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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

  • Jones finds skeletal remains

    Jones finds skeletal remains reported today that Texas Bassmaster Elite Series pro Alton Jones discovered human skeletal remains while fishing at Falcon Lake recently. The discovery occurred about 15 miles from where American tourist David Hartley was last seen alive in 2010. Hartley was allegedly gunned down by Mexican pirates, but his body was not recovered.

    To read the story, click here.

  • Okuma adds Martin

    Okuma adds Martin

    Okuma announced that it's added 2011 Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin to its pro staff.

    "Getting to know Scott, we quickly realized that like Okuma, he shares uncommon enthusiasm for the sport," the company stated in a press release. "Sure, he won the (Forrest Wood) Cup in 2011, but rather than talk about himself, Scott's interest is often directed at YouTube videos of exceptional catches by anglers who have never entered a tournament.

    "It's about the fish. It's about the experience. It's about the energy and excitement of every day with Scott. And that's exactly why there's not another professional angler in the country that we'd rather work with to showcase Okuma designs and technologies."

  • PAA teams forming

    PAA teams forming

    The format for next month's PAA Tour Team Challenge at Florida's Lake Toho is apparently attractive to a lot of top-name pros as some high-powered teams have started to form. One such alliance is between veterans Shaw Grigsby and Paul Elias, both of whom won tour-level events this year.

    Grigsby (winner of the Harris Chain Bassmaster Elite Series in March) is a superb sight-fisherman, whereas Elias (who prevailed at the Guntersville FLW Tour Open in October) is an offshore guru.

    "I’m really excited about it,” Grigsby said of the Jan. 26-28 event. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. That’s a good time of the year on Toho and we’ll have great potential for some big catches. I think it’s going to be exciting.

    “Paul is really good at open-water and offshore fishing, and I’m good with shallow techniques. I think combining those two will be good with our practice and ideas, and then in the tournament. There are times when you can win because both partners do the same things well. Other times, I think you need to have a combination of efforts.”

    Other duos that have registered thus far include Gerald Swindle and Terry Scroggins, Mike McClelland and Jared Lintner, Jeff Kriet and Jason Reyes, and Guy Eaker and David Hendrick.

    Tour Team Challenge teams must have at least one PAA Tour-level angler, with the other being a Tour- or Advantage-level member. The Advantage member can be a family member, friend or sponsor, or two Tour members may fish together.

    Swindle won the 2010 Bassmaster Open title on Toho at the same time of the year with an offshore pattern, as did Brian Snowden in the 2009 PAA Tournament Series event. Grigsby said late January in Toho could give competitors a chance to get out in deeper water or possibly have some sight-fishing action.

    “Toho in January has great potential for really, really big bass,” he said. “The cool thing is you don’t know which direction you’re going to go as a team until you get there, start looking around and then make decisions. That’s part of the fun.”

  • Poche now with Duckett

    Poche now with Duckett

    Duckett fishing announced today that Alabama Bassmaster Elite Series angler Keith Poche has joined the company's pro staff.

    “Keith is a terrific young angler and quality person, and we’re pleased that he will be joining the Duckett Fishing pro staff,” owner and CEO Boyd Duckett said. “It was gratifying to know that Keith has been using our rods, and folks who followed the Elite Series this year know that he had a heck of a year.”

    Poche had two Top-10 finishes during the 2011 season. He joins a pro staff that also includes Duckett, Kelly Jordon, Terry Scroggins, Tim Horton, Byron Velvick, Jason Quinn, Jason Williamson and Pete Ponds.

    “I’ve been fishing with Duckett rods for a while now," he said. "They’re good for smashing, they’re good for finesse. The rods are just great all-around. To tell you the truth, it’s just an awesome stick.

    “And it’s a really good feeling to join a group of anglers like the guys that Boyd’s put together. It’s a great team, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

  • President gets tougher

    <b><font color=maroon>President gets tougher</font></b>

    The Pflueger President spinning reel has a longstanding reputation as a solid reel at an affordable price, but now it's gotten even tougher. And what's more, the designers at Pflueger have figured out a way to reduce its weight while enhancing its durability.

    For more, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Murski service set

    Murski service set

    The funeral service for Strike King co-owner and Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Famer Ray Murski will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Christ The King Catholic Church, 8017 Preston Road in Dallas, Texas. Visitation will be conducted at 6 p.m. Thursday, followed by a rosary at 7.

