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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

  • Carpenter claims Delta EverStart

    Carpenter claims Delta EverStart

    Brian Carpenter caught 18-03 today to clinch the win at California Delta Western EverStart. His 3-day total of 67-06 was an ounce better than runner-up Phillip Dutra. Here's a look at how the Top 10 finished up:

    1. Brian Carpenter: 67-06
    2. Phillip Dutra: 67-05
    3. Jeff Michels: 63-13
    4. Charley Almassey: 63-10
    5. Timothy Venkus: 58-08
    6. Salvador Herrera: 57-10
    7. Mike Folkestad: 55-13
    8. Eric Parra: 55-05
    9. Ron Johnson: 52-08
    10. Roy Hawk: 51-13

    Details of Carpenter's winning pattern will be published soon.

  • Table Rock: Yelas, Clausen check in

    Jay Yelas just couldn't figure out a big-bite pattern while Luke Clausen stuck around the bank too long at the Table Rock FLW Tour Major. To read their takes on how they fished this week, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Michels leads at Cal Delta

    Jeff Michels caught 23-04 today to take the lead at the California Delta Western EverStart with 1 day of competition remaining. He has 50-09 and leads Brian Carpenter by 1-06. Here’s a look at the 10 contestants who will be fishing tomorrow:

    1. Jeff Michels: 50-09
    2. Brian Carpenter: 49-03
    3. Eric Parra: 48-08
    4. Phillip Dutra: 45-14
    5. Roy Hawk: 42-05
    6. Timothy Venkus: 40-12
    7. Salvador Herrera: 40-06
    8. Mike Folkestad: 40-05
    9. Ron Johnson: 40-01
    10. Charley Almassey: 39-00

  • Berkley trailer heading to Michigan

    Berkley trailer heading to Michigan

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the D&R Sports Center store in Kalamazoo, Mich., next Friday through Sunday (April 6-8). The 60-foot trailer offers consumers fun, great deals and activities, along with fishing education for all levels of anglers.

    The trailer has videos and interactive demonstrations along with seminars scheduled throughout the day. Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location.

    “We're excited about having the Experience Trailer on the road in 2012 and stopping at many new locations across the country,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is set to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Other elements include a knot-tying contest and demonstration, where anglers can learn new knots and compete for prizes. Under the tent, big-screen videos help anglers experience the adventure with Berkley and display racks are filled with the latest products. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    The store is located at 8178 West Main Street. The phone number is (269) 372-2277.

    Future stops will be at Gander Mountain in Wichita, Kan. (April 13-15) and Cabela's in Owatonna, Minn. (April 20-22).

  • Parra owns early lead at Delta

    Parra owns early lead at Delta

    Eric Parra was the lone angler to crack the 30-pound mark yesterday as he weighed 31-08 to take the lead after day 1 of the California Delta Western EverStart. Here’s a look at the Top 10 heading into day 2:

    1. Eric Parra: 31-08
    2. Jeff Michels: 27-05
    3. Roy Hawk: 25-02
    4. Brian Carpenter: 5, 24-04
    5. Bryant Smith: 5, 23-14
    6. Alex Sanchez: 5, 23-05
    7. Mike Folkestad: 5, 22-09
    8. Paul Tilton: 5, 22-06
    9. Richard Dobyns: 5, 21-15
    10 (tie). Phillip Dutra: 5, 21-14
    10 (tie). Steven Yee: 5, 21-14

  • Rod-reel matching: help is here

    Rod-reel matching: help is here

    Have you ever purchased a new rod, wondering if it's the absolute best choice you could have made? Do you wonder if shaking, bending or comparing a rod's weight to others is actually ”smart” buying? If so, you're not alone.

    For decades, Fuji Rod Components has maintained a staff of engineers and researchers on site at its Japanese manufacturing headquarters in Shizuoka. The group's sole purpose is devoted to the mechanics and physics used in developing superior fishing rod components. And they're a generous group, constantly sharing their research with custom rod builders and manufacturers around the world.

    Recently, Anglers Resource (exclusive distributor of Fuji Rod Components in North America) realized that much of this same information could be utilized by the consumer to better grasp the mechanics involved in rod production, so that they might make a more informed decision when buying a new rod.

    The idea is simple: rods and reels perform better when they are correctly paired, or matched. But "matching" is not about brands, nor is it about buying a rod and reel from the same manufacturer. Matching is about taking the design specs of a reel and choosing a rod that enhances those attributes, or vice versa.

    Many things affect rod performance, especially when it comes to spinning rods. Things like quality of material, blank action, power, sensitivity, recovery and casting distance will never realize their full potential unless the rod is paired with the right reel. Informing anglers on how to correctly match a rod and reel so that all components perform optimally is the goal of Fuji and Anglers Resource.

    By accessing the Anglers Resource website, any angler can find the help they need. There are hundreds of rods to choose from in each category, and by applying the 5-Tip Buying Guide the list can be quickly narrowed to the few best candidates for reaching optimal performance. Matching things up is relatively easy if you know what to look for, and the “5 Tips” guide can help.

    The only real guarantee for optimal performance comes in having the ability to select a rod that pairs perfectly with the characteristics of your reel. To learn more, click here and then click “5 Tips."

  • ShareLunker spawning process revealed

    ShareLunker spawning process revealed

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's ShareLunker program has posted an educational video on its Facebook page detailing the collection of 44,000 eggs taken from Toyota ShareLunker 531, caught at Falcon Lake earlier this month. It shows Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) hatchery staff removing the eggs from the spawning mat, counting them and placing them into a hatching jar.

    The eggs will hatch in 3 or 4 days, and the fry will be raised to about 1 1/2 inches in length before being stocked.

    ShareLunker 531, a 14 1/4-pounder, was caught by Gary Wingate of Amarillo and is the first ShareLunker to spawn this season. Multiple spawns from the same fish are not uncommon. Six of the current entries are pure Florida-strain largemouth bass and are being held for spawning. Those fish came from Falcon, Austin (two fish), Fork, Ray Roberts and O.H. Ivie.

    So far this season 12 ShareLunkers have been caught from six different lakes: Falcon, Austin, Fork, Toledo Bend, Ray Roberts and O.H. Ivie. Each lake producing an entry into the ShareLunker program during the season receives a portion of all the fingerlings produced.

    Pure Florida-strain ShareLunkers are paired at TFFC with pure Florida males that are themselves the offspring of ShareLunkers. This selective breeding process is intended to result in offspring that have the best possible genetics. Appropriate measures are taken to ensure that genetic diversity is maintained.

    DNA testing allows TWD to determine the parentage of and relatedness among ShareLunker offspring.

  • Cooler deal for Tietje

    Cooler deal for Tietje

    Louisiana Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dennis Tietje, who's sitting out this season on a medical exemption due to a back issue, recently signed a sponsorship deal with K2 Coolers of Lafayette, La.

    “We’re excited about Dennis joining our team because he’s a Louisiana boy who loves to hunt and fish as much as we do,” said Burton Angelle III, owner of K2. “He also sees the need for using the best products while doing so.”

    K2 also sponsors Cliff Crochet, another Elite Series pro from the Bayou State.

    “I’m very excited about joining the K2 team,” Tietje said. “This will be a fun time, working with people who love the outdoors.

    "High-quality coolers are critical for all outdoor enthusiasts. I will be demonstrating the qualities unique to the K2 products wherever I go this year and next year. Looks like it’s going to be a very cool season!”

  • Cook catches a giant

    Cook catches a giant

    Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships, who's involved with marketing and communications for several clients in the fishing industry, passed along the news of the 11.6-pound largemouth that 1991 Bassmaster Classic champion Ken Cook caught today on a small lake not far from his Tarbone Ranch in Oklahoma (click the photo to see a larger image). Cook, who retired from the Bassmaster Elite Series following the 2009 season, took a break from creating food plots for the animals on the ranch to fish the lake with son Hunter.

    The bruiser bit a 3-inch Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw on 8-pound Berkley NanoFil line.

  • Big Bite Lookback – Big O

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

    Gary Klein can hardly be faulted for going to the best area he'd found during practice to begin last week's Okeechobee Bassmaster Elite Series in Florida. It was that decision, however, that likely prevented him from making the Top-12 cut – he was 1-11 shy of the total he needed for that after day 3 and ended up 13th.

    He started day 1 at a place on the north shore in the vicinity of Indian Prairie. The 13-pound bag he caught that day was nearly 6 pounds lighter than his hauls on each of the next 2 days, after he'd relocated to the West Wall.

    "I don't have any regrets," he said. "The thing about tournament results is everything's based on decisions and commitments – not only about where to go and how to fish, but then how long to stay.

    "The southeast wind that was continually blowing all week had finally gotten that (northern) area dirty. The water was a grayish-black on day 1 and I could see my jig maybe an inch underneath."

    He caught plenty of fish that morning, but had only about 7 pounds in his livewell when he departed at mid-day. He put together a decent sack (13 pounds) that afternoon at the West Wall, followed by much heftier bags on day 2 (19-12) and day 3 (18-13).

    "I was real happy with my finish. Okeechobee has always been one of my favorite lakes in the whole country to fish and for many years it was on my schedule every year, but I hadn't gotten to go there in at least 10 years. It changes every year and you have to relearn the weed growth and the inside lines and the outside lines, and I felt that each day I was getting better.

    "I fished a flawless event – every big bite I got, I landed. It's a fun event for me anytime I can have three 8-foot flip-sticks laid out on my deck."

    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.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – Big O

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – Big O</font></b>

    Shaw Grigsby was in 41st place at the midway point of last week's Okeechobee Bassmaster Elite Series in Florida and made the Top-50 cut by less than a pound. A day later he was in the Top 5, and he remained there to log a 4th-place finish.

