Fish Tales: Florence, AL – Part Seven

Bill Huntley, Ray Gresham and Tom Smith stand next to Smith's mount of a dozen bass taken from the Tennessee River impoundments in the late 60s and early 70s. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Bill Huntley, Ray Gresham and Tom Smith stand next to Smith’s mount of a dozen bass taken from the Tennessee River impoundments in the late 60s and early 70s. Photo Brenda Serrano.

This installment of Fish Tales, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, features veteran Tennessee River anglers Tom Smith, Ray Gresham and Bill Huntley cutting up on each other.

In this video, Smith talks about some of his early run-ins with Gresham and Huntley, specifically a tackle box he wanted to return to Gresham’s tackle shop and the time he placed an order for Huntley’s Bumble Bee spinnerbaits. Smith went to the “Bumble Bee factory” and was a bit surprised at what he found. [Read more…]

Fish Tales: Florence, Alabama – Part Six

Bill Huntley owner of T&H Marine holds a hefty largemouth. Huntley was instrumental in the advent of the aerated livewell.

Bill Huntley owner of T&H Marine holds a hefty largemouth. Huntley was instrumental in the advent of the aerated livewell.

This installment of Fish Tales, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, is quite timely with respect to this week’s trivia contest. In this video Bill Huntley of T&H Marine talks about his place is the world of catch and release.

When Ray Scott started pushing the Don’t Kill Your Catch rules for his tournaments, he knew there had to be a better way to keep fish alive than keeping them on a stringer. The solution to that problem came in the form of aerated livewells – in some case coolers – in the boats and Bill Huntley ran with it. [Read more…]

Fish Tales: Florence, Alabama – Part Five

1974 Bumble Bee Spinnerbait ad. This is how Bill Huntley initially got into the fishing industry.

1974 Bumble Bee Spinnerbait ad. This is how Bill Huntley initially got into the fishing industry.

In this segment of Fish Tales, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, Bill Huntley talks about how he got into the fishing industry. If you’re an old spinnerbait fan, you might remember that it was Huntley who made the Bumble Bee Spinnerbait, the first spinnerbait that incorporated a ball bearing swivel. Huntley talks about how he came to put that little piece of integral equipment on the spinnerbait, the first to sway away from barrel swivels.

Huntley is better known, though, for his ownership of T&H Marine. Even if you don’t own a Hot Foot there’s no doubt that Huntley and T&H Marine have something on your boat. From lights to cleats to livewell plumbing, T&H marine makes nearly all the accessories that go on all of today’s bass boats.

So, click on the video below and listen to Bill spin a pretty entertaining yarn about how he got into the industry. Click on the links to see Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

 

 

Fish Tales – Florence, Alabama Part Four

Left to right: Bill Huntley (T&H Marine). Ray Gresham and Tom Smith pose around 12 mounted bass from the Tennessee River from the 1960s. The mounts, which belong to Smith, were done by Vernon Bush of Huntsville, AL. The smallmouths are all between 6 and 7-pounds while the biggest largemouth weighs in at 9-02. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Left to right: Bill Huntley (T&H Marine). Ray Gresham and Tom Smith pose around 12 mounted bass from the Tennessee River from the 1960s. The mounts, which belong to Smith, were done by Vernon Bush of Huntsville, AL. The smallmouths are all between 6 and 7-pounds while the biggest largemouth weighs in at 9-02. Photo Brenda Serrano.

In this segment of Fish Takes, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, veteran Tennessee River angler and famous bucktail jig maker Tom Smith talks about the 12-fish stringer he’s had since the early 70s. On this stringer, mounted by Vernon Bush of Huntsville, AL, there isn’t a smallmouth that weighs less than 6-pounds, topped by a 7-pounder, and the biggest largemouth weighs in at 9-02.

Smith caught all the smallmouths while five of the other six were caught by Roy Wilson. The last fish on the stringer was caught by Rick Kim. [Read more…]

Fish Tales – Florence, Alabama Part Three

Left to right: Tom Smith, Ray Gresham, Bill Huntley and Sam Moody talk at the 2014 Fish Tales event held at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Left to right: Tom Smith, Ray Gresham, Bill Huntley and Sam Moody talk at the 2014 Fish Tales event held at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce. Photo Brenda Serrano.

This is Part Three of the video series Fish Tales, filmed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November of 2014. The night featured three well-known Tennessee River anglers, Tom Smith, Ray Gresham and Bill Huntley – and their stories of fishing the Tennessee River impoundments in the early days of competitive bass fishing. [Read more…]

Fish Tales – Florence, Alabama Part Two

Left to right: Tom Smith, Ray Gresham, Bill Huntley and Sam Moody. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Left to right: Tom Smith, Ray Gresham, Bill Huntley and Sam Moody. Photo Brenda Serrano.

In this installment of Fish Tales, a forum held at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, bass fishing and boating legend Bill Huntley talks about his early days of fishing the Tennessee River impoundments. His experience night fishing for smallmouths brought about some of the biggest smallies the river has ever produced. The video is a great look back into the early days of Pickwick Reservoir and also some pretty funny stories. [Read more…]

Fish Tales – Florence, Alabama Part One

Tom Smith and Ray Gresham telling fish tales at the Florence/Lauderdale Visitors' Center. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Tom Smith (left) and Ray Gresham (right) telling fish tales at the Florence/Lauderdale Visitors’ Center. Photo Brenda Serrano.

Back in mid-November we had the opportunity to be a part of a really cool get-together sponsored by the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce. The event, held at the new Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Center brought together three long-time Alabama anglers who’ve been involved with the bass fishing industry since its early days. Dubbed, Fish Tales, the two-hour affair featured Tennessee River legends Tom Smith, Ray Gresham and Bill Huntley, who told stories of how they got started bass fishing along with some pretty funny experiences along the way. [Read more…]

1973 Bass Master Classic Preview – The Anglers

The January/February 1974 Issue of Bass Master Magazine not only had the tournament report for the ’73 Classic, it had a very in-depth look at the Classic contenders – the first time BASS Master had done this. Prior to Part Three of the 1973 Season at a Glance, I felt it best to publish this piece in order to give you more insight as to who fished and what they’d accomplished in the few short years B.A.S.S. had been around. Here are the anglers as they placed in AOY standings. All photos from the January/February 1974 Issue of BASS Master Magazine.

 

(1) Roland Martin (Tulsa, OK)

Roland for the third year in a row had taken the Bass Master AOY award. The only other angler at this time to have won an AOY was Bill Dance, who won it the first year it was inaugurated. Over the 72 and 73 seasons, Martin had been such a dominant player in the game that he’d beaten his opponents by more than a tournament’s worth of points by the end of the year. By this point he had also won seven titles and became only the third angler to win back-to-back events in a season.

His winnings had elevated him to the number-one spot in B.A.S.S. earnings ($36,235.20) and had placed in the money in 23 straight regular season events. All six of his finishes for the year were top-5 finishes. [Read more…]