    The service is under the direction of Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. The phone number is (214) 363-5401.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Louis Schreiner Youth Deer Hunt sponsored by the Texas Wildlife Association or the Ray Murski Memorial Fund set up through Inwood National Bank in Dallas. For details on the memorial fund, call (214) 451-7250.

    To read the obituary on the funeral home's website, click here.

  • KVD for President?

    KVD for President?

    (Editor's note: The following holiday-themed piece comes from Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships, who's involved with marketing and communications for clients such as Toyota, BoatUS and Zebco/Quantum. You'll have to keep reading until the end to find out what it has to do with the world's top-ranked angler and the nation's highest office. Enjoy.)

    Elite Christmas Wishes

    It’s often perceived that professional anglers are the luckiest guys in the world. If you subscribe to the theory that making a living doing something you love is among the first steps to a happy life, then for sure, the Bassmaster Elite Series pros are a fortunate bunch.

    But they too have hopes, dreams, fears and concerns all interwoven into a daily pile of thoughts not drastically different than your own. And at Christmas, they have wishes. Some of their wishes are serious, some humorous, some tied to fishing – and all of them tied to the heart.

    BoatU.S. Angler member and Elite Series angler, Marty Robinson feels like he’s already had a few Christmas wishes come true. First, Robinson qualified for his first Bassmaster Classic this past Elite Series season. Secondly, he got his wish with a recent change in the B.A.S.S. scoring system.

    “B.A.S.S.’ recent rule change to award tournament points in one-point increments is a wish come true,” said Robinson. “As opposed to years past, now, guys that consistently finish in the middle of the pack will be rewarded, versus before, when the Top 12 at each event were awarded so heavily compared to the rest of the field."

    Robinson thinks the new scoring rule is as fair as possible. “To me, one-point increments where the guy that finishes first gets 100 points, second gets 99, and so on down the line, is the only fair points system. If that was Jerry McKinnis’ idea, then kudos to Jerry,” said Robinson, who runs a family plumbing business from his Lyman, S.C. home when he’s not competing in B.A.S.S. tournaments. And lastly, if it’s not too much to ask, Marty is wishing for a 20-pound sack on Day 1 of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport.

    Believe it or not, bass fishing’s funniest man, Gerald Swindle, is a deep thinker. Never at a loss for words to compliment his thoughts, Swindle rattled off a series of wishes dripping with heart, soul and humor.

    “I wish that people who have plenty would give more. I wish that people who want everything for free would get a job. I wish that the federal government would stop trying to take, and give away, all my hard-earned money. I wish toothpaste would stick to my brush as well as it does my sink,” said the long-time Quantum pro.

    And then came Swindle’s heart. “But what I really wish for is one more frosty November morning with my brother Tony in the deer woods, and to see him smile when a whitetail buck hits the ground,” said Swindle, who tragically lost Tony to pancreatic cancer in 2008. “And Santa, if it ain’t too much to ask, how about one more summer day fishing in northern Mississippi with my Grandpa,” concluded Swindle, closing out a long list of wishes, with priority placed on things that certainly can’t be bought, and that sadly, he can only have as a memory.

    Speaking of government, Edwin Evers has a wish that involves Kevin VanDam.

    “I’m wishing that somehow Kevin would stop being so dominant on the water, lose interest in fishing and go run for President of the United States. That way, the rest of us would have a chance to win more often, and if we can get Kevin elected, I’ll promise you, our country will be way better off. I’ll vote for him,” grinned Evers, who for two years in a row has settled for second place behind KVD in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race, yet mustered ample class to spotlight VanDam’s good character.

    Virginia pro John Crews is simply wishing more folks, especially our military members, were able to be with their loved ones at Christmas.

    “Christmas is a time of the year that I always get together with my family and extended family,” said the crankbait fishing guru. “I feel blessed that I'm able to spend the holiday season with my loved ones. Many people, including our Armed Forces, are not able to do that. Those people need a prayer to come home safely,” concluded Crews in heartfelt fashion, regarding a Christmas wish we can all hope will come true.

