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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

  • Nixon handicaps the Cup

    Nixon handicaps the Cup

    There have been very few years since the mid-1970s in which Larry Nixon wasn't preparing to compete in a tour-level championship event when August rolled around. The Arkansas legend has qualified for 25 Bassmaster Classics and 13 Forrest Wood Cups, but he'll miss this year's Cup after a 68th-place finish in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race.

    It's just the second time he's sat out the event (2004 was the other) since 1998.

    "I've been pretty lost for the last couple of weeks," he said. "I was out fooling around in my boat and I had to ask myself, 'What are you doing? You're not going to go pre-fish and you don't have a championship coming up. You're not going to fish until (the Detroit River FLW Tour Open) at the end of August."

    He placed third behind Kevin Hawk and Cody Meyer the last time the Cup was at Georgia's Lake Lanier in 2010. He likes Meyer's chances this year.

    "I really think Cody's going to be tough as nails. He caught them good there last time and he's a really, really impressive deep-water fisherman. I think Brent Ehrler will be right there, too, for the same reason. Whoever can do the best job out deep with their electronics stands a real good chance to win.

    "Luke Clausen could also be tough, and Jason Christie is uncannily good in shallow water if the largemouths come into play. He can catch them deep or shallow, but he's about as good in shallow water as anybody I've ever seen. And I don't know what to say about David (Dudley) – he's been so hot that you certainly can't count him out, either."

    Fans who attend the Cup will get a chance to meet Nixon at the FLW Expo, which runs Friday through Sunday (Aug. 10-12) at the Gwinnett Convention Center.

  • Faircloth: Oneida backup plan critical

    Faircloth: Oneida backup plan critical

    Todd Faircloth has competed in four Bassmaster Elite Series events at Oneida Lake, and has turned in solid finishes in three of those outings. His lone bomb came at the worst possible time – when he was leading the 2008 Angler of the Year (AOY) race and only Oneida stood between him and the game's most coveted prize.

    He ended up 93rd in the event and watched Kevin VanDam walk away with the title – the first of four straight for KVD – following a rather pedestrian 38th-place finish.

    "It was probably the most important tournament of my career at that time, and I had one of the worst, if not the worst, tournaments I've ever had," Faircloth said. "I can't disregard it, but what I've done is try to look back and learn from that experience and take something from it."

    The reason for his downfall is no mystery to him.

    "I got too dialed in on one deal. We'd just come from Erie where we'd been catching smallmouth out deep, and the first day of practice at Oneida I found a big school of them out deep.

    "It was one of my better practices of that year – I had three or four schools that I thought I could catch 13 to 16 pounds off of. I was catching them off the bottom, and then they suspended, I guess because they were bait-oriented. They just disappeared."

    He'll go there this time in the No. 3 slot in the AOY chase – 20 points behind leader Brent Chapman in the revamped, 1-point-per-place format. It's not the prime position he was in back in '08, but he has a shot at the crown if Chapman opens a gate and he can step through ahead of 2nd-place Ott DeFoe, whom he trails by 7 points.

    One thing's for sure: He won't be reliant on a single pattern at a venue that offers such a great variety of ways to catch quality fish.

    "You always need a backup plan at these kind of deals," he said. "I think I have a better understanding now of how those fish relate to certain types of cover, and it seems like for the guys who win, largemouths play some kind of role. My mindset going up there is I'm going to spend some time looking for the green ones."

  • Would Tom Petty be proud?

    There are some guys in the video embedded below who are extremely proficient at using rods and reels to catch fish. But singing about them? Well, you be the judge of that.


  • '13 Classic field update

    '13 Classic field update

    With the bulk of the field for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic still to be determined at the final Elite Series event next month at Oneida Lake and the next Bassmaster Open not scheduled until the week before Oneida, here's a glance at who's already wrapped up spots in next year's Grand Lake Classic.

    Matt Lee's victory over the weekend at the Bassmaster College Series made it 13 anglers who have sewn up spots in next year's Classic.

    Chris Lane, this year’s Classic champ, was the first double qualifier as he also won the Harris Chain Southern Open. He's currently 14th in Elite Series points so it's very possible he'll be a triple qualifier. The same goes for Brent Chapman, who has an Elite Series (Toledo Bend) and Central Open (Lewisville Lake) win to his credit this year. He's also holding down the top spot in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) standings.

    The balance of the field will consist of winners from the Oneida Lake Elite Series event, the top 28 anglers from the 2012 Elite Series points standings (it could stretch into the mid 30s depending on where double qualifiers finish), the winners of the three remaining Bassmaster Open tournaments (one Southern, one Central, one Northern) provided the winners have fished all three of the divisional events, six regional champions from the Federation Nation and the Weekend Series champion.

    Here's the Classic roster so far:

    > Chris Lane -- 2012 Classic champion/Harris Chain Southern Open winner
    > Alton Jones -- St. Johns River Elite Series winner
    > Ish Monroe -- Lake Okeechobee Elite Series winner
    > Brandon Palaniuk -- Bull Shoals Lake Elite Series winner
    > Jeremy Starks -- Douglas Lake Elite Series winner
    > Brent Chapman -- Toledo Bend Elite Series/Lewisville Lake Central Open winner
    > Todd Faircloth -- Mississippi River Elite Series winner
    > Jonathon VanDam -- Lake Michigan Elite Series winner
    > Casey Scanlon -- Table Rock Lake Central Open winner
    > Tracy Adams -- Lake Norman Southern Open winner
    > Joshua Wagy -- James River Northern Open winner
    > Jason Christie -- Detroit River Northern Open winner
    > Matt Lee -- Bassmaster College Series winner

  • Auburn’s Lee tops brother for Classic berth

    Matt and Jordan Lee have fished countless times together, in and out of competitive settings. Never before had they fished against each other with so much on the line. This time, there had to be a winner and a loser.

    Matt Lee caught two bass that weighed 5-06 to capture the individual title at the B.A.S.S. College Series Bassmaster Classic Bracket today. He beat younger brother Jordan, who caught two fish for 2-04, to earn a berth in next year’s Classic.

    The two students at Auburn University had teamed up to finish to second to Oklahoma State on Friday in the team competition. On Saturday, they advanced through the individual brackets to reach today’s final, a 4-hour morning shootout at Beaverfork Lake, a 960-acre lake just north of Little Rock, Ark.

    Not only did the brothers have the added emotion of fishing against each for a spot in the Classic, they had to endure grueling heat as temperatures throughout the week hovered around or above 100 degrees.

  • Roumbanis wins at Neely Henry

    Roumbanis wins at Neely Henry

    Fred Roumbanis rallied from 6th place to win the Neely Henry PAA Tournament Series in Alabama today as a 12.95-pound sack on the final day gave him a 3-day total of 38.71. Bassmaster Elite Series pros swept the Top 4 places as Paul Elias was 2nd, John Crews 3rd and Greg Hackney 4th.

    Hackney led after day 2, but his 10.38 bag was more than 3 pounds lighter that those he'd weighed on the first 2 days. Day-1 leader Kenny Pannell, a resident of nearby Springville, Ala., caught just 6 1/2 pounds today and ended up 13th.

    Details of Roumbanis' winning pattern will be published soon. Below is a look at the final totals for the 15 anglers who competed today.

    1. Fred Roumbanis: 38.71
    2. Paul Elias: 38.47
    3. John Crews: 37.93
    4. Greg Hackney: 37.69
    5. Jason McCullars: 37.68
    6. Gary Clouse: 37.64
    7. Gary Howington: 36.63
    8. Mark Rose: 35.66
    9. Keith Caka: 35.47
    10. Mark Menendez: 35.23
    11. Matt Reed: 34.14
    12. Bradley Jones: 33.83
    13. Kenny Pannell: 33.15
    14. Andrew Johnson: 31.31
    15. Russ Lane: 30.99

  • Malone's the man at the Mississippi

    Paul Malone caught a three-fish limit weighing 11-07 today to capture the victory at the Mississippi River Central EverStart with a 3-day total of 30-05.

    Fishing his first career EverStart, the Pleasant Valley, Iowa resident edged Zach King by 6 ounces.

    Due to restrictions put in place by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for tournaments in July and August, anglers were limited to a three-fish limit during the event, placing a premium on 3-pound and bigger bites.

    Here’s how the rest of the Top 10 shook out at La Crosse, Wis.:

    1. Paul Malone: 30-05
    2. Zach King: 29-15
    3. Dan McGarry: 28-14
    4. Dan Thill: 28-01
    5. Kevin Johnson: 27-14
    6. Dennis Rhead: 27-11
    7. Richie Eaves: 26-15
    8. Shane Long: 26-05
    9. Doug Stanton: 26-00
    10. Dave Parsons: 25-07

    Look for details of Malone’s winning pattern to be published soon.

  • Hackney leads at NH

    Hackney leads at NH

    Greg Hackney caught his second straight bag that surpassed 13 1/2 pounds and took over the lead at the Neely Henry PAA Tournament Series in Alabama with 1 day to fish. The Louisianan pushed his 2-day total to 27.31 pounds.

    "I've got a couple deals going, and one is cranking," he said. "I've been getting 12 to 15 bites a day and they've just kind of been scattered throughout the day. Fishing's pretty tough and you have to grind through it, and I've been fortunate to get a couple of better-than-average bites each day.

    "During the slow periods I'm fishing on the bottom, but when you can get everything working, winding seems to be the deal."

    Here are the totals for the anglers who survived today's cut to the Top 15:

    1. Greg Hackney: 27.31
    2. (tie) Keith Caka: 26.96
    2. (tie) Paul Elias: 26.96
    4. Kenny Pannell: 26.70
    5. Gary Clouse: 26.07
    6. Fred Roumbanis: 25.76
    7. Jason McCullars: 25.71
    8. Bradley Jones: 25.19
    9. John Crews: 25.09
    10. Mark Menendez: 24.20
    11. Matt Reed: 23.98
    12. Andrew Johnson: 23.84
    13. Russ Lane: 23.83
    14. Mark Rose: 23.56
    15. Gary Howington: 23.11

  • The right line? That's EZ

    <b><font color=maroon>The right line? That's EZ</font></b>

    Are you looking for a fluorocarbon line that's both easy to cast and easy on the wallet? If so, the new SpiderWire EZ Fluoro is your solution. It'll come in pound-tests ranging from 2 to 15 and will feature all the benefits of more expensive fluorocarbons.

