CLC 1 – May 1974

The first issue of only four issues printed of the California Lunker Club Newsletter. May, 1974. With full permission.

The first issue of only four issues printed of the California Lunker Club Newsletter. May, 1974. With full permission.

We’ve posted a few stories (here and here) in the past about the California Lunker Club and its meager beginnings in 1971 to offer California bass anglers an insurance policy to mount a fish. Not long after that founder Dave Coolidge expanded the CLC into a tournament organization, the first in California, in order to bring like-minded bass anglers together. The concept was friendly competition and also provide a forum to learn from each other and make friends.

The concept took hold and within a couple years the organization grew to a point that Coolidge couldn’t afford it anymore. That’s when Western Bass, formed in 1973, stepped up and took CLC off of Coolidge’s hands. [Read more…]

The California Fishing Association – 1985

Today's Fisherman 1985 1After running through some old magazines this past weekend I had to post this piece regarding the history of team tournaments in southern California. It’s not as old as a lot of the stuff we’ve posted here but it brought back a lot of memories for me and I’m sure it’ll do the same for a number of those who fished the SoCal region back in the ’80s.

The organization was the California Fishing Association owned and run by long-time California bass angler Tom Meredith. The organization started the year prior in 1984 after the decline of Western Bass team events. The organization would only last another year and would be bought by Bucky Fallon and Bob Young and would eventually become the American Bass Association, which is still running today – not to be confused with the other ABA that ran Bassmaster’s Weekend Series). [Read more…]

The California Lunker Club: Dave Coolidge – Part Two

This is part two of a two-part article on the first California bass tournament organization. This article was completed in part by interviewing Dave Coolidge, the founder of the California Lunker Club (CLC) and taking excerpts from the August 1974 issue of the CLC magazine. Excerpts are italicized. To read Part One, click here.

In Part One, Dave Coolidge talked about the humble beginnings of the CLC and how he brought together bass anglers from San Diego to Los Angeles. In Part Two, Coolidge discusses those early tournament days, the difficulties he had with CA DFG officials that Catch-and-Release was good and how he turned public perception of bass tournaments around in California.

[Read more…]