The Charlotte News Saturday October 12, 1974

Today in The Hippie Catches Fish, we’re doing a little “Name that angler.”  These images came from The Charlotte News dated Saturday October 12, 1974 and the article featured a local ace who’d been successfully guiding and fishing bass tournaments since he was 17.  The lead-in image features a long-haired kid in front of his tackle box and part of the original caption said, “….changes lures often.

The impressive part about this article was it took up an entire page of the Charlotte News, something rarely given to any athlete, much less an angler.  But this angler was gifted and at his age, 21 years old, had been making a name for himself for four years.

The angler had been fishing American Bass Fisherman, National Bass, and the big Open bass tournaments in the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee region since 1970 and making a living doing it.  Not only that, he guided on the days he wasn’t practicing or fishing a tournament.

I’m not sure who pinned the Hippie reference on him but going through several articles written by Larry Mayer, whenever he mentioned this angler, the word Hippie was used.

Have you figured out who the angler is yet?  Here are a couple more images from the same article that might help.

The Charlotte News Saturday October 12, 1974
The Charlotte News Saturday October 12, 1974

If you guessed Hank Parker, you’re right.  Parker at the age of 17 started his professional career.  By 1974 he’d won a few events and placed in the top three even more.  His guide business on the local lakes of North and South Carolina was booming and by the age of 21, he was making his living fishing.

He fished his first Bassmaster event in 1975 and finished south of 150th place.  Then in 1978, after National Bass, ABF, and the other tournament organizations went bankrupt, he went back to B.A.S.S.  In 1978 Parker every event and placed in the Top 30 in all but one event, making the Classic in his rookie year.

Over the course of his 12-year career with B.A.S.S. he pocketed over $400,000 won five events including two Classics and Super B.A.S.S. IV and had 32 Top-10 finishes out of 104 total events.  In 1990, Parker retired from the tournament trail and concentrated on his TV Show, Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine.

Over this time, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame alumnus, Parker, has become one of the predominant voices of bass fishing, teaching millions of would-be anglers how to fish.  His show continues on the Outdoor Channel after 39 years.

The full article is provided below so you can read the early history of Parker.  It’s been cropped so it would fit on page.

Hank "Hippie" Parker Making a living from Fishing. The Charlotte News Saturday October 12, 1974. By Ron Green.