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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

  • Wisconsin cop grabs Champlain lead

    Wisconsin cop grabs Champlain lead

    Scott Siller, a 44-year-old policeman from Milwaukee, Wis. who's in his second season of competing in the Bassmaster Northern Opens, took the day-1 lead in the event at Lake Champlain on Thursday with a stringer weighing 20 pounds even.

    “I really didn’t have a very good practice,” he said. “I had a couple of areas where I caught some big fish (largemouth), and I went in there today and within an hour and a half I had about 20 pounds.”

    Siller held a 10-ounce lead over Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike Iaconelli, who sacked 19-06. Iaconelli, who's in the midst of a mediocre season on the Elite trail, may need a victory to get into the 2015 Bassmaster Classic barring a big move up the standings in the final two regular-season events and the AOY championship. He secured his berth in this year's Classic by winning the Open at Lake Erie last September.

    Ryan Cooper was 3rd with 19-01, followed by FLW Tour standout Shiniki Fukae in 4th with 18-13. Richard Nitkiewicz, making his debut at the Open level, completed the Top 5 with 18-11.

    Here's a look at the initial Top 12:

    1. Scott Siller: 20-00
    2. Mike Iaconelli: 19-06
    3. Ryan Cooper: 19-01
    4. Shinichi Fukae: 18-13
    5. Richard Nitkiewicz: 18-11
    6. James Vitaro: 18-09
    7. Jordan Lee: 17-13
    8. Joseph Wood: 17-09
    9. Aaron Martens: 17-07
    10. Dave Wolak: 17-06
    11. Chris Daves: 17-03
    12. Richard McCrone: 17-02

  • Tackle Grab to launch race-related contest

    Tackle Grab to launch race-related contest

    Tackle Grab announced this week the 2014 Rods, Reels and Racing online sweepstakes. Working with partner, Earnhardt Outdoors, the lifestyle brand founded by siblings Kerry Earnhardt, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the two organizations will offer three prizes for participants who “Like” the Tackle Grab Facebook page or spread the word about the contest via the Facebook “Share” function.

    The sweepstakes prizes include:

    > Grand Prize (one winner): One all-expenses paid trip for two to the stock car race weekend in Homestead, Florida in November, a meet-and-greet with Kerry, Kelley and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and a private fishing excursion with Kerry Earnhardt. Prize includes round-trip airfare, four nights hotel accommodations, $500 spending cash and two tickets to all three series races.

    > Second Prize (five winners): Each winner receives a Dobyns rod and a Daiwa reel.

    > Third Prize (10 winners): Each winner receives Tackle Grab apparel and 3-month credit for gift membership.

    For more information, go to

  • Bloomberg looks at meter madness produced a story this week about the ongoing battles among depthfinder manufacturers concerning the rights to technological advancements. It notes that more than a half-dozen U.S. patent-infringement suits have been filed in the past year between the five top makers of marine electronics, including three complaints lodged over the past 2 months.

    To read the article, click here.

  • Go where the fish live – literally

    Got any scuba gear lying around? If so, you might consider taking it along the next time you go fishing to turn the excursion into a three-dimensional affair.

    The YouTube video embedded below was shot at Green Lake in Minnesota.

  • Balog: What's the best test?

    Balog: What's the best test?

    Joe Balog found himself in a debate with a friend recently over which type of tournament is best for determining the most skillful anglers – a slugfest or a tough-bite event. There are points to be made on both sides.

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

  • Coble snares Kingston Open win

    North Carolina angler Jeff Coble became the first non-Canadian to win the Kingston Canadian Open after he tallied up 72.05 pounds over 3 days last weekend at Lake Ontario. Coble overcame a small deficit entering the final day with a 24.15-pound haul that saw him finish with the highest winning weight in the 5-year history of the event.

    According to a report in the Kingston Whig-Standard, a daring bit of fish management on the final day also aided Coble's cause as he made an hour-long ride back to shore to weigh in three fish after one of his keepers was showing signs of stress in his livewell. He ran back out to another spot and finished his stringer with two fish that weighed 11.15 pounds.

    Day-2 leader Doug Brownridge finished 2nd with 70.95. Two-time champion Cory Johnston was 3rd with 69.45.

    For complete tournament results, click here. To read the Whig-Standard's full report, click here.

  • BassFan shirts now available

    BassFan shirts now available

    BassFan long-sleeve t-shirts are now available for purchase.

    We have two different styles – a pre-shrunk 100% cotton version and a moisture-wicking style, both featuring the well-known BassFan logo in a distressed blue finish.

    Quantities are limited. To find out more, click here.

  • New gear: Team Lew's Lite Speed Spool

    New gear: Team Lew's Lite Speed Spool

    The reel engineers at Lew's continue to raise the bar when it comes to producing high-performance products to fit virtually any angler's budget.

