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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

  • Roumbanis, Upshaw land new title deals

    Roumbanis, Upshaw land new title deals

    Old World Industries, a leader in automotive aftermarket products, has announced the sponsorships of professional bass anglers Fred Roumbanis and Andrew Upshaw, featuring the company's PEAK Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid flagship brands.

    Roumbanis, 35, plans to compete in both the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour trails this year. His boat and truck wrap will feature BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid as his title sponsor and PEAK Antifreeze as a secondary sponsor.

    Upshaw, 26, who will fish FLW Tour events and other tournaments, will feature PEAK Antifreeze as his title sponsor and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid as a secondary sponsor on his boat and truck.

    "Our company has a history of sponsorships, but mostly around motorsports activities," said Sean Wheatley, senior brand manager for PEAK/BlueDEF. "We know for a fact though that those who enjoy the outdoors are also the same active do-it-yourselfers who like to change their own oil, antifreeze, and otherwise tinker with their trucks. Hunters and anglers are typically high mileage drivers who take pride in their vehicle care because they do so greatly depend on them for their passion sports participation.

    "We simply believe fishing is a good fit for us and we're excited to prove our interest in active outdoors enthusiasts through these relationships. I'm confident Fred and Andrew will represent us well on and off the water."

  • B.A.S.S. shifts Cayuga launch site

    The launch site for the Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series event in August has been moved from Ithaca, N.Y., at the lake's south end to a ramp in Union Springs, approximately 30 miles north on the lake's east side.

    When the 2014 Elite Series schedule was announced, Ithaca was set to serve as the host city for the final regular season event with Allen Tremain State Park serving as the site for launch and weigh-in.

    According to an information sheet posted on the B.A.S.S. website and published reports out of Central New York, the town of Union Springs and city of Auburn, N.Y., will now host the tournament.

    The move was likely necessitated because the dates of the Elite Series event (Aug. 21-24) happen to conflict with the opening of residence halls at two universities in Ithaca – Cornell University and Ithaca College – meaning hotel rooms in and around Ithaca are likely be scarce.

    Moving the launch site north to Union Springs allows anglers easy access to accommodations in nearby Auburn and Seneca Falls.

    The Elite Series anglers will launch all 4 days from Frontenac Park in Union Springs. The day 1 and 2 weigh-ins will take place there as well. On the final 2 days, the weigh-in will shift to the Bass Pro Shops store at the Fingerlakes Mall in Auburn.

  • Bagley bought by group of private investors

    Bagley bought by group of private investors

    BassFan learned today that Bagley Bait Co. has been sold to a group of private investors led by Don Hulstrand, who will be the company's general manager.

    The company's warehouse and business offices will be located in Golden Valley, Minn.

    "This is hugely positive for Bagley," said Bill Cullerton, who along with Jarmo Rapala purchased Bagley in 2011. "It gives us cash to build more inventory and do additional sourcing, and it gives us some good fundamental business people to work with. Don is going to be integral to our success moving ahead. We have a chance to really grow now."

    Cullerton said the sale was necessary in order to achieve the goals they had set after acquiring the company known for its iconic balsa wood crankbaits.

    "After Jarmo and I bought it, we spent the first 6 months just trying to get the product right," Cullerton said. "We were buying 30-year-old lures and sending them to Finland to get them weighted and balanced right and making sure the hook placement was right."

    Cullerton will continue in his role heading up sales and marketing while Rapala will maintain his product design and sourcing posts.

    "We think there are a lot more positive things that will happen with Bagley going forward," Cullerton said. "We knew we wanted a solid investor, but we wanted someone with a strategy and a sound business background. We wanted someone who shared our vision."

  • 3M back with FLW

    3M back with FLW

    FLW announced today that 3M will return as a sponsor of the FLW Tour for the 4th consecutive season. 3M ScotchBlue Painters Tape has been tapped to be the featured brand, which will again be represented by veteran angler Ray Scheide.

    “3M’s commitment to our anglers, fans and the sport of fishing has been consistent since 2011,” said FLW president of marketing Trish Blake. “With the strong support of 3M, we look forward to continuing our relationship with a world-renowned company that has long been a recognized leader in the research and development of innovative products.”

  • Proposed Maine soft-plastics ban dead

    Proposed Maine soft-plastics ban dead

    The proposed ban on fishing with soft-plastic baits in Maine is no longer before the state’s legislature, the American Sportfishing Association announced today in a press release.

    The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife presented its report regarding the use of soft baits in Maine’s waters to the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Tuesday. The final conclusion: “…the Department does not recommend any legislation at this time.”

    The department did make a number of recommendations to enhance its angler education programs by involving anglers, angler organizations and the sportfishing industry. These enhancements are intended to minimize the loss and improve the proper disposal of soft baits in state waters by anglers.

    In 2013, Maine’s legislature considered two bills: one to ban soft baits and another to mandate degradable hooks for recreational fishing in Maine. After a hearing in February 2013, and thousands of comments in opposition to the bills, the legislature directed the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife “…to study effects of artificial fishing lures made of rubber and soft plastic and non-biodegradable hooks for fishing.” The 17-page report described the department’s findings and methods.

    From a scientific point-of-view, overall the report indicated a low rate of soft baits found in the digestive system of fish surveyed between 1985 and 2013, ranging from a low of 0.4 percent to a high of 5.2 percent of fish sampled, depending on the survey method.

    “We are pleased with the department’s recommendation of no legislative action and with many of the recommendations to enhance angler education about soft baits and the proper use and disposal of all baits,” said ASA VP Gordon Robertson. “Knowing the science of the actual impacts of the use of soft baits, the department’s decision was the correct one.

    "In addition, we concur with many of the recommendations concerning angler education and we stand ready to work with the department along with anglers and angler groups to reduce the loss of soft-plastic baits used in recreational fishing.”

  • Bagley to sponsor Benton

    Bagley to sponsor Benton

    Bagley Bait Co. announced today that it has signed FLW Tour angler Drew Benton to its pro staff and will serve as his title sponsor for the upcoming season.

    Benton, the 2013 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year and winner of last year's Tour event at Lake Okeechobee, said he's been a Bagley fan since his childhood.

    "I grew up throwing Bagley baits in the river here at home," he said. "I cut my teeth on Bang O Lures. After meeting Bill (Cullerton) after he and Jarmo (Rapala) bought the company, he told me they'd be bringing the original Bagleys back and that got me excited. When I saw the new line come out, I could tell it was back to the way it should be.

    "To me, it's like a staple in the industry. To be involved with them is one of the biggest thrills for me this early in my career. They fit my style of fishing, too. I like shallow-water power fishing and any time I need a crankbait when I'm around wood, it's a great bait of choice because it comes through wood so well. I just love the feel of their baits."

    "I was introduced to Drew by one of our dealers in Panama City, Fla., and he liked Drew and had known him since he was a kid," said Bill Cullerton, sales and marketing manager for Bagley. "As Drew got going and started fishing more serious tournaments, I got to know him more and liked his style and knew he'd fit in well with us."

  • Klein: 30 times two

    Klein: 30 times two

    Industry rep Alan McGuckin has penned a feature piece that details how Gary Klein's long pro fishing career has paralleled the evolution of Quantum reels. Klein will compete in his 30th Bassmaster Classic in the same year that the company celebrates its 30th anniversary.

    To read it, click here.

  • Rigid Industries lands Avena, Blaylock, Short

    Rigid Industries lands Avena, Blaylock, Short

    Rigid Industries announced this week that it has added FLW Tour anglers Adrian Avena and Stetson Blaylock and Bassmaster Elite Series angler Kevin Short to the Rigid Torture Team.

    Rigid Industries will be Avena's title sponsor for the 2014 FLW Tour season, which begins next week at Lake Okeechobee in Florida.

    "We are very excited to welcome Adrian as part of our Rigid Marine Torture Team” said Rigid's marine category manager Chris Brown. “Having Adrian flying the Rigid flag on the FLW Tour this year is really exciting. He has a bright future ahead of him and we are excited to have him on our team.”

    Adrian will run a Rigid Industries LED logoed wrap on his Ford F250 and 2014 Bass Cat Eyra.

    “For the past five years, bass fishing has become my passion," Avena said. “Although I am a relatively young fisherman, I have developed the skills and techniques to compete with the best in bass fishing. While fishing these events, I have learned the hard work and commitment it takes to succeed in this sport.”

    Blaylock's Toyota Tundra and his Ranger Boat will feature Rigid products as he competes on the FLW Tour and the B.A.S.S. Northern Opens this year. Short will utilize Rigid lighting on his Chevrolet and GMC tow vehicles, camper and his 2014 Bass Cat during Elite Series and Central Open tournaments this year.

    "The addition of Stetson Blaylock on the FLW side and Kevin Short on the B.A.S.S. side is really pretty awesome,” Brown added. “Both Stetson and Kevin reside in Arkansas, a state full of bass fishing history and one that has produced many FLW and B.A.S.S. Elite Series pros to date. Having them as part of the Rigid Torture Team is going to be both exciting and fun to watch as they do battle on the water in 2014.”

  • Biffle signs with Vicious Vision

    Biffle signs with Vicious Vision

    Vicious Vision Premium Polarized Eyewear announced that Bassmaster Elite Series angler Tommy Biffle will wear the new Vicious Vision sunglasses on the water during competition.

    "These glasses are the real deal," Biffle said. "Over my career, I’ve worn a bunch of them, but nothing like this. When fishing the clear water up north, I could literally see rocks, grass lines and fish in 20-plus feet of water that others around me couldn’t. And while filming the latest MLF event, I had some sponsors in the boat that were shocked at what they could see when I let them use my glasses. These things are going to help anglers catch more fish. There is just no doubt about it."

    Said company owner Dr. Doug Jordan, "Tommy heard about our eyewear from some of the pros we signed early and I was honored when he came to see me at ICAST interested in trying them. We believe firmly that our pros need to try the product first before we can even think about a deal. Bottom line, Tommy loved the product and of course we wanted him. It’s pretty awesome to have someone with Biffle’s track record there to help us as we move forward."

  • Boater's Insurance Agency signs Card

    Boater's Insurance Agency signs Card

    Boater’s Insurance Agency announced today it has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brandon Card.

