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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

  • Guide: TB is red-hot

    Guide: TB is red-hot

    (Editor's note: Industry rep Alan McGuckin is attending this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event at Toledo Bend Reservoir and passed along this quick primer. Watch for BassFan's complete scouting report this evening.)

    Toledo Bend is ablaze with big, fat bass, and many are still on spawning beds. Just ask Darold Gleason.

    The 32-year-old Bassmaster Central Open competitor is a full-time guide on the 80-mile long reservoir that straddles the Texas-Louisiana border, and he’s caught three largemouth over 10 pounds in the past 6 months from the monstrous 186,000 acre impoundment.

    Safe to say, the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite on Toledo Bend is shaping up to be a big bass beat down when competition gets under way on Thursday.

    Why is it So Good?

    “The drought and low water levels of 2006 and 2011 actually lead to a lot of vegetation and bushes growing around the shoreline, and when water levels returned to normal all that new growth served as an awesome flooded sanctuary for all the fingerlings that hatched,” said Gleason.

    If you’re a bass, the abundance of shallow-water nursery habitat on Toledo Bend creates a great place to grow up, but an adult life spent farther offshore among acres of hydrilla makes for an awesome neighborhood to grow old and big in.

    Add an abundance of groceries to the vegetation in the form of shad, crawfish and bluegills, and life gets rich quickly for a largemouth living at “The Bend.”

    How Good and How Big?

    “I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say we could see the Elites bring six to eight bass a day to the scales that will weigh over 7 pounds,” said Gleason. “And over the course of the 4-day tournament, I’m guessing we will see three or four bass over 10 pounds weighed-in.”

    Uniquely cool to Toledo Bend is the existence of a great conservation-based effort called the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. Anglers who catch a bass 10 pounds or heavier can have it weighed and photographed at a designated certified scale in the area. The trophy catch is then tagged and released alive, and participating anglers are later presented with a free fiberglass replica as the Toledo Bend Lake Association’s way of saying thanks to visiting anglers for releasing giant bass back into their waters.

    In 2013, 58 bass over 10 pounds were released as part of the program. That was a record number, but anglers are on pace to break it this year.

    As far as daily tournament weights, Gleason says it’s taken 25 to 28 pounds per day to win a team event on the reservoir in recent weeks.

    Which Phase of the Spawn are They In?

    There were four snow events this winter in the region. Old-timers still can’t believe it, and Toledo’s largemouth are still in a bit of disbelief too, causing the spawn to be prolonged much later on the calendar. Many late-bloomers are still on beds.

    Fish that live in the northern end of the reservoir in places like San Patricio Creek are pretty much done spawning, but travel south 40 or 50 miles on the huge reservoir, and there are plenty of bass on beds in places like Indian Creek.

    How Will it Be Won?

    “It’s bass fishing, and these guys are the best in the world, so there’s always an element of surprise and unpredictability, but I’m guessing it will be won by catching post-spawners in the morning that are gorging on spawning shad, complimented by catching big kicker fish off the beds as the day progresses,” said Gleason. Spinnerbaits, swimbaits and jerkbaits should play huge around the shad spawn, but Gleason can’t overemphasize the importance of big bass still on beds playing a huge role this week.

    “The cool thing about this lake is that just about every guy in the tournament will have a chance to win by fishing the way he loves to fish most. There are several different patterns capable of producing a win for these guys.”

    How Much will it Take?

    “We’re throwing darts here, but because the weather is going to be sunny with fairly calm winds, these guys should have the chance to catch a lot of big bass off beds. And if that happens, I’m guessing it’ll take 85-90 pounds to win,” said Gleason.

    Gleason is certainly in the ballpark – Brent Chapman won with 83 pounds the last time the Elite pros competed on The Bend, and every indication is that weights should be awesome this week.

  • Sunline signs on as MLF sponsor

    Sunline, one of the world’s top fishing line companies, has become a Major League Fishing sponsor, the league announced today.

    Sunline, a Japanese-based manufacturer, produces fishing line with a variety of materials, including nylon, fluorocarbon, polyethylene, polyester and metal.

    “We are pleased to welcome Sunline as a Major League Fishing sponsor, said MLF general manager Jim Wilburn. "Sunline is a tremendous company, with market share in more than 40 countries. Sunline will be an outstanding partner with Major League Fishing."

    Sunline already has an established presence among Major League Fishing competitors. League anglers sponsored by Sunline include Tommy Biffle, Jason Christie, Brent Ehrler, Todd Faircloth, Tim Horton, Aaron Martens, Mike McClelland, Takahiro Omori, Dean Rojas, Morizo Shimizu and Gerald Swindle.

    “Major League Fishing is extremely popular, and Sunline and its anglers already play a significant role in every Major League Fishing event,” said Nobuyoki Kajio, president of Sunline America. “We are extremely pleased to become an official Major League Fishing sponsor.”

  • Toledo Bend wide open

    Brent Chapman knows one thing for sure after the first day of practice for the Toledo Bend Reservoir Bassmaster Elite Series: He won't be casting a flutter spoon around at all come tournament time. He says the fishing should be really good this week with fish all three phases of the spawn.

    To check out the rest of his day-1 practice recap, click here to read BassFan's ProView Report.

  • Morgenthaler aligns with Denali

    Morgenthaler aligns with Denali

    Denali Rods has announced the signing of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chad Morgenthaler to a sponsorship deal

    "I’ve been looking around at different rod companies for a few months and had the opportunity to stop by the Denali offices after the Table Rock event," he said. "Once I got my hands on their rods, I was immediately impressed by their level of detail, quality finish and feel. I also hit it off really well with (Denali president Scott Estes) and the rest of the team, so we started working on a deal right there.”

    Said Estes: “In this business, it’s important to make sure that the anglers you align yourself with represent similar ideals and are willing to help grow the brand. Chad is a great human being and fits that description to a tee. He has been a consistent and tireless force on the tour and in the media for many years, and we look forward to helping Chad succeed.”

  • Berkley trailer headed for North Dakota

    Berkley trailer headed for North Dakota

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Scheels All Sports in Fargo, N.D. this Thursday through Saturday (May 1-3). In its 9th year, the trailer has been completely redesigned to provide anglers with a better hands-on experience.

    Four highly trained Berkley professionals will be available to provide in-depth knowledge on products, knot tying, line selection and bait choice.

    “We are extremely excited about the upgrades to the trailer and the experiences that anglers of all skill levels will have this year,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is ready to answer your questions and help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about fishing, our passion and our company’s heritage."

    The trailer's next stop will be May 8-10 at Scheels All Sports in Bismarck, N.D.

  • Texas man wins $250K prize package at Big Bass Splash

    More than 5,000 participants helped mark the 30th anniversary of the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash at Sam Rayburn Reservoir this past weekend.

    Anglers from 39 states and seven countries converged on the big Texas lake, all looking for a piece of the more than $1 million in cash and prizes up for grabs. Prizes were handed out for hourly big bass as well as fish that hit exact-weight thresholds.

    Robert Nunley caught a 9.81-pound largemouth on Saturday and it stood up as the big fish of the weekend, netting the Willis, Texas, resident a prize package valued at $250,000. Included in his haul were a 2014 Coachman motor home, a 2014 Dodge Ram truck, a fully-rigged Triton 21 TRX plus a check for $40,000.

  • Video: A weekend with the Shryock brothers

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Fletcher Shyrock passed along the below video of he and his brother, Hunter, as they filled up a recent weekend with their two favorite sports – motocross and bass fishing.

  • Short leaves TB after tornado hits home

    Short leaves TB after tornado hits home

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Kevin Short has left this week's event at Toledo Bend Reservoir and returned home to Mayflower, Ark. after his house was severely damaged by one of the tornados that swept through the region on Sunday.

