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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

  • Big Bite Lookback: Cup

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback: Cup</font color></b>

    Philip Jarabeck went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows at the Forrest Wood Cup.

    After rebounding from a three-fish stringer on day 1 to catch 17-00 on day 2 and take the lead at the halfway point of the tournament, his momentum came to a screeching halt on day 3. He weighed in two fish for 4-00 and missed the Top-10 cut at his first Cup as a pro by 1 ounce.

    He was visibly shaken after the day-3 weigh-in, but later said the whole experience will serve as a teaching tool.

    "It was definitely a positive experience," he said. "Look at the field I was surrounded by. There were some of the best guys in fishing. I can't walk away with any bitterness finishing 11th in that field. I feel very blessed to finish where I did.

    "I want to be at that championship even more now because once you have the opportunity and you can sit in that seat, you envision it even more and it gives you more drive, so I'm excited for the years to come."

    On day 2, he'd caught a couple big fish shallow on a buzzbait, and then retreated to stumpy, rocky humps and brush piles in 20 to 25 feet of water to finish off his limit.

    "At one point, my co-angler said to me that I was making it look easy," Jarabeck said.

    Day 3 was anything but easy.

    "I felt comfortable going out Saturday," he said. "I had enough deep holes where I felt like I could catch three good fish. We had an extended morning with the cloud cover so I decided to go shallow to try to catch some big ones and I caught just on 2-pounder."

    He moved out to some brush piles, but couldn’t get bit with a dropshot.

    "Of the 15 places, I'd say 10 of them I really had confidence that they were there," he said, "but they weren't there. I just didn't get bit. There were definitely some fish on my graph, but the problem was the number of trash fish in that lake like white bass and gar make it hard to tell for sure if they were bass. I knew that if he lived there, I was dropping it down on the right place. I couldn't tell if I caught all of the resident fish.

    "My theory is that those fish were feeding on herring in the morning, then they'd find their way back to the cover when it got hot. With the cloud cover, instead of roaming and feeding in say a 200-yard radius, maybe they went further that morning and didn't com back until later. Either way, it was an absolute light switch that got turned off."

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

  • Elites going west in '15

    Elites going west in '15

    B.A.S.S. announced today that the Bassmaster Elite Series will return to the West next year for the first time since 2010. Events will be held on California's Sacramento River (California Delta) April 30-May 3 and Arizona's Lake Havasu May 7-10.

    “We’re thrilled to bring our premier anglers and events back to the West,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “The West offers outstanding angling, beautiful venues and first-class hospitality. The Elite Series is a national tournament circuit, and bringing it to California and Arizona gives us the opportunity to test our anglers while serving our fans and stakeholders in the area. These will be great events."

    The events will be the third and fourth stops on the '15 schedule. B.A.S.S. will not release the remainder of the slate until early September, but local media have previously reported that events at the Sabine River in Texas (March 19-22) and the St. Lawrence River in New York (sometime in August) are locked in.

    The two Western venues are separated by nearly 600 highway miles, which will make it difficult for anglers who make the final-day cut at Sacramento to get to Havasu by the following morning for the beginning of the 3-day practice period.

    The Elite Series visited the California Delta in both 2007 and 2010. Aaron Martens topped the first event and John Crews won the latter.

    “It is a pleasure to welcome the Bassmaster Elite Series to Sacramento and our beautiful river,” said Mike Sophia, director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. “Sacramento plays host to the top sports events in the country, from the (United States Golf Association) to USA Track and Field and NCAA events. Bringing the best anglers in the world here and highlighting the natural beauty of our destination will show all we have to offer to anglers and visitors alike.”

    Havasu, generally considered the best desert lake in the country, is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass. B.A.S.S. has not staged an event there since 2003, when the lake hosted a Western Open.

    “We can all be proud that our prime fishery will be put in front of fishing fanatics all over the world,” said Doug Traub, president/CEO of the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We expect that the entire town will be packed with fans who are here to see the Top 100 anglers in the world compete for a series-wide top prize of $100,000. We also thank all of our partners who came together to bring this world-class event to Lake Havasu for the first time. It’s taken nearly 2 years of effort to bring the Bassmaster Elite Series back to the Western U.S.”