    Boater's Insurance Agency, based in Danville, Calif., is an independently owned and operated marine insurance agency providing insurance on a nationwide basis.

    “Compare a policy from Boater’s Insurance Agency to any other policy and the fact is clear that BIA’s is better. Not all boat insurance is the same,” said Card. “In addition to tournaments I also use my boat for promotional purposes and anglers need to realize that not all boat insurance is equal. If you are fishing tournaments, have manufacturer and association requirements, use the boat for promotional purposes and have a boat full of fishing tackle and equipment, you need to call Boater’s Insurance Agency immediately and hear what they know that you may not about insurance coverage."

    Gabe Berkowitz, agent/marketing manager of Boater’s Insurance Agency said, “Boater’s Insurance Agency is thrilled to be a sponsor of Brandon Card. Being that BIA has heavily been involved in the fishing community over the years, we have created a policy for pro anglers that is unparalleled in the market. Many anglers need certain coverage from a manufacturer and the sponsorship level that aren’t readily available. BIA understands those requirements to provide the proper coverage. In addition, BIA coverage for anglers has much broader protection for equipment and tackle which is vital to any angler.”
    To learn more, visit

  • Balog: Keep Twitter off the water

    Balog: Keep Twitter off the water

    Joe Balog is not a big fan of FLW's new rule allowing pros to deliver updates via social during the course of a tournament day. In his view, it could become a huge distraction for competitors whose primary job is to catch fish.

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

  • Shryock, Bohannan with Rod Glove

    Shryock, Bohannan with Rod Glove

    VRX Fishing Products, manufacturer of the Rod Glove, announced that it's added Bassmaster Elite Series angler Fletcher Shryock and FLW Tour veteran Greg Bohannan to its pro staff.

    “We are very proud to have both of these top-level anglers representing our brand," said VRX owner Jim Van Ryn. They are both great fishermen and great ambassadors of the sport.”

  • Gagliardi one of two DQd at Okeechobee

    Gagliardi one of two DQd at Okeechobee

    FLW announced today that 2006 FLW Tour Angler of the Year Anthony Gagliardi is one of two competitors who've been disqualified from the season opener at Lake Okeechobee, which begins next week. The other is second-year pro Frank Clark of Illinois.

    Both were in violation of Rule 5, which deals with restricted access and off-limits periods. Both were on the water with ineligible practice partners inside the 30-day window prior to the first Tour practice day.

    Gagliardi's violation dates back to the Okeechobee Southeastern Rayovac earlier this month.

    For more, click here.

  • TomBob will title-sponsor Hauser

    TomBob will title-sponsor Hauser

    Wayne Hauser, a second-year FLW Tour pro from North Carolina, announced that TomBob Outdoors will be his title sponsor this season.

    TomBob is an outdoor products company that produces scented jigging spoons and will soon offer scented worm weights.

  • Tom Jackson Ramp to be closed for Classic

    Tom Jackson Ramp to be closed for Classic

    The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries has granted permission to B.A.S.S. to close the Tom Jackson Public Boat Ramp on Lake Guntersville during the week of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

    The ramp and associated parking areas will be closed from Monday, Feb. 17, at 12:01 a.m. through Monday, Feb. 24, at 11:59 p.m. for the Classic. The Tom Jackson ramp is located at Civitan Park in Guntersville.

    Numerous alternate ramps within a 10-mile radius are available for the public to launch boats on Lake Guntersville. They include Guntersville State Park and the public-access ramps at Browns Creek, Claysville, Seibold Creek, Steel Ford, Val Monte Road, Beech Creek and Honeycomb Creek.

  • Farm to Feet supports Montgomery

    Farm to Feet supports Montgomery

    Farm to Feet, makers of 100 percent made in America socks, will serve as Bassmaster Elite Series angler Andy Montgomery's wrap sponsor for the 2014 season.

    “Bass fishing is as American as apple pie and we're excited to share our 100 percent American story with the bass fishing community," said Farm to Feet VP of marketing David Petri.

    Said Montgomery: "I'm honored to be apart of a company that believes in America and the American worker. After visiting the plant I was blown away by the detail that goes into making a Farm to Feet sock. From the Midwest to the East Coast they continue to support two of the core industries that made our country great – farming and manufacturing."

    "I always thought a sock was a sock until my wife and I were given the Farm to Feet product to try. They kept our feet warm and dry as well as providing the support in ways I didn't know was possible. Whether it was her 12-hour hospital shifts or my 12 hours on the water, we both were confortable and less fatigued at the end of the day. I look forward to many more confortable days on the water helping spread the word about this great company."

  • Fishidy on board with FLW

    Fishidy on board with FLW

    FLW today announced a sponsorship agreement for the 2014 season with map-based fishing social network Fishidy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Fishidy allows members to connect with other anglers and log catches and spot information at various levels of privacy.

  • Upshaw links with Outkast Tackle

    Upshaw links with Outkast Tackle

    Outkast Tackle announced that it's added FLW Tour angler and former Bassmaster Classic qualifier Andrew Upshaw to its pro staff.

    "We are proud to be working with Andrew and share his passion for jig-fishing," said said Outkast VP Connor Summers. "Andrew has a bright future in this sport and we are excited to partner with him to continue to provide anglers with the best jigs on the market."

    Said Upshaw: "I've known the guys at Outkast Tackle for a while; they are great guys who make great products. They've already got one jig in their line I've had input on, and they are creating a jig for me as we speak. Hopefully this thing will be out by ICAST – it's a pretty wicked design."

    In addition to using Outkast jigs, Upshaw will also be using SLIX Rod Covers to protect his Lew's rods from wear and tear throughout the tournament season.

  • Iaconelli set to launch Internet show

    Iaconelli set to launch Internet show

    Mike Iaconelli will debut his live-streamed Internet show, Ike Live!, at 9 p.m. EST on Feb. 10. The format will include interviews with fellow anglers and other guests, critiques of fishing videos, fishing tips, a call-in segment in which Iaconelli will respond to questions and comments, fishing trivia contests and discussions on tournament results, upcoming events, news and other hot topics.

    Comedian Ed Bassmaster and pro angler Pete Gluszek, Iaconelli's Bass University co-founder, will be the initial guests.

    “This live webcast is a great way for me to stay in touch with fans,” said Iaconelli. “I get Twitter and Facebook posts every day asking for tips and advice, and it’s tough to try and answer them all. With Ike Live!, I can answer some of them and talk to fans directly. This kind of interaction is key and we can have a lot of fun doing it.”

    Viewers can log on to and click the Ike Live! menu tab to watch the live-streaming show. Fans who miss the live show can view the video later on the website.

    Iaconelli plans to live-stream a show each month, with dates varying around his tournament fishing schedule.

  • Jacobs' estate on market for $22 million

    According to a recent report in a Minnesota business publication, the estate of Irwin L. Jacobs has been listed for sale for $22 million as the chairman of FLW Outdoors and his wife of more than 50 years appear set to transition into a smaller home.

    The 13,000-square-foot mansion located at 1700 Shoreline Drive in Orono, Minn., sits on a 32-acre site that runs from the north shore of Smith’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka to the southeast shore of Tanager Lake. The home, which now has 10 bedrooms, was built by the son of the founder of General Mills in 1939.

    According to the Jan. 21 article published on the Finance and Commerce website, Jacobs said he and wife Anna are looking to downsize from the massive property, which also includes a wetlands area, a 4,000-square-foot guesthouse, two caretakers houses, a pool, pool house, a barn and guard house.

    “It really is a beautiful place,” said Jacobs. “We raised all our children there. It’s got incredible memories.”

    To read more, click here.

  • Pace breaks leg, will miss Classic

    Pace breaks leg, will miss Classic

    Cliff Pace, the reigning Bassmaster Classic champion, will miss this year's Classic at Lake Guntersville next month after breaking his left leg while climbing out of a tree stand during a deer hunting outing Friday near his home in Mississippi.

    According to a story posted on, Pace was hunting alone and was exiting his tree stand when his hand slipped out of his glove on his way down from the stand. He landed on his feet, but his left foot landed in a hole and he suffered breaks above and below his knee along with a torn ACL.

    He underwent surgery Saturday and is not expected to be able to put any weight on his left leg for 10 to 12 weeks, which means he could miss a good portion of the Elite Series season. B.A.S.S. announced in the story that Pace's Classic qualification will be deferred to 2015.

    To read more, click here.

  • Soles stomps Toho field

    Soles stomps Toho field

    Van Soles of Haines City, Fla. caught the heaviest sack in the field for the second straight day on Saturday to win the Lake Toho Bassmaster Southern Open. His final-day stringer of 21-09 gave him a 3-day total of 50-15.

    Soles, who's been a dominant force on the Kissimmee Chain recently, was in 30th place after day 1 before catching fire over the final 2 days.

    “I fished the southwest side of Lake Kissimmee all 3 days, focusing on matted vegetation that had floated up against buggy whips, cattails and Kissimmee grass,” he said. “The bass were really lethargic, and the bite was slower on the last day than on day 2.”

    Soles pitched and punched the matted vegetation with a Gambler BB Cricket (emerald blue, black/blue flake and Bowen silver shadow). Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    Here's the makeup of the final Top 12:

    1. Van Soles: 50-15
    2. Phillip Cury: 49-02
    3. David Williams: 44-02
    4. Jeff Cloud: 43-13
    5. John Brazzell: 43-03
    6. Joe Ventrello: 40-06
    7. Garrett Rocamora: 39-01
    8. Russ Lane: 37-12
    9. Red Flowers: 36-04
    10. Micah Silverman: 36-00
    11. Jared Dial: 35-06
    12. Eric Conant: 32-07

  • McCall prevails at Rayburn

    McCall prevails at Rayburn

    Brookeland, Texas resident Chris McCall, a former FLW Tour pro, caught a 19-10 bag Saturday to win the weather-shortened Sam Rayburn Reservoir Rayovac FLW Series. He finished with a 2-day total of 33-15.

    “I think this win feels better than my first one,” said McCall, who also won a Rayovac event on Sam Rayburn in 2006. “It was really a tough tournament. Today, everything just came together for me. I feel great.

    “I had a 20-mile milk run,” he continued. “I had around 15 different spots that I liked, and I just rotated through them. Most of the areas I fished I pretty much had to myself, which is pretty rare for Rayburn. One of the keys for me was fishing real thoroughly. I really milked my main areas and fished until I knew that I had gotten every bite.”