    That big move on day 3 made the veteran Floridian the Sunline Strong Performer for the second consecutive week.

    After scaling just 11 1/2 pounds on day 1, he knew he'd need at least 14 on the second day to earn a paycheck. It didn't look like the area he'd flipped the first day would surrender even that mediocre weight, so he bolted for other places and began employing other tactics.

    "I'd developed a little pattern in practice of pitching to outside reed heads," he said. "Occasionally I'd get a good bite, but most of them were little guys.

    "I ran to one area and as soon as I pulled in, it was beautiful. It had been pretty stained in practice, but now it had a lot of good, clean water. The first fish I caught was like a (6-pounder) and after that, it was, 'Here we go.'''

    He stayed there throughout day 3 and compiled a 30 1/2-pound bag to make his big jump in the standings.

    "I had it all to myself until about noon, then another boat pulled in and that guy caught them, too," he said. "The area was loaded, and sharing it with only one other boat was pretty nice.

    "I was mainly focused on these clumps of reeds that were out and away from everything, casting a (Strike King) jig or a Rodent or a Hack Attack swimjig. They'd just pick it up and take off and it'd either be a little one or a real big one. It was just crazy."

    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.

  • Optima promotion starts this weekend

    Optima promotion starts this weekend

    Optima Batteries recently announced its 2012 national retail promotion designed to reward automotive and marine enthusiasts as they gear up for an action-packed season of high-powered adventure. From April 1 through May 31, consumers who purchase any Optima battery at a qualified Optima retailer will be eligible for a $25 cash rebate from the company (up to four rebated per household).

    A completed rebate form and receipt copy with the Optima purchase circled or highlighted must be mailed and postmarked no later than June 15 at 11:59 p.m. CST. The rebate form will be available in-store at all participating Optima dealers, as well as online by clicking here.

    “This 2012 retail promotion is designed to demonstrate Optima Batteries’ commitment to supporting the lifestyle of performance automotive and marine enthusiasts,” said director of product development and marketing Cam Douglas. “We want to reward our customers who have an interest in upgrading to the best in performance products and encourage enthusiasts to get the most out of their vehicles or boats.”

    Consumers will receive a $25 rebate check for each battery they purchase, up to four, from Optima within 4 to 6 weeks of mailing in their receipt and rebate form.

    To learn more about OPTIMA Batteries and to find your nearest retailer, click here.

  • Sonar at Bull Shoals

    Sonar at Bull Shoals

    BassFan columnist Miles "Sonar" Burghoff is competing in the TBF National Championship this week at Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. He qualified for the event via his victory (along with University of Central Florida teammate Casey O'Donnell) at last year's BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship.

    He filed the following practice report for the event, which gets under way Thursday and concludes Saturday:

    "The 2012 TBF National Championship is about to begin, and the boat yard is humming with hum-bugs and high hopes. As is usually the case with major tournaments, conditions on Bull Shoals are very different from the conditions several weeks ago before the venue went off-limits. Before March 12, the water temps were in the mid to high 40s in the mornings and the low to mid 50s in the afternoons, and the water was at normal pool. Now the water is almost 70 degrees in the afternoon! Also, it's 8 feet higher than it was 3 weeks ago.

    "Before, the Alabama Rig was the deal. If you had any dream of making a good check, you had better be lobbing that thing around all day. Now, with the warming trend and the high waters, the fish have been spread out and are harder to catch on the A-Rig. I found limited success with the A-Rig during the 1 day of official practice, and I don't feel very confident that I can throw it all day long and catch a good sack.

    "I did find what seemed to be a pretty strong bite doing something completely different today, which I hope will pan out. I'm basically fishing the same areas I found during my pre-practice, but approaching them differently. However, I was not able to staple down one particular pattern, so I'm doing a bit of junk-fishing. With a 1-day practice period, you're forced to do quite a bit of refining on the fly.

    "From what I saw today, I still feel that it should take around 16 to 18 pounds a day to be in contention for the "Living The Dream" prize package, but I still have to refine things a big to get to that size bag.

    "I look forward to giving it my all tomorrow, and hopefully you won't have to scroll down too far to find me in the standings."

  • Reese's info added

    The patterns article for the 2nd- through 5th-place finishers from the Okeechobee Bassmaster Elite Series has been updated to include Skeet Reese's information. To read it, click here.

  • Hearing set in Z-Man/Renosky case

    Hearing set in Z-Man/Renosky case

    A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenville, S.C., in the ongoing patent infringement case filed by Z-Man Fishing Products, Inc. and parent company Holding One, Inc. against Joseph F. Renosky and Renosky Lure, Inc.

    Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn D. Austin is not expected to rule this week on the motion for partial summary judgment filed by Z-Man last October.

    Renosky declined comment when reached by BassFan via phone this week. An e-mail seeking comment sent to Renosky’s attorneys was not answered. Representatives of Z-Man have not responded to a phone message and e-mail.

    At issue is Z-Man’s contention that Renosky has infringed on its patent and trade dress related to specific design features of the ChatterBait bladed swimjig. The original complaint was filed in February, 2011.

    According to court documents filed in the case, attorneys for Z-Man allege that Renosky has infringed on Z-Man’s patent by continuing to market and sell a lure that bears a striking resemblance to the ChatterBait. Renosky has denied the allegations in responsive filings with the court and is seeking a court order ruling Z-Man’s patent invalid.

    In June 2010, Z-Man was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled “Snag-Resistant Fishing Lure” related to the ChatterBait, which was originally designed by RAD Lures co-founders Ron Davis and Ron Davis Jr. Z-Man acquired the ChatterBait from RAD in 2008.

    "The issuance of this patent will help ensure that copycats cannot take advantage of our innovations in lure design,” Z-Man president Jonathan Zucker said at the time. “We believe that this patent will deter other lure manufacturers that have copied the ChatterBait from continuing to sell and market their knock-off products."

    The following month, Z-Man was granted a second utility patent (patent No. 7,726,062), which expanded intellectual property (IP) to cover a variety of bladed lures and broadened the protection covering the mechanism by which the blade is attached. It's the validity of the second patent that Renosky is challenging.

    Renosky applied for a patent for his own lure design in March 2010, but earlier this month the court denied his motion to admit as evidence an affidavit of Mark Manley, a patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. According to the affidavit, Manley, who has been handling Renosky’s patent application since it was filed, attested that “no claims of Mr. Renosky’s patent application have been rejected by the patent examiner citing the Davis patent.”

    Court documents also reveal that Z-Man and Renosky did have a business relationship in which Renosky served as a distributor for Z-Man products. Upon termination of the distributorship, Z-Man alleges that Renosky undermined a relationship Z-Man had with a national retailer, and in turn the national retailer ceased carrying Z-Man products and began stocking Renosky’s products.

    In January, District Court Judge Richard Mark Gergel ordered both sides to participate in mediation talks before April 2, in hopes a settlement can be reached to avoid a jury trial, which both parties have requested.

  • Table Rock: Yelas checks in

    Jay Yelas has trailered his boat and is done with practice for the Table Rock FLW Tour Major this week. To check out his thoughts heading into the second major of the season, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Fortuitous decision by McMillan

    Fortuitous decision by McMillan

    The only reason Brandon McMillan entered last week's Seminole Southeastern EverStart in Georgia was because his younger brother, a college student on spring break, wanted to compete as a co-angler. The Floridian ended up winning the event, which garnered him $35,000 and a new boat.

    To read the Winning Pattern story, click here.

  • Trick-caster Shahid dies

    Trick-caster Shahid dies

    Veteran industry PR man Gary Dollahon issued a press release today announcing that famed trick-caster Shag Shahid died last weekend in Florida. The 86-year-old had been battling several health issues recently.

    "It's hard for us, but Dad seemed comfortable and ready when his time came," said son Wade Shahid. "Those who knew him best know he was a competitor in everything he did."

    Born to Lebanese immigrants in Charleston, S.C., he grew up in Timmonsville and developed a love for fishing in his early days. He was also fond of team sports and played football, baseball and basketball in high school, and then football and baseball at The Citadel.

    In the early 1950s he played semi-pro baseball in the region's Palmetto League as a pitcher. He often used a baseball analogy when teaching casting, saying, "It's just like throwing a baseball; you have to know when and where to let go."

    After leaving baseball, he moved to Birmingham, Ala., where he owned and operated Shag's Restaurant. During this time he met Lola Price, and the couple was married in 1955.

    The Shahids later moved to Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., where he opened Shag's BBQ in the Gulf Coast region, which became a popular tourist destination. It was during that time in the early 1970s that Shahid pursued an opportunity in the fishing tackle business, going to work for Lew Childre in his upstart rod and reel operation in Foley, Ala. Childre and Shahid became good friends and fishing partners, and together developed some of the fishing industry's most popular rod and reel designs that were marketed under the Lew's brand.

    "I'm not sure if Shag got out of the barbecue business because he thought the fishing market sounded better to him, or because too many customers were complaining about their sandwiches having a taste of paint from overspray as he dabbled in painting lures on the side," recalled Casey Childre, son of the late Lew Childre. "Dad and Shag made a good team though, and they worked on a lot of products together. Shag carved from wood what eventually became the pistol grip handle made by Fuji and featured on the Lew's Speed Stick."

    Shahid will be buried later this week near his longtime home in Ft. Walton Beach. He's survived by his wife Lola, sister Agnes, sisters-in-law Margaret and Billie, sons Wade and James, and numerous grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

    "He was truly a unique man in a special circle of anglers from an important era that helped shape our fishing community," said B.A.S.S founder Ray Scott. "I saw in Shag a compassion for wanting to help people be better at casting and catching fish. And he had a special gift of patience in helping those who needed some extra attention.

