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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

  • Out of their element, but in the chips

    Out of their element, but in the chips

    The California father-son duo of John and Lorenzo Rossetti were unaccustomed to fishing in the frigid conditions that they encountered at the Bass Cat Owners Regional Championship. They adapted nicely, however, and will be rewarded with a trip to Brazil to fish for peacock bass.

    For a complete rundown of the event, click here.

  • Bass University offers discount

    Bass University offers discount

    In celebration of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in between, the Bass University is offering a 15-percent discount on fees for 2014 seminars through Monday (Dec. 2).

    Sessions will be held in Raleigh, N.C. (Jan. 11-12), Edison, N.J. (Jan. 11-12), Niagara Falls, N.Y. (Jan. 25-26) and Worcester, Mass. (Feb. 8-9). Discounted prices are $169.15 for adults and $148.75 for youths age 17 and under for a full weekend or $92.65 and $82.45, respectively, for single days.

    The 2014 instructor list includes Mike Iaconelli, Brent Ehrler, Greg Hackney, Shaw Grigsby, Ish Monroe, Gerald Swindle, George Cochran, Jacob Wheeler, Davy Hite, Pete Gluszek and Brandon Palaniuk, among others.

    To register or obtain more information, click here.

  • J.M. Smucker back with FLW

    J.M. Smucker back with FLW

    FLW and the J.M. Smucker Company have announced a sponsorship agreement through the 2014 season. The sponsorship will include four of the Company’s leading brands – Folgers, Dunkin Donuts retail coffee, Jif and Smucker’s. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    For the 8th consecutive season, Scott Suggs (pictured), the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup champion, will represent Folgers on the FLW Tour and compete out of a wrapped Ranger Z520C. Folgers will also continue to sponsor the popular “Folgers Morning Takeoff” by providing free coffee before many FLW tournaments.

    “We’re elated to continue our partnership with The J.M. Smucker Company,” said Trish Blake, president of FLW Marketing Division. “The company’s brands are a perfect fit for the sport of fishing and we hope to continue to build upon the success of our relationship.”

    Said Smucker VP of corporate communications Maribeth Burns: “We are pleased to extend our partnership with the FLW organization and are looking forward to an exciting 2014 season. The quality, variety and convenience of our brands and products complement the on-the-go, active lifestyles of professional anglers and their fans.”

  • Martens: Biwa tougher than expected

    Martens: Biwa tougher than expected

    Aaron Martens was surprised at the number of bass boats at Lake Biwa in Japan when he and other members of the Megabass pro staff visited the renowned Japanese lake during their overseas trip last week. The reigning Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year was also surprised at the lack of bass he and his fellow pro staffers caught.

    "We came up to this flat and there must've been 100 boats within sight," he said. "It was crazy. There were 15 times more boats than I thought there'd be. And there were a lot of 19- and 20-foot bass boats, too.

    "The fishing was tough. I caught six bass, but nothing big. I was surprised at how few bass we caught."

  • Californians rally for Bass Cat win

    Californians rally for Bass Cat win

    The father-son team of John and Lorenzo Rossetti were in 5th place out of six teams heading into the second day of competition at the inaugural Bass Cat Owners Regional Championship. But they landed a tournament-best limit weighing 14.32 pounds Monday at Bull Shoals Lake to claim the win by nearly 2 pounds.

    Their weights from the three sessions totaled 23.14 pounds. For the win, the Californians will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Brazil to fish for peacock bass with Bass Cat Boats' Rick Pierce.

    They spent the abbreviated practice period on Norfork Lake, and while they only caught two legal fish there in Sunday morning’s tournament session, the information they learned at Norfork transferred to Bull Shoals.

    “The fish are in that fall-to-winter transition,” Lorenzo said. “The bigger fish weren’t on the flats, but they were around ledges with deep water really close to the flats.”

    The duo used Strike King football jigs and the KVD Jerkbait to amass their winning weight. More details of their tournament strategy will be posted on BassFan in the coming days.

    First-day leaders Mark Huffman and Troy Rossman, both of Texas, added 8.01 to their day-1 weight of 13.35 to finish second overall. The team of Keith Webb and Mike Kirch, from Alabama and Illinois, respectively, finished third with 20.37.

    After facing temperatures in the teens during Sunday’s first two sessions of competition on Norfork and Crown lakes, the competitors didn’t get much of a respite on day 2. The thermometer made it all the way up to 28, but intermittent barrages of sleet and cold rain made conditions tough. The winners said they’d never fished in conditions anything like those they encountered in Arkansas.

    “I don’t think you really adjust to it,” John said. “It’s just miserable the whole time. You could make about two casts before your reel would freeze up.”

    The Rossettis are no strangers to the Bass Cat family.

    “Lorenzo has won several boats,” said Pierce. “He’s an excellent angler, a multiple-time winner of Quest money.”

    He owns a Cougar and his father owns a Pantera Classic. Together they’ve won approximately 70 team tournaments over the past 15 years, with prizes including three Bass Cats, but this is the first time either has had an opportunity to travel to South America to fish.

