Today’s Friday Finale historical photo comes from the January 26, 1986 Springfield Leader. The accompanying article, titled, “One-time bowler lands big strike. Fisherman gives up alleys for lakes to fish on pro bass circuit,” by Larry S. Hazelrigg, was about local 24-year-old angler/bowler, Randy Blaukat and his decision to turn to professional bass fishing.
Having just completed his degree in criminal justice administration, to which he admitted that he probably won’t ever use, his career plans had switched to becoming a professional bass angler. In the story he stated, “I seriously considered becoming a bowling professional after I carried a 205 average for several years, but I decided four years ago to be a professional bass fisherman. I’ve totally quit bowling since then.”
A few other interesting excerpts from the story follow;
- “I try to be very versatile. Some people are not open-minded enough about their fishing.”
- He prefers to fish with jigs, using the under-handed pitching method, since he can cover more water that way than with the flipping method. He prefers a pork frog trailer on his jigs.
- “I credit most of my success to Terry Thomas (Galena) and Dick Collier (Springfield). Dick had been my idol for years. He’s the reason I’m where I am.”
- On B.A.S.S. titles: “I think Angler-of-the-Year is more important. My goal is to make a comfortable living doing this and to be one of the top professional fishermen in the nation. I want to consistently qualify for the Classic and do well in the Angler-of-the-Year race. To me, that’s more important than winning the Classic.”
- Along with partners Bud Hammons and Dan Tiberghien, the trio had started a new tackle venture called Ultra Tournament Products. They had 15 employees and made pre-scented jigs, color coordinated worm weights, structure spoons and buzz baits.
Terry, do you have any info about Alron Lures?
Who started it, what were their products, did they close or sell?
Stephen – This is Brian. Did a quick search for details and found that Alron was popular in the 1985-1997 time frame. It was started by Al Dunning and Ron Williams of Clinton, MO. They started off by making jigs, and then using them to do well locally in tournaments on Truman Lake. They got popular with locals, along with a few pros, and they could then no longer just tie them in their basement. They opened up a plant, and started expanding the lineup. Basil Bacon designed a jig for them (Basil Bacon Super jig), Jim Joy did a spinnerbait, and Charllie Campbell, too (C.C. Chatterblade). Not sure exactly what happened to the company, but last I saw it looks like maybe a son(?) of Al’s (Douglas) took control of the company.
There was also a Denny Brauer Super Spin Jig, Denny Brauer Chatterbox Jig, Wake Maker spinnerbait, and the Truman Thumper spinnerbait.
Yes, good info there, Brian. I could not find much info on the web, other than they are probably out of business. I ordered jigs directly from Alron Lures a couple of times in the 1980s, back when a good fiber guard bass jig was hard to find, especially in South Dakota. It would be great to see a catalog of their baits, but it is doubtful one exists.