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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

  • Update on military sponsorship issue

    Political website posted an article today on a potential showdown looming on the floor of the House of Representatives next month when the Defense Appropriations Bill is put to vote.

    The issue? The amendment included in the bill that would eliminate military spending on sponsorships in pro sports, including NASCAR and bass fishing. As many BassFans are aware, the National Guard is a major sponsor of FLW and FLW has started its own campaign to raise awareness of the issues involved and to trumpet the value of the partnership.

    To check out the whole story, click here.

  • Jones DQ’d

    Alton Jones was disqualified today at the Lake Michigan Elite Series after his boat become lodged on a sandbar shortly after takeoff and he received assistance from his marshal, according to a report posted on this morning.

    The Elite Series rules prohibit anglers from receiving help of any kind from their marshal. According to the report, Jones self-reported the matter to tournament director Trip Weldon and Weldon ruled he had to be DQ’d for the day.

    “After various attempts to get the boat unstuck,” Weldon wrote in a blog entry for B.A.S.S.’s tournament coverage, “Jones, knowing the ramifications, had no choice but to get his Marshal to aid in getting the boat off the bar. He immediately notified BASS officials of his actions. His standing will reflect a zero today.”

    Jones came into the day in 42nd place with 23-15 through 2 days. The penalty won’t have ramifications for Jones in terms of qualifying for next year’s Classic as he already had earned a berth by virtue of his win at the St. Johns River.

    Jones passed along a photo of his boat (check it out on our Facebook page) hung up on the bar. He had to wade about a quarter-mile away from where his boat was lodged in order to find deeper water.

    "I knew it was a risk to head that way, but I took it," he said. "Having that ticket to the Classic already allowed me to take a risk like that, though."

  • Finesse classic is back

    <b><font color=maroon>Finesse classic is back</font></b>

    Berkley has brought back the 4-inch Ribworm by popular demand. The high-action design is offered in an array of colors and might be just the ticket the next time you're faced with trying to entice overly finicky fish to bite.

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

  • Martens' hot streak continues

    Aaron Martens caught a 20-00 stringer today – the lone angler to crack 20 pounds – and leads after day 1 of the Lake Michigan Elite Series. He holds a slim lead lead over 2nd-place Dean Rojas, who caught 19-14. Todd Faircloth, the winner last week at the Mississippi River, is 3rd with 18-03.

    To read our complete coverage, click here.

  • McKinnis: Boundary insulting

    McKinnis: Boundary insulting

    In his most recent column on the Bassmaster website, B.A.S.S. co-owner Jerry McKinnis blasted the Wisconsin DNR and voiced his frustration over the boundaries implemented for this week’s Lake Michigan Elite Series launching out of Green Bay, Wis.

    He likened the boundary line to the Elite Series pros being placed in a “little bitty box.”

    “On the day that the Green Bay mayor announced the location,” McKinnis wrote, “the DNR hit B.A.S.S. with boundary lines for how far we can go from Green Bay that were absolutely silly. Although they will attempt to give good reasons for their boundaries, they are still insulting.”

    To read the whole column, click here.

  • Clausen aligns with Hooch

    Clausen aligns with Hooch

    FLW Tour pro Luke Clausen has signed on to endorse Chattahoochee Herbal Snuff, also known as Hooch Snuff, a non-tobacco/nicotine product that he says was instrumental in helping him kick his smokeless tobacco habit.

    “Unfortunately, I’ve been a smokeless tobacco user for many years,” Clausen said. “Hooch has been a big part of helping me quit. It’s a great product and I hope by partnering with them and getting the word out among outdoors enthusiasts it can help more people quit as well.”

    Said Chet May, owner and creator of Hooch Herbal Snuff, “We know a large number of anglers and hunters alike are smokeless tobacco users. Working with an all-time great angler like Luke Clausen will help us spread the word about the non-tobacco, Hooch Snuff option.”

    FLW has rules against tobacco use during the final 2 days of competition in Tour Majors, Opens and the Forrest Wood Cup, but Clausen said Hooch has been approved for use.

    “This product is not for non-smokeless tobacco users,” Clausen warned. “If you don’t use smokeless tobacco, don’t use Hooch. Chew gum, eat sunflower seeds or don’t do any of it. Smokeless tobacco is something I wish I never started and if you haven’t started using it – don’t.”

    For more information or to order, click here. You can save 20 percent on a sample pack by using the coupon code LUKE.

  • BoatUS contest offers trip with Zona

    BoatUS contest offers trip with Zona

    If you're an angler and you know what a "slaunch" is, chances are you're a fan of Mark Zona, the self-proclaimed "knucklehead" host of TV's Bassmaster Elite Series and Zona's Awesome Fishing Show. Now, with some help from BoatUS Angler, the 24-hour towing service and insurance provider, Zona wants to take you to all of his secret locations on his home waters in the state of Michigan for an "Awesome Fishing Trip" in search of slaunches - monster smallmouth bass. You can earn a chance to win by simply becoming a BoatUS Angler member.

    "This year is prime for a northern smallmouth beatdown!" Zona said. "We're going to time this trip perfectly – it will be Chicago Bears, smashmouth, autumn trophy hunting at it's finest. We're gonna knock their lights out. And if we don't, well, we will still look fantastic!"

    Anglers must join by the contest entry deadline of Aug., and all current BoatUS Angler members are automatically entered. On Aug.20, a random drawing will be held to choose three finalists, who will then compete for the trip by telling, in their own 250-500 words, why they should be selected to go fishing with "the Z-Train," as fans affectionately call Zona. Entrants must also include one photo. Selected contestants must submit their essay and photo on or before Aug. 27.

    The fishing trip will take place in October, 2012 in Michigan. Included with the prize are a $1,000 gift card for airfare and lodging, and a prize pack containing BoatUS Angler logo apparel.

    Additional entries can be gained by recruiting your fishing buddies and sponsoring a new BoatUS Angler member – once they join, you get an extra chance to win. To sponsor a BoatUS Angler member or view contest rules, click here.

  • Alan Report – Lake Michigan

    Alan Report – Lake Michigan

    In his latest Alan Report, former B.A.S.S. emcee Keith Alan writes about the difficulty of keeping secrets when it comes to mystery lakes. To read it, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Miss. River

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

    From a strategic standpoint, Kevin VanDam can't think of anything he would've done differently to move up one more place and into the 12-cut at last week's Mississippi Bassmaster Elite Series in Wisconsin.

    "I just wasn't fortunate enough to catch a big fish," said the four-time defending Angler of the Year (AOY). I had a couple get away – one on each of the first 2 days – and that hurt.

    "I lost a 4-pounder flipping on the first day that just came off when I got him up to the boat. Then the second day I had the same thing happen with one I hooked on a swim-jig."

    He said he learned more about how the fish were moving around in reaction to the rising water as the event wore on, but that didn't help him put them on the end of his line.

    "It was hard to get a 3 1/2-pound bite there. Those kind of fish were in the area, but I didn't get them to bite. I just kept fishing, knowing that at any time I could get a 4-pounder."

    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.

  • Clausen, Yelas seeing green

    BassFan Big Sticks Luke Clausen and Jay Yelas both focused on smallmouths during the first 2 days of practice for this week's Champlain FLW Tour. Yelas will stick with the green fish for the final practice day, while Clausen will explore the smallmouth possibilities.

    To read their initial reports, click here.

  • Chapman unimpressed

    Brent Chapman, the current leader in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year standings, wasn't real enthused about the results of his first day of practice for the Lake Michigan Elite Series, which gets underway Thursday out of Green Bay, Wis.

    To read what he had to say, click here to go on tour with BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Miss. River

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

    Jamie Horton went from 39th place after day 1 of the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series to 3rd after day 2. His second-day sack, which weighed a tournament-best 18-04, was nearly 5 pounds heavier than the one he'd brought in the previous day and he went on to finish 4th – the highest placement to date in his rookie campaign.

    The key to his turnaround was a phenomenon that's usually a lot more relevant to trout anglers than bass-catchers – the observance of mayflies.

    "Friday I got it figured out," the Alabamian said. "I got off to a good start and had about 15 pounds in the first hour – they were hitting the frog real good. Then later on I noticed two or three mayflies flying around on a corner that had some points and jetties coming off a bank. There were about a dozen of those and they were covered with scum and duckweed.

    "I went over and threw my frog over the top of that scum and caught one that was close to 4 pounds. Off those 12 jetties, I probably caught 30 fish. I just wish I'd known about it on Thursday."

    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.

  • Reorg at BRP

    Reorg at BRP

    BRP, parent company of Evinrude, has announced that it's regrouping all of its outboard engine activities under a single leader – new VP and GM Alain Villemure, who takes over on Sept. 4. For more details, click here.

  • Berkley trailer headed to Spokane

    Berkley trailer headed to Spokane

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the White Elephant Store in Spokane, Wash., Thursday through Saturday (June 28-30). 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 1730 N. Division Street in Spokane, Wash. The phone number is (509) 328-3100.

    Future stops will be at Guns, Fishing & Other Stuff in Vacaville, Ca. (July 13-15) and Sunbirds in Chehalis, Wash. (July 20-22).

  • Battery deal for DeFoe

    Battery deal for DeFoe

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Ott DeFoe has signed a sponsorship agreement with battery manufacturer Lithium Pros.