    Short's father, who lives next door to Kevin and wife Kerry on the shore of Lake Conway, was uninjured in the twister. The tornado traveled along a nearly identical path to one in 2011 that jumped the Shorts' home, but destroyed other structures in the vicinity.

    The home of Billy McCaghren, another Elite pro from Mayflower, was not on the tornado's path.

    In the YouTube video embedded below, Short appeals for donations to local food banks and other service organizations while standing amid the wreckage of his home. As of Monday morning, the storms had claimed 17 lives across three states in the region.

  • Browning repeats at Red

    Browning repeats at Red

    Stephen Browning won the Red River Bassmaster Central Open for the second straight year on Saturday as his 15-11 stringer gave him a 3-day total of 44-03. He beat out day-2 leader Gerald Spohrer by about 3 1/2 pounds.

    The veteran Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Arkansas started Saturday with a small limit while his co-angler partner, Keith Glasby, of Ovilla, Texas, got off to a fast start.

    “Keith (who won the co-angler division) was putting it on me pretty hard and heavy, and I just kept telling myself to just breathe,” Browning said. “It was one of those deals where you have an area and a bait that you have a lot of confidence in, but if you start to scramble you are more than likely going to tank. I just kept that little plug in my hand and kept winding it around.”

    Browning remained patient knowing that the sun would position his fish close to the wood cover from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    “There was a magic moment of about 30 to 45 minutes when it all happened,” said Browning, who was able to cull all of the fish he had caught earlier.

    On Thursday, Browning caught most of his fish on a 1/2-ounce chartreuse-and-white War Eagle spinnerbait when the wind was blowing. But when the skies turned sunny and calm on Friday and Saturday, Browning relied on the same lure (a sexy shad 3.5-inch square-bill crankbait) that made him a winner last year.

    Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    Here are the final totals for the anglers who competed on day 3:

    1. Stephen Browning: 44-03
    2. Gerald Spohrer: 40-12
    3. Aaron Johnson: 40-02
    4. Keith Combs: 37-11
    5. Chad Wiley: 34-14
    6. ColbyHand: 34-07
    7. Jeff Kriet: 33-06
    8. Kylie Sparks: 32-11
    9. Marvin Ettredge: 31-14
    10. Caleb Boudreaux: 31-10
    11. Tommy Murray: 31-01
    12. John Frye: 25-02

  • Henry catches 30 to win at Guntersville

    Henry catches 30 to win at Guntersville

    Jonathan Henry caught a tournament-best 30-14 on the final day to win the Guntersville Southeast Rayovac with a 3-day total of 77-08, holding off FLW Tour pros Mark Rose, Michael Neal and Bryan Thrift to claim his first FLW victory.

    Henry started the day in 9th place.

    “Today I caught them off of a community hole on a bridge,” he said. “The first 2 days I fished probably 30 spots a day. Some were shallow and some were medium-offshore."

    Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Jonathan Henry: 77-08
    2. Mark Rose: 76-09
    3. Michael Neal: 73-01
    4. Bryan Thrift: 70-12
    5. Robert Boyd: 73-01
    6. Brad Knight: 69-05
    7. Ron Nelson: 67-15
    8. David Hendrick: 67-00
    9. Robert Behrle: 65-14
    10. Greg Willimon: 57-15

  • Spohrer climbs from 10th to 1st at Red River

    Spohrer climbs from 10th to 1st at Red River

    Gerald Spohrer caught a 15-09 sack on day 2 to jump from 10th place to the lead at the Red River Bassmaster Central Open with a 2-day total of 28-14. He'll take a 6-ounce lead over defending champion and Bassmaster Elite Series Stephen Browning into the final day.

    "I spent my whole practice fishing stuff where I thought the tournament would be won,” said Spohrer, a resident of nearby Gonzales, La. “I know this river very well and I have a lot of experience here. I gambled and found some sweet spots that were holding some big ones.”

    The change in weather from clouds and wind Thursday to sunshine and a light breeze on Friday made it easier for the 32-year-old Spohrer to work his area. He's flipping to woody cover and said the sun positioned the fish on the stumps.

    Here are the totals for the 12 final-day qualifiers:

    1. Gerald Spohrer: 28-14
    2. Stephen Browning: 28-08
    3. Jeff Kriet: 27-08
    4. Aaron Johnson: 27-07
    5. Tommy Murray: 26-00
    6. Colby Hand: 25-06
    7. Kylie Sparks: 25-06
    8. Marvin Ettredge: 25-02
    9. John Frye: 23-13
    10. Caleb Boudreaux: 23-01
    11. Chad Wiley: 22-10
    12. Keith Combs: 22-09

  • Nelson on top of tight G'ville leaderboard

    Nelson on top of tight G'ville leaderboard

    Michigan's Ron Nelson moved into the lead today at the Lake Guntersville Southeastern Rayovac as he weighed a 23-04 bag that gave him a 2-day total of 49-07. All 10 anglers who made the cut will be in the hunt on the final day as they're separated by less than 4 pounds.

    Brad Knight boxed a tournament-best 29-15 to catapult into 2nd place, just a pound and a quarter behind Nelson. Day-1 leader Eric Schultz of Minnesota managed just 14 1/2 pounds and slipped to 17th.

    Here are the totals for the anglers who'll be back on the water for day 3:

    1. Ron Nelson: 49-07
    2. Brad Knight: 48-03
    3. David Hendrick: 48-03
    4. Mark Rose: 47-15
    5. Robert Behrle: 47-09
    6. Robert Boyd: 47-02
    7. Bryan Thrift: 46-13
    8. Michael Neal: 46-12
    9. Jonathan Henry: 46-10
    10. Greg Willimon: 45-10

  • Three straight Classic misses enough for Rook

    Three straight Classic misses enough for Rook

    Scott Rook hasn't fished a Bassmaster Classic since 2011 when he finished 7th at the Louisiana Delta. He's in the midst of the first three-year Classic drought of his career and he's very much focused on making sure he's part of the field at Lake Hartwell next February.

    He narrowly missed the money cut at the Lake Seminole season-opener, but has rebounded with two straight Top-25s and currently sits 16th in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) standings.

    "It's been a pretty good start," he said. "Any time you're in the Top 25, I consider that a good tournament."

    Two years ago, he missed the Classic by one point. Last season, he went into the final event of the year in 40th place in points, well within reach of a Classic berth. He finished 77th at Lake St. Clair and slid to 55th.

    "To me, the Classic is the only tournament I've ever wanted to win," he said. "It's always been my number one goal. It's the world championship and that's what I want to win.

    "Missing it 3 years in a row, I've never done that before so I've set my goals a little higher and put more effort into it. It's all about using your head and making right decisions. So far, I've been pretty good at those."

    Despite a mixed bag of results at Toledo Bend Reservoir, site of next week's Elite Series event, he's going into it with a glass-half-full outlook.

    "It's been hit or miss for me, but the last two times we were there, I caught lots of fish," he said. "I'm going there with a lot of confidence."

    Another place he'll have plenty of confidence at is Lake Dardanelle, which welcomes the Elite Series 2 weeks after Toledo Bend.

    "I've done really well there, but I've never won there," he said. "I've probably won on every other pool but there and I think I've finished everywhere but first at Dardanelle. I'm not saying I'll win, but I feel can do okay there."

  • Monroe: No respite wanted

    Monroe: No respite wanted

    It'd be understandable if Ish Monroe wanted to get away from fishing entirely for awhile following the recent 6-week run of events on both major circuits that saw him log just one Top-50 finish. That's not the case, though.

    "I'm not 100 percent where I want to be fishing-wise and I want to keep my brain focused on fishing," he said. "Technically, I haven't even had a week off yet."

