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 1976 Season. Click on the first image to open the gallery.

The 1976 Bassmaster season would become the biggest season, cash-wise, in the history of B.A.S.S. A payout of $50,000 per tournament over six regular-season events would top the $300,000 mark in cash and prizes. Another $50,000 would be dedicated to the Federation Chapter Championship and another $50,000 for the Bass Masters Classic.

Looking at the schedule, it didn’t seem like anything new. Five of the six events would be held on venues already familiar to B.A.S.S. with the only new stop to be held on Cordell Hull Reservoir in central Tennessee. Here’s a look at the schedule:

  • Florida Invitational, January 28-30, St. Johns River, Welatka, FL
  • Louisiana Invitational: February 25-27, Toledo Bend, Zwolle, LA
  • South Carolina Invitational: May 12-14, Santee-Cooper, Summerton, SC
  • Virginia Invitational: June 9-11, Buggs Island, Clarksville, VA
  • Tennessee Invitational: July 21-23, Cordell Hull, Gainesboro, TN
  • All-American: September 22-24, Bull Shoals, AR
  • Bass Masters Classic: November 3-5, Lake Guntersville, AL

As usual, the season kicked off on Florida’s St. Johns River with 255 contestants. The early Florida stops always scheduled to hit the ground running with big fish and big weights. This year would prove to be a lot different, with Manuel Spencer winning by dipping 1/6-ounce crappie jig in the grass.

The second event would head back to the Louisiana side of Toledo Bend. This time the fish cooperated for the 257-angler field and records fell – namely the total weight record. 3,482 bass were weighed for 6,257-01 breaking the old record by more than 500 pounds. Jim McKay won the event with 78-09.

For a complete rundown on all the year’s events, please click on the links below.

The patches presented above are the patches the angler received at each of the events in the 1976 season. This is not a complete set in that Jeff is missing the Contender Patch, which does not have the Press Angler addition to it. If you’ve seen a 1976 Bass Masters Classic patch minus the Press Angler tag at the bottom, please leave a comment below or contact Terry Battisti at terry@bass-archives.com. Again, a big thanks to Jeff Haines for sharing the patches with us.