Original Caption: Shaw Grigsby, noted professional bass angler, practices at Cory Lake for the April pro-am, $25,000 tournament. January 1995, The Tampa Tribune, photo credit: Frank Sargeant/Tribune photo.

Today’s Friday Finale historical photo dates to 1995, and features well known pro, Shaw Grigsby.  Shaw was in town (Tampa, FL) for a private “celebrity” pro-am event that most bass anglers probably never realized went down.  It was fashioned after the golf “pro-ams,” just with a fishing angle.

According to the first part of the article, “Twelve of the biggest names in professional bass fishing will come to Tampa on April 14 and 15 for a tournament that will pair the pros with Bay area amateurs.

Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston, Orlando Wilson, Hank Parker, Gary Klein, Larry Nixon, Paul Elias, Greg Hines, Guy Eaker, Denny Brauer, Bernie Schultz, and Shaw Grigsby have all agreed to compete for the $25,000 cash prize fishing the private waters at Cory Lake Isles development, northeast of Tampa.

“And 48 amateur fishermen will have a chance to share time in the boat with these anglers.

“That is, they will have the chance to buy time in the boat with these fishermen.  Anglers who can afford to participate will pay a $2,500 entry fee to fish a half-day with one of the champions.  Two anglers will join each pro on each half-day, with the teams selected by random drawing.”

There were to be gallery areas set up along the shoreline for spectators to watch the competition unfold, assuming they paid the $50 admission price.  The event was to be nationally televised by Prime Time Television, and Brunswick and Mercury Marine furnished identical boats for the event.

On the first day, April 14, local anglers were competing against each other and sharing their half day with one of the professionals.  Then, on the second day, April 15, the pros would fish on their own against each other for the $25,000, with no less than $2,500 to the pro who finished last.

The second part of the outdoor story detailed some of Shaw’s favorite baits and tactics, as well as a few tips for local anglers.

As for the winner, the winning amateur angler fished with Larry Nixon, taking a 4.95-pound bass on a Bang-O-Lure to go with Larry’s 2.73-pound fish.  On the pro side the following day, Roland Martin took top honors, followed in second by Jimmy Houston who landed the big bass of the event at 10-pounds on a Zara Spook.  Roland’s big fish was a 9.33-pound fish on a buzzbait, second biggest of the event.