By 1969, the results were astounding at all of the San Diego City lakes, changing the face of bass fishing not only in California but nationwide. A new state record was established that year with a bass weighing a little over 15 pounds, from little Lake Miramar.
By 1974, bass clubs had been popping up all over the country as bass fishing became more popular. The clubs offered competition, but they also offered those wanting to learn a platform in which to do so
Here’s one for ya. Everyone worth their weight in tungsten knows who Gary Klein is. He’s fished 451 tour-level tournaments (407 with BASS and 44 with FLW) since 1979 of which he’s placed in the money 297 times (262 with BASS and 35 with FLW). He’s won 8 Bassmaster events […]
A new technique, coined “Controlled Structure Fishing,” has been introduced and it’s been met with mixed reviews. The technique’s given the duo of Dee Thomas and Frank Hauck a trip to the winners circle in five out of the last seven events
Anyway, enough of the dilly-dallying. In case you haven’t already guessed, that kid was Aaron Martens and thanks to his mom Carol, we now have one of the best anglers to have ever graced a tour-level event.
“I learned so much from him – he had a lot of influence on my fishing. His offshore techniques taught me a lot and I’m sure the way he held on a spot had an effect on the way I do things today. I wish I could have fished with him more.” 2005 BASS Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens.
“Before that the top anglers didn’t think much of us at all. They didn’t even think we had bass out west much less than whether or not we could compete with them. After the Open, though, anglers like Roland [Martin] and Jimmy [Houston] would actually tell sponsors that we were good fishermen.
“Being in the lead, I did look over my shoulder a lot to see who the challengers were behind me. But you can’t dwell on that. No matter what happens or who was behind me, I knew I still had to catch a good limit each day. I knew I couldn’t be worrying about who was behind me.”
Still, even equipped with small aluminum boats and minimal electronics, the anglers fiercely competed and many a fish were brought to the scales. This picture article looks back on those days and the boats the early California anglers used to compete in bass tournaments.
“Bill Dance is probably the best angler I ever fished with,” he said. “Bill would come out every year for seminars and when he did, we’d go fish all the southern Cal lakes.