Zorro 1977

1977 Zorro Ad.

1977 Zorro Ad.

Stan Sloan will forever hold the distinction of being the first angler to win a Ray Scott event – winning the first All-American held on Beaver Lake in 1967. Sloan could also claim another first, that being the man who designed the built the bait that won the first Bassmaster Classic in 1971 at Lake Mead, NV. Over the course of his professional bass fishing career, Sloan never fished a full year on the Bassmaster Trail. The closest he came to that was the 1973 season where he fished five events. Most years he only fished two or three events, yet he made the Classic the first five years in a row.

Aside from being one of the top anglers in the early history of competitive bass fishing, Sloan was also a corrections officer, but more importantly, he was a superb bait maker. His Zorro Aggravator spinnerbaits were some of the most-used spinnerbaits of the time – winning numerous events in the early years. [Read more…]

Dewey Yopp – National Bass Association

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Charter Issue for The National Bassman published by National Bass Association.

Last week we posted an article on the Last Hoorah for the American Bass Fisherman (ABF) organization. In that piece we talked a little about that organization and its purchase by National Bass Association (NBA) in 1978. There were a lot of unanswered questions about this time in the history of competitive fishing. American Bass Fisherman’s owner, George Oates was being investigated for fraud yet still running events, NBA was organized and purchased the Professional Bass Association and a number of other tournament organizations were coming and going at a rapid pace. It was definitely a time of flux in the industry and many of the anglers who supported these organizations didn’t know if they would still be around for the next month’s tournament that was scheduled. [Read more…]

Stan Sloan – The Aggravator

Stan Sloan Zorro Bait Company ad from 1974.

Stan Sloan Zorro Bait Company ad from 1974.

This week part of Pete’s trivia quiz had to do with a pretty famous spinnerbait – the Fleck Weed Wader. That post sparked my memory in that before the Weed Wader became popular by winning three straight Classics, another spinnerbait had gained national success by some pretty hefty wins. That bait was The Aggravator by Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Company.

For example, Bobby Murray used it to win Bassmaster Classic I and it’s reported that Roland Martin used it to weigh big fish for the same event. Then in 1972 Ricky Green used The Aggravator to place second in Classic II and he also had big fish for the event on the same lure. Don Butler won Classic II with, you guessed it, his Okie Bug spinnerbait. [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…]

Rooster Tails – The Magazine of Hydra-Sports

Charlie Ingram wins the 1982 Team Hydra-Sports TOC. Photo Jan/Feb 1983 issue of Rooster Tails magazine.

Charlie Ingram wins the 1982 Team Hydra-Sports TOC. Photo Jan/Feb 1983 issue of Rooster Tails magazine.

Anyone that’s bass fished since the 80s knows of Hydra-Sports boats. They probably also know that Earl Bentz played a significant role in not only Hydra-Sports as a company but also in regards to bass boat performance development.  What I wonder, though, is how many of you knew Hydra-Sports not only made boats but printed a magazine and also ran a tournament circuit? Maybe if you owned a ‘Sport in the day but I’d bet a 4-pack of Scuppernong Jelly worms you had no clue.

Pictured here is the cover of the Jan/Feb 1983 Issue of Rooster Tails, Hydra-Sports flagship magazine, which started in 1980. Joe Reeves, owner of Hydra-Sports started the organization, according to the membership ad, “because he wanted to get back to the fun of bass fishing.” Membership in the organization was for owners and their friends, which I assume could own a boat of another make. [Read more…]

The Chattanooga Bass Club and Bass Anglers Sportsmans Society

The first officers of the Chattanooga Bass Club. Photo courtesy of Harold Sharp.

The first officers of the Chattanooga Bass Club. Pinned to Harold Sharp’s shirt is the first B.A.S.S. patch ever handed out. It now resides in Ray Scott’s office in Alabama. Photo courtesy of Harold Sharp.

[Editor’s Note: Harold Sharp sent me an email regarding a post we made that had a picture of Stan Sloan holding a limit of fish. I initially said the picture was from the first Ray Scott event at Beaver but Harold told me that caption was wrong. He attached a picture of the first B.A.S.S. patch to the email and gave us this story. Reading stories like this makes me think of a few things. First, it’s nice to know the history of the sport. Next it helps me understand how much work Ray Scott, Harold Sharp, Bob Cobb and all the others had to do to get B.A.S.S. started, and third it makes me mad when greenies say that sportsman only hurt the environment. I hope you enjoy reading about our past.]

In June of 1967, I read a small announcement in the Chattanooga Times morning paper about a bass fishing tournament to be held on Beaver Lake, AR. It listed the name of Bob Treadway from Chattanooga that was fishing the tournament, so I looked Bob up in the phone book and gave him a call. He was operating a small grocery nearby so I drove over to ask him some questions about the bass tournament. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Beaver Lake 1967

Stan Sloan hoists a stringer of fish caught at the first Ray Scott event held on Beaver Lake in Arkansas. Photo Ray Scott Outdoors.

Stan Sloan hoists a stringer of fish caught at one of Ray Scott’s first events. Photo Ray Scott Outdoors.

Congratulations to Jason Sullivan for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Read below for the answer.

Today we take a break from the standard “Box Score” and “Name that Angler” questions normally posed by Pete and welcome one offered up by Harold Sharp. As you all know, Harold was the first Tournament Director for B.A.S.S. – a position he helped define during the early years of competitive bass fishing. Harold has also been a big help here on the Bass Fishing Archives acting as an editor (of sorts) to help us maintain accuracy of the historical events we bring to you along with providing you, the readers, with some pretty interesting stories that happened during his tenure as the B.A.S.S. Tournament Director.

On to Harold’s question for you. [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…]

A Picture and a Joke on Bo

Some of the Classic I contestants. Photo courtesy of Harold Sharp.

This may qualify as an interesting photo. Ray Scott invited all the first Classic contestants and three outdoor writers who were there to the 1995 Classic for a reunion. It was a great time to see all those faces again.

Looking at this picture, though, reminded me of a good story. As you know, each of the anglers at the early Classics were restricted by the weight of tackle they could bring. We made a huge deal of it by having a weigh-in for their tackle and if an angler was over in weight, Ray and I got to pick out anything we wanted until their tackle box made the weight limit. [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…]