  • Cayuga has 'em

    Aaron Martens and Brent Chapman both got plenty of bites on Monday as practice for the Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series got under way in western New York. However, both are convinced that the lake will "fish small" and that competitors who fare well will need to adjust each day.

    For more, click here to visit Pro View Reports.

  • Denali hires Head to lead sales

    Denali hires Head to lead sales

    Rod manufacturer Denali announced today that it's hired Bryan Head as its national sales manager. Head has more than 20 years experience in the fishing industry, including the past 8 at Jewel Bait Company.

    “I’ve known (Denali president Scott Estes) for a number of years and I’ve watched him grow the brand during one of the toughest times the industry has gone through," Head said. "For him to do that is a testament to the hard work and great customer service the Denali brand offers. I’m excited to help that growth and use my industry experience to keep moving forward.”

    Said Estes: “We’ve gotten to the point where we need to start opening up other markets. Having someone on staff with the industry experience that Bryan brings is integral to that goal. He has a wealth of knowledge that we plan on tapping as we move forward with our goals. We have a lot of exciting things in the works, and Bryan is just the guy to help us move ahead.”

  • Berkley trailer heads for Ithaca

    Berkley trailer heads for Ithaca

    The Berkley Experience Trailer is on its way to Ithaca, N.Y. this week for the Bassmaster Elite Series event at Cayuga Lake. It'll be onsite Friday through Sunday.

    In its 9th year, the trailer has been completely redesigned to provide anglers with a better hands-on experience. Four highly trained Berkley professionals will be available to provide in-depth knowledge on products, knot tying, line selection and bait choice.

    “We are extremely excited about the upgrades to the trailer and the experiences that anglers of all skill levels will have this year,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is ready to answer your questions and help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about fishing, our passion and our company’s heritage."

    Upcoming stops at set for the Elite Series AOY Championship at the Bays de Noc in Michigan (Sept. 20-21) and the Berkley Big Bass Challenge at Lake Fork in Texas (Oct. 17-19).

  • M-Pack: Immunity to wood

    If you've done much fishing with traditional jigs and spoons around woody cover, you've lost quite a few of them. Sometimes there's just no way to free a hook that's become embedded in a stump or branch.

    The unique Structure Guard on M-Pack Lures jigs and spoons goes a long, long way toward eliminating bait-losing hangups. To see how, watch the video embedded below.


  • Cup: Day 4 updates

    Back in Michael Jordan's heyday with the Chicago Bulls, the team had a ritual before each game where they would gather outside the locker room, lean in close to each other, put their hands in the middle and someone would scream "What time is it?"

    The team would respond collectively, in unison, "It's winning time."

    We have reached winning time at the Forrest Wood Cup here at Lake Murray Brent Ehrler is leading Bryan Thrift by a tiny 3-ounce margin and three other pros are within 2-10 of the lead. I'll be on the water this morning trying to see whose time it is.

    > 10:40 am: Ehrler still with a spinning rod in his hand. He's looking at his electronics so he must see something or know there's some brush there. Looks like it's shaping up to be a tough final day.

    > 10:10 am: We are now watching Ehrler. He was fishing by an island but has since headed back toward Dreher Island. Looks like he's dropshotting. He's got one decent fish. He just broke off and is retying.

    > 9:30 am: Thrift just put #2 in the box. It's a squeaker but it counts. Caught it off a retaining wall. Now he's off to his next spot.

    > 9:15 am: Thrift has left Bear Creek and made a short run around the corner to a stretch of docks. He got hung up briefly on a rope tied to a giant inflatable float tube and is speed-trolling and casting around docks and pontoon boats.

    > 9 am: Thrift is now working a topwater soft plastic toad, casting to shoreline grass and up, under and around docks. He made a comment a little bit ago that he may have fished this creek out. It's peaceful and calm back in here. Much different than the dam area. As I type this Thrift sets the hook on one near a small rocky point. Looks like a 2 1/2-pounder. "Finally caught one," he says to his crowd of about 15 boats.

    > 8:30 am: We found Thrift fishing his way out of Bear Creek with a buzzbait. He's picking up speed looking for his first keeper.

    > 8 AM: Gagliardi just caught a short fish but the local isn't giving ground. He continues to shadow Gagliardi's moves and they've been within a cast of each other more than once. Their dialogue has stopped. From what we understand it wasn't all cordial. We are fixing to leave to chase down Thrift.