  • Texas cracking down

    Texas cracking down

    Anglers venturing to Falcon Lake or Lake Amistad might get a look at the Texas Department of Public Safety's newest tool for combating drug-smuggling along the border with Mexico. The 34-foot, military-style patrol boat is equipped with three 300-hp engines and six fully automatic machine guns. Five more of the boats, which can patrol in as little as a foot of water, are on the way.

    For a story and video from in Houston, click here.

  • BU adds HydroWave

    BU adds HydroWave

    The Bass University announced that its added HydroWave to its list of 2012 sponsors. The company produces the electronic feeding stimulator that was used by Kevin VanDam en route to winning this year's Bassmaster Classic.

    “This type of innovation is at the forefront of advanced fishing strategies and The Bass University is proud to partner with HydroWave," said BU co-founder Pete Gluszek.

    Added BU co-founder Mike Iaconelli: “I’ve used the HydroWave to ignite feeding activity in Bassmaster Elite tournaments around the country. The HydroWave can activate fish that have settled into an inactive state and make them catchable.”

    The BU program consists of two 8-hour training sessions with three top Bassmaster Elite Series or FLW Tour pros. Each professional angler will deliver two comprehensive seminars per day. Students may also participate in hands-on, breakout sessions with each pro and a roundtable question and answer program that takes place on both days.

    In addition, BU students receive a Bass University T-shirt, tackle pack, course booklet and much more. For dates and locations, click here.

  • Ish trots out app

    Ish trots out app

    California two-tour pro Ish Monroe now has an app available at the Android Market that can be purchased for 99 cents. It can be used to follow him on the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour circuits, and will also feature hot baits and fishing tips.

    For more, click here.

  • Dyer to fish Southern Opens

    Dyer to fish Southern Opens

    B.A.S.S. reported today that Clay Dyer has registered to compete in the Bassmaster Southern Opens in 2012. The 33-year-old Alabamian, the subject of a book by former BassFan CFO Scot Laney, fished 4 years on the FLW Tour despite the lack of legs and a left arm and possessing only a partial right arm.

    A highly regarded motivational speaker, he sat out the last 2 years to devote more time to that endeavor in the face of a tough sponsorship market.

    “I fish to win," he said. "I’m going out there; I’m going to lay it on the line. I’m going to practice hard and put in my best effort to get to the Bassmaster Classic.

    “My ultimate goal is to be a world champion. Not to sound outlandish by saying that, but my goal is the same as any other guy competing – but I want to win more than anyone else wants to.”

    He's competed on two of the three 2012 Southern Open venues – Alabama’s Smith Lake and Lake Norman in North Carolina. The Harris Chain in Florida will be a new one for him.

    “I’ve been blessed,” the devout Dyer said. “Angling gives me a platform to share my life story. I’m looking forward to an awesome year, trying to work hard for sponsors and to being a positive example to others.”

  • Ray Murski dies in auto wreck

    Ray Murski dies in auto wreck

    Bass fishing has lost another legend – BassFan learned this evening that Strike King chairman and Professional Bass Fishing Hall-of-Famer Ray Murski was killed in an auto wreck Monday afternoon near Burnet, Texas. To read an initial report on the accident, click here.

    The 72-year-old Murski, also the owner of a large Texas hunting operation, was one of the best-known and most highly-regarded behind the scenes players in bass fishing. He was involved with Strike King since its inception in 1966 and purchased the company from Charles Spence in 1995. He was a stout competitor in the early days of B.A.S.S., placing 4th in Ray Scott's initial tournament (the 1967 All-American at Beaver Lake) and finishing in the money in all 11 events he entered.

    During his long career in the sporting goods sector, Murski spent a considerable amount of time on industry, conservation and youth projects. In 2005 he said that, above all of his accomplishments, "I'm most proud of the fact that I've given an opportunity to over 50,000 Texas youngsters to have their first outdoor experience, whether they were fishing, hunting, boating or camping."

  • U.S. Open cheater pleads down, fined $1,000

    U.S. Open cheater pleads down, fined $1,000

    Western Outdoor News is reporting that Southern California angler Mike Hart, who was caught attempting to weigh in fish with lead weights in their stomachs during the 2010 WON Bass U.S. Open, has pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of petty larceny and disorderly conduct and will pay a $1,000 fine.

    Hart had originally faced a felony fraud charge before reaching the deal with prosecutors in Nevada.

    To read the story, click here.

