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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

  • Umbrellas still a no-go with Elites

    In recent months, multiple sources had indicated that B.A.S.S. was open to the idea of allowing a one-hook version of an umbrella rig in competition in 2013. However, that notion was quickly put to rest with the release of the 2013 Elite Series rules, which prohibit the use of multi-lure rigs as was the case in 2012.

    A B.A.S.S. communication official confirmed to BassFan today that, “the 2013 Elite Series rules are set in stone, and there will be no change from the 2012 rule prohibiting umbrella rigs.”

    Word is the umbrella rig was killer at Grand Lake last winter and could’ve played a factor in the upcoming Bassmaster Classic.

  • An answer for the bait-bag blues

    Ever have trouble locating a particular bag of plastic baits? If you claim that you don't, you're probably not telling the truth.

    Berkley has come up with a way to alleviate that problem with its Classics Max Capacity Notebook, which can keep 24 packages handy and secure. To learn more, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Griffin stepping away from Elites

    Griffin stepping away from Elites

    Chad Griffin has decided to step away from the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2013. The Texas pro, whose only tour-level victory came as a rookie in 2009 at Oneida Lake, is taking time off to focus more on his family.

    He plans to do some guiding at Lake Fork and Squaw Creek in Texas, and may fish a few EverStarts or Opens next year, but his decision to take a break from tour competition was motivated by family and finances. He gained full custody of his daughter nearly 2 years ago and wants to devote more time to her.

    “I feel like the time is now to be here for her more than out on the road,” he told BassFan today. “It was hard on her and my girlfriend, me being gone so much. It took a toll on me being out on the road. I want to get myself back together mentally and be back up there playing with the big boys. There’s always a right time to do things and while you might not want to do it, you know it’s the right time.”

    Since winning at Oneida, he struggled with consistency as he made just six 50-cuts over the past 3 seasons. He said financing another season of entry fees and expenses without a major sponsor would’ve been difficult.

    “I always said I’d never take money away from my daughter in order to fish and for me to fish the Elite Series next year, I’d probably have to do that,” he said. “I feel burned out. In the long run, I think it’ll be a good thing. I don’t want to get out of the fishing industry. I just need to take a step back."

  • Scroggins fills in for VanDam in MLF

    Scroggins fills in for VanDam in MLF

    Florida Bassmaster Elite Series pro Terry Scroggins fills in for the absent Kevin VanDam for the second Major League Fishing event, which will begin airing Jan. 3 on the Outdoor Channel. The event was filmed in late August at New York's Lake Chautauqua.

    BassFans may recall that Scroggins was part of the organization's original roster, but stepped away prior to the initial event for what he cited as "personal reasons."

    “We were absolutely delighted to welcome Terry Scroggins to Major League Fishing," said MLF commissioner Don Rucks. "As one of the top anglers on the B.A.S.S. Elite Series tour, we are fortunate that he's joining us."

    “Terry’s a creative and popular angler, and he has the type of on-camera personality that works extremely well at Major League Fishing. We believe we have a field of anglers that is second to none, and Terry Scroggins fits right in.”

    Tim Horton, who missed the league’s first event due to a prior commitment, also competed at Chautauqua. In the league’s first event last year, Todd Faircloth stepped in for Horton.

    VanDam was forced to sit out the Chautauqua event due to a sponsor obligation.

  • Evinrude re-ups, gets naming rights

    Evinrude re-ups, gets naming rights

    Evinrude announced today it's signed a multi-year deal to continue its sponsorship of FLW. For the first time in the 12-year history of the partnership, the company will get naming rights to one of the six FLW Tour events in 2013.

    "BRP and the Evinrude brand are proud to be a partner of FLW, a premier professional sports organization that has set the standard for competitive fishing,” said Evinrude director of marketing and strategic planning Christopher Berg. “This sponsorship allows us to showcase the power, performance and low maintenance of our Evinrude E-TEC outboards while engaging with fishing enthusiasts who love the sport as much as we do.”

    Said FLW Marketing Division president Trisha Blake: “FLW and Evinrude have shared a longstanding and mutually beneficial partnership spanning 12 years. BRP’s support of the FLW organization and professional tournament fishing exemplifies their deep commitment to the sport, anglers and fans. We are very proud of our association with Evinrude and look forward to deepening our relationship even beyond what it is today.”

  • Corps considering plan to close TN tailwaters

    According to a story posted Wednesday on Nooga.com, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Nashville District is considering a plan that would restrict recreational boater access to tailwater areas on the Cumberland River in Tennessee.

    The article quoted a brief statement released by the Corps that a plan is close to being finalized that would prevent boat access "to hazardous waters directly upstream and downstream of all hydroelectric power plant facilities along the Cumberland River and its tributaries."

    The issue has attracted the attention of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who fired off a letter to the Corps expressing his concerns about the plan.

    To check out the full report, click here.

  • Snapcast: Sportsmen's Act must pass now

    Many were surprised earlier this week when the U.S. Senate failed to pass the Sportsmen's Act of 2012. In hindsight, no one should've been. After all, do any of us really have reason – any reason at all – to expect competence out of our elected federal representatives?

    The Sportsmen's Act, which contains a lot of good stuff for those of us who love to fish and hunt, got shot down Monday due to a procedural matter. It would've raised the price of a federal duck stamp from $15 to $25 – an increase that is not opposed by the vast majority of the nation's waterfowl hunters. However, it was deemed to violate the Budget Control Act of 2011, since duck-stamp proceeds are used to buy wetlands, and such purchases would be classified as new spending.

    Okay, rules are rules, and they should be followed. But it seems inconceivable that this matter wasn't straightened out prior to the Act coming to the Senate floor for a vote. Now there's a mad scramble going on in Washington D.C. to get the whole thing fixed so it can be brought up for another vote before this lame-duck Congress calls it quits. Time is extremely short.

    This deal is important, folks. It's been hailed as the most significant piece of legislation benefiting anglers and hunters in a generation. It would protect habitat, provide better access and get the lead-ban crowd off the backs of the companies that produce sinkers and ammunition.

    It needs to be passed now and there's time to get it done – but not much. Our senators need to know that this is a high priority for those of us who take to the water with a rod and reel or go afield with a dog and gun. There are more than enough of us to get that message across, but we must be heard.

    Why not take a few minutes today to call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge your respective senators to get this matter wrapped up before they go home for the holidays This is a rare opportunity to take back some of the ground that sportsmen have lost in recent years, and we just can't afford to let it slip away.

    ––John Johnson
    ––BassFan Senior Editor

  • Hauser steps up to FLW Tour

    Hauser steps up to FLW Tour

    North Carolina's Wayne Hauser, a regular competitor on triple-A circuits over the past several years, will compete on the FLW Tour in 2013.

    "It's something I've thought about my whole life," he said. "I've been fishing since I was 5 years old, and in high school I'd be out fishing for bass or competing in local tournaments when other kids were going to sporting events.

    "I kind of got off that track when I went to college and then started a business career. But I took a left turn when I was 40 and decided to do something different, and I've been trying to develop the skills to allow me to compete at the (tour) level. It's taken me longer than I thought it would – those guys are good and I didn't want to be out there wasting my money."

    Now 46, he's left his position in the banking and investment sector and is fishing full-time. He finished 10th in the Bassmaster Southern Open points in 2011.

    "I don't have delusions of grandeur – I don't think I'm going to go out and become the next David Dudley next year. But if I can make four checks out of six tournaments I can break even, and if I make five checks I can make a few bucks. I want to get some experience at that level and then go on from there."

