Original Caption: In mourning: Nearly a thousand people turned out last week for the funeral of 'Leroy Brown,' bait tester for professional bass angler and lure manufacturer Tom Mann of Eufala, Ala. Bidding farewell to the fish were (left) Mann and Ray Scott, president of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. March 1981, The Times, photo credit: AP Laserphoto

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo is of two of the most recognized faces in bass fishing, at one of the more somber times in its history – Tom Mann and Ray Scott at the funeral for Mann’s vicious pet bass, Leroy Brown.

If you’re not familiar with Leroy, here’s a few excerpts from the news story, titled “Leroy Brown is sent to final resting place,” that accompanied the picture:

“Brown died Aug. 20, 1980, but Mann had him frozen so his funeral could coincide with the opening of the Alabama Invitational Bass Tournament.”

“Brown was placed in a casket resembling a fishing tackle box, and mourners passed by the casket, each laying a Jelly Worm which Brown helped invent.  He was buried under a four-foot marble marker within sight of Lake Eufaula.

“Mann named Brown after the Jim Croce song ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown’ because he controlled the aquarium.  ‘Nothing ever did anything against him – turtles, not even eels,’ he said.”