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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

  • Cup field set

    Cup field set

    The field for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup is set.

    BFL All-American winner Kerry Milner secured the last available berth today by prevailing at Nickajack Lake, just down the Tennessee River from Lake Chickamauga where the FLW Tour will wrap up its season tomorrow.

    The Tour points qualifiers were solidified after Friday and there will be 46 anglers vying for the top prize of $500,000 at the Red River in Shreveport/Bossier City, La., on Aug. 15-18.

    There were four double qualifiers – David Dudley, Jacob Wheeler, Koby Kreiger and Bryan Thrift – which opened up four additional spots for anglers to qualify through points. Those berths went to Jim Moynagh, Robbie Dodson, Casey Martin and Zell Rowland. There might be some minor shuffling based on how the Top 10 shakes out at Chickamauga, but nobody's at risk of falling below the cut line.

    Here's a breakdown of who's heading to the Red in August:

    2012 FLW Tour Open Top 5
    > Larry Nixon – Bee Branch, Ark.
    > John Cox – Debary, Fla.
    > Dave Lefebre – Erie, Pa.
    > Bill McDonald – Greenwood, Ind.
    > *Bryan Thrift – Shelby, NC

    2012 EverStart champion
    > *Koby Kreiger – Okeechobee, Fla.

    2012 Cup champion
    > *Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, Ind.

    2012 FLW Tour Angler of the Year
    > *David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va.

    2013 TBF champion
    > Mark Daniels, Jr. – Fairfield, Ca.

    2013 BFL All-American champion
    > Kerry Milner – Bono, Ark.

    2013 College Fishing champion
    > Paul Clark – Univ. of Louisiana-Monroe

    Top 35 in 2013 FLW Tour Points
    > Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn.
    > Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ark.
    > Jason Christie – Park Hill, Okla.
    > Jacob Powroznik – Prince George, Va.
    > Justin Lucas – Guntersville, Ala.
    > Luke Clausen – Otis Orchards, Wash.
    > Adrian Avena – Vineland, NJ
    > Brent Ehrler – Redlands, Ca.
    > Randall Tharp – Gardendale, Ala.
    > Cody Meyer – Auburn, Ca.
    > Spencer Shuffield – Bismarck, Ark.
    > Mark Rose – Marion, Ark.
    > Jay Yelas – Corvallis, Ore.
    > Dan Morehead – Paducah, Ky.
    > Drew Benton – Panama City, Fla.
    > Stacey King – Reeds Spring, Mo.
    > Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tenn.
    > Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn.
    > Scott Canterbury – Springville, Ala.
    > James Watson – Waynesville, Mo.
    > Christopher Brasher – Hallsville, Tx.
    > Ray Scheide – Dover, Ark.
    > Matt Arey – Shelby, NC
    > Barry Wilson – Birmingham, Ala.
    > Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla.
    > Ishama Monroe – Hughson, Ca.
    > JT Kenney – Palm Bay, Fla.
    > Tom Monsoor – La Crosse, Wis.
    > Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga.
    > David Fritts – Lexington, NC
    > Jimmy Houston – Cookson, Okla.
    > Jim Moynagh – Carver, Minn.
    > Robbie Dodson – Harrison, Ark.
    > Casey Martin – New Hope, Ala.
    > Zell Rowland – Montgomery, Tx.

    * indicates double qualifier

  • Milner catches 25-12 to win All-American

    Milner catches 25-12 to win All-American

    Kerry Milner caught a tournament-best 25-12 today to win the BFL All-American at Lake Nickajack in Chattanooga, Tenn.

    Milner finished with 63-00 as he overtook Chris Wilkinson, the day 1 and 2 leader, by nearly 6 pounds.

    For his win, Milner, who hails from Bono, Ark., takes home $130,000 and clinches a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup.

    Here's how the Top 10 finished up in the All-American:

    1. Kerry Milner: 63-00
    2. Chris Wilkinson: 57-03
    3. Corey Bradley: 51-04
    4. Shawn Gordon: 46-11
    5. David Williams: 45-04
    6. Eric Poindexter: 44-13
    7. Jeremy Lawler: 44-13
    8. Michael Murphy: 40-10
    9. Michael Black: 40-02
    10. Lionel Botha: 38-06

    A story detailing Milner's winning pattern will be published shortly.

  • Morgan: AOY win couldn't have been scripted better

    Andy Morgan plans to take a few days next week to decompress and reflect back on what's been a career year before turning his focus to the Forrest Wood Cup. In the meantime, the newly-crowned FLW Tour Angler of the Year has at least one day to fish at Lake Chickamauga.

    BassFan spoke with Morgan on Friday night and got his thoughts on clinching the AOY title in front of his hometown. To read the story, click here.

  • ICAST preview: Watch your Back (Slide)

    Mike Iaconelli has been hard at work designing some new shapes for the Havoc line of soft plastics from Berkley. One of the new baits he came up with is the Back Slide, which features two plastics that are different densities. This feature allows the bait to fall in reverse when it hits the water. To hear Iaconelli explain more about his new creation, which will be in stores soon, check out the video below.

  • A Snake for all seasons

    <b><font color=maroon>A Snake for all seasons</font></b>

    The Berkley PowerBait Rib Snake might look like a dyed-in-the-wool Texas-rig bait, but it's a lot more versatile than that. For example, its tendency to convulse in just the slightest current makes it ideal for finesse applications

    To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Wilkinson nabs early A-A lead

    Chris Wilkinson was the lone angler to crack the 20-pound mark today as the BFL All-American got under way at Nickajack Lake.

    The Indiana native caught 20-10 and will carry nearly a 2-pound lead in day 2 over Arkansas angler Shawn Gordon, who caught 18-12. Florida's Lionel Botha, the co-founder of Halo Fishing, is 3rd with 18-04.

    Here's a look at the Top 10 after day 1:

    1. Chris Wilkinson: 20-10
    2. Shawn Gordon: 18-12
    3. Lionel Botha: 18-04
    4. Maurice Freeze: 18-03
    5. Corey Bradley: 18-01
    6. Kerry Milner: 18-00
    7. Michael Murphy: 17-06
    8. Daniel Langton: 16-05
    9. Gary Isgrigg: 15-14
    10. Eric Poindexter: 15-12

  • For the love of fishing

    For the love of fishing

    (Editor's note: This short feature comes from industry media and public relations representative Tom Leogrande.)

    “I’m living my dream,” says Robert Castaneda, inventor of Livingston Lures.

    Growing up on the banks of Livingston Bay in Guatemala, Castaneda learned how to fish at an early age with his father and uncles. One of the lessons his father taught him was how to catch baitfish, hook them and cast them out to catch big bass. He would tell Robert, “Fishing is like playing chess, only you have to outsmart the fish.”

    They would sit in silence to hear the sounds the baitfish would make before casting them out. That sound would follow Robert for many years.

    He was in first grade when he caught his first bass, and that was the moment that changed the rest of his life. Instead of collecting baseball cards like other kids, Castaneda would collect lures. Different shapes, textures, colors and brands filled up his collection. By the end of his grade-school years, he was the go-to guy for advice on what to use and where. That's when he knew he wanted to make his own lures and began creating – playing with colors, glitters and even feathers.

    His love for fishing and creating lures was taken to a new level many years ago during Christmastime. He had received a card from his sister, and when he opened it, it started playing "Jingle Bells." It wasn’t the song that caught his attention, but the speaker the song was playing out of. He realized right then that if he could record an injured baitfish sound inside of a plastic lure he, could have “live” bait all year round.

    I was an idea he knew would change the way anglers fished, and it was at that moment the he decided to take action and follow his dreams.

    Castaneda implemented his idea and technology into his lures and started working. From tournament trails to meetings to countless visits with anglers, he was dedicated. He and his wife would attend 50 tradeshows within a year. Living on cheap coffee and fast food, the two hit the road with their truck overflowing with lures.

    Finally, after putting the last dimes into his new venture, Livingston Lures got its first lucky break. The hard work had begun to pay off – the lures would be sold in 20 Walmart stores, and this was just the beginning.

    Castaneda wanted more. He wanted to become a big player, achieving nothing less than a national brand and household name for Livingston Lures. His goal was to make the company a global success.

    Eight months later he met Fred Battah, CEO of SPFM L.P., a global leader and distributor of consumer products who was positioned to take Livingston Lures to that next level. Castaneda speaks highly of Battah as a true leader who empowers those with a vision.

    “I was on a road, and then Fred put me on the highway,” Castaneda explains. When the two partnered, Battah asked him how far he wanted to take Livingston Lures, to which he replied, “All the way.”

    Castaneda recognizes that where the company is going is because of its means to build the brand, continue innovation and bring the latest technology to the fishing lure industry. The current technology that Livingston Lures has on the market is just scratching the surface to what the future plans hold. The Electronic Baitfish Sound (EBS) and Vibration Technology their lures offer is and will continue to change the future of fishing.

  • Eco Pro Tungsten inks Cherry

    Eco Pro Tungsten inks Cherry

    Eco Pro Tungsten has announced the addition of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Hank Cherry to its pro staff. Cherry was the 3rd-place finisher at this year's Bassmaster Classic and currently leads the Elite Series Rookie of the Year race.

    “We started watching Hank at the Classic and he continues to do well," said Eco Pro Tungsten pro staff manager Tyler Brinks. "Aside from his tournament success, he is a great promoter and dedicated family man. He is going to fit right in with our team."

    Said Cherry: “I have been using Eco Pro Tungsten weights for a few years now and it’s really all I have ever used. I’m happy to be part of a group of top-notch individuals and a company with such great products. It’s really a great honor."

  • Sunline Strong Performer – Mississippi River

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – Mississippi River</font></b>

    Midway through the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series, it appeared as if Edwin Evers was destined to lose some of his lead in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) race. He was in 23rd place after the day-2 weigh-in and Skeet Reese, his closest pursuer in the points chase, was in 15th.

    That all changed on day 3, however, as Evers caught a stout 15-03 to move up 13 places and into the Top-12 cut. Meanwhile, Reese sacked just 10-12 to fall to 30th.

    The end result was that Evers, who ended up finishing 11th, added 19 points to his AOY advantage and now holds a commanding 44-point bulge with two events remaining.

    "I just landed a couple key bites that day – that was the whole difference," he said of day 3. "Getting a couple more of those 3 1/2-pounders really helped me out.

    "That was the best day for it to happen and I was super-excited about it."

    He popped a 3 1/2 on his second cast of the day with a War Eagle buzzbait.

    "I lost a couple good ones on it after that, and I just kind of ran with it that morning when it was stormy. I fished a lot of water and kept covering new ground."

    He spent the tournament in Pool 8 (the launch pool) and also threw a swim-jig and a frog.

    The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most significant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.

  • Meyer joins Hi's staff

    Meyer joins Hi's staff

    FLW Tour pro Cody Meyer has been added to the pro staff of Hi's Tackle, a retailer based in his home state of California. He's the third pro to join the staff recently, following fellow FLW angler Justin Lucas and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Zaldain.

    "Hi's Tackle and the staff offer incredible customer service and they stock just about everything you need to catch bass," Meyer said. "Their Japanese product selection is second to none, including hard-to-find products like Roman Made, Deps, Megabass and a lot more."

