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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

  • Kota's American Dream: details

    Kota's American Dream: details

    Kota Kiriyama's third annual American Dream tournament is slated for Dec. 3 at Lake Wheeler in Alabama, but there's an informational meeting Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in Decatur for those who want to learn more about the event. Entries will be accepted at the meeting, and attendees are eligible to win door prizes including free tournament entry and Jackall lures.

    The American Dream tournament features the most unique payout in the sport: The winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to visit and fish Japan. (Winners, if they wish, may opt out of the trip and accept a cash award.)

    For details, visit KotaAmericanDream.com/USA or call Doug Nichles at (205) 396-5556.

  • Martin gets bruised

    Martin gets bruised

    Forrest Wood Cup champ Scott Martin recently told BassFans that he could soon announce a series of new sponsorships. The first one went public this week and it's a close-to-home deal with soft-plastic newcomer Bruiser Baits (BruiserBaits.com).

    Bruiser, out of Loxahatchee, Fla., bills its products as "made for fishermen by fishermen." The company first gained national notoriety when Brandon McMillan threw them last spring at the Okeechobee FLW Tour Open. McMillan set a new FLW Outdoors 4-day weight record of 106-10 with the Bruiser Intruder.

    According to Martin, he first became acquainted with Bruiser when he stocked them in his Okeechobee store.

    "A dad and three sons own it and they started from the ground up," Martin added. "They're attractive to me for that reason and a lot of others. The baits are made in the U.S., they can do custom colors for you, everything they make is absolute top-notch, and I'm getting in with them at the ground level."

    The deal covers both Martin as a tour pro as well as his Scott Martin Challenge TV show.

    Bruiser co-owner Jeremy Young told BassFan: "Scott got our baits in his store down there in Clewiston and he said, 'Look guys, I've been using your baits for a while and I truly love them. I have a soft-plastics opening and I'd love to be sponsored by you guys.' We jumped all over that and we've already sat down with him and started talking about product development and getting some prototype molds made."

    > In addition to Bruiser, Martin earlier this week announced a sponsorship agreement with Fishhound.com.

  • Duncan joins Heron

    Duncan joins Heron

    Industry note: Blue Heron Communications, which provides services to clients such as Pure Fishing, Smith & Wesson and Ranger, has added Greg Duncan to its communications team. Duncan, a native of Oklahoma, graduated from the University of Oklahoma with an undergraduate degree from the Gaylord College of Journalism.

  • Villain on the cutting edge

    The new Villain rod series from Abu Garcia offers two qualities that anglers crave – lightness and durability. There are nine baitcast models and nine spinning models, all utilizing construction techniques that reduce weight and provide optimum sensitivity.

    To learn more, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Opinion: Mercy leads to trouble

    In a new BassFan Opinion column, managing editor John Johnson contends that Ray Scott had the right idea 44 years ago: Tournament rules must be stringent and "mercilessly enforced." If such had been the case at last month's Erie Bassmaster Northern Open, the brouhaha regarding the alleged incident of suggested cheating would've quickly died down.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Delo sweepstakes offers boat

    Delo sweepstakes offers boat

    Chevron Lubricants, maker of the Delo brand of engine oils, lubricants and coolants, has launched its Delo Big Bass Boat Sweepstakes. Through December 2, participants can register at DeloPerformance.com for a chance to win a fully equipped 2011 Skeeter ZX190 bass boat and other prizes.

    “Through our Delo brand, we meet a lot of hard working people in markets like trucking, agriculture and construction” said Chevron lubricants direct marketing manager Jim Gambill, “We believe our Delo Big Bass Boast sweepstakes will provide a few of these people with a well-deserved reward and some much-needed downtime. It’s easy to enter and offers fantastic prizes, as well as a special gift to our current Delo customers.”

    In addition to the top prize, which is valued at approximately $32,000, other sweepstakes prizes include an all-expense-paid trip to appear on the Honey Hole All Outdoors TV Show with Bill Wilcox (approximate retail value $15,000), $1,000 worth of Delo products and a $500 online shopping credit at the Fun ‘N Sun store.

    No purchase is required to participate in the sweepstakes, but with $20 or more in receipts for Delo products purchased during the promotional period, loyal customers will receive a Delo branded fishing towel.

  • Soldier event needs boats

    Soldier event needs boats

    Boat captains are still being sought for Fishing for Freedom, a no-entry-fee tournament for soldiers at Lake Belton in Texas on Oct. 15. For additional information on the event, click here.

    To read a blog post about the event by Florida guide and former head of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation youth division Stacy Twiggs, click here.

  • Cabela's adds brass

    Cabela's adds brass

    Cabela's announced today the addition of Scott K. Williams to its executive team. Williams will join Cabela's as executive VP and chief marketing and e-commerce officer, reporting to CEO Tommy Millner.

    Williams previously served as president of Fanatics, Inc. – a vertically integrated online retailer of team- and league-licensed sports apparel and collectibles, which he joined in 2010. Before joining Fanatics, Williams was a corporate vice president at Wal-Mart from 2006 to 2010. While at Wal-Mart, Williams served as GM of Samsclub.com and had full responsibility for this business unit, including profitability, merchandising, margins and call center, distribution and returns operations.

    Before joining Wal-Mart, Williams spent 10 years with OfficeMax Incorporated.

    Millner noted: "In June, we announced plans to hire a new executive VP and chief marketing and e-commerce officer. Today I'm pleased to welcome Scott to our executive team. Having previously run the Samsclub.com business unit of Wal-Mart and OfficeMax's direct-business segment, Scott brings a great deal of e-commerce experience to Cabela's. I look forward to his valuable contributions to our marketing and e-commerce operations and am excited about leveraging his e-commerce expertise."

  • Upcoming Fork toad contest

    Upcoming Fork toad contest

    Details are out for the upcoming sixth annual Berkley/Sebile Big Bass Challenge at Lake Fork in Texas. Over $80,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded over the two competition days Oct. 15–16. The event will launch out of Lake Fork Marina and the grand-prize boat packages have been upgraded to a new Skeeter ZX 200/Yamaha SHO that'll be awarded to the heaviest fish over 24 inches and a new Skeeter ZX 190/Yamaha 150 VMax awarded to the heaviest fish that measures less than 16 inches.

    Only Berkley and Sebile baits may be used.

    For the rest of the details, click here.

  • Kato Kreation: ASKA 60 SR

    Kato Kreation: ASKA 60 SR

    Heard about the newest Jackall crank? It's not available yet, but the company's calling it the most advanced crankbait design in the world. It's a silent shallow-runner with a fiberglass lip and internal weight to help it track more quickly after deflection. There are plenty of other cool things about the bait, and for a solid pre-release look at the ASKA 60 SR, check out the newest BassFan Product Review.

  • Some super-sized spots

    Tom Mann Jr. has spent an untold number of days fishing Georgia's Lake Lanier, so for him to call one "special" is a rare instance. He had one of those days recently as he pulled a 20-pound-plus sack of spotted bass from the lake that will host the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup.

    To see those fish, click below.

  • Scott: No room for rule-bending

    It's been nearly 2 1/2 years since B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott has penned a full Scott On-Line column, but the alleged cheating incident at last month's Erie Bassmaster Northern Open has spurred a return to the keyboard. He's none too happy with the way things have transpired in the aftermath of the event.

    To read his new submission, click here.

  • Monroe finishes wire-to-wire win

    Monroe finishes wire-to-wire win

    Ish Monroe caught a 15-pound sack today to close out a wire-to-wire victory at the Oneida Bassmaster Northern Open with a 3-day total of 51-02

    “I tell you what, this feels awesome," he said. "I’ve won on all the (B.A.S.S.) levels: an Elite Series event, Federation-level event and now that I’ve won an Open it feels really good.

