Revisiting Lake Havasu – 1985

Rick in the Champions jacket, awaiting the signing of the check. photo by Rodney Boyd/FLW Outdoors.

Rick in the Champions jacket, awaiting the signing of the check. photo by Rodney Boyd/Operation Bass.

When the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers take off Thursday morning on Day 1 of the second arm of their Western series swing, this time on Lake Havasu, there will likely be some strong memories for several of the anglers. One of those will certainly be Rick Clunn. It was 30 years ago when Rick won the RedMan All-American, and the resulting $100,000 prize, his first such six-figure check. Back then, even the Bassmaster Classic only paid $50,000.

The magazine of Operation Bass at the time was called CAST Magazine, and they covered this event in their January/February 1986 issue at great length. Anglers took off each day from under the London Bridge – THE London Bridge from childhood song. The story of the bridge itself is rather fascinating. According to a Lake Havasu tourism website; [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Dopp Delivers Answer and Winner (Mar 23, 2015)

Jim Dopp. Photo Bassmaster.

Jim Dopp. Photo Bassmaster.

Sorry for the late response on this week’s contest. We only had one person take a shot and unfortunately they only got two of the three answers correct. Com back next week for more. For the answers, please read below.

Jim Dopp finished 13th in the 1999 Bassmaster Central Invitational on Table Rock Lake, and he’d competed in the 1998 Red Man All-American, so he was no rookie when he launched his boat for the 2000 Central Invitational on Table Rock. Indeed, the 48 year-old had fished the Ozarks-region lakes since he was a kid.

If he was nervous, it didn’t show. He was tied for 4th with eventual runner-up Mike McClelland after Day One, but then sacked 14-12 – the heaviest bag of the event – on Day Two to take a lead that he would not relinquish. McClelland made a late charge, but ultimately fell 22 ounces short of victory. He’d won back-to-back Invitationals in 1996, but would not win another B.A.S.S. tournament until the 2005 Open Championship. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Dopp Delivers (Mar 23, 2015)

Jim Dopp. Photo Bassmaster.

Jim Dopp. Photo Bassmaster.

Jim Dopp finished 13th in the 1999 Bassmaster Central Invitational on Table Rock Lake, and he’d competed in the 1998 Red Man All-American, so he was no rookie when he launched his boat for the 2000 Central Invitational on Table Rock. Indeed, the 48 year-old had fished the Ozarks-region lakes since he was a kid.

If he was nervous, it didn’t show. He was tied for 4th with eventual runner-up Mike McClelland after Day One, but then sacked 14-12 – the heaviest bag of the event – on Day Two to take a lead that he would not relinquish. McClelland made a late charge, but ultimately fell 22 ounces short of victory. He’d won back-to-back Invitationals in 1996, but would not win another B.A.S.S. tournament until the 2005 Open Championship. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Buck Stops at Truman Answer and Winner (June 16, 2014)

Truman parkerThis week’s winner is Patrick Staley, even though he didn’t come up with all three of the answers I anticipated. For the answers read below. Come back next week for another round of Bass Fishing Archives Monday Trivia sponsored by GYCB.

Just 11 months after winning the 1988 Missouri Invitational, Hank Parker won the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River and effectively retired from life as a touring pro, competing in just seven subsequent B.A.S.S. events. Those seven events included the subsequent Classic and three “SuperStars” events, in which he twice finished as the runner-up.

Accordingly, the 1988 tournament on Truman Reservoir was the last of Parker’s regular season victories. Fittingly given his superstar profile, he won it by more than 12 pounds over his nearest competitor, home-state angler Stacey King. In fact, Parker could have won without getting out of bed on Day Three, which was lucky because he only boxed two fish on the final day. His limit weighing 19-15 on Day One would’ve carried him to a top 25 finish even if he’d skipped the second and third days. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – The Buck Stops at Truman (June 16, 2014)

Truman parkerJust 11 months after winning the 1988 Missouri Invitational, Hank Parker won the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River and effectively retired from life as a touring pro, competing in just seven subsequent B.A.S.S. events. Those seven events included the subsequent Classic and three “SuperStars” events, in which he twice finished as the runner-up.

Accordingly, the 1988 tournament on Truman Reservoir was the last of Parker’s regular season victories. Fittingly given his superstar profile, he won it by more than 12 pounds over his nearest competitor, home-state angler Stacey King. In fact, Parker could have won without getting out of bed on Day Three, which was lucky because he only boxed two fish on the final day. His limit weighing 19-15 on Day One would’ve carried him to a top 25 finish even if he’d skipped the second and third days. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Tucker Takes It Answer and Winner (May 5, 2014)

Photo March 1990 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo March 1990 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Congratulations to Nelson Siefkin for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, read below.

There have been lots of well-known Tuckers in the bass fishing world – not just pros like J Todd Tucker and Mark Tucker, but also the late pioneering writer Tim Tucker. One of the ones who made a name for himself over a brief career but is generally forgotten by today’s fishing fans is former Texas pro Robert Tucker. His B.A.S.S. career spanned 142 tournaments from 1986 to 2002, including the 1987 Bassmaster Classic on the Ohio River.

