Monday Trivia – Nixon up North Answer and Winner (June 8, 2015)

Nixon 1999 from fishingwithnixondotcom

Well, unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, please read below. Come back next week for another shot.

From the start of his Bassmaster career in 1977 through his victory in the 1992 Bassmaster 25th Anniversary tournament on Beaver Lake, Larry Nixon won 13 tournaments, an average of nearly one a year. Included among that group of victories was his 1983 Classic win on the Ohio River and of course four Megabucks trophies. After that, however, he hit a dry spell.

Given Nixon’s incredibly high level of consistency over his career, there were of course some near misses:

  • He finished 2nd to Tommy Biffle at the 1993 Megabucks event on Lake Murray;
  • He finished 2nd to Davy Hite by 13 ounces at the 1996 Top 100 on Neely Henry; and
  • He finished 3rd at the 1999 Classic on the Louisiana Delta, trailing only Hite and the prior year’s champion, Denny Brauer.

[Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Nixon up North (June 8, 2015)

Nixon 1999 from fishingwithnixondotcomFrom the start of his Bassmaster career in 1977 through his victory in the 1992 Bassmaster 25th Anniversary tournament on Beaver Lake, Larry Nixon won 13 tournaments, an average of nearly one a year. Included among that group of victories was his 1983 Classic win on the Ohio River and of course four Megabucks trophies. After that, however, he hit a dry spell.

Given Nixon’s incredibly high level of consistency over his career, there were of course some near misses:

  • He finished 2nd to Tommy Biffle at the 1993 Megabucks event on Lake Murray;
  • He finished 2nd to Davy Hite by 13 ounces at the 1996 Top 100 on Neely Henry; and
  • He finished 3rd at the 1999 Classic on the Louisiana Delta, trailing only Hite and the prior year’s champion, Denny Brauer.

[Read more…]

Not so Bitter Anymore: The 1990 Golden Blend Championship

The cover of the January/February edition of Bass Fishing magazine, the publication of Operation Bass, had Jim Bitter front and center for his Golden Blend Championship win.

The cover of the January/February edition of Bass Fishing magazine, the publication of Operation Bass, had Jim Bitter front and center for his Golden Blend Championship win.

Back in November, we solicited information from readers about the history of the Operation Bass Golden Blend tournament series. We’d put together a basic outline of the circuit’s history, but we had little meat to put on those bones. Thanks to one of our great readers and supporters, Andy Williamson, we have a bit more to add.

In that original article, we mentioned Jim Bitter’s 1990 win on Lake Chickamauga. Specificially, we explained that “[t]he win marked a strong period in Bitter’s career, as he’d won MegaBucks IV on the Harris Chain two years earlier.” Left unsaid was the fact that it came on the heels of what is for many – fairly or unfairly – the defining moment of Bitter’s long career, his failure to win the 1989 Bassmaster Classic. As you may recall, Bitter had the winning fish in his hand, but when he went to re-measure it under the gaze of Tim Tucker’s camera, it slipped from his hand and back into the James River. Hank Parker ended up beating him by two ounces. Gone were not only the lasting glory of a Classic win, but also the $50,000 top prize. [Read more…]

The Bassmaster Classic – 1991 through 2000

Ken Cook hoists the 1991 Classic trophy for winning at the Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Ken Cook hoists the 1991 Classic trophy for winning at the Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

By 1991 the Bassmaster Classic had become the event anglers aspired to win – weekend warriors through tour-level pros. The event had grown from a small gathering of anglers and media huddled together at the ramp in 1971 at Lake Mead, NV to sold-out stadiums in 1990. Although the event was centered around the anglers who qualified and the eventual winner, it grew into what we now know as Classic week filled with fan days, media events and one of if not the biggest public tackle shows in the world. [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…]

Monday Trivia – Martin Goes Deep Answer and Winner (June 30, 2014)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

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

Many modern fishing fans know Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees primarily as the site of Cliff Pace’s career-defining Bassmaster Classic victory as well as for its recent role as a host of multiple Elite Series tournaments, but the lake has a long history as a site of B.A.S.S. competition.

B.A.S.S. first visited Grand Lake in November 1991 for an Oklahoma Invitational won by Arkansas pro Ron Shuffield. The circuit returned almost exactly a year later, for a tournament won by Jim Morton. As described in a previous Bass Fishing Archives trivia contest, Morton defied heavy winds, torrential rains, and temperatures that ranged from just above freezing to well below freezing to win with an unlikely buzzbait pattern. [Read more…]

It Gitzit – The Genesis of the Tube

Garland Fat Gitzit ad from January 1982.

