Terry Bass Boat ad from 1989.

Here’s one for the memory banks. No, this isn’t another boat ad post – although in theory it is. What I noticed right off the bat in this ad wasn’t the boat, or the house’s circular driveway or the woman. What I noticed was the tow vehicle. A mid-size Chevy Citation sedan.

Today’s angler wouldn’t be caught dead towing their bass rig with anything less than a 3/4-ton pickup – diesel preferred. But back in the day, anglers towed their rigs with whatever they had to tow with. Be that a Chevy Monte Carlo, 1967 Ford Falcon (my second tow vehicle), or a 1971 Datsun 510 station wagon (my first tow vehicle).

Yes, the boats back then were smaller and weighed less than a lot of today’s boats. The fact is, no one made fun of you at the ramp, no matter what you drove up in. Well, maybe they would if you arrived towing your rig with a Yugo.

Back then it was all about the fish. The fish didn’t care what you towed with. What mattered was your weight at the end of the day.

Today, though, it’s all about image it seems. Big wrapped truck, big wrapped boat, dye-sublimated jersey with 38 company logos on it. Who cares if you don’t bring in a fish to weigh, you look cool.

There are still boats out there that don’t have to be towed by a $70,000, 43-liter supercharged diesel truck with 8 doors. Every company still makes scaled-down versions of the boats the pros use. If it’s fishing you want to do and you can’t afford the luxury liner, then by all means get something you can afford and tow it with your Toyota Camry.

This brings to light the boat in the ad.  It’s a Terry 450cm. For you imperial unit folks, that’s 14-feet, 9-inches in length.  Today’s Tiny-Boat crew has nothing on the small boats of the 1970s and 80s.

The beauty of these small glass boats back then was they acted like glass boats.  A three mile-per-hour wind wouldn’t blow them around like an aluminum boat and they handled the rougher water better too.  Today a small glass boat is 17 feet and the only place you see smaller glass bass boats is in Japan.  With the price of gas and everything else, it may be prudent for some boat company to come out with a small glass boat.

As for the image, if catching fish is all you care about, don’t let the small car/small boat bother you. People may laugh at first but when you bring a heavy sack to the scales, they won’t notice your tow vehicle or boat anymore. I guarantee that.