    Immediately after the Beaver Lake FLW Tour, he participated in a charity tournament to benefit the Children's Miracle Network. Then it was off to Kalamazoo, Mich. for a promotional event at D&R Sports (owned by Kevin VanDam's brother and Jonathan VanDam's father, Randy).

    This week he's at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas, representing sponsors at the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash. That'll lead right into next week's Toledo Bend Bassmaster Elite Series.

    He'll enter that derby in 80th place in the Angler of the Year race. He's 96th on the FLW side after qualifying both championship events in 2013.

    "I feel like my fishing is trying to improve a little bit, so I want to keep going," he said. "I've got to get out of the funk I'm in of not landing fish.

    "I've been on fish at every tournament. At Beaver I felt like I was on the winning fish, but I didn't put them in the boat."

  • Minnesotan on top at Guntersville

    Minnesotan on top at Guntersville

    As might be expected, there was no shortage of big sacks on day 1 of the Lake Guntersville Southeastern Rayovac, as the Top 36 all weighed at least 20 pounds on day 1. Minnesotan Eric Schultz's 27-07 stringer was the best of the lot.

    Schultz had a 1-04 lead over Michigan's Ron Nelson, who caught 26-03. The next two places were occupied by FLW Tour pros – Michael Neal with 25-10 and Robert Behrle with 25-01.

    Here's a look at the early Top 10:

    1. Eric Schultz: 27-07
    2. Ron Nelson: 26-03
    3. Michael Neal: 25-10
    4. Robert Behrle: 25-01
    5. Brad Carroll: 24-13
    6. Scott Canterbury: 24-09
    7. David Hendrick: 24-03
    8. Bryan Thrift: 24-01
    9. Ryan Worthington: 23-14
    10. Marshall Deakins: 23-08

  • Johnson catches 20 1/2 to lead at Red

    Johnson catches 20 1/2 to lead at Red

    Local stalwart Aaron Johnson bolted to a big early lead at the Red River Bassmaster Central Open on Thursday as he boxed a 20-08 sack that was topped by a 7-13 bruiser.

    Johnson, who won an Open in 2008 at Kentucky Lake, had a 4-06 lead over fellow Shreveport, La. resident Colby Hand.

    Johnson said the cloudy weather caused the fish to react differently than what he'd experienced in practice.

    “I really wanted the sunshine, but it was just out a little bit,” he said. “The fish really weren’t setting up on the cover, but I was able to figure out how to get them to bite (under the clouds). Once I got that figured out, I popped them pretty good.”

    A 45-mile one-way run and lock negotiation limited Johnson’s fishing time on day 1. He visited just one of his five best areas.

    “I will probably bounce around a little bit more (on day 2) just because I have a later flight, so I should have a lot more time to cover more areas,” he said.

    Here's how the initial Top 12 stacks up:

    1. Aaron Johnson: 20-08
    2. Colby Hand: 16-02
    3. Tommy Murray: 15-06
    4. Larry Puckett: 15-04
    5. Stephen Browning: 14-15
    6. Ray Hanselman Jr.: 14-13
    7. (tie) John Frye: 14-03
    7. (tie) Chad Wiley: 14-03
    9. Marvin Ettredge: 14-00
    10. Gerald Spohrer: 13-05
    11. Jerry Hester: 13-03
    12. Vu Au: 13-00

  • The Bass University intros digital training

    The Bass University intros digital training

    The Bass University today introduced its digital video training component – called The Bass University TV – designed to help anglers catch bass more consistently.

    The program consists of an ever-expanding library of digital training videos that have been captured from The Bass University classes around the country. In addition to classroom instruction, Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek have filmed on-water training, which demonstrates in greater detail the lessons discussed in each class. Viewers can watch, listen, and learn sound bass fishing strategies from the top professional anglers’ presentations on techniques that they specialize in.

    The format allows each angler to learn at his or her own pace, wherever the angler may be. Videos can be viewed on any Internet-enabled TV, computer, tablet or mobile device.

    Memberships are $15 per month or $150 annually and anglers can subscribe at As a special introductory offer, each Bass University TV member will receive an autographed picture from Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek, co-creators of The Bass University. Each member will also receive a gift pack featuring Rapala, VMC, Berkley and/or Molix tackle (retail value of $15). The introductory offer runs through May 27.

    Sneak peeks of The Bass University TV’s video library can be seen on the organization's YouTube channel.

  • Balog: Much has changed since '88

    Balog: Much has changed since '88

    After an extremely long and cold winter in the north country, Joe Balog finally gets to do some fishing that doesn't involve ice. As initial preparation for the James River Rayovac, he watched video coverage of the 1988 Bassmaster Classic at that venue, which included a much-younger version of current B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year leader Mark Davis. That caused him to reflect on how much has come and gone in the sport over the last quarter-century.

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

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Beaver

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

    Most competitors who fared even reasonably well at the recent Beaver Lake FLW Tour were aided by the powerful winds that blew on days 1, 3 and 4. For Colby Schrumpf, it was just the opposite.

    The Illinoisan was in 143rd place after sacking a limit of 1-pounders on the first day. Then, when the wind died the following day, he caught 16 pounds to move up 110 places to 33rd and earn a $10,000 check.

    "On the first day I headed up the river and I wanted to stop on some areas that had some spotted bass that I found in practice," he said. "It was so windy that I couldn't fish a lot of those areas and I wasn't able to catch many.

    "I gradually worked my way up and then concentrated on largemouths, just fishing shallow cuts. I didn't catch any keeper largemouths the first day – I probably caught 20 that were between 14 and 15 inches."

    He went with the same program on day 2 and achieved dramatically different results.

    "I started in the spotted-bass areas, but the wind wasn't blowing and I could target them a little differently. And just over that one day or maybe a couple days, some bigger female largemouths had moved in and were staging.

    "I caught them from 8 feet down to 20 feet. They were suspended and I got them on a 10-foot diving crankbait. I caught quite a few that day and I had one that was about 5 1/2 pounds."

    He said his key areas were within 5 miles to the south of the Highway 12 bridge.

    "If the wind hadn't blown, I might've gotten a few (largemouth) bites there the first day, but I don't think all those fish were there yet. The water warmed up 5 degrees from one day to the next."

    The finish was easily his best of the season – he'd had two 120ths and a 143rd coming in – and second-best of this 3-year Tour career behind a 5th at the Potomac River in 2012.

    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.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Beaver

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

    Bryan Thrift was the day-1 leader at the recent Beaver Lake FLW Tour and was seemingly a threat to win his second straight event. However, the former Angler of the Year said his 16-pound sack on day 1 was basically a fluke.

    "I never really was on anything," he said. "That first day was just a gift. It was one of those days where I couldn't do anything wrong – everywhere I stopped I caught a good one. I knew the odds of repeating that were not good."

    He dropped to 8th place the following day with a 9-10 stringer, and then to 11th on day 3 with a 10-07 haul.

    "I fished a clean tournament – I never lost any fish and I never missed any – but I just wasn't getting the bites I needed. I was really fortunate to catch what I did on the second and third days."

    The majority of his bites came on a shaky-head.

    "If I had it to do over again, I would've tried to fish a littler faster and cover more water. It seemed like there were more fish moving up on that third day."

    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.

  • Zaldain seeks turnaround at Toledo Bend

    Zaldain seeks turnaround at Toledo Bend

    Chris Zaldain logged a Top-12 finish the last time the Bassmaster Elite Series visited Toledo Bend Reservoir in 2012. He could really use another one next week.

    The Californian had a stellar sophomore campaign in 2013, finishing 8th in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) race. Through three events this year, however, he's at the polar opposite place in the standings – 8th from the bottom (101st).

    "I've had a lot of time to think about what's happened this year over the last 2 1/2 weeks we've been off," he said. "It seems like after the Classic, everything was just boom, boom, boom. The tournaments were coming so fast and I couldn't find a groove."