    > 7:20 am: First mental test of the day for Gagliardi. The local sitting on his first spot is inside of him and seems to be unwilling to cede the area to Anthony. We've heard them chatting but can't hear the context. Gagliardi missed a schooler. He fired back with a different bait but no dice. This will be interesting to watch as the local continues to zig-zag across the area in front of Gagliardi.

    > 7:15 am: We managed to lose Thrift on the way out of the blast-off area so we followed Anthony Gagliardi to his first spot. This is where we watched him yesterday down by the north end of the dam. There's a local sitting on his spot.

    > 7:01 am: It's time to fish. We are going to follow Bryan Thrift to start. The skies are clear and it's fixing to be a hot one.

  • Dalbey receives leadership award

    Dalbey receives leadership award

    Rich Dalbey, a second-year FLW Tour pro from Texas, received the 2014 Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award at the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C.

    Dalbey organized food drives at tour stops that resulted in the collection of more than 800 pounds of food and sufficient cash to purchase 3,000 meals in local communities.

    For more on the award, click here.

    To read a BassFan feature on Dalbey from earlier this season, click here.

  • '15 Cup to Ouachita

    FLW announced today that the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup will be held at Lake Ouachita and Hot Springs, Ark., will serve as the host city.

    The dates of the event will be Aug. 20-23, 2015. Ouachita also hosted the Cup in 2007 and 2011. The qualification criteria will remain the same – top 35 anglers in FLW Tour points,

    “We are thrilled to be returning to Lake Ouachita for our 2015 Forrest Wood Cup,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW President of Operations. “The previous events that we have held in Hot Springs have all been extremely successful, and the attendance has been fantastic. It made returning to Lake Ouachita an easy decision. The bass-fishing community in Arkansas has always welcomed FLW with open arms, and we’re proud to return for the 20th installment of our championship event.”

    The 2015 Cup will mark the 20th anniversary of the championship event and weigh-in festivities will held at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, formerly known as Summit Arena.

    “FLW and Hot Springs have a great history together,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “Our audiences for the Forrest Wood Cup and other FLW events have been large and enthusiastic, and we know the 2015 Cup will be greeted with the same enthusiasm and hospitality that FLW has become accustomed to.”

  • Cup: Day 3 updates

    It's day 3 of the Forrest Wood Cup and this much is clear – nothing. Nobody has been able to separate themselves from the pack doing any one particular thing. Limits are considered golden this week and any fish in the 3 1/2-pound range or better will go a long way in determining the outcome.

    Todd Ceisner is back at Dreher Island State Park ready to get on the water and get a feel for the action today.

    > To check out our Day 3 Photo Gallery, click here.

    > 10:15 am: Gagliardi boats a keeper on a fluke. Not sure if that gives him a limit but he seems to like this area as he's gone back and forth over it a few times now. Eddie and I are going to head back to Dreher Island now and see if we can't find some more day 3 anglers. Already saw more fish caught today than on days 1 and 2 combined.

    > 9:41 am: We opted to move off of the human 5-fish limit Ehrler since we spotted Anthony Gagliardi not far from the dam. He just caught a keeper. Not sure how many that gives him. Scott Martin is fishing just up from Gagliardi and signaled to us he has two keepers.

    > 9:05 am: Couple notes on my boat drivers this week. Ray Pettit, who drove me around Thursday and Friday, is a paramedic from Spartanburg, SC. He fishes BFLs and Rayovac Series events as a co-angler and is toying with moving up to the Tour in 2015.

    Sloop is retired from his job as a production superintendent for a pharmaceutical company that made ibuprofen. He's now involved with Habitat For Humanity around Lake Murray on top of fishing in the Lake Murray Seniors bass club. Always enjoy getting to know the locals who know the area and learn about how and why they're involved with bass fishing.

    > 8:55 am: Ehrler has stuck with one presentation so far today – a double fluke rig – and he's making long casts in hopes he can catch the attention of fish keying on bait. It's something even locals don't throw much any more, says Eddie Sloop. He's still working offshore near the south end of the dam. Arey has retuned to the area now and is within three casts of Ehrler.