    For a sneak preview, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Dove to co-host 'The Edge'

    Dove to co-host 'The Edge'

    Former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kurt Dove has been chosen the new co-host of the iTunes podcast "The Edge." He'll join host Aaron Martin for the Aug. 1 episode.

    “I’m taking a firm grip on this great opportunity with Bass Edge,” said Dove. “Podcasting is a leading media outlet and bass anglers are able to listen at their convenience with the iTunes download. Bass Edge has been a brand I have associated with for years. They are innovative and provide anglers forward thinking in the bass fishing media market. I look forward to visiting with listeners from across the country.”

    Said Martin: “I am stoked to have Kurt at the mic. He’s extremely familiar with our audience and is a preparation machine, and that is sure to translate into more success for our listeners while they're on the water.”

    Dove fished the Elite Series from 2006-08. He operates a guide business on Lake Amistad (www.amistadbassguide.com) and competes on regional circuits.

  • Stone, 'Cat part ways

    Stone, 'Cat part ways

    FLW Tour pro Marty Stone told BassFan today that his longtime affiliation with Bass Cat Boats has come to an end. Stone was not only a member of the company's pro staff, but also served as its Southeast regional sales representative for more than 2 years.

    "We worked really hard to keep the relationship going, but it just didn't work for either party and we've mutually agreed to go our separate ways," he said. "I've thrown out a few feelers, but right now I don't have a boat sponsor for 2013.

    "I'm looking for my next boat home, but every time something like this happens, the Lord opens up a new avenue for me. One of my few regrets is I was unable to win a (tour-level) event in a Bass Cat, but it wasn't because of the boat. I'll always be friends with the Pierce family and I felt like I helped them sell a lot of boats."

    Said Bass Cat pro staff manager Ed Whaley: "Marty will be missed – he's a great guy, a great pro and an asset to the industry. He has some things he wants to achieve that didn't quite fit at Bass Cat. He's leaving on good terms and there are no hard feelings – it was just time. He always did everything right."

    Stone returned to tour-level competition this year after leaving the Bassmaster Elite Series upon the completion of the 2010 season. He finished 60th in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, with a top placement of 3rd at the first Major of the year at Lake Hartwell.

    "My fishing wasn't quite what I wanted it to be this year, but the business side exceeded all expectations and I don't see that slowing down. Fishing-wise, I had my moments, but hopefully it'll be better next year."

  • Berkley trailer remains in Washington

    Berkley trailer remains in Washington

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Bob's Mercantile store in Longview, Wash., next Friday through Sunday (Aug. 3-5). 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 1111 Hudson Street. The phone number is (360) 425-3870.

    Future stops will be at the Berkley Tournaments at Lake Murray, S.C. (Oct. 12-13) and at Lake Fork, Texas (Oct. 19-21).

  • Sixth fish costs Kennedy

    Sixth fish costs Kennedy

    Steve Kennedy's bid for a third straight PAA Tournament Series victory suffered a severe blow today when he inadvertently brought six fish (one more than the limit) to the weigh-in on day 1 at Neely Henry. That resulted in his largest fish being culled, and that was a 5 1/2-pounder he'd caught in the final hour.

    If he'd been allowed to weigh his five biggest, he'd have had nearly 17 pounds, which would've given him an advantage of more than 2 pounds over the field. Instead, he's in 24th place with 11.32 – a little more than 2 1/4 pounds off the pace set by Kenny Pannell.

    "I'm an engineer – a numbers guy – so this hurts," he said. "I was so tickled coming in after I'd caught that big one, and now I'm just sick."

    He used an aluminum boat to access the back portion of a small creek. He caught his two biggest specimens – his bag also included a 5-pounder – on his way out.

    "I honestly don't think there's enough fish there to win the tournament," he said. "It's just so hard to get a decent bite."

    He said he's never made such a mistake before.

    "I had a partner who did it in one of the old Red Man tournaments, but I'm quite certain I never have."

    He won at Neely Henry last August in the final PAA event of 2011 and also topped this year's opener at Old Hickory in May.

  • Local Pannell tops PAA at Neely Henry

    Local Pannell tops PAA at Neely Henry

    Kenny Pannell of Springville, Ala. caught a 14.61-pound sack today to grab the early lead at the Neely Henry PAA Tournament Series.

    Pannell, a Neely Henry stalwart who has six Top-10 finishes (including a win) in BFL events at the venue, tops a tight leaderboard. Four anglers are less than a half-pound back and the Top 10 are separated by less than a pound and a half.

    Here's how the Top 10 stacks up:

    1. Kenny Pannell: 14.61
    2. Jason McCullars: 14.45
    3. Mike McClelland: 14.42
    4. Keith Caka: 14.30
    5. Greg Vinson: 14.19
    6. Greg Hackney: 13.80
    7. Paul Elias: 13.53
    8. Russ Lane: 13.44
    9. Fred Roumbanis: 13.31
    10. Mark Menendez: 13.15

  • 3-fish limit for Mississippi River Central EverStart

    Big bites will be of utmost importance to anglers fishing this week’s Mississippi River Central EverStart as the tournament falls within a window on the calendar during which the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources imposes a three-fish limit for bass tournaments.

    According to statute NR20.40(10)(g)(7)(c) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, “The department may also require a reduced daily bag limit of 3 bass for catch−hold−release tournaments on all waters with a daily bag limit of 3 bass or greater from the first Saturday in July to the second Sunday in August.”

    There was talk last month that the Lake Michigan Elite Series, which launched out of Green Bay, Wis., would be subject to the same limitations, but since that tournament began in June (it ran June 28 to July 1), the statute was not applied.

    To read more of the Wisconsin Administrative Code as it relates to fishing tournaments, click here (note the link is to a PDF document).

  • Sonar: Transition time

    Sonar: Transition time

    Sonar Sound-Off columnist Miles Burghoff's days as a student at the University of Central Florida are coming to an end – he'll graduate with a degree in marketing in just a couple of weeks. Then it's off to Alaska for a few weeks of guide work before he refocuses on his budding pro fishing career this fall.

    To find out what's going through his head during this major transition period, click here.

  • Hollowell named to River Rat post

    Hollowell named to River Rat post

    River Rat Tackle announced that FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell has been named the company's national pro staff manager. River Rat, based in Shelbyville, Ind., produces a variety of plastic baits that are handmade and assembled in the USA.

    “River Rat Tackle has worked closely with me to design products that catch a lot of fish all across the country," he said. "They’ve been a big part of my success on the 2012 FLW Tour and have helped me in qualifying for the (Forrest Wood Cup). I’m looking forward to unveiling their new unique dropshot bait, the Quivering Fry, at Lake Lanier in August.”

    Hollowell is taking applications for pro staff positions. To learn more, visit www.RiverRatTackle.com.

  • NBC to air MLF final round

    NBC to air MLF final round

    Major League Fishing announced today that the championship round of its next event, the Summit Cup, will air on NBC. The broadcast is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at 1 p.m. ET.

    Subsequent to its airing on NBC, the championship round will re-air on Outdoor Channel the following week. The first five rounds of the Summit Cup leading up to the championship will be telecast exclusively on Outdoor Channel.

    “We’re delighted to announce that our final round will air on NBC,” said MLF GM Jim Wilburn. “Our goal is to offer Major League Fishing’s unique brand of competition to a broad audience. We believe that our innovative format, along with the compelling and diverse personalities of our anglers, will appeal to sports fans, not just fishing fans. We believe this broadcast on NBC moves us a big step in that direction.”

    Wilburn added that the fresh approach and the popularity of Major League Fishing’s inaugural event, which recently completed a 13-week run on Outdoor Channel, led league and network officials, as well as participating anglers, to seek a broader audience for the Summit Cup finals.

    “We all agree that we’ve got a great product in Major League Fishing,” he said. “We want to deliver this product to as many potential viewers as possible.”

    Pro angler Gary Klein, one of Major League Fishing’s creators, said that NBC’s airing of the Summit Cup finals is “an extremely important move” for the league. Klein echoed Wilburn’s sentiments about Major League Fishing’s long-term goals.

    “From the beginning, one of our goals has been to present Major League Fishing to a traditional network television audience,” Klein said. “Our vision is to reach out to sports fans who are not ordinarily exposed to pro fishing. We want a wider audience to see what we have to offer. This is great news.”

  • WI college event back on

    The on-again, off-again FLW College Fishing event scheduled for this Saturday at the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis. is back on again, FLW announced in a press release today.

    The tournament had been cancelled and rescheduled for Rend Lake in Illinois the following weekend because of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations restricting how volunteers can be reimbursed for their assistance. FLW said that issue has been resolved.

    The college anglers will launch from Clinton Street Bridge in La Crosse.

    According to an FLW communications official, the issue stemmed from the Coast Guard's misunderstanding of an FLW policy that allows for reimbursement of volunteers for their expenses related to accompanying college teams on the water. The Coast Guard interpreted the policy to mean those volunteers were being paid a fee for their time, which would be a violation of Coast Guard statutes.

    Under the statute, the Coast Guard prohibits anyone without a USCG Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV/Captain's) License to receive payment. The license allows the holder to carry up to six paying passengers on uninspected vessels up to 99 gross tons (about 75-90 feet long).

    Upon further review, the Coast Guard agreed with FLW's position that the issue does not constitute a "passenger for hire" situation and thus, the event will be permitted to proceed as planned at the Mississippi River.

  • ICAST extra

    Don’t forget to check out the BassFan Facebook page and Twitter feed for additional coverage of ICAST.

    We’ve been posting pictures of unique products we came across at the show and we’d love to hear some feedback from BassFans on their fish-catching potential.

  • Neely Henry tough (and hot) so far

    Neely Henry tough (and hot) so far

    Tim Carini, a former Bassmaster Tour pro and currently a sales representative for Game & Fish and BassFan, is competing in the PAA Tournament Series this year as part of a partnership formed last year between Game & Fish and the PAA. He's chronicling his experiences in a blog at GameAndFishMag.com.

