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…]

The 1977 American Angler Oklahoma National

Old school Okiebug patch from Don Butler's Okiebug spinnerbait lure company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Old school Okiebug patch from Don Butler’s Okiebug spinnerbait lure company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Recently I was able to get a hold of a couple old Okiebug patches – a standard Okiebug patch that many anglers displayed prominently on their jumpsuits of the day and another that really intrigued me.

The patch that really caught my attention was from an American Angler Pro-Bass Tour tournament held in 1977 at Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma. The event, dubbed as the Oklahoma National, was sponsored by Okiebug. What got my attention first was Don Butler, owner of Okiebug, was close friends with Ray Scott – having been the first life member of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and also the guy who sent Scott $10,000 in order for him to pay for a direct mailing campaign he was trying to get rolling. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Photo Bassmaster Magazine March/April 1975 issue.

Photo Bassmaster Magazine March/April 1975 issue.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1975 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part one will cover the first half of the tournament season, part two will cover the second half and part three will cover the 1975 Bassmaster Classic. There will also be sections on the 1975 Federation Championship and a lead-in article showing Classic contenders and their bios.

The 1975 Bassmaster Tournament Trail started off with a number of rules changes and introduced a new concept in tournament angling – fly-fishing tournaments. Although the horsepower race was already a concern, the ’75 season saw B.A.S.S. finally put into law horsepower restrictions on bass boats. The maximum horsepower allowed on any bass rig would be dictated by the new U.S. Coast Guard capacity plate issued with every boat. For those boats that didn’t have these plates, a restriction was placed on the boat depending on its length. [Read more…]