    “The thing that carried me through this week — and the whole season — has been the fact that I’ve had fun. That’s been my focus throughout the Elites and into these Opens, and it’s worked out really well. I’m having a blast!”

    Monroe received a prize package worth more than $54,000. His win nullified the Bassmaster Classic berth that accompanied the victory – he'd already made the Classic through the Elites and did not fish all three events on the circuit. Including last week's announcement that Erie Northern Open winner Nate Wellman would be banned from B.A.S.S. competition until March, it means that four of the nine Classic slots that were allocated to the Opens under the new win-and-you're-in format will be unfilled.

    His primary bait was a Snag Proof Ish's Phat Frog and he also caught weigh-in fish on a prototype flipping bait. Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here's a look at the final Top 12:

    1. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 15, 51-02 -- 315 -- $54,200
    Day 1: 5, 19-14 -- Day 2: 5, 16-00 -- Day 3: 5, 15-04

    2. Michael Simonton -- Fremont, OH -- 15, 48-12 -- 295 -- $13,800
    Day 1: 5, 15-02 -- Day 2: 5, 17-01 -- Day 3: 5, 16-09

    3. John Pelletier -- Nassau, NY -- 15, 45-07 -- 290 -- $11,500
    Day 1: 5, 15-03 -- Day 2: 5, 16-07 -- Day 3: 5, 13-13

    4. Pat Golden -- High Point, NC -- 15, 45-07 -- 285 -- $9,200
    Day 1: 5, 16-04 -- Day 2: 5, 15-05 -- Day 3: 5, 13-14

    5. Randy Howell -- Springville, AL -- 15, 44-05 -- 280 -- $8,280
    Day 1: 5, 15-10 -- Day 2: 5, 14-15 -- Day 3: 5, 13-12

    6. Michael Iaconelli -- Pittsgrove, NJ -- 15, 44-04 -- 276 -- $7,360
    Day 1: 5, 15-00 -- Day 2: 5, 13-13 -- Day 3: 5, 15-07

    7. Peter E Thliveros -- St Augustine, FL -- 15, 43-13 -- 272 -- $6,440
    Day 1: 5, 15-00 -- Day 2: 5, 14-06 -- Day 3: 5, 14-07

    8. Matthew Martin -- Chittenango, NY -- 15, 43-12 -- 268 -- $5,520
    Day 1: 5, 15-05 -- Day 2: 5, 15-04 -- Day 3: 5, 13-03

    9. Fletcher Shryock -- Newcomerstown, OH -- 15, 43-11 -- 264 -- $4,600
    Day 1: 5, 17-02 -- Day 2: 5, 13-07 -- Day 3: 5, 13-02

    10. Jason Dudek -- Excelsior, MN -- 15, 43-02 -- 260 -- $4,140
    Day 1: 5, 13-02 -- Day 2: 5, 16-03 -- Day 3: 5, 13-13

    11. Ron Bane -- Frackville, PA -- 15, 42-15 -- 257 -- $3,680
    Day 1: 5, 14-14 -- Day 2: 5, 14-01 -- Day 3: 5, 14-00

    12. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, TX -- 15, 42-14 -- 254 -- $3,220
    Day 1: 5, 17-09 -- Day 2: 5, 12-10 -- Day 3: 5, 12-11

  • Berkley tank to Mo.

    Berkley tank to Mo.

    The Berkley Bass Tank will be at the Academy Sports + Outdoors store in Springfield, Mo. Oct. 1-2, offering product demonstrations and technique seminars.

    Berkley sends the 4,000-gallon bass tank all over the country to help out the everyday angler. Kids and adults alike will enjoy learning about new Berkley products and tips on how to use these innovative baits, along with rods, reels and line.

    “The Berkley Bass Tank is on the road, giving all anglers the opportunity to hone their skills,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. “Not only will attendees learn to catch more fish, they will also learn about new products that will help them become a better angler.”

    The tank's next two stops will be Oct. 28-30 at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Conroe and Nov. 5-6 at the Academy store in Hattiesburg, Miss.

  • Monroe extends Oneida edge

    Monroe extends Oneida edge

    Ish Monroe caught a 16-pound bag today at the Oneida Bassmaster Northern Open out of Syracuse New York. With a 2-day total of 35-14, the California pro will take a lead of more than 3 1/2 pounds into the final day of competition.

    “My day started slow and I had to bounce around a bit; the wind kind of hurt me,” he said. “If the wind blows north or south, I can pick a bank and fish the area, but that east wind killed me because it rolls across the entire lake.”

    He said he resorted to flipping creature baits into shallow grass because the wind was too stiff to throw a frog.

    With the wind blowing like it was today, all the protected stuff had boats on it. Tomorrow’s going to be great – there will only be the top 12 guys, so I can fish some of those other areas that I couldn’t today.

    "I’ve got an area where I can start if the wind dies down, and hopefully catch a few and have a good day. I think if I get 16 or so pounds again, I’ll be hard to catch.”

    Here are the numbers for the 12 anglers who'll fish tomorrow.

    1. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 10, 35-14 -- 310
    Day 1: 5, 19-14 -- Day 2: 5, 16-00

    2. Michael Simonton -- Fremont, OH -- 10, 32-03 -- 295
    Day 1: 5, 15-02 -- Day 2: 5, 17-01

    3. John Pelletier -- Nassau, NY -- 10, 31-10 -- 290
    Day 1: 5, 15-03 -- Day 2: 5, 16-07

    4. Pat Golden -- High Point, NC -- 10, 31-09 -- 285
    Day 1: 5, 16-04 -- Day 2: 5, 15-05

    5. Fletcher Shryock -- Newcomerstown, OH -- 10, 30-09 -- 280
    Day 1: 5, 17-02 -- Day 2: 5, 13-07

    6. Randy Howell -- Springville, AL -- 10, 30-09 -- 276
    Day 1: 5, 15-10 -- Day 2: 5, 14-15

    7. Matthew Martin -- Chittenango, NY -- 10, 30-09 -- 272
    Day 1: 5, 15-05 -- Day 2: 5, 15-04

    8. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, TX -- 10, 30-03 -- 268
    Day 1: 5, 17-09 -- Day 2: 5, 12-10

    9. Peter E Thliveros -- St Augustine, FL -- 10, 29-06 -- 264
    Day 1: 5, 15-00 -- Day 2: 5, 14-06

    10. Jason Dudek -- Excelsior, MN -- 10, 29-05 -- 260
    Day 1: 5, 13-02 -- Day 2: 5, 16-03

    11. Ron Bane -- Frackville, PA -- 10, 28-15 -- 257
    Day 1: 5, 14-14 -- Day 2: 5, 14-01

    12. Michael Iaconelli -- Pittsgrove, NJ -- 10, 28-13 -- 254
    Day 1: 5, 15-00 -- Day 2: 5, 13-13

  • It's all in the tail

    The new Berkley HAVOC Devil Spear, designed by Mike Iaconelli, is quite unlike most creature baits. That's because it doesn't have a bunch of appendages – its action is created by its uniquely shaped tail.

    Its design gives it enticing movement on the fall and also allows it to slide through heavy cover. To learn more about it, head on over to the Catch More Fish page.

  • Monroe leads at Oneida

    Monroe leads at Oneida

    California Bassmaster Elite Series pro Ish Monroe caught a sack that weighed just 2 ounces shy of 20 pounds to grab the day-1 lead at the Oneida Bassmaster Northern Open out of Syracuse, N.Y.

    “This lake is awesome, just awesome,” he said. “I had everything that I weighed in by 8:30 this morning. It was pretty interesting. It was partly my spot, partly me and partly just having fun. I feel like I can catch ’em like this every single day.”

    In second was former Elite Series pro Kurt Dove of Texas with 17-09.

    “I caught 12 or 14 smallmouth today, and one good largemouth," he said "I’m fishing in an area that’s got some grass and should have some largemouth in it.