    “Lithium Pros is serious about bringing the proper application of lithium-ion to the bass fishing marketplace," he said. "The benefit of saving half the weight of a comparable lead acid is obviously a huge plus, but there is a lot more to this. Lithium-ion batteries also provide more power and the charging times are truly amazing. This is all due to a built-in battery management system, which is what sets Lithium Pros apart in this developing technology.”

    Said Lithium Pros owner Kevin Bennett: “Ott has been invaluable in providing real-world fishing knowledge to us. Exhaustive testing here in Tennessee with Ott has allowed us to take our expertise in the motorsports world and apply it to the bass fishing market. Fishermen have a lot of reasons to be excited about what has been produced by this relationship.”

    DeFoe’s boat was first outfitted with a complete set of Lithium Pros batteries in February.

    “I noticed the difference immediately in practice for the Bassmaster Classic. The weight of my boat was reduced by over 150 pounds and I could stand on the trolling motor all day covering water. At night, my recharge times were so quick. Thanks to these batteries, I have really been able to maximize my time this year."

  • 'Uncle Homer' dies at 97

    'Uncle Homer' dies at 97

    B.A.S.S. reported today that legendary fishing writer Homer Circle has died at age 97. His final fishing excursion occurred just 5 days prior to his passing.

    To read more, click here.

  • The ultimate fish-catcher

    There are no bass in the video linked here – if there were, they'd be in big trouble! The footage of this osprey making a living is so spectacular that we had to share it.


  • Hollowell plans to go all out at Champlain

    Hollowell plans to go all out at Champlain

    Some FLW Tour anglers are heading to Lake Champlain knowing the Forrest Wood Cup will have to wait until next year. Others are already inside the cut line, but will need to catch at least a couple bags of fish next week to secure a ticket to Lake Lanier in August.

    Still others are positioned to make a big push inside the cut line, which should fall around 40th place in the standings depending on where the double qualifiers finish.

    Todd Hollowell finds himself in the latter scenario as he currently sits in 44th place, just 8 points back of Vic Vatalaro in 39th, which would be the Cup cutoff if the season ended today.

    The Tour rookie from Indiana – he hails from Fishers, Ind., of all places – will be fishing Champlain for the first time and he’s confident he can be among the chosen few who’ll be heading to the Cup. After a strong start to his season (32nd at Lake Hartwell, 22nd at Table Rock Lake), he had a couple hiccups (123rd at Beaver Lake, 95th at the Potomac River) before notching a 7th at Kentucky Lake, where he led after day 1.

    “I’m hungry,” he said. “I’m a rookie so I don’t know any better. I couldn’t ask for anything more being a rookie heading into the last event with a real chance to make the Forrest Wood Cup. I’m going to be swinging for the fences. I’m excited.”

    Having never fished Champlain, he’s only been able to go on what he’s heard and read about the lake. He feels it’ll play to his strengths, though.

    “It’s going to fish strong,” he said. “It’s a great fishery and I typically like those events – ones where you can power fish. I feel like I’m going to be dangerous in this one. I have nothing to lose.

    “I’m going up there to try to make the cut. I’m not going to play it safe.”

    For plenty of rookies, the first year at the highest level of competition is usually dotted with speed bumps and hard lessons, of which Hollowell has endured his share. But he feels like he’s come out the other end a better angler.

    “I don’t think there’s any question I’ve learned a lot this year, not only about the fisheries, but about myself,” he said. “I’d only been to two of the lakes so four of them were brand new. I learned how to make better decisions. Fishing against some of the best anglers in the world, there’s a very small margin for error, but the more chances you have to make those kinds of decisions the better you get at it. It was a season of ups and downs. I’m just hoping to finish on a high note.”

  • FLW AOY tiebreaker scenario

    Should the race for FLW Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) end in a tie next week at Lake Champlain, the crown will go to the pro who accumulates the most weight over the six Majors.

    David Dudley, who holds a 1-point lead over Jim Moynagh, has weighed 220-07 this season and has the jump on the rest of the Top 10 except 10th-place Jay Yelas, who has amassed 229-08. Moynagh has caught 218-15.

    A tie for AOY has not happened before – Dudley beat Brent Ehrler by 1 point in 2008 – but with the Top 10 separated by 72 points, it's entirely within the realm of possibility.

    Here’s how the points leaders stack up in terms of total weight through the first five Majors (Name: Points – Total Weight):

    1. David Dudley: 904 – 220-07
    2. Jim Moynagh: 903 – 218-15
    3. Jacob Powroznik: 886 – 193-09
    4. Ron Shuffield: 874 – 208-12
    5. Cody Meyer: 863 – 151-03
    6. Bryan Thrift: 856 – 177-12
    7. Clent Davis: 854 – 182-01
    8. Luke Clausen: 849 – 165-07
    9. Jacob Wheeler: 833 – 164-11
    10. Jay Yelas: 832 – 229-08

  • A versatile topwater

    <b><font color=maroon>A versatile topwater</font></b>

    Everybody loves to fish topwater baits when that bite is on. Poppers, chuggers, walkers – they're all a riot!

    The Sebile Splasher combines all three of those actions in one bait, and you can let the fish tell you which is best for the particular situation you find yourself in. To learn more, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Slumping Suggs looking for answers

    Slumping Suggs looking for answers

    This was supposed to be a worry-free season for Scott Suggs. He came into it having already qualified for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup by virtue of his Top-5 points finish in last year’s FLW Tour Opens. For most Tour pros, having a ticket to the Cup takes a lot of pressure off.

    “Having pre-qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup,” Suggs said, “I was really looking forward to this year, I thought I could fish more relaxed and maybe even fish better not having to worry about the Cup.”

    Instead, he finds himself in a career-worst slump and in search of any morsel of momentum as the Majors schedule draws to a close next week at Lake Champlain. In five Majors this season, he has four finishes of 87th or worse and is 95th in points. He’s gotten into such a funk that he began questioning the most basic on-the-water decisions.

    “I’ve never gone through anything like this since 2004 when I started as a pro,” the 2007 Cup champion said as he drove through Kentucky today en route to northern New York. “I just can’t seem to make a good decision and just haven’t been able to consistently put it together.”

    He opened the season with a 105th at Lake Hartwell, an 87th at Table Rock Lake and a 103rd at Beaver Lake. The latter two were the most confounding since they were deep, clear Ozark Mountain lakes, his forte.

    At Table Rock, he went bed-fishing even though his gut told him it wasn’t going to hold up.

    “I got in a groove knowing it wasn’t the right way to go,” he said. “It was my worst decision-making of the entire year.”

    He thought he’d turned a corner with a 43rd at the Potomac River, but that momentum quickly evaporated at Kentucky Lake, where he finished 102nd after ending day 1 in 32nd.

    “I had a good boat number on day 1 and was able to get on some stuff early and caught a decent bag,” he said. “Then on day 2, I went back and got into a group of boats with people who’d fished it on day 1, but there were other new boats there as well. I let it get into my head and ran around instead of staying there and fishing for the fish I knew were there.”

    His previous worst finish in points was 75th back in 2006.

    “It’s just been very disappointing,” he said. “I’ve talked to other people around me who’ve gone through similar experiences like Anthony Gagliardi, Clark Wendlandt and Dan Morehead. They all told me the same thing: ‘Just keep fishing.’

    “It’s just been a weird year. It’s like we had no winter. Even at home the fishing is totally different. I’m not blaming it on anything because I went into everything feeling like I was on something decent. You have to take the good with the bad. I’ve not had a bad (season) before, but I’m in the middle of one now. When you get into a slump like this, instead of worrying about making the right decisions, you start wondering if there is a right decision. It’s really disappointing.”

    At the Champlain FLW Tour Open last fall, he pulled down a 33rd-place finish, which has him thinking good things are possible next week.

    “I’m just hoping I can go up there and have a good tournament,” he said. “Based on my past tournaments there this time of year, it should be a post-spawn deal. It seems like largemouths have been more dominant this time of year, moreso than in years when we’ve gone there in September when it’s more of a smallmouth deal. I’m going there with the thought that I’m going to go smallmouth fishing. I’ve had some really good days up there, but there have been others where the wind has blown me off the water. Last fall, I felt like I overcame all of that.

    “I just want to have a good (tournament) in New York and get some confidence going into the Cup. That could turn my whole year around.”

  • PAA gets three new board members

    PAA gets three new board members

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) announced that Scott Burns and Johnny Grice, both of Texas, and Kelly Power of Missouri have been elected to positions on the organizations board of directors. In addition, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brian Snowden will return for another term.

    Burns, a guide on Lake Fork, is competing on the Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail. He's associated with the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Fishing for Freedom tournaments and has a passion for working with those who aim to rehabilitate paralyzed veterans and wounded or seriously disabled soldiers. He brings a degree in communications and years of sales and managerial experience to the board.

    Grice is currently fishing the Bassmaster Central Opens. He has several ties to the fishing industry through a former stint as VP of operations at Riverside Lures and through 6 years serving as a guide on Toledo Bend. He's spent the past 20 years as the CEO or COO of several large home health companies. He brings a degree in business management, over 45 years of management experience and also leadership experience from his time as a military officer to the board.

    Currently fishing the Bassmaster Central Opens, Central Pro-Am tournaments and Ozark Mountain Team Trail, Power brings 25 years of experience, fishing at all levels, to the board. He has run competitive fishing tournaments for 18 years and has built and sold bass boats to fishermen for the past 23 years.

