Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 4

1978 Ranger Combined 5For the past week we’ve been taking a trip down memory lane with respect to the main tool in any bass angler’s arsenal – the bass boat. Over the year we’ve covered bass boats from the ’50, ‘60s and the ‘70s. Today we’re going to finish with the boats of 1978.

So far we’ve covered everything from the 1978 list of bass boats from aluminum rigs such as Alumacraft, Dura Craft and Fisher Marine along with their glass counterparts, manufacturers like Bass Cat, Champion, Eldocraft, Hydra-Sport and MonArk. Today we finish with upstarts such as Omni and industry leader Ranger. In fact, the number of Ranger ads placed in 1978 is mind boggling. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 3

1977 Bass Cat ad.

1977 Bass Cat ad.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of Old Bass Boats – 1977, we covered the boat manufacturers who placed ads in the 1977 vintage magazines. Those manufacturers ranged from Alumacraft to Glastron and Holiday to Rhyan Craft. Today we feature from Sea Nymph to Venture and then four organizational Championship boats from American Angler, American Bass Fisherman, National Bass and Bassmaster.

Here are the remaining boats of 1977. [Read more…]

More Old Bass Boats from 1975

Venture Bass Boats 1975.

Venture Bass Boats 1975.

Roughly a year ago we posted a piece on the bass boats of 1975. In that piece we documented 15 boat manufacturers along with the Bassmaster Classic boat. As I get more magazines and books from that time period, though, I find that I’ve missed some of the ads and even manufacturers from that year. Therefore today’s feature is on those very ads that we didn’t cover.

There are only seven new ads to show and three of those were from manufacturers we already covered – Ranger, Rebel and Terry. Still, to be complete, we’ll talk about these newly found ads. With these ads, it brings the 1975 model year of bass boat manufacturers up to 19 – and I’m sure we’re still missing some. Compare that to today’s bass boat market and it’s a vast difference. There were a ton of companies out there back in the 70s making boats solely for bass fishing. [Read more…]

The First Family of Bass Boat Legends – Greene Boat and Motor – Part One

Greene's was originally started as a small engine repair business that started in Otto Greene's garage in the 1920s. By 1957 it morphed in Greene's Outboard Motor and Boat Company. The rest of the story is history.

Greene’s was originally started as a small engine repair business that started in Otto Greene’s garage in the 1920s. By 1957 it morphed in Greene’s Outboard Motor and Boat Company. The rest of the story is history.

The headline above may seem a bit out of place in that many people may consider Forrest and Nina Wood the First Family of Bass Boat Legends. Honestly it’s a good argument being that Ranger was one of the first to manufacture contemporary bass boats and the company is still going strong today, although the Woods no longer own the company.

But when it comes down to it, a boat company isn’t worth the fiberglass on the production-line floor without a venue in which to promote, market and sell their product. This is where boat dealerships come into play and you would be hard pressed to find a dealership, then or now, that’s as legendary as Greene Boat and Motor of Spindale, NC. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 2

Glastron Boats ad from 1976.

Glastron Boats ad from 1976.

Last Friday we posted Old Bass Boats – 1976 Part 1 starting with Arrow Glass and ending with Glastron. As promised then, today we’re finishing up the ‘76 year with H (Holiday) through X (X-Calibur) – two boats I’ve never heard of by the way. As you probably noticed from Part 1, the boats of this year class were shifting drastically to high-performance machines constructed with lifting pads and even space-age materials like Kevlar. On top of that, more and more creature comforts and much-needed instrumentation was becoming standard on all brands. These years, 1975 through 1977, were the genesis of the boats we fish out of today.

So, without wasting any more time, here they are. [Read more…]

Western Bass Tournament of Champions 1976

Page One Notes: (1) The Supersport worm mentioned by Burnett was actually a Sportsman's Super Floater. Western anglers used to cut the 4-inch and 6-inch worms from the egg sack to the tail and then weld in a piece of worm to keep the legs apart. (2) The "Mattie" written about was more than likely a jighead poured by Gardner, the mold, which was made by Larry McCain who has been written about here. The jig was essentially a skirted jighead with a spinner tailing off the end of the skirt. It was used for fishing ledges and points as a fall bait.

Dee Thomas accepts the 1976 WBFA TOC Trophy for 1st place and the keys to his new Terry ABF 15. Western Bass Spring 1977 issue.

I was going through the Spring 1977 issue of Western Bass magazine a couple of weeks ago and this article penned by Ben Burnett caught my eye. What initially got me interested was the picture of Dee Thomas and Terry Boats rep J.C. Dillard. Reading further, it was actually Dillard handing Dee the trophy and turning over the keys to his newly-won Terry ABF 15 bass boat from the Western Bass Fishing Association’s (WBFA) Tournament of Champions. The title of the piece, “Ridin’ With The Champions,” gave me more reason to read on.

As I read, it became apparent that Burnett had been invited as a guest writer/observer to the event. Not only that, WBFA director Harvey Naslund had placed him with two of the best anglers of the time, Dee Thomas and Pete Gardner. Between the two anglers, they’d won the 1974 and ’75 TOCs – Thomas winning in ’74 and Gardner in ’75. The ’76 event Thomas would take his second win in the coveted western event. [Read more…]

Old Boat Ads – 1970

1970 Kingfisher Boat ad.

Over the course of time bass boat technology has been one of the biggest aids to the way we fish. Gone are the days of wood stringers and transoms, decks are now flat and we no longer have livewells located in the front of the boat.

Although the boat manufacturers came up with a lot of advances, it was the anglers themselves that developed improvements in the boats. For example, the Flipping Deck was a result of someone wanting to be higher in the boat in order to be in better position for the cast. The outlawing of bladder tanks (extra fuel tanks stored on the deck between the rod lockers that would collapse as the fuel was consumed) gave rise to larger stock fuel tanks. Rod straps replaced rod holders on the decks of boats and anglers also built enclosed dry storage between rod lockers and in front of the driver’s console giving them not only more dry storage but the advent of the full front deck. [Read more…]