Original Caption: Biffle unhooks a chunky Eufala black bass during last week's fishing outing with the author. Tulsa World, July 1987. World Staff photo

For today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo, we go back to 1987 and look at the early Tommy Biffle.  Biffle had recently quit his normal job and became a full-time professional bass angler.  This lengthy article in the local Tulsa World newspaper had some great details on Tommy’s efforts and thoughts on that career pursuit, some of which we now share below.

  • “Sometimes you’ve gotta make a long run, to get into fish,” he explains.  That was one of the first things he learned, he says, when he began fishing the big, national bass meets.
  • The most important victory in his still-young career was a U.S. Bass tournament three summers ago on Truman Lake in Missouri.  He won $12,000 for catching almost 50 pounds of bass in three days.
  • Another of the well-known pros that Tommy knows, and really likes, is Ricky Clunn.  He has drawn Clunn for a partner in a few meets and says, ‘that guy is just awfully smart.  There may be better casters, better structure fishermen, better flippers, etc., on the pro tour, but Clunn somehow has that ability to adapt to each lake, and to know just what it takes, to catch fish there.  If I had to pick one man to bet on to win any meet, including this upcoming Classic, it would have to be Clunn.’
  • Biffle carries almost nothing in his boat but long, stout flippin’ sticks.  He uses the Zebco Quantum casting reel exclusively and spools the reels with nothing but 20 to 30-pound Stren line.  Most of the time, he’ll be pitching a solid black, or black and yellow, 5/8th ounce jig and black Uncle Josh spring lizard, with 30-pound test line.  “I like the jig and chunk, or frog, or whatever you call them, year-round,” he says.  “I think you’ll catch bigger bass with the jig, any time of year, than you will with, say pitchin’ a plastic worm.”