1981-82 BASS Tournament Trail Page A

Today in 1982 Bassmaster Trail Part 1, we’re going to look into the first half of the 1981/82 season.  It was a season that was good for some of the household names on the trail, and one to be forgotten by others.  For the third year in a row, the Bassmaster Tournament Trail would be split into two “Leagues” with an overall Angler of the Year determined by the pros who fished both East and West divisions.

The 1981/82 Trail would be the richest in history, with more than $650,000 in cash and prizes awarded over the 7 regular-season events and the Classic.  The trail would again start in November of 1981 with an event held on Toledo Bend and then the rest of the events would be in the 1982 calendar year.

1981-82 BASS Tournament Trail Page B
1981-82 BASS Tournament Trail Pages D and E
1981-82 BASS Tournament Trail Page C
1981-82 BASS Tournament Trail Page F

Each regular season event would hand out more than $75,000 based on a full field of 250 anglers.  As in past years, the winner of the event would receive a cash award of $5,000 and a Ranger boat.  Big fish winner would receive a Ranger boat and new this year, some lucky contestant would win a Hydra-Sports boat through a random drawing after the final weigh-in.

There would be three events in the Eastern Division and three events in the Western Division.  To determine the Bassmaster Angler of the Year, they would fish the B.A.S.S. Champs event, where the top anglers from both divisions would compete for the coveted award.

Let’s look at the schedule for 1981/82.

Western League

Texas Invitational, Toledo Bend Reservoir, November 18-20, 1981

Louisiana Invitational, Lake Bistineau, February 17-19, 1982

Missouri Invitational, Lake of the Ozarks, April 21-23, 1982

Eastern League

Florida Invitational, Lake Okeechobee, March 24-26, 1982

South Carolina – Hungry Fisherman Invitational, Lake Wylie, May 26-28, 1982

Alabama Invitational, Lake Eufaula, June 16-18, 1982

East-West League B.A.S.S. Champs

Cincinnati Invitational, Ohio River, July 21-23, 1982

Chapter Federation

BASSMaster Chapter Championships, To Be Determined by each Division

BASS Masters Classic

October 10-16, 1982, Site to be determined

 

Due to the confusion in 1980/81 regarding what it took to qualify for the 1981 BASS Masters Classic, and probably some unhappy anglers, the rules were changed again this year.

For the 1982 Classic, the top 15 anglers in the overall AOY Race would make it into the Classic.  Then the top 10 anglers from each league would also qualify.  If an angler double qualified, they would go down the list in the League standings.  The Classic field would also include five anglers from the Federation.

Ray Scott knew he had a goldmine in the Classic and the change in format was meant to get more local anglers involved in the events.  More local anglers meant bigger fields, which meant more money.  But, from the results of the 80/81 season, more new faces made it to the Classic.

Okay, on to the events.

Texas Invitational, Toledo Bend Reservoir Western League

In the past, records had fallen at Toledo Bend and the 1981/82 tournament was looking to be another one for the books.  Unfortunately, no one told Mother Nature about the tournament, or maybe they did.

Weather during the practice period was picture perfect.  Then, on the eve of the event, a nasty cold front blew into the area dropping the temperatures into the 30s accompanied by 30-mph winds.  But Tommy Martin didn’t let a little weather get to him.  After guiding on the lake for over a decade, Martin knew the patterns of the fish.  On the first day of competition, Martin weight in a seven-bass limit of 35-02, breaking his one-day Bassmaster record set the year before on the same lake.

Tommy Martin captures the win on Toledo Bend, March 1982. Bassmaster Magazine.

Martin was fishing “moss,” what we’d today call grass.  He was targeting contours in the grass beds in the 20- to 25-foot depths with a jig and eel.  Martin’s fish were not scattered, but were bunched up, most likely due to the weather patterns that had come in.

He was only able to find four spots of fish in practice, mainly due to boat troubles he had during the practice period.  After practice, he ended up having to borrow a boat for the tournament.

On day two of the event, Martin again got on the fish, but not as good as the day before.  He weighed 22-03 and took a commanding lead with 57-05.  To bring this into perspective, Roland martin, the winner in 1981, blanked the first two days.

The final day saw Tommy Martin again bring seven fish to the scales, this time weighing 24-05, upping his total for three days to 81-10.  His margin of victory was nearly 20 pounds over former Toledo Bend guide Harold Allen, who had 63-15 (19 fish) for the three-day event.