    Said Dean Yoshizumi of Hi's: "Cody is one of the best young anglers on any tour. He is a threat to win any event he fishes. Cody is a wealth of knowledge about the sport, techniques and in particular spotted bass and finesse fishing, but he can do it all."

  • Balog: Minnesota has a problem

    Balog: Minnesota has a problem

    In the newest installment of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog addresses the Brandon Palaniuk DQ at the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series. He expects Palaniuk to recover nicely and continue on his path to stardom, but he's not too sure about the reputation of the state of Minnesota among the angling public.

    To check out what he has to say in his latest Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback – Mississippi River

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – Mississippi River</font></b>

    Greg Vinson finished 2 ounces out of the 12-cut at the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series. The Alabamian known as "the Rooster" for his bright red hair doesn't know what else he could've done to make up that miniscule margin.

    "I'd like to have gotten one more 3-pound bite and I would've been in there just fine," he said. "I think I was in the type of area that any second I could've gotten it, but it just didn't happen.

    "I was really just at the mercy of the bites I got. That was the nature of that tournament."

    He threw a frog on day 1, but the violent winds on day 2 forced him to pitch a creature bait. He said that presentation ended up accounting for about half of his weigh-in fish for the tournament.

    He caught his biggest fish of the event, a 4-pounder, on day 3. However, his average bite was smaller that day and he weighed his lightest bag of the derby (13-05).

    His showing moved him up to No. 21 in the Angler of the Year Race – well inside the cutoff for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

    "It was a good tournament points-wise and I'm happy with the finish."

    The Big Bite Lookback, which focuses on the angler who's first out of the final cut at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great folks at Big Bite Baits.

  • Morgan draws boat 95, Thrift 63

    With much of the talk this week about how small Chickamauga Lake is going to fish for the FLW Tour season finale, it put a greater emphasis on boat number and who's blasting off before whom. It may not only determine who wins the tournament, but could also factor into how the Angler of the Year chase shakes out.

    According to the FLW website, the field will be 143 boats this week, down exactly 30 from the season opener at Lake Okeechobee. It's also worth noting where those in the thick of the AOY race are slotted for blast off. Here's where the Top 5 in AOY points wound up in the boat draw:

    1. Andy Morgan: 95
    2. Bryan Thrift: 63
    3. Jacob Powroznik: 17
    4. Brent Ehrler: 86
    5. Stetson Blaylock: 36

    At first blush, it would seem Powroznik and Blaylock may have the early upper hand on the others in terms of being able to get on a better spot earlier, but it'll only matter if this bass are in a feeding mood when they come off plane and start making casts.

  • ICAST preview: New SPRO Fat Papa colors

    ICAST preview: New SPRO Fat Papa colors

    The Fat Papa series of crankbaits from SPRO are some of the most potent fish-catchers out there and Russ Lane, who helped design the baits, is pumped about the new colors – bream bed, mellow yellow, hickory shad and yet-to-be-announced craw-themed pattern – that will be available soon.

    In the below video, he shows off a few.

  • ICAST: Yamamoto to debut hard baits

    ICAST: Yamamoto to debut hard baits

    Power. Sky. Dance. Splash.

    Translated from Japanese, those are the names of the four new hard bait models Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits will introduce at ICAST next month in Las Vegas.

    The longtime maker of soft-plastic baits has developed a handful of basic shapes – a topwater popper bait, a minnow-shaped jerkbait, a walking bait and a shad-shaped crankbait – that will surely create some buzz, especially among those loyal to Yamamoto's innovative soft baits.

    The Chikara ("power") is a compact-bodied crank that will appeal to anglers who fish laydowns, riprap banks, river ledges or edges of grass. They'll be available in 16 colors and three models – a 100, 200 or 300 that will dive to 4 feet, 8 feet or 10 feet, respectively.

    To satisfy the jerkbait anglers, Yamamoto developed the Tenkuu ("sky"), which can glide through the water or with an effortless, snappier retrieve it can be made to rhythmically walk under the surface. The three available sizes (76mm, 100mm, 110mm), represent the most common baitfish profiles and can dive up to 4 feet, 8 feet or 10 feet, respectively. These figure to be a stout option during the pre-spawn, but will likely trigger strikes year-round. The two smaller sizes will be available in 17 different colors and the 110 comes in eight patterns.

    For walk-the-dog fanatics, the Tate’ (pronounced tah-teh, “dance”) is a classic topwater with more character and zip than its counterparts. It's proven to bring strikes from fish in just inches of water to those swimming the depths. It'll come in two sizes and nine color options.

    The Shibuki (“splash”) is a concave-faced popper that spits water like a squirt gun with a simple twitch of the rod. With a subtle action, you can make it just barely disturb the surface but with a downward yank it'll spray water a long distance, creating enough of a disturbance to attract a bass' attention. It'll be available in two sizes and seven color patterns, making it ideal for imitating a fleeing baitfish of any species or drawing cautious fish out of the gnarliest cover.

    The baits will retail for $7.99. To learn more, click here.

  • Bass University to hit the water

    Bass University to hit the water

    The Bass University announced this week that it's expanded its educational program to offer On-Water Training trips in addition to classroom-style bass fishing instruction events. The On-Water Training program features in-depth bass fishing training trips that are taught by a growing list of TBU instructors on many lakes and rivers across the country.

    “The Bass University's On-Water Training program is the next step in bass fishing education," said Pete Gluszek, co-founder of TBU with Mike Iaconelli. “This program takes our students out of the classroom and onto the water in real-time fishing situations. From seasonal patterns to boat positioning to triggering strikes, On Water Training is the most effective way to gain hands-on bass fishing education."

    Each training day is customized to fit the angler’s needs. Beginner to advanced, TBU instructors will work with each angler prior to the trip to develop a program designed to move their fishing knowledge and skill-set to the next level.

    Once a program is developed, TBU instructors will take the students on the water to teach and share their knowledge from years of experience as a top professional angler.

    “If you are interested in learning how to become a better bass fisherman, hear all the inside secrets and know-how, which lures you need to use to catch a lot of fish, then The Bass University is where you need to be,” said George Cochran, two-time Bassmaster Classic champion and Forrest Wood Cup winner.

    On-Water Training instructors include Gluszek (Upper Chesapeake River, Delaware River), Mark Menendez (Kentucky/Barkley lakes and the rivers below the dams), Cochran (Lake Hamilton, Lake Ouachita, the Arkansas River and local rivers within 200 miles of Hot Springs, Ark.) and Dave Mansue (Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend). Arrangements can be made to conduct training trips on various bodies of water throughout the country.

    A 2- or 3-day training trip with Cochran at Lake Champlain is also being offered.

    Lessons will include proper casting techniques, rigging, identifying fish-holding targets, seasonal movements, boat positioning, rough-water boat operation, sonar/GPS/SideImaging, smallmouth vs. largemouth patterns, grass fishing, current strategies, breaking down a new body of water, advanced tournament strategy and targeting trophy bass. Techniques covered will consist of cranking, flipping, pitching, topwater, power-fishing, finesse-fishing, dropshotting, Carolina-rigging and more.

    The instructors will focus on the lessons and techniques that will drastically improve the student’s fishing skills and knowledge. Following each training day, a practice program will be developed for each student. Students will have access to their instructor following the trip to ask questions as they continue their training.

    To register, click here.

  • B.A.S.S.: No-cull rule was much discussed

    B.A.S.S.: No-cull rule was much discussed

    In light of a Feedback submission from former B.A.S.S. tournament director Harold Sharp on Tuesday, BassFan contacted B.A.S.S. in an attempt to get further clarification on the disqualification of runaway leader Brandon Palaniuk at last week's Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series. Palaniuk's day-2 bag was nullified due to a violation of Minnesota's archaic prohibition against culling.

    Sharp sought an explanation as to how the organization arrived at the decision to DQ Palaniuk for that infraction when other violations (such as bringing six fish or a short fish to the weigh-in) would've resulted in only 1-or 2-pound deductions, even though they're also violations of state laws.

    B.A.S.S.' response appears below in italics:

    Brandon Palaniuk’s Day 2 catch was disqualified for violation of Rule 6 (iii): “All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations.”

    Rule 6 also states, “Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.”

    According to Chris Bowes, the B.A.S.S. tournament manager who was in charge of enforcing the rules, “In the state of Minnesota, including the boundary waters with Wisconsin, there is a strict no-cull policy that was communicated to Elite Series participants prior to the event and was emphasized at the tournament briefing on Wednesday, June 19. We felt a disqualification of the day’s weight was appropriate given these circumstances. It was by far the most discussed rule at the pre-tournament briefing. Some anglers avoided even fishing Minnesota waters in order to keep from having to deal with culling concerns, and some released keeper fish in hopes they would catch another bass later. Taking the confirmed violation of this no-culling law lightly would have been unfair to those anglers who observed the rule.”

    It should also be noted that earlier this year, when a competitor in the Southern Open No. 2 on Douglas Lake was found to have caught a fish on a five-hook umbrella rig in violation of Tennessee law, his day’s catch was similarly disqualified. An Elite Series angler also had his catch disqualified in a Florida tournament a few years ago for violating a law governing no-wake manatee zones — again, after stern warnings from tournament officials. There is precedent for the penalty imposed in this situation.

    It remains to be seen whether this incident will have an impact on the scheduling of future high-level events at the venue by B.A.S.S. and other organizations, or whether Minnesota waters will simply be placed off-limits at such tournaments.

  • A-A: Expect Nickajack to fish small

    A-A: Expect Nickajack to fish small

    While the FLW Tour pros duke it out on Chickamauga Lake and Watts Bar Lake this week, a field of 49 anglers will be working over Nickajack Lake in pursuit of the BFL All-American title.

    According to Rogne Brown, who guides at Nickajack among other TVA lakes, it's anticipated the derby will be won offshore, but he wouldn't rule out somebody getting on a roll up shallow.

    "It's going to fish extremely small," Brown said. "It's mostly a river lake. Only 8 or 10 miles of it fishes like a lake.

    "Someone may get lucky in the river and do well, but there aren't many largemouths in the river stretch because there are no spawning flats there. It should be won on the lower end. Someone could get lucky and get a jig going on the river bank and catch 16 or 17 pounds a day, but the better fish are going to be caught offshore."

    The lake has been off limits to competitors since June 17 and they'll get 1 day of practice on Wednesday in advance of the tournament that runs from Thursday through Saturday.

    The All-American winner will walk away with up to $120,000 in cash and a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup at the Red River slated for Aug. 15-18.

    Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. each day from Ross’s Landing located at 200 Riverfront Pkwy. in Chattanooga, TN. Weigh-ins on days 1 and 2 will be at Ross’s Landing beginning at 3 p.m. and the final day weigh-in will take place at the Walmart store located at 3034 Rhea County Highway in Dayton, Tenn., starting at 5:30 p.m.

  • Carrot Stix bought

    Carrot Stix bought

    CEC America, a multinational distribution and supply chain company, announced recently that it's taken over the financially troubled Carrot Stix rod brand.

    “In my 28 years in manufacturing, I have never seen such customer loyalty and devotion to any brand as I have seen with Carrot Stix” said CEC America VP and CEO Jimmy Davlouros. “I had the great privilege of talking to fishermen all over the United States and Canada and in some cases I had spent more than half an hour on the phone with them talking about the amazing experiences they had on the water with this brand."