Prior to winning the 1989 Alabama Top 100 Super B.A.S.S. Pro-Am Tournament (say that five times fast) on Lake Martin, Tucker’s best finish in B.A.S.S. competition had been a 15th place showing the prior year at Missouri’s Truman Reservoir. In 1989, however, he came out on top, beating out runner-up Stacey King by over 2 ½ pounds to take home $45,000 in cash and prizes. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Tucker Takes it (May 5, 2014)

Photo March 1990 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo March 1990 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

There have been lots of well-known Tuckers in the bass fishing world – not just pros like J Todd Tucker and Mark Tucker, but also the late pioneering writer Tim Tucker. One of the ones who made a name for himself over a brief career but is generally forgotten by today’s fishing fans is former Texas pro Robert Tucker. His B.A.S.S. career spanned 142 tournaments from 1986 to 2002, including the 1987 Bassmaster Classic on the Ohio River.

Prior to winning the 1989 Alabama Top 100 Super B.A.S.S. Pro-Am Tournament (say that five times fast) on Lake Martin, Tucker’s best finish in B.A.S.S. competition had been a 15th place showing the prior year at Missouri’s Truman Reservoir. In 1989, however, he came out on top, beating out runner-up Stacey King by over 2 ½ pounds to take home $45,000 in cash and prizes. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – When the “Big G” Wasn’t So Big Answer and Winner (January 20, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest. One really good guess but this serves to show you that because one good answer is on top, doesn’t mean it’s right.  Keep playing!

What does it take to win a three day bass tournament in the spring on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville?

What if you were allowed a seven fish limit?

Given the lake’s big bass reputation, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that it might take a hundred pounds or more to get the job done. With a five fish limit in the upcoming Bassmaster Classic, many pundits and fans predict that nothing less than 70 pounds will get the job done.

Things weren’t always that way, though. Guntersville’s numbers of bass, and the quality thereof, are attributable largely to the lake’s massive grass beds, and under the Tennessee Valley Authority’s weed reduction program in the early 1990s, the fishery suffered substantially. When George Cochran weighed in 21 bass for just over 55 pounds (approximately a 2 ½ pound average) in the April 1992 Alabama Invitational on Guntersville, the overall weights were disappointing, but not necessarily surprising. It was the second win of his B.A.S.S. career, coming a little less than five years after his first Classic win, when he’d tallied a tad over 15 pounds on the Ohio River to outlast second place finisher Rick Clunn by 2 ½ pounds. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – When the “Big G” Wasn’t So Big (January 20, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

What does it take to win a three-day bass tournament in the spring on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville?

What if you were allowed a seven fish limit?

Given the lake’s big bass reputation, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that it might take a hundred pounds or more to get the job done. With a five fish limit in the upcoming Bassmaster Classic, many pundits and fans predict that nothing less than 70 pounds will get the job done.

Things weren’t always that way, though. Guntersville’s numbers of bass, and the quality thereof, are attributable largely to the lake’s massive grass beds, and under the Tennessee Valley Authority’s weed reduction program in the early 1990s, the fishery suffered substantially. When George Cochran weighed in 21 bass for just over 55 pounds (approximately a 2 ½ pound average) in the April 1992 Alabama Invitational on Guntersville, the overall weights were disappointing, but not necessarily surprising. It was the second win of his B.A.S.S. career, coming a little less than five years after his first Classic win, when he’d tallied a tad over 15 pounds on the Ohio River to outlast second place finisher Rick Clunn by 2 ½ pounds. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Introducing Jay (August 26, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Twenty years ago this month a young Jay Yelas earned the first of his five B.A.S.S. victories, outlasting 2nd place finisher Gary Klein by a half pound to win the Top 100 on the Potomac River.

He’d been the runner-up the year before, finishing a distant 2nd to Jim Bitter by over 7 pounds.

Since then, Yelas has returned to the Potomac seven times with B.A.S.S. and a couple of times with FLW. While his results have been mixed, the good has outweighed the bad – he notched additional top ten finishes in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999. For a westerner who relocated to Texas, he seemed to have a pretty good grasp on this distinctly eastern river. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Co-Anglers or Pros? Answer and Winner

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to Art Miller for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest. Since we can’t confirm the Miles Hair answer, we’re going to give it to him.  Read below for the answer.

The 1996 Bassmaster Top 100 on South Carolina’s Lake Murray marked Stacey King’s first B.A.S.S. win after a decade of attempts. The King of Table Rock went on to win again six years later at a Central Invitational on Toledo Bend.

The Murray event was unusual for another reason – while B.A.S.S. had previously canceled single tournament days, a long-lingering front forced the cancellation of two competition days. What was set to be a four-day event was cut in half.

Fortunately for King, when the winds subsided he went to town on a very fertile and still grass-laden Lake Murray. On the first day the field actually got to fish, he sacked a 33-02 five-fish limit, a haul which to that point had been exceeded only in another South Carolina event – when OT Fears caught 34-04 at Santee two years earlier. His limit included a 9-04 largemouth. [Read more…]

The 1982 U.S. Open: Now a National Championship Event – Part One

The cover of the 1982 U.S. Open Press Guide and Souvenir Program.

Editor’s Note: The success of the 1981 U.S. Open put the Western Bass Fishing Association on the competitive bass fishing map. Because of this, the 1982 Open would field 262 contestants, many of which were household names around the U.S. – it wasn’t just some western fly-by-night event anymore. In part one of this story, we’ll look at the history and introduce the anglers that participated in the ’82 Open. In part two we’ll take a look at the event and the top finishers. In part three we’ll look at how the event was won and talk with the winner, Rich Tauber, to hear what an effect the win had on his career.

 

The first U.S. Open held in 1981 was a pie-in the-sky dream thought up by new Western Bass Fishing Association owner Rich Schultz. It was his hope, along with those who worked for WBFA, to draw at least 60 top-tier anglers to an event that would award the highest payout in professional bass fishing history -$50,000. What happened was a far cry from their dream. [Read more…]