    Nominees for the open seats on the board were presented in April to the PAA’s Tour and Legends members for voting. Nominees from the PAA Tour and Legends membership were solicited from PAA members in March.

    Other current board members are John Crews, Kurt Dove, Charlie Ingram, Mike McClelland, Dave Mansue and Chad Morgenthaler.

  • Dudley dialed in

    Dudley dialed in

    David Dudley is leaving for Plattsburgh, N.Y., tomorrow to begin preparations for the final FLW Tour Major of the season at Lake Champlain. He’ll make the drive in a familiar position – leading the Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. He holds a 1-point advantage over Jim Moynagh, but as is typically the case with the world’s current top-ranked angler, conversations about the AOY barely move the needle with him.

    “It’s a broken record for me,” he told BassFan. “I don’t ever focus on winning Angler of the Year. I focus on winning tournaments.”

    He’s already booked two AOY titles in his career, including last year, and a third would tie him with Clark Wendlandt for the FLW record.

    “In everything I do, I only strive to win and be number one,” he added.

    Champlain is his kind of lake with its healthy mix of smallmouths and largemouths and he has a solid track record there in early summer as he’s racked up three Top-25 finishes in June.

    “I’m very comfortable with everything,” he said. “Whatever we can legally weigh in, be it smallmouths, largemouths, spots or shoals, I’m comfortable. It’s a tournament where lots of fish are going to be caught and it typically takes a mixture to do well. I feel very good about the month we’re going.”

    Last year, Dudley took over the lead in AOY points with two events remaining and held on to win by 15 points. When he won his first AOY crown in 2008, he came out of nowhere, erasing an 86-point deficit with a 38th-place finish at the Detroit River season finale to overtake Andy Morgan and edge Brent Ehrler by a single point for the crown.

  • Ostrom, Normark co-founder, dies

    Ostrom, Normark co-founder, dies

    Ray Ostrom, the co-founder of Normark, passed away this week at the age of 85, according to an obituary published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

    The cause of death was not immediately known. Ostrom had lived for years on a houseboat docked at Cyclone Island on Lake of the Woods. His wife of 65 years, Norma, died last month.

    The son of Swedish immigrants, Ostrom served in World War II as a member of the Coast Guard and was an avid hunter and fisherman. In 1948, he opened Ostrom’s Marine and Sporting Goods in Minneapolis and later began hosting muskie tournaments at Lake of the Woods as a way to promote his store.

    In 1959, Ostrom teamed with Ron Weber to become the first distributors of Rapala lures in the U.S., a business that later became Normark Corporation.

    “He was a tireless promoter,” Ron Lindner, a longtime friend of Ostrom’s, told BassFan.

    In 1970, when Lindner and his brother, Al, were launching their first fishing-themed television program called “Al Lindner’s Facts of Fishing,” the first Rapala TV commercial aired during the show.

    “He gave us our first sponsorship,” Lindner added.

    The popularity of Rapala lures in the U.S. exploded in 1962 when an article entitled, "A Lure the Fish Can't Pass Up" was published in an issue of Life magazine that featured Marilyn Monroe on the cover shortly after her death. Requests for the lures poured in and Weber and Ostrom helped finance expansion of manufacturing.

    To read the full obituary, click here.

  • Giving cranks a kick reported today on an intriguing innovation out of Japan: a crankbait weight that will randomly cause a plug to "kick out" and possibly induce strikes that otherwise wouldn't occur. It looks like a small lead ball inside a spring and it attaches to the rear treble hook.

    You can see how it works on the accompanying video. It's a Zappu product, and the article mentions that it's not known if it'll become available in the U.S.

    For more, click here.

  • Bananas for B.A.S.S.

    Bananas for B.A.S.S.

    (Editor's note: Industry rep Alan McGuckin traveled to La Crosse, Wis. for this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event and is impressed by what he's seen so far. He submitted the following report this morning.)

    Seldom since Ray Scott organized the first one at Beaver Lake, Arkansas 45 years ago, has B.A.S.S. held a tournament in Wisconsin. But if this morning’s buzz at Veterans Freedom Park in downtown La Crosse is any indication of what’s to come the next 4 days, we can count on a town saturated with college bars and Badger fans to go bananas for B.A.S.S.

    While fans lined a low bridge over the Mississippi River cheering for their favorite Elite Series pros, music from Canadian rock group Rush blared through the low-humidity air.

    And speaking of bananas, there sat the always cheerful Florida pro Shaw Grigsby, amid the sunrise party in this college town, jamming dry shredded wheat cereal nuggets into the top of a half eaten banana while talking about what he expects from the day ahead.

    “Three-pounders are not happenin’ for me,” said the longtime Quantum pro-staffer. “The fish here are patternable, but I just haven’t found them out in the main river channel, and that’s most likely where the big ones are living. I didn’t set the hook on many fish in practice, maybe four or five fish a day, and the biggest one I caught was a 2-pound, 6-ounce fish.

    “I’ve got slop baits, wood baits and rock baits tied on. I heard Kelly Jordon say he smashed some big ones in practice, but that certainly wasn’t the case for me. I’m guessing the Top 10 in the standings will have 14 pounds and upwards today.”

    Certainly, that’s purely a guess, because much like wrapped presents sitting beneath a tree, without setting the hook in practice, you can’t know for sure what’s inside.

    “I enjoy this place,” Grigsby continued. “You do a lot of lookin’ and very little hook-setting in practice, but there’s a lot of awesome looking stuff here. Until this afternoon we won’t really know how good it is.”

    Safe to say, no matter what they weigh, there will be a buzz of excitement among a group of fans that have long awaited B.A.S.S. to be a part of their town.

  • Alan Report – Mississippi River

    Alan Report – Mississippi River

    In his latest Alan Report, former B.A.S.S. emcee Keith Alan discusses how the ever-changing Mississippi River can foil even the best-laid plans of the world's top anglers. To read it, click here.

  • Sportsman Channel renews with NHF Day

    Sportsman Channel has renewed its partnership with National Hunting and Fishing Day, the annual event dedicated to sportsmen and wildlife.

    This year’s NHF Day will be Sept. 22 as it is typically takes place on the fourth Saturday of September. This is the fourth year Sportsman Channel has served as a national sponsor for NHF Day.

    “Each day is an opportunity to show our continued dedication to the efforts of sportsmen to preserve our natural habitats, but NHF Day is a day that centralizes the entire community,” Todd Hansen, Sportsman Channel’s chief operating officer. “Sportsman Channel is proud to sponsor such a great organization like NHF Day.”

    This year’s honorary NHF chairperson is NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

    To learn more about NHF Day, click here.

  • Win a new Revo

    Win a new Revo

    Abu Garcia is planning to give away more than $20,000 worth of its newly-redesigned Revo reels as part of its Experience The New Revo-lution Sweepstakes.

    Subscribers to Bassmaster magazine and visitors to the Abu Garcia website will have chances to win a new reel before they hit store shelves.

    The upcoming July/August issue of Bassmaster magazine could hold a winning ticket good for a new Revo reel. Non-subscribers will be able to register to win at the Abu Garcia website through Aug. 31, 2012.

    “This is a tremendous promotion to get your hands on the new Revos before they even hit the stores,” said Chris Derrick, Abu Garcia brand manager. “The new Revos go above and beyond previous Revo generations. I think once people actually put their hands on them they will definitely notice a new Revo.”

    To more information or to register, click here.

  • BassFan goes social

    It's been a few days since we rolled out our Twitter feed and Facebook page and we've been impressed by the response of BassFans.

    For those who may have missed it last week, you can now connect with BassFan through Twitter @BassFanNews and Facebook. Our hope is that it’ll give BassFans everywhere another way to access our content and engage with our staff and fellow BassFans.

    As you'll see, we've added social media sharing options to many of the sections on BassFan, including the tops news stories, Dock Talk and BassFan's World Rankings so if you come across something you want to share with friends, by all means be our guest.

    As always, let us know what you think.

  • Chapman, Martens in different boats

    Brent Chapman made two pre-fishing trips to the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., ahead of official practice for this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event. Fellow BassFan Big Stick Aaron Martens didn't go, but is now wishing he had.

    To read their initial practice reports, click here.

  • Typhoon tabs Blaylock

    Typhoon tabs Blaylock

    Typhoon Polarized Optics had added FLW Tour angler Stetson Blaylock to its pro staff.

    "It goes beyond a sponsorship deal for me," Blaylock said. "It's about having access to, and promoting, a high-quality sunglass manufacturer. Typhoon not only makes high-quality products, but they are affordable, so every angler can own a pair. Not everyone can afford a $200-plus pair of sunglasses. With Typhoon, they don't have to."

    Said Typhoon pro staff manager Tim Sitterding: "Stetson is a unique fit for our pro staff. Not only will he offer Typhoon excellent input into the performance of our products, but he will offer us insight to the styles young anglers want in their eyewear. He will be an integral part of helping Typhoon Polarized Optics remain on the cutting edge of both performance and style."

  • Plano acquires Frabill

    Plano acquires Frabill

    Plano Molding Co. and Frabill Inc. have announced that they are joining forces, uniting two iconic fishing tackle brands that have been serving anglers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 70 years. The transaction, whereby Plano will acquire Frabill, brings together under one roof the worldwide leader in fishing tackle storage systems and the North American leader in live-bait storage, landing nets and portable ice fishing shelters and related accessories.

