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Dock Talk

Welcome to BassFan's Dock Talk section, where you will see brief, newsworthy items that for one reason or another can't be made into full-blown news articles. Despite the name, and in keeping with BassFan's editorial policy, every effort will be made to avoid publishing outright rumors.

More dock talk articles

  • Chapman signs with Bass Minder

    Chapman signs with Bass Minder

    Equipment-organization product manufacturer Bass Minder announced that it's added Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brent Chapman to its pro staff.

    "The Lure Selection Guide is a wonderful tool to have for all anglers.” said Chapman. “Bass Minder products make you remember great rigs and lures that may not have been your initial choice. Having that visual guide to help you decide what works best depending on the conditions is great for saving time when rigging up.”

  • Lew's launches school program

    Lew's launches school program

    Lew's has announced a new program designed to assist high school and college fishing clubs and teams with their rod-and-reel needs. The company is also helping the first collegiate qualifier for the Bassmaster Classic fulfill his pro fishing dream.

    "We're pleased that Andrew Upshaw (pictured) picked Lew's as his rod and reel choice for what we believe will be a long and successful career for him," said company CEO Lynn Reeves. "Andrew qualified for the Classic during his final year of eligibility through the B.A.S.S. collegiate program. Now out of school (Stephen F. Austin University, Texas), he's 100 percent dedicated to competing at the highest level, and what better way to start than competing against the country's best anglers in the Classic next month armed with Lew's rods and reels."

    Lew's President Gary Remensnyder said today's young anglers have been an often-discussed subject ever since the Lew's brand was acquired by Reeves in 2009.

    "Lynn told me right up front that he liked the collegiate bass fishing programs and wanted to be involved," he said. "I couldn't have agreed more, plus I was aware of the fast-growing high school initiatives, too. We're now ready to roll out a program to benefit both levels of higher education. We want young anglers across the country to know that Lew's cares about them and wants to support their efforts."

    Any high school or college fishing club/team that is recognized by the school's administration and has a designated advisor, coach or adult supervisor is eligible to apply for participation in the official Lew's school program. A club/team must consist of at least six full-time students to be eligible, and the club must remain active in accordance with participation guidelines for annual involvement. Acceptance into the Lew's program allows club members a purchase discount opportunity for rods and reels, and access to other resources helpful in growing membership and promoting the sport of fishing.

    "We want this to be a meaningful program for our brand, our retail partners and the school members involved," added Remensnyder. "Acceptance is not automatic and our guidelines will be regulated. Meeting our criteria for participation validates a club's credibility, and we want the team members to be just as proud as we are of being a part of Team Lew's."

    More details about the school program, including the application form and how to apply, can be found on the Lew's website
    under the "Team Lew's" heading, and then by clicking on "School Programs."

  • Berkley trailer is 'Bama-bound

    Berkley trailer is 'Bama-bound

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will kick off its 2012 tour this Friday through Sunday (Feb. 3-5) at the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Ala. The 60-foot trailer offers consumers fun, great deals and activities, along with fishing education for all levels of anglers.

    The trailer has videos and interactive demonstrations along with seminars scheduled throughout the day. Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location.

    “We're excited about having the Experience Trailer on the road in 2012 and stopping at many new locations across the country,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is set to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Other elements include a knot-tying contest and demonstration, where anglers can learn new knots and compete for prizes. Under the tent, big-screen videos help anglers experience the adventure with Berkley and display racks are filled with the latest products. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    The store is located at 5000 Bass Pro Blvd. The phone number is (205) 702-7500.

    Future stops are set for Feb. 10-12 at Van's in Cullman, Ala., and Feb. 17-19 at Bass Pro Shops in Baton Rouge, La.

  • 'Cat Hunt' a success

    <b><font color=red>'Cat Hunt' a success</font></b>

    The "Cat Hunt" is over – the sought-after 'Cat is in the bag.

    Springfield, Mo. resident Gerald Fleming is the current owner of the first Bass Cat boat ever produced, and it still sits on its original trailer and carries its original motor (you can click on the photos to see larger versions). Therefore, the 50-year-old Fleming will be allowed to trade it all in for a new Bass Cat Margay, a new Mercury 115 Pro XS motor and a new Margay 4-inch frame trailer, as per the Cat Hunt promotion that launched in mid-December.

    Fleming said he purchased the boat, stamped with serial number 00801, from a private party several years ago. It'll now be restored and eventually put on display at Bass Cat headquarters in Mountain Home, Ark.

    "We have two original carpet rolls of the old felt-style indoor/outdoor carpeting that I've kept tucked away almost 40 years for this occasion," said Bass Cat owner Rick Pierce. "Around 1972, everything went to the AstroTurf style and this was before that."

    The company had lost track of the boat – which Bass Cat founder Ron Pierce (Rick's father) had run himself for a couple of years after it came off the line – more than a decade ago.

    "We thought it was gone," Ron Pierce said. "The last we heard, we were told it was burned in a barn fire in Indiana. I can't believe it has the original engine. We are very glad to get it back."

    Fleming learned about the promotion from his 23-year-old son, Joel, who'd recently taken possession of the boat and had gone to the Bass Cat website in search of tips for winterizing it. The Flemings were actually thinking about selling it this spring, so now they're extremely glad the promotion took place this year instead of next.

    The younger Fleming will receive the fully transferable "finder's fee" of $5,000 toward the purchase of a new Bass Cat.

    "This was certainly something that was completely unexpected," said Gerald Fleming, an employee of Kraft Foods for the past 17 years. "I told my son not to hold his breath until we'd found out for sure (that they'd won), because it all seemed pretty unlikely."

    Fleming and his two sons had used the boat for crappie fishing at Table Rock and he said his wife also enjoyed having it around for recreational forays to the big lake that's about an hour from their home.

    "It runs okay for a 40-year-old boat and it'll still get up and move pretty good," he said. "The only thing is it's a little dicey sometimes getting it started again after you shut off the engine. It's a good idea to keep it running.

    "With a new boat, we'll probably get out and fish a little more, and it'll be nice to see that old one make its way home."

  • Vision 110+1: A lot to like

    The Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait has proven that it can entice fish when most other offerings can't (witness last year's FLW Tour event at Beaver). Now the company has come out with the Vision 110+1 – a deeper-diving version.

    The new bait was highly effective on spotted bass during a recent trip to a Georgia impoundment. To read the review, click here.

  • Z-Man page is live

    Z-Man page is live

    The Z-Man Pro Page here at BassFan is now up and running. It consists of archived material featuring the company's products, along with interviews and video tips from pro-staffers Luke Clausen, David Walker and Stephen Browning. It will be updated frequently.

    To check it out, click here.

  • Petition to ban A-Rig online

    Petition to ban A-Rig online

    An online petition to ban the Alabama Rig and other umbrella-style rigs in professional tournaments has been launched. The underlying premise is that "the use of this rig compromises the integrity of professional bass fishing and creates many other possible negative issues for the sport down the road."

    The author of the petition is listed as "Anonymous," as are many of the signers. If you scroll through the list of signatures (nearly 600 as of this writing), there are some names you'll likely recognize, although that's no hard-and-fast guarantee that it's the person you think it is since it's often very easy to use someone else's name online. There's also a link for contacting the author.

    To view the petition, click here.

  • A-Rig propels Harris to Shasta win

    A-Rig propels Harris to Shasta win

    K.C. Harris of Shasta Lake, Calif., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11-01 Saturday to win the Shasta Western EverStart with a 3-day total of 42-02.

    “Usually the wind plays into my strategy,” Harris said. “But this week, I was not really keen on the wind. I guess I really can't complain at all though. I fished last year's EverStart event and I didn't do very well, so now I'm doing great after today. It was tough, but overall, the bag sizes today were about what I expected to see.

    “I threw the Alabama Rig all week. I had it rigged up with a trout ghost-colored All American Trash Fish, and I also threw it rigged it with Mother's Finest baits. I also threw Top-Shelf swimbaits and Osprey 7-inch swimbaits, but I got my better fish on the Alabama Rig."

    Here's a look at the final Top 10:

    1. K.C. Harris: 42-02
    2. Zack Thompson: 41-05
    3. Jason Milligan: 37-07
    4. Matt Newman: 36-11
    5. Chris Fancelli: 34-05
    6. Willie Church: 33-06
    7. Dave Russell: 31-01
    8. Kazuki Kodama: 30-10
    9. Tony Peterson: 28-14
    10. Aaron Cole: 26-10

  • Lane, Brown prevail at Toho with 64.64

    Lane, Brown prevail at Toho with 64.64

    Bobby Lane has a pretty good memory for where fish are in a lake, where a specific piece of cover or structure may have a wrinkle and what to do to catch a fish based on years of experience.

    He’s also kept a tally of his big tournament finishes in Florida, and his home state hasn’t been too good to him.

    “I was 2nd here a year ago to Gerald Swindle, I finished 3rd in another one, 2nd in another, and had several other 3rds, 4ths and 5ths,” Lane said. “This is a good feeling, a really good feeling. These fish owed me and owed me for several years. Now we got the best of ‘em this week.”

    That “we” reference was to himself and his team partner Gerald Brown of Oklahoma. They joined forces along with 17 other teams in the inaugural PAA Tour Team Challenge on Lake Toho and won with 64.64 pounds.

    “This was an awesome week,” Brown said. “I really can’t explain it. I learned a lot from Bobby, and we had a great time out there.”

    They used a mix of sight-fishing and casting in Lake Kissimmee (a 35-mile run from the launch). Brown threw 11-inch Gene Larew El Salto worms and a 3 1/2-inch saltwater minnow. Lane threw Berkley plastics: 10-inch junebug PowerBait worms, and Havoc Craw Fatty pitch baits, Grass Pig swimbaits and Texas-rigged Bottom Hopper straight-tail worms. They stuck with darker colors in Okeechobee, green pumpkin/red and junebug/red.