    His finishes have been progressively worse – 76th at Lake Seminole, 85th at the St. Johns River and 94th at Table Rock. He said he's had some good practices, but what he's found have proven to be mirages.

    "Some of the things that seemed like positive clues have ended up being misleading. Last year when I had the phenomenal season, my decisions were always right on the mark. This year I think I've relied on practice a little too much and I've gone all-in on some patterns and areas. You can't do that; you've got to adapt and change.

    "In all three tournaments, I felt like I've been one step behind."

    He hopes to get back in sync at Toledo Bend.

    "I've got an excellent history in the state of Texas; it's like a big playground to me and it really suits my style. Toledo Bend is so large and there are so many patterns you can fish. I like to fish shallow there, the way I grew up fishing on the California Delta, and it's a very comfortable place for me.

    "I'm not going to try to force anything. I'm going to have fun and try to calm things down. I know what needs to be done and I think hard work will definitely pay off. If I find something that I think is good in the first couple days of practice, I won't be satisfied. I'm going to keep an open mind and not become sold on one particular thing."

  • New gear: Berkley rolls out new shapes, sizes

    New gear: Berkley rolls out new shapes, sizes

    For years, Berkley has used the Bassmaster Classic as a key component of its marketing platform, introducing new baits and other products just in time for spring. This year was no different as several new soft baits were unveiled in conjunction with the Classic at Lake Guntersville.

    To learn more about what's new from Berkley, click here.

  • Murphy signs with Cabin Creek Bait Company

    Murphy signs with Cabin Creek Bait Company

    Shawn Murphy, the reigning FLW Tour Rookie of the Year from Kentucky, has signed a sponsorship deal with Cabin Creek Bait Company.

    "We've watched Shawn grow in his career from a modest start fishing local tournaments to become one of the most notable professionals on the FLW Tour," said Stephen Pyle, one of the 30-year-old company's new owners. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity to support him and his efforts."

    Murphy used Cabin Creek tubes en route to a 37th-place showing, worth $10,000, in the recent FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake.

    “It’s nice to see the new ownership of Cabin Creek working hard to return the company to its former glory," he said. "They were able to overnight me a shipment of tubes that helped me catch five fish on day 2. It’s very simple, their product catches fish.”

  • Berkley trailer heads for Sioux Falls

    Berkley trailer heads for Sioux Falls

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Scheels All Sports in Sioux Falls, S.D. this Friday through Sunday (April 25-27). In its 9th year, the trailer has been completely redesigned to provide anglers with a better hands-on experience.

    Four highly trained Berkley professionals will be available to provide in-depth knowledge on products, knot tying, line selection and bait choice.

    “We are extremely excited about the upgrades to the trailer and the experiences that anglers of all skill levels will have this year,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is ready to answer your questions and help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about fishing, our passion and our company’s heritage."

    The trailer's next stop will be May 1-3 at Scheels All Sports in Fargo, N.D.

  • ESPN's Corso will speak at ICAST

    ESPN's Corso will speak at ICAST

    ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso will be this year’s State of the Industry Breakfast keynote speaker at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) in July.

    The breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. on July 16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

    Corso is known as one of college football’s most knowledgeable, opinionated and entertaining analysts. He is a key member of ESPN’s college football team, serving as an analyst on “College GameDay,” the network’s signature Saturday morning show. Corso joined ESPN in 1987 after 28 years as a coach at the college and professional levels, including 17 seasons as a head coach.

    Tickets are required and can be purchased by calling Experient customer service at (301) 694-5243 or when registering for the show.

    ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association, the sportfishing industry’s trade association, which looks out for the interests of the sportfishing community. The world’s largest sportfishing trade show annually hosts 10,000 members of the global recreational fishing industry.

  • ULM won with final-day rally

    ULM won with final-day rally

    The University of Louisiana-Monroe team of Dustin Perkins and Trapper Munn weighed just three fish on the first day of the College B.A.S.S. Central Regional at the Ouachita River, but caught a double-digit limit on day 2 to claim the top slot.

    To read about it, click here.

  • B.A.S.S. Nation headed to Ouachita

    B.A.S.S. Nation headed to Ouachita

    The 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship will be held on Louisiana’s Ouachita River, Nov. 6-8, B.A.S.S. announced today. Anglers will be competing for six spots in the
    2015 Bassmaster Classic.

    The venue was also the site of the 2011 event, which Alabama’s Jamie Horton won. By virtue of his victory, Horton earned an invitation to compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series.

    “It’s always good to go back to Monroe,” said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation director. “The host and the community really make us feel welcome.”

    The pool of contenders is made up of anglers from 47 states, one province (Ontario, Canada) and eight foreign countries.

    “Australia and Namibia, our two newest nations, will likely send their first competitors to this year’s championship,” Stewart said.

    Both countries joined the B.A.S.S. Nation in early 2014. Other countries that are represented at the championship are Japan, Mexico, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Italy and Spain.

    Another country may send a qualifier, too. Portugal is working on finalizing its status as a B.A.S.S. Nation chapter. If it becomes an official member of the B.A.S.S. Nation in time, Portugal will also have a contender in the championship.

    The only contender who is currently qualified to compete in this year's championship is Jeff Lugar of Virginia, who will be defending his title from 2013. Other competitors will qualify by winning their state or nation in upcoming divisionals. Also, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Tour will send its Angler of the Year to compete.

    The first group of anglers will gain their berths in the championship will come this week, as the Southern Divisional takes place on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula. The final qualifiers will be decided months later in New York at the Eastern Divisional in September.

    Official practice for the championship will be Nov. 4 and 5.

    The winner of each division at the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship will be invited to compete in the 2015 Classic in Greenville, S.C.

  • Balog: Beaver a good barometer

    Balog: Beaver a good barometer

    In this week's edition of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog opines that this year's FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake provides strong evidence that the most accomplished anglers will consistently finish at the top of the standings, whether umbrella rigs are in play or not. That being the case, he's still glad the contraptions have been disallowed at the tour level.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Sonar: A shared future awaits

    Sonar: A shared future awaits

    Miles Burghoff has been solely focused on his goal of becoming a tour-level angler since the summer of 2006. No longer can he think purely in individual terms, however, as he recently became engaged to be married.

    To read the newest Sonar Sound-Off, click here.

  • TTBC field finalized

    The field for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) next month at Lake Fork has been finalized. The 50-man field, consisting of the Top 15 finishers from the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour and PAA Tournament Series Angler of the Year points, will compete May 9-11 at one of the premier big-fish lakes in the country.

    “We’re extremely excited to have the most outstanding anglers in the world competing in the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic," said tournament director Lenny Francoeur. "This tournament can truly say that we have the best of the best competing on the most historical bass fishing lake in Texas. From legendary anglers to Lake Fork rookies, the competition will be fierce, the bass will be enormous and I can’t wait to see who will take home the trophy and title of world champion."

    The 2014 TTBC field is one of the strongest to date. The field has a combined $64 million in career earnings, 234 tournament victories, 21 AOY titles and 18 major championship wins. The field includes past TTBC winner Keith Combs (2011, 2013), Bryan Thrift (2012), Brian Snowden (2010), Kelly Jordon (2008) and Terry Scroggins (2007).

    “The TTBC is my favorite event of the season," said Combs. "Considering how an angler has to qualify for this event it is the strongest field that we compete against all year. I spent some time this past winter familiarizing myself with Lake Fork. It will be a late spawn/early summer tournament which means a lot of movement and it will take big weights to win.”

    Due to the 16-to 24-inch slot limit on Lake Fork, there are no professional tournaments held there, so this will be the first time since the 2008 TTBC, that pro anglers will take to the water for a pro competition. The full field will compete the first 2 days before it's reduced to the top 10 for the final round. The tournament is a non-entry fee event and all 50 competing anglers will receive guaranteed prize money.

