Bassmaster Angler of the Year Clarification

Bill Dance (front center) and Roland Martin (front left) await the final tally for the 1970 Table Rock event. The results would not only decide the winner of the Table Rock tournament but also the first Bass Master Angler of the Year winner. Photo Bass Master Magazine Jan/Feb 1971.

In the article, “Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part One,” there was a little confusion as to the AOY and Classic titles. Harold Sharp was kind enough to direct me to the article that defined the AOY.

In the Jan/Feb 1971 issue of Bass Master Magazine, Bob Cobb penned the column Tournament Trail, recalling the last two events of the 1970 season. In this article,Cobb says referring to the last event at Table Rock, “Bill Dance, the all-time B.A.S.S. awards leader, faced a showdown with Roland Martin for the ‘Bass Angler-of-the-Year Honors.’ A victory would give either the point championship.” [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

John Powell hefts a 40-pound Sam Rayburn string that took him to his second win in a row. Photo Bassmaster Magazine Sept/Oct 1971.

This is part two of a three-part series on the 1971 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To read part one, click here.

A brief look at the standings from the first two events, as shown in part one of this article, reveals what could possibly be a significant omission – Bill Dance, the 1970 Angler of the Year winner and the guy who’d won more B.A.S.S. events and money than any other angler – is absent from the standings. This is significant because tournament fans all over at the time were looking for another Dance, Mann and Martin showdown. Unfortunately for Dance, and possibly fortunate for Roland Martin, he had just started his famed fishing show, “Bill Dance Outdoors,” and would not make any of the events slated during the ’71 season. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Tom Mann wins the first event of 1971 at Lake Seminole just edging out Roland Martin. Photo Bassmaster Magazine May/June 1971.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1971 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Because some information in the Nov/Dec Issue of Bass Master Magazine was a little fuzzy, retired Bassmaster Weigh-master Harold Sharp was consulted to clear things up.

The 1971 Bassmaster season or as they used to call it, “The Society’s Tournament Trail,” became the second-such season where an angler would be recognized for consistency throughout the year. Many know Bill Dance was the first angler to win the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) award in 1970. The interesting thing in this report is the title, as called out in the 1971 Nov/Dec issue of Bassmaster Magazine, was referred to as the Point Scoring Crown. More on this later. [Read more…]