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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

  • Sonar: A productive Classic

    Sonar: A productive Classic

    Miles Burghoff spent his time at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic trying to make inroads for his new TV show, Sweetwater. In the latest edition of Sonar Sound-Off, he reveals how some advice he's gotten from some well-respected industry insiders have helped him raise his own level of professionalism.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Morgan adds The Rescue Light

    Morgan adds The Rescue Light

    Two-time defending FLW Tour Angler of the Year as added The Rescue Light to his sponsorship portfolio. The stern-mounted device aids in on-water navigation and makes boats easier to locate during times of distress.

    “There is not much Andy has not seen on the water, and his commitment to safety I have witnessed personally and first-hand in many different situations,” said marketing and sales coordinator Jason Hampson. “Andy’s time and experience on the water itself lead him to being an integral part of many boating safety programs in his home state of Tennessee. We are excited to have Andy and look forward to his input this year."

  • SHL Lures buys Sworming Hornet

    SHL Lures, LLC announced today it has completed the asset purchase of Sworming Hornet Lures, LLC, including but not limited to inventory, patents, and trademarks.

    SHL Lures owners Brandon Rickman and Jon Peterson are experienced entrepreneurs with multiple past successes in creating and building companies and consumer brands in the consumer big-box retail space, while also being enthusiastic and avid fishermen.

    “We are extremely excited about the future as we continue to build upon the company’s past success in creating quality products," Rickman said. "Our flagship product, the patented Fish Head Spin, which was successful in the recent 2015 Bassmaster Classic, has become a fixture in most tackle boxes around the country. Rick Steckleberg, the company’s founder, has done a fantastic job building a loyal following to the Fish Head Spin. We look forward to strengthening the brand by working in partnership with vendors, distributors, retailers, and most importantly, the fishermen.”

    SHL has plans to expand the line with new products, along with an increased focus on the established products like the Fish Head Spin, Fish Head Shaker and Fish Head Dudes.

  • Balog: Great time in Greenville

    Balog: Great time in Greenville

    Joe Balog was more than a little bit impressed with what he witnessed at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, and not only from a fishing perspective. It was actually the fans and their tremendous enthusiasm for the event that left him nearly awestruck.

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

  • Five Spot: Mike McClelland

    Mike McClelland tells us who he’d like to fish a team tournament with and who among his competitors he thinks would have a solid career as an MMA fighter. Find out what else the four-time Elite Series winner had to say in the latest edition of the BassFan Five Spot (embedded video below).



    In case you missed last week's Five Spot with John Crews, you can click here to check it out.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Classic

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer: Classic</font></b>

    Coby Carden had a superb practice period leading up to his second straight appearance in the Bassmaster Classic as a representative of the B.A.S.S. Nation. The weather was warm and sunny over the weekend prior to the event and he was hammering fish inhabiting stained water in depths of 3 feet or less.

    "Seventeen or 18 pounds was about the worst day I had in practice, and on my best day I was pushing 23 or 24," he said.

    Those shallow fish didn't much care for the bitterly cold weather that moved in just prior to the tournament, though. All Carden could manage on day 1 was a 9-03 limit. That wasn't terrible – it put him in the top half of the 66-anger field – but he knew the potential to catch a lot more was there if conditions changed.

    They did on day 2. The sun shone brightly from mid-morning on and the air and water both warmed up a bit. Between 10 o'clock and noon, Carden found the setup to be much like the one he'd exploited during practice ¬– the bigger fish had moved up to the laydowns and were looking to eat.

    He sacked 19-13 for the day and his stringer, headed up by a 5 1/2-pounder, catapulted him all the way to 7th place. Instead of sitting on the cutline bubble, he'd become a contender for the title, trailing leader Takahiro Omori by less than 3 pounds.

    His fish didn't like the dark and rainy scenario that emerged on day 3 and he boxed only three keepers for 8-02, ending up in 15th place.

    "I think I could have caught them (like he did on day 2) every day if it had stayed sunny the whole time, but a lot of other people could have as well," he said. "A lot of them were probably resident fish, but at the same time it really warmed up the week before we got there, so a lot of them probably came to the shallow water to get ready to do their (spawning) deal."

    He focused his attention on a single creek and threw a homemade balsa-wood crank bait.

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

  • Upshaw adds ATC

    Upshaw adds ATC

    ATC Truck Covers announced that it's signed FLW Tour angler Andrew Upshaw to a sponsorship deal.

    "My first truck cap was an ATC because of its great reviews and affordability," said Upshaw, a former Bassmaster Classic qualifier. "For the price, nothing compared to the quality and workmanship of my ATC cap.

    I'm super-excited to be sponsored by ATC for 2015 and look forward to trying out their new cap this year on the FLW Tour. I demand the best products while on the road and ATC is the best."