    The new Team Lew's Lite Speed Spool, introduced at ICAST earlier this month, is attractive to look at and even more fun to fish. At 5.6 ounces, it's feather-light but still packs all the durability and casting ease BassFans have come to expect from the new generation of Lew's reels.

    To hear more from Jay Yelas about the newest addition to the Lew's reel family, click here.

  • Bondy's dropshot bait hits shelves

    Bondy's dropshot bait hits shelves

    Former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jon Bondy, a guide at Lake St. Clair, dropped a note over the weekend to announce that his dropshot bait, the Bondy Perch, is now available at retail outlets. It was chosen the top new dropshot bait for 2014 by Outdoor Canada magazine.

    Bondy says it's effective anywhere that bass eat perch. It's sold at select dealers and online at

  • Balog: Must-haves and other stuff

    Balog: Must-haves and other stuff

    As promised, Joe Balog checks in today with some observations from last week's ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. He came across a lot of noteworthy stuff – some he'd like to use himself and some that ... well, might appeal to somebody else.

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

  • New gear: Megabass I-SLIDE and Orochi XX Leviathan rod

    New gear: Megabass I-SLIDE and Orochi XX Leviathan rod

    BassFan stopped by the Megabass booth at ICAST last week and caught up with reigning Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Aaron Martens to hear about two of the company's new products that should catch the eye of swimbait anglers.

    To read and hear more about the new I-SLIDE swimbait and Orochi XX Leviathan rod, click here.

  • Report: Elites back to Sabine in '15

    Rumors about the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule were rampant in the aisles of ICAST last week. There's talk of a Western swing to Lake Havasu and the California Delta at the start of the season and possibly using the St. Lawrence River as the venue for BASSFest, should B.A.S.S. opt to repeat the concept that seemed to be a hit at Lake Chickamauga last month.

    It was reported in March that the Elite Series will return to the St. Lawrence in August 2015.

    Another event appears to be locked in at this point as a report in Tuesday's Orange County (Texas) Record says the Elites will be returning to the Sabine River in March of next year.

    The dates mentioned in the report are March 19-22, 2015 with Orange, Texas, serving as the host city and Stark Cultural Venues lending its support as it did when the Elites first came to the Sabine in 2013. That event was a runaway success in terms of attendance and the financial impact on the local economy. Organizers are hoping for even better results next year.

    “We really didn’t know what to expect that first year. They have a huge fan base and following,” Ida Schossow, president of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, told the newspaper. “We began working on this one the day after the 2013 one.”

    To read the full report, click here.

  • PAA schedule update: Two down, two to go

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) website was updated recently with new information about the 2014 tournament schedule.

    It was previously reported that Douglas Lake would be the venue for a tournament on Oct. 16-18, but the dates have been changed to Sept. 25-27. It was moved because of a conflict with a Major League Fishing event.

    In addition, the PAA will have a tournament at Kentucky Lake on Oct. 9-11 with Moors Resort and Marina in Gilbersville, Ky., serving as the launch facility.

    The remaining two events are still being planned, according to the PAA website.

  • Colson rock-solid on and off water

    Colson rock-solid on and off water

    Ramie Colson Jr. recently completed the second-best season of his 10-year FLW career as he finished 16th on the points list and notched a pair of Top-20 placements to earn his third career Forrest Wood Cup berth. He hasn't been resting on his laurels over the past month, though – he's spent much of it pouring concrete.

    "My dad started this business and did it for 45 years and I picked up the trade in high school," he said. "Besides fish, it's all I've ever done, and me and my little brother run it now.

    "Last year was pretty slow and this year up until May was really slow, but since then it's been like somebody turned a light switch on. There's a few new houses being built around here (he resides in Cadiz, Ky.) and it's really ramped up.

    "I wish I was as good as Andy," he continued, referring to frequent road roommate and longtime friend Andy Morgan, who's won the past two Angler of the Year awards. "Then I wouldn't have to do all this."

    When asked what separates Morgan from the average Tour pro, Colson pointed to the Tennessean's ability to quickly evaluate areas within a body of water.

    "He can cover a whole lake in about 2 days," Colson said. "He's got that down pat. I pick out one area and by the time I get done fishing it, he's gone through the whole lake.

    "Maybe I try to dissect an area too much and put too much thought into it. He just goes fishing and he still covers everything. I'll see him come in and in 15 minutes he's checked everything he needs to check and he's gone down the lake. It's hard to keep up with him."

  • Mepps will pay for squirrel tails

    Mepps will pay for squirrel tails

    Attention squirrel hunters: Mepps needs squirrel tails to create hand-tied, dressed hooks for its lures.

    “We’ve tried hundreds of other natural and synthetic materials; bear hair, fox, coyote, badger, skunk, deer, even Angus cow, but nothing works as well as squirrel tail hair,” explained Mepps communications director Kurt Mazurek.

    The fact is squirrel tails are all hair – no fur. Practically all other animals have fur tails with just a few guard hairs. Fur doesn’t have the rippling, pulsating movement of squirrel hair in the water.