    Phoenix Boats founder Gary Clouse teamed with John Kremer of Florida for 2nd place. They finished with 60.47 after catching Saturday’s best limit of 24.94 on Culprit 10-inch worms.

    Chad Morgenthaler of Illinois and Glenn Browne of Florida were third with 60.11. They led after the first day with a stunning 31.89 stringer, the best of the tournament, but struggled the final two days in their top area.

  • Harris on top at Shasta

    Harris on top at Shasta

    Local ace K.C. Harris caught a tournament best 18-01 stringer Friday to move into the lead at the Shasta Western EverStart in California. He has an advantage of nearly 4 1/2 pounds over the field with 1 day to fish.

    Day-1 leader Tony Peterson came in one fish shy of a limit on day 2 and dropped to 7th.

    Here's a look at the Top 10 who'll return to the water tomorrow:

    1. K.C. Harris: 31-01
    2. Zack Thompson: 26-10
    3. Willie Church: 25-13
    4. Matt Newman: 25-11
    5. Kazuki Kodama: 23-06
    6. Dave Russell: 23-04
    7. Tony Peterson: 22-10
    8. Aaron Cole: 21-11
    9. Chris Fancelli: 21-04
    10. Jason Milligan: 21-02

  • Lane, Brown take Toho lead

    Lane, Brown take Toho lead

    The team of Bobby Lane and Gerald Brown brought a 10-pounder to the scale for the second straight day and took over the lead Friday at the PAA Tour Team Challenge at Lake Toho in Florida. Their 23.20-pound sack pushed their 2-day total to 49.65.

    "We battled the weather and had just two good bites, but found another area with some fish in it so we'll go back there Saturday," said Lane, who lives in Lakeland and has fished the central Florida lakes all his life. He and Brown are locking into Lake Kissimmee – about a 37-mile run from the launch – and are employing a sight-fishing/casting combo attack.

    Day-1 leaders Chad Morgethaler and Glenn Brown weighed 16.34 today and fell to 2nd with 48.23 – a little more than a pound out of the lead. From there it was a sizable drop down to Brian Snowden and Jeff Hager in 3rd with 40.75.

    The field was greeted by gusting wind and spitting rain Friday morning. The rain subsided mid-morning, but the wind continued most of the day. The front finally moved out of the area about 5 p.m., and sun and clear skies are expected for Saturday's final round.

    For complete standings, click here.

  • Revo Premier spinning: 2 new sizes

    <b><font color=maroon>Revo Premier spinning: 2 new sizes</font></b>

    The spinning version of the Abu Garcia Revo Premier has been well-received since its introduction in 2010, and now there are twice as many models to choose from as the company has added new offerings on both ends of the size spectrum.

    To find out more, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • KY Lake bridge hit by ship

    The Eggner Ferry Bridge at Kentucky Lake was struck by a ship carrying parts for a space rocket on Thursday night, destroying two spans. To read a report from, click here.

  • Landscape deal for Combs

    Landscape deal for Combs

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler and Toyota Texas Bass Classic champion Keith Combs has signed a sponsorship deal with BLV Enterprises, a 30-year-old company that designs and builds landscapes in the Woodlands and Conroe areas of Texas.

    "I was invited to fish in the 2011 TTBC Pro-Am by close friend Tim Cooper and it introduced me to the professional side of bass fishing," said BLV owner Brain Vonderau. "Tim and I drew Keith Combs for the wonderful day of breakfast, fun and great fishing. What a day it was! That evening I told Keith I was interested in participating in a sponsorship.

    "The rest is history – Keith went on to win the 2011 TTBC in the most exciting sudden-death finish in professional history."

    Said Combs: “I am extremely excited to be a part of the BLV team. Over the last few months owner Brian Vonderau and I have developed a great friendship. I've had the opportunity to see some of his work and it is absolutely incredible. I'm proud to have sponsors who are as passionate about their work as I am about mine.”

  • Rapala, B.A.S.S. launch photo contest

    Rapala, B.A.S.S. launch photo contest

    B.A.S.S. and Rapala are challenging anglers to “snap to it” and enter the 2012 Rapala Photo Contest. For the best snapshot, a monthly winner will receive six Rapala lures and recognition in Bassmaster magazine.

    The photo must be of an angler with a bass caught on a Rapala lure. Fish size doesn’t matter, but photo quality does, and the Rapala lure used to land the fish must be visible in the photo. B.A.S.S. judges will select the month’s best submission based solely on those criteria. (Hint: make sure the digital camera is set to a fairly large file size because a tiny file can’t be turned into a magazine photo.)

    Anglers can email their digital photos to Each month’s winners will not only appear in the pages of Bassmaster, but also in the dedicated Rapala album that will soon go up on the B.A.S.S. Facebook page (

    “This contest is pure fun for B.A.S.S. members and other anglers,” said Kelly Brockpahler, Rapala’s director of marketing. “All it takes to enter is a digital snapshot and one email, and an angler has a chance to win a selection of six Rapala bass lures hand-picked by our pros.”

    The six lures are the DT, X-Rap, Shad Rap, Clackin' Rap, Rippin' Rap and X-Rap Shad.

  • Peterson on top at Shasta

    Peterson on top at Shasta

    Tony Peterson caught a 17-07 bag to take the day-1 lead at the Shasta Western EverStart in California. The resident of Livermore, Calif. has a lead of more than 3 pounds over the 119-angler field.

    Former tour pro Zack Thompson was in 2nd with 14-02, followed by Chris Fancelli (13-07), Matt Newman (13-03) and K.C. Harris (13-00). Tour pro Cody Meyer was in 10th place with 10-10, and another 30 anglers are within 2 pounds of that mark.

  • Morgenthaler, Browne lead at Toho

    Morgenthaler, Browne lead at Toho

    The team of Chad Morgenthaler (pictured) and Glenn Browne combined to catch a 31.89-pound bag today to capture the early lead at the PAA Tour Team Challenge at Lake Toho in Florida.

    Charles Bebber and Chris Wilkerson were 2nd in the 18-team field with 28.22, followed by Bobby Lane and Gerald Brown with 26.45. The Lane/Brown team caught the day's biggest bass – a 10.59-pounder.

    PAA communications director Alan Clemons reported that sight-fishing dominated the morning, with several fish in the 7- to 10-pound range landed early. The wind picked up midday, which made the bed-dwellers tougher to see. A cold front is on its way in and rain is expected for Friday.

  • Sonar: Failure and redemption

    Sonar: Failure and redemption

    Miles Burghoff weighed 12-pound sacks recently in one-day tournaments at Lake Okeechobee on back-to-back weekends. He was quite disappointed with the first one, but quite pleased with the second. To find out why, click here to read his latest Sonar Sound-Off column.

  • Megabass: Welcome to the Jungle

    Megabass: Welcome to the Jungle

    Japanese powerhouse Megabass has introduced new products in the rod, reel and bait categories for 2012.

    The company's new rod series, Destroyer Black Jungle, is headed up by the 7 1/2-foot Super Red Demon (a versatile model ideal for several big-fish tactics, including flipping and pitching jigs). Four other Black Jungle models cover everything from deep-cranking to mat-punching and swimbaits. Also, the Orochi X4 rod lineup has a new finesse offering – the 6'4" Hedgehog with an ultra extra-fast action.

    A new baitcasting reel has been trotted out to accompany the newest rod series. The LIN Black Jungle L/R (pictured) features 12 ball bearings and a 6.3:1 gear ratio.

    The array of new baits includes the Spindrive 58 (a small, minnow-shaped crank with a water-pressure adjustable bill); the Deep-X 300 Power Knocker (featuring a special bone resin that increases sound appeal); the X-Plose propbait; and the Shading-X finesse crank.

    For more about Megabass, click here.

  • Triton Gold registration under way

    Triton Gold registration under way

    Triton Boats announced that registration for the 2012 Triton Gold contingency program is under way. The program pays up to $7,000 to qualifying Triton Gold members who win a sanctioned tournament.

    "Triton Gold is yet another program offered by Triton that gives anglers the chance to win greater payouts through eligible tournaments," said Triton founder Earl Bentz. "With the annual membership, anglers who register for Triton Gold have a serious opportunity to make some big paydays for doing what they love – fishing. Triton boat owners can register any time during the year beginning now.”

    The fee for the year is $100, and participants will receive a customized tournament jersey, visor, hand and two decals. Additional details are available at

  • RMC joins FLW

    RMC joins FLW

    FLW announced today that RMC BoatWorks, best known for its Trol-Lok trolling-motor mount, has signed a sponsorship deal with the organization.

    “RMC BoatWorks is a natural fit for FLW," said Operations Division president Kathy Fennel. "Our anglers spend a lot of time in some of the roughest conditions imaginable. Having a product like RMC Trol-Lok available gives them peace of mind that when running their boats in rough water, their trolling motor will be usable and in one piece when they get to their destination.”

    Said RMC owner Brad Rightnour: “At RMC BoatWorks we are committed to helping anglers of all levels protect their expensive equipment no matter what conditions they encounter. Our pro staff signifies the value and integrity of our products. Our partnership with FLW signifies our commitment to the sport. We look forward to working with FLW and all of the FLW anglers during the 2012 season.”

  • A look at what's down there

    A look at what's down there

    Numa Optics pro-staffer Sean Alvarez created a YouTube video that graphically illustrates the benefits of high-quality, polarized glasses during a recent visit to the Harris Chain in Florida. To see it, click here.

  • Kentucky classes set for Feb. 11-12

    Kentucky classes set for Feb. 11-12

    Mark Menendez (pictured), Bernie Schultz and Joe Thomas will conduct a series of classes at West Kentucky Community and Technical College on the weekend of Feb. 11-12. Topics will include jerkbaits, flipping and pitching shallow-water cover, boat positioning and creating proper casting angles, and topwater tactics.

    Classes will be approximately 50 minutes each. Panel discussions will be included throughout the weekend and several vendors will be present.

    The all-inclusive fee is $199 (currently enrolled college or high school students receive a $20 discount). To register, call (270) 534-3335 or click here.

