Let’s Look Back – Tackle Industry Friends Part 2

When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves.  The late Bill Norman was a friend of mine.  I learned a good bit about his baits on the fishing trips I made with him. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves. The late Bill Norman was a friend of mine. I learned a good bit about his baits on the fishing trips I made with him. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I miss those days. If you’ve been around as long as I have, I expect you do too.

What days am I talking about? I miss those days when if you had a question about a specific item of fishing tackle you could usually go right to the guy who had his name on it to get the answers. Even if he didn’t actually have his name on it, it wasn’t hard to find out who he was.

I didn’t, of course, have a chance to meet all of them back there 69 years ago when I first started writing but by golly I did get to meet quite a few. I’m talking about guys like Bill Norman, Cotton Cordell, Dick Kotis, Jim Bagley, Gary Loomis, Tex Reeder, Phil Jensen and a number of others.

One of the lure manufacturers I’ve always wished I’d had opportunity to meet was Fred Arbogast. That didn’t happen because Fred was already producing the first of his famous to be line of bass lures about the time I came into the world away back in 1923. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: The 1976 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Bassmaster Tournament Trail advertisement from 1976. March/April Bassmaster Magazine.

Bassmaster Tournament Trail advertisement from 1976. March/April Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s note: This is Part One of a three-part series on the 1976 Bassmaster tournament trail. Part One will cover the first half of the season, Part Two will cover the second half and Part Three will cover the 1976 Bassmaster Classic. Also to be included are the 1976 Federation Championship and a look into the Classic contenders.]

The announcement of the 1976 Bassmaster Tournament Trail was given first in the November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine and was touted as being the biggest ever with over $400,000 in prizes – the biggest payout in B.A.S.S. history. To start out, there would be six qualifying tournaments that would feature $50,000 in prizes and money paid out plus another $50,000 dedicated to the Federation and another $50,000 towards the year-end Bassmaster Classic. Extra money would be put towards the Bass Research Foundation to take to 1976 total over the $400K mark. [Read more…]

A Picture and a Joke on Bo

Some of the Classic I contestants. Photo courtesy of Harold Sharp.

This may qualify as an interesting photo. Ray Scott invited all the first Classic contestants and three outdoor writers who were there to the 1995 Classic for a reunion. It was a great time to see all those faces again.

Looking at this picture, though, reminded me of a good story. As you know, each of the anglers at the early Classics were restricted by the weight of tackle they could bring. We made a huge deal of it by having a weigh-in for their tackle and if an angler was over in weight, Ray and I got to pick out anything we wanted until their tackle box made the weight limit. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1974 BASS Master Trail – Part Three

Anglers and fans gather at one of the Classic IV weigh-ins located at Joe Wheeler State Park. Photo February 1975 Issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Editor’s Note: This is the third part in a three-part series on the 1974 BASS Master Trail. Part one covered the first three tournaments of the season, while part two covered the three events. This part will cover the 1974 Classic. To read part one, click here and to read part two, click here.

 

The 1974 Bass Master season would end with 29 of the country’s best anglers vying for the coveted BASS Master Classic title. The Classic IV location would be another mystery-lake event, where anglers wouldn’t know the destination until they stepped on the plane. This time, the lake would be Wheeler Lake in Alabama, a short distance away from B.A.S.S. Headquarters in Montgomery. [Read more…]

1974 Bass Master Classic Preview – The Anglers

Before we go through the highlights of the ’74 Classic, I thought it would be good to introduce the anglers who made the Classic. In the February ’75 issue of Bassmaster Magazine, as was done in the January/February issue of ’74, B.A.S.S. not only gave the Classic report, the magazine also dedicated a substantial number of pages to the Classic qualifiers with respect to their bios. We’re going to go through these bios and touch on the anglers’ accomplishments up to this point in time. No byline was given but I assume it was Bob Cobb who penned the piece.

In this series of biographies, the anglers were asked two primary questions. The first question was, “how they tackle a new body of water,” and the second was, “what they thought of the new oxygen meters that were being sold.” We’ll go through the answers they provided to these questions along with giving a little more of their histories at this time. All photos from the February 1975 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1974 BASS Master Trail – Part Two

Al Lindner winner of the 1974 Tennessee Invitational on Watts Bar. Photo Bassmaster Magazine July/August 1974.

Editor’s Note: In Part One of the 1974 Tournament Trail, there was an error at the end piece where we posted the top-30 anglers for the AOY race after three events. The table that was inadvertently put there was actually the AOY standings after two events – not three. The table has been corrected and now reflects the standings after three events.

In part one of this series we went through the first three events of the ’74 BASS Master tournament season. In this installment, we’ll go through the final three events and also present the anglers who qualified for the 1974 Classic. To read part one click here. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1974 BASS Master Trail – Part One

Billy Westmorland hols his trophy from the 1974 BASS Master Florida Invitational held on the St. Johns River. Photo 1974 BASS Master Magazine May/June Issue.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1974 Bass Master Tournament trail. Part One will cover the first half of the season, Part Two will cover the second half and Part Three will cover the 1974 Bass Master Classic.

By the beginning of 1974 Ray Scott and gang had been conducting tournaments for seven years. In that time they’d held 39 national events, including three Classics, and had made household names out of anglers such as Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Bobby Murray – to name only a few.

The ’73 season started off with a record-breaking event at the St. Johns River in Florida. In order to capitalize on that momentum, the first event of the ’74 season would also be held on that now-famed waterway – in hopes of breaking more records. The list below shows the ’74 schedule as revealed in the January/February issue of BASS Master Magazine. [Read more…]