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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

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Cayuga

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

    Jeff Kriet's season was on the line heading into day 2 of last week's Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series. He'd caught a pedestrian 12-pound bag on day 1 and sat in 73rd place in the standings.

    He came into the tournament at No. 43 in the Angler of the Year race and was poised to slide out of the Top 50 – and thus fail to qualify for the AOY Championship, which would cost him an opportunity to compete for a 2015 Classic berth. He needed to bounce back with a much stronger sack.

    He did just that, bringing a 16-11 stringer to the scale. It moved him up 29 places in the standings and he gained two more the following day to finish 42nd. That moved him up to 41st on the final points list and secured his spot in the AOY Championship next month at Michigan's Bays de Noc.

    "My biggest problem the first day was I had two or three different deals going on," he said. "I thought I could catch them cranking, I thought I could catch them casting around some deep grass and I thought I could catch them flipping the deep grass with a big weight. I think I tried to do too much.

    "I knew on the second day that if I didn't pull it together, it was going to cost me my chance at the Classic. I just picked up the big rod and flipped grass all day."

    He flipped a Big Bite Baits Yo Mama under a punch skirt and 1-ounce weight, all attached to 65-pound braided line.

    "I felt like I could've done it the third day, too. I had two 4-pounders, but it was real cloudy and windy and I couldn't see the grass heads and I basically had to blind-flip.

    "The fish were in clusters. You could go a long time with no bites and then you'd get around them and you might flip up six or seven."

    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: Cayuga

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

    Day 1 was Mike McClelland's best day at the Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series. It could've been better, though, and if it had been, he might've qualified to fish the final day instead of setting for a 13th-place finish.

    "That first day was really what bit me, as bad as that is to say," he said. "I caught them real good but I didn't realize the potential of the fish I'd found.

    "I had what I weighed (17-12) by 12:15 or 12:30 and I elected to go practice the rest of the day. If I would've stuck with it, I might've been able to cull up a little bit."

    He pitched a creature bait under a punch skirt and a 1-ounce weight into deep grass.

    "We heard those pre-tournament predictions of how it was going to take 25 pounds a day to win and a lot of us snickered and laughed at that. We knew there was a fair number of fish in there, but with the pressure we were going to on it we thought it would fish pretty small and guys would really have to manage their fish.

    "By the third day of competition I had a new respect for how good of a lake it really is. That was the day the wind blew hard and I just went to the bank and I saw more fish that day than I could've expected. I caught 15 or 18 keepers and I saw 30 or 40 more chase my bait or roll on it or come out from under docks."

    He fished the shallows with a homemade vibrating jig with a fluke-style trailer.

    "I was throwing the shad color rather than the bream. I really didn't see a lot of shad, but the fish reacted better to that."

    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.

  • Toledo Bend yields 14 1/2-pounder

    Toledo Bend yields 14 1/2-pounder

    A Texas woman caught a 14.66-pound largemouth bass at Toledo Bend Reservoir last Saturday while on a scouting trip with her husband for an upcoming Fishers of Men tournament.

    Judy Cagle and husband, Randy, launched their boat at 944 Park Marina and settled on fishing submerged hydrilla in 15 feet of water in the Housen Bay area, according to a report in the Beaumont (Tx.) Enterprise newspaper.

    Cagle said the fish inhaled a wacky-rigged soft-plastic stickbait on her second cast and after a brief battle came to the surface. The fish registered 14.4 pounds on the couple's hand-held scale and they quickly transported it to a nearby lakeside resort and then to a nearby convenience store to be weighed on a certified scale.

    The fish weighed 14.66 pounds, was 26 inches long and had a 21-inch girth. Pending certification, it will rank as the fifth-largest bass in the Toledo Bend record books and is the largest bass caught at the Bend since 2009.

    Despite efforts to keep the fish alive, including keeping it in a large aerated tank overnight to help it stabilize and recover, the bass did not survive.

    To read more about the epic catch, click here.

  • Balog: The new reality

    Balog: The new reality

    Joe Balog weighs in this week on the controversy that surrounded Anthony Gagliardi's recent Forrest Wood Cup victory, which included a less-than-amicable exchange on the final day with a local angler who was allegedly concerned about that particular spot on Lake Murray being exposed. Balog writes that it's time we all faced the new reality: Due to technological advances, offshore bass haunts are no longer in the realm of the unknown and multiple boats gathering on the best of those places will be the norm for the foreseeable future.

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

  • Rankings: Christie's lead reduced

    Rankings: Christie's lead reduced

    Jason Christie remained in the No. 1 slot in the newest edition of the BassFan World Rankings, but the two-tour pro's mixed results over the past 3 weeks caused his lead over 2nd-place Andy Morgan to shrink a bit.

    To see the full list, click here.

  • Texan buys Kick'n Bass

    Texan buys Kick'n Bass

    Longtime Texas tournament angler Ron Risenhoover notified BassFan this week that's he's purchased the attractant manufacturing company Kick'n Bass from founder Ken Kross and relocated it from Arizona to Texas.

    Risenhoover's company, R-Scientific Enterprises, bought Kick'n Bass under the stipulation that the formulas not be altered.

    “We are very proud to have been entrusted with this company," he said. "For over 18 years Kick’n Bass has picked up a loyal following with its proven products and we do not plan to make any changes in the formulas. We are currently contacting the past field reps and pro staff to inform them of the ownership change and to expect a 'grass roots earthquake' as we revitalize the visibility of all of our products."

    Kick'n Bass comes in three bass formulas (garlic, crawfish and shad) as well as versions for crappie, trout, walleye and saltwater species.

  • New gear: Big Bite Baits new colors, sizes

    New gear: Big Bite Baits new colors, sizes

    At ICAST earlier this summer, BassFan stopped by the Big Bite Baits booth to check out what was new. Elite Series pro Dean Rojas took us through some of the new colors that will available in his signature series baits like the Fighting Frog, Cane Thumper and Warmouth.

    To hear more from Rojas, click here.

  • Poll: Past winner's exemptions?

    The last time a Bassmaster Classic took place without Kevin VanDam in the field was 1990. Another one will occur at South Carolina's Lake Hartwell in February as the four-time Classic winner failed to qualify for the sport's premier event for the first time in his illustrious career.

    That occurrence has sparked a debate among fans as to whether the Classic should follow the lead of golf's Masters tournament and offer exemptions to all former winners. How about multiple-time winners?

    To vote in the new BassFan Opinion Poll, click here to return to the home page and scroll down the right side.

  • Nixon, Yelas reminisce

    Nixon, Yelas reminisce

    The Bass Fishing archives has launched a series of stories and videos that will interest longtime fans. It features Larry Nixon and Jay Yelas looking back to the early stages of their careers and recalling some of the most memorable tournaments of a bygone era.

    In the first installment, they talk about the 1990 Megabucks derby at Florida's Harris Chain – a 6-day marathon that Nixon won by nearly 10 pounds. He and Yelas were paired together on day 1 and Yelas lip-landed the largest fish Nixon ever caught in competition, a 10-10 brute.

    To see it, click here (the video is embedded at the bottom).

  • Watson aligns with Waft

    Watson aligns with Waft

    FLW Tour pro James Watson has joined the pro staff of South Africa-based rod manufacturer Waft Fishing.

    "We are excited about James joining our team and helping us to promote the rods in the U.S.," said Waft's Dan Mathisen. "We appreciate James being proactive about introducing them to other anglers."

    Watson, a Missouri resident, has been using Waft rods for over a year.

    "I love my Waft rods," he said. "These high-performance carbon fiber rods are bulletproof. They are hard to break but super lightweight and sensitive."

  • TTBC returns to Fork in '15

    Lake Fork will again be the host venue for the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which is scheduled for May 23-25, 2015.

    “After a world-record setting event in 2014 we are very excited to return to Lake Fork in 2015,” said tournament director Lenny Francoeur. “This community has been so welcoming and the bass fishing at Lake Fork is world-class. We can’t wait to get back there next spring.”

    The field size will be reduced from 50 to 38 and will include the top 15 finishers from the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour angler of the year standings along with seven exemptions and defending champion Keith Combs. The full field will compete for two days before being reduced to 10 anglers for the final round on Memorial Day (May 25).