    "He sure could cast and I always enjoyed watching him entertain a crowd at the shows. I have to say he was truly interested in helping people, and to me that's a great compliment about any person."

  • Yelas, Clausen stumped

    Jay Yelas and Luke Clausen have filed their day-2 practice reports in preparation for the Table Rock FLW Tour Major this week. The early verdict: It's not living up to the advanced billing. To check out their complete takes on the Rock, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.

  • MLF: Mind games revealed

    MLF: Mind games revealed

    The newest Major League Fishing webisode, Major League Lessons, invites viewers to “climb inside the minds” of MLF anglers during and after their quest to capture the Challenge Cup title.

    The webisode is the seventh and final installment of a series of Internet-based pay-per-view shows that follows action at MLF's inaugural event, the Challenge Cup. The webisode can be seen by clicking here. The Challenge Cup was filmed November 6-11, 2011, on Lake Amistad in Texas.

    “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that this Challenge Cup competition re-engineered the sport of competitive bass fishing, so I believe fishing fans will find this webisode to be exceptional,” said MLF commissioner Don Rucks. “For 6 straight days, our 24 great anglers experienced the fastest-paced competition ever. They had no practice and no idea where they were going to fish. And now, in this webisode, we’ll get to climb inside the anglers’ minds as they tell you how they went about finding fish.”

    "The Challenge Cup can be seen on the Outdoor Channel Thursday at 9 p.m. ET and Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

  • BU: First 50 kids free

    BU: First 50 kids free

    Berkley and Abu Garcia have partnered with The Bass University to allow free admission for the first 50 youths (age 17 and under) who register for this weekend's session in Orange Beach, Ala.

    To register, youths can send an email to Include your name and address and list your favorite Berkley baits or favorite Abu Garcia rod and reel. In addition, Abu Garcia will be giving away five Ike Dude rod-and-reel combos as raffle prizes.

    Topics for the session include the Alabama Rig (with Paul Elias), Bass Fishing – the Next Level, football jigs, lipless crankbaits, finesse strategies, deep-diving crankbaits, finding bass consistently and StructureScan sonar. In addition to Elias, presenters will be Mike Iaconelli, Pete Gluszek, Randy Howell, Mike McClelland and Gary Klein.

    The event will be held at the Wharf and will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday (March 31-April 1). The adult price is $199 and the fee for college students is $175.

    For more, click here.

  • PAA TV to Pursuit Channel

    PAA TV to Pursuit Channel

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) announced recently that its FishPAA TV show will be shown on the Pursuit Channel beginning this week. Episodes will be broadcast through the second quarter of this year, and also in the first two quarters of 2013.

    “The Board of Directors and the membership of the Professional Anglers Association are extremely excited to be partnering with the Pursuit Channel.,” said PAA president Dave Mansue. “An industry leader in outdoor programming, Pursuit has quickly built a strong following. And like the PAA, Pursuit continues to grow stronger, making this a perfect partnership for everyone.”

    The Pursuit Channel is is available in 38.5 million homes – the only outdoors network active in all DIRECTV and DISH homes, meaning the nation’s satellite-television viewer pays no extra fees to watch Pursuit Channel.

    “Whether it’s a weekend with the local bass club folks, big regional events or professional-only classics, competitive bass fishing is an All-American outdoors exclusive,” said Pursuit Channel marketing representative Dennis Presley.. “Now and generationally, the PAA and the Pursuit Channel are active together on the importance of improving competitive bass fishing opportunities, which can only benefit everyone who fishes.”

  • Record-breaker in Delaware, too

    James D. Hitchens of Georgetown, Del., caught a 10-pound, 10-ounce largemouth last Thursday, breaking the state record that had stood since 1980.

    He caught it at a pond in Sussex County using a live shiner minnow and released it once its weight was certified. The previous state record was 10-05.

    To read more about Hitchens’ catch, click here.

  • OK state record broken

    Benny Williams, Jr., of Poteau, Okla., caught a 14-pound, 12.3-ounce largemouth bass last Friday, breaking the previous Oklahoma state record of 14 pounds, 11.52 ounces set in 1999.

    Williams caught the fish at Cedar Lake while on a camping trip in southeast Oklahoma. He was fishing a 1/4-ounce Strike King jig.

    "Catching the state record largemouth bass in Oklahoma is a big deal and catching a fish this large is a big deal," said Barry Bolton, chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "It speaks to the quality of fishing we have in Oklahoma and also to the anglers who get out there and fish for them. We congratulate him on his great catch."

    Fisheries in the southern and southeastern portion of Oklahoma have produced several of the Top 20 heaviest largemouths recorded by the state as these lakes tend to warm up earlier and cool off later in the year, making for a longer growing season.

    The previous record was held by William Cross, who caught his fish at Broken Bow Lake.

  • McMillan edges Beaver for Seminole title

    Brandon McMillan boxed a 17-04 limit today to win the Seminole Southeast EverStart with a 3-day total of 51-11, beating Rodger Beaver by one ounce.

    Beaver’s 19-08 sack was tops across the scale today, but it wasn’t enough to overtake McMillan, who led after day 1. Day-2 leader J.T. Kenney weighed 13-04 and wound up 3rd with 49-10. Here’s how the Top 10 finished up:

    1. Brandon McMillan: 51-11
    2. Rodger Beaver: 51-10
    3. J.T. Kenney: 49-10
    4. Shaye Baker: 49-08
    5. Brandon Medlock: 49-02
    6. Darrell Davis: 49-01
    7. George Kapiton: 44-01
    8. Keith Pace: 43-13
    9. Joseph Kremer: 43-09
    10. Ty Solis: 38-01

    Details of McMillan’s winning pattern will be published soon.

  • Kenney surges to Seminole lead

    Kenney surges to Seminole lead

    J.T. Kenney weighed a 17-13 limit today to take over the lead with a 2-day total of 36-06 at the Seminole Southeastern EverStart. The Palm Bay, Fla. resident holds a 1-14 edge over Darrell Davis, who’s 2nd with 34-08. Day-1 leader Brandon McMillan fell to 3rd with 34-07.

    Here’s a look at the 10 anglers who’ll be fishing the final day tomorrow:

    1. J.T. Kenney: 36-06
    2. Darrell Davis: 34-08
    3. Brandon McMillan: 34-07
    4. Keith Pace: 34-01
    5. Shaye Baker: 33-14
    6. George Kapiton: 33-12
    7. Brandon Medlock: 32-04
    8. Ty Solis: 32-03
    9. Rodger Beaver: 32-02
    10. Joseph Kremer: 32-01

  • McMillan out front at Seminole

    McMillan out front at Seminole

    Brandon McMillan was the day-1 leader at the Seminole Southeast EverStart after weighing 21-15 on Thursday. The Clewiston, Fla., resident is looking to build upon his 9th-place finish at the Okeechobee Southeast EverStart in January.

    Here’s a look at the Top 10 as they hit the water today:

    1. Brandon McMillan: 21-15
    2. Bradley Enfinger: 20-02
    3. Clint Brown: 19-15
    4. Drew Benton: 18-15
    5. J.T. Kenney: 18-09
    6. Shaye Baker: 18-08
    7. Keith Pace: 18-07
    8. George Kapiton: 18-03
    9. Larry Jones: 17-15
    10. Darrell Davis: 17-02

  • Fox poll: Varsity or not? recently published an article (cleverly titled "Friday Night Bites") about a movement in South Carolina to get bass fishing recognized as a varsity sport in the state's high schools. Along with it, the organization is running an opinion poll (open to S.C. residents and non-residents alike).

    To read the story, click here.

    To vote in the poll, click here.

  • Berkley trailer off to Illinois

    Berkley trailer off to Illinois

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be the Scheels store in Springfield, Ill., next Friday through Sunday (March 30-April 1). The 60-foot trailer offers consumers fun, great deals and activities, along with fishing education for all levels of anglers.

    The trailer has videos and interactive demonstrations along with seminars scheduled throughout the day. Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location.

    “We're excited about having the Experience Trailer on the road in 2012 and stopping at many new locations across the country,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is set to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Other elements include a knot-tying contest and demonstration, where anglers can learn new knots and compete for prizes. Under the tent, big-screen videos help anglers experience the adventure with Berkley and display racks are filled with the latest products. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    The store is located at 3801 South MacArthur Boulevard. The phone number is (217) 726-6330.

    Future stops will be at D&R Sports Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. (April 6-8) and Gander Mountain in Wichita, Kan. (April 13-15).

  • Scotts aligns with MLF

    Scotts aligns with MLF

    Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that lawn-care giant Scotts has joined the organization's sponsorship list.

    Scotts is a fantastic addition to Major League Fishing," said commissioner Don Rucks. "We’re trying to build support through endemic and non-endemic sponsors, and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the world’s top name in lawn products."

    Said Ralph Heim, director of media services for ScottsMiracle-Gro: “Major League Fishing is bringing innovation and excitement to professional bass fishing, and we’re pleased to offer our company’s support to this growing organization."

    Coverage of MLF's first event, the Challenge Cup, is available on the organization's online Advance Cast pay-per-view channel. It'll debut on the Outdoor Channel on Thursday (March 29) at 9 p.m. ET.

  • Mustad promo: still no winners

    Mustad promo: still no winners

    Mustad is still hoping its Hook a Million promotion will deliver $1.4 million in cash to anglers who set new world and state records. Since the promotion started, there’s been an amazing run of big fish caught by anglers who have not been registered.

