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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

  • Jail time for Guntersville cheaters

    Two Alabama men charged with cheating in a bass tournament at Lake Guntersville earlier this year were found guilty and sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail, according to a report on the website of TV station WAFF-48.

    After a four-hour trial, Gary Lee Minor Jr. of Albertville and Robert Scott Gillaspie of Boaz were ordered to the Marshall County Jail after they were found guilty of theft by deception and tampering with a sporting event.

    The charges stemmed from their involvement in a scheme to win the Tuesday and Thursday Night Owls Fishing Tournament on April 22. FLW Tour pro Richard Peek testified Monday he witnessed the two men stop off at a boat dock and emerge with a large bass in a net that had come from inside the boat dock.

    They were ordered to a year suspended jail sentence, provided they serve 30 days, serve 400 hours of community service at Lake Guntersville State Park, two years probation, and each pay $1,000 and court costs.

    To read more, click here.

  • Texas veteran Gregg dies

    Texas veteran Gregg dies

    David Gregg, a two-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier who competed on both major circuits, died over the weekend at age 67 after reportedly falling ill at the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open in Oklahoma and returning home to Palestine, Texas.

    Gregg, who was the pastor at Trinity Church in Palestine, fished in the Classic in 1983 and 1999. Funeral services will take place on Thursday in Haltom City, Texas.

    To read his obituary on the website of the funeral home handling the services, click here.

  • Mud Hole seeks custom rod photos

    Mud Hole seeks custom rod photos

    Mud Hole Custom Tackle is seeking photos of custom-built bass rods for its 2015 Calendar Contest. The deadline is Oct. 1.

    “Because Mud Hole provides over 45,000 fishing products and parts to anglers in every U.S. state and over 100 countries worldwide, we receive hundreds of great photo submissions showing off artistic creations," said Mud Hole VP Scott Gimbert. "We’ll whittle those down to the 12 calendar months and the cover, in time for the winners to be announced on Oct. 8.”

    Entries can be composite or individual photos that have something to do with the art of custom rod building and/or tackle crafting. Photos can feature handles, thread work, guides, feather inlays, decorative wraps, lure painting, etc.

    “The photos are judged on a combination of artistic value, originality, technical difficulty, photography and aesthetic preference," Gimbert said. "The winners, who each win $100 in Mud Hole gift certificates, come from all walks of life and areas of the globe."

    For contest rules, go to To upload your photos, go to 2015-calendar-contest/.

  • FLW executives among FWFHOF inductees

    FLW executives among FWFHOF inductees

    Trisha Blake, president of FLW's marketing division, and Kathy Fennel, who heads up the organization's operations division, are among 17 people in the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame's 2015 class of inductees. The Bass Federation (TBF) will also be inducted.

    The FWFHOF bills itself as the international headquarters for education, recognition and promotion of freshwater sport fishing. Each year it recognizes individuals, groups and organizations for their impact benefiting freshwater angling.

    In addition to Blake and Fennel, the list of people to be enshrined consists of artist Chris Armstrong, Canadian writer Daryl Choronzey, longtime In-Fisherman writer Dave Csanda, Illinois walleye angler Mike Gofron, California angler and media personality Joseph "Sep" Hendrickson, Wisconsin guides Ray Kennedy and Dick Lapp, Canadian muskie legend Mike Lazarus, Illinois newspaperman Bob Maciulis, Michigan walleye competitor Mark Martin, Minnesota guide, rod-maker and casting instructor Bob Nasby, C.A.S.T. for Kids founder Jim Owens, Canadian conservationist and writer Gordon Pyzer, Oregon promoter and journalist Bill Rice and Minnesota fishing instructor Tom Zenanko.

  • Breezy start at Lake Michigan

    Aaron Martens said he caught a 7-pound smallmouth today as practice got under way for the Elite Series Angler of the Year Championship at Lake Michigan. Other than that giant bite, he said the wind made it difficult to be efficient on the big water of Little and Big Bay de Noc.

    To read more of his day-1 practice recap, click here.

  • Tyler victorious at Arkansas River

    Tyler victorious at Arkansas River

    Former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Tyler cashed in his home-water advantage to win the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open out of Muskogee, Okla. on Saturday.

    The Vian, Okla. resident hadn’t fished the river since last year’s Open at Muskogee, so he relied on 5 previous years of experience to catch the winning weight of 42-14. Since he didn't fish the two previous Central Opens this year, he can't claim the accompanying Bassmaster Classic berth

    “It was simple river fishing,” Tyler said. “I just fished pretty much laydowns, little weed points and shallow-water cover – just like you would expect in a river system. The difference was I ran a bunch of spots that I have a lot of confidence in. From years of experience I knew a piece of wood I pulled up on would be a key piece.”

    Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Stephen Browning clinched the Central Opens points title with 584 points. The rest of the anglers who qualified for an invitation to the Elites are Jordan Lee, who finished 2nd with 555, followed by Carl Jocumsen (the first Australian angler to qualify for the Elites), 544; Brian Clark, 4th, 536; Randy Allen, 5th, 530; and Ken Iyobe, 6th, 528.

    “Making the Elites is something I have always dreamed about since I was in 8th or 9th grade watching The Bassmasters,” said Lee, a former Bassmaster College Series champion. “This is what I have always wanted to do. This is the first year I fished the Opens, and I fished all nine to try and reach the Elites.”

    Here are the final totals for the Top-12 finishers at Muskogee:

    1. Mark Tyler: 42-14
    2. Kenta Kimura: 41-03
    3. Tommy Biffle: 40-09
    4. Jordan Lee: 39-07
    5. Brian Potter: 37-12
    6. Rick Clunn: 35-08
    7. Vu Au: 33-15
    8. Gary Klein: 33-11
    9. Scott Barnett: 33-01
    10. Justin Margraves: 30-03
    11. Gary Clouse: 28-03
    12. Mark Goines: 26-13

  • Tyler takes over at Muskogee

    Tyler takes over at Muskogee

    Mark Tyler's strategy of relying on past history and “winging it” is giving the former Bassmaster Elite Series pro an edge at the Central Open finale on the Arkansas River out of Muskogee, Okla. Tyler, a resident of nearby Vian, caught a 14-12 bag on Friday to take over the lead with a 2-day total of 30-05.

    Tyler said he's been so busy with his cattle ranch this year that he hasn’t been able to fish the river much, so he had to rely on his extensive experience on his home waters.

    “Over the past 5 years, I have probably spent a hundred days a year on the river,” said the 41-year-old, who estimated he spent only about 6 hours practicing for this event. “I'm just fishing in the moment and reading the conditions and not tying myself down to a bank where I got bit in practice or anything. I'm just reacting and I think it's really helping me.”

    A cold front and north wind has caused him to make changes both days. “I’ve just been flying by the seat of my pants from the first day,” he said. “I am just going where the conditions seem right, where the water clarity is right and where I can make a presentation the way I want.”

    Vu Au of Tucson, Ariz. has never fished the river before, but he's found one primary area that's produced 30-04 and he trails Tyler by just 1 ounce. The 32-year-old auto repair shop owner said he missed a couple of quality fish on day 1, but made up for the lost opportunities today with a 17-15 sack.

    “I had to mix it up a bit,” he said. “I don’t know what it was today, but they didn’t eat the same thing they ate yesterday.”

    The field was cut to the Top 12 after Friday's weigh-in. Rounding out the Top 5 were Elite Series veterans Gary Klein and Tommy Biffle, along with Oklahoman Brian Potter.

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

    1. Mark Tyler: 30-05
    2. Vu Au: 30-04
    3. Gary Klein: 29-13
    4. Tommy Biffle: 28-00
    5. Brian Potter: 27-01
    6. Kenta Kimura: 26-15
    7. Rick Clunn: 25-06
    8. Jordan Lee: 25-02
    9. Scott Barnett: 25-01
    10. Mark Goines: 24-15
    11. Justin Margraves: 24-11
    12. Gary Clouse: 24-03

  • Dudley recovering from shoulder surgery

    Dudley recovering from shoulder surgery

    David Dudley is an active guy – the kind who rarely lazes around the house on days he's not fishing or tending to his Virginia farm.

    His active lifestyle is partly to blame for the condition of his left shoulder, which required surgery earlier this week. It was a procedure that could've and probably should've been done last year, but he fished through the discomfort and pain this season.

    "I've been an active guy my whole life," he said. "I played football, basketball and baseball since I was 6 years old. I never missed a season. Then I played 11 years of racquetball all the while I was fishing. That's all shoulders and swinging. That combo doesn't set up for good shoulders when you get older.

    "It was one of those things where it hurt, but I have such a high tolerance of pain. Last winter, I finally went to the doctor and he did an MRI and basically, he found that my left shoulder was worn out. The collarbone and shoulder bone were rubbing together."

    At the time, it was too late for surgery since the recovery would have cut into the 2014 FLW Tour season. Instead, Dudley received two cortisone shots (one before the season and one during) to help with pain relief.