    Through a continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), TTBC will continue to focus on conservation efforts and adhere to a strict catch, weigh and immediate release format. Over the last eight years, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic has donated over $2 million to the TPWD, an effort that will continue in 2015.

    “We were proud to see the record-setting fish catches at the 2014 event," said Dave Terre of the TPWD. "Those catches were a direct result of our progressive fisheries management practices, including special fishing regulations, fish stocking, and fish habitat improvements with the Sabine River Authority.

    “This tournament, including its unique catch-weigh-immediate release format, gives us the opportunity to show the world just how good Lake Fork really is. We are thankful for the opportunity to do this again in 2015 and also for all the benefits this event provides to TPWD.”

    In addition to the bass fishing competition, TTBC organizers plan to include a full line up of premier country music acts, vendor expo showcases, outdoor family activities and more in 2015. For more information and event news, visit

  • Cayuga Lake Photo Galleries

    Cayuga Lake Photo Galleries

    It was a fast and furious morning on day 4 of the Cayuga Lake Elite Series as the 12 finalists spanned out up and down one of New York's famed Finger Lakes.

    > To check out BassFan's photo gallery of the final morning, click here.

    > To check out BassFan's gallery of leader Greg Hackney on the water on Sunday morning, click here.

    > Don't forget to check out previous galleries from this week's event (Day 2 and Day 3).

  • Snapcast: Where does KVD go from here?

    Snapcast: Where does KVD go from here?

    "Unless your name is Kevin VanDam, you're eventually going to have a bad year."

    I've heard that statement, or something very similar to it, at least a dozen times from anglers coming off a sub-par Bassmaster Elite Series campaign. Now the qualifier can be removed.

    The great KVD has had a bad year – for the first time ever. He won't be one of the 50 anglers competing in the AOY Championship next month at the Bays de Noc in his home state of Michigan, where he would've been a prohibitive favorite. More shockingly, he won't be a contestant in next year's Bassmaster Classic at South Carolina's Lake Hartwell.

    A Classic without VanDam in the field has not occurred since 1990. George Bush – the older one – wasn't even halfway through his Presidency then. The most popular TV shows that year included "Cheers," "Roseanne," "The Cosby Show," and something aptly called "A Different World." Indeed, just about everything was much, much different than it is today.

    There's no need to get sappy here, as VanDam's record speaks for itself – loudly. In the most competitive era this still-young sport has ever seen, he's captured 11 major titles (seven Angler of the Year awards and four Classic championships). No other current, full-time pro has even half that many and nobody is within smelling distance of the more than $6 million he's won in B.A.S.S. and FLW competition.

    When contrasted against his stellar record, his struggles this year were simply stunning. He finished in the bottom third of the field four times in seven Elite points events – something he'd never done even once in the 8 prior seasons of the circuit (one disqualification not withstanding). He was his old self on a couple of occasions (2nd in the inaugural BASSFest at Chickamauga and 5th at Table Rock), but he was a boom-or-bust guy and the busts were far more frequent. His incredible consistency – which produced a phenomenal 29 straight Top-50 cuts prior to this year's St. Johns River stop – was nowhere to be found.

    VanDam, who'll turn 47 this fall, has vowed to bounce back stronger than before. That quest alone will make the 2015 season one of the most compelling ever. Was this year just an unexpected but inevitable downtick, or was it the end of his reign as the most feared competitor in the game?

    At this point, anyway, the smart money is staying away from the latter scenario.

    --John Johnson
    --BassFan Senior Editor

  • Schmitt picks up 5th Rayovac win

    Schmitt picks up 5th Rayovac win

    Maryland's Bryan Schmitt caught a 15-05 sack on Saturday to win the James River Northern Rayovac with a 3-day total of 52-12.

    “I caught 90 percent of my weight in the first 15 minutes every day,” said Schmitt, who is now tied with FLW Tour pros Koby Kreiger and Randy Haynes for most career Rayovac wins with five. “I would catch a few giants in the morning and then work as hard as I could to fill my limit the rest of the day.”

    Schmitt said that he targeted two key outside bends of a creek channel that had a mix of grass and pads on them for his early morning weight before targeting thicker vegetation the rest of the day. He reported catching most of his fish on a 6th Sense Core X Swimbait and he also caught a few on a Strike King KVD HC 1.5 square-bill crankbait.

    Full details of his winning pattern will be published in the coming days.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Bryan Schmitt: 52-12
    2. Wayne Vaughan: 50-03
    3. Kelly Pratt: 48-01
    4. William Shelton III: 42-07
    5. Chris Baumgardner: 37-03
    6. Bo Boltz: 33-06
    7. Shayne Berlo: 33-06
    8. Frank Poirier: 31-11
    9. Robert Whitehurst: 30-05
    10. J.T. Kenney: 28-07

  • Life-jacket design contest will pay $10,000

    Life-jacket design contest will pay $10,000

    The BoatUS Foundation has teamed up with the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) to seek out the newest technologies and design ideas with the “Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition,” which began this week.

    “We believe there are some creative folks out there who can help us rethink a 100-year-old design with fresh, out-of-the-box ideas,” said BoatUS Foundation president Chris Edmonston.

    A $10,000 cash award goes to the winning designer and inventors have until April 15, 2015 to submit their idea.

    Entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability (level of comfort), reliability (potential for failure), cost and innovation (originality or utilization of new technologies).

    The BoatUS Foundation will post entries on its website and Facebook page for public voting. The winner will be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Ky.

    Additional cash prizes are offered for 2nd and 3rd place. For more information or to enter, visit

  • Opinion: Bass interference?

    Opinion: Bass interference?

    Steve Chaconas, a guide and fishing media personality from the Washington, D.C. area, has contributed several opinion pieces to BassFan over the years. Today he offers up a new one on the incident between Anthony Gagliardi and a local fisherman at the Forrest Wood Cup. In his view, all of us who fish recreationally and at lower competitive levels owe something to the pros, who help us become better anglers.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Balog: Cup is different, and that's fine

    Balog: Cup is different, and that's fine

    Joe Balog is back in Minnesota after attending the Forrest Wood Cup for the first time. His assessment is that it's no Bassmaster Classic, but that's not a knock – it's a worthy championship event in its own right.

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

  • Report: Elites going to Chesapeake

    Report: Elites going to Chesapeake

    Reports that the Bassmaster Elite Series will visit the Chesapeake Bay in 2015 were validated today when the Cecil (Md.) Whig ran a story on such an announcement by Cecil County's tourism director.

    The event, which will take place Aug. 13-16, is one of five 2015 stops that have been confirmed either by B.A.S.S. or via local news outlets. The others are the Sabine River, Sacramento River (California Delta), Lake Havasu and the St. Lawrence River.

    To read the Whig's article, click here.

  • Martin had encounter similar to Gagliardi's

    Martin had encounter similar to Gagliardi's

    Scott Martin told BassFan today that he had a run-in on day 3 of the Forrest Wood Cup with the same gentleman that Anthony Gagliardi encountered the following morning.

    Martin said he started days 2 and 3 on the same point that Gagliardi eventually fished on the final day, just up from the northern end of the Saluda Dam. Upon arriving at the area on day 3, Martin noticed a man fishing in a red and white Nitro.

    "These schools of fish we were fishing, they don't just randomly come up 100 yards from here or there, it's roughly the same spot," he said. "I came off plane and made sure to swing wide off in the deep water and I was probably 100 yards from the guy. He was down the side of the point more.

    "A habit I have in a situation like that is I always ask before I make a cast," Martin continued, "but I noticed he turned his trolling motor and started coming out at me. I said, 'Do you mind if I make a few casts across this point?' From where I was, I would be casting 90 degrees away from him."

    Martin said the man leaned over and increased the speed of his trolling motor, but was still a distance away.

    "He says, 'You might as well because it doesn't matter anyway,'" Martin recalled. "'You guys get to fish every day. I wish you guys weren't here.'"

    As Martin informed him the tournament would be over on the following the day, the man continued to get closer to his boat.

    "I didn't say anything and I was throwing completely away from him," Martin said. "So I kept casting and casting, but he was still coming at me and I didn't know what he's going to do. He started throwing at my boat, staring at me the whole time. Just then, some fish came up on the other side of where he come from so I turned out to open water to steer away from him. I was going out 100 yards on the other side and the minute I turned, he turns and comes right at me again and starts casting at my boat.

