Season at a Glance: Bassmaster Trail 1978 – Part Six

In 1978 Bobby Murray became the second angler to win two Bassmaster Classics. Photo by Stan Fagerstrom.

In 1978 Bobby Murray became the second angler to win two Bassmaster Classics. Photo by Stan Fagerstrom.

[Editor’s note: This is the final part of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Click the following links to read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five.]

In the last installment of Season at a Glace – 1978 Bassmaster Trail we went over the Classic VIII contestants. Today we’re looking back at Classic VIII, an event held on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir – or “The Rez” as it’s known to locals.

B.A.S.S. had visited The Rez numerous times before and with good reason – the lake flat produced. But by 1978, the lake was in its mid-life crisis, and not only were keepers hard to come by, there weren’t many fish at all. Top that off with the fact that the lake was 2 1/2-feet low and this seemed to be a recipe for a Classic disaster. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: Bassmaster Trail 1978 – Part Five

1978 Bassmaster Classic Press Guide courtesy of Ken Duke.

1978 Bassmaster Classic Press Guide courtesy of Ken Duke.

[Editor’s note: This is Part Five of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Click the following links to read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.]

The 1978 Bassmaster Classic would feature the top-24 anglers from the Bassmaster Trail qualifiers plus one angler from the Federation. In years past, qualification was determined by a points system, 50 for 1st place, 49 for 2nd place, etc. This year, though, B.A.S.S. moved to a total weight system – one they’d use for a number of years thereafter.

In this installment of the 1978 Season at a Glance, we’re looking into the anglers who qualified for Classic VIII in the order of their Angler of the Year placement. Note that the data is taken from a 1978 Bassmaster Classic Media and Press guide provided by Ken Duke. [Read more…]

The Bassmaster Classic – 1981 through 1990

In 1981 Stanley Mitchell became the youngest angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

In 1981 Stanley Mitchell became the youngest angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Yesterday we posted the first piece of this look back in Bassmaster Classic history – starting with the very first Classic held on Lake Mead, NV and ending with Classic X on the St. Lawrence River, NY. Today we continue with Classic XI and will move through Classic XX held in 1990.

1981: Bassmaster Classic XI – Lake Montgomery, AL

The second decade of the Bassmaster Classic started off in the hometown of B.A.S.S., Montgomery, AL. Forty-two anglers, including five from the Federation, would vie for the championship, including 21-year-old Stanley Mitchell of Fitzgerald, GA. Mitchell, the youngest angler to compete in Classic XI would not only claim that fact, he’d also become the youngest angler to ever win a Bassmaster Classic. [Read more…]

Yelas and Nixon Talk Sponsorships

Jay Yelas and Larry Nixon talk about attaining sponsors. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Jay Yelas and Larry Nixon talk about attaining sponsors. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Every angler wishing to become a pro dreams of the day they can fish off of someone else’s dime. But what’s it take to get there? In the old days, anglers fished hard and let their scores do the talking for them. Today, though, it seems the new crop of anglers are doing it backwards. Is there a correct way to go about it?

Over the years the fishing industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Surely there’s room for Joe Weekend angler to be a part of it. But, when it comes down to it, the industry is quite small. Making a name for yourself is the name of the game and the bigger your name, the bigger your paycheck. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Five

Not a "natural lake specialist," Rick Clunn would fight his demons and end up winning the 1977 Bassmaster Classic on Florida's Lake Toho despite the fact he had never weighed more than 13 pounds in any event held in the sunshine state. Photo from a Bagley's ad in the Feruary 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Not a “natural lake specialist,” Rick Clunn would fight his demons and end up winning the 1977 Bassmaster Classic on Florida’s Lake Toho despite the fact he had never weighed more than 13 pounds in any event held in the sunshine state. Photo from a Bagley’s ad in the Feruary 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the final part of the five-part series on the 1977 Bassmaster tournament trail. To read the other parts, click on the appropriate link – part one (the first half of the season), part two (the second half of the season), part three (the Federation Championship), part four (the Classic Contenders).]

Since 1971 Bassmaster Trail anglers fished not only to win, but to qualify for what had become fishing’s biggest event of the year, the Bassmaster Classic. Through six events anglers would accumulate points in hopes of making the year-end event that, even at that time, was being billed as the Super Bowl of bass fishing.

In 1977 the rules stated that the top 24 anglers from the AOY race would be selected plus an additional angler from the Federation Championship. There was also another rule, one that actually brought the Classic contender list up to 26, that stated if an angler fished every event in the year and won one, he’d also qualify for the Classic. Dave Gliebe did such and was the 26th man invited. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Four

For the third time in his career, Bill Dance was the Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 1977.

For the third time in his career, Bill Dance was the Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 1977.