    “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Pierce family,” Lorenzo said. “They flew us out here, all-expenses paid, picked us up at the airport and had a boat and truck waiting for us. All we had to do was find the fish and catch the fish. There are not too many other companies out there that treat their customers that well.”

  • HydroWave releases Mini version

    HydroWave releases Mini version

    HydroWave, LLC has announced the release of the HydroWave Mini, a compact, budget-friendly version of the popular fish feeding stimulator.

    It figures to be a hit with anglers looking for a portable device and will be ideal for kayaks, johnboats and even for ice fishermen.

    To read more, click here.

  • Chilly BCB event under way

    Chilly BCB event under way

    When six teams of regional qualifiers arrived in Mountain Home, Ark. for the inaugural Bass Cat Owners Regional Championship, they didn’t know what to expect – other than the fact that BCB head honcho Rick Pierce doesn’t do things like everyone else. Whether it’s the innovative boat designs or his hands-on customer service, Pierce follows his own path, and his concept for this tournament fits that profile.

    At Friday night’s dinner, the teams were told that the road to earning the grand prize of a trip for two to fish for peacock bass in the Amazon will be a battle of adjustments consisting of three weigh-ins. Sunday’s competition was split into two sessions, the first on Lake Norfork, the second on Crown Lake, 38 miles away. On Monday, the teams will spend the full day on Bull Shoals.

    Complicating matters further, conditions were brutal on Sunday, with launch time temperatures in the teens. I warmed up to a "balmy" 23 degrees by weigh-in.

    The team of Mark Huffman and Troy Rossman from Texas (pictured) were the only pair to capture a limit in the morning session on Norfork, with five fish that totaled 6.46 pounds. Behind them was the father-son team of Lorenzo and John Rosetti from California with two bass for 3.84.

    “We found some fish on the back side of bluff walls, holding in 38 feet of water,” Rossman said. “We caught them all on soft plastics.”

    The Texas team caught a nearly identical limit at the day’s second stop, Crown Lake, with five fish for 6.89, to bring their total for the day to 13.35. While they were consistent, a second Texas team – Doug Morrow and Josh Clarke, caught 9.79 to close the gap to just over a pound.

    “It was a grass lake, and we thought the grass would be loaded with fish, but once again we caught all of our fish on deep-water points,” Rossman explained.

    The leaders spent Saturday’s practice day on Bull Shoals, tomorrow’s venue, and while they had a strong scouting period, they’re not sure what to expect. “Bull Shoals is fishing a little bit strange right now,” Huffman said. “The wind was blowing so hard during practice that we really couldn’t get on our deep stuff.”

    Jerold Britt and Howard Austin of Virginia sit in 3rd place, less than 3 pounds out of the lead. Keith Webb and Mike Kirch, from Alabama and Illinois, respectively, rebounded from a morning blank with a day’s best 9.81 at Crown to ease into 4th. The Rosettis struggled in the afternoon, but with 8.82 total, they’re only 4 1/2 pounds out of the lead. Even Kentucky angler Larry Whiteman, fishing solo, could vault back into the hunt with a few good bites.

    Monday’s temperatures are not expected to get out of the 30s, and there’s a 50 percent chance of some mixed precipitation. The road to the heat of Brazil – and more importantly, its big peacock bass – will run through the frigid Ozarks.

    Here are the day-1 standings:

    1. Mark Huffman/Troy Rossman -- 6.46 (a.m.) -- 6.89 (p.m.) -- 13.35
    2. Doug Morrow/Josh Clarke -- 2.34 (a.m.) -- 9.79 (p.m.) -- 12.13
    3. Jerold Britt/Howard Austin -- 3.78 (a.m.) -- 6.73 (p.m.) -- 10.51
    4. Keith Webb/Mike Kirch -- 0.00 (a.m.) -- 9.81 (p.m.) -- 9.81
    5. Lorenzo Rossetti/John Rossetti -- 3.84 (a.m.) -- 4.98 (p.m.) -- 8.82
    6. Larry Whiteman/Steve Whiteman -- 0.00 (a.m.) -- 5.40 (p.m.) -- 5.40

  • Crappie angler nabs season's first ShareLunker

    Crappie angler nabs season's first ShareLunker

    Stephen Proctor of Pryor, Okla. caught Toyota ShareLunker 549 from Lake Fork on Nov. 21. Proctor caught the 13.29-pound bass from 18 feet of water on 4-pound line while fishing for crappie under the Texas 154 bridge. He was using a Panfish Assassin lure.

    The fish was 25 inches long and 21 inches in girth. It continues Lake Fork’s remarkable record of having produced at least one ShareLunker in every season the program has existed, beginning in 1986.

    Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Oct. 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

    Anglers entering fish into the program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. The person who catches the season’s largest entry will be named Angler of the Year. If the Angler of the Year is a Texas resident, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license.

    The number to call to report a ShareLunker catch is (903) 681-0550.

  • Simonton to offer guided trips

    Simonton to offer guided trips

    Michael Simonton, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Ohio, recently completed the course to become a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide and will being offering trips on Lake Erie next spring.

    "For April, May and the first 3 weeks of June, it'll be Ohio waters only," he said. "Then on the last Saturday of June, I can start running to the Ontario portion of Erie."

