Monday Trivia – Classic History (February 17, 2014)

Jimmy Houston Bassmaster Classic V. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Jimmy Houston Bassmaster Classic V. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

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.

To go with our theme, this week’s trivia contest will again be based on trivia from Classics past.  Answer the following four questions correctly and you’ll win the $25 e-coupon from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. [Read more…]

Memories of an Original Tournament Brat – Joey Breckenridge

Rayo Breckenridge and his wife Marilyn. Photo courtesy of Joey Breckenridge.

Rayo Breckenridge and his wife Marilyn. Photo courtesy of Joey Breckenridge.

We’ve covered a lot of of stories about the original tournament anglers here on the Bass Fishing Archives – a list too long to even think of listing. What we haven’t covered are the kids who travelled with them, or as the subject of this piece referred to them, the original tournament brats. Today’s subject is about the memories of one such kid, dragged to bass tournaments during his formative years and getting to hang with people like Ray Scott, Tom Mann and Bob Cobb.

A lot of today’s anglers do them same. Prior to an event, campgrounds fill with families, many of which have small children. What may look like your tyical family outting is far from it. Mothers are preparing school lessons or booking the next seminar engagement for their husbands and the men are either out on the lake working or at the campground preparing for their work the next day. The kids? Well, they’re either studying or just being kids. [Read more…]

This Month In Bass Fishing History – October

Another month, another quick look at what went down in bass fishing history. Let’s begin…

Guntersville20 YRS AGO: Built between 1936 and 1939, Guntersville Lake is Alabama’s largest reservoir with waters covering 67,900 acres and 890 shoreline miles. It is also a big bass factory, as well as the site of the upcoming Bassmaster Classic to be held next February. Part of what makes the lake such a great fishery is arguably its fertility as well as its hydrilla and milfoil beds. However, another reason might be the fact that on October 1, 1993, a 15-inch size limit was placed on bass in the lake. That early size limit allowed for smaller, faster growing bass to reach quality size. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: The 1976 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Bassmaster Tournament Trail advertisement from 1976. March/April Bassmaster Magazine.

Bassmaster Tournament Trail advertisement from 1976. March/April Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s note: This is Part One of a three-part series on the 1976 Bassmaster tournament trail. Part One will cover the first half of the season, Part Two will cover the second half and Part Three will cover the 1976 Bassmaster Classic. Also to be included are the 1976 Federation Championship and a look into the Classic contenders.]

The announcement of the 1976 Bassmaster Tournament Trail was given first in the November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine and was touted as being the biggest ever with over $400,000 in prizes – the biggest payout in B.A.S.S. history. To start out, there would be six qualifying tournaments that would feature $50,000 in prizes and money paid out plus another $50,000 dedicated to the Federation and another $50,000 towards the year-end Bassmaster Classic. Extra money would be put towards the Bass Research Foundation to take to 1976 total over the $400K mark. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – The Classic Contenders

Roland Martin win the 1975 AOY Trophy for the fourth time in five years. Photo February 1976 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Roland Martin win the 1975 AOY Trophy for the fourth time in five years. Photo February 1976 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story on the 1975 Bassmaster Trail season. To read part one of the 1975 Season at a Glance click here, to read part two click here and to read about the Federation National event click here.

The 1975 Bassmaster Classic was the fifth Classic and again was to be a secret event where the anglers wouldn’t find out where they were fishing until they were on their way to the event. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Photo Bassmaster Magazine March/April 1975 issue.

Photo Bassmaster Magazine March/April 1975 issue.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1975 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part one will cover the first half of the tournament season, part two will cover the second half and part three will cover the 1975 Bassmaster Classic. There will also be sections on the 1975 Federation Championship and a lead-in article showing Classic contenders and their bios.

The 1975 Bassmaster Tournament Trail started off with a number of rules changes and introduced a new concept in tournament angling – fly-fishing tournaments. Although the horsepower race was already a concern, the ’75 season saw B.A.S.S. finally put into law horsepower restrictions on bass boats. The maximum horsepower allowed on any bass rig would be dictated by the new U.S. Coast Guard capacity plate issued with every boat. For those boats that didn’t have these plates, a restriction was placed on the boat depending on its length. [Read more…]

Pro Bass Angling’s Most Famous Brand?