    "The Frabill product line has achieved significant brand equity in the 29 years of ownership by the Marble family. To accomplish the future growth objectives of the company, we sought a partner that could provide the necessary resources while maintaining the core values of service and quality our customers have come to expect," said Frabille CEO Jeff Marble. "Plano's excellent reputation with both fishermen and our retail partners made the decision an easy one. We are extremely excited to become part of Plano and we look forward to what we can achieve together in the years to come."

    Said Plano president and CEO Tom Hurt: "Frabill and Plano are a perfect fit - like peanut butter and jelly. We serve the same customers and our products sit next to each other on the store shelf. More importantly, our companies share common core values, which include world-class customer service and an uncompromising dedication to product quality. Together, we will continue to drive excitement and excellence into our categories by introducing innovative products for many years to come.

    "A combination with Frabill advances our long-term strategy of broadening Plano's focus on fishing and hunting storage products with complementary brands and product categories."

  • FLW issues open letter on Guard partnership

    FLW published an open letter to its fans on its website last Friday accusing Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., of micromanaging Pentagon recruiting dollars by co-sponsoring an amendment included in the House of Representatives’ version of the 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill that will prohibit military spending in professional sports.

    The amendment specifically calls for the elimination of U.S. military sponsorship spending in auto racing, fishing, mixed martial arts and wrestling. The National Guard has maintained a sponsorship presence with FLW since 2006.

    The letter also requests that people contact their congressmen and congresswomen to voice their opposition to the amendment.

    “Let your senators and representatives know that Congress should not be micromanaging the Department of Defense, especially when it comes to recruiting, and the Kingston-McCollum amendment should be stricken from the 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill,” the letter states.

    To read the entire open letter, click here.

    To read BassFan’s reporting on this issue, click here.

  • Wagy holds on for James River win

    Wagy holds on for James River win

    Joshua Wagy brought in four fish today weighing 7-7, just enough to close out the victory at the James River Bassmaster Northern Open with a 3-day total of 39-4. It’s his first B.A.S.S. tournament win.

    He beat Robert Whitehurst, who caught 11-10 to finish 2nd with 38-14. Woo Daves held onto 3rd with 37-15. Kelly Pratt was 4th with 37-11 and Horce Linwood Boltz closed out the Top 5 with 37-09.

    Here’s how the Top 12 finished up:

    1. Joshua Wagy: 39-4
    2. Robert Whitehurst: 38-14
    3. Woo Daves: 37-15
    4. Kelly Pratt: 37-11
    5. Linwood Boltz: 37-9
    6. Art Ferguson III: 36-14
    7. Scott Mozingo: 35-13
    8. Greg Cooper: 34-5
    9. James Charlesworth: 33-13
    10. Kevin Hawk: 33-2
    11. Frank Poirier: 32-9
    12. Jim Dillard: 30-1

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

  • Carmell goes wire to wire at Kerr Lake

    Carmell goes wire to wire at Kerr Lake

    Christopher Carmell was two fish shy of a limit, but his 5-2 catch today allowed to him to capture the wire-to-wire win at the Kerr Lake Northern EverStart with a 3-day total of 36-01.

    Nick Gainey caught the biggest sack of the final day, a 12-12 limit that gave him 35-11 and a runner-up finish. George Lambeth was 3rd with 34-13, followed by Brian Divito in 4th with 33-03 and FLW Tour pro Jacob Powroznik with 5th with 32-06.

    Here’s how the Top 10 looked at the end:

    1. Christopher Carmell: 36-01
    2. Nick Gainey: 35-11
    3. George Lambeth: 34-13
    4. Brian Divito: 33-03
    5. Jacob Powroznik: 32-06
    6. Chris Johnston: 31-12
    7. Tom Wilkinson: 29-07
    8. Bill Chapman: 29-01
    9. Cavin Young: 28-05
    10. Joseph Wood: 22-15

    A story detailing Carmell’s winning pattern will be published soon.

  • Wagy out front at James River

    Joshua Wagy boxed 19-11 today and has 31-13 through 2 days of competition at the James River Bassmaster Northern Open. His total is good for a 2-06 lead over Greg Cooper, who has 29-07.

    Woo Daves is 3rd with 28-00 while Robert Whitehurst is 4th with 27-04. Day-1 leader Jim Dillard caught 9-10 today and slipped to 5th with 26-11.

    Here are the 12 anglers who qualified for the final day of competition:

    1. Joshua Wagy: 31-13
    2. Greg Cooper: 29-07
    3. Woo Daves: 28-00
    4. Robert Whitehurst: 27-04
    5. Jim Dillard: 26-11
    6. Kelly Pratt: 25-13
    7. Linwood Boltz: 25-04
    8. Scott Mozingo: 24-12
    9. Art Ferguson III: 24-04
    10. Kevin Hawk: 23-14
    11. Frank Poirier: 23-08
    12. James Charlesworth: 23-06

  • Carmell leads by 6+ at Kerr Lake

    Christopher Carmell caught 14-05 today and extended his lead to nearly 6 1/2 pounds with 30-15 after 2 days of competition at the Kerr Lake Northern EverStart.

    George Lambeth is Carmell’s nearest challenger with 24-09. Nick Gainey has 22-15 in 3rd. Brian Divito hammered 16-08 after a three-fish day 1 and is 4th with 21-13. Cavin Young sits 5th with 21-08.

    Here’s how the Top 10 shapes up with 1 day remaining on the water:

    1. Christopher Carmell: 30-15
    2. George Lambeth: 24-09
    3. Nick Gainey: 22-15
    4. Brian Divito: 21-13
    5. Cavin Young: 21-08
    6. Bill Chapman: 20-14
    7. Chris Johnston: 20-14
    8. Tom Wilkinson: 20-09
    9. Jacob Powroznik: 20-02
    10. Joseph Wood: 19-15

  • Report: Elite pros jeer GB boundaries

    Several Bassmaster Elite Series anglers voiced their displeasure with the recent announcement that boundaries for the upcoming Lake Michigan event will prevent them from fishing what many consider prime smallmouth bass waters, according to a story posted on the website of the Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent last night.

    Among those quoted was Wisconsin native Travis Manson, who said, “It downright sucks. It’s not going to showcase the fishing that’s available here, by any means.”

    To check out the full report, click here

  • Berkley trailer bound for Idaho

    Berkley trailer bound for Idaho

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the Black Sheep Sporting Goods store in Coeur d'Alene, Id., Thursday through Saturday (June 22-24). 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 308 West Seale Avenue in Coeur d'Alene, Id. The phone number is (208) 667-7831.

    Future stops will be at White Elephant in Spokane, Wash. (June 28-30) and Guns, Fishing & Other Stuff in Vacaville, Ca. (July 13-15).

  • New poll: FLW Tour AOY

    Who's it going to be? Will David Dudley repeat at FLW Tour Angler of the Year (AOY)? Can Jim Moynagh cap off a great season with a crowning achievement? Or will Jacob Powroznik make the move to the top? Or will it be someone outside of the Top 10 in points? There are so many questions and only one tournament left to find the answers.

    Check out our new poll, which poses the simple question: Who's your pick to win the FLW Tour AOY crown? We've listed the current Top 10 anglers in order of points as well as the option to go off the board and predict someone else.

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

  • Redesigned Revos

    <b><font color=maroon>Redesigned Revos</font></b>

    Abu Garcia wasn't content to rest on the laurels that its Revo baitcasting reels had achieved in recent years, so it's redesigned them to be even more formidable. Beginning this fall, anglers will see models that contain all the great features of their predecessors, but are lighter, more compact and more powerful.

    To learn more and see what a couple of the new models look like, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Dillard on top at James River

    Dillard on top at James River

    FLW Tour pros Jim Dillard and Kevin Hawk are 1-2 after 1 day of competition at the James River Bassmaster Northern Open.

    Dillard, a Louisiana native, caught 17-01 to hold down the top spot while Hawk brought in 15-14. Steven Colgin is 3rd with 15-11, followed by Whitney Stephens in 4th with 15-09 and Allan Glasgow in 5th with 15-02.

    “The good Lord shined down on me today,” Dillard said. “I feel real comfortable fishing a system like this because I grew up fishing the Red and Ouachita rivers; there is a lot of the same stuff here.”

    After 1 day of competition, here’s the Top 10:

    1. Jim Dillard: 17-01
    2. Kevin Hawk: 15-14
    3. Steven Colgin: 15-11
    4. Whitney Stephens: 15-09
    5. Allan Glasgow: 15-02
    6. Chad Pipkens: 14-13
    7. Andrew Upshaw: 14-12
    8. Ben Parker: 14-04
    9. Kelly Pratt: 13-15
    10. Scott Mozingo: 13-14

  • Carmell leads at Kerr Lake ES

    Carmell leads at Kerr Lake ES

    Christopher Carmell caught 16-10 to seize the day-1 lead at the Kerr Lake Northern EverStart Series today. He was the lone angler to crack the 16-pound mark.

    The North Carolina resident holds a 1-10 lead over Mike Hoskings, who weighed 15-00. Ron Wolfarth caught 14-06 and is in 3rd. Cavin Young (4th, 14-03) and J.T. Kenney (5th, 13-05) round out the Top 5.

