Roland Martin accepts the AOY trophy and cash for the fourth time in his career. Photo February 1976 Issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

The 1975 Bassmaster Classic Contenders would again be met with a secret event where the anglers wouldn’t find out where they were fishing until they were on the airplane. Classic V was to be an interesting event with a number of firsts. To start off, it was the first Classic where a father and son both qualified for the event – that father and son duo being Bill and Greg Ward. Second, in keeping with the family theme, it was the first event where two brothers qualified – those being Tom and Don Mann.

The other first was it was the first time that a Californian qualified for the Classic. Dee Thomas did that by winning the Bull Shoals event with his “new” flippin’ technique.

Other interesting facts about this Classic were:

Although Jimmy Houston had fished the Bassmaster Trail sporadically from ’68 on, ’75 was his first full year on tour and he finished third in the AOY race easily qualifying for his first Classic.

Greg Ward, son of Bill Ward and grandson of Virgil Ward, was and still is the youngest to qualify for the Classic at the age of 19.

Classic V had three 5-time Classic qualifiers: Roland Martin, Tom Mann and I’ll let you guess who the third was.

Classic V had seven 4-time Classic qualifiers: Ricky Green, John Powell, Glin Wells, Bobby Murray, Billy Westmorland, Bill Dance and another guy who has left a big imprint on the bass fishing industry. Can you guess who? The answers to these questions can be found at the end of the article.

Anyway, that’s enough of the trivia. Here are the Classic V qualifiers and a little bit about them and the gear they were using at the time.

(1) Roland Martin – 35, Broken Arrow, OK. By 1975 Martin was a 5-time Classic qualifier and 4-time AOY recipient. Rods/Reels – DAM Quick, Boat/Motor – 18-foot Ranger/115 hp Johnson Outboard, Trolling Motor/Depthfinder – MotorGuide/Lowrance.