  • Brody bags 'ghost buck'

    Brody bags 'ghost buck'

    Ohio Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brent "Brody" Broderick had his heart set on bagging a specific whitetail buck this season, and he was recently successful in that quest. The deer, a main-frame 8-pointer with 8 extra points (not counting a broken drop tine) achieved a "green score" of 167 3/8 on the Boone & Crockett scale.

    He killed it with a crossbow from a treestand adjacent to some corn and soybean fields.

    "I'd been after him for 2 seasons," he said. "He was nicknamed the 'ghost buck' because he would just appear and disappear in places around these farms. I was totally dedicated to harvesting him and him alone.

    "He's the biggest one I've ever gotten. I can't wait to get him officially scored – I'm hoping he pushes over the 170 class after all the adds and deducts."

    The antler spread measured 19 1/8 inches from the inside, with the greatest circumference at the base a whopping 9 3/8 inches.

    "That's Foster's Lager beer-can round," he exclaimed.

  • Lucas Oil aligns with Ranger

    Lucas Oil aligns with Ranger

    Lucas Oil, which has dramatically increased the size of its footprint within the fishing industry over the past couple of years, has entered into a partnership with Ranger Boats.

    The deal comprises several joint initiatives, including a new "Factory Fill" program,that centers on the use of several key Lucas products in the Ranger manufacturing process. This includes the use of Lucas hydraulic steering fluid, grease and marine engine oil at the factory. In addition, each Ranger boat will come equipped with a pre-packaged sample kit of Lucas Oil products, including their highly acclaimed Slick Mist speed wax and interior detailer, along with samples of Lucas fishing reel oil, fuel injector cleaner, ethanol treatment and trim and tire shine.

    The kit will be packaged in a convenient bucket with lid for long-lasting use and boasts a retail value of over $50. The Factory Fill program also includes the opportunity for all authorized Ranger dealers to carry Lucas Oil products in their showroom.

    "We're passionate about fishing and boating," said Jamie Devney, director of sales and marketing/Team Lucas. "It doesn't matter if you're a weekend angler or serious tournament fisherman, Lucas Oil marine products enhance the performance of any boat. Combine that with so many award winning products designed to help take care of tow vehicles, and we feel like our partnership with Ranger Boats is a perfect fit."

  • J.M. Smucker Co. renews with FLW

    FLW announced today that The J.M. Smucker Company will return as a sponsor for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    As part of the deal, Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., will fish out of the Folgers-wrapped boat during the 2013 season. One of the most successful anglers on the FLW Tour, the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup champion has amassed more than $1.5 million in career earnings.

  • HALO Fishing lands Avena

    HALO Fishing lands Avena

    HALO Fishing announced today it has signed FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena to its pro staff.

    “Making the decision to bring Adrian onboard was an easy one,” said HALO co-owner Alex Pappas. “After meeting him at the Forrest Wood Cup and seeing his enthusiasm and commitment to the sport, we liked him from the start.”

    HALO co-owner Lionel Botha added, “We then spoke with one of our current pro-staffers, Randall Tharp, who recommended him highly and felt he could be a key ingredient in elevating the finesse side of our equipment to the highest level possible.”

    In 2011, Avena won the Lake Champlain Eastern EverStart and the New Jersey native made the successful jump to the Tour this year by qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup as a rookie.

    “I am really excited to become a member of HALO's team,” said Avena. “Their company revolves around satisfying customers and they are constantly working on improving their product to fit an individual’s needs.

    “In the past two months I have caught some bruiser smallmouth on HALO’s very light and sensitive bass rods, but I’ve also put their rods to the test in saltwater, catching numerous species of fish such as flounder, striped bass, mahi mahi, cobia and a 100-pound dusky.”

    For more information on HALO Fishing, click here.

  • Fenwick HMX: Affordable durability

    <b><font color=maroon>Fenwick HMX: Affordable durability</font></b>

    Fenwick's venerable HMX rod series has been updated for 2013. The new features include a cross-scrim construction that enhances strength and action.

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

  • Parrish going back to FLW

    Parrish going back to FLW

    Texan Russell Parrish, who's competed on the Bassmaster Elite Series the past 2 years, told BassFan today that he'll forego that circuit in 2013 and return to the FLW Tour, where he competed in 2010.

    "I'm basically out of money," he said. "Because of the New York tournaments (on the '13 Elite schedule) and there being more tournaments in general (than on the FLW Tour), I didn't think I had the time or money to fish the Elites next year. The FLW tournaments are closer to home and there's two fewer of them, so that's the route I decided to take.

    "I hate not giving the Elites 3 years, but I just couldn't do it. I never really had a major sponsor – I had people helping me out with boats and rods and things like that, but nobody putting money in my pocket, and that pocket's pretty thin right now."

    Parrish, who owns a heavy-equipment sales operation, logged three Top-50 finishes in his 2 seasons on the Elites, with two of those coming at Florida's St. Johns River. He ended up 92nd on the points list in 2011 and 87th this year.

    He was 116th in the 2010 FLW points chase with a top placement of 89th at Fort Loudoun/Tellico.

  • Sonar settles in at Guntersville

    Sonar settles in at Guntersville

    BassFan columnist Miles "Sonar" Burghoff has settled into the house at Lake Guntersville he's sharing with 2010 Forrest Wood Cup champion Kevin Hawk and is eagerly anticipating the start of the 2013 season. A couple of new sponsorship deals he's picked up have helped him solidify his schedule, which he hopes to further expand as the year goes on.

    To read his latest Sonar Sound-Off piece, click here.

  • Butcher steps down from Elites

    Butcher steps down from Elites

    OutdoorsFirst.com reported today that Terry Butcher will step down from Elite Series competition in 2013. The Oklahoman, who fished at B.A.S.S.' top level for 8 seasons and qualified for two Bassmaster Classics, cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the reason for his decision.

    To read more, click here.

  • BassFan's Holiday Gift Guides

    Have an avid angler on your shopping list this holiday season? Trying to come up with your own answers to those "What do you want for Christmas" questions? You've come to the right place.

    The BassFan staff has compiled a list of really cool and useful products that we're sure any angler would appreciate receiving as a gift. While we know it's hard to fit a boat under the tree these days, we've selected a wide variety of items that run the gamut from hooks to coffee-table books.

    We've broken the list into three parts. To check out part 1, click here. To read part 2, click here. For part 3, click here.

  • Horton's new show debuts in January

    Horton's new show debuts in January

    Bassmaster Elite Series veteran Tim Horton will host a new show that will debut in January on both the World Fishing Network (WFN) and the Pursuit Channel. The show, called Timmy Horton Outdoors Presented by Bass Pro Shops, will emphasize technique instruction for both tournament and recreational anglers.

    “This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “Knowing that I have a way to reach the fans on a weekly basis through television is so cool. Teaching is something I have always enjoyed and I believe it will be notable to the viewers.”

    The show is filmed on public waters that include Pickwick Lake, Big Bay De Noc, Lake Okeechobee and Lake Guntersville. Show times will be available on the WFN and Pursuit Channel websites, and updates will be posted at www.timmyhortonoutdoors.com.

  • BU offers Thanksgiving discount

    BU offers Thanksgiving discount

    The Bass University is offering a 15 percent discount on 2013 seminars for those who enroll from Thanksgiving Day through "cyber Monday" (Nov. 22-26). Here's a look at the schedule and featured insturctors:

    Frankfort, Ky.
    Jan. 19-20

    > Brent Ehrler, Ott DeFoe, Mike Iaconelli, Ish Monroe, John Crews, Pete Gluszek.