    Here’s how the Top 10 looks with 1 day in the books:

    1. Christopher Carmell: 16-10
    2. Mike Hoskings: 15-00
    3. Ron Wolfarth: 14-06
    4. Cavin Young: 14-03
    5. J.T. Kenney: 13-05
    6. Curt Tindall: 12-09
    7. Tom Wilkinson: 11-14
    8. George Lambeth: 11-10
    9. Derik Hudson: 11-05
    10 (tie). Jess Caraballo: 11-00
    10 (tie). Bill Chapman: 11-00

  • Duckett sells tank biz

    Duckett sells tank biz

    Boyd Duckett announced today that he has sold his company, Southern Tank Leasing, to Houston-based management group Sprint Holdings LLC. Duckett has owned and managed the Demopolis, Ala.-based company since 1989. It operates terminals in Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Illinois.

    The 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion said the decision to relinquish the company was difficult, but was driven by his desire to work full-time on his competitive fishing career and the operation of his other primary business, Duckett Fishing.

    “For 23 years, a great part of my life has been devoted to building and expanding Southern Tank Leasing, so I have mixed emotions about giving up a company that has been so much of my focus for more than two decades. I am, however, extremely excited about now devoting my full career to the fishing industry. I will spend my time trying to become a better angler and using Duckett Fishing to produce high-quality rods that are affordable to anglers around the world.”

    Duckett will spend the next year as a consultant to Southern Tank Leasing’s new management team before relinquishing all ties to the company in May 2013.

  • BassFan on Twitter, Facebook

    We’ve done it! BassFan has joined the social media universe.

    Today, we’re unveiling our Twitter feed @BassFanNews and Facebook page. Our hope is that it’ll give BassFans everywhere another way to access our content and engage with our staff and fellow BassFans.

    As you'll see, we've added social media sharing functions to many of the sections on BassFan, including the tops news stories, Dock Talk and BassFan's World Rankings.

    We’re excited about adding these elements to our repertoire as we continue to bring you the latest news and analysis from around the professional tournament scene.

    As always, let us know what you think.

  • Elites: Sturgeon Bay out

    Elites: Sturgeon Bay out

    B.A.S.S. announced today that fish-rich Sturgeon Bay will be off-limits to Bassmaster Elite Series competitors for the June 28-July 1 event at Lake Michigan out of Green Bay. That ruling was handed down this week by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    “The Wisconsin DNR has been very conservative in setting the tournament boundaries and excluding places like Sturgeon Bay,” said B.A.S.S. conservation director Noreen Clough, who was the liaison between B.A.S.S. and state biologists who issued the permit.

    Elite anglers will be able to fish the area south of a line between the Splinter Causeway breakwall near the mouth of the Oconto River on the west and the Sherwood Point Lighthouse on the east. No tournament boats will be allowed north of that line.

    Clough said Wisconsin officials assured her that smallmouth fishing is excellent in the waters on the east side up to Sherwood Lighthouse. Tournament waters on the east side include Little Sturgeon Bay, Riley’s Bay and Sand Bay.

    “Through negotiations, we were able to expand the western boundary up to the Oconto River, which will provide not only additional fishing area but expanded refuge for anglers in case of adverse winds,” Clough added. “We have been working closely with the Wisconsin DNR to ensure that this will be another outstanding Bassmaster Elite Series tournament.”

    The permit states that anglers will not be allowed above the first bridge on the Oconto River, nor will boats be allowed within 200 feet of DePere Dam on the Fox River in downtown Green Bay.

  • No equipment needed

    You say you're too broke to buy a rod, reel, line and terminal tackle? Well, it is possible to successfully fish for bass without all that stuff, as the guy in this video from WKRG News in Mobile, Ala. proves.

    Just a note here: We're not attesting to the legality of this method in Alabama or anywhere else.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – T-Bend

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – T-Bend</font></b>

    There were lots of instances at the Toledo Bend Bassmaster Elite Series of anglers catching strong bags one day and then failing to crack 10 pounds the next. Perhaps no one epitomized that phenomenon better than Jeff Kriet.

    The Oklahoman was in 65th place after boxing 9-15 on day 1. On day 2, he jumped all the way to 9th with a 25-pound stringer before going back the other direction on day 3 (8-10) to eventually finish 18th.

    "The weights were just crazy – they were all over the board," he said. "The second day those fish were right where I thought they'd be. A lot of those really big ones, they'd get in that timber and just be sitting there, very inactive."

    He found two big schools of quality fish within a 3-mile stretch during practice. Terry Scroggins and Ott DeFoe beat him to them on the morning of day 1, and he shared one of them with DeFoe while compiling his massive sack on day 2.

    He caught most of his fish on a Big Bite Baits Kriet Tail worm. He picked up a few on a shaky-head and a spoon.

    "I did make a mistake by not throwing a dropshot on the third day," he said. "I started getting impatient and when you're dropshotting you're not fishing to win, but if I'd started doing it earlier in the day I probably could've made the Top 12.

    "I ended up catching three or four keepers on it in the last 30 minutes. They were really suspended that day."

    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.

  • Sonar: Odyssey ends

    Sonar: Odyssey ends

    In his latest Sonar Sound-Off column, Miles Burghoff recaps his whirlwind adventure of competing in the BFL All-American, the Oakley KVD Big Bass Challenge and the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship within a 2-week period. The adventure included his first trip on a private jet and a ride from the airport in Springfield, Mo. to Table Rock with Kevin VanDam.

    To read it, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback – T-Bend

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – T-Bend</font></b>

    Scott Ashmore's failure to make the final cut at the recent Toledo Bend Bassmaster Elite Series was attributable to a phenomenon that has plagued anglers ever since the development of the fish hook. Simply put, some of the fish that got away were bigger than some of the ones he brought to hand.

    "I was catching them on a crankbait, and I lost three the second day and three the third day," said the Oklahoman, who nonetheless registered his best-ever Elite finish. "All of them were at least 4-pounders and one was at least 5.

    "I was making hail-Mary casts out there in the flooded timber and when you hooked one, sooner or later it would come up and jump. And sometimes when they jumped, they'd throw the baits. It was painful because you got to watch them do it."

    His primary bait was a Strike King 6XD.

    "The first one I lost I was really upset about because that was the 5-pounder. When that was followed by the two 4s, it wasn't so bad because I'd seen that before. I'd kind of gotten used to it.

    "I had the fish on (to make the 12-cut), but those things happen."

    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.

  • Report: GB organizers lobby for beer

    A yacht club adjacent to the launch site for the upcoming Lake Michigan Elite Series tournament is trying to get the city of Green Bay, Wis., to sign off on outdoor beer sales and easing open-container restrictions during the event, according to a report over the weekend in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

    To read the full report, click here

  • BFA trivia contest set

    BFA trivia contest set

    The Bass Fishing Archives has announced that it'll launch a weekly trivia contest on July 2. The prize for the first edition will be a $20 e-coupon good for anything on the Yamamoto Baits online store.

    Content will be taken from the "Pete's Box Score" column on the site. The column is posted each Monday (except for holidays).

    For contest rules, go to and click on the "BFA Contest Rules" heading.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – KY Lake

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

    Dan Morehead has fished Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley for nearly 40 years, so it stands to reason why the native of nearby Paducah was a little peeved at himself after weighing 10-10 on day 1 of the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour Major. He was buried in 115th place, more than 8 pounds out of the lead.

    He threw out his day-1 plan and started fresh on day 2, catching 19-04 to rise 87 spots and salvage a 28th-place finish, his fourth Top-30 result in five outings this season. Still, it wasn’t enough to wash the bitter taste out of his mouth.

    “Am I proud of myself for making that big of comeback and getting a big check? Yeah, that’s all great and good, but on my home lake, I expect more,” he said. “I fully intended to be fishing in the Top 20 (on day 3) with my buddy (Terry) Bolton and then let whatever was going to happen happen. I don’t know how many more opportunities we’re going to have for them to come back home for a ledge-fishing tournament the first week of June. It just doesn’t come around very often.”

    He started the tournament in Barkley because that’s his comfort zone out of the two lakes.

    “I knew there would be no other competitors over there and Barkley’s always been where I used to fish all the time. I felt like I knew it pretty good,” he said. “I went over there and they weren't pulling any current. I could see the fish on the graph, but I couldn’t get them to bite. I made my milk run and hit some of those places about three times. Where I made my mistake was I should’ve abandoned Barkley about 10:30 (on day 1) and gone to Kentucky. I just kept telling myself that I knew the lake good enough that I would keep moving and hit new spots until I found a school of them. It just never happened.”

    He spent all of day 2 on Kentucky Lake and was able to get on some unpressured schools with a football-head jig and swimbait program. He went through about 60 fish total.

    “When you get to this level of competition it all comes down to the decisions you make,” he said. “I made a bad one and paid the price for it.”

    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.

  • Rankings: Chapman to No. 2

    David Dudley holds onto the No. 1 slot in the newest edition of the BassFan World Rankings, while tournament winners Brent Chapman (now 2nd) and Dave Lefebre (5th) made big upward moves.

    To see the full list, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback – KY Lake

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

    Longtime Kentucky Lake stick Terry Bolton likened his experience last week to fishing a new body of water considering the low water, lack of current and ways the fish were setting up on offshore structure.

    He obviously figured it out pretty quick as he spent the first 2 days inside the Top 10, but managed just 11-03 on day 3 and missed the missed out on fishing day 4 by a mere ounce. His 11th-place finish was his best result since a 10th-place finish at the Lake Ouachita Tour Major in May 2010.

    In retrospect, there’s not much he really could’ve done differently to improve his finish since the fish on his primary area had moved about 75 yards on day 3.