    He said that all of his fish this week came on a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap, a Sixth Sense crankbait and a Santone Lures football-head jig, and red seemed to be the color of choice. Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Chris McCall: 33-15
    2. Robert Case: 31-14
    3. Dicky Newberry: 30-05
    4. Brian Branum: 29-03
    5. Jason Wells: 28-09
    6. Todd Castledine: 27-05
    7. James Stricklin Jr.: 26-02
    8. Keith Combs: 26-02
    9. Ray Hanselman: 25-05
    10. Clint West: 25-03

  • Cloud hovers over Toho

    Cloud hovers over Toho

    Lubbock, Texas resident Jeff Cloud, who's fished numerous Bassmaster Opens over the past decade but has never logged a Top-20 finish, took over the lead today at the Lake Toho Southern Open in Florida with an 18-06 sack that pushed his 2-day total to 34-12. He'll start the final day with a 2 1/2-pound advantage.

    Day-1 leader Todd Auten blanked and fell all the way to 28th place. Kota Kiriyama, who began day 2 in 2nd place, weighed three fish for 4-06 and plummeted to 19th.

    Cloud's closest pursuers are three Floridians – Phillip Cury with 32-04, John Brazzell with 31-06 and Garrett Rocamora with 30-03. Van Soles, who's in 6th with 29-06, weighed the biggest fish of the tournament today – a 10-07 bruiser that he caught while punching with a 2-ounce weight.

    Russ Lane (9th, 28-02) was the only tour-level angler to make the Top 12.

    Here are the totals for the 12 anglers who'll fish the final day:

    1. Jeff Cloud: 34-12
    2. Phillip Cury: 32-04
    3. John Brazzell: 31-06
    4. Garrett Rocamora: 30-03
    5. David Williams: 29-13
    6. Van Soles: 29-06
    7. Micah Silverman: 28-08
    8. Red Flowers: 28-03
    9. Russ Lane: 28-02
    10. Jared Dial: 27-14
    11. Eric Conant: 27-11
    12. Joe Ventrello: 27-10

  • Maxima adds two to pro staff

    Maxima adds two to pro staff

    Line manufacturer Maxima announced today that it's added Bassmaster Elite Series angler Casey Scanlon and FLW Tour angler James Watson to its pro staff.

    “Having great support from sponsors like Maxima Fishing Line is the final tool I’ve needed in my tackle box,” said Watson. “While my sponsorship with Maxima is now official, Maxima line has been on my reels since day 1.”

  • FLW picks up Bridgford Foods

    FLW picks up Bridgford Foods

    FLW and Bridgford Foods Corporation have announced a sponsorship agreement for the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour season. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    Founded more than 80 years ago, Bridgford makes pepperoni, beef jerky, summer sausage and meat snacks. Bridgford’s brand of Sweet Baby Ray’s Beef Jerky is one of the fastest growing meat snacks in the United States. All Bridgford Foods products are made in the USA.

    As part of their FLW partnership, Bridgford Foods will continue to sponsor Randy Blaukat of Joplin, Mo., who will compete in FLW Tour events as well as some FLW Rayovac Series tournaments. Bridgford will also sponsor Joe Uribe Jr. of Surprise, Ariz., who will be competing on the FLW Western Rayovac Series.

  • Day 2 of Sam Rayburn Rayovac cancelled

    A mix of freezing rain followed by 3 inches of snow overnight in the Jasper, Texas area has prompted FLW to cancel day 2 of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir Texas Rayovac Series.

    The Jasper area is under a winter storm warning until 3 p.m. CST Friday with an additional 2 to 3 inches of snow possible.

    If conditions improve Saturday, the full field will fish and the event will be shortened to 2 days.

    “Obviously, the safety of our anglers is always our first priority,” Rayovac FLW Series Tournament Director Ron Lappin said in a release announcing the cancellation. “It rained for three hours last night, and then the temperatures dropped into the lower 30s. Then, we got hit with a winter storm and it dumped 4½ inches of snow on us. The roads were incredibly icy. We could hardly drive to the ramp this morning at 4 a.m. to make a decision. I couldn’t imagine trying to pull a boat. It was just too dangerous.

    “We’ll continue to monitor the weather throughout the day to ensure that conditions are safe to continue fishing Saturday.”

    Ray Hanselman is the current leader after catching 21-05 on Thursday.

  • Auten picks Opens, Rayovacs over Tour

    Veteran angler Todd Auten opted to bypass the FLW Tour this year in favor of a triple-A schedule. He had fished the Tour each of the past four seasons and before that, he competed in 27 Tour events between 1996-2007. He fished the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2008 and 2009.

    This year, he'll focus on the Bassmaster Southern and Northern Opens as well as the Southeast and Northern Rayovac Series. In addition, he plans to fish the PAA tournaments (he's qualified for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Fork in April).

    "Everything seemed to fit better for me to fish the Opens this year," he told BassFan Thursday after taking the day-1 lead at the Lake Toho Southern Open. "I like the schedules better and last year I missed out on fishing some Opens I wanted to fish because they conflicted with the Tour."

    Financial considerations were also a part of the decision for the South Carolina pro.

    "I made the decision that it would be the most cost efficient to fish the Opens and Rayovacs and PAA," he said.

  • Auten on top at Toho

    Auten on top at Toho

    Todd Auten's day-1 bag at the Toho Bassmaster Southern Open was one fish short of a limit, but that was more than made up for by the fact that one of his quartet weighed nearly 9 1/2 pounds.

    The veteran from South Carolina took the early lead with a 22-10 bag. He'll start day 2 with a cushion of 2 1/2 pounds over Elite Series pro Kotaro Kiriyama.

    “I was covering a lot of water and throwing the (Xcalibur) Xr75,” Auten said.

    Kiriyama was also reticent to divulge many details of his day.

    “It wasn’t easy today,” he said. “I only had six bites, and none of them came until 1:40 this afternoon.”

    Following are the totals for the early Top 12:

    1. Todd Auten: 22-10
    2. Kotaro Kiriyama: 19-02
    3. Garrett Rocamora: 18-11
    4. John Kremer: 17-14
    5. Matthew Henry 17-12
    6. Jeff Cloud: 16-06
    7. Darrell Pons: 16-03
    8. Eric Conant: 15-14
    9. Bigworm Ludwig: 15-12
    10. Marty Robinson: 15-11
    11. (tie) Joe Ventrello: 15-06
    11. (tie) Jared Dial: 15-06

  • Hanselman pulls out front at Rayburn

    Hanselman pulls out front at Rayburn

    Ray Hanselman, a resident of Del Rio, Texas, caught the lone sack exceeding 20 pounds as the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division got under way at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman's 21-05 stringer gave him a lead of nearly 3 pounds over FLW Tour stalwart Jay Yelas.

    Bags approaching (or even exceeding) 25 pounds were anticipated from the famed impoundment, but chilly conditions appear to have slowed the bite as only six competitors topped the 15-pound threshold. The air temperature didn't get out of the 40s today and a stiff wind blew from the northeast.

    Yelas caught 18-08 to grab the No. 2 position. Brian Branum is 3rd with 16-13.

    Here are the numbers for the initial Top 10:

    1. Ray Hanselman: 21-05
    2. Jay Yelas: 18-08
    3. Brian Branum: 16-13
    4. James Stricklin Jr.: 15-15
    5. Robert Case: 15-05
    6. Keith Combs: 15-01
    7. Larry Nixon: 14-07
    8. Chris McCall: 14-05
    9. Jim Phillips: 14-03
    10. Albert Collins: 13-06

  • Phoenix debuts new site, mobile app

    Phoenix debuts new site, mobile app

    Phoenix Boats announced today a major upgrade to its website and unveiled a new app, both of which are equipped with features that will allow users the option to customize and personalize their new boat.

    The company website is now a one-of-a-kind destination that gives users the option to “Build My Phoenix." Users can choose from a wide variety of colors to give a personal touch to their new boat.

    The company also introduced the Phoenix Boats app, which is available for download through the Apple iTunes App Store. It also features the "Build My Phoenix" option.

    “We’re really proud of our new site," said Gary Clouse, president of Phoenix Boats. "We wanted a website that was as good as our boats. We feel we accomplished that with this upgrade.

    “It’s often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With that in mind, our new site allows anyone interested in a new Phoenix Boat to combine his or her own, unique color combinations. They’re not limited to color combinations we selected for them.”

    Potential customers can select a hull color and finish it off with trailer pinstriping.

    "The boat they order is distinctive," Clouse said. "It’s theirs. It meets their definition of beauty.”

    Also available on the revamped website are detailed photos of all Phoenix models, manuals, new apparel, contact information and an online registration page for the First Flight tournament rewards program.

  • Surman, former NFL player to host kids event

    FLW Tour angler Mike Surman has teamed up with former NFL player Channing Crowder on a 2-day fishing tournament/clinic that will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County (Fla.).

    The event is slated for Jan. 31-Feb. 1 with the fishing tournament taking place on Jan. 31 and a kids fishing clinic with Surman and other FLW anglers to follow on Feb. 1. The tournament features a $10,000 grand prize and more than $20,000 in cash and prizes.

    Crowder, who played six seasons for the Miami Dolphins, will compete in the tournament against Surman and former Dolphins Jason Taylor and Ronnie Brown, among other celebrities and FLW pros.

    Click here to learn more about the event or how to become a sponsor.

  • Lew's signs on with FLW

    Lew's signs on with FLW

    FLW announced today that rod and reel manufacturer Lew's has signed on as a sponsor of the organization for 2014. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Lew's rods and reels will be the official fishing equipment used for the public casting ponds held in conjunction with many FLW events, allowing visitors the opportunity to enjoy a quality casting experience with tournament-proven spinning and baitcasting gear.

  • Balog: Why does the guard change?

    Balog: Why does the guard change?

    In the latest edition of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog takes a look back at some of the anglers who've dominated the sport through the years and examines the question of why their reign was fleeting. He believes the answer is simple: It's impossible to sustain momentum forever.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Christie joins Sunline

    Christie joins Sunline

    Jason Christie, the top-ranked angler in the BassFan World Rankings, is the latest edition to the Sunline America pro staff. The Oklahoman was a three-time winner at the tour level in 2013 and is preparing to compete in his second Bassmaster Classic.