    > 8:35 am: After running not quite all the way back to where he started, Ehrler finishes his limit. Tough to tell size from our distance but he's got five and in this lake this week a limit will keep you in the game. Too bad the local news helicopter didn't stick around to catch him landing it.

    > 8:10 am: Ehrler has made a move to the dam and is fishing right against the rock. As we pull in, we see Arey, Wheeler and Scott Martin fishing offshore in front of the dam. Not long though until Arey and Wheeler leave as Martin moves in closer to the dam. The sun has burned through the clouds finally and it's starting to warm up.

    > 7:45 am: Ehrler is on fire. Just put another one in the boat - a good one. Gives him four for 8 pounds, he says. He leans into another one but it's a short. The fish are here and he's gaining some momentum.

    > 7:29 am: We have arrived at Jakes Landing and find Brent Ehrler sharing a sloping point with Matt Arey. Fish are breaking the surface all around and Ehrler sticks a good one to get started. He said he might stay down here a while based on the cloud cover. A few minutes later Jacob Wheeler pulls in and starts fishing the next cove. Arey picks and leaves while Ehrler has opted move in closer to shore.

    > 6:52 am: I am in the boat with Eddie Sloop, a resident of Prosperity, SC. We're floating outside the mouth of the takeoff zone and there's a good bit of fog down lake and there's plenty of cloud cover. Yet another curveball at Lake Murray.

    > 6:15 am: It's warm out here already at the launch ramp, but there are some clouds in the sky and that should make for some interesting decision-making on the water today as it's expected to be partly to mostly cloudy all day.

    Funny quote from Anthony Gagliardi yesterday about the group of spectator boats that followed him all over the lake on day 2 only to see him catch four keepers: "They'd probably like for me to reimburse them for gas for what they got to see and what they had to spend. They might not follow me tomorrow if they think I'm going to be doing the same thing."

  • Longtime B.A.S.S. employee Dawson dies

    James "Pooley" Dawson, who was employed by B.A.S.S. for nearly four decades and helped run hundreds of the organization's events, died Friday after an extended illness.

    Dawson was hired by B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott in 1972 and retired in 2010. Scott thought so highly of Dawson that when Scott was invited to the White House for lunch with President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and told he could bring two friends, he chose Dawson and Forrest Wood.

    Dawson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from B.A.S.S. in 2005 (to read a column about that occasion that Scott penned for BassFan, click here).

    Harold Sharp, B.A.S.S.' first tournament director, passed along this remembrance of Dawson:

    "Pooley and I were great friends for 44 years. He was a very important part of the B.A.S.S. staff who made the tournaments run smoothly. I never worried about Pooley being on time and doing his job – just give him a job to do and forget it, and he could handle about anything you needed.

    "The Classic drive-in weigh-ins ran smoothly because of Pooley. Early on he and I developed a signal system so we had the boats and anglers moving when we needed them to move. Pooley watched my hand and when it was time to move, I just quickly pointed at Pooley and he waved his white flag to bring up another boat and stop on the exact spot. We never had a problem with it.

    "We will all miss our Pooley. R.I.P."

    Funeral services will be held Aug. 23 at Hopewell Baptist Church, 1832 Highway 80 West, Lowndesboro, Ala.

  • McDonald gets deal with Buck

    McDonald gets deal with Buck

    Buck Knives announced that it's signed FLW Tour pro Bill McDonald to a sponsorship deal. He joins Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Bill Lowen and Brandon Palaniuk on the company's pro staff.

    “I grew up in Indiana and nearly everything I did outdoors was with my Buck knife,” he said. “I never went anywhere without my Buck 110 Folding Hunter. I am honored that Buck chose me as their first sponsored FLW angler.”

    Said Buck director of sales and marketing Bob George: “We are excited to work with Bill. His experience in tournament fishing and his love for the outdoors are a great fit for Buck. He is a great addition to our current pro staff and I am confident he will be an outstanding ambassador for Buck Knives and our brand.”

  • Cup: Day 2 updates

    BassFan editor Todd Ceisner will continue to post updates as the action unfolds at Lake Murray today on day 2 of the Forrest Wood Cup. It'll be interesting to see how the field adjusts today and how the leaderboard gets shuffled around.

