Billy Westmorland Bass Fishing School ad from the July/August 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Scanning my stacks of magazines you never know what you’ll come up with that might be of interest to share. Old ads always provide a good look back at where we’ve been, what mistakes we don’t want to make again and also provide a laugh or two more so than not. So, while scanning the last issue published from the American Bass Fisherman (July/August 1978), I was a little intrigued by the ad that’s the subject of today’s article.

The ad, titled, “American Bass Fisherman presents the Billy Westmorland Fishing School,” caught me by surprise for more than one reason. [Read more…]

Hubert Greene’s Coveralls – 1973 to 1980

Hubert Greene's Coveralls. Courtesy of the Greene family.

Hubert Greene’s Coveralls. Courtesy of the Greene family.

A couple weeks ago we posted part one of this story on Hubert Greene’s coveralls and the many patches it sported. Too many, in fact, to be displayed in one post here. What I failed to mention was not only did Hubert have the patches from his pair of coveralls but also as many or more in a tray that is now located in his son Andy’s office. Therefore as I prepared to write today’s post, I realized that there was no way I would be able to incorporate all of them in what I thought might be the final in a two-part series.

What we have today is part two of what will be a three-parter – this time concentrating on Hubert’s patches from 1973 through 1980. In Part One of this series, most of the patches were from organizations other than B.A.S.S. This time, most of them are from B.A.S.S. with only four out of 26 being from another organization. [Read more…]

Early SoCal – Lake Henshaw

Lake Henshaw article from the February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Lake Henshaw article from the February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Recently I was reading a February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman magazine and was surprised when I saw a couple of articles about the west. What surprised me about them was; 1) ABF – or better known as the American-Florida Bass Fisherman – was based out of Florida, a continent away from the fledgling California bass scene and 2) one of the articles was penned by BFA contributor Bill Rice, while the other was about a pretty obscure reservoir just north of San Diego. This piece is about that reservoir, Lake Henshaw. [Read more…]

American Bass Fisherman 1974

Cover of the February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Cover of the February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

We’ve talked a little about American Bass Fisherman on here before, most recently last week when we talked about a picture of an ABF patch. In that piece we mentioned that the original owner of ABF, George Oates, started the circuit to compete against B.A.S.S., that he got in trouble with the law and in the end John Fox ended up with it before it went bust.

Today we have a little to show you what American Bass Fisherman was like through their February/March 1974 issue. [Read more…]