    Schaumburg, Ill.
    Jan. 26-27

    > Shaw Grigsby, Mike Iaconelli, Bernie Schultz, Pete Gluszek, Brandon Palaniuk, Mike McClelland

    Dallas, Texas
    Feb. 9-12

    > Gerald Swindle, Kevin Short, Mike Iaconelli, Randy Howell, Jeff Kriet, Pete Gluszek.

    Oaks, Pa.
    Feb. 16-17

    > Jacob Wheeler, Davy Hite, Paul Elias, David Dudley, Fred Roumbanis, Mark Menendez.

    Suffern, N.Y.
    March 2-3

    > Ish Monroe, George Cochran, Mike Iaconelli, Pete Gluszek, Davy Hite.

    Weekend passes are $199 for adults and $175 for students age 17 and under. Single-day passes are $99 and $87.50.

    For more information, click here to visit the BU website.

  • Fed Nation Divisional schedule released

    Fed Nation Divisional schedule released

    B.A.S.S. today released the schedule for the 2013 Federation Nation Divisionals. Here's a look at the slate:

    > Western -- April 8-12 -- Clear Lake -- Lakeport, Calif.
    > Southern -- April 22-26 -- Douglas Lake -- Dandridge, Tenn.
    > Central -- June 3-7 -- Sam Rayburn Reservoir -- Lufkin, Texas
    > Mid-Atlantic -- July 22-26 -- Lake Erie -- Erie, Pa.
    > Northern -- Aug. 26-30 -- Lake Francis Case -- Chamberlain, S.D.
    > Eastern -- Sept. 16-20 -- Sebago Lake -- Point Sebago, Maine

    “As you can see from the schedule, it’s going to be an exciting season, spanning from coast to coast,” said Federation Nation senior manager Jon Stewart “We start at Clear Lake, where the anglers have the chance to catch 70, 80 or even 90 pounds in 3 days. And we have some great smallmouth fisheries with Erie and Francis Case.

    “We’re looking forward to getting the season started in April."

  • Rayovac, FLW partner up again

    FLW announced today that battery maker Rayovac will return as a sponsor in 2013 and remain the official dry cell battery of FLW. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

    As part of the deal, Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., will again represent Rayovac throughout the 2013 season. A former junior high basketball coach, Christie has transformed into one of the most successful anglers in the sport today by qualifying for four straight Forrest Wood Cups and accumulating nearly $650,000 in winnings in just five years as a professional with FLW.

  • Martens breaks 4 hours in first marathon

    Martens breaks 4 hours in first marathon

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Aaron Martens competed in the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, finishing below his target time of 4 hours. This year’s All-Star champion, who's shown in the center of the photograph to the right, completed the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 56 minutes, 10 seconds.

    “Everybody was pushing themselves to the point of collapse. It’s pretty awesome,” Martens said a few minutes after completing his first marathon. “It’s the hardest physical experience I’ve ever put my body through. It’s incredible.”

    He said the final couple miles were the toughest stretch, but he still achieved his goal of a sub-4-hour race. His training wasn’t what he had hoped it would be over the last couple months. In addition to tournament commitments, he had a bout of walking pneumonia 3 weeks ago that hampered in preparation.

    “I want to do another one when I’ve been able to train right, but it’s so hard to get all the training in with my schedule,” he added.

  • Sportsman Channel, IMO, Outdoor Channel merge

    It was announced this morning that Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. has approved a merger agreement with InterMedia Outdoors, Inc., and The Sportsman Channel, forming a new holding company called InterMedia Outdoors Holdings, LLC. It should be noted that InterMedia Outdoors is the parent company of BassFan.com.

    Here is the press release outlining the basics of the merger.

    TEMECULA, Calif. – November 16, 2012 – Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: OUTD) today announced that its board of directors unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement with InterMedia Outdoors Holdings, LLC (“IMOH LLC”) which in turn controls The Sportsman Channel, a national cable television network for outdoor enthusiasts, and InterMedia Outdoors, Inc., a multi-media company that publishes 15 market leading outdoor magazines, 20 leading websites and is a leading television producer in the category. IMOH LLC is controlled by InterMedia Partners VII, L.P., a private equity investment fund.

    This merger will create InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (“IMOH Inc.”), the premier media and content company serving the large and growing market of outdoor enthusiasts in the United States. This transaction unites the industry leaders in outdoor television, print, digital and social media, as well as editorial and content production for the hunting, shooting, fishing and conservation categories. The combination will enable IMOH Inc. to serve the vast and growing consumer base of outdoor enthusiasts across all media while providing an unparalleled multimedia platform for distributors, producers and advertisers to connect with one of the country’s largest vertical lifestyle markets.

    Tom Hornish, President and CEO of Outdoor Channel Holdings (the “Company”), commented: “This is a logical and highly complementary transaction that creates an exceptional multimedia organization optimally positioned to serve the huge and growing outdoor lifestyle category. Combining the resources of these three companies will allow us to better serve the consumers, distributors and advertisers in this robust marketplace. We will have the highest quality content, the top brands and the greatest reach. In turn, we also strengthen our ability to invest in our assets, expand our distribution and drive further returns for our shareholders.”

    Jeff Paro, CEO of InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. stated, “This is the culmination of a long and dedicated effort by our team to build a truly multimedia enterprise. IMOH Inc. will serve all of its consumers in all media across all platforms. National and endemic advertisers will have unprecedented opportunities to reach our very large and attractive consumer base.”

    Gavin Harvey, CEO of The Sportsman Channel, said “We built Sportsman from a small cable network five years ago into one of the preeminent brands in the outdoor space. I am excited by what we have achieved and even more excited about the prospects for the combined company. The marriage of two cable networks with the reach and brands of InterMedia Outdoors is a truly unique proposition in the cable media landscape.”

    Following the close of the transaction, Tom Hornish and Tom Allen, the Company’s CFO/COO, will be CEO and CFO/COO of IMOH Inc., respectively. Gavin Harvey will be President, Television Networks and Jeff Paro will be President, Publishing, Integrated Media and Branded Content.

    InterMedia Partners VII, L.P. and the minority members of IMOH LLC will own 67.6% of IMOH Inc. and InterMedia Partners VII, L.P. will become the majority shareholder of IMOH Inc. Peter Kern, Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners VII, L.P., who will become Executive Chairman of the Board of IMOH Inc., said, “We are tremendously excited about the combination of these businesses and the opportunity it presents to build awareness and value for this media segment. With two cable networks each reaching over 30 million homes, 20 branded websites, and over 23 million monthly readers, we are in a unique position to grow this category and deliver greater value to all our constituencies.”

    The transaction will take the form of a cash and stock election merger in which the Company’s stockholders will be entitled to receive for each share, subject to proration, either $8.00 in cash or one share of stock in IMOH Inc. An aggregate of $115 million will be available for the Company’s stockholders electing cash such that, as result of the transaction, the stockholders of the Company are expected to own approximately 32.4% of IMOH Inc. In connection with the transaction, the Company’s board has also approved a 25 cent per share special dividend which will be paid on or about December 7, 2012 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on November 27, 2012. The Company expects that IMOH Inc. will be listed for trading on NASDAQ.
    IMOH LLC has secured a $150 million fully committed financing from CIT Communications, Media & Entertainment to finance a portion of the merger consideration and to refinance the outstanding debt of InterMedia Outdoors, Inc.