    CEC America is a Chinese government-owned company that functions primarily in the electronics industry. It stated in its press release that attire, surveillance and safety equipment may also be displayed under the Carrot Stix brand by the end of the year.

  • Pack benefit tournament Saturday at Fork

    A fundraising tournament to benefit the family of former tour pro Mark Pack, whose son is in need of an operation to repair multiple discs in his spine, will take place Saturday at Lake Fork in Texas.

    The entry fee is $160 per team and there are guaranteed payouts of $5,000 for 1st place and $1,000 for big bass.

    To see the event flyer, click here. For the entry form, click here.

  • Numerous giveaways planned for Cup

    Numerous giveaways planned for Cup

    BassFans will have a number of chances to win some cool and valuable prizes at the upcoming Forrest Wood Cup, which is slated for Aug. 15-18 at the Red River in Shreveport/Bossier City, La.

    The following is a breakdown of all of the contests and prizes available for the duration of the Cup:

    KTBS 3 Fish with a Pro
    > Local TV station KTBS 3 is giving away a fishing trip for two to fish with an FLW Tour pro on Saturday, Aug. 17. Included in the prize pack are an autographed jersey, VIP seating for the winner and up to five guests for the day 3 and 4 weigh-ins and VIP seating for the Dylan Scott concert on the final day.

    KRMD Country 101.1 FM Fish with a Pro
    > Radion station KRMD Country 101.1 is offering one listener and a guest the opportunity to fish with an FLW Tour pro on Saturday, Aug. 17 as well as a prize pack that includes a rod and reel combo, autographed jersey, VIP seating for the winner and up to five guests for the Saturday and Sunday weigh-ins, and VIP seating for the Dylan Scott concert on Sunday.

    KWKH 1130 AM & KVKI 96.5 FM Fish Tales
    > Radio stations KWKH 1130 AM and KVIK 96.5 FM have teamed up to offer the chance to win a limited-edition FLW Tour diecast boat valued at $200 plus a 1-year FLW membership, a kids rod and reel combo along with a tackle assortment.

    KTAL-FM – 98 Rocks FLW Typhoon giveaway
    > Between 5 and 7 a.m. during the first 3 days of the Cup, BassFans are encouraged to visit the 98 Rocks booth at Red River Marina for a chance to win a variety of prizes, including Typhoon sunglasses, FLW hats, VIP seating passes, behind-the-scenes tours and more.

    FOX 33/Facebook “Gear up for the Forrest Wood Cup” giveaway
    > TV station FOX 33 is giving away five Daiwa rod and reel combos each week during the month of July plus a grand prize that includes more than $500 in fishing gear from Lowrance, Strike King, Plano, Daiwa and FLW to help you gear up for the Forrest Wood Cup. Simply "like" FOX 33 on Facebook for a chance to win. If you're attending the Cup, stop by the FOX 33 seminar room at the Shreveport Convention Center. The first 30 fans in attendance at each seminar will receive a free lure.

    Free Rods and Reels
    > The first 500 children 14 and under to attend the FLW Expo at the Shreveport Convention Center when doors open at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 will receive a voucher for a free rod and reel combo with tackle kit courtesy of radio station 1130 AM The Tiger. The voucher can be redeemed at the main exits of the CenturyLink Center following each day’s weigh-in. Vouchers must be redeemed on the day issued and may not be redeemed before weigh-in.

    Ranger Z520C/Mercury giveaway
    > One fan will be chosen to win a new Ranger Z520 powered by a 250-HP Mercury from TV station KSLA News 12 following the final weigh-in at the CenturyLink Center on Sunday, Aug. 18. Entry forms are available at the front entrance to the FLW Expo at the Shreveport Convention Center, and at select promotional stops, including Red River Chevrolet in Bossier City and The Sportsman's Expo at the convention center July 19-21, and online at and You must be present at the drawing following the Aug. 18 weigh-in to win. Admission is free.

  • Vicious enters auto accessories market

    Vicious enters auto accessories market

    Want some Vicious Fishing gear for your car, truck, ATV or UTV? Soon, you'll be able to outfit any of your vehicles with Vicious-branded gear after Vicious Fishing entered into a licensing agreement with Hatchie Bottom Outdoor Products, which currently currently markets licensed auto, ATV and UTV products for popular outdoor brands such as Mossy Oak and Realtree.

    Under the multi-year agreement, Hatchie Bottom will produce a full line of Vicious-branded accessories including seat covers, floor mats, steering wheel covers, visor organizers, windshield sun shades and hitch covers. The full line of products will be on display in the Vicious Booth at ICAST in Las Vegas.

    “When it comes to automobiles, people like to showcase the brands they love through their accessories," said Chris Pickens, Hatchie Bottom national sales manager. "Vicious is one of those brands. The Vicious fan is a fanatic for anything Vicious and we look forward to filling this void for these avid consumers."

    Said Vicious sales and licensing director Glen Cunningham, “With the long standing quality and overall national distribution that Hatchie Bottom brings to this relationship, we know that Vicious fans everywhere are going to get great products that further their ability to engage with our brand. We look forward to growing this line of products and the added exposure it will bring to Vicious."

  • Jig produced well at Schmitt's secret spot

    Having a spot to yourself on the Potomac River for 3 days in a row is virtually unheard of these days. Luckily for Bryan Schmitt, that's how things played out for him during a wire-to-wire victory at last week's Potomac River Northern EverStart, his third EverStart win at the Potomac in 4 years.

    A homemade jig turned out to be his key bait as he picked over a small shell bed that he had noticed started to hold fish a few weeks prior to the tournament.

    To read more about how he won, click here.

  • St. Lawrence kicking out big bags

    St. Lawrence kicking out big bags

    The St. Lawrence River, which will be the venue for the second-to-last Bassmaster Elite Series event of the season in August, produced massive weights over the weekend in a Renegade Bass qualifying tournament that featured many of Canada's leading anglers.

    The team of former FLW Tour pro Charles Sim and longtime tournament partner Nigel Touhey won with a 27.24-pound sack. The duo actually caught 27.74, but were penalized a half-pound due to a dead fish.

    “We spent the week looking for shallow-water smallmouth bass by covering a lot of shoreline and pinpointing the biggest fish we could find so we could come back to fish for them on the day of the tournament,” said Touhey. “We were pretty certain we could put together a winning bag of fish and went so far as to catch and weigh a number of the fish we pinpointed in our practice to be certain of our weight. It was probably a bit risky, but it worked out well and brought us a win on an epic day of fishing.”

    The Top 19 teams in the 73-team event all weighed more than 20 pounds. For full results, click here.

  • Zaldain joins Megabass staff

    Zaldain joins Megabass staff

    Megabass of America, the U.S. arm of Japan’s most revered builder of high-end fishing tackle, announced today that second-year Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Zaldain will fish the company’s Orochi XX series of rods in forthcoming tournament competition. He’ll join seasoned veterans Aaron Martens and Luke Clausen as the tour-level pros using the new series of rods aimed at comprehensively covering all major US-tournament applications.

    “What amazed me most about the Orochi XX rods is the tremendous attention to detail,” said Zaldain, who won the Bassmaster Central Opens points title in 2011 and already has seven Top-10 finishes in a short B.A.S.S. career. “They use the finest high-modulus graphite, which makes them super-light and sensitive.

    "I’ve had light rods in the past, but many of them are not balanced. These just feel perfect in your hand. It’s obvious that everything from how they’re molded, to the way the cork is sanded, to the guides and the epoxy has been thought through in tremendous detail.”

    Zaldain will have all 11 rods in the series – nine baitcasting and two spinning – at his disposal, and he expects to use them all daily, but it’s the spinning rods designed by Martens that have him most excited.

    “Being from California, I love-light line fishing in deep, clear water,” he said. “I’m sure that these ultra-sensitive rods will improve my chances and allow me to feel and land fish that I otherwise would have missed.”

    With proven champions like Martens and Clausen already onboard and contributing to the design process, Zaldain brings a dose of youthful energy and a fresh voice to the team.

    "Chris is, without a doubt, one of the brightest young stars in our sport today," said Megabass of America VP Yuskei Murayama. "Not only has he proven himself a force on the water, but as we've gotten to know Chris these past 2 years, he's continued to impress with a level of poise, integrity and intellect that far surpass his years. We are honored that Chris has chosen our rods to support his passion for fishing and look forward to growing with him in the many years to come."

  • Schmitt seals win at Potomac

    Bryan Schmitt closed out a wire-to-wire victory at the Potomac River Northern EverStart on Saturday by catching a 16-02 stringer that gave him a 3-day total of 52-08, which was good enough for a 7-plus pound margin over runner-up David Hooker.

    It is Schmitt's third EverStart win at the Potomac in the last 4 years and he did it by carefully picking over a shell bed near a creek mouth with a homemade jig. He earned more than $37,500 for the victory.

    Here's how the Top 10 finished up near the nation's capital:

    1. Bryan Schmitt: 52-08
    2. David Hooker: 45-04
    3. Jason Tibbetts: 43-15
    4. Robert Grike: 43-00
    5. Terry Olinger: 42-07
    6. Mike McDonald: 42-03
    7. Shayne Berlo: 42-00
    8. Rodney Mosley: 40-01
    9. Gilbert Gagner: 38-07
    10. James Steiner: 37-06

    Full details of Schmitt's winning pattern will be published later this week.

  • Clausen still searching, Yelas feeling good

    Luke Clausen didn't find what he expected to today while Jay Yelas thinks he has a game plan to build upon after day 1 of practice for the Lake Chickamauga FLW Tour.

    To check out their day-1 practice recaps, click here to go to BassFan's Pro View Reports.

  • Klein: Sentimental loss the worst

    Klein: Sentimental loss the worst

    (Editor's note: Here's another short feature from Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships)

    Gary Klein is having the sort of season that should allow him to qualify for a remarkable 30th Bassmaster Classic. He sat 18th in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race heading into the event at the Mississippi River.

    However, in addition to the powerful rain and lighting that delayed the start of day 2, Klein's week in La Crosse was tested by storms of concern and frustration when he realized thieves had slipped their way under his boat cover in the hotel parking lot one night prior to the event and stole the majority of his most important tackle just 48 hours before official practice got started.

    The robbers took 16 plastic tackle trays that housed Klein’s square-bill crankbaits, treasured topwaters, tungsten weights, dropshot tackle and specialty flippin’ hooks, plus two Gary Klein signature series Quantum flippin’ sticks. The also got wo Greg Hackney signature series Quantum flippin’ sticks, three Quantum Accurist PT casting reels with the rare "flippin' switch" that he loves, and a Quantum EXO 200 reel.

    With the help of his fellow pros, Klein is squashing adversity like summer bugs on the windshield of his Repel-wrapped Tundra.

    “The amazing thing about this group of Elite Series pros is that within minutes of me discovering I had been robbed, no less than 15 other pros starting volunteering to give me any tackle I needed to get through the week,” he said. “Cliff Pace, Shaw Grigsby, Russ Lane, Andy Montgomery, the list goes on and on. Heck, Kevin VanDam heard about it while he was still at home getting ready to drive from Michigan to Wisconsin, and called to ask if he could bring any extra stuff from home to help me out.”