    Christie has won 10 FLW events (four on the FLW Tour and six BFLS) and three B.A.S.S. events (one Elite and two Opens). His career winnings are in excess of $1.2 million.

    "Fishing professionally, I need a strong, easy-casting, high-quality line connecting me to the fish," he said. "If I lose a fish, I lose money. That's why I chose Sunline."

  • Toho winner likely to average 25 pounds

    Toho winner likely to average 25 pounds

    The 2014 Bassmaster Classic is still a month away, but the first opportunity to secure a spot in the 2015 edition arrives this week as the Toho Bassmaster Southern Open gets under way in Florida. According to veteran guide Steve Boyd of Florida Bass Adventures, the winner will likely need to average 25 pounds a day.

    Boyd said conditions are fairly similar to what they were in 2001 when Dean Rojas caught his record-setting 45-02 sack, but there are a couple of significant differences. For one, water temperatures have not fallen into the 40s at any point this winter, as they did in '01. For another, this event won't coincide with a full-moon phase. Lastly, the water is higher and stained by algae blooms from the consistent high sun, and that will make the big spawners tougher to find on the outer edges of grass lines.

    "While some anglers will find bedding bass for this tournament, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that it will be won off of bass that aren’t on the beds," Boyd said. "The weather we're having right now will lead to a massive amount of baitfish in shallow-water grass that aren’t there right now."

    As for tactics and techniques, flipping grass will play a major role, as it always does in Florida. Other options include frogs, swimbaits, speedworms, ChatterBaits, Senkos, Texas-rigged worms and flukes.

    Lake Kissimmee has been a hot spot, but he doesn't expect the winning fish to come from there because it'll receive a great deal of pressure and anglers will likely be hampered by high winds.

    "I would predict the winning weight will come from a combination of lakes, not just one. Toho has been fishing well and I do know one angler who is competing and catching good limits, but his fish will not respond well once fishing pressure ramps up.

    "I’m excited and wish I was competing in this one. There will be a lot of limits and many will get wrapped up catching numbers and miss out on the right lure for catching size. Either way, the Kissimmee Chain will do what it does best."

    The accompanying photos show two of Boyd's clients with massive fish they caught during a big move-up that occurred earlier this month. They weighed 10-06 (left) and 9-06, respectively.

    "Hardly anyone knew about it because we were having some of the worst weather with very little sunlight. For many of my clients, it was the best fishing they have ever experienced."

  • Sunline picks up Faircloth

    Sunline picks up Faircloth

    Sunline America announced today that Todd Faircloth, a four-time winner on the Bassmaster Elite Series and the No. 5-ranked angler in the BassFan World Rankings, has joined the company's pro staff.

    "I've worked very hard to be consistent and successful with my fishing career," he said. "I'm glad to be using a line that strives for the same consistency and success. Sunline products are a great fit for my fishing styles."

  • Shockwave added to Missile lineup

    Shockwave added to Missile lineup

    Missile Baits announced today it has added a swimbait called the Shockwave 4.25 to its lineup of soft plastic shapes.

    The bait features a thin tail that has a medium tail swing from the slightest movement in the water. The split belly allows for easy Texas rigging and the body has plenty of thickness for rigging on a jig or jig head. Its in-between size should also make it a great choice for other applications, including the umbrella rig, single jig head, swim jig, and even a Carolina rig.

    “The Shockwave 4.25 is a bait that I have been wanting for a while,” said company owner and pro angler John Crews. “There are other swim baits out there, but I could not find the one I needed that had the right combination of size, texture, tail design, and most importantly, action. I think we nailed this in a package that anglers can afford.”

    Each pack of Shockwave 4.25 will contain five baits and retail for $3.99. It'll be available in eight colors initially – pearl white, bombshell, shrapnel, army green flash, brass monkey, candygill, green-pumpkin watermelon, and fisholicious.

    In addition, Crews has come up with a new color for the popular D Bomb and Baby D Bomb baits called Bourbon, which bares a resemblance to actual bourbon by having a translucent brownish amber color with fine black flake throughout.

  • New eyewear deal for Reese

    New eyewear deal for Reese

    Skeet Reese announced that he's formed a partnership with Bimini Bay Outfitters to produce a new line of value-priced eyewear to be released this spring. Skeet Reese Sport Optics will feature six frame styles and carry a retail price of $29.99.

    "I've always said that I would not endorse what I wouldn't use myself," he said. "I still operate that way, and I've always known that anglers need the chance to have great equipment that doesn't break their budgets."

    Said Bimini Bay VP Bob Litt: "The lineup is unique to the fishing industry. From modern, edgier styles to two-tone crystal finishes and the Skeet Reese logos, there is nothing in the industry like these in the under $30 category.

    "Skeet was involved in everything from the frame styles to the lenses to logos and packaging. I think we really captured his persona in this brand, and he had a lot to do with that. He is a great guy, a tremendous angler and businessman, and we are proud to be working with him."

  • Lowrance, FLW linked through 2015

    Lowrance, FLW linked through 2015

    FLW announced today that its reached a sponsorship agreement with electronics manufacturer Lowrance that extends through the 2015 season.

    The press release revealed that Lowrance has launched a commitment to college fishing through the Insight Genesis College Cup, which will award more than $100,000 in Lowrance product. In the year-long competition, college bass anglers and teams compete by recording sonar log data and uploading it to the Insight Genesis College Cup website. Individuals and teams that upload the most sonar data, by acreage, will win monthly and annual prizes.

    More details of the program can be found at

  • S3 Power Sports backs Tietje

    S3 Power Sports backs Tietje

    S3 Power Sports, a family-owned off-road vehicle dealer and customization shop located in Shreveport, La., announced recently that it will sponsor Bassmaster Elite Series angler Dennis Tietje during the 2014 season.

    "S3 Power Sports is an avid supporter of all things outdoors and so we jumped at the opportunity to support TJ during the 2014 season," said S3 plant operations manager Dustin Jones. "TJ is an ambassador of a sport that we love and with the great personal relationship we have built with TJ though off roading and mudding, we didn't hesitate to align ourselves with such a great guy."

    Said Tietje, “I am excited about joining S3 Power Sports. Recent opportunities allowed me to see exactly what these super builds by S3 can really do in the mud. The owners, Linda and Malcolm Sneed, are as wild about mud ridding as I am about jumping big waves. I can see how driving a S3 build can be as addicting as fishing.”

  • Pain-management firm joins MLF

    Pain-management firm joins MLF

    Major League Fishing announced today that BACAS, a Houston-based interventional pain management group that specializes in treating injuries, has joined the league as the 2014 official physician sponsor.

    “BACAS is an incredible organization with some of the most dedicated, caring people I’ve ever met," said MLF GM Jim Wilburn. "We can’t begin to express how pleased we are to have formed a partnership with this tremendous and skilled group of people.

    "The physicians and specialists at BACAS have a true grasp of the types of injuries our anglers face, and they have designed a rehabilitation program to address these injuries. They truly have the well-being of anglers in mind. We look forward to a long-term relationship with BACAS.”

    Said BACAS senior VP Melonie Butler: “Major League Fishing presents excellent shows that focus on the intense competition and stress that accompany professional fishing events. We felt that becoming a sponsor of Major League Fishing would be a great way to showcase the effectiveness of BACAS treatments in getting professional anglers out of pain and keeping them in the competition."

  • Garmin adds Chapman, Dance

    Garmin adds Chapman, Dance

    Garmin International Inc. today announced that it has added fishing legend Bill Dance and 2012 Bassmater Elite Series Angler of the Year Brent Chapman to the company pro staff.

    A professional angler for nearly 50 years, Dance has introduced thousands to the sport of fishing through his television show “Bill Dance Outdoors,” which has aired since 1968 – more than 2,000 episodes.

    “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to fish with Garmin’s completely redesigned fishfinder and GPS units," Dance said. "Not only do they have the clearest sonar and the most detailed lake maps on the market today, but Garmin units are designed to be easy to use."

    Chapman is preparing to compete in his 13th Bassmaster Classic next month. A native of Lake Quivira, Kan., Chapman lives just a few miles from the Garmin headquarters.

    “It’s obvious that Garmin is ‘in it to win it’ in the marine electronics business, just like I am on the tournament trail," Chapman said. "Without a doubt, their new lineup of sonar and GPS is going to help make me a more competitive and successful angler. And because they’re so simple to use, I can spend more time fishing and less time figuring out my electronics.”

    Garmin’s new 2014 marine lineup features its brand-new DownVü and SideVü scanning sonar, which provide a near picture-quality representation of objects, structure and fish that are found both underneath the boat and also to the sides. These true-to-life images give an angler a better idea of the most ideal spots and underwater structure for fishing, and provide the clearest sonar picture of fish returns available on the market today.

    Also new for 2014 is an expanded database of LakeVü HD maps now available on Garmin marine GPS units. A total of 17,000 inland lakes are represented, including over 5,700 lakes with 1-foot contour lines shore-to-shore. In addition, Garmin is also offering LakeVü HD Ultra with MaxDef, which features Garmin-surveyed lake maps of more than 40 of the top fishing lakes in the U.S. These MaxDef maps are the highest detailed maps available of any inland cartography Garmin has ever produced.

    “These new partnerships, combined with our new lineup of marine electronics, clearly demonstrate that Garmin is committed to being a top player in the freshwater fishing industry,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “We’re very excited to have Bill and Brent on the Garmin team and we’re thrilled that they will have the full suite of sonar and electronic mapping to help them in their pursuits.”

  • Falcon will title-sponsor Christie

    Falcon will title-sponsor Christie

    Falcon Rods announced this week that it will be the title sponsor of two-tour standout Jason Christie, who announced late last year that he was relinquishing his FLW team deal with Rayovac batteries to pursue his own opportunities. The Oklahoman won three tour-level events in 2013 and currently sits atop the BassFan World Rankings.

    “We are all-in with Jason,” said Falcon founder John Beckwith. “We have known and supported Jason from the beginning of his career. He is a winner, which he has proved over and over with his numerous victories and Top-10 finishes. Jason is on a roll and Falcon Rods is excited about the rewards this new partnership will bring.”

