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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

  • Team RainShadow adds Combs

    Team RainShadow adds Combs

    Team RainShadow, a Batson Enterprises brand, has added Bassmaster Elite Series angler Keith Combs to its pro staff.

    "I am extremely excited to be working with the Batson Enterprises team," he said. "Utilizing RainShadow rod blanks, ALPS and ForeCast components will elevate my fishing. Their team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. It is always a pleasure partnering with people who share the same passion for fishing and the outdoors as I do."

    Combs will begin fishing his exclusive RainShadow Series branded rod blanks with ALPS/ForeCast components in 2015. Partnering with Power Tackle, the Keith Combs Signature Series rods will be available through various online and retail locations in the near future.

  • Balog: Tours can't stand pat

    Balog: Tours can't stand pat

    Joe Balog understands that the sport's top circuits can't afford to maintain the status quo for very long in the mercurial landscape in which they operate, but change often brings a mix of good and bad. In this week's edition of Balog's Bass War, he examines some of the alterations for 2015 that will impact competitors' ability to earn a living.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Berkley renews with B.A.S.S.

    Berkley renews with B.A.S.S.

    B.A.S.S. announced that Berkley, maker of Trilene, PowerBait and Havoc, has signed a 3-year deal to continue its longtime sponsorship of the organization.

    “We are very excited to continue our partnership with B.A.S.S. and the Bassmaster events,” said Cara Finger, director of marketing services. “B.A.S.S. embodies the pulse of today’s anglers, which we believe is right in line with what we value at Berkley. With the partnership, we are committed to fostering growth within the sport of fishing while maintaining an attitude of conservation so future generations can continue to enjoy fishing.”

    Berkley and B.A.S.S. have been partners for many years.

    “B.A.S.S. is proud to have Berkley as a longtime member of our sponsor family,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “Their commitment brings a strong presence to the ever-expanding sport of bass fishing and we look forward to continuing our joint efforts in growing our sport.”

  • Five Spot: Russ Lane

    We've got questions. They've got answers.

    Typically, BassFan editors are chasing the real scoop behind how pro anglers go about their business on the water – the hows and whys of putting bass in the boat during tournaments and all the related industry news that goes along with it.

    As part of a new feature called the BassFan Five Spot, we'll be getting up close and personal with pros and grilling them with some – five, actually -- common and not-so-common questions about fishing and life. Some will have to do with their job, others not so much. Hopefully, along the way you'll learn something you didn't know about some of your favorite pro anglers.

    Each week, we'll publish a new video of a pro subjecting himself to our probing questions.

    To kick things off, we pinned down Elite Series angler Russ Lane, who wasn't bashful when asked who he'd like to tangle with in a mixed martial arts bout.

  • Mercer on Ike's show

    Mercer on Ike's show

    Bassmaster Elite Series emcee and fishing funnyman Dave Mercer will be the featured guest on a special Halloween edition of Ike Live, which will be live-streamed from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 26) at

    Iaconelli and Mercer will discuss the 2014 season and provide some insightful and amusing analysis. Also, Ike and his regular cast, which includes pro angler Pete Gulszek, will spice up the show with some Halloween antics as they answer fishing questions from fans who call in or Tweet.

    To access the show, go to the URL above and click the Ike Live tab.

  • Trip with Evers on the block

    Trip with Evers on the block

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

    Here's a statement from Evers:

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

    To make a bid, click here to visit the auction page and then scroll down to the Evers item.

    Online bidding closes at noon CT on Thursday.

  • New gear: STORMR Fusion Series rain suit

    New gear: STORMR Fusion Series rain suit

    STORMR continues to build on the momentum it generated in 2013 with a new line of outerwear called the Fusion Series. It caught people's attention at ICAST this year, as well. So much so that it was given the Best Technical Apparel award in the New Product Showcase.

    It's a combination of neoprene and other breathable fabrics that seal out the elements while keeping you dry and cool.

    To learn more about the Fusion Series, click here.

  • FLW unveils '15 Rayovac rules, moves two events

    FLW released the rules for the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series and announced it has moved two of the circuit's events to avoid conflicts with other tournaments.

    The Lake Dardanelle Central Division tournament, originally scheduled for Sept. 10-12, 2015, has been moved to Aug. 13-15, and the Lake Champlain Northern Division event was pushed back to July 30 to Aug. 1 from July 9-11.