    Squirrels are a plentiful natural resource. Plus, squirrel is some of the best wild meat and
    their skins are used for caps, coats, glove linings and many other items, but the tail is usually thrown away. Mepps is asking squirrel hunters to help them recycle this valuable resource and hunters will be paid for their efforts.

    Mepps buys fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails and will pay up to 26 cents each, depending on quality and quantity. Plus, the cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

    “We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels solely for their tails,” Mazurek said

    For full details on the squirrel tail program, go to or call (800) 713-3474. Please note: Squirrel tails cannot be sold in California, Idaho and Oregon.

  • Johnson Outdoors tabs new marketing VP

    Johnson Outdoors tabs new marketing VP

    Johnson Outdoors, the parent company of Minn Kota, Humminbird and other brands in the fishing sector, announced today that it's named Patricia G. Penman as its VP for marketing services and communication worldwide. Penman will be responsible for leading development of
    consumer/brand research and market analytics strategies and programs, and overseeing the company's internal and external strategic communications.

    "The breadth and depth of experience and expertise Pat brings will be invaluable in our efforts to deliver continuous meaningful innovation and value to our consumers, customers and stakeholders," said CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold. "We are thrilled to have her on board."

    Penman spent more than 30 years in the consumer packaged goods industry, including stints at Kraft and Campbell Soup prior to joining SC Johnson, where she held key roles that included director of North America marketing services.

  • Palaniuk, Lucas go live with Ike

    Palaniuk, Lucas go live with Ike

    Bassmaster Elite Series young guns Brandon Palaniuk and Justin Lucas will be Mike Iaconelli's guests on Ike Live, which will stream at 9 p.m. ET from

    The trio will discuss the newest products unveiled last week at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. A representative from Internet retailer Tackle Warehouse will join them for that conversation.

    Iaconelli and his guests will answer fans' question submitted via Twitter or the free call-in number.

  • Marini prevails at Champlain

    Marini prevails at Champlain

    Michael Marini of Slingerlands, N.Y. weighed a 19-14 sack on Saturday to win the Lake Champlain Northern Rayovac with a 3-day total of 57-07.

    “It feels incredible,” said Marini, who weighed the biggest bag of the day on Saturday to move up from 4th place and earn his first win in FLW competition. “It is honestly one of the biggest accomplishments of my fishing career. I’m looking forward to fishing more in the future. I’m very confident on this lake and it paid off.

    “I fished the same exact techniques all 3 days,” he explained. “The first 2 days I rotated between two primary spots. Today I recognized that it was a slow bite. I stayed with one spot and milked it all day. I never fired up the main motor except to go get gas for the run back from Ticonderoga.”

    He said that his primary area was a grass flat about the size of a football field and that he targeted depths ranging from about 4 to 6 feet. He caught all his fish on a bright-colored Yamamoto Senko that he either wacky-rigged or Texas-rigged with a 1/2-ounce weight.

    Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Following are the totals for the final Top 10:

    1. Michael Marini: 58-07
    2. Chris Johnston: 56-11
    3. Dave Lefebre: 56-01
    4. Jordan Lee: 55-09
    5. Derick Olson: 53-10
    6. Glenn Babineau: 52-12
    7. Mark Daniels Jr.: 52-00
    8. Mike Neilson: 49-08
    9. Mike McDonald: 47-12
    10. Cory Johnston: 47-03

  • ICAST: Day 3 images

    ICAST: Day 3 images

    The annual ICAST show concluded Friday in Orlando, Fla., but not before BassFan Editor Todd Ceisner did some more aisle roaming while seeking out the cool new products that BassFan readers may find interesting.

    To check out some of the gear that caught his eye Friday, click here.

  • FLW announces 2015 schedule

    The FLW Tour schedule will be a six-tournament slate in 2015, plus the Forrest Wood Cup, FLW announced today at ICAST.

    FLW had previously announced the dates for next year's Tour schedule, but held off announcing locations until the annual gathering of the fishing industry in Orlando, Fla.

    The 2015 FLW Tour schedule is as follows:

    > March 5-8: Lake Toho (Kississimee, Fla.)
    > March 26-29: Lewis Smith Lake (Jasper, Ala.)
    > April 23-26: Beaver Lake (Rogers, Ark.)
    > May 14-17: Lake Eufaula (Eufaula, Ala.)
    > June 4-7: Lake Chickamauga (Dayton, Tenn.)
    > June 25-28: Potomac River (La Plata, Md.)
    > Aug. 20-23: Forrest Wood Cup (location TBA)

    Additional details will be published shortly.

  • VanDam, Reese, Swindle to don Huk gear

    Elite Series anglers Kevin Van Dam, Skeet Reese and Gerald Swindle announced this week that they will be endorsing the new line of fishing apparel and accessories by Huk Performance Fishing.

