Your Legacy Will Live On Harold

Harold Sharp B.A.S.S. Tournament Director 1970 to 1986.

Harold Sharp B.A.S.S. Tournament Director 1970 to 1986.

Without fail, it seems every year one of bass fishing’s forefathers passes to the great lake in the sky and the sport is left with a gaping hole. In 2012 we lost Homer Circle and in 2013, Doug Hannon. In January of this year we lost lure giant Cotton Cordell and I was hoping that would be it – there just aren’t many of the old-timers left – and from my selfish perspective, they have so much to offer with respect to the history of our beloved sport.

Then last week, we lost a man who helped change the sport of bass fishing to make it what it is today. That man was Harold Sharp. Yes, Ray Scott gets the credit for starting the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society – that fact will never be argued. And, Ray started the sport the right way, by making sure there was a firm set of rules and that every angler adhered to them. But it was Harold Sharp who, along with Ray Scott, wrote the B.A.S.S. rules, regulations and bylaws, started the B.A.S.S. Chapter (what would eventually become The Federation/Nation) and started the Chattanooga Bass Club – all in the same night. (if you’d like to read the story, click on this link from one of Harold’s columns back from March, 2013) [Read more…]

Classic Patches – 1971 through 1980

Bassmaster Classic I Patch. Winner Bobby Murray. Venue Lake Mead, NV.

Bassmaster Classic I Patch. Winner Bobby Murray. Venue Lake Mead, NV.

I Travel a lot for my day job, often times more than three weeks a month. The past four months have been especially difficult in that I’ve been on the road for more than 90-percent of that time. You know you travel a lot when you know, by name, flight attendants and hotel concierges – and I seem to know my share of them.

I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First I want to apologize to the readers and supporters of the site for not delivering better pieces – ones that I’ve either promised or need to do. Hopefully my day job will calm down some in the near future and I’ll be able to get back to the historical pieces I’ve had on the back burner for some time now. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Classic Contestants 1973 (Answer & Winner; March 30, 2015)

Rayo Breckenridge holds the Classic III trophy and one of his final day's fish as Bill Dance holds Breckenridge's check. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Rayo Breckenridge holds the Classic III trophy and one of his final day’s fish as Bill Dance holds Breckenridge’s check. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Congrats to Rich Johnson for winning this week’s Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For details on this pair of 1973 contestants, as well as some other interesting facts, keep reading.  

Back in the early days of the Bassmaster Classic, members of the press got personal invites to attend as writer-observers. In 1973 there were 50 members invited to the event held on Clark Hill Res. in South Carolina. One of those invited was Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros. Spence was to meet in New Orleans on October 22, and the following day he boarded a chartered jet where they flew off to the secret Classic location. After being up in the air for a while, Ray Scott opened a white envelope and announced the location from 30,000 feet. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Classic Contestants 1973

Rayo Breckenridge holds the Classic III trophy and one of his final day's fish as Bill Dance holds Breckenridge's check. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Rayo Breckenridge holds the Classic III trophy and one of his final day’s fish as Bill Dance holds Breckenridge’s check. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Back in the early days of the Bassmaster Classic, members of the press got personal invites to attend as writer-observers. In 1973 there were 50 members invited to the event held on Clark Hill Res. in South Carolina. One of those invited was Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros. Spence was to meet in New Orleans on October 22, and the following day he boarded a chartered jet where they flew off to the secret Classic location. After being up in the air for a while, Ray Scott opened a white envelope and announced the location from 30,000 feet. [Read more…]

The Bassmaster Classics – 1971 through 1980

Bobby Murray would be the first angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. The event, held on Lake Mead, NV would start the fire that continues to this day.

Bobby Murray would be the first angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. The event, held on Lake Mead, NV would start the fire that continues to this day. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s note: To read Part Two, Classics XI-XX click here]

Of all the weeks in the bass fishing world this week is probably the most followed by fans of the sport. It’s Bassmaster Classic week, the time when the world championship of bass fishing takes place. Over the years the Classic has been held in the autumn, summer and now the later winter. But the season doesn’t matter – it’s the biggest event in our sport and one that has made household names out of nobodies for decades.

In the spirit of Classic week, we’re going to finish out the week looking back at the first 30 years of Classic history. We’ll look at the winners, the near misses, and the techniques/patterns that cemented the winners in Bassmaster Classic history.

So let’s move on to the first 10 years [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Five

Not a "natural lake specialist," Rick Clunn would fight his demons and end up winning the 1977 Bassmaster Classic on Florida's Lake Toho despite the fact he had never weighed more than 13 pounds in any event held in the sunshine state. Photo from a Bagley's ad in the Feruary 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Not a “natural lake specialist,” Rick Clunn would fight his demons and end up winning the 1977 Bassmaster Classic on Florida’s Lake Toho despite the fact he had never weighed more than 13 pounds in any event held in the sunshine state. Photo from a Bagley’s ad in the Feruary 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the final part of the five-part series on the 1977 Bassmaster tournament trail. To read the other parts, click on the appropriate link – part one (the first half of the season), part two (the second half of the season), part three (the Federation Championship), part four (the Classic Contenders).]

Since 1971 Bassmaster Trail anglers fished not only to win, but to qualify for what had become fishing’s biggest event of the year, the Bassmaster Classic. Through six events anglers would accumulate points in hopes of making the year-end event that, even at that time, was being billed as the Super Bowl of bass fishing.

