Zorro 1977

1977 Zorro Ad.

1977 Zorro Ad.

Stan Sloan will forever hold the distinction of being the first angler to win a Ray Scott event – winning the first All-American held on Beaver Lake in 1967. Sloan could also claim another first, that being the man who designed the built the bait that won the first Bassmaster Classic in 1971 at Lake Mead, NV. Over the course of his professional bass fishing career, Sloan never fished a full year on the Bassmaster Trail. The closest he came to that was the 1973 season where he fished five events. Most years he only fished two or three events, yet he made the Classic the first five years in a row.

Aside from being one of the top anglers in the early history of competitive bass fishing, Sloan was also a corrections officer, but more importantly, he was a superb bait maker. His Zorro Aggravator spinnerbaits were some of the most-used spinnerbaits of the time – winning numerous events in the early years. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bull Shoals Lake Events (Answers and Winner; March 2, 2015)

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

We had two guesses this week, and both were correct. However, the first to reply wins, so congrats to JKarbo214 for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. To winning answers appear at the end of this post.

Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas is one of the more famous Ozark impoundments, and B.A.S.S. has stopped there over half a dozen times throughout its history. This week’s trivia question will deal with some of that history surrounding this famous lake. In order to win this week’s contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to answer the following three questions correctly. Good luck! [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bull Shoals Lake Events

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Rick Garlough discusses his win at Bull Shoals as Ray Scott presents his trophy. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas is one of the more famous Ozark impoundments, and B.A.S.S. has stopped there over half a dozen times throughout its history. This week’s trivia question will deal with some of that history surrounding this famous lake. In order to win this week’s contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to answer the following three questions correctly. Good luck! [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Last Class from the West Answer and Winner (February 9, 2015)

The July-August 2002 cover of Bass West magazine showing the four anglers who made the Bassmaster Classic from the Western Opens. Back row from left to right are Mike O'Shea and Aaron Martens. Kneeling in front are Luke Clausen and Jack Gadlage.

The July-August 2002 cover of Bass West magazine showing the four anglers who made the Bassmaster Classic from the Western Opens. Back row from left to right are Mike O’Shea and Aaron Martens. Kneeling in front are Luke Clausen and Jack Gadlage.

Congrats to Andy Williamson for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! JKarbow also had the right answers but came in a little late on time. For the answers, please read below. 

As we prepare for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic this month, it’s easy to overlook how the landscape for professional anglers from the western United States has changed over the past few decades. The full-time pros in this year’s Classic field include Brett Hite (Arizona), Jared Lintner (California), Justin Lucas (Alabama, but originally from California), Aaron Martens (same as Lucas), James Niggemeyer (Texas, but originally from California), Brandon Palaniuk (Idaho), Clifford Pirch (Arizona), Dean Rojas (California) and Skeet Reese (California). While Brian Snowden is typically associated with the Ozarks region, he too cut his bass-fishing teeth in California. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Last Class from the West (February 9, 2015)

Bass West cover from the July-August 2002 issue.

Bass West cover from the July-August 2002 issue.

As we prepare for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic this month, it’s easy to overlook how the landscape for professional anglers from the western United States has changed over the past few decades. The full-time pros in this year’s Classic field include Brett Hite (Arizona), Jared Lintner (California), Justin Lucas (Alabama, but originally from California), Aaron Martens (same as Lucas), James Niggemeyer (Texas, but originally from California), Brandon Palaniuk (Idaho), Clifford Pirch (Arizona), Dean Rojas (California) and Skeet Reese (California). While Brian Snowden is typically associated with the Ozarks region, he too cut his bass-fishing teeth in California.

In the past, most western pros who wanted to make a run at the mostly-southeastern Bassmaster Tour moved to the east, like Gary Klein and Jay Yelas. There were a few holdouts, like Rich Tauber, Dave Gliebe, and Mike Folkestad, but they never approached the numbers that compete on the tours today. [Read more…]

Doodle Socking 1961

Doodle Socking for Bass by Don Fuelsch. Don Fuelsch's 1961 Southern Angler's Guide.

Doodle Socking for Bass by Don Fuelsch. Don Fuelsch’s 1961 Southern Angler’s Guide page 2.

The controversy and allegations that flipping were just forms of doodle socking have been around since Dee Thomas won the 1975 Arkansas Invitational on Bull Shoals Lake. The short-line may have looked like doodle socking to the untrained eye but it was more of a system than doodle socking ever dreamed of being.

The interesting fact of the matter is that Thomas, who invented his technique, was a died-in-the-wool doodle-socker until his tournament competition made him move from his 12-foot Lew’s Hawg Hauler rods to something shorter. It was this, maybe, unwanted rule change that led him to develop one of the most widely used techniques in bass fishing history. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Quit While You’re Ahead? Answer and Winner (Sept 29, 2014)

Robert Byrd weighs a stout fish in his only Bassmaster win in 1989. Photo July/August 1989 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Gerald Crawford.

Robert Byrd weighs a stout fish in his only Bassmaster win in 1989. Photo July/August 1989 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Gerald Crawford.