    Through a continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), TTBC will continue its focus on conservation efforts and adhere to a strict catch, weigh and immediate release format.

    The Toyota Texas Bass Classic will be located on the grounds of the Sabine River Authority (SRA) just east of the Lake Fork dam in Quitman, Texas. The Outdoor Expos, TPWD Adventures Area, Bass Pro Shop’s Kid Zone, and the live concerts will all take place at SRA.

    For more information visit or call 1-866-907-0143.

    Following the field for the 2014 TTBC, listed with hometown and how qualified:

    > Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Todd Auten – Lake Wylie, S.C. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Adrian Avena – Vineland, N.J. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Tommy Biffle – Wagoner, Okla. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ark. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Tommy Brown – Louisville, Tenn. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Hank Cherry – Maiden, N.C. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Jason Christie – Park Hill, Okla. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Luke Clausen – Otis Orchards, Wash. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Keith Combs – Huntington, Texas – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Brandon Coulter – Knoxville, Tenn. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > John Crews – Salem, Va. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Cliff Crochet – Pierre Part, La. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Ott DeFoe – Knoxville, Tenn. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Jim Dillard – West Monroe, La. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Brent Ehrler – Redlands, Ca. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Edwin Evers – Talala, Okla. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Todd Faircloth – Jasper, Texas – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Texas – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Randy Haynes – Counce, Tenn. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Mike Iaconelli – Pittsgrove, N.J. – Sponsor Exemption
    > Alton Jones – Lorena, Texas – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Kelly Jordon – Palestine, Texas – Sponsor Exemption
    > Russ Lane – Prattville, Ala. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Bobby Lane – Lakeland, Fla. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Justin Lucas – Guntersville, Ala. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Aaron Martens – Leeds, Ala. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Mike McClelland – Bella Vista, Ark. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Cody Meyer – Auburn, Ca. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Ish Monroe – Hughson, Ca. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Dan Morehead – Paducah, Ky. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Cliff Pace – Petal, Miss. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Brandon Palaniuk – Rathdrum, Id. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Jacob Powroznik – Prince George, Va. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Kelly Power – Cape Fair, Mo. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Matt Reed – Madisonville, Texas – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Fred Roumbanis – Bixby, Okla. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Terry Scroggins – San Mateo, Fla. – Sponsor Exemption
    > Spencer Shuffield – Hot Springs, Ark. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Brian Snowden – Reeds Spring, Mo. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Gerald Swindle – Warrior, Ala. – Sponsor Exemption
    > Randall Tharp – Port Saint Joe, Fla. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 2012 TTBC Defending Champion
    > Kevin VanDam – Kalamazoo, Mich. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > Greg Vinson – Wetumpka, Ala. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points
    > James Watson – Waynesville, Mo. – PAA Tournament Series AOY Points
    > Jay Yelas – Corvallis, Ore. – FLW Tour AOY Points
    > Chris Zaldain – San Jose, Ca. – Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Points

  • Rankings: Morgan extends lead

    With a pair of runner-up finishes in the last three FLW Tour events, Andy Morgan has solidified his hold on the No. 1 slot in the BassFan World Rankings. Meanwhile, Cody Meyer, who's battling Morgan for this year's Angler of the Year title, cracks the Top 5 for the first time.

    To see the full list, click here.

  • Gallery: Scenes from Beaver

    Get a behind-the-scenes look at the action from the Beaver Lake FLW Tour by exploring our photo gallery from last week's event. To view the gallery, click here.

  • Crews, Missile Baits team up for autism awareness

    Elite Series pro John Crews and Missile Baits are running several programs this month to raise funds for autism awareness again this year.

    Last year, Crews and his soft plastics company combined to raise more than $1,600 for various autism charities.

    This year, Crews is auctioning off a specially-designed jersey he wore at the Table Rock Lake Elite Series event that features the interlocking puzzle pieces that is a symbol for autism awareness. To view the auction and/or place a bid, click here.

    In addition, Elite Series emcee and TV personality Dave Mercer pledged to match the winning bid amount in the form of a donation to Autism Speaks.

    Also, Missile Baits will donate a portion of its sales during the month of April to the Vista School, a Hershey, Pa.-based school that specializes in assisting children living with autism.

    There is a limited supply of autism awareness t-shirts and lapel pins available for purchase on the Missile Baits website with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Autism Society. Each item features the logo of My Little Buddy’s Boat, an autism awareness non-profit group that benefits various charities and was started by avid bass angler Eli Delany.

    “Last year went great for raising awareness and funds," Crews said. "I think we can really do much more for raising money and awareness. Dave Mercer has joined the effort and I hope more people will help spread the word. The CDC just updated the statistics on autism now effecting 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Autism is increasing and I am going to do all I can to let everyone know about how alarming this is and how many people this affects.”

  • Livingston backs MLF

    Major League Fishing announced today that Livingston Lures has signed a multi-year contract to sponsor the league’s Cup and Select events.

    “This is a strong commitment from a company within the fishing industry, and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Livingston Lures to Major League Fishing now and in the future,” said Major League Fishing general manager Jim Wilburn. “We have a product in Major League Fishing that is growing stronger in the marketplace every day, and Livingston Lures is a growing company with a great future. This is an excellent partnership.”

  • Balog: PWL is the real deal

    Balog: PWL is the real deal

    Joe Balog tuned into the most recent Pro Web Live seminar because he was curious about the newest fishing seminar format and it didn't cost him anything to do so. He didn't expect to come away thinking it would've been worth the regular admission price ($50), but that's exactly what happened. He claims that he learned things from Shaw Grigsby that he never could've gotten from a sport-show demonstration or a TV program, and he'll gladly pony up for future sessions (not the next two, though, as they're free for everybody).

    To read the latest installment of Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Going shallow was the key for Tervin

    Going shallow was the key for Tervin

    A small Texas-rigged swimbait proved to be the right choice for Bill Tervin, who captured the Grand Lake Central Rayovac Series after coming in with just four fish on day 1.

    To read how he bounced back from a slow start and about other details of his winning pattern, click here.

  • Video: Fish go nuts over Zaldain's A-Rig

    After a poor finish at the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Elite Series, Chris Zaldain stuck around for a couple days and did some fun fishing and underwater filming.

    He compiled the below video from footage taken with a Sony ActionCam. He was able to rig the camera similar to a super-sized Carolina rig in order to get the footage of the umbrella rig and how some Table Rock bass attacked it. Pretty cool footage all around.

  • UMF: New season, no imaginary barrier

    UMF: New season, no imaginary barrier

    The popular Ultimate Match Fishing, hosted by Joe Thomas and Fish Fishburne, returned to the Outdoor Channel this week. In a new twist, the imaginary line dividing the boat that competitors could not cast across has been eliminated.

    "It got to the point where guys got so good at blocking out the angler in the back of the boat that we had to revisit the rule,” UMF referee Mark Randolph explained on the show’s Facebook page. “Who wants to see a guy in the back of the boat sitting on the motor cowling as the guy in front works a bedding fish? Now, the angler in the back can fire away as long as he doesn't cast over the front angler's line. It's wide open and trust me ... it gets crazy."

    Competition was taped at Lake Okeechobee in December. First-round matchups are Jeff Kriet vs. Anthony Gagliardi, Stephen Browning vs. Randall Tharp, Jacob Wheeler vs. Harold Allen, Stetson Blaylock vs. Jason Quinn, Brent Ehrler vs. Ish Monroe and Roland Martin vs. Scott Martin.

    A new episode premieres each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. EST. They’re replayed at 10 a.m. on Thursdays and 6:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

    For more, visit

  • Simonton signs with Jann’s Netcraft

    Simonton signs with Jann’s Netcraft

    Jann’s Netcraft, the fishing component supplier that’s been in business since 1941, has signed Bassmaster Elite Series pro Michael Simonton to a sponsorship deal.