    Klein moves forward in positive fashion knowing that as the 19th century proverb says, “Less is more.”

    “I had my boat broken into 20 or so years ago at Kentucky Lake, and they took virtually everything in it,” recalled Klein. “The worst part was it happened the night before the tournament, and I didn’t realize I had no tackle until morning launch, so Greg Hines loaned me two flippin’ sticks and a handful of black and blue jigs, and I ended up catching the biggest limit anybody weighed in that day.

    “These situations have a weird way of forcing you to focus harder on the actual fishing part of this sport, but it’s losing the irreplaceable stuff that hurts the most."

    One of those “irreplacables” came from Klein's mother’s keychain out in California.

    “About 30 years ago, Mom asked me for a lure to hang on her keychain. I gave her an old topwater that’s no longer made. It was a great one - an all-time favorite.

    “So 2 years ago when I visited her, I told her I would trade her for a new one. I took the old one that had been worn down to just the bone-colored body home to Texas and hung hooks and new feathers on it."

    The sentimentally rich lure shared between Gary and his mom also fell victim to the criminals’ hands last Friday night.

    If you see any of the above-mentioned tackle suspiciously for sale, please call police. In the meantime, Gary fishes with the focus that’s made him a living legend, and one that adversity won’t derail in his quest for a mind-boggling 30th rip to the Bassmaster Classic.

    “I love La Crosse,” said Klein. “This is a great fishery. I enjoy coming up here, and I look forward to coming back again.”

  • Sick Fish family grows

    <b><font color=maroon>Sick Fish family grows</font></b>

    Looking for a life-like swimbait that can catch fish just about anywhere? Check out the Berkley Havoc Sick Fish, which is now available in a 3-inch and 5 1/2-inch versions.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Bill targeting military spending in sports fails again

    Congresswoman Betty McCollum's latest attempt to eliminate what she deems wasteful government spending on sports like pro wrestling and auto racing has failed.

    Last week, the Minnesota democrat offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014 aimed at cutting the $53 million the Army National Guard spends on marketing programs with World Wrestling Entertainment, NASCAR and Indy Car racing. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 290-134 in the House of Representatives.

    BassFans will recall that McCollum and Georgia republican Jack Kingston last year sponsored an amendment targeting military spending in pro sports, including auto racing and fishing. The measure ultimately failed, but their efforts are believed to be the reason behind the National Guard's decision to discontinue its involvement as a major sponsor of FLW.

    “This is a Congress that has its priorities seriously wrong," McCollum said in a release posted on her website. "I am watching Republicans and Democrats coming together to slash government spending by kicking poor children off the school lunch program and denying low-income seniors access to food. Then these same folks turn around and protect a $53 million taxpayer handout to NASCAR and pro-wrestling. It just shows the American people the extent to which Congress is addicted to spending that directly benefits special interests like NASCAR."

  • Schmitt bags 18 for Potomac lead

    Bryan Schmitt sacked 18 pounds even today and is the day-1 leader at the Potomac River Northern EverStart Series.

    John Hutchins caught 17-09 and is currently in 2nd while James Steiner bagged 16-05 for 3rd.

    Here's a quick look at the Top 10 after the first day:

    1. Bryan Schmitt: 18-00
    2. John Hutchins: 17-09
    3. James Steiner: 16-05
    4. Larry Kempler: 16-03
    5. Rodney Mosley: 16-01
    6. Mickey Pettry: 16-00
    7. Michael Hall: 15-02
    8. Robert Pearson: 15-01
    9. Dave Lefebre: 14-11
    10. Terry Olinger: 14-10

  • ICAST preview: Big Bite Baits Real Deal Minnow

    ICAST preview: Big Bite Baits Real Deal Minnow

    In a couple of weeks, the fishing world will converge on Las Vegas, where hundreds of companies will unveil their latest innovations and creations at the ICAST show.

    Big Bite Baits will be showing off a few new soft plastic baits and among them will be the Real Deal Minnow, a 4 1/2-inch swimbait with a unique twin-tail design.

    BassFan spent some time with Dean Rojas earlier this spring and in the following "In The Boat" product video, he explains why he thinks the Real Deal Minnow will be a go-to option for swimbait fans.

  • Balog: Best of the best belong in championships

    Balog: Best of the best belong in championships

    Who doesn't love a Cinderella story? Bass fishing has seen its fair share in its premier events, but Joe Balog feels spots in the Bassmaster Classic and Forrest Wood Cup – the two marquee tournaments in the sport – should be reserved for the full-time pros.

    To check out what he has to say in his latest Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Product review: Splizzors make the cut

    Product review: Splizzors make the cut

    Buck Knives is well-known across the hunting and fishing landscape for their incredibly well-made blades and utility knives.

    Now, the company is entering the fishing tool market and looks to have a hit on its hands with the Splizzors, a heavy-duty pair of pliers that doubles as shears that'll cut through virtually any fishing line like a hot knife through butter.

    To check out BassFan's review of the Splizzors, click here.

  • Mayor: Something 'major' coming to Chickamauga

    In an article previewing next week's Lake Chickamauga FLW Tour published today on, the mayor of Dayton, Tenn., is quoted as saying the city is close to landing another major fishing tournament, presumably to be held at Chickamauga.

    "There's another one I can't disclose that's way bigger than FLW," Mayor Gary Louallen told the website. "It's going to be major."

    Chickamauga has been one of the hottest lakes in the country this year, especially during the pre-spawn when it seemed like the lake was producing 35- to 40-pound stringers every weekend.

    The mayor's statement will likely fuel speculation that FLW could be considering Chick as a potential site for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup or that B.A.S.S. is planning to put Chick on its Elite Series schedule next year or eyeing it for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. Those scenarios seem to be the only options that would qualify as "bigger than FLW" in the bass tournament realm.

    Chattanooga, Tenn., is 40 miles south of Dayton and would appear to have enough amenities (hotels, arena, convention space) to host an event like the Cup or Classic.

    To read the whole article, click here.

  • Bridgford Foods contest: Fish Grand with Blaukat

    Bridgford Foods contest: Fish Grand with Blaukat

    It's been a special year for bass fishing at Grand Lake 'O The Cherokees. It's hosted two major pro tournaments, including the Bassmaster Classic, and the lake record largemouth was caught there earlier this year.

    Now, it's your turn to get in on the action. Bridgford Foods, the title sponsor of FLW Tour angler Randy Blaukat, is giving away a 3-day, 3-night fishing trip to Grand Lake where you and a guest will fish with Blaukat on his home waters at Grand.

    "Bridgford Foods is pleased to offer this sweepstakes as an opportunity for our fans to be able to experience some on the water time with Randy," said Bridgford spokesman Brad Martin. "We are The Premium Brand, and feel that we have come up with a premium package to give our winners the ultimate experience with an ultimate fisherman. Randy knows Grand Lake very well which should lead to a couple of days of great fishing."

    The prize package is worth approximately $2,500 and includes travel accommodations for two people to and from Tulsa, Okla., transportation to and from the Tulsa airport, 3 nights accommodations at the Downriver Casino Resort, a $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card, a $300 meal/incidentals allowance as well as plenty of Bridgford meat snacks for your time on the water.

    The dates of the trip are Sept. 17-19, 2013 and the winner will be selected on Aug. 19.

    "This is going to be a great experience for the winners," said Blaukat, who's fished Grand for more than 30 years. "The package is valued at $2,500, and the crankbait fishing at Grand later this summer will be excellent."

    To enter the sweepstakes, click here.

  • Martin, Suggs facing Cup-or-bust scenario at Chick

    Martin, Suggs facing Cup-or-bust scenario at Chick

    With one event left on the FLW Tour schedule, two past Forrest Wood Cup champions find themselves locked in a tie for 40th place in the Angler of the Year points.

    Scott Martin and Scott Suggs have both had an up and down 2013 season and they’ll arrive at Lake Chickamauga for the season finale next week just 2 points behind 39th-place James Biggs, who would be the final Cup qualifier via points were the Cup to begin tomorrow.

    Martin, the Cup winner in 2011, started the year with three finishes of 71st or worse. He rebounded with a 10th at Lake Eufaula and was 36th at Grand Lake earlier this month. He finished 7th at Chickamauga when the FLW Tour last stopped there in April 2011.

    "I'm going to approach (Chick) like any other event," Martin said. "Chick's a great lake and I like that style of fishing. I want to win. More important than making the Cup, I want to win another tournament. I've won one 4 years straight and I want to keep that streak going.

    "If I aim to win and miss, maybe I'll have a high enough finish to make the Cup, but I'm not aiming for 25th or whatever I think it'll take to make the Cup. I'll go there and fish hard start to finish. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be."

    Suggs is coming off two brutal finishes at Eufaula and Grand after placing 5th at Beaver Lake in April. The 2007 Cup winner isn't enthused about how small people are anticipating Chickamauga will fish.

    "I've had two good tournaments there, but neither were dominant ledge deals like this one's going to be," he said. "If we're going to have these summer ledge-fishing events, I'd rather it be at a place like Kentucky (Lake) or Guntersville where you can spread out. I don't like these kinds of tournaments where everyone's on top of each other."

    He'll try not to let it dampen his desire to qualify for his sixth Cup, despite the grueling dead-of-summer conditions that many are expecting at the Red River in Shreveport/Bossier City, La., in mid-August.

    "I want to be down there fishing the Red," he said. "It'll be the closest you'll get to Hades in real life."

    Coming off his strong finish at Beaver, he failed to keep the moment going at the last two events.

    "I'd rather it not be this way," he said. "The last two tournaments have been disappointing. On the last day of practice at Eufaula, I found a big bag offshore and thought I was fixing to wreck 'em. At Grand with the high water, I got on them good on the last day of practice. Instead of fishing willows, I was in people's backyards on isolated bushes catching fry guarders. I had about 40 bites on day 1 doing that, then the water fell out and the fish stopped crushing the Pop-R like they had in practice.

    "Going into Chickamauga, I though I could it based on experience and knowledge. Now, I'm hoping to base it mostly on luck. This year, from day 1 all the way through, I feel like I've gotten back to fishing how I ought to be fishing. The last couple tournaments haven't worked out, but that happens to the best of us."

  • Documentary to precede Abu's round reel re-launch

    Documentary to precede Abu's round reel re-launch

    In 2014, Abu Garcia will re-launch its iconic Swedish-made round reels. Set to be unveiled at ICAST next month, the company will present the newly updated editions of its original Record, C4, C3, Pro Rocket and Morrum Swedish-made round reels.

    To mark the occasion, a poignant documentary has been produced that traces the history of one of the most revered fishing brands in the world. The trailer of “For Life, The Story of Abu Garcia” is currently viewable at The full-length documentary premiers online via YouTube ( and Vimeo ( ) at 3 p.m. ET on July 10.

    “Chronicling the history of one of the world’s most legendary fishing brands was a huge task and we are very excited to give an insider’s look at how this company started,” said the film’s director, Dustin Hoye. “The stories were so genuine and provided many different points of view for a great perspective of the lives influenced by Abu Garcia.“

    Highlights in the film include Lennart Borgstrom, former Abu Garcia owner, and Henning Karlssom, who began working in the factory in 1940. Henning was just 14 years old when he started with Abu Garcia and to this day, still volunteers as curator of the museum in Svangsta, Sweden.