    Clients can spend a full day pursuing Erie's renowned smallmouths, or they can opt to fish for largemouths in the western basin.

    "I've found out that if you're not one of the bigger-name guys, it's hard to stay busy enough (as a full-time tour pro)," he said. "I've had some opportunities to take people out through the Future Fisherman Foundation and I had a great time doing that. I just think it's a great way to stay out on the water."

    A list of available dates is posted on his website.

  • Lane's lunker loses out

    Lane's lunker loses out

    The second-largest bass that Florida Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bobby Lane has ever caught in competition wasn't quite big enough to take big-fish honors in a derby at Lake Kissimmee last weekend sponsored by a local rotary club. Not even close.

    The fish he's displaying in the photo weighed 11-09 – just 2 ounces lighter than his personal best for a tournament. However, it was nearly 2 pounds lighter than one caught that day by an angler named Van Soles (13-08).

    Lane and his partner also lost out on 1st place by just a tenth of a pound with a 24 1/2-pound sack.

    "Some big fish are biting down here, but the bites are kind of few and far between," he said. "They're pre-spawn fish and they're as wide as they are long."

    He was back on the water today for some fun-fishing.

    "The weather's pretty bad," he said. "It was 74 this morning and I had to go with jeans and flip-flops instead of shorts and flip-flops. I think it's only going to get up to about 86 today."

  • Got bananas?

    There's been a long-held superstition among some anglers that having bananas in the boat is just asking for bad luck. Some are ardent believers while others couldn't care less what piece of fruit comes in their boat before leaving the dock.

    On a recent outing in Saskatchewan, Clayton Schick and Aaron Wiebe of Uncut Angling seem to disprove the whole banana theory as they do a number on some walleye.

    The best part of the embedded video below is that you'll notice how they talk about the area they're fishing, how they're fishing and the baits they're using, but not one word is uttered about the sizable produce section lining the perimeter of the boat.

  • Enhancing a legend

    <b><font color=maroon>Enhancing a legend</font></b>

    If you grew up in the 20th century, there's a decent chance that the first spinning reel you ever used was a Mitchell 300 – lots of them were passed down from one generation to the next. Now the venerable classic has been updated with 21st-century materials, but it still carries on the tradition of the original.

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

  • Bassmasters TV kicks off March 1

    Bassmasters TV kicks off March 1

    B.A.S.S. announced today that the first 2014 episode of The Bassmasters will air at 10 a.m. ET on March 1 on ESPN2. It'll be the first of four shows centered on the Bassmaster Classic.

    The 2-hour Classic finale show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on March 2. That will be followed March 15 by the “Winner’s Circle” episode, an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how the 2014 Classic champion captured the title.

    After the Classic shows, fans can tune in Sunday mornings for coverage of the nine-event Bassmaster Elite Series that stretches from March to September. The first regular-season show of 2014 will air March 30 at 8 a.m. ET – the time slot in which most of the 2014 episodes will air.

  • Wild Card gets title sponsor

    Wild Card gets title sponsor

    Star brite, the Florida-based manufacturer of marine care and appearance items, will highlight one of its products, Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment, as the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Bassmaster Classic Wild Card. The event will take place Dec. 5-7 at Lake Okeechobee and will determine the final entrant for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

    “We are thrilled about supporting the Wild Card to help spread the word about our products,” said Star brite VP of marketing Bill Lindsey. “Star brite is a 40-year-old publicly traded company, and up until now, it has been best known on the saltwater marine side. We have been a dominant player in the industry for the past 30 years. Through our partnership with B.A.S.S., more and more freshwater anglers are learning the merits of our products. Fuel issues don’t respect salt or freshwater problems, and our products help boaters with both.”

  • Lefebre launches ice fishing guide service

    Lefebre launches ice fishing guide service

    Pro angler Dave Lefebre is leveraging his northern roots into what he hopes will be a successful offseason venture. The Erie, Pa., resident announced recently he’s starting an ice fishing guide service called Erie Ice Fishing Adventures.

    “This fall, I had an opportunity to team up with the Ice Force Team through Rapala, and that is ultimately what has finally pushed me off the deep end and into to creating Erie Ice Fishing Adventures,” he said. “It is all such a perfect fit for me, and I'm excited to see where it will all lead. It's funny, in talking with some serious ice guys lately, I am quickly realizing that I don't know all the lingo or all the newest secrets and gadgets, but I'm looking forward to diving (or slipping) into it. I do, however, know the subtleties in triggering those tougher, post-frontal, suspended crappie bites. I'm just having fun with it."

    He’ll provide guide trips to lakes in northwestern Pennsylvania, southwestern New York and other fisheries around the region, including Lake Erie. Target species will include crappie, perch, bluegills and walleye.

    "I just love winter time up here and have always looked forward to getting out on the ice since I was a little kid,” he said. “It's funny, some years I actually get more panfish/walleye/ice fishing visibility than bass tournament exposure. Up until now, all of this was basically to help my writer buddies out in the offseason, and literally nothing more. Over the past couple years or so it has simply gotten to the point where I feel I can do something a little more productive during the longer offseasons, so that's what I'm finally doing.”