    "I told him I was trying to get around him and give him plenty of room. I asked him where he wanted to fish. He said, 'I'm fishing all of this.' At that point, I asked him if he was going to ram my boat."

    Martin said he finally steered clear of the man and fished a dock that was near where the man had been before.

    "I didn't want to fight, but he eventually left," Martin said. "The minute he left Anthony went over there and started catching them. It was a spot Anthony said he'd seen them breaking out of the corner of his eye on day 2. I fished it later that afternoon, but didn't catch anything."

    Martin said at the Top-10 meeting Saturday night he warned Gagliardi about a guy in a smaller boat who was not happy that we were there.

    "I've never had a guy chase me around like that," Martin said. "I've had guys not want to leave, but it's an argument both ways. It is what it is. Later on, when I was on a different spot, the same guy came by on half plane. People in boats that were watching me were yelling to him to slow down, but he just kept coming.

    "The guy was definitely aggressive. When I stop 100 yards away from you and you troll at me cussing and then start casting at me when I try to go around you, he made me uncomfortable enough where I left."

    BassFan is attempting to reach the local angler in question in an effort to get his view on what transpired last weekend.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Cup

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

    Scott Canterbury's tournament didn't end when he weighed four fish for 10-00 on day 1 of the Forrest Wood Cup. His Lake Murray adventure was just getting started.

    "Twelve to 13 pounds a day is what everybody wanted to do," he said. "I felt like I was on the right pace. I was right there. I fished so clean. It was a strange thing."

    There's no telling how day 1 or his tournament for that matter would've gone had he not hand-lined a fish back to the boat after his line broke in his reel upon setting the hook. His 10-pound bag had him in 16th, but he moved up the ledger each day after that.

    "Eighty percent of the time you're going to lose that fish," he said. "It was one of those deals where strange things happened."

    He made a critical decision toward the end of day 2 to scrap his plan to target schooling fish on the lower end of the lake and instead power-fish shallow water with a buzzbait and jig.

    He targeted shallow grass with a clean bottom out in front on days 2 and 3 before focusing more on dock piers on the final day when he caught 13-14 to finish 2nd to Anthony Gagliardi.

    "It was all about covering new water," he said. "If there was a fish up there that hadn’t seen a bait it would bite. They were so aggressive, but if you went to a place where you'd catch one, it seemed like the others would just look at your bait and not bite.

    "If I could've figured that out during practice, I could've won by 5 or 6 pounds. If we went to new places fish would just choke the bait."

    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: Cup

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

    Philip Jarabeck went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows at the Forrest Wood Cup.

    After rebounding from a three-fish stringer on day 1 to catch 17-00 on day 2 and take the lead at the halfway point of the tournament, his momentum came to a screeching halt on day 3. He weighed in two fish for 4-00 and missed the Top-10 cut at his first Cup as a pro by 1 ounce.

    He was visibly shaken after the day-3 weigh-in, but later said the whole experience will serve as a teaching tool.

    "It was definitely a positive experience," he said. "Look at the field I was surrounded by. There were some of the best guys in fishing. I can't walk away with any bitterness finishing 11th in that field. I feel very blessed to finish where I did.

    "I want to be at that championship even more now because once you have the opportunity and you can sit in that seat, you envision it even more and it gives you more drive, so I'm excited for the years to come."

    On day 2, he'd caught a couple big fish shallow on a buzzbait, and then retreated to stumpy, rocky humps and brush piles in 20 to 25 feet of water to finish off his limit.

    "At one point, my co-angler said to me that I was making it look easy," Jarabeck said.

    Day 3 was anything but easy.

    "I felt comfortable going out Saturday," he said. "I had enough deep holes where I felt like I could catch three good fish. We had an extended morning with the cloud cover so I decided to go shallow to try to catch some big ones and I caught just one 2-pounder."

    He moved out to some brush piles, but couldn’t get bit with a dropshot.

    "Of the 15 places, I'd say 10 of them I really had confidence that they were there," he said, "but they weren't there. I just didn't get bit. There were definitely some fish on my graph, but the problem was the number of trash fish in that lake like white bass and gar make it hard to tell for sure if they were bass. I knew that if he lived there, I was dropping it down on the right place. I couldn't tell if I caught all of the resident fish.

    "My theory is that those fish were feeding on herring in the morning, then they'd find their way back to the cover when it got hot. With the cloud cover, instead of roaming and feeding in say a 200-yard radius, maybe they went further that morning and didn't com back until later. Either way, it was an absolute light switch that got turned off."

    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.

  • Elites going west in '15

    Elites going west in '15

    B.A.S.S. announced today that the Bassmaster Elite Series will return to the West next year for the first time since 2010. Events will be held on California's Sacramento River (California Delta) April 30-May 3 and Arizona's Lake Havasu May 7-10.

    “We’re thrilled to bring our premier anglers and events back to the West,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “The West offers outstanding angling, beautiful venues and first-class hospitality. The Elite Series is a national tournament circuit, and bringing it to California and Arizona gives us the opportunity to test our anglers while serving our fans and stakeholders in the area. These will be great events."

    The events will be the third and fourth stops on the '15 schedule. B.A.S.S. will not release the remainder of the slate until early September, but local media have previously reported that events at the Sabine River in Texas (March 19-22) and the St. Lawrence River in New York (sometime in August) are locked in.

    The two Western venues are separated by nearly 600 highway miles, which will make it difficult for anglers who make the final-day cut at Sacramento to get to Havasu by the following morning for the beginning of the 3-day practice period.

    The Elite Series visited the California Delta in both 2007 and 2010. Aaron Martens topped the first event and John Crews won the latter.

    “It is a pleasure to welcome the Bassmaster Elite Series to Sacramento and our beautiful river,” said Mike Sophia, director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. “Sacramento plays host to the top sports events in the country, from the (United States Golf Association) to USA Track and Field and NCAA events. Bringing the best anglers in the world here and highlighting the natural beauty of our destination will show all we have to offer to anglers and visitors alike.”

    Havasu, generally considered the best desert lake in the country, is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass. B.A.S.S. has not staged an event there since 2003, when the lake hosted a Western Open.

    “We can all be proud that our prime fishery will be put in front of fishing fanatics all over the world,” said Doug Traub, president/CEO of the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We expect that the entire town will be packed with fans who are here to see the Top 100 anglers in the world compete for a series-wide top prize of $100,000. We also thank all of our partners who came together to bring this world-class event to Lake Havasu for the first time. It’s taken nearly 2 years of effort to bring the Bassmaster Elite Series back to the Western U.S.”

  • Cayuga has 'em

    Aaron Martens and Brent Chapman both got plenty of bites on Monday as practice for the Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series got under way in western New York. However, both are convinced that the lake will "fish small" and that competitors who fare well will need to adjust each day.

    For more, click here to visit Pro View Reports.

  • Denali hires Head to lead sales

    Denali hires Head to lead sales

    Rod manufacturer Denali announced today that it's hired Bryan Head as its national sales manager. Head has more than 20 years experience in the fishing industry, including the past 8 at Jewel Bait Company.

    “I’ve known (Denali president Scott Estes) for a number of years and I’ve watched him grow the brand during one of the toughest times the industry has gone through," Head said. "For him to do that is a testament to the hard work and great customer service the Denali brand offers. I’m excited to help that growth and use my industry experience to keep moving forward.”

    Said Estes: “We’ve gotten to the point where we need to start opening up other markets. Having someone on staff with the industry experience that Bryan brings is integral to that goal. He has a wealth of knowledge that we plan on tapping as we move forward with our goals. We have a lot of exciting things in the works, and Bryan is just the guy to help us move ahead.”

  • Berkley trailer heads for Ithaca

    Berkley trailer heads for Ithaca

    The Berkley Experience Trailer is on its way to Ithaca, N.Y. this week for the Bassmaster Elite Series event at Cayuga Lake. It'll be onsite Friday through Sunday.

    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."

    Upcoming stops at set for the Elite Series AOY Championship at the Bays de Noc in Michigan (Sept. 20-21) and the Berkley Big Bass Challenge at Lake Fork in Texas (Oct. 17-19).

  • M-Pack: Immunity to wood

    If you've done much fishing with traditional jigs and spoons around woody cover, you've lost quite a few of them. Sometimes there's just no way to free a hook that's become embedded in a stump or branch.

