B.A.S.S.: More Than a Tournament Organization Part Two

Permission Ray Scott

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a two-part series on what B.A.S.S. stood for in the early days of the organization. In this part, Ray Scott talks about what he did to help fight pollution and bring safer boating to the industry. To read part one, click here.

Over the course of the last six months we’ve talked a lot about B.A.S.S. and the events held in the early 70s. We’ve also delved a little bit into the rules that Ray Scott implemented in his tournaments along with the horsepower race. What we haven’t really touched on, though, is what it meant to be a part of B.A.S.S. (with the periods and all their glory) and why everyone displayed, with pride, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s sticker and patch. [Read more…]

The Willoughby – Or is that Will-not-oughby?

Willoughby ad from the March/April 1975 Issue of Bass Master Magazine.

The cover of the March/April 1975 Bass Master has a picture of what I thought was just an old antique reel. Kind of a fly reel-looking sort of deal. I figured, “Eh, Bass Master has an article on old antique fishing gear this issue. Cool.”

As I flipped through the magazine and landed on page 20, though, I realized this was no antique tackle article, it was about some guy trying to bring back to life an antique reel – namely the Willoughby.

Okay, I’m all for collecting and/or fishing antique gear. It’s fun and gives you an idea of what the people – a long time before me – had to deal with when they went fishing. For example I have some old Garcia 301s (not really that old) that are fun to pull out every now and then and some old Plfuegar direct-drive knuckle busters with cat-gut line on them that make me feel for anglers of the past. Do I seriously fish with them? No.

Anyway, the article is about bringing back this archaic reel because it retrieves line faster than any casting reel of the time – 20 inches per turn of the handle as opposed to 16 inches by an ABU 5000-series reel. [Read more…]

The Bass Boat Control Panel – Old School Style

Control Center for boat 1973 Bass Fishing Annual Bass Master Magazine.

Anglers today are beyond spoiled when it comes to the boats we fish out of. Full decks console-to-bow / stern-to-console, enough dry storage to handle a tackle shop’s worth of gear and more gadgets than Ron Popeil has ever dreamed of inventing. No longer do we have to worry about going home, taking every crankbait, spinnerbait, hook and sinker out of our box so they can dry after fishing in the rain all day. We don’t have to think how far away from the rear transducer we are in order to stay on a spot because our front and rear finders are linked together. And if we want to stop and fish a spot in the shallows all we have to do is hit a button and down go two poles to hold our position.

Boy things have changed over the years.

Although there have been major strides in the manufacture of bass boats, the biggest advances (are they really?) in bass fishing have been in the line of the gadgets we use. And speaking of these gadgets, anglers today (especially those who didn’t bass fish in the 60s through 80s) take for granted all the gizmos they have on their boats – thinking that they, “can’t catch fish without them.” [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – The Start of a Beautiful Friendship

Photo courtesy of www.kevinvandam.com

A Kevin VanDam victory is hardly an anomaly of the “man bites dog” variety. He’s earned 20 of them with BASS over the past two-plus decades, so the fourth of them, in the 1997 Virginia Invitational at Buggs Island, might seem unremarkable.

Indeed, it was a classic form of KVD domination. With 41-15, he outlasted second place finisher Wesley Kemper by an even 10 pounds. No one else even cracked the 30 pound mark, and the also-rans included a who’s-who of tour-level pros and top local sticks.

To earn the victory, though, Kevin would have to cross paths with one of his future nemeses.

Do you remember what happened? [Read more…]

Old Boat Ads – Bass Cat

Bass Cat’s first full-page ad in Bass Master Magazine. Photo Nov/Dec Issue of Bass Master Magazine.

I have a soft spot in my heart for old bass boats. When I was young I wanted a Terry for obvious reasons. Over the course of time my family or I have owned a number of different boats – Sea Nymph, MonArk, Champion and Skeeter. All were great rides, fished well and – except for the Sea Nymph – were reasonably fast in their day.

Going through a 1975 vintage Bass Master Magazine the other day, though, I ran across an add for the boat company I’ve been running the last 7 years – Bass Cat.

The ad shows an old “tub-style” boat common for that era and also a more aggressive pad-style boat. It also shows Tommy Martin, Jerry Crowell and Basil Bacon, anglers that were staffed by Bass Cat at the time and all three 1974 Champions. Pretty impressive. [Read more…]

Expressions from the Past – Bob Cobb

Bassmaster’s first Editor, Bob Cobb. Photo courtesy of BassMaster magazine.

I was reading in the 1972 July-August issue of Bassmaster magazine over the weekend and something caught my eye. Bassmaster used to print a section titled, “Along the Tournament Trail,” which was essentially the latest tournament reports, penned by Bassmaster legend Bob Cobb.

[Read more…]