  • Luck "E" Strike bonuses available

    Luck "E" Strike bonuses available

    B.A.S.S. announced today that lure-maker Luck "E" Strike will be awarding bonuses to Bassmaster Elite Series and Bassmaster Open competitors this season.

    The Luck “E” Strike Comeback Award will reward the Bassmaster Elite Series pros who make the biggest moves in the points standings from one event to the next. Each most-improved pro will receive a $500 bonus.

    “We wanted to show our support this season by doing something extra, something that would be available at more than just one tournament,” said Luck “E” Strike owner John Hendricks. “We feel it is important to support tournament fishing, and working with B.A.S.S. to create these new bonuses was one more way we can do just that.”

  • Picasso adds Roumbanis

    Picasso adds Roumbanis

    Picasso Lures announced the addition of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Fred Roumbanis to its pro staff.

    "Picasso is a company that has always worked to be ahead of the pack when it comes to product development," Roumbanis said. "They are a cutting-edge company,and I'm excited to be working with them."

    Said Picasso president Terry Monteleone: "We feel very fortunate to have Fred join the Picasso pro staff. He gives us that added one-two punch which few other anglers posses. Not only is he an extremely talented and knowledgeable angler, but he also has the creativity to improve upon the performance of existing lures as well as innovative design concepts for future projects.

    "I have had the opportunity to work with him previously in a development role, and I look forward to working with him once again at Picasso Lures."

  • FLW, Brunswick extend

    FLW, Brunswick extend

    FLW announced today that it's signed a multi-year contract extension with Brunswick Corporation, parent company of Mercury, MotorGuide and Brunswick Zone.

    Mercury is excited to continue working with FLW," said Mercury VP of marketing and category management Mike Shedivy. "For more than 70 years Mercury has consistently emphasized quality, performance, innovation and reliability. Today that pledge remains as strong as ever.

    "We're very proud to sponsor competitive angling events sanctioned by FLW and we strongly support their efforts to offer competition to anglers at all levels."

    Said FLW Marketing Division president Trish Blake: “Mercury is a known leader in the marine industry. Their continued support of tournament fishing combined with cutting-edge technology has put their brand at the forefront of our sport. FLW is honored to once again have the opportunity to be associated with such a well-respected brand.”

  • B.A.S.S. offers KVD sweepstakes

    B.A.S.S. offers KVD sweepstakes

    A fishing outing with Kevin VanDam is a rare prize, but it’s being offered in a sweepstakes happening now at

    The Fish with a Pro sweepstakes winner get the chance to meet up with the world’s best bass angler for a morning on the water in July. They will hit a lake near Orlando, Fla., site of the vacation for two that the sweepstakes winner can enjoy at the same time.

    The Florida vacation prize includes round-trip airfare, car rental, 3 days and 3 nights for two at an Orlando-area hotel, two 1-day Walt Disney World Park Passes and $500. Total estimated retail value of the prize package is $4,995.

    Entries will be accepted through Jan. 31. No purchase is necessary to enter or to win; up to one entry per person will be accepted each day of the sweepstakes. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and notified by mail.

    “When we were putting the sweepstakes together, we decided to go for it and give the winner the trip of a lifetime,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “I think most people will readily agree that a fishing outing with Kevin is exactly that.”

    Complete sweepstakes rules and an entry form are easily accessed by clicking the sweepstakes icon on the home page.

  • Tony Bean dies

    Tony Bean dies

    BassFan learned today that smallmouth guru Tony Bean has died at age 63. The Tennessee resident (pictured with Ray Scot) was a popular seminar speaker on smallmouth fishing, authored three books on the topic and developed his own line of tackle for catching bronzebacks.

    Visitation will be held at 11 a.m. Central on Tuesday at Williamson Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in Franklin, Tenn. A funeral service will follow.

    For more information, visit the funeral home's website or call (615) 794-2289.

  • Lane cruises to Open victory

    Lane cruises to Open victory

    Chris Lane captured the third Bassmaster Southern Open victory of his career Saturday, and this one came by a large margin. He caught a tournament-best 28-05 bag for a 72-08 total at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes to prevail by more than 14 pounds over FLW pro Cliff Pirch.

    “I caught fish on several soft plastics, including 7-inch Gambler Sweebo worms, Gambler Cane Toads and the Gambler Big Easy, but I found my bass with a chartreuse Luck-E-Strike RC2 crankbait,” said Lane, whose previous Open triumphs came at Okeechobee in 2010 and 2006. “I used it as a search bait. When I found bass with it, I’d pick up the soft plastics and really work the area over.”

    The win gave the native Floridian a provisional 2013 Bassmaster Classic berth – he needs only to compete in the other two Southern Opens to claim it. He qualified for this year's Classic via his performance on the 2011 Elite Series.

    Despite having a 5-pound lead going into the final round, Lane had a scare on Saturday morning. After catching a couple of small keepers, his co-angler caught two bass weighing a combined 15 pounds on consecutive casts.

    “I was rattled,” Lane admitted, “but I knew what I had to do. I was making mistakes and I needed to slow down.”

    Below are the totals for the 12 anglers who competed on the final day.

    1. Chris Lane: 72-11
    2. Cliff Pirch: 58-01
    3. Keith Carson: 55-13
    4. Kevin Hawk: 53-10
    5. Tim Frederick: 48-10
    6. Marcus Parker: 48-03
    7. Daniel Lanier: 45-00
    8. Luke Gritter: 44-13
    9. Will Evans: 43-03
    10. Robert Grosso: 41-13
    11. Marty Brown: 39-08
    12. Keith Poche: 38-04

  • Medlock: Two in a row at Big O

    Medlock: Two in a row at Big O

    Brandon Medlock caught a 15-03 bag Saturday to win the Okeechobee Southeastern EverStart in Florida for the second year in a row with a 3-day total of 68-02.

    “I am shocked,” he said. “I was shocked last year when I won and I’m even more shocked this year. It’s a little unbelievable.

    “I was surprised a little bit by this week’s weights – I really thought it was going to take 80 pounds to win. When I came in on the first day with a little over 17 pounds I thought I had blown the tournament completely.

    "Yesterday was a phenomenal day for me with the 35-pound sack," he continued. "I made all the right decisions and it paid off. I don’t think there was one thing that I did wrong yesterday. Everything went my way, it was incredible."

    He said he spent the entire event flipping a jig produced by his father – the same bait he used last year.

    "I was targeting very specific stuff and if it didn’t look right, I moved on."

    Here are the totals for the 10 anglers who competed on the final day:

    1. Brandon Medlock: 68-02
    2. Randall Tharp: 62-00
    3. Keith Fels: 55-10
    4. Bryan Holder: 48-14
    5. Brian Honnerlaw: 47-06
    6. Kent Ware: 42-09
    7. Clent Davis: 41-14
    8. George Kapiton: 41-06
    9. Brandon McMillan: 40-10
    10. Jeff Fitts: 39-12

  • Lane pulls ahead at Harris

    Lane pulls ahead at Harris

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Lane caught a 23-14 sack today to move into the lead at the Harris Chain Bassmaster Southern Open with a 2-day total of 44-06. He holds an advantage of 5 pounds over 2nd-place Clifford Pirch.

    “I really had to slow down and change some things,” Lane said. “The fish changed overnight because it was a little colder. The water temperature was 58 degrees this morning, when it had been in the low 60s on previous mornings.”

    Day-1 leader Tim Frederick managed just 10-08 today and dropped to 3rd with 38-11. Will Evans was 4th with 36-11 and Keith Carson 5th with 35-04.

    After catching just three fish for 6-02 on day 1, Elite Series angler Keith Poche weighed a tournament-best 25-03 today to make the cut in 9th. Big-bass honors went to Elite Series rookie Jared Miller, whose 11-10 bruiser is the largest bass ever caught in B.A.S.S. competition at the Harris Chain.

  • Medlock in control at EverStart

    Medlock in control at EverStart

    Brandon Medlock appears headed toward his second straight Okeechobee Southeastern EverStart victory. The Lake Placid, Fla. angler boated a massive 35-07 sack today and, with a 52-15 total, he leads by more than 15 pounds with one day to fish. His sack was topped by a 10 1/2-pound brute.

    Keith Fels was a distant 2nd with 37-13, followed by Brandon McMillan with 34-12. Brian Holder (33-12) and Randall Tharp (33-02) rounded out the Top 5.

    Previous leader George Kapiton weighed just 10-10 today (approximately half of his day-1 haul) and fell to 7th.

  • FLW clarifies A-Rig stance

    FLW clarifies A-Rig stance

    The Alabama Rig, which was banned from use in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic and 2012 Elite Series this week, will be allowed in all FLW events this year. Operations Division president Kathy Fennel clarified the organization's position in a post on today.

    To read it, click here.

  • Get out in the cold

    <b><font color=maroon>Get out in the cold</font></b>

    Although bass get lethargic in cold water, they still have to eat. They just won't move very far to do it.

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bradley Roy loves to fish during the coldest months of the year and often catches more than two dozen fish on wintertime outings. The key is finding where the fish are grouped up and then putting your bait right in front of their nose.

    For more cold-weather tips from Roy, visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • PAA fees dropped

    PAA fees dropped

    The Professional Anglers Association announced today that entry fees for the 2012 PAA Tournament Series will be reduced by $1,000. The organization stated in a press release that the move came via a unanimous decision by the board of directors after listening to input from members.

    "In 2010, our Tour-level members exercised their voting rights and moved PAA entry fees from $1,500 to $2,500,” said PAA president Dave Mansue. “At the time, no one could be aware the economy would continue to struggle and sponsorship dollars for anglers would continue to diminish to their current levels.

    “In view of the economy, how it has affected our members and the number of members who can afford to compete in PAA events, I applaud the board for making this decision. I believe this is an example of our ability at the PAA to be fluid and fully recognize the needs and concerns of our anglers."

