HE IS FOREVER THE FIRST WORLD CHAMP
Though the trophy, the prize money and the name of the tournament have changed over the years – Bass Masters Classic, BASS Masters Classic and Bassmaster Classic– the result and the feeling is the same for the winner. He has climbed the highest peak in the sport of bass fishing and he is forever a world champion. So it is for Arkansas' Bobby Murray who in 1971 became the FIRST man ever to be so declared by the merits of his action on the waters of Lake Mead in Nevada. It was such a thrill, he could not resist being a repeat champion by winning the 1978 Classic on Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi.
Murray was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in 2001. He first rose to national prominence when he started on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail in 1969 and finished 13th in the Alabama Invitational at Lake Eufaula. His first Classic win, two years later, sealed his name in the record books, while the second gave him legendary status. He has also been honored with induction into the National Sport Fishing Hall of Fame. He was just 25 when he won the first
world championship, besting 23 other pioneers in that fall of '71. It was a milestone for Murray and also Ray Scott and the fledgling B.A.S.S. Murray won what was then a winner-take-all $10,000, and it launched Murray's career as a tournament professional, a television host, a tackle industry representative and a public relations professional. In both years he won the Classic he was the sport's top money earner. He finished in the top 10 at the Classic four different times and in the top 10 of the AOY race seven times. He had a total of 66 B.A.S.S. tournament appearances- of which 75% were finished in the money, and 24 were Top 10's. He had a total of 9 Classic appearances.