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 1978 Season. Click on the first image to open the gallery.
The 1978 season of the Bassmaster Trail would be some more of the same and some new. The part that remained the same was the venues. Only one new stop was included in the regular schedule for this year, the Kentucky Invitational. Other than that, each venue had been visited at least once, if not multiple times. The only caveat to this would be the BASS Champs event held on the Atchafalaya Basin, which B.A.S.S. had never been on before.
As mentioned above, for the second year in a row, Scott held the B.A.S.S. Champs event, a tournament that pitted the top-10 from the 1977 Bass Masters Classic against the top anglers of the 1977 Federation Championship.
On the Bassmaster Trail, another big change happened and that was the announcement of the 14-inch minimum length required for all events. This was not a welcomed change to the circuit, with most anglers complaining right from the start. You can read more about it in the Season at a Glance: 1978 Bassmaster Trail Part One.
As in 1977, Ray Scott would announce the location of the BASS Masters Classic two weeks prior to the event. Scott had grown wise and although many liked the mystery lake concept, he felt that by announcing it a couple days early, he’d drive more media to the event.
Here’s the 1978 schedule:
- Bassmaster Classic Qualifier 1: Florida Invitational, Kissimmee Chain of Lakes – Jan 25 – 27, 1978
- Bassmaster Classic Qualifier 2: Florida Invitational, St. Johns River – Feb 22 – 24, 1978
- Bassmaster Classic Qualifier 3: Virginia Invitational, Lake Gaston – Mar 22 – 24, 1978
- Mid-year Event: Bass Champs, Atchafalaya River Basin – April 26 – 28, 1978
- Bassmaster Classic Qualifier 4: Kentucky Invitational, Kentucky Lake May 31 – June 2, 1978
- Bassmaster Classic Qualifier 5: New York Invitational, St. Lawrence River – June 21 – 23, 1978
- Bassmaster Classic Qualifier 6: Alabama Invitational, West Point Lake – Sept 20-22, 1978
- Bassmaster Classic, Ross Barnett – October Oct 25-27, 1978
The 1978 tournament year was also the start of a new points system for the AOY race. In prior years, B.A.S.S. had given points to the winner and each place below that got one less point. In 1977, they went with a more complicated system where first place through 10th place received 100 to 91 points, 11th through 20th received 80 through 71 points, and 21st through 80th received 60 to 1 point respectively. Then in 1978 they went with total weight over the entire year to decide the Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
For full coverage of the 1978 season, please click on the links below.
- 1978 Bassmaster Trail – Part One
- 1978 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two
- 1978 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three
- 1978 B.A.S.S. Federation Championship
- 1978 Bass Masters Classic Contenders
- 1978 Bassmaster Trail Classic Eight
The patches presented above are the patches the angler received at each of the events in the 1978 season. It is a complete set of patches for the year.