Bobby Murray – The Late ‘60s and Early ‘70s

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late '60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late ’60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

This is a special video. It’s not often you get to see video of the first days of competitive bass fishing – and I mean the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Yeah, there’s coverage on the Bassmaster.com website of the 1971 Classic – and it’s an amazing look back in time – but how many of you have seen video from 1968, 1969 and even 1970? Well, today, thanks to Bobby Murray and Carlisle Tire, we have something special to share with you.

Bobby Murray was kind enough to invite Mike Quinn of Carlisle Tire to his house in Arkansas to talk the old days of competitive bass fishing. During that visit Bobby showed Mike some old 8mm film footage of some early Bassmasterr events. Quinn, with the permission of Murray, had the film digitized and ran it in the Carlisle Tire booth at the Hartwell Classic just a week ago. [Read more…]

Humminbird – Another Tom Mann Invention

1973 Humminbird ad featuring Tom Mann.

1973 Humminbird ad featuring Tom Mann.

I’ve always wanted to write a piece on the history of Humminbird but I haven’t been too successful with the folks at Techsonic. Seems most people forget that Tom Mann was not only the figurehead of the original organization – but one of the guys that started the company those many years ago. I’ve been accumulating old ads in hope of putting together a complete piece on the subject but I’m not sure when or if that will ever happen. So, until I can find someone who wants to talk about the entire history of the famed electronics company, I’m going to take this opportunity to post this short piece on some of the ads I have from the early years of the company.

The first ads are from the 1973 time frame and nearly all feature Tom Mann in one way or fashion. To open up (the lead-in photo) there’s the 1973 ad featuring the Super Speed depth sounder. The ad states that the unit will read “even the smallest targets” at “Speeds up to 55 mph.” The flasher was also touted to be readable with the sun at your back. Incorporated into the ad was the Fisherman’s Prayer and the opportunity to buy the print in a number of different forms. [Read more…]

Tom Mann – More than Jelly Worms

Tom Mann's Research Angler, Spring 1988 issue.

Tom Mann’s Research Angler, Spring 1988 issue.

I’ve always been a fan of Tom Mann and his contributions to the sport. He started what is considered one of the most revered tackle companies in the world and also played a role in the development of Humminbird Electronics (along with Blake Honeycutt). He was also one of the best anglers at the dawn of the competitive bass scene, winning a number of events and always challenging for the Angler of the Year award. He was, like few have been, an icon in the industry.

Mann had written, or had someone else write for him, a number of books on the subject – many of which I have in my collection. But recently I was at Greene’s Boat and Motor in Spindale, NC and got a big surprise as Andy Greene was showing me some of his literature collection. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1970 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Bill Dance and Roland Martin awaiting the 1970 Angler of the Year determination. Photo January/February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bill Dance and Roland Martin awaiting the 1970 Angler of the Year determination. Photo January/February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is part two of the 1970 Bassmaster Season at a Glance. To read part one, click here.]

In the first part of the 1970 Season at a Glance we covered the first three events of the season and also talked a bit about the new rookie on the tour, Roland Martin. Bill Dance had been the tour’s reigning champion since the inception of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society with four Bassmaster wins to his credit between 1968 and ’69 and it was obvious that Martin had placed a target on his head when he came to play in 1970. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Woo Daves wins the 1975 Virginia Invitational at Kerr. Rendering Sept/Oct 1975 Issue of Bassmaster Magazine

Woo Daves wins the 1975 Virginia Invitational at Kerr. Rendering Sept/Oct 1975 Issue of Bassmaster Magazine

This is part two of a three-part series on the 1975 Bassmaster tournament trail. To read part one, click here.

With the season half over anglers were starting to jockey for the 24 spots allocated for the 1975 Bassmaster Classic. Already in the event were Billy Westmorland, Marvin Baker and Dee Thomas for wining the Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas Invitationals respectively.

At this point, Jack Hains had a pretty commanding lead for AOY with 126 points. In second place was Ricky Green with 104 points and Bill Dance brought up the third spot with 99 points.

The difficulty with determining points other than from Bassmaster Magazine is the way the fly-rod only events were counted. It’s difficult to determine from Bassmaster whether or not they gave 15 points to each angler or if the only gave points to 15 anglers – 15 points for 1st, 14 for 2nd and so on. Therefore, points in Part One of this article may be a little scewed. Thankfully Bassmaster lists the top 50 in the AOY points race after the South Carolina Invitational – which will be shown later. [Read more…]

Twig Pigs and Bush Hogs – More Rip Nunnery

Rip Nunnery's record limit from Eufaula in 1969. Photo courtesy of Jon Kuch.

Rip Nunnery’s record limit from Eufaula in 1969. Photo courtesy of Jon Kuch.

