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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

  • Five Spot: Brent Ehrler

    Brent Ehrler wouldn’t mind jumping out of a plane or doing some extreme skiing. He’d also like to share the boat with Brandon Palaniuk in a team tournament. Check out what else the Elite Series newcomer had to say in the latest edition of the BassFan Five Spot (embedded video below).

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

  • Ehrler teams with

    Ehrler teams with, a website and App for people to connect with anglers, pro staff and their sponsoring companies to get and share fishing information and sponsorship opportunities, has announced Bassmaster Elite Series newcomer Brent Ehrler has joined Team NPS.

    “After meeting with Brent and giving him a tour of the website, he was immediately very impressed with NPS, our plans for the future, and what the website currently offers anglers all over North America," said Dan Miguel, marketing director for Team NPS. "Brent is one of the best in the sport and arguably the best angler in the world. He’s also extremely friendly, an amazing role model, and will be a huge asset to our team as we continue to grow."

    Ehrler will switch over to the Elite Series in 2015 after a magnificent run with FLW that included five Tour victories, including a Forrest Wood Cup win and seven top-10 finishes in points.

    “I'm excited to work with," he said. "I always get questions from anglers about how to get sponsors. NPS is a place for anglers to go and interact with other anglers and sponsors. It's also a great place to network with people in the industry and have a chance at starting a career in the bass fishing world.”

  • Decoy omen didn't work for Lane

    At the Lake Toho Southern Open, Elite Series angler Russ Lane happened upon a duck decoy that had become entangled in some matted vegetation. Thinking it could bring him some good luck, he put it in his boat. The end result was a 139th-place finish. The following week, without the decoy in his boat, he was 73rd at the Lake Okeechobee Southeast Rayovac and earned a small check.

    In the embedded video below from Lane's Facebook page, the decoy pays the price for messing with Lane's Florida mojo.

  • Lew's picks up McDonald

    Lew's picks up McDonald

    Lew's announced the addition of veteran FLW Tour angler Billy McDonald to its Team Lew's national pro staff, citing the amiable Indiana pro's passion for promoting the sport, more so than his many tournament successes, as being the distinguishing qualifier behind the new sponsorship agreement.

    "Whether at a tournament weigh-in or sport show, Billy is easy to find because he's always the one in the middle of a crowd who's smiling big and talking excitedly about something to do with fishing ... he's what the sport is all about," said Lew's CEO Lynn Reeves. "We need guys like Billy McDonald in this industry and we're proud that he's now officially associated with Lew's rods and reels."

    Said McDonald: "I love to compete and always want to win, but just having the opportunity to fish is rewarding regardless of where I finish. So in my mind there's no such thing as having a 'bad' tournament day. Yes, I do like to help others learn about fishing, especially youth. It's important to me that I give back to this great sport. Lew's has the perfect range of equipment to take any angler fishing from beginner to expert. I'm proud to be part of such a legendary brand."

  • Jimmy Reese aligns with Boing

    Jimmy Reese aligns with Boing

    California FLW Tour pro Jimmy Reese has signed a sponsorship deal with Indiana-based topwater bait manufacturer Boing Lures.

    "I'm so excited to be working with (Boing owner and CEO Jason Yocum)," Reese said. "We have been brainstorming for weeks now. Jason and I have so much in common and are excited about the future of his brand. We both understand the importance of building strong long-term relationships as well as giving back to the industry.

    “These lures flat out catch fish," he continued. "The unique sound these baits make when walking across the surface gives the fish a different low to high frequency sound for them to react to."

  • Amphibia partners with Florida circuit

    Amphibia partners with Florida circuit

    Amphibia Eyegear has partnered with the Florida Big Bass Trail to create the Amphibia Big Bass Trail. The trail will host five events in 2015, starting at Lake Okeechobee on Feb. 28.

    “Amphibia is very excited to be the title sponsor," said company president Jeff Gibson. "Our roots are in fishing and the technology within our product is fishing-specific. This partnership will help us both expand our brands while giving the anglers great prizes and contingencies in addition to a great payout.”

