Lonnie Stanley’s Sam Rayburn History

Famous lure designer and angler, Lonnie Stanley holds a Rayburn pig.

Famous lure designer and angler, Lonnie Stanley holds a Rayburn pig.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir, named for the Texas legislator who was the longest serving Speaker of the House in the history of the United States House of Representatives, was impounded in the mid-1950s, and opened “for business” in 1965. The lake was built for flood control and as a source of hydroelectric power, but it quickly became known for its bass fishing, drawing anglers from long distances who wanted to fish for fun, catch big fish, or participate in tournaments.

The piney woods of East Texas have been blessed with a great many quality tournament venues in addition to Rayburn, including Toledo Bend, Lake Livingston and Lake Conroe, and as a result the region has also produced a huge number of top tournament pros. In addition to the “Hemphill Gang” – which consisted of stars Larry Nixon, Tommy Martin, Harold Allen and John Torian, there were other shining stars including but not limited to David Wharton, Randy Dearman, Randy Fite, Bo Dowden (from across the border in Louisiana), and of course Rick Clunn. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Quit While You’re Ahead? Answer and Winner (Sept 29, 2014)

Robert Byrd weighs a stout fish in his only Bassmaster win in 1989. Photo July/August 1989 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Gerald Crawford.

Robert Byrd weighs a stout fish in his only Bassmaster win in 1989. Photo July/August 1989 issue of Bassmaster Magazine. Gerald Crawford.

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Duke Jenkle made a good effort and got 2 of 3 answers right. For the answer, please read below.

Twenty five years ago, professional bass fishing was well-enough established that there were full-time pros and those who aspired to be like them. But for one week in May of 1989 Robert Byrd made it look easy to come from nowhere and beat the best of the best. Well, it wasn’t quite out of nowhere. The 52 year-old Texas guide had a substantial knowledge base, but it was nevertheless impressive that he won the first B.A.S.S. event he entered, the Alabama Invitational on Lake Guntersville. Byrd caught 60 pounds 7 ounces of Guntersville bass over three days to beat runner-up Charlie Reed by over 6 pounds. The money line (50th place out of 325 contestants) was 37-07. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Younger Brauer Answer and Winner (Dec 9, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congrats to Glenn Ross for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answer, read below.

Missouri pro Chad Brauer went almost 14 years between B.A.S.S. victories, earning his first title in the 1996 Tennessee Bassmaster Top 100 on Old Hickory in 1996 and adding a second in the 2010 Central Open on the Red River. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Younger Brauer (Dec 9, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Missouri pro Chad Brauer went almost 14 years between B.A.S.S. victories, earning his first title in the 1996 Tennessee Bassmaster Top 100 on Old Hickory in 1996 and adding a second in the 2010 Central Open on the Red River.

Brauer, the son of 1998 Bassmaster Classic champion Denny Brauer, was just 24 when he won at Old Hickory, over 10 years younger than dad was when he earned his first B.A.S.S. win at Sam Rayburn in 1984 (the elder Brauer had just turned 35). [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1970 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

Bill Dance and Roland Martin awaiting the 1970 Angler of the Year determination. Photo January/February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Bill Dance and Roland Martin awaiting the 1970 Angler of the Year determination. Photo January/February issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is part two of the 1970 Bassmaster Season at a Glance. To read part one, click here.]

In the first part of the 1970 Season at a Glance we covered the first three events of the season and also talked a bit about the new rookie on the tour, Roland Martin. Bill Dance had been the tour’s reigning champion since the inception of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society with four Bassmaster wins to his credit between 1968 and ’69 and it was obvious that Martin had placed a target on his head when he came to play in 1970. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Lone Star Learning (May 20, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Denny Brauer’s victory in the 1984 Bassmaster Texas Invitational was the first of his 17 wins with B.A.S.S. Over the next three decades, he achieved just about every milestone possible, including a Megabucks win, a Superstars win and a Classic win. He even won at Rayburn again, just two years later, but that was his last B.A.S.S. victory in the Lone Star State. He liked the Nation of Texas enough to retire there upon leaving the Elites and managed an EverStart Texas Division victory on Toledo Bend earlier this year. [Read more…]

A Look Way Back – Possibly The First Known Bass Tournament

Winners from the 1st-Annual Texas State Bass Tournament. Photo Waco Tribune Herald 1955.

Winners from the 1st-Annual Texas State Bass Tournament. Photo Waco Tribune Herald 1955.

Some say that competitive bass fishing originated in the states Alabama-Tennessee. That’s a difficult subject to argue when you consider the Bass Angler’s Sportsman Society has its roots deeply implanted in both Alabama and Tennessee. Some might also argue that Oklahoma should be included due to the help of Don Butler and the Tulsa Bassmasters. But the state of Texas also deserves some of the kudos.

Over the years, Texas has been a breeding ground for high-level bass anglers and famous bass waters. Reservoirs like Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn were ‘must-go’ destinations in the late 60s and early 70s. They were so important in those early years of tournament fishing that Ray Scott  started making at least one of them a yearly stop on the fledgling B.A.S.S. tournament trail in 1968. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Above and Beyond Answer and Winner

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congrats to Jeff Derrick for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Trivia Contest! To find out the answer, read on!

Since he first started fishing B.A.S.S. events in the late 70s, Shaw Grigsby has amassed nine victories. The most recent came in 2011 on the Harris Chain, one of five first place trophies he’s earned in his home state of Florida. Three others came at big Sam Rayburn in Texas. The only one not in Florida or Texas was the 1997 Top 100 on Lake Sinclair.

The first of those nine victories was at Rayburn, in the March 1988 Texas Invitational where he outlasted 298 other competitors in a tough event. He beat runner-up Zell Rowland by nearly six pounds on his way to $33,000 in cash and merchandise. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Above and Beyond

Photo Bassmaster.com

Since he first started fishing B.A.S.S. events in the late 70s, Shaw Grigsby has amassed nine victories. The most recent came in 2011 on the Harris Chain, one of five first place trophies he’s earned in his home state of Florida. Three others came at big Sam Rayburn in Texas. The only one not in Florida or Texas was the 1997 Top 100 on Lake Sinclair.

The first of those nine victories was at Rayburn, in the March 1988 Texas Invitational where he outlasted 298 other competitors in a tough event. He beat runner-up Zell Rowland by nearly six pounds on his way to $33,000 in cash and merchandise. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – What’s My Line?

 

The results from the 1993 Texas Invitational remind me of Paul Elias:

My Elias fixation may seem odd. He didn’t have a poor tournament at Rayburn in 1993, finishing tied for 24th among a stout field of competitors, but his performance didn’t stand out.

[Read more…]