Stan Sloan: First Tournament Champion Dies

Stan Sloan, the Nashville, Tenn., corrections officer who won the first bass tournament ever conducted by BASS founder Ray Scott, died today after a lengthy illness. He was 70 years old.

 Sloan rose to prominence in the fishing world by winning the Ray Scott's All-American Invitational Bass Tournament on Arkansas' Beaver Lake. His 37-pound, 8-ounce catch bested 105 other anglers, including such legends as Bill Dance and Don Butler. Sloan caught his fish on a Bomber Spin Stick topwater lure. It remains one of just a handful of events won on a topwater bait. For his efforts, Sloan earned $2,000 and a trip to Acapulco.

 He parlayed his victory into a career in the fishing tackle industry. As the owner of Stan Sloan's Zorro Bait Company, he produced a myriad of jigs, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and fishing accessories. His Zorro Aggravator spinnerbait was used to win the first Bassmaster Classic in 1971.

 In 30 BASS tournaments fished over a 12-year professional career, Sloan finished in the Top 10 an impressive 10 times, including three third place finishes. His only win came at the All-American. He qualified for five Bassmaster Classics.

 His funeral will be held at Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home in Nashville, Tenn., at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 12.

 Zorro Bait Company is presently for sale. Interested parties can contact the family via their Web site. recently conducted an audio interview with Stan Sloan, remembering the first BASS Tournament, the All-American on Beaver Lake, Ark., as a special bonus for BASS' 40th Anniversary. To listen to the interview, click here.