Season at a Glance: 1978 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Larry Nixon, in his second season of Bassmaster competition was proving he was th real deal. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Larry Nixon, in his second season of Bassmaster competition was proving he was th real deal. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s note: This is Part Two of a six-part series on the 1978 Bassmaster Trail. Over the course of the next two weeks we’ll cover the 1978 season, the Classic qualifiers and the 1978 Bassmaster Classic. To read Part One, click here.]

The first Bass Champs event was held in 1977 and pitted the top 10 from the previous Bassmaster Classic against 10 of the top anglers (2nd through 11th) from the B.A.S.S. Federation Championship – the 1st-place angler would go to the Bassmaster Classic. It was an event that didn’t count for much – there were no points towards AOY or Classic qualification – other than a decent pay day for the winner through 10th place and the thrill provided the amateurs of fishing against the toughest pros in competitive bass fishing. [Read more…]

1975 Bassmaster Classic by Bob McNally

Harold Sharp (center) weighs Roger Moore's (behind Sharp) fish as Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros (left) looks on. Photo by Bob McNally.

Harold Sharp (center) weighs Roger Moore’s (behind Sharp) fish as Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros (left) looks on. Bassmaster Magazine editor Bob Cobb is in the right bottom corner. Photo by Bob McNally.

I recently received some photos from long-time outdoor writer, videographer and angler Bob McNally. Within the 20 or so photos he sent were five photographs taken at the 1975 Bassmaster Classic held at Currituck Sound, NC. We previously wrote about the 1975 Classic, in which rookie Bassmaster Tour angler Jack Hains won by six pounds over Marvin Baker. [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…]

Git Off Your Duff

Fangard Bass Pro Pole ad from 1982.

Fangard Bass Pro Pole ad from 1982.

Young anglers nowadays probably have no idea how anglers fished back in the day. Boats of the ‘60s, ‘70s and even through the ‘80s were sold one way – with “captain’s chairs” fore and aft. In fact, the higher-end boat companies not only sold their boats with these chairs, they offered chairs with arms as an upgrade. Nearly everyone sat when they were fishing – standing only when they hooked a fish or got a snag.

The trend to stand while fishing took a while for the everyday angler to catch on. In the small boats of the day, remember boats at the time were between 15- and 17-feet long, it was difficult to stand in rough water and no one wanted to take the chance of leaving the seats behind in the event the weather kicked up. [Read more…]

Don Doty – A Classic Qualification from the Back Seat

Photo January/February 1981 issue of Western Bass magazine.

Photo January/February 1981 issue of Western Bass magazine.

To many of you here reading this, the name Don Doty won’t mean much at all. In fact, his name hasn’t been associated with the sport since the late 80s. Even though his name is only recognized by a few older western anglers and maybe a few of the older Bassmaster pros, he will always be remembered for a record he holds that will never be broken.

Don Doty is the only angler to qualify for a Bassmaster Classic as a pure non-boater.

In the old days, when pro-on-pro draw tournaments existed, many times when the draw for partners happened, both anglers had a boat. There were a few methods in which the two anglers decided which boat would be used. For example, if one angler could convince the other he had better fish going, they might opt to use that anglers’ boat. Another method was, if you drew Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston or Ricky Green, there was no argument, you fished out of their boat. The other method was a coin toss. [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 Lunker Hole Number 4

November/December 1970 issue of The Lunker Hole  magazine. The official magazine of the Bass Caster's Angling Society or what would be changed in 1971 to the Bass Caster's Association.

November/December 1970 issue of The Lunker Hole magazine. The official magazine of the Bass Caster’s Angling Society or what would be changed in 1971 to the Bass Caster’s Association. Notice the B.A.S.S. patch has been covered up with his name. Is this where FLW got their ideas to censor anglers?

Over the past week I was introduced to a new Facebook page called Mid-America Tournament Fishing History. Rick Pierce directed me to the page and what I saw really made my mouth water. There was a number of old magazine and news clips posted on the site from the defunct Mid-America Bass Fisherman’s Association, which operated in the 70s, along with a bunch of other pictures from various other organizations, such as the Bass Caster’s Association (BCA).