    The unique Structure Guard on M-Pack Lures jigs and spoons goes a long, long way toward eliminating bait-losing hangups. To see how, watch the video embedded below.

  • Cup: Day 4 updates

    Back in Michael Jordan's heyday with the Chicago Bulls, the team had a ritual before each game where they would gather outside the locker room, lean in close to each other, put their hands in the middle and someone would scream "What time is it?"

    The team would respond collectively, in unison, "It's winning time."

    We have reached winning time at the Forrest Wood Cup here at Lake Murray Brent Ehrler is leading Bryan Thrift by a tiny 3-ounce margin and three other pros are within 2-10 of the lead. I'll be on the water this morning trying to see whose time it is.

    > 10:40 am: Ehrler still with a spinning rod in his hand. He's looking at his electronics so he must see something or know there's some brush there. Looks like it's shaping up to be a tough final day.

    > 10:10 am: We are now watching Ehrler. He was fishing by an island but has since headed back toward Dreher Island. Looks like he's dropshotting. He's got one decent fish. He just broke off and is retying.

    > 9:30 am: Thrift just put #2 in the box. It's a squeaker but it counts. Caught it off a retaining wall. Now he's off to his next spot.

    > 9:15 am: Thrift has left Bear Creek and made a short run around the corner to a stretch of docks. He got hung up briefly on a rope tied to a giant inflatable float tube and is speed-trolling and casting around docks and pontoon boats.

    > 9 am: Thrift is now working a topwater soft plastic toad, casting to shoreline grass and up, under and around docks. He made a comment a little bit ago that he may have fished this creek out. It's peaceful and calm back in here. Much different than the dam area. As I type this Thrift sets the hook on one near a small rocky point. Looks like a 2 1/2-pounder. "Finally caught one," he says to his crowd of about 15 boats.

    > 8:30 am: We found Thrift fishing his way out of Bear Creek with a buzzbait. He's picking up speed looking for his first keeper.

    > 8 AM: Gagliardi just caught a short fish but the local isn't giving ground. He continues to shadow Gagliardi's moves and they've been within a cast of each other more than once. Their dialogue has stopped. From what we understand it wasn't all cordial. We are fixing to leave to chase down Thrift.

    > 7:20 am: First mental test of the day for Gagliardi. The local sitting on his first spot is inside of him and seems to be unwilling to cede the area to Anthony. We've heard them chatting but can't hear the context. Gagliardi missed a schooler. He fired back with a different bait but no dice. This will be interesting to watch as the local continues to zig-zag across the area in front of Gagliardi.

    > 7:15 am: We managed to lose Thrift on the way out of the blast-off area so we followed Anthony Gagliardi to his first spot. This is where we watched him yesterday down by the north end of the dam. There's a local sitting on his spot.

    > 7:01 am: It's time to fish. We are going to follow Bryan Thrift to start. The skies are clear and it's fixing to be a hot one.

  • Dalbey receives leadership award

    Dalbey receives leadership award

    Rich Dalbey, a second-year FLW Tour pro from Texas, received the 2014 Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award at the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C.

    Dalbey organized food drives at tour stops that resulted in the collection of more than 800 pounds of food and sufficient cash to purchase 3,000 meals in local communities.

    For more on the award, click here.

    To read a BassFan feature on Dalbey from earlier this season, click here.

  • '15 Cup to Ouachita

    FLW announced today that the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup will be held at Lake Ouachita and Hot Springs, Ark., will serve as the host city.

    The dates of the event will be Aug. 20-23, 2015. Ouachita also hosted the Cup in 2007 and 2011. The qualification criteria will remain the same – top 35 anglers in FLW Tour points,

    “We are thrilled to be returning to Lake Ouachita for our 2015 Forrest Wood Cup,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW President of Operations. “The previous events that we have held in Hot Springs have all been extremely successful, and the attendance has been fantastic. It made returning to Lake Ouachita an easy decision. The bass-fishing community in Arkansas has always welcomed FLW with open arms, and we’re proud to return for the 20th installment of our championship event.”

    The 2015 Cup will mark the 20th anniversary of the championship event and weigh-in festivities will held at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, formerly known as Summit Arena.

    “FLW and Hot Springs have a great history together,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “Our audiences for the Forrest Wood Cup and other FLW events have been large and enthusiastic, and we know the 2015 Cup will be greeted with the same enthusiasm and hospitality that FLW has become accustomed to.”

  • Cup: Day 3 updates

    It's day 3 of the Forrest Wood Cup and this much is clear – nothing. Nobody has been able to separate themselves from the pack doing any one particular thing. Limits are considered golden this week and any fish in the 3 1/2-pound range or better will go a long way in determining the outcome.

    Todd Ceisner is back at Dreher Island State Park ready to get on the water and get a feel for the action today.

    > To check out our Day 3 Photo Gallery, click here.

    > 10:15 am: Gagliardi boats a keeper on a fluke. Not sure if that gives him a limit but he seems to like this area as he's gone back and forth over it a few times now. Eddie and I are going to head back to Dreher Island now and see if we can't find some more day 3 anglers. Already saw more fish caught today than on days 1 and 2 combined.

    > 9:41 am: We opted to move off of the human 5-fish limit Ehrler since we spotted Anthony Gagliardi not far from the dam. He just caught a keeper. Not sure how many that gives him. Scott Martin is fishing just up from Gagliardi and signaled to us he has two keepers.

    > 9:05 am: Couple notes on my boat drivers this week. Ray Pettit, who drove me around Thursday and Friday, is a paramedic from Spartanburg, SC. He fishes BFLs and Rayovac Series events as a co-angler and is toying with moving up to the Tour in 2015.

    Sloop is retired from his job as a production superintendent for a pharmaceutical company that made ibuprofen. He's now involved with Habitat For Humanity around Lake Murray on top of fishing in the Lake Murray Seniors bass club. Always enjoy getting to know the locals who know the area and learn about how and why they're involved with bass fishing.

    > 8:55 am: Ehrler has stuck with one presentation so far today – a double fluke rig – and he's making long casts in hopes he can catch the attention of fish keying on bait. It's something even locals don't throw much any more, says Eddie Sloop. He's still working offshore near the south end of the dam. Arey has retuned to the area now and is within three casts of Ehrler.

    > 8:35 am: After running not quite all the way back to where he started, Ehrler finishes his limit. Tough to tell size from our distance but he's got five and in this lake this week a limit will keep you in the game. Too bad the local news helicopter didn't stick around to catch him landing it.

    > 8:10 am: Ehrler has made a move to the dam and is fishing right against the rock. As we pull in, we see Arey, Wheeler and Scott Martin fishing offshore in front of the dam. Not long though until Arey and Wheeler leave as Martin moves in closer to the dam. The sun has burned through the clouds finally and it's starting to warm up.

    > 7:45 am: Ehrler is on fire. Just put another one in the boat - a good one. Gives him four for 8 pounds, he says. He leans into another one but it's a short. The fish are here and he's gaining some momentum.

    > 7:29 am: We have arrived at Jakes Landing and find Brent Ehrler sharing a sloping point with Matt Arey. Fish are breaking the surface all around and Ehrler sticks a good one to get started. He said he might stay down here a while based on the cloud cover. A few minutes later Jacob Wheeler pulls in and starts fishing the next cove. Arey picks and leaves while Ehrler has opted move in closer to shore.

    > 6:52 am: I am in the boat with Eddie Sloop, a resident of Prosperity, SC. We're floating outside the mouth of the takeoff zone and there's a good bit of fog down lake and there's plenty of cloud cover. Yet another curveball at Lake Murray.

    > 6:15 am: It's warm out here already at the launch ramp, but there are some clouds in the sky and that should make for some interesting decision-making on the water today as it's expected to be partly to mostly cloudy all day.

    Funny quote from Anthony Gagliardi yesterday about the group of spectator boats that followed him all over the lake on day 2 only to see him catch four keepers: "They'd probably like for me to reimburse them for gas for what they got to see and what they had to spend. They might not follow me tomorrow if they think I'm going to be doing the same thing."

  • Longtime B.A.S.S. employee Dawson dies

    James "Pooley" Dawson, who was employed by B.A.S.S. for nearly four decades and helped run hundreds of the organization's events, died Friday after an extended illness.