    Among the highlights and changes for the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series:

    > The entry fees and payouts will remain the same as 2014;

    > The top 40 pros and co-anglers who fish all three qualifying tournaments in each division will advance to the Rayovac FLW Series championship. Previously, the top 30 pros and co-anglers advanced;

    > The highest-finishing pro from each division based on his or her performance at the championship will earn a berth in the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, along with the overall top five pros, meaning 10 anglers from the Rayovac FLW Series will advance to the 2016 Cup.

    For additional information and to read the complete rules, click here.

  • Walker, Howell to meet in first B.A.S.S. Brawl

    Walker, Howell to meet in first B.A.S.S. Brawl

    Live one-on-one bass fishing is coming to a computer screen near you.

    B.A.S.S. announced today that it has organized a live fish-off between Elite Series anglers David Walker and Randy Howell, the reigning Bassmaster Classic champion, called B.A.S.S. Brawl. The competition will take place at the Tennessee River in Knoxville, Tenn., and is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday and will be streamed live on

    It's the first of two Brawl events planned for this fall. The winner will receive a trophy and two tickets to the Alabama-Tennessee football game on Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

    Competition will take place in two, one-hour periods, with a break between each period. The two anglers will fish from the same boat, but they will switch boats at halftime. A coin toss will determine which angler’s personal bass boat will be used in the first one-hour period. At the half, anglers will switch boats.

    The owner of the boat in use will decide the fishing location within the confines of the set fishing water for the event. The owner will be in control of the boat and run the trolling motor; the other angler can run the boat only if the owner gives permission or if the boat owner incurs a penalty. Each angler will get to spend one period in control of his or her own boat. For more information on the rules of B.A.S.S. Brawls, click here.

    There will be one camera in the boat with Walker and Howell and another camera will capture the action from a short distance away. An additional live camera will stream from the Bassmaster studio where Tommy Sanders and Elite Series pro Stephen Browning will offer play-by-play commentary and analysis.

    To watch the B.A.S.S. Brawl live on Thursday, fans can visit

  • Neal lands two title sponsors

    Neal lands two title sponsors

    Fishing apparel company 5X3 Fishing, along with BABE’S Boat Care Products, is proud to announce a joint partnership with Michael Neal for the 2015 FLW Tour season.

    Neal will drive the 5X3/BABE’S Boat Care Products-wrapped truck and boat next year as both companies will be his title sponsors.

    "It means a lot that companies such as 5X3 and BABE'S have trusted me to represent their companies on tour next year," Neal said. "I have had a great relationship with both companies and hope to represent them to the best of my ability this coming year."

    5X3 is a tournament-focused clothing line that already boasts Elite Series anglers Gerald Swindle, Shaw Grigsby and Cliff Crochet as part of its team. BABE’S Boat Care Products is a family-owned business founded in 2003 and has built a strong following among wakeboarding and water skiing enthusiasts. New products like BABE's Well Wash is geared toward the bass fishing crowd as it was developed to safely clean a livewell without leaving a harmful residue.

    “We are both super excited to have Michael Neal on board with us," said 5X3 owner Jake Freeman, who spoke on behalf of BABE's as well. "We both feel like Michael is the future of the sport. Michael is coming off a seventh-place overall finish on the FLW Tour and he is not only a great angler but a great businessman as well. He recently finished his college degree and operates a very successful business in Dayton, Tennessee called Dayton Boat Docks on Lake Chickamauga.

    "Those are all things we took into consideration as we approached him about sponsorship. 5X3 and BABE’S are both new to the bass fishing industry and we work closely together to promote each other so we felt like this joint venture with Michael would increase our visibility within the industry. We are super excited about the upcoming year and all that Michael has to offer the fishing industry and us. We both knew we needed to take that next step and who better to do it with than Michael.”

    To learn more about each company, visit and

  • Three spots open on PAA board

    Three spots open on PAA board

    Nominations are now being accepted for positions on the Professional Anglers Association (PAA) board of directors. Nominees must be PAA Tour or Legends level members who will keep their membership in good standing during their term of service and must be willing to accept the responsibilities of serving on the board.

    Three seats will be available following the end of their terms of service for John Crews, Kurt Dove and Charlie Ingram.