    > 10:30 am: On the way back to the ramp we come across Anthony Gagliardi and a crowd of 10 spectator boats. He's fishing off shore making long casts. He lightens the mood a bit when he says to the onlookers, "How about I follow one of y'all to my next hole." Two casts later he picks up and heads off. We are heading in. Seems like a tougher morning overall today.

    > 10:05 am: Meyer is flipping a small cluster of docks and is halfway through with no luck yet. We're heading over to check on another competitor who stopped offshore not too far away. It's Matt Arey with four spectator boats in tow. He's got one keeper.

    > 9:54 am: Meyer just made a 10-mile run toward the dam and is now fishing offshore. I'm sure he'd like to get the first keeper in the boat here. There is no breeze here today where there were 3-footers yesterday. The sun is getting higher and it's getting hotter. In turn, the fishing has gotten tougher. Not that it wasn't already.

    > 9:30 am: Meyer worked through a couple more areas with no luck and just made a 5-minute run and is again fishing a rocky point.

    > 8:57 am: Meyer starts working a point with a rocky bank and, of course, docks. Still looking for keeper No. 1. He's approaching a stretch of boat lifts now.

    > 8:30 am: Meyer catches his first bass but it's a short. He's now moved to a causeway. Two casts and we are moving again.

    > 7:58 am: Meyer continues to fish his milk run of pockets and points. Yesterday, his better fish came deep so he might be waiting for the sun to get higher before switching it up. He's yet to catch a fish today.

    > 7:31 am: Meyer is off and moving again, his fourth move already. He's fishing mainly small pockets with isolated docks and bank grass. And we are off again.

    > 7:10 am: Cody Meyer starts with a topwater along some bank grass but he's quickly back behind the wheel and makes a short run around the other side of the island. He's now fishing a new dock that's still under construction.

    > 6:15 AM: I'm back out at Dreher Island State Park and there appears to be a better crowd starting to gather to get a glimpse of takeoff. Not a cloud in the sky and it's 72 degrees.

  • College: ULM angler becomes No. 4

    College: ULM angler becomes No. 4

    Brett Preuett of the University of Louisiana-Monroe became the fourth collegiate angler to ever qualify for the Bassmaster Classic when he defeated Bethel University's Zack Parker in the finals of the College Series Classic bracket. To find out how he did it, click here.

  • Gallery: Day 1 at the Cup

    From here on out, the Forrest Wood Cup is all about business. The richest tournament in bass fishing got under way Thursday at Lake Murray and the fishing was as advertised – tough.

    To check out BassFan's photo gallery of day 1, click here.

  • New gear: Kahara KJ Crank

    New gear: Kahara KJ Crank

    Japanese tackle company Kahara introduced the KJ Crank at ICAST this year.

    It's an interesting lure that blends the features of a small square-bill crankbait with those of a soft, hollow-body frog. The result is a virtually snag-free, shallow-running soft-body crankbait that can be fished in and around the thickest cover imaginable.

    To learn more and see it in action, click here

  • Cup: Day 1 Updates

    BassFan editor Todd Ceisner has arrived at Lake Murray for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup and the field of 45 anglers, a mix of touring pros, regional studs and young up-and-comers, is ready for the challenges that lie ahead for them over the next 4 days.

    Ceisner will be on the water for several hours each day and will provide Cupdates here from his perspective, so stick with BassFan.com right through Sunday for on-the-water updates in the mornings and complete coverage after each round.

    > 11:45 am: We decided to call it a day, er, morning on the water. The field appears pretty well spread out and we saw a lot of boats running around in every direction. We know of at least one big fish that was caught and there have been other quality catches reported elsewhere. Weigh-in should be interesting as we'll finally get a true feel for what this lake is doing. Heading back to Columbia now to edit photos.

    > 11:24 am: We found Tony Davis fishing along an island with some wood on shore. His co angler Bryan New stuck a good one before they moved on. No word on what Davis has.

    > 11:05 am: We are moving off of Christie, who still has two in the box and continues to run pockets with wood and docks. Heading back down toward Dreher Island to see if we can locate other anglers.

    > 10:39 am: We went to chase Matt Herren but he eluded us and now we've crossed paths with Barry Wilson, who tells us he has five, including a 6-plus pounder. Those are game changers here.

