Click here to continue 1 / 42 In October 1971, Ray Scott stepped off a plane in Las Vegas, Nev., leading a group of 24 anglers into the annals of bass history as the competitors in the first ever Bassmaster Classic. 2 / 42 Contenders de-planed after the long flight that had boarded in Atlanta, Ga. They did not know until the plane was at 10,000 feet where it was going. That's when Scott revealed the 'mystery lake' for the Classic. 3 / 42 "We've got the best bass fishermen in the world on this plane," Scott said to them in flight. "You wouldn't expect the World Series to be played on a Little League ball yard. Neither would you expect the World Championship of Bass Fishing to be held in a fish hatchery. We're headed for Lake Mead on the Nevada-Arizona border. It will be the toughest fishing test of your angling careers. But, it'll be worth it. To the victor goes $10,000 cash." 4 / 42 Competitors were greeted on the ground by very fashionable ladies ... 5 / 42 ... who were happy to pose for multiple photos with them. 6 / 42 Those boots are back in style now. 7 / 42 One more overhead shot, and now on to the tournament. 8 / 42 Competitors flew in, so their boats were provided ... 9 / 42 ... as was their tackle. The gear was standardized with the exception of the anglers' own four rods and reels and 10 pounds of artificial lures. 10 / 42 Each boat was cared for by a team of cleaning experts ... 11 / 42 ... who got each boat spic and span for the competitors. 12 / 42 The boats were $4,000 Rebel Fastbacks with 90-hp MerCruisers, specially made for the Classic with red, white and blue trim. Each had a Lowrance sonar depthfinder, a Lowrance Fish-n-Temp thermometer and a MotorGuide trolling motor. 13 / 42 The 24 tournament boats (plus two backups and two officials' boats) had been transported in secrecy from Fort Smith, Ark., more than 1,400 miles away, through 9 inches of snow, against 40 mph headwinds and plagued with mechanical problems. 14 / 42 This may be the most iconic photo from the first Bassmaster Classic, as all the competitors stood together on the dock waiting for takeoff. 15 / 42 And then it was go time. 16 / 42 Scott watched as his dream of gathering the world's best anglers for a championship competition came to fruition. 17 / 42 Contenders peeled out at top speeds of 37 miles per hour. 18 / 42 Anglers set out looking for a limit of 10 bass. 19 / 42 Bob Cobb of Bassmaster Magazine described Lake Mead as a "gin-clear puddle that covers 244 square miles with 550 miles of shoreline and measures 589 feet from top to bottom in some spots." 20 / 42 "Most of these 24 bassmen talked with a drawl," wrote Cobb, "and the deepest water they'd seen was at the bottom of the family well. Local bass experts said these out-of-towners might be good, but they'd be lucky to pool a mess of bass by sundown." 21 / 42 But they did catch 'em on Day 1. The first-round leader was Bobby Meador, 34, of Louisiana, who caught 15 pounds, 12 ounces, one bass short of a limit. 22 / 42 Fish care was not a priority in the first Classic. It was the following year, 1972, when 100 percent live release of the bass became the goal. 23 / 42 The leaderboard of the day put the anglers in order by boat number. Five anglers zeroed on Day 1. 24 / 42 Back on the water for Day 2 ... 25 / 42 ... but not without a bowing of the heads for prayer and then the singing of the national anthem. 26 / 42 Competitors shared their boats with members of the press, but with one notable difference from today -- the media had their own competition going! The writers and photographers fished alongside the contenders, and they could earn $150 for catching the biggest bass. 27 / 42 This beautiful setting seems so far away from the bright lights, big city atmosphere of nearby Las Vegas. The competitors were hosted by the Union Plaza Hotel Casino, which had just opened and was featured in the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds are Forever. 28 / 42 The contenders came in from Day 2 with fish averaging 2 and 3 pounds. 29 / 42 Our favorite thing about this photo is the old Coca-Cola can. It looks like product placement, but B.A.S.S. was not nearly big enough at the time to have mainstream sponsors with that much clout. 30 / 42 Back on the water for the third day ... 31 / 42 The rocky, rugged shoreline of Lake Mead was full of points and coves, and salt cedars and cattails ran the length of the coves. 32 / 42 It's difficult to tell if that is Tom Mann fishing at the front of this boat, but the angler is indeed wearing the logo of the company Mann founded. Mann flipped a 4-inch Mann's Jelly Worm to his second-place finish, according to Bassmaster Magazine. 33 / 42 Competitors maintained that Mead was so crystal clear that they could see their anchors 32 feet deep. 34 / 42 This is not a scene you'd likely see in a present-day Classic -- the competitor sitting down to fish! 35 / 42 Fred Brist of Memphis, Tenn., was one of the 24 competitors. He ended in a tie for 11th place. 36 / 42 It was Bobby Murray who brought in the winning load. He had caught the biggest bass on the first day, a 6-5 (later overshadowed by Roland Martin's 6-9), and he was consistent enough to bring in 43 pounds, 11 ounces over three days. 37 / 42 Murray's 43-11 was made up of only 17 bass averaging 2 1/2 pounds apiece. In second place, nearly 6 pounds behind, was Tom Mann with 28 bass -- but they averaged less than 1 1/2 pounds each. 38 / 42 Ray Scott wrote out the winner's check to Murray for a whopping $10,000. It was a winner-take-all tournament, so no one else made bank. 39 / 42 Only 16 months prior, Murray had been involved in a major head-on car crash, suffering serious injury to his legs. But he had bounced back, and he was able to take bass fishing's first big championship. 40 / 42 Murray caught his fish only 2 feet below the surface, going to the very backs of coves and buzzing a spinnerbait past the cedars. 41 / 42 Ironically, the spinnerbait he used to win was a Zorro Aggravator, made by Stan Sloan, another competitor in the Classic. Sloan finished in 21st place with 5 pounds, 1 ounce. Sloan had won Ray Scott's other big first, the All-American Tournament on Beaver Lake in 1967. 42 / 42 "This is the climax to four hard years of work to bring bass fishing to its rightful place," said Murray. "We owe everything we've got in tournament fishing to one fellow and I think we ought to give him an ovation." The applause shifted from Murray for his win to Ray Scott for creating and executing the first ever Bassmaster Classic.