    To learn more, click here.

  • Balog: Why deer don't rate

    Balog: Why deer don't rate

    Joe Balog spent some time in a tree stand recently, which gave him an opportunity to reflect on all the reasons why he likes bass fishing better than deer hunting. For instance, a successful hunt forces the hunter to endure what he considers the worst experience in all of the outdoor sports.

    To read the whole column, click here.

  • Sonar: Savor the small things

    Sonar: Savor the small things

    Miles "Sonar" Burghoff has competed in some high-caliber derbies over the past few years, but fishing a recent nine-boat club tournament at the California impoundment at which his odyssey in this sport began was deeply satisfying on numerous levels.

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

  • Short's windshield up for bid

    Short's windshield up for bid

    The pink windshield that was on Kevin Short's boat when he won the Bassmaster Elite Series event at the Mississippi River in 2009 is up for bid in an eBay auction, with proceeds benefiting the Tackle the Storm Foundation.

    The prize package also includes Short's jersey and a copy of the August 2009 edition of B.A.S.S. Times. All three items are autographed.

    To visit the auction, click here.

  • Chapman hunt will be streamed live

    Chapman hunt will be streamed live

    Fans have the opportunity to watch Brent Chapman on a real-time whitetail deer hunt Thursday, as the hunt will be streamed live from 6 to 9 a.m. CST at

    “I am excited for the opportunity to share the experience of my hunt," he said. "As a professional angler I get many opportunities to share fishing stories, tips and information with people. This is a unique chance for me to share my love and passion for hunting with other people interested in hunting.”

    Said Outdoor Channel VP of digital media Mike Williams: "This is live, uncut and raw. It's the closest thing to being out there yourself."

  • Bass Kandi inks Scanlon

    Bass Kandi inks Scanlon

    Bass Kandi Baits, a Louisiana-based soft plastic baits company, has added Elite Series angler Casey Scanlon to its 2014 pro staff.

    Scanlon is coming off a season where he finished in the Top-20 three times, including a 3rd-place at Bull Shoals.

    “We believe Casey is a very good fit for our company because of his obvious abilities, competitive drive and unending determination to be at the top of his game," said Bass Kandi Baits president Mike Holland. "Casey's knowledge of the sport, wide variety of techniques and his ability to choose the right bait in tough competitions make him a huge asset to our company. His first class sportsmanship and genuine ‘good guy’ personality is what we in the south consider ‘lagniappe.’”

    Said Scanlon, "Bass Kandi Baits are hand-injected and each bait has just the right amount of salt. These baits are designed with amazing softness that gives them great action and entices the bass to hold on a little longer. They have a great lineup and a variety of plastics that I am confident will help put more fish in the boat for me in 2014.”

  • Shell Rotella becomes MLF sponsor

    Shell Rotella becomes MLF sponsor

    Major League Fishing announced today that Shell Rotella, makers of heavy-duty diesel engine oils, has become a primary league sponsor. The agreement includes title sponsorship of the event filmed the fall in the Denton, Texas area that will air on Outdoor Channel beginning in March.

    We couldn’t be more pleased to have an industry leader such as Shell Rotella as one of Major League Fishing’s primary sponsors as we move forward,” said league GM Jim Wilburn. “Their connection to hard-working people is a great fit for our organization.

    “Major League Fishing is growing and growing. One of the areas that signifies that growth is the diversity that we’re finding in our sponsorships. We are thrilled to welcome Shell Rotella to Major League Fishing, and at the same time we’re confident that Shell Rotella is going to be pleased with what we have to offer through our growing fan base.”

    Said Shell Rotella global brand manager Chris Guerrero: “The Shell Rotella brand is excited to partner with Major League Fishing and to support its continued growth. Major League Fishing has captured the attention of the entire fishing community and we are pleased to be a part of a sport that has such great appeal to people who work hard and play hard.”

  • Winner of Howell's boat drawn Sunday

    Winner of Howell's boat drawn Sunday

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Randy Howell will award his 2013 Triton boat with a 250-hp Mercury Pro XS motor in a drawing to take place on Sunday. Proceeds from the raffle benefit King's Home, an Alabama charity that aids women and children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected.

    Tickets for the drawing are still available for $100 each at, or by calling (205) 678-8331. The drawing will take place at 6:15 p.m. and will be streamed live on the King's Home website and at

    The winner need not be present.

  • Sappington wins TOC

    Sappington wins TOC

    Former tour pro John Sappington, the 2002 Forrest Wood Cup champion, won this year's Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge All-Star Edition over 11 other competitors who'd distinguished themselves during the competition's 10-year history.

    The TOC tests competitors' skills in rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, archery, bass fishing, fly fishing and ATV handling. Segments will air on the Outdoor Channel through December.

    Sappington, a Missouri resident whose fishing career was derailed by injuries incurred in a boating accident, last competed on the FLW Tour in 2008. Other ex-tour pros who've competed in the TOC include Mike Hawkes and Sean Hoernke.

