Happy Birthday to a Twenty Year Old Dieting Deep Diver

Twenty years ago one of the best crankbaits that has ever been developed was born - the Bomber Fat Free Shad.

Twenty years ago one of the best crankbaits that has ever been developed was born – the Bomber Fat Free Shad.

Looking through the old “New Tackle for…” issues of Bassmaster, it quickly becomes clear that few new lures survive the open market for even a couple of years, let alone two decades. Of those that do live to fish another day or another year, many take a long time to gather a meaningful following. In that respect, the Bomber Fat Free Shad is something of an anomaly, a lure that was popular almost from the start, due in no small part to good design, a solid pro-staff and more than a bit of on-the-water advertising. While many of us can still remember its introduction, this year it celebrates its 20th birthday.

In 1994, PRADCO introduced the Pro Autograph Series of hard lures – proven baits that each bore a particular pro’s name and his suggested modifications or special paint schemes. They included the following lures: [Read more…]

Hank Calls it Quits…Sort of

Photo HankParker.com

Photo HankParker.com

Professional bass fishing is full of anglers who should probably get on with their life’s work off of the water, but can’t seem to give up the lure of competition. Some of them are in their twenties and thirties and don’t have the skills to get the job done, while others have passed their physical peak and are no longer competitive. There are even some who fall somewhere in between, suptuagenerians who were once stars but who are now only competitive on occasion.

To cite the old cliché, athletes die twice, and the first time is when they stop competing. [Read more…]

Field and Stream Goes Bass-Specific

Field and Stream's Bass Fishing specific publication from 1982.

Field and Stream’s Bass Fishing specific publication from 1982.

Field & Stream magazine, founded in 1895, has always aimed to be something of an outdoor generalist publication, with stories about bass fishing sprinkled intermittently throughout a buffet of features and tips dealing with other topics including hunting, conservation, survivalism and other gun-related issues.

The magazine has undergone several ownership and formatting changes over its 120 years of history, with the most recent sale occurring in 2007, when it was one of 18 magazines sold to the Bonnier Group, a Swedish entity. [Read more…]

Thank You Cotton

Left to right: Odis Young, Cotton Cordell and Fred Young compare Big-Os. Photo Todd Long, fishingforhistory.com

Left to right: Odis Young, Cotton Cordell and Fred Young compare Big-Os. Photo Todd Long, fishingforhistory.com

There are lure designers, seems every garage has at least one, and then there are lure designers. In our time there have only been a few true icons in the industry – Jim Bagley, James Heddon, Bill Norman and Lauri Rapala are a few of them that come to mind. All of these designers left an impression on the industry and sport that will live forever, not only in the books but on the local tackle shelves. They all created baits that were just successful back in the day, they’re still successful today.

The list of lure designers above, all have one thing in common – they’ve all passed on to that big pond in the heavens. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lillegard Wins Again Answer and Winner (Dec 8, 2014)

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Well, again we have no winner for this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! Are we making it too difficult? Well, maybe next week we’ll make it a little easier. For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below.

The 1997 New York Eastern Invitational on the St. Lawrence River was the second of Rick Lillegard’s two Bassmaster wins. A little less than two years earlier, he’d won the Maryland Eastern Invitational on the Potomac by a massive 11 pound 7 ounce margin over second-place finisher Pete Gluszek. In New York, the gap wasn’t quite that large, but he still managed to beat runner up Clark Wendlandt by more than four pounds.

The tournament was only 17 years ago, but while many of the anglers in the field still fish at the highest levels, the only member of the top 10 who fished in Elite Series competition is South Carolina’s Ray Sedgwick, who last fished the Elites in 2008. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lillegard Wins Again (Dec 8, 2014)

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

The 1997 New York Eastern Invitational on the St. Lawrence River was the second of Rick Lillegard’s two Bassmaster wins. A little less than two years earlier, he’d won the Maryland Eastern Invitational on the Potomac by a massive 11-pound 7-ounce margin over second-place finisher Pete Gluszek. In New York, the gap wasn’t quite that large, but he still managed to beat runner up Clark Wendlandt by more than four pounds.

The tournament was only 17 years ago, but while many of the anglers in the field still fish at the highest levels, the only member of the top 10 who fished in Elite Series competition is South Carolina’s Ray Sedgwick, who last fished the Elites in 2008.

