Monday Trivia – Quit While You’re Ahead? Answer and Winner (Sept 29, 2014)

Robert Byrd weighs a stout fish in his only Bassmaster win in 1989. Photo July/August 1989 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Gerald Crawford.

Robert Byrd weighs a stout fish in his only Bassmaster win in 1989. Photo July/August 1989 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Gerald Crawford.

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Duke Jenkle made a good effort and got 2 of 3 answers right. For the answer, please read below.

Twenty five years ago, professional bass fishing was well-enough established that there were full-time pros and those who aspired to be like them. But for one week in May of 1989 Robert Byrd made it look easy to come from nowhere and beat the best of the best. Well, it wasn’t quite out of nowhere. The 52 year-old Texas guide had a substantial knowledge base, but it was nevertheless impressive that he won the first B.A.S.S. event he entered, the Alabama Invitational on Lake Guntersville. Byrd caught 60 pounds 7 ounces of Guntersville bass over three days to beat runner-up Charlie Reed by over 6 pounds. The money line (50th place out of 325 contestants) was 37-07. [Read more…]

Jay Yelas – Domination of the West in 1988

Jay Yelas in 1988, his rookie year of competitive bass fishing. Yelas would go on to win two AOY awards in the 88/89 season and cement himself in the professional bass angling world. Photo Novcember/December 1988 issue of Bass Fishing Magazine. Matt Vincent Author/Photographer.

Jay Yelas in 1988. Photo Nov/Dec 1988 issue of Bass Fishing Magazine. Matt Vincent Author/Photographer.

In 1987 Jay Yelas was a recent college graduate with little tournament experience under his belt. The fact is, though, by the end of 1988, he was not only an experienced tournament angler, he was an experienced winner.

His first big-time event took place in the summer of 1987 – the U.S. Bass U.S. Open held on Lake Mead. In that tournament he finished in 6th place and that launched his career. In the next 18 months he’d chock up five wins on four different western impoundments – including the 1988 Operation Bass Championship – and win two different Angler of the Year awards. Not too bad for a rookie.

I remember anglers coming into the shop at that time, the big sticks of the west, talking about this new kid who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and slept in his van at the lakes for months on end. “He just showed up out of nowhere and now he’s taking our money,” they’d say. It wasn’t long after the name Jay Yelas became a standard in the southwestern tournament scene. [Read more…]

Welcome to the Big Leagues – Jay Yelas

Photo February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

I’ve frequently contended that in addition to time on the water and the requisite instincts and physical skills, anyone who wants to become a great tournament angler must also have a great memory. You have to remember how to pilot through that stumpy backwater, what you were doing when the big fish hit, and of course how to apply seasonal patterns.

I was reminded of my belief recently when I asked Jay Yelas to describe his first B.A.S.S. tournament, the 1989 Nevada Invitational on Lake Mead. I hadn’t prepped him for the topic, but immediately he responded, “I think I finished 12th there.” Indeed, he was correct. The tournament was won by Arizona pro Jim Jared in his first B.A.S.S. tournament. It was Jared’s lone top 30 finish in seven events with B.A.S.S.  As my recent conversation with Yelas indicated, the tournament remains important to his professional history as well. He’s fished approximately 300 tournaments combined between FLW and B.A.S.S., but that was his introduction to the big leagues. [Read more…]

The Writers – Dave Precht

Dr. Mike Allen, biology professor at the University of Florida, took this photo of Precht and his almost-10 pounder. Fishing with a variety of great people has been a highlight of Precht’s career. Photo courtesy of Dave Precht.

Editor’s Note: This series is dedicated to those people who penned the many articles we read in order to learn more about our sport and become better anglers. Sure it was the anglers who developed the techniques, lures and equipment we use today but it was the writers’ job to make sure these bits of information got to the masses. Without the writers to communicate this, the world of bass fishing would be very different today.

For nearly 45 years novice and experienced anglers have turned to the pages of Bassmaster Magazine to learn about their craft. And, over the years many gifted writers have blessed the pages of that hallowed magazine, transcribing the words of the pros into something anyone can read and understand. Writers like Steve Price, Matt Vincent, Mark Hicks and the late Tim Tucker have all played a part in relaying information from the boat and on to the pages of Bassmaster Magazine – all in an effort to help us, the angler, get better. [Read more…]

B.A.S.S.: More Than a Tournament Organization Part Two

Permission Ray Scott

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a two-part series on what B.A.S.S. stood for in the early days of the organization. In this part, Ray Scott talks about what he did to help fight pollution and bring safer boating to the industry. To read part one, click here.

Over the course of the last six months we’ve talked a lot about B.A.S.S. and the events held in the early 70s. We’ve also delved a little bit into the rules that Ray Scott implemented in his tournaments along with the horsepower race. What we haven’t really touched on, though, is what it meant to be a part of B.A.S.S. (with the periods and all their glory) and why everyone displayed, with pride, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s sticker and patch. [Read more…]

Technology in Overdrive – the GPS Revolution

Photo 1991 Bass Master Magazine – article by Matt Vincent

Next weekend, when you pull up on a brush pile on your favorite reservoir, or head out into the middle of the Great Lakes to relocate an isolated couple of rocks, remember that it wasn’t always this easy. The GPS that we take for granted today wasn’t available years ago – we’re not talking the 1950s and 1960s, but rather as recently as the early 1990s. Indeed, as a February 1991 Bassmaster article by Matt Vincent pointed out, “the long-awaited Global Positioning System (GPS)….(is) expected to become fully operational this year…”

If this new technology worked as advertised, there would be no more triangulating of landmarks to find offshore structure and cover, no guesswork or long hours of idling looking for irregularities. The console-mounted compass would become a thing of the past. GPS would be a game-changer. [Read more…]