Hubert Greene's 1967 World Invitational Bass Tournament patch and the winner of that event, Glenn Hayes.

Earlier this week Terry posted a picture of Hubert Greene’s coveralls that were summarily covered in bass fishing patches of the day.  On the upper front left side was a patch that stated, “World Invitational Bass Tournament 1967 Lake Texoma, Oklahoma.”  What was Hubert Greene’s Mystery Patch?

In the paragraph following the picture, Terry took an educated guess and figured it might have been put on by Project Sports INC, or PSI as it was better known.  I was curious and did some digging.  He was partly right, and partly wrong.

Here’s some info on that event.  As the patch states, the event was held in 1967 on Lake Texoma and was scheduled to go again in 1968 but it doesn’t look like it happened.

The tournament directors for the event were Jack Talbot and T. J. Thompson, both of Little Rock, AR.  The 1967 event was scheduled to be held September 16-20 on Lake Texoma and was slated for 400 anglers.

Vernon Snell's column in the February 28, 1967 Daily Oklahoman talking about the soon-to-come World Invitational Bass Tournament to be held on Lake Texoma 16-20 September 1967.

Scoring for the tournament would be like the World Series of Sport Fishing where multiple species counted, largemouth, spots, and white bass.  One point per ounce would be given for the whites and 3 points per ounce for the blacks, up to the daily limit.

At the time of the February 28, 1967 news clipping shown above, the rules had not been fully published but Talbot did state that this would be a casting only tournament, no trolling allowed.

The next news clipping I found printed September 21, 1967 was one of the tournament reports for the event.  Of the 400 anglers invited, only 63 showed up for the event.  Of those, 14 states were represented.  The low turnout could have been due to Hurricane Beulah tracking towards the venue days before.

That tournament report states that Glenn Hayden of the Austin Bass Club weighed in three 10-fish limits of blacks and 11 whites to secure the lead with 2,282 points.  Another Texan, J. L. McBride, secured the second-place spot with 1,714 points, while Stan Sloan took third with 1,703 points.  Bill Ward finished in fourth with 1,702 points, and his father, Virgil, rounded out the top 5 with 1,669 points.

Other famous anglers of the day who finished high in the event were Johnny Mayes (7th) and Jackie Hewlett (8th), both from the Austin Bass Club.  As it turned out, four Texans finished in the top 10.  I’ve compiled all the clippings of this event below in the gallery.

So how did Hubert get that patch?  Was it given to him, or did he actually fish the event?  A little more digging and I got the answer.  In Vernon Snell’s column on September 21, 1967, Snell talks of a North Carolina fishing preacher by the name of Wade Ruff who was accompanied to Texoma by none other than Hubert Greene.  Then in another clipping, Asheville Citizen Times, March 7, 1976, I found another mention of Greene being there and also fishing the 1967 World Series of Sport Fishing, another patch found on that same set of coveralls.

The 1968 event was set to be fished at Kentucky Lake in 1968.  But I can’t find any evidence that it was held.  I did find one clipping from The Tennessean printed July 23, 1967, but that’s it.  If I find anything on that event in the future, we’ll post it in another article.

The World Invitational Bass Tournament concept was picked back up by Project Sports INC in 1971 and 1972, and then vanished after that.  I was able to find clippings of the 1972 event where Bobby Murray won with 61-04, beating out Billy Westmoreland who weighed 57-02.  Murray won $10,000 for that event, giving him a total of $20,000 between that and his 1971 Bass Masters Classic win.

One of the news clippings from the 1972 PSI-sponsored World Invitational Bass Tournament held on Lake Sidney Lanier, GA in late March. The Times Sunday, April 2, 1972.

Back to the 1967 event.  I found it interesting that the inaugural 1967 event also attempted to put together a Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. I’ve attached a few articles detailing some of this below in the gallery.

What I find interesting about the 1967 event, first mentioned prior to February 1967, is that Ray Scott is famous for saying he had an epiphany to bring bass fishing to the forefront as a sport, while sitting in a Ramada Inn in Mississippi sometime in April 1967.  Had he known of this event prior to that epiphany or was he independently working down a parallel path without that knowledge.  Things here just seem too coincidental.