    "It was a bit of a grind; I finally got my limit by 10:30, then between 11:00 and 1:00 they bit pretty good. I’m throwing reaction baits and working three areas over hard and fishing the best I can."

    Here's a look at the Top 12:

    1. Ish Monroe -- 19-14
    2. Kurt Dove -- 17-09
    3. Fletcher Shryock -- 17-02
    4. Jami Fralick -- 16-05
    5. Pat Golden -- 16-04
    6. Drew Sanford -- 15-13
    7. Jimmy D. Kennedy -- 15-12
    8. Russ Lane -- 15-11
    9. Randy Howell -- 15-10
    10. (tie) Keith Allen -- 15-09
    10. (tie) Shinichi Fukae -- 15-09
    12. Preston Johnson -- 15-08

  • B.A.S.S. releases '12 Open schedule

    B.A.S.S. releases '12 Open schedule

    B.A.S.S. today announced the 2012 schedule for each of its three Open divisions – Southern, Central and Northern.

    “We wanted to come up with a schedule that included a wide range of fishery types, on dates that made sense for that fishery, and with a geographical spread that made participation easier for more tournament anglers,” said Jerry McKinnis, a member of the B.A.S.S. ownership group. “I think we’ve come pretty close to all those goals.”

    Here's a look at the schedule:

    Southern Division

    > Jan. 19-21 -- Harris Chain of Lakes -- Tavares, Fla.
    > April 5-7 -- Lake Norman -- Charlotte, N.C.
    > Oct. 4-6 -- Lewis Smith Lake -- Jasper, Ala.

    Central Division

    > Feb. 9-11 -- Lewisville Lake -- Lewisville, Texas
    > April 26-28 -- Table Rock Lake -- Branson, Mo.
    > Sept. 6-8 -- Fort Gibson Lake -- Wagoner, Okla.

    Northern Division

    > June 14-16 -- James River -- Richmond, Va.
    > July 19-21 -- Detroit River -- Detroit, Mich.
    > Aug. 16-18 -- Cayuga Lake -- Seneca Falls, N.Y.

    Registration dates and other details will be announced later.

  • Sappington 3rd in F&S Challenge

    Sappington 3rd in F&S Challenge

    Former tour pro John Sappington of Branson, Mo., the 2002 Forrest Wood Cup champion, recently finished 3rd in the 8th annual Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge. The 16 finalists from around the country competed in seven disciplines – fly fishing, bass fishing, rifle, shotgun, endurance, archery and ATV handling – with the winner determined by the best combined score.

    Winner Tom Boatwright of Perdido, Ala. took home a $25,000 prize package. Chad Weatherford, the 2010 champion, narrowly edged out Sappington for the runner-up slot.

    Sappington, who last fished the FLW Tour in 2008, operates a guide service on Table Rock and Taneycomo lakes. Other pro bass anglers who've competed in the Field & Stream Challenge include Texans Mike Hawkes and Sean Hoernke.

  • Bass Pro Shops facing federal suit

    Bass Pro Shops facing federal suit

    Outdoor retail giant Bass Pro Shops is being sued by the government for alleged discriminatory practices in its hiring. The suit was filed today by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in federal district court in Houston.

    To read a report from the Associated Press on the Houston Chronicle website, click here.

    To see a copy of the suit, also on the Chronicle site, click here.

  • New Aussie record

    New Aussie record

    A new Australian Bass Tour (ABT) record for heaviest fish was set today when 66-year-old Peter Morgan caught an 8.02-pounder at Lake Somerset in Queensland. Steve Morgan, who runs the ABT, said the angler has been fishing the circuit for about a decade.

    The fish (click the photo to see a larger image) bit a soft-plastic bait attached to a 1/2-ounce jighead. Steve Morgan explained that the "mini-swimbaits" are slow-rolled in 30 to 40 feet of water by anglers targeting suspended bass.

    For more about the ABT, click here.

  • Wellman out of Open, Classic

    B.A.S.S. announced today via its website that the organization and Nate Wellman have "mutually agreed" that Wellman will not fish this week's Oneida Bassmaster Northern Open and he thus will not be eligible for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. Wellman has been the subject of great controversy for several weeks after he allegedly attempted to "buy" a fish from his co-angler en route to winning the Northern Open at Erie last month.

    Reached by telephone shortly after the announcement, Wellman declined comment on the decision. "I'm just going to leave things where they are and try to move on," he said.

    To read the brief statement at Bassmaster.com, click here.

  • Palaniuk won't defend

    Palaniuk won't defend

    Brandon Palaniuk, the 2010 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship winner who was a rookie on this year's Bassmaster Elite Series, has informed B.A.S.S. officials that he'll decline his opportunity to defend his Fed Nation title. This year's championship will take place Nov. 3-5 on the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La.

    “I already have a Classic berth, I already qualified for the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series," he said. "The only other reason to fish it would be for the money, but the Federation’s not about making money."

    The winner of the championship takes home a fully rigged bass boat worth about $60,000 as well as an Elite Series invitation and a Classic berth.

    “When I had to decide if I should go back and defend my title, I started looking at things … and I saw that the only thing I’d get out of fishing the championship again would be a boat, if somehow I won,” Palaniuk said. “And that’s the wrong reason to fish the Federation. It’s never been about making money. It’s always been about things like getting youth into the sport, conservation and trying to qualify for the Elites.”

    Palaniuk said he plans to travel to Monroe from his Rathdrum, Idaho home with his boat in tow. It sports a B.A.S.S. Federation Nation wrap, and Palaniuk hopes it can help promote the event. And, he said, he’ll be on hand to support the Federation Nation in any way he can.

    Last year at age 22, Palaniuk was the first Federation Nation champ to exercise the winner’s option to join the Elite Series. He ended his rookie season with a qualification for the 2012 Classic; at 37th place in Elite Series points, he was the last man into the 2012 field. He said he’ll combine the Monroe trip with a few days of scouting the nearby Red River, site of the Feb. 24-26 Classic.

  • Survey: ethanol awareness lacking

    Survey: ethanol awareness lacking

    With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently allowing fuel companies to increase the amount of ethanol found in gasoline from 10% to 15%, the move could mean more damaged boat engines for unsuspecting owners who use the fuel. Ethanol increases the acidity of the fuel, which in older boats and motors can dissolve fuel tanks and lines, which can in turn ultimately damage, clog and stall engines.

    A recent survey conducted by AnglerSurvey.com found most anglers who boat were unaware of the increase in ethanol and the threat the change poses. Asked if they were aware of the increase in permissible ethanol levels, 55.9% of respondents said "no," while only 41.2% reported being aware of the change.

    Asked if they agreed with the change, nearly 60% said "no." Virtually the same amount of those surveyed said the amount of permissible ethanol should be reduced back to 10%.

    "It is important that boaters educate themselves on the specific damage fuels mixed with ethanol can pose to certain boat motors and take steps to minimize harm to their engines," said Rob Southwick, president of the company that designs and conducts surveys at AnglerSurvey.com, HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com. "Many boaters will simply want to avoid using fuels that include the higher percentage of ethanol and need to pay attention when fueling."

    To check out several articles on ethanol at BoatUS.com, click here.

  • Doug Gilley dies

    Doug Gilley dies

    Former tour pro Doug Gilley, winner of the 1984 Super Bass event at Florida's St. Johns River, died Sunday morning of heart failure. He was 74.

    Known around Florida bass circles as "the Silver Fox" for his thick mane of white hair, the Winter Springs resident had reportedly been in ill health of late, but had recently won a local tournament.

    "He won everything worth winning in Florida and he was an absolute icon," said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bernie Schultz. "He was a huge influence on me, as well as Shaw Grigsby, Fish Fishburne, Peter Thliveros and Terry Segraves."

    Schultz said a private funeral service will take place this week, with a public memorial to be held at a later date.