    Tournament Series payouts for each event will include a 2012 Nitro Z-8 equipped with a Mercury 225 Optimax and T-H Marine Atlas jack plate along with cash. Nitro, Mercury and T-H Marine have been PAA sponsors for 3 seasons.

    “It was important to the Board that we adhere to our practice of providing double the entry fee to the last check paid in the field,” Mansue added. “We believe this positive move will provide anglers with more opportunities to compete while managing their tournament expenses and working to further their careers with competitive events and added exposure through all the media outlets the PAA has to offer.”

    Here's a look at this year's schedule:

    > May 7-12 -- Old Hickory Lake -- Gallatin, Tenn.
    > July 23-28 -- Neely Henry Lake -- Gadsden, Ala.
    > Sept. 10-15 -- Arkansas River -- Muskogee, Okla.

  • Luck "E" Strike renews with FLW

    Luck "E" Strike renews with FLW

    FLW announced today that lure-maker Luck "E" Strike U.S.A. has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the organization.

    Said Luck "E" Strike owner John Hendricks: “We are extremely excited to announce the renewal of our partnership with FLW. This is a great opportunity for us to display and demonstrate our fishing tackle, and we are proud to be associated with the most competitive anglers in the world.”

  • McMillan in 2nd at Okeechobee

    McMillan in 2nd at Okeechobee

    Fishing just 3 weeks after his father Jimmy was killed during a robbery attempt at their family-owned grocery store, Brandon McMillan caught a 19-12 limit on day 1 of the Okeechobee Southeastern EverStart to grab a share of 2nd place.

    McMillan, winner of last year's Okeechobee FLW Tour Open, is a little more than a pound and a half behind leader George Kapiton of Inverness, Fla., who caught 21-06. He shares the No. 2 position with FLW Tour pro Randall Tharp.

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Bobby Lane is 4th with 18-04, followed by Brian Holder with 17-15.

  • Frederick grabs big lead at Open

    Frederick grabs big lead at Open

    The talk all week was that a cold front would slow the fishing and anglers would be lucky to bring 15 or 16 pounds to scales at the Harris Chain of Lakes in the first Bassmaster Southern Open of 2012. The talk was mostly right, but fortunately for Tim Frederick, he wasn't listening.

    The Leesburg, Fla., pro (center in photo) had a limit weighing 28-03 ounces to take a commanding lead over 196 other anglers. He is nearly 8 pounds ahead of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Lane.

    Frederick was mostly tight-lipped about his day. After all, there are still 2 days of competition left, tens of thousands of dollars and a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic at stake. He did say that he was expecting the tournament to be a sight-fishing event, but that a recent cold snap had thwarted most of the bass's spawning efforts.

    "I decided to play a hunch and go to a staging area I know about," he said. "Within half an hour I had about 20 pounds."

    Frederick said he caught his limit fishing a variety of ways and noted that another 20-pound-plus catch is possible in his area tomorrow. In fact, most of the top anglers from day 1 were optimistic that fishing would improve as the tournament went on.

    Lane, who sacked 20-08, believes the bass are beginning to move shallower to spawn. He's hopeful he can repeat his success tomorrow, but said that "the Harris Chain is notorious for good fishing one day and tough fishing the next." He admitted that his most successful area had been heavily pressured on the first day and that he'd need to make adjustments to his location and methods if he was to do as well on day 2.

    Steve Wisdom took big-bass honors with an 8-15 brute that bit a 1/2-ounce Strike King Redeye Shad (gold with a black back).

  • Rapala, MarCum join forces

    Rapala, MarCum join forces

    Rapala announced today that it's formed a strategic manufacturing and exclusive distribution partnership with Versa Electronics, the parent company of electronics manufacturer MarCum Technologies. Marcum will maintain all responsibility for product development, production and customer service, while Rapala will take over all sales, marketing and distribution, effective April 2, 2012.

    “MarCum’s products are cutting edge and of outstanding quality, in a class of their own,” said Rapala USA president Tom Mackin. “We’re excited to provide anglers with top-of-the-line technology products for both open water and ice fishing. Together, we will become an unbeatable resource for our customers in the trade and for anglers around the world.”

    Said Versus CEO Kevin Johnsrud: “Rapala products and the Rapala brand are truly unmatched. We are thrilled to combine efforts and provide anglers with a product offering that is unrivaled.”

  • PowerTeam adds Fralick

    PowerTeam adds Fralick

    PowerTeam Lures announced that it's added South Dakota Bassmaster Elite Series angler Jami Fralick to its pro staff.

    "I was introduced to PowerTeam Lures last summer and immediately knew their baits would be perfect for my style of fishing," he said, "and after putting them through the test, I know these baits will undoubtedly give me the edge I'm looking for in 2012 and beyond."

    Said PowerTeam president Bob Bernotsky: "We're definitely excited to have an angler like Jami on our team. Not only is Jami a highly respected competitive angler, but you're not going to find a more genuine, down-to-earth guy in the industry. We're very confident that he will be an excellent representation of our company on and off the water."

  • Clunn opens new market

    Clunn opens new market

    Four-time Bassmaster Classic champion Rick Clunn recently returned from Italy, where he participated in a B.A.S.S. Federation Nation event and expanded the reach of his Luck E Strike RC2 crankbaits and RC Stix jerkbaits.

    He inked a deal with Blue Springs, the largest tackle retailer in the country (200 stores), to be the exclusive provider of the baits and he's brought an Italian angler named Luca Quintavalla on board to promote them. The two met in 2005 when Quintavalla visited the U.S. to expand his bass-fishing knowledge.

    The Federation Nation tournament took place on Lake Bolsena, an extant volcanic crater near Rome that Clunn compares to California's Clear Lake in terms of appearance and characteristics. The fish aren't as big, though – specimens topping the 5-pound mark are uncommon.

    Clunn teamed with Mark Curry of Nitro Boats for the event and reported that they didn't fare extremely well. They got on a decent topwater bite on day 1, but weren't prepared for the ultra-calm conditions of day 2.

    "We didn't have anything smaller than 12-pound line, and almost all the fish that day were caught on dropshots on line no bigger than 5-pound," he said.

    The tournament also featured a couple of German teams and one from Russia. Clunn said he learned from one of the German competitors that tournament fishing in that country is basically nonexistent, primarily because catch-and-release is illegal.

  • A-Rig out for Classic, Elites

    A-Rig out for Classic, Elites

    B.A.S.S. has banned the Alabama Rig and other multi-lure rigs from use in the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series. A press release issued by the organization today is reprinted in its entirety below.

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – B.A.S.S., upon the recommendation of its Bassmaster Elite Series Rules Committee, has amended its tournament rules to limit anglers competing in the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series to the use of a single lure during practice and competition.

    The rule change, which does not apply to Bassmaster Open, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, College B.A.S.S. and other events, clarifies the intent of long-standing rules permitting only one rod, one reel and one cast at a time. No longer permitted are double soft-jerkbait rigs, dropshot rigs with jigs used as weights, double topwater setups and other multi-lure rigs, such as “umbrella rigs.”

    The change becomes effective Feb. 1 and includes the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at Shreveport-Bossier City, La., Feb. 24-26.

    Elite Series Rules Committee members, comprised of 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series qualifiers, seemed most concerned about new multi-lure rigs such as the Alabama Rig, which Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Elias used to win an event on Lake Guntersville in October. In the weeks since, tens of thousands of the multi-lure devices have been sold, and they have proved extremely effective in both recreational and competitive fishing.

    The Alabama Rig and similar setups from other manufacturers consist of a weighted head with five wire leaders trailing behind. Soft plastic swimbaits and similar lures are attached to the leaders, imitating a school of baitfish.

    Rules Committee members believe the rig eliminates some of the skill that should be required in tournament competition at the highest level. “It doesn’t matter how you work it,” said one of the anglers. “The fish can’t help themselves.”

    “The Alabama Rig has become enormously popular in recent months, and it has definitely had an impact on the tournaments in which it has been used,” noted Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. “Personally, I have enjoyed catching bass on umbrella rigs and found them to be very effective in some situations. I have witnessed firsthand the excitement this technique has generated in our sport.

    “However, the Elite Series Rules Committee members unanimously asked to be held to a higher standard,” he added. “We have decided to honor their recommendation.”

    The rule change follows a precedence of imposing more stringent restrictions in Elite Series and Classic competition than in other B.A.S.S. events. For example, landing nets are prohibited in the Elites and the Classic but not in other circuits. Additional rules specific to the Elites include off-limits periods, no-information restrictions and new limits on boats that can be used in competition.

    B.A.S.S. officials emphasized that the decision should not be construed as disapproval of multi-lure rigs.

    “We are as excited as the rest of the country about the new multi-lure rigs,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We will continue to cover new ways to utilize these tools in Bassmaster Magazine and on Our Classic and Elite tournaments simply have a higher standard for the sake of competition. The rest of us will enjoy learning how to catch more fish with these tools.”

    A Rules Committee member added, “I don’t have a problem with the use of umbrella rigs or multi-lure rigs to catch bass. If you are out fun fishing, there may be nothing more fun to use. However, our events represent the highest level of professionalism in our sport and I think as participants of these events, we should be held to a higher standard, as well. I like the idea of one rod, one reel, one lure.”

  • Washington facing proposed lead ban

    Anglers in Washington state are rallying to oppose a bill supported by PETA, the Audubon Society and other organizations that would ban all lead fishing tackle weighing less than 1 ounce (which would cover a wide array of weights, jigs, spinnerbaits, etc.). To learn more, click here to visit the Washington Fishing website.

  • TTBC scheduled for Sept. 28-30

    TTBC scheduled for Sept. 28-30

    The 2012 Toyota Texas Bass Classic will take place Sept. 28-30 at Lake Conroe. The tournament will again feature anglers from the Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour and PAA Tournament Series, with proceeds benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and its youth outdoor programs.

