Monday Trivia – Laissez les bon temps roulez Answer and Winner (May 18, 2015)

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Congratulations to Al H. for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits!  For the answer, read below.

As the son of renowned bass biologist and product inventor Loren Hill, Kenyon Hill may have been destined to pursue a career in tournament fishing. He fished his first B.A.S.S. event in December of 1986 at the age of 22, and since then has qualified for four Bassmaster Classics and has won three events. He continues to fish the Elite Series in 2015. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Laissez les bon temps roulez (May 18, 2015)

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kenyon Hill. Photo Bassmaster.com.

As the son of renowned bass biologist and product inventor Loren Hill, Kenyon Hill may have been destined to pursue a career in tournament fishing. He fished his first B.A.S.S. event in December of 1986 at the age of 22, and since then has qualified for four Bassmaster Classics and has won three events. He continues to fish the Elite Series in 2015. [Read more…]

Not so Bitter Anymore: The 1990 Golden Blend Championship

The cover of the January/February edition of Bass Fishing magazine, the publication of Operation Bass, had Jim Bitter front and center for his Golden Blend Championship win.

The cover of the January/February edition of Bass Fishing magazine, the publication of Operation Bass, had Jim Bitter front and center for his Golden Blend Championship win.

Back in November, we solicited information from readers about the history of the Operation Bass Golden Blend tournament series. We’d put together a basic outline of the circuit’s history, but we had little meat to put on those bones. Thanks to one of our great readers and supporters, Andy Williamson, we have a bit more to add.

In that original article, we mentioned Jim Bitter’s 1990 win on Lake Chickamauga. Specificially, we explained that “[t]he win marked a strong period in Bitter’s career, as he’d won MegaBucks IV on the Harris Chain two years earlier.” Left unsaid was the fact that it came on the heels of what is for many – fairly or unfairly – the defining moment of Bitter’s long career, his failure to win the 1989 Bassmaster Classic. As you may recall, Bitter had the winning fish in his hand, but when he went to re-measure it under the gaze of Tim Tucker’s camera, it slipped from his hand and back into the James River. Hank Parker ended up beating him by two ounces. Gone were not only the lasting glory of a Classic win, but also the $50,000 top prize. [Read more…]

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…]

Monday Trivia – Quit While You’re Ahead? (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.

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.

Byrd almost didn’t enter the event. He’d planned to participate in the entire season that spanned the latter half of 1989 and the first half of 1990, but when he found out that there was still space in the last tournament of the prior season (the Guntersville tournament), he decided to fish that one, too. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Stone Pony Answer and Winner (August 11, 2014)

Marty Stone. Photo Bassmaster.com

Marty Stone. Photo Bassmaster.com

Editor’s Note.  In light of the fact that no one answered the questions correctly today, we would normally not have a winner. But, since Steve M got both parts of Question 4 correct and we didn’t catch the incorrect answers for 1, until we already posted he won, we’re going to give it to him this time. For the answers to this week’s contest, read below.

In a B.A.S.S. career that spanned the years from 1993 through 2010, Marty Stone earned two wins, the first of which came during a challenging event on Alabama’s Lake Wheeler in March of 1999. While Wheeler today is known for producing large quantities of bass, even if they’re not typically as big as those in neighboring Guntersville, it was a stingy fishery during the 1999 Bassmaster Top 150. After inclement weather forced the cancellation of Day One, it took less than 16 pounds over two days to make the top 40 and the money. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Stone Pony (August 11, 2014)

Marty Stone. Photo Bassmaster.com

Marty Stone. Photo Bassmaster.com

In a B.A.S.S. career that spanned the years from 1993 through 2010, Marty Stone earned two wins, the first of which came during a challenging event on Alabama’s Lake Wheeler in March of 1999. While Wheeler today is known for producing large quantities of bass, even if they’re not typically as big as those in neighboring Guntersville, it was a stingy fishery during the 1999 Bassmaster Top 150. After inclement weather forced the cancellation of Day One, it took less than 16 pounds over two days to make the top 40 and the money. [Read more…]

Magazines – Divisive Details

April 1992 cover of Details magazine.

April 1992 cover of Details magazine.

[In past entries on the Bass Fishing Archives, we’ve discussed numerous articles from old fishing magazines, as well as some coverage of the sport outside of our usual orbit. For example, on two occasions we’ve examined Sports Illustrated’s treatment of bass fishing (click here and here) and we’ve also examined how the topic has been addressed in the New York Times. To date, though, we’ve dedicated little space to how and when publications that would seem to have nothing to do with bass fishing have covered angling. Obviously, magazines like Life and Time have on occasion chronicled the sport in general or certain aspects thereof, and we may cover those later, but today we’re going to look at an article from a periodical that you’d never expect to provide any space at all to competitive fishing – Details magazine.] [Read more…]

The 1977 American Angler Oklahoma National

Old school Okiebug patch from Don Butler's Okiebug spinnerbait lure company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Old school Okiebug patch from Don Butler’s Okiebug spinnerbait lure company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Recently I was able to get a hold of a couple old Okiebug patches – a standard Okiebug patch that many anglers displayed prominently on their jumpsuits of the day and another that really intrigued me.

The patch that really caught my attention was from an American Angler Pro-Bass Tour tournament held in 1977 at Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma. The event, dubbed as the Oklahoma National, was sponsored by Okiebug. What got my attention first was Don Butler, owner of Okiebug, was close friends with Ray Scott – having been the first life member of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and also the guy who sent Scott $10,000 in order for him to pay for a direct mailing campaign he was trying to get rolling. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Not so Bitter Answer and Winner (September 30, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to Duke Jenkle for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! That makes it two weeks in a row we’ve had a winner. For the answers read below.

Eight years after the end of his career with B.A.S.S., Jim Bitter is probably best remembered for a snippet from his lowlight reel – watching the winning fish flop out of his hands at the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River, thereby ceding the title to Hank Parker. That’s unfortunate, because the Florida pro produced results that many other competitors would envy. He totaled nearly $850,000 in B.A.S.S. winnings, qualified for seven Bassmaster Classics and won five events. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Not so Bitter (September 30, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Eight years after the end of his career with B.A.S.S., Jim Bitter is probably best remembered for a snippet from his low-light reel – watching the winning fish flop out of his hands at the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River, thereby ceding the title to Hank Parker. That’s unfortunate, because the Florida pro produced results that many other competitors would envy. He totaled nearly $850,000 in B.A.S.S. winnings, qualified for seven Bassmaster Classics and won five events.

Three of those wins came in 1995, when he won the Texas Invitational at Sam Rayburn, the Minnesota Top 100 at Minnetonka and the New York Top 100 on the Hudson River. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Zell on Top Answer and Winner (September 9, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Although the two readers that commented on this week’s trivia contest were close, they both missed the last question, “who won big bass and what did he catch it on?”Come back next week for a chance to win a $25 e-coupon from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, read below.

Texan Zell Rowland earned his first B.A.S.S. victory at the 1986 Super-Invitational, weighing in 27 bass over the course of four days that totaled 39 pounds 6 ounces and thereby beating 225 other pros. Since that time he’s won four more, including two wins at Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. The most recent B.A.S.S. trophy on his mantle came in 2005.

Rowland’s average of just under 10 pounds a day may seem paltry, but it looms large when viewed in the context of others’ catches – stars including Jack Chancellor (1 pound), Ken Cook (1-11) and Roland Martin (2-06) all failed to crack the code of Chattanooga’s Chickamauga and Nickajack Lakes. [Read more…]