In the previous three parts of this series we covered the first half of the 1977 Bassmaster Trail, the second half of the trail and the Federation Championship. In Part Four we’re going to look at the Bassmaster Classic contenders, the 25 top anglers from the AOY race plus the Federation qualifier – Bill Stephens of Alabama.

Also of note, a misunderstanding was discovered in the 1977 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine – the Angler of the Year data we used for the last installment of this series. The Classic entry rules for 1977 stated they would be taking the top-24 anglers in the AOY race. Bassmaster printed the top-25 AOY standings and we took those to be the Classic contenders to include #25 Woo Daves. When looking at the Classic standings, though, we noticed that Dave Gliebe fished the event and not Woo Daves. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Martin Goes Deep Answer and Winner (June 30, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to Steve Quinn for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, please read below.

Many modern fishing fans know Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees primarily as the site of Cliff Pace’s career-defining Bassmaster Classic victory as well as for its recent role as a host of multiple Elite Series tournaments, but the lake has a long history as a site of B.A.S.S. competition.

B.A.S.S. first visited Grand Lake in November 1991 for an Oklahoma Invitational won by Arkansas pro Ron Shuffield. The circuit returned almost exactly a year later, for a tournament won by Jim Morton. As described in a previous Bass Fishing Archives trivia contest, Morton defied heavy winds, torrential rains, and temperatures that ranged from just above freezing to well below freezing to win with an unlikely buzzbait pattern. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Stanley Steams ‘Em Answer and Winner (June 23, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com.

Photo Bassmaster.com.

Congrats to Chad Keogh for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by GYCB! For the answers, please read below.

When Georgia pro Stanley Mitchell won the 1981 Bassmaster Classic, outlasting second place finisher Harold Allen by just under a pound, he became the youngest Classic winner. It was just the 21 year old’s first Classic and his 10th overall B.A.S.S. event, and the first time he’d finished better than 12th. He’d missed qualifying for the Classic the year before by 10 pounds, while his lesser-known older brother Steve had missed the world championship by just 2 pounds. Steve unfortunately missed the big dance again in 1981 by a mere 5 pounds.

The 1981 Classic wasn’t the first to be held in Alabama – Wheeler and Guntersville had hosted in 1974 and 1976, respectively – but it was the first one hosted by Montgomery, home of the tournament organization. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Stanley Steams ‘Em (June 23, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com.

Photo Bassmaster.com.

When Georgia pro Stanley Mitchell won the 1981 Bassmaster Classic, outlasting second place finisher Harold Allen by just under a pound, he became the youngest Classic winner. It was just the 21 year old’s first Classic and his 10th overall B.A.S.S. event, and the first time he’d finished better than 12th. He’d missed qualifying for the Classic the year before by 10 pounds, while his lesser-known older brother Steve had missed the world championship by just 2 pounds. Steve unfortunately missed the big dance again in 1981 by a mere 5 pounds.

The 1981 Classic wasn’t the first to be held in Alabama – Wheeler and Guntersville had hosted in 1974 and 1976, respectively – but it was the first one hosted by Montgomery, home of the tournament organization. [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…]

The Age of Powerful Pro Staffs

Can you name the 8 man 1984 Skeeter Team?

Can you name the 8 man 1984 Skeeter Team?

It seems like every week I read a new press release saying how some pro has been signed to some company’s pro staff. Maybe it’s just me, but pro staffs don’t seem to have the same appeal now days as they used to “back in the day.” So for just a moment, lets drift back in time to revisit one of the most powerful pro staffs in all of bass fishing. Back when the “Skeeter” was built into the name, not flying above it. This would be the early 80s, and one of the most recognizable pro staff teams on the planet, or so it seemed  – TEAM SKEETER. I was so influenced, I even copied and drew the “Skeeter” logo onto most things I wrote that began with a capital ‘S’ (LOL). See if you can recognize the faces who were on that team from this national ad in the 1984 Bassmaster Classic Report.

Monday Trivia – Shearer Answer and Winner (Jan 13, 2014)

Photo May/June 1982 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo May/June 1982 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

There were two people that submitted answers for this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. One of them had a more correct answer and that was John Karbowski. Congrats John on winning! For the answer read below.

Today Kentucky angler Ron Shearer may be best known for his TV endeavors, but in the 1980s he was a solid competitor on the B.A.S.S. trail, with two wins to his credit and five Classic appearances. In fact, he made the Classic five times in six years between 1980 and 1985, missing only the 1983 championship.

His rise in the sport was quick – according to an article by Bob Cobb, in the mid-70s Shearer quit his job in a factory after reading an article about Roland Martin’s career. He started fishing B.A.S.S. events in 1978, and two years later led a tournament on Guntersville before faltering on the final day and finishing 6th in the first of Basil Bacon’s two career B.A.S.S. victories. [Read more…]