    “We are very excited to return to Conroe and bring together the best anglers in the world and offer amazing entertainment value each day,” said tournament director Lenny Francoeur. “The TTBC has become an annual community event that has generated over $1.2 million for the TPWD and the state of Texas and we are thrilled about what we’re putting together for this year.”

    Daily tournament weigh-ins, an outdoor expo and concerts will take place at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center. The 2012 concert lineup will be announced this summer.

    Competition will feature 50 anglers assembled from the top professional leagues. Last year, Keith Combs captured the title in a sudden-death fish-off with Mike Iaconelli.

    “Now more than ever, the conservation practices of the TTBC and the TPWD are playing a pivotal role in maintaining the precious natural resources throughout Texas,” said JC Fassino, president of the Texas Bass Classic Foundation. “The progressive efforts and education programming the TTBC has helped to fund will only further aid us in protecting what we all value and enjoy.”

  • BoatUS Angler sponsoring Opens

    BoatUS Angler sponsoring Opens

    B.A.S.S. announced today that BoatUS Angler has signed a sponsorship agreement to be the official towing service of the 2012 Bassmaster Bass Pro Shops Open Series.

    “On more than one occasion last year, we saw firsthand the value of BoatUS Angler being able to provide much-needed assistance to our anglers during competition,” said B.A.S.S. senior tournament manager Chris Bowes. “Entering a formal agreement to have BoatUS Angler towboats officially available to all Open competitors is a very logical relationship. It’s a reassuring benefit to our anglers, as well as the B.A.S.S. staff who, first and foremost, want to see all of our competitors return safely to the dock each afternoon.”

    BoatUS Angler is the fishing division membership of the nation’s largest association of recreational boaters. It offers boat-owning fishermen services such as on-the-water breakdown and towing assistance provided by the largest fleet of towboats in North America, as well as roadside boat trailer and tow vehicle assistance through 20,000 specialized towing companies.

    “Tournament anglers spend countless hours behind the wheels of their bass boats and tow vehicles,” said BoatUS Angler’s Steve Levi. “We’re offering a program that takes the hassles away with 24/7 dispatch assistance when either one breaks down, and gives you the chance with our Weigh-to-Win incentive program to make some extra cash when competing in nearly 300 professional fishing tournaments.

    “Our TowBoatUS Dispatch Service handles on-the-water breakdown calls on most of the nation’s major inland lakes, rivers and reservoirs. If we don’t have TowBoatUS location nearby, our 24/7 dispatch centers can get you the help you need whether your engine fails, you’re out of gas, your battery dies or you run aground in shallow water.”

  • BPS boosts incentives

    BPS boosts incentives

    Bass Pro Shops has announced enhancements to its Tour Fishing Team Incentive program for 2012.

    New this year is the B.A.S.S. Elite Series Gold level with increased payouts for a tournament victory, free Bass Pro merchandise and extra incentives for a championship win, Angler of the Year finish and Bassmaster Classic qualification.

    The new B.A.S.S. Elite Series Silver level offers the same payout as 2011 with fewer requirements for anglers who may have sponsor restrictions. Also new for 2012 is the Pro Tour Bronze level for Bassmaster Open, FLW and PAA anglers.

    Anglers who fish the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, FLW Tour or PAA events can earn up to $2,000 for a tournament victory or $500 as the highest-finishing Bass Pro Fishing Team member. Plus, there are extra incentives like $5,000 for a championship win, $5,000 for Angler of the Year, and $500 for qualifying for the BassMaster Classic.

    In addition, they will receive discounts on Bass Pro Shops merchandise, free overnight shipping on branded merchandise, Bass Pro Shops preferred rewards membership, and tournament service support crew at many Elite Level events.

    Pro anglers wanting to learn more about the program should contact Rick Emmitt at

  • Frabill aligns with FLW

    Frabill aligns with FLW

    FLW announced today that fishing gear and apparel manufacturer Frabill will join the organization's sponsorship lineup for the 2012 season.

    “Frabill is a natural fit with FLW," said Marketing Division president Trisha Blake. "Their fishing products are used by anglers around the world, from the professionals to the recreational fisherman. We are thrilled that they are a sponsor for 2012.”

    Said Frabill marketing administrator Brooke Droese: "Since 1938, Frabill has understood the need for reliable fishing gear and has been producing the most trusted products in the fishing industry. We are excited about our partnership with FLW and showcasing Frabill nets and the FXE Storm Suits used by pros to win tournaments.”

  • Bass Cat joins MLF

    Bass Cat joins MLF

    Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Bass Cat Boats has joined the organization's sponsorship lineup.

    "When they first contacted us about Major League Fishing, we jumped in early at that first opportunity," said Bass Cat owner Rick Pierce. "This is exciting and will change anglers’ styles as their approach will be different from normal tournament fishing.

    “The format will capture the viewers and present a totally new angle of the sport. Just seeing how the audience reacts will be interesting. It is not like a typical bass tournament. It’s more of a very high-amp skins game, sort of an IROC race on steroids. We are pleased to be a part of the new format the anglers and the Major League Fishing directors have presented. "

    Major League Fishing’s first event, the Challenge Cup, took place November 6-11 on Lake Amistad near Del Rio, Texas. It will be offered beginning Feb. 13 on a series of Internet-based pay-per-view broadcasts and will air on the Outdoor Channel in April.

    “We are extremely pleased that Bass Cat sees the excitement and the long-term potential of Major League Fishing, and we’re honored that this excellent company is stepping up as a sponsor,” said MLF commissioner Don Rucks.

  • Twice the action

    <b><font color=maroon>Twice the action</font></b>

    What sets the Gary Klein-designed Berkley HAVOC Deuce apart from the numerous other twin-tail grubs on the market? Action and versatility.

    The Deuce's lifelike legs deliver plenty of action at any rate of retrieve and its extended body cavity allows it to be rigged on a larger hook. For more, visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Sebile beefs up staff

    Sebile beefs up staff

    Sebile has made several notable additions to its pro staff for 2012. On the B.A.S.S. side, Bobby Lane joins longtime staffers Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth. On the FLW side, the company has added Larry Nixon, Jay Yelas, David Dudley and Scott Suggs.

    The FLW additions have all won championship events or tour-level Angler of the Year (AOY) titles – or both.

    “The Sebile pro team are some of the best anglers on the planet,” said founder and global director of product management Patrick Sebile. “At Sebile, we offer a full line of baits that simply catch fish. These baits have been proven over time and across many bodies of water. (The anglers') addition to the Sebile team is a tremendous benefit to everyone involved.”

  • Rodgers with SW

    Rodgers with SW

    Dearal Rodgers, a second-year FLW Tour pro from South Carolina, has signed a sponsorship deal with Utah-based outdoor gear retailer Sportsman's Warehouse. Rodgers won the 2009 Tour co-angler points title and the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup as a back-seater before moving to the front of the boat last year.

    “We are pleased to have Dearal on board with Sportsman’s Warehouse,” said chief marketing officer Karen Seaman. “He is not only a talented professional, but he also embraces the enthusiasm and family values with which Sportsman’s Warehouse is so closely associated.”

  • Glasses deal for Horton

    Alabama's Jamie Horton, the 2011 Federation Nation national champion, has inked a sponsorship deal with Gone Fishing Polarized Optics. Horton will compete in his first Bassmaster Classic next month and then will embark on his rookie season on the Bassmaster Elite Series beginning in March.

  • Tennessee A-Rig clarifications

    Tennessee A-Rig clarifications

    WRCB TV in Chattanooga, Tenn. recently produced a 9 1/2-minute segment with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency fisheries chief Bobby Wilson that attempts to clarify the regulations governing the use of the Alabama Rig in that state. To access the video, click here.

  • Lowrance, FLW extend

    Lowrance, FLW extend

    FLW announced today that it's agreed to a long-term sponsorship extension with marine electronics producer Lowrance.

    “Lowrance continues to lead the industry with marine electronics that provide anglers the highest level of performance and innovation,” said FLW Marketing Division president Trish Blake. “Their reputation as a global-leading consumer electronics company that puts the fisherman first clearly defines why they are considered the best in this sport. FLW is proud to be associated with Lowrance, and we look forward to further building upon an already successful partnership.”

    Said Lowrance director of marketing Gordon Sprouse: “Lowrance takes the lead in providing anglers with the best-performing and most innovative sonar and GPS tools on the market. Partnering with the premier tournament-fishing organization brings our innovative products to millions of anglers across the country. We are proud to continue our long-term relationship, showcasing the best in marine electronics.

  • Pinnacle picks Card

    Pinnacle picks Card

    Pinnacle announced today that it's signed Bassmaster Elite Series rooke Brandon Card to its pro staff.

    “I’m excited to be a part of the Pinnacle Pro Staff and to work with and alongside some of the best bass anglers in the world," he said. "I am really impressed with all of the Pinnacle products that I have used so far and I can say there is a Pinnacle rod and reel to suit every angler’s skill level and budget."

    Said Pinnacle CEO Charles Park: “Pinnacle is thrilled in naming Brandon to become the newest member of the Pinnacle pro staff. Brandon has shown in his career that he deserves a chance to fish with the best bass fishermen on the B.A.S.S. Elite circuit. We are excited he has picked Pinnacle as his rod and reel sponsor embarking on his first Elite season."

  • Lane sporting Big Bite

    Lane sporting Big Bite

    Here's a photo of Russ Lane's boat and truck wrap for the 2012 season (click the photo to see a larger image). Both vehicles are adorned in the colors and graphics of Big Bite Baits.

  • McMillan case: second arrest

    A second arrest has been made in the Jan. 2 murder of Florida businessman and angler Jimmy McMillan. To read the report, click here.

  • PAA: A-Rig pros and cons

    PAA: A-Rig pros and cons

    A story launched on the PAA website today in which anglers and wildlife officials express their thoughts on the Alabama Rig and its future in pro bass fishing. It will be updated periodically as more viewpoints are collected.

    To read it, click here.