In 1977 the rules stated that the top 24 anglers from the AOY race would be selected plus an additional angler from the Federation Championship. There was also another rule, one that actually brought the Classic contender list up to 26, that stated if an angler fished every event in the year and won one, he’d also qualify for the Classic. Dave Gliebe did such and was the 26th man invited. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Four

For the third time in his career, Bill Dance was the Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 1977.

For the third time in his career, Bill Dance was the Bassmaster Angler of the Year in 1977.

In the previous three parts of this series we covered the first half of the 1977 Bassmaster Trail, the second half of the trail and the Federation Championship. In Part Four we’re going to look at the Bassmaster Classic contenders, the 25 top anglers from the AOY race plus the Federation qualifier – Bill Stephens of Alabama.

Also of note, a misunderstanding was discovered in the 1977 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine – the Angler of the Year data we used for the last installment of this series. The Classic entry rules for 1977 stated they would be taking the top-24 anglers in the AOY race. Bassmaster printed the top-25 AOY standings and we took those to be the Classic contenders to include #25 Woo Daves. When looking at the Classic standings, though, we noticed that Dave Gliebe fished the event and not Woo Daves. [Read more…]

Git Off Your Duff

Fangard Bass Pro Pole ad from 1982.

Fangard Bass Pro Pole ad from 1982.

Young anglers nowadays probably have no idea how anglers fished back in the day. Boats of the ‘60s, ‘70s and even through the ‘80s were sold one way – with “captain’s chairs” fore and aft. In fact, the higher-end boat companies not only sold their boats with these chairs, they offered chairs with arms as an upgrade. Nearly everyone sat when they were fishing – standing only when they hooked a fish or got a snag.

The trend to stand while fishing took a while for the everyday angler to catch on. In the small boats of the day, remember boats at the time were between 15- and 17-feet long, it was difficult to stand in rough water and no one wanted to take the chance of leaving the seats behind in the event the weather kicked up. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Bill Dance wins his second Bassmaster AOY title in 1977. Photo 1978 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bill Dance wins his second Bassmaster AOY title in 1977. Photo 1978 February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a five-part series on the 1977 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part One covered the first half of the regular season, Part Three will cover the BASS Chapter Federation Nationals, Part Four the Classic Qualifiers and Part Five the Bassmaster Classic. This part will cover the second half of the regular season.]

With the first half of the 1977 season in the books, Bill Dance had a commanding lead in the Angler of the Year points race, 59 points ahead of second-place angler Steve Goodwin. Also among the top 10 were Bassmaster stalwarts Roger Moore (3rd), Jimmy Houston (4th), Al Lindner (5th), Paul Chamblee (7th), Jack Hains (8th), Bill Ward (9th) and Larry Nixon (10th).

Relative newcomer and all-around top money winner for 1977 Dave Gliebe sat in the 11th position while veteram Ricky Green took up the 17th spot. On the bubble were two anglers you would expect more out of, Rick Clunn (22nd) and Roland Martin (23rd). Would they be able to make a charge in the second half of the season and qualify for the Bassmaster Classic? We’d have to wait and see. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Tommy Martin Started Fast, Keeps on Going Answer and Winner (March 10, 2014)

Tommy Martin hoists the 1974 Bassmaster Classic trophy. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Tommy Martin hoists the 1974 Bassmaster Classic trophy. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Congratulations to Andy Williamson for winning this week’s trivia contest! For the answers read below.

As Terry has previously outlined, the 1974 Bassmaster Classic field was chock-full of anglers who became legends in the sport of bass fishing. Of the 29 competitors, though, only a few are still actively competing in tournaments for a living. Some, like Billy Westmorland, Rayo Breckenridge and Stan Sloan, have passed away. Others, including Johnny Morris, Al Lindner, Bill Dance and Bobby Murray, have pursued other opportunities in the industry. Meanwhile, even as relative contemporaries like Denny Brauer and George Cochran have retired, 40 years later Roland Martin, Rick Clunn and winner Tommy Martin keep on going strong. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Tommy Martin Started Fast, Keeps on Going (March 10, 2014)

Tommy Martin hoists the 1974 Bassmaster Classic trophy. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Tommy Martin hoists the 1974 Bassmaster Classic trophy. Photo Bassmaster.com.

As Terry has previously outlined, the 1974 Bassmaster Classic field was chock-full of anglers who became legends in the sport of bass fishing. Of the 29 competitors, though, only a few are still actively competing in tournaments for a living. Some, like Billy Westmorland, Rayo Breckenridge and Stan Sloan, have passed away. Others, including Johnny Morris, Al Lindner, Bill Dance and Bobby Murray, have pursued other opportunities in the industry. Meanwhile, even as relative contemporaries like Denny Brauer and George Cochran have retired, 40 years later Roland Martin, Rick Clunn and winner Tommy Martin keep on going strong. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Classic History Answers and Winner (February 17, 2014)

Jimmy Houston Bassmaster Classic V. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Jimmy Houston Bassmaster Classic V. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Congrats to John Karbowski for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Archives trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers read below.

The 44th Bassmaster Classic is set to begin in only four days. It’s hard to believe that 43 years ago 24 of the best anglers in the world congregated in Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in Classic I on Lake Mead. Fishing in relative obscurity – minus those who were in the media corp or followed the fledgling Bassmaster Magazine – those anglers carved the way for this week’s field and what has become known as the biggest tournament in bass fishing. [Read more…]