Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 1

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

This column seems to be the one most frequented by readers so we’re going to give you more of what you like – Old Bass Boats 1978 style. In Part 1, we’re going to start out with the various tournament organizations’ specialty boats. This phenomena all started with Ray Scott and the 1971 Bassmasterr Classic when he purchased from Rebel 25 identical boats for use by the 24 Classic contenders on Lake Mead. After the event the boats were put up for sale and became another form of income for the fledgling tournament organization. [Read more…]

Bobby Murray – The Late ‘60s and Early ‘70s

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late '60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

Bobby Murray holds up three pigs he caught in the late ’60s. Photo/Video Bobby Murray.

This is a special video. It’s not often you get to see video of the first days of competitive bass fishing – and I mean the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Yeah, there’s coverage on the Bassmaster.com website of the 1971 Classic – and it’s an amazing look back in time – but how many of you have seen video from 1968, 1969 and even 1970? Well, today, thanks to Bobby Murray and Carlisle Tire, we have something special to share with you.

Bobby Murray was kind enough to invite Mike Quinn of Carlisle Tire to his house in Arkansas to talk the old days of competitive bass fishing. During that visit Bobby showed Mike some old 8mm film footage of some early Bassmasterr events. Quinn, with the permission of Murray, had the film digitized and ran it in the Carlisle Tire booth at the Hartwell Classic just a week ago. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Ranger Boats Answer and WInner (December 15,2014)

Guess who has a new owner?

Guess who has a new owner?

Congrats to Rob Melendez for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below.

Seems like all the talk in the bass fishing world for the past several days has been about the new owner of Ranger Boats. Keeping this week’s trivia question timely, and perhaps a bit easier than the past couple, you’ll need to answer these 4 questions related to Ranger Boats in order to claim this week’s trivia prize, sponsored by Gary Yamamto Custom Baits. Good luck.

  1. The new owners now become the 5th entity to have owned Ranger boats since their start. Name all 5 company owners to date.
  2. May 1971 was a significant date in Ranger history. Why?
  3. Shortly after orders in the new Ranger Boat Co. took off, expanded operations were moved into a former dance hall in town. What was the  name of that old hall?
  4. Now a long time member of Triton Boats Pro Staff, what Elite Series pro traveled with Basil Bacon while he was on Ranger’s pro-staff back in the 80s?

The answers follow: [Read more…]

A Look Through Bassmaster Magazine: 10 Years Ago

Bassmaster Magazine, March 2004

Bassmaster Magazine, March 2004

The fishing industry is always changing – new products, new companies, new anglers. I randomly grabbed a Bassmaster magazine sitting on my shelf from 10 years ago (March 2004) and was looking through the ads mostly, when it struck me how much has changed…and how much has stayed the same. Here’s what I found.

Starting off with the cover photo for this issue, a widely grinning Timmy Horton wearing a BOOYAH Baits visor. As best I can tell, it seems Timmy is no longer on their pro staff, a fairly recent event from what I can gather. Next is a big, two page ad for Lucky Craft, where I noticed all the crankbait lines available then are still available now. However, it appears their spinner line has changed, with the current website not showing the BMH and MH-1s from the ad. Looks like they’re sticking mostly with what made them famous, their hi-tech line of hard baits, now expanded and larger than ever. However, a quick look at the national pro staff pics from that ad did reveal a few personnel changes. Still around are Kelly Jordon, Tak, Skeet and Joe Thomas. However, it appears Gerald Swindle, Marty Stone and Mike Auten are no longer part of that team. [Read more…]

My First Bass – Dave Lefebre

Dave Lefebre at the FLW Cup talks about the first bass he caught. Photo Heidi Roth.

Dave Lefebre at the FLW Cup talks about the first bass he caught. Photo Heidi Roth.

We all remember our first bass – or at least the first bass we set out to catch. The memory always holds a deep place in our hearts. But just because bass pros make their living at catching bass doesn’t mean the thought of their first largemouth or smallmouth doesn’t bring back a flood good memories. In fact, it was usually that first fish that paved the way for them choosing their profession. Dave Lefebre is no different. [Read more…]

This Month in Bass Fishing History – September 2014

In 2009 Gary Dobyns won the 2009 US Open on Lake Mead.

In 2009 Gary Dobyns won the 2009 US Open on Lake Mead.

Let’s return to this great concept that Brian started up. Another month, another quick look at the anniversaries of major events:

5 YEARS AGO: Western legend Gary Dobyns won the US Open for the first time at age 50, beating 2014 winner (and now three-time champion) Clifford Pirch by over 3 pounds to take the title after numerous near misses. According to the BassFan report of the event, Dobyns battled nausea and dehydration to take the brass ring with a total catch of 32.91 pounds over three days. His primary tools were a Gary Yamamoto Hula Grub, a Lucky Craft DBS4 and a Lucky Craft Gunfish 95. The boat included as part of the prize package was the 40th that he’d won in competition. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three

Alabama wins the 1977 Federation Team Championship on Kentucky Lake. Phot 1977 November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Alabama wins the 1977 Federation Team Championship on Kentucky Lake. Phot 1977 November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Somewhere between 1976 and 1977, the name of the B.A.S.S. Chapter had become the B.A.S.S. Federation. What didn’t change between those two years was the fact that the leader of the winning Federation team would again be invited to the Bassmaster Classic to compete against seasoned professionals and a chance at winning what was then called the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.”

