BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An old lady stands sentinel over the 50th Bassmaster Classic. You’ll find her behind the set where Davy Hite, Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders call the action all day on BassLive. And for the entire day, she’ll never move. This isn’t her first rodeo; in fact, this particular lady was there at the very first Bassmaster Classic—silently, stilly watching until a lucky winner hoisted her into the air.
The trophy from the very first Bassmaster Classic, a silver cup that once shimmered over the waters of Lake Mead, is just one piece from a horde of relics and artifacts watching over the 2020 Bassmaster Classic Expo in the Magic City. Nearby, trophies from other eras keep her company—as do belt buckles, magazines, outfits and images from the staggering history of the world championship of bass fishing.
To walk through this hall is overwhelming. It’s a short stroll that places the true weight of sport, often taken for granted today, in perspective for what it is…a dream created by Ray Scott and an association of early bass fishing pioneers that blazed the way for the bright lights and arena-filled spectacles of today.
You don’t have to take our word for it. You can take the stroll yourself by attending the 2020 Bassmaster Classic Expo; but if you’re eager to take a peak inside, you can browse the collection through our lens.
The trophy from the original 1971 Bassmaster Classic, hoisted by Bobby Murray over Lake Mead, Nevada.
A collection of belt buckles, patches and pins from The 1985 season presented to each Bassmaster Classic qualifier for the 1986 event.
A jacket owned and worn by Ray Scott. Scott owned several fringe jackets but this is an early example of one of his favorites.
The cover of the very first issue of Bassmaster Magazine.
A jumpsuit and press cap worn by Bob Cobb, the very first editor of Bassmaster Magazine and member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
Blastoff at the 1971 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Mead.A ring awarded to Bobby Murray as one of the “35 greatest anglers of all time.”
The 1993 Bassmaster Classic trophy, hoisted by David Fritts.
President George H.W. Bush holding a copy of Bassmaster Magazine at the White House alongside the original cover art from a 1980’s-era magazine.
An original Lowrance fish finder peaks out from a collection of Cobb’s photographs.
The B.A.S.S. Booth at the 2020 Bassmaster Classic Expo features a written chronicle of each win throughout the 50 year run of the tournament.