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Duke Jenkle made a good effort and got 2 of 3 answers right. For the answer, please read below.

Twenty five years ago, professional bass fishing was well-enough established that there were full-time pros and those who aspired to be like them. But for one week in May of 1989 Robert Byrd made it look easy to come from nowhere and beat the best of the best. Well, it wasn’t quite out of nowhere. The 52 year-old Texas guide had a substantial knowledge base, but it was nevertheless impressive that he won the first B.A.S.S. event he entered, the Alabama Invitational on Lake Guntersville. Byrd caught 60 pounds 7 ounces of Guntersville bass over three days to beat runner-up Charlie Reed by over 6 pounds. The money line (50th place out of 325 contestants) was 37-07. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Delta, Delta, Delta (and Delta) Answer and Winner (July 7, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to K Brown for winning this week’s Monday trivia  contest!  For the answers, please read below.

By the time he finished his B.A.S.S. career in 2005, Robert Lee, AKA “The General,” had won three Invitationals and a tour event with the senior circuit – all of them on the California Delta. The first of the three, in 1997, produced the lowest winning weight (51 pounds even). Nevertheless, a win is a win, and the competition was fierce in the 277-angler field. Not only did he beat a huge number of talented western pros, but the top 12 featured once-and-future national stars including Mark Tyler, Dee Thomas, Bobby Barrack, Greg Hines and Dean Rojas.

Not only was it Lee’s first B.A.S.S. win, but it was the first B.A.S.S. win for anyone in the state of California. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Delta, Delta, Delta (and Delta)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

By the time he finished his B.A.S.S. career in 2005, Robert Lee, AKA “The General,” had won three Invitationals and a tour event with the senior circuit – all of them on the California Delta. The first of the three, in 1997, produced the lowest winning weight (51 pounds even). Nevertheless, a win is a win, and the competition was fierce in the 277-angler field. Not only did he beat a huge number of talented western pros, but the top 12 featured once-and-future national stars including Mark Tyler, Dee Thomas, Bobby Barrack, Greg Hines and Dean Rojas.

Not only was it Lee’s first B.A.S.S. win, it was the first B.A.S.S. win for anyone in the state of California. [Read more…]

West vs. East

Western Legend Don Iovino graces the cover of the 1995 September/October issue of Bass West Magazine. 1995 was the first year of publication and this was Volume 1 Number 4.

Western Legend Don Iovino graces the cover of the 1995 September/October issue of Bass West Magazine. 1995 was the first year of publication and this was Volume 1 Number 4.

There’s always been a rivalry between the Western U.S. and the Eastern U.S. when it comes to bass fishing. It’s just a plain hard fact of the sport. Having grown up in the Western U.S. and lived there for nearly 50 years, I experienced it firsthand. It was like nothing “bass fishing” existed east of Oklahoma. Yeah, there were the freak fish caught by David Zimmerlee and Ray Easley in 1973 and 1981 and there was Dee Thomas, Gary Klein and Dave Gliebe who ventured back to the cradle of bass fishing and made names for themselves – but they too were freaks of sort – making an imprint on the scene with heavy line and big rods.

Talk to anyone in the East between the late 1970s and 1990s about Western bass fishing and I’m sure they would say one of two things: 1) They have bass in the West? or 2) They fish with sissy rods and 6-pound line. [Read more…]

The Whole Flippin’ Story

The Whole Flippin' Story as written in Fenwick's 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 1 of 5.

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 1 of 5.

I will readily admit, I am a Dee Thomas groupie. I give all the credit to him for the flipping technique and concept, amidst the hate mails I get from others who say he didn’t invent it. I’ve taken a lot of time on this site to write pieces pertaining to the subject because I feel the whole story, although it’s been written and told over the years, hasn’t been told in a long time and needs to be consolidated in one place – preferably here at the Bass Fishing Archives.

On this site you’ve undoubtedly seen and hopefully read; Controlled Structure Fishing, Flippin’: A Concept 1, Flippin’: A Concept 2, Flippin’: A Concept 3, The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik 1 and The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik 2. As I said, we’ve devoted a lot of space here to the subject. [Read more…]

How They Started – Gary Klein

Gary Klein in 1976 when he qualified for the Western Bass Tournament of Champions. Photo Fall 1976  issue of Western Bass Magazine.

Gary Klein in 1976 when he qualified for the Western Bass Tournament of Champions. Photo Fall 1976 issue of Western Bass Magazine.

The sport of competitive bass fishing has developed a list of greats since its genesis in 1967. That list includes anglers such as Bill Dance, Rick Clunn, Roland Martin, Bobby Murray, and others – a list too long to mention here. All these anglers have many things in common. They’ve all won numerous events, AOY awards and qualified for multiple Classics. But there are only two anglers today that can claim to have qualified for and fished 30 Bassmaster Classics. Those two anglers are Rick Clunn (32 Classics) and the second is the subject of this piece, Gary Klein – who after the 2013 season had qualified for his 30th Bassmaster Classic. [Read more…]