Name this former professional bass angler!

According to the American Marketing Association Dictionary, a “brand” is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”. A brand can be comprised of a single element, or multiple ones. Some of those elements are things such as names, logos, tagline or catchphrases, graphics, shapes, or colors, among others. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1974 BASS Master Trail – Part Three

Anglers and fans gather at one of the Classic IV weigh-ins located at Joe Wheeler State Park. Photo February 1975 Issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Editor’s Note: This is the third part in a three-part series on the 1974 BASS Master Trail. Part one covered the first three tournaments of the season, while part two covered the three events. This part will cover the 1974 Classic. To read part one, click here and to read part two, click here.


The 1974 Bass Master season would end with 29 of the country’s best anglers vying for the coveted BASS Master Classic title. The Classic IV location would be another mystery-lake event, where anglers wouldn’t know the destination until they stepped on the plane. This time, the lake would be Wheeler Lake in Alabama, a short distance away from B.A.S.S. Headquarters in Montgomery. [Read more…]

1974 Bass Master Classic Preview – The Anglers

Before we go through the highlights of the ’74 Classic, I thought it would be good to introduce the anglers who made the Classic. In the February ’75 issue of Bassmaster Magazine, as was done in the January/February issue of ’74, B.A.S.S. not only gave the Classic report, the magazine also dedicated a substantial number of pages to the Classic qualifiers with respect to their bios. We’re going to go through these bios and touch on the anglers’ accomplishments up to this point in time. No byline was given but I assume it was Bob Cobb who penned the piece.

In this series of biographies, the anglers were asked two primary questions. The first question was, “how they tackle a new body of water,” and the second was, “what they thought of the new oxygen meters that were being sold.” We’ll go through the answers they provided to these questions along with giving a little more of their histories at this time. All photos from the February 1975 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. [Read more…]

Rayo Breckenridge – Classic III Champion

Rayo Breckenridge. Photo courtesy of Joey Breckenridge.

For those of you who remember Classic III winner Rayo Breckenridge, you might be interested in knowing that his son Joey has put together a fan page on Facebook. Joey will be uploading old pictures and memorabilia on the page from time to time showing the life of a BASS Master in the early days of the sport.

Just a month or so ago Rayo was inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame. Rayo was not only an early BASS Master competitor but also host of his TV show, “Rayo Breckenridge Outdoors.” [Read more…]

Classic ’79 and The Debate

Bobby Murray two-time Classic Champion. Photo Bass Master Magazine February 1979.

A couple of weeks ago Brian posted a piece on AOY vs. Classic Winner. The piece got a lot of attention – pieces like this always do – but I have a few things to add to it. If you have that issue of BASS Master Magazine (Feb 1980), you’ll see that they devoted five full pages to this debate – or debacle – if you want to call it that. It was a big deal and this article started the debate amongst anglers and the media that eventually led to the Greatest Angler debate that ESPN held a few years ago.

By the end of the 1979 season, the Classic had been held eight times (’71 through ’78) and the Angler of the Year had been awarded 10 times (’70 through ’79). Here are the AOY and Classic statistics prior to the 1979 Classic. [Read more…]

Bass Master Trail Winners and Records Through 1973

Photo Bass Master Magazine 1973.

In the January/February Issue of Bass Master Magazine was a compiled list of the all-time tournament winners and records up through 1973. It’s a great list that we’re adding to the upper menu bar of the site. In time, as we go through the years, more data will be added. We don’t want to do that right now because there might be some piece of trivia we’ll want to use in future trivia games.

In all, by the end of 1973, B.A.S.S. had held 39 events and gone from a 15-fish one day limit to a 10-fish one day limit. Also, the record for total weight had been broken four times for a 15-fish limit and once for a 10-fish limit. An interesting fact is the first 10-fish limit event that was held, Lake Eufaula, OK in 1970, set that total weight bar and it wouldn’t be broken until 2 1/2 years later at the St. John’s River event. [Read more…]