    To read his practice report for this week's event at Lake Neely Henry, click here.

  • FLW forced to move college event

    According to a release issued by FLW today, the Mississippi River FLW College Fishing tournament originally scheduled for Saturday, July 28 at LaCrosse, Wis., has been moved and rescheduled for the following weekend.

    The event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 5 at Rend Lake in Whittington, Ill. The move was necessitated because of “Coast Guard regulations restricting how volunteers can be reimbursed for their assistance,” according to the release.

    FLW has requested clarification from the Coast Guard to avoid similar issues arising in the future.

  • B.A.S.S. enters talent search fray

    B.A.S.S. enters talent search fray

    B.A.S.S. has partnered with Evan Williams Bourbon and Buddy Lee Attractions, Inc. on the launch of Bands, Bourbon & B.A.S.S., a country and southern rock music talent competition.

    Five finalists will be chosen from the solo artists and bands who submit matertials for consideration before Aug. 22. The finalists will compete head-to-head in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 6 with the winner earning $1,000 as well as a photo shoot and the opportunity to open for Bush Hawg at a concert to be held during the Bassmaster Elite Series All-Star Championship Sept. 20-23.

    For more about the competition, click here.

  • MLF plans two more events

    MLF plans two more events

    Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today it’ll host two events before the end of 2012 – one in the Northeast and the other in the South. The first of the two events, called the Summit Cup, will begin airing on Jan. 1, 2013 on Outdoor Channel. The other will begin airing in March 2013.

    Exact locations of both events won’t be disclosed to anglers until 2 days before the start of each competition.

    MLF commissioner Don Rucks said the in-depth pay-per-view airings will again accompany the TV broadcasts, but the webisodes, dubbed “Extended Cast,” will now follow the TV episodes. Details, such as the number of webisodes being offered, when they will be available, pricing and package information, will be announced at a later date.

    “Our inaugural event exceeded our expectations, and the reviews from the public were terrific,” Rucks said in a release announcing the two events. “And I believe this year’s events are going to get even better, drumming up excitement from even more anglers and viewers.

    “In conjunction with the inaugural Major League Fishing event, we offered the pay-per-view webisodes prior to their airing on Outdoor Channel as a way to introduce the new league,” he added. “Now, we will offer additional content to viewers through our new pay-per-view platform, Extended Cast, following the episodes airing on Outdoor Channel. We feel many viewers will be so enticed by the action-filled competition appearing on Outdoor Channel that they’ll want to watch a more in-depth broadcast that offers more than three times the amount of coverage.”

  • Northern Opens were Christie’s only option

    Northern Opens were Christie’s only option

    Back when B.A.S.S. announced the 2013 Bassmaster Classic would be held at Grand Lake in Oklahoma with the festivities taking place in nearby Tulsa, Jason Christie was bent on figuring a way to be there.

    Not just as a spectator, though. After winning the Detroit River Northern Open over the weekend, he won’t have to worry about that. In fact, his name will among the favorites talked about as the event draws closer.

    When Grand was announced as the host, he examined the schedules for the three Open divisions, knowing the winners of each of the nine Opens gained a Classic berth.

    He started with the Centrals, which made more sense geographically for him. A conflict between the Table Rock Open and the Beaver Lake FLW Tour Major in April ruled that out.

    He next looked at the Southern division, but one of the events would have taken him away from home during the heart of basketball season and caused him to miss several of his oldest daughter’s games.

    His last option was the Northerns. He didn’t find any schedule conflicts, but the venues were unfamiliar.

    “With the James (River) being a river system, I figured I’d have a chance there," he told BassFan over the weekend. "I knew Cayuga (Lake) had grass and largemouth so I'd have a chance there. I figured I’d just put in my time at Detroit and hopefully get one of them. It always shows up when you least expect it."

    He’s the 12th angler to qualify for next year’s Classic, which will be his first.

    "With the people of Oklahoma, they’re going to come out and support this," he said. "I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t set an attendance record."

  • Christie claims Northern Open, Classic spot

    Jason Christie will get to spend some fishing around home next February after he won the Detroit River Bassmaster Northern Open with a 3-day total of 67-04.

    His 22-13 catch today was the best of the final 12 anglers and allowed him to win by nearly 2 pounds over Brian Ward, who finished with 65-09. Andrew Upshaw finished 3rd with 63-14.

    The win is Christie’s first in a B.A.S.S. event, but more importantly the Park Hill, Okla., native clinched a spot in next year’s Bassmaster Classic, slated to be held in February at Grand Lake – his home water back in Oklahoma.

    Here’s how the Top 12 finished up.

    1. Jason Christie: 67-04
    2. Brian Ward: 65-09
    3. Andrew Upshaw: 63-14
    4. Brian Metry: 62-05
    5. Jonathon VanDam: 60-00
    6. Art Ferguson: 59-04
    7. Todd Koehler: 59-01
    8. David Walker: 58-00
    9. Scott Dobson: 55-09
    10. Michael Trombly: 55-08
    11. Al Farace: 55-07
    12. Ben Parker: 52-09

    Details of how Christie conquered Lake St. Clair will be published soon.

  • Kenney rallies from 9th to win Champlain ES

    J.T. Kenney stuck a 20-06 stringer today to rally from 9th place and win the Lake Champlain Northern EverStart with a 3-day total of 56-12.

    He had led after day 1, but fell off on day 2 with a 14-14 catch. It’s his first EverStart win and first FLW victory outside of Florida, his home state.

    Day-2 leader Bryan Labelle finished 3 ounces back of Kenney after catching 17-05 today. Joe Thompson was 3rd with 55-15.

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

    1. J.T. Kenney: 56-12
    2. Bryan Labelle: 56-09
    3. Joe Thompson: 55-15
    4. Joe Lucarelli: 55-03
    5. Matt Greenblatt: 55-00
    6. Thomas Waltz: 53-06
    7. Tom Belinda: 53-01
    8. Dave Lefebre: 52-07
    9. George Lambeth: 49-09
    10. Glenn Babineau: 41-08

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

  • Top 2 unchanged at Detroit River Open

    Brian Metry was just a bit better than Jason Christie again today. Metry backed up his day-1 weight of 23-05 with a 22-00 bag today to retain the lead at the Bassmaster Detroit River Northern Open with a 2-day total of 45-05.

    Christie, the FLW Tour pro who’s chasing a win that would clinch him a spot in next year’s Bassmaster Classic at Grand Lake (his home lake), brought in 21-07 today and is nearly a pound back of Metry with 44-07.

    Brian Ward, who was tied for 5th after day 1, occupies 3rd now with 43-15.

    With 1 day of competition remaining, here are the 12 anglers who’ll fish tomorrow:

    1. Brian Metry: 45-05
    2. Jason Christie: 44-07
    3. Brian Ward: 43-15
    4. Andrew Upshaw: 42-03
    5. Jonathon VanDam: 41-04
    6. Scott Dobson: 40-01
    7. Al Farace: 39-05
    8. Michael Trombly: 39-01
    9. Art Ferguson: 39-00
    10. David Walker: 38-13
    11. Ben Parker: 38-07
    12. Todd Koehler: 38-06

  • LaBelle seizes Champlain ES lead

    Thanks to the 21-15 stringer he caught today, the heaviest of the event so far, Vermont’s Bryan LaBelle took over the lead after day 2 of the Lake Champlain Northern EverStart.

    His stout bag gave him 39-04 and a slim 2-ounce lead over Joe Thompson, who caught 19-03 today. It’s 8 ounces back to 3rd-place where Bassmaster Elite Series pro Matt Greenblatt sits with 38-10.

    With 1 day left, here’s a look at who’ll be fishing tomorrow:

    1. Bryan LaBelle: 39-10
    2. Joe Thompson: 39-02
    3. Matt Greenblatt: 38-10
    4. Tom Belinda: 38-02
    5. Thomas Waltz: 37-08
    6. Dave Lefebre: 36-14
    7. George Lambeth: 36-14
    8. Glenn Babineau: 36-09
    9. J.T. Kenney: 36-06
    10. Joe Lucarelli: 36-03

  • Berkley trailer in Washington

    Berkley trailer in Washington

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the Wholesale Sports store in Federal Way, Wash., next Friday through Sunday (July 27-29). 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 405 S. 348th Street. The phone number is (253) 835-4100.

    Future stops will be at Bob's Mercantile in Longview, Wash. (Aug. 3-5) and the Berkley Tournament at Lake Murray (Oct. 12-13).

  • Rayburn tourney organizer under fire

    The organizer of a tournament last month at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas is drawing criticism after the tournament failed to deliver on pre-tournament promises.

    Michael McCloud, director of Big Bass Mania, had initially guaranteed a $125,000 prize to the winner of the event. Hourly big-fish awards were promised as were donations to local Wounded Warriors organizations. Neither became a reality nor did the first-place payout.

    According to a report in the June 22 edition of the Lone Star Outdoors News, as the event drew closer McCloud began telling registrants that a 700-boat field would be needed in order to ensure payouts. A digital counter on the tournament’s web site the day before the event indicated 589 anglers had signed up, but the website offered the option to defer payment until arrival at the tournament, essentially giving anglers an out if they chose not to fish.

    The report stated only 91 anglers eventually fished the tournament, 82 of them paid entrants. The winner collected $5,000 and the remainder of the Top 10 claimed cash awards.

    To read Lone Star Outdoor News’ reporting on the issue, click here. The story begins on page 8.

  • Fantasy winners announced

    Kentucky resident Jarred Seasor claimed first place and the $100,000 prize in the FLW Fantasy Fishing contest that concluded with the Lake Champlain FLW Tour Major.

    Fantasy Fishing players picked a lineup of anglers for each of the six Tour Majors and were awarded points based on how the anglers finished in each event.

    Shawn Sinacola, of Plymouth, Mich., was 2nd and won $10,000 and Bruce Bentley, of Slingerlands, N.Y., was 3rd, which was worth $7,500.

  • Heads up!

    Ever wondered whyy Berkley never rolled out a line of jigs to complement its line of Gulp! plastics? Wonder no longer. With the introduction of the Gulp! JiggHeads and Bait Delivery System (BDS), Berkley has given freshwater and saltwater anglers plenty of options to choose from when presenting their artificial baits.