1977 would also mark the fifth year for the Federation State Team Championship and the record-setting turnout of 35 states proved the championship had legs. As with the past, each state held qualifying events in order to put together a 6-man team to send to the Championship. In the past, the southerners had won every event – Tennessee (1973), Missouri (1974), Louisiana (1975) and Tennessee (1976) – and in the 1977 November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine, B.A.S.S. poked a little fun at the teams outside of the South by saying: [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 23

I've always felt richly blessed to have had opportunity to spend a little time with the beautiful couple you see here.  They are Forrest and Nina Wood, the founders of Ranger Boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I’ve always felt richly blessed to have had opportunity to spend a little time with the beautiful couple you see here. They are Forrest and Nina Wood, the founders of Ranger Boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

In my previous Let’s Look Back column I had opportunity to share a few memories of a valued friend.  He’s one that has played a tremendous role in professional bass fishing almost since it the day started.

If you read that column you know the man I wrote about was Forrest Wood, the founder of Ranger Boats and one of the most respected men you’ll ever find in this business of bass fishing for bucks.

That previous column just detailed one of my memories where Forrest is concerned.  There are many others and I’d like to share a couple more this time around. [Read more…]

How They Started – Tommy Biffle

Biffle wins the 1995 Bassmaster Illinois Top 100 on the Mississippi River. Photo 1995 July/August issue of  Bassmaster Magazine.

Biffle wins the 1995 Bassmaster Illinois Top 100 on the Mississippi River. Photo 1995 July/August issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for nearly 30 years there’s no doubt you’ve heard the name Tommy Biffle. Having made a living bass fishing since his first event on the St Lawrence River in New York, Biffle is one of the stalwarts of the sport – rarely out of contention rarely going home without a check.

As Classic XLIV approached, Tommy Biffle had made the big show 18 times – Guntersville was his 19th appearance in the sport’s most-heralded championship. That’s batting 660 folks – a darn good average.

After 305 Bassmaster events, 92 FLW tournaments, and countless other tournaments with other organizations, he’s finished in the money better than 60% of the time. A consistent angler without a doubt. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 22

Few men have had a bigger impact on the world of professional bass fishing than my friend Forrest Wood.  He's also a darn good fisherman himself.  Here he's rigs a bait I got to watch him use once while we were both taking a little time away from attending a Bassmasters Classic. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Few men have had a bigger impact on the world of professional bass fishing than my friend Forrest Wood. He’s also a darn good fisherman himself. Here he rigs a bait I got to watch him use once while we were both taking a little time away from attending a Bassmasters Classic. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I started writing about bass fishing a couple of weeks after the Pilgrims found that big rock in the eastern part of the country.

Well, maybe it hasn’t been quite that long but sometimes it feels like it.  My first newspaper fishing columns were written in 1946.  That’s 68 years ago if my Scandinavian arithmetic is reasonably close to being correct.

Write columns for newspapers, do features for magazines and eventually the Internet, plus giving casting exhibitions all over the place for almost the same length of time has brought unexpected bonuses from time to time. [Read more…]

Anglers Marine – 33 Years Later

Anglers Marine Ad. Photo Western Bass Magazine March-April 1984.

Anglers Marine Ad. Photo Western Bass Magazine March-April 1984.

Bass fishing in the west may not be as big as it is in the southern states but believe me, what they lack in numbers of lakes and anglers, they make up for with exceptional fishing and high-quality anglers. And, where ever you have bass anglers, you’re bound to have marine dealerships that sell bass boats. It’s not a very difficult concept to grasp.

In the early 70s through the 80s, there were numerous boat dealerships that dealt with bass boats in the southern California region. Here’s a short list and the boats they sold just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. [Read more…]

The Fishin’ Machine

Ricky Green holds his second 1st-place Bassmaster trophy from his win on Sam Rayburn in 1974. Photo May/June 1974 issue of  Bassmaster Magazine.

Ricky Green holds his second 1st-place Bassmaster trophy from his win on Sam Rayburn in 1974. Photo May/June 1974 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

In 1985 one of the most-respected boat companies came out with a new-concept boat that rocked the bass boat industry. The boat had all the amenities needed for high-level competition. They were fast, offered a passenger rod trough, rod locker ventilation and a console that looked more like it should be in an F-16 than a boat. The boat was the Cajun Ricky Green Fishin’ Machine.

By 1985 Ricky Green had been fishing as a full-time professional for a dozen years. He fished his first tournament at the age of 24 – the 1968 Arkansas State Championship at Greers Ferry – and won it. In that event he met Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon and Jerry McKinnis. [Read more…]