    Three catches over the last 3 months tell the story:

    > In January, a 430-pound yellowfin tuna, the largest ever recorded, was caught on a Mustad Demon Perfect Circle hook near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico by Ronnie Tegland. The fish didn’t qualify as an IGFA World Record because two anglers touched the rod. Tegland was not registered.

    > In February, Arkansas angler Paul Crowder caught a 16-05 largemouth bass to set an Arkansas state record. Crowder was not registered and unfortunately, the fish was not taken legally (he didn't have a license) and the state record was rescinded.

    > Jim Zimmerman of Wisconsin caught a 15.08-pound walleye on March 11 that has been certified as a new Illinois state record.

    Registration in Hook a Million promotion is free. To qualify for big cash awards, anglers must register in advance and simply catch the new record on any Mustad hook.

    The promotion runs through Sept. 30 and includes 10 of the country’s most popular fresh- and saltwater fish (largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, white crappie, coho salmon, striped bass, kelp bass, redfish, speckled trout and yellowfin tuna). It’s open to U.S. residents age 18 and over. To participate, anglers must use a Mustad hook and register only once at least 24 hours in advance of fishing.

    For more, click here.

  • Ledoux's zero: aid from marshal

    Ledoux's zero: aid from marshal

    B.A.S.S. reported that Oklahoma rookie Kevin Ledoux's day-1 weight at the Okeechobee Bassmaster Elite Series was disqualified because he accepted the aid of his marshal after getting his boat stuck in a shallow area and was unable to free it on his own. That's a violation of Elite Series rule C12, which states, “Marshals are not allowed to help pros in any way.”

    The organization said that Ledoux self-reported the incident to tournament officials and that he knew and understood the rule and penalty before deciding to accept the marshal's aid.

  • New spin on a classic fish-catcher

    <b><font color=maroon>New spin on a classic fish-catcher</font></b>

    Planning to fish a new lake this spring? The folks at Sebile have developed a must-have for finding and targeting big fish – the Sebile Pro-Shad Trophy spinnerbait. Its unique design includes a welded-shut line tie and a junctured link to the main wire that ensures the bait runs true and the blades continually spin.

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

  • Z-Man: Walker and the 'phantom' 7

    Z-Man: Walker and the 'phantom' 7

    A couple of new videos have been added to the Z-Man Pros page, including one with David Walker discussing the 2012 Bassmaster Classic and the "phantom" 7-pounder he was reputed to have caught on day 1.

    To visit the page, click here.

  • New column: Casts & Blasts

    BassFan introduces a new column today – Casts & Blasts, written by Senior Editor John Johnson. It consists of snippets – mostly opinion – from around the sport, presented in a notes-style format.

    To read the first installment, click here.

  • Solid bite still expected at rainy Table Rock

    Solid bite still expected at rainy Table Rock

    Judging by early reports, spring has sprung at Table Rock Lake, site of next week’s FLW Tour Major.

    The event will mark the third time in the last 4 years Table Rock has hosted an FLW Tour stop in March, and this year’s tournament had the potential to turn into a springtime shootout before rain this week brought the lake up 3 feet since Monday. Additional rain is forecast today and tomorrow so there’s no telling how much higher the pool will rise by the time the full field pulls into town.

    Before the rains came, though, Arkansas pro Robbie Dodson, who won the Table Rock Central EverStart last November, was anticipating it would take a 20- to 22-pound average to win the 4-day event. Compare that to the 69-11 Brent Ehrler caught to win the 2010 FLW Tour Major at the Rock and you get the idea about how hot the bite has been at the highland reservoir.

    “The water temperature’s been about 55 to 57 on the big part of the lake,” Dodson said. “Usually, it’s still in the 40s this time of year. It’s too warm for this time of year.”

    If not for this week’s rain, Dodson felt the Alabama Rig would be tough to beat. He noted that it took 30 pounds to win a buddy tournament last Sunday. He still thinks a 20-pound average will be needed to be in contention and that the A-Rig will come into play at some point next week.

    “That thing was really catching them up here,” he added, “but now it’ll probably be a flipping bite because they’ll be up in the bushes. Spinnerbaits and shallow cranking could also come into play I think.

    “If the lake was down at normal levels and we’d have a big weather change, sometimes that makes them come shallow. They really feed good on a weather change. This rain – who knows what it’s going to do. Sometimes, they’ll still sit where they were or they’ll come up as fast as the water does.”

  • TBF to crown champ at Bull Shoals

    TBF to crown champ at Bull Shoals

    Bull Shoals Lake in Bull Shoals, Ark., will be the venue for The Bass Federation (TBF) National Championship on March 29-31.

    The 94-angler field will feature anglers from seven TBF divisions in the U.S. and Canada as well as the reigning champions from the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA). The full field will fish the first 2 days before being trimmed to 14 -- the top boater and co-angler from each of the seven TBF divisions – for the final day. The 14 division champions will clinch a berth in the BFL All-American at the Potomac River in May.

    The winning boater and co-angler will earn also berths in this year’s Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Lanier in August.

    The champion will walk away with a lucrative prize package, including a cash prize, guaranteed spots in the 2012 BFL All-American and the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup, fully-paid entry fees as a tour pro in all the 2013 FLW Tour majors, travel expense stipends for each event, and use of a wrapped truck and boat for the 2013 season.

  • Alan Report – Big O

    Former B.A.S.S. emcee Keith Alan has checked in with the second installment of the Alan Report for 2012, giving BassFans his perspective on what to expect at this week's Elite Series event at Lake Okeechobee. To read it, click here.

  • FLW partners with STP

    FLW partners with STP

    FLW announced today it’s added STP to its list of sponsors. STP will become the official fuel and oil additive of FLW under the agreement.

    “Sports fans all over the world are familiar with the STP brand and its involvement with mainstream sports,” said Trisha Blake, president of FLW’s marketing division. “We couldn’t be happier to see that logo in our lineup of sponsors.”

    Said STP brand manager Jamie Kistner, Sr.: “We are thrilled to be partnering with FLW to expand our STP sponsorship portfolio from the race track to the water. FLW adds multiple platforms to our marketing mix that will serve to engage our consumers in new ways.”

  • Wind whistling at Okeechobee

    The first 2 days of practice for the Okeechobee Bassmaster Elite Series were dominated by wind, and that's had a big effect on how the competitors have gone about preparing for the event. The easterly breezes in excess of 20 mph are expected to pound the lake again tomorrow and continue into day 1 of the tournament on Thursday.

    To see the initial practice reports from BassFan Big Sticks Brent Chapman and Aaron Martens, click here.

  • Texas trio not the first

    Texas trio not the first

    You might've noticed that the Top 3 finishers at the St. Johns River Bassmaster Elite Series (Alton Jones, Todd Faircloth and Keith Combs) are all Texans. You certainly know that the St. Johns is not in Texas – it's in Florida.

    So, was there ever another Elite event in which the final Top 3 were all from the same state, and not the state in which the event was held? Yep, it happened in the first derby that carried the Elite Series moniker – at Lake Amistad in (where else?) Texas in March 2006.

    Californians dominated that one – Ish Monroe (pictured) won, followed by Fred Roumbanis and Mike Reynolds. Roumbanis, of course, has since relocated to Oklahoma.

    Other than that, if the phenomenon has ever occurred in another tour-level event, we're not aware of it.

  • ShareLunker head will retire

    ShareLunker head will retire

    David L. Campbell, coordinator of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s ShareLunker program, will retire at the end of March. Campbell has worked for TPWD for 46 years and was inducted into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2011.

    As manager of the Tyler Fish Hatchery, he was instrumental in the introduction of Florida-strain largemouth bass into Texas and has helped stock fish into almost every public reservoir in the state. He has been associated with the ShareLunker program since its beginning. He picked up the first fish entered into the program in 1986 and most of the more than 500 entered since.

    Through his years of experience of caring for trophy largemouth bass, Campbell contributed a great deal to the knowledge of how best to care for big fish and communicated this information to the public through countless interviews with media.

    “David Campbell and the ShareLunker program are almost synonymous,” said Gary Saul, director of TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division. “He is without doubt the No. 1 ambassador for the ShareLunker program, which is TPWD's most highly visible program, gaining more media coverage annually than all other TPWD programs combined. To hundreds of anglers and the public, Campbell is Mr. ShareLunker.”

    Campbell is unfailingly modest about his achievements, preferring to give credit for his success to others.

    “What stands out more than anything else from the 26 years of the ShareLunker program is the cooperation from the anglers,” he said. “Anglers have been very supportive of the program. They have learned how to care for their big fish, and they understand the objective of the program is to increase the number of trophy bass caught in Texas.

    "If you don’t have the support of the people using the sport fishery itself, you haven’t accomplished anything.”

  • Big Bite Lookback – St. Johns

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – St. Johns</font></b>

    When Matt Herren reflects on his 13th-place finish at the St. Johns River Bassmaster Elite Series, he’ll remember the fish that came off on day 2 and potentially cost him a shot to fish the final day.

    “I had an opportunity on day 2, but I lost a real quality fish,” he said. “That was the difference. It was a big one.

    "That’s just fishing. I had a good week overall. It was a real struggle all week push-poling all over those eelgrass flats looking for quality bedding fish. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to find enough.”

    The Alabama pro got off to a strong start, weighing a 6-pounder on day 1 to anchor a 14-14 stringer. He followed that up with an 8-pounder on day 2 that keyed a 19-12 sack that pulled him into 6th place. Day 3, however, saw his weight drop off 8-02. He finished 1 pound out of the 12-cut.

    When he wasn’t looking at beds, he was flipping docks north of Palatka. Both of his big bites came off beds, though.