    Said FBBT president Daniel Vasquez: “2015 is going to be a great year for our trail and the addition of Amphibia will only make it better. We have aggressive plans to expand our trail and having the participation of such a revolutionary product and powerful brand will be key to our expansion. Anglers use and easily recognize the Amphibia brand, so partnering was a natural progression.”

  • Fire ravages Tennessee Ranger dealership

    Watson's Marine, a Ranger Boats dealership in Bluff City, Tenn., was ravaged by fire Sunday. The blaze destroyed seven boats and damage estimates are in excess of $1 million.

    For a report from local TV station WCYB, click here.

  • Sprague links with Bass Kandi

    Sprague links with Bass Kandi

    Bass Kandi baits announced that second-year FLW Tour pro Jeff Sprague has joined the company's pro staff. Sprague finished 47th in the Angler of the Year race in his initial season.

    “The durability and action of these plastics is on point," he said. "I love the fact that I can control the speed of the jig and feel the vibration, which makes a difference when fishing. I’m excited to partner with an American-made plastic company like Bass Kandi Baits and help spread the word of how good these baits are to fish.”

    Said Bass Kandi owner Mike Holland: “It’s an honor to have a hard-working man like Jeff represent our company values on and off the tournament trail."

  • Sancho, Lee brothers on Ike Live; Exmark signs

    Elite Series pro Joe Sancho and soon-to-be rookies Matt and Jordan Lee will be guests of Mike Iaconelli and co-host Pete Gluszek on Ike Live! streaming webcast at 7 p.m. EST tonight. Ike After Hours, a free-form discussion among fish heads who call or tweet Mike and the gang, follows from 10 to 11 p.m. EST.

    In addition, Ish Monroe and Keith Poche are slated to call in to talk about their recent altercation at the Southern Open at Lake Toho. They will give their perspectives and reflections.

    Iaconelli also announced that Exmark Manufacturing Co. has signed on as a sponsor of Ike Live.

    "I'm extremely excited to be working with Exmark in 2015, and am proud to help bring awareness of this superior brand of mowers to the sport fishing world,” Iaconelli said. “As a father of four who is always on the road, the last thing I want to do when I get home is spend all day mowing the lawn. Thanks to my Exmark, I can spend more time doing the things I love knowing my yard looks great.”

    Exmark will utilize the Ike Live digital platform to further its commitment to solidifying its brand with the nation’s most active outdoor enthusiasts, as 75 percent of Exmark’s existing customers consider themselves to be avid fishermen.

    “Mike’s ‘Never Give Up’ mantra, coupled with his charismatic brand essence and strong work ethic, are a perfect match for Exmark in demonstrating our commitment to quality workmanship, durability, and desire to create more free time for our customers,” said John Cloutier, senior marketing manager at Exmark. “As evidenced by Mike’s recent win on the Delaware River, it’s clear that he has an extremely passionate fan base who embraces his unique approach to professional fishing and enjoyment of the sport. We are thrilled to tap into Mike’s enthusiasm to help Exmark continue becoming the preferred mower brand among fishing and outdoor enthusiasts.”

    As part of the partnership, Exmark will be unveiling a Take Back Your Weekends-branded content campaign and associated video submission contest (open for entries April 1 through June 30) that will include an all-expense-paid fishing trip with Iaconelli in his hometown of Philadelphia.

  • Zoom signs Tharp

    Zoom signs Tharp

    Randall Tharp, the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion and current Elite Series anglers, has joined the pro staff of Zoom Bait Company, the company announced today.

    “It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing in your local pond or you’re competing in the Bassmaster Classic, Zoom baits are the very best and catch fish all over the world,” Tharp said. “My first national win was the 2008 EverStart championship on Lake Eufaula. The winning lures were a Zoom 6-inch lizard, a Zoom Big Critter Craw and a Chatterbait with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer. That seems like a long time ago but one thing hasn’t changed – Zoom is a company that is obsessed with building the very best lures you can use to catch a bass, and their lineup gives me everything I need to do my job.”

    Tharp competed in five consecutive Forrest Wood Cups from 2010 through 2014, and next month he’ll compete in his third Bassmaster Classic.

  • Order set for Classic

    Recently, B.A.S.S. held the drawing for boat numbers for the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at B.A.S.S. headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.

