John-Rude – 1946

Evinrude ad from 1946.

Evinrude ad from 1946.

A few weeks ago we posted a piece about the start of Mercury Motors in the early 40s. Today we have the two main competitors, or should I say Mercury’s competitors not only for the ‘40s but well through the turn of the century, Johnson and Evinrude.

For those of you who remember the Outboard Marine Company, or more commonly referred to as OMC, you remember that Johnson and Evinrude were both part of that conglomeration. But that wasn’t the case prior to 1936. In fact, both companies were competitors up until that time.

Ole Evinrude is credited by some to be the inventor of the outboard motor industry. In 1882, when he was five years old, his family emigrated from Norway to the U.S. and landed in Milwaukee, WI. By the time he was 25, he’d developed his first outboard motor – a 1.5 horsepower model that was introduced publicly in 1909. [Read more…]

Mercury’s Trolling Motor Debut

Thruster 1In 1977 the Big Black motor company decided it was about time to take a stab at the trolling motor industry. Why not? They had a pretty good market share of the outboard industry at the time – they might as well try and get some of the electric motor market too. 

A first look at the motor and one could see it was different than any other electric motor on the market due to the giant propeller. In fact, the prop was in some cases twice as big as any other trolling motor prop in the industry. The concept was simple, with more blade surface area and pitch, the prop didn’t have to turn as fast as smaller props on the market to go the same distance. Hence, in theory, the motor didn’t have to work as hard and this would save your batteries.  [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Back to Back, New Bait Answer and Winner


Congrats to Scott McGehee for winning this week’s trivia contest! Although he didn’t guess the extra credit question, he still walks away with a $20 e-coupon from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answer, read below.

In 1996, Mike McClelland wasn’t the household name that he is in fishing circles today. He was, in the words of Bassmaster writer Tim Tucker, “better known as a 28-year-old wallpaper contractor than an aspiring bass pro fishing just his sixth B.A.S.S. event.”

He quickly established himself that year as a young pro to watch by winning back-to-back Central Invitationals.

The first came on the Arkansas River(out of Pine Bluff) in his home state that October. It was a brutally tough event – in a field of 330, 23 anglers, including stalwarts like Rick Clunn, Paul Elias and Lonnie Stanley, failed to bring a bass to the scales. It took just over 4 pounds a day to get a check. Meanwhile, McClelland weighed 25-02 to beat veteran Tommy Martin by 1 pound, 11 ounces. Martin would have won if he’d been able to weigh all of his fish, but he was 30 minutes late on Day One because he failed to lock back through in time. His 9-03 catch for that day was therefore erased. [Read more…]