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

  • Metry’s 23-05 tops at Detroit River

    Brian Metry, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., caught 23-05 today to open with the lead at the Bassmaster Detroit River Northern Open.

    His stringer was good enough for a 5-ounce lead over Jason Christie, an FLW Tour pro who’s fishing the Opens this year in an attempt to qualify for next year’s Bassmaster Classic at Grand Lake, his home water.

    Ryan Cooper caught 22-06 for 3rd. A total of 12 bags came in at 20 pounds or more as the smallmouth bite at Lake St. Clair lived up to its advanced billing.

    Here’s a quick look at the Top 12 after day 1:

    1. Brian Metry: 23-05
    2. Jason Christie: 23-00
    3. Ryan Cooper: 22-06
    4. Al Farace: 22-03
    5 (tie). Michael Trombley: 21-14
    5 (tie). Brian Ward: 21-14
    7. Ben Parker: 21-12
    8. Jonathon VanDam: 21-10
    9. David Walker: 20-11
    10. Robert Cook: 20-09
    11. Scott Dobson: 20-08
    12. Troy Sitar: 20-07

  • Kenney leads at Champlain ES

    J.T. Kenney brought in 21-08 today and leads after the first day of the Lake Champlain Northern EverStart. Last month, he finished 21st at the Lake Champlain FLW Tour Major.

    He’s less than a pound ahea of Tom Belinda, who caught 20-13. Curt Tindall is 3rd with 20-10.

    Here’s how the Top 10 looks with 2 days to go:

    1. J.T. Kenney: 21-08
    2. Tom Belinda: 20-13
    3. Curt Tindall: 20-10
    4 (tie). Mike Hancin: 20-08
    4 (tie). Matt Greenblatt: 20-08
    4 (tie). Dave Lefebre: 20-08
    7. Joe Thompson: 19-15
    8. Thomas Waltz: 19-11
    9. Frank Ippoliti: 19-05
    10 (tie). Mark Inman: 19-04
    10 (tie). Glenn Babineau: 19-04

  • Grand Lake groundbreaking

    Shovels will be planted in the soil at the 16th Street Ramp in Grove, Okla., Friday morning as part of a groundbreaking ceremony that will eventually see the area be transformed into a state-of-the-art boat launch facility as the region prepares for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, which will be held at Grand Lake.

    To read the Tulsa World’s report, click here.

    Interesting tidbit: One official is quoted as saying other tours have looked into staging tournaments there as early as next year as well, which would jive with talk that FLW was considering Grand as a Tour stop in 2013.

  • House preserves defense spending in sports

    The U.S. House of Representatives removed language on Wednesday from the 2013 Department of Defense spending bill that would have prevented military sports sponsorships, including the National Guard's deal with FLW. Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) prepared an additional amendment to add the language back in in an attempt, they said, to save taxpayers $72 million.

    Late Wednesday, the second amendment failed as well, by a 216-202 vote, mostly along party lines.

    It's the second year in a row McCollum's efforts to curb military spending on sponsorships in pro sports have failed. Last year, an amendment she authored targeting defense spending in NASCAR failed in the House.

    For a report from TheHill.com, click here.

  • Alleged British cheater charged

    A British man has a second court appearance pending after he was charged with entering a large bass that was allegedly stolen from an aquarium in a local fishing contest earlier this month. For a few details from the BBC, click here.

  • Fox out for Oneida, all of 2013

    <b><font color=red>Fox out for Oneida, all of 2013</font color></b>

    A B.A.S.S. communication official confirmed to BassFan today that Bassmaster Elite Series angler Kyle Fox will not be eligible to compete at the season-ending Oneida Lake event next month and will be barred from Elite Series competition in 2013.

    While the official would not elaborate on the reason for Fox’s ban, it is believed to be related to an on-the-water altercation he had with fellow competitor Chris Zaldain during day 2 of the Lake Michigan Elite Series last month.

    According to sources, the two had a verbal exchange and the incident was brought to the attention of B.A.S.S. tournament officials by the marshals who witnessed the conversation. B.A.S.S. will not be issuing a statement regarding the incident or to clarify Fox’s ban from competition.

    Zaldain declined to speak publicly about the incident when contacted by BassFan and multiple messages seeking comment from Fox have not been returned.

    The day-2 cut will remain at 49 boats for Oneida.

  • 2nd amendment planned for military spending

    According to a report in USA Today, the two members of Congress who are leading the charge to eliminate military spending on sponsorships in professional sports, including fishing, are prepared to introduce a second amendment when H.R. 5856, the Defense Appropriations Act for 2013, is heard in the house as early as today.

    Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) have led the movement to ban military spending on sponsorships in pro sports and if either amendment survives, the National Guard would no longer be allowed to sponsor pro-level FLW events.

    The new amendment differs from the original in that it targets more than $70 million budgeted by the military for sponsorships in 2013. The measure outlines that the savings would go toward deficit reduction.

    The new amendment comes on the heels of the Army’s announcement last week that it will discontinue its involvement as a NASCAR team sponsor beyond this season.

    FLW officials have been busy trying to lobby its fanbase to appeal to their Congress members to defeat the proposal, which would bring an end to a partnership that started in 2006 and has seen the National Guard take a prominent position as a presenting sponsor of several FLW tournament offerings.

    Last week, FLW posted an open letter to its fans, the second such letter, updating them on the matter and encouraging action. To read it, click here.

    To read the USA Today article, click here.

  • Fox reportedly banned from Elites

    Fox reportedly banned from Elites

    B.A.S.S. has reportedly banned Bassmaster Elite Series angler Kyle Fox for the Oneida Lake event and the entire 2013 season after an on-the-water altercation with fellow competitor Chris Zaldain at the Lake Michigan tournament last month. According to sources, Fox will have to re-qualify for the Elites via the Bassmaster Opens if he wishes to return to the circuit, and that can happen no earlier than 2014.

    The sources told BassFan that the incident was verbal in nature and was brought to the attention of B.A.S.S. by the marshals who witnessed the exchange from Fox’s and Zaldain's boats. Statements were gathered from all parties before B.A.S.S. arrived at its decision.

    Messages seeking comment from B.A.S.S. and Fox have not been returned. Zaldain, reached by phone, opted not to comment.

    This is Fox’s rookie season on the Elite Series and after a string of solid finishes to start the year, he tailed off with three straight results of 78th or worse in the last three tournaments. He’s currently 63rd in points. He held the day-1 lead at the Mississippi River, but plummeted to 83rd after day 2.

    This isn’t the first time an Elite Series angler has been suspended for on-the-water behavior. Kevin Langill was banned during the 2009 season for a violation of sportsmanship standards after an incident with Boyd Duckett at Lake Guntersville and has not fished the circuit since.

  • Ehrler survives, 1 dead after head-on wreck

    Additional details have become available about the automobile accident that involved FLW Tour pro Brent Ehrler on Monday afternoon near Lake Lanier.

    According to a report on the Forsyth (Ga.) News' website, Clara Garmon, 58, of Gainesville, Ga., was killed when she lost control of her 2006 Chevrolet Colorado in the rain and slammed head-on into Ehrler's 2011 Chevy Suburban. According to the article, both drivers were wearing their seat belts, but Garmon's broke and she was ejected into the bed of the truck on impact.

    The wreck closed Highway 53 and Truman Mountain Road in northeastern Forsyth County for 2 hours while police conducted an investigation. No charges are expected to be filed, the report said.

    Ehrler suffered minor injuries and was released from an Atlanta-area hospital Monday night.

    To read the complete story, click here.

    BassFan will continue to publish updates as new information becomes available.

  • Mansue re-elected as PAA president

    Mansue re-elected as PAA president

    Dave Mansue of Texas has been re-elected president of the Professional Anglers Association by the PAA Board of Directors.

    Mansue, 59, lives on Toledo Bend Reservoir and competes on the PAA Tournament Series and Bassmaster Central Open circuit. He moved there in 2009 with his wife, Andrea, upon his retirement as a lieutenant after a 30-year career with the West Windsor (N.J.) Police Department.

    Other officers elected for the 2012-13 term are VP Kurt Dove of Texas, treasurer Brian Snowden of Missouri and secretary Mike McClelland of Arkansas. Dove was re-elected to the VP position after serving the previous year. Snowden had served as Secretary the previous year.

    “I am humbled by the faith my fellow members of the Board of Directors have in me to continue to lead the Professional Anglers Association,” Mansue said. “We have witnessed some good results despite a difficult year.

    "The PAA continues to grow. Our memberships have increased by 30% each year over the last 3 years. Our strong portfolio of partners has grown stronger by the addition of new partners Missile Baits and Yamaha.”

    Mansue stays busy with some guiding on Toledo Bend, as well as work related to the PAA. He congratulates Dove, Snowden and McClelland on being elected to their officer positions.

    Nominees from the membership are accepted each year for PAA Board of Directors positions and then voted on by PAA Tour and Legends members. Board members then nominate and vote on candidates for officers. Dove and Snowden have served on the board since 2009 and McClelland has served since 2010.

    Mansue noted the PAA’s successes in the last year including growth of membership, the success of the PAA Tournament Series and PAA Tour Team Challenge tournament held in January, and the continued association with the no-entry fee Toyota Texas Bass Classic which will be held in September.

    “I have been a member of the PAA from the inception,” Mansue said. “I continue to believe that to improve the lives of all our anglers and their families we must develop a system of tournaments in which we are no longer competing for our own entry fees. As a non-profit organization, the PAA can best do that. We must become a stronger voice and advocate for angler rights with other organizations, as well as a strong influence on the youth of today who share the same dreams of being a professional angler.

    “I can assure you that I, along with the entire Board of Directors, will work tirelessly to continue to reach the goals of our organization’s mission statement. The coming year will bring great challenges not only to me, but the Board of Directors and the organization. With membership support, together, we have the opportunity to make this organization stronger and more influential than ever before.”

  • Evinrude launches summer promo

    Evinrude launches summer promo

    BRP announced today the Evinrude E-TEC Experience More Summer Sales Event. During the retail promotion, qualified U.S. consumers who purchase and take delivery of eligible Evinrude E-TEC engines from a participating Evinrude dealer will be able to select either a special financing or an extended warranty offer.