    The numbers were randomly drawn by B.A.S.S. staffers and will determine the order in which boats leave the dock on days 1 and 2 of the event.

    The top two positions were automatically given to reigning Angler of the Year Greg Hackney, who will be boat number 1, and Randy Howell, the 2014 Classic winner, who will be boat number 2.

    During the Classic, the full field of participants will be split into two flights, boats 1-28 and 29-56. On Day 1, the boats will head out on Lake Hartwell in numerical order. On Day 2, the order will be reversed with 56-29 followed by 28-1. On Day 3, after the field is cut to the Top 25, takeoff order will be decided by angler rank in the tournament.

    2015 Classic Boat Draw

    Flight 1
    1. Greg Hackney
    2. Randy Howell
    3. Mike McClelland
    4. Jared Lintner
    5. Gerald Swindle
    6. Cliff Prince
    7. Chad Morgenthaler
    8. Clifford Pirch
    9. Keith Combs
    10. Skeet Reese
    11. Casey Ashley
    12. Andy Montgomery
    13. Dean Rojas
    14. Cliff Crochet
    15. Brian Snowden
    16. Brandon Gray
    17. Jacob Wheeler
    18. Brandon Lester
    19. Chris Lane
    20. David Walker
    21. James Niggemeyer
    22. Paul Mueller
    23. Randall Tharp
    24. Jason Christie
    25. Mark Davis
    26. Takahiro Omori
    27. Bobby Lane
    28. Shin Fukae

    Flight 2
    29. Michael Iaconelli
    30. Kevin Short
    31. Teb Jones
    32. John Crews
    33. Brett Hite
    34. Scott Rook
    35. Chad Pipkens
    36. Van Soles
    37. Matt Herren
    38. Justin Lucas
    39. Todd Faircloth
    40. Ott DeFoe
    41. David Kilgore
    42. Paul Elias
    43. Troy Diede
    44. Brandon Palaniuk
    45. Brett Preuett
    46. Morizo Shimizu
    47. Steve Lund
    48. Cliff Pace
    49. Coby Carden
    50. Jacob Powroznik
    51. Aaron Martens
    52. Jeff Lugar
    53. Stephen Browning
    54. Edwin Evers
    55. Andy Young
    56. Bill Lowen

  • Omori signs with TIEMCO for shades

    Omori signs with TIEMCO for shades

    Takahiro Omori, the only international angler to win the Bassmaster Classic, has announced that he's signed a sponsorship contract with Japanese manufacturer TIEMCO and their Sight Master line of sunglasses.

    "I have been wearing these sunglasses for 10 to 12 years now because of their quality," said Omori. "The lenses are high quality glass, with the best polarization I have ever found, and that is important to help me see fish and fish holding cover in the water; which helps me in tournaments."

    He is proud and humbled to be chosen to be a part of the brand's expansion into the U.S. market.

    "There are many anglers they could have selected to help them, and I am humbled that they chose me," Omori said. "I'm proud to be representing a brand that I have used for so long."

    Tetsuji Himeno, product development manager for TIEMCO LTD, feels Omori is the right angler to represent them.

    "We are truly honored and excited that Takahiro Omori has chosen our polarized sunglasses Sight Master for his 2015 season," he said. "We know he is very particular about his fishing tackle, and we are pleased to provide him the best polarized fishing vision ever."

  • Bohannan lands with Skirmish Baits

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

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

    To learn more, visit

  • 'Big O' is for Osinski

    'Big O' is for Osinski

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

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

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

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

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

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

  • Pro Web Live returns for second season

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

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

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

    The 2015 PWL schedule:

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

    To find out more, click here.

  • Coulter lands deal with Twisted Tea

    Coulter lands deal with Twisted Tea

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

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

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

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

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

  • Seaguar lines up Pirch

    Seaguar lines up Pirch

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

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

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

  • Lee brothers go with Quantum

    Lee brothers go with Quantum

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

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

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

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

  • Balog: What's the fallout?

    Balog: What's the fallout?

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

    To read the column, click here.

  • FLW lands Quaker State

    FLW lands Quaker State

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

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

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

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

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

  • Five Spot: Dean Rojas

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

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

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