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…]

The Bassmaster Classic – 1981 through 1990

In 1981 Stanley Mitchell became the youngest angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

In 1981 Stanley Mitchell became the youngest angler to win a Bassmaster Classic. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Yesterday we posted the first piece of this look back in Bassmaster Classic history – starting with the very first Classic held on Lake Mead, NV and ending with Classic X on the St. Lawrence River, NY. Today we continue with Classic XI and will move through Classic XX held in 1990.

1981: Bassmaster Classic XI – Lake Montgomery, AL

The second decade of the Bassmaster Classic started off in the hometown of B.A.S.S., Montgomery, AL. Forty-two anglers, including five from the Federation, would vie for the championship, including 21-year-old Stanley Mitchell of Fitzgerald, GA. Mitchell, the youngest angler to compete in Classic XI would not only claim that fact, he’d also become the youngest angler to ever win a Bassmaster Classic. [Read more…]

Wigglers and Dancers – Fred Arbogast

A 1946 Arbogast ad featuring the new Hula Dancer.

A 1946 Arbogast ad featuring the new Hula Dancer.

It isn’t well known, unless you’re a vintage tackle collector, that it was Fred Arbogast who invented the flat rubber skirt. If you read Part One of the book review, Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln, Lincoln reports in Chapter Seven that he tied up a bass fly with rubber band legs that, when on a trip with the Arbogasts, Fred grew especially keen with the rubber leg idea. The year of this trip isn’t mentioned but Lincoln wrote that that winter Fred Arbogast took the idea back to Ohio and fashioned what we know today as the flat rubber skirt. [Read more…]

A Look Through Bassmaster Magazine: 10 Years Ago

Bassmaster Magazine, March 2004

Bassmaster Magazine, March 2004

The fishing industry is always changing – new products, new companies, new anglers. I randomly grabbed a Bassmaster magazine sitting on my shelf from 10 years ago (March 2004) and was looking through the ads mostly, when it struck me how much has changed…and how much has stayed the same. Here’s what I found.

Starting off with the cover photo for this issue, a widely grinning Timmy Horton wearing a BOOYAH Baits visor. As best I can tell, it seems Timmy is no longer on their pro staff, a fairly recent event from what I can gather. Next is a big, two page ad for Lucky Craft, where I noticed all the crankbait lines available then are still available now. However, it appears their spinner line has changed, with the current website not showing the BMH and MH-1s from the ad. Looks like they’re sticking mostly with what made them famous, their hi-tech line of hard baits, now expanded and larger than ever. However, a quick look at the national pro staff pics from that ad did reveal a few personnel changes. Still around are Kelly Jordon, Tak, Skeet and Joe Thomas. However, it appears Gerald Swindle, Marty Stone and Mike Auten are no longer part of that team. [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 – 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…]

A Couple Classic Baits from Strike King

Early Strike King Timber Spin ad featuring Bobby Murray.

Early Strike King Timber Spin ad featuring Bobby Murray.

Oftentimes, I’ll come across posts where guys mention old baits that they really liked that are now long out of production and hard to come by. Today’s post will cover two of them from their introduction around 1979. Being Strike King products, they got a lot of PR from Bill Dance and his television show, but this line of baits actually worked pretty well for many anglers. [Read more…]

Ode to the Special Introductory Offer

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Who cut out a piece of my magazine!?

As part of my “research” if you will, I’ve been buying up a lot of old magazines and books to look through. One of the neat oddities with many of these purchases is the random page you come across that has a nice square cut right out of it. There you are reading a good article, you turn the page, and then realize part of the article is gone. Several of my old personal magazines suffered the same fate though. So today’s post is in memory of those little cut out pieces of magazine, the “special introductory offer”. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1970 Bassmaster Trial – Part One

Headline in the Spring 1970 Bassmaster issue describing rookie angler Roland Martin.

Headline in the Spring 1970 Bassmaster issue describing rookie angler Roland Martin.

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series on the 1970 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Part one will cover the first three events of the season while part two will cover the last four events. Because there was no Bassmaster Classic this year, there will be no part three.

The 1970 Bassmaster Trail was the third full year of Bassmaster tournament competition and would be the year of a number of firsts. To start off it was the year where the Bassmaster Angler of the Year would begin, an award that would be presented to the most consistent angler on the trail for the entire season. Although this award, at the time, didn’t offer much more than bragging rights and a nice piece of hardware, it’s become arguably the most-cherished award on any tour.

The second thing to happen was it would be the first year where a single angler would win three events in the season. For those of you that know your history, I’m sure you can figure that one out pretty easily but for those of you who either don’t remember or just don’t know, I’ll save it for later. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name That Angler Answer and Winner

Youth Pic

A five-year-old Mark Davis seems a little shy holding this big trout. Photo courtesy of Tilly Davis.

Congratulations to JWM for winning this week’s trivia contest! This makes it his third win! To see the answers to this week’s contest, read below.

The picture is a little bit grainy, so it may be a little tough to decipher, but if you look closely the five year old pictured here with his prized catch resembles the professional angler he’s become decades later.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, you’ll need to answer the following three questions: [Read more…]

Flippin’: A Concept. Not Just a Technique – Part Three

Hank Parker flipping his way to a 1979 Classic Vistory. Photo BassMaster Magazine February 1980.

This is part three of a three-part series on the concept of flipping and the effect it had on the sport. In this final installment, we talked with Hank Parker and Denny Brauer about how th technique changed their careers. To read Part One click here and to read Part Two click here

Hank Parker

Although Hank Parker may not have designed a lure or piece of equipment having to do with flipping, he is arguably the angler who put the technique on the map for good.

Up until the ’79 Classic on Lake Texoma, flipping wasn’t much more than something serious anglers kept to themselves. Yes it had been the determining technique to win national events and had been written about in Bass Master Magazine – a six-part series in 1976 –still few anglers had adopted the long rod into their repertoire.

That all changed when Parker won the ’79 Classic – flipping had finally come of age. [Read more…]