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: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – The Classic Contenders

Roland Martin win the 1975 AOY Trophy for the fourth time in five years. Photo February 1976 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Roland Martin win the 1975 AOY Trophy for the fourth time in five years. Photo February 1976 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

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

The 1975 Bassmaster Classic was the fifth Classic and again was to be a secret event where the anglers wouldn’t find out where they were fishing until they were on their way to the event. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Photo Bassmaster Magazine March/April 1975 issue.

Photo Bassmaster Magazine March/April 1975 issue.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1975 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part one will cover the first half of the tournament season, part two will cover the second half and part three will cover the 1975 Bassmaster Classic. There will also be sections on the 1975 Federation Championship and a lead-in article showing Classic contenders and their bios.

The 1975 Bassmaster Tournament Trail started off with a number of rules changes and introduced a new concept in tournament angling – fly-fishing tournaments. Although the horsepower race was already a concern, the ’75 season saw B.A.S.S. finally put into law horsepower restrictions on bass boats. The maximum horsepower allowed on any bass rig would be dictated by the new U.S. Coast Guard capacity plate issued with every boat. For those boats that didn’t have these plates, a restriction was placed on the boat depending on its length. [Read more…]

1974 Bass Master Classic Preview – The Anglers

Before we go through the highlights of the ’74 Classic, I thought it would be good to introduce the anglers who made the Classic. In the February ’75 issue of Bassmaster Magazine, as was done in the January/February issue of ’74, B.A.S.S. not only gave the Classic report, the magazine also dedicated a substantial number of pages to the Classic qualifiers with respect to their bios. We’re going to go through these bios and touch on the anglers’ accomplishments up to this point in time. No byline was given but I assume it was Bob Cobb who penned the piece.

In this series of biographies, the anglers were asked two primary questions. The first question was, “how they tackle a new body of water,” and the second was, “what they thought of the new oxygen meters that were being sold.” We’ll go through the answers they provided to these questions along with giving a little more of their histories at this time. All photos from the February 1975 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1974 BASS Master Trail – Part One

Billy Westmorland hols his trophy from the 1974 BASS Master Florida Invitational held on the St. Johns River. Photo 1974 BASS Master Magazine May/June Issue.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1974 Bass Master Tournament trail. Part One will cover the first half of the season, Part Two will cover the second half and Part Three will cover the 1974 Bass Master Classic.

By the beginning of 1974 Ray Scott and gang had been conducting tournaments for seven years. In that time they’d held 39 national events, including three Classics, and had made household names out of anglers such as Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Bobby Murray – to name only a few.

The ’73 season started off with a record-breaking event at the St. Johns River in Florida. In order to capitalize on that momentum, the first event of the ’74 season would also be held on that now-famed waterway – in hopes of breaking more records. The list below shows the ’74 schedule as revealed in the January/February issue of BASS Master Magazine. [Read more…]