    “You had to wait on the tide to get right before you could see anything,” he noted. “The tides this week were really wrong. You had about a 2-hour window after it got right.”

    His most productive bait around docks was the Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver (hematoma). When working beds, he used the Reaction Innovations Kinky Beaver (hematoma) – “Those tidal fish could not stand that thing,” he said – and a Santone Lures Piglet shakey-head jig rigged with a Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver (hematoma).

    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.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – St. Johns

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – St. Johns</font></b>

    It’s a rare occurrence when Shaw Grigsby fails to entice a bedding bass to take a bait. However, that was the case on day 1 of the St. Johns River Bassmaster Elite Series last week.

    “I was Texas-rigging, I threw a drop-shot and I even threw swimbaits,” he said. “Everything I think I could catch a spawner on the first day, I threw at them and couldn’t catch one.”

    He eventually boxed five small fish and weighed just 7-11. He nearly tripled that on day 2 with 23-01 to rocket up the standings from 88th to 15th. He struggled again on day 3 and eventually finished 23rd, but without his day-2 stringer, he wouldn’t have earned a $10,000 check. The only other angler to weigh less than 10 pounds on day 1 and make the 50-cut was Jeremy Starks.

    He believes heavy pressure on his primary spot on day 1 put the fish in lockjaw mode because when he pulled into the same spot on day 2 and no other boats were around, he said the fish were “real happy.”

    “It was one of those deals that by not having pressure on a spot, the fish were real comfortable so I was able to whack ‘em,” he said. “The key was being able to find the big fish.”

    The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most signifiant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.

  • Martens ‘mad’ about St. Johns result

    Aaron Martens is one of the top sight-fishermen on the Bassmaster Elite Series so it’s understandable why he’s irritated about his 84th-place finish at the St. Johns River season-opener. To read his competition recap, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.

  • A do-anything worm

    <b><font color=maroon>A do-anything worm</font></b>

    The Juice Worm, one of several new Berkley HAVOC baits introduced at the Bassmaster Classic, was designed by Boyd Duckett to be an extremely versatile bait. It can be swam, dragged or bounced and is equally at home in open water or heavy cover.

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

  • Sonar: A Classic vacation

    In his latest Sonar Sound-Off column, Miles Burghoff recounts his experiences at the Bassmaster Classic. For him, the annual event is like a vacation that ends all too soon.

    To read the column, click here.

  • B&W backing MLF

    B&W backing MLF

    B&W Trailer Hitches today announced its sponsorship of Major League Fishing.

    “We have been extremely impressed with the aggressive and creative approach Major League Fishing has taken to helping competitive fishing grow in the United States,” said B&W marketing director Scott Marsh. “We are a Kansas-based company that wants to promote both manufacturing in the U.S. and a healthy outdoor lifestyle for our citizens. So, we are delighted to become a partner with Major League Fishing.”

    B&W, based in Humboldt, Kan., manufactures gooseneck, recreational vehicle (RV) and receiver hitches and accessories, as well as truck beds and cab protectors.

    “Major League Fishing is pleased that we have broadened our group of sponsors by partnering with B&W Trailer Hitches, a terrific Midwest company that offers great products that anglers across the country need,” said MLF commissioner Don Rucks.

  • Hollowell's rig at Bristol

    Hollowell's rig at Bristol

    Fans can meet FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell and see his colorful Red Gold-wrapped boat from 4 to 9 p.m. today during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. In the same tent, fans cans also meet NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick, Paul Menard, Elliott Sadler, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson.

    The event will close with a fireworks show at 9 (weather permitting). For more information, click here.

  • First umbrella-rig state record?

    The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) State Record Fish Committee has certified a new state-record spotted bass weighing 4-07 and measuring 20 inches. The fish was caught last Saturday (March 10) on Claytor Lake by Rod Kegley of Dublin, Va.

    Kegley’s catch, which came on a Yumbrella (an umbrella-style rig made by Yum) easily exceeded the previous state record of 3-10. That fish also came out of Claytor and was caught by Mike Ritter in 1993.

    Kegley, an avid angler, wasn’t aware of his record-breaking accomplishment until he returned to Rock House Marina. After watching a local tournament weigh-in, he was alerted by another angler that his catch, which looked very much like a largemouth bass, was actually a big spot.

    Marina owner Mike Burchett weighed the fish and then held it in the marina’s bait tank. VDGIF aquatic biologist John Copeland and conservation officer Jeff Peake verified the catch that afternoon.

    Kegley said he regularly likes to “bring a mess of fish home” to cook, but decided his prized catch was too special to hit the frying pan. It was released back into the lake.

    To see a picture of the fish, click here to go to the Roanoke Times website.

  • Lowrance announces StructureScan HD

    Lowrance announces StructureScan HD

    Lowrance announced today the development of the LSS-2 StructureScan HD, which the company says will raise the bar in fish- and structure-finding technology. The new system delivers more side-to-side coverage, as well as greater target and bottom definition, allowing users to cover more water faster with unprecedented clarity and detail.

    Based on the Lowrance innovation of the world’s first DownScan Imaging technology combined with side-scan imaging, StructureScan HD includes an enhanced transducer design that features three dedicated signals for crisp, clear views to the left, right and directly beneath the boat. The full-panoramic, picture-like returns deliver sharper images of structure, fish, thermoclines and more.

    The new StructureScan HD system ¬– compatible with Lowrance HDS – also delivers a significant increase in side-scanning range capability. With the original StructureScan model, boaters and anglers had to choose between side-scanning farther with less detail, or scanning with less range to achieve greater detail. Now, with StructureScan HD, users will experience greater side-scanning range with no loss in resolution.

    "The new StructureScan HD is the latest step forward in providing the best sonar electronics available to boaters," said Louis Chemi, chief operating officer, Navico Americas. “Its unprecedented resolution and greater range offer extraordinary underwater views that will not only impress users, it will enhance their productivit,y resulting in more fish, more fun and more efficient use of time and fuel on the water.”

    When paired with the Lowrance HDS Gen2, StructureScan HD also supports the StructureMap view, allowing users to overlay and save sidescan sonar images directly on a chart in real-time, or create StructureMap charts for a complete and detailed underwater view all around the boat. Compatible with Lowrance enhanced basemaps, Insight HD cartography, Navionics and all HDS-compatible third-party charting cards, users can easily create and view StructureMap detail on or off the water — without the aid of a computer.

    The StructureScan HD view also allows anglers to position the cursor anywhere on the screen to receive information on distance from the boat and target depth for a new level in precision bait-presentation.

    Available in April 2012, the StructureScan HD sonar imaging module can be purchased from authorized dealers and distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada for $599. For more, go to

  • Upshaw swept up by Wave

    Upshaw swept up by Wave

    FLW Tour pro and 2012 Bassmaster Classic qualifier Andrew Upshaw has signed a sponsorship agreement with Wave Fishing.

    “I’m proud to be with Wave,” he said. “They’re one of the most innovative lure companies in the country. Their Super Soft Series of baits are first-class to begin with and they’re working with us (their pros) to make them even better.

    "This is a real opportunity. I’m looking forward to a long and successful relationship with them.”

  • Bass Cat's 25th: Norfork

    Bass Cat's 25th: Norfork

    Bass Cat will hold its 25th annual Owners Invitational tournament April 13-14 at Lake Norfork near the company's headquarters in Mountain Home, Ark. Yar-Craft owners will also be included this year, as Bass Cat purchased that company in late 2011.

    To go to the event's home page on the Bass Cat website, which an includes an entry form, photos from the 2011 edition and results of past tournaments, click here.

    For info on the Yar-Craft event, click here.

  • Yamaha launches handy new app

    Yamaha now has an app available for the iPhone and iPod Touch that's a must-have for current and future Yamaha outboard owners. It provides instant access to information about local dealerships, warranties, maintenance schedules and much more. You can even track your new engine's break-in progress.

    Click below to see a YouTube video preview.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – Hartwell

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – Hartwell</font></b>

    Troy Morrow lives adjacent to Lake Hartwell in Eastonollee, Ga. and has been busting big sacks there all winter. There's no way he should've weighed an 8 3/4-pound stringer on day 1 of the recent FLW Tour Major that put him in a tie for 103rd place.

    He bounced back big-time on day 2 with a 17-01 bag that gained him 60 places in the standings and earned him a $10,500 paycheck. He said if he could've substituted his five biggest culls from day 2 for the measly quintet he'd brought to the scale the previous day, he would've been inside the Top 20 and would've advanced to day 3.

    He focused on fish that were 50 feet deep – he said those fish don't even think about moving shallow to spawn until the calendar turns to April. His problem on day 1 was that he didn't give them what they wanted.

    He'd been catching them for months on jigs and worms. He tried to force them to eat that stuff all day, but they were having none of it.

    "I didn't decide to change baits until I was at home in bed that night, sulking," he said.

    He offered them a spoon on day 2, and they were all over it. "By the time I made by second stop, at 8:15, I already had more weight than I caught the whole first day."

    The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most signifiant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.

  • Stone joins iRod

    Stone joins iRod

    Veteran pro Marty Stone, the 3rd-place finisher at the recent Hartwell FLW Tour Major, has signed a sponsorship agreement with California-based iRod. Three of his signature series rods, dubbed Stone Cold, are now part the company's Genesis II lineup ($149.99 retail), and more will be added later this year.

    “We have worked and worked to get these initial three Stone Cold rods exactly right," he said. "I feel we have done that. These rods are light, fast, strong, and incredibly sensitive. They are also remarkably affordable. The quality of these rods is equivalent to the quality found previously only in $300 rods."

