This is our pick of the top 10 most famous Bass anglers.
Americans have been catching bass for as long as Americans have been around. However, competitive fishing is a relatively new sport.
It began in the late 19th century but from humble beginnings, the black bass has become the second most specifically sought-after game fish in the United States. As a result it now is a multi-billion dollar industry as it’s developed all manner of fishing gear, including rods, reels, lines, lures, electronic depth and fish-finding instruments, drift boats, float tubes, and specialized bass boats.
We think that these top 10 anglers are, not only great at fishing, but have also helped to put the sport of Bass fishing onto the world stage.
1. Ray Scott
Ray Scott founded the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S) in 1967, which later became simply known as BASS. He founded the first tournament trail in history dedicated to black bass, the BASS tournament trail.
2. Bill Dance
Best known for his TV show Bill Dance Outdoors, Bill Dance was also a successful BASS Tournament Angler in its early years and is credited by some as the first person to catch a bass on that tournament trail. He has provided tips, tricks and insight to bass anglers since 1968. His blooper reels are the stuff of legend amongst anglers. Bill is also a champion of conservation always reminding anglers to “keep what you can use, and throw back the rest.”
3. Forrest L. Wood
Forrest L. Wood is the founder of Ranger Boats and whose initials are used by the FLW tour for its namesake. (Although it now means Fishing League Worldwide) He qualified for the first BASSMASTER Classic in 1967. In 1968 his boats became the official boats of the Classic and stayed that way until the year 2000.
4. Kevin Van Dam
The man that is synonymous with competitive bass angling. Kevin Dam has qualified for twenty-four straight BASSMASTER Classics, winning four He became the youngest angler on the BASS Elite Series to be name Angler of the Year at age twenty-four in 1992. He has won six more titles since that time. He is the angler who it is believed coined the term “power fishing.”
5. Roland Martin
Roland Martin is the host of Fishing with Roland Martin. Along with having a hit TV show, he has had a stellar tournament bass fishing career. Roland Martin has qualified for a record twenty-five BASSMASTER Classics, has won nineteen times on tour, placed second a record nineteen times and placed in the top ten on tour 94 times. Along with Bill Dance he is a strong voice for conservation amongst anglers and sportsman.
6. Jimmy Houston
TV host Jimmy Houston has been putting bass fishing on the American sports map after hosting a variety of fishing shows throughout the years. He is also an accomplished tournament angler, making time these days to fish the Walmart FLW tour.
7. Rick Clunn
As a four time BASSMASTER Classic winner, Rick Clunn is tied with Kevin Van Dam for most Classic victories. To add to his list of major tournament wins he has a pair of WON Bass U.S. Open Championships on Lake Mead, which has been said is the toughest tournament to win in the west. He was also the 1988 BASS Angler of the Year.
8. Hank Parker
Two time Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Parker has hosted his famous television show Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine for twenty-eight years now. The show is full of tips and techniques to help everyone from the beginner to professional angler catch more and bigger fish.
9. Mike “Ike” Iaconelli
BASS Elite Series Angler Mike Iaconelli is definitely one of the most recognizable figures on the Elite Series right now. He has won both a Bassmaster Classic Championship and a Toyota Elite Series AOY title. He also has an obscure award bestowed upon him by GQ Magazine, in the form of being one of 2006’s 10 Most Hated Athletes. Whether it’s his fist pumping, yelling, or any other crazy antics that earned Iaconelli the award the self proclaimed “power fisherman” is certainly in the bass fishing publics eye.
10. Al Lindner
Even though Al Lindner could be described as a jack of all trades when it comes to fishing he won two BASS tournaments (then the BASS Tour Trail). After quitting tournament angling in 1979 he continued to educate anglers through In-Fisherman, which he and his brother Ron sold in 1998 and through their new company Linndners Angling Edge. Al’s favorite fish is the smallmouth bass.
Source: Wide Open Spaces
Featured image: ThinkMedia