    Dawson was hired by B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott in 1972 and retired in 2010. Scott thought so highly of Dawson that when Scott was invited to the White House for lunch with President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and told he could bring two friends, he chose Dawson and Forrest Wood.

    Dawson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from B.A.S.S. in 2005 (to read a column about that occasion that Scott penned for BassFan, click here).

    Harold Sharp, B.A.S.S.' first tournament director, passed along this remembrance of Dawson:

    "Pooley and I were great friends for 44 years. He was a very important part of the B.A.S.S. staff who made the tournaments run smoothly. I never worried about Pooley being on time and doing his job – just give him a job to do and forget it, and he could handle about anything you needed.

    "The Classic drive-in weigh-ins ran smoothly because of Pooley. Early on he and I developed a signal system so we had the boats and anglers moving when we needed them to move. Pooley watched my hand and when it was time to move, I just quickly pointed at Pooley and he waved his white flag to bring up another boat and stop on the exact spot. We never had a problem with it.

    "We will all miss our Pooley. R.I.P."

    Funeral services will be held Aug. 23 at Hopewell Baptist Church, 1832 Highway 80 West, Lowndesboro, Ala.

  • McDonald gets deal with Buck

    McDonald gets deal with Buck

    Buck Knives announced that it's signed FLW Tour pro Bill McDonald to a sponsorship deal. He joins Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Bill Lowen and Brandon Palaniuk on the company's pro staff.

    “I grew up in Indiana and nearly everything I did outdoors was with my Buck knife,” he said. “I never went anywhere without my Buck 110 Folding Hunter. I am honored that Buck chose me as their first sponsored FLW angler.”

    Said Buck director of sales and marketing Bob George: “We are excited to work with Bill. His experience in tournament fishing and his love for the outdoors are a great fit for Buck. He is a great addition to our current pro staff and I am confident he will be an outstanding ambassador for Buck Knives and our brand.”

  • Cup: Day 2 updates

    BassFan editor Todd Ceisner will continue to post updates as the action unfolds at Lake Murray today on day 2 of the Forrest Wood Cup. It'll be interesting to see how the field adjusts today and how the leaderboard gets shuffled around.

    > 10:30 am: On the way back to the ramp we come across Anthony Gagliardi and a crowd of 10 spectator boats. He's fishing off shore making long casts. He lightens the mood a bit when he says to the onlookers, "How about I follow one of y'all to my next hole." Two casts later he picks up and heads off. We are heading in. Seems like a tougher morning overall today.

    > 10:05 am: Meyer is flipping a small cluster of docks and is halfway through with no luck yet. We're heading over to check on another competitor who stopped offshore not too far away. It's Matt Arey with four spectator boats in tow. He's got one keeper.

    > 9:54 am: Meyer just made a 10-mile run toward the dam and is now fishing offshore. I'm sure he'd like to get the first keeper in the boat here. There is no breeze here today where there were 3-footers yesterday. The sun is getting higher and it's getting hotter. In turn, the fishing has gotten tougher. Not that it wasn't already.

    > 9:30 am: Meyer worked through a couple more areas with no luck and just made a 5-minute run and is again fishing a rocky point.

    > 8:57 am: Meyer starts working a point with a rocky bank and, of course, docks. Still looking for keeper No. 1. He's approaching a stretch of boat lifts now.

    > 8:30 am: Meyer catches his first bass but it's a short. He's now moved to a causeway. Two casts and we are moving again.

    > 7:58 am: Meyer continues to fish his milk run of pockets and points. Yesterday, his better fish came deep so he might be waiting for the sun to get higher before switching it up. He's yet to catch a fish today.

    > 7:31 am: Meyer is off and moving again, his fourth move already. He's fishing mainly small pockets with isolated docks and bank grass. And we are off again.

    > 7:10 am: Cody Meyer starts with a topwater along some bank grass but he's quickly back behind the wheel and makes a short run around the other side of the island. He's now fishing a new dock that's still under construction.

    > 6:15 AM: I'm back out at Dreher Island State Park and there appears to be a better crowd starting to gather to get a glimpse of takeoff. Not a cloud in the sky and it's 72 degrees.

  • College: ULM angler becomes No. 4

    College: ULM angler becomes No. 4

    Brett Preuett of the University of Louisiana-Monroe became the fourth collegiate angler to ever qualify for the Bassmaster Classic when he defeated Bethel University's Zack Parker in the finals of the College Series Classic bracket. To find out how he did it, click here.

  • Gallery: Day 1 at the Cup

    From here on out, the Forrest Wood Cup is all about business. The richest tournament in bass fishing got under way Thursday at Lake Murray and the fishing was as advertised – tough.

    To check out BassFan's photo gallery of day 1, click here.

  • New gear: Kahara KJ Crank

    New gear: Kahara KJ Crank

    Japanese tackle company Kahara introduced the KJ Crank at ICAST this year.

    It's an interesting lure that blends the features of a small square-bill crankbait with those of a soft, hollow-body frog. The result is a virtually snag-free, shallow-running soft-body crankbait that can be fished in and around the thickest cover imaginable.

    To learn more and see it in action, click here

  • Cup: Day 1 Updates

    BassFan editor Todd Ceisner has arrived at Lake Murray for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup and the field of 45 anglers, a mix of touring pros, regional studs and young up-and-comers, is ready for the challenges that lie ahead for them over the next 4 days.

    Ceisner will be on the water for several hours each day and will provide Cupdates here from his perspective, so stick with right through Sunday for on-the-water updates in the mornings and complete coverage after each round.

    > 11:45 am: We decided to call it a day, er, morning on the water. The field appears pretty well spread out and we saw a lot of boats running around in every direction. We know of at least one big fish that was caught and there have been other quality catches reported elsewhere. Weigh-in should be interesting as we'll finally get a true feel for what this lake is doing. Heading back to Columbia now to edit photos.

    > 11:24 am: We found Tony Davis fishing along an island with some wood on shore. His co angler Bryan New stuck a good one before they moved on. No word on what Davis has.

    > 11:05 am: We are moving off of Christie, who still has two in the box and continues to run pockets with wood and docks. Heading back down toward Dreher Island to see if we can locate other anglers.

    > 10:39 am: We went to chase Matt Herren but he eluded us and now we've crossed paths with Barry Wilson, who tells us he has five, including a 6-plus pounder. Those are game changers here.

    > 10:17 am: Christie continues to fish quick through pockets. One gentleman came down from his home and is watching from his dock. Flip after flip, he's looking for keeper number three. And with that he's off and moving again.

    > 9:57 am: Watching Christie flip lay downs and flooded brush. Remember he had an abbreviated practice after making the Top 12 at the Delaware River. Maybe this is his default pattern where he hopes to catch five a day.

    > 9:30 am: Christie swung and missed on one then flipped back and nailed a keeper out of a lay down. He continued down the point which is littered with wood and missed another. He then made a short moved around the other side and is working more wood on the shady side of the point now.

    > 9:20 am: We have located Jason Christie, the top-ranked angler in the world. He was fishing a channel between a small island and shore and then moved out around a wind blown point with a sea wall on it.

    A few minutes later he made a short move to small pocket with about six docks in it. He's flipping those and the scattered bank grass. The wind has really picked up out here.

    > 8:55 am: We're on the hunt for other competitors. We're on the lower end toward the dam and there's a decent chop on the lake. Feels like Lake Erie back home.

    > 8:05 am: We find Austin Terry fishing flooded timber and a couple docks but he's quick to pull the trolling motor and make a move. So far we've seen one fish catch.

    > 7:34 am: Wheeler vacates the causeway area and we've decide to track down other anglers. We make a quick run and find Robbie Dodson fishing offshore with spinning tackle. He's constantly looking at his graph, but nothing's happening for him.

    > 7:18 am: Rose connects with a bass but it's shy of the 14-inch limit and it quickly goes back in the lake. My boat driver, Ray Pettit, says Rose isn't far from one of the best spots on the lake.

    Rose quickly fires back under the bridge before working under the causeway and changing rods.

    > 7:10 am: The water temperature was 83.7 degrees just outside the takeoff area and figures to climb as the sun gets up. There's a nice breezy ripple on the water.