    > 10:17 am: Christie continues to fish quick through pockets. One gentleman came down from his home and is watching from his dock. Flip after flip, he's looking for keeper number three. And with that he's off and moving again.

    > 9:57 am: Watching Christie flip lay downs and flooded brush. Remember he had an abbreviated practice after making the Top 12 at the Delaware River. Maybe this is his default pattern where he hopes to catch five a day.

    > 9:30 am: Christie swung and missed on one then flipped back and nailed a keeper out of a lay down. He continued down the point which is littered with wood and missed another. He then made a short moved around the other side and is working more wood on the shady side of the point now.

    > 9:20 am: We have located Jason Christie, the top-ranked angler in the world. He was fishing a channel between a small island and shore and then moved out around a wind blown point with a sea wall on it.

    A few minutes later he made a short move to small pocket with about six docks in it. He's flipping those and the scattered bank grass. The wind has really picked up out here.

    > 8:55 am: We're on the hunt for other competitors. We're on the lower end toward the dam and there's a decent chop on the lake. Feels like Lake Erie back home.

    > 8:05 am: We find Austin Terry fishing flooded timber and a couple docks but he's quick to pull the trolling motor and make a move. So far we've seen one fish catch.

    > 7:34 am: Wheeler vacates the causeway area and we've decide to track down other anglers. We make a quick run and find Robbie Dodson fishing offshore with spinning tackle. He's constantly looking at his graph, but nothing's happening for him.

    > 7:18 am: Rose connects with a bass but it's shy of the 14-inch limit and it quickly goes back in the lake. My boat driver, Ray Pettit, says Rose isn't far from one of the best spots on the lake.

    Rose quickly fires back under the bridge before working under the causeway and changing rods.

    > 7:10 am: The water temperature was 83.7 degrees just outside the takeoff area and figures to climb as the sun gets up. There's a nice breezy ripple on the water.

    > 7:05 AM: Jacob Wheeler and Mark Rose get started on a bridge not far from takeoff, just on opposite sides both with spinning rods.

    > 5:45 AM: Rayovac Series qualifier Stephen Johnston gets the worm. He was the first competitor to tie up at the takeoff dock. "I'm up at 4:30 am every day so this is nothing new for me."

    He likes the breeze this morning and seems upbeat and confident after spending 14 days here before off limits.

    > 5:20 AM: Dreher Island State Park is a little quiet right now. FLW workers are prepping for day 1 takeoff. Some media boat drivers are staged at the dock, but I haven't yet seen a competitor pull up. They'll be here shortly. Little bit of a breeze here and a starry sky over head. Should be a good morning.

    Bear with me please as I’m at the mercy of my 3G iPhone 4, now considered a dinosaur in the cellular arms race. So far so good.

  • Balog: Ike stuck to the script

    Balog: Ike stuck to the script

    In this week's edition of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog salutes Mike Iaconelli for his resounding victory at the Delaware River and B.A.S.S. for disregarding all the noise from the naysayers about how an event in Philadelphia would be a fiasco. Also, he peeks into the future and provides some firsthand insights about the venue that will host the AOY Championship next month.
    To read it, click here.

  • Ike the bottle collector

    Ike the bottle collector

    (Editor's note: Here's a low-key piece about Mike Iaconelli submitted by longtime industry rep Alan McGuckin. The final item might be the most interesting: Who knew that Ike collects old bottles?)

    Mike Iaconelli’s Bassmaster Elite Series win on the Delaware River in his hometown of Philadelphia was certainly one of the most adrenalin-packed wins in B.A.S.S. history.

    His passion is transparent. His popularity is nearly unparalled. But there are a few things we’re still learning about Ike.

    > Five lures that got a lot of work on the Delaware during Ike’s intense practice days leading up to victory: 1) Shaky-head with a black grape trick worm; 2) Berkley Havoc Pit Boss in a color called Okeechobee craw, rigged on a 5/0 VMC flipping hook and a 3/8-ounce VMC tungsten weight; 3) Black and blue heavy-cover jig; 4) Rapala DT6 crankbait in a color called Caribbean shad; 5) Molix double-willow spinnerbait with painted white blades. Note: the Berkley Havoc Pit Boss ended up being one of the most important lures in Ike’s win.

