Monday Trivia – BASSfest

Jacob Wheeler, the inaugural winner of BASSfest.

Jacob Wheeler, the inaugural winner of BASSfest.

This week marks the return of BASSfest. The inaugural event featuring both Elite Series as well as Open anglers was held on Lake Chickamauga in 2014. The winner of that event was Jacob Wheeler, one of the anglers from the Open side of entrants. He edged out Kevin Vandam in a final day shootout that featured both anglers topping the 20 pound mark. This year, the event moves to Kentucky Lake, with just a few minor changes. While there were again invites sent to Open anglers, that offer went out to just the top 10 in each division, and only 13 anglers accepted and paid. Additionally, the Elite Series anglers will be accumulating AOY points based upon their finish in this year’s event. Unfortunately, there was no invitation extended to last year’s winner, meaning their won’t be any chance of a repeat winner, nor of a possible “rivalry” storyline to develop. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lake Eufaula (Answers & Winner; May 11, 2015)

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Lake Eufaula, Alabama

Congrats to Steven Strasser for edging out the win this week in our Trivia contest. For details about the winning answers, read below.

Following the professional tournament trails around the country, we currently find the FLW Tour pros practicing up on Lake Eufaula in Alabama this week, also known as Walter F. George Reservoir. Word is the bass are post-spawn and starting to move out toward the deep ledges. We might see some big bags weighed in beginning with Day 1 on Thursday. But that’s the present. If you look back at the history on this lake, you’ll find a treasure trove of interesting bassin’ trivia. Therefore, in order to win this week’s Monday Trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll need to sharpen up on your Eufaula history and be the first to answer the following 4 questions correctly. [Read more…]

The First Season of the Red Man Trail

Red Man Tournament Trail Patch.

Red Man Tournament Trail Patch.

Many of us who immersed ourselves into the world of competitive bass fishing in the 1990s or after the turn of the century tend to assume that there were always stable nationwide organized circuits for the weekend angler. We may have known that what are now the BFLs were previously the Red Man circuit, but we don’t have a sense of when and where the Red Mans were born.

As Terry has detailed previously, old issues of CAST Magazine are a treasure trove of information about that era, and provide an incredible look back at the origins of the BFLs. [Read more…]

Looking for Operation Bass Golden Blend Info

Golden Blend was a title sponsor for Operation Bass' attempt to give B.A.S.S. some competition. Unfortunately the circuit didn't last long and there's little information out there regarding it.

Golden Blend was a title sponsor for Operation Bass’ attempt to give B.A.S.S. some competition. Unfortunately the circuit didn’t last long and there’s little information out there regarding it.

Many modern fans of professional fishing assume that the FLW Tour was the first major competitor to B.A.S.S. Of course, that is not quite correct – over time, there were several national trails that tried to make a run at being the dominant circuit, or at least supplementing it. The truth is that the FLW Tour, founded under the Operation Bass umbrella, wasn’t even the first attempt by that organization to create some competition for Ray Scott’s baby.

Starting in the late 1980s, and running into the early ‘90s, Operation Bass operated the Golden Blend series of tournaments. They built upon the success of the original Red Man events, which catered to the “working man” – one-day weekend tournaments with low entry fees and a chance to qualify for the high payout All-American. [Read more…]

This Month in Bass Fishing History – September 2014

In 2009 Gary Dobyns won the 2009 US Open on Lake Mead.

In 2009 Gary Dobyns won the 2009 US Open on Lake Mead.

Let’s return to this great concept that Brian started up. Another month, another quick look at the anniversaries of major events:

5 YEARS AGO: Western legend Gary Dobyns won the US Open for the first time at age 50, beating 2014 winner (and now three-time champion) Clifford Pirch by over 3 pounds to take the title after numerous near misses. According to the BassFan report of the event, Dobyns battled nausea and dehydration to take the brass ring with a total catch of 32.91 pounds over three days. His primary tools were a Gary Yamamoto Hula Grub, a Lucky Craft DBS4 and a Lucky Craft Gunfish 95. The boat included as part of the prize package was the 40th that he’d won in competition. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – KVD’s Records; Answers & Winner (Sept. 8, 2014)

Credit: KevinVandam.com

Credit: KevinVandam.com

Congratulations to Rich Zaleski for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, read below.