    The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the registration statement on Form S-4 being declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission, receipt of requisite regulatory approvals, approval from the Company’s stockholders with respect to the merger and other customary closing conditions. The Company’s largest stockholders, Perry T. Massie, Thomas H. Massie and their affiliated entities and each of the Company’s directors and executive officers, together whom currently represent a combined ownership of approximately 41% of the Company, each have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.

    Lazard is serving as exclusive financial advisor to the Company in connection with the transaction. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. is legal advisor to the Company in connection with the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is legal advisor to IMOH LLC in connection with the transaction.

  • Last chance to win Howell's boat

    For the second straight year, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Randy Howell is giving away his tournament boat, with proceeds going to King's Home for abused, neglected, abandoned and homeless children and teens. The winning ticket will be drawn Sunday at an event in Chelsea, Ala.

    Every donation of $100 results in one entry into the drawing for the Triton/Mercury rig (a $1,000 donation garners 10 entries). Today is the final day to enter.

    To learn more about the giveaway and King's Home, click here.

  • Win a trip to ’13 Classic

    With the field now set for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Okla., B.A.S.S. is offering up the chance for fans to win a trip to enjoy the event in person.

    The Destination Classic Spin ’N’ Win sweepstakes is underway and the grand prize is a trip for two to the upcoming Classic, which will be held at Grand Lake on Feb. 22-24, 2013.

    Participants can register and play the Spin ’N’ Win game daily through Dec. 21. In addition to the grand prize package, more than 1,000 prizes will be given away, including a B.A.S.S. gear pack, a Bass Pro Shops gift card, Abu Garcia Orra reels, Spiderwire Ultracast Invisi-Braid line, Berkley Trilene XL line, LIVETARGET Hollow Body Frog lures, and a Yo-Zuri Sashimi suspending jerkbait.

    To learn about the contest and to enter, click here.

  • Grand ramp work under way

    In today’s Tulsa World, outdoors scribe Kelly Bostian provided an update on the construction that’s being done at Wolf Creek Park, which will serve as the launch ramp when the Bassmaster Classic visits Grand Lake in February.

    With the tournament due to get underway in exactly 100 days, construction was to begin today at the former 16th Street Boat Ramp in Grove, Okla., with drainage work and parking lot prep among projects involved in the first phase.

    To check out the whole article, click here.

  • Sandy did a number on boats

    According to a report in today’s Fishing Wire, more than 65,000 recreational boats suffered damage or were lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

    The bulk of the damage was done to vessels based in New York and New Jersey, but several other states were affected. It’s estimated that boat damage could approach $600 million.

    To read the complete story, click here.

  • MLF TV schedule set

    MLF TV schedule set

    The television schedule for the second Jack Link’s Major League Fishing event has been finalized.

    The General Tire Summit Cup, held at Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York this past August, will premiere on Outdoor Channel at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Episodes will air six times per week with a new showing airing every Thursday. The Championship Round will air on Feb. 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. EST on NBC and be re-aired on Outdoor Channel the following week.

    Seven episodes were produced at the Summit Cup – six detailing the on-the-water competition and a seventh showcasing fishing tips from the participants.

    In addition to new episodes airing on Thursdays, Outdoor Channel will rebroadcast the 1-hour shows throughout the week at the following times:

    > Friday: 7:30 p.m. EST
    > Saturday: 2 p.m. EST
    > Sunday: 4:30 p.m. EST
    > Tuesday: 1 p.m. EST
    > Thursday: 11 a.m. EST

    “We are delighted to have an outstanding television schedule for the Summit Cup,” said MLF commissioner Don Rucks. “It is quite evident, with the addition of another hour per week of coverage, that Outdoor Channel believes it has a great product in Major League Fishing.

    “I believe anyone who watched our first event saw that Major League Fishing broke new ground with the way we covered professional competitive fishing. The second set of broadcasts will be even better. We had a great event at Chautauqua Lake, and I can’t wait for sports fans to watch how these top-level anglers performed with no practice on one of the finest venues in the country.”

    Tom Hornish, Outdoor Channel President and CEO, said, "Major League Fishing is among the cornerstone original programs appearing on our network in the first quarter of 2013. We know there is significant interest in the world of pro bass fishing among our viewers and are pleased to have worked closely with the league to offer the series on both Outdoor Channel and NBC.”

  • Scroggins the spin doctor?

    Scroggins the spin doctor?

    (Editor's note: Industry rep Alan McGuckin recently quizzed Elite Series pro Terry Scroggins about what led to his success in 2012. You might be surprised to read how the Floridian fished his way to a 3rd-place finish in Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year points).

    Terry “Big Show” Scroggins is a big guy. And for the past several seasons, the 6-foot, 235-pound Floridian has largely been perceived as a lover of the flipping stick and thick vegetation. There’s truth to that. But throughout the 2012 Elite Series season, truth was not always reality.

    The numbers don’t lie. According to the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, Scroggins was the third-best angler on tour this past season. And he caught more than half the keepers he hauled to the B.A.S.S. scales using finesse techniques and a spinning reel.

    How does it make you feel when after nine seasons on tour, some folks still perceive you as a Florida guy that primarily likes to pitch lures at thick vegetation?

    That’s fine, it is one of my strengths, but over the years I’ve learned versatility is the key to long-term success as a pro angler. And to be truthful about it, when the Elite Series went to a $5,000 entry fee, I realized really quickly that a spinning reel was a way to cash checks and gain points when things got tough.

    How were you able to learn finesse techniques so quickly?

    I got one heck of an education at a Bassmater Southern Open on Lake Martin, Alabama back in 2002. I was paired each day with a different pro, and all three of the guys I drew-out with knew something about finesse fishing in a tournament in which I didn’t have a clue. Woo Daves taught me how to catch them with a split shot around docks, J.T. Kenney showed me how to pair tungsten weights with a glass bead, and Fred “Taco” Bland taught me how awesome a shaky head could be.

    Describe a couple of classic scenarios, aside from the clear water smallmouth waters up north, where we could expect to find you throwing finesse tackle.

    That’s just it, finesse tackle and tactics are perceived to be used only in very specific situations. The truth is, I’ll throw it anywhere and anytime the fishing is tough. I caught 4-pounders off spawning beds, and a 9-pounder out of a brushpile with a spinning reel this past season. So from rocky points to rip rap, and even around brushpiles, if you’re struggling to get a bite, you better start thinking about how to catch them with a spinning reel.

    Give us some basic guidance on getting started with finesse tackle by choosing a couple basic tackle set-ups.

    First off, a 6’ 8” medium heavy spinning rod is about the only finesse rod you’ll need. Then, there’s more good news, if you’ll use 10-pound braid as your main line, and simply tie various leaders as needed during lure changes to that 10-pound braid, you can fish that same spool of braid for 6 months, and all you ever have to change is a few feet of fluorocarbon leader. Swindle taught me that, and it’s true. I fish for a living, and still, I only changed the 10-pound braid on my spinning reel twice last year.

    Now, as far as what lures I use, I like a 1/8-ounce shaky head tied to a 6-pound fluorocarbon leader, tipped with a trick worm in either green-pumpkin or red bug.

    If I want to leave a bait in one spot for a long time, I’ll use a drop shot, and it’s not always a vertical presentation. For example, I might be dragging a drop shot super slowly across the top of a point. For drop shotting, I use a 6-pound fluorocarbon leader, a #1 drop-shot hook tipped with a 6” finesse worm, and a 3/16-ounce weight.

    My third finesse set-up is a split shot rig that consists of a 12-pound monofilament leader with a #8 clamshell-shaped weight crimped on the line right next to the hook that holds my trick worm, much like a Texas rig.

    Finally, are you surprised that you used a spinning reel in 5 of the 8 regular season Elite Series season events en route to finishing 3rd overall in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Race?

