Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 2

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the "18" Pro Bass Missile.

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the “18” Pro Bass Missile.

In Tuesday’s installment of Old Bass Boats (click here to see Part 1), we covered the tournament organization boats, namely American Bass Fisherman, American Angler, Bassmaster, Bass Casters Association and National Bass Association. Out of those five organizations, we covered nine different boats and five different manufacturers. It’s hard to believe that only a couple years before this, there was only one tournament organization, B.A.S.S., who offered its members boats. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 3

1977 Bass Cat ad.

1977 Bass Cat ad.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of Old Bass Boats – 1977, we covered the boat manufacturers who placed ads in the 1977 vintage magazines. Those manufacturers ranged from Alumacraft to Glastron and Holiday to Rhyan Craft. Today we feature from Sea Nymph to Venture and then four organizational Championship boats from American Angler, American Bass Fisherman, National Bass and Bassmaster.

Here are the remaining boats of 1977. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 2

1977 Arrow Glass Bass Boat.

1977 Arrow Glass Bass Boat.

Yesterday we talked about the 1977 model-year boats from Alumacraft to Glastron. Today we’re going to start with Holiday and end with Rhyan Craft.

As stated yesterday, 1977 had 38 bass boat companies advertising in the magazines we looked through. A huge increase from the years prior. Many of the companies producing boats back then were new, even in 1977. But there are still a few we’re going to show, that are still around today.

Here’s the boats of Part 2. Remember, click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the ads. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 1

1977 Terry Bass Boat Ad.

1977 Terry Bass Boat Ad.

In this installment of Old Bass Boats, we again have to split the piece into multiple parts due to the volume of bass boat manufacturers now placing ads in bass magazines. As stated in the last installment, Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 1, the 1975 ad campaign saw 16 manufacturers advertising their goods. In 1976 that number jumped up to 26 and this year that number jumped to a staggering 38 companies placing ads in bass magazines. What is truly amazing about that number is that was not all the companies out there who were making bass boats. [Read more…]

1970 Bass Boats Boats

In 1970, bass boats were still in their infancy. In this photo gallery there aren’t many images of the boats available but these are the ads that we’ve been able to find from this year. Click on the picture below to open the gallery. We hope you enjoy.

1970 Boat Gallery

Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 2

Glastron Boats ad from 1976.

Glastron Boats ad from 1976.

Last Friday we posted Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 1 starting with Arrow Glass and ending with Glastron. As promised then, today we’re finishing up the ‘76 year with H (Holiday) through X (X-Calibur) – two boats I’ve never heard of by the way. As you probably noticed from Part 1, the boats of this year class were shifting drastically to high-performance machines constructed with lifting pads and even space-age materials like Kevlar. On top of that, more and more creature comforts and much-needed instrumentation was becoming standard on all brands. These years, 1975 through 1977, were the genesis of the boats we fish out of today.

So, without wasting any more time, here they are. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1974

1974 Hydra Sports 1 CropSo far we’ve taken a look at bass boats from 1970, ’71, ’72, ’73 and a smattering from other years (here and here). Now we take a look at the boats of 1974 – or at least those companies who decided their hard-earned profits were worthy of advertising in fishing magazines.

In this installment we have many of those who had advertised in the past, such as Arrow Glass, Chrysler, Ranger and Fisher Marine. What was interesting about the 1974 ad campaign was the lack of advertisements and the decline of companies participating. In 1970 there were four companies displaying ad and that doubled the following year to eight. By 1972 11 companies were displaying ads in serious fishing magazines and then it peaked in 1973 with 15 companies. This year, though, only 10 manufacturers decided to spend the money. Why so few? [Read more…]

Bass Boats 1964

Don Fuelsch SAHG 1964Recently a good friend of mine, avid angler and exemplary jig maker from Oklahoma, Jack Hall, contacted me about a book he had called, “Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide.” Being originally from the West, I’d never heard of it but the fact it was printed in 1964 had my curiosity up. Jack said it had a lot of old bass fishing info in it and if I wanted it, I could have it. Of course, being the book and magazine junky I am, I couldn’t refuse.

A week or so went by then I received the book in the mail. I didn’t really know what to expect from this book, originally thinking it’d be a small book on fishing and hunting in the South. How wrong could I have been. The book is nearly 1000 pages long and has more information packed within its bindings than can be imagined. Fuelsch had every southern state covered from freshwater fishing to saltwater and the hunting too. Impressive. [Read more…]

The Bass Boat Control Panel – Old School Style

Control Center for boat 1973 Bass Fishing Annual Bass Master Magazine.

Anglers today are beyond spoiled when it comes to the boats we fish out of. Full decks console-to-bow / stern-to-console, enough dry storage to handle a tackle shop’s worth of gear and more gadgets than Ron Popeil has ever dreamed of inventing. No longer do we have to worry about going home, taking every crankbait, spinnerbait, hook and sinker out of our box so they can dry after fishing in the rain all day. We don’t have to think how far away from the rear transducer we are in order to stay on a spot because our front and rear finders are linked together. And if we want to stop and fish a spot in the shallows all we have to do is hit a button and down go two poles to hold our position.

Boy things have changed over the years.

Although there have been major strides in the manufacture of bass boats, the biggest advances (are they really?) in bass fishing have been in the line of the gadgets we use. And speaking of these gadgets, anglers today (especially those who didn’t bass fish in the 60s through 80s) take for granted all the gizmos they have on their boats – thinking that they, “can’t catch fish without them.” [Read more…]

A Look in the Western Rear View Mirror

Don Crozier hoists his winning fish from a 14-foot aluminum boat he used in the tournament. Photo courtesy of Dave Coolidge CLC magazine 1974.

Although the South Eastern part of the country had had organized bass tournaments since the mid-60s, the Western part of the country, namely California, fell a little behind the curve. This was mostly due to the fact that the state had made it illegal to fish for more than a couple-hundred dollars and the fishermen at the time were not interested in leaving the confines of their clubs – or zip codes.

The California Lunker Club (CLC) changed all of that, though, in 1972. As written before (see The California Lunker Club: Dave Coolidge – Part One and Part Two), Coolidge formed the first organized tournament organization in California and within 2 years it became such a success that it was purchased by Western Outdoor News and assumed into the newly-formed Western Bass Fishing Association. Competitive bass fishing had made its mark in the West. [Read more…]