The First Season of the Red Man Trail

Red Man Tournament Trail Patch.

Red Man Tournament Trail Patch.

Many of us who immersed ourselves into the world of competitive bass fishing in the 1990s or after the turn of the century tend to assume that there were always stable nationwide organized circuits for the weekend angler. We may have known that what are now the BFLs were previously the Red Man circuit, but we don’t have a sense of when and where the Red Mans were born.

As Terry has detailed previously, old issues of CAST Magazine are a treasure trove of information about that era, and provide an incredible look back at the origins of the BFLs. [Read more…]

OT Plus Santee Equals a Record

OT Fears and paert of his record weight. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

OT Fears and paert of his record weight. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

By 1994, Oklahoma pro OT Fears had won the 1987 Red Man All-American on the Arkansas River and established himself as a full-time pro, but despite three Bassmaster Classic appearances, he’d yet to win a B.A.S.S. event. He’d finished 4th at Truman Reservoir in 1983, but since that time he’d notched just four top tens, finishing no better than 7th in any event.

In the mid-90s, though, he went on a bit of a tear, winning three events in the span of 20 tournaments, during a time period of just over a year and a half. The first of those was the 1994 South Carolina Invitational on Santee Cooper, which proved to be not only his B.A.S.S. breakthrough, but also a record-breaker. He won with 77-04 over three days, including a then-record one day, five fish limit of 34 pounds 4 ounces. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Co-Anglers or Pros? Answer and Winner

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to Art Miller for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest. Since we can’t confirm the Miles Hair answer, we’re going to give it to him.  Read below for the answer.

The 1996 Bassmaster Top 100 on South Carolina’s Lake Murray marked Stacey King’s first B.A.S.S. win after a decade of attempts. The King of Table Rock went on to win again six years later at a Central Invitational on Toledo Bend.

The Murray event was unusual for another reason – while B.A.S.S. had previously canceled single tournament days, a long-lingering front forced the cancellation of two competition days. What was set to be a four-day event was cut in half.

Fortunately for King, when the winds subsided he went to town on a very fertile and still grass-laden Lake Murray. On the first day the field actually got to fish, he sacked a 33-02 five-fish limit, a haul which to that point had been exceeded only in another South Carolina event – when OT Fears caught 34-04 at Santee two years earlier. His limit included a 9-04 largemouth. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Co-Anglers or Pros?

Photo Bassmaster.com

The 1996 Bassmaster Top 100 on South Carolina’s Lake Murray marked Stacey King’s first B.A.S.S. win after a decade of attempts. The King of Table Rock went on to win again six years later at a Central Invitational on Toledo Bend.

The Murray event was unusual for another reason – while B.A.S.S. had previously canceled single tournament days, a long-lingering front forced the cancellation of two competition days. What was set to be a four-day event was cut in half.

Fortunately for King, when the winds subsided he went to town on a very fertile and still grass-laden Lake Murray. On the first day the field actually got to fish, he sacked a 33-02 five-fish limit, a haul which to that point had been exceeded only in another South Carolina event – when OT Fears caught 34-04 at Santee two years earlier. His limit included a 9-04 largemouth. [Read more…]