    "The apparel I wear is critical to my success," VanDam said. "Whether I am on the water or not, I understand the true benefits of clothing with a technological focus. Wearing the proper clothing keeps me on the water fishing harder – winning more. I am backing this brand and great group of founders and I believe that my experience and influence on the features and design of the product will give a competitive advantage in the market and on the water."

    Added Reese, “I have felt for a long time there was an opportunity for a new apparel and accessory line that solely focuses on durability and performance on the water. HUK Performance Fishing has filled this void. I am backing this brand and great group of founders because I truly believe it is the best product on the market. I am fired up about this opportunity and am looking forward to working with the team to develop the best performance products in the space.”

    "I am excited to represent Huk Performance Fishing on the water," Swindle said. "We both share the passion for the outdoor lifestyle and the excitement of the chase. The unique styles and performance element of Huk's apparel and accessories make it a must wear for any serious fisherman."

    Said Marolina Outdoor Inc. co-founder Ben Verner, “We’re very lucky to be able to partner with the top performers and personalities in the fishing industry at such an early stage in our company. HUK Performance fabrics offer an angler a competitive advantage with the function and durability of our gear as well as the technical design. Even a few more casts due to reduced fatigue can make the difference in a tournament for these guys.”

  • Balog: Lots to behold

    Balog: Lots to behold

    Joe Balog finished writing this week's edition of Balog's Bass War just before hopping a plane headed for Orlando, Fla., where he'll attend ICAST. The list of items he's intent on viewing includes all of the new oversized square-bill crankbaits and the new LunkerHunt plastics that are reputed to be super-tough.

    To read the column, click here.

  • ICAST: Best of Show Awards

    The Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Old Town Predator XL kayak, which features a 45-pound thrust Minn Kota trolling motor, was awarded the Best of Show today as part of the New Product Showcase Awards Reception at ICAST in Orlando.

    The Predator XL, which also claimed top honors in the Boats category, features three interchangeable consoles which allow anglers to adapt to the conditions they're in – the trolling motor console, a storage/utility unit or an Exo-Ridge console which allows for an expanded casting deck.

    Check out video of the Predator XL below.

    The other winners in the New Product Showcase were:

    > Freshwater rod: Duckett Fishing Micro Magic Pro
    > Saltwater rod: Shimano Terez Stand Up
    > Fly fishing rod: G. Loomis Pro 4x Short Stix
    > Freshwater reel: Abu Garcia Revo Beast
    > Saltwater reel: Penn Battle II Spinning
    > Fly fishing reel: 3-Tand, LLC TF-70 Sealed Fly Reel
    > Hard bait: SPRO BBZ-1 Rat
    > Soft bait: Savage Gear 3D PVC Crab
    > Lifestyle apparel: Pelagic 4TEK Fish Finder Board Shorts
    > Technical apparel: STORMR Fusion Series Bib
    > Boating Accessory: Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor
    > Boat: Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Old Town Predator XL
    > Fishing Combo: Lew's American Hero baitcast combo
    > Electronics: Humminbird Onix 8SI
    > Eyewear: Costa Hamlin 580P Mirror Lenses
    > Fishing Accessory: Lit-Industries Lit Cooler
    > Fish Smart Tackle: Cuda Fishing Tools Cuda Grip and Scale
    > Fly Fishing Accessory: Plastica Panaro SRL M-2300 Fly Caddy
    > Footwear: Columbia Sportswear Megavent PFG
    > Giftware: Helter Skeletons Authentic Skeletal Articulations
    > Kids Tackle: Zebco Splash Combo
    > Line: Berkley IRONSilk
    > Tackle Management: Engel USA UC30-RH
    > Terminal Tackle: Eagle Claw Trokar TK619
    > Best of Show: Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Old Town Predator XL



    Using the catch phrase "The Evolution Continues," LIVETARGET Lures introduced its latest line of baits today at a pre-ICAST press conference.

    The Yearling series of hardbaits build on the success of the BaitBall Series that debuted last year.

    The Yearling will be available in two square bill crankbait sizes (five colors), three crankbaits (five colors), two jerkbaits (five colors), two rattlebaits (five colors) and two walking baits (four colors).

    The concept is to help anglers target fish that are feeding on tiny baitfish by incorporating the look of a in-line group of baby forage.

    The jerkbait pictured is the YJB-95 (3 3/4") and features a grouping of nine baitfish on both sides. The square bill in the photo is the YSB-60 (2 3/8") and features a grouping of seven tiny baitfish on each side.

  • Gallery: Tackle-X

    On the eve of ICAST, BassFan was among the media outlets that participated in Tackle-X, a first-of-its-kind event that allowed tackle companies to showcase their new products in the environment where they'll ultimately be used – on the water.

    It took place at the famed Lake X, which was previously used as a top-secret testing facility for Mercury Marine in central Florida, about 45 minutes outside Orlando.

    To check out a photo gallery of the day, click here.