    "I've been a customer of Jann's Netcraft for over 15 years,” he said. “All the jigs and spinnerbait components that I use to this day were purchased from Jann's. They're always looking for ways to make tackle-building better and easier for their customers and are really nice people, too. What I hope to do is show people that building tackle isn't as difficult as it may seem and can be very rewarding."

    Said Jann’s advertising manager Patricia Jankowski: “Michael’s long-time interest in fishing-lure design fits well with our goal of offering customers innovative fishing tackle components at the best value possible. Michael also shares our commitment in supporting youth fishing and education. We look forward to a successful partnership.”

  • Leer launches contingency program

    Leer launches contingency program

    Truck-cap manufacturer Leer has launched a contingency program for tournament anglers call Cover Cash. To be eligible, anglers must own or purchase a Leer truck cap or Tonneau cover for their primary tow vehicle, signup for the free Cover Cash program at and then be the highest-finishing participant in any of the over 300 approved tournaments.

    “Supporting tournament bass anglers simply makes great sense,” said Leer VP of sales, marketing and business development Kevin Page. “Tournament anglers tow with trucks, and within our California, Indiana and Pennsylvania factories, we produce the finest quality fiberglass caps and covers to help make sure the rods, reels, spare trolling motors and countless numbers of lures that our angling customers carry stay protected as they travel thousands of miles a year to tournaments.”

    Circuits supported by the program consist of B.A.S.S., FLW, TBF, ABA Weekend Series and LBAA. The following team trails are also eligible: Alabama Bass Trail, Bass Champs, Nichols Marine Tournament Series, Platinum Team Trail, Priority Fishing Team Series, Skeeter XFL, Texas Team Trail and the Bassmaster Team Championship.

    Payouts will range from $150 to $1,000. For example, a Bassmaster Open will pay a single award of $300 on the boater side and $150 to the highest placing non-boater. Team trail events will offer $150 to both the highest-finishing and second-highest finishing eligible angler in a regular season event.

    Anglers can sign up at the URL above or by calling (918) 742-6424.

  • Gallery: Scenes from Table Rock

    Mike McClelland stole the show at the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Elite Series, winning at the lake where he learned how to fish. At the same time, Mark Davis continued his torrid start with a runner-up finish that gave him a 30-plus point edge in the Angler of the Year race after three events.

    To view our photo gallery of the scene at Table Rock, click here.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Table Rock

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

    Coming off a disappointing 56th-place finish at his home waters on the St. Johns River 2 weeks ago, Cliff Prince didn’t exactly rinse the sour taste from his mouth on day 1 at the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Elite Series.

    His 9-06 limit, which came out of the White River, left him in 97th place and wondering what his next move should be. On day 2, he escaped the crowds of tournament boats that had gone up the White and opted to fish the James River. The resulting 19-10 bag catapulted him to 12th place. He went on to fish the remainder the event in the James, catching fish on bluff walls with an array of jerkbaits. He made his first 12-cut since early last season and wound up 9th with 57-15, just 4 pounds off the winning weight.

    "I'm really kicking myself now," he said. "If I hadn't have went up the White the first day, I could've made a run at the win. One of these times, I'm going to make the right decisions four days in a row and maybe win one of these deals."

    His decision to run up the White to start the event was a result of a decent half-day of practice he spent there. What he wasn't expecting, though, was many other tournament boats to crammed into the same area.

    "I got more bites and just as many keepers up there, but I didn't realize that many people would be up there," he said. "It was like musical chairs. When I'd leave, someone else would pull right in and vice versa. Some guys would cruise by and just look at you like they were waiting for you to leave.

    "In the James, there weren't as many tournament anglers. I think (Brandon) Palaniuk was up there on the second and third day, but there was a lot of local pressure and they were all throwing the Alabama Rig. It didn't seem to affect the fish at all."

    To catch his fish, he was making casts parallel to bluff walls where the channel hit the bank and left the bank. The breezy conditions were most conducive to his pattern and he said the less the action the bait had, the more effective it was.

    "It was so cold they didn't want a bait that had a lot of action," he said. "The bluff had to have shelves or steps. It couldn't be a 45-degree bank. It had to be a sheer wall, almost vertical. Sometimes if the shelf was there, I'd be sitting in 10 to 14 feet or sometimes I'd be over 40 feet.

    "The key was getting the bait down there and deadsticking it. Most of the fish were coming in the 6- to 8-foot range. I'd jerk it down there and pause it and just so slightly twitch it or tick it."

    He also jerked a number of fish out of one particular tree throughout the event.

    "I caught a limit out of that tree on day 2 and over the next 2 days, I caught 10 more there," he said. "I don't know how many fish were on that one tree. I just caught a ton of fish this week. At one point, I looked at my marshal and said, 'Just how many fish are in this lake?'"

    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.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Table Rock

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

    Skeet Reese said he had one big fish on this week that tied him in a tree and broke off. Other than that, he was mostly pleased with how he performed at the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Elite Series, where he posted a season-best 13th-place finish.

    "Outside of that fish, I fished as good as I could've fished," he said. "I just never had a big bite outside of what I landed. I wouldn't have changed anything. It would've been nice to catch something bigger than 3 pounds."

    He said he averaged between 30 and 40 keepers the first 2 days, but that number dipped to 20 on day 3 when he caught 11-15, his lightest bag of the event.

    "The whole tournament I felt like I knew I had a pattern, but unfortunately everyone else got on the same stuff and I wound up running the same water as a bunch of boats," he said. "I shared fish and never had anything to myself. I'm sure there were other patterns going on. I just didn't get them figured out."

    He focus was on stained water, which produced more consistent activity than clearer water down lake.

    "I stuck with that all 3 days and spent all of my time up the rivers," he added. "I never even practiced main-lake stuff."

    He caught most of his fish cranking bluff walls and gravel points.

    "There's a whole other group of fish transitioning to those gravel points," he said. "That's more of a pre-spawn deal and in another week those gravel points will be really good."

    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.

  • Beaver bass a little behind

    Jay Yelas and Luke Clausen both sense the weights at the Beaver Lake FLW Tour will be down from the standards set the last couple of years because the fish seem to be a bit behind schedule. Click here to read their day-1 practice recap in BassFan's Pro View Report.

  • Tervin claims Grand Lake Central Rayovac win

    Bill Tervin weighed 17-02 during Saturday's final round to capture the win at the Grand Lake Central Rayovac Series. He posted a 3-day total of 48-05 to claim $40,000 in cash and a new Ranger Z518.

    He won despite not having a limit on day 1.

    “This is pretty incredible,” said Tervin, a former FLW Tour co-angler who earned his first victory from the front of the boat. “It still hasn’t really sunk in yet. To get a win against the caliber of anglers that were in this top-10 is pretty special.”

    Tervin caught everything he weighed on a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper (sprayed grass) fished in 1 to 2 feet of water as he targeted pea gravel and rocky transition banks near spawning flats. Additional details of Tervin's pattern will be published soon.

    “The advice that my dad would always give me was really key this week,” Tervin said. “He would always tell me, ‘Bill, slow down, you’re fishing too fast.’ I really slowed down and I think that was pretty important.”

    Fellow Oklahoman Darrel Robertson moved up to claim 2nd with 47-08 while day-2 leader Wesley Strader slipped to 3rd with 46-14.

    Here's how the top 10 lined up at the end.

    1. Bill Tervin: 48-05
    2. Darrel Robertson: 47-08
    3. Wesley Strader: 46-14
    4. Travis Fox: 45-11
    5. J.T. Kenney: 45-04
    6. Ricky Scott: 44-02
    7. Dan Morehead: 41-02
    8. Dale Hightower: 40-02
    9. Koby Kreiger: 36-08
    10. Stuart Arthur: 35-07

  • Strader strides to the lead at Grand Lake

    Wesley Strader came in 5 pounds lighter than what he caught on day 1, but his 15-pound stringer today pushed him to the lead after 2 days of the Grand Lake Central Rayovac Series.

