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. Some sort of mid-size Chevy 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 but 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. People may laugh at you at first but when you bring a heavy sack to the scales, they won’t notice your tow vehicle anymore. I guarantee that.



Past Reader Comments:

Marc Marcantonio:  Tater, you are really starting to tick me off. Who spilled the beans that I used to tow my MonArk McFast 15 lime green metal flake with the 90 hp Chrysler behind my AMC Gremlin? At least it had a Hurst Shifter.  Some things about the past are meant to stay there!  ciao, Marc Marcantonio

Terry to Marc Marcantonio:  LOL. That’s funny stuff Marc. I’m sure I saw you on the waters of SoCal at the time. I vividly remember a couple of those lime-green McFasts at the time. It would have been funny to see it behind a Gremlin, though. You have a picture of that?

Marc Marcantonio:  Thankfully, no. All evidence of the Gremlin has been destroyed. I sold the Gremlin to my brother before moving to California, who took it to the Philippines when the Navy shipped him there, and he left it there.

I do have pictures of the McFast still. That boat went with me from Delaware where I grew up, to Thousand Islands, NY to SoCal in 1979, to Washington in 1993, and now is with a friend in Georgia and still on the water today.

I used that boat in tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, and even in the salt of Puget Sound catching salmon on vertical jigs and spoons. I think I was the first person to put a paper graph on the bow (1979) and use it to catch bass on Irvine Lake vertically jigging the Rapala Ice Jig. I still have the graph paper taped in my logbook, showing me dropping down the ice jig, and seeing the bass rise and eat it, and then showing me playing it to the surface. I won a couple of tournaments using the ice jig without anyone finding out (except for a couple of close friends) until it eventually leaked out in 1986.

Lot of great memories in the MonArk, and it was the best investment I ever made!

Adam:  Wow, towing with a car, that really is old school. I’ve seen it done, but not anytime lately. Like you said, most current fishermen wouldn’t be caught dead pulling with a car. They’re way too cool for that and fishing really isn’t that important.

Jojo Norwood:  That lil’ Terry boat was the boat I went to buy in ’79 and came home w/ a Fisher Marine Marsh Hawk III….had the same 55 HP ‘rude on it. Virgil Ward fished Terry boats and Bill Dance was in a Fisher. Man that was a boat….

Chris McGrath:  I think it is pretty clear that if are purchasing a Chevy Citation, you are all about appearances and would not be able to buy a boat unless the colors matched exactly.  The most interesting part of this ad is that the Chevy Citation was actually Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for 1980. Probably one they would like to have back.

John McGrath:  AKA The Chevy Crustacean