    > Special financing option –consumer financing as low as 3.9 percent APR.
    > Extended warranty option – Five-year factory-backed limited warranty (3 year BRP factory warranty PLUS an additional 2-year B.E.S.T. coverage)

    "The Evinrude E-TEC Experience More Summer Sales Event provides boaters with another incentive to visit authorized dealers and learn of the unmatched power and performance of Evinrude E-TEC engines,” said Evinrude director of marketing and strategic planning Christopher Berg.

    For full details and conditions about they promotion, which begins today and runs through September 10, consumers should visit an authorized, participating Evinrude dealer or call (262) 884-5993. To find a local Evinrude dealer, go to www.Evinrude.com and click on “Find a Dealer.”

  • Berkley trailer in the Northwest

    Berkley trailer in the Northwest

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the Sunbird Shopping Center in Chehals, Wash., next Friday through Sunday (July 20-22). 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 1757 N National Ave. The phone number is (360) 748-3337.

    Future stops will be at Wholesale Sports in Federal Way, Wash. (July 27-29) and Bob's Mercantile in Longview, Wash. (Aug. 3-5).

  • ICAST 2012: This and that

    ICAST 2012 is in the books and by many accounts it was a great show. Buyer attendance was up and more than 750 members of the outdoor press were on hand to soak up what was new and to set the tone for the months and year ahead in the industry.

    We've been posting some news items here, obviously, but if you're looking for additional tidbits from the floor, follow us on Twitter (@BassFanNews) or check out our Facebook page for odds and ends and photos.

  • MLF hooks up with Bassin'

    MLF hooks up with Bassin'

    Bassin' magazine has been named the official magazine of Major League Fishing, the magazine and the league announced today.

    Bassin, a six-times yearly publication that offers fishing tips, feature stories and industry news, will offer content provided by MLF in addition to its staff-generated stories and reports. The Bixby, Okla.-based magazine also will sponsor portions of upcoming MLF telecasts.

    “I believe Major League Fishing is going to revolutionize tournament fishing,” said Bassin' publisher Brad Uhl. “Major League Fishing is based on a great concept, and the league is executing that concept extremely well. We are delighted to be entering into this venture with Major League Fishing.”

    MLF is scheduled to tape two events in 2012. The first will be televised during the first quarter of 2013. An extended Internet pay-per-view version also will be available.

    “We believe this is a partnership that will offer many benefits to the bass-fishing community,” said MLF commissioner Don Rucks. “We’re extremely pleased to be working with Bassin' to offer fresh content to people who love and appreciate what both Bassin' and Major League Fishing are contributing to the fishing community.”

  • ICAST: Owner intros Jr Minnow

    ICAST: Owner intros Jr Minnow

    Owner’s reputation in the fishing hook market is well-deserved, but the company has made a strong push recently with an impressive array of soft plastics.

    This week at ICAST, they rolled out the Jr Minnow, a fluke-style bait with a shark fin tail that produces a unique action. It’ll be available in three sizes – 3 1/2”, 4 1/2” and 5 1/2” – and can be fished any number of ways. Rigged on the Owner JigRig or a roundhead jig, it’ll imitate a baitfish along the bottom, or it can be a deadly dropshot bait in clear water.

    To learn more, click here click here.

  • Old classics revamped

    The companies under the Pure Fishing umbrella will be bringing home six Best of Show awards from this year’s New Product Showcase at ICAST. Among them were Berkley Trilene XL & XT, which shared top honors in the line category.

    While they’ve been around since the 1970s, they’ve each undergone a significant upgrade, adding strength and smoothness as well as catchy new packaging.

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

  • ICAST: Palaniuk unveils rod/reel cover

    ICAST: Palaniuk unveils rod/reel cover

    Angler Innovations debuted a unique product at ICAST this week called the Rod Jacket, a one-piece neoprene rod and reel cover that’s designed to fit both freshwater and saltwater combos ranging in lengths from 6’6” to 7’6”. A velcro enclosure allows anglers to secure the wrap around the reel ensuring both the rod and reel are protected from scrapes, nicks or other damage.

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk (right) showed off his signature series model today at the Angler Innovations booth.

    The Rod Jacket is designed for low-profile and round baitcasters as well as spinning reels up to a 400 size.

  • ICAST: Mirage Pro 12 takes top honors

    The winners in the ICAST New Product Showcase were announced last night at a reception in Orlando, Fla. Here’s a rundown of the winners:

    Best of Show – Apparel
    > Columbia Air Gill Chill Zero long-sleeve shirt

    Best of Show – Boat
    > Hobie Cat Mirage Pro 12

    Best of Show – Boating Accessory
    > Power-Pole Drift Paddle

    Best of Show – Eyewear
    > Costa 580P Sunrise Lenses

    Best of Show – Fishing Accessory
    > American Premier Corporation Ultimate Line Winding System

    Best of Show – Fishing Combo
    > Penn Battle Inshore

    Best of Show – Flyfishing Rod
    > G. Loomis NRX Fly Rod

    Best of Show – Flyfishing Reel
    > Eagle Claw/Wright & McGill Saltwater Fly Reel

    Best of Show – Flyfishing Accessory
    > Luna-Sea Cush-it

    Best of Show – Electronics
    > Humminbird 360 Imaging

    Best of Show – Freshwater Reel
    > Abu Garcia Revo

    Best of Show – Freshwater Rod
    > St. Croix Legend Xtreme

    Best of Show – Giftware
    > 3D Picture Store, Inc. Jigsaw

    Best of Show – Kids Tackle
    > Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook Bobber

    Best of Show – Fishing Line
    > Berkley Trilene XL & XT

    Best of Show – Hard Lure
    > Koppers Live Target Frog Popper

    Best of Show – Soft Lure
    > Lunkerhunt Bento Baits

    Best of Show – Saltwater Reel
    > Penn Spinfisher V

    Best of Show – Saltwater Rod
    > St. Croix Legend Inshore

    Best of Show – Tackle Management
    > Magnetic Marine Products Gear Grabbar Lure Hangar

    Best of Show – Terminal Tackle
    > Berkley Gulp! Jigg Heads

    Best of Show – Fish-Smart Tackle
    > SeaQualizer

    Best of Show – Overall
    > Hobie Cat Mirage Pro 12

  • Jackall: New Aska cranks and a TBA

    Jackall: New Aska cranks and a TBA

    Jackall unveiled its new 50SR (2-inch) and 70SR (3-inch) versions of the Aska (pictured to right on top) today at ICAST. Building off the success of the 60SR, anglers now have a variety of size options to choose from when it comes to the squarebill crankbait.

    The first striking feature is the circuit-board look of the square bill, which is designed to grab more water and enhance the fast wobble and rolling action. Another detail that was incorporated into the new baits was to give the center hook less play to help avoid snags and improve the overall balance.

    The color lineup in the new Aska squarebills is: Tennessee shad, crawfish, chartreuse shad, sparkle SS shad, super crawfish, JP purple chartreuse, super shad, bronze green shad and black chartreuse.

    Another unveiling today was a 5-inch minnow-style bait (pictured to right on bottom) that’s still considered a prototype. It’s so early in the process that Jackall’s yet to come up with a name for the bait. Any suggestions?

    For more about Jackall, click here.

  • Grigsby signs with Typhoon

    Grigsby signs with Typhoon

    Minnesota FLW Tour pro Chad Grigsby has become the newest member of the Typhoon Polarized Optics pro staff.

    "Typhoon sunglasses are great glasses that get the job done and are half the cost of other brands,” he said. “It’s great to be sponsored by a company that listens to anglers and makes adjustments to the glasses to fit our needs. I’m excited to be part of the company."

  • Ever Green coming to U.S.

    Ever Green coming to U.S.

    Veteran Western bass scribe George Kramer reported in his blog today that Ever Green International, the renowned Japanese tackle manufacturer, has struck a deal to have its much sought-after products distributed here in the U.S. For the lowdown, click here.

  • BU schedule for 2013 released

    BU schedule for 2013 released

    The Bass University has released its seminar schedule for 2013. A 25 percent discount is offered for registrations that are submitted by July 27, 2012.

    Here's the slate:

    > Jan. 26-27 -- Schaumberg Convention Center (Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo) -- Schaumberg, Ill.
    > Feb. 9-10 -- Dallas Market Hall (Dallas International Boat Show) -- Dallas, Texas
    > Feb. 16-17 -- Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow) -- Oaks, Pa.
    > March 2-3 -- SUNY Rockland Community College (World Fishing and Outdoor Exposition) -- Suffern, N.Y.

    The list of instructors for 2013 includes BU co-founder Mike Iaconelli, Scott Martin, Brent Ehrler, Greg Hackney, Larry Nixon, Shaw Grigsby, David Fritts, Ish Monroe, Gerald Swindle, Randy Howell, Mark Davis and Paul Elias. Topics for each seminar will be developed focus on the geographical location, with emphasis on patterns and techniques that are winning tournaments today.

    Full weekend passes (six speakers) are $199 for adults and $175 for students and youths age 17 and under. One-day passes (Saturday or Sunday, three speakers) are $99 and $87.50, respectively.

    To register, click here.

  • Fishing Holdings set for aluminum entry

    Fishing Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Platinum Equity and parent company of Ranger, Triton and Stratos, announced today the acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Flippin, Ark. with the intent to launch an aluminum boat product line. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    The facility includes existing manufacturing space as well as office and administrative room. The company will invest $2.5 million to transition and expand the facility and plans to create more than 50 new jobs over the next several months. Production is scheduled to start up by the fourth quarter of 2012.

    “The new manufacturing facility is a great addition to our portfolio and we feel this market represents an opportunity for growth moving forward,” said Fishing Holdings president Randy Hopper. “The acquisition would not have been possible without the support of Gov. (Mike) Beebe and the state’s Economic Development Commission. It’s a partnership we’re very proud of and look forward to being able to serve our community and the Natural State in an even greater capacity.”

  • Army to sever its ties to NASCAR

    As an amendment to eliminate military sports sponsorships (including professional fishing) makes it's way through the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Army announced today that it's concluding its decade-long relationship with NASCAR. For more, click here.