It’s amazing what happens when you post something on the internet. What you think people will want to read you get few responses to and what you don’t think many will care about becomes a widely-read item. The former was the case with the story we posted last week about Rip Nunnery.

Rip’s story last week became the most talked about story we’ve posted since the piece we did about Aaron Martens’ first year on the SoCal tourney trail. Numerous emails and Facebook likes to mention.

Then, tonight I talked to an old friend, Jon Kuch, from SoCal who I grew up fishing with. Jon said he had a bunch of Rip’s old baits still in the package and an old pic of Rip, that Rip gave him, from the 1969 Eufaula tournament. He was kind enough to send them on to me to check out and I just had to share them with you. [Read more…]

A Record That Won’t Be Broken

Rip Nunnery gets help hoisting his 15-bass limit from Blake Honeycutt (L), Bill Dance (C) and Ray Scott (R). Photo Fall 1969 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. A signed copy of this picture can be seen at Bob's Fishing Tackle in Norwalk, CA along with the mounted stringer of fish.

Rip Nunnery gets help hoisting his 15-bass limit from Blake Honeycutt (L), Bill Dance (C) and Ray Scott (R). Photo Fall 1969 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. A signed copy of this picture can be seen at Bob’s Fishing Tackle in Norwalk, CA along with the mounted stringer of fish.

[Editor’s Note:  Ken Duke of Bassmaster.com wrote a fantastic article in August 2009 about Rip and his catch. To read his article, “World’s Greatest Fishing Hole,” click here. Also to read a second article on Rip, “Twig Pigs and Bush Hogs,” click here. I’d also like to thank Ken for bringing a couple of things to my attention. First, Rip’s real name is spelled with one ‘s’ (heck I just called him Rip) and two, he passed in 2007, not 2004. Thanks Ken for the heads-up!]

Everyone knows who holds the all-time one-day B.A.S.S. weight record. Dean Rojas, right? Dean had a magical day on Toho back in 2001 and brought five bass to the scales that weighed 45-02. Rojas also held the 4-day weight record (108-12) for a couple years until it was broken in 2007 by Steve Kennedy (122-14) and again by Paul Elias with an absolutely stupid mass of fish that weighed 132-08. Folks, that’s 20 fish that averaged 6.625 pounds each.

Yeah, those records are all cemented in our melons and we can spout them out like Rain Man at any moment we need. But who knows who holds the all-time one-day record for the original 15-fish limit and what it weighed? [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…]

Of Days Gone By – Vertical Jigging Spoons

1969 Hopkins Stainless Steel Lures ad

It’s approaching winter in many parts of the country, and for many bassers, that means it’s time to pull out the heavy metal. I ran across this 1969 ad for Hopkins Spoons the other day, and it got me reminiscing of days gone by. While heavy metal ‘slab’ spoons have made a big comeback in recent years as a deep water structure go-to lure, it’s the larger ‘flutter’ spoons designed to be cast long distances and retrieved with long, sweeping rod strokes getting all the attention. More compact vertical jigging spoons like the Hopkins, Cordell C.C., or the Mann’s Mann-O-Lure, on the other hand, are meant to be dropped straight below the boat, or only slightly pitched off to the side, then snapped repeatedly in a rhythmic pattern. [Read more…]

Bass Master Trail Winners and Records Through 1973

Photo Bass Master Magazine 1973.

In the January/February Issue of Bass Master Magazine was a compiled list of the all-time tournament winners and records up through 1973. It’s a great list that we’re adding to the upper menu bar of the site. In time, as we go through the years, more data will be added. We don’t want to do that right now because there might be some piece of trivia we’ll want to use in future trivia games.

In all, by the end of 1973, B.A.S.S. had held 39 events and gone from a 15-fish one day limit to a 10-fish one day limit. Also, the record for total weight had been broken four times for a 15-fish limit and once for a 10-fish limit. An interesting fact is the first 10-fish limit event that was held, Lake Eufaula, OK in 1970, set that total weight bar and it wouldn’t be broken until 2 1/2 years later at the St. John’s River event. [Read more…]

BASS Records and Winners 1967-1973

Photo Bass Master Magazine 1973.

In the January/February Issue of Bass Master Magazine was a compiled list of the all-time tournament winners and records up through 1973. It’s a great list that we’re adding to the upper menu bar of the site. In time, as we go through the years, more data will be added. We don’t want to do that right now because there might be some piece of trivia we’ll want to use in future trivia games.

In all, by the end of 1973, B.A.S.S. had held 39 events and gone from a 15-fish one day limit to a 10-fish one day limit. Also, the record for total weight had been broken four times for a 15-fish limit and once for a 10-fish limit. An interesting fact is the first 10-fish limit event that was held, Lake Eufaula, OK in 1970, set that total weight bar and it wouldn’t be broken until 2 1/2 years later at the St. John’s River event.