  • Opinion: No more non-Elites

    A new BassFan Opinion column by Capt. Steve Chaconas, a guide and outdoor writer, is sure to stir up some controversy – he argues that in the wake of the Erie Bassmaster Northern Open incident, it's time to close off Classic qualification to all except the top points-earners on the Elite Series.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Supreme performance, nice price

    <b><font color=maroon>Supreme performance, nice price</font></b>

    The improved Pflueger Supreme MG spinning reel delivers performance that's usually found only in much higher-priced equipment. The lightweight magnesium frame and nine stainless steel bearings (plus an instant anti-reverse bearing) are just two of the reel's top-of-the-line features.

    To learn more, head on over to the Catch More Fish page.

  • Omori dropped out

    Omori dropped out

    Two pros recorded zeroes yesterday at the Champlain FLW Tour Open – Takahiro Omori and Kota Kiriyama.

    Omori told BassFan that he broke down yesterday and couldn't get his fish back to weigh-in. He planned to fish today in heavy winds just outside the launch with his trolling motor, all for the benefit of his co-angler, but another co-angler dropped out, which meant Tak's could fish a full day with another pro. Hence the dropout.

    Tak's en route back to Texas today. He said this marked the first time in his long career that he failed to return his fish to a weigh-in.

    BassFan didn't speak with Kiriyama, but Omori noted he had an equipment malfunction as well.

    A bit of irony: Japanese pros bookended the standings yesterday. Gary Yamamoto led, while Omori and Kiriyama were last.

  • PAA bans Wellman for year

    PAA bans Wellman for year

    The PAA has prohibited Nate Wellman from competing in its events for 1 year, according to a published statement. Wellman did not fish PAA events this year. He was fined and placed on probation by B.A.S.S. after the recent Sandusky Bassmaster Northern Open.

    PAA president Dave Mansue said: "Violations or harm to the integrity of the sport hurts all anglers at any level, the organizations and the entire industry. It's unfortunate when something like this occurs. The PAA recognizes the difficult position B.A.S.S. officials were placed in by Mr. Wellman's actions. We applaud the co-angler who stepped up to inform B.A.S.S. officials after the tournament and also FLW Outdoors for taking the steps it did.

    "Actions that undermine the integrity of the sport are not to be condoned at any level," Mansue added. "Everyone from top professionals to weekend anglers in a jackpot tournament expect and should demand the highest levels of honesty and integrity."

  • Hook N' Look to OC

    Hook N' Look to OC

    Former tour pro Kim Stricker announced that his Hook N' Look TV show will move from Versus to the Outdoor Channel for the new season. The show, which combines fishing action with underwater videography of bass in their natural environment, will debut on the Outdoor Channel on Dec. 30.

    Show times for the first and second quarters of 2012 will be 11:30 p.m. on Fridays, 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 7 a.m. on Sundays (all times EST).

  • Soldier event in Texas

    Soldier event in Texas

    Two central Texas boat dealerships have teamed up to sponsor a no-entry-fee tournament for soldiers at Lake Belton on Oct. 15. Triton Boats will donate the top prize and local merchants (and some not-so-local) have chipped in with gifts or cash for every participant.

    A full field will consist of 300 teams (boaters and non-boaters). To find the registration form or more information, visit www.FishingForFreedom.org.

  • 2012 EverStart schedule out

    2012 EverStart schedule out

    FLW Outdoors today announced the 2012 EverStart Series schedule. Five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western – will again be offered, with four qualifying events per division culminating in the no-entry-fee EverStart Series Championship Nov. 1-4 at the Ouachita River in Monroe, La.

    Pros will compete for $35,000 and co-anglers will vie for a new Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard in every qualifier. If the angler is Ranger Cup-qualified, the winning pro will also receive a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower outboard and the co-angler will receive an additional $5,000 in each regular-season tournament.

    The championship will pay $50,000 to the winning pro, plus a Ranger boat package if that angler is Ranger Cup-qualified. The Angler of the Year in each division will receive $5,000.

    Here's the schedule:

    Central Division

    > March 1-3 -- Table Rock Lake
    > May 10-12 -- Kentucky Lake
    > July 26-28 -- Mississippi River (Wis.)
    > Sept. 13-15 -- Lake of the Ozarks

    Northern Division

    > June 14-16 -- Kerr Lake
    > July 19-21 -- Lake Champlain
    > Aug. 16-18 -- 1000 Islands
    > Sept. 6-8 -- Potomac River

    Southeast Division

    > Jan. 19-21 -- Lake Okeechobee
    > March 22-24 -- Lake Seminole
    > April 19-21 -- Santee Cooper Lakes
    > May 3-5 -- Lake Guntersville

    Texas Division

    > Feb. 2-4 -- Lake Amistad
    > April 12-14 -- Sam Rayburn Reservoir
    > May 31-June 2 -- Toledo Bend Reservior
    > Oct. 4-6 -- Lake of the Pines

    Western Division

    > Jan. 26-28 -- Lake Shasta
    > Feb. 23-25 -- Lake Havasu
    > March 29-31 -- California Delta
    > April 26-28 -- Clear Lake

    Championship

    > Nov. 1-4 -- Ouachita River

  • TTBC field released

    TTBC field released

    The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) released the 50-angler field of competitors for the 2011 edition of the tournament today. The 3-day event, to be held at Lake Conroe Oct. 28-30, features the top points-earners from the Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour and PAA Tournament Series who are also members of the PAA, along with the defending champion and four sponsor exemptions.

    “The quality of anglers and competition in our tournament is unmatched by any other fishing tournament in the world,” said tournament director Lenny Francoeur. “We have created an event that truly determines the world champion of bass fishing and sets the standard for tournament fish conservation. We want everyone to experience this great event, so we are now offering free tickets to come and enjoy the festivities.”

    The field includes 2011 Elite Series Angler of the Year (AOY) and reigning Classic champion Kevin VanDam, FLW Tour AOY David Dudley, Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin and PAA Tournament Series AOY Todd Auten. The sponsors exemptions went to a pair of Texans, Kelly Jordon and Gary Klein, along with David Walker and Team Toyota member Mike Iaconelli.

    "There's no firm format for who gets the exemptions, but Toyota wanted the best of who was left to complete the field," Francoeur said. "We definitely think those four help to strengthen it."

    Here's the list of competitors:

    Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring. Missouri -- Defending Champion
    Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, Michigan -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Edwin Evers -- Talala, Oklahoma -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Ott Defoe -- Knoxville, Tennessee -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, Florida -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Casey Ashley -- Donalds, South Carolina -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Alton Jones -- Waco, Texas -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Keith Poche -- Pike Road, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Chris Lane -- Guntersville, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Randy Howell -- Springville, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Keith Combs -- Huntington, Texas -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Aaron Martens -- Leeds, Alabama -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    Denny Brauer -- Macks Creek, Missouri -- Bassmaster Elite Series
    David Dudley -- Lynchburg, Virginia -- FLW Tour
    Brent Ehrler -- Redlands, California -- FLW Tour
    Mark Rose -- Marion, Arkansas -- FLW Tour
    Jason Christie -- Park Hill, Oklahoma -- FLW Tour
    Tom Monsoor -- La Crosse, Wisconsin -- FLW Tour
    Stacey King -- Reeds Spring, Missouri -- FLW Tour
    Wesley Strader -- Spring City, Tennessee -- FLW Tour
    Bryan Thrift -- Shelby, North Carolina -- FLW Tour
    Darrel Robertson -- Jay, Oklahoma -- FLW Tour
    Scott Martin -- Clewiston, Florida -- FLW Tour
    Shad Schenck -- Waynetown, Indiana -- FLW Tour
    Shinichi Fukae -- Palestine, Texas -- FLW Tour
    Stetson Blaylock -- Benton, Arkansas -- FLW Tour
    Cody Meyer -- Grass Valley, California -- FLW Tour
    Scott Canterbury -- Springville, Alabama -- FLW Tour
    Todd Auten -- Lake Wylie, South Carolina -- PAA Tournament Series
    Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, Arkansas -- PAA Tournament Series
    Takahiro Omori -- Emory, Texas -- PAA Tournament Series
    Chad Morgenthaler -- Coulterville, Illinois -- PAA Tournament Series
    Gary Yamamoto -- Mineola, Texas -- PAA Tournament Series
    Derek Remitz -- Grant, Alabama -- PAA Tournament Series
    Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, Oklahoma -- PAA Tournament Series
    Terry Butcher -- Talala, Oklahoma -- PAA Tournament Series
    Cody Bird -- Granbury, Texas -- PAA Tournament Series
    Brian Travis -- Conover, North Carolina -- PAA Tournament Series
    Chris Brasher -- Spring, Texas -- PAA Tournament Series
    Shane Long -- Sarcoxie, Missouri -- PAA Tournament Series
    Gary Clouse -- Lavergne, Tennessee -- PAA Tournament Series
    James Watson -- Waynesville, Missouri -- PAA Tournament Series
    Harold Allen -- Shelbyville, Texas -- PAA Tournament Series
    Kelly Jordon -- Mineola, Texas -- Sponsor Exemption
    Gary Klein -- Weatherford, Texas -- Sponsor Exemption
    David Walker -- Sevierville, Tennessee -- Sponsor Exemption
    Mike Iaconelli -- Pittsgrove, New Jersey -- Sponsor Exemption