    No, not really, although I didn’t realize it was quite that much until you walked my memory back through the schedule. But again, at the end of the day, a finesse presentation saves your butt as a professional angler. It helps you get paid by consistently generating bites, and I look forward to using it again next year.

  • Martin to the front in 2013

    Martin to the front in 2013

    With three co-angler tournament victories over the past two FLW Tour seasons, Casey Martin will make the move to the front of the boat in 2013 when he’ll fish the Tour as a professional. The New Market, Ala., angler won back-to-back tournaments to conclude the 2011 season and claimed the Kentucky Lake event this past June.

    It won’t be the first foray into the pro role for the 31-year-old. He fished the Southeast EverStart Series this year from the front deck, logging two Top-10s, including a 5th-place finish at the recent EverStart Series Championship at the Ouachita River.

    “I’ve learned a lot the past two seasons from some amazing pros,” said Martin, who works as an electrical engineer. “It’s not just techniques either. Getting to watch the decision-making process firsthand has proven invaluable. The co-angler and EverStart programs are great stepping stones to make it to the FLW Tour and I have been fortunate to have had success the past two years which gives me confidence moving forward.

    “I know how good these pros are and it will be a lot of hard work and dedication to fish at this level but I am looking forward to accepting those challenges and fishing against the best in the world.”

    Martin grew up in Windsor, Ontario, on the shores of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. After high school, he moved south to St. Louis for college. In 2007, he ventured further south in search of warmer temperatures and bigger bass – this time stopping in northern Alabama near Lake Guntersville – the scene of his second FLW Tour victory.

    Martin is still looking for a title sponsor for 2013 to augment his stable of sponsors, which includes Rat-L-Trap, Boing Lures, Omega Custom Tackle, Tackle Warehouse, Evinrude, Picasso Lures, Lock-n-Haul, Power-Pole and Z-Man Fishing Products.

    “I am really fortunate to have some of the best sponsors in the industry supporting me in 2013,” he added. “Being able to use the best products in the business has been key to my success as a co-angler and will play a vital role in the transition to the front of the boat.”

  • Bass-A-Thon in SoCal this weekend

    Bassmaster Elite Series standouts Brent Chapman, Edwin Evers and David Walker will join the legendary Al Lindner as featured speakers this weekend at the 26th annual Anglers Marine Winter Bass-A-Thon in Anaheim, Calif.

    The event, which runs Saturday and Sunday, will feature more than 100 vendors and admission is free. For more information, go to www.AnglersMarine.com.

  • Kellogg's returns as FLW sponsor

    FLW announced today that the Kellogg Company has renewed its sponsorship under a multi-year deal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    As part of the deal, Kellogg’s will serve as the title sponsor of the Angler of the Year awards for the pro and co-anglers on the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour for the third consecutive year. A $100,000 bonus will be paid to the pro Angler of the Year, who will also earn a berth in the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. The co-Angler of the Year will earn a new Ranger Z518 boat with a 200-hp outboard engine and a berth in the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

    In addition, familiar Kellogg's brands will adorn the boats used by Shin Fukae (Cheez-It), Dave Lefebre (Frosted Flakes), Greg Bohannan (Pop-Tarts) and Jim Tutt (Rice Krispies Treats) during the 2013 season.

  • LMB virus detected in Lake Pleasant

    According to a report in Today's News-Herald out of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Arizona Game and Fish Department officials have confirmed the presence of largemouth bass virus in Lake Pleasant after processing routine test samples obtained in October.

    The virus can affect bass, but doesn't pose a danger to humans or pets.

    “Largemouth bass virus is not known to infect any warm-blooded animals and any fish caught by anglers are safe to eat,” said Marc Dahlberg, AZGFD water quality program manager in a prepared statement. “However, we always recommend that people thoroughly cook any fish they intend to eat, and never use fish found dead or dying for food.”

    To date, no fish kills associated with the virus have been documented by AZGFD. Fishing remains productive with no recreational impacts. Lake Pleasant is the top fishing recreation site in Arizona with at least 520,000 angler use days.

    To check out the entire article, click here.

  • Classic field set

    Classic field set

    Now that the Bassmaster Weekend Series (BWS) Championship is in the books, the field for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic is set.

    A total of 53 anglers culled from 21 different states – one competitor hails from Zimbabwe – will compete at Grand Lake in Oklahoma in February in the 43rd edition of the Classic.

    Albert Collins secured the final berth after his dominant victory at the BWS Championship at Sam Rayburn Reservoir over the weekend.

    Here’s a snapshot of who’s slated to compete (and how each qualified) at Grand Lake in Grove, Okla., on Feb. 22-24, 2013:

    Elite Series Winners

    > Alton Jones – St. Johns River
    > Ish Monroe – Lake Okeechobee
    > Brandon Palaniuk – Bull Shoals Lake
    > Jeremy Starks – Douglas Lake
    > Todd Faircloth – Mississippi River
    > Jonathon VanDam – Lake Michigan
    > Boyd Duckett – Oneida Lake

    Elite Series Points Qualifiers

    > Ott DeFoe
    > Terry Scroggins
    > Randy Howell
    > Matt Herren
    > Kevin VanDam
    > Edwin Evers
    > Bill Lowen
    > Aaron Martens
    > Skeet Reese
    > Bobby Lane
    > Greg Hackney
    > David Walker
    > Dean Rojas
    > Nate Wellman
    > Cliff Pace
    > John Crews, Jr.
    > Mark Davis
    > Yusuke Miyazaki
    > Brandon Card
    > Gerald Swindle
    > Takahiro Omori
    > Shaw Grigsby
    > Marty Robinson
    > Tommy Biffle
    > Russ Lane
    > Cliff Prince
    > Jason Quinn
    > Mike Iaconelli
    > Mike McClelland
    > Jared Lintner

    Bassmaster Open Winners

    > Chris Lane – Harris Chain Southern Open
    > Tracy Adams – Lake Norman Southern Open
    > Hank Cherry – Lewis Smith Lake Southern Open
    > Brent Chapman – Lewisville Lake Central Open
    > Casey Scanlon – Table Rock Lake Central Open
    > Jason Christie – Detroit River Northern Open
    > Joshua Wagy – James River Northern Open
    > Pete Gluszek – Cayuga Lake Northern Open

    College Bass Champion

    > Matt Lee – Auburn University

    Federation Nation Qualifiers

    > Mark Pierce – Southern champion
    > Andy Bravence – Western champion
    > Jared Knuth – Central champion
    > Mark Dove – Northern champion
    > Jonathan Carter – Eastern champion
    > Gerry Jooste – Mid-Atlantic champion

    Weekend Series Champion

    > Albert Collins

  • Chat with Howell on Tuesday

    <b><font color=green>Chat with Howell on Tuesday</font color></b>

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Randy Howell is coming off another strong season that saw him pull down six Top-15 finishes and place 5th in the Angler of the Year standings. With 2013 just around the corner, Howell will join us for the first-ever BassFan Twitter chat on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. EST.

    Get your questions ready for the Alabama pro, who will be available to discuss whatever’s on your fishing mind – the 2012 season, the 2013 schedule or the upcoming boat giveaway he’s doing through his sponsor King’s Home.

    To participate in the chat, you'll need a Twitter account. You can chat with us here.

  • Collins wins BWS, clinches Classic berth

    Clifford “Albert” Collins carried a lead of more than 10 pounds into the final day of the Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. It only bigger and better from there for the angler from Nacogdoches, Texas.

