Thirty-nine of the best fishermen in the Americas met at Pompano Beach, Fla., for the first "World Series of Sports Fishing" and found themselves engaged in an angling tournament like none other. For five hectic days they moved from iridescent tidal flats to coffee-colored creeks, from weed-choked Lake Okeechobee (left), where guides waded to reach snagged lures, to the deep waters of the Gulf Stream.
Experts at one kind of fishing made novice's mistakes at another, and some had no success of any kind: Dr. Roy B. Dean, president of the International Light Tackle Association, didn't get a solid bite in five days. Sam Snead landed the biggest bass (7 pounds) but lost a marlin, sailfish and tarpon. The contest was not decided until late the final day, when Art Hall, a veteran from California, boated three sailfish, added them to earlier catches of dolphin, bonefish, bass and redfish for the victory. "A great competition," said the champion fisherman of 1960. "A guy has to be lucky to win."
Tournament winner Art Hall, a retired Long Beach, Calif. auto dealer, happily doffs heavy oilskins after deep-sea catch.
Sam snead (left), empty-handed, can only smile as his boatmate, Bud Leavitt of Bangor, Me., shows off his sailfish, the pair's lone catch of the day.
February 8, 1960
Crowd-drawing catch was contest's biggest, a 215-pound marlin landed by Bill Moeser.