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…]
When the Bassmaster Classic came to Richmond, Virginia for a three-year stint from 1988 through 1990, many pundits predicted that local pro Woo Daves would have at least one Classic trophy on his mantle by the time 1990 was complete. The veteran pro reputedly knew every stick-up, wing dam, duck blind and rock pile on both the James River and its major tributaries, the Chickahominy and Appomattox Rivers.
Daves put together three quality performances in those hometown Classics, but despite finishing in the top five each time, he was never able to win on the James. In 1988, he finished 2nd to Guido Hibdon, missing the title by a mere 6 ounces. The following year he finished 5th, shy of Hank Parker’s winning mark by nearly 5 pounds (once again Hibdon was one spot ahead of him, besting Woo’s weight by a mere 13 ounces). In 1990, Rick Clunn blew away the field with a monstrous final day catch and Daves finished 4th with 25-13. He was remarkably consistent over those three Classics, averaging no less than 8 pounds 10 ounces per day and no more than 9 pounds 6 ounces per day in any of them. [Read more…]