    Strader, one of eight FLW Tour regulars to qualify for the final day, has 35-01 with one day remaining. Travis Fox caught 19-09 today and is 2nd with 33-13 while JT Kenney is close behind with 33-08 in 3rd after bagging 14-10 today.

    Day-1 leader Sam Rosefsky weighed just one fish for 2-09 and finished 19th.

    Below is a rundown of the anglers who qualified to fish the final day:

    1. Wesley Strader: 35-01
    2. Travis Fox: 33-13
    3. JT Kenney: 33-08
    4. Koby Kreiger: 32-09
    5. Ricky D. Scott: 32-05
    6. Dale Hightower: 32-00
    7. Bill Tervin: 31-03
    8. Darrel Robertson: 29-13
    9. Dan Morehead: 28-14
    10. Stuart Arthur: 28-12

  • Pros offer tips on adapting to changing weather

    Pros offer tips on adapting to changing weather

    The following piece was submitted by industry rep Alan McGuckin, who's on the scene at the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Elite Series this week.

    After B.A.S.S. officials purposely hurried through weigh-in to outpace another dangerous fast approaching storm, Elite Series pros Britt Myers, Gerald Swindle and Terry Scroggins rushed to prepare tackle and watch the weather radar together at a house they’re sharing near Blue Eye, Mo., along Table Rock Lake’s shoreline.

    As much as discussion centered on the importance of getting one good bite to separate yourself from the super-tight pack of 10- to 13-pound limits, wise minds were on the weather.

    Rightfully so, because while Myers, Swindle and Scroggins chewed on the cheeseburgers that Gerald’s wife, LeAnn, had grilled for them, warm, humid, 75-degree air was violently being replaced by the 40-degree air and gusty north breezes that are greeting them on Day 2 at Table Rock.

    “Is the weather gonna hurt you or help you tomorrow" was the $100,000 question posed by emcee Dave Mercer at one point during the Day 1 weigh-in, and frankly it may be the single most important factor that affects anglers of all levels, no matter the entry fee they pay or even the species they pursue.

    “Rain, hail, wind, heavy clouds, lightning, and sunshine – oh, it was a great day for fishing,” Swindle quipped before graciously offering advice on how anglers need to adapt to ever-changing weather conditions that are so prevalent at this time of year.

    Below is a quick primer on fishing in rapidly-changing conditions in the spring:

    When Warm Air is Replaced by Much Colder Temps
    Swindle: “No matter if the air temp is rising or falling, you better be paying attention to the wind direction. In other words, if it’s gusting from the north instead of the south, plan on fishing the shoreline opposite of what you did the day before.

    "Way too many anglers make the mistake of going right back to the same stretch of shoreline they caught ‘em on yesterday – and if the wind ain’t there – you’re probably not going to catch ‘em.”

    Swindle adds that the presence of wind is absolutely critical to getting bit on clear water lakes like Table Rock.

    Clouds vs. Sun
    Swindle: “When clouds are replaced by sun, you need to be making tighter casts. Sun is going to push bass tighter to the bluff walls, tighter to the boat dock, tighter to that boulder, tighter to that laydown – and you better be making casts that are precise enough to put your lure in those tight places because the bass are far less likely to run out and chase a lackadaisical cast like you might have scored with under clouds the previous day.”

    When the Wind Stops Blowing
    While Swindle warns to chase the wind, especially on a clear water reservoir, sometimes there’s very little wind to chase, and that’s when his Scroggins reaches for a spinning reel.

    “If it slicks off, you’d better be picking up that shaky head, drop shot or stuffing a 1/4-ounce shaky head inside a tube or Gitzit,” says Scroggins.

    What to do when Storms Bring Lightning and High Winds
    Myers still speaks with a tone of fear and humility from memories of high wind waves that once took away his bravado and outboard motor.

    “The winds got so big at a BFL tournament I fished years ago on Santee Cooper that the pounding jerked my outboard off the boat. It was hanging by the cables,” he recalled.

    Added Swindle, “You wanna fish like a pro? Then use the common sense the good Lord gave you and seek shelter when huge winds and lightning roll in. I’d sure hate to get killed by lightning on Friday, knowing that I had a chance to go fishing Saturday and Sunday.”

  • Rosefsky leads at Grand with 23-01

    Illinois angler Sam Rosefsky, who has one previous Top-10 Rayovac Series finish to his credit, is out front at the Grand Lake Central Rayovac Series today after assembling a 23-01 stringer.

    He leads a pack of anglers in the Top 10 that includes six FLW Tour regulars.

    Wesley Strader was the only other pro in the 173-boat field to break the 20-pound mark. His 20-01 effort has him in 2nd while Koby Kreiger caught 19-07 and sits in 3rd. JT Kenney weighed 18-14 and is 4th while Sammy Burks slipped into 5th with 18-10.

    Here's how the Top 10 looks after day 1 in Oklahoma:

    1. Sam Rosefsky: 23-01
    2. Wesley Strader: 20-01
    3. Koby Kreiger: 19-07
    4. JT Kenney: 18-14
    5. Sammy Burks: 18-10
    6. Blake Neighbors: 18-00
    7. Darrel Robertson: 17-04
    8. Dan Morehead: 16-00
    9. Mike Gabel: 15-14
    10. Stuart Arthur: 15-12

  • Mercury Marine opens museum

    Mercury Marine opens museum

    As part of Mercury Marine’s year-long 75th-anniversary celebration, the company opened the doors today to the Mercury Marine Museum in Fond du Lac, Wis.

    The new 5,000-square-feet museum offers an in-depth look at the heritage and history of Mercury Marine, which was formed in Cedarburg, Wis., in 1939 but moved to Fond du Lac seven years later.

    “Mercury Marine has such a rich history and it’ll be a joy to share that with folks across the state of Wisconsin and around the world as they visit our museum,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine. “Even if you aren’t a boater you will still be able to see how Mercury has played a vital role in this community.”

    In addition to marine engines, the museum showcases snowmobiles, chainsaws and motorized bikes once engineered and manufactured by Mercury, and even a prototype lawnmower. Exhibits include a look at Mercury’s mysterious Lake X testing facility in Florida. Also displayed is the first engine built by Kiekhaefer.

    The museum is located inside the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac at 75 W. Scott Street. Admission to the museum is $1, which will be donated to a different charity each month.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Balog: Salute to the two-tour pros

    Balog: Salute to the two-tour pros

    Joe Balog has been impressed by the performances of some of the anglers who are competing on both the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour this year, and marvels at how they continue to excel during the current marathon stretch of events. It's his hope that more of the game's best will follow their example in the future.

    To read the latest installment of Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Rayburn

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

    Scott Wiley fished the same water on each of the first 2 days of last week's Sam Rayburn Reservoir FLW Tour. His results, though, were dramatically different.

    Wiley, a second-year pro from Alabama, was buried in 157th place after the first day, when he weighed a two-fish bag for 3-12. A day later, he'd moved up 110 places in the standings and earned a $10,000 check following a 20-10 stringer.

    "I like to throw a Spro Bronzeye Frog," he said. "The fish that first day were blowing up on it and knocking it up in the air, but they wouldn't take it. The next day I caught probably 35 keepers along that same stretch.

    "I guess the difference was the cold front (that moved into the Lufkin, Texas area prior to day 1). I don't know how else to explain it."

    He found his key stretch of grass during the late afternoon on one of the practice days. It had a ditch running through the middle that was perhaps 4 feet deep, whereas the depth on the sides was only about 1 1/2 feet.

    He had it all to himself for both days.