    For more about the TTBC, including information on how to obtain the limited number of free tickets, click here.

  • FLW anglers aid at-risk youths

    FLW anglers aid at-risk youths

    For almost 20 years, The Learning House Foundation has been taking at-risk youth from the Chicagoland area to camp to participate in outdoor education activities that build teamwork, self-esteem, trust and leadership skills through activities such as archery, horseback riding and fishing. FLW Tour pro Mark Fisher and co-angler Johnny Douglas recently spent a week with 12 of these high school students and their teachers as they lived, played, did schoolwork and chores, ate meals and fished on Lake George in the Rhinelander area of Wisconsin.

    “From an outsider’s perspective, I have a whole heck of a lot of respect for these young men and women who I spent this week with,” said Douglas. “These kids take it seriously (referring to their desire to improve their situation and set goals for improving their success in school.)"

    Fisher, a member of The Learning House Foundation board of directors, said: “We are very grateful to Johnny Douglas for his willingness to share his time and knowledge to take our kids fishing over and over again during the week of camp. We would also like to thank the generosity of Jimmy Carmicle, who is the owner of Shoe Bootie Jigs, for allowing us the use of his bass boat for the entire week. And finally, we are very thankful for the donation of rods and reels and tackle gift bags that were given to each of the students by FLW Outdoors."

    The Learning House Foundation is a non-profit organization affiliated with The Learning House, a private, therapeutic day school designed to serve special-education high school students struggling to succeed within their traditional high schools. For more information or to make a contribution, call (847) 459-8330 or visit www.TheLearningHouse.net.

  • Long Way From Waxahachie

    Long Way From Waxahachie

    Like many BassFans, Patti Campbell's proud to display the logos of companies that help fuel her passion for tournament fishing. But it was the BoatUS Angler toll-free phone number on a card inside her wallet that not only warmed her soul recently, but also kept her safe.

    Patti was her daddy's self-described tomboy and got hooked on fishing as a little girl. She carried the passion into adulthood and even married a serious bass angler in husband Ricky. Separately, they've competed as individuals in some of bass fishing's toughest trails and hauled home major paychecks. Together, they're a common sight at couples' tournaments around Texas.

    But Ricky wasn't with Patti a few weeks ago at 7:00 a.m. on what should have been a peaceful Sunday-morning drive home to Waxahachie, Texas from a Lady Bass Anglers Association tournament at Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee.

    "I was on Interstate 40 about 54 miles from Nashville when I looked in the side mirror of my Tundra and saw my trailer wheel was on fire," explained Patti, a computer guru for CoreLogic in the mortgage industry. "There were flames shooting up from what turned out to be a burnt hub, and there was very little room to pull off the highway safely.

    "I pulled over the best I could and called Ricky, but he was 600 miles away. Then I remembered I'd signed up for the BoatUS Angler Unlimited On-the-Road Towing service and I called their toll-free number that was on the card in my wallet."

    When BoatUS answered Patti's call of distress, they didn't disappoint. "The dispatcher was so nice. He kept me calm while he searched his computer for one of their affiliated service providers," Campbell said. "He quickly found one just down the interstate. After they fixed my hub, the BoatUS dispatcher even called me back to make sure that I was still traveling safely down the interstate. I told the wrecker driver that I'd spent $38 to sign up for the BoatUS service, and he looked at me and said that my membership had just paid for itself about four times over."

    Campbell's also signed up for the Weigh-to-Win program so she's eligible to win cash bonuses from BoatUS Angler when she does well in tournaments.

    "What I'll remember most about the whole experience was how personal BoatUS treated me," Campbell said. "The whole service just really made me feel good. I'll definitely sign up again next year, and I'm going to add their On-the-Water freshwater towing service too."

    Getting a BoatUS Angler membership with on-the-water or on-the-road towing and signing up for the Weigh-to-Win program like Campbell did is easy. Memberships are as affordable as $38. Just dial (918) 742-6424 and ask for Kendell. She'll make sure you're registered.

  • Parker might fish Elites

    Parker might fish Elites

    Janet Parker took a huge step up from 6th to 2nd in the Bassmaster Central Opens points when she finished 10th last week at the Arkansas River. According to a report from B.A.S.S., Parker plans to accept an Elite series invite, provided she places well enough in the Table Rock finale to earn a tour card.

    Parker, a former Women's Bassmaster Tour pro, figures a finish of 50th or better at The Rock would do it.

    "If I can get that eligibility, I want to fish the Elites – I want to make history as the first female," she told B.A.S.S. "After the WBT, I decided that the Opens would tell me if I'm ready to fish at the Elite level. With the last three tournaments in the Opens, I've had strong finishes, and I've been competing against Elite guys who've opted to fish the Opens too. I've got a lot to learn, but I'm never going to improve if I don't continue to challenge myself.

    "If I don't make it, I'll look on it as a sign that I wasn't ready, and I'll be happy with that too – but I'm really hoping that I'm ready."

  • More on Biffle, buoys

    Several BassFans have raised more questions about Tommy Biffle's fishing area at last week's Arkansas River Central open. The source of confusion is apparently photo No. 34 from B.A.S.S.'s day-2 photo gallery, which appears to show Biffle inside a buoy line. In essence, there are no buoys in sight between Biffle and the Ft. Gibson Dam, so it's easy to assume the photo depicts Biffle inside the boat-restricted area.

    Assumptions are different than fact, according to Biffle, who again told BassFan that he grew up fishing that exact area, knows full well that boats are not allowed past the buoy line, was in plain view of B.A.S.S. photographer James Overstreet all 3 days, was under the view of his co-anglers and bank-walking fans and did not venture into the restricted area.

    The photo is question, he said, is a trick of the camera angle. He believes that a buoy is on the far side of his boat, and the lens angle wasn't wide enough to catch the buoys to either side.

    "There was no current up there and a lot of times I'd put a buoy in the middle of the boat," Biffle said. "I fished over the buoy line but didn't put the boat over it. In fact, when I snagged my line, I'd back up from the buoy line and break it, so when I pulled on it, it didn't pull me over the cable."

  • Evinrude launches fall promotion

    Evinrude launches fall promotion

    BRP has announced the Evinrude E-TEC Fall into Action Sales Event for its Evinrude outboard engine brand. During this retail promotion, qualified purchasers of any new and unused model year 2012 or earlier Evinrude E-TEC engine can choose between 6.9 percent financing or a 2-year B.E.S.T extended warranty.

