Bass Fishing Tournaments
In the 1950s, bass fishing started to become a popular outdoor activity for residents in Texas, sparked by reservoir building. During that decade, a massive state-wide drought occurred, leading to water shortages. Reservoirs built in response to the drought greatly expanded bass fishing opportunities.
A number of other changes spurred on the popularity of bass fishing in the state. Urbanization occurred during the 1950s, as many families moved to the city following World War II. Many of these city dwellers became interested in bass fishing as a leisure activity. In 1955, the Waco Tribune-Herald organized a competitive bass fishing tournament on Lake Whitney. This tournament, the first of its kind, became the Texas State Bass Tournament in 1956. Also during this time, fishing technology developed, which helped anglers become more efficient. Additionally, governments at all levels worked to keep fishing populations healthy. The Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, passed by Congress in 1950, authorized federal funds for state fish hatcheries and programs to restore and manage fish populations.
By the 1970s, Florida Largemouth Bass (Micropterus Salmoides Floridanus), which are well suited for Texas reservoir environments, were introduced. In 1986, more restrictive length and daily bag limits fostered catch and release fishing. This helped turn bass fishing into one of the most popular sports in Texas.
As bass fishing continued to grow in popularity, sporting clubs organized and business associated with it increased. Today, across Texas, bass fishing continues to be a highly popular sport and leisure activity, and a profitable business.