    Said Christie: “Falcon Rods is a great fit for me. I’ve been fishing with Falcon since my first year as a pro. That’s thousands and thousands of casts, and I have never broken a Falcon. Never. I fish Falcon and that’s that."

  • FLW revamps Fantasy Fishing

    FLW revamps Fantasy Fishing

    FLW has made some significant changes to its Fantasy Fishing game for 2014. Under the new format, players will build a roster of 10 pro anglers at predetermined values within a $200 salary cap for every FLW Tour event. The value of each angler will change for each event, so players will have to adjust – not just to the fishery as in the past, but also to the valuation of each angler.

    The format will force players to choose more than just the local favorites and perennial top finishers; the best-performing players will dig deep for high-value anglers.

    Fifty prizes are awarded for each of the seven individual tournaments, including a $5,000 top prize. In addition, 10 cumulative prizes, including the $10,000 grand prize, will be awarded to the top-scoring teams from all seven tournaments combined.

    FLW Fantasy Fishing is free to play and FLW members receive access to fantasy tools to aid in angler selection.

    Players can view changes, examine angler valuations and select a roster at The FLW Tour opener is slated for Feb. 6-9 on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fla.

  • 180 names on FLW Tour roster

    180 names on FLW Tour roster

    The 2014 FLW Tour roster was posted this week on and there are 180 anglers listed on the pro side, an increase of five over last year.

    Worth noting is there are 14 anglers listed that are also qualified to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series, meaning it's likely more than a dozen pros will pull double duty this season.

    Anglers signed up to fish both series are: Casey Ashley, Jason Christie, Greg Hackney, Matt Herren, Brett Hite, Steve Kennedy, Ish Monroe, Andy Montgomery, John Murray, Fred Roumbanis, Zell Rowland, Dave Smith, Randall Tharp and Jason Williamson.

    This year marks the second straight season the schedules of both tours did not conflict, however there is a stretch of six straight events toward the beginning of the season.

    Jason Quinn, Clark Reehm and Matt Greenblatt have moved over from the Elite Series, while previous FLW anglers Glenn Browne, Justin Lucas, Jacob Powroznik and Kenneth (Boo) Woods jumped to the Elites. The most notable names missing from the roster are Ron Shuffield and Todd Auten.

    During the kickoff event at Lake Okeechobee, FLW will pay out $4,000 down to 90th place.

    Below is the complete 2014 FLW Tour angler roster:

    Barton Aiken – Greenville, SC
    Keith Amerson – Bethel Springs, Tn
    Matt Arey – Shelby, NC
    Stuart Arthur – Benton, Mo
    Casey Ashley – Donalds, SC
    Adrian Avena – Vineland, NJ
    Jeff Barth – Marshfield, Wi
    Clayton Batts – Macon, Ga
    Chris Baumgardner – Gastonia, NC
    Robert Behrle – Hoover, Al
    Drew Benton – Panama City, Fl
    Cody Bird – Granbury, Tx
    Randy Blaukat – Joplin, Mo
    Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ar
    Greg Bohannan – Rogers, Ar
    Terry Bolton – Paducah, Ky
    Patrick Bone – Cleveland, Ga
    Lionel Botha – Okeechobee, Fl
    Christopher Brasher – Longview, Tx
    Jimmy Brewer – Marshall, Tx
    Scott Canterbury – Springville, Al
    Zach Caudle – Shreveport, La
    Ryan Chandler – Valparaiso, In
    Glenn Chappelear – Acworth, Ga
    James Christian – Dickson, Tn
    Jason Christie – Park Hill, Ok
    Frank Clark – Benton, Il
    Luke Clausen – Spokane, Wa
    Brandon Cobb – Greenwood, SC
    Robert Collins – Morrow, Oh
    Ramie Colson Jr – Cadiz, Ky
    RC Cooper – Nashua, NH
    Rick Cotten – Guntersville, Al
    Brandon Coulter – Knoxville, Tn
    Shirley Crain – Fort Smith, Ar
    Bo Cross – Knoxville, Tn
    Rich Dalbey – Greenville, Tx
    Mark Daniels Jr. – Fairfield, Ca
    Ryan Davidson – Huntington, WV
    Alex Davis – Albertville, Al
    Clent Davis – Montevallo, Al
    Darrell Davis – Dover, Fl
    Tony Davis – Williston, Fl
    Bill Day – Frankfort, Ky
    John Devere – Berea, Ky
    Jim Dillard – West Monroe, La
    Robbie Dodson – Harrison, Ar
    David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va
    Tony Dumitras – Wnston, Ga
    Brent Ehrler – Redlands, Ca
    Charlie Evans – Gilbertsville, Ky
    Marc Evans – Angola, In
    Travis Fox – Rogers, Ar
    Micah Frazier – Newnan, Ga
    David Fritts – Lexington, NC
    Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Tx
    Anthony Gagliardi – Prosperity, SC
    Nick Gainey – Charleston, SC
    Troy Gibson – Eufaula, Al
    Matt Greenblatt – Port St Lucie, Fl
    Dustin Grice – Hewitt, Tx
    Chad Grigsby – Maple Grove, Mn
    Jeff Gustafson – Keewatin, Ontario
    Greg Hackney – Gonzales, La
    Randy Haynes – Counce, Tn
    Chris Heath – North Augusta, SC
    Wade Hendricks – Thompsons Station, Tn
    Matt Herren – Trussville, Al
    Dion Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo
    Guido Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo
    Payden Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo
    Brett Hite – Phoenix, Az
    Todd Hollowell – Fishers, In
    Troy Hollowell – Paducah, Ky
    Jimmy Houston – Cookson, Ok
    Rex Huff – Corbin, Ky
    Brandon Hunter – Benton, Ky
    Charlie Ingram – Centerville, Tn
    Philip Jarabeck – Lynchburg, Va
    Skip Johnson – Goodells, Mi
    George Kapiton – Inverness, Fl
    Steve Kennedy – Auburn, Al
    JT Kenney – Palm Bay, Fl
    Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ar
    Stacey King – Reeds Spring, Mo
    Brad Knight – Wartburg, Tn
    Koby Kreiger – Okeechobee, Fl
    Jason Lambert – Pickwick Dam, Tn
    Wade Leblanc – Gonzales, La
    Dave Lefebre – Erie, Pa
    Shane Lehew – Charlotte, NC
    Brent Long – Iron Station, NC
    Richard Lowitzki – St Charles, Il
    Travis Loyd – Kinmundy, Il
    Andrew Luxon – Richmond, Ky
    Tim Malone – Gatlinburg, Tn
    Casey Martin – New Hope, Al
    Roland Martin – Naples, Fl
    Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fl
    Tommy Martin – Hemphill, Tx
    Lendell Martin Jr. – Nacogdoches, Tx
    Bill McDonald – Greenwood, In
    Stephen McKinnie – Umatila, Fl
    Brandon McMillan – Clewiston, Fl
    Jason Meninger – Gainesville, Ga
    Ray Meredith – Smiths Grove, Ky
    Cody Meyer – Auburn, Ca
    Kerry Milner – Bono, Ar
    Ish Monroe – Hughson, Ca
    Tom Monsoor – La Crosse, Wi
    Andy Montgomery – Blacksburg, SC
    Drew Montgomery – Denver, Nc
    Harry Moore – Valley, Al
    Dan Morehead – Paducah, Ky
    Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tn
    Robert Morin – Seymour, Tn
    Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga
    Justin Morton – Etoile, Tx
    Jim Moynagh – Carver, Mn
    Shawn Murphy – Nicholasville, Ky
    John Murray – Phoenix, Az
    Michael Neal – Dayton, Tn
    Chris Neau – New Orleans, La
    Jonathan Newton – Rogersville, Al
    Blake Nick – Adger, Al
    Larry Nixon – Bee Branch, Ar
    Eric Olliverson – Lampe, Mo
    Robert Pearson – Herndon, Va
    Richard Peek – Centre, Al
    Matt Pennington – Springdale, Ar
    Kelly Power – Cape Fair, Mo
    Nick Prvonozac – Warren, Oh
    Jason Quinn – Rock Hill, SC
    Jayme Rampey – Liberty, SC
    Jerry Reagan – Byrdstown, Tn
    Tom Redington – Royse City, Tx
    Clark Reehm – Huntington, Tx
    Jason Reyes – Huffman, Tx
    Brad Rightnour – Howard, Pa
    Darrel Robertson – Jay, Ok
    Tommy Robinson – Westland, Mi
    Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ar
    Fred Roumbanis – Bixby, Ok
    Zell Rowland – Montgomery, Tx
    Ray Scheide – Dover, Ar
    Shad Schenck – Waynetown, In
    Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md
    Colby Schrumpf – Highland, Il
    Terry Segraves – Kissimmee, Fl
    Spencer Shuffield – Bismarck, Ar
    David Smith – Del City, Ok
    Jeff Sprague – Point, Tx
    Matthew Stefan – Junction City, Wi
    Kevin Stewart – Elk Grove, Ca
    Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tn
    Scott Suggs – Bryant, Ar
    Mike Surman – Boca Raton, Fl
    Austin Terry – San Angelo, Tx
    Randall Tharp – Port Saint Joe, Fl
    Peter Thliveros – Saint Augustine, Fl
    Rodney Thomason – Maumelle, Ar
    Bryan Thrift – Shelby, NC
    Rusty Trancygier – Hahira, Ga
    Jim Tutt – Longview, Tx
    Andrew Upshaw – Tulsa, Ok
    Vic Vatalaro – Kent, Oh
    John Voyles – Petersburg, In
    James Watson – Waynesville, Mo
    Clark Wendlandt – Leander, Tx
    Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, In
    Kyle White – Tightwad, Mo
    Scott Wiley – Bay Minette, Al
    Alton Wilhoit – Harrah, Ok
    Leon Williams – Fairdale, Ky
    Jason Williamson – Aiken, SC
    Barry Wilson – Birmingham, Al
    Tim Wilson – Gas City, In
    Michael Wooley – Collierville, Tn
    Gary Yamamoto – Palestine, Tx
    Jay Yelas – Corvallis, Or

  • Sonar: It's about accountability

    Sonar: It's about accountability

    Miles Burghoff recently competed in a BFL and a Rayovac Series event at Lake Okeechobee. The amount of effort he put into preparing for the latter was considerably greater than the former, and the disparity in his finishes was a powerful reminder of what needs to be done to succeed in this sport.