    “Once we found them, we caught them pretty quick, both myself and my co-angler,” he said. “We busted them up pretty good. I could’ve stayed there another 30 or 45 minutes and culled for ounces, but I had to go run something new to have a chance to win.

    “When we left there, the wind got really bad and everything I was running to was in the dead center of the lake and when you’re trying to target those fish on structure you have to be so precise fishing those depths and it’s hard to do that when it’s blowing like that. I was just trying to give myself a chance to catch a big stringer.”

    Little did he know the places he was running to had already been picked over as he later learned from fellow competitors.

    “In essence, I had nothing fresh to go to,” he said. “I tried to fish shallow, but with the winds it made those presentations difficult.”

    His finish also moved him into contention for a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup as he shot up the points standings from 43rd to 26th.

    “That’s always my goal every year,” he said. “I went into this event knowing I needed a good tournament to get back into position. At Champlain, I traditionally don’t have a good history there. I’ve gone there twice needing to catch some fish to make the Cup and I think I’m 1-for-2, so I’m a little uncertain about it.”

    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.

  • TBF issues release on Okeechobee tragedy

    TBF issues release on Okeechobee tragedy

    (Editor's note: The Bass Federation (TBF) issued a release today regarding the death of a competitor in the Southern Divisional due to a lightning strike at Lake Okeechobee on Friday. It's reprinted below in its entirety.)

    Rogue Lightning Strike Claims a Life of TBF Florida Member

    Ponca City, Okla., - Monday, June 11, 2012

    TBF mourns the loss of division championship angler, Lorenzo Magdaleno, 51, from Lake Placid, Fl. He was a veteran angler and a member of the Florida Bass Federation and the Homestead Hawg Hunters club for more than a decade. Magdaleno was pronounced dead by Florida officials on Friday, June 8, after a bolt of lightning apparently struck Magdaleno and his boat partner, Mike Hardin, from Tennessee while they fishing shortly after noon prior to the final day weigh-in of the TBF Southern Division Championship on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.

    Preliminary reports outline a quick-moving afternoon storm passed over part of the giant lake. Other parts of the lake remained clear and sunny, while some were cloudy with “drizzle.” The information we have at this point is Lorenzo Magdaleno and his partner were fishing approximately 45 minutes away from the tournament launch area. Magdaleno was in the front of the boat running the trolling motor as it was “his half of the day” (TBF division championships are draw events where both anglers get control of the boat and choose the water for one half of each tournament day). Magdaleno’s partner, Mike Hardin, who was the boat’s owner, caught a limit during the first half of the day and was fishing off the back deck to allow Magdaleno his best chance to finish off his limit. Hardin was knocked off his feet by the strike and awoke after an undetermined amount of time on the back deck of the boat not knowing what had exactly happened. Hardin was examined at the local hospital and released, as noted Magdaleno did not survive.

    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lorenzo’s extended list of family and friends, the Florida Bass Federation, as well as Lorenzo’s partner for the day, Mike Hardin, who was in the boat with him during this tragedy,” TBF national president Robert Cartlidge said. “I can only imagine their grief and emotion surrounding all of this. It is a shocking turn of events that reminds us all just how precious every single day is.

    “To say that the final day weigh-in Friday was a somber experience would be a tremendous understatement, as all anglers and families there were impacted by the loss. TBF staff on site told me there was not a dry eye anywhere at the weigh-in as one after another, every single state federation president in the Southern Division, every single angler, and even the angler who won the Ranger Cup bonus money, EVERYONE who came up on stage pledged to donate their entire prize checks, every single dollar, to Lorenzo’s family’s needs. THAT is what our federation is about.

    "We also want to thank all the emergency response personnel, the TBF staff on site and all the state presidents and community volunteers who were pitching in to help our anglers during a time of crisis. I am honored to know these people and to call them friends. This exemplifies what it means to be a member of the federation 'family' and it makes me very proud.”

  • Report: TBF competitor killed

    BassFan has received reports from several sources that a competitor at the The Bass Federation (TBF) Southern Divisional at Florida's Lake Okeechobee was killed Friday when struck by lightning while fishing in the southern portion of the lake. Thus far, the TBF has issued no confirmation of the reports.

    More details will be posted when they become available.

  • Look for Berkley trailer in S.D.

    Look for Berkley trailer in S.D.

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the Dakotamart store in Pierre, S.D., Thursday through Saturday (June 15-17). 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 120 West Sioux Avenue in Pierre, S.D. The phone number is (605) 224-8871.

    Future stops will be at Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d'Alene, ID (June 22-24) and White Elephant in Spokane, Wash. (June 28-30).

  • Olcott Beach, N.Y. wins Ultimate vote

    Olcott Beach, N.Y., a small hamlet on the shores of Lake Ontario, has been voted America’s Ultimate Fishing Town through a competition run by the World Fishing Network (WFN).

    In voting done on the Internet and through social media, Olcott Beach topped a list of more than 500 towns across the country with more than 135,000 votes. Nearly 330,000 total votes were cast.

    Known for its proxity to world-class salmon and trout fishing, the town will receive a $25,000 community donation that will help finance a fishing-related project. In addition, WFN will produce a television feature about the town and contest.

    Waddington, N.Y., was 2nd and Cape Hatteras, N.C., was 3rd in voting.

    "Winning this contest means the world to us," said Timothy Horanburg, supervisor for the Town of Newfane. "We know we have a world-class freshwater fishery, right here in our small community on Lake Ontario, and now, that word will spread with much more credibility coming from WFN. This contest has brought together local folks, charter fishermen from all across the nation, residents that have long since left the area, and a regional effort by our local schools, civic organizations, USA Niagara Tourism and many others, all for a common cause – pride in our community and region."

  • Halbert hangs it up — for now

    Halbert hangs it up — for now

    While FLW Tour pros were sinking their teeth into another day of practice at Kentucky Lake this past Monday, Lancen Halbert was focused more on, well, teeth.

    The 24-year-old Tour rookie from Enoree, S.C., started dental school this week, effectively ending his career as a full-time angler — for now. Through four events this season, he was 52nd in Angler of the Year points and had a legitimate chance to contend for a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup.

    But when he was accepted into the College of Dental Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina back in December, he knew the day was coming when he’d have to stow his rod and reel in favor of a white dentist’s coat. He’s facing 4 more years of schooling – the first 2 being quite intensive before doing more clinic-based work during the final 2. It’s then that he envisions being able to get back on the water in a competitive fashion.

    “All along, I knew it was coming and that I’d have to start (classes) in the middle of the season and in the back of my mind, I had some hopes of maybe talking them into letting me finish out the year,” he said. “Maybe if I wasn’t doing so well, I wouldn’t mind quitting. The way it turned out, I felt like I was going pretty well for my first go-around with it.”

    He opened the Major season with an 18th-place effort at Lake Hartwell. He blew up at Table Rock Lake (128th) before cashing checks at both Beaver Lake (42nd) and the Potomac River (44th).

    “I was really looking forward to these next two tournaments,” he added. “These were the ones I had my mind set on the whole year. The timing just wasn’t there.”

    Since graduating from Clemson University in 2010, he’d been turned down by several out-of-state dental schools so he shifted his focus to fishing. He finished 9th at the Lake Champlain FLW Eastern Series in August 2010 and fished mainly local tournaments last year before deciding to dive into Tour-level competition this season. Then, a month after he paid his deposit for the Tour Majors, he received his acceptance letter.

    “I kind of figured that would happen,” he chuckled, “but I think it’ll all work out for the best. I had a lot of assistance from some friends and people I look up to and respect that pushed me in this direction – to go back to school and get my degree and come back later.”

    His father, Darryl, is a dentist and also did some tournament fishing when he was younger so it’s clear the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

    “I always wanted to be a dentist, but once I got into fishing, it’s all I wanted to do,” Lancen said. “He was one of the big supporters of me going back to school so I can get it out of the way. Then I can fish forever and not worry about it as much from a financial aspect at least.”

  • Uncommon versatility

    <b><font color=maroon>Uncommon versatility</font></b>

    If a boot-tailed swimbait isn't part of your arsenal throughout most of the year, you're probably leaving some fish in the lake. Depending on how they're rigged and presented, they can be real bass-killers from the pre-spawn through the fall.

    For some insights on using a boot-tail from Bassmaster Elite Series angler and Berkley pro-staffer Bobby Lane, click here.

  • Baksay on the mend

    Baksay on the mend

    Terry Baksay is skipping the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour Major this week after undergoing hernia surgery early last week. The veteran pro from Easton, Conn., missed parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons while he battled testicular cancer.

    He remains cancer free, but last week’s procedure was brought on by the after effects of his cancer surgery. He had originally intended to have the procedure done in July, but opted to have it done sooner. He’s on the mend at home and is up and around doing odds and ends. Fishing-wise, his doctors gave him the green light to return to competition at the James River Bassmaster Northern Open next week.

    “When you have surgery below the belly button as a guy, you can’t do anything,” he said. “I have to do stuff in very short spurts because I can’t do 2 or 3 hours worth of work. It’s like 45 minutes, then stick a fork in me.”

    He was 146th in Anger of the Year points before Kentucky Lake with no finishes better than 100th.

    “I’m still just recovering,” he said. “When I’m out there fishing, you know when you have it. You know when you’re on. I’m still not on. I’ve fished around home this spring and we’ve done well in some local tournaments, but I’m still not where I need to be. In every tournament this year, I’ve lost enough fish to make the top 10. When I made (the Forrest Wood Cup) those 3 years in a row, I caught all of those fish. Now, it’s just not there yet.