    The three initial offerings consist of the 7'4" Spook and Trap model, the 7'3" Swimming and Vibrating Jig rod and the Square-Bill rod.

    Said iRod president Matt Newman: “Marty is not only one of the greatest anglers out there, he is also one of the best human beings I have ever met. Marty’s insight to designing rods is priceless. Utilizing his experiences, knowledge and attention to details will continue to improve our lineup vastly.”

  • Big Bite Lookback – Hartwell

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

    Dave Lefebre, the 11th-place finisher at the recent Hartwell FLW Tour Major, said that from a strategic standpoint, there's little he could have done that would've gained him another spot in the day-3 standings and thus qualified him to fish the final day. Some bites that never made it into his livewell were his undoing.

    "It was one of those tournaments where I felt like I did everything right, but I just had too many get off," said Lefebre, whose 45-08 total left him 2 ounces behind Andy Morgan in the duel for the final cut position. "On day 1 I lost one over 5 pounds on camera and on day 2 I lost a 4-pounder. Those were fish I saw – that actually jumped several times.

    "Then on day 3, I missed more bites than I hooked."

    He said the fish he was catching were either spawning or real close to beginning that ritual. His best area featured shallow, muddy water that got up to 64 degrees in the afternoons.

    "I had 27 or 30 rods rigged up in my boat, but this was the first tournament I can remember where I didn't have a single (traditional) jig tied on. I couldn't get a bite doing that kind of thing. It was all about fishing fast and covering water."

    His offerings included a Phenix vibrating jig, a Rapala DT Fat 3 crankbait and a spinnerbait.

    "I threw the vibrating jig a lot, and those things are notorious for having fish get 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.

  • Alan Report filed

    Former B.A.S.S. emcee Keith Alan has checked in with his first Alan Report of 2012, giving BassFans his perspective on what to expect at this week's Elite Series event at the St. Johns River. To read it, click here.

  • Sonny Reynolds dies

    FLW reported today that Sonny Reynolds, a longtime tournament director with the organization, died recently after a battle with cancer. He was 69.

    To read his obituary on the FLW website, click here.

  • Classic: Red River pools

    Classic: Red River pools

    For his pattern service, Jay Kumar broke down patterns for the 1st- through 11th-place finishers from this year's Bassmaster Classic on the Red River. One thing he looked at was pool number.

    In the past, according to BassGold data, most 1st through 5th finishers have fished in Pool 5: 50 percent of winners and 48 percent of those who finished 2nd-5th. About 38 percent of winners fished Pool 4, and 36 percent of 2nd-5th fished there.

    At this year's Classic, the Top 11 were split 50 percent and 63 percent in pools 5 and 4: The totals don't add to 100 percent because two competitors – winner Chris Lane and Kevin VanDam – fished both pools.

    Kumar said water temperature (mostly) and water clarity figured high in the anglers' choices to fish Pool 4. Presumably the slightly warmer water temperature would make up for less fishing time in Pool 4 due to locking, he said.

  • Royal Purple deal for Vinson

    Royal Purple deal for Vinson

    High-performance synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple has signed Bassmaster Elite Series runner-up Greg Vinson to a sponsorship deal.

    “We’re excited to partner with Greg as he continues to establish his presence in the pro angling circuit,” said Royal Purple director of consumer marketing Randy Fisher. “With the recent launch of our High Performance Marine (HPM) motor oils and gear lube, we look to establish relationships with those who outperform just as our products do."

  • MLF: Size vs. numbers

    MLF: Size vs. numbers

    Size versus numbers is the name of the game in Major League Fishing’s fifth Challenge Cup webisode. Two anglers leap from early frustration to the top of the pack and utilize different strategies to do so. One angler catches a high number of bass, while the other scores with fewer, but substantially larger fish.

    “The anglers face tough post-front conditions,” said MLF commissioner Don Rucks. “And what’s interesting about this day of fishing is that it puts a spotlight on the strategy choices you have to make in Major League Fishing. I’ll bet I’ve heard a dozen of our anglers question whether it’s better to catch 20 bass that weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, or better to concentrate on catching a few giants. That question comes front and center this week.”

    The fifth webisode in the Challenge Cup series follows action during Sudden Death Day 2. The webisode can be seen by clicking here.

    The Sudden Death round features a 40-pound qualifying cutline. The first two anglers to reach 40 pounds advance to the championship round.

    Elimination-round qualifiers Todd Faircloth, Alton Jones, Kelly Jordon, Mike McClelland, Takahiro Omori and Skeet Reese compete on the second day of the Sudden Death round.

    Major League Fishing is offering a total seven webisodes, one airing each week. Each of the first six webisodes follows the corresponding competition day. The seventh webisode will be a wrap-up show, featuring in-depth, on-the-water segments with the winners from each round and the Challenge Cup champion.

    The Advance Cast total-event BassPass, a package of all seven webisodes, costs $17.94, with individual episodes available for $2.99 each. The seven-event BassPass package features a “free” week.

  • Martens: St. Johns a struggle

    Aaron Martens will continue his search for bed-fish on the final day of practice at the St. Johns River Elite Series. For his practice report from day 2, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Biobor deals expanded for Roy, Crochet

    Biobor deals expanded for Roy, Crochet

    Hammonds Fuel Additives has announced an expanded sponsorship of Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Bradley Roy and Cliff Crochet to promote Biobor EB, the Ethanol Buster. The company also released the details of an expanded contest for fans of the two pros.

    The Roy vs. Crochet rivalry originally began with their chase for the 2010 Rookie of the Year title and continued in 2011 with the Biobor EB fan contest. Through 16 Elite Series events over the past 2 years Roy has edged out Crochet in total weight by just over 28 pounds.

    For each Elite Series event in 2012, fans can win prizes valued at over $800, including a case of Biobor EB, an Abu Garcia Revo STX reel, a 30-quart K2 Cooler, a pair of Rugged Shark shoes, a subscription to, a Cook’s Tackle Storage system and lure packages from Taylor Man’s Custom Lures and Rat-L-Trap.

    Fans can cast their votes at until noon on the first day of each event. The winner of the contest will be the fan who guesses the closest total weight by the higher-finishing angler at each Elite Series event. The tiebreaker will be closest guess to the amount of gasoline each angler uses during the week.

    Both anglers will hand out 2-ounce samples of Biobor EB to fans at each of the Elite Series stops and will run matching boats and trucks this season.

    “I greatly respect what Cliff, Bradley and all the professional anglers do," said Hammonds CEO Allan Hohman. "These two guys have proven to be great ambassadors for both their sport and for our company. They have spread the word that protecting outboard motors from the harmful effects of ethanol with Biobor EB is a must.

    "I wish them well in 2012 and am excited about the growth of their careers and the continued growth of our company.”

  • Central EverStart rescheduled

    Central EverStart rescheduled

    The EverStart Series Central Division season opener originally scheduled for Table Rock March 1-3 but postponed due to a tornado has been moved to Bull Shoals. The new dates are April 4-6 (a Wednesday through Friday slate instead of the traditional Thursday through Saturday schedule).

    Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. each day from the Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock located at Eastwold Cove in Bull Shoals, Ark. Wednesday's and Thursday's weigh-ins will take place at 3 p.m. at the marina, with Friday's weigh-in set for 3:30 at the Walmart in Flippin.

  • St. Johns: Chapman checks in

    Today’s wind slowed down Brent Chapman’s sight-fishing plans as practice got underway at the St. Johns River Elite Series. For his initial practice report, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Berkley trailer off to Missouri

    Berkley trailer off to Missouri

    The Berkley Experience Trailer is headed to the Rogers Sporting Goods store in Liberty, Mo., this Friday through Sunday (March 16-18). The 60-foot trailer offers consumers fun, great deals and activities, along with fishing education for all levels of anglers.

    The trailer has videos and interactive demonstrations along with seminars scheduled throughout the day. Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location.

    “We're excited about having the Experience Trailer on the road in 2012 and stopping at many new locations across the country,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is set to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Other elements include a knot-tying contest and demonstration, where anglers can learn new knots and compete for prizes. Under the tent, big-screen videos help anglers experience the adventure with Berkley and display racks are filled with the latest products. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    The store is located at 1760 North Church Road. The phone number is (816) 781-9026.

    Future stops will be at Scheels in Springfield, Ill. (March 30-April 1) and D&R Sports Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. (April 6-8).

  • Honda rolls out BF250

    Honda rolls out BF250

    Honda Marine has introduced the BF250 four-stroke engine, the most powerful outboard in the company's lineup and now its flagship model. The styling concept, a departure from previous Honda outboards, incorporates a sleeker and slimmer aesthetic design.

    “The all-new Honda BF250 marine engine demonstrates the Honda commitment to engineering a product line with unparalleled performance, power and fuel economy,” said Honda Marine national manger Alan Simmons. “The introduction of this flagship engine also further strengthens our relationship with both consumers and boat-builder partners.”

    The 3.6-liter engine has a full-throttle RPM range of 5,300 to 6,300. Features include the company's Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), which made its first appearance in the high-performance Acura NSX sports car, and the Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) System, which dramatically improves hole-shot acceleration by advancing ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock.

    For more, visit

  • BogaGrip inks MLF deal

    BogaGrip inks MLF deal

    Major League Fishing (MLF) announced that BogaGrip has joined the organization's sponsorship ranks.

    “The BogaGrip is the perfect tool for Major League Fishing, and we are delighted to have been involved early with what the league is doing,” said BogaGrip co-owner Gary Alldredge. “It is rewarding for us to see these great anglers catch bass, weigh them on a BogaGrip, then return the fish back to their natural environment.