  • $300K in gas

    $300K in gas

    The folks at Biobor EB, who sponsor Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Bradley Roy and Cliff Crochet, tracked those anglers' fuel usage during the 2011 season as part of a fan contest and have come up with some interesting numbers.

    Roy used 918 gallons compared to Crochet’s 730 gallons over 44 official Elite Series practice and competition days. Assuming they were a fair representation of the Elite field (average of 44.96 days fished), an Elite angler burned an average of 18.73 gallons of gas per day. Thus, the nearly 100-angler field burned about 84,000 gallons of gas over the eight-event season.

    The national average price of gas during the 2011 Elite Season was $3.74. That worked out to $70.05 worth of gas per angler, per day. Over the Elite Series season, the total cost of boat gas for all of the Elite anglers combined was likely in excess of $300,000.

    Biobor will sponsor another fan contest in 2012, promising enhanced weekly prizes in addition to the grand prize of a fishing trip with one of the sponsored anglers.

  • Geico makes MLF sponsorship official

    Geico makes MLF sponsorship official

    Insurance company Geico announced today that it's become an official sponsor of Major League Fishing.

    “Geico is extremely pleased to offer sponsorship support to Major League Fishing," said VP of marketing Ted Ward. "Geico has a track record of supporting power sports, and we believe Major League Fishing is bringing fresh ideas and renewed energy to the traditional sport of competitive bass fishing.

    "Major League Fishing has a tremendous future, and GEICO is delighted to be part of that growth."

  • 'Cat Hunt' under way

    <b><font color=red>'Cat Hunt' under way</font></b>

    Bass Cat Boats owner Rick Pierce has been bitten by the nostalgia bug and he's willing to give away a new boat to acquire the cure for what's ailing him. To that end, he's decided to launch a "Cat Hunt."

    Pierce doesn't know what's become of the first model that rolled off his father Ron's production line more than 40 years ago. If you think you own it, or even if you think you might know where it is, then keep reading.

    The boat is a 1971 Bass Cat Deluxe Tournament Model. Its original equipment included a 125-hp Mercury Tower of Power motor and an old-school MotorGuide trolling motor. Of course, more than one such rig was sold, but the company is only interested in finding the very first one.

    If that's your boat, then get in touch with us here at BassFan right away. We'll pass your claim along to Bass Cat, and if the company can verify it, you'll get a brand new Bass Cat Margay.

    And there's more. If it still carries that old 6-cylinder Merc, a new 115 Pro XS will be added to the prize package. And that old-time trolling motor? If it's still attached, you can say hello to a new MotorGuide FW75.

    Finally, if it's still riding on its original trailer, a 2012 Margay 4-inch frame trailer will be thrown into the haul.

    Now don't try to cheat – just because the folks at Bass Cat don't know where the rig is, that doesn't mean they can't easily identify it, along with all of its aforementioned components. The process they'll use for that purpose will not be revealed.

    Even if you don't own that boat, you can still score big-time in this hunt. If you know where the boat is and the owner agrees that you were responsible for informing him or her of the promotion, the company will award you a transferable "finder's fee" of $5,000 that's good toward a new Bass Cat. You can use it yourself, sell it, give it away or do whatever else you choose with it.

    So if you think you know where that boat sits right now, take a photo of it and send it along with the details (including the serial numbers) of why you believe it's the rig the company's looking for. The email address is

    To visit the Cat Hunt page on the Bass Cat website, click here.

    Happy hunting!

  • Sneak peek: MLF Challenge Cup

    Sneak peek: MLF Challenge Cup

    Major League Fishing has produced a teaser video for its inaugural event – the Challenge Cup, which took place last month at Lake Amistad in Texas. To see it, click here. Warning: a bit of patience is required as the video takes a little while to load.

    The teaser provides proof that the organization has been successful in attracting non-endemic sponsorship, as signage for Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Busch Beer, Geico Insurance, restaurant chain Golden Corral and lawn-care giant Scotts is prevalent throughout.

    Full coverage of the Challenge Cup will be available in January on a pay-per-view basis for the budget-friendly price of $2.99.

  • FireLine gets hotter

    <b><font color=maroon>FireLine gets hotter</font></b>

    Berkley has come out with a new version of its popular FireLine. This one sports a blaze orange color that will allow subtle bites to be detected by the naked eye.