    > 7:05 AM: Jacob Wheeler and Mark Rose get started on a bridge not far from takeoff, just on opposite sides both with spinning rods.

    > 5:45 AM: Rayovac Series qualifier Stephen Johnston gets the worm. He was the first competitor to tie up at the takeoff dock. "I'm up at 4:30 am every day so this is nothing new for me."

    He likes the breeze this morning and seems upbeat and confident after spending 14 days here before off limits.

    > 5:20 AM: Dreher Island State Park is a little quiet right now. FLW workers are prepping for day 1 takeoff. Some media boat drivers are staged at the dock, but I haven't yet seen a competitor pull up. They'll be here shortly. Little bit of a breeze here and a starry sky over head. Should be a good morning.

    Bear with me please as I’m at the mercy of my 3G iPhone 4, now considered a dinosaur in the cellular arms race. So far so good.

  • Balog: Ike stuck to the script

    Balog: Ike stuck to the script

    In this week's edition of Balog's Bass War, Joe Balog salutes Mike Iaconelli for his resounding victory at the Delaware River and B.A.S.S. for disregarding all the noise from the naysayers about how an event in Philadelphia would be a fiasco. Also, he peeks into the future and provides some firsthand insights about the venue that will host the AOY Championship next month.
    To read it, click here.

  • Ike the bottle collector

    Ike the bottle collector

    (Editor's note: Here's a low-key piece about Mike Iaconelli submitted by longtime industry rep Alan McGuckin. The final item might be the most interesting: Who knew that Ike collects old bottles?)

    Mike Iaconelli’s Bassmaster Elite Series win on the Delaware River in his hometown of Philadelphia was certainly one of the most adrenalin-packed wins in B.A.S.S. history.

    His passion is transparent. His popularity is nearly unparalled. But there are a few things we’re still learning about Ike.

    > Five lures that got a lot of work on the Delaware during Ike’s intense practice days leading up to victory: 1) Shaky-head with a black grape trick worm; 2) Berkley Havoc Pit Boss in a color called Okeechobee craw, rigged on a 5/0 VMC flipping hook and a 3/8-ounce VMC tungsten weight; 3) Black and blue heavy-cover jig; 4) Rapala DT6 crankbait in a color called Caribbean shad; 5) Molix double-willow spinnerbait with painted white blades. Note: the Berkley Havoc Pit Boss ended up being one of the most important lures in Ike’s win.

    > Four who have Iaconelli’s heart and soul: His children. The man who sometimes acts like a kid himself is absolutely, positively consumed by the love he has for his four children; Vegas, Rylie, Stelly, and Drew. He’s as much a part of their lives as Trent Cole is to the Eagles’ defense. And man, do his kids ever idolize and love him back.

    > Three lures Iaconelli’s longtime roommate on tour and close friend John Crews used on the Delaware River to catch 31 pounds of bass and gain a Top-12 finish: 1) Missile Baits Baby D Bomb in a color called super bug; 2) Missile Baits Fuse 4.4 on a Missile Warlock 1/8-ounce head; 3) 3/8-ounce Delta Lures vibration jig tipped with a Missile Baits 3.5 Shockwave.

    > Two of the many legendary eateries Ike rattled-off when asked where to find a good cheesesteak: 1) Geno’s; 2) Pat’s. Interestingly, Pat’s and Geno’s compete diagonally across the street from one another, just one long Iaconelli cast apart.

    > One thing very few people know about Iaconelli: He loves to collect antique glass bottles often located in the backyard trash privies of Philadelphia homes built in the 1700s. “I was 15 when I found my first one. It was an ink bottle. Some are milk bottles, others are flasks or medicine bottles, but my favorites are ink bottles. I haven’t dug for them in 20 years, but I still collect them through the Internet and I’m still a member of some glass collectors clubs and receive their newsletters.”

  • Gallery: Delaware days

    Gallery: Delaware days

    In some ways, the Delaware River Bassmaster Elite Series looked like any other tour-level event. In other ways, it was the most unique tournament in the 9-year history of the circuit.

    For a photographic look at the Elites' first-ever visit to Philadelphia, click here.

  • Sonar: Champlain fruitless, but fun

    Sonar: Champlain fruitless, but fun

    Miles Burghoff was the first angler out of the money at the recent Champlain Bassmaster Northern Open, but that sense of disappointment was overridden by how much enjoyment he derived from his 2 days on the water at one of the country's most prolific fisheries.

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

  • Cup Media Day Notes

    Cup Media Day Notes

    As the field for the Forrest Wood Cup gathered Tuesday afternoon under a picnic shelter at Dreher Island State Park following the conclusion of official practice, some thunder boomed overhead as a brief storm system passed through.

    While some flinched at the claps of thunder, Randall Tharp was calm, composed and quietly confident, anxiously awaiting his chance to defend his Cup victory.

    "I spent 2 days here before the cutoff and halfway through the second day I found a little area that I felt like had winning potential and I've obviously checked that area and I didn't practice much since then," he said with a sheepish grin.

    His practice at the Red River was almost the same story – he'd found an area with a lot of potential earlier in the spring and when the Cup came around on the schedule, he got dialed in and rode it all the way to the win. It's hard to ignore the similarities in his demeanor this week compared to last August in Shreveport, La.

    "I expanded on it a little bit and I never saw another boat the whole time I was here," he added. "I like my chances. I'm not interested in finishing 2nd or 3rd. I'm trying to fish to my strengths and what's going to give me my best chance to win.

    "Championship events, these are the ones you want to win. I get emotions at tournaments like this that I don't get at any other ones. The half million dollars probably has something to do with it, but I didn't come here to finish 2nd."

    Hook Helper

    Who said pro anglers aren't willing to help each other out when the chips are down and $500,000 is on the line?

    On Monday morning, Tom Monsoor said he came across Mark Rose on the water at Lake Murray. Rose was frustrated that he'd just missed a good fish. Monsoor took a moment to help him understand possibly why.

    "I said, 'Throw me your lure,'" Monsoor said. "He cut the lure off and the hook slid down my thumbnail. I said, 'Mark, that's embarrassing.' I grabbed the hook sharpener and said, 'This is how you sharpen a hook the right way. You go with the grain.'

    "I showed him everything. It took not even a second and the hook stuck on my thumb as soon as I touched it. It didn't slide. He goes, 'Wow, I've been doing that wrong all of my life.'"

    Rose confirmed Monsoor's account, adding, "I guess I've been doing it wrong for 30 years. I usually sharpen it out toward the point. He comes in from the point. The thing was like a needle when he gave it back to me. I think a lot of it had to do with his sharpener."

  • "What's Ike Gonna Catch?" contest winners

    "What's Ike Gonna Catch?" contest winners

    Out of nearly 600 entries, two people came within an ounce of guessing Mike Iaconelli's final – and winning – weight at last week's Delaware River Elite Series as part of BassFan's "What's Ike Gonna Catch?" promotion with Rapala.

    James Thompson and Ted Morris each submitted guesses that Iaconelli would weigh 47 pounds, 13 ounces, just 1 ounce shy of his eventual total.

    Both Thompson and Morris will receive a prize pack from Rapala, including an assortment of new hardbaits, a hat and a t-shirt. Congratulations to both.

    Stay tuned for additional giveaways from BassFan in the future.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Delaware River

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

    Too much driving and not enough fishing on day 1 likely prevented Edwin Evers from making the Top-12 cut at last week's Delaware River Bassmaster Elite Series.

    "I ran 30 miles up the river on day 1 and I wish I hadn't done that," he said. "I'd caught a 3 1/2-pounder up there in practice and I wanted to see if there was anything to it. I never could duplicate it."

    He weighed a four-fish stringer for 6 1/2 pounds and found himself in 45th place.

    He spent the remainder of the event in Rancocas Creek, which also hosted numerous other high finishers. He again brought only four fish to the scale on day 2, but that bag was more than 2 pounds heavier and moved him up to 21st. He caught a 9-03 limit on day 3 to gain another eight places, finishing about a half-pound behind day-1 leader Boyd Duckett for the final 12-cut position.

    He threw a creature bait, a square-bill crankbait and a buzzbait. The finish was his second-best of the season and moved him up to 27th in the Angler of the Year (AOY) race – well inside the cutoff for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.

    "That was huge for me," he said. "From an AOY standpoint, it was a big deal."

    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.

