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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

  • Bohannan lands with Skirmish Baits

    FLW Tour angler Greg Bohannan announced he has signed a deal with represent Skirmish Baits, a new custom-painted hard bait company owned by Army veteran Chris Turner.

    "Skirmish has a unique product in that every bait is custom painted," Bohannan said. "They have the best colors on the market and I am extremely honored to represent Chris and his company. He is a veteran who was injured protecting the very freedom that we get to enjoy as fishermen. I look forward to a long term relationship."

    To learn more, visit www.skirmishbaits.com.

  • 'Big O' is for Osinski

    'Big O' is for Osinski

    Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Baits, caught a 25-04 sack on Saturday to complete a wire-to-wire, blowout victory at the Okeechobee Southeastern Rayovac with a 3-day total of 70-08. His total bested runner-up Brandon Medlock by more than 12 pounds.

    “This feels fantastic,” he said. “So much time and effort went into this tournament. I made a few adjustments every day and the key for me was my patience flipping. I was not worried about catching a lot of fish; I was looking for big fish.”

    The strategy paid off as he managed to bring stringers weighing more than 25 pounds to the stage on two of the three days of competition. He fished transition areas near spawning flats in the south end of Okeechobee, targeting isolated patches of heavy cover flipping a Gambler Why Not and a Gambler Burner Craw.

    “(Day 3) was a challenge,” he said. “The wind was blowing from the south but switched to blowing out of the north. I had to switch to a White Lightning-colored Gambler EZ Swimmer to fill out my limit. I went back to flipping in the afternoon and was able to boat my biggest bass – weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces – around noon.”

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Val Osinski: 70-08
    2. Brandon Medlock: 58-04
    3. Joe Holland: 50-08
    4. Mark Daniels Jr.: 48-11
    5. Trevor Fitzgerald: 45-08
    6. Brandon McMillan 45-05
    7. Tyler Suddarth: 44-05
    8. Hensley Powell: 43-09
    9. Scott Martin: 43-07
    10. Tim Frederick: 37-02

  • Pro Web Live returns for second season

    Pro Web Live, the live and interactive online seminar series developed by pro angler Dave Lefebre, will kick off its second season at 8 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 27 with Lefebre hosting a seminar on finding the sweet spot.

    There are now two ways to watch PWL. The seminars will be free to watch all season long via a live stream. There will also be a limited number (10) of VIP Front Row tickets available for each seminar. The VIP Front Row guests will be able to chat with the pros and other attendees, ask unlimited questions (even video questions), and have the opportunity to win prizes.

    There are 50 Gold Member tickets available for purchase this year. Each gold member receives a VIP seat for all 13 seminars and unlimited access to the PWL archive.

    The 2015 PWL schedule:

    > Jan. 27: Dave Lefebre – "Finding The Sweet Spot"
    > Feb. 24: Jacob Wheeler – "People's Choice"
    > March 3: Ott DeFoe – "In-Depth Jerkbaits"
    > April 14: Shaw Grigsby – "Get The Most Out Of Your Lowrance"
    > May 19: Ott DeFoe – "People's Choice"
    > June 16: JT Kenney – "Keys To Flipping Consistency"
    > July 21: John Crews – "Crews Cranking Crash Course"
    > Aug. 4: Mark Rose – "Offshore Fishing In-Depth"
    > Sept. 8: Aaron Martens – "Underwater Bass Civilizations"
    > Oct. 13: Brandon Palaniuk – "People's Choice"
    > Nov. 17: Shaw Grigsby – "Top 10 Tournament Tips"
    > Dec. 8: Dave Lefebre – "Tiny Adjustments, Huge Results"
    > TBA: Gerald Swindle (topic TBA)

    To find out more, click here.

  • Coulter lands deal with Twisted Tea

    Coulter lands deal with Twisted Tea

    Brandon Coulter, who's set to begin his first season on the Bassmaster Elite Series, announced today that he will promote Twisted Tea throughout 2015.

    Coulter’s efforts will include his popular on-site boat giveaway in east Tennessee, which has become a tradition for him. He also created and directed a weekly Tuesday night tournament series and is part-owner in the Tennessee Team Trail. He fished the FLW Tour from 2007-14 and will make his Elite Series debut in March. For these reasons Twisted Tea is excited about partnering with Coulter.

    “Brandon Coulter is a tireless promoter and helps us move the needle,” said Shane Sloan of Cherokee Distributing, Inc. “Now having the platform of the prestigious Bassmaster Elite Series will only enhance everything positive about working with Brandon and his programs."

    “I like to build marketing programs," Coulter added. "I get excited about taking a boat show to a local Walmart, convenience store, major retailer or a local tournament to introduce more people to bass fishing and give them a chance to win a boat.

    “I also love a challenge. What bigger challenge is there in fishing than to compete against the best anglers in the world? And then at the end of the day sit down over a Twisted Tea and talk fishing with them like regular guys. How cool is that?”

