Horton jumps back to the sport’s early days

In the 1960s and early 1970s, when big-time competitive bass fishing was an emerging sport, the fashion for anglers was short-sleeved, snug-fitting overalls that zipped up the front.

Like now, the pros of 30 to 40 years ago showcased their sponsors on their clothing. Back then, that meant sewing bulky embroidered patches onto a jumpsuit’s polyester fabric.

Fast-forward to 2012 at the Bassmaster Classic. When qualifier Tim Horton, 39, of Muscle Shoals, Ala., decided to pay tribute to the sport’s early days, he hit on the idea of appearing on stage wearing the out-of-fashion overgarment, complete with real patches.

Where does one find such a jumpsuit? Horton got some help on that.

“My wife found it at some farm clothing type shop,” he said.

He also got help from PRADCO, which sent some antique patches — Hula Popper, Arbogast, Smithwick, for example. Horton also contacted B.A.S.S. for photos of early anglers in jumpsuits.

The result was authentic. The Bassmaster Elite Series pro appeared in the suit on stage and obviously had fun doing it.

Horton finished the Classic in sixth place, taking most of his bass on a Booyah black-and-brown spinnerbait.

“To win it would have been phenomenal, but just to fish it was so much fun,” said Horton, who had returned to Classic competition after being out two years.

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