  • Dance coming to Sportsman Channel

    Dance coming to Sportsman Channel

    The fishing empire of Bill Dance Outdoors has found a home with Sportsman Channel, where the iconic angler’s popular TV show will debut on the outdoor lifestyle network in January 2015. Dance’s show is joining a Sportsman Channel lineup of fishing shows dedicated to helping anglers no matter what species or type of water preferred, including In-Fisherman, Addictive Fishing, Flats Class TV and more.

    “No one else has built the empire that Bill Dance has,” said Graig Hale, VP of business development for Sportsman Channel. “His legacy in fishing is like none other. Bill also has this special connection with his fans, it’s visible everywhere he goes, and we are thrilled to bring that connection into Sportsman Channel viewers’ homes. The addition of Bill and his show is another example of Sportsman’s commitment to deliver the best fishing content to the angling community.”

    Known for talking to himself and the fish as much as he talks to the viewers on his TV show, Dance, 67, spends many hours on the water to get the necessary footage for his 26 yearly shows. Another signature is his ever-present orange and white University of Tennessee hat – a trademark look for nearly 40 years.

    “Fishing has been my life and it has afforded me the opportunity to meet the greatest people." Dance said. "I’ve had the good fortune to personally meet countless celebrities from all walks of life – even a couple U.S. presidents. With that in mind, I’m sure viewers will see why I’m so pleased about the addition of my upcoming show, Bill Dance Outdoors, on Sportsman Channel.”

    Bill Dance Outdoors is the oldest continuously running television show of the genre. The show has aired since 1968 with a primary focus on sport fishing. Audiences are treated to an educational, humorous and sometimes offbeat way of having fun with the sport while learning about outdoor products from Dance.

  • New gear review: Castaway Rods Invicta Series

    New gear review: Castaway Rods Invicta Series

    Packing a potent combination of high-end features and sleek design, the new Invicta Seres rods from CastAway Rods give anglers another option when they're looking for an all-around powerhouse rod from a trusted brand.

    To check out Editor Todd Ceisner's review of the 7-foot medium-heavy Invicta Series casting rod, click here.

  • Navico moving U.S. headquarters

    Navico moving U.S. headquarters

    The boating industry newsletter IBI plus reported today that marine electronics manufacturer Navico, the parent company of Lowrance, has announced it will move its U.S.-base operation office from Nashua, N.H. to Merrimack, N.H., effective July 28. All phone numbers will remain the same.

    Navico has said the move will allow further streamline its productivity.

    The company’s global headquarters is located near Oslo, Norway, and it has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., United Kingdom, Norway, Mexico and New Zealand.

  • ICAST: Fastest Quantum ever

    ICAST: Fastest Quantum ever

    Originally launched in 2010, Quantum’s Smoke PT family of reels caught
    fire and far exceeded projected sales numbers based on their lightweight, smooth performance at a reasonable price.

    Now for 2015, the fire burns faster with the introduction of the new 8.1:1 gear ratio Smoke Speed Freak reel that pulls in a blazing 35 inches of line with every turn of the handle – making it the highest gear ratio baitcasting reel in Quantum PT history.

    Anglers will appreciate the new Slim Line ACS external centrifugal cast control feature. It’s recessed farther into the side plate to eliminate the palm of your hand from accidentally moving it, and it has 13 different dial points to suit the precise desire of every angler no matter what lure weight or wind speed they’re dialing in to.

    Also on the list of noteworthy improvements to the new versions of Smoke is an improved pinion gear design that greatly reduces friction on the spool because it "floats" free of the spool shaft when you push the thumb bar down for smoother performance and longer casts.

    Built with a bigger main gear, but still housed in a very light 6.4-ounce body, Smoke’s new Speed Freak also contains Quantum’s Performance Tuned Carbon Stainless Ceramic (CSC) drag system that resists heat and warping – and it’s rated at 25 pounds, which is unheard of in a low-profile baitcasting reel.

    Easy-to-remove side plate covers make it simple to clean and oil, and EVA-padded reel handles provide comfort after each cast. MSRP: $199.

  • Martin signs with Vigor Eyewear

    Martin signs with Vigor Eyewear

    FLW Tour pro Casey Martin has joined the pro staff of Canada-based Vigor Eyewear.

    Although he currently resides in Alabama, Martin was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario.

    “I’m proud to be associated with a Canadian company such as Vigor Eyewear," said Martin, who won the 2013 FLW Tour stop at Lake Chickamauga. "It's a great connection and they make a top quality-product."

    Said Vigor pro-staff manager David Chong: "We feel very lucky to be able to sign a professional of Casey’s caliber and character. He's a perfect fit for us and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership for many years to come."

  • ICAST: New stuff from Simms

    ICAST: New stuff from Simms

    Simms Fishing remains at the cutting edge of outerwear technology and styles for anglers who brave the fiercest conditions. The Montana company's new lineup of products for this fall and 2015 include new waders, shirts, jackets and storage solutions for anglers of all types.