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

  • Topics set for Niagara Bass U. session

    The Bass University has released the list of instructors and topics for its Niagara Falls, N.Y. session, which will take place Jan. 25-26 at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center. Here's the lineup:

    Jan. 25
    > Mike Iaconelli – (1) Finesse plastics. (2) Locating and catching bass with crankbaits.

    > Bernie Schultz – (1) Clear water spinnerbaits. (2) Fishing Topwater baits A-Z.

    > John Murray– (1) Zeroing in on deep smallmouth. (2) Murray's favorite smallmouth tricks.

    Jan. 26
    > Pete Gluszek - (1) Ultra-shallow tactics. (2) Advanced senko techniques.

    > Chris Zaldain – (1) Coldwater jerkbaits. (2) Fishing natural lakes.

    > Ott DeFoe – (1) Breaking down a new lake 101. (2) Become a better angler by using electronics deep and shallow.

    To register or obtain more information, click here.

  • Report: '15 Classic to Hartwell

    Report: '15 Classic to Hartwell

    The Bassmaster Classic is returning to Lake Hartwell in 2015, according to published reports out of South Carolina.

    The Greenville (S.C.) News and Columbia (S.C.) State both reported the story within the last day on their websites. A B.A.S.S. communications official confirmed the reports are accurate via email.

    According to the articles, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley along with officials from the cities of Greenville and Anderson, S.C., will make the announcement today at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville. Dates of the event were not immediately known.

    Hartwell last hosted the Classic in 2008 when Alton Jones claimed his first Classic title.

    To read the Columbia State article, click here.

  • Megabass Orochi XX: 'Special' delivery

    Megabass Orochi XX: 'Special' delivery

    When Megabass announced last year it was going to start marketing its wide range of fishing gear more aggressively in the U.S., one of the first products it introduced was the Orochi XX line of rods.

    Priced under $300, each model is built to the exacting specifications of Megabass and its pro-staffers who assisted in the development of the Orochi XX series. One model in particular that can serve many needs and apply to many different techniques is the 7-foot medium-action Flat Side Special. Initially designed to throw lipless crankbaits, it's proven to be a worthy stick with smaller buzzbaits or spinnerbaits and medium-sized cranks.

    In the embedded video below, FLW Tour angler Luke Clausen talks about why the Flat Side Special is a go-to rod in his arsenal and then proves it by sticking a 9-pounder during a Clear Lake test session. You'll also notice the bait he catches the giant on is blurred out – that was done intentionally by Megabass since the bait is a prototype still in development.

  • Balog: The allure of Florida

    Balog: The allure of Florida

    Joe Balog reminisces about his boyhood fishing trips to Florida with his father in this week's installment of Balog's Bass War. Viewed across time from the perspective of an adult, the trips sometimes seem as if they were only dreams. For a bass-obsessed boy, there was no better place to be.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Straight Talk Wireless back with FLW

    FLW today announced that Straight Talk Wireless will return as a sponsor for the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour season.

    In addition, veteran anglers Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., and J.T. Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., will represent Straight Talk Wireless this season.

    “Straight Talk’s return for the fourth consecutive season exemplifies their long-term commitment to our sport and fans,” said Trish Blake, FLW president of marketing. “They continue to be a valued partner and great fit for FLW.”

  • Rod builder Whiting, 73, passes away

    Ken Whiting, a respected innovator and rod builder, passed away earlier this week. He was 73.

    Whiting, who lived in Las Vegas, was instrumental in the development of the Carrot Stix line of rods, which incorporated fibers extracted from carrots into the rod blank, and also worked with Boyd Duckett on the Duckett Fishing line of rods. He also founded Airrus Rods and held a patent for the ceramic core bowling ball.

    "Ken was a good guy," said Elite Series pro Jeremy Starks, who said Whiting provided him with his first sponsorship when he was breaking into the pro ranks. "I knew him a lot of years. I was able to speak with him last weekend and I'm glad I was able to do that."

  • FLW pro Davis aligns with Mister Twister

    FLW pro Davis aligns with Mister Twister

    Clent Davis, the 2012 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, has signed a sponsorship deal with soft-plastics manufacturer Mister Twister.

    "I've been using Mister Twister products my entire life," he said. "I've used everything from their Sassy Shad, tubes, grubs and more. They make great fish-catching baits.

    "I have had the chance to see and try some of their new designs and am looking forward to everyone getting the opportunity to fish them. Mister Twister started changing the game for soft-plastic baits in 1974 and 40 years later, they are doing it again."

    Mister Twister will release several new baits during the 2014 season.

    We are proud to have Clent on our pro team," said Mister Twister sales manager Darryl Laurent. "His style of fishing is in line with the new lures that we have introduced over the past 12 months. Clent’s knowledge and passion for soft-plastic lures will definitely add to our future designs.

    "With his proven abilities over the past few years and his goals for the upcoming season, Mister Twister is looking forward to working with Clent in promoting our products.

  • B.A.S.S. introduces Elite Experience program

    B.A.S.S. introduces Elite Experience program

    B.A.S.S. announced today a new fan-friendly program that will run in conjunction with each Elite Series event in 2014.

    The Elite Experience will offer fans an opportunity to learn from and fish with Elite Series anglers in a tournament setting. Most Elite Experience sessions will take place on Saturdays and Sundays during Elite Series events.

    Seminars and workshops conducted by pro anglers will take place on Saturday with a pro-am tournament to follow on Sunday as two Elite Experience participants will be paired with a pro to form a three-angler team. The pro-am event will take place at a body of water near the Elite Series venue. Each team can weigh in five bass with the heaviest bag determining the winner.

    Prizes will be awarded, with payouts based on the number of entries. In addition, the one angler with the largest bass will win a prize.

    “The Elite Series Marshal program has been so successful, we decided to expand on the opportunities for fan-pro interaction,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., owner of the Elite Series. “Intense instruction followed by applying what was learned can only add up to a well-spent – and fun – weekend.”

    As the B.A.S.S. tournament director, Trip Weldon has steered the Marshal program, which pairs a fan with a pro as the official observer during competition. He’s heard firsthand the stories about how much marshals learn when riding along with the pros.

    “But in the boat, actually fishing alongside an Elite pro, Elite Experience participants are going to come away with a lot more of those stories to tell their families and friends,” Weldon said. “Elite pros are excited about this opportunity. We’ve had excellent buy-in from them on this new idea.”

    Six Elite Experience sessions are planned for 2014. They are:

    Saturday, March 8 – Lay Lake, Alabama (tournament only)
    Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23 – Rodman Reservoir, Florida
    Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6 – Bull Shoals, Arkansas
    Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18 – Piney Creek, Arkansas
    Saturday and Sunday, June 14-15 – Nickajack Lake, Tennessee
    Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24 – Onondaga Lake, New York

    For more information about the program, or to register after Feb. 3, contact the B.A.S.S. tournament department at (205) 313-0900.

  • Woods aligns with RockyBrook

    Woods aligns with RockyBrook

    RockyBrook Sinkers (RBS) announced today it has reached a sponsorship agreement with Kentucky angler Kenneth "Boo" Woods, who'll make his debut on the Bassmaster Elite Series this year. Woods Ranger boat and Dodge Ram truck will be wrapped in RBS graphics.

    “I’m proud to have Boo as part of our team,” said RBS owner Brook Pauley. “He’s an upstanding individual who works hard on and off the water,"

    Pauley met Woods while fishing as a co-angler on the FLW Tour. The two drew each other in a Bassmaster Northern Open event on Lake Oneida last year, which ultimately led to the sponsorship deal.

    “It was a good opportunity to spend the entire day with Boo and to see how he reacted to the ups and downs that a tournament day brings," said Pauley. “That’s important to a sponsor. You want an angler who is going to represent your company in a positive manner at all times, no matter how their day is going."

    Said Woods: “I’ve been working hard to get to this point in my fishing career. After fishing both the FLW Tour and B.A.S.S. Opens the last few years, I feel that it’s time to make the move to the Elites.

    "I’m very fortunate to sign a title sponsor like RBS. They understand the fishing industry and the hard work that it takes to be successful in it. I’ve been using RBS dropshot weights for the last couple years and it’s a product I have confidence in and am proud to represent."

  • Booyah deal for Swindle

    Booyah deal for Swindle

    Pradco Outdoor Brands announced that it's signed Bassmaster Elite Series pro Gerald Swindle to its Booyah fishing and hunting pro staff. In addition to joining Booyah, Swindle will also continue to co-host Moultrie’s The Hit List on The Outdoor Channel, as well as endorsing Moultrie cameras and feeders, Summit Treestands, Summit’s Seat-O-The-Pants harness, Code Blue scents and attractants and Knight & Hale game calls.

    “Gerald Swindle is one of the top bass anglers in the world,” said Pradco VP of marketing John Skrabo. “His aggressive angling style and winning attitude will compliment the Booyah brand well. What most people don’t know is that Gerald is an outstanding and accomplished whitetail deer hunter. His charisma, personality and knowledge of hunting will serve our hunting brands and Moultrie’s The Hit List television show for years to come.”

    Swindle previously had jig and spinnerbait deals with Arkie and War Eagle, respectively.

    “One of the biggest reasons I signed with Booyah is to have the opportunity come in and be a part of building a brand from the inside out and being proud of it,” he said. “You’ve got a great pro staff around you and people who are building the best line of baits for tournament fishing. I wanted a long-term relationship where I have input into the baits that I make a living with.”

  • Scroggins: Fried shrimp and the Bassmaster Classic

    Scroggins: Fried shrimp and the Bassmaster Classic

    Editor's note: Industry rep Alan McGuckin passed along this brief article after catching up recently with Elite Series angler Terry Scroggins, who is set to fish his 11th career Bassmaster Classic next month at Lake Guntersville.

    On a cool January afternoon, following cole slaw and 18 fried shrimp from Musselwhite’s Seafood in East Palatka, Fla., Terry Scroggins sat in his garage organizing lures and thinking about the Bassmaster Classic.

    One of modern day bass fishing’s most dominant anglers, this Classic will be his ninth in a row and his 11th overall. He’ll be quick to tell you that it’s competitive angling’s biggest show. And it involves way more than just fishing.

