Season at a Glance: 1976 Bassmaster Tour – Part Two

JImmy Houston would win the Bassmaster AOY in only his second year as a full-time pro.

JImmy Houston would win the Bassmaster AOY in only his second year as a full-time pro. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a three-part series on the 1976 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To read Part One click here.]

By the halfway point of the ’76 season, there had been two rookies win events, Jimmy Houston had secured his first Bassmaster win and Roland Martin and Tom Mann were out of the AOY hunt for the first time since its inception.

The Bassmaster AOY race was headed by two-year pro Jimmy Houston with Bill Dance in a close second. Tommy Martin, Don Mann and Roger Moore rounded out the top 5.

The second half of the season would take the anglers to two familiar waters, Buggs Island and Bull Shoals, along with a body of water B.A.S.S. had never ventured to before, Cordell Hull in Tennessee. In the July/August 1976 issue of Bassmaster Magazine, Bob Burnette wrote a piece about Hull – a newly impounded reservoir in the central part of the state. The lake had only been formed four years prior, was riverine and offered nearly 400 miles of shoreline. It was formed by the Cumberland River and the Obey River directly below famed Dale Hollow. This event should be about as even a playing field as any in the past since the inception of B.A.S.S. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Three Questions about Fritts (April 29, 2013)



Back in the early 1990s, they called it the “Fritts Blitz.”

When Lexington, N.C. pro David Fritts got on a roll, he was virtually unstoppable. It seemed that back then the typical tour-level schedules were more amenable to a crankbait bite, and of course that was right in his wheelhouse.

Between 1990 and 1994, he earned four wins in B.A.S.S competition – two on Buggs Island (Kerr Reservoir), one at the 1993 Bassmaster Classic (Logan Martin) and another regular season trophy at Lake Seminole.

The first of those wins, at Buggs, came a week after he finished second on the Potomac River. The first question relates his first win. [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…]

Monday Trivia – Name That Angler Answer and Winner

A young 13-year-old Randy Howell.

A young 13-year-old Randy Howell. Photo Robin Howell.

Congratulations to JWM for correctly answering this week’s trivia contest! Although we didn’t expect it, he even got the sponsorship question right! Even Randy’s wife didn’t think anyone would get that answer! Great job JWM. For the complete answer and a little history on Randy Howell, read below.

Look carefully at the picture above. The angler in question has experienced success on both the B.A.S.S. and FLW Tours. In order to win, you’ll need to answer the following three questions:

1)      Who is the angler seen in the picture?

2)      What popular tournament lake was his home base as a teenager?

3)      What company was his first title sponsor?

We recognize that Question #3 is a tough one, so if no one answers it correctly by the time the contest closes, we’ll award the prize to the first participant who answered #1 and #2 correctly. [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…]

Breaking Though – Randy Blaukat

Photo FLW Outdoors

“Breaking Through” will be an occasional series on BFA in which long-time professional bass anglers recount the details of their first major win – how they accomplished the victory and how it impacted their careers. Missouri pro Randy Blaukat is our first featured angler.


By the time October of 1989 rolled around, Randy Blaukat was just shy of his 28th birthday. He’d fished 33 B.A.S.S. events, including the 1986 Bassmaster Classic on the Tennessee River out of Chattanooga. He had not yet tasted victory, and in fact only had one Top Ten finish to his credit, a 7th place finish at the 1987 Alabama Invitational on Lake Guntersville.

There was no reason to favor Blaukat at Buggs Island (a 40,000 acre lake on the Virginia/North Carolina border, also known as Kerr Reservoir). “I’d never been there before,” he recalled recently. “When I got there, the water was up in the bushes but it was falling pretty hard. I could catch some fish on the lower end of the lake fishing willow trees, but it was getting tougher and tougher. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – The Start of a Beautiful Friendship

Photo courtesy of

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…]