    "With cooler temperatures and less traffic on our waterways, fall is a great time of year to enjoy the pleasures of boating and fishing," said Evinrude director of marketing and strategic planning Christopher Berg. "The Evinrude E-TEC Fall into Action Sales Event gives consumers a great incentive to stop by any authorized Evinrude dealer to learn about the Evinrude E-TEC engine that best fits their needs."

    For full details and conditions about the promotion, which runs through Dec. 16, consumers should visit an authorized, participating Evinrude dealer or go to www.Evinrude.com.

  • Crews, Short, Cook pounding keyboards

    Crews, Short, Cook pounding keyboards

    Vowing to offer a "raw, unfiltered look into the thoughts and lifestyles of several professional anglers at various points in their careers," Bassmaster Elite Series anglers John Crews and Kevin Short, retired pro Ken Cook (the 1991 Bassmaster Classic champion) and outdoor writer Don Barone have launched a site called InsideProBass.com.

    “InsideProBass.com is all about the reality of fishing for bass to pay the bills,” said Short.
    “We’re not concerned with making a compelling story, reporting on derby results or doling out how-to tips – there are several other sites with more manpower that do a fantastic job at those things.

    "InsideProBass.com is all about being real, being honest with the fans and putting our fingers on the keyboards to try and give the bass-fishing fan a true look into the lifestyle."

    Other contributors will include industry executives, outdoor media and tournament-trail employees. To visit the site, click here.

  • Biffle and the buoys

    Biffle and the buoys

    Tommy Biffle's win last Saturday at the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open drew some criticism and questions from both competitors and readers. Their beef? Biffle put his boat at a buoy line and fished over the buoys below the Ft. Gibson Dam.

    According to Biffle, he asked about the area the morning of day 1, prior to blast-off, and B.A.S.S. tournament manager Chris Bowes gave him permission to fish there. Biffle was one of several boats that made a skinny run upriver, but he was the only one who fished at and casted beyond the buoy line.

    Biffle told BassFan: "It's just a cable that keeps the boats from going to the dam – it's not a no-fishing area and you've always been able to fish there. I've fished there ever since I was a kid. I asked Chris prior to blast-off and he said no problem."

    Bowes confirmed that fishing is allowed in the area beyond the buoys – he checked with the Oklahoma Marine Patrol – and said he gave Biffle the okay to fish there and stands by his call. But if B.A.S.S. returns to the venue, he might place the area off-limits to avoid confusion.

    Bowes also noted:

  • "The question is: Are there any signs to indicate it was off-limits or no boats or something like that so it could be perceived as a no-fishing area? There's fishing allowed there and (Biffle) didn't break any rules."

  • "(Biffle) was the only one who asked about it."

  • "If you look at our rules, it says any area posted as off-limits or no-fishing is off-limits to tournament anglers. The rules also say the tournament director's responsible for any off-limits area. As I understand it, this area wasn't posted and there wasn't any signage at all. That said, there's a buoy line there that, obviously, I've seen since. So I can see why anglers would have perceived that area as off-limits."

    For reference, Bassmaster Opens Rule 13 reads: "Tournament waters shall be established by the tournament director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from the B.A.S.S. tournament department. Any water within these boundaries posted 'Off-Limits' or 'No Fishing' by state or federal agencies, as well as the live- bass-release area established by the tournament director, will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the tournament briefing. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the boat. During official practice and competition, competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so, if such action does not violate state or federal regulations."

    > A few letters to BassFan noted the fact that 10th-place Janet Parker – another angler who ran far upriver – mounted a 250-horsepower motor on an aluminum boat, and readers wondered whether the boat was rated for such a large motor. The U.S. Coast Guard does not rate boats 20 feet and greater. Hence, Parker was legal, Bowes said.

  • Biffle wins by 8 1/2

    Biffle wins by 8 1/2

    Tommy Biffle caught an 11 1/2-pound bag today to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open out of Muskogee, Okla. with a 3-day total of 45-13. He was ineligible to claim the 2012 Classic berth available to Open winners this year, however, because he did not fish the circuit's first event at Lewisville last February.

    Biffle competed out of a jet-driven aluminum boat and caught all of his fish on his Gene Larew Biffle Bug.

    “It was a slow day,” he said. “I didn’t get my first bite until about 10:20, where I’ve been getting my fish by 9:00 on the other days. It was cloudy early, and that’s probably what kept the fish from biting.”

    Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Below is a look at the final numbers for the Top 12:

    1. Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, OK -- 15, 45-13 -- 315 -- $54,067
    Day 1: 5, 18-12 -- Day 2: 5, 15-09 -- Day 3: 5, 11-08

    2. Chris Zaldain -- San Jose, CA -- 15, 37-04 -- 295 -- $13,600
    Day 1: 5, 10-15 -- Day 2: 5, 11-06 -- Day 3: 5, 14-15

    3. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 15, 35-10 -- 290 -- $11,333
    Day 1: 5, 10-07 -- Day 2: 5, 12-14 -- Day 3: 5, 12-05

    4. Trevor Romans -- Plano, TX -- 14, 32-06 -- 285 -- $9,067
    Day 1: 5, 11-09 -- Day 2: 5, 12-04 -- Day 3: 4, 08-09

    5. Joey Nania -- Liberty Lake, WA -- 14, 31-13 -- 280 -- $8,160
    Day 1: 5, 11-01 -- Day 2: 5, 11-14 -- Day 3: 4, 08-14

    6. Dale Hightower -- Sand Springs, OK -- 14, 30-08 -- 276 -- $7,253
    Day 1: 5, 11-08 -- Day 2: 5, 10-09 -- Day 3: 4, 08-07

    7. Lendell Martin -- Nacogdoches, TX -- 11, 29-15 -- 272 -- $6,347
    Day 1: 4, 12-13 -- Day 2: 4, 11-09 -- Day 3: 3, 05-09

    8. Shonn Goodwin -- Moore, OK -- 13, 29-13 -- 268 -- $5,440
    Day 1: 5, 10-03 -- Day 2: 5, 12-13 -- Day 3: 3, 06-13

    9. Chris M Jones -- Bokoshe, OK -- 14, 29-09 -- 264 -- $4,533
    Day 1: 5, 11-10 -- Day 2: 5, 09-05 -- Day 3: 4, 08-10

    10. Janet Parker -- Little Elm, TX -- 11, 28-08 -- 260 -- $4,080
    Day 1: 5, 15-02 -- Day 2: 3, 05-13 -- Day 3: 3, 07-09

    11. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 13, 28-02 -- 257 -- $3,627 -- $3,627
    Day 1: 5, 12-11 -- Day 2: 5, 09-08 -- Day 3: 3, 05-15

    12. Ryan Lovelace -- Denison, TX -- 11, 25-07 -- 254 -- $3,173
    Day 1: 5, 11-14 -- Day 2: 4, 09-03 -- Day 3: 2, 04-06

  • The lost championship

    The 2001 FLW Tour Championship, scheduled for Lake Champlain, was just days away when terrorists attacked New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, resulting in cancellation of the tournament.

    At FishPAA.com, a few anglers and former FLW Outdoors president and CEO Charlie Evans recall what they were doing that day and what they were thinking as they came to realize the magnitude of what had occurred in a piece penned by PAA communications director Alan Clemons. To read it, click here.

  • Win a mil from Mustad

    Win a mil from Mustad

    Mustad is hoping its new Hook a Million promotion will deliver $1.4 million in cash to lucky anglers who set new world and state records.

    In announcing the promotion, Mustad GM Tom Kurtz said the company was looking for a fun way to involve anglers across the country. "With over 50 new state records set in the last year or so and several world records pending certification, we felt the time was right for a program that rewards these accomplishments," he said. "We all know that the next cast could be the new record, and this promotion makes it easy – anglers fish on their schedule and their waters."

