Original Caption: TOP BASS'N MAN: Tourney organizer Scott (right) congratulates Bruce. Dec 1983, The Atlanta Constitution (GA), photo credit: Dwight Ross Jr./Staff

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo dates back to 1983 and features Mickey Bruce, who rallied to win the $294,000 Super B.A.S.S. II tournament in the fog and rain on Lake Lanier that year. Mickey, of Buford, GA, won $82,000 and an $18,000 Ranger bass boat rig as he climbed from eighth place to win on the final day. He had been in 59th place after the first day of competition.

Reports stated he patiently worked a chartreuse Zoom plastic worm in the stained water of the Chestatee River that final day. The 32-year-old general contractor weighed a seven-bass limit of 16-pounds, 9-ounces to boost his four-day catch to 25 fish weighing 42-pounds, 10-ounces.

“I thought this foggy, rainy weather would make the bigger fish go to the banks,” said Bruce, a member of the Lanier Bassmasters. “The big largemouth was in four feet of water. I caught the seven-pounder on my third cast today.”

The 1983 Angler of the Year on the Hungry Fisherman bass tournament circuit, Bruce used 14-pound line when fishing the jig and pig lure and 10-pound line with the Zoom plastic worm according to the news article.

“I found the fish around a brush pile in four feet of water,” he stated. “It was a place I had fished on Friday. After catching the big bass, I was nervous for 30 minutes.”

The article also stated he fishes 100 days each year, and was fishing the event out of a borrowed boat – his rig was overpowered according to B.A.S.S. rules.

Cliff Craft, also of Georgia finished 2nd after leading the first two days of the event. Another local, Tom Mann Jr., ended up fourth.

This was also the event that Ray Scott started hinting about a big money bass tournament.

“This is not a pronouncement or saying I am going to do this. I have very serious thoughts rolling around in the forward part of my brain that it is not at all beyond possibility that we will see a million-dollar bass tournament within the next two years.

“I am not setting any time frame. I know it can happen. Plans may change a dozen times, but I think 200 men paying a $5,000 entry fee could fish for a million dollars, with a quarter-million for first prize. We’ll pay 60 places.”