B.A.S.S. Events: 66
B.A.S.S. Earnings: $75,384.87
B.A.S.S. Wins: 3
Classic Appearances: 9
Classic Wins: 2 (1971, 1978)
AOY Titles: 0
Winning the first Bassmaster Classic in 1971 put Bobby Murray on the bass fishing map and has kept him there for 40 years, but it’s also overshadowed many of his other accomplishments in the sport. Even without that first Classic title, Murray would be a clear-cut hall of famer.
He was just 25 when he won the sport’s first world championship, besting 23 other pioneers on Nevada’s Lake Mead in the fall of 1971. At the time, few had any notion of where the sport was going or where it might take them. It would take Bobby Murray on the trip of his life.
That first Classic was a milestone not only for Ray Scott and his fledgling organization, but also for the winner, Murray. The winner-take-all format would give him $10,000 and nothing at all for the other competitors, and it propelled Murray into a career in the fishing industry — first as a tournament professional, but later as a television host, tackle industry representative and public relations professional. Forty years later, Murray is still a top name and brand in the industry.
In fact, he’s done so much and worn so many different hats that few remember just how good he was as a tournament pro. His list of accomplishments in that arena is still impressive.
For starters, he won not just the first Classic, but also the 1978 championship on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir. Only Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam have won more Classics.
Twice (in 1971 and 1978), Murray was the season’s top money earner. He finished in the top 10 in the Classic four different times and in the top 10 of the AOY race seven times.
Murray was a first ballot hall of famer, being inducted in 2001 — the very first year of the organization’s existence.
Guido Hibdon and Bobby Murray are teaming up for the Bassmaster Legends tournament taking place July 31 on a private lake in Montgomery, Ala. The event is part of Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, and weigh-in will be before the final of the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championshp.