I won’t go too much more into the weeds here because there may be some stats in this table we’d want to use in the future.

Bass Master Tournament Trail Winners and Records
Tournament
Date
Winner
Weight
1. All-American, Beaver Lake, AR
6/6-8/67
Stan Sloan
37-08
2. Dixie Invitational, Smith Lake, AL
10/20-22/67
Gerald Blanchard
42-00
3. Seminole Lunker, Lake Seminole, GA
2/22-24/68
Carl Dyess
39-08
4. Rebel Invitational, Ross Barnett, MS
4/18-20/68
Bill Dance
72-11
5. Eufaula National, Lake Eufaula, AL
6/20-22/68
John Powell
132-00
6. All-American, Sam Rayburn, TX
10/3-5/68
Bill Dance
72-13
7. Dixie Invitational, Smith Lake, AL
11/14-16/68
Bill Dance
48-03
8. Seminole Lunker, Lake Seminole, GA
2/20-22/69
Joe Verbeck
62-09
9. Texas National, Sam Rayburn, TX
4/10-12/69
Harold Hays
105-04
10. Rebel Invitational, Ross Barnett, MS
5/22-24/69
Pete Henson
124-03
11. Eufaula National, Lake Eufaula, AL
6/10-12/69
Blake Honeycutt
138-06(1)(2)
12. All-American, Lake Ouachita, AR
9/25-27/69
Bill Dance
36-04
13. Eufaula Team, Lake Eufaula, AL
11/13-15/69
Bobby Murray (43-10)
Bill Dance (35-14)
Forrest Wood (21-00)
Bob Ponds (19-14)
120-06
14. Toledo Bend Invitational, TX
1/29-31/70
Mike Bono
94-04
15. Seminole Lunker, Lake Seminole, GA
3/19-21/70
Roland Martin
53-14
16. Rebel Invitational, Ross Barnett, MS
4/30 - 5/2/70
Bill Dance
75-12
17. Henshall Memorial, Walter F. George Lake, GA
6/11-13/70
Bill Adair
116-06
18. Oklahoma National, Lake Eufaula, OK(3)
8/5-7/70
John Hadad III
82-15
19. Texas National, Sam Rayburn, TX
9/24-26/70
Bill Dance
62-06
20. All-American, Table Rock, MO
11/12-14/70
Bill Dance
52-06
21. Seminole Lunker, Lake Seminole, GA
3/18-20/71
Tom Mann
62-14
22. Table Rock National, Table Rock, MO
4/29 - 5/1/71
John Powell
59-13
23. Texas National, Sam Rayburn, TX
6/17-19/71
John Powell
61-06
24. All-American, Ross Barnett, MS
9/30 - 10/2/71
Roland Martin
54-13
25. Bass Masters Classic I, Lake Mead, NV
10/20-22/71
Bobby Murray
43-11
26. Florida National, Lake Kissimmee, FL
3/9-11/72
Tom Mann
47-15
27. South Carolina National, Lake Keowee, SC
4/13-15/72
Glin Wells
28-10
28. Arkansas National, Lake Ouachita, AR
5/18-20/72
Bobby Murray
48-06
29. Tennessee National, Watts Bar, TN
6/22-24/72
Roland Martin
37-06
30. Rebel Invitational, Ross Barnett, MS
8/24-26/72
Ricky Green
44-03
31. All-Americcan, Lake Eufaula, OK
9/28-30/72
Roland Martin
62-13
32. Bass Masters Classic II, Percy Priest, TN
10/25-27/72
Don Butler
38-11
33. Florida Invitational, St John's River, FL(5)
2/7-9/73
Larry Hill
108-02(4)
34. Arkansas Invitational, Beaver Lake, ARDon Butler
56-14
35. Rebel Invitational, Ross Barnett, MS
4/4-6/73
Roland Martin
72-07
36. Seminole Lunker, Lake Seminole, GA
4/2-4/73
Roland Martin
54-14
37. Carolina Invitational, Lake Keowee, SC
5/30 - 6/1/73
Junior Collis
23-15
38. All-American, Watts Bar, TN
9/26-28/73
Roland Martin
21-06(6)
39. Bass Masters Classic III, Clark Hill, SC
10/24-26/73
Rayo Breckenridge
52-08

Notes:

  • (1) The all-time record for total weight in a 15-fish per day tournament. Blake Honeycutt (34 fish weighed).
  • (2) The all-time record for one-day 15-fish limit. Rip Nunnery (98-15).
  • (3) First 10-fish daily limit tournament.
  • (4) B.A.S.S.’s record for total weight in a 10-fish per day tournament. Larry Hill (29 fish weighed).
  • (5) All-time biggest bass weighed in a Bass Master Tournament. Bob Tyndall (12-13).
  • (6) All-time smallest weight to win a Bass Master tournament. Roland Martin (21-06).