Early Days of the Empire

1982 Bass Pro Shops ad and offer

1982 Bass Pro Shops ad and offer

We’ve spent a bit of time looking back at some of the first ads from Bass Pro Shops, with the majority of those items being dated from the mid- to late-1970s. Today, we have another old Bass Pro ad to share with you, this one from 1982, just a few years later than those earliest ones. This was a 2-page ad that appeared in Field & Stream magazine, but one I find rather interesting from several different perspectives – not the least of which is the headline to start the ad off, “We’re out to get your fishing tackle business.” Oh, how telling, but that’s just the beginning. [Read more…]

Old Boat Ads – World’s Largest Ranger Dealer (and 1989 prices)

1989 Greene Boat & Motor ad

1989 Greene Boat & Motor ad

Consider this post a teaser for a much more in-depth piece Terry is writing concerning the history of Greene Boat & Motor. One thing many of you will likely remember from reading all the popular bass mags at the time was seeing the ads from Greene’s Boat and Motor of Spindale, NC, who, at the time, was the World’s Largest Ranger Dealer.  I came across this great description of their operation this weekend from a local angler; “Hubert & his wife Rose (Rose, Sandy, and Hubert) had the largest Ranger dealership period…..they had a fantastic selection of Rangers and would make you a fair deal…..their service was second to none….in its heyday there were about 10 service bays and 2 rigging bays…they had 5 or 6 certified OMC techs and master mechanics….make an appointment like with a dentist and you would have your service work done in a couple of hours….when Johnson 150s were blowing heads they would rebuild them all winter and when you came in with the blown head they could have you back on the water the same day.”

Terry will likely get into all the dealer history and specifics in his interview piece, including Hubert’s passing in early 2007. What is fascinating to me at the moment, though, were the publicly advertised prices. I’ve been involved in several big discussions this winter over the rising cost of bass fishing, and at the heart of that conversation is current boat pricing. [Read more…]

More Bass Boats – 1974

Bass Cat Boats ad 1974.

Bass Cat Boats ad 1974.

I know we’ve already done Old Bass Boats – 1974 but having recently come across some more ads of boats from that year, I felt in order to be complete, I need to add these to the mix. The boats shown below range from companies that we covered in that earlier article but there’s also some newcomers to the ring. For example there are a couple of new Ranger ads that I’d never seen. There was also a really early Bass Cat ad I’d never seen – it may have been their first ad.

So, without wasting anymore time or bandwidth, here are some more boats from 1974. [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…]

What’s a Raised Flipping Deck?

January 1990 Pro Deck Ad.

January 1990 Pro Deck Ad.

Here’s an interesting ad I found in the January 1990 American Bass Association’s (the California-based ABA that started circa 1986 or so) newsletter. For those of you reading who have only been bass fishing for the last 20 years, this may seem a bit confusing, though.

The ad states Pro Deck will not only raise the height of your deck for better flipping but also add under-deck storage and even extend the deck back towards the consoles. At the time of this ad most of the bass boat manufacturers didn’t have flipping decks in their boats. What is a standard deck today is the work of a number of crafty anglers throughout the U.S. who  actually built their own deck extensions over the existing small decks on their boats at the time. [Read more…]

Old Boat Ads – 1973

1973 Ranger TR-4 Boat Ad. Where's Burt Reynolds?

1973 Ranger TR-4 Boat Ad. Where’s Burt Reynolds?

Okay, it’s been a while since we’ve done a Retro Boat ad piece here so I thought it would be good to pick up where we left off – 1973.

By 1973 bass boats and bass boat companies were coming out of every one-stop town in the U.S. In 1972, 11 manufacturers put ads in the top bass fishing magazines – 1973 would feature 15 boat manufacturers and I’m sure there were a number of other companies who hadn’t yet made the leap to advertise. [Read more…]

A Look Back at 2012 Part Two

1975 Bass Cat ad - the first to go in Bassmaster Magazine.

1975 Bass Cat ad – the first to go in Bassmaster Magazine.

Today’s look back will give you something to do for a while. Without a doubt, you readers like to check out the boats of the old days. Over the course of the last year we’ve been chronicling the history of the bass boat through old ads in magazines. Here are the links to those pieces. Enjoy!

Old Boat Ads – 1970

Old Boat Ads – 1971

Old Boat Ads – 1972

Build Your Own Bass Boat 70s Style

Old Boat Ads – Bass Cat




Classic Memorabilia — Filet O Fish?

Photo Pete Robbins

Over the years, B.A.S.S. has presented the Classic media brigade with a wide variety of souvenirs and knick-knacks, primarily but not exclusively fishing-related. Usually these came from sponsors, so any time you see a portly writer in an ill-fitting Ranger/Triton/Berkley/Mercury t-shirt, toting a floating key chain or drinking from a mini bottle of Evan Williams, there’s a chance he picked it up at the most recent world championship. Those who go back a long ways might even sport a pair of B.A.S.S.-provided Wranger fishing jeans.

The swag isn’t entirely from B.A.S.S. sponsors, though. Sometimes the host city, which has no doubt paid a pretty penny to bring the event to their waterway, will try to get in on the act. In Shreveport we got aprons and briefcases from the Chamber of Commerce. In New Orleans we got Mardi Gras beads (believe me, you don’t want to see 99% of the outdoor media lifting their shirts). [Read more…]

Old Boats – A Chance Encounter

A Nov 2011 picture of a 1973 Ranger. Photo Terry Battisti.

It’s been a while since we put up an Old Boats post an that’s in the works for the near future. But I did come across this old one when I was down in Huntsville, AL about a year ago. Here I am in the general store with my buddy Alan Clemons getting a fishing license a couple of Yoo Hoos and the ever-required Vienna sausages when this 1973 Ranger pulled up to get gas. I put down the Yoo Hoos – AC was holding the sausages – and ran for the gas pump. [Read more…]

Old Boat Ads – 1972

Arrow Glass Trophy Mark VI Ad 1972

Now we’re rolling. In the 1971 version of Old Boat Ads we featured eight boat companies and their bass boat ads. This was up from four companies displaying their wares from 1970 magazines. The manufacturers present in ’71 were Astroglass, Glastron, King Fisher (Master Molders), MonArk, Ouachita, Ranger, Rebel and Thunderbird.

In 1972, though, five more companies decided to participate in the Bass Boat Ad campaign, while a couple may have decided their money would be better spent in areas other than advertising. In any event, the ads from 1972 showed that the bass boat market was getting really competitive and boat companies were beginning to jockey for market share just by the number of ads placed and the fact they were showing multiple boat models in their ads.

Here are the ads I was able to come up with form the year 1972. I hope you enjoy this look back in time. [Read more…]