    Everyday anglers provide their heartfelt stories that underscore the way fishing shapes some of the most memorable and defining moments in their lives.

  • Wolak, Wilks to debut N.C.-based TV show

    Wolak, Wilks to debut N.C.-based TV show

    Former tour pros Dave Wolak (left) and Dustin Wilks will star in a North Carolina-based fishing show that will begin airing next month on the Pursuit Channel. There will be plenty of bass action, but they'll also pursue a variety of other species throughout the state that both call home.

    To learn more about it, click here.

  • Berkley trailer heads west

    Berkley trailer heads west

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Scheels in Sandy, Utah from June 28-30. The 60-foot trailer provides fun and fishing education to all levels of anglers.

    The trailer features updated videos, interactive product demos, contests and the popular knot-tying seminars to help ensure attendees do not lose that fish of a lifetime. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    “We are excited about having the Berkley Experience Trailer on the road, its 8th year, in 2013 and we have many new locations across the country”, said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "The Berkley Experience Trailer team is ready 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.”

    Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location. These include not only line and bait, but rods, reels and combos.

    The store is located at 11282 S. State St. The phone number is (801) 948-7080.

    Upcoming stops are scheduled for Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (July 12-14) and Sports Chalet in Oxnard, Calif. (June 26-28).

  • Different setup at the Mississippi

    Brent Chapman and Aaron Martens were both shaking their heads a bit following the first day of practice for this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event out of La Crosse, Wis. The scenario is considerably different than it was a year ago, primarily due to a later spring in the region.

    To check out their day-1 practice recaps, click here to go to BassFan's Pro View Reports.

  • McGuire rolls to KY Lake EverStart win

    McGuire rolls to KY Lake EverStart win

    Curt McGuire caught a 22-11 sack on Saturday to claim his second win in 4 years at the Kentucky Lake Central EverStart. He led wire to wire and his 70-03 total for 3 days eclipsed runner-up David Gnewikow by more than 7 pounds.

    “This one was a little bit more special than my first win,” said McGuire, who also topped the event in 2010. “I feel like the competition here on Kentucky Lake is much stiffer now than it used to be. There are no better local fisherman than here at Kentucky Lake

    “I really had a fantastic week. I must have caught at least 40 to 50 4-pound fish. Some of my schools that I had located, I never even touched. I really just tried to concentrate on the schools that I knew held bigger fish.”

    Details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here are the final numbers for the Top 10:

    1. Curt McGuire: 70-03
    2. David Gnewikow: 62-13
    3. MarkRose: 62-07
    4. Kevin Snider: 60-01
    5. Sam Morrow: 59-13
    6. Clent Davis: 59-03
    7. Randy Haynes: 58-01
    8. Jason Lambert: 56-06
    9. Ray Barga: 47-08
    10. Mickey Beck: 43-10

  • Howell wins by 6-plus at James River

    Howell wins by 6-plus at James River

    Elite Series pro Randy Howell closed out his first B.A.S.S. victory in more than 9 years on Saturday as he caught a 15-05 sack to win the James River Bassmaster Northern Open with a 3-day total of 47-11.

    Howell's most recent triumph was a reduced-field Elite 50 tournament on Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas in April 2004. Since then, there have been several times that he’s led after a day or two of competition, but he’s never been able to close the deal.

    Last year, he led an Elite Series tournament at New York’s Oneida Lake after 2 days, but only weighed in four fish the last day and fell to Boyd Duckett by 6 ounces. On Saturday, he had two fish over 4 pounds early in the morning, but when the bite slowed, he trusted his instincts in a way he had not at Oneida and it paid off.

    “At Oneida I had a gut feeling at 12 o’clock and I talked myself out of it,” he said. “I finally went there with 45 minutes left to go and caught some fish, but it was too late. I feel like if I had gone there when I first thought about it, I’d have won.

    "Today I felt like I had to run back to a spot within a mile or 2 of the ramp, so I did it, and I culled two times. In the end, I didn’t need it, but I feel good about it and hope that momentum will stay with me the rest of the year.”

    In addition to a fully rigged Nitro boat, Howell's prize package also included a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. Details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Below are the final totals for the Top 12:

    1.Randy Howell: 47-11
    2. Mike Hicks: 41-10
    3. Mike Iaconelli: 41-04
    4. Kelly Pratt: 40-04
    5. Wayne Vaughan: 39-01
    6. Pete Gluszek: 38-12
    7. Jim Dillard: 38-00
    8. Tracy Adams: 36-15
    9. Justin Lucas: 36-04
    10. Steven Colgin: 35-13
    11. Brandon Palaniuk: 35-09
    12. Greg Cooper: 31-04

  • McGuire up by 3 1/2 at Kentucky

    McGuire up by 3 1/2 at Kentucky

    Curt McGuire retained the lead today at the Kentucky Lake Central EverStart as he weighed a 22-06 stringer that pushed his total to 47-08.

    David Gnewikow held on to the No. 2 slot, but instead of trailing by a single ounce, he's now nearly 3 1/2 pounds behind McGuire. Gnewikow caught a 19-02 sack on day 2 for a 44-03 aggregate.

    McGuire won the Kentucky Lake EverStart in 2010. He has three other Top-10 finishes in the event, including a runner-up showing in 2005.

    Here are the totals for the anglers who'll compete on the final day:

    1. Curt McGuire: 47-08
    2. David Gnewikow
    3. Clent Davis: 40-10
    4. Sam Morrow: 40-06
    5. Mark Rose: 38-09
    6. Kevin Snider: 38-07
    7. Mickey Beck: 37-15
    8. Randy Haynes: 37-08
    9. Jason Lambert: 37-05
    10. Ray Barga: 36-14

  • Howell takes over top slot at James

    Howell takes over top slot at James

    Elite Series pro Randy Howell caught a 16-12 sack today to take over the lead at the James River Bassmaster Northern Open with a 2-day total of 32-07.

    The Alabamian is in 60th place in the Elite Series standings with three events remaining and will have a tough time making next year's Classic at Lake Guntersville in his home state via that route. A victory at the James would rectify that situation.

    "That's why I came this far – just to have a chance," he said.

    Former tour pro Mike Hicks also caught 16-12 on day 2 and moved into 2nd place. The key to his success has been one particular bait, which he declined to name.

    “It’s a very popular bait on this river,” he said. “And all I can say is that color means a lot.”

    Here are the totals for the anglers who'll return to the water for day 3:

    1.Randy Howell: 32-07
    2. Mike Hicks: 31-03
    3. Wayne Vaughan: 13-11
    4. Mike Iaconelli: 29-01
    5. Kelly Pratt: 28-08
    6. Jim Dillard: 28-06
    7. Tracy Adams: 28-01
    8. Steven Colgin: 27-09
    9. GregCooper: 27-06
    10. Justin Lucas: 27-06
    11. Brandon Palaniuk: 26-11
    12. Pete Gluszek: 26-03

  • Roumbanis has eye on the prize(s)

    Roumbanis has eye on the prize(s)

    As things stand right now, Fred Roumbanis is close – real close – to qualifying for all the major championship events. Close, however, means he still has plenty of work to do in order to assure himself berths in bass fishing's three signature events.

    He's on the outside looking in on the points races for the Bassmaster Classic, the Forrest Wood Cup as well as the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which under a new arrangement will be held this fall and next spring. However, he's within striking distance of qualifying for all of them – something he's focused on and conscious of as the season hits the stretch drive.

    "I'm literally in a position where I'm going to have to work really hard and things have to come together, but I can make all three championships," he said. "It's something where you'd rather have a chance at it than no chance at all."

    With one tournament remaining (Lake Chickamauga) on the FLW Tour schedule, he sits in 45th place in Angler of the Year (AOY) points. After factoring in double qualifiers, the cutoff for berths in the Forrest Wood Cup will likely extend down to 39th place and Roumbanis is just 21 points behind rookie James Biggs, who occupies 39th right now.

    A Top-30 finish at Chick will likely be enough to move Roumbanis up the necessary positions to send him to the Red River in August for the Cup.

    "It's going to come down to a guy who's mentally tough," he said. "Bait selection will be tough, but when everything's that tight, whomever's mentally tough and figures out a something a little something to tweak a bait, that person could have an advantage. You can catch fish all over the lake. It's just very small judging from what I saw in pre-practice. It's like Grand, though, in that the average fish will be about 3 pounds.

    "If I go out there and practice I normally do – I usually try to find the shallow bite first, but I know I have to get out there and find them deep. If I get a Top-30, I should be good."

    He's presently 42nd in Elite Series Angler of the Year points, but just 26 points out of 28th, which is the cutoff point for qualification through the AOY standings. Again, there will likely be some double-qualifiers that will open up additional spots, but he hopes to eliminate the guess work over the final three Elite Series events.

    He's also 20th in the PAA Series points, 25 points out of the Top 15, which are guaranteed berths in not only this fall's Toyota Texas Bass Classic, but also the spring version which debuts next year.

    He's on track to fish at least 18 events this year across all three tours. Some may see it as a grind, he sees it as a way to keep his skills sharp.

    "I'm way more in tune and able to get more in a rhythm," he said. "It's also easier to make adjustments throughout the day because you have a more instinctive feel for when to change. There's no substitute for time on the water. I'm hoping it all pays off heading into these last few events."

  • It's all in the tail

    <b><font color=maroon>It's all in the tail</font></b>

    Berkley Havoc has come out with a new twitch-style bait called The Jerk. The unique tail gives the Mike Iaconelli-designed bait the ability to perform different actions depending on speed of retrieve.

    To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • In The Boat: Fishing post-front conditions

    In The Boat: Fishing post-front conditions

    Post-front conditions are some of the most challenging scenarios that bass fishermen face. In the latest In The Boat pro tip, Elite Series angler Dean Rojas offers some pointers on how to effectively navigate post-front conditions and get back on the fish that were biting a day ago.

    To watch Rojas explain his tactics, click here.

  • McGuire, Gnewikow set pace at KY Lake

    McGuire, Gnewikow set pace at KY Lake

    Longtime local stalwarts Curt McGuire (pictured) and David Gnewikow each broke the 25-pound barrier Thursday on day 1 of the Kentucky Lake Central EverStart.

    McGuire sacked 25-02 to lead Gnewikow by a single ounce. After that, there's a drop of more than 3 pounds down to FLW Tour pro Clent Davis, who's 3rd with 21-12.

    The Top 48 in the 154-angler field all weighed at least 15 pounds. Here's how the initial Top 10 stacks up:

    1. Curt McGuire: 25-02
    2. David Gnewikow: 25-01
    3. Clent Davis: 21-12
    4. Keith Amerson: 20-00
    5. Michael Wooley: 19-09
    6. Craig Dowling: 19-03
    7 (tie). Brian Choate: 18-14
    7 (tie). Mark Rose: 18-14
    9. Keith Whitlow: 18-12
    10. John Lewis: 18-10

  • G. Loomis event June 22 at Guntersville

    G. Loomis event June 22 at Guntersville

    The G. Loomis Owners Tournament will take place June 22 at Alabama's Lake Guntersville. The top prize is $2,000 cash, a trip for two to the company's factory in Washington state (including a Columbia River fishing excursion) and two custom NRX rods.