    Collins put the finishing touches on a dominant performance with a final-day stringer of 22.37 pounds to wrap up the victory and take away the final berth to next year’s Bassmaster Classic. He finished with 86.56, exactly 15 1/2 pounds heavier than runner-up and fellow Texan David Curtis.

    Longtime Rayburn stud Stephen Johnston was 3rd with 68.53.

    A story detailing Collins’ winning pattern will be published soon.

  • Light and rugged

    <b><font color=maroon>Light and rugged</font></b>

    The newest version of the Pflueger Purist spinning reel employs both aluminum and graphite components to make the real both lightweight and durable. The unique hybrid body results in an affordable reel that weighs as little as 7.3 ounces.

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

  • Strike King, FLW renew partnership

    FLW announced today that Strike King Lure Company has re-signed as an associate sponsor of FLW for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

    Strike King will also serve as title sponsor of the Angler of the Year award in the EverStart Series for each of the five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. The top pro and co-angler from the point standings in each division after four events win the Strike King Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year titles, respectively, which qualifies them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup provided they fish a full EverStart Series Division or the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour.

  • Amphibia, Sealy Outdoors align

    Amphibia Sports Sunglasses has signed on to be a sponsorship partner of Sealy Outdoors and the Big Bass Splash presented by Sealy Outdoors and B.A.S.S.

    “We are excited to have Amphibia Sports Sunglasses joining our organization as a sponsor," said Bob Sealy. "This year has been an amazing year for the Big Bass Splash and we look forward to Amphibia’s addition. I have worn them for a while now and assure you they are the best sunglasses on the market."

    Said Bill Eisenmann, president of Amphibia Sports, “Amphibia has made a huge entry into the fishing market in both salt and fresh water. It’s simple – Amphibia is a great investment for any serious fisherman and the fact that they float makes them that much better.”

  • Shimano expanding Calif. facility

    Shimano expanding Calif. facility

    Shimano American Corporation broke ground today on an expansion to the distribution center at its Irvine, Calif., headquarters.

    “This investment, combined with our East Coast distribution center expansion project started last month, will help us to improve our operational capabilities to better service our customers,” said company president Dave Pfeiffer.

    The Irvine facility will grow 48,000 square feet in distribution space, and an additional 3,000 square feet in office space, notes Allen Johnston, Shimano’s senior manager of operations. Along with Shimano bicycle components and fishing tackle, the company will continue to distribute its G.Loomis fishing rods and PowerPro fishing line from the Irvine location. When the project is complete in August 2013, Shimano will add the distribution of its Pearl Izumi technical cycling and running products, and have better capabilities for distribution of Jackall Lures the company begins handling in January.

    “With our expansion plans both in Irvine and at our distribution center in Ladson, S.C.,” said Pfeiffer, “ we’ll improve the efficient handling and shipping logistics of our brands – leading to benefits to all our business partners."

  • China offered Martin different view

    China offered Martin different view

    FLW Tour pro Scott Martin was impressed with the passion and accommodating nature of the Chinese people during a recent 10-day trip to Asia. While there, he also got an up-close look at tournament fishing. To read his account, click here.

  • Missile lands at Cabela's

    Missile lands at Cabela's

    Missile Baits, the soft-plastic bait company founded by Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews, will now be available through Cabela's website and will be available in 17 of Cabela's retail locations in early 2013.

    According to Crews, the store will initially carry three Missile products – the D-Bomb, the Missile Craw and the Tomahawk 8.75.

    "Cabela’s, a company so rich in history, having our baits in their outstanding stores is a huge step for Missile Baits," he said. "They started small just like we are. We are honored to be doing business with them. We really are looking forward to this relationship."

    To find a full listing of the Cabela’s locations that will carry Missile Baits, click here.

  • Report: 2014 Classic to Birmingham

    A brief report in today's Birmingham (Ala.) News says that Birmingham will serve as the host city for 2014 Bassmaster Classic, confirming previous speculation that the sport's signature event would return to Alabama.

    According to the article, Alabama governor Robert Bentley and Birmingham Mayor William Bell will join other city officials and area leaders and presumably B.A.S.S. officials today in announcing what they are calling a "major event" coming to Birmingham in 2014.

    No mention was made of what lake would serve as the venue, but it's been widely speculated that Lake Guntersville could be in line to host its second Classic.

    To read the story, click here.

  • Report: Scientists monitor Chesapeake Bay

    Fishing Tackle Retailer has an interesting piece today about the immediate impact and potential long-term effects Hurricane Sandy has had and will have on Chesapeake Bay and all the related waterways that empty into it.

    While a massive storm surge pushed a huge amount of water inland along New Jersey, New York and southern New England, the Chesapeake Bay was mostly spared of surge-related flooding due to the movement of the storm and predominant north winds.

    The report did state that water levels in the Potomac River have risen significantly and there's no telling yet what impact it will have on the fishery. To read the report, click here.

  • Miyazaki's focus was sharp

    Miyazaki's focus was sharp

    Yusuke Miyazaki has family, friends and fans on two continents who are pumped about his upcoming appearance in the Bassmaster Classic, which will be the first for the Japan native after 12 years as a full-time B.A.S.S. pro.

    "Yes, everybody's very excited," he said. "It's a big thrill for all of us."

    He displayed a level of consistency on the Bassmaster Elite Series this year that had eluded him in the past, finishing among the Top 50 in six of the eight events and making his first Sunday appearance (Top 12) since achieving that feat twice in 2007. He ended up 21st in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) race, which was a 62-place improvement over the previous campaign.

    He said his on-water decision-making was solid in 2011, but his execution was lacking. He attributed part of that to the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that devastated his home country just as the season was getting under way, which hindered his ability to focus.

    "I started getting the key bites in the tournaments, but I wasn't catching them last year. My fishing was right, but I couldn't concentrate. I knew my family was okay, but a lot of people were missing and I felt like I needed to get back over there. I was always thinking about it.

    "I found the fish again this year, and I was more fortunate to put those 5- or 6-pound kickers in the livewell. I was able to pay more attention to everything and I focused on controlling everything that I could."

    Like most of the field, he'll go to Grand Lake in February with just one objective in mind.

    "In the Classic, not too many people care about 2nd place. Everybody tries to win – that's everybody's goal."

  • Igloo back with FLW

    FLW announced today that Igloo Products Corp., the nation’s largest cooler manufacturer, has extended its associate sponsorship of FLW for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Cherry will fish Elites in 2013

    Cherry will fish Elites in 2013

    Hank Cherry remembers skipping a day of high school back in 1992 to go watch the weigh-ins for the North Carolina Bassmaster Top 100 at Lake Norman in person. He was a die-hard fishing fan and was desperate to get an up-close look at what the pros caught at his home lake.

    He made it back to school in time for baseball practice that day, but his superiors were wise to the caper.

    “I got in a little bit of trouble for that,” he said.

    But it was well worth it for the 38-year-old from Maiden, N.C., who told BassFan today that he has accepted an invitation to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2013.

    In a few months, he’ll fish his first Bassmaster Classic at Grand Lake. He earned that by winning the Lewis Smith Lake Southern Open in early October. The Elite Series invite came after he finished 4th in Southern Open points.

    “We had a family pow-wow and we all talked - my wife and I and our extended family – and we just decided that if I was going to do it, the time was now and that I should jump all the way in instead of doing it one step at a time,” he said. “I’ve been watching and fishing and dreaming about the Bassmaster Classic since I knew what it was. Growing up around here, I got to hear everything all the time about Hank Parker. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

    The support of his family was critical in helping him make the decision.