    To learn more, visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Woods with Denali

    Woods with Denali

    Denali rods announced today that it's added FLW Tour angler Kenneth "Boo" Woods to its pro staff.

    "We are thrilled to have Boo join our staff," said Denali owner Scott Estes. "He makes an excellent addition and his experience and input on our rods will help keep us at the forefront of the rod manufacturing industry."

    Woods is a guide at Lake Okeechobee during the off-season.

    "We've caught some giants with the Jadewood Flippin' Stick," he said. "What amazes my clients is that the rod they are using costs about $100 from Denali. Most of them guess it is a high-end, several-hundred-dollar fishing rod, which makes it the perfect rod for me as a fishing guide. I can let my clients use a rod they'll love and they don't cost me a small fortune."

  • Rapala: free shipping today

    Rapala: free shipping today

    For today only, Rapala is offering free shipping on orders totaling $25 or more, and both the Rapala and Sufix brands are included and the promotion ends at 11:59 p.m. CST.

    To shop Rapala, click here. To shop Sufix, click here.

  • Elias' record jersey up for bid

    Elias' record jersey up for bid

    A jersey that Paul Elias wore en route to setting the 4-day weight record at the 2008 Falcon Bassmaster Elite Series highlights the final PAA Auction of 2011. Other items up for bid include PAA caps autographed by Kevin VanDam and Mike Iaconelli.

    The auction ends Sunday at 8 p.m. CT. To see all the items or make a bid, click here.

  • Sonar: The slowest month

    Sonar: The slowest month

    Some people view December as the most hectic month of the year, but not BassFan columnist Miles "Sonar" Burghoff. For him, the lack of tournaments to compete in makes it a period of boredom. At least this year he's been able to spice it up a little by throwing an Alabama Rig.

    To read his latest column, click here.

  • Why not walleye?

    Why not walleye? published an article today chronicling how Idaho Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk keeps his skills sharp through the winter months by fishing for walleye in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike bass, they have no aversion to biting when the water temperatures are frigid.

    To read it, click here.

  • Wingate photo tribute

    Wingate photo tribute

    Those who'd met Jack Wingate – or even heard of him – might be interested in seeing this photo tribute to his life on the website of Ivey Funeral Home in Bainbridge, Ga. It consists of dozens of photos dating back to his early childhood and many that were taken as he was surrounded by family and friends shortly before his death last week.

    There are pictures showing Wingate, the longtime owner of Lunker Lodge at Lake Seminole and a B.A.S.S. pioneer, with the likes of President George Herbert Walker Bush and Ray Scott, and an amusing one in which a fish literally caught him with his pants down.

  • Triton picks Blue Heron

    Triton picks Blue Heron

    Triton Boats announced that it's formed a partnership with Blue Heron Communications, which will serve as the company's public relations agency of record effective immediately.

    “This will be a great partnership for Triton Boats moving forward,” said Triton VP of marketing Adam Adkisson. “We are excited to begin a partnership with Blue Heron Communications and know that its longstanding record of excellence in the industry will help increase our visibility among the thousands of professional outdoor communicators around the country.”

    Said Blue Heron president Gary Giudice: “Triton Boats has been a mainstay in the bass-fishing culture of this country, from the professional ranks to the recreational angler, for many years. It’s a culture with which we are very familiar and for which we have a great passion. Triton's reputation is as solid as the boats that bear its name, and we’re honored to be aligned with such a stalwart brand.”

  • Bass Cat buys Yar-Craft

    Bass Cat buys Yar-Craft

    Bass Cat Boats announced today that its family is expanding to include Yar-Craft Boats. The two family-owned companies have entered into an agreement for sale of Wisconsin-based Yar-Craft, which manufactures boats for walleye fishing.

    "Yar-Craft is an exciting move for us," said Bass Cat's Rick Pierce. "We were looking at Yar-Craft about 4 years ago with (owner Corey Suthers) and the timing was just not right for us then. We are much more prepared now to bring Yar-Craft past where Corey and his team have the brand."

    Yar-Craft will be an independent line, with production to take place alongside Bass Cat in Mountain Home, Ark. Some Yar-Craft employees will move with the brand to Arkansas, with most of the others expected to be absorbed into its parent company (Norlen Inc., a metal stamping and cutting firm that's been in operation since 1964).