Just prior to being introduced to this new page, I happened to get in the mail two BCA magazines, one dated November/December 1970 (Number 4) and another from May/June 1971 (number 7). On the cover of Number 4 is Charlie Bumpas – who in his time fished five Bassmaster events between 1968 and 1970 and finished in the top 20 in each of them. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1976 Bassmaster Trail Part Three

Rick Clunn wins his first of four Bassmaster Classic at the 1976 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville. Photo Cover February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Rick Clunn wins his first of four Bassmaster Classic at the 1976 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville. Photo Cover February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is part 3 of a three-part series on the 1976 Bassmaster Trail season. To read Part 1 click here, to read Part 2 click here. To read about the 1976 Federation Chapter Championship, click here and to read about the Classic contenders, click here.]

Classic VI, as with all the prior five Bassmaster Classics, was a mystery lake and the venue wouldn’t be divulged until all participants were on the chartered DC-8 bound for the event. It was even stated in the Bassmaster Classic report that “even the pilot of the chartered jet didn’t know the final destination.” Once it was announced that Alabama’s Lake Guntersville would be the host of the ’76 event, the anglers began strategizing with maps provided by B.A.S.S. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Singing the Eufaula Blues (August 19, 2013)

Photo Bassmasster.com

Photo Bassmasster.com

The 1993 Alabama Invitational at Lake Eufaula was one of the low points in that storied reservoir’s tournament history. In a field of over 320 anglers, well over 100 blanked all three days that February as a result of the cold, muddy water. Of course the major tours have held other events there, both before and since, with mixed results. Indeed, in the first B.A.S.S. tournament held on Eufaula just under 25 years earlier, John Powell won with 44 bass for 132 pounds, including a lunker of 9-06. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance – The 1976 Bassmaster Classic Contenders

in 1976 Jimmy Houston wold win the Bassmaster AOY award in only his second full-time year on the Trail.  Photo 1976 Sept/Oct issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

in 1976 Jimmy Houston wold win the Bassmaster AOY award in only his second full-time year on the Trail. Photo 1976 Sept/Oct issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story on the 1975 Bassmaster Trail season. To read part one of the 1976 Season at a Glance click here, to read part two click here and to read about the Federation National event click here.]

The 1976 Bassmaster Classic and its contenders have a lot of interesting history packed into it. For one, there were four 5-time Classic contenders, one 4-time contenders, five 3-time contenders and seven 2-time contenders. To say the field was stacked would be an understatement. That’s 17 out of 25 anglers, or 68% of the 1976 Classic contenders had Classic experience.

As amazing it was for so many past-Classic anglers to qualify, it was just as amazing who didn’t qualify. For example, Roland Martin, who’d made every (5) Classic since its inception, missed qualification by 6 points and finished in the 26th spot. The other 5-time qualifier who didn’t make it was Tom Mann who finished in 38th place. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1976 Bassmaster Tour – Part Two

JImmy Houston would win the Bassmaster AOY in only his second year as a full-time pro.

JImmy Houston would win the Bassmaster AOY in only his second year as a full-time pro. Photo February 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a three-part series on the 1976 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To read Part One click here.]

By the halfway point of the ’76 season, there had been two rookies win events, Jimmy Houston had secured his first Bassmaster win and Roland Martin and Tom Mann were out of the AOY hunt for the first time since its inception.

The Bassmaster AOY race was headed by two-year pro Jimmy Houston with Bill Dance in a close second. Tommy Martin, Don Mann and Roger Moore rounded out the top 5.

The second half of the season would take the anglers to two familiar waters, Buggs Island and Bull Shoals, along with a body of water B.A.S.S. had never ventured to before, Cordell Hull in Tennessee. In the July/August 1976 issue of Bassmaster Magazine, Bob Burnette wrote a piece about Hull – a newly impounded reservoir in the central part of the state. The lake had only been formed four years prior, was riverine and offered nearly 400 miles of shoreline. It was formed by the Cumberland River and the Obey River directly below famed Dale Hollow. This event should be about as even a playing field as any in the past since the inception of B.A.S.S. [Read more…]