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RobbyZ5001

History of tournaments

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Does anyone have any information regarding history of bass fishing tournaments?

How many bass tournaments annually?

When was the first bass tournament?

etc..

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Ray Scott, the "father" of competitive bass fishing. First held in 1969

This is not a true statement.

Illini in Illinois was Established in 1968

And I know Glenns club in Wa is older

The Bomber Spin Stick was used by Stan Sloan to win Ray Scott's very first national bass tournament the All-American Invitational at Beaver Lake Arkansas in 1967. It was an event that changed the sport of bass fishing forever and led to the creation of B.A.S.S. in 1968.

http://www.rayscott.net/keepers/bg/17.php

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The year was 1955. Earl Golding, Outdoors Editor for the Waco Tribune-Herald, organized the very first bass fishing tournament; the Texas State Bass Tournament.

http://www.texasstatebass.com/

Bassin' for Bucks

Competitive bass fishing started right here in Texas, and it's still on the rise.

http://tpwmagazine.com/archive/2005/dec/ed_1/

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Glenn claims tournament fishing originated

in the state of Washington. Maybe he will

see this and comment.

8-)

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Ya, sorry guys. There's a bass club located in Seattle that was established in 1938, and is recognized as the "oldest chartered bass club in the United States". Dues were $1 per year to cover postcard postage. Soon afterward its ***, they started having "fishing derbies".

Fishing derbies always started at noon on a selected Saturday in spring, usually in May, and they ended at noon on Sunday. There were no restrictions on pre-fishing, so most of the participants would drive down Friday, fish that evening and next morning, and then start the real action at noon.

The winner was the one who caught the biggest bass - not the heaviest total weight, as is customary in club tournaments today. The big bass were taken to the scales and, sometimes, to the taxidermist; small ones went directly to the frying pan.

Sunday fishing could start anytime after midnight, if contestants were so inclined, but most would try night fishing once, and then opt for the extra hours of sleep.

Rules apparently were rigidly enforced. According to an anecdote from the club's historical records, one member had just gotten a new fly rod the day before a bass derby and decided to try it out the morning of the contest. He came back to the dock 15 minutes before start time with an 8 1/2-pounder. The bass would have won first place, but the angler caught it a bit too soon.

There were no livewells in the boats, of course - just stringers - and no penalties for dead fish. One of the few regulations that they did establish was the strict prohibition on the use of any form of live bait. This was quite a revolutionary restriction back then, and there was some grumbling about it, but the club stuck with it all the way.

It was easy getting valuable donations for the contest prizes. Being perhaps the only bass club writing to the manufacturers, distributors and retailers, the club collected piles of booty. One year, Johnson sent a new 5-horsepower motor. Shakespeare provided new reels, as did Pflueger. Heddon provided the company's finest rods. And Creek Chub sent dozen-packs of baits, while Martin, a local tackle maker, always sent packs of baits to the contest chairman.

I don't recall the specific date of the first "derby", but I know it was in the first year of existence, 1938.

Ray Scott is known as the founder of professional bass tournaments. Even though there may have been large and lucrative tournaments before then, he is known for turning it into a sport where anglers can make a career out of it.

Hope that helps!

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Just out of curiosity Glenn.  It seems rather weird that the state of Washington would even have a club devoted to bass fishing that far back.  I only say that by asking, is the LM bass indigenous to the state?  Were there lakes there that had been stocked or were the fish naturally present? 

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Ya, I know! Whodathunk!

Bass are not indigenous to Washington. The first known "stocking" (by private parties) occurred in the late 1800's. Sporadic stocking occurred in the early 1900's. The state did not have any warmwater stocking programs back then (and barely does now). So a Bass Club took matters into their own hands and started stocking lakes in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, while also creating and sinking warmwater habitat in various lakes until the dept. of wildlife clamped down on it in the 70's. The permitting process now all but prohibits it.

Today, there is still an overwhelming belief by the DOW that all non-indigenous species must be obliterated in the name of salmon of trout. Even though progress has been made to stifle that belief over recent years, it's still a struggle to gain support for the warmwater species.

Regardless, Washington state has some decent largemouth fishing - not trophy (state record is just under 12lbs). But an 8 or 9 pounder is obtainable. The smallmouth fishing, on OTOH, is fantastic. The Columbia river, in particular, is a world-class fishery where 6-8 pound smallies are fairly common - despite the DOW's attempt to stifle their growth. ;)

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Yeah, good stuff Glenn. 

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