    "We are very excited for the Yar-Craft name to be associated with the Pierce family and Bass Cat Boats," said Suthers, the third-generation president of Norlen. "I am a proud person today knowing that Yar-Craft is moving to a family owned business. I purchased Yar-Craft in 2004; I owned two Yar-Craft boats prior to purchasing the company. I said then that if small-boat companies all go away, the large companies will never listen to the customer – they will build what they want and the customer will suffer in the long run.

    "That still holds true today – the small dealerships stayed strong and the big-box store dealerships suffered and some went under. Quality and service will always beat price in the long run. Bass Cat has proven that after being in business for over 40 years and winning five consecutive JD Power awards (for Best in Customer Service for Fiberglass Bass Boats). I know that our dealers and customers alike will be taken care of as well or better than we could."

    The Pierce family will extend the same level of customer service to the Yar-Craft brand that its Bass Cat owners experience. Yar-Craft customers will have the opportunity to participate in the Bass Cat Owners Invitational next April.

    “This all came together pretty quick," Pierce said. "I was eating dinner with a marine industry friend in Louisville, Ky. last October and I was explaining how we'd just finished reviewing the data on the walleye market and were intent on entering the market, developing our own brand. After we finished dinner I retrieved my e-mails and there was a memo from Corey wondering if we were interested in revisiting a Bass Cat purchase of Yar-Craft.

    "It was really a no-thought decision this time, especially considering Yar-Craft is a functioning product line."

  • First A-Rig peacock?

    First A-Rig peacock?

    Longtime pro and popular Florida guide Sandy Melvin checked in today with a photo of what he believes might be the first peacock bass ever caught on an Alabama Rig. Melvin took the contraption with him on a recent trip to the Rio Negro River in Brazil and used it to capture this 2-pound schooler.

    He said he later tied into a much larger peacock that rendered the $25 rig useless. "They're going to have to beef that thing up if they want it to become popular in the Amazon," he quipped.

    He related that he also had issues with piranhas biting the tails off of his soft-plastic swimbaits.

  • MLF welcomes BPS

    MLF welcomes BPS

    Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Bass Pro Shops has joined the organization's list of sponsors. The company provided Nitro Z-7 boats for MLF's debut event, the Challenge Cup, last month at Texas' Lake Amistad.

    “We are thankful for the opportunity for our company to be a part of Major League Fishing and this exciting new concept in competitive bass fishing,” said BPS founder Johnny Morris. “I’m looking forward to watching the competition.”

    MLF commissioner Don Rucks said he is delighted to welcome “perhaps the largest, single most influential brand name in the fishing industry” to the league.

    “Bass Pro Shops is an outstanding company, and it is an honor to bring their vast resources and good name to Major League Fishing,” Rucks said. “We believe we have a great product to offer, and nothing could please us more than knowing that we have a partner like Bass Pro Shops that supports and helps us deliver our product to sports fans across the country.”

    The Challenge Cup will be offered to the public via a web-based pay-per-view broadcast early in 2012, and will be aired on the Outdoor Channel beginning in April. Details of pay-per-view programming will be announced this month.

  • Lane joins Bass Minder

    Lane joins Bass Minder

    Bass Minder, a manufacturer of products aimed to help anglers maximize their fishing experience, revealed today the signing of Bassmaster Elite Series angler Russ Lane to a sponsorship deal and simultaneously announced the launch of its latest product – the Russ Lane Pro Series Tackle Minder Labels.

    The labels can be applied to any plastic tackle box and clearly designate what type of lure or tackle each box contains.

    “We believe our new Tackle Minder Labels will help fishermen of all levels by keeping their lures and gear organized and safely stored,” said Bass Minder founder Dave Stewart. “Russ Lane is an incredibly talented and successful fisherman and one of fishing’s most popular personalities. We are thrilled to have him representing Bass Minder, and he has already made a huge contribution by suggesting our new Tackle Minder Labels.”

    Said Lane: “Bass Minder’s products are extremely innovative, and it's an honor to represent them and to sport the Bass Minder logo on my boat, truck and clothing. I'm looking forward to meeting the Bass Minder customers on the circuit this year.”

  • Jill Hibdon killed

    More sad news to report today: Jill Hibdon, the ex-wife of FLW Tour pro Dion Hibdon and the mother of FLW Tour angler Payden Hibdon, was killed in an auto accident this week near her home in Stover, Mo. To read her obituary from the Sedalia Democrat, click here.