Garland Fat Gitzit ad from January 1982.

For those of you bass anglers that were west of Las Vegas, NV during the ‘70s, the name Bobby Garland will definitely bring back some memories. Garland’s Bass’N Man Lure Company was probably best known at the time as the company that developed the Spider Jig – the forerunner of what other companies would call Hula Jigs. But Garland didn’t only make the Spider Jig.

Garland, and his brother Gary, started out as crappie anglers and made the first dipped crappie jigs that I know of in the 1960s. They then bridged into making Mini Jigs, just bigger crappie jigs, and the Skinny Squid for bass. In fact, the Skinny Squid, a 5-inch long hollow worm, predated the Knight Tube Worm by at least five years.

Then came the Spider Jig. The skirt was a 3-inch piece of hollow plastic cut with razor blades to form the tentacles. This was then slipped on the Garland Spider Head along with a double tail trailer that Garland bought OEM from Mister Twister. The jig was developed as a swimming jig and was made primarily in shad-based hues in order to mimic baitfish – although he did offer the skirts and trailers in other colors. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Another War of Northern Aggression Answer and Winner (March 24, 2014)

Nick Prvonozac from flwoutdoors

Nick Prvonozac from flwoutdoors

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

In last week’s Monday Trivia contest, we discussed New Jersey pro Pete Gluszek’s win at Alabama’s Lake Martin in February of 1999. The following week the northern anglers once again took out their aggression on their southern counterparts. This time they moved almost 600 miles to the southwest, to Sam Rayburn – and when the Central Invitational was over the top three spots were occupied by anglers from outside the deep south:

  • 1st – Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • 2nd – Nick Prvonozac, Warren, Oh.
  • 3rd – Lee Bailey Jr., Amston, Conn. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Another War of Northern Aggression (March 24, 2014)

Nick Prvonozac from flwoutdoors

Nick Prvonozac from flwoutdoors

In last week’s Monday Trivia contest, we discussed New Jersey pro Pete Gluszek’s win at Alabama’s Lake Martin in February of 1999. The following week the northern anglers once again took out their aggression on their southern counterparts. This time they moved almost 600 miles to the southwest, to Sam Rayburn – and when the Central Invitational was over the top three spots were occupied by anglers from outside the deep south:

  • 1st – Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • 2nd – Nick Prvonozac, Warren, Oh.
  • 3rd – Lee Bailey Jr., Amston, Conn. [Read more…]

How They Started – Tommy Biffle

Biffle wins the 1995 Bassmaster Illinois Top 100 on the Mississippi River. Photo 1995 July/August issue of  Bassmaster Magazine.

Biffle wins the 1995 Bassmaster Illinois Top 100 on the Mississippi River. Photo 1995 July/August issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for nearly 30 years there’s no doubt you’ve heard the name Tommy Biffle. Having made a living bass fishing since his first event on the St Lawrence River in New York, Biffle is one of the stalwarts of the sport – rarely out of contention rarely going home without a check.

As Classic XLIV approached, Tommy Biffle had made the big show 18 times – Guntersville was his 19th appearance in the sport’s most-heralded championship. That’s batting 660 folks – a darn good average.

After 305 Bassmaster events, 92 FLW tournaments, and countless other tournaments with other organizations, he’s finished in the money better than 60% of the time. A consistent angler without a doubt. [Read more…]

History – Some of it is New

Boats lined up on the main deck. Photo Brenda Serrano

Boats lined up on the main deck. Photo Brenda Serrano

With Media Day over I thought I’d post some pictures of the event, which was held at Regions Field – home of Birmingham’s double-A baseball team the Barons. It was a nice venue as the luncheon was held in a large meeting room on the second deck and the boats were scattered along the main deck under the upper-level seats. [Read more…]

This Month In Bass Fishing History

Time again to take a look back at what was happening in the bass fishing world, this time focusing on what occurred during the month of September. Let’s start by going back…

davyhite15 YRS AGO: Sep. 19, 1998, and S. Carolina’s Davy Hite Wins what is touted as the largest cash award in angling history when he edges Tommy Biffle in the finals of the $250,000 WAL-MART FLW Tour Championship. The Top-10 in this event was incredibly stout and also included Gary Klein, George Cochran, Rick Clunn, Denny Brauer, Clark Wendlandt and Mike McClelland, all back in the days when most pros fished both the B.A.S.S. and FLW Tours. Those were the days.

Moving on…. [Read more…]