  • Pa. officials probing melanosis growth in smallies

    Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) biologists are trying to determine what's causing a troubling rise in melanosis among adult smallmouth bass on the west branch of the Susquehanna River.

    According to an article published in Sunday's edition of the Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.), an intensive study and sample collection was done by the PFBC in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survery and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this year. The data will be examined over the winter.

    The concern among researchers and anglers is whether melanosis represents an outbreak of cancerous melanoma in the bass population in the river.

    “We just submitted some more fish for analysis last week to continue to document the condition and keep an eye on the pathology to see if anything is changing,” said Geoffrey Smith, a biologist with the PFBC.

    To read more, click here.

  • B.A.S.S. contest: Win a Triton

    B.A.S.S. contest: Win a Triton

    B.A.S.S. will give away a new Triton X-17 boat with a 60-hp Mercury motor and trailer during a holiday sweepstakes that runs through Dec. 19.

    “This is a great contest to celebrate the holiday season,” said B.A.S.S. VP of digital Jim Sexton. “And this boat is perfect for any angler, from the weekend warrior to the aspiring pro. Triton’s X-17 is aluminum, which makes it lightweight and manageable for small bodies of water. It’s also tough enough to take on the big fisheries.”

    The contest also features 185 instant-win prizes, including such items as a Minn Kota Talon shallow-water anchor, a Humminbird 698ci HD SI, a Lowrance Elite 7 HDI, a GoPro camera, Costa sunglasses, a Duo Realis Lures prize pack and a Power-Pole prize pack.

    “A new and interesting element of the holiday giveaway is that it’s a ‘gift that keeps on giving.’ When you share the sweeps with friends on Facebook, for every friend who enters, the person who entered and shared receives another entry in the contest for the boat. The social media element increases the odds for those whose friends decide to participate.”

    Participants can enter daily by visiting

  • Palaniuk opens up

    Palaniuk opens up

    Game & Fish, one of BassFan's sister publications, published an interview this week with Brandon Palaniuk. The popular Bassmaster Elite Series pro discusses his up-and-down 2013 season and his go-to techniques, and also talks briefly about umbrella-style rigs and what he perceives as their future role in the sport.

    To read it, click here.

  • Photo troubles? Try some of these tips

    Outdoor Hub published a how-to article this week on taking better fish photos. All of the pointers are pretty basic stuff – none are likely to turn you into an art gallery-caliber shutterbug – but there might be one or two in there that'll help you create better mementos of your most-prized catches.

    To read the article, click here.

  • Fast sink, tight action

    <b><font color=maroon>Fast sink, tight action</font></b>

    Rattlebaits have produced numerous wins and gobs of money in high-level tournaments in recent years – there are certain conditions under which they simply won't be outperformed. Sebile has produced a new one for 2014, called the Lipless Seeker, that's effective with a variety of presentation styles.

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

  • New Poll: 'Bama boys vs. the field in Classic

    There's a strong continent of Alabama anglers qualified for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. There are currently nine competitors from the host state set to tackle Lake Guntersville in 3 months, 10 if you count Randall Tharp, who called Alabama home until earlier this year.

    So will the 'Bama boys have an edge over the rest of the field? In our new poll question, we ask if you think it'll be an Alabama winner or will someone from the field emerge to take the win.

    To vote, go to the BassFan home page and scroll down the right side.

  • Balog: Wild Card a risky proposition

    Balog: Wild Card a risky proposition

    In this week's installment of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog addresses the upcoming Bassmaster Wild Card and its high-risk, low-reward (except for the winner) format. He wonders how an Elite or Open competitor who doesn't reside in or near south Florida can justify going to Lake Okeechobee early next month.

    To read the column, click here.

  • B.A.S.S. Nation champ keeps cashing in

    B.A.S.S. Nation champ keeps cashing in

    As if winning a national championship and a berth in the Bassmaster Classic didn’t have Virginian Jeff Lugar feeling affluent enough, he now feels even richer thanks to the $1,000 check he recently received from BoatUS Angler’s Weigh-to-Win program.

    Lugar is a man of good timing and intuition. Recognizing the value of a BoatUS Angler membership when speaking with Weigh-to-Win representatives prior to the tournament, he decided to sign-up just hours before the first cast he made with a blue glimmer War Eagle spinnerbait on Lake Dardanelle.

    “Membership is great because for a very reasonable cost, it gives you the comfort of knowing that on the road and on the water, your equipment will be taken care of if any issues come up,” said Lugar, a 20-year member of the B.A.S.S. Nation.

    “Weigh-to-Win is also great because it’s a very obtainable contingency program that the average person can easily capitalize on. You don’t have to win, just be the highest eligible finisher. That’s a good deal."

    Whether you have a flat tire, run out of gas, burn up a trailer hub, have a dead cranking battery or have unexpected on-the-water issues all tournament anglers have worried about or experienced first hand, BoatUS Angler offers 24/7 dispatch of a tow truck, or one of the dozens of TowBoatUS response boats stationed on most all popular bass fisheries.

    And unlike other roadside assistance companies, BoatUS Angler makes service for your boat’s trailer, not just your tow vehicle, a top priority.

