Fleck Weed-Wader spinnerbait ad from the February 1976 issue of Fishing Facts magazine.

Today’s Throwback Thursday entry is a combination historical picture and historical ad that appeared in Fishing Facts magazine in February 1976.  The featured angler is Jack Hains, 1975 Bassmaster Classic winner, but the page is loaded with great history.

First there’s the color picture of Hains, who started his career with B.A.S.S. in 1975 at the Florida Invitational with a 10th place finish.  Of course, he went on to qualify and then win that year’s Classic.  In total, Hains fished 152 events, with his last season being 1999, some 24 years later.  He would go on to win one other event, the 1992 Virginia Invitational.  Ironically, his total purse for that event of $35,000 was more than double the amount he won for winning the Classic 17 years earlier.

In total, Hains fished in 7 Classics, had two other second place finishes, along with four third place finishes, and a total of 24 Top 10 finishes.  He amassed career winnings of over $318,000 and a total catch of just over 3,250 pounds of bass.

Another great thing about this ad is, of course, the Fleck Weed-Wader spinnerbait, which was probably one of, if not, the hottest spinnerbaits at the time.  Not only did it help Jack win the 1975 Classic, but it had a hand in the 1974 and 1976 Classic titles as well.

The Fleck Wed-Wader also claimed to be the first spinnerbait packaged with a trailer hook and plastic keeper.  You can see a couple of the spinnerbaits sitting on top of the tackle box, along with what appears to be a Johnson Silver Minnow spoon which also played a role in his win.

Next is the fill in ad for their “Special Classic Offer.”  I really miss these trial offers that used to appear numerous times throughout the pages of magazines.  I can’t begin to recall the number of lures I purchased over the years by filling these out and mailing them back to the manufacturer, then waiting for my prized package of baits to arrive, usually 6 to 8 weeks later.  I’m not certain when exactly companies stopped doing this type of sales/advertising, but it would be great to see one appear again just for old time’s sake – I’d bite!

Finally, there’s the great Classic Plano 777 drawer-style tackle box, the official box of the BASS Master Classic at the time.  You can see Jack’s name plate still attached on the top.  The old Classic contenders were restricted to 10 pounds of tackle, and they would line the boxes up and do an official weigh-in one by one.  If a box was over-weight, Ray Scott and Harold Sharp would take tackle out and put it in their pockets until the weight met the requirement.

Needless to say, most bassers of the time probably carried around at least one of these “suitcases” of lure storage, I know I did, and until my latest move, still had mine sitting in the garage, though not really being used some 30 years later.