Original Caption: Tough Competitor: Larry Nixon, a 26-year-old fishing guide on Toledo Bend, is making a big splash during his rookie year on the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) Tournament Trail. He currently is in 10th place in the point standings after three qualifying tournaments for the annual mystery lake BASS Masters Classic, considered by most as the world championship of competitive angling. May 1977, The Times, Times photo by Reeves Feild

With the return of Larry Nixon to the Bassmaster tournament trail, it seems fitting that we also feature him with today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo, which takes us back to 1977 and Larry’s rookie year on the trail.  In the original article, titled, Larry Nixon – Bass Machine II in Forward Gear, outdoor writer Reeves Feild compared him to another Texan, Tommy Martin, stating both had the same incredible talent to make it on the professional circuit.  Reeves had just spent a day on the water with Larry and wrote a bit about how they caught their fish, and what life on the trail entailed.

Here are a few excerpts from that story.

On worm fishing: He keeps the worm moving constantly with sharp twitches of the rod tip, bouncing it along the bottom through likely bass-holding cover.  “Usually, the worm is falling on a relatively slack line.  I seem to get a lot more strikes that way,” Larry said.

His rod tip remains basically in the 10 o’clock position throughout most of the retrieve.  Once he detects a strike with the sensitive graphite rod, however, he instantly sets the hook, moving his right hand from the crank to the rod to further increase the speed and power of the strike.

On finding bass:  In prospecting for bass on any new lake, Larry suggests beginning with the obvious shoreline points with either a plastic worm or a deep-diving crank bait.  He prefers those points with a sloping bank on one side and a deep drop on the other.  Usually, he said, the bass will be holding on the deeper side of the points, except in those weeks during the spawning period.

On guiding:  “Guiding is seasonal, so for seven months out of the year, you can’t afford to take a day off.  People think guides have it made, but after all your expenses are paid, you only average about $7,000 a year.”  And that’s on a top bass lake like Toledo Bend.

“That’s not too bad, though.  When you live on the lake, and fish hard all day, every day, you don’t get out and spend a lot of money.”