Popular Bass Techniques class returns
BY KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Sunday, January 20, 2013
1/20/13 at 5:17 AM
School for bass anglers is back in session.
After a seven-year hiatus, Bass Techniques founder and former Bassmaster University director Gary White has resurrected a basic idea from the 1970s that blossomed into a course taught as a continuing education course at more than 130 United States colleges over the course of 30 years.
Sign-ups are under way for Bass Techniques 2013, set for Tulsa Community College, two hours each night Feb. 13, 20, 26 and March 4. Instructors include Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Tommy Biffle, Bassmaster Classic champions Paul Elias and Ken Cook, Grand Lake guide Ivan Martin and angler Jim Morton, who won the first-ever BASS event on Grand.
The continuing education course is recognized in the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and has a long history.
In 1974, White was financial aid director at Rose State College and the first president of Oklahoma's BASS Federation. An avid angler, his friends included state wildlife biologist Ken Cook and real estate agent Jimmy Houston.
White came up with the idea of a continuing education class based on bass fishing, and Cook, Houston, outdoor television show host Don Wallace of Oklahoma City and the late J.E. Dorris of Stigler agreed to teach courses in bass fishing techniques.
By 1995, the program had become so popular BASS purchased it and hired White to run it.
"It was the largest continuing education course they would have," White said. "They'd have 20 enrolled in real estate and 150 enrolled in bass fishing."
White estimated more than 150,000 have taken the course.
"Just about every pro angler you can name has been a teacher in this at one time or another," he said. A few students in the class have become pros as well.
The last course was held in 2006 after BASS, then under ESPN ownership, scaled back on a number of programs. White retired at the time but now, he said, "I guess I just like to keep a hand in things."
He has no plans to make the school widespread like before, he said. Courses this year will be held at TCC, Rose State in Oklahoma City, Richland Community College at Dallas and Volunteer State College near Nashville.
Each of the pros at TCC will teach their specialties. Biffle will concentrate on flipping and pitching, Cook on spinnerbaits and finesse fishing, Elias will coach anglers on deep cranking and the Alabama rig, and Martin and Morton will focus on Grand Lake. Learn more at tulsaworld.com/basstechniques or call 918-595-7200.
Kelly Bostian 918-581-8357
Bassmaster Classic champion Ken Cook will teach bass fishing techniques at Tulsa Community College in February. GARY WHITE/Courtesy