OPENING DAY once upon a time...

UPDATED–Harder than I thought, but we have winners.

UPDATED, 6:08 p.m., July 31. I would really like to give these trading cards away as prizes, but we’re just a little fuzzy on a few details. So, one more clue, and a midnight PDT deadline. And since I lost all the other responses, it’s a free for all.

The clues: The last name of the Pisces Bass Club member with the first 40-pound limit is not “Dickerson.” That is the name associated with the foul-hooked bass (Dottie) from Dixon Lake and has no place in this discussion. (Or is that two clues). And from before, the lure is not a Lucky 13.

UPDATED, 10:40 a.m., July 30. Some confusion over details in the responses to date. I will take the three best answers received by Sunday evening to determine winners of (1.) the unopened 1991 Pro League bass card set, (2.) four autographed singles, (3.) assorted singles from 1990 and 1991.

A unique set of circumstances has led to this particular bass fishing contest, taking us to the roots of the modern era of bass fishing in California–especially as applies to San Diego County. A donation of trading cards owned by the family of the late Rolla Williams, a storied outdoor writer for the San Diego Union from 1956 to 1992, and then the recent passing of former Pisces Bass Club president Harvey Naslund, spurred the idea.

FIRST TO 40 POUNDS, a limit from Lower Otay Lake that was a lake record and state record at the time...

These two men were contemporaries, though Williams died in 2004, and at one time were on opposite sides of the bass tournament issue. However, as the story goes, Naslund took Rolla fishing and showed him what competitive angling was about, and it seemed to sway the journalist.

But while Naslund was an angler and then later an organization director, Williams was a chronicler of decades of outdoor sports, and was considered a passionate story teller. Even our paths crossed at times during the late 1970’s, but Rolla was uniquely positioned in the region, even before the local waters received the first Florida bass plantings and ultimately became known as the “world famous San Diego Lakes.”

So as for the contest, I have three questions regarding the era:
1. According to tradition, this very Rolla Williams and two others were fishing together on Lake Henshaw and first discussed bringing Florida bass to California in the late 1950’s. One of those in the boat with Rolla was then San Diego Lakes manager Orville Ball. The third individual in the boat was the first of a three-generation Major League baseball playing family. Name him.

2. As a consequence of the stocking of Florida strain bass in Lower Otay Lake, the size of the bass suddenly increased, and for a time in the 1970’s, a member of the Pisces Bass Club held the lake record there for five bass weighing more than 40 pounds. Name that record-setting angler.

3. In the photo showing Rolla Williams on opening day at Lake Hodges, with an 8-pound, 10-ounce bass, there is a popular subsurface lure pictured. The details of the lure suggest the approximate time of the catch, and even the manufacturer. Name the lure. And if we get down to needing a tie breaker, name the manufacturer (it changed several times in its long history).

SPECIAL NOTE–The historic Lower Otay photo Pisces Bass Club member (yet identified) will be included in the collectible “Silver Eagles” magazine that should be released in the near future, and likely available on the web as well.

It is with great appreciation I want to thank Ed Zieralksi current Union-Tribune staffer, and current eyes, ears and voice of the outdoor scene in San Diego, for his research on the life of Rolla Williams, whose written tribute to Williams appeared on Feb. 24, 2004. Likewise, for sharing her support and offering up the these unique trading cards for prizes owned by her late father, I offer thanks to Caroline Fenton.


4 Responses to “Contest over; we got our winners”

by Chris Nietzel

1. Ray Boone 2. Roger Dickinson 3. bass oreno

1. Ray Boone 2. Roger Dickson 3. Bass Oreno by South Bend

by George Kramer

Bill you have it correct; Chris, you can see how close for second. Please send email to with shipping addresses. Thanks for playing 🙂

[…] Another record of interest is the California 5-fish limit record of Roger Dickson. Five fish for 40-pounds 10-ounces is a heck of a record, even today, but for southern California in 1971 I’m sure it turned some heads. My good friend and fellow bass blogger George Kramer recently wrote about this record catch and had a little SoCal history in his post to boot. You can check it out here. […]