‘This Month in Bass Fishing History’ is a new category we’ve come up with at the Bass Fishing Archives, looking back to what events were happening and making the news in the bass fishing world 10, 25, even 50 years ago. Each month a different list of happenings to reflect upon where we’ve been, and how far we’ve come in the sport.
10 Years Ago: March 9, 2003, Edwin Evers wins his first ever Bassmaster Tour event on Lake Eufala, AL with a total weight of 73.5 pounds, edging out Ohio’s Charlie Hartley by a little over 3 pounds. E-squared has since gone on to win 6 other Bassmaster events.
15 Years Ago: March 7, 1998, and Randy Howell captures his one and only FLW Tour win at Wheeler Lake, AL, sliding past Rick Clunn by 2 ounces in the final round. This was back when FLW reset angler’s weights to zero after each cut. Despite being a known fixture on the Bassmaster Elite circuit, Randy actaully fished the FLW Tour for 8 years (1996-2003), amassing a little over $300,000 in winnnings. Clunn commented after the event, “I have mixed emotions about losing this tournament. The competitive side of me wanted to win, but the human side of me wanted Randy to win.”
20 Years Ago: It’s March 1993, and Randy Dearman would alter the bass fishing landscape, not with the win itself in the Texas Invitational on Lake Sam Rayburn, but instead by using braided line (Lynch Line) to flip out all his bass in the event, the first time such line was credited with a national win. It wasn’t long after that companies all started to add ‘superlines’ to their product lineup.
30 years ago: March 26, 1983, and a spinnerbait sales spike is about to occur when Oklahoma pro Ken Cook won the 1983 Super BASS tournament on the St. Johns River using a Gold Eagle spinnerbait made by Oklahoman Bill Sparks. Cook became the first professional bass angler to break the $100,000 mark in prize money for a single year with the win.
35 Years ago: March 18, 1978, and the Alabama state record for spotted bass falls with the catch of an 8-15 fish from Lewis Smith Lake by Phillip C. Terry. That record still stands.
40 Years Ago: Another state record falls, this time in Georgia from Lake Chautuge by Jack Hall on March 28, 1973. Jack landed a 7 lbs 2 oz smallmouth bass that day that has stood all these years.
50 Years Ago: March 1963, and there’s a good chance that if you’re running a boat with an outboard engine, it might be made by Chrysler. This ad in Popular Science mentions their “big” 75 and 105 hp engines. If you keep your eyes open around the lake, you can still see a boat or two running the white engines. There’s no mistaking them on the water.