  • Western history book on sale

    Those interested in the long and storied history of Western tournament fishing now have the opportunity to purchase “A Gathering of Eagles – The History of Bass Fishing in the West.” Started by the late Harvey Naslund and completed by Rich Holland, the limited-edition volume can be had for $25.

    For more information, click here to visit George Kramer's Gone Fishing site.

  • VRX inks McDonald

    Rod Glove-maker VRX Fishing Products announced that it's signed FLW angler Billy McDonald to its pro staff. It's the company's second signing of the new year – it recently announced a deal with Federation Nation national champion and 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Jamie Horton.

    “Billy McDonald is a first-class fisherman and represents his sponsors and the fishing industry, as a whole, very well," said VRX owner Jim Van Ryn. "We are very proud to have Billy representing our company and look forward to many years of working together.”

  • 'Bird, Lowrance settle out of court

    Johnson Outdoors, parent company of Humminbird, announced in a press release today that it's reached a settlement in its suit against Navico involving Humminbird's patented Side Imaging technology. In the suit, filed in early 2010, Johnson claimed that Lowrance (a Navico subisidiary) infringed on the Side Imaging patent with its StructureScan technology.

    The press release stated that the companies have mutually agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.

  • Power-Pole renews with B.A.S.S.

    Power-Pole renews with B.A.S.S.

    B.A.S.S. announced today that JL Marine Systems, supplier of Power-Pole shallow-water anchors, has renewed its sponsorship with the organization and will be a supporting sponsor of the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens and Bassmaster marshal program in 2012. Power-Pole will continue its Captain’s Cash contingency program, under which the top finisher in each Elite Series and postseason tournament using a Power-Pole product will earn an additional $1,000 in prize money.

    “We’re pleased to be continuing our relationship with B.A.S.S. and so many of the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers,” said JL Marine VP Bob Shamblin. “Our growth in the bass industry in recent years has been exciting and we look forward to spreading the word about our shallow-water anchors as we watch the pros use them to catch more bass.”

    Said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin: “We’re anticipating a great year in 2012, and top-of-the-line sponsors like Power-Pole help to make those expectations a reality. One reason B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority and leader in the industry is because we have the support of Power-Pole and other industry leaders.”

  • Mercury, MotorGuide with MLF

    Mercury, MotorGuide with MLF

    Engine-maker Mercury and trolling-motor manufacturer MotorGuide today announced their sponsorship of Major League Fishing (MLF). Mercury served as the exclusive engine sponsor of the inaugural MLF event, filmed recently at Lake Amistad in southwest Texas. All competing anglers fished in boats equipped with 150-horsepower Mercury engines and MotorGuide trolling motors.

    “Mercury Marine is proud to partner with Major League Fishing on this exciting, innovative style of competitive angling,” said Mercury president Mark Schwabero. “Professional bass circuits have traditionally featured engines in higher horsepower ranges, so we’re thrilled to see this lower horsepower get a chance to be in the spotlight.”

    Said MLF commissioner Don Rucks: “We have outstanding partners in Mercury and MotorGuide. These are folks that have supported competitive fishing for a long, long time, and we are absolutely delighted to have them as partners."

  • Arrest made in McMillan case

    A 19-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in last week's shooting death of Florida angler and businessman Jimmy McMillan. To read a report from the Palm Beach Post, click here.

  • Kids can fish like Ike

    <b><font color=maroon>Kids can fish like Ike</font></b>

    Looking for the ideal combo to get a young angler started off right? Take at look at the new Mike Iaconelli-designed Ike Dude Combo from Abu Garcia. It'll deliver solid performance, and the flashy graphics are appealing to the younger generation.

    For more, visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Walker chronicling trip to Japan, China

    Walker chronicling trip to Japan, China

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler and Koppers LiveTarget pro staffer David Walker is traveling to both Japan and China this week to aid in product development for new baits that will be released in 2013. The trip will be documented through a video diary and posted on the company's YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

    There will be at least one update each day, sometimes two. To see the clip of Walker's arrival in Japan, click below.

  • ANPAC joins FLW

    ANPAC joins FLW

    FLW announced today that insurance provider American National Property And Casualty Company (ANPAC) has joined the organization's list of sponsors.

    “We’re excited that ANPAC has partnered with FLW for the 2012 season," said FLW Marketing Division president Trish Blake. "Anglers have invested a lot of money in their equipment and spend a lot of time exposed to the elements while on the water. They are also frequently on the road, traveling to fishing destinations across the country, so it seems only natural that we have a company on board that offers products and services that will take care of them and bring them peace of mind should something unexpected happen.”

    ANPAC is headquartered in Springfield, Mo., and is a subsidiary of American National Insurance Company (ANICO) of Galveston, Texas.

    “ANPAC and American National Watercraft Insurance look forward to being part of the FLW family of sponsors,” said chief marketing officer Shannon Smith. “ANPAC’s goal is to help our clients protect what they value most. That’s why we have developed product lines for all types of recreational ventures, including boating.

    "Our FLW sponsorship offers a great opportunity to support the sport of fishing and to remind anglers and fishing fans alike that American National offers coverage tailored to meet their unique needs.”

  • Booyah back with B.A.S.S.

    Booyah back with B.A.S.S.

    B.A.S.S. announced today that Booyah Bait Company is back as a sponsor of the organization following a 2-year absence. The company will support the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens and B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.

    “We are extremely pleased to welcome Booyah aboard as we move into the 2012 Bassmaster competition season,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Booyah is a brand that resonates with so many anglers, from Federation Nation members to the seasoned pros on the Elite Series.”

    Said Pradco Fishing/Booyah VP and GM Bruce Stanton: “Booyah has been elevated to a premier national brand of spinnerbaits, jigs and buzzbaits over the past few years in the bass tournament community. We feel the B.A.S.S. members are without a doubt one of our most important consumer groups, and we are glad to be supporting the anglers and the organization with a sponsorship again.”

  • VRX grabs Horton

    VRX grabs Horton

    VRX Fishing Products, maker of the Rod Glove, announced that it's signed 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation national champion and 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Jamie Horton of Alabama to its pro staff.

    “Jamie Horton represents the dream of all Federation anglers, by making it to the Bassmaster Classic as the reigning Federation Nation champion," said VRX owner Jim Van Ryn. "We are very pleased to have Jamie representing our company and look forward to many years of working together.”

  • DeFoe joins Rugged Shark

    DeFoe joins Rugged Shark

    Shoe manufacturer Rugged Shark announced that it's added Bassmaster Elite Series angler Ott DeFoe to its pro staff.

    "I'm extremely excited about joining the Rugged Shark pro team," he said. "I wore Rugged Shark shoes all during the 2011 season and believe the Tiverton flip-flops are the best pair you will ever find – period."

    Said Rugged Shark national sales manager Mike Wilkes: “We’re very pleased to have Ott join the Rugged Shark pro staff along with Bill Dance Bradley Roy, and the Army Bass Anglers. He exemplifies the sport, is an avid professional angler, and does numerous fishing exhibitions."

  • Crews making soft baits

    Crews making soft baits

    Virginia Bassmaster Elite Series angler John Crews announced today that he's launched a soft-bait company called Missile Baits.

    “This is a project I've been planning for quite a while,” he said. “The designs are all custom, unique, and exactly what we need on the pro tour. If Missile Baits are good enough for me to compete with on tour, we know we'll be providing anglers of all skill levels with soft plastics that they can have success with and immediate confidence in.”

    The initial lineup includes five offerings:

    > D Bomb – a 4 1/2-inch beaver-style bait with a ribbed body and flappers designed for extra action.

    > Tomahawk – an 8 3/4-inch double ribbon tail that gives extra action in a proven-sized worm.

    > Twin Turbo – a 3 1/3-inch twin tail grub that can be Texas-rigged, fished as a jig trailer, etc.

    > Drop Craw – a slender, 3-inch crawfish-shaped bait designed for fishing on a drop shot.

    > Missile Craw – a 4-inch crawfish-shaped bait with a uniquely designed hook slot for solid hookups. It can be used for punching, pitching, or even on a shakey-head.

    California pro Ish Monroe will be a member of the Missile pro staff.

    "Over my career, I have gotten very particular about what's on my line when money and championships are at stake,” Monroe said. “The designs we have with Missile Baits are dialed in perfectly. I can’t wait to use these new soft-plastic baits across the country."

    The MSRP for the baits is $3.99 per pack. More info is available at

  • Alan's show debuts tonight

    Alan's show debuts tonight

    Former B.A.S.S. emcee Keith Alan's Company, Ultimate Fishing Experience, has created a new show that will debut tonight on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). It's focused on using fishing to help returning war veterans re-adjust to civilian life.

    It comes on 8:30 p.m. ET, right after the first Byron Velvick-hosted episode of City Limits Fishing. To learn more about it, click here.

  • Another MLF teaser

    Another MLF teaser

    Major League Fishing (MLF) has produced a second teaser video in advance of the pay-per-view release of its inaugural event, held at Lake Amistad in November. To see it, click here.

  • 2012 Elites: an even hundred

    2012 Elites: an even hundred

    B.A.S.S. today released the Bassmaster Elite Series roster for 2012, which consists of 100 anglers. The list includes 10 true rookies who qualified through the Bassmaster Opens or Federation Nation Championship, and several notable veterans are absent.

    For the first time since the series' inception in 2006, there will be no crossovers from the FLW Tour, meaning that the circuit's Rookie of the Year will go to a first-year tour pro. The Elite Series actually lost two anglers to the FLW side this year, as Ranger pros Peter Thliveros and Dave Wolak have joined that circuit.

    The other big-name absentee is Kevin Wirth, who's qualified for the last 11 Classics (including this year's edition at the Red River, which he plans to compete in). He told BassFan today that he's opted to focus on his equine dentistry practice and a couple of other businesses that he's recently opened after losing his primary sponsorship (Early Times Whisky) at the end of 2011. More on Wirth's situation will be published soon.

