Today’s historical news photo, Dance STILL THE LEGEND, dates to just a couple weeks prior to the 1978 BASS Masters Classic held on Ross Barnett Reservoir. It also features a young Bill Dance, Ray Scott and Harold Sharp, three people who would go on to be giants in the sport of professional bass tournaments. Rick Clunn was coming in off his back-to-back Classic wins, along with others expected to make a run at the title like Roland Martin and Dave Gliebe.
Local outdoor writer Bob Messenger had this to say about Rick and Bill and the chase for the title.
“The last two years it has been Rick Clunn, and, previously, no fisherman had ever won the classic back-to-back. Clunn, a soft-spoken Texan, must be considered a front-runner, maybe even the favorite if it weren’t for one revealing factor: the narrowly earned entry of Memphis’ Bill Dance into the contest.
“So why then should Clunn be concerned about a man who once ruled bassin’ but is now just another shining star in the small, elite group of BASS tournament anglers? Simply because Bill Dance knows the Ross Barnett Reservoir. He has fished it any number of times down through the years and knows it well if not better than most native Mississippians. Not only that, but the man is still THE LEGEND, still the greatest worm fisherman alive. The only thing keeping Dance from continuing past domination of the BASS tournament scene is time, not skill.”