    Speaking of popular bass fisheries, Lugar says dropshotting for smallmouth around the Bass Islands on Lake Erie ranks real high on his list, but his skills will certainly be tested an 11-hour drive south of there this coming February on renowned Lake Guntersville.

    “I plan to go to the Classic and enjoy every bit of the experience,” he said. “I want to take it all in and cherish the memories while representing myself, my family, my friends and my fishing peers with professionalism and a performance that gives all of us a sense of pride in the accomplishment.”

    One thing is for sure – BoatUS Angler will ready be on Guntersville for him and the other Classic competitors who signed-up for a membership should their help be needed. Not to mention, a Weigh-to-Win cash bonus will also be up for grabs.

    To join and register for Weigh-to-Win, go to

  • Day's running Fish With Ish promo

    Day's running Fish With Ish promo

    Day’s Boat Sales has teamed up with Ish Monroe for a social media contest appropriately called “Fish with Ish, Beat the Chill with Bill."

    Fans can enter by liking and sharing the Day's Boat Sales Facebook page. The winner will receive airfare and lodging for 2 nights at Lake Okeechobee, where he or she will spend the day fishing with Monroe. At night, the winner will dine with Monroe and Bill Day, owner of Day’s Boat Sales and an FLW pro.

    In addition to the trip, the winner will also receive prizes from Missile Baits, Lucas Oil and Ranger Wear, along with a $1,000 certificate toward a new Ranger from Day’s Boat Sales.

  • Hite mulling two tours for '14

    Hite mulling two tours for '14

    Davy Hite hasn't been a regular competitor on the FLW Tour since 2003, but the veteran Bassmaster Elite Series pro is considering a two-circuit schedule for 2014. He badly wants to make next year's Forrest Wood Cup at his home lake (Murray).

    "I still haven't made up my mind on it," he said. "I talked to (FLW tournament director) Bill Taylor last week and he was real positive about it and seemed very excited.

    "It's just a really tough decisions because (there'd be so many tournaments) back to back. I don't want to overload myself and put too much on my plate. I've got one deal I'm working on with a potential sponsor, and how that comes out could sway me one way or the other. Within 2 weeks, max, I'll know."

    He won the 1998 Cup (then called the FLW Championship) at the Mississippi River. He qualified for that event despite skipping that year's season opener at Lake Toho.

    "Back then you could get in by either pounds or points, and we went to enough good fisheries and I was able to do well enough at those to qualify. Then they changed that rule the year after that.

    "I understood why they did it. I didn't make those rules, I was just playing by them."

  • Annual F3 auction starts Sunday

    Annual F3 auction starts Sunday

    The Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) will conduct its annual eBay auction beginning Sunday. Proceeds will help fund programs such as Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs.

    Among the items up for bid are fishing experiences with Brandon Palaniuk, David Dudley and Jay Yelas, a VIP trip to the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup, and lunch with Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood. There are also autographed items from anglers like Larry Nixon and Ott DeFoe, as well as numerous hunting items and fishing tackle and gear, including a trolling motor.

    For a sneak peek at the auction, click here.

  • Michels heads up California Top 40

    For years, well-known western outdoors scribe George Kramer has put together an annual rankings list of the Top 40 bass anglers in California. It's grown exponentially in terms of the time and effort it takes to compile such a list and the anticipation that surrounds its release.

    This year's list, which was released Monday, is headed up by two-time defending Western EverStart Series Angler of the Year Jeff Michels, who edged out a few tour pros for the top spot.

    Here's Kramer's Top 5 for 2013 in the Golden State:

    1. Jeff Michels
    2. Ish Monroe
    3. Chris Zaldain
    4. Brent Ehrler
    5. Butch Brown

    To read the complete list, which includes an angler-by-angler breakdown, click here.

  • BassFan 2013 Gift Guide

    <b><font color=red>BassFan 2013 Gift Guide</font></b>

    Attention BassFan! Don't hand in your holiday wish list until you've looked over the Gift Guide compiled by the BassFan staff. There might be a few things you want to add.

    From bait casters to jig heads, we've picked out some unique and useful items that will have you itching to get back on the water.

    To check out the 2013 BassFan Holiday Gift Guide, click here.

  • Trip with Evers on the block

    Trip with Evers on the block

    A fishing trip with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Edwin Evers is being auctioned off by Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, an organization that inspires, educates, and nurtures thousands of children and families from Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods.

    Here's a statement from Evers:

    "In support of this life-changing organization, I would like to offer the opportunity for you and a friend to spend the day fishing with me on my tournament-equipped boat. This offer is available at a mutually agreed upon place and date. I look for forward to spending the day with you for this great cause."

    To bid on this experience click here and then click the "Auction" button on the home page. Evers' package is No. 102.

    Bidding closes at 7:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, Nov. 14.

  • Duckett joins 4x4

    Duckett joins 4x4

    4x4 Bass Jigs announced that it's added Alabama Elite Series angler and former Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett to its pro staff.

    Said Thomas Perry, co-owner of 4x4 along with John Reeves: "Not only is Boyd a proven angler, but he is also an accomplished businessman who will work closely with 4x4 to bring new products to the fishing public.