Third place went to Louisiana angler and 1980 BASS Masters Classic winner, Bo Dowden.  Dowden weighed in 20 fish for 62-10.  From there, the weights dropped dramatically with Kenneth Walker (TX), weighing in 12 fish for 36-13 and fourth place, and David Wharton (TX), with 35-06 (11 fish) for fifth.

Out of 286 anglers fishing the event, 43 blanked and to get into the top 40 you only needed 17-01.

So, how did Tommy Martin catch his fish?  Reading between the lines, Martin caught his fish most likely punching.  He was quoted saying that most anglers couldn’t get their baits down to the fish through the grass.  His gear was a Flippin’ Stik coupled with 17-pound Trilene XT line and a 1/2-ounce Mister Twister or 5/16-ounce Stanley Jig (black and blue), with an Uncle Josh 800 Lizard as a trailer.

Allen, in second place, used a jig-n-pig too, but concentrated in 18- to 20-feet of water fishing wood.

Bo Dowden mirrored Martin’s technique, concentrating on hydrilla with a jig-n-pig.

For the Top 40 standings, please see the table below.

BASS Master Texas Invitational West League Toledo Bend Scorecard - November 18-20, 1981
Place
Angler
Bass/Alive
Weight, lbs-ozs
Award
1
Thomas Martin21/2181 - 10$12,000
2
Harold Allen19/1963 - 15$4,000
3
Villis Dowden20/2062 - 10$3,000
4
Kenneth Walker12/1236 - 13$2,500
5
David Wharton11/1135 - 6$1,700
6
Ken D Cook11/1131 - 4$1,600
7
George Bowman12/1231 - 2$1,500
8
John Torian11/1129 - 15$1,400
9
Bobby Ditto14/1429 - 8$1,300
10
Newton Ford10/1029 - 4$1,200
11
Fred Lewis8/827 - 11$1,100
12
Ralph Yelverton6/626 - 7$1,950
13
John Mclain7/726 - 6$1,100
14
Glen Teer8/826 - 3$1,100
15
Randell Seward8/825 - 8$1,100
16
Cliff Craft10/1025 - 6$1,000
17
Robert Stevenson13/1325 - 2$1,000
18
Randy Behringer8/824 - 6$1,000
19
Maurice Jackson10/1024 - 4$1,000
20
Greg Hines11/1124 - 0$1,000
21
Ronnie Young11/1123 - 8$900
22
Jerry Johnston8/822 - 8$900
23
Guy Eaker10/1022 - 2$900
24
Marvin Baker7/721 - 12$900
25
Lendell Martin10/1021 - 11$900
26
Larry Nixon11/1121 - 9$800
27
William Vanover9/921 - 7$800
28
Robert Hale7/720 - 15$800
29
Rick Clunn12/1220 - 1$750
30
Edward Schlein8/819 - 7$750
31
William Sparks6/619 - 4$600
32
Charles Hisgen7/718 - 12$7,200
33
Randy Dearman6/618 - 1$600
34
Glenn Montgomery7/717 - 13$600
35
Lonnie Stanley7/717 - 13$600
36
Clark Crenshaw8/817 - 11$600
37
Kelous Kizer7/717 - 7$500
38
Gary Klein9/917 - 6$500
39
Dave Smith9/917 - 2$500
40
Guido Hibdon5/517 - 1$500
Daily Lunker Leaders
Angler, State
Weight, lbs-ozs
Award
Day 1
Charles Hisgen, IN
7-00
$6,600
Day 2
Ralph Yelverton, LA
7-00
$850
Day 3
Loyd McEntire, IN
6-15
$350
The Box Score
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Total
Total Weight, lbs-ozs
966-14763-10859-072,589-15
Bass Weighed-in
3923303541,076
7-Bass Limits
51410
Bass Alive Weighed-in
3923303541,076
NOTE:
A penalty of two ounces was subtracted for each dead bass. Winner Award consisted of $5,000 Cash and a $7,000 Ranger Boat. Overall Big Fish Award was $6,600 Ranger Boat Rigged with trailer, charger, kill switch, lowrance flasher and Surface Fish-n-Temp, and Johnny Reb TectrAnchor.