    > Four who have Iaconelli’s heart and soul: His children. The man who sometimes acts like a kid himself is absolutely, positively consumed by the love he has for his four children; Vegas, Rylie, Stelly, and Drew. He’s as much a part of their lives as Trent Cole is to the Eagles’ defense. And man, do his kids ever idolize and love him back.

    > Three lures Iaconelli’s longtime roommate on tour and close friend John Crews used on the Delaware River to catch 31 pounds of bass and gain a Top-12 finish: 1) Missile Baits Baby D Bomb in a color called super bug; 2) Missile Baits Fuse 4.4 on a Missile Warlock 1/8-ounce head; 3) 3/8-ounce Delta Lures vibration jig tipped with a Missile Baits 3.5 Shockwave.

    > Two of the many legendary eateries Ike rattled-off when asked where to find a good cheesesteak: 1) Geno’s; 2) Pat’s. Interestingly, Pat’s and Geno’s compete diagonally across the street from one another, just one long Iaconelli cast apart.

    > One thing very few people know about Iaconelli: He loves to collect antique glass bottles often located in the backyard trash privies of Philadelphia homes built in the 1700s. “I was 15 when I found my first one. It was an ink bottle. Some are milk bottles, others are flasks or medicine bottles, but my favorites are ink bottles. I haven’t dug for them in 20 years, but I still collect them through the Internet and I’m still a member of some glass collectors clubs and receive their newsletters.”

  • Gallery: Delaware days

    Gallery: Delaware days

    In some ways, the Delaware River Bassmaster Elite Series looked like any other tour-level event. In other ways, it was the most unique tournament in the 9-year history of the circuit.

    For a photographic look at the Elites' first-ever visit to Philadelphia, click here.

  • Sonar: Champlain fruitless, but fun

    Sonar: Champlain fruitless, but fun

    Miles Burghoff was the first angler out of the money at the recent Champlain Bassmaster Northern Open, but that sense of disappointment was overridden by how much enjoyment he derived from his 2 days on the water at one of the country's most prolific fisheries.

    To read the newest Sonar Sound-Off column, click here.

  • Cup Media Day Notes

    Cup Media Day Notes

    As the field for the Forrest Wood Cup gathered Tuesday afternoon under a picnic shelter at Dreher Island State Park following the conclusion of official practice, some thunder boomed overhead as a brief storm system passed through.

    While some flinched at the claps of thunder, Randall Tharp was calm, composed and quietly confident, anxiously awaiting his chance to defend his Cup victory.

    "I spent 2 days here before the cutoff and halfway through the second day I found a little area that I felt like had winning potential and I've obviously checked that area and I didn't practice much since then," he said with a sheepish grin.

    His practice at the Red River was almost the same story – he'd found an area with a lot of potential earlier in the spring and when the Cup came around on the schedule, he got dialed in and rode it all the way to the win. It's hard to ignore the similarities in his demeanor this week compared to last August in Shreveport, La.

    "I expanded on it a little bit and I never saw another boat the whole time I was here," he added. "I like my chances. I'm not interested in finishing 2nd or 3rd. I'm trying to fish to my strengths and what's going to give me my best chance to win.

    "Championship events, these are the ones you want to win. I get emotions at tournaments like this that I don't get at any other ones. The half million dollars probably has something to do with it, but I didn't come here to finish 2nd."

    Hook Helper

    Who said pro anglers aren't willing to help each other out when the chips are down and $500,000 is on the line?

    On Monday morning, Tom Monsoor said he came across Mark Rose on the water at Lake Murray. Rose was frustrated that he'd just missed a good fish. Monsoor took a moment to help him understand possibly why.

    "I said, 'Throw me your lure,'" Monsoor said. "He cut the lure off and the hook slid down my thumbnail. I said, 'Mark, that's embarrassing.' I grabbed the hook sharpener and said, 'This is how you sharpen a hook the right way. You go with the grain.'

    "I showed him everything. It took not even a second and the hook stuck on my thumb as soon as I touched it. It didn't slide. He goes, 'Wow, I've been doing that wrong all of my life.'"

    Rose confirmed Monsoor's account, adding, "I guess I've been doing it wrong for 30 years. I usually sharpen it out toward the point. He comes in from the point. The thing was like a needle when he gave it back to me. I think a lot of it had to do with his sharpener."

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