    “At a regular-season Elite Series event, you fish, weigh-in, sign a few autographs, do a little tackle prep, share a good meal with your buddies and go to bed,” said Scroggins. “But at the Classic, it’s non-stop from 4:30 a.m. until dang near midnight, with all sorts of banquets, the outdoor show and interviews mixed-in.”

    However, he’s not complaining. Not one bit, actually.

    “I wouldn’t trade Classic week for anything in the world,” said the former auto body technician. "The Classic draws fans from all over the world, and to me, it’s a pleasure to sign an autograph or pose for a picture with them. When we’re not on the water, that’s what were there for.”

    Making the 2014 Classic extra fan-friendly is the fact that the weigh-in arena and outdoor show facility are adjacent to one another in downtown Birmingham.

    When asked what advice he’d give to first-time attendees, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo was on the top of Scroggins’ list.

    "To me, the Outdoor Expo is the greatest consumer fishing show there is in the country. Everything and everybody related to bass fishing is pretty much under one roof, so I’d definitely tell fans to make sure they see that,” he said.

    Speaking of first trips to the Classic, “Big Show” says in heartfelt fashion that he’ll never forget his first one.

    “When I qualified for my very first Classic in 2003, I was pretty much a regional guy that had qualified for the Classic through the Bassmaster Eastern Opens,” he recalled. “I showed up in New Orleans to the biggest bass fishing tournament in the world, and see guys like Denny Brauer, and fast realized I was fishing against guys that I’d only seen fishing and winning on TV to that point. I’ll never ever forget that.”

    In the six weeks between now and his journey to Birmingham, Scroggins will work a boat show and compete in a Bassmaster Southern Open roughly 120 miles from home. But as is the case on this cloudy winter afternoon in Palatka, some portion of his daily thoughts between now and then will focus on the 44th Bassmaster Classic – even on a belly full of fried shrimp.

  • Californian catches 16-pounder from bank

    A 26-year-old angler used a Huddleston swimbait to catch a 16-pounder from the shore of California's Lake Miramar on Friday. To read a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, click here.

  • Fels holds on at Big O

    Fels holds on at Big O

    With the type of lead Keith Fels had going into the final round of the Lake Okeechobee Southeastern Rayovac, he could afford an off day. He had one, but still held on to win by more than 2 pounds.

    After averaging 23 pounds over the first 2 days to build a 12-pound advantage, the Ocala, Fla. resident weighed just four fish for 7-15 on day 3. That was more than enough to close out his initial triple-A victory.

    “I was just pitching to holes in the hydrilla,” he said. “It was probably a foot or a foot and a half deep, really pretty shallow. The fish moved in there yesterday; they weren’t in there today. The wind changed directions. It moved them, I guess.

    “Slowing down was the key. I wasn’t getting bit during practice –I was probably fishing too fast. I slowed way down and let the bait sit and the fish just came and picked it up."

    Fels said he caught most of his big fish on a jig with a Gambler MegaDaddy or Why Not on it, and also did some punching with those same baits and a 2-ounce weight. Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    Here's a look at the final Top 10:

    1. Keith Fels: 54-15
    2. Jared McMillan: 52-11
    3. Randy Haynes: 49-02
    4. Val Osinski: 46-07
    5. Keith Pace: 45-03
    6. Brandon McMillan: 44-08
    7. Joseph Kremer: 44-04
    8. Miles Burghoff: 43-01
    9. Thomas Helton: 42-03
    10. Kent Ware: 40-06

  • Texas writer Hood dies at 69

    Bob Hood, who covered the outdoors for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 40 years and also contributed to numerous other Texas publications, died this week at age 69 following a 2-year battle with cancer.

    To read his obituary from the Star-Telegram, click here.

  • Fels' edge now more than 12 pounds

    Fels' edge now more than 12 pounds

    Keith Fels boosted his lead to more than 12 pounds today at the Lake Okeechobee Southeaster Rayovac with a 26-07 sack that improved his total to 47-00. His stringer was by far the heaviest of the tournament and will give him a massive lead going into the final day as he looks to close out a wire-to-wire victory.

    Kent Ware jumped from a tie for 8th to 2nd with a 19-00 bag for a 34-11 total. Jared McMillan stayed in the No. 3 position with a 14-06 sack that gave him a 34-11 aggregate.

    Here are the totals for the 10 angers who'll return to the water on day 3:

    1. Keith Fels: 47-00
    2. Kent Ware: 34-11
    3. Jared McMillan: 33-10
    4. Joseph Kremer: 32-05
    5. Keith Pace: 31-14
    6. Val Osinski: 31-13
    7. Thomas Helton: 31-10
    8. Miles Burghoff: 31-08
    9. Brandon McMillan: 31-02
    10. Randy Haynes: 30-12

  • Lucrative Arkansas team circuit to launch

    Former tour pro Keith Green is one of the co-owners of a new Arkansas-based team circuit that launches this month. The Arkansas Bass Team Trail has five single-day events scheduled for this winter and spring, followed by a 2-day championship at Lake Ouachita in early October.

    The entry fee for the regular-season events is $250 per team, with a guaranteed 1st-place payout of $10,000. The top prize for the championship is $30,000, plus a Nitro boat package.

    For more info, visit

  • Fels grabs lead at Okeechobee

    Fels grabs lead at Okeechobee

    Ocala, Fla. resident Keith Fels caught the lone sack exceeding 20 pounds on day 1 of the Lake Okeechobee Southeaster Rayovac to set himself more than a pound apart from the remainder of the 226-angler field.

    Cold weather that invaded Florida dropped water temperatures at Okeechobee into the high 50s – about 15 degrees lower than they'd been previously. Temperatures are expected to increase as the event progresses.

    Tennessee's Thomas Helton caught 19-08 to settle into 2nd. Jared McMillan was another 4 ounces back in 3rd.

    Here's a look at the initial Top 10:

    1. Keith Fels: 20-09
    2. Thomas Helton: 19-08
    3. Jared McMillan: 19-04
    4. Jared Dial: 18-08
    5. Vu Au: 16-03
    6. Lionel Botha: 15-14
    7. Trent Pardue: 15-12
    8. (tie) Steve Daniel: 15-11
    8. (tie) Brandon McMillan: 15-11
    8. (tie) Kent Ware: 15-11

  • Triton intros 'Catch of the Season'

    Triton intros 'Catch of the Season'

    Triton has introduced a promotion call "Catch of the Season" that offers purchasers of fiberglass boats their choice of up to a $2,000 cash rebate or a product package valued up to $2,885. The product packages feature a Triton Apparel gift card, an assortment of Duckett fishing rods, a custom boat cover and a Cabela's gift card. The cash rebates and product packages vary by model and the full details can be found online at

    Consumers selecting a new Triton aluminum X17, X17 C, X18 or X18 C model can receive $600 worth of free Triton accessories, such as upgraded trolling motors, a stainless steel prop, aluminum wheels upgrades, custom boat cover or Triton apparel.

    "The Catch of the Season promotion for the 2014 show season is a great way to step into a new boat," said Triton VP of marketing Adam Adkisson, "There are multiple options for new boat owners to cash in on this promotion. This promotion allows you to customize a deal that best fits your needs."

    The promotion runs through March 31.

  • SmartStrike: Like a digital crystal ball

    SmartStrike: Like a digital crystal ball

    Humminbird this week announced the launch of SmartStrike, a powerful software program compatible with the company's new ONIX and ION units that allows anglers to utilize LakeMaster map data and extensive search algorithms to pattern and locate fish.

    Based on search parameters like fish species, season, time of day, and weather conditions, SmartStrike highlights areas of the lake map where fish are most likely to be located – before the angler even wets a line. This minimizes guesswork, fruitless searching or wasted casting, thus maximizing time on the water.

    Build detailed searches by selecting your desired search criteria. Or searches can be fast and easy: Simply click on any location on the water, select Find Similar Areas, and millions of data points are searched to return other areas like the one you selected. The SmartStrike engine searches depth ranges, aspect, type of structure, proximity to major types of lake structure, and more to quickly reveal your results.

    For more, visit

  • Zona and 'The Vacuum'

    Zona and 'The Vacuum'

    Here's a blog entry from Mark Zona describing his day of on the water with the most recent winner in the annual BoatU.S. Angler Zona's Awesome Fishing Trip contest. The smallmouth bite wasn't great that day, but the excursion was nonetheless memorable.

    Made Better By a Knucklehead Like Me

    I do a sweepstakes every year with BoatU.S. Angler, and believe it or not, I actually take it seriously.

    Look, I’m not the smartest crayon in the box, but I’m wise enough to realize that while I’m fortunate to fish all the time, to the person who wins that trip, there’s a real good chance they only get to fish a few times a year, and it’s likely they’ve never caught a boatload of big smallmouth.

    That said, it’s a big deal to the sweepstakes winner. And in turn, it’s a big deal to me.

    We’ve had three different sweepstakes winners now, and it’s kind of amazing how a random process sends such differing personalities and people to catch smallmouth with me. The most recent winner was a guy from Kentucky named Steven “The Vacuum” Taylor.

    Yep, that’s what he told me within minutes of shaking my hand. He said, “They call me ‘The Vacuum.’” I had met my match. A total stranger. A sweepstakes winner. Who talks as much smack as I do.

    So my first thought when we hit the water was, “I’m gonna unplug The Vacuum.” I knew for a fact that Steven and myself were gonna have a blast. And we did.

    Of course, the day he was here was one of the most impossible autumn smallmouth bass days of my life, and it didn’t take him long to start busting my chops with jabs like, “Are we on the same lake you take all the sweepstakes winners to, ‘cause they aren’t biting real well.”

    We managed to catch a few with dropshot rigs on 6-pound line, but man, as cheesy as this is gonna sound, the day really wasn’t about fishing.

    It was about making a new friend. Dog gone it, I loved the guy. Steven Taylor is a knucklehead just like me. I picked on him 1,000-percent, the whole time we fished, and he gave it right back – and he gave it back bad.

    In fact, at one point he said, “Hey Z, if we don’t catch ‘em pretty soon, can I win again to get a make-up trip please?”

    Like I said earlier, I take this annual fishing trip really seriously. I want it to go well. I’ve always wanted to make sure the winner catches lots of smallies. But here in year number 3, thanks to Steven, I truly came to realize the day is about way more than how many times we set the hook. It’s about fun. And it’s about friendship.

