Twenty Five Years of Baits Named “RC”

Rick Clunn won his fourth Bassmaster Classic on the first baits that sported his initials - The RC1 and RC3 crankbaits by Poe's.

Rick Clunn won his fourth Bassmaster Classic on the first baits that sported his initials – The RC1 and RC3 crankbaits by Poe’s.

Poe’s Lures was founded by Californian Milton Poe in the 1950s. Rick Clunn was born in 1946. It took approximately 40 years for their two legacies to join up on the most public stage in bass fishing, the 1990 Bassmaster Classic on the James River.

Twenty five years after Clunn’s fourth Classic victory, most fishing fans associate his initials with the RC 1.5, a square bill crankbait from Lucky Craft, initially marketed by Bass Pro Shops, which has more recently been renamed. In many respects it spawned the rebirth of square bills in the public’s eye as the first widely-distributed and popularized plastic bait that acted like the traditional balsa lures. For other anglers with slightly longer memories, Clunn’s initials call to mind the Rico topwater popper, one of the first high-end Japanese lures to gain favor on American soil. Before either of them, though, there were the RC 1 and RC 3 crankbaits from Poe’s. [Read more…]

The Bassmaster Classic – 1981 through 1990

In 1981 Stanley Mitchell became the youngest angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

In 1981 Stanley Mitchell became the youngest angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Yesterday we posted the first piece of this look back in Bassmaster Classic history – starting with the very first Classic held on Lake Mead, NV and ending with Classic X on the St. Lawrence River, NY. Today we continue with Classic XI and will move through Classic XX held in 1990.

1981: Bassmaster Classic XI – Lake Montgomery, AL

The second decade of the Bassmaster Classic started off in the hometown of B.A.S.S., Montgomery, AL. Forty-two anglers, including five from the Federation, would vie for the championship, including 21-year-old Stanley Mitchell of Fitzgerald, GA. Mitchell, the youngest angler to compete in Classic XI would not only claim that fact, he’d also become the youngest angler to ever win a Bassmaster Classic. [Read more…]

Know Your Alphabet – The Bagley’s Balsa B

1973 Ad from Jim Bagley's Bait Company.

1973 Ad from Jim Bagley’s Bait Company.

Here’s an interesting look back at one of the all-time great hardbait manufacturers, the Jim Bagley Bait Company. The ads shown here are from 1973, ’76, ’77 and ‘80 and show a pretty good number of the baits they sold during that decade. Missing, of course, is the Bang O Lure and a couple other baits but the important ones are there.

Bagley’s first big claim-to-fame came with their original Balsa B, or Big B as seen in the ad from 1973. The bait was 4-inches long, sported a square bill and excelled in areas where anglers would normally throw a spinnerbait.

Unfortunately, the Big B went out of production when the deep-diving baits of the late 70s and early 80s took hold and the Divin’ B series came out. [Read more…]

More Worms – This Time 1969 Worms

1969 Creme worm ad.

1969 Creme worm ad.

Yesterday we posted a piece about Bill Dance and his book, There He Is – a book solely dedicated to fishing the plastic worm. In light of that, we thought it might be interesting to look back on some early plastic worm ads – in this case ads placed in Bassmaster Magazine in 1969.

In the 1969 issues of Bassmaster, five companies felt it important to place ads in what would eventually become the cornerstone magazine of the industry. These companies – Bagley’s, Burke, Creme, Fliptail and Mann’s – all are still in business except for Burke, which was bought out by Creme. Although Bagley’s is still in business they no longer produce soft plastics and Fliptail was recently brought back to life by the Partee family of Arkansas. [Read more…]