Bob Cobb, first editor of BASSMASTER magazine and producer of the award-winning The BASSMASTERS television series, will be honored May 25 as one of six inductees into the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
Cobb, from Montgomery, Ala., will be joined by professional fishing greats Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., Guido Hibdon of Gravois Mills, Mo., and Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Mo. Lure manufacturer Cotton Cordell of Hot Springs, Ark., and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris of Springfield, Mo. also will be inducted.
Ceremonies will be conducted in the Hot Springs Convention and Civic Center and cap the week-long, second annual Hall of Fame Champions Challenge Tournament.
Cobb served as producer, director, writer and, at times, on-air host of "The BASSMASTERS" through the 1999 season on The Nashville Network, producing more than 250 programs and BASS Masters Classic specials.
As first editor of BASSMASTER magazine (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society founder Ray Scott edited early issues of the magazine), Cobb created a how-to reporting format with in-depth coverage of the society's Tournament Trail. It reached more than 650,000 BASS members and readers worldwide.
Cobb, a 1958 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in radio-journalism, was outdoor editor of the Tulsa Tribune when he joined Scott in 1969.
Early readers of the magazine, including some from Augusta, Georgia, eagerly submitted "how-to" stories of their own methods of outwitting largemouth and smallmouth bass for Cobb to edit and publish.
As the Tournament Trail and BASS grew in size, Cobb collected even more information from the first touring pros and passed it on to readers. Names like Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Tom Mann began to emerge as heroes for bass fishermen to worship and try to emulate.
Fishing back in the 1960s and beyond was viewed as a relaxing pastime, but Scott and Cobb teamed to make at least part of it - bass fishing - a spectator sport. Tournament-style bass fishing provided the winners-losers standings and soon BASS became No. 1 in the cast-for-cash bass fishing business.
Cobb came up with bass-fishing jargon such as "Test-of-the-Best" and "Thar's Gold in Them Thar Gills."
Currently, he is information director for Ray Scott Outdoors Inc., a fishing and marine industry marketing and consulting group based in Pintlala, Ala.