Original Caption: Larry Nixon Displays One Of His Biggest Bass In Pro-Am Tournament. The Commercial Appeal, April 1978. photo by Henry Reynolds

In recognition of the recent retirement announcements from a pair of bass angling legends on the tournament trail, we’ll wrap the week up with a pair of historical photos these next couple days.

For today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo, we go all the way back to 1978 and feature Larry Nixon, winner of the second Pro-Am Bass Fishing tournament, which was put on by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society of Montgomery, Alabama.  The 1978 BASS Champs Tournament paired 20 fishermen; 10 professionals and 10 amateurs, the latter of which “fish mostly for fun in their bass clubs back home,” according to the write-up.

The Atchafalaya Basin was the site of the event, and a large body of water had grown even larger, with reports of water levels about 10 foot above normal.  Encompassing an area 20 miles wide and 100 miles long, finding bass became the hardest thing the competitors had to figure out how to do.  To give you an idea of just what they were up against, 14 of the 20 anglers blanked that first day, including eventual winner Larry Nixon, and two of the bigger names at the time, John Powell and Bo Dowden blanked, all 3 days.

Larry’s catch of 22-13 was enough to hold off Russ Bringger and Billy Phillips, the second and third place finishers, and take home $2900 cash and a 3600 Bass Champs boat.

Larry commented, “You don’t fish the Atchafalaya Basin like any other place.  This has got to be the greatest water anywhere in the world.”