Original Caption: Hank Parker won the 1989 Bass Masters Classic. January 1992, Lexington Herald-Leader, no photo credit

The 1980s and early 1990s was a great period in bass fishing, and winter during that time meant one thing – bass fishing seminars.  The big dog in the room at the time was the Bass Fishing Institute classes, originally developed as a joint collaboration between the Murray brothers, Bobby and Billy, and members of the Indiana State University staff, especially Clifford Paulin.  I’m guessing many of you attended at least one of those institutes, and if you’re like me, probably still have the old training manual they handed out for classroom study – and maybe even the embroidered patch.

By the 1990s, the series had spread to other campuses across the country, and today’s historical photo comes from one such event being held at the University of Louisville’s Shelby Campus.  Hank Parker, the 1989 Bass Masters Classic champion and featured in today’s Friday Finale historical photo, was the headline speaker on the card of five professional anglers lecturing at that “Bass Fishing Techniques Institute” in Louisville.

Parker was to lecture on developing a game plan for successful bass fishing, finding bass on an unfamiliar lake and fishing spinnerbaits.  The Mann’s Classic Spinnerbait, still fairly new at the time, has since gone on to be one of the most popular bass lures of all time.  Other seminar speakers included Denny Brauer talking flipping and pitching, along with Cliff Craft on finesse tactics, Guy Eaker on using electronics to find bass, and Randy Fite on crankbait and spinnerbait tactics.