We’d like to thank Jeff Haines for sharing his Bassmaster Tournament Patch Collection with us here on the Bass Fishing Archives. Below you’ll find the Tournament Patches for the 1967 Season. Click on the first image to open the gallery.
The year 1967 marked Ray Scott’s first venture into hosting what would later become professional bass fishing events. Scott had the crazy vision while laying in his bed one rainy day in a Ramada Inn. That crazy idea turned into the first event Ray Scott would hold, the All-American Invitational held in June 1967 at Beaver Lake, AR.
That first event drew 106 anglers from 13 states, including an unknown wiz-kid named Bill Dance. Dance caught the first fish in what would soon become Bassmaster history and also placed second in the inaugural event. Stan Sloan would win the event.
With that success behind him, Scott decided to hold another event in 1967, this time at Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake. This event drew 114 anglers from 15 states. Ray Scott and his dream to bring professional bass fishing “on par with golf, bowling and pocket billiards,” was in motion.
These first two patches in the gallery are from those first two events. The All-American Invitational Bass Tournament patch was given out at the Beaver Lake event. This is the original patch as verified by the year, 1967, embroidered into the stars at the top of the patch. A later version of the patch was released by B.A.S.S. in 1992 for the 25th Anniversary Beaver Lake Tournament. This reproduction did not have the year embroidered in the stars. The second patch, the Dixie Invitational, was never reproduced by B.A.S.S.
These first two patches signify the beginning of a new industry in the fishing world. Within a few years, bass fishing will surpass nearly all other forms of fishing with respect to revenue. Not only that, Ray Scott and his organization will fight for boating safety legislation as well as environmental issues that had plagued our waterways since the start of the industrial revolution.