  • World Series of Bass offers $600K top prize

    World Series of Bass offers $600K top prize

    The chance to go head-to-head against the world's best in any sport isn't usually an option that non-professionals get to consider, but it is now a realistic possibility for bass fishermen.

    The newly formed World Series of Bass (WSOBASS) creates that opportunity for individuals who have the skills and resources to compete at the highest level of the most lucrative national pro bass circuits, but not the time. To qualify for the WSOBASS Main Event and its $600,000 top cash prize, contestants need only to fish one qualifier and finish among the top 35 percent to partake in the $3 million estimated prize pool.

    Pros, amateurs, collegiate anglers and many other anglers from around the globe compete head-on in what is considered a level playing field because every angler is in total control of his or her own boat and fishing decisions throughout the tournament. Two of the entrants will have earned their spots in the high stakes event through skills competitions in a new reality fishing show called "World Series of Bass, The Dream."

    "I feel 'The Dream' is the perfect name for the show because most of us bass fishermen dream of fishing for a living and competing against the best anglers in the world," said California entrepreneur and WSOBASS founder Joe Habib. "But reality is, few of us can take the time away from our work and families to give it a go. World Series of Bass presents the opportunity to compete against the best and get a big paycheck for doing so."

    Three regional qualifying events are scheduled for 2013, each with more than 100 openings for anglers and requiring a $10,000 entry fee. The top 35 anglers from each full-field tournament will make the money cut, earning a $15,000 check and an invitation to compete in the no-entry-fee WSOBASS Main Event.

    The Main Event is a televised championship in which the 105 anglers who advance from the qualifiers come together and compete for a total purse of $3 million and its payouts of $600,000 for first place, $150,000 for second and $100,000 for third. The cash prize amounts are based on 100 percent payback from the three qualifiers having full-field participation of 100 anglers each.

    All three regional qualifying events and the Main Event will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network, The Pursuit Channel and Time Warner's Texas Channel.

    The qualifiers are 3-day tournaments and the Main Event is a 4-day tournament, all with traditional rules. The tournament locations and dates are being withheld until The Dream makes its debut airing on Oct. 8 on the NBC Sports network and January 2013 on The Pursuit Channel.

    The Dream consists of 13 half-hour episodes and airs weekly. The program provides a behind-the-scenes look at tournament bass fishing and its participants, a peek into the planning for the WSOBASS events, and a series of fishing skill challenges. Some of the country's top pro bass anglers will make appearances on The Dream, including Mike McClelland, James Niggemeyer, Jared Lintner and Brandon Card. Additional participants will be selected through a video application process open to college anglers, local-level pros and all anglers alike.

    Habib acknowledges the fact that the $10,000 entry fee to fish in a WSOBASS qualifier is a considerable amount, but points out the investment is still substantially less than the fees required to fish an entire trail of top-tier tournaments, plus it has greatly reduced travel costs in comparison.

    "Tournament entry fees are just a part of total expenses, which add up quickly when also considering truck and boat fuel, lodging and meals," Habib explained. "We're talking just one qualifier event to make it to the Main Event, saving time and money for participants, and serving up a chance for a payout that will make it possible for the winner to pursue his or her bass fishing interests at whatever level they please.

    "My intentions for WSOBASS are to give the many great bass fishermen in this country a chance to pursue their own dreams through a shortened and more cost-effective tournament process, and allowing one out of every three to compete in the Main Event with cash in their pocket and a free entry," he said.

    Although WSOBASS is not disclosing tournament locations and dates yet, Habib said the three qualifiers will fall in the April through June timeframe, and the Main Event is scheduled for October. The locations have been strategically placed across the country, giving participating anglers the option to choose a qualifying event that is geographically close and/or a body of water that they are comfortable fishing.

    "While the three qualifiers will take place in the United States, anglers from around the world are welcome to participate," Habib said. "I have spoken with anglers from Japan, Canada, Australia, South Africa and of course, the U.S., who have expressed serious interest in joining the tournaments."

    Video audition applications for The Dream reality show are being accepted now. Registration for entry into the WSOBASS qualifiers will open in October.

    Full details about how to apply for a spot on The Dream and more information about the reality television series and WSOBASS events can be found by clicking here.

  • Court sides with Z-Man

    Court sides with Z-Man

    Z-Man announced today that a federal judge has sided with the company in its patent infringement suit against Joseph F. Renosky and Renosky Lure, Inc. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel, in an order dated June 15, ruled Z-Man’s patent for its ChatterBait bladed swim-jig is valid and that Z-Man was entitled to partial summary judgment against Renosky.

    "We are extremely pleased with the judge’s ruling in this case,” said Z-Man president Jonathan Zucker. “We have gone to great lengths to protect the innovations behind our ChatterBait brand lures, including obtaining two patents. Watching a competitor blatantly copy our patented lure design has been frustrating, and our hope is that the court’s ruling in this case will help deter further copycats.”

    Z-Man sued Renosky on Feb. 22, 2011, alleging claims of patent infringement, trade dress infringement, interference with prospective advantage, unfair competition, breach of contract, and conversion. Subsequently, Z-Man moved for summary judgment on patent infringement and validity.

    In essence, the court rejected Renosky’s invalidity arguments and found that Renosky unlawfully infringed Z-Man's patent because Renosky’s knock-off lures could not be distinguished, from a patent perspective, from Z-Man’s baits. Renosky lost on its argument that the eyelet on the Renosky lure was not “fixed within” the jighead as required by the patent.

    The court ruled that “fixed within” does not mean “immovable,” but instead assigned a broader definition of “to make firm, stable, or stationary in or into the interior.” This broad definition helps create a high barrier for those who may attempt a patent “work around” to produce a copycat product.

    With this outcome, Z-Man further solidifies the protections offered by its patents and clarifies that the patent covers bladed jigs with eyelets that are both immovable and movable.

  • Z-Man to debut 4

    Z-Man to debut 4

    Z-Man is set to introduce four new products at this week's ICAST show in Orlando, Fla.

    “In conjunction with our pro staff, we’ve created some exciting new baits for 2013 that we’re thrilled to unveil,” said Z-Man GM Daniel Nussbaum. “The new ChatterBait Elite model is without a doubt the best bladed swim-jig Z-Man has ever produced, and our new ElaZtech soft bait designs will provide anglers who demand the toughest, softest and most lifelike plastics even more options to add to their arsenals.”

    Following is a primer on each new offering.

    ChatterBait Elite

    Built on the company's patented bladed swim-jig design, the ChatterBait Elite sports a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook, new EZ Skirt jig skirts with low-profile hub and custom head-paint schemes for precise skirt matching. Top the Elite off with a molded-in trailer keeper that prevents soft plastics from sliding and a strengthened head-to-blade connection, and the result is an upgraded lure that’s even more irresistible to fish—and essential to fishermen!

    “The upgrades made to the ChatterBait – namely the much-improved hook and bait keeper – are the precise enhancements that were needed,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro David Walker. “The versatility of this bait does the work for you. I always keep a rod rigged up with one, as it produces on bodies of water all across the country.”

    FattyZ

    When FLW Tour pro Luke Clausen approached Z-Man with a new bait design, the company listened. The result is the FattyZ. Ideal for power-finesse situations and equipped with a molded-in slot for easy hook penetration, it’s perfect when paired with Z-Man's Shaky HeadZ. The 5-inch bait is unique, lifelike and super-effective. And thanks to salt-impregnated ElaZtech, it's amazingly durable.

    “I was excited to be involved in developing the new FattyZ power-finesse worm,” said Clausen. “It performs well on both a shaky-head and Texas rig and is flat out a fish-catching machine.”

    Hula StickZ

    The Hula StickZ is the perfect bait when finesse tactics are in order. Ideal when paired with a light jighead or Texas-rigged, this buoyant bait stands up off the bottom with tentacles brought to life.

    “The Hula StickZ are a cross between our ZinkerZ and a small tube bait, creating a neat little finesse bait,” said Z-Man national sales manager Glenn Young. “Its little tentacles add movement and action that are absolutely irresistible to finicky fish. The extreme durability of ElaZtech allows us to make finesse baits so much softer than our competitors, which also gives our baits more action in the water. I’m anxious to see the many ways our customers end up rigging this little bait, as we have some very creative brand advocates out there.”

    Palmetto BugZ

    A superb pitching, flipping and punching bait, the Palmetto BugZ’s streamlined design allows it to slide through the nastiest cover with ease, while its super-soft, ringed 4-inch body emits loads of vibration. Best of all, its salt-impregnated ElaZtech construction is built to last so you can keep landing the big ones.

    “The buoyancy of the Palmetto BugZ never leaves you stuck in the mud," said Elite Series pro Stephen Browning. "The bait lands with its appendages in a defensive posture just like a real crawfish and bass simply can’t resist.”

  • Berkley trailer California-bound

    Berkley trailer California-bound

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at the Guns, Fishing & Other Stuff store in Vacaville, Calif., Friday through Sunday (July 13-15). 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 197 Butcher Road in Vacaville, Calif. The phone number is (707) 451-1199.

    Future stops will be at Sunbirds in Chehalis, Wash. (July 20-22) and Wholesale Sports in Federal Way, Wash. (July 27-29).

  • BassFan at ICAST

    This week, we’ll be at ICAST getting the scoop on what’s new in the industry as far as products and announcements go.

    Keep it locked here for news updates and also watch our Facebook page and Twitter feed (@BassFanNews) for additional items, including photos from the floor.

  • NPR examines Falcon

    National Public Radio (NPR) recently produced a piece about Falcon Lake. It includes an explanation from a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist as to how its bass get so big and a note about how the Zeta drug cartel is keeping a lower profile there these days after members were attacked by helicopter gunships when they tried to take over an island, resulting in 12 deaths.

    To see it, click here.

  • Deeper is often better

    Crankbaits are often an effective way to catch bass in warm water, but the baits usually have to run deep for an angler to be successful – sometimes real deep. The Sebile D&S Crank fills that bill, diving to a range of 20 to 28 feet.