    “I’m hoping the James is going to turn me around and at Lake Champlain, watch out.”

  • Long, hot day at T-Bend

    Long, hot day at T-Bend

    Editor's Note: Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships is taking in the heat and humidity at the Toledo Bend Bassmaster Elite Series this week. He submitted the following today.

    Terry “Big Show” Scroggins seems anxious. It’s day 1 of the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Toledo Bend and the normally jovial, do-anything-for-the-guy-next-door kinda guy seems like he’s pushing. Mustering all the patience he can just to finish the interview.

    “On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s about an 8 on the ‘tough scale’ out there,” said Scroggins. “The lake was full of vegetation 2 months ago, but now you can’t hardly find any.

    “I had about five keeper bites on Monday. Yesterday, I caught about 30 bass, but hardly any of them were 14-inch keepers. I’m really struggling to catch quality fish. That’s my biggest concern."

    Scroggins shares lodging with his Toyota teammate Gerald Swindle on tour, and the two often share information.

    “I feel bad for 'G', because as tough as my practice was, it’s been even tougher for him the past 3 days. Heck, I even shared a couple of my waypoints with him last night to try to help him out.”

    Then finally, Scroggins, whose big heart is matched to his big appetite, finally succumbs to the jitters and politely excuses himself from the interview, stating, “Man, I gotta go, bud. Swindle is about to back down the launch ramp and he’s got my turkey sandwiches.”

    Not just any turkey sandwiches. Turkey sandwiches made fresh by Swindle’s wife LeAnn, and complimented by her own version of lucky cookies from a recipe Scroggins’ mom Doris gave her.

    “The recipe is sort of secret, but I will tell you they have peanut butter, chunks of both dark and white chocolate, and Mexican vanilla in them,” grinned LeAnn as she sat on the bumper of Gerald’s Tundra watching the sun rise over day 1 launch from beneath her blinged-out Quantum EXO hat.

    Just down the dock from Scroggins sits Mike Iaconelli, swigging bottled water in an attempt to properly hydrate himself for yet another day of 90-degree heat and humidity levels that rival gym saunas.

    Iaconelli estimates he’ll consume at least 12 bottled waters today, and asks his ride-along B.A.S.S. marshal, Jamie Harris from nearby Deridder, La., to remind him to eat and drink plenty as Ike probes deep structure for a keeper bite.

    “You get into the zone looking at GPS, casting, cranking and thinking, and you forget to eat and drink as much as you need to,” confessed Iaconelli. “Ken Hoover (sports nutritionist) gives me plenty of protein and energy bars, but he also wants me to drink at least a gallon of water on a day as hot as this."

    Iaconelli scored a Top 20 here last year, but admits practice got tougher with each passing day.

    “Monday’s practice was pretty awesome for me, but it got way tougher on Tuesday and yesterday. I’m hoping it was just ‘area-specific’ and that by going back to where I was on Monday, I should have a good day today."

    Grab your bottled water and pack a lunch. It could be a long, hot grinder of a day 1 on Toledo Bend.

  • NY wants to ease bass sales regulations

    A proposed change to commercial black bass regulations in New York would make it easier for farm-raised bass to be resold by food retailers.

    Under current rules, only licensed hatchery operators can sell black bass in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will accept public comment on the proposal through June 18.

    According to the DEC’s press release announcing the proposal, the DEC worked with representatives of the aquaculture industry and the New York Farm Bureau to establish procedures requiring adequate record-keeping, ensuring bass being sold commercially originate from licensed aquaculture operations and not from wild sources.

    Already, the proposal has drawn stern opposition from the Onondaga County Fisheries Advisory Board (OCFAB), a group formed in February 2009 by the Onondaga County (Syracuse area) legislature to advise the county’s Environmental Protection Committee on issues related to the county’s lakes and streams. The OCFAB submitted a 4-page response outlining, among other issues, the potential for an increase in bass harvesting, both in and out of season, if the proposal goes through.

    “It is our sincere belief that this proposed change to commercial black bass regulations does not fall in line with the DEC’s mission and the lack of controls pose a great risk to not only the already established and highly profitable black bass fishery, but to all NYSDEC managed fisheries,” wrote Mike Cusano, chairman of the OCFAB, in its comments sent to the DEC.

    To view the DEC’s press release on the topic, click here.

  • Z-Man vs. Renosky update

    Attorneys for Renosky Lure, Inc. last month filed an objection to a South Carolina magistrate judge’s recommendation that the motion for partial summary judgment filed by Z-Man Fishing Products be granted in the patent infringement case involving the two lure companies.

    The case centers around Z-Man’s contention that Renosky is infringing on its patent for the ChatterBait swimjig, specifically the design of how the line tie connects to the lure body.

    In a 27-page report and recommendation dated April 27, 2012, Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn D. Austin, who presided over pre-trial matters, concluded that since Renosky had presented “no other argument to contest infringement of the ’062 Patent, the Court finds there is no genuine issue of material fact remaining as to infringement.”

    Attorneys for Renoksy filed an objection to the Court’s recommendation on May 14 and Z-Man, in turn, filed a reply last week.

    The case, originally filed in February 2011, has been re-assigned in South Carolina District Court back to Judge Richard M Gergel, who would oversee a trial, which both sides have requested. The time frame for a subsequent ruling from the court is not known.

  • Suit against Bass Pro Shops tossed

    Suit against Bass Pro Shops tossed

    Courthouse News Service reported that a federal judge in Houston has thrown out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's race-discrimination lawsuit against Bass Pro Shops and its sister company, Tracker Marine. The suit was filed last September.

    To read the report, click here.

  • Yelas Barkley-bound, Clausen may run

    Jay Yelas didn't run into any monster bites during practice for the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour Major, but he's hopeful he can contend fishing Barkley Lake, where he finished 3rd a year ago.

    Meanwhile, Luke Clausen is kicking himself for not devoting more time to the southern portion of Kentucky Lake.

    To read their full practice recaps, click here to go on tour with BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Alan Report: Toledo Bend

    Alan Report: Toledo Bend

    Former B.A.S.S. emcee Keith Alan has submitted his Alan Report for this week's Elite Series event at Toledo Bend. He focuses on the need for anglers to either gain or retain momentum as the second half of the season gets under way.

    To read it, click here.

  • Upgrades in store for Classic

    The city of Grove, Okla., is set to make substantial upgrades to a boat ramp on Grand Lake after it was chosen as the official launch site for next year’s Bassmaster Classic. As much as $2 million will be devoted initially to the purchase of a plot of adjacent land before the site can be expanded for additional ramps.

    The Tulsa World had the scoop this morning. To read the full report, click here.

  • BoatUS Angler in action

    BoatUS Angler in action

    Tanner Parker is a construction management major at Georgia Southern University so he’s well-versed in matters involving tensional stress and load factors. However, a high-speed collision with a piece of floating debris shortly after takeoff at the recent BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship on Pickwick Lake led to some unexpected stressful tension for the 21-year-old.

    “The boat behind me saw the whole thing, and they said my boat did a 360 when I hit whatever it was that I hit,” said Parker.

    He was not injured and he happened to be fishing alone that day, saving a partner from the possibility of injury, too.

    “As soon as I realized I wasn’t hurt, I dialed TowBoatUS Captain Shane O’Neal who I had met the night before while signing up for a membership,” Parker added. “My hope was to get off the water quickly, fix was what was broken, and get back out there fishing. TowBoatUS got me off the water very quickly, and was able to make trips to three different marine dealers, one of which was an hour-and-a-half away. But I eventually realized I didn’t have the time to get back out there and fish the ledges that day.”

    Parker wasn’t the only angler to sing the praises of a membership to BoatUS Angler following the tournament. 

    University of Texas angler Kyle Marek found himself broke-down at the extreme opposite end of Pickwick from the launch ramp. In fact, it took 45 minutes for TowBoatUS to make the long run to get him, and over 2 hours to pull Marek back to the launch ramp. Still, he was very grateful. Marek told BoatUS Angler Brand Manager Steve Levi, “BoatUS Angler's towing service is the greatest thing ever. If I could buy a lifetime membership, I would.”

    Tournament champions Ben Dziwulski and Ethan Cox of North Carolina State University didn’t need a tow, but they did haul home a $1,000 Weigh-to-Win bonus check from BoatUS Angler as a result of their membership. 

    Being a college student is not a requirement in order to benefit from an affordable membership to BoatUS Angler. It pays to be BoatUS Angler member, regardless of what B.A.S.S., FLW, LBAA, Collegiate Bass or PAA events you compete in, especially when you’re registered for the Weigh-to-Win cash tournament bonus program. To make sure you are eligible for the rest of the 2012 season, call (918) 742-6424 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. Be sure to ask for Kendell and she’ll get you signed up.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Tough day at TB

    BassFan Big Stick Brent Chapman didn't find much that seemed real promising on the first day of practice for this week's Toledo Bend Bassmaster Elite Series and was thankful that he has 2 more days to figure things out. To read his initial report, click here.

  • Berkley to sponsor Fish-A-Thon

    Berkley to sponsor Fish-A-Thon

    Berkley has signed on as the title sponsor for the Recycled Fish 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon.