    Other prize packages include:

    > 2nd: $2,000 cash, two NRX rods, two Shimano Chronarch reels.
    > 3rd: $1,000 cash, two full sets of G. Loomis clothing.
    > 4th: $1,000 cash, two GL2 rods.
    > 5th: $500 cash.

    The entry fee is $110 per boat, which includes $10 for the big-fish pot ($750 prize). Only G. Loomis rods will be allowed in boats.

    To register or obtain more information, contact Geoff Walker at (205) 587-1759 or Chad Bull at (205) 717-7306.

  • 'Send A Limit' to aid Oklahomans

    'Send A Limit' to aid Oklahomans

    Nearly a month after a devastating tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., leaving 24 dead and completely destroying nearly 2,500 homes, there’s still an enormous need for support and donations for the victims beginning the long process of piecing their lives back together.

    Mark Jeffreys, founder of the Bass Zone, has spent over half of his life living in Moore. While his home and office were unaffected by the EF5 tornado that ripped through the town on May 20, Jeffreys saw the devastation up close.

    “These families have lost everything,” he said. “The outpouring of support for Moore has been incredible, but there’s still a huge need for certain donations. When I saw the opportunity for the Bass Zone and the bass fishing community to get involved and help in a small but very important way, it was a no-brainer.”

    Of the thousands of families just beginning the rebuilding process, conservative estimates are that 30 percent of those who lost everything in the tornado did not have any homeowners insurance.

    The concept behind the “Send A Limit” campaign is simple: Donate a limit (five items) to the Bass Zone headquarters by June 30 and the items will be delivered to the Catholic Charities of Oklahoma in Moore. The biggest need is for non-perishable canned food items, but monetary donations will also be accepted.

    “Five canned goods, five pieces of clothing, five toys or five dollars, the Send a Limit donations will make a difference for the families of Moore,” said Jeffreys. “Catholic Charities of Oklahoma has done such a great job helping families and providing a source for so many things we take for granted. Families are able to shop for everything from food to furniture. My family has spent time helping at the Catholic Charities location and your heart goes out for what the families are going through after the storms. ”

    Elite Series pros Kenyon Hill of Norman, Okla. and Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla. have joined forces with the Bass Zone to help spread the word and raise donations for the Send A Limit campaign.

    “I’ve seen how compassionate anglers can be, and this is a great way to get involved and help those who are truly in need during this challenging time,” said Evers.

    Donations of non-perishable canned goods or other items can be sent to: The Bass Zone/Z3 Media, 3613 Park Glenn Dr., Moore, OK 73160. Checks can be made payable to Catholic Charities of Oklahoma.

  • Vaughan lone pro over 16, leads at James River

    Vaughan lone pro over 16, leads at James River

    Wayne Vaughan weighed a 16-01 limit today and is the day-1 leader at the James River Bassmaster Northern Open.

    The Chester, Va., angler is 6 ounces ahead of Elite Series pro Randy Howell, whose weight was reduced 2 pounds to 15-11 after he made a cast with six fish in his livewell. Fletcher Shryock, another Elite Series angler, is 3rd after he bagged 15-09.

    “The day did not go at all as I expected it would,” Vaughan said. “There was all that mud, and the water never went down, so I just went fishing. Then, when the water finally started to go out, I ran four or five spots and caught everything I weighed in.”

    He spent most of the day in the crowded Chickahominy, but his late-in-the-day run produced one key fish close to the Osborne Landing weigh-in site.

    Here's a quick look at the Top 12 following the first day at the James:

    1. Wayne Vaughan: 16-01
    2. Randy Howell: 15-11
    3. Fletcher Shryock: 15-09
    4. Kelly Pratt: 15-07
    5. Joseph Sancho: 15-04
    6 (tie). Mike Hicks: 14-07
    6 (tie). Mike Iaconelli: 14-07
    8. Ken Golub: 14-06
    9 (tie). Horce Linwood Boltz: 14-04
    9 (tie). Kyle Fox: 14-04
    11: Bryan Elrod: 14-02
    12. Wil Hardy: 13-13

  • Photo surfaces of Perry, fish

    A photograph of George W. Perry holding a giant largemouth bass was recently e-mailed to an outdoors writer for the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, touching off speculation that the fish depicted in the image could be the world-record fish Perry caught 81 years ago.

    According to an article published in last Saturday's edition of the Chronicle, an unidentified person e-mailed the image to Chronicle outdoors writer Bill Baab, who authored Remembering George W. Perry, a book that chronicled all known details of Perry's record 22-pound, 4-ounce fish, which was caught at Montgomery Lake, an oxbow lake on the Ocmulgee River.

    The article stated that the person who sent the photo identified himself as a descendent of a man who was Perry’s companion the day the famous fish was landed. The image was found in a barn the family owned in Florida.

    To read the whole story and see the photo, click here.

  • FLW's Hall, 66, passes away

    Aaron Hall, who headed up FLW's angler management division, passed away Tuesday at the age of 66 following a bout with cancer.

    Hall, who lived in the Flippin/Bull Shoals, Ark., area since 1973, worked for FLW for the last 12 years and was responsible for coordinating the team sponsorship programs and anglers.

    At last week's Grand Lake FLW Tour event, a number of anglers took time while on stage to send well wishes to Hall, who was back home in Arkansas.

    Bridget Grigsby, vice president of marketing for FLW, wrote a brief tribute to Hall this week. To read it, click here.

    To find out more about services and memorials, click here.

  • NMMA: Rec boating continues to rebound

    Data gathered by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) indicates that recreational boating in the U.S. is a $121 billion business and supports nearly 1 million jobs and thousands of businesses.

    The NMMA released its annual U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract earlier this week. Among the highlights:

    > Retail sales of new power and sailboats spiked 10.7 percent last year.

    > Sales of small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats (26 feet or less) increased 11.3 percent.

    > Outboard boats now make up approximately 82 percent of the boating market.

    > Jet boats continue to represent a growth area in the boating market as sales jumped more than 36 percent in 2012.

    To read the complete NMMA report, click here.

  • ABA seeking tourney directors

    ABA seeking tourney directors

    According to a story in today's Fishing Wire, American Bass Anglers is seeking new tournament directors for its American Fishing Tour and American Couple Series events for the 2014 season.

    ABA operates more than 800 bass tournaments a year through several different series. All ABA events are coordinated through its national office working together with local directors and providing professionally-run tournaments for the weekend bass angler.

    "We are searching for quality individuals who are committed to providing professionally-operated bass tournaments for their local bass anglers," said a posting on the ABA website. "The American Fishing Tour is a grassroots tournament series, and as you might suspect there is work and commitment required to run a successful local division. ABA provides a lot of assistance, including most of the items directors will need to operate our events."

    Interested parties can click here to fill out an application.

  • Dad's day: Time's running out

    Dad's day: Time's running out

    Haven't yet found the perfect gift for the fishing dad in your life? No worries. BassFan has you covered. A couple weeks ago, we highlighted several items that would make great Father's Day presents in our inaugural Dad's Day Gift Guide.

    To check it out, click here.

  • Balog: Agony at the pump our own doing

    Balog: Agony at the pump our own doing

    Like anyone who's towed and run a bass boat frequently over the past several years, Joe Balog has spent a small fortune buying gas for his rigs. He says millionaire oil executives are not to blame for some anglers' monthly fuel bills being nearly equal to their mortgage payments, though – the real culprit is often the guy in the mirror.

    To read the newest edition of Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Menendez's future still on hold

    Menendez's future still on hold

    Mark Menendez said it was difficult for him to watch the weigh-in for the first Bassmaster Elite Series event of 2013 (the Sabine River) on the Internet. Since then, he hasn't missed the circuit too badly.

    The Kentuckian is sitting out this season on a medical exemption as wife Donna continues her recovery from a battle with pancreatic cancer. He's unsure whether he'll return to competition next year.

    "She just finished the chemotherapy protocol about 10 days ago and we're starting the monitoring process," he said. "She looks great and she's feeling pretty darned good, and that's allowing me to venture out and do a little fishing these days.

    "I've also worked about 50 days for sponsors already - all of them kept me on board and I've done every promo I possibly could. As for coming back next year, I'll most likely be the last guy to say whether I'm in or out. It all depends on Donna, and I'll wait and push it as long as I can and we'll go from there."

    The only tournament he's entered this year was the Mark's Outdoors derby at Lay Lake last month, and he managed to earn a check (he was 35th out of 500 entrants). His Skeeter boat, which was delivered in January, has just 5 hours of run time on it.

    The boat has a purple pinstripe motif in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness.

    "Those will probably be my colors for a long time to come," he said.

  • KVD: Massive bronzeback sacks to come

    KVD: Massive bronzeback sacks to come

    What kind of weights will it take to win the Lake St. Clair and St. Lawrence River Bassmaster Elite Series events in August? Heavy, says Kevin VanDam. Real heavy.

    "I just got back from St. Clair, and that one's going to take 80 pounds (for 4 days) for sure," the seven-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year said of the upcoming derby in his home state of Michigan. "It wouldn't surprise me if it went over 90.

    "I think the St. Lawrence might be even higher because the part we're going to is an untouched fishery – it doesn't have tournaments all the time like St. Clair. At St. Clair, I figure you'll need an average of between 21 and 22 pounds a day to win."

    Might we see a 100-pound aggregate at one or the other?

    "It's possible, but not probable. Twenty-five-pound bags happen at St. Clair and the time of year we'll be there, I think you'll see some. It'd be tough to do that 4 days in a row, though."

    Starting with next week's event at the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, VanDam must make up 37 points on Edwin Evers over the final three events to claim his 8th AOY. He fared pretty well during a similar stretch last year, finishing 13th at the Mississippi, 19th at Lake Michigan and 15th at Oneida, which took him from 12th to 7th in the points.

    He thinks he'll need an average showing that's better than the mid-teens to have a realistic chance at this year's title.

    "It's been one of those years for me where I've been really close to being right there, but I haven't been there on the final day. I've had my chances on a regular basis. I don't know if I'll do well at all in these last three, as good as the field is, but I do know what I need to do at those places and I'll let the AOY points take care of themselves.

    "I do have a lot of knowledge of Great Lakes-type fisheries, and that gives me a good chance. I'll just have to figure it out in practice."

  • Scatter Rap Challenge offers tips, prizes

    Scatter Rap Challenge offers tips, prizes

    Six Guys. Five Days. 100 miles. The mission – fish Lake of the Woods from Kenora, Ontario, south to Baudette, Minn., covering more than 100 miles of water in 5 days using nothing but the new Rapala Scatter Rap and Cabela's rods, reels, rain gear and accessories.

    “The challenge is to see what we can do with this exciting new bait,” says Rapala pro and In-Depth Outdoors TV host James Holst, who will captain a boat in the Scatter Rap Challenge. “After fishing 100 miles on Lake of the Woods in 5 days, we’ll learn all the ways to catch ’em on Scatter Raps.”

    The patent-pending Scatter Rap baits come in four classic Rapala balsa body shapes – Crank, Minnow, Shad and CountDown – in 14 classic and new color patterns. Each features an innovative, curved “Scatter Lip,” which creates the most evasive, erratic, aggressive sweeping action ever seen.

