Of course, Morris had founded the Bass Pro Shops brand, a combination store and mail order catalog business, a few years before. That operation and his experience fishing the BASS Master Tournament Trail gave him a good idea of what the fishing public wanted in the way of fishing and boating accessories.
While talking to Shaw Grigsby Jr. at ICAST 2014, we got on the subject of the old pro-on-pro format versus todays format where the pros fish alone. Shaw,
Shaw Grigsby Jr.’s been a stalwart on the professional tournament scene since 1977 but did you know that he started because he didn’t have a motorcycle race one weekend?
There is one gem on YouTube, though, and I think those of you out there who like bass fishing history will get a kick out of Chris Bohlman and his channel Retro Bassin’.
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.
After the normal reintroductions we set out to do an interview – one of how he started bass fishing. Below you’ll find the interview of Iovino and his early day of how he got into the sport. From trout fishing with nightcrawlers to winning the U.S. Bass National Championship. Of all the western anglers, Iovino is one of the most influential, yet the most underrated.