Monday Trivia – Classic History Answers and Winner (February 17, 2014)

Jimmy Houston Bassmaster Classic V. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Jimmy Houston Bassmaster Classic V. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Congrats to John Karbowski for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Archives trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers read below.

The 44th Bassmaster Classic is set to begin in only four days. It’s hard to believe that 43 years ago 24 of the best anglers in the world congregated in Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in Classic I on Lake Mead. Fishing in relative obscurity – minus those who were in the media corp or followed the fledgling Bassmaster Magazine – those anglers carved the way for this week’s field and what has become known as the biggest tournament in bass fishing. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance – 1976 Bassmaster Federation Chapter Championship

Photo January 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo January 1977 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s Note: This is the third story about the 1976 Bassmaster season and covers the 1976 Bassmaster Federation Championship. To read Part One of the story click here and to read Part Two, click here. The next story featuring the 1976 season will be about the Classic Qualifiers and then we’ll end with the Bassmaster Classic.]

1976 would mark the fourth year that Federation anglers from all over the U.S. would get an opportunity to fish the Bassmaster Classic. First, though, they’d have to qualify via state qualifiers and championships in order to be invited as six-man teams to the Federation Chapter Championship. It’s not an easy row to hoe.

In 1973 Ray Scott held the first state team championship event where Chapters from throughout the U.S. would compete to decide the best state in the union. What he didn’t tell the anglers at the time was he was going to give a Classic berth to the best individual angler at that event. [Read more…]

This Month In Bass Fishing History

It’s that time again – a new month, and a new set of interesting insights on bass fishing history. See how many of these events you can recall.

IKE15 YRS AGO: July 12, 1998 – Whitehall, NY., and a guy by the name of Michael Iaconelli took first place on Lake Champlain in the Red Man Northeastern Division qualifier (now the BFLs). Michael, of Runnemede, New Jersey, won $3,507, small change by his standards now days, with five bass totaling 15 pounds, 1 ounce, to top a field of 247 anglers competing for $13,411. Iaconelli fished a plastic worm and jig in shallow weedy flats. [Read more…]

NC Sticks of the Past – Wendell Mann

Wendell Mann, the first Chapter (Federation) angler to fish a BASS Master Classic. Photo Bass Master Magazine Jan/Feb 1974.

At the time there was no better fisherman in North Carolina. He was versatile and could fish deep or shallow. He started me fishing and taught me how to be versatile and to always be on top of what was going on, no matter where it was from. He was my mentor.” 3-Time BASS Master Classic Qualifier Jeff Coble

From weekend warriors to the triple-A level, bass anglers worldwide dream of being in the Bass Master Classic to test their skills against the best in the world. In 1973, unknown to them, amateur anglers’ dreams came true when the first Federation angler would be invited to fish against the best in the nation at the preeminent event in bass fishing.

In 1973 Ray Scott held the first National Federation Championship, then called the BASS Chapter Championship. States held qualifying events to determine their six-man teams and these teams would head to the Championship to be held on Pickwick Lake TN.

B.A.S.S. had set aside some money to present to the top five state teams to go towards their own states’ environmental funds. It was to be a tournament to decide which state had the best bass anglers and make an impact on the environment.

What no one knew at the time was this National Championship would also determine the first angler to go to the Big Show. This story is about that angler – Wendell Mann of Snow Camp, North Carolina. [Read more…]

1973 Bass Master Classic Preview – The Anglers

The January/February 1974 Issue of Bass Master Magazine not only had the tournament report for the ’73 Classic, it had a very in-depth look at the Classic contenders – the first time BASS Master had done this. Prior to Part Three of the 1973 Season at a Glance, I felt it best to publish this piece in order to give you more insight as to who fished and what they’d accomplished in the few short years B.A.S.S. had been around. Here are the anglers as they placed in AOY standings. All photos from the January/February 1974 Issue of BASS Master Magazine.


(1) Roland Martin (Tulsa, OK)

Roland for the third year in a row had taken the Bass Master AOY award. The only other angler at this time to have won an AOY was Bill Dance, who won it the first year it was inaugurated. Over the 72 and 73 seasons, Martin had been such a dominant player in the game that he’d beaten his opponents by more than a tournament’s worth of points by the end of the year. By this point he had also won seven titles and became only the third angler to win back-to-back events in a season.

His winnings had elevated him to the number-one spot in B.A.S.S. earnings ($36,235.20) and had placed in the money in 23 straight regular season events. All six of his finishes for the year were top-5 finishes. [Read more…]