    The promotion, which kicks off in October and runs for 12 months, targets 10 of the country’s most popular fresh and saltwater fish. The list consists of largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, white crappie, coho salmon, striped bass, kelp bass (calico bass), red drum (redfish), spotted sea trout (speckled trout) and yellowfin tuna. It’s open to U.S. residents 18 and older.

    To participate, anglers must use a Mustad hook and register only once at least 24 hours in advance of fishing during the contest period.

    Cash awards for the promotion total $1,400,000 and recognize both fresh and saltwater all-tackle state records and new IGFA certified all-tackle world records.

    "Our goal is to make sure anglers from coast to coast have the opportunity to participate and the chance to win," said Kurtz. "It doesn’t matter what state you live in – you’re still likely to have five chances for a big cash award."

    Anglers who establish the first two new freshwater or saltwater state records for the covered species receive $100,000 each, for a total of $400,000 in cash prizes. The first new IGFA certified all-tackle world record for any of the listed species nets the angler $1,000,000.

    "We make thousands of premium hooks for all the species in the promotion and we’re encouraging anybody who fishes to register," said Kurtz. "It’s free and you never know when that next record is going to bite."

    To visit the contest home page, click here.

  • Biffle up by nearly 10

    Biffle up by nearly 10

    Elite Series veteran Tommy Biffle caught a 15-09 sack today and extended his lead at the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open out of Muskogee, Okla. to nearly 10 pounds.

    “The fish bit good all day long for me,” said Biffle. “I caught a lot of fish and lost one 4-pounder that I’d like to have back. My amateur caught two or three nice ones too, so they’re definitely there.”

    Biffle's bag was the second-best of the day. Former Elite Series angler Mark Tyler boxed 17-02 after weighing just 3-11 on day 1, but the big rally left him in 14th place – two spots shy of the cut.

    Here are the totals for the 12 anglers who'll be back on the water for the final day tomorrow:

    1. Tommy Biffle -- 34-05
    2. Lendell Martin -- 24-06
    3. Trevor Romans -- 23-13
    4. Stephen Browning -- 23-05
    5. Shonn Goodwin -- 23-00
    6. Joey Nania -- 22-15
    7. Chris Zaldain -- 22-05
    8. Rick Clunn -- 22-03
    9. Dale Hightower -- 22-06
    10. Ryan Lovelace -- 21-01
    11. Chris M. Jones -- 20-15
    12. Janet Parker -- 20-15

  • Kumar on 9/11

    BassFan founder Jay Kumar grew just a short drive from where the World Trade Center towers stood 10 years ago, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He marked the 5th anniversary of that event in 2006 with a BassFan Opinion piece and has written a follow-up perspective that's running now on Bass Parade.

    To read the new entry, click here.

  • Do you understand flash?

    You're a bass fisherman. A bass bites a spoon because it looks like a wounded baitfish, and a bass bites a spinnerbait because it looks like a group of fleeing baitfish, right?

    According to Dr. Keith Jones, it's a quite a stretch to think that a bass, with such acute vision, is so easily fooled. In a new fish-science article, he forces readers to rethink what they think about flash. Check it out over at the Catch More Fish page.

  • Judging the 'Warrior'

    Judging the 'Warrior'

    Seaguar, the inventor of fluorocarbon fishing line, recently introduced two new lines – Senshi mono and Kanzen braid. Senshi means "warrior" in Japanese. Does the line live up to its name? To find out, check out the newest BassFan Product Review.

  • Biffle leads at Muskogee

    Biffle leads at Muskogee

    Tommy Biffle used a jet-driven aluminum boat to access shallow creeks on day 1 of the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open out of Muskogee, Okla. and caught an 18-12 sack to grab the early lead.

    “I had to go through some nasty areas with only 6 or 7 inches of water and hard rock bottom,” he said. “The fish in the river system have been beat up in practice the last week or so, so I thought I’d take my aluminum boat and get to where the other anglers can’t get and take my chances. I think I’ve got enough fish for 3 days."

    Because Biffle did not compete in the first Central event at Lake Lewisville last February, he's ineligible to claim the Classic berth that goes to the winner. Such is not the case with Janet Parker, the 6th-place finisher at Lewisville who's in 2nd after today with 15-02.

    Parker, who attended high school in Muskogee and now resides in Little Elm, Texas, is attempting to become the first female to qualify for the Classic via a route other than the now-defunct Women's Bassmaster Tour. She's also put herself in prime position to become the first woman to ever qualify to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series (the Top 5 in the points after the circuit's third event receive automatic invites and B.A.S.S. may call farther down the list to fill available Elite berths).

    Parker is also fishing out of a jet-driven aluminum rig.

    “I ran into an area that’s inaccessible to regular outboard motors, caught eight fish and five were keepers,” she said. “It was not an easy day – the river is fishing real tough. Everything is shallow right now and the big fish are eating on top.”

    Here's a look at the Top 10:

    1. Tommy Bifle -- 5, 18-12
    2. Janet Parker -- 5, 15-02
    3. DeWayne French -- 5, 14-13
    4. Mark Smith -- 5, 14-05
    5. Lendell Martin -- 4, 12-13
    6. Rick Clunn -- 5, 12-11
    7. Shane Williams -- 5, 12-08
    8. Ryan Lovelace -- 5, 11-14
    9. Tommy Martin -- 5, 11-13
    10. Chris Ford -- 5, 11-12

  • Scott: polygraph needed

    Scott: polygraph needed

    Lots of BassFans have been hoping to get B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott's take on the Erie Bassmaster Northern Open imbroglio involving winner Nate Wellman and his alleged offer to purchase a fish from his co-angler on the final day of that event. Wellman, who claimed that any comments made along those lines were in jest, was fined $2,500 and placed on 1-year probation by B.A.S.S., but allowed to retain the victory and the accompanying 2012 Bassmaster Classic berth.

    Scott issued the following statement to BassFan today:

    "For those who have been around B.A.S.S. and know our history of tournaments, there is a process clearly identified in Rule 3 (B.A.S.S. Tournament Rules) that deals with infractions like this. When two anglers are in the middle of the lake and it becomes a question of who said what or what took place, you call on the polygraph. A polygraph is the only means at our disposal to clarify and resolve this matter.

    "I would hope Mr. Wellman would recognize the criticality of what is at risk now – the perception of dishonesty in bass fishing tournaments and, more importantly, the integrity of every angler around the world. B.A.S.S. has rules that deal with sportsmanship and nothing stands to suffer more from this incident than the honor and veracity of all anglers. Even though B.A.S.S. opted for another course of action, they can still direct a polygraph.

    "This isn't going to go away and the stigma will continue to hang over our heads until Mr. Wellman is either exonerated or held accountable. With all the speculation that is going on, the right thing for Mr. Wellman to do would be to contact B.A.S.S. and insist that they give him a polygraph. If he doesn't put this issue to rest beyond any reasonable doubt, B.A.S.S. and the bass-fishing community will forever hold him suspect in any tournament he attempts to enter."

  • About the Hound

    About the Hound

    A little while back, BassFan told readers about a new research and community tool from BassFan founder Jay Kumar called Fishing Gold. Pretty cool, and it was built purely for bass anglers.

    Note that there's another research/community tool that recently launched, which covers multiple species and techniques (including fly and salt). The online environment is called Fishhound and it centers itself on current fishing data gathered from guides, captains, pros and users.

    Fishhound's basic service is free – users simply need to register. With an optional upgraded membership, anglers can also receive exact GPS coordinates, details on water conditions and email or text alerts when hot bites develop.

    Fishhound CEO Richard Marks noted: "We use the local knowledge of our guides and skippers – fishing experts based at virtually every popular freshwater and coastal fishing destination across the country – to deliver timely, dependable, on-the-spot reports. These seasoned professionals are always on the water, and they provide detailed reports daily using our technology and mobile applications, so you can rest assured that the information is first-hand and up to date."