    To check out some of Simms' new products, click here (they can found in photos 49-56).

  • ICAST: More new stuff

    The ICAST preview photo gallery has been updated to include information on several new baits from Z-Man (photos 37-45), new soft plastics from Lunkerhunt (photo 36), new sunglasses from Smith Optics (photos 46 & 47) and a new braided line from TUF-Line (photo 48).

    To check them out, along with other products that'll be unveiled in Orlando, click here.

  • No more line twist?

    A product set to be unveiled at ICAST claims that it will eliminate line twist anglers typically encounter on a spinning reel. The Straightcast reel from Kendra Gear is a new take on a spinning reel in that it allows anglers to rotate the spool either way after each cast to negate any line twist that may have occurred.

    Check it out in the embedded video below.

  • Dillard's boat being raffled for charity

    Dillard's boat being raffled for charity

    FLW Tour pro Jim Dillard has donated his 2014 Bass Cat boat as a raffle prize to raise funds for a charity started by "Duck Dynasty" star Jase Robertson and wife Missy.

    Dillard, like the Robertson clan, is a resident of West Monroe, La. Money generated via the raffle will go to the Mia Moo Fund, which is dedicated to raising awareness and funding toward research and treatment of cleft lip and palate.

    Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online. To visit the raffle page on Dillard's website, click here.

  • Hite partners with Lance Camper Co.

    Hite partners with Lance Camper Co.

    Lance Camper Manufacturing Company announced today it has entered into a marketing partnership with pro angler Brett Hite.

    “As we put together our marketing strategy for this year, there were key lifestyle segments we wanted to be sure we had visibility in and one of them is fishing," said Bob Rogers, marketing director for Lance. “Based on owner surveys, we know fishing continues to be a favorite activity of Lance customers, especially with our truck camper customers, many of who pull boats behind their rigs."

    Added Hite, who spends more than 200 nights a year in his Lance truck camper, “I couldn’t be happier to have Lance on board as a marketing partner. As a professional who relies on my equipment to earn my living, I only partner with the top quality products and companies that build the best. Lance is a perfect example of that."

  • Bass U TV: Swindle's simple jig approach

    After nearly two decades fishing the pro bass tours, Gerald Swindle has learned a few things, including how to simplify his jig color selections and presentations.

    Swindle's session on a simple jig fishing approach is now available on The Bass University TV. A preview is embedded below.

    "What I've learned in the last 17 years is the more simple the better," Swindle says. "You go into a tackle store and they have 31,000 colors of jigs, right? You can sit down in a chair and look at them for hours. It's irrelevant. It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters with a jig is presentation."

    BassU TV memberships are available for $149.99 per year or $15 per month.

  • ICAST: 'Pomp' it up

    One of the new baits Jackall will be introducing at ICAST is the Pompador. It's reminiscent of the old Jitterbug winged topwater, but with plenty of modern features built in.

    In the embedded video below, Cody Meyer explains how to fish it, what tackle to use and shows off a few topwater strikes the bait elicited.

  • ICAST: New gear from STORMR

    STORMR's foul-weather gear has fast become a favorite among anglers. Now, the company has added the Fusion Series, a high-performance lightweight jacket and bib set, to its lineup of windproof and waterproof outerwear.

    For more on the Fusion Series and the other products that'll be unveiled next week, click here. The STORMR gear can be seen in photos 34 & 35.

  • Balog: Meyer's close call

    Balog: Meyer's close call

    Joe Balog spoke with Cody Meyer this week in the wake of the Californian's narrow runner-up finish to Andy Morgan in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race. One interesting tidbit that Meyer revealed was that in three of the six events, he didn't find the fish he eventually took to the scale until the competition was under way.

    For more, click here

  • ICAST: Reels from Duckett Fishing

    ICAST: Reels from Duckett Fishing

    For the last several years, Duckett Fishing has carved out a place in the bass rod market. Now, the company founded by Bassmaster Classic winner Boyd Duckett is branching off into the reel market.

    Two casting reel models (320 and 360) are already available for order, but the industry will get its first up-close look at them at ICAST. For BassFans who favor Duckett's signature white rods, you'll be happy to know a matching white casting reel is now available.

    For more on the Duckett reels and the other products that'll be unveiled next week, click here. The Duckett Fishing reels can be seen in photos 32 & 33.

  • Old Milwaukee to sponsor B.A.S.S. Nation events

    Old Milwaukee to sponsor B.A.S.S. Nation events

    Beer company Old Milwaukee has become the title sponsor of 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation events.

    “Old Milwaukee is a time-honored brand,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “B.A.S.S. is proud to partner its grass-roots B.A.S.S. Nation fishing tournaments with such a well-known name.”

    Old Milwaukee is a Pabst Brewing Co. brand and had a presence at the recent BASSFest at Lake Chickamauga.

