Revisiting Lake Havasu – 1985

Rick in the Champions jacket, awaiting the signing of the check. photo by Rodney Boyd/FLW Outdoors.

Rick in the Champions jacket, awaiting the signing of the check. photo by Rodney Boyd/Operation Bass.

When the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers take off Thursday morning on Day 1 of the second arm of their Western series swing, this time on Lake Havasu, there will likely be some strong memories for several of the anglers. One of those will certainly be Rick Clunn. It was 30 years ago when Rick won the RedMan All-American, and the resulting $100,000 prize, his first such six-figure check. Back then, even the Bassmaster Classic only paid $50,000.

The magazine of Operation Bass at the time was called CAST Magazine, and they covered this event in their January/February 1986 issue at great length. Anglers took off each day from under the London Bridge – THE London Bridge from childhood song. The story of the bridge itself is rather fascinating. According to a Lake Havasu tourism website; [Read more…]

The Bassmaster Classic – 1991 through 2000

Ken Cook hoists the 1991 Classic trophy for winning at the Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Ken Cook hoists the 1991 Classic trophy for winning at the Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

By 1991 the Bassmaster Classic had become the event anglers aspired to win – weekend warriors through tour-level pros. The event had grown from a small gathering of anglers and media huddled together at the ramp in 1971 at Lake Mead, NV to sold-out stadiums in 1990. Although the event was centered around the anglers who qualified and the eventual winner, it grew into what we now know as Classic week filled with fan days, media events and one of if not the biggest public tackle shows in the world. [Read more…]

Red Man – 1985 Championship

Shaw Grigsby holds the 1984 Red Man All-American trophy.

Shaw Grigsby Jr. holds the 1984 Red Man All-American trophy.

I was scanning through  a 1985 Today’s Fisherman magazine, a western publication that reported on tournament results and saltwater angling, among other things, and came across this short tournament report. It was the results of the 1985 Red Man All-American Championship held on Lake Havasu, AZ.

Interestingly enough this was the event that Pete  wrote about in this week’s trivia contest that Rick Clunn won and Orlando Wilson complained about. Clunn beat out fellow competitor Danny Walden of Mississippi by 9 ounces to take the championship and its $100,000 top prize. Also in the mix was B.A.S.S. pro Carl Maxfield, although Maxfield didn’t make his splash on the Bassmaster Tour until the early ’90s. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Missing Persons Answer and Winner (June 24, 2013)

David Wharton. Photo

David Wharton. Photo

Congratulations to Greg Driskell for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For his efforts he won a $25 GYCB e-coupon good for anything on the Yamamoto website. For the answer, please read below.

David Wharton’s win at the 2003 Bassmaster Tour event on Toledo Bend marked the fourth and final victory of his B.A.S.S. career. Sixteen years earlier he’d won a Texas Invitational on his home lake, Sam Rayburn, and he’d notched two subsequent victories on South Carolina’s Lake Murray, before earning this final trophy close to home – even though the 2003 event went out of Louisiana, the big border lake is essentially a sister lake to Rayburn, only about an hour from his home near the banks of Big Sam.

Wharton attributed his victory not only to his general angling skills, but also to his experience on the Bend: “What a lot of people don’t realize is how long I’ve fished Toledo Bend,” he told BassFan shortly thereafter, noting that he’d been “fishing the lake since it was created in the late ’60s. I’ve caught a lot of fish out of that lake. I’ve fished it plenty in rising-water situations so that probably helped me more than anything. Even though I’d never fished in La Nana Creek, I knew what to expect when the water started coming up.” [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Humble Beginnings Answer and Winner


Congrats to Jack M for giving the correct answer to the trivia contest this week!  Read below for the answer.

The May 1994 North Carolina Bassmaster Top 100 on Lake Norman marked the lone win in Mike Bingham’s B.A.S.S. career. It didn’t come easily to the Jackson, Mississippi pro, either. He’d been financing his fishing career by working as a mussel diver on Kentucky Lake, and had sold his boat earlier in the year when he’d determined that professional angling was a dead end. With a sudden change of heart, he got a boat at the last minute for Norman. According to Bassmaster, he’d planned to camp for the tournament but ended up rooming with a charitable Shaw Grigsby. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Untying the Knot

The 1999 Alabama Eastern Invitational held on Lake Martin in early December of 1999 was a stingy affair. It took less than 5 pounds a day to earn a check and winner Rufus Johnson didn’t even end up with 30 pounds.

His victory is significant. Can you guess why?

Sure it was his sole victory with BASS, but it’s his one pound, five ounce margin of victory that really makes this derby meaningful. [Read more…]