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

  • Plano appoints two

    Plano appoints two

    Plano Molding Co. today announced Jesse Simpkins has been named senior VP of sales and marketing for the company’s outdoor and hardware business units and that Kelly Marble was appointed to VP of sales for its outdoor products division.

    "During Jesse's 15-year career at Plano, he has excelled in numerous sales and marketing leadership positions that have led to Plano's increased brand share, sales and overall company growth," said Tom Hurt, Plano’s president and CEO, in an announcement to the company. "We are equally pleased to have Kelly Marble join the Plano team in her role as vice president of sales. It was evident in our meetings with Frabill that Kelly's experience and expertise would be a strong asset as we bring these two strong brands under one company."

    Plano announced last month that it would acquire Frabill, bringing together 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.

    "Both brands have a rich history of world-class service and product development that rival any in the industry," Simpkins said. "The opportunity to bring two extraordinary teams together further strengthens our ability to serve the needs of our customers and the consumers, and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the sales and marketing efforts.

    "Kelly will play an integral role in Plano's plans going forward. She brings a wealth of knowledge in both sales and marketing that has led Frabill to its position as a leader in the market," he added.

    Marble, a 12-year industry veteran, said, "I am thrilled with the opportunity not only to continue growing the Frabill brand but to join forces with Plano Molding Co. I look forward to working with Jesse and the Plano team, combining the strengths and experience of both companies to reach an ever higher standard of excellence."

  • Shot and a bass

    According to a report in the Decatur (Ill.) Herald-Review, the Decatur Park District voted last week to allow whiskey sales at the Bassmaster Elite Series Toyoya Trucks All-Star Week, scheduled for Sept. 20-23 at Lakes Decatur and Shelbyville.

    Officials are in the process of organizing a lakefront festival to correspond with the event and requests were made to sell beer and liquor at the festival. Whiskey sales would be restricted to a confined area of the festival while beer sales would be permitted throughout, according to the report.

    One board member expressed concern over the whiskey sales, but voted to support it in the end.

    To read the full story, click here.

  • Cup field set

    Cup field set

    The final berths in the Forrest Wood Cup were nailed down last weekend at the Lake Champlain FLW Tour, where David Dudley locked up his second consecutive and third career FLW Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) title by winning the event.

    Dudley’s dominance erased just about all of the drama at the top of the AOY standings after he carried a 1-point lead into the final event. Instead, the focus fell on which anglers could make a move up the standings into the mid- or lower-30s or hold on to their spots down near the cut line. Due to four double-qualifiers being among the Top 35 in points (the typical cutoff for the Cup) berths were also awarded to those who finished in 36th through 39th.

    Jason Christie, who led the AOY standings after three events, but fell all the way to 55th after Kentucky Lake, used his 11th-place finish at Champlain to move up to 39th and lock up the final points-based berth. Also moving up to grab a spot in the Cup were: Koby Kreiger (49th to 35th), Cody Bird (45th to 33rd), Todd Hollowell (44th to 36th) and J.T. Palmore (44th to 34th).

    Falling out of Cup contention at Champlain were: Justin Lucas, Brent Long (Table Rock Lake winner), Brad Knight, Stacey King and Vic Vatalaro.

    Mark Rose, whose season got off to a horrendous start, wound up 40th in points, falling 1 point short in his bid to qualify for a sixth straight Cup.

    The Forrest Wood Cup is scheduled for Aug. 9-12 at Lake Lanier outside of Atlanta.

    Dudley was a triple-qualifier by virtue of his being last year’s AOY, finishing 5th in last year’s Tour Opens points and winning this year’s Tour Major points chase. Other multiple qualifiers included Scott Martin (2011 Cup champ and 18th in Tour Major points), Dan Morehead (2011 EverStart Series champ, 31st in Tour Major points) and Dave Lefebre (No. 2 in 2011 Tour Opens points and 11th in Tour Major points).

    Spencer Shuffield finished 56th in points on the pro side this year, but will fish the Cup out of the back of the boat since he was the co-angler of the year in 2011.

    Here’s a look at this year’s Cup field and how they qualified (2012 Tour Major points standing in parentheses):

    > Scott Martin – 2011 Forrest Wood Cup Champion, 2012 Tour Majors (18th)
    > David Dudley – 2011 FLW Tour AOY, 2011 Tour Opens (5th), 2012 Tour AOY
    > Dan Morehead – 2011 EverStart Series Champion, 2012 Tour Majors (31st)
    > Shin Fukae – 2011 Opens Champion
    > Dave Lefebre – 2011 Opens (2nd), 2012 Tour Majors (11th)
    > Glenn Browne – 2011 Opens (3rd)
    > Scott Suggs – 2011 Opens (4th)
    > Thanh Le – 2011 Opens (6th)
    > Gilbert Gagner – 2012 TBF National Champion
    > Brian Maloney – 2012 BFL All-American Champion
    > Ryan Patterson – 2012 FLW College Fishing Champion
    > Jacob Powroznik – 2012 Tour Majors (2nd)
    > Ron Shuffield – 2012 Tour Majors (3rd)
    > Jim Moynagh – 2012 Tour Majors (4th)
    > Cody Meyer – 2012 Tour Majors (5th)
    > Luke Clausen – 2012 Tour Majors (6th)
    > Bryan Thrift – 2012 Tour Majors (7th)
    > J.T. Kenney – 2012 Tour Majors (8th)
    > Matt Arey – 2012 Tour Majors (9th)
    > Andy Morgan – 2012 Tour Majors (10th)
    > Clifford Pirch – 2012 Tour Majors (12th)
    > Wesley Strader – 2012 Tour Majors (13th)
    > Clent Davis – 2012 Tour Majors (14th)
    > Jim Tutt – 2012 Tour Majors (15th)
    > Jay Yelas – 2012 Tour Majors (16th)
    > Chris Baumgardner – 2012 Tour Majors (17th)
    > Gary Yamamoto – 2012 Tour Majors (19th)
    > Randall Tharp – 2012 Tour Majors (20th)
    > Stetson Blaylock – 2012 Tour Majors (21st)
    > Craig Dowling – 2012 Tour Majors (22nd)
    > Adrian Avena – 2012 Tour Majors (23rd)
    > Scott Canterbury – 2012 Tour Majors (24th)
    > Blake Nick – 2012 Tour Majors (25th)
    > Terry Bolton – 2012 Tour Majors (26th)
    > Anthony Gagliardi – 2012 Tour Majors (27th)
    > Micah Frazier – 2012 Tour Majors (28th)
    > Troy Morrow – 2012 Tour Majors (29th)
    > Jacob Wheeler – 2012 Tour Majors (30th)
    > Brent Ehrler – 2012 Tour Majors (32nd)
    > Cody Bird – 2012 Tour Majors (33rd)
    > J.T. Palmore – 2012 Tour Majors (34th)
    > Koby Kreiger – 2012 Tour Majors (35th)
    > Todd Hollowell – 2012 Tour Majors (36th)
    > Clark Wendlandt – 2012 Tour Majors (37th)
    > Dion Hibdon – 2012 Tour Majors (38th)
    > Jason Christie – 2012 Tour Majors (39th)

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Champlain

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

    Try as he might, Roland Martin just couldn't catch a fish that weighed much more than 3 pounds on day 1 of last week's Champlain FLW Tour Major. That's why he found himself in 68th place following the weigh-in.

    It was a different story on day 2, however, when he boxed one of his two 20-plus-pound sacks for the event. That moved him all the way up to 8th place and he eventually finished 5th – his best placement in a tour-level derby since he was the runner-up at Table Rock in a 2004 Bassmaster tournament.

    "A Senko was the big deal for me on the first day, but I just didn't catch big ones," said the nine-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year who made the 140-mile round trip to Ticonderoga on each of the 4 days. "I was trying to catch them off of docks, but I only got 15 pounds. The big ones just didn't bite."

    He did all of his day-2 damage by pulling a frog across scummy areas.

    "I'd caught a couple on frogs the first day, but nothing too big, and I missed a pretty good one. I actually started the second day on a bridge and caught one, then I went to another place and got a couple.

    "I got to the frog water at about 9:00 and started catching them. I eventually culled out everything I had with bigger fish."

    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.

  • B.A.S.S. adds to sales support team

    B.A.S.S. adds to sales support team

    B.A.S.S. announced today that Teresa Lux and Chris Brown have been added to the organization's Sponsor Support Team, which has been assembled to provide support for existing and new business partners. Joe Higgins, VP of sales, made the announcement.

    Lux, the new director of sales support and sponsorship, has 21 years of experience in sponsorship development and marketing with Time Inc.’s Southern Living franchise. As manager of sponsorships, Brown, who has 10 years of industry experience with Strike King, will be the day-to-contact for B.A.S.S. sponsors.

    “We trust that the addition of Teresa and Chris shows our commitment to our sponsors, who are vital not only to the success of B.A.S.S and our members, but also to growing the great sport of fishing,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin.

    Said Higgins: “We are making significant upgrades on our sponsorship front with innovative marketing and support initiatives, and we are receiving great feedback as we share these programs with the sponsors. At the same time, we are upgrading our Sponsor Support Team with these two experienced, talented professionals."

    Lux and Brown, who will be based in Birmingham, will join the company July 9, in time to join other B.A.S.S. staff at the ICAST Expo, the annual fishing industry trade show in Orlando, Fla.

    In addition, Higgins announced the addition to his sales team of Chris Bork as Midwest and Corporate Partnerships sales manager.

    Bork brings more than 12 years of sponsorship sales experience with the Memphis Grizzlies to his role. An avid angler, Bork is a longtime admirer of B.A.S.S. and has served as a marshal during a Bassmaster Elite Series event.

    “With the addition of Chris Bork, we are looking to grow our list of sponsors, especially in the non-endemic categories,” said Akin.

  • What's new from Megabass?

    What's new from Megabass?

    Here's some advance information about a few products that Megabass will unveil next week at the ICAST show in Orlando, Fla.:

    > Orochi XX rods –series was named after the Japanese dragon god of ancient legends, who controls water. No matter how monstrous a fish you face, the rod will not relinquish control, giving you the upper hand. What makes this power possible is the unique carbon material and multi-ply manufacturing process. Thirty-ton super-low resin carbon is impressed in the shaft core, and wrapped with two-axis XX weave micro-carbon fiber to strengthen rigidity. Then, a four-axis high-elasticity carbon wrap is applied, strengthening twist rigidity. The new shaft, constructed with a total of 6-axes, combines light weight and overwhelming power, and can land world-record-class bass in a flash.

