Original Caption: PRO ANGLER HAROLD ALLEN: Maintains honest reputation on B.A.S.S. tour. November 1981, Longview News-Journal, Staff photo by Bob Howie.

Today’s Friday Finale historical photo takes us back to 1981 and features Harold Allen.  The time was just around a month after the 1981 BASS Masters Classic where he finished in the runner-up spot behind Stanley Mitchell.  The news story accompanying the picture focused on Harold’s “pretty good reputation for being honest.”

In particular, the story focuses on an event that the paper referred to as “shocking.”  It goes on, “last month during the final weigh-in, when asked by B.A.S.S. president and founding father Ray Scott, what bait he used, Allen simply didn’t reply.”

According to the article, “His silence left the other anglers, the media, the spectators and Scott, in limbo as to why he would keep his mouth shut now after the tournament was over.”

In the end, Harold said it was just “a matter of business.”  One of his main sponsors at the time, and the bait he primarily used to make his catch, was Bobby Ditto’s Gator Tail soft plastics.  You can see their logo on his ball cap in the picture.  He simply wanted to make sure that the sponsor relationship was still intact after the event before promoting the company and its baits.  In hindsight, he stated, “I don’t know why I didn’t” just mention them.

At the time, Harold had moved on after nearly a dozen years of guiding, saying he wouldn’t want to go back to that lifestyle.  He wanted to keep fishing professionally for as long as he could, and that ended up being quite a long time.  According to Bassmaster stats, he competed in a total of 265 events, garnering a win in the 2003 Central Open #3 at Monroe, LA, along with a pair of second place finishes, both in 1981.  He had 38 Top 10 finishes and amassed almost $430,000 career winnings.