 

Louisiana Invitational, Lake Bistineau, Western League

The second event of the season and the second event for the Western League was held at a new body of water for B.A.S.S., Lake Bistineau in Louisiana.  Known as the dead sea to the locals, Bistineau would prove tough for most of the anglers, but there are always a few who catch them.

After coming from a dismal showing at the opener on Toledo Bend, Roland Martin opened up the first two rounds as the leader with 33-04.  Larry Nixon, of the fearless Hemphill Gang and 1980 AOY, was in second place, after weighing only one fish the first day, with 28-11.  In 3rd place sat Rick Clunn with 25-09.  Lonnie Stanley took up the fourth spot and Denny Brauer rounded out the top five.

At the end of the final day of competition, Roland Martin was only able to bring two fish (7-04, to the scales.  With a total of 40-08, this opened the door for Nixon and possibly Clunn.

Nixon then came to the scales with six bass weighing 18-06.  This gave him a total of 14 bass and 47-01.  Lonnie Stanley would move past Clunn and take the third-place spot with 11 bass weighing 36-15.  Clunn dropped a position and weighed 36-07, and Denny Brauer placed in fifth.

Larry Nixon triumphs on Lake Bistineau. May-June Bassmaster Magazine.

Nixon’s winning pattern for the event consisted of fishing grass with, you guessed it, a jig-n-pig.  His jig of choice was a 3/8-ounce Arkie Jig (black and blue and black and red) tipped with a #11 Uncle Josh pork frog (black).

Overall the event was a tough nut to crack and to get into the top 40, one only needed 12-05.  Out of 228 anglers, 70 blanked.

For the complete listing of the top 40, please see the table below.

BASS Master Louisiana Invitational West League Lake Bistineau Scorecard - February 17-19, 1982
Place
Angler, State
Bass/Alive
Weight, lbs
Award
1
Larry Nixon14/1447.0625$12,350
2
Roland Martin13/1340.5$4,000
3
Lonnie Stanley11/1136.9375$3,000
4
Rick Clunn11/1136.4375$2,500
5
Denny Brauer14/1436.25$1,700
6
H J Stevens9/929.5625$1,600
7
Marvin Baker10/1029.0625$1,500
8
Ralph Yelverton9/927.5$1,400
9
Cliff Craft10/1024.9375$1,300
10
Rayborn Waits9/924.75$1,200
11
Jim Culp6/623.875$1,100
12
Charles Branton7/723.4375$1,100
13
Newton Ford6/623.3125$1,100
14
Maurice Jackson9/922.0625$1,100
15
Hank Parker5/520.1875$1,100
16
Bill Ward8/819.8125$1,000
17
Gary Yelverton6/619.6875$1,000
18
Ronnie Young8/819.1875$1,000
19
John Mckinnon8/818.0625$1,000
20
Jerry Rhyne4/417.375$7,600
21
Villis Dowden6/617.0625$8,900
22
Kenneth Walker5/517.0625$900
23
Harold Allen6/617$900
24
Thomas Martin7/716.6875$900
25
Jack Westberry5/516.5625$850
26
Guy Eaker7/716.5625$850
27
Mark Evans6/615.9375$800
28
James Brower4/415.6875$800
29
David Wharton6/615.5$750
30
Russell Floyd5/515$750
31
Tommy Griffis7/714.9375$600
32
Randy Fite3/314.6875$1,450
33
Shorty Evans5/514.5625$600
34
Jim Mckay5/514.375$600
35
Lendell Martin5/514.1875$600
36
William Sparks6/614$600
37
Robert Stevenson4/413.1875$500
38
J A Hinely5/512.6875$500
39
Gordon Kralovetz5/412.375$500
40
Eddie Bowden4/412.3125$500
41
Roy Mccollough?/?12.1875$500
Daily Lunker Leaders
Angler, State
Weight, lbs-ozs
Award
Day 1
Jerry Rhyne, NC6-15$6,600
Day 2
Randy Fite, TX6-10$850
Day 3
Larry Nixon, TX6-03$350
The Box Score
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Total
Total Weight, lbs-ozs
397-05599-09534-101,531-08
Bass Weighed-in
140216187543
7-Bass Limits
0314
Bass Alive Weighed-in
140216186542
NOTE:
Two penalty ounces are deducted for each dead fish. Winner Award consisted of $5,000 Cash and a $7,000 Ranger Boat. Overall Big Fish Award was $6,600 Ranger Boat Rigged with trailer, charger, kill switch, lowrance flasher and Surface Fish-n-Temp, and Johnny Reb TectrAnchor.