    Users also receive significant product discounts and can participate in contests and giveaways. Right now, the Hound's in the process of giving away a new Chevy truck.

    According to Marks, Fishhound's goal is not only to deliver the most current, detailed fishing reports available, but also "to create a lively community site that brings fishermen, guides, tackle shops, lodges and manufacturers together."

  • Rojas revamps site

    Rojas revamps site

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Dean Rojas invites BassFans to check out the new look of his website, which was recently redesigned by BigFishTools.com. "We've done some things to make it a little more fan-friendly," he said.

    To visit the site, click here.

  • BU at Northeast shows

    BU at Northeast shows

    The Bass University and ASA/Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition have linked up to bring the popular seminars to the premier outdoor consumer shows in the Northeast during 2012. BU will be offered at the following outdoor expos:

    > Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, Worcester, Mass., Feb 10-12, 2012
    > Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sport show, Oaks, Penn., Feb 16-19, 2012
    > Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, Suffern, N.Y., March 1-4, 2012

    Show attendees will have an opportunity to get autographs and ask questions of the Bass University pros, each of whom will be available for 30-minute intervals on Saturdays and Sundays during the events. Each pro will also conduct a 30-minute bass tank or casting pool demo on the expo floor.

    Bass anglers interested in more advanced and comprehensive training can purchase 1- or 2-day passes to attend the Bass University program. The program consists of two 8-hour training sessions with three top Bassmaster Elite Series or FLW Tour pros. Each pro will deliver two comprehensive seminars per day.

    Stuedents can also participate in hands-on, break-out sessions with each pro and a roundtable question-and-answer program that takes place both Saturday and Sunday. In addition, they'll receive a BU T-shirt, tackle pack and course booklet.

    Two-day passes are $199 for adults and $175 for youths. Single-day passes go for $99 and $87.50, respectively. BU is offering a 20% discount on tickets purchased by Sept. 30.

    For more about BU, click here.

  • Triton event at Clear Lake

    Triton event at Clear Lake

    California's Clear Lake will be the site of the 2011 Western Triton Owners Tournament, which is scheduled for Oct. 8-9. The event will launch out of Konocti Vista Casino Resort.

    The entry fee is $200 per team (one or two anglers). For more information, click here.

  • Wellman releases statement

    Nate Wellman issued a statement today to clarify his feelings about a recent incident at the Sandusky Bassmaster Northern Open. Wellman, who won the event and thus qualified for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, was later fined $2,500 and placed on probation for a 1-year period. FLW Outdoors additionally stripped his eligibility for 1 year.

    Wellman issued the following statement:

    "I regret the statements that I made to my co-angler during the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Erie Aug. 25-27, 2011. While I never intended for my statements to be anything more than an expression of my envy for his performance that day, looking back I can understand now why my co-angler would have misinterpreted my statements. My statements were wrong and should never have been made.

    "To be perfectly clear: I am not a cheater. I've never cheated in the past and will never do so in the future. I've dedicated my entire adult life to bass fishing – the sport that I love – and no amount of money in the world is worth jeopardizing my career that I've spent my life working for. I'm an accomplished angler and am confident about my future. Simply stated: I have no reason to cheat and would never tarnish my accomplishments nor compromise my future by cheating. I respect myself, my family, my sponsors and my sport way too much to bring it all down by cheating.

    "I apologize to everyone for my mistake, including B.A.S.S. and my co-angler, for putting them in such an awkward position. Also a sincere apology to the fans of fishing for it was not my intention to tarnish the integrity of the sport."

  • Wellman out for Champlain, more

    Michigan pro Nate Wellman, who was recently fined and placed on probation by B.A.S.S. for an alleged incident at the Sandusky Bassmaster Northern Open, will not be permitted to fish next week's Champlain FLW Tour Open, according to the league. Furthermore, he will be ineligible to compete in FLW Outdoors events for 1 year.

    Wellman fished the FLW Tour as a pro for 5 years before joining the Bassmaster Elite Series this year. He fished two of the four FLW Tour Opens so far this year. Champlain is slated as the third of the four Opens.

    FLW Outdoors operations-division president Kathy Fennel told BassFan: "In light of his recent conduct during the Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Erie, we have notified Nate Wellman that he is no longer eligible to participate in FLW Outdoors tournaments. We reached this decision after speaking with Mr. Wellman and determining that his actions were a clear violation of FLW Tour rule No. 9 regarding sportsmanship. Mr. Wellman may apply to have his eligibility reinstated after 1 year."

    FLW Tour Rule 9, as referenced by Fennel, reads:

    9. SPORTSMANSHIP All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, to FLW Outdoors, FLW Outdoors' sponsors, the sport of fishing and FLW Outdoors' efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the 2011 FLW Tour.
  • Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pretournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
  • Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
  • Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.
  • Suspension/disqualification or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.
  • Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 9.

    In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, FLW Outdoors shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee (minus deposit) or to disqualify a contestant.

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  • Wellman will speak

    Nate Wellman confirmed for BassFan today that he will make further statements about his recent fine and probation. Wellman said he'd have had the statements sooner, but a severe storm left him without power for several days over the weekend. His statements are expected tomorrow.

  • B.A.S.S. penalizes Wellman

    B.A.S.S. penalizes Wellman

    Michigan Bassmaster Elite Series angler Nate Wellman, the winner of the recent Erie Northern Open, has been fined $2,500 and placed on probation for 1 year by B.A.S.S. for comments made to one of his co-anglers during the event. The discussion between the two anglers allegedly involved an offer by Wellman to "purchase" a fish the co-angler had caught.

    To read the details, click here to visit Bassmaster.com.

  • Fish love ribs

    Looking for a deadly combination for finessing finicky bass? Try the Berkley PowerBait 4-inch Ribworm. The ribbed design combined with PowerBait scent injection create a double-whammy for fish that seem to be afflicted with lockjaw.

    To learn more, head on over to the Catch More Fish page.

  • New ICAST director

    New ICAST director

    The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) today named Kenneth G. Andres as its new industry tradeshow director. ASA produces the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, which is the largest sportfishing tradeshow in the world.

    Andres succeeds Maria del Valle Hamilton, who oversaw significant growth in the tradeshow over the past decade.

    Andres has been with ASA and the tradeshow since 2007, with responsibilities in sales and exhibitor relations, sponsorships, logistics, vendor relations and general show production. He's an avid angler who knows both the conventional and fly-fishing sides of the sportfishing industry.

    ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman voiced his support for Andres. “I’m looking forward to working with Ken in his role as ICAST director," said ASA president and CEO Mike Nussman. "He brings years of knowledge and experience not only about ICAST, but the entire tradeshow industry to this important position.”

    Said Andres: “I’m really excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work in my new role as ICAST director. I’ve been fishing since I was able to hold a rod. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring my fishing experience and my knowledge of ICAST and the tradeshow industry to ASA and to help increase education opportunities, support for and participation in the show.”

  • Just Announced: Crossword Contest!

    Great news! Seaguar's pretty stoked on the BassFan Crossword and wants to give BassFans who complete it a chance to win some line.

    Here's the deal. Send us the answers to:
    11 Across
    26 Across
    1 Down

    We'll randomly pick five winners from among the correct entries and each winner will receive a free spool of Seaguar Kanzen or Senshi. All Seaguar asks is, after winners test the line, they write back to BassFan with a few thoughts about the product.

    Once you've got your answers, click here to email 'em. Good luck!

  • The BassFan Crossword

    <b><font color = 336699>The BassFan Crossword</b></font>

    Think you know fishing? Then go ahead and test your knowledge on the BassFan Crossword No. 1. The puzzle interface is simple, and in case of confusion, just click the "Help" button for a full set of directions.

    The crossword can be found here.

    Good luck! And if you like the puzzles, we'll deliver a bunch more!!

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