College Bassin’ Back in My Day

The front cover of the Bass Fishing Institute manual.

The front cover of the Bass Fishing Institute manual.

If you read and follow any of the major Tours or media outlets covering the sport, you know that college bassing has started to take on a life of its own. When you mention “growing the sport”, this and the high school level is where it’s going to happen. But before the current crop of college level competition came to be, and well before the Bass University (Ike, Gluszek) was around, there were other college bass fishing programs in place, sort of. Here’s a couple I was involved in that were right here in Indiana. [Read more…]

The Bassmaster Classic – 1991 through 2000

Ken Cook hoists the 1991 Classic trophy for winning at the Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Ken Cook hoists the 1991 Classic trophy for winning at the Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

By 1991 the Bassmaster Classic had become the event anglers aspired to win – weekend warriors through tour-level pros. The event had grown from a small gathering of anglers and media huddled together at the ramp in 1971 at Lake Mead, NV to sold-out stadiums in 1990. Although the event was centered around the anglers who qualified and the eventual winner, it grew into what we now know as Classic week filled with fan days, media events and one of if not the biggest public tackle shows in the world. [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…]

Champion Bass Magazine

The premier issue fo Champion Bass, put out by the same publisher of Bass West magazine.

The premier issue fo Champion Bass, put out by the same publisher of Bass West magazine.

Champion BASS magazine is another one of the short-lived bass magazines that many of us hoped would serve as a long-term supplement to the efforts of stalwarts like Bassmaster and In-Fisherman.

Within this issue’s advertisements, founder Ray Crosby made it apparent that he intended this one for mature audiences only: “Due to the advanced information contained in Champion BASS, it is NOT recommended for beginning or amateur bass fishermen,” he wrote. He further stated that he would not cover tournament results or politics, just hard core tournament tactics. Toward that end, he assembled a team including Jay Yelas, Kevin VanDam, Gary Klein, Ken Cook, Shaw Grigsy, Guido Hibdon and David Fritts to serve as regular columnists on the topics of their expertise. Berkley’s Dr. Keith Jones also penned an article under the heading “Bass Biology.” [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Now You’re Cooking Answer and Winner (Oct 27, 2014)

Ken Cook won the 1983 Super Bass event held at Florida's St. John's River.

Ken Cook won the 1983 Super Bass event held at Florida’s St. John’s River.

Well, we only had one person try to answer this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Unfortunately, he didn’t provide the right answers for all the questions. This happens quite a bit and I assume it’s because people come to the site and see someone has answered the questions and they assume those answers are correct. If you see an answer, don’t assume it’s right. Go out and dig a little, maybe you’ll be rewarded with a $25 e-coupon for the GYCB site. For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below.

In 1982, a 35 year-old Ken Cook earned his first B.A.S.S. Invitational win, and the second of the six Bassmaster victories in his storied career. The career was marked by 14 Bassmaster Classic appearances and a win in the 1991 iteration of the event held on Maryland’s Upper Chesapeake Bay, as well as three Forrest Wood Cup qualifications. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Now You’re Cooking (Oct 27, 2014)

Ken Cook won the 1983 Super Bass event held at Florida's St. John's River.

Ken Cook won the 1983 Super Bass event held at Florida’s St. John’s River.

In 1982, a 35 year-old Ken Cook earned his first B.A.S.S. Invitational win, and the second of the six Bassmaster victories in his storied career. The career was marked by 14 Bassmaster Classic appearances and a win in the 1991 iteration of the event held on Maryland’s Upper Chesapeake Bay, as well as three Forrest Wood Cup qualifications.

Despite the fact that the December 1982 Florida Invitational on the Kissimmee Chain was his first “national” win, Cook’s career really gained steam the following March, when he won the 1983 Super B.A.S.S. tournament, also in Florida, but just a little bit north on the St. Johns River. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Stone Pony Answer and Winner (August 11, 2014)

Marty Stone. Photo Bassmaster.com

Marty Stone. Photo Bassmaster.com

Editor’s Note.  In light of the fact that no one answered the questions correctly today, we would normally not have a winner. But, since Steve M got both parts of Question 4 correct and we didn’t catch the incorrect answers for 1, until we already posted he won, we’re going to give it to him this time. For the answers to this week’s contest, read below.

In a B.A.S.S. career that spanned the years from 1993 through 2010, Marty Stone earned two wins, the first of which came during a challenging event on Alabama’s Lake Wheeler in March of 1999. While Wheeler today is known for producing large quantities of bass, even if they’re not typically as big as those in neighboring Guntersville, it was a stingy fishery during the 1999 Bassmaster Top 150. After inclement weather forced the cancellation of Day One, it took less than 16 pounds over two days to make the top 40 and the money. [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…]

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 – Megabucks Two Answer and Winner (April 7, 2014)

Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We only had one person try to answer this week’s trivia contest and unfortunately one of the answers supplied was incorrect. Therefore, no one wins this week’s contest. Come on back next week and try again for a $25 e-coupon from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For this weeks answers, read below.

Larry Nixon is generally thought of as the king of the Bassmaster “Megabucks” format. He won four Megabucks events, one in 1988 and one in 1991, sandwiched around two such victories in 1990. Two of those wins came on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes, but in the 1986 and 1987 hole course events on that same waterway Nixon did not come out on top.

Roger Farmer won the 1986 Megabucks event on the Harris Chain with 68 pounds of bass over four days to earn his lone B.A.S.S. win. In 1987, Lonnie Stanley claimed the Megabucks crown with Nixon finishing 21st before starting his Megabucks tear in 1988. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Megabucks Two (April 7, 2014)

Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Larry Nixon is generally thought of as the king of the Bassmaster “Megabucks” format. He won four Megabucks events, one in 1988 and one in 1991, sandwiched around two such victories in 1990. Two of those wins came on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes, but in the 1986 and 1987 hole course events on that same waterway Nixon did not come out on top.

Roger Farmer won the 1986 Megabucks event on the Harris Chain with 68 pounds of bass over four days to earn his lone B.A.S.S. win. In 1987, Lonnie Stanley claimed the Megabucks crown with Nixon finishing 21st before starting his Megabucks tear in 1988. [Read more…]

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

Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Steve Quinn made a great effort and came up one question shy of the win. Read below for the answers.

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…]