    > FX Knuckle 60 – This crankbait was developed in pursuit of the ultimate adjustable lure, and is built to exhibit increased effectiveness across a wider range of situations. The Knuckle 60 incorporates Megabass' unique FX System, utilizing a transformable square-bill lip that can be user-adjusted to target specific depths, in addition to tucking into the body during casts to increase aerodynamics and distance. The rugged bill is anchored by the "knuckle" mechanism, which firmly holds the bill in each user-adjusted position, thus attaining ultimate stability while in forward motion. Designed to maximize the effectiveness of underwater deflections, the adjustable lip is exceedingly durable, producing an alluring fluttering motion when coming into contact with structure.

    > Vision 110 Squarebille – Introducing the square-lip model of the immensely successful 110 series. By changing the original oval bill to a reinforced square lip, the lure "bites" into the water more effectively, making the darting and sliding motions from power-jerking sharper. The strong vibrations emitted by this movement are great at reaching wandering bass and turning finicky fish into feeders. It makes fast, high-tempo fishing possible. The square lip scatters the flow of water along the belly and tail, suppressing overly wild movements.

    > FX 110 – This is the newly evolved tournament-spec model of the Vision 110. With its variable bill system, air resistance during casting is reduced, resulting in dramatically increased flight distances. When jerking, the moving lip creates varied, irregular movements.

    > Spark Shad – Jointly developed by lunker-hunter Tetsuya Nakamura and Megabass, the Spark series represents a synergy of trophy bass experience and manufacturing prowess. Now, after painstaking testing, the Spark Shad is revealed. It's a shad-shaped paddle-tail worm with a body that evokes the hull shape of a boat, which helps increases linear stability. With an extremely sensitive tail designed to produce natural high-frequency vibrations, the Spark Shad will keep fish committed to chasing it over long distances without hesitation or suspicion, increasing bite rates.

    > Parabug (pictured)– The Parabug is a soft bait that imitates a falling insect. Combining high buoyancy, high strength Vios material and natural feathers, it simulates a struggling insect that has fallen on the water's surface. The extremely thin paddle-legs efficiently transmit vibrations to the water's surface, and help the Parabug create an amazingly strong effect for its size. The ribs on the belly are designed to capture air to increase buoyancy, letting it sway and create delicate ripples on the water. The cup shapes on the sides provide resistance to even small rod movements, tightly controlling the lure's travel distance. This makes it possible to stay on top of a location to target reluctant fish. With strong rod movement, the cups will cause splashing, drawing attention.

  • TV writer gets kicks from MLF

    TV writer gets kicks from MLF

    Major League Fishing recently discovered that Brian Egeston, chief writer for television's long-running Tyler Perry's House of Payne, is a fan of the MLF TV show. MLF communications director Randy Coleman conducted an interview with Egeston (who's also a novelist, essayist and National Public Radio commentator) in which he explains why.

    To read it, click here.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Champlain

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

    Jason Christie isn't about to quibble over his 11th-place finish at the Champlain FLW Tour Major – it was one spot higher than where he needed to end up in order to make the Forrest Wood Cup. It left him just outside the Top-10 cut for the final day, however, and he's confident that he'd have been fishing on Sunday if he'd spent more than 1 practice day at Ticonderoga.

    Only on the final practice day did he venture to the fertile largemouth grounds at the southern end.

    "That's the only regret I have, because I just ran out of stuff," he said. "I was just running the bank, whereas a lot of the other guys down there had found schools. I did the best I could with what I had.

    "The fishing wasn't good enough for me to catch all my weight in a couple of hours (on tournament days) and then practice the rest of the day. It was all day, every day for me. I had to cover a lot of water and I was just catching one here or there."

    All of his fish on the first 2 days were enticed by a Booyah buzzbait. That quit working on day 3, so he switched to a Booyah Pad Crasher frog.

    His Cup-qualification situation wouldn't have been so tenuous had he not had two straight miserable finishes heading into Champlain. After a strong start to the campaign, a four-fish, 8 1/2-pound bag on day 1 resulted in a 125th-place showing at the Potomac River, and he had a boating mishap on day 2 at Kentucky Lake that prevented him from making check-in and gave him a zero for the day (he ended up 128th).

    "It was about time something good happened. I was fighting with that all the way through the tournament (at Champlain) and I thought I was going to have to end up in the Top 3 or so to make the Cup.

    "After day 2 somebody had figured it up and they told me I could make it if I finished 12th. Knowing that didn't change the way I fished, though – I just went out and caught all that I could."

    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.

  • Rankings: Dudley up by a bunch

    There's no question that David Dudley is the hottest angler in pro fishing, and his recent dominance is reflected in the newest edition of the BassFan World Rankings as the Virginian has pushed his margin over No. 2 Brent Chapman to 26 points.

    For the full list, click here.

  • New poll: Elite Series AOY

    Who’s it going to be at Oneida?

    Can Brent Chapman cap off his amazing season with a Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) title? Can last year’s Elite Series Rookie of the Year Ott DeFoe continue his steady climb and seize the crown? Or will it be someone else in the Top 10? A KVD 5-peat, perhaps?

    We have 6 weeks to talk about it and postulate all the scenarios. We want to know who BassFans are picking to walk away with the AOY title and $100,000 payday next month at Oneida Lake.

    Check out our new poll, which poses the simple question: Who's your pick to win the Elite Series 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.

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Lake Michigan

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

    While his tournament may have ended prematurely with a mechanical issue on day 4, Russ Lane was more than happy about his result at the Lake Michigan Elite Series.

    The Alabama pro opened in a tie for 44th with Alton Jones after catching 12-12 on day 1. He made a strong move on day 2 behind a 17-04 stringer that pushed him into 15th with 30-00. While his day-3 weight tailed off (12-09) he surged into 11th, clinching his first 12-cut of the season. He had to take a zero on day 4 and finished 12th, but his jump of 32 places was the biggest of any competitor in the field.

    “I had a great week. I caught a lot of fish,” he said. “It didn’t fall how I’d have liked it to at the end, but I’ll take as many Top-12s as I can get.”

    The key to his improvement on day 2 was reading the wind, which many anglers said dictated how the fish would set up.

    “Definitely, it was recognizing the wind and how it affected the fish,” he said. “It created some current on day 2 and I figured out how the current had the smallmouths positioned.”

    Once he got locked in on them, he served up a Spro Fat Papa crankbait on 12-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon line when there were some ripples in the water. When it slicked off, he caught most of his fish dropshotting a 4 3/4-inch Big Bite Baits Coontail Worm (green-pumpkin) on 7-pound Shooter.

    “I wouldn’t get many bites on the crankbait, but I’d get the right ones,” he noted.

    Another key for him was having three separate areas to himself, a rarity in a tournament that featured so much crowding and spot-sharing. He fished mainly flats that had some rock features on them.

    “Not real obvious stuff,” he added.

    Fishing vast, open water wasn’t a big departure from his comfort zone, but this was easily his best finish at any of the Great Lakes.

    “I’m pretty comfortable with just about anything,” he said. “I feel like I’m a pretty versatile angler. I’m good at many things, but maybe not a master at one. I love fishing super clear water because the fish are always looking for shade or bait and it’s a little easier to figure out how they’re going to set up.”

    He’s currently 28th in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) standings, meaning he’ll likely need to make the 49-cut at Oneida Lake to have shot at making the Bassmaster Classic next year.

    “I’m not going to have any different mindset than I usually do,” he said. “I’ve done okay in the past at Oneida. I’m just going to go and fish hard and fish to win.”

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

  • Big Bite Lookback: Lake Michigan

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

    Bill Lowen’s no stranger to the big water of the Great Lakes, having fished Lake Erie his whole life. But when the chips are down and there’s a decent river bite going on, count him in.

    That’s why he spent the vast majority of the first 3 days of the Lake Michigan Elite Series fishing the Fox River and nearly made his second 12-cut in as many weeks by doing so. He averaged a tick over 14 pounds a day, but came up 6 ounces shy and settled for 13th.

    “I practiced out in the open the water the first 2 days,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me at all. I know how the game’s played out there, but I just wasn’t getting many bites. When I did get bit, it was between a 4- and 6-pounder.

    "I spent all day Wednesday in the river and caught all 3 1/2-pounders. I figured if I could go in there and catch 3 1/2-pounders all day and not have to run way out there on the lake, that was my best strategy.”

    In hopes of catching an early giant, he fell in line with the majority of the field and headed north on day 1, but he didn’t find what he was looking for – just a couple of 14-inchers.

    “Then I ran all the way back to the river and spent the rest of the tournament in there,” he added.

    He threw a Tightlines UV Beaver on his signature series swim-jig made by D&L Tackle as well as a spinnerbait and he caught nothing but smallmouths out of dirty, 85-degree water that measured no deeper than 2 feet, an almost unheard of combination of water conditions to catch smallies.

    “These smallmouths thought they were largemouths,” he said. “I was concentrating on isolated rocks that were offshore.”

    He lost several key fish, including one he estimated close to 6 pounds on day 1, that would’ve earned him an extra day of fishing.

    Despite missing the 12-cut, he’s cashed a check in all seven Elite Series events this season and booked a 10th-place finish at the Bassmaster Classic. He’ll head to Oneida Lake in August in 5th place in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) standings and with a full supply of confidence.

    “It feels really good,” he said. “I haven’t really changed anything this year. I’m still fishing the way I always have. I’m just keeping my confidence level up all the time and not doing anything to step out of my comfort zone. It’s easy to make better decisions that way.”

    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.

  • Dudley wants more records

    Dudley wants more records

    David Dudley became the first angler to win back-to-back FLW Tour Angler of the Year awards on Saturday. If the Virginian gets his way, he'll achieve a lot more unprecedented milestones before his career is over.

    For more of Dudley's thoughts on his third career AOY and what lies behind and ahead of him, click here.

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