    "Those were post-spawn fish," he said. "The ditch led into a big spawning flat and the fish were sitting on the edge of it feeding on shad. The more the sun shined, the better they seemed to bite – they bit better as the day went on. The first day the sun didn't shine at all, and that probably hurt me."

    He's cashed a check in all three events this year and currently sits at No. 33 on the points list.

    "My goal is to make the Forrest Wood Cup, and so far I'm headed in the right direction with three more (tournaments) to go."

    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.

  • College: Stevens Point stomp-down

    College: Stevens Point stomp-down

    Teams from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point claimed the Top 2 positions at the recent Bassmaster College Series MIdwestern Regional at Lake of the Ozarks. To read about how Mark Hugus and Cody Hahner prevailed over the field, click here.

  • Howell featured on Bass Edge Radio

    Howell featured on Bass Edge Radio

    Bassmaster Classic winner Randy Howell is featured on the newest Bass Edge Radio podcast, hosted by Aaron Martin and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kurt Dove.

    “Randy has been a part of Bass Edge Radio for many years and it's great to have him back as Bassmaster Classic champion.” Dove said. “Randy is always entertaining, as he is a veteran of the airwaves.”

    The podcast is available free on iTunes and

  • Blowout victory at BCB event

    Blowout victory at BCB event

    Dave Crisenberry and Larry Davenport had to beat out 377 other teams to win the 2014 Bass Cat Boats Owners Invitational at Arkansas' Lake Norfork, and they beat them all handily.

    Crisenberry, a resident of Flippin, Ark., and Davenport (Yellville, Ark.) compiled a 2-day total of 28.31 pounds. That was almost 7 pounds better than the runner-up team of Mike Farris and Doug Small, which tallied 21.36.

    Aaron Adams and Doug King comprised the only other team to exceed 20 pounds (20.01). For full results, click here.

    The 1st-place prize package included a new Bass Cat Eyra.

    Overall big-bass honors went to Arkansans James Whittle and Allen Westfall with a 5.12-pounder. Chris Iliohan and Jeremy Baird, who traveled all the way from Ontario, Canada for the event, had a 4.91-pounder on day 1.

    Want to see how a Bass Cat is produced? The company recently uploaded a seven-part Factory Tour Series to its YouTube channel that details the primary steps. Part 1, which covers the gel-coat application process, is embedded below.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Rayburn

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

    Rob Kilby's failure to make the final-day cut at last week's Sam Rayburn Reservoir FLW Tour came down to one big one that got away. If that bruiser had found its way into his boat, he'd have advanced to Sunday with several pounds to spare.

    "The third day, about 10 o'clock or so, I had three fish in the well," the veteran from Arkansas related. "I was throwing a swimjig in 2 feet of water and a big one grabbed it. She turned sideways and I could see she was about 8 inches wide – she might've been a 10-pounder.

    "She left a big old mud stream and after she'd gone about 3 feet, the hook came out. It was the only fish I lost in 3 days and it was the difference between having 15 pounds and having over 20."

    He said he had one day during practice when he could've brought about 28 pounds to the scale.

    "I had five big ones that day. I never could catch more than one big one each day during the tournament and I don't know why."

    The 10-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier rates Rayburn on par with Guntersville as his favorite lakes in the country.

    "It just basically lines up with my eye," he said. "It's got a lot of grass and the same kinds of vegetation I was raised on fishing here in Arkansas. Even though it's best known as a deep structure lake, it's got a lot of shallow fishing.

    "To me, a good lake is one where you can catch them shallow or deep at any time of the year, and it fits that bill."

    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.

  • Tagged bass at Grand worth big money

    Tulsa World outdoors writer Kelly Bostian penned a piece on Tuesday highlighting a tagged bass program at Grand Lake that could net one lucky angler $250,000.

    As part of the inaugural Grand Lake Extravaganza, which is being run by the Grand Lake Association, 500 bass caught in recent tournaments were tagged and released back into Grand Lake. Some fish will be worth $50, others $500, $1,000 or even $10,000. One bass is carrying a $25,000 tag and another is swimming with a $250,000 tag, which is sponsored by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

    To be eligible to win prizes, adults with a valid fishing license must purchase a $20 badge online or at bait shops around Grand Lake. The contest opened April 1 and will run through May 18.

    To read more,click here.

  • Lucas is focus of 'Rocket' promo

    Lucas is focus of 'Rocket' promo

    Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Justin Lucas has rocketed to the top of his game, making the Top-12 cut in the first two events and currently sits in 3rd place in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year race. To celebrate, Abu Garcia and Berkley are teaming up to create the “Rocket to the Top” promotion, giving fans the chance to guess which position Justin will finish in each of the remaining 2014 Elite events.

    Fans have six chances to win prize packs valued at $499 each that include an Abu Garcia Revo Rocket reel, Berkley Trilene Braid and Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon lines, a PowerBait tackle bag, Berkley sunglasses and the newest baits from Berkley.

    Entering the “Rocket to the Top” promotion is easy. To enter, visit either the Abu Garcia or Berkley Facebook page.

    “I really want to see how high I can climb on the Elite series,” said Lucas. “This promotion is a great way to participate and win some impressive prizes. Fans just need to guess where I will finish at each tournament, from 1st place to 108th, to be eligible to win. It's that easy.”

    Entrants are encouraged to return for each event to enter a single guess.

    “Fishing on the Elites is a goal I’ve wanted to accomplish for quite sometime, but now my goals are set much higher,” said Lucas. “I'm fortunate to have great sponsors like Abu Garcia and Berkley supporting me along the way.”

  • Iaconelli on “The Rock”

    Iaconelli on “The Rock”

    (Editor's note: Here's a short feature on Mike Iaconelli from industry rep Alan McGuckin, who's on-site at Table Rock this week.)

    Locals proudly call this cedar-lined, 43,100-acre reservoir in the Ozarks “The Rock." For Mike Iaconelli, it sets the stage for an unavoidable pun.

    After a 75th-place finish at Lake Seminole and a 64th on the St. Johns River, he finds himself between “The Rock” and a hard place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings as he and the other Elite Series pros practice on Table Rock today.

    Will this be the tournament where Ike turns around his 2014 season?

    “I’ve had good finishes here and I’ve had bad finishes here, but most importantly this lake holds one of the greatest memories of my career and life, because this is where we were the day I won the 2006 Angler of the Year title,” he reflected.

    So leveraged by positive memories delivered here 8 years ago, Iaconelli is breaking “The Rock” into thirds.

    “I’ll practice the lower end one day, mid-lake the next and the upper end as well until I get a feel for where I’m getting the most bites and gaining the most confidence,” he said of an approach that Rick Clunn has long professed to figuring out any large reservoir, and which Iaconelli now teaches in the Bass University courses he hosts.

    “The cool thing about Table Rock is that it patterns really well, so if you figure something out in practice, you can usually apply it throughout the competition days."

    He’s guessing he’ll need an average of 15 pounds a day to make the Top 12 cut.

    “It’s early April, but it’s been such a harsh winter that the water temps are still in the 40s and nature is behind its normal schedule, so I’ll approach this more as a pre-spawn tournament than the bed-fishing tournament it might normally be."

    With bed-fishing mostly ruled out, Iaconelli says he’ll rely on Rapala’s DT crankbaits, as well as a no-longer made, hard to get series of vintage Wiggle Warts that sell on eBay for about $50 a piece, plus a Berkley Beat Shad swimbait, and of course, the shaky-head that has served as a productive security blanket over the many successful years of his pro career.

    Perhaps the most important tool he’ll have onboard this week will be a list of notes he’s written to himself with a Sharpie and taped to the inside of his windshield – mental reminders to not rule out anything, to aggressively fish everything the day will allow and to never give up, especially when caught between a rock and a hard place.

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