    Three anglers – Byron Velvick, B.J. Haseotes and Jeremy Starks – are back after taking medical exemptions in 2011. Nate Wellman, winner of last August's Erie Northern Open who gave up the accompanying Classic slot in an agreement with B.A.S.S. after he allegedly tried to buy a fish from his co-angler, is also on the roster.

    Bradley Hallman and Jeff Connella are two other veterans who've chosen not to return. In addition, six 2011 rookies have opted out: Dean Alexander, Ben Parker, Ryan Said, Craig Schuff, Lee Sisson and James Stricklin.

    Dennis Tietje, who fished the past 2 seasons, will take a medical exemption this year due to a back issue.

    The 2012 rookie crop consists of Kevin Ledoux, Jared Miller, Casey Scanlon and Chris Zaldain from the Central Opens; Kyle Fox, Fletcher Shryock and Michael Simonton from the Northern Opens; Brandon Card and Cliff Prince from the Southern Opens; and Federation Nation champion Jamie Horton.

    The eight-event Elite circuit gets under way March 15-18 at the St. Johns River in Florida.

    Here's a look at the complete roster in alphabetical order.

    Casey Ashley -- Donalds, S.C.
    Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, Okla.
    Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, Okla.
    Denny Brauer -- Camdenton, Mo.
    Brent Broderick -- Oregonia, Ohio
    Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, Ark.
    Terry Butcher -- Talala, Okla.
    Brandon Card -- Caryville, Tenn.
    Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, Kan.
    Rick Clunn -- Ava, Mo.
    Keith Combs -- Del Rio, Texas
    John Crews -- Salem, Va.
    Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, La.
    Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, Ark.
    Ott DeFoe -- Knoxville, Tenn.
    Boyd Duckett -- Demopolis, Ala.
    Paul Elias -- Laurel, Miss.
    Edwin Evers -- Talala, Okla.
    Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, Texas
    Kyle Fox -- Lakeland, Fla.
    Jami Fralick -- Martin, S.D.
    Grant Goldbeck -- Boerne, Texas
    Pat Golden -- High Point, N.C.
    Matt Greenblatt -- Tequesta, Fla.
    Chad Griffin -- Cresson, Texas
    Shaw Grigsby -- Gainesville, Fla.
    Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, La.
    Charlie Hartley -- Grove City, Ohio
    Byron “B.J.” Haseotes -- Centerville, Mass.
    Matt Herren -- Trussville, Ala.
    Kenyon Hill -- Norman, Okla.
    Davy Hite -- Ninety Six, S.C.
    Jamie Horton -- Centerville, Ala.
    Tim Horton -- Muscle Shoals, Ala.
    Randy Howell -- Springville, Ala.
    Michael Iaconelli -- Pittsgrove, N.J.
    Alton Jones -- Waco, Texas
    Kelly Jordon -- Mineola, Texas
    Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, Ala.
    Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, Ala.
    Gary Klein -- Weatherford, Texas
    Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, Okla.
    Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, Fla.
    Chris Lane -- Guntersville, Ala.
    Russ Lane -- Prattville, Ala.
    Kevin Ledoux -- Choctaw, Okla.
    Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, Calif.
    Bill Lowen -- Brookville, Ind.
    Travis Manson -- Green Bay, Wis.
    Aaron Martens -- Leeds, Ala.
    Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, Ark.
    Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, Ark.
    Mark Menendez -- Paducah, Ky.
    Jared Miller -- Norman, Okla.
    Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, Texas
    Ish Monroe -- Hughson, Calif.
    Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, S.C.
    Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, Va.
    John Murray -- Phoenix, Ariz.
    Britt Myers -- Lake Wylie, N.C.
    James Niggemeyer -- Van, Texas
    Takahiro Omori -- Emory, Texas
    Cliff Pace -- Petal, Miss.
    Brandon Palaniuk -- Rathdrum, Idaho
    Russell Parrish -- Riesel, Texas
    Keith Poche -- Troy, Ala.
    Pete Ponds -- Madison, Miss.
    Cliff Prince -- Palatka, Fla.
    Jason Quinn -- York, S.C.
    Matt Reed -- Madisonville, Texas
    Clark Reehm -- Russellville, Ark.
    Skeet Reese -- Auburn, Calif.
    Derek Remitz -- Grant, Ala.
    Marty Robinson -- Lyman, S.C.
    Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
    Scott Rook -- Little Rock, Ark.
    Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, Okla.
    Zell Rowland -- Austin, Texas
    Bradley Roy -- Lancaster, Ky.
    Casey Scanlon -- Lenexa, Kan.
    Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, Fla.
    Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, Fla.
    Morizo Shimizu -- Suita, Japan
    Kevin Short -- Mayflower, Ark.
    Fletcher Shryock -- Newcomerstown, Ohio
    Michael Simonton -- Fremont, Ohio
    David Smith, Edmond -- Okla.
    Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, Mo.
    Jeremy Starks -- Charleston, W.Va.
    Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, Ala.
    J. Todd Tucker -- Moultrie, Ga.
    Jonathon VanDam -- Kalamazoo, Mich.
    Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, Mich.
    Byron Velvick -- Del Rio, Texas
    Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, Ala.
    David Walker -- Sevierville, Tenn.
    Nate Wellman -- Newaygo, Mich.
    Dustin Wilks -- Rocky Mount, N.C.
    Jason Williamson -- Wagener, S.C.
    Chris Zaldain -- San Jose, Calif.

  • Who's the real Chad Bickle?

    Never heard of Mr. Bickle? He's a character on the ABC sitcom "Last Man Standing." Bickle, the "fastest-rising star on the bass pro circuit," was hired by the Tim Allen character's boss to endorse something or other (we don't know what – we've never seen the show).

    One BassFan has already checked in with his guess as to the real-life pro bass angler whom the Bickle character is based on. If we were to ask that question in a poll, we'd probably get the same answer from just about everybody. Hint: it's definitely not Tommy Biffle, whose name sounds most like the character's.

    To see Bickle in action, click here.

  • McMillan service set

    A funeral service will take place Friday for Jimmy McMillan, the winner of the 2009 Okeechobee Eastern FLW Series and that year's Eastern Series points champion who was killed early Monday in an armed robbery attempt at the grocery store he owned. It'll be held at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Belle Glade, 17 Northwest Avenue B, Belle Glade, Fla.

    The phone number for the church is (561) 996-5596.

  • Weigh-to-Win again

    Weigh-to-Win again

    It’s simple, it’s affordable, it calms concerns about mechanical breakdowns and it pays tournament cash bonuses. For those four reasons alone, the hundreds of anglers who signed up for BoatUS Angler and Weigh-to-Win in its inaugural 2011 season can look forward to renewing and participating again this year.

    That’s right, by purchasing a membership to membership to BoatUS Angler, you get towing you can trust should you have a breakdown, plus the chance to win tournament cash bonuses when you sign up for the “Weigh-to-Win” program, all for as little as $38.

    “Tournament anglers spend countless hours behind the wheel of their bass boat and tow vehicle,” said BoatUS Angler’s Steve Levi. “We’re offering a program that takes the hassles away with 24/7 dispatch assistance when either one breaks down, and gives you the chance to make some extra cash when competing in 287 professional fishing tournaments.”

    Participation in BoatUS Angler’s “Weigh-to-Win” is as simple as signing up for any of the following programs. You choose which option appeals to you most.

    The On-the-Road Towing package includes a BoatUS Angler membership for just $38 and is great for bass anglers concerned about breakdowns on the highway. Those who want on-the-water assistance would likely choose the On-the-Water Freshwater Towing package for $58.

    Anglers who want their mind at ease, both on the road and on the water, would choose the combined BoatUS Angler membership for $72. All three offerings make you eligible to enter the “Weigh-to-Win” tournament cash bonus program at no additional cost.

    Take it from guys like the’s Matt Pangrac who called for assistance from BoatUS after his bass boat’s trailer tire blew out on Interstate 35. Help was dispatched, the tire was replaced, and Pangrac went on to catch an 11-pound bass hours later. There’s also Bassmaster Elite Series pro Britt Myers, who was stranded during practice for the Lake Wheeler Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Tennessee River, miles from the ramp with nightfall approaching, and now brags about BoatUS’ on-the-water towboat service.

    Better yet, top weekend anglers like Kip Carter, Tyler Moberly and Shonn Goodwin have never needed BoatUS’ towing assistance, but have hauled home hundreds of dollars simply by being BoatUS Angler members and doing well in their respective events.

    Simply said, it pays to buy a highly affordable BoatUS Angler membership – especially when you’re registered for the Weigh-to-Win cash tournament bonus program, and that’s why hundreds of anglers signed up last year. To make sure you are eligible in 2012, just dial (918) 742-6424 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, and ask for Kendell – she’ll make sure you get signed-up. Or to learn more, visit BoatUS

  • Bass Edge is back

    Bass Edge is back

    The bass fishing podcast, “The Edge,” is back on the air. After a year off, hosts Aaron Martin and Steve Brigman are talking bass fishing with the country’s top anglers, answering listener questions and giving away prizes. The hour-long podcast is available free on iTunes or at

    “It’s great to be back,” Martin said. “Steve and I have so much fun doing the show and visiting with so many old friends.”

    The January 2012 episode features Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Ish Monroe and Dave Wolak.

    “Both of those guys are a lot of fun,” Brigman said. “It was real hoot doing the interviews.”

  • New Evinrude promo launched

    New Evinrude promo launched

    BRP has announced the “Experience More Sales Event” for its Evinrude outboard engine brand. During the retail promotion, U.S. consumers who purchase and take delivery of eligible Evinrude E-Tec engines from a participating Evinrude dealer will be able to select from either a package or repower offer.

    > Package Retail Offer: Qualified buyers who purchase a new and unused boat powered by Evinrude E-Tec can choose between 3.9 percent financing (available only on the engine) or a 5-year factory backed limited engine warranty.

    > Repower Retail Offer: Qualified buyers who purchase a new and unused Evinrude E-Tec outboard engine to re-power their existing boat can choose between 3.9 percent financing or a 5-year factory backed limited warranty, plus their choice between a free rigging kit or a horsepower upgrade rebate.