    Somebody’s gonna win the BoatU.S. Angler Zona's Awesome Fishing Trip in 2014. And I’ll go into it a better person. Seriously. Seeing a bigger picture. Because of my day with “The Vacuum.”

  • Swindle on a snowboard

    Swindle on a snowboard

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Gerald Swindle traveled to Breckenridge, Colo. in December to support fellow Team Toyota athletes as they competed for spots on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Olympic Teams. While he was there, he took a snowboard lesson, which was captured on video.

    To see how quickly he caught on, check out the video below.

  • Weekend Bass Series renames event after Scott

    Weekend Bass Series renames event after Scott

    American Bass Anglers announced today that its Weekend Bass Series championship has been renamed the Ray Scott Championship.

    “Ray Scott is a true living legend who created B.A.S.S. and the sport of bass fishing as we know it today,” said Morris Sheehan, president of American Bass Anglers, Inc. “We are extremely excited to have him in this position."

    The first championship bearing Scott's name will be held Nov. 12-15 at Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala.

    “I am both honored and humbled that this great weekend angler championship will be named after me,” said Scott, the founder of B.A.S.S. “My heart has always been with the weekend bass angler from the very first days of this great sport. I like the format used in the Weekend Bass Series because it really tests the mettle of the angler in fair and honest competition and it will be exciting to watch the best anglers rise to the top and take this championship.”

    The Weekend Bass Series has been restructured by the ABA after its working agreement with B.A.S.S., which included a Bassmaster Classic berth going to the Weekend Series champion, ended last year. The winner of the Ray Scott Championship will win $100,000 in cash as well as a bonus that would cover entry fees to either the FLW Rayovac Series or the Bassmaster Opens.

  • NY Gov. to host Bassmaster Governor's Challenge

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will host a goodwill fishing tournament in central New York in August, an event that will coincide with the Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series.

    The Bassmaster Classic Governor's Challenge will take place on Aug. 21 at Owasco Lake, which is located about 12 miles west of Cayuga Lake.

    Cuomo's announcement came during his State of the State address Wednesday. To learn more, click here.

  • Asian carp prevention could cost $18 billion

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a long-awaited report this week on preventing the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The report included several options, including one that would sever the connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River which could cost more than $18 billion and take as long as 25 years to fully implement.

    To read more, click here.

  • Balog: More thoughts on tour expansion

    Balog: More thoughts on tour expansion

    In the first Balog's Bass War installment of 2014, Joe Balog picks up where he left off prior to the holidays on the topic of tour expansion. If the major circuits continue to offer their current number of events, he predicts that more and more competitors will have no option other than to throw their hats into both rings.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Pros to offer on-the-water training sessions

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Kurt Dove, Mike McClelland, Jeff Kriet and James Niggemeyer are collaborating on a new project that allows anglers of all skill levels to learn from the pros where it matters most – on the water.

    The four pros will be conducting the first session of Pro-Bass Class at Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas, from Feb. 8-10, 2014.

    Participants will have the opportunity to spend 4 hours in the boat with each of the pros and attend evening seminars that will cover many facets of pro bass fishing.

    The class size will be limited to eight participants. Accommodations and all meals are included. For additional information, visit or email

  • Two deals for Rojas

    Two deals for Rojas

    Arizona Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dean Rojas announced recently that his long-time relationship with Quantum has ended and he'll use Duckett Fishing rods and reels in 2014. He's also joined the pro staff of lighting manufacturer Rigid Industries.

    "It's really nice to be working with a company that's aggressive and trying to take some market share," he said of his deal with Duckett Fishing. "Their goal is to produce the best rods and reels on the market and as close as they work with their pro staff, they can make changes very quickly to get it right."

    His relationship with Quantum ran for two decades.

    "Both sides looked at where our limitations were and neither of us really felt comfortable with where we were at. It was just a deal where the time came for both of us to move on – they had their reasons and I had mine. Both sides had to make a business decision and I thank them for all the years they helped me. It was definitely a good ride."

    His deal with Phoenix-based Rigid Industries will run for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

    "I look forward to helping them navigate this marine market and getting as many people as possible to run those lights," he said.

  • Texas seeks comment on boat-draining

    Texas seeks comment on boat-draining

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking public input on a proposal to add 30 counties in north and central Texas to rules requiring that all boats operating on public water be drained after use. Nineteen counties in the state are already under the regulations put in place to limit the spread of invasive zebra mussels.

    Comments can be submitted online or at public meetings Tuesday in Austin or Thursday in Waco. For more, click here.

  • Nixon to run a Ranger in '14

    Nixon to run a Ranger in '14

    FLW Tour angler Larry Nixon has announced he will fish out of a Ranger boat in 2014, ending his run with Stratos, according to an article published on

    “I’m really happy to be with the Ranger family,” Nixon said. “Ranger has always been a bedrock company in the tournament world. They always supported me and I always supported them. I’m finally back where I belong, in the best bass boat that there is.”

    He joins Skeet Reese as tour pros to jump from Stratos to Ranger for the coming season.

    To read the full article, click here.

  • 'Fish with Ish' promo ends next week

    'Fish with Ish' promo ends next week

    Entries for the Day's Boat Sales social media promotion, “Fish with Ish, Beat the Chill with Bill," will close on Jan. 15.

    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.

  • New online seminar series announced

    Nearly a dozen tour pros are involved in a new pay-per-view live online seminar series called Pro Web Live, which was announced late Thursday night.

    The initial lineup of speakers includes Jason Christie, Shaw Grigsby, Brent Ehrler, Ott DeFoe, Dave Lefebre, Jimmy Houston, Edwin Evers, Brandon Palaniuk, Mark Rose and Aaron Martens. According to the announcement, 24 live events are planned for 2014, all starting at 8 p.m. EST. Each will range in length between 90 minutes and 2 hours.

    Under the format, viewers will be required to pay a $49.99 fee to watch a live, interactive seminar given by one of the speakers. Subscription packages are also available. DeFoe is scheduled to host the first event on Feb. 11.

    The events will incorporate PowerPoint presentations, videos, commercials, prize giveaways, a question and answer segment as well as a social media element.

    “Basically, this deal is a win-win for everyone," Christie said in a release announcing the launch. “Like everyone else in the PWL speaker lineup, I am a very busy person. I’m traveling all the time, not just to tournaments, but also to various other appearances. What Pro Web Live is doing not only makes perfect sense to the fans, but also assists someone in my situation, and I’m excited about the possibilities of engaging with more of those fishing fans because of it.”

    To learn more and view a seminar schedule, visit

  • BassU topics announced for NJ, Raleigh

    BassU topics announced for NJ, Raleigh

    The Bass University recently announced the lineup of speakers and topics for its first two sessions of 2014. The sessions will take place simultaneously next weekend (Jan. 11-12) in Edison, N.J. and Raleigh, N.C.

    Edison, N.J.
    Saturday, Jan. 11

    > Pete Gluszek – 1. Ultra-Shallow Tactics; 2. The Carolina Rig.
    > Fred Roumbanis – 1. Swim Jigs; 2. Wake'n and Crank'n.
    > Davy Hite – 1. Pre-Fishing from Clubs to the Classic; 2. Flippin' and Pitchin', Deep to Shallow.

    Sunday, Jan. 12

    > Mike Iaconelli – 1. Finesse Plastics; 2. Locating and Catching Bass with Crankbaits.
    > Adrian Avena – 1. Fishing with an Open Mind; 2. Swimbaits for All Seasons.
    > Gerald Swindle – 1. Simplicity of Jig Selection; 2. Developing Mental Toughness.

    Raleigh, N.C.
    Saturday, Jan. 11

    > Mike Iaconelli – 1. Finesse Plastics; 2. Locating and Catching Bass with Crankbaits.
    > Kevin Short – 1. Blazing Square-Bills; 2. The Perfect Jerkbait.
    > Ott DeFoe – 1. Breaking Down a New Lake 101; 2. Become a Better Angler by Using Electronics Deep and Shallow.

    Sunday, Jan. 12

    > Pete Gluszek – 1. Ultra-Shallow Tactics; 2. The Carolina Rig.
    > Ish Monroe – 1. The Art of Punchin' and Flippin'; 2. Power Fishing: Frogs, Square-Bills and Spinnerbaits.
    > Brandon Palaniuk – 1. Winning with the Percentage Triangle; 2. The Anatomy of Crankbaits.

    For registration information, click here.

  • Monsoor recovering from heart surgery

    According to a report in the Jan. 1 edition of the La Crosse (Wis.) Tribune, FLW Tour angler Tom Monsoor underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery in November and is on the road to recovery with an eye toward being ready for the season opener at Lake Okeechobee in early February.

    Monsoor was stricken with severe chest pains while on a commercial fishing trip on Lake Winnebago on Nov. 13, according to the story. A hospital visit that day revealed the need for major heart surgery. He's several weeks into his rehab and is progressing well, aside from a small setback just before Christmas.

    As a result, Monsoor says he's quit his pack-and-a-half-per-day smoking habit and changed his diet.

    To read the article, click here.

  • Horton creates new direct sales tackle company

    Longtime pro bass angler Tim Horton announced today he has founded a company called Profound Outdoors that will produce and market a range of fishing lures via a direct sales approach.

    It was also announced that fellow pro anglers Boyd Duckett, Edwin Evers, Randy Haynes, Kelly Jordon, Gary Klein, Aaron Martens, Cliff Pace and Matt Reed, along with former Dallas Cowboys player Gerald Sensabaugh, an avid angler, will be part of the company's pro staff.

    The company’s products, billed as "high-end, affordably-priced baits," will range from jigs and spinnerbaits to soft plastics and hard baits.

    “Profound Outdoors is a team that connects the grassroots anglers and fans with the top pros,” Horton said. “The pros design our lures based on their experience. The grassroots anglers and fans sell the lures. We are the first company to integrate direct sales into the distribution of professional-quality fishing baits.”

    According to Horton, consumers can purchase Profound Outdoors products at wholesale prices and resell them or take advantage of the low prices for adding baits to their personal tackle supply. Price ranges for the new products were not included in the announcement.

    “It’s entirely up to the team member,” Horton said. “They can sell the lures part-time or use them to start a full-time business or they can just buy them for their own use.”

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