 

Florida Invitational, Lake Okeechobee, Eastern League

After two tough events in the western league, the anglers were looking forward to a better event in southern Florida on Lake Okeechobee.  But would Okeechobee cooperate?  The water level had been historically low, but would it hinder the fishing?

For Ron Shearer, it didn’t seem like the low water affected the bass at all.

On the first day of competition, Shearer weighed in a meager string of 13-08.  But on the second day, he switched up his tactics and put a 7-fish limit on the scales that went 36-08.  That weight shattered the record for a 7-fish limit set by Tommy Martin only a few months before on Toledo Bend.  Shearer’s total after two days of fishing went 50-00.  His closest competitor, was nearly 18 pounds off the pace.

The final day proved not to be like the second day.  Shearer was in the last flight and by the time he’d gotten to his spot, locals had moved in.  He stuck with the program and by the end of the day was only able to scratch out three fish for 7 pounds.  He felt that he needed 10 pounds to lock up the win.

Ron Shearer wins on Lake Okeechobee. May-June 1982 Bassmaster Magazine.

Tommy Martin came to the scales with a limit of fish that stretched the spring down to 23-01, giving him a total of 53-00.  Not enough to outdistance Shearer’s 57-00.  Martin ended up in 2nd place.

Larry Nixon, hot off a win on lake Bistineau, took the third spot with 49-01, Billy Noah landed in 4th place with 46-10, and Linwood Thornhill rounded out the top 5 with 43-05.

Shearer reported catching his fish the first day on a 7-inch curl-tail worm and a Rat-L-Trap.  On the second day, with cloud cover, ho moved shallower and fished a Johnson Silver Minnow spoon with a rubber skirt to catch his record limit.  He continued with that bait on the third day.

Out of 278 angler who fished the Okeechobee event, only five blanked and it took 27-12 to make the top 40.  For the final top-40 standings, look at the table below.

BASS Master Florida Invitational East League Lake Okeechobee Scorecard - March 24-26, 1982
Place
Angler, State
Bass/Alive
Weight, lbs-ozs
Award
1
Ron Shearer15/1257 - 0$12,000
2
Thomas Martin19/1753 - 0$4,000
3
Larry Nixon18/1849 - 1$3,000
4
Billy Noah21/2146 - 10$2,500
5
Linwood Thornhill16/1643 - 5$1,700
6
Sam Griffin15/1538 - 14$1,600
7
Al Waldron18/1738 - 11$1,500
8
Ted Capra14/1436 - 10$1,400
9
Paul Elias13/1336 - 2$1,300
10
Jim Palmer12/1136 - 0$1,200
11
Stephen Ambrose14/834 - 8$1,100
12
Jack Chancellor11/1033 - 8$1,100
13
Theodore Adams10/932 - 12$1,100
14
H Kenneth Mcintosh10/932 - 0$1,100
15
Carroll Head11/931 - 14$1,050
16
Jeff Boyd10/1031 - 14$1,050
17
Jack Westberry12/831 - 8$1,000
18
Robert Stephens13/1131 - 3$1,000
19
Darrel Maggard15/1530 - 15$1,000
20
Ken Patterson10/730 - 15$1,000
21
Bill Mccormack12/830 - 4$900
22
Roland Martin13/1329 - 13$900
23
Woo Daves12/1229 - 12$900
24
Jimmy Houston13/929 - 10$900
25
Ricky Green12/1029 - 8$900
26
Larry Pierce11/1129 - 5$800
27
H J Stevens9/729 - 4$800
28
Kelous Kizer13/1329 - 0$775
29
Steve Loyd13/1229 - 0$775
30
Gerald Blackman8/728 - 14$750
31
Hank Parker14/1228 - 13$600
32
Llewelly Hallamore11/628 - 8$600
33
Richard Koert12/1228 - 7$600
34
Jim Taube8/628 - 7$600
35
Richard Arcari12/1028 - 6$600
36
Cliff Craft12/928 - 2$600
37
Mark Evans11/828 - 1$500
38
Barry Cummins8/827 - 15$500
39
Bruce Cunagin11/1127 - 14$500
40
Gary Van Nostrand11/1127 - 12$250
41
Guido Hibdon9/827 - 12$250
Daily Lunker Leaders
Angler, State
Weight, lbs-ozs
Award
Day 1
David Smith, FL9-12$6,600
Day 2
Jim Palmer, IN9-08$850
Day 3
Walt Sawicki, GA9-07$350
The Box Score
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Total
Total Weight, lbs-ozs
1,557-111,487-081,466-144,512-01
Bass Weighed-in
6875995621,868
7-Bass Limits
1071128
Bass Alive Weighed-in
5805225421,644
NOTE:
Two penalty ounces are deducted for each dead fish. Winner Award consisted of $5,000 Cash and a $7,000 Ranger Boat. Overall Big Fish Award was $6,600 Ranger Boat Rigged with trailer, charger, kill switch, lowrance flasher and Surface Fish-n-Temp, and Johnny Reb TectrAnchor.