    Duckett joins a tour-level pro staff that also includes Randall Tharp, Kevin Hawk and Brandon McMillan.

  • Wagner holds on to win WS Championship

    Adam Wagner, a former winner of the BFL All-American, has added a Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series title to his résumé. The Cookeville, Tenn. resident caught a 9.10-pound bag on Saturday to conclude a wire-to-wire victory at Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee with a 4-day total of 48.59 pounds.

    Wagner prevailed by about half a pound over Marshall Thompson of Kentucky. His prize package includes a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Adam Wagner: 48.59
    2. Marshall Thompson: 48.06
    3. Andy Wicker: 42.71
    4. Brandon Gray: 41.58
    5. Daniel Johnson: 40.20
    6. Nick Prvonozac: 40.05
    7. Robert Walser: 36.88
    8. David Lowery: 35.61
    9. Josh Tramel: 34.64
    10. Joel Baker: 34.35

  • SD smallie record broken

    SD smallie record broken

    The South Dakota state record for smallmouth bass was broken recently after Derek Valnes of Brandon, S.D., landed a 7-pounder on Oct. 26 at Horseshoe Lake. According to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, the fish measured 21 1/2 inches long and had an 18-inch girth. The previous record was 6-09, which had stood since 2008.

  • Strength to spare

    <b><font color=maroon>Strength to spare</font></b>

    All hardcore anglers prefer to fish with the lightest rods they can get away with, but they won't sacrifice strength in order to save an ounce or two. The best of both worlds has been achieved with the new All Star Nano series, which features 18 models that are all lightweight, but packed with power.

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

  • Wagner's lead swells at Old Hickory

    Adam Wagner caught 15.09 pounds today to extend his lead at the Bassmaster Weekend Series championship at Old Hickory Lake.

    Wagner, a resident of Cookeville, Tenn., has amassed 32.43 pounds through 2 days. He leads Joel Baker by nearly 7 pounds at the midway point. Baker caught 14.19 today and has 25.59 in 2nd.

    Tony Eckler, another Tennessee angler, is 3rd with 23.96. Sam Lashlee is 4th with 23.57 and Jeff Cannon sits 5th with 22.71.

  • Wagner day-1 leader at BWS championship

    Tennessee angler Adam M. Wagner caught a 17.34-pound stringer Wednesday to take the day-1 lead at the Bassmaster Weekend Series championship at Old Hickory Lake.

    His effort was bolstered by a 5.81-pound kicker.

    “I’m not a local, but I fish here a lot,” Wagner said. “I know the lake pretty well. I caught everything I weighed by cranking shallow wood. I also had some good bites flipping. If I could win this event and make the Bassmaster Classic, that would be awesome. That’s my goal.”

    Marty Giddens bagged 15.85 and held down 2nd, while Jeff Cannon had 15.01 in 3rd. Josh Tramel caught 14.87, including a 5.9-pounder, and sits in 4th. Daniel Johnson had 13.46 to complete the Top 5.

    Competition continues through Saturday, with the winner earning a berth in next year's Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville.

  • Old Hickory closure roils some anglers

    The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has closed access to the discharge channel at the Gallatin Fossil Plant at Old Hickory Lake as part of a $1.1 billion construction project, according to an article published in Wednesday's edition of the Tennessean.

    The closure, scheduled to last until the spring of 2016, means anglers won't be able to fish the popular warm-water discharge area near the plant.

    “We understand this may be inconvenient for people who like to fish in the channel,” TVA senior vice president for projects Bobby Deacy said in a statement. “But the closure is necessary since the area will be part of an active construction site.”

    Some area residents have voiced their displeasure with the closure of the entire channel, which the TVA says is a safety precaution because the project involves construction of a permanent bridge across the channel and installation of a desulfurization system, also known as scrubbers.

    To read the whole story, click here.

  • Report: Waddington in line for Open

    A report in Wednesday's edition of the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times indicates B.A.S.S. is in negotiations to bring another tournament to the St. Lawrence River.

    According to the story, Waddington, N.Y., mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said talks are focused on a Northern Open tournament being held there, presumably as early as 2015.

    Waddington played host to an Elite Series event last summer and the tournament attracted a record crowd of more than 34,000 people.

    “This is another great event for our community,” Ms. Otto Cassada said.

    To read the full story, click here.

  • Balog: A dose of reality

    Balog: A dose of reality

    Joe Balog recently watched seven consecutive episodes of Circuit Breaker, FLW's YouTube show that focused on Casey Martin's 2013 season. He came away impressed by the way in which the program documented the ups and downs of life on tour and thinks it has the potential to introduce the sport to people who otherwise might never take the slightest interest in it.

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

  • Loan denial will slow Merc expansion

    Loan denial will slow Merc expansion

    The Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors voted down a proposed $10 million loan to Mercury Marine at a meeting on Tuesday. Mercury's CFO said the move will slow – but will not halt – the company's expansion of its Wisconsin facility.

    For the full story, click here.

  • Video: Okeechobee boat collision

    Four men escaped injury last Sunday after they were involved in a head-on boat collision captured on film at Lake Okeechobee.