  • Seaguar lines up Pirch

    Seaguar lines up Pirch

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler and three-time U.S. Open winner Clifford Pirch has teamed with line manufacturer Seaguar, the company announced this week

    "Fishing line is one of the most important, if not the most important, components to fishing," Pirch said. "It's what connects you to the fish and not something that can be taken lightly. I've been using Seaguar as my leader material for over 10 years and I know that it stands up to the rigors of heavy cover, harsh weather and strong fish. Once I started using InvizX fluorocarbon and Smackdown braid, I knew that I wanted to incorporate the entire Seaguar line into my tournament arsenal."

    "Cliff is an avid outdoorsman with a true passion for tournament fishing," said Brian Evans, Seaguar's assistant marketing manager. "He understands that your line is the most important link between you and the fish and Seaguar definitely helped to accomplish his victory at the 2014 U.S. Open."

  • Lee brothers go with Quantum

    Lee brothers go with Quantum

    Quantum’s pro angling team added two new members this week with the addition of soon-to-be Elite Series rookies Matt and Jordan Lee.

    “We’ve talked internally for a long time about whether or not any of the youngest generation of pros would be a great long term fit for Quantum,” said Bob Bagby, VP of marketing for the Zebco Brands. “Obviously, we were aware of Matt and Jordan’s incredible accomplishments as Carhartt College champions and top-performing Bassmaster Open anglers, but when we realized how seriously they were taking the marketing side of their careers, including their willingness to be mentored by existing pro team members of ours like, Gerald Swindle, we knew we had found the very rare combination of Elite-level talent, youth, and a humble desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves."

    “We enjoy everything about Quantum; the people, the culture, and the products,” said Matt Lee. “Both Jordan and I grew up being taught how to be humble, and we strive to always maintain humility and gratefulness in our relationship with everybody we share life with, including the many pros and marketing team guys that have been a part of Quantum for so many years.

    "We see ourselves as being a major part of Quantum for years to come, and we also see Quantum as being a major part of the Lee Brothers brand throughout the long-term future.”

  • Balog: What's the fallout?

    Balog: What's the fallout?

    In this week's edition of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog wonders what the ramifications of the altercation between Ish Monroe and Keith Poche at last week's Bassmaster Southern Open will be. Will it be a black eye on the sport, or is the sport headed to a place where such incidents are looked upon as par for the course?

    To read the column, click here.

  • FLW lands Quaker State

    FLW lands Quaker State

    FLW and Quaker State motor oil announced today a multi-year agreement that will showcase the brand to millions of outdoor and fishing enthusiasts.

    “We are extremely excited about our new affiliation with the Walmart FLW Tour and the opportunity to grow the relationship,” said Bree Sandlin, director of channel marketing for Quaker State. “We began working with their group and taking a look at the promotional possibilities early last year and quickly realized that FLW and bass fishing as a sport fit very well with the Quaker State consumer. With everything we have planned to activate around this program, there is a lot of anticipation heading into the 2015 fishing season.”

    As part of the deal, three anglers – Scott Canterbury, Matt Arey and Jimmy Houston – will represent Quaker State in wrapped Ranger boats during the 2015 season and at appearances throughout the season.

    “I am honored to represent Quaker State,” Arey said. “The company has been around for more than 70 years and upholds the highest of standards throughout their product line. I am grateful for this partnership and extremely excited to get the 2015 FLW Tour season under way.”

    “We are very pleased that a company as reputable as Quaker State has tapped into the sport of professional bass fishing,” said Trish Blake, president of FLW marketing. “Our fans and anglers have shown tremendous loyalty to our sponsors’ products and we are confident that Quaker State will find this partnership extremely beneficial.”

  • Five Spot: Dean Rojas

    Dean Rojas wouldn’t mind spending a day in the boat with Kevin VanDam – who wouldn’t? He also couldn’t sleep the night before his first tournament. See what else Rojas had to say in the latest edition of the BassFan Five Spot (embedded video below).



    To check out last week's Five Spot with Brandon Lester, you can click here to check it out.

  • Report: Sponsor losses put Hibdons in a pinch

    A report in this past Sunday's Kansas City Star detailed the struggles the Hibdon family has faced this winter in the wake of significant sponsor losses.

    The article, which served to promote Guido and Dion Hibdon's appearance at the upcoming Kansas City Boat Show, revealed that not only did Dion Hibdon lose the Chevy sponsorship through FLW, but lure company Luck-E-Strike also severed ties with the family after the company restructured its pro staff after it was sold. In addition to Guido and Dion, Payden Hibdon, Dion's son, also fishes the FLW Tour.

    A family friend stepped forward to loan them money for entry fee deposits for this year's Tour, but it's not a guarantee they'll fish the whole schedule.

    “Being very truthful, it’s up in the air,” Guido Hibdon told writer Brent Frazee. “All I know is, I want to go out on my terms, not because of something like this.”

    To read more, click here.

  • Damiki moves into title role with Thrift

    Damiki moves into title role with Thrift

    Damiki Baits announced today it has increased its involvement with FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift and will be his title sponsor for the 2015 season.

