The following story, A Classic Joke, was an email that Harold Sharp sent me in September 2012, six months after the Bass Fishing Archives started the first time. During those first months and the following couple years, Harold and I talked weekly, sometimes more.
Harold would send me stories from the tournament trail, some to set the record straight and others just funny stories that happened. This is one of those funny stories from an event that happened back in 1995.
On to Harold’s story.
This may qualify as an interesting photo. Ray Scott invited all the first Classic contestants and three outdoor writers who were there to the 1995 Classic for a reunion. It was a great time to see all those faces again.
Looking at this picture, though, reminded me of a good story. As you know, each of the anglers at the early Classics were restricted by the weight of tackle they could bring. We made a huge deal of it by having a weigh-in for their tackle and if an angler was over in weight, Ray and I got to pick out anything we wanted until their tackle box made the weight limit.
At one Classic, I believe it was the 1980 Classic in New York that Bo Dowden won, we were weighing the boxes and Bo’s box was over. So Ray and I started collecting lures out of his box. I got a Zara Spook and hung it on my cap.
Later we continued with the press conference and while Ray was conducting the briefing, I got with Homer Circle and Bodie McDowell and we cooked up a joke to play on Bo.
I gave Homer two $50 bills and when I got back up to go over the Classic rules, I still had the Zara Spook hanging on my cap. Homer and Bodie were sitting together and Bodie said, “Let me see that Spook hanging on your cap Harold.”
I took the Spook off my cap, handed it to him and then continued on with my brief. As I was talking, Homer and Bodie were examining the lure and suddenly Bodie said, “I’ll give you $20 for this Spook.” I replied, “I’m sure you would Bodie, I know what it’s worth same as you do.” Bodie then handed it to Homer.
As I continued with the rules talk, Homer said, “I’ll give you $100 for this Spook.” I said, “Homer, you just bought yourself a Spook.” Homer handed me my two $50 bills back.
Later that night Bo came up to me and said, “That Spook ain’t worth $100, I have a barrel full of them.” I replied, “Don’t tell Homer that.”
To this day Bo still doesn’t know what we did.
Unfortunately a lot of folks in the picture above aren’t with us anymore. Glin Wells, Tom Mann, Homer Circle, Bobby Meador, Stan Sloan, Al St. Romain and Shorty Evans have all passed.
Note: Since this email, more of the folks you see in this picture have passed, two of which were very important to this site. Harold Sharp passed in September 2015 and Stan Fagerstrom passed in June 2019. Then Ray Scott passed in May 2022. I’d like to thank Harold, Stan and Ray for all they did for bass fishing, the industry they built, and for helping a little website become something credible. We miss you all.
The crazy jokes the B.A.S.S. team did to each other and the anglers really sets the stage for how fun it must have been back in the day. You don’t hear of things like this happening on tour today. I also really like the concept of limiting the anglers in The Classic to a certain weight of tackle and number of rods and reels. But those days are long gone.