    “This conservation stewardship project reflects the goals of the Berkley Conservation Institute, so teaming up with Recycled Fish was a good match,” said Berkley field marketing manager Roxanne Coleman. “We expect to see anglers of all ages registering to fish for 24 hours to show their support of our environment and win prizes while they do it.”

    Said Recycled Fish executive director Teeg Stouffer: “Recycled Fish is honored to have Berkley’s support for our 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon program this year. Anglers will be fishing around the clock and across North America to raise awareness of the problems facing our waters and raising money to help solve those problems. It’s a grassroots activation that’s in its 4th year.”

    Fishing teams can register to fish specific bodies of water on September 7-8. Prior to fishing, the team will seek pledge dollars for each hour fished. Those funds are then used to help restore the waterways.

    “This is a call to action, a challenge to the millions of anglers and their families, to help protect the lakes, rivers, and oceans where you fish,” said Coleman. “Teams are already signing up and you can, too."

    To lean more, click here.

  • Take survey for chance at prizes

    BassFan is conducting a survey of its readership, asking easy questions centered around how often you fish, how many tournaments you compete in per year, etc. Three participants will be randomly drawn as winners of prize packages consisting of Big Bite, Spro and Sunline products.

    To participate in the survey, click here.

  • Barone returns

    Popular B.A.S.S. columnist Don Barone will be writing from this week’s Toledo Bend Elite Series just weeks after having prostate cancer surgery. To read his most recent piece about getting back to work, click here.

  • Flambeau bags Lowen

    Flambeau bags Lowen

    Flambeau Outdoors announced its official partnership with Bassmaster Elite Series angler Bill Lowen to develop and promote both its fishing and hunting products. Lowen has been asked to make public appearances for Flambeau at the 2012 ICAST show and 2013 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, and special events at Cabela's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops and other local and regional events.

    He'll also assist in product development, customer support, association support and reviewing Flambeau's hunting and fishing products on his weekly blog "Lowdown" and his Facebook fan page, which will also be linked from Flambeau's website (

    “Bill Lowen is all about family, fishing and hunting. He embodies the spirit of Flambeau Outdoors and our company’s values,” said VP of retail markets David Faulkner. “Bill’s input on product design and
    improvements have proven invaluable to us as a company and is helping us meet the needs of today’s dedicated outdoorsmen and women.”

    Said Lowen: “The first tackle box, decoys and duck calls I remember using growing up were all made by Flambeau. I’ve grown up using Flambeau products and have always held a very high opinion of the brand. Working with them over the past year has been a real joy; a childhood dream come true, really.”

  • Faircloth feeling it

    Faircloth feeling it

    Todd Faircloth is halfway to yet another rock-solid season. The easy-going Texan is 6th in Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) points at the halfway mark of the Bassmaster Elite Series season. With Toledo Bend (his backyard) and a Great Lake among the stops remaining, it’ll be hard to imagine him not being in the mix for the AOY payday when the regular season wraps up at Oneida Lake.

    He opened the year on a hot streak, posting a 9th at the Bassmaster Classic followed by a runner-up at the St. Johns River and an 11th at Lake Okeechobee. He missed a check at Bull Shoals and rebounded with a 27th-place effort at Douglas Lake.

    “I’ve had a good year so far other than a little hiccup at Bull Shoals,” he said. “The Florida swing was real good to me. Other than Bull Shoals, it’s gone really well and there it wasn’t a matter of not catching fish. You catch so many there, but I wasn’t in the right area of the lake. The fishing was real good, but it got frustrating because you’re catching so many of those 2- to 2 3/4-pound fish.”

    He’s anxious to get a look at Toledo Bend this week, as it’s long been his desire to have a tournament there (or at his home water of Sam Rayburn) this time of year.

    “I’ve got my wish. I just hope it goes as planned,” he said. “It’s going to look totally different from when we were there a year ago. A lot of the stumps that were exposed are under water now. It’s just a totally different body of water. Plus, all the stuff that was growing when the lake was so low is now flooded. There’s just so much that can come into play. The lake is in real good shape so I anticipate it being a good tournament.”

    In terms of the recent unveiling of the mystery lake on the schedule, he’s pumped for Lake Michigan, provided the weather cooperates, and wouldn’t mind seeing the mystery concept used each year. He’s been pretty strong on the Great Lakes in the rare times the Elites have fished them. In two Lake Erie/Niagara River events, he has a pair of Top-15 finishes, including a 6th in 2008.

    “I love fishing deep, offshore stuff,” he said. “I know what to look for. I anticipate it’ll fish pretty similar, but I don’t know that for a fact. The only thing with the Great Lakes is you have so many variables. If you fish conservatively and you try to stay in the sheltered areas, you’re probably not going to be fishing for a Top-12 (finish). It’s a roll of the dice. The thing that concerns me is if we get 2 or 3 days in practice with the winds really blowing hard and we’re not able to get out there, a lot of guys will be winging it.”

  • KY Lake: Big changes since ‘11

    Jay Yelas and Luke Clausen checked in with their day-1 practice reports from the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour Major. Their early take on the bite so far: Things are much different from a year ago. To read their full report, click here to go on tour with BassFan Big Sticks.

  • Freeman prevails at TB

    Freeman prevails at TB

    Glen Freeman of Converse, La. caught a 24-12 sack on Saturday – the biggest of the day by nearly 6 pounds – to win the Toledo Bend Texas EverStart with a 3-day total of 68-15.

    He was in 6th place after day 1 and moved up to 2nd on day 2.

    “The wind blew in different directions every day,” he said. “I was a little worried this morning with the wind coming out of the south, something it hadn’t done all week. I really didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a good day. Today I caught all my bass within the first hour and a half of takeoff."

    Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Glen Freeman: 68-15
    2. Tim Reneau: 59-07
    3. David Harvey: 58-04
    4. Lamonte Loyd: 55-03
    5. Ryan Pinkston: 52-01
    6. James Elliott: 52-01
    7. Russell Cecil: 51-05
    8. George Jeane Jr.: 49-07
    9. Kris Wilson: 48-08
    10. Phil Marks: 40-11

  • Harvey out front at Toledo Bend

    Harvey out front at Toledo Bend

    David Harvey backed up his 25-10 catch from day 1 with a 20-01 stringer today to take over the lead at the Toledo Bend Texas EverStart with a 45-11 total.

    With 1 day of competition remaining, the Beaumont, Texas, resident owns a 1 1/2-pound advantage over Glen Freeman, who caught 21-08 today and has 44-03. Lamonte Loyd is 3rd with 43-13. Day-1 leader Tim Reneau saw his weigh cut nearly in half as he brought in just 13-15 today and sits 4th with 40-09.

    Here’s a look at the how Top 10 shapes up with 1 day to go:

    1. David Harvey: 45-11
    2. Glen Freeman: 44-03
    3. Lamonte Loyd: 43-13
    4. Tim Reneau: 40-09
    5. George Jeane Jr.: 39-05
    6. Russell Cecil: 35-09
    7. Ryan Pinkston: 35-03
    8. James Elliott: 34-03
    9. Phil Marks: 33-10
    10. Kris Wilson: 33-10

  • Report: Future La. Classics in limbo

    Report: Future La. Classics in limbo

    B.A.S.S. has informed the Shreveport/Bossier City Convention & Tourist Bureau the Bassmaster Classic won’t return to Louisiana unless a state law prohibiting out-of-state vendors at recreational product shows is amended, according to a report by Shreveport television station KTBS.

    Three of the last four Classics have been held in Louisiana with the Red River and Shreveport/Bossier City serving as the hosts for the 2009 and 2012 events, the two most-attended Classics in history.

    The law at issue places limitations on what vendors or companies would be allowed to participate in the expo portion of the festivities surrounding the tournament. In recent weeks, state legislators have started the process of amending the law to ease restrictions on out-of-state vendors.

    To view the report, click here.

    To read a copy of the proposed revised law, click here.

  • Berkley trailer off to S.D.

    Berkley trailer off to S.D.

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the Scheels store in Sioux Falls, S.D., Thursday through Saturday (June 8-10). 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 2101 West 41st Street #25A in Sioux Falls. The phone number is (605) 334-7767.

    Future stops will be at Dakotamart in Pierre, S.D. (June 15-17) and Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d'Alene, ID (June 22-24).

  • Reneau leads TB EverStart

    Reneau leads TB EverStart

    Del Rio, Texas resident Tim Renau grabbed the early lead at the Toledo Bend Texas EverStart on Thursday with a 26-10 sack – one of seven bags exceeding 20 pounds to come to the scale. That gave him a 14-ounce lead over George Jeane Jr. and Lamonte Loyd. Jeane's stringer was anchored by a 13 1/4-pound monster.

    Here's how the Top 10 looked heading into day 2:

    1. Tim Reneau: 26-10
    2. (tie) George Jeane Jr.: 25-12
    2. (tie) Lamonte Loyd: 25-12
    4. David Harvey: 25-10
    5. Harold Allen: 24-00
    6. Glen Freeman: 22-11
    7. Russell Cecil: 20-09
    8. (tie) Ryan Pinkston: 19-11
    8. (tie) Bert Thompson: 19-11
    10. Phil Marks: 19-08

  • Berkley: Three-quarters of a century

    <b><font color=maroon>Berkley: Three-quarters of a century</font></b>

    Berkley's 75th anniversary celebration will kick off June 11 in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where a teenaged Berkley Bedell began selling flies he'd hand-tied at home in 1936. The week-long party includes a 5K run/walk and tours of the Berkley plant.

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

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