    Thrift was part of the Chevy team that was disbanded after the automaker opted to not renew its contract with FLW for this year. Damiki has been sponsoring Thrift since 2009.

    “Bryan’s more like family to us now. He’s been with us since the beginning,” said Damiki sales manager Daniel Kim. “We value his thoughts and we run everything through him before we do anything. He is a big factor in that regard with us. If we can support him financially to help him go further in his career then we’ll do that.

    “With all the TV exposure he gets, we’d be remiss not to support him as much as we can. Bryan’s a quiet guy, but he attracts so much attention because people are interested in and trying to figure out what he’s going to do. I see him having more eyes on him this year based on his success the last couple of years.”

    Thrift said he’s thankful Damiki had enough faith in him that they chose to expand its involvement with him.

    “After losing my title sponsor, I’ve been fortunate enough to be with a great lure company for the past five years,” Thrift said. “They stepped up and I’m excited about it because I can give them more exposure with having a full boat wrap rather than a patch on my jersey.”

  • Tharp signs with Rapala

    Tharp signs with Rapala

    For years, a Rapala knife and cleaning table have been a staple for Randall Tharp when he prepare dinners of fish caught fresh from the ocean near his Florida home.

    Starting this season, he’ll rely on Rapala baits to put food on the table in another way — throwing them to win prize money in Bassmaster Elite Series events. The company announced this week it has expanded its sponsorship of the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup winner. Last year, he represented VMC and Trigger X, which are also under the Rapala umbrella.

    “Previously some of my favorite Rapala products were not even baits,” said Tharp.

    But he's no stranger to the iconic lures.

    “I’ve caught more bass on that little original Rapala balsa floating minnow lure than probably any other lure in my tackle box,” he said. “It was really cool over the last season to learn more about an already great company in the fishing industry and I’m honored to part of the team. It’s a big deal for me.”

    “Randall is one of the most talented anglers in the game right now, both on and off the water,” added Rapala field promotions manager Dan Quinn. “He understands the promotional side of fishing as much as he knows how to catch ‘em, which makes him an excellent member of the pro staff.”

  • Florida adopts Okeechobee restoration plan

    Florida's Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday announced the adoption of a 10-year, $750-million restoration plan for Lake Okeechobee that is expected to reduce phosphorous entering the lake by one-third.

    According to a report in today's Fishing Wire, the "basin management action plan" identifies a variety of projects designed to reduce the influx of nutrient-rich water into the lake, create water-treatment areas and establish stormwater treatment areas for both urban and agricultural areas.

    "Restoring the waters of Lake Okeechobee and the northern Everglades is a key step in preserving the greater Everglades ecosystem for generations to come," Gov. Rick Scott said in a prepared statement.

    The plan was met with praise from environmental groups.

    To read more, click here.

  • Megabass expands deal with Zaldain

    Megabass expands deal with Zaldain

    Megabass of America announced this week that it has expanded its sponsorship of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Zaldain, who will now endorse the company's hardbaits and softbaits in addition to the company’s rods.

    Zaldain will be the first U.S. angler to represent the company’s extensive Japanese softbait line, and will work closely with Japanese designers to develop and expand offerings in North America.

    "Like most anglers on tour, there are a lot of Megabass lures I've used and absolutely loved," said Zaldain. "Working with their Orochi XX rod design team has revealed their attention to detail, their dedication to craft, their commitment to getting each design absolutely perfect - it was just incredible to be a part of."

    Zaldain is excited to be the first pro to represent Megabass' extensive Japanese softbait line.

    "As competitive anglers, we are always looking for that edge over the rest of the field," he said. "Whether it's the Vision Oneten or the Vibration-X Ultra or the newest JDM tackle, I know I get that edge with their existing product line. But what has me really fired up is they are developing more gear designed specifically for U.S. waters based on our input, from the new softbait line to new crankbaits that you'll be seeing soon from the Support To Win (STW) pro development program."

    Zaldain had previously been sponsored by Strike King for hardbaits and softbaits.

    “We couldn’t be more excited that Chris has chosen our lures and softbaits to fuel his passion for competition,” said Yuskei Murayama, vice president of Megabass of America. “What really resonated with us these past years is that Chris’ drive is fueled by a genuine commitment to bettering himself both on and off the water. Chris exudes the kind of values that reflect our dedication to innovation, quality, and performance, and we look forward to his input as we continue to develop products that earn their place on tournament decks each and every weekend.”

    For more information about Megabass of America, go to www.megabassusa.com.

  • Nixon to run Yamamoto wrap

    Nixon to run Yamamoto wrap

    A report on FLW's website says long-time pro Larry Nixon will have a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits wrap on his boat for the upcoming FLW Tour season.

    Nixon was one of seven members of the Chevy fishing team that was left without a title sponsor last year after the automaker opted to not continue its marketing partnership with FLW. This is the third year Nixon has been sponsored by Yamamoto Baits.

    “I’m really excited about it; it’s a great opportunity for me,” Nixon said. “I love being sponsored by Gary Yamamoto. He’s someone who loves the sport as much as I do and is a great lure designer."

    To read more, click here.

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