    The crash occurred between two bass boats in a narrow channel near an area of the lake known as the Monkey Box. Video of the incident shows the boats navigating a semi-blind turn and having very little time to react to avoid the crash. Both boats were carrying anglers competing in the B.A.S.S. Nation Florida state championship.

    Blaine Partee, a passenger in one of the boats driven by George Mitko, captured a 3 1/2-minute video on his phone as they were making a run along Cochran's Pass toward the Monkey Box in the southwest corner of the lake. He told BassFan today that a small-craft advisory had been issued Sunday for the lake and that's why they weren't fishing the main lake.

    Partee, who was the co-angler leader after day 1, estimates Mitko's boat was traveling at 45 miles per hour when it collided with the oncoming boat driven by Bob Grosso. Ironically, Grosso had volunteered to take Partee back to weigh-in the previous day after the boat of Partee's day-1 boater broke down. Grosso's boat also encountered issues and Partee ultimately jumped in a third boat to get back to the ramp.

    "Neither person was in the wrong," Partee told BassFan. "It's unfortunate that it happened and that we met there at the same time."

    He said had he been driving the boat, he would've avoided running through that channel with a passenger.

    "I would never take somebody else down that trail," he said. "It's my life and I can do what I want with it and I would only go through there by myself. I wouldn't put someone else at risk. I was pretty upset about that."

    He said Mitko ended up on top of him after the collision and that Mitko had a sore neck.

    "I was a little sore on my left side, but nothing serious," Partee said.

    To view tootage of the collision, click here. The crash occurs around the 3:00 mark (be aware some obscenities are used after the crash).

  • Grandpa Nixon comes through

    Grandpa Nixon comes through

    Larry Nixon's chops as a fishing guide were established decades ago at Toledo Bend Reservoir. It looks like he can get it done in the hunting realm, too.

    The photo shows 14-year-old Ethan Nixon's harvest from an Arkansas youth hunt on which he was accompanied by his grandfather. The 10-point whitetail buck had an antler spread measuring 22 inches.

  • Snapcast: Gone, just like that

    A guy in my local bass club was killed Friday morning in an auto accident. He was traveling a rural road through rice country before daylight, on his way to work as a correctional officer at the county jail, and for some reason ran the stop sign where the road intersects with the highway that divides Northern California's Sacramento Valley into eastern and western portions. His Ford F-250 was broadsided by a tractor-trailer rig.

    I didn't know Robert Jackson well; he'd only been in the club for a year or so, but he seemed like an extremely solid guy. He was recently elected to the board of directors. I voted for him.

    I found out from an online report of the crash that he was 48 – a year younger than me. At the moment, I don't know whether he left children behind, but it's very likely that he did. If so, I can only hope that they're all grown up and self-sufficient.

    We'd spoken a few times at the club's monthly meetings, but the only conversation we'd had on any topic other than bass fishing involved alligator meat. I'd eaten it for the first time at a recent Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits event in Texas and he'd had it on a couple of occasions, once in Louisiana and once overseas somewhere when he was in the Navy. We both thoroughly enjoyed our experiences with it.

    The club meets in a side room at one of the two local pizza parlors, and he'd sat at a table adjacent to me and my 4-year-old daughter at the October get-together. I'd brought a jerkbait rod that another member had wanted to see, and he became interested in it, too. He said he was looking to buy such a setup, but was unwilling to shell out the money for exactly what he wanted at the moment. I told him to take that one and try it out, and he could return it at next month's meeting. If he liked it, I'd make him a real good deal on it.

    That meeting will take place tonight, and it'll be a real solemn occasion that my daughter won't be accompanying me to. She thinks really sad things only happen in story books, and even then they're always made right in the end. I'd like to keep it that way for another year, or month, or week, or however long I can.

    I won't be getting my rod and reel back. I just hope that it had been used at some point over the past month.

    Maybe it produced the last fish he ever caught.

    --John Johnson
    --BassFan Senior Editor

  • Tournament planned in Johnson's honor

    Anglers in east Texas are banding together to show their support for the family of slain fisherman Jimmy Johnson.

    A tournament has been organized at Sam Rayburn Reservoir on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Jackson Hill Marina in Broaddus, Texas, according to a story on the website of Pollok, Texas TV station KTRE.

    Johnson, 56, a native of Gando, Texas, was shot to death on Oct. 13 outside his Jackson, Miss., motel after a confrontation with Shaun Brown, who was allegedly burglarizing Johnson's boat. Brown, 17 was arrested shortly after and is charged with capital murder.

    Entry fees will be $50 for a team and $25 for an individual with registration to begin at 5 a.m. Weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m.

    To register or to learn more, contact Scott Burns at (936) 215-0652 or Terry at Jackson Hill Marina at (936) 872-9266 or email

  • Look good, see it all

    <b><font color=maroon>Look good, see it all</font></b>

    Spiderwire is a household name in the line category, but did you know the company also produces some quality sunglasses? The Arachno sunglasses are available in three different versions to suit specific fishing situations and the price is nowhere near the equivalent of a top-of-the-line rod or reel.

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

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