    “The day I won at Smith, I made the decision in my head that I was going to do it,” he said. “I also made the decision that if it was not going to be a fit for my family and if my wife wasn’t into it 100 percent, then there was no way I was going to do it. We have a 3-year-old and another one on the way so it’s a big load for her, too, but she said over and over again that she knows how important this is to me.”

    He fished the FLW Tour in 2007-08, but loss of sponsorship support forced him to get out of tournament fishing almost entirely. He won a new boat at an Oakley Big Bass Tournament at Lake Norman in 2010 and that seemed to re-ignite the passion again.

    “I’m not planning on this being a one-time thing and be done,” he said. “This is something I want to pursue and hopefully, this is the last job I ever have to have.”

    He said he hasn’t secured a wrap sponsor for next season yet, but has several potential deals in the works.

  • 2014 Classic: Guntersville?

    2014 Classic: Guntersville?

    Several sources have confirmed that B.A.S.S. is scheduled to make a major announcement Thursday in Alabama. The consensus opinion is that the organization will disclose the site of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

    Alabama, the birthplace and current home of B.A.S.S., has hosted 11 of the 41 Classics contested to date – far more than any other state. The last three of those (and four of the past five) were held at Lay Lake.

    Most of the current speculation is focused on Lake Guntersville, which has evolved into one of the top bass-fishing destinations in the country. The lake, about a 90-minute drive north of Birmingham, has hosted one previous Classic – the 1976 event that marked the first of Rick Clunn's record-tying four victories.

    If Guntersville is indeed the site, Kevin VanDam's 3-day event weight record of 69-11 (set in 2011 at the Louisiana Delta) will be in serious jeopardy. During the pre-spawn, an average of 25 pounds per day would likely be needed to hoist the trophy.

    A B.A.S.S. communications official confirmed that the announcement of the '14 site is imminent, but the organization declined comment on the location.

    Other Alabama venues that have hosted the Classic are Logan Martin Lake (three times), the Alabama River (twice) and Wheeler Lake.

  • Reese launches auction for Sandy victims

    Reese launches auction for Sandy victims

    Skeet Reese has launched an online auction to raise funds for people on the East Coast who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. It gets under way today and runs through Nov. 16 at www.SkeetReeseInc.com.

    "We were sitting here watching the news over the weekend and it hit me how many people are still being affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy," he said. "There are so many people without power, bare necessities and even their homes, that we wanted to do something to help out."

    One of Reese's signature Wright & McGill Co. tackle bags loaded with hundreds of dollars worth of Lucky Craft lures, Berkley Havoc and PowerBait soft plastics and Trilene line, TroKar hooks and Eagle Claw terminal tackle will be up for bid. Other items include Wright and McGill Skeet Reese Tessera, Microhoneycomb and Victory rods and reels and a tournament-worn jersey.

    Reese and his family will match the money raised, up to a total of $5,000, and all monies will be donated to the American Red Cross or other charities directly related to the relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy.

    "We cannot forget that there are people still in need after these storms, and it takes a long time to get their lives back to whole," he said.

  • 3M re-ups with FLW

    3M re-ups with FLW

    FLW announced that adhesives giant 3M, a long-term sponsor of the organization, will return in that role in 2013. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

    Veteran pro Ray Scheide of Dover, Ark. (pictured), a five-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier, will again represent 3M throughout the season.

  • ABA adds Biobor as sponsor

    ABA adds Biobor as sponsor

    Biobor, an Alabama-based manufacturer or fuel additives, has signed on as a major sponsor of the American Bass Anglers (ABA).

    As part of the multi-year agreement, Biobor will be featured and available at all 105 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series events next year. Biobor sponsored Bassmaster Elite Series pros Keith Combs, Bradley Roy and Cliff Crochet this past season as well as FLW Tour pro Chris Brasher.

    "We are very pleased to partner with Biobor, an American-owned and American-made product which produces an important product for every type engine made,” said ABA president Morris Sheehan. “Today's bass anglers run 250-horsepower outboards that need protection from ethanol. The benefits and protection of BioborEB is significant. It allows anglers that use BioborEB to trust their fuel all of the time. One bottle of BioborEB will treat up to 240 gallons of fuel making it also very economical to use.”

    "The American Bass Anglers partnership will provide Biobor the opportunity to connect with weekend anglers all over the country who fish every weekend", said Allan Hohman, CEO of Hammonds Fuel Additives, Inc. "We very proud to support the weekend bass anglers across America.”

  • Kreiger wins 2nd ES Championship

    Kreiger wins 2nd ES Championship

    Koby Kreiger became the first two-time winner of the EverStart Championship on Sunday as he caught a 9-05 bag from the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La. to prevail by nearly 4 pounds over runner-up Kent Ware. His 4-day total was 38-05.

    The Floridian claimed a prize package that includes $50,000 plus a new Ranger boat. He also gained a berth in next year's Forrest Wood Cup.

    "It took a lot of hard work to get here,” he said. “I was predominantly fishing the river for as many bites as I could get – it was tough catching anything big. I tried fishing the bayous a little bit but the quantity of bites was not there and knew I would be better off on the river.

    “On the last day of practice my partner and I headed towards the Columbia Lock. You could see the shad on just about any piece of wood. When I figured that pattern out I pretty much had my game plan. I used War Eagle spinnerbaits, CP1 or CP2 crankbaits and a Mini-Frenzy umbrella rig to catch all my fish this week. The river was about 50 feet deep where I was fishing and the bass were suspending in about 7 or 8 feet of water.

    “Making next year’s Forrest Wood Cup definitely takes a lot of pressure off,” he continued. “It’s a big feat; however, I won’t fish any differently than I normally would during the season.”

    Brandon Medlock, who'd weighed sacks that climbed well into double digits on the previous 2 days to climb to 2nd place, managed just two fish for less than 2 1/2 pounds on day 4 and finished 8th.

    Details of Kreiger's winning pattern will be posted soon. Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Koby Kreiger: 38-05
    2. Kent Ware: 34-06
    3. James Stricklin Jr.: 32-08
    4. Joseph Kremer: 32-00
    5. Casey Martin: 31-13
    6. Bill Chapman: 31-11
    7. Larry Jones: 31-04
    8. Brandon Medlock: 30-14
    9. Robbie Dodson: 30-14
    10. Dan Morehead: 30-09

  • Kreiger maintains Ouachita lead

    Kreiger maintains Ouachita lead

    A 7-09 sack today kept Koby Kreiger atop the leaderboard at the EverStart Championship on the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La. He'll carry a half-pound lead over hard-charging Brandon Medlock into the final day.

    “I have a lot of work ahead of me,” said Kreiger. “Obviously Brandon Medlock is the angler to beat. He is sitting on a good school of fish, the kind that it’s going to take to win and I am not sure my fish will produce a double-digit bag, but I’m going to do everything I can.

    “I had a lot of bites today, but for some reason they were all short strikes. I don’t know, I think I'm going to have to try a different bait presentation to get the bigger ones to bite. I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing all week, starting in the bayous, hitting the river mid-day and then finishing in the bayous. I've been using homemade crankbaits, CP Lures and today I got a couple of keepers on the Alabama Rig.

    Medlock had a breakdown on day 1 and only brought in one bass that weighed 1-04. Since then he's been on a tear, bringing in the heaviest sack of the tournament on day 2, and followed that up with 12-13 today.