    “By varying reel speed, we will see an immediate sweeping action that perfectly mimics a spooked baitfish fleeing attack, moving from one side to the next – triggering reactive bites,” said former tour pro and Rapala pro-staffer Mark Fisher, who will also captain a boat in the event.

    Ideal for multi-species anglers, Scatter Raps can be cast or trolled, making them perfect for a variety of fishing applications.

    “We’ll have to be versatile and willing to change tactics as structure and conditions dictate,” Holst said. “We're tackling nearly 1 million acres of water with no Plan B and the world watching.”

    Sign up at to follow all of the daily action online from June 17-21, and to become eligible to win daily prizes from Scatter Rap Challenge sponsors Rapala and Cabela’s. Fans can also follow the action on Facebook at

    “We will be sharing video reports from the lake three times a day – morning, noon and night,” Fisher said. “We'll take you along on the journey, sharing every hookset, every big fish landed and every hot-spot uncovered along the way.”

    “Our reports will include sharing how and where we're catching fish – down to the GPS coordinates – so people can use the information we're sharing and catch more fish on their next trip to Lake of the Woods,” said Holst, who will be producing a two-part Fox Sports North TV special documenting the trip.

    Online coverage of the Scatter Rap Challenge will also showcase fishing-tip videos featuring Al, James and Ron Lindner, Tony Roach, Tom Neustrom, Fisher, Holst and several other Rapala and In-Depth Outdoors pro-staffers.

    The Scatter Rap Challenge TV show will air on Fox Sports North on consecutive Sundays (June 23 and 30) immediately after the Minnesota Twins games on those days.

  • B.A.S.S.: Clough, Corkran to retire, Stewart to lead Nation

    B.A.S.S.: Clough, Corkran to retire, Stewart to lead Nation

    This morning, B.A.S.S. announced that Noreen Clough will retire from her position as the company's national conservation director, a post she's held for 7 years. It was also announced that Don Corkran will retire after working 20 years for B.A.S.S. in four separate stints, most recently as the director of B.A.S.S. Nation.

    Corkran will retire July 8 while Clough's retirement is effective Aug. 9.

    Jon Stewart, currently serving as the senior manager of B.A.S.S. Nation, will succeed Corkran. A replacement for Clough was not immediately named.

    These announcements come on the heels of news last month that B.A.S.S. underwent an internal restructuring recently that resulted in the elimination of five positions.

    Below is the complete press release B.A.S.S. circulated to the media today:

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Two leaders of B.A.S.S.’s grass-roots membership and conservation programs today announced plans to retire from their positions.

    Noreen Clough of Clermont, Fla., a former Southeast regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will retire from her position as B.A.S.S. national conservation director on Aug. 9. She has held the post for seven years.

    Don Corkran, a 20-year employee of B.A.S.S. who served most of that time as national director of the B.A.S.S. Nation, will retire July 8.

    Corkran will be replaced by Jon Stewart, currently senior manager of the B.A.S.S. Nation. Stewart, who oversees tournament operations for the B.A.S.S. Nation team, is a past president of the Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation. A search is under way for Clough’s successor.

    Clough has spent more than 36 years in natural resource conservation, including chief of natural resources for the National Wildlife Refuge System and deputy assistant director for fisheries in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as well as that agency’s southeast regional director.

    “My best years have been those at B.A.S.S. as conservation director,” she said in a statement. “It’s been rewarding to see the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation program grow and deliver amazing on-the-ground conservation and angler benefits.” In addition to coordinating the efforts of B.A.S.S. Nation conservation volunteers in 47 states, Clough has served on numerous national boards involved in fisheries conservation. She will remain a board member of Friends of Fisheries, a volunteer organization supporting the USFWS Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation program.

    Corkran, a Vietnam War veteran with 22 years of service as a Command Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, joined the B.A.S.S. tournament staff shortly after retiring from active duty. He served more than 17 years as B.A.S.S. Nation director. During that time, he led the grass-roots organization in its largest growth cycle, when it nearly doubled in size. He has also been involved in the expansion of competitive fishing programs for high school students and other youngsters as well as the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series.

    “I’m proud to have served as director during these efforts,” Corkran said, “and I’m confident that the B.A.S.S. Nation — although not as large as it was a decade ago — is stronger now than at any time in its history.”

    “Our organization and the sport of bass fishing will miss the leadership of Noreen and Don,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “We are grateful not only for their innumerable accomplishments on behalf of bass fishing, but also for their service to our nation during their previous careers. We wish them well in their retirement.”

  • Poll: Will Christie win again?

    Poll: Will Christie win again?

    Jason Christie has five opportunities remaining to notch a fourth tour-level victory in 2013. Vegas oddsmakers would say it probably won't happen, but those guys likely know little about the role that momentum plays in professional fishing – they no doubt think it's all about luck.

    A new poll asks BassFans to select Christie's best chance to notch yet another triumph this year. To access it, go back to the home page and scroll down the right side.

  • PAA: 65 percent are against U-rigs

    PAA: 65 percent are against U-rigs

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) announced today that 65 percent of its Tour- and Legends-level members voted to ban umbrella rigs from PAA Tournament Series events in a recent survey. The survey, which called for a strict "yay" or "nay" vote without a "no opinion" option, was initiated by several members in the wake of the season-opening event at Douglas Lake in March, which was dominated by the multi-arm contraptions.

    Of the 147 members who participated, 96 voted to outlaw U-rigs (65 percent). The final say as to whether the rigs will be allowed in PAA events now rests with the board of directors.

    If the board votes for a ban, it will leave the FLW Tour as the only top-level circuit in which U-rigs can be employed. B.A.S.S. instituted a prohibition of them for the Elite Series and Bassmaster Classic prior to the 2012 season.

    PAA president Dave Mansue told BassFan today that a ban is extremely likely. "In the past, the board has always gone along with the wishes of the membership," he said.

    The PAA also announced that Elite Series pros Tim Horton and Matt Reed have rejoined the board and FLW Tour pro Todd Auten has been added as the result of this year's election.

    Horton formerly served as PAA president and Reed spent a term as treasurer. The trio joins Scott Burns, John Crews, Kurt Dove, Johnny Grice, Charlie Ingram and Brian Snowden on the board.

  • Big Bite Lookback – Grand Lake

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – Grand Lake</font></b>

    A dead-fish penalty on day 3 at the recent Grand Lake FLW Tour cost Travis Fox his first Top-10 cut in 4 years. Despite finishing 11th, the Rogers, Ark., pro still notched his best result since a 5th-place finish at Kentucky Lake in 2009.

    His raw weight on Saturday was 16-05, but he was assessed a 4-ounce penalty for an expired fish. That knocked his total weight down to 50-10, which left him 3 ounces behind J.T. Kenney for 10th place.

    "I probably had 30 or so keepers (Saturday)," he said. "I kept catching fish that were just under 3 1/2 pounds. I caught so many of them and it took so long to cull, pulling them out of the water to look at them. I couldn't tell which ones were bigger on the balance beam. I ended up killing one. It was a good problem to have, but that part stinks."

    He said he was concerned the lake wouldn't show off its quality prior to the water coming up. When it did, "it made it where a lot of people could catch them easier," he said.

    He said he caught half of his fish flipping a green-pumpkin beaver-type bait and the other half on a white and chartreuse spinnerbait.

    "I had some stretches where I'd fished before with high water that traditionally held fish," he said. "If it was too thick throw a spinnerbait, I'd flip it. If it was more open, I'd throw a spinnerbait.

    "It was a special tournament me. I had three of my aunts there and my mom, who only gets one week of vacation every year. She took last week off to come watch me fish. It's cool to fish close home and be on my family's farm and stay in their lakehouse where I used to sit on shore and dream about being a bass fisherman."

    The Big Bite Lookback, which focuses on the angler who's first out of the final cut at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great folks at Big Bite Baits.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – Grand Lake

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – Grand Lake</font></b>

    Grand Lake has always been one of Tommy Martin's favorite tournament venues. He won the 1995 B.A.S.S. Oklahoma Invitational at Grand and last week, he posted his best finish of the season there with a 19th-place result. It was his second straight money finish following three straight bombs to open the FLW Tour schedule.

    He was 72nd after day 1 with a 14-03 stringer, then rocketed 60 slots up the ledger with the biggest bag of day 2, a 20-07 sack that had him in 12th entering day 3.

    A shift in wind direction rendered his day-2 area unfishable and he was only able to scrape together a 9-13 limit to eventually finish 19th.

    "On day 1, I decided to go down toward the dam because I'd found a lot of fish there," he said. "In these big tournaments, a lot of guys get jittery about getting off to a good start and getting a quick limit because you can settle down and fish more effectively once you have five in the boat. There was just too much traffic down there.

    "After watching the weigh-ins on the first day and seeing what everybody else caught, it gives you an idea of what you have to do to make a check or win it. After coming in with 14 pounds and being in 72nd place, I knew that wasn't going to do it.

    "On day 2, I went to a place where I'd fished some in practice, but I'd only caught one there. Right away, I caught three 4-pounders and had four big ones by 8 a.m. I flipped a couple of the big ones and caught the others on a big 3-inch square-bill crankbait. It was just one of those days where it was just an easy day because I got off to a good start."

    Coming off his big bag on day 2, he thought he could challenge for a Top-10 berth with a 15- to 17-pound stringer. His plan was stymied, however, when the wind shifted to the west and it blew a lot of debris into the areas he'd been fishing.

    "I couldn't even throw in there," he said. "I'd come back and check it every so often because that stuff changes by the hour, but it was just unfishable. The third turned out to be not a good day. It was disappointing after having the biggest stringer on day 2 and then to have one of the smallest stringers on day 3. Overall, I'm happy with where I finished."

    The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most significant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.

  • Rankings: It's Christie again

    Rankings: It's Christie again

    Jason Christie has returned to the top of the World Rankings presented by Livingston Lures in the wake of his third tour-level victory this season. Also, Kevin VanDam's nearly 12-year run among the Top 10 on the list has ended.

    To see the full list, click here.

  • A simple finesse option

    <b><font color=maroon>A simple finesse option</font></b>

    Mike Iaconelli designed the new Berkley Havoc Beat Shad to be an extremely simple finesse bait: Just attach it to a jighead, then throw it around cover and retrieve it.

    To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Sonar: Learning from failure

    Sonar: Learning from failure

    The 2013 season hasn't gone nearly as well as Miles Burghoff had hoped – or expected. However, as he prepares to leave the tournament scene for short while to bank some money as a guide in Alaska, he realizes that he can learn much from his lackluster performances.

    To read his latest Sonar Sound-Off column, click here.

  • Win a trip to Amistad with Dove

    Win a trip to Amistad with Dove

    The good folks at BoatUS Angler are teaming up with Elite Series angler Kurt Dove to give away a guided fishing trip experience at Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.

    To be eligible, you must be a BoatUS member or sign up before Aug. 25 for a chance to win.

    "There's no contest entry forms to fill out - all you've got to do is sign up to become a BoatUS Angler member for $24 annually," said BoatUS Angler brand manager Steve Levi. "You'll have access to 24/7 dispatch from the largest on water towing fleet in the nation, and over 20,000 roadside service providers ready to handle an on road breakdown for both a disabled trailer and tow vehicle."