  • Poss gets design patent on A-Rig

    Poss gets design patent on A-Rig

    Mann's Bait Company issued a press release stating that Andy Poss has been issued a design patent for his Alabama Rig, which took the bass-fishing world by storm 3 years ago and spurred dozens of companies to produce similar umbrella-style contraptions. His application for a utility patent is still pending.

    According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website, a design patent is "issued for a new, original and ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. It permits its owner to exclude others from making, using or selling the design for a period of 14 years from the date of patent grant."

    A more restrictive utility patent is "issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof, it permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of up to 20 years from the date of patent application filing, subject to the payment of maintenance fees."

    In short, a design patent pertains to form, whereas a utility patent relates to function.

    The design patent number is D687,917S (Michael A. Poss). The application number for the utility patent is 13/030,014.

    Mann's is the exclusive licensee for the manufacturing and marketing of the Alabama Rig. The A-Rig and all other umbrella rigs have been banned for use at professional bass fishing's tour level (Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour and PAA Tournament Series), but are allowed in triple-A events (Bassmaster Opens, FLW Rayovac Series) and many lower-level derbies.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Delaware River

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

    Shaw Grigsby had a simple explanation for why he went from 60th place after day 1 of the Delaware River Bassmaster Elite Series to 9th after day 2: He started catching all the fish that bit.

    To facilitate that, he made a basic adjustment to his Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Bug.

    "I unpegged my weight and that made a huge difference," he said. "On day 1 they were dropping it a lot, or I'd set the hook and the bait would be gone.

    "Unpegging it allowed that weight to break away from it. I believe it got me more strikes, but it really helped me catch them."

    His day-2 weight (14-15) was well over 10 pounds more than he'd brought in the previous day (4-02), when he'd landed only three keepers. He concluded the event with a couple of 9-pound stringers and ended up 5th in the final standings.

    "I was fishing way up in a creek and if I'd had it to myself I might have been able to win it. It turned out there was like five other boats up there.

    "It was just one of those things – you do what you can and catch what you can and be happy."

    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.

  • Rose aligns with Mr. Crappie

    Rose aligns with Mr. Crappie

    FLW Tour angler Mark Rose has partnered with the Mr. Crappie brand, it was announced this week.

    “I make a living bass fishing, but when I have time to just enjoy myself on the water, I’m most always fishing for crappie,” Rose said. “Crappie fishing has always played a major role in my development as angler. There’s still nothing like catching a mess crappie."

    Rose will sport the Mr. Crappie logo at the upcoming Forrest Wood Cup and promote the brand at events across the U.S.

    “Mark is the perfect fit to cross-promote the Mr. Crappie brand of products in the bass fishing market,” said Wally Marshall, AKA Mr. Crappie himself. “He is a great guy and a great outdoorsman. He is a mega-successful bass pro, but he has the same crappie fishing roots that anglers everywhere can relate to. He is a wonderful ambassador for the Mr. Crappie brand."

  • Watch frogs get flushed

    Videos of bass destroying topwater baits are a dime a dozen these days, but one showed up on YouTube last week that stands far above the norm. The videography is excellent, the fish are big and the accompanying music is spot-on.


  • A morning with Ike

    Industry rep Alan McGuckin spent Wednesday morning with Mike Iaconelli as the New Jersey angler went through final preparations for the Delaware River Elite Series.

    To check out McGuckin's blow-by-blow recap of Ike's practice session along with a photo gallery, click here.

  • Balog: How does the Cup stack up?

    Balog: How does the Cup stack up?

    The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup will take place next week at Lake Murray and Joe Balog will be in attendance for the first time. He's interested to see how the overall event compares to the Bassmaster Classic, which he's been to on a dozen occasions.

    To find out his pre-tournament perceptions, click here for the latest edition of Balog's Bass War.

  • MLF's Summit Cup airs Saturday on CBS

    MLF's Summit Cup airs Saturday on CBS

    The championship round of Major League Fishing's Summit Cup will be broadcast on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on the CBS network. The hour-long show will feature action from the Alpena, Mich. region.

    “We are really thrilled to have the special broadcast this week on CBS. This episode will show what is maybe the most remarkable day of fishing I’ve ever seen,” said MLF GM Jim Wilburn.

    The Summit Cup was shown earlier this year on Outdoor Channel. Wilburn said, however, that with the CBS broadcast, MLF is seeking to tap into a significant audience that didn’t have the opportunity to view the final round during its previous run of broadcasts.

    The broadcast will be the third “major network” airing of an MLF event. Previous championship rounds have appeared once on NBC and once on CBS.

    The Summit Cup will feature action from Grand Lake, a 5,700-acre lake roughly 20 miles north of Alpena that is heavily populated by smallmouth bass. Anglers who competed in the championship round were Brent Erhler, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Tim Horton, Aaron Martens and Kevin VanDam.

  • Report: Dayton commits $53K to tourneys in '15

    According to a report in the Aug. 5 edition of the Rhea (Tenn.) Herald-News, the Dayton City Council approved on Monday measures that authorized spending $53,000 to bring two bass fishing tournaments to Lake Chickamauga in 2015.

    The FLW Tour will be returning to Chickamauga next June at a cost of $40,000, according to the article. Dayton mayor Gary Louallen cited an increase in sales tax revenues from January to May as evidence that the tournaments have a positive financial impact on the community, although the city recorder added that additional data is needed to show that fishing tournaments were the driving force for the jump in revenue.

    Louallen added that he is only considering helping events that will draw at least 100 boats to Dayton. The additional $13,000 will be used for a Heartland Anglers tournament in September 2015.

    To read the full report, click here.

  • Gallery: Christie's labor of love

    Gallery: Christie's labor of love

    Jason Christie makes his living out of a 21-foot Ranger fiberglass boat fishing both the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series.

    This spring, though, he bought himself an 18-foot aluminum boat to take out on smaller lakes and especially the Arkansas River near his home in eastern Oklahoma. He rigged it all himself, from the trolling motor to the Power-Poles.

    To check out a photo gallery of his project, click here.

  • ULM angler nabs Classic slot

    ULM angler nabs Classic slot

    If you look at all the setbacks that Brett Preuett suffered throughout the course of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket, you’d be as shocked as he was that he made it past the first day. Before today, he lost fish, missed fish, had a giant treble hook buried in his skull and nearly fell into Lake Chatuge chasing a rod that he eventually lost.

    But on Tuesday, everything that could’ve gone his way went his way. He caught a 13-02 stringer to outduel Bethel's Zack Parker in the finals. Parker boxed 11-00.

    “Today is the best day of my life by far; everything just sort of happened for me,” he said. “I had fish hooked with just one hook and landed them, and I got everything in the boat. It was meant to be.

    “It’s been a long week. I’ve had hooks in my head and there have been some long days on the water, but it’s all been worth it. We’ve been here for 9 or 10 days fishing, and you definitely have to earn it to get here. Every year, every pro is fishing for the chance to compete in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, so to get that opportunity to go is great.”

    Preuett relied on a trio of topwater baits for his catch during the Classic Bracket, including a Lucky Craft Sammy, a Triton Mike Bucca Baits Bull Shad and an Academy H2O Express prop bait. He also caught a few fish on a dropshot rig and Fish Head Spin the first 2 days of the bracket.

    “I was just waiting each day for the schooling to start,” he said. “I had so many hit it and blow up on it and not get hooked, and some that came off each day, but not today. The big ones that ate the bait today got to the boat. With the Lord’s blessing, I fished clean today for the first time.”

    Besides the berth in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell, Preuett also won the use of a 2015 Toyota Tundra for a year, a Nitro Z8 with a 250-horsepower Mercury Optimax ProXS, as well as $7,500 from Carhartt to be used as an entry fee for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens division of his choosing.

    For Preuett to win, Parker had to lose. Parker was the most consistent angler in the field, weighing in close to 10 pounds each day. However, since the weights did not accumulate in the bracket, his multi-day totals couldn’t carry him to the victory.

    Every fish that Parker weighed ate a dropshot-rigged Roboworm in prizm shad. He saw nearly all of them on his depthfinder.

    “Things might not have turned out the way I wanted them to today, but the Lord’s blessed me with this great opportunity and I’m going to make the best out of it.”

