The last time we looked at bass boat ads from 1970. This time we move a year later to 1971 and check out what had changed in a year. Although there were only five boat ads in the 1970s Bass Master Magazines – Master Molders Kingfisher, Ranger, Terry Astroglass and Ouachita – there were eight boat manufacturers in the 1971 issues. It was obvious that the bass boat industry was beginning to blossom.
The folks at Astroglass provided the same ad as the did in 1970 – with the addition of an arrow stating they’d send you free information on their new 16-foot model.
In ’71 Glastron made its debut into Bassmaster magazine with two different ads for their Beau Jack I. A 14-foot 7-inch stick-steer boat (do you readers under 40 know what that means?) rated for a 60-horse motor, the folks at Glastron were pretty proud of their new ride that was developed, “Because this is what the anglers wanted.” Here’s a list of the amenities it provided.
Aqua Lift Hull, Self draining gunwale trays, Two luxurious captains chairs, Flat floor, Drink holders, Transom splash well, Space for electronics, Lockable storage under the bow, Foot rest, Anchor-Mate anchors fore and aft.
Master Molders KingFisher
In 1971 KingFisher came out with their new 152 Pro model bass boat. Said to be “the fishing machine Bass Anglers asked for,” the 152 allowed the angler to “do it all – operate the boat, maneuver for casting, fish – without leaving your seat.” And the seat wasn’t just any seat – it was the Pro-Throne – as advertised in the Spring 1970 issue of Bass Master Magazine. https://bass-archives.com/2021/01/14/sittin-on-the-throne/
Here are a couple of ads, albeit with the same verbiage, from aluminum boat builder MonArk, letting the readers know they’re now in the fiberglass market. In ’71 they came out with a six-boat fiberglass line featuring both “cathedral hulls” (been a while since you’ve heard that term, right) and v-hulls. They also stated in the ads that they’d come up with the, “most ingenious storage design since Noah built the Ark.”
Also, in those ads, was that guy fast-trolling for marlin, or what?
Ouachita’s ad this year took a different tack – they got rid of the bikini-clad vixen and went with a couple guys fishing instead. They were touting their “Convincer” line of bass boats that came in four sizes and an array of layouts. That and they offered both console and stick steering. Readers must have complained about this year’s ads because the crusty old fishermen lasted only one year, as you’ll see when we post the boats of 1972.
Here’s one for you from Ranger – an I/O bass boat. This was the year, remember, that the Ranger plant burned down. One of the benefits, I guess that’s what you’d call it, was Forrest and his folks got to design new molds and come up with new ideas for boats. One of these ideas was the I/O. It’s not known, at least I don’t know, who came up with the idea of putting a small-block Chevy in a bass boat (Rebel did the same that year) but it wasn’t too good an idea. Lots of wasted space – unless you didn’t care about your back-seater – and heavy as heck, the I/O concept for boats lasted until maybe the mid-80s.
In 1971 the Rebel Fastback was the boat chosen for the Bass Master Classic due to the fire at the Ranger plant. Complete with a 90-horse MercCruiser I/O, the Fastback offered all the top-of-the-line amenities of the day.
The Yankees even got into the market in ’71 with the introduction of the Thunderbird line of boats. Made in Mike Iaconelli’s home state of New Jersey – brings to mind the Pace Picante salsa commercial, doesn’t it – Thunderbird came out with two boats, 14- and 16-foot models, with all the accoutrements of their southern brethren.
In order to bolster sales, they even suggested that their hulls coupled with their horsepower ratings to get you a ticket in a 40-mph zone with no problem.
Past Reader Comments:
RichZ: This might be the best post yet, Terry!
The Glastron was pretty popular in this part of the world. About half of the earliest bass boats around here in ’70 to ’72 were Glastrons. That Ouachita was pretty popular, too. I remember an older guy named Clyde Garthwaite who had one back when I had my 14 foot Terry. He and I would often race for the same spot early on November mornings, and his 50 just plain outran my 35, so it was a matter of getting to the lake before him if you wanted to ‘own’ what is still — 40-plus year’s later, the best winter spot on that impoundment. Another buddy had a glass Monark. We would hook it to my truck to go fishing, because he’d sold his car to buy a bass boat! Dedication, man.
Then there was Jesse Harrison. He ran a Duck Hawk, which was the same hull as that King Fisher. 50 horse Merc inline 4 on the back. That motor was bigger than most 90s. And damned near as fast. Jesse was from Missouri, and grew up with Virgil Ward. He’d go home a couple times a year, and do some filming with Virgil, and bring back the outtakes to show at club meetings. Then one time, he came back with a new Ranger. DTR something or other, with a 115 merc on the back. Middle of January, and three of us are trailering that thing all over the state trying to find open water to put it in. Good memories, man. Thanks!
Terry to RichZ: Thanks Rich. These have been fun to do for sure. Unfortunately I was a mere 7 years old at this time and about all I remember were the old wooden rentals at the local SoCal lakes from then. I’m glad it brought back some good memories and I appreciate you checking things out here and participating.