  • Flicker Shad expansion

    Berkley has added two new sizes to its popular Flicker Shad crankbait line – 4-centimeter and 6-centimeter. Both come in 14 colors and feature Mustad Ultra Point Hooks.

    To learn more, visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Jack Wingate dies

    Jack Wingate dies

    Ray Scott notified BassFan today that Jack Wingate, an integral figure in the early days of B.A.S.S., has died. He'd been battling stage 4 prostate cancer since last summer.

    "He's now the No. 1 angel in my book," Scott said. "If it weren't for him, there wouldn't be a B.A.S.S. today."

    Wingate, the legendary owner of Lunker Lodge at Georgia's Lake Seminole, played a major role in getting B.A.S.S. up and running, providing Scott with the names of many anglers who would go on to become pioneers of the sport and helping to kick off the All-American Tournament at Beaver Lake (Scott's first event) in 1967.

    Funeral arrangements are pending.

    To read a column that Scott penned about Wingate in 2007, click here.

  • New tool for tough times

    Anglers are always on the lookout for baits that'll produce under the most difficult conditions, and the new Z-Man Finesse ShadZ fit into that category. To see a review by BassFan product specialist Jim Crowley, click here.

  • BU adds Chicago dates

    BU adds Chicago dates

    The Bass University has added a Chicago stop to its 2012 schedule. It's set for Jan. 28-29 as part of the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

    “The bass anglers in this part of the country are among the most dedicated and passionate anglers in the world," said BU co-owner Mike Iaconelli. "We are very excited to join forces with the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show and bring our program back to the Chicago area.”

    The program will consist of two 8-hour sessions in which students will have access to two comprehensive seminars from each instructor. There will also be hands-on breakout and roundtable question-and-answer periods. Each student will receive a BU T-shirt, tackle pack and course booklet.

    Instructors for the session will be Iaconelli, Pete Gluszek, Kevin Short, Ott Defoe, Randy Howell and Fred Roumbanis.

    Tickets are priced at $199 for adults and $175 for youths age 17 and under. A 15% discount is being offered through Dec. 15.

    For more about BU, click here.

  • Dick's to sponsor Classic Expo again

    Dick's to sponsor Classic Expo again

    B.A.S.S. announced today that Dick’s Sporting Goods will again be the presenting sponsor of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo. The Expo will run Feb. 24-26 at the Shreveport (La.) Convention Center.

    The Expo drew record-setting numbers of fans through the turnstiles when it was held in Shreveport in 2009, including more than 60,000 in a single day.

    “We are thrilled to once again be a part of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic,” said Dick’s senior VP and chief marketing officer Lauren Hobart. “With our great partners at B.A.S.S. and the enthusiastic fishing community in the area, we are looking forward to another great year.”

    Said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin: “Dick’s Sporting Goods will be the presenting sponsor of the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo for the fourth consecutive year, and we couldn’t be happier. We look forward to another outstanding event in Shreveport-Bossier City, and our sponsors are great contributors to its success.”

    Expo h ours will be noon to 8 p.m. CT Friday, Feb. 24; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. CT Saturday, Feb. 25; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. CT Sunday, Feb. 26, just before the final weigh-in of the 42nd Bassmaster Classic takes place at the CenturyLink Center. Admission is free.

  • Deep Creek sold

    Deep Creek sold

    Captain Gary's Marine Care Products, the manufacturer of cleaning products for both fresh and saltwater boats, announced today that it's purchased fellow North Carolina-based company Deep Creek Lures. Deep Creek makes soft-plastic baits using raw virgin plastic and its own scent formula.

    Long-term plans include a move of Deep Creek from Rougemont, N.C. to the Captain Gary's facility in Dunn.

    Said Captain Gary's president and CEO Greg Ballard: "The acquisition of Deep Creek Lures is an excellent fit for our plans to further expand into the fishing market and we look forward to Deep Creek and Captain Gary's continued growth."

  • RotoTail revolution?

    RotoTail revolution?

    According to a press release that BassFan received today, a "fishing pioneer" has invented a lure that, according to Chicago Daily Herald outdoor editor and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame member Mike Jackson, "will revolutionize the fishing world." With all due respect to Mr. Jackson, we've heard that one before, but who knows? Maybe this one is the real deal. Time will certainly tell.

