For today’s Friday Finale historical photo, one of the most impressive stringers of bass I’ve come across in the old news columns. This AP Wirephoto was featured in The Columbus Ledger (GA), and featured Bill O’Conner and Boyette Williams with a catch from Lake Seminole totaling 124 pounds with just 11 bass. Run the numbers and you’ll see that’s greater than an 11-pound average! The picture was posted in the paper back in July 1967.
I don’t have much else to add or go on, other than the following.
Bill O’Conner guided to some degree at the time, and was friends with Clyde Harbin, Sr., whom he also guided and hung out with. Clyde Harbin had integral ties to the very first All-American event Ray Scott held on Beaver Lake Arkansas.
With a little cajoling from Bob Cobb, Harbin and his Memphis Bassmen threw down the gauntlet and challenged Don Butler’s Tulsa bass club at the Beaver event. The Memphis Bassmen had members such as Bill Dance, Charles Spence, Carl Dyess, Gerald Blanchard, and Stan Sloan. All of these anglers would become famous in one way or another in the coming years.
On another note, Clyde Harbin was known as the leading authority on the history of Heddon. He wrote the bible of Heddon and was a founding member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC). He also owned one of the largest lure collections in the world.
But let’s get back to the image.
No other information was given about the catch, but Bassmaster records show that a Bill O’Connor of Albany, GA fished the 1968 Bassmaster Seminole event, finishing 3rd and pocketing $500. This same person was also listed as a contributing writer in the first Bassmaster magazine. Is this the same guy and just a typo in the spelling of his last name on the part of the newspaper? I’d guess that’s a distinct possibility.