Originally posted 7 January 2014
Yeah, I guess you can call me a patch pirate – but not in the derogatory sense of the name. I like patches, I’ve collected bass fishing patches all my life and I continue to collect bass fishing patches. It used to be by mail order, tackle shop purchase or early Bass Pro purchases but lately those venues have dried up. Now it’s all about online auctions or the nice person who contacts me and sends me their collection.
Anyway, with talk on the Mid-America Bass Tournament Fishing History site about who or what some of these organizations were, I thought I’d post a bit of memorabilia related to the past bass fishing organizations National Bass Association, Project Sports Inc and American Bass Fisherman.
Starting in the upper left hand corner is the patch for the 1978 National Bass Association Virginia Invitational which was actually won by Charlie Foster. It was his third NBA win and he caught all his fish on a 3/8-ounce Burke “Twin Dance” Spinnerbait.
Moving clockwise you’ll notice two Project Sports Incorporated patches, one from the 1973 Ross Barnett event and the other from a State Championship – date unknown. PSI was one of the first tournament organizations after B.A.S.S. started the ball rolling in 1967.
The next patch is from George Oates’ organization American Bass Fisherman. If you remember the name George Oates, maybe it’s because he was barred from B.A.S.S. competition for life after rigging a couple of his own events. From what I can tell from the magazines I have and from talking to people, he started American Bass to compete directly with Ray Scott. Oates was a good angler and qualified for a couple of Classics in the early days but I guess his greed got the best of him and he started doing some no-so-kosher things in his own events. Eventually John Fox would take over the helm after Bill Roberts took over from Oates. The name was changed from American Bass Fisherman to American Angler, probably to distance themselves far from Oates and a cheating reputation.
Do you have any patches you’d like to share with the readers? You can scan them or take a picture of them, send the files to us with a story and we’ll post it. Do you have some patches you’d like to donate to the Bass Fishing Archives? We’d be happy to receive them. Just use the contact form and we’ll be in contact with you sooner than you can say BooYah.