    “Old Milwaukee strives to connect and reward outdoors enthusiasts on a grass-roots level,” said John Genest, Old Milwaukee brand manager. “With freshwater fishing being so ingrained in millions of Americans’ lives, Old Milwaukee is excited to support an organization that is critical to the sport’s health and growth on all levels. B.A.S.S., especially through its B.A.S.S. Nation organization, creates invaluable opportunities for passionate individuals to connect and share memorable experiences in communities nationwide. Everyone at Old Milwaukee is excited for the opportunity to enhance these efforts.”

    Old Milwaukee will be the title sponsor for all six B.A.S.S. Nation Divisionals as well as for the 2014 season finale, now named the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, set for Nov. 6-8 on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La. The six Classic qualifiers will be eligible to be on the Old Milwaukee Classic Fishing Team, which will be outfitted with decals on their bass boats and special jerseys designed for the Classic competition.

  • ICAST: Latest from Megabass

    ICAST: Latest from Megabass

    Premium tackle-maker Megabass will trot out a wide range of new offerings at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. The new products run the gamut from rods to hard baits to soft plastics to terminal tackle.

    Among the highlights is the Renegade, a buzz bait/swimbait hybrid that gives anglers a reaction-bait option in cover they'd normally fish with a Texas rig or a jig.

    For more on the Renegade and the other products that'll be unveiled next week, click here. The Megabass offerings can be seen in photos 21 through 31.

  • Bryan's 10 1/2-pound spot declared world record

    Bryan's 10 1/2-pound spot declared world record

    Keith Bryan, president of Powell rods, received notice today from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) that the 10.48-pound spotted bass he caught from California's New Melones Reservoir in February has been declared the new all-tackle world record. It also sets the new standard for the species in the 8-pound-test line class.

    Bryan caught the fish en route to winning a 2-day California Tournament Trail event.

    "I am speechless at this moment," he said. "I already felt like I had lived a dream by winning a pro-am event that day, but to have that fish be declared a world record is something I would have never dreamed of being a part of."

    Bryan caught the bass using a wacky-rigged green-pumpkin purple and copper flake (color 330) 5-inch Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits Senko in approximately 10 feet of water. He inserted a 3/32-ounce Lunker City Nail Weight in the nose and rigged it on a size 2 Gamakatsu Wide Gap Weedless Finesse Hook. He threw the rig on a 6103mef Powell Inferno spinning rod and size 3000 Shimano Sahara reel filled with 8-pound Power Pro braided line, tipped with a leader of 8-pound Seaguar Invizx fluorocarbon.

    "I'm so proud and humbled at the same time by this notification and I'm absolutely beside myself with joy," he said. "I think it's a great thing for the entire Northern California fishing community and for California as a whole that the world record was once again broken in our state; I'm just felling so blessed that I get to be a part of it.

    "As great a spotted bass fishery as the state of California has become, I'm certain that this record will fall again soon," he continued. "But to have held this record for even 1 day is a dream, and an accomplishment that any angler should be proud of. It's something that I can say for the rest of my life, that I caught a world-record spotted bass. This has truly been a dream come true."

    (Photo credit: Bass Angler Headquarters)

  • Scouts can win trip to Forrest Wood Cup

    Scouts can win trip to Forrest Wood Cup

    The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have launched a Hooked on Scouting photo contest featuring BSA-sponsored FLW Tour pro Tom Redington. One Scout and his family will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Forrest Wood Cup on South Carolina's Lake Murray in August. In addition to free lodging and travel, the winner gets a fishing trip in the Boy Scouts-wrapped boat with Redington, VIP seating for all weigh-ins and concerts, and will attend the angler awards banquet as Redington’s guest to meet all of the top pros.

    Scouting introduces hundreds of thousands of boys each year to outdoor activities, and fishing is among the most popular of those. With the rapidly expanding popularity of high school and college bass fishing teams, the BSA offers a path for today’s youth to becoming a successful angler and a responsible steward of the outdoors.

    Entry details can be found here. Redington describes the program in the video embedded below.

  • U.S. Open: There's nothing else like it

    U.S. Open: There's nothing else like it

    Longtime Western bass scribe George Kramer published a column today that speaks to his ongoing love affair with the annual WON Bass U.S. Open at Nevada's Lake Mead. He laments not having what it takes to compete for the title of what many refer to as the toughest test in bass fishing, but he can't stop himself from trying and he'll once again be on the roster for the Sept. 8-10 event.

    To read the column, click here.

  • C.A.S.T. for Kids launches program with Lucas

    C.A.S.T. for Kids launches program with Lucas

    The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation has launched a new program in partnership with Bassmaster Elite Series angler Justin Lucas called #CatchandGive. The program, which is Lucas' brainchild, is designed to challenge anglers to engage in a friendly competition by comparing their "catch" with others (and have the opportunity to win a prize), and at the same time give back to an organization that provides the thrill of fishing to those who might otherwise not have that opportunity.

    Lucas has pledged to donate money to the foundation for every 5-pound fish he catches and encourages other anglers of all levels to join him. For more details, click here.