  • Ram Trucks signs on with FLW

    Ram Trucks signs on with FLW

    FLW and the Ram Truck brand today announced a strategic marketing agreement that names Ram as the official tow vehicle of the tournament organization. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    “With its best-in-class fuel economy, best-in-class towing, best-in-class payload and best-in-class torque, Ram will find an appreciative audience among the hundreds of thousands of anglers that FLW touches each month,” said Trish Blake, president of FLW marketing. “This loyal group of truck buyers will embrace Ram like no other consumer group the company currently targets.”

    Ram trucks will be displayed at all FLW Tour Expos and prominently featured at the 20th anniversary Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 20-23.

    “Ram truck owners are deeply involved with the outdoors and more than 40 percent name fishing their top hobby,” said Bob Hegbloom, president and chief executive officer, Ram Brand, FCA - North America. “Our broad line of hard working Ram trucks are a perfect match for anglers and outdoorsmen. Ram’s partnership with FLW is a great opportunity to show our capability and support.”

    In addition to significant media exposure through FLW media properties Ram dealers nationwide have the opportunity to host pro days and offer contingency awards tied to FLW tournaments.

  • Hall to be part of bass-centric complex

    Hall to be part of bass-centric complex

    The International Bass Fishing Center – a multi-functional attraction centering on the world of bass fishing, is being planned for construction in Cullman, Ala., the Board of Director of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame announced recently.

    The plans were unveiled during the annual Hall of Fame induction dinner held on the eve of the Bassmaster Classic.

    Located adjacent to I-65 in northern Alabama, the center will be the home of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, which honors the accomplishments of those who have made significant contributions to the sport and the bass fishing industry.

    “Within the center, anglers young and old can immerse themselves in the “Family Fishing Experience” attraction,” said Dr. C. Hobson Bryan, BFHOF board member and professor emeritus at the University of Alabama. “We’ll have fully stocked ponds for learn-to-fish excursions for area school children, plus we plan on hosting multi-day ‘fish camp’ clinics during the summer months.”

    The IBFC will also include a “Boat and Tackle Showcase” – a living display of the ingenuity and innovation of the bass fishing industry, along with a variety of interactive displays in the Virtual Fishing area, from simulating catching the big one to a ride in a fast, state-of-the-art bass boat.

    The “Discovery Center” will enable visitors to experience the watery world of bass first-hand by observing fish behavior in the 36,000-gallon aquarium designed by Acrylic Tank Manufacturing. Bass fishing professionals and other instructors will demonstrate the latest lures and techniques used successfully on the tournament trails.

    With its close proximity to such world-class fisheries as Smith Lake and TVA lakes Guntersville, Wheeler, and Wilson, the IBFC will be a tournament headquarters and conference center.

    According the BFHOF board president Sammy Lee, the location makes it a natural meeting place for fishing-industry related events. These can include national tournament organizations and angling research symposia, as well as bass tournament weigh-ins. The adjacent Cullman Civic Center will enable partnering with the city on a wide range of activities, including non-fishing related events as well.

    Currently in the midst of a major fundraising effort – already supported by leading tackle industry names including PRADCO, Zebco, Shimano, G. Loomis, T-H Marine and Strike King, the BFHOF Board anticipates groundbreaking for the IBFC in fall 2016.

    For more about the Hall, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Classic

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

    Some BassFans might find it odd that Greg Hackney opted to fish deep last week at the Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell. He did it, he insisted, because that’s where he felt he’d have the best opportunity to catch winning-caliber fish. After all, what’s the sense in fishing for a limit at the Classic?

    “I could’ve gotten up on the bank and caught enough to make it to day 3, but you couldn’t win that way,” he said. “A whole bunch of guys made it that far, but only one was going to win.”

    Instead, the reigning Elite Series Angler of the Year was fishing deep channel ledges with a spoon and jig.

    “I wasn’t getting many bites,” he said. “I got six bites (on day 2) and caught three. On Friday, I got six bites and caught four. I don’t know what the deal was. They just weren’t biting very good. I was fishing very deep and I don’t know why they wouldn’t bite.”

    The key depth range for Hackney was 35 to 50 feet.

    “They had been in about 60 and they had moved up and I finally figured that out on Friday,” he said. “There are schools of fish in this lake that have never seen a bait out there. I have no doubt. It reminds me so much of Toledo Bend. It’s the same way.”

    If he had to hit rewind and start over on this year’s Classic, he’d follow the same blue print.

    “I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” he said. “I think that was the best way to go about it. There were a lot of 5-pounders out there. With this weather, I don’t have any control over it. It didn’t have anything to do with me. That’s Mother Nature. That’s part of this whole deal – the variables we deal with.”

    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.