One member of the top 10 continues to attend every Elite Series event, though. It’s fourth place finisher Mark Zona, fishing the fifth of nine B.A.S.S. events in which he competed. His inaugural Bassmaster tournament was on the same waterway in 1995, and he finished a dismal 101st, so the 1997 event marked a substantial improvement in his performance. It wasn’t his best Bassmaster effort, though. In his final event (as far as we know) in 2005, he finished 3rd in a Northern Open on Lake Champlain. If you look down the standings sheet you’ll see that he did not yet call Michigan home – his address was listed as “Homewood, Illinois.” [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Santee in ’97 Answer and Winner (Nov 24, 2014)

Photo Brent Chapman.

Photo Brent Chapman.

[Editor’s note: In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, no other features will be posted on today or Friday. Have a great Holiday and we look forward to seeing you next week with a full week of posts!]

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, please read below.

Brent Chapman, the 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, began his B.A.S.S. career at the 1994 Missouri Invitational on Lake of the Ozarks, where he finished 32nd en route to three straight money finishes. Things must’ve seemed easy to the young Kansan, but subsequently things got tougher as he won the grand total of $3,400 over the next 11 events he fished. He earned checks with some frequency throughout 1996 – five in 10 events – but never made it into the top 12 during that period. [Read more…]

Big Old Fish – Photos by Bob McNally

Al Lindner hoists his big fish from the 1977 Virginia Invitational on Lake Gaston.

Al Lindner hoists his big fish from the 1977 Virginia Invitational on Lake Gaston. The fish weighed 10-04. Photo by Bob McNally.

Recently, longtime fishing author and photographer, Bob McNally contacted us here at the Bass Fishing Archives and offered up some of his photographs from days gone by. Back in the day, Bob used to cover all the Classics and other events let alone have a byline in nearly every fishing magazine that’s ever been printed. That includes non-bass fishing print too.

We’ve posted a few of these pictures already here on the site (click here if you want to see the 1975 Currituck Sound Classic) and now it’s time for some more. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Garrett Finds Gold in Texas Answer and Winner (July 14, 2014)

Doug Garrett photo Bassmaster.com

Doug Garrett photo Bassmaster.com

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

Some pros just seem to shine a little brighter on the big stage. The best example of this might be Rick Clunn, who has won four Bassmaster Classics. There’s also Larry Nixon, whose 14 B.A.S.S. victories included not just the 1983 Classic, but also four Megabucks titles – in 1988, two in 1990 and again in 1991.

Arkansas pro Doug Garrett also excelled in the Megabucks format, winning the “war of attrition” in both 1997 and 1998. The first of those two wins took place on two Texas waters, Richland-Chambers Reservoir and White Rock Lake. Garrett was no stranger to winning big events , as he’d won the 1993 Red Man All-American on Alabama’s Black Warrior River, a $100,000 payday. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Bailey’s Bubble Answer and Winner (April 21, 2014)

Lee Bailey FLW Outdoors.

Lee Bailey FLW Outdoors.

Congratulations to Rob Shaw for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest! For the answer, please read below.

Missouri’s Table Rock Lake has been a stopping point for the major tours for decades, with the most recent stop producing Mike McClelland’s seventh B.A.S.S. victory, fourth Elite Series win, and his first since 2008. He compiled 61 pounds 15 ounces of Table Rock bass over four days (nearly a 15 pound 8 ounce average) to claim the crown.

Just under 17 years ago, New Englander Lee Bailey won the Bassmaster Missouri Central Invitational on the Rock, putting together three limits of bass that totaled 47-15, an average just a hair under 16 pounds a day. It marked the sole win of Bailey’s 122 event B.A.S.S. career. He came in 3rd on three occasions, coming closest to winning again in 1999 on the Hudson River when he finished behind winner Woo Daves by a little bit less than 3 pounds. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Megabucks Two Answer and Winner (April 7, 2014)

Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We only had one person try to answer this week’s trivia contest and unfortunately one of the answers supplied was incorrect. Therefore, no one wins this week’s contest. Come on back next week and try again for a $25 e-coupon from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For this weeks answers, read below.

Larry Nixon is generally thought of as the king of the Bassmaster “Megabucks” format. He won four Megabucks events, one in 1988 and one in 1991, sandwiched around two such victories in 1990. Two of those wins came on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes, but in the 1986 and 1987 hole course events on that same waterway Nixon did not come out on top.

Roger Farmer won the 1986 Megabucks event on the Harris Chain with 68 pounds of bass over four days to earn his lone B.A.S.S. win. In 1987, Lonnie Stanley claimed the Megabucks crown with Nixon finishing 21st before starting his Megabucks tear in 1988. [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…]