Classic II; Oct. 25-27, 1972

Don Butler
Bon Butler

PERCY PRIEST, Tenn. — Don Butler of Tulsa, Okla., claimed the Bassmaster Classic for his first tournament win, and a $10,000 check.

Butler finished 13 pounds ahead of his nearest challenger — with 22 bass total weighing 38 pounds, 11 ounces. Butler used a Small Okiebug, a spinnerbait he designed, to catch his winning weight.

Of note

•  Don Butler's 13-pound, 7-ounce margin of victory was the Classic's biggest until Rick Clunn lapped the field in the 1984 Classic.

•  Butler's comeback after a tough first round with only two small bass is the best in Classic history. He went from 14th place and nearly 13 pounds out to win fishing's biggest event.

•  Following his Classic victory, Butler was introduced on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry by Ernest Tubbs.

Top 6 finishers

1. Don Butler Tulsa, Okla, 38-11

2. Ricky Green Arkadelphia, Ark. 25-04

3. Tom Mann Eufaula, Ala. 21-02

4. Jim Finley Lebanon, Mo. 20-10

5. Joe Wilson Hot Springs, Ark. 19-02

6. Doug Howard Brierfield, Ala. 16-05