  • New gear: PowerPro Maxcuatro

    New gear: PowerPro Maxcuatro

    Braided line enthusiasts who are convinced there is no peer to PowerPro may want to check out the company's newest offering – Maxcuatro.

    Constructed with a new Spectra HT fiber from Honeywell, Maxcuatro is up to 25 percent thinner than equivalent pound test braid without any loss of strength. To learn more, click here.

  • It's official: TWRA confirms record largemouth

    According to a report in Friday's Chattanoogan newspaper, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has confirmed the 15-03 largemouth bass caught by Gabe Keen at Lake Chickamauga on Feb. 13 will stand as the state record, breaking the previous mark which was set more than 60 years ago.

    Bobby Wilson, TWRA Fisheries Division chief, called the catch a highlight in his career which has spanned 35 years with the TWRA.

    “Largemouth bass are the most sought-after species in the state and to break a record which has stood so long for such a popular species is pretty incredible,” he said.

    To read more, click here.

  • Ashley's glory holes gone

    Ashley's glory holes gone

    Based on his backyard knowledge of Lake Hartwell (and an FLW Tour win a year ago), if Las Vegas made odds for the Bassmaster Classic, there’s a real good chance Casey Ashley would have been the favorite.

    But Ashley said just before the day-2 blast-off that history shouldn't be the basis of any heavy bets. He says his glory holes – the locations on this massive lake that yielded most of his key bites in the 2014 win – are pretty much useless this week.

    He landed in 6th place, roughly 6 pounds out of the lead after day 1, but certainly isn’t discouraged or disappointed with the 15-pound limit he caught. “The weather delay yesterday made for a short fishing day and I just never got the really big bites,” he said.

    “I’m hitting a series of high-percentage spots, but the glory holes I used in the FLW have been fished so hard by locals who watched me win last March that they’re pretty much useless now. You can’t hardly catch much more than old snagged-up fishing line on those spots nowadays.

    “Most of what I’m fishing this week is 35 to 45 feet deep, but I’m not convinced all the big fish are out deep because we haven’t had the three solid weeks of harsh winter weather it takes to drive them all deep. This week is the first really cold weather we’ve had around here. I was hoping for more cold weather the past month to put more of the big ones deeper.”

    Speaking of cold weather, Ashley is actually using a 7-foot medium-action Quantum Smoke Inshore saltwater rod because it has larger-diameter eyes than a comparable bass rod.

    “Those bigger guides on the Smoke Inshore help me keep ice out of the rod guides, plus that rod has a really big parabolic bend and that’s really key to keeping fish hooked when you’re setting the hook in 40 feet of water.”

    Don’t count him out yet though, Vegas. There’s nothing icy about Ashley’s attitude.

    “I’ve got great stuff to go fish today that I didn’t even touch in practice,” he said. “Today is the day to move up the leaderboard. Today could very well be my day if those spots produce as good as I think they can.”

    Based on his backyard knowledge of Lake Hartwell (and an FLW Tour win a year ago), if Las Vegas made odds for the Bassmaster Classic, there’s a real good chance Casey Ashley would have been the favorite.

  • Martens' father passes away

    Jerry Martens, the father of two-time Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Aaron Martens, passed away Thursday evening, according to a story posted on Bassmaster.com. Jerry Martens was 75.

    To read more, click here.

  • Texas circuit set for test run

    Texas circuit set for test run

    Texas-based Team Trail Outdoors will conduct three tournaments this year as a test run for what it hopes will be a highly lucrative circuit in 2016. This year's events (March 14-15 at Toledo Bend Lake, May 23-24 at Lake Texoma and Nov. 14-15 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir) will have a $500 entry fee (90 percent payback) and a $500 side pot (100 percent payback).

    If sufficient interest can be generated, the 2016 circuit will require entry fees between $1,500 and $3,000.

    Organizers hope to attract some Bassmaster Elite Series anglers for the March event, as they'll be at the Sabine River the following week for their 2015 opener.

    For more about the organization, go to www.TeamTrailOutdoors.com.

  • FLW adds UnderCover

    FLW adds UnderCover

    FLW has entered into a sponsorship agreement with UnderCover, Inc., the manufacturer of UnderCover truck-bed covers. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    “UnderCover, Inc. is an organization that excels in quality and design,” said Patterson Leeth, vice president of marketing at FLW. “We look forward to partnering with them for the 2015 tournament season and helping them reach our audiences in new and creative ways.”

    Said UnderCover president David Wells: “We understand there can be a serious investment associated with anglers' travel expenses and equipment purchases. Whave made that same investment in our equipment. We’ve built new state-of-the-art facilities to manufacture the highest-quality truck-bed accessories to make sure that when you purchase an UnderCover, you receive it in a few days, not weeks.”

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