    “As boaters prepare for the upcoming season, the ‘Experience More Sales Event’ provides them even more reason to stop by any authorized Evinrude dealer to learn first-hand about the power and performance of the Evinrude E-TEC and these great incentives,” said Christopher Berg, director of marketing and strategic planning for Evinrude.

    For full details and conditions about the promotion, which runs through consumers should visit an authorized, participating Evinrude dealer or go to

  • FLW, Z-Man sign extension

    FLW, Z-Man sign extension

    FLW Outdoors announced today that Z-Man has extended its sponsorship agreement with the organization.

    “Z-Man has established itself as a reputable brand within our industry, and thus we’re thrilled to keep them in our sponsor lineup, said FLW Marketing Division president Trish Blake. "Z-Man lures played a pivotal role at a number of our Walmart FLW Tour events, including Chevy pro Luke Clausen’s win on the Potomac River.”

    Clausen makes up one part of the Z-Man pro staff, also known as “The Z-Man Squad.” The Spokane, Wash., native is one of only five pros to have won both the Bassmaster Classic and the Forrest Wood Cup. Clausen largely credited his most recent win to the new Z-Man ElaZtech Flappin’ CrawZ.

    “I mainly fished for spawning bass in that tournament, and the ElazTech material on that Flappin’ CrawZ makes it appear so lifelike,” he said. “It’s also naturally buoyant, which separated it from a lot of other baits. It really got those spawning fish fired up.”

    Said Z-Man GM and executive VP Daniel Nussbaum: “We are thrilled to be onboard with FLW for the 2012 tournament season. Our ongoing relationship – not only with FLW, but with specific anglers like Luke Clausen – has been critical to our continued growth and success."

  • 'Exposed' launches today

    'Exposed' launches today

    ProPatterns launches its "Exposed: Pros on Tour" video series today, featuring 21 of the top anglers in the sport. It's available on a pay-per-view basis and free to ProPatterns Elite members.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Reward offered in McMillan case

    The Palm Beach County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect in Monday's murder of popular pro angler Jimmy McMillan during a robbery attempt at his Belle Glade grocery store. The sheriff's department has also released surveillance video of the suspect.

    For a report from in West Palm Beach, click here.

  • Two deals for Evans

    Two deals for Evans

    Former FLW Outdoors president and CEO Charlie Evans will fish the FLW Tour on the pro side this year, and he recently picked up a couple of sponsorship deals – one with the Stan Sloan Zorro Bait Company and the other with Denali Rods.

    Of the Denali deal, Evans said: "If I am going to fish for a living, I have got to have the right tools. Denali Rods are lightweight, sensitive and powerful all at the same time and that's why I decided to go with Denali."

  • Velvick's City Limits debut Thursday

    Velvick's City Limits debut Thursday

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Byron Velvick will make his debut as host of City Limits Fishing on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. In the first of six 2012 episodes, he fishes with longtime family friend Steve Oliver at three small impoundments in his native Southern California.

    "That first show was the most fun for me because it was a homecoming in a lot of ways," said Velvick, who takes over the role formerly filled by Mike Iaconelli. "I was in my mom's living room organizing fishing tackle at 5 a.m. while she was sleeping, just like I did when I was 9 years old.

    "I've known Steve since I was about 11. He used to fish regional tournaments, and he took me with him and really got me into it."

    Other shows for this season were filmed in Denver, Colo.; Baltimore, Md.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Buffalo, N.Y. and Corpus Christi, Texas.

  • DUO comes to America

    DUO comes to America

    Japanese premium hardbait manufacturer DUO announced recently that it's entering the North American market. DUO North America will be headquartered in Guelph, Ont., Canada, with a warehouse in Davie, Fla. to serve U.S. retailers.

    The company will soon launch a new line of bass and walleye baits called Realis. Crankbaits, topwaters and propbaits will be included.

    For more, visit

  • Optics contingencies offered

    Optics contingencies offered

    Typhoon Polarized Optics and Gone Fishing Polarized Optics will offer "Wear It to Win It" contingency programs during the 2012 tournament seasons. All events on the Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour (Majors and Opens), PAA Tournament Series, Bassmaster Opens, EverStarts, BFLs and FLW Walleye Tour will be included.

    Details on the programs are available at and

    Typhoon's recently completed pro staff consists of Greg Vinson, Brian Snowden, Matt Reed, Terry Butcher, Fred Roumbanis, Billy McCaghren, Derek Remitz, Russ Lane and Jami Fralick on the Bassmaster Elite Series, and Jay Yelas, Ron Shuffield, Greg Bohannan, Scott Suggs, Clifford Pirch, Scott Canterbury, Wesley Strader, J.T. Kenney, Clark Wendlandt, Frank Divis Sr. and Eric Olson on the FLW side.

    The Gone Fishing pro staff is made up of FLW anglers Roy Hawk, Wil Hardy, Shane Long, Leon Knight, Ramie Colson, Todd Hollowell, Keeton Blaylock, Adam Lock, Spencer Shuffield and Curtis Persinger.

  • McDonald joins Numa

    McDonald joins Numa

    Numa Optics announced today that it's added Indiana FLW pro Billy McDonald to its expanding pro staff.

    “Billy is a first-class individual and a great competitor," said Numa pro staff manager Brad Lutz. "We are very pleased to have him on board with us at Numa.

    Added McDonald: “I'm pleased to be a member of the Numa pro staff. After fishing tournaments for years, it’s good to be with a company that makes very durable frame-and-lens combinations that are lightweight for those long days on the water. They're light enough that you won't be sliding them back into place all day, and with the superior optical clarity of the lens, you will see things you've missed in the past.”

    Numa Optics frames are constructed from the company's patented Tough-Flex and Lite-Flex frame materials, which can be bent, flexed, sat on, whatever, they won’t break. The lenses are made of impact-resistant and shatter-resistant polycarbonate, surpassing the most stringent optical clarity standards.

  • Oakley schedule out

    Oakley schedule out

    The Oakley Big Bass Tour, which strives to give amateur anglers some big-time tournament experience on some of the nation's best fisheries, has released its 2012 schedule. Here's a look at the slate:

    > March 10-11 – Oakley Lake Conroe Big Bass Classic – Lake Conroe – Texas
    > April 14-15 –Jamie McMurray Big Bass Classic – Lake Norman – North Carolina
    > April 21-22 – Blue Ridge Big Bass Classic – Smith Mountain Lake – Virginia
    > May 19-20 – Kevin VanDam Big Bass Classic – Table Rock Lake – Missouri
    > June 2-3 – Quantum Big Bass Classic – Fort Gibson Lake – Oklahoma
    > Sept. 15-16 – Kelly Jordon Big Bass Classic – Lake Sam Rayburn – Texas
    > Sept. 29-30 – Jason Williamson Big Bass Classic – Lake Murray – South Carolina
    > Oct. 13-14 – Gerald Swindle Big Bass Classic – Lake Guntersville – Alabama
    > Oct. 20-21 – Rusty Wallace Big Bass Classic – Douglas Lake – Tennessee
    > October 27-28 – Georgia Big Bass Classic – Clarks Hill Lake – Georgia

    Info regarding entry fees, payouts and registration can be found at

  • BU season starts this weekend

    BU season starts this weekend

    The Bass University will conduct its first session of the 2012 season this weekend in Shreveport, La. The speaker list consists of George Cochran, Scott Martin, Ish Monroe, Pete Gluszek, Fred Roumbanis and Brandon Palaniuk.

    Topics to be covered include sonar, GPS, structure scan, seasonal patterns, the shakey-head, dissecting a new body of water, wakebaits, topwater frogging, shallow-water power-fishing, wacky-worming, floating worms, shallow cranking, flipping/punching, finding and catching deep-water fish, deep dropshotting and swimbaits.

    Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Shreveport Convention Center. The cost is $199 for adults and $175 for youths age 17 and under.

    To register or get more info, click here.

  • Quantum backing MLF

    Quantum backing MLF

    Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that rod and reel manufacturer Quantum has come on board as a sponsor for 2012. Quantum counts seven pro-staff members among the 24 MLF anglers.

    "We proudly support the most accomplished professional angling team in the fishing industry, and most all of our sponsored anglers are participating in Major League Fishing," said Quantum VP of marketing Bob Bagby. "So it only made sense that we would support their passionate new venture with the shared intention of exposing bass fishing to an even bigger audience."

    Said MLF commissioner Don Rucks: “Quantum has established a distinctive footprint in the fishing industry, and we’re extremely happy that Quantum will be a Major League Fishing partner in 2012. We’re honored to have so many of Quantum’s professional team members participating in Major League Fishing.”

    MLF's first event, the Challenge Cup, took place Nov. 6-11 at Lake Amistad near Del Rio, Texas. The event debuted the league’s innovative format that allows anglers to compete with no limit on the number of legal fish they can catch and weigh. Competitors were not allowed to begin competition with stored, user-generated GPS waypoints, and were not allowed any practice time. The anglers also were equipped with real-time leader boards in their boats.

    Coverage of the Challenge Cup will be offered early in 2012 on a series of Internet-based pay-per-view broadcasts. The event also will be shown on Outdoor Channel in the second quarter of 2012.

    Quantum pro-staffers competing in MLF are Kevin VanDam, Tommy Biffle, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Mike McClelland, Gary Klein and Dean Rojas.

  • Jimmy McMillan killed in robbery

    Jimmy McMillan killed in robbery

    Horrible news at the start of the new year – Lake Okeechobee stalwart Jimmy McMillan, winner of the 2009 Eastern FLW Series event at that venue, was killed early Monday during a robbery attempt at the Belle Glade, Fla. grocery store that his family has owned and operated for half a century. The 49-year-old was also the father of 2011 Okeechobee FLW Tour Open winner Brandon McMillan.

    To read an article from the Palm Beach Post, click here.

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