Pro-Throne ad featuring Ray Scott circa 1972.

In today’s post, Sittin’ on the Throne, we take a look back at the beginning of contemporary bass fishing and the world of early bass boats.  So much has changed over the years, and bass boats are a good example how technology evolves in the world of bass fishing.  One example is in the swivel seats and butt seats all bass boats became known for.  In fact, it was these seats that signified the boat was a bass boat and you were a bass angler.

Today these seats are mostly relegated to the back of the truck or placed in the garage until the boat is sold. Back in the day, though, these seats were used 100% of the time.  It goes back to the days of anglers fishing out of a canoe or small aluminum boat, where they sat on a hard bench seat, usually with a throw cushion under their butt.  These platforms were generally unstable and the lower center of gravity kept the angler from falling out of the boat and gave the fish less of an opportunity to see the angler, or so the angler thought.

When bass boats started to become a thing in the late 1960s, the seats became standard issue.  They provided a comfortable means in which to fish all day.  But what was the option for the budding bass angler who didn’t have a bass boat and wanted to fit their bow rider or jon boat with casting seats?  Well, one option was the Machine Design Inc. Pro Throne. For $75.00 ($64.00 if you were a B.A.S.S. member) you could outfit your non-bass boat and make it a rig the pros would fish out of. Heck, even Mr. Bass himself, Ray Scott endorsed the product.

Here are Scott’s words:

“the new ‘Pro-Throne’ is the finest Bass boat seat on the market.  You feel like a king if you catch ’em or not.”

Scott was an avid proponent of The Pro Throne, so much so he had his first B.A.S.S. office outfitted with them.  In reading Bob Cobb’s book, The B.A.S.S. Story Unplugged, Cobb relays to the reader he “Started his career at B.A.S.S. with a typewriter, a box full of phone numbers, and a Pro Throne to sit on.”  

As bass fishing gained in popularity and competition grew, anglers such as Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin, and Rick Clunn started the movement to get rid of the seats.  With the seats gone, it provided more room on the front deck, but more importantly it put the angler in a better position to cast and see what was going on in and at the surface of the water.  By the late 1970s, you might have seen half the bass boats on the water with the seats installed, and more and more anglers moving toward the butt rest.  Today, you rarely even see a butt rest on a bass boat.

The days of the Pro Throne are over but it’s always good to go back and see just how certain things helped define the sport we all enjoy today.

Check Out Bob Cobb’s Book, The B.A.S.S. Story Unplugged