    The contest winner will be announced in September and the trip will occur in October (exact dates to be determined). The winner will also receive a $500 gift card for airfare and lodging and a BoatUS Angler prize pack.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Zaldain plans different approach

    Zaldain plans different approach

    With vast experience flipping and throwing a frog from his days on the California Delta, Chris Zaldain expected to fare well at last year's Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series. Instead, his 81st-place showing was just one knock in a rough rookie season that saw him finish 70th or lower five times in eight events.

    Things are different this year, though. Zaldain has made the 50-cut four times in five outings (he missed it by 1 place at the Sabine River) and has logged a pair of Top-10s. He's 8th in the Angler of the Year race, which is the cutoff to compete in September's All-Star event.

    And he'll go to the Mississippi the week after next with some knowledge he didn't possess a year ago.

    "Last year I found myself going to a lot of out-of-the-way backwaters that I thought no one else would get to, and that was the wrong approach," he said. "I found out later, through watching the TV show and talking to guys, that tournaments there are won on the main river out of what are almost community holes.

    "I room with Brandon Palaniuk and Kevin LeDoux, and last year we were all working these backwater veins, and the bigger fish just don't live back there. The better quality is out on the main river. There's an abundance of baitfish there and that's where they spend all their time."

    Although he's already formed the foundation for his game plan, he's determined to keep an open mind.

    "The hardest thing to do in fishing is abandoning Plan A and going to Plan B, C and D on the fly. That's the way I've been fishing all year and if I can keep it up, I think I'll do okay.

    "I'm going up there with high hopes. It's kind of hard to keep up your momentum after not fishing a tournament for a month, but I'm pumped. I'm willing to do whatever's necessary to make it to All-Star week."

  • Lowen seeks turnaround

    Lowen seeks turnaround

    Perhaps no Bassmaster Elite Series angler is more eagerly looking forward to the next event at the Mississippi River than Bill Lowen. Three of his five worst finishes since the start of the 2010 season have occurred in the past four events and, at 48th in the Angler of the Year race, he has plenty of work to do to avoid sitting out the 2014 Classic.

    Any venue with "River" in its name usually suits Lowen just fine – his career ledger is littered with high finishes from moving-water events. He was 7th at the Mississippi last year and 5th at the Sabine to open 2013, but his untrue-to-form 72nd at the Alabama last month is a big reason he's near the middle of the pack in the points with more than half the season complete.

    What's worse, he also had two other stinker events prior to that – a 69th at Falcon Lake and a 66th at Bull Shoals Lake. He turned in a decent finish (31st) at West Point.

    "I don't really feel like I'm in a slump," he said. "I feel like I've had some bad luck this year – I've had some key opportunities to do extremely well and I just haven't capitalized on them."

    The Alabama is a prime example. He lost three massive spotted bass (he estimated them as two 6-pounders and a 5) on day 1.

    "I got them right up to the boat and they just came off. That's a situation where if I land those three bites, I've got enough the first day to where I don't even have to catch a fish the second day to cash a check.

    "It's just been one of those years where a few key bites have made the difference between doing bad or extremely well."

    A second straight single-digit finish at the Mississippi could get him back in contention for the Classic. The Top 28 in the points are guaranteed berths, and that cutoff will extend into the low 30s, at least, due to double-qualifiers.

    "I love that river and it fishes to my style – flipping, pitching, swimming a jig or throwing a frog. I'm the kind of guy who puts a lot of pressure on myself, though, and I kind of feel it coming down on me.

    "I need to get it in gear or I'll be working the Classic instead of fishing, and that won't be fun."

  • DeFoe's Goodwill benefit event Saturday

    DeFoe's Goodwill benefit event Saturday

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Ott DeFoe will host the 2nd annual Goodwill Bass Tournament Saturday at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tenn. The entry fee is $100 if paid by 4:30 p.m. Friday and $125 at the launch on Saturday morning. All proceeds will benefit Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc.

    The guaranteed top prize is $1,200. For rules, a registration form and other information, click here.

  • Balog: B.A.S.S. dodged a bullet

    Balog: B.A.S.S. dodged a bullet

    Joe Balog knows a thing or two about piloting a bass boat in rough conditions, but the footage he watched over the weekend of the recent Alabama River Bassmaster Elite Series was extreme even by his standards. He wonders how B.A.S.S. could opt to postpone a day at Falcon Lake due to wind, but then turn competitors loose to run those rapids with marshals and camera operators on board.

    To read the newest installment of Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Berkley trailer is Missouri-bound

    Berkley trailer is Missouri-bound

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Denny Davis Sporting Goods in Fenton, Mo. from June 13-15. The 60-foot trailer provides fun and fishing education to all levels of anglers.

    The trailer features updated videos, interactive product demos, contests and the popular knot-tying seminars to help ensure attendees do not lose that fish of a lifetime. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    “We are excited about having the Berkley Experience Trailer on the road, its 8th year, in 2013 and we have many new locations across the country”, said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "The Berkley Experience Trailer team is ready 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.”

    Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location. These include not only line and bait, but rods, reels and combos.

    The store is located at 1 Gravois Road. The phone number is (636) 343-9447.

    Upcoming stops are scheduled for Gander Mountain in La Crosse, Wis. (June 21-23) and Bass Pro Shops in Manteca, Calif. (June 26-28).

  • Corps implements Arkansas lock program

    Corps implements Arkansas lock program

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District has implemented a new program for recreational boaters on 11 of the 13 Arkansas locks along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

    Arkansas locks, with the exception of Trimble Lock near Fort Smith and Ozark Lock at Ozark, are closed to recreational boaters from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, excluding federal holidays. The closures allow personnel to perform preventive and scheduled maintenance. Trimble and Ozark Locks will continue to close from 8 a.m. to noon daily to all traffic for maintenance.

    Commercial towboats along with government and emergency response personnel will be locked through during the maintenance windows if the lock is operational.

    Recreational boaters are encouraged to use public boat ramps to access the upstream or downstream portions of the river to avoid possible extended waiting times due to scheduled maintenance.

    The Corps developed the policy after hosting eight public workshops in 2012 and conducting a 30-day comment period to seek input from all users. The policy also takes into account special scheduled events such as bass tournaments, flotillas and civic celebrations.

    "During our public workshops we heard that our recreational boaters wanted the locks to be available weekends and during fishing tournaments," Little Rock chief of operations John Balgavy said. "We couldn't have accomplished this new strategy without the assistance and input from the users. We appreciate the public's participation and believe the finalized policy accommodates everyone."

  • Newtown foundation to auction jerseys

    Newtown foundation to auction jerseys

    The 26 Angels Foundation, established to aid the people of Newtwon, Conn. in the aftermath of last December's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will conduct eBay auctions for 23 autographed Bassmaster Elite Series jerseys over the next month. The jerseys, most featuring a green motif (Sandy Hook's colors were green and white), were worn at the season's first event at the Sabine River in Texas.

    The auctions will take place over a 4-week period. Here's the schedule:

    > Week 1 (June 9-15) –Brent Chapman, Brian Snowden, John Murray, Gary Klein, Ott DeFoe and Kevin LeDoux.

    > Week 2 (June 16-22) – Kevin VanDam, J. Todd Tucker, Randy Howell, Chad Pipkens, Bernie Shultz, and Shaw Grigsby

    > Week 3 (June 23-29) – Kevin Hawk, Todd Faircloth, Mike Iaconelli, Nate Wellman, Russ Lane and Terry Scroggins.

    > Week 4 (June 30-July 6) – Tim Horton, Dennis Tietje, Gerald Swindle, Matt Herren and Marty Robinson

    To find the jerseys on eBay, potential bidders can search: Autographed BASS Elite Green Jerseys For Sandy Hook 26 Angels.

  • Share a story, win big with Cabela's

    Share a story, win big with Cabela's

    Have a favorite memory of being on the water with your dad or grandpa? Cabela's wants to hear your stories. Share your story and say "Thanks," to the guy who influenced you most as a sportsman. Each entry will receive a Cabela's discount code and a chance to win up to a $2,500 gift card.

    To find out more, check out BassFan's Father's Day Gift Guide by clicking here (scroll to the last picture in the slideshow).

  • Shimano demo crew hits the road

    Shimano demo crew hits the road

    Shimano's Dockside Demo Crew departed the company's Irvine, Calif. headquarters on Monday for a tour that will take them to various events in different parts of the country. The first stop will be Texas' Lake Fork for the Skeeter Owners Tournament, which gets under way on Friday.

    “It’s all part of efforts to interact directly with the anglers who use our rods and reels,” said Shimano marketing manager Bob Mahoney. “Our Dockside Demo Crew has been showcasing Shimano tackle at B.A.S.S. Elite tournaments, and they’ll now be even more visible in their Shimano-wrapped Toyota truck pulling a Yamaha-powered Skeeter bass boat. And if you do happen to see them on I-20 in Texas, or on I-35 on their way to points north, be sure to honk and say hello.”

    Long-time Shimano staffers Marc Mills and Dan Thorburn head up the crew. Anglers visiting the Shimano display at its various stops can participate in the ‘Cast-Flip-Pitch Challenge’ and check out all the latest Shimano bass tackle.

    “We’ll give folks the opportunity to cast a Shimano set-up they may be interested in buying, letting them see and feel how it performance with different lures,” said Mills. “Plus, at some of the events, we’ll have an area tackle shop and pro staff on site to be of assistance.”

    Following the Skeeter event, the crew will head for the Elite Series derby at the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis. It'll also be at the Elite event at the St. Lawrence River.

  • PAA seeks two sales associates

    PAA seeks two sales associates

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) is seeking to fill two sales associate positions. Pay is commission-based and no relocation is necessary.

    For a full description and instructions on how to apply, click here.

  • Lucas teams up with Hi's Tackle Box

    Lucas teams up with Hi's Tackle Box

    California-based fishing tackle retailer Hi's Tackle Box has added FLW Tour angler Justin Lucas to its pro team.

    Along with Lucas' promotion of the store and its product lines, Lucas will be providing educational videos and articles to the website.

    "I love to share my passion for fishing with others," Lucas said. "Working with Hi's Tackle Box will give me the opportunity to help their customers catch more fish and help them find the products that will help them catch those fish. Hi's has long been a leading tackle shop in the California fishing scene and now they are making large strides online, as well. This allows anglers from coast to coast to find products that are hard to find elsewhere. Hi's is a great place to shop and their customer service is fantastic. Plus, if you are looking for hard-to-find Japanese products, Hi's is the place to shop."

    "Justin is a very cutting edge angler and we value his insight in products and techniques," said Dean Yoshizumi of Hi's Tackle Box. "We know Justin will help us provide the best products for our customers, and also provide our customers with key fish catching information and tips. Justin's fishing skills speak for themselves, and we are very proud to have Justin as part of our team."

  • No big ones for Clausen, Yelas (so far)

    Grand Lake's full of water right now, a result of the drenching rains Oklahoma has seen over the last few days and weeks. Luke Clausen said he caught fish in the dirty water and in clean sections today, but nothing of any significant size. Same for Jay Yelas, who hasn't fished the lake since 1993. To check out their day-1 practice recaps, click here to read his BassFan Pro View Report.

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