Bass Fishing 1961

Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Anglers Guide.

Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Anglers Guide.

Bass-specific magazines didn’t come around until the Spring 1968 issue of Bassmaster hit B.A.S.S. members’ mailboxes. Prior to that, bass anglers had to wade through the outdoors magazines of the time in order to get their fix of bass fishing information. Having a good number of vintage outdoors magazines, it was mostly famine rather than feast when it came to learning out to catch bass from periodicals.

One publication that was first published in 1961 did provide a lot of information on the five Ws of bass fishing – the Who, What, Where, Why and When. That publication, and we’ve mentioned it here a number of times, was Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler and Hunters Guide. I’m still trying to figure out exactly who Fuelsch was, that’ll be another story in time, but I can say this with confidence, he put together one of the most complete compilations of fishing information I’ve seen. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Bill Dance wins his second Bassmaster AOY title in 1977. Photo 1978 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bill Dance wins his second Bassmaster AOY title in 1977. Photo 1978 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a five-part series on the 1977 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part One covered the first half of the regular season, Part Three will cover the BASS Chapter Federation Nationals, Part Four the Classic Qualifiers and Part Five the Bassmaster Classic. This part will cover the second half of the regular season.]

With the first half of the 1977 season in the books, Bill Dance had a commanding lead in the Angler of the Year points race, 59 points ahead of second-place angler Steve Goodwin. Also among the top 10 were Bassmaster stalwarts Roger Moore (3rd), Jimmy Houston (4th), Al Lindner (5th), Paul Chamblee (7th), Jack Hains (8th), Bill Ward (9th) and Larry Nixon (10th).

Relative newcomer and all-around top money winner for 1977 Dave Gliebe sat in the 11th position while veteram Ricky Green took up the 17th spot. On the bubble were two anglers you would expect more out of, Rick Clunn (22nd) and Roland Martin (23rd). Would they be able to make a charge in the second half of the season and qualify for the Bassmaster Classic? We’d have to wait and see. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance – The 1976 Bassmaster Classic Contenders

in 1976 Jimmy Houston wold win the Bassmaster AOY award in only his second full-time year on the Trail.  Photo 1976 Sept/Oct issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

in 1976 Jimmy Houston wold win the Bassmaster AOY award in only his second full-time year on the Trail. Photo 1976 Sept/Oct issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story on the 1975 Bassmaster Trail season. To read part one of the 1976 Season at a Glance click here, to read part two click here and to read about the Federation National event click here.]

The 1976 Bassmaster Classic and its contenders have a lot of interesting history packed into it. For one, there were four 5-time Classic contenders, one 4-time contenders, five 3-time contenders and seven 2-time contenders. To say the field was stacked would be an understatement. That’s 17 out of 25 anglers, or 68% of the 1976 Classic contenders had Classic experience.

As amazing it was for so many past-Classic anglers to qualify, it was just as amazing who didn’t qualify. For example, Roland Martin, who’d made every (5) Classic since its inception, missed qualification by 6 points and finished in the 26th spot. The other 5-time qualifier who didn’t make it was Tom Mann who finished in 38th place. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance – 1976 Bassmaster Federation Chapter Championship

Photo January 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo January 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the third story about the 1976 Bassmaster season and covers the 1976 Bassmaster Federation Championship. To read Part One of the story click here and to read Part Two, click here. The next story featuring the 1976 season will be about the Classic Qualifiers and then we’ll end with the Bassmaster Classic.]

1976 would mark the fourth year that Federation anglers from all over the U.S. would get an opportunity to fish the Bassmaster Classic. First, though, they’d have to qualify via state qualifiers and championships in order to be invited as six-man teams to the Federation Chapter Championship. It’s not an easy row to hoe.

In 1973 Ray Scott held the first state team championship event where Chapters from throughout the U.S. would compete to decide the best state in the union. What he didn’t tell the anglers at the time was he was going to give a Classic berth to the best individual angler at that event. [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…]

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…]

The B.A.S.S. Federation – The 1974 Nationals

1974 BASS Chapter Championship winning team – Missouri. Pictured (L-R) Evon Austin, Charlie Campbell, John Haley, Gary Wilkerson, Bud Bartold and Bill Clements. Photo Sept/Oct 1974 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bass clubs nationwide were joining the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society at a fevered pace and by 1973, Ray Scott and crew decided it was time to up the anti for these weekend warriors. In ’73, the first B.A.S.S. Chapter Championship was held to determine the best state team in the nation but that wasn’t all. Scott had decided just prior to the event, that the top individual finisher at the Championship would be invited to the Super Bowl of bass fishing – the Bass Master Classic.

That first year, 20 state teams from as far away as California met to compete at Pickwick Reservoir in Alabama. After the dust had settled, the Tennessee Chapter Team won the honors, beating Missouri by over 20 pounds. [Read more…]

The 1982 U.S. Open: Now a National Championship Event – Part One

The cover of the 1982 U.S. Open Press Guide and Souvenir Program.

Editor’s Note: The success of the 1981 U.S. Open put the Western Bass Fishing Association on the competitive bass fishing map. Because of this, the 1982 Open would field 262 contestants, many of which were household names around the U.S. – it wasn’t just some western fly-by-night event anymore. In part one of this story, we’ll look at the history and introduce the anglers that participated in the ’82 Open. In part two we’ll take a look at the event and the top finishers. In part three we’ll look at how the event was won and talk with the winner, Rich Tauber, to hear what an effect the win had on his career.

 

The first U.S. Open held in 1981 was a pie-in the-sky dream thought up by new Western Bass Fishing Association owner Rich Schultz. It was his hope, along with those who worked for WBFA, to draw at least 60 top-tier anglers to an event that would award the highest payout in professional bass fishing history -$50,000. What happened was a far cry from their dream. [Read more…]