    "We believe this format is great for the sport, and we hope it’s going to be around for a long time.”

    MLF's first event, the Challenge Cup, was filmed in November at Lake Amistad in Texas. The league employs an immediate catch-and release-system, where anglers use a BogaGrip to weigh each legal bass they catch while on the water. The weight from the BogaGrip is recorded by a boat official, and the bass are then returned to the water.

    “It’s a fantastic system. The whole process is done in something like 15 seconds. The BogaGrips work beautifully,” said MLF angler Gary Klein.

    The Challenge Cup can be seen on Advance Cast, a series of seven pay-per-view webisodes now available. The total-event BassPass costs $17.94, with individual episodes available for $2.99 each. The seven-event BassPass package features a “free” week.

  • 'Little Alton' wins at Falcon

    'Little Alton' wins at Falcon

    Alton Jones Jr., a student at Baylor University, teamed with fellow Waco, Texas resident David Ridley to win the 200-team Bass Champs South Region event at Falcon Lake on Saturday. They compiled a 39.15-pound bag that was topped by a 10-pounder and collected $25,000.

    The Top 26 teams all caught at least 30 pounds. To see the final standings, click here.

  • Smash 'em with Ike's new tube

    <b><font color=maroon>Smash 'em with Ike's new tube</font></b>

    The HAVOC Smash Tube is one of several new baits that Berkley introduced at the recent Bassmaster Classic. Mike Iaconelli designed the Smash Tube so that it could be fished in heavy cover or open water and to fall erratically on each cast, whether Texas-rigged or attached to a tube hook.

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

  • Ex-Tracker employee pleads guilty

    Ex-Tracker employee pleads guilty

    Boating industry news source Trade Only Today reported that one of three people indicted in a fraud case involving Tracker Marine has plead guilty and could face a sentence of up to 26 years in federal prison.

    To read the report, click here.

  • Wheeler gets Fed Nation Championship

    Wheeler gets Fed Nation Championship

    Wheeler Lake near Decatur, Ala., has been chosen as the site of the 2012 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship, which will take place Oct 25-27. The field will be comprised of the top B.A.S.S. club anglers from 47 states, seven international chapter champions and the Angler of the Year from the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) circuit.

    Defending champion Jamie Horton, who'll be a rookie on the Bassmaster Elite Series this year, will also be invited.

    “We look forward to holding the championship in Decatur and Wheeler Lake,” said Federation Nation director Don Corkran. “It has been a number of years since we held this event in Alabama, and it’s great to be back home.”

    Said Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau president Tami Reist: “We are thrilled B.A.S.S. has selected Wheeler Lake for its 2012 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship. This will be the first appearance for the Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship to be held at Ingalls Harbor, and we are anticipating an exciting 3 days of competition.”

    The B.A.S.S. Federation Nation is comprised of local clubs, which are organized in 47 states and seven countries – Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe – which are part of six geographic divisions – North, South, Central, East, West and Mid-Atlantic. This will be Spain’s inaugural year competing in the event.

    The top angler from each divisional team will advance to the national championship. From there, the top angler from each of the six divisions in the championship will be awarded a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 22-24 at Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees in Oklahoma.

  • Alabama launches bass initiative

    Alabama launches bass initiative

    Gov. Robert Bentley today announced the launch of the Alabama Bass Trail, a new statewide tourism, conservation, and education initiative. The program, which features 11 premier bass-fishing lakes, is a cooperative effort between the governor's office, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association.

    The web site also launched today with the theme of "Now You're Hooked." The site invites visiting anglers to enjoy fishing the state's best waters and provides the details they need to plan a trip. Features on each lake include tips from pro anglers and guides, lake maps with hot spots indicated, current weather and water data, as well as the ability to book accommodations from the site.

    "Don Logan (one of the owners of B.A.S.S.) and I first discussed the concept of promoting the great fisheries in Alabama in my office," Bentley said. "The launch of the Alabama Bass Trail is the realization of that goal. Anglers from around the nation will be encouraged to come and fish where the pros fish.

    "I firmly believe the Bass Trail will grow into a successful model that neighboring states will want to emulate."

  • Berkley trailer is Indiana-bound

    Berkley trailer is Indiana-bound

    The Berkley Experience Trailer is headed to the Bass Pro Shops store in Clarksville, Ind. this Friday through Sunday (March 9-11). The 60-foot trailer offers consumers fun, great deals and activities, along with fishing education for all levels of anglers.

    The trailer has videos and interactive demonstrations along with seminars scheduled throughout the day. Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location.

    “We're excited about having the Experience Trailer on the road in 2012 and stopping at many new locations across the country,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is set to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Other elements include a knot-tying contest and demonstration, where anglers can learn new knots and compete for prizes. Under the tent, big-screen videos help anglers experience the adventure with Berkley and display racks are filled with the latest products. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    The store is located at 951 E. Lewis. The phone number is (866) 473-7024.

    Future stops will be at Rogers Sporting Goods in Liberty, Mo. (March 16-18) and Scheels in Springfield, Ill. (March 30-April 1).

  • Meyer sporting Jackall wrap

    Meyer sporting Jackall wrap

    Here's a picture of the Jackall boat and truck wraps that California's Cody Meyer is running on the FLW Tour this year (click the photo to see a larger image). It's the result of his beefed-up sponsorship deal with the Japan-based company, which extends through the 2013 season.

    "Cody Meyer is one of the best young anglers on any tour and a quality individual as well," said Jackall VP Curt Arakawa. "We couldn’t be more excited at Jackall. We feel Cody’s future is bright and we want to be a part of his success moving forward. Cody has brought some unique ideas to us that we feel will continue to increase the Jackall Lures brand awarenesswith the grass roots anglers.“

    Said Meyer: “I have been with Jackall for several years now and their products have been a key to my success. Jackall Lures continues to be at the forefront of innovation for lure design and that gives me a competitive advantage.

    “I am really excited about the Clone Fry as a drop shot bait and the Clone Gill will be deadly in and around bed-fish. The Iobee frog, I played with a little after ICAST last year and it’s by far the most impressive frog bait I have ever thrown.”

  • Card dealt to Jethro

    Card dealt to Jethro

    Florida-based Jethro Bait Company announced that it will sponsor Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Brandon Card, the first angler to qualify for the circuit out of the collegiate ranks.

    "Florida fishermen have had success with Jethro baits for years," Card said. "You can find them all over down there because they catch fish. I hope to represent them well as a rookie on the Elite Series and introduce more people to the brand outside of the Sunshine State.

    "This is such an exciting time for my career and I am so thankful to be working with Jethro during an exciting time of growth and expansion for the company.”

    Said Jethro owner Kevin Stallworth: “We are very excited about Brandon’s story of fishing his way through college and moving up to the Elite Series. Like Jethro, Brandon started out locally and then moved his way up through the ranks to now compete with the top 100 anglers in the world.

    "We wish him well and will do all we can to help him succeed, starting with great soft plastics, terminal tackle and a few top-secret prototype baits.”

  • Phoenix spreading its wings

    Phoenix spreading its wings

    Phoenix Boats announced today that it has purchased a new facility and will be expanding it in order to increase production.

    “Sales have continued to outpace our production capabilities,” said Gary Clouse, president of the Tullahoma, Tenn.-based company. “We are purchasing a 75,000-square-foot building on 10 acres in Winchester, Tenn., and will be renovating it to our specifications for a new state-of-the-art production facility, as well as adding a new office building. We are anticipating the renovation and construction to be complete by the summer of 2012.

    “The Phoenix lineup of models continues to grow – we have five models now and more in process. The boat market is showing signs of recovery. It will continue to grow slowly and we are positioned to grow with it.”

  • Election 2012: Where do you stand?

    Election 2012: Where do you stand?

    With sportsman's issues becoming more prevalent in today’s elections, InterMedia Outdoors has launched – a powerful new website dedicated to sportsmen and the issues that will affect them most in the 2012 election.

    “As the leading media resource for over 52 million hunters, shooters, and anglers, InterMedia Outdoors has a long history of providing information, inspiration and advocacy for the sportsmen community,” said InterMedia CEO Jeff Paro. “ will serve the important role of keeping our communities informed and engaged.”

    Added VP of content development Todd Smith: “Our goal is to make a resource for America’s 80 million sportsmen. We’re not taking sides or endorsing anyone. We're simply creating the place for sportsmen to learn about the issues that concern them most, find out where the candidates stand on those issues and make their voices heard.”

    A variety of interactive features make uniquely positioned to cover politics from a sportsman’s perspective. Key drivers on the site include:

    > Exclusive polls showing real-time results on how sportsmen feel about key issues such as gun control, public-land access and how America can balance the preservation of wildlife habitat with our nation’s need for energy development.

    > A vibrant news feed that will continually update sportsmen on all the issues of interest to hunters, fishermen, shooters, and wildlife conservationists.

    > An interactive “Candidate Match” tool that matches users to the presidential candidates.

    > A special panel of industry experts to provide unique perspectives spanning a wide range of sportsman issues from clean water to the second amendment. Panelists will include leaders such as Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation, and Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

    “The long-term objective of the site is to get more sportsmen and women to the polls,” said Smith.

  • Missile on target

    Missile on target

    A media observer got some high-quality video of John Crews catching fish on his new Missile Baits during the Bassmaster Classic. To see it, click here.

  • Hartwell: A-Rig no secret

    This week's Hartwell FLW Tour major will be the first tour-level event in history in which the Alabama Rig was a player from the get-go – there's likely not an angler in the field who didn't have one in his boat when practice began. BassFan Big Stick Jay Yelas is interested to see how the tournament will play out under those circumstances. He said fish can be caught on the A-Rig right now, but they can be caught a lot of other ways, too.