    Lucas describes the program in the video embedded below.

  • Got back pain? Try these tips

    Got back pain? Try these tips

    Fishing is commonly thought of as the ultimate stress-reliever, but it can also lead to back pain or serious back injuries if proper measurements aren’t followed. In fact, according to a Duke University Medical Center study, 69 percent of fishermen suffer from back pain at some point during their fishing career. Heavy lifting, repetitive motions, and long days of standing with the body in the same position often causes stress, tension and muscle fatigue in the back and makes fishermen susceptible to a number of debilitating back injuries.

    One fishing enthusiast all too familiar with how fishing can cause back pain is professional angler Peter Miller. Following an injury that herniated two discs and pinched a nerve in his lower back, the three-time World Sailfish Champion and host of the TV show “Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller” suffered chronic pain that prevented him from fishing at the top of his game. After deciding to have surgery with Tampa-based Laser Spine Institute, Miller was able to return to doing what he loves and has since worked closely with his surgeon, Dr. Stefan Prada, to develop a list of tips for how to prevent back pain during a day of fishing:

    > Wear really comfortable shoes: Traditionally, fishermen wear flip flops or boat shoes or simply go barefoot. These shoes offer little support and have no cushion to absorb shock. Try wearing shoes that are more traditional for jogging than for fishing.

    > Stretch: Even 5 minutes worth of stretching before you get on the boat or at mid-day can make a tremendous difference. Try touching your toes or the floor and reaching your hands over your head to stretch your back.

    > Maintain a strong core: A strong core will make you better prepared for the various motions involved when fishing, such as throwing a cast and reeling in a fish. Planks, push-ups, V-sits and leg lifts are all great exercises to develop a strong core.

    > Take Advil: Anti-inflammatory medications in mild doses will always help. Try ingesting some prior to taking the boat out to help prevent inflammation during the day.

    > Stay active: Don’t be sedentary. The kiss of death is sitting all day on a boat. One great way to help your back muscles stay active, warm and loose while on the boat is the cat-and-dog exercise. Position yourself on your hands and knees and alternate between rounding your back by looking down on the ground and arching it by looking up into the sky.

    > Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential to helping reduce pain. It helps keep the muscles hydrated and decreases the frequency of muscle cramps.

  • ICAST: What's new from Rapala

    To get an advanced look at some of the new products Rapala will introduce next week at ICAST under its family of brands like Storm, Terminator and VMC, click here.

  • Elite venue has intersex smallies

    The Delaware River, which will host a Bassmaster Elite Series event next month, is one of three Eastern watersheds recently discovered to contain smallmouth bass displaying characteristics of both genders. The abnormality, the study determined, is likely caused by exposure to man-made chemicals.

    To read the story, click here.

  • Balog: Morgan's slow and steady approach refreshing

    Like many BassFans, Joe Balog was curious about Andy Morgan's approach to tournament fishing and if there are any secrets to the two-time FLW Tour Angler of the Year's success. What he found out might surprise you.

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

  • Rankings: Christie adds some cushion

    Rankings: Christie adds some cushion

    Two-tour pro Jason Christie added a couple of points to his lead over 2nd-place Andy Morgan in the latest edition of the BassFan World Rankings. Meanwhile, the red-hot Brett Hite, a two-time winner this season, made a big move to get inside the Top 10.

    To see the full rankings, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback – Kentucky Lake

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – Kentucky Lake</font></b>

    John Voyles wasn't too upset about missing the Top-10 cut at the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour by a mere 10 ounces. Considering what he had to resort to on day 3, he was happy to make such a strong run at advancing to the final day.

    "I was fortunate to catch what I did," said the 6th-year pro from Indiana. "I had to go to plan D – plans A, B and C were covered up by locals. They were all one-cast places, and all of those guys were right on the cast."

    That fourth option wasn't looking to hot at first, either, as he was initially unable to locate the school of fish he'd discovered in practice.

    "I'd moved out to 25 feet and I was about to turn the boat around, then my dropshot went 'thump.'''

    He eventually boxed a 20-pound stringer. That was far shy of the 24-07 he'd caught the previous day, but that bag had included a 7 1/2-pounder.

    He threw the dropshot off and on throughout the derby. His main program was fishing a Secret Lures Ledge Shaker jighead with a big worm, and he caught several quality specimens with a spoon late on day 2 to go with his monster.

    "That was the only place I could get bit on the spoon," he said. "I had the big one and four 15-inchers when I went to this one point and wrecked them."

    The finish was the second-best of his Tour career, surpassed only by a 9th at Lake Champlain in 2012.

    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.

  • Gallery: Scenes from Kentucky Lake finale

    The FLW Tour season finale at Kentucky Lake was a summertime slugfest that saw a seasoned veteran come away with another big payday and a tour rookie take home the victory. To check out a collection of images from the week on the Tennessee River, click here.

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