 

Top-40 Western League Standings

After two events in the Western League, spots for the coveted BASS Masters Classic were starting to take shape.  Below Is the list of the top 40 anglers in contention.

1981/82 BASS Master Western League Standings after Two Events
Place
Angler
Weight, lbs
1
Thomas Martin98.3125
2
Harold Allen80.9375
3
Villis Dowden79.6875
4
Larry Nixon68.625
5
Rick Clunn56.5
6
Lonnie Stanley54.75
7
Ralph Yelverton53.9375
8
Kenneth Walker53.875
9
Newton Ford52.5625
10
David Wharton50.875
11
Marvin Baker50.8125
12
Cliff Craft50.3125
13
Denny Brauer49.1875
14
Maurice Jackson46.3125
15
Roland Martin43.375
16
Ronnie Young42.6875
17
H J Stevens40.5
18
Guy Eaker38.6875
19
George Bowman38.625
20
Robert Stevenson38.3125
21
Bobby Ditto36.5
22
Ken D Cook36.3125
23
Lendell Martin35.875
24
Bill Ward35.25
25
William Sparks33.25
26
Rayborn Waits32.125
27
Jim Culp31.9375
28
Fred Lewis31.5
29
Randy Behringer30.5
30
Jerry Rhyne30.3125
31
John Torian29.9375
32
Glen Teer29.75
33
Jerry Johnston29.1875
34
Shorty Evans29.1875
35
Randy Dearman29.125
36
William Vanover28.25
37
Jim Mckay28.125
38
Jack Westberry27.8125
39
Kelous Kizer26.6875
40
John Mclain26.375

 

Top-40 Angler of the Year

The Angler of the year race was also shaping up with Tommy Martin seeming to run away with the title after three events.  For the top 40 anglers in that race, check out the table below.

1981/82 BASS Master Angler of the Year Race after Three Events
Place
Angler
Weight, lbs
1
Thomas Martin151.3125
2
Larry Nixon117.6875
3
Harold Allen107.125
4
Villis Dowden93.9375
5
Rick Clunn80.9375
6
Cliff Craft78.4375
7
Roland Martin73.1875
8
Ron Shearer71.9375
9
H J Stevens69.75
10
Ronnie Young68.6875
11
Guy Eaker62.8125
12
Bobby Ditto61.5
13
Bill Ward60.875
14
Lendell Martin59.5625
15
Jack Westberry59.3125
16
Kelous Kizer55.6875
17
Jimmy Houston54.8125
18
Lonnie Stanley54.75
19
Hank Parker54.6875
20
Ralph Yelverton53.9375
21
Kenneth Walker53.875
22
Newton Ford52.5625
23
Guido Hibdon51.75
24
David Wharton50.875
25
Marvin Baker50.8125
26
Rayborn Waits49.375
27
Denny Brauer49.1875
28
Paul Elias48.125
29
Mark Evans47.9375
30
Jim Smith47.0625
31
Billy Noah46.625
32
Shorty Evans46.375
33
Maurice Jackson46.3125
34
Jerry Rhyne45.6875
35
Randy Fite44.375
36
Linwood Thornhill43.3125
37
Al Waldron42.9375
38
Jim Palmer42.625
39
Gary Van Nostrand42.1875
40
Ricky Green41.875

That will do it for this part of the 1981/82 Bassmaster Trail season.  We’ll be back with the second half of the season.