    Board member responsibilities include soliciting and receiving input from members, and considering, discussing and voting on matters related to PAA's finances, schedule, membership, future plans and other topics.

    "I would like to urge all PAA Tour and Legends members to thoughtfully consider serving on the board of directors, said PAA president Matt Reed. "As the only organization that is angler owned and angler driven, PAA needs anglers to be active and involved in PAA business or to nominate someone you believe will be beneficial to the PAA, its cause, its membership and bass fishing. Our future depends on your participation."

    Nominations for the three vacancies may be submitted to the PAA office through the close of business on Friday, Oct. 24.

    Elections will be held for two weeks starting Monday, Oct. 27, and will end at 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Electronic election ballots will be sent to qualified voters by e-mail. Qualified voters can also submit their votes by e-mail or phone with the PAA office during the voting period.

    To make a nomination or volunteer yourself to serve, contact the PAA office at (270) 527-2030 or e-mail PAA operations manager Lisa Bell at between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m CT Monday through Friday.

  • BASSFest will be a points event in '15

    The maximum field for next year's BASSFest tournament at Kentucky Lake will be 144 anglers and Elite Series anglers will earn points toward the Angler of the Year standings.

    Those were two of the changes included in literature B.A.S.S. recently circulated to Elite Series anglers regarding the 2015 season.

    The top 10 non-Elite Series anglers from each Opens division (2014 standings) will be eligible to participate in BASSFest, scheduled for June 3-7, 2015 at Paris, Tenn. Entry fee for an Opens angler will be $6,000.

    The highest-finishing Elite Series angler in the 5-day event will earn 100 points with the second Elite Series angler earning 99 and so on. In 2014, each Elite Series angler received 100 points, meaning BASSFest had no bearing on the AOY race.

    The format for BASSFest is unchanged from this year's event at Lake Chickamauga. The full field will fish the first two days at Kentucky Lake. The top 50 after 2 days will get a day off while the balance of the field will compete at Barkley Lake on day 3. The top 10 from Barkley Lake will join the top 50 on day 4 back at Kentucky Lake with the top 12 advancing to the final day. Weights from Barkley Lake will not factor into cumulative weights.

  • NYT puts spotlight on college fishing

    Among the stories on the front page of the New York Times website Friday was a piece on the rise in popularity of college bass fishing and how it's been able to flourish without being under the NCAA umbrella.

    To read the article, click here.

  • FLW Tour entry fee increase among changes for '15

    FLW published its 2015 FLW Tour rules today and there are several significant changes.

    Among them:

    > Entry fees have increased from $4,000 to $4,300 per event for pros and from $700 to $800 per event for co-anglers;

    > FLW has reduced its exclusive sponsor categories to nine from 31. The nine categories are: alcoholic beverages, automotive (vehicles, tires and oil), household batteries, boats, cell phone service providers, marine electronics, outboard engines, national retailer (outdoor or otherwise, including online retailers), trolling motors;

    > Pros will be permitted to wear their own branded jerseys on the final day of competition;

    > Pros will have the option to run an FLW-branded boat instead of a FLW sponsor-wrapped boat on the final day;

    > Pros who have a sponsor in an exclusive category that FLW has not yet filled can apply for an exemption that will allow the pro to display that logo throughout the 2015 season;

    > The field for 2015 has been capped at 150, down from 180 in 2014. Pros not accepted into the field of 150 will be given the option to be placed in a call-up pool should another competitor drop out, thus maintaining a consistent field size;

    > The co-angler competition at all Tour events, including the Forrest Wood Cup, will be reduced to two days. In 2016, the Cup will be a pro-only event.

  • No more win-and-you're-in Classic berths for Elites

    Winning an Elite Series tournament will no longer come with an automatic berth in the following year's Bassmaster Classic, according to an article published at today.

    The win-and-you're-in format was adopted in 2011, but a survey of Elite Series anglers showed a majority favored Classic qualification through Angler of the Year points only.

    B.A.S.S. will reportedly increase the number of Classic berths available through AOY points to 36 from 29, meaning the Classic field will remain the same.

    To read more, click here.

  • Balog: Some holes in new criteria

    The recent changes made by B.A.S.S. to the Elite Series qualification criteria will be among the hot topics during the offseason and Joe Balog offers his take on the field size restrictions in his latest Balog's Bass War.

    To read the column, here.

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