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 1975 Season. Click on the first image to open the gallery.

As you’ve all become aware of, Ray Scott liked to change thing up a bit on the Trail, and 1975 was no different. To start off he got the idea to hold fly-fishing tournaments at three of the regular season events. These would be held the day before the regular tournament to try and bring more attention to fly fishing for bass.

The fly-fishing events were not mandatory but if you didn’t fish it, you couldn’t use the day for practice. Another caveat of the event was Scott was giving AOY points for each angler in the top-15 who fished the events. This would prove to have a dramatic effect on the final AOY standings and Classic berths.

Also introduced in 1975 was the O-o-o-o-z-z-z Off start. With boats becoming faster and faster, Scott felt the Flare-Gun starts of the past were getting too dangerous. The Oooozzz Off was implemented to counteract the safety issues. Anglers were instructed to idle past an inspection boat at 10-second intervals and then idle for 200 yards before dropping the hammer.

Another safety-related issue Scott implemented was a horsepower restriction. Angles could no longer ignore the U.S. Coats Guard horsepower restrictions, if they did, they couldn’t fish.

Here’s the schedule for the 1975 tournament Trail:

  • Florida Invitational St. Johns River, FL January 29-31
  • Louisiana Invitational Toledo Bend, LA March 5-7
  • Arkansas Invitational Bull Shoals, AR April 2-4
  • Virginia Invitational Buggs Island, VA May 7-9
  • South Carolina Invitational Santee Cooper, SC June 4-6
  • All-American Lake Texoma, OK September 24-26
  • Bass Master Classic Currituck Sound, NC October 29-31

1975 would turn out to be a season that would change bass fishing, but you wouldn’t know it until a few years later. The breakthrough was Dee Thomas and his long rod, the Flippin’ Stik. Thomas would go on to win the Bull Shoals event by 10 pounds. But nobody thought much of it. It wouldn’t be until 1977 and Californian, Dave Gliebe would change the landscape of bass fishing forever.

For a detailed look into each event of the 1975 season as well as the Chapter Championship and Classic, please click on the links below.

The patches presented above are the patches the angler received at each of the events in the 1975 season. It is not known if this is a complete set. Around this time B.A.S.S. started making Press Angler Patches to distinguish the Contenders from the Press Anglers. It is not known to Jeff or me if a Press Angler patch exists or they just received the Standard patch shown above.

If you’ve seen a 1973 Bass Masters Classic Press Angler patch, please leave a comment below or contact Terry Battisti at terry@bass-archives.com. Also, a big thanks to Jeff Haines for sharing the patches with us.