    The bait is called the RotoTail and, according to the press release, it combines three properties that have never before been brought together in a single package: softness, weedlessness and a 360-degree rotating tail that produces no line-twist.

    Here's a quote from the release:

    "Basically the RotoTail is a plastic worm with a spinning tail, and the heart of the system is a patented hard-plastic swivel. Especially designed for soft-plastic lures, the swivel allows the tail to spin 360 degrees – the front of the lure holds the hook and does not spin.

    "All the while, the swivel and the spinning tail section are protected from weeds and underwater debris by a soft-plastic shroud. It’s like an icebreaker (the head of the RotoTail) towing a dinghy (the tail) while constantly clearing a path through the ice (or weeds) for the dinghy."

    The front portion of the worm and two tail sizes (4-inch and 2-inch) each come in five colors that can be mixed and matched. The RotoTail is also touted as a highly effective trailer on a jig or spinnerbait.

    More information is available at Below is a short YouTube video showing a hefty bass inhaling the bait.

    As to the identity of the inventor, the release concludes by saying that it will be the subject of a contest on the company's Facebook page.

  • Jersey auction benefits TTS Foundation

    Jersey auction benefits TTS Foundation

    An online auction is currently under way featuring signed jerseys from more than a dozen professional anglers. Proceeds will benefit the Tackle the Storm Foundation, a non-profit charity that provides rods and reels to children whose homes have been devastated by weather-related events.

    To see the available items, click here.

  • Menendez joins Line Rite

    Menendez joins Line Rite

    Kentucky Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mark Menendez has signed a sponsorship deal with Line Rite, the producer of color-coded tags that make rod and tackle organization easier.

    Line Rite Rod Tags are available in 2- to 30-pound test for monofilament line (red), 2- to 25-pound for fluorocarbon (blue) and 15- to 65-pound for braid (green). Tackle Tags come in red, blue, yellow and black for use with different categories of lures.

    “The hardest part of my job is organization," Menendez said. "Whether I'm preparing for a tournament or cleaning up after the event, the Line Rite Rod Tags and Tackle Tags system simplifies the task at hand. It gives me the opportunity to make more casts."

  • Meyer connects with Clone Fry

    California pro Cody Meyer, a rising star on the FLW Tour, demonstrates how to use the new Jackall Clone Fry in a just-posted YouTube video and, right on cue, gets a nice fish to cooperate. To see it, click below.

  • Go big from the start

    Catching a limit of keepers as quickly as possible and then going on the hunt for bigger fish has been a tried-and-true tournament tactic for decades, but Berkley pro staff member Boyd Duckett asserts that the opposite approach can sometimes pay off. In fact, he employed just such a mindset en route to weighing the largest bag at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic.

    To learn more, visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • PF hits South Africa

    PF hits South Africa

    Pure Fishing today announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Beyond Fishing and Sporting Goods, a long-standing provider of fishing products in South Africa. The acquisition, completed through a newly formed subsidiary, Jarden South Africa Proprietary Limited (trading as Pure Fishing South Africa), represents the company’s first direct venture into the African continent.

    Beyond Fishing has been distributing Pure Fishing brands for over 2 years and has established a strong reputation as an outstanding provider of quality fishing equipment to specialist fishing and outdoor sports retailers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    “We are delighted to be establishing a new African subsidiary and working with the Beyond Fishing team, which has been a valuable distributor in South Africa in recent years,” said John Doerr, CEO of Pure Fishing. “The South African market includes some of the most enthusiastic anglers in the world today and Pure Fishing has a wide range of specialist equipment to meet their needs. We will be working closely with dealers to ensure that we continue to expand the range of products specifically designed for this region going forward and deliver outstanding service to the African fishing tackle market.”

    The new company will be based in the Johannesburg area and its fishing efforts will be led by Graham Hills, who becomes GM of Pure Fishing South Africa.

    “I am excited by the opportunity to lead Pure Fishing’s expansion into the growing South African fishing tackle market,” said Hills. “Our team here is committed to establishing Pure Fishing as the leading provider of quality fishing tackle equipment to the southern Africa region. We have an aggressive growth plan for the coming years and now, as part of a global-leading fishing tackle company, we are well placed to achieve this goal.”

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