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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

  • 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 Wars.

    To read the column, here.

  • Pro Bass Class set for Toledo Bend

    The next edition of Pro Bass Class will be held Nov. 16-18 at Toledo Bend Reservoir in Many, La., where participants will experience on-the-water instruction from several pro bass anglers.

    Elite Series pros James Niggemeyer, Keith Combs and Kurt Dove, along with Bassmaster Open winners Dave Mansue and Stephen Johnston, will be on hand to offer their expertise on a variety of techniques and scenarios.

    Among the topics each will cover:

    > Niggemeyer -- Utilizing top fall seasonal tournament-winning patterns, lures and techniques to systematically locate and catch bass. Spinnerbaits, square bills, soft plastics and jigs as tools based on water color and cover differences.

    > Combs -- Getting the most out of your electronics utilizing sonar, side scan, down scan and GPS. Crankbait mastery, draw feeding and reaction bites; Includes equipment set up (line, rod, reel).

    > Dove -- Breaking down large bodies of water and dissecting small areas producing big results. Utilizing your personal fishing strengths to maximizing on the water productivity and success.

    > Mansue -- Dissecting fall patterns associated with creek channels (jigs, spoons and big plastics). Understand ‘Fishing the Moment’ and environmental changes.
    How your mental attitude affects success.

    > Johnston (evening seminar) -- Secrets to fishing grass (how to break it down and find high percentage areas). Understanding the best grass fishing techniques from limit producers to winning stringers.

    Enrollment is limited to eight (8) participants. Cost is $1,995 and covers three nights lodging (double occupancy), all meals, two days of on-the-water instruction, evening seminar and Q&A sessions.

    For more information, call (830) 719-3648 or e-mail

  • B.A.S.S. bans umbrella rig in Classic-linked events

    According to a story published on, B.A.S.S. announced last week it has extended its ban on umbrella rigs to Opens and any tournament that leads to a Bassmaster Classic berth.

    The umbrella rig has not been permitted in Elite Series competition since it came on the scene in late 2011.

    Like most situations involving the umbrella rig, some anglers supported the decision while others panned it.

    To read more, click here.

  • B.A.S.S. releases '15 Opens slate; moves one Elite

    B.A.S.S. releases '15 Opens slate; moves one Elite

    B.A.S.S. announced its three-division, nine-tournament Bassmaster Opens schedule today. The schedule spans nine months and none of the events conflict with any FLW Tour stops.

    The first Southern Open will be Jan. 15-17 at Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla., and the final Open will be the Southern Open at Lake Seminole on Oct. 22-24 in Bainbridge, Ga.

    Also, B.A.S.S. has decided to move the eight Elite Series event – Lake St. Clair – up a month. Originally scheduled for Sept. 24-27, it is now set for Aug. 27-30, the week immediately following the Forrest Wood Cup, and during the same week FLW has a Northern Rayovac slated for Lake Erie out of Sandusky, Ohio.

    “These lakes and rivers are all outstanding, legendary waters that are steeped in bass fishing history,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Four of the lakes and rivers have hosted the Bassmaster Classic in years past, and seven are ranked on Bassmaster’s Best 100 Lakes list for 2014. The Bass Pro Shops Opens have become extremely popular among tournament anglers over the years, and the selection of fisheries this year should make it even more attractive.”

    The winner of each event will get $46,400, including a bass boat and motor, plus an invitation to compete in the 2016 Classic, contingent upon the winner fishing all three events in that division. Competitors earn performance points at each tournament, and the Top 5 in each division are invited to join the Elite Series the following year. In recent years, nearly all who received Elite bids have joined the prestigious tour.

    Registration for B.A.S.S. Nation and Life members begins online on Nov. 4. Other details and complete registration information will be published soon.

    2015 Bassmaster Opens Schedule
    Southern Division
    > Jan. 15-17: Lake Toho (Kissimmee, Fla.)
    > April 16-18: Alabama River (Prattville, Ala.)
    > Oct. 22-24: Lake Seminole (Bainbridge, Ga.)

    Central Division
    > March 12-14: Ross Barnett Reservoir (Ridgeland, Miss.)
    > Sept. 10-12: Ft. Gibson Lake (Wagoner, Okla.)
    > Oct. 1-3: Table Rock Lake (Branson, Mo.)

    Northern Division
    > July 9-11: James River (Richmond, Va.)
    > Aug. 6-8: Oneida Lake (Syracuse, NY)
    > Sept. 24-26: Lake Erie (Sandusky, Ohio)

  • Starks takes on Scotland

    Starks takes on Scotland

    Jeremy Starks is typically right at home on the front deck of his bass boat, but last week the two-time Elite Series winner was just as comfortable roaming the countryside of the Scottish highlands and along Scotland's western coast, stopping to fish at every chance.

    Starks and his girlfriend spent 7 days in Scotland, soaking up the scenery and sampling the lakes (they're known as lochs over there) and streams during their journey.

    "All I took was an Okuma pack rod and an Okuma Helios spinning reel, some 10-pound line and a Mepps spinner," Starks said.

    That outfit helped him catch a mix of trout and salmon, including two small brown trout out of famed Loch Ness.

    "I thought that was really cool," he said. "You can't just get down to the water there because the road is so high, so it was like a mile-and-a-half hike down a tributary to the creek mouth."

    He also fished Loch Baden and caught some Atlantic-run salmon, for which a permit is needed. A license is not required for trout in Scotland.

    "The mountains are breathtaking," he said. "It's such a beautiful place."

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