We organized the Chattanooga Bass Club as the first affiliated club in B.A.S.S., we had weekly club tournaments and if you caught a bass 6 pounds or over the club had it mounted for you. So now I had two mounted bass, the one from Smith Lake and one from Chickamauga Lake.
“The first day of the tournament I only boated two fish,” he said. “I lost a bunch of them. The second day, though, I got on them really good and brought in 7 fish (8-fish limit) that went 32-15. That catch included a 7-pound largemouth and another big smallie I’d lost the day before.”
Homer Circle and Ricky Green won the Classic “greased pig contest.” I say we bring that one back. Wouldn’t you love to see G-Man and James Overstreet wrasllin’ a hawg prior to the weigh-in?
“I came up with that,” he said. “A friend of mine made up some t-shirts and then I came up with this idea. The hardest part was to get them there. I needed three or four people to get them there and hand them out. But it was good for me. Any time you go somewhere and give away something like that you pick up a lot of fans.”
Originally posted 15 June 2012 Editor’s Note: This series is dedicated to those people who penned the many articles we read in order to learn more about our sport and become better anglers. Sure it may have been the anglers who developed the techniques, lures and equipment we use today, […]
Nixon wasn’t just a multi-time winner of Megabucks, though, he had a penchant for winning off-beat events that B.A.S.S. put on. For example, he won two BASS Champs events, 1978 at the Atchafalaya River and 1982 at the Ohio River, along with the 1987 Bassmaster Team Championship held on the St. Lawrence River.
What really gave him the confidence was the 1987 Chattanooga Dream Tournament on Lake Chickamauga, held by the now-defunct U.S. Bass. Before that event, McClelland was going to be an architect, after placing 6th in that event, McClelland changed his vocational plans to become a professional angler.
From borrowing boats and fishing with his brother to getting his first new boat and qualifying for the Bassmaster Tour, Short talks about how he went from an insurance salesman to professional angler. On a side note, Short’s 2014 year was a bit rocky. A tornado destroyed his house and although he missed one event, he still qualified for the 2015 Classic.
Elias talks about the old tournament organizations, American Angler, American Bass Fisherman, etc. He ventured into B.A.S.S. in 1979 where he won his first year on that circuit. He backed that up with his Classic win in 1982 and that’s what sealed his place as a professional angler.
David Fritts is one of the very few anglers who has won both the Bassmaster Classic and the Forrest Wood Cup – both events won on a crankbait. He’s known for being one of the first anglers to weight crankbaits to get them deeper and continues to make money off the bait to this day.