    "It got to the point where if I was out deep and fishing slow like dragging a worm or jig, anything where I had to hold the rod upright, it was torture," he said. "It was non-stop pain. I would hear the pops and grinding in my shoulder.

    "At Kentucky Lake, it got to hurting again pretty bad," he added, "so I took another shot to get through the Cup. The doctor then had me on the books for both shoulders because they both have wear and tear pretty bad. Right before I went in for surgery, he double-checked everything and decided to hold off on the right shoulder for now."

    During the operation, the doctor shaved the collarbone and shoulder bone to create a space between the two.

    "I'm still a little sore and I'm trying to sit around," Dudley said, "but that's hard to do. It's hard to just sit around and not do anything. I'm doing a lot of terminal tackle work and cleaning my fishing room out and catching up on sponsor stuff now. I can't just sit down. I'm a busy guy."

    He thinks, eventually, he'll have the same surgery done on his right shoulder and fears he may need back surgery down the road as well.

    "I don't think this will be my last surgery," he said. "I know my back is in horrible condition and I know if I go there, what he's going to say. I just turned 39 last week, but I feel like I have the body of a 50-year-old."

  • Coppin tops day 1 at Arkansas River

    Coppin tops day 1 at Arkansas River

    Clayton Coppin, a Wagoner, Okla. resident who got into the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open off the waiting list and didn't practice for the event, caught a 16-08 stringer on Thursday to grab the early lead.

    The 43-year-old co-owner of a lawn-care service got in when a friend helped him recruit a co-angler.

    “I was really nervous," said Coppin, who said he pulled the majority of his day-1 weight off a single tree. "I was on the bubble and didn’t know if I was going to get in the tournament or not, so I took my chances and stayed home and mowed some yards (during practice).”

    He has a 5-ounce lead over Jason Christie, the two-tour standout who sits atop the BassFan World Rankings.

    “I'm just hopping around and fishing the conditions,” Christie said. “The way the weather is going to be tomorrow, I am probably going to fish different stuff. I learned on this river a long time ago that you just fish the conditions and what it gives you from day to day.”

    Here's how the initial Top 12 stacks up:

    1. Clayton Coppin: 16-08
    2. Jason Christie: 16-03
    3. Brian Potter: 16-02
    4. Andy Young: 15-14
    5. Tommy Biffle: 15-13
    6. Mark Tyler: 15-09
    7. Sammy Burks: 15-07
    8. Kenta Kimura: 15-00
    9. Justin Margraves: 14-05
    10. Brent Bonadona: 13-15
    11. Troy Broussard: 13-13
    12. Teb Jones: 13-10

  • Bass U. TV: Martin talks lipless cranks

    The lipless crankbait and grass fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    In the latest Bass University TV program, FLW Tour pro Scott Martin talks about how he fishes rattlebaits, especially in Florida.

    A preview is embedded below.

    "A lot of guys talk about ripping a lipless crankbait through the grass, which is very important," Martin says, "but you can also rip it off of cover or you can rip it just off the bottom. There are a lot of different things you can do with these baits others than cast them out and reel them in."

    BassU TV memberships are available for $149.99 per year or $15 per month. To learn more, click here.

  • Gator Guards expands HS/college program

    Gator Guards expands HS/college program

    Gator Guards, makers of the KeelShield, announced this week it is expanding its school sponsorship and tournament rewards program that started in 2010.

    Clubs from all colleges and high schools may apply for a variety of discounts and donations for raising funds. The program is meant to help support the work these clubs do on a daily basis.

    “This is a great way for clubs to get started raising funds to afford the costly travel and operations they endure throughout the year," said Nick Barr of Gator Guards, a former collegiate angler. "This platform allows clubs to show their schools they are serious about creating organizations that will get aspiring anglers on the water for years to come.”

    Students can also win tournament rewards for fishing in their respective competitive college and high school tournaments using Gator Guards marine protection products on their boats. Up to $200 in products can be won by being the highest finisher in sanctioned events across the country.

    The program is now accepting applicants. To learn more click here.

  • Gator Guards back Dyer

    Gator Guards back Dyer

    Gator Guards, the makers of KeelShield, announced today the company has become an official sponsor of angler Clay Dyer.

    Dyer, a professional bass angler and motivational speaker from Hamilton, Ala., who was born without any lower limbs, no left arm and a partial right arm, will help promote the company's broad line of American-made marine protection products. Gator Guards is extremely excited to be able to work with someone who touches the lives of people on a daily basis.

    “Clay is truly a gifted speaker telling his life stories and introducing and leading new believers to Jesus Christ," said Gator Guards owner Scott Smith. "If you watch any of his videos and listen to his messages you can't help but feel motivated to get over that problem in your life. If anything, after listening to Clay Dyer, you should feel if Clay can do it, I can.”