    To read his initial practice report, click here.

  • Jerseys for St. Jude – Western Week

    Jerseys for St. Jude – Western Week

    Western Week in the Jerseys for St. Jude program is under way and runs through this Sunday (March 11). Featured anglers include Mike Folkestad, Gary Dobyns, Mike Long, Brent Ehrler, Luke Clausen and Richard Dobyns.

    Also, G2 Gemini has donated two $150 gift certificates toward the effort - one for the eBay auction and the second as a donation prize.

    To be eligible for the G2 Gemini gift certificate prize, anglers are asked to donate a minimum of $10 to St. Jude. Many other prizes are available in the prize drawing as well. For every $10 donation increment, donors will receive one entry into the April prize drawing.

    To learn more, visit the Jerseys for St. Jude blog by clicking here.

    To view Western Week eBay jersey auctions, click here.

    The mission of St. Jude is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. On average, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital touches the lives of over 7,800 children each year, regardless of a family’s ability to pay for treatment.

  • 'Gathering of Eagles' goes online

    'Gathering of Eagles' goes online

    "A Gathering of Eagles: The History of Competitive Bass Fishing in the West" is now available for viewing online. The commemorative magazine was a project launched by former WON Bass tournament director Harvey Naslund, who died last year prior to its completion. All paper copies have sold out.

    To see it, click here.

  • ProPatterns offers trivia contest

    ProPatterns offers trivia contest will conduct a trivia contest based on its Exposed video series beginning Wednesday (March 7) and running through March 14. Members and non-members are eligible to win the $4,000 worth of prizes that will be given away, including 20 Mustang life vests and 20 1-year Elite memberships.

    For more, go to

  • MLF: A 'crushing' performance

    MLF: A 'crushing' performance

    A “performance for the ages” is what viewers of the Major League Fishing Challenge Cup fourth webisode will see. That’s the assessment of MLF commissioner Don Rucks.

    Rucks was describing the dominating performance of one angler during Sudden Death Day 1 of competition at the Challenge Cup, the league’s inaugural event. The newest webisode follows the action on the 4th day of the event.

    “I just can’t recall seeing anything like what this Major League Fishing angler does,” Rucks said. “I’m still having a hard time believing it.”

    The webisode can be seen by clicking here. The first three elimination days of competition – featured in webisodes 1-3 – involved eight anglers fishing each day. The four anglers with the highest total weight of fish caught from each day advanced to the semifinal Sudden Death round. The Sudden Death round, however, features a twist.

    “The bottom line is that we have a format change in the second (Sudden Death) round. We throw the anglers a curve ball and insert a qualifying cutline of 40 pounds. The first two anglers to reach 40 pounds advance to the finals. Everybody else goes home,” Rucks said.

    “It would be an understatement to say that one angler puts on a dominating show. It is a performance for the ages. That performance, combined with a really interesting race for the second qualifying slot, makes for some good entertainment.”

    Elimination-round qualifiers Brent Ehrler, Michael Iaconelli, Gary Klein, Jeff Kriet, Jason Quinn and Kevin VanDam compete on the first day of the Sudden Death Round.

    MLF is offering a total of seven webisodes, one airing each week. Each of the first six Advance Cast webisodes follow the corresponding competition day. The seventh webisode will be a wrap-up show, featuring in-depth, on-the-water segments with the winners from each round and the Challenge Cup champion.

    The Advance Cast total-event BassPass, a package of all seven webisodes costs $17.94, with individual episodes available for $2.99 each. The seven-event BassPass package features a “free” week.

  • History site launched

    History site launched

    Billed as "the Sole Source for Bass Fishing History," the Bass Fishing Archives went online today. Founder Terry Battisti, a veteran Western outdoor writer and frequent contributor to BassFan, said the site's intent is to preserve the record of bass fishing's early days through old advertisements, feature articles on anglers and tactics, old photos and short snippets that will jog a longtime enthusiast's memory.

    "I’ve always been a fanatic about the ways anglers ‘used’ to catch bass and have been a student of bass fishing nearly my whole life,” Battisti said. “This site has brought all of that together for me and I hope the readers enjoy reading our stuff as much as we enjoy putting it together.”

    Said outdoor writer and BFA contributor Pete Robbins: “I’m jealous that Terry came up with the idea first and thankful that he’s allowing me to contribute. If we don’t document this history immediately, much of it will end up lost.”

    The site will welcome input – in the form of comments, questions and article ideas – from both fishing fans and members of the industry. “No idea is too big or too small, so long as it furthers our mission,” Battisti said.

    To visit the site, click here.

  • Fatheadz will wrap Wheeler

    Fatheadz will wrap Wheeler

    Indiana's Jacob Wheeler, the 2011 BFL All-American champion, will run a Fatheadz Eyewear wrap on the FLW Tour this year.

    “It's tough to spend a day on the water without a good pair of sunglasses and it's almost foolish if you are a competing angler,” said Wheeler. “In this sport, you’re constantly exposed to the sun, and sunglasses are essential for two reasons – 100 percent UV protection and polarization, which improves visibility by reducing the sun's glare on the water.

    "Fatheadz provides a great selection of products that meet these needs while combining style, comfort and affordability. It’s an easy decision to represent their products, and it’s a bonus to represent a nationally recognized and respected business from my hometown.”

    Said Fatheadz CEO Rico Elmore: “Fatheadz is privileged to team up with such a bright, young guy who is taking the fishing world by storm. We’re looking forward to providing Wheeler with a bunch of gear to protect him while competing. We are thrilled to be a part of his 2012 sponsorship team, and hope to continue supporting him for coming seasons.”

  • Soft solution for weight problems

    <b><font color=maroon>Soft solution for weight problems</font></b>

    Finding the precise amount of weight to use for a particular soft-plastic application is an issue that anglers have struggled with for decades. The folks at Sebile have come up with answer – the Sebile Soft Weight System.

    As an added bonus, you can change the action of a bait by altering the placement of the weights on the hook. They can even go inside the bait.

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

  • Rankings: VanDam, Evers steady at top

    The first 2012 edition of the BassFan World Rankings was published today. Kevin VanDam and Edwin Evers retain the Top 2 positions, but there's significant movement just below them – including a big jump by Okeechobee FLW Tour Open winner Randall Tharp.

    For the complete list, click here.

  • EXO: light, sleek and flashy

    EXO: light, sleek and flashy

    Quantum's new EXO baitcasting reel has a lot of great features – it's light and strong and allows the angler to make precision adjustments for presentations such as dock-skipping. In the EXO's case, the old saying that "sometimes less is more" certainly applies.

    To read the newest BassFan Product Review, click here.

  • Table Rock BFL sites changed

    Table Rock BFL sites changed

    Due to the damage sustained from the severe weather that pushed through Missouri earlier this week, FLW announced that the marina and registration site for the BFL tournament at Table Rock on March 10 has been moved. The new site for both is:

    Table Rock State Park Marina
    5272 Highway 165
    Branson, Mo. 65616

  • New poll: The A-Rig on the FLW Tour

    New poll: The A-Rig on the FLW Tour

    Unlike their Bassmaster Elite Series counterparts, FLW Tour anglers will be allowed to throw the Alabama Rig (and other umbrella-type harnesses that conform to the respective state regulations) in competition this year. The latest BassFan Opinion Poll asks how big of a factor do you think those offerings will be for the winners of the six Majors and the Forrest Wood Cup.

    To cast your vote, scroll down the right side of the home page.

  • Lane set for ESPN circuit

    Lane set for ESPN circuit

    Newly crowned Bassmaster Classic champion Chris Lane will be at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. on Friday for a series of media appearances. He'll be interviewed on Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN2 at 9:45 a.m., participate in a live chat on at 3 p.m., do an ESPN the Magazine interview and appear on ESPN’s SportsCenter at 3:40 p.m. (all times Eastern).

    Classic coverage, which will be carried on two ESPN channels, gets under way this weekend. Here's the schedule (all times Eastern):

    ESPN2 -- Sat. 3/3/2012 -- 10-11 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 1
    ESPN2 -- Sun. 3/4/2012 -- 6-7 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 1
    ESPN2 -- Sun. 3/4/2012 -- 7-9 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 2
    ESPN2 -- Sun. 3/4/2012 -- 9:30-11:30 p.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 3
    ESPN2 -- Sat. 3/10/2012 -- 5-7 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 2
    ESPN2 -- Sun. 3/11/2012 -- 7-9 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 3
    ESPN Classic -- Mon. 3/12/2012 -- 4-5 p.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 1
    ESPN Classic -- Mon. 3/12/2012 -- 5-7 p.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 2
    ESPN Classic -- Mon. 3/12/2012 -- 7-9 p.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Day 3
    ESPN2 -- Sun. 3/18/2012 -- 8-9 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Highlights Show
    ESPN Classic -- Sun. 3/18/2012 -- 10-11 a.m. -- Bassmaster Classic Highlights Show

  • Choice Hotels signs deal with FLW

    Choice Hotels signs deal with FLW

    FLW announced today that it's reached a sponsorship agreement with Choice Hotels International. Choice's brand properties include Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn.

    "We are extremely excited about our new relationship with Choice Hotels,” said Trisha Blake, president of FLW's marketing division. “Choice Hotels offers a wide variety of quality lodging options and FLW is proud to be associated with its brands.”

    Said Choice Hotels manager of sports sales Grant Pearce: “Whether you are on the road for business, family vacations or following the FLW tours, Choice Hotels specializes in providing comfortable, high-value lodging accommodations for every time you travel. We are very excited to add the FLW anglers, members and fans to our list of guests we serve.”

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