  • No surprise: Delaware is stingy

    The first day of practice for the Delaware River Bassmaster Elite Series is in the books. Aaron Martens and Brent Chapman got six keeper bites between them, with Martens garnering five of those.

    To read their day-1 practice reports, click here.

  • SPRO winners on Chesapeake sack 19.37

    SPRO winners on Chesapeake sack 19.37

    The team of Mark Knapp and Dave Watkins caught a 19.37-pound bag to win the inaugural SPRO Upper Chesapeake Frog Tournament over the weekend. The event, in which only SPRO frogs could be used, drew 80 teams and offered more than $8,000 worth of prizes.

    In Iowa, the 2nd annual Spro Frog Open on the Mississippi River drew 65 teams. Winners Rick Miller and Gary Schreiner pocketed the top prize of $1,850.

  • Dobyns signs with ex-NHL star's show

    Dobyns signs with ex-NHL star's show

    California-based Dobyns Rods has signed on as a sponsor of Sportsman 360 TV, the show created and hosted by five-time NHL all-star Owen Nolan. The show features a unique lineup of professional athletes, bass anglers and other celebrities set against the backdrop of North America’s most scenic hunting and fishing destinations.

    “Fishing has been the focus of my entire career, but I will admit that not much excites me like pulling the trigger,” said Dobyns. “What is so great about Sportsman 360 TV is that we will be able to share our passion for all the outdoors – both hunting and fishing. That is what makes this partnership such a great fit.”

    Said Nolan: “It really is an honor for us to be aligned with a quality company like Dobyns Rods. Gary Dobyns' angling achievements and dedication to rod-building are unparalleled, which is why I am thrilled to partner with a guy who shares a similar passion for the outdoors.”

    The second season of Sportsman 360 TV, which started on July 30, airs Wednesdays at 3:30 PM EST on the NBC Sports Network. Rebroadcasts are available on the World Fishing Network and WildTV in the United States and Canada, in addition to Comcast Sports Net in Northern California.

  • Merc video goes inside Fond du Lac plant

    Merc video goes inside Fond du Lac plant

    Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has produced a video focusing on Mercury Marine and its plant in Fond du Lac. Created in conjunction with Mercury being named 2013 Manufacturer of the Year by the state's chamber of commerce, the video includes some cool shots of the aluminum smelting process and other operations.

    To see it, click below.

  • Ex-FLW presidents make Freshwater Hall

    Ex-FLW presidents make Freshwater Hall

    FLW announced today that two of its former presidents – Charlie Hoover and Charlie Evans – have been elected to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

  • Biffle skips Delaware to be with wife

    Biffle skips Delaware to be with wife

    Tommy Biffle has pulled out of this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event at the Delaware River due to a heart attack suffered by his wife Sharon. To read a report on, click here.

  • Rigid adds Hite

    Rigid adds Hite

    Two-tour pro Brett Hite, who's posted victories on both circuits this season, recently added Rigid Industries LED Lighting to his sponsor portfolio.

    "I am so excited to become a part of Rigid Industries Marine Torture Team," he said. "It is great to represent an Arizona-based company like Rigid Industries, the world leader of LED Lighting and LED Technology. I look forward to working with Rigid and showing people why Rigid makes the best LED light on and off the water.”

    Hite will run a Rigid Industries LED Deck Light Kit on his 2014 Ranger boat, and Rigid Industries lights and grille on his truck.

    "Brett has been a great addition to our Rigid Marine Torture Team," said Chris Brown, Rigid's marine category manager. "We are excited to have him on our team. Having him as part of the Rigid Torture Team is going to be both exciting and fun to watch as all the greats do battle on the water.”

    To learn more, visit

  • Fukae claims Champlain victory

    Fukae claims Champlain victory

    FLW Tour standout Shinichi Fukae earned his first B.A.S.S. victory on Saturday as he won the Lake Champlain Bassmaster Northern Open out of Plattsburgh, N.Y. His final-day bag, which weighed 18-13, gave him a 3-day total of 56-13.

    The victory fulfills Fukae’s dream of fishing a Bassmaster Classic since he will earn a berth in the 2015 event to be held at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina if he competes in the final Northern Open.

    “I’ll be happy when I fish the Bassmaster Classic,” he said.

    Latham, N.Y., angler Sean Wilkes caught the heaviest bag of the tournament to finish in 2nd place with 54-15. He caught his limit of largemouth flipping a black and blue 1/2-ounce jig in shallow grass.

    “That was my Plan D. My first plan was to fish a grassbed that had fish all over it, but when I got down there I wasn’t catching them,” Wilkes said. “I found out that one of the locals had ripped apart the grass before I got there. So I went to Plan B and that didn’t work out. Plan C didn’t work out either. Plan D was actually my kicker plan.”

    Wisconsin policeman Scott Siller, who'd led after each of the first 2 days, managed just 11-11 today and finished 8th.

    Full details of Fukae's winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 12:

    1. Shinichi Fukae: 56-13
    2. Sean Wilkes: 54-15
    3. Mike Iaconelli: 53-08
    4. Sam George: 52-03
    5. Micah Frazier: 52-00
    6. Jordan Lee: 51-11
    7. Dave Wolak; 50-15
    8. Scott Siller: 50-13
    9. Chris Daves: 48-10
    10. Kotaro Kiriyama: 48-02
    11. Aaron Martens: 47-06
    12. Ott DeFoe: 45-08

  • Siller still up with 1 day left

    Siller still up with 1 day left

    Four tour-level winners are among the Top 5 in the standings at the Lake Champlain Bassmaster Northern Open with 1 day to go. The lone exception in that quintet is leader Scott Siller, who'll attempt to nail down a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday.

    Siller, a policeman from Milwaukee, Wis., boxed 19-02 on day 2 to give him a 39-02 total. He has a 1-02 edge over FLW Tour standout Shinichi Fukae.

    “Yesterday was a really awesome day after the weigh-in to be on the top of a Bassmaster leaderboard,” Siller said. “It was like a birthday all day long, so I almost didn’t want today to come around.”

    “(Friday) was a tough day. I had a couple of fish I wished I could have culled out.”

    He caught two keeper bass early on a jig, but when he couldn’t get any more bites, he switched to a square-bill crankbait. On the second cast with the plug, he caught a 5-pounder.

    “I stuck with that for a while and then went back to the jig; I just mixed it up a bit to try to figure out what would trigger the fish to bite."

    Siller didn’t throw the square-bill in practice.

    “I am not a big crankbait fisherman, but the conditions and the cover and structure I was fishing pointed toward a crankbait."

    Fukae caught 19-03 on day 2 to move up two places to 2nd. Former tour pro and longtime Champlain ace Dave Wolak was 3rd, followed by Mike Iaconelli and Aaron Martens.

    Here are the totals for the 12 competitors who advanced to the final day:

    1. Scott Siller: 39-02
    2. Shinichi Fukae: 38-00
    3. Dave Wolak: 37-02
    4. Mike Iaconelli: 36-15
    5. Aaron Martens: 36-02
    6. Sam George: 35-10
    7. Chris Daves: 35-08
    8. Jordan Lee: 34-08
    9. Micah Frazier: 34-04
    10. Ott DeFoe: 34-03
    11. Kotaro Kiriyama: 34-02
    12. Sean Wilkes: 33-14

  • Two dead in boat wreck near San Diego

    Two anglers, ages 20 and 21, were killed at El Capitan Lake near San Diego Thursday evening when the boat they were fishing from was stuck by a bass boat that was allegedly traveling in excess of the lake's 35-mph speed limit.

    To read a report on the incident from, click here.

  • Rapala Giveaway: Guess Ike's Delaware River weight

    <b><font color=red>Rapala Giveaway: Guess Ike's Delaware River weight</font color></b>

    It's no secret that Mike Iaconelli is in need of a couple strong finishes at the end of the Elite Series season if he has any hope of qualifying for next year's Bassmaster Classic. The New Jersey resident will have what many feel will be a home-water advantage at the upcoming Delaware River Elite Series, which starts Thursday in Philadelphia, Pa.

    We've teamed up with Rapala to bring BassFans an opportunity to win some of Ike's personal favorite baits, including some that were just released at ICAST last month. Simply tell us what weight you think Ike will finish with at the Delaware and you could take home the Rapala prize pack.

    To check out the contest details and enter your guess, click here.

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