It seems like all the talk of the bass fishing world these past 2 weeks has been centered around KVD stories. Understandably, this is due to the fact that for the first time in 24 years, KVD has failed to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. [Read more…]

Reader Letters – Dan Basore on Ray Scott and B.A.S.S.

Dan Basore, Charter Member of B.A.S.S. and bass fishing historian.

Dan Basore, Charter Member of B.A.S.S. and bass fishing historian.

[Editor’s Note: Dan Basore has been around competitive bass fishing since its inception. He’s won on a national level in 1970 and since that time has devoted his life to the sport as a historian, collector and teacher of the sport. Dan recently sent in this letter to us here regarding Ray Scott and B.A.S.S. and felt it was worthy of publishing.]

As one of the early Charter/Life members of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, and a fan of bass fishing and tournaments, I like many in attendance at the FLW CUP were happy and moved to see the tributes to Forrest L. Wood and the participation by he and wife Nina in so many events. He was and is a tremendous force in our sport. [Read more…]

Jay Yelas – From Cheeseballs to Classic Winner

Jay Yelas ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Jay Yelas ICAST 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Around the 1988 time frame I was still working at the tackle shop and going to college. Although I wasn’t fishing, I kept up on what was happening on the tournament scene from the anglers who came into the shop. What happened in ’88 seemed to be a changing of the guard. Long time western pros such as Don Iovino, Bobby Garland, Fred Ward and Larry Hopper had a new angler to contend with – a kid just out of college named Jay Yelas.

I vividly remember some of the local anglers coming into the shop who fished the Red Man circuit in the day – guys that knew “The River Lakes” like the back of their hand. They were donating entry fees to Yelas’ graduate studies – his field of study being professional bass fisherman. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name that Angler Answer and Winner (July 21, 2014)

ProfessionalUnfortunately, no one won this week’s Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! Come back next Monday for a try at next week’s contest. For the answers, read below.

Word has it, the shot of this future pro pictured here was taken right after his mom said he couldn’t go fishing. You probably want a better hint than that, so here goes. This professional just recently surpassed the $1 million mark in total earnings when combining both B.A.S.S. and FLW winnings. One more clue – that million includes wins on both of the major Tour circuits.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following three questions correctly:

1.Who is the angler in the picture?
2.Which Tour events did this angler win?
3.What other professional athlete did he notably go fishing with earlier this year?

The answer and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!

Here are the answers: [Read more…]

Roland and Scott – A Cup and a Bunch of Hardware

Roland and Scott Martin having some fun at ICAST. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Roland and Scott Martin having some fun at ICAST. Photo Brenda Serrano.

I look forward to events such as ICAST because it brings everyone together in one setting no matter what trail they fish. At these events I’ve seen Roland Martin and I’ve seen Scott Martin, but rarely have I ever seen them at the same event or if they were, I’d never actually seen them standing together. I’m sure it’s tough on both of them, being pulled in every-which direction due to sponsor obligations, business meetings and signings. 

But this past week in Orlando I, by chance, was able to get the two of them together for a really cool talk.  [Read more…]

How They Started – Tommy Biffle

Biffle wins the 1995 Bassmaster Illinois Top 100 on the Mississippi River. Photo 1995 July/August issue of  Bassmaster Magazine.

Biffle wins the 1995 Bassmaster Illinois Top 100 on the Mississippi River. Photo 1995 July/August issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for nearly 30 years there’s no doubt you’ve heard the name Tommy Biffle. Having made a living bass fishing since his first event on the St Lawrence River in New York, Biffle is one of the stalwarts of the sport – rarely out of contention rarely going home without a check.

As Classic XLIV approached, Tommy Biffle had made the big show 18 times – Guntersville was his 19th appearance in the sport’s most-heralded championship. That’s batting 660 folks – a darn good average.

After 305 Bassmaster events, 92 FLW tournaments, and countless other tournaments with other organizations, he’s finished in the money better than 60% of the time. A consistent angler without a doubt. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Hibdon’s Classic Victory (February 3, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

When B.A.S.S. traveled to Richmond, Va. 25 years ago for the first of three consecutive Bassmaster Classics on the James River, the pros didn’t know much of what to expect from the tidal fishery. Classic XVIII was expected to favor the local tidal-water river rats like Woo Daves of nearby Chester, who ended up missing the Classic crown by a mere 6 ounces. He came close again the next two years but didn’t win his Classic trophy until B.A.S.S. visited Chicago (Lake Michigan) in 2000. [Read more…]