Bobby Murray, Steve Price and Gary Klein talk about the old days of bass fishing and the rise of the sport through the years at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. Photo Terry Battisti.

It isn’t often you get to witness three legends in the industry talk about the beginning days of competitive bass fishing.  Last week we featured Ray Scott, Bobby Murray, and Bill Dance whooping it up at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, talking old times around Doyle Hodgin’s 1971 Bass Masters Classic boat.  This week we’re back at the Classic, but this time it’s 2015.  Again, three stalwarts of the sport gather around Hodgin’s boat and talk the old times.  In Murray, Price, and Klein Talk History, venerable writer Steve Price talks with Bobby Murray and Gary Klein about their history with the sport.

The video starts off with Price talking to Murray about his 1971 Classic win and what that meant to him with respect to becoming a professional angler.  Murray takes the lead and continues talking about how sponsors came into the sport and the growth that occurred after that event.

Murray then contrasts his 1971 win and his 1978 Classic win on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir.  The Classic had grown from a mystery lake format with very little coverage to a drive-through weigh-in that fans and media knew about two weeks prior to the event.

Price then turns to Klein and poses the same question.  Klein got his start in 1979 and won his first event the same year.  In fact, Klein would gone on in his rookie year and nearly win the AOY.  He lost to Roland Martin by less than two pounds.

Both Klein and Murray discuss the payouts back in the day – how meager they were – and how they’ve gone up orders of magnitude since.

The conversation then goes to how the competition has changed over the years from a field filled with only a few stars to every angler having the tools to win.  Klein talks about information transfer in the old days being either Bassmaster magazine or you learned on your own.  Bait companies started making better, more innovative baits, and Bassmaster TV came on the air.  Soon every angler willing to invest the time was learning at a much faster pace.

Then there’s the talk of technology and its effect on the sport.  It all started with GPS and the fact that anglers now had the ability to mark waypoints on offshore structure.  This leveled the playing field even flatter than any of the prior developments.

The video then switches to how Klein got into the sport as a 15-year-old and how he followed his dream when he was 19 years old.  With $1,000 in his pocket, he went and chased his dream.

The video is a good look back at the old days when professional bass fishing was all a gamble and developed into the sport it is today.