    Dyer will represent Gator Guards via the many avenues in which he shares his message. He competes regularly on the Bassmaster Open tour along with traveling the country speaking at a number of community, charity, and church events. 

    “As a professional angler, I need the very best equipment and products and I need them to perform flawlessly," Dyer said. "With Gator Guards products protecting my boat's hull I know I can go into the toughest of areas with my boat and compete to my fullest potential and know I'm protected from the harshest things so my Ranger is always in like-new condition. That's why I completely trust Gator Guards products and I am blessed and honored to be partnered with such a great company that has the same passion, belief, qualities and vision as myself. I am truly honored to represent them as I live my dream of a professional angler.”

  • Skeeter, Lowrance announce alliance

    Lowrance announced today it reached a three-year agreement to form an exclusive partnership with Skeeter Performance Fishing Boats. Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch navigation systems and Elite-3x fishfinders will now be the standard electronics systems offered on Skeeter high-performance bass, multi-species and saltwater fishing boats. The contract will carry through to the 2017 model year.

    Effective immediately, the HDS Gen2 Touch fishfinder/chartplotter combination display is offered standard on all Skeeter FX, ZX and TZX model boats and optional on multi-species and saltwater class fishing boats.

    The new Elite-3x fishinder, offered as an option on SL model boats, provides anglers with features traditionally reserved for much larger units, such as full color backlit LED screens, broadband sounder technology and Advanced Signal Processing (ASP).

    “At Skeeter we have built a reputation for listening to our dealer network and the performance requirements of end users,” said Jeff Stone, Skeeter Boats' senior vice president and general manager. “Back by popular demand, we are pleased to once again be able to offer Lowrance products on our boats.”

    Added Leif Ottosson, CEO and president of Lowrance, “Skeeter's pursuit of perfection is evident in the way they engineer their high quality bass boats. The Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch and Elite-3x model fishfinder and navigation systems complement their philosophy by offering unmatched clarity and functionality.”

  • Pirch claims third U.S. Open title

    Pirch claims third U.S. Open title

    Arizona Bassmaster Elite Series pro Clifford Pirch became the third angler to win the WON Bass U.S. Open three times on Wednesday as he caught an 8.19-pound sack from Lake Mead to complete a wire-to-wire victory with a 3-day total of 31.26.

    "I'm speechless right now, especially after being so close the last 2 years," said Pirch, who joined Bass Fishing Hall-of-Famer Mike Folkestad and reigning Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Aaron Martens as three-time winners of the derby. "I really didn't think that I had produced enough weight to hold on, but it feels great to pull through and I'm especially blessed to have been so fortunate to win this event three times; I'm completely humbled right now."

    Pirch, who compiled nearly half of his total on day 1 when he brought a 15 1/2-pound bag to the scale, made a long run to the back of the Overton Arm on day 3 to target dirty runoff and debris that had resulted from upstream monsoons and flash floods. It was an area that he had saved for the final day and it took a while for his bite to develop, but he connected with fish that had moved downstream and caught more than 25 keepers.

    He employed three different techniques during the event – dropshotting, cranking and flipping a 1/2-ounce jig (full details of his winning pattern will be published Friday).

    "It was a tournament where I had to do a lot of different things to produce the right bites; I had to change with the conditions," he said. "I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out today, but I'm blessed and honored to have won this event."

    A trio of Californians claimed the three spots directly behind Pirch, as Todd Woods was 2nd with 28.70, Gabe Boliver 3rd with 28.49 and Brett Leber 4th with 26.54. Veteran tour pro John Murray, a two-time U.S. Open winner, completed the Top 5 with 25.80.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 12:

    1. Clifford Pirch: 31.26
    2. Todd Woods: 28.70
    3. Gabe Bolivar: 28.46
    4. Brett Leber: 26.54
    5. John Murray: 25.80
    6. Tony Lain: 25.33
    7. Scott Davis: 25.25
    8. Joe Uribe Jr.: 24.67
    9. Pete Marino: 24.66
    10. Luke Clausen: 24.59
    11. Randy Blaukat: 24.54
    12. Chris Bozarth: 24.13

    For complete final standings, click here.

  • Balog: The final-day fiasco

    Balog: The final-day fiasco

    Joe Balog was in great position to win the Lake St. Clair Bassmaster Northern Open last week before encountering major mechanical issues at take-off on the final day. In the newest installment of Balog's Bass War, he describes what he was thinking and feeling as, hour by hour, he watched victory slip through his grasp.

    To read the column, click here.

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