    Here are the totals for the 10 anglers who'll compete on the final day:

    1. Koby Kreiger: 29-00
    2. Brandon Medlock: 28-08
    3. (tie) Joseph Kremer: 25-04
    3. (tie) Kent Ware: 24-04
    5. Larry Jones: 25-03
    6. Dan Morehead: 24-12
    7. Bill Chapman: 24-12
    8. (tie) James Stricklin Jr.: 24-03
    8. (tie) Robbie Dodson: 24-03
    10. Casey Martin: 23-00

  • Kreiger climbs to the top

    Kreiger climbs to the top

    Florida's Koby Kreiger moved into the lead today at the EverStart Championship on the Ouachita River with a 9-02 sack that game him a 2-day total of 21-07. He swapped places on the leaderboard with Texan James Stricklin Jr., who weighed just four fish on a day when only two of the 153 competitors topped the 10-pound mark.

    “Any lead is a good lead,” said Kreiger. “Going into the tournament I knew the fishing was going to be tough and that if I could consistently catch about 10 pounds per day, I'd have a chance of making the cut. I'm actually doing a little better than I expected – during practice I didn’t even come close to 10 pounds, so I’m pretty happy with what I've caught so far.”

    He said he's starting the day in the backwaters targeting shallow wood, moving out to the main river about mid-day seeking moving water and then heading back to the oxbows to finish off the day. He's using a variety of homemade crankbaits.

    “The biggest challenge is staying mentally strong. The key is to make it to fish on Sunday and I hope I can do that.”

    Brandon Medlock, who weighed just one fish on day 1, sacked a tournament-best 14-07 today to jump to 14th place. Keith Pace, who ended up 21st, had the only other double-digit stringer (10-12).

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

    1. Koby Kreiger: 21-07
    2. James Stricklin Jr.: 19-09
    3. Larry Jones: 17-12
    4. Lance Williams: 17-10
    5. Robbie Dodson: 17-08
    6. George Kapiton: 17-06
    7. Dan Morehead: 17-00
    8. Bill Chapman: 16-12
    9. Casey Martin: 16-10
    10. Adrian Smiley: 16-07
    11. Joseph Kremer: 16-03
    12. Currey Holley: 16-01
    13. Jim Tutt: 15-14
    14. Brandon Medlock: 15-11
    15. (tie) Lamonte Loyd: 15-11
    15. (tie) Clayton Batts: 15-11
    17. (tie) Derek Hicks: 15-10
    17. (tie) Shane Melton: 15-10
    19. Zach King: 15-07
    20. Kent Ware: 15-06

  • Subtle and versatile

    <b><font color=maroon>Subtle and versatile</font></b>

    Berkley's newest offering in the finesse category is the Twitchtail Minnow, a 3-inch bait that's effective on both bass and walleye. It's best feature is a straight, tapered tail the produces subtle action in little or not current.

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

  • New site geared toward HS, college fishing

    Pittsburgh-based journalist Craig Buddo has launched VarsityBass.com, a website that will focus on high school and college fishing. The site features a blog-like format that will highlight tournament competitions and other news related to the high school and college fishing beats.

    “The idea was to create an independent up-to-the-minute sports blog devoted to all the national and regional college and high school tournaments, and to cover developments in the sport as it continues to grow into the mainstream of college sports,” Buddo said in a release announcing the site’s launch. “There’s a tournament calendar, a state-by-state list of college clubs, a forum for connecting with other varsity anglers, and many other features in the works.”

    The site features a list of active college bass fishing clubs, a calendar of upcoming events around the country and will soon include rankings for college teams.

    Check it out here.

  • Stricklin leads at Ouachita

    Stricklin leads at Ouachita

    Texan James Stricklin Jr. caught a 12-13 sack on day 1 of the EverStart Championship at the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La. to grab a half-pound lead over veteran Florida tour pro Koby Kreiger.

    “It is tough, tough," Stricklin said. "The river is very treacherous – I broke a piece on my lower unit today. You just have to take it slow and easy. It takes a lot of concentration getting in and out of these areas.

    “I started in a backwater area where I caught four of my five bass, then I went to the main river to fill my limit. I think the area that I'm fishing has the potential of producing a 17- to 18-pound bag; tomorrow will tell the tale. I'll start in the same place and see what happens. My gloves are off and I’m fishing to win.”

    Here's a look at the initial Top 10:

    1. James Stricklin Jr.: 12-13
    2. Koby Kreiger: 12-05
    3. George Kapiton: 11-04
    4. Larry Jones: 10-13
    5. Jim Dillard: 10-11
    6. (tie) Bill Chapman: 10-10
    6. (tie) Ladd Shannon: 10-10
    8. Shane Long: 10-02
    9. Cody Bird: 9-12
    10. (tie) Jeromy Francis: 9-10
    10. (tie) Lamonte Loyd: 9-10

  • Booyah deal for Dudley

    Booyah deal for Dudley

    Booyah Bait Company announced today that it's signed David Dudley, the two-time reigning FLW Tour Angler of the Year and the No. 1 angler in the BassFan World Rankings, to a sponsorship deal. Dudley will promote the company's spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and jigs.

    “David Dudley is a fierce competitor and is an untapped resource as a lure expert,” said Booyah GM Bruce Stanton. “We are working together to release an extensive line of products in our Booyah brand that David has designed. Some of his products are going to be game-changers for many fishermen.”

    Dudley said he relishes the opportunity to help produce and sell lures and ideas he has worked on for years.

    “It will blow your mind when you see what we are about to unleash with the lures I have designed,” he said. “What you think is standard will now be obsolete.”

    Dudley will be exclusively using and promoting Booyah baits and lures from its sister companies (Bomber, Heddon, Yum, Rebel, Smithwick and Cotton Cordell, among others) in his future tournaments.

    “These brands have been 75 percent of my tackle box since I’ve been fishing,” he said. “Everything from Rebel, Bomber and Heddon to Yum. I am so happy to be working with Booyah, a company that has the same extreme high standards as I do.”

    He joins a pro staff that includes Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Alton Jones, Terry “Big Show” Scroggins, Zell Rowland, Timmy Horton and Jason Christie.

  • Gustafson to fish FLW Tour in 2013

    Gustafson to fish FLW Tour in 2013

    Canadian angler Jeff Gustafson announced today he will fish the entire FLW Tour schedule in 2013, according to a news item posted on the FLW Outdoors website.

    The Keewatin, Ont., resident fished the Tour Opens this year and finished 14th in the points race, cashing checks at all four events.

    The 30-year-old earned his chops fishing major tournaments in Canada and winning the Kenora Bass International and the International Falls Bass Championship.

    “Having a solid rookie season in the Opens makes me even more excited for next year,” he said. “Fishing the tour down south was an eye-opening experience. Now that I’ve got my feet wet I’m ready for a full season.”

    He’ll run a wrapped Lund Predator sponsored by Kruger Farms/International Comfort Products.

  • Pickens Plan drops FLW team deal

    Pickens Plan drops FLW team deal

    The Pickens Plan will not underwrite an FLW Tour team wrap deal next year, leaving longtime pro Randy Blaukat without a main sponsor for the second time in the last 4 years.

    Blaukat told BassFan today that he was informed of the decision last week, adding that The Pickens Plan will stay on as an FLW sponsor. He had worn The Pickens Plan jersey the last 2 seasons in FLW Tour competition.

    “I’ve got nothing but good things to say about them,” he said. “I loved working with them and they’re going to continue to support FLW. They just opted out of the team deal. It’s a great set of initiatives and I was fortunate to have worked with them.”

    As of right now, he’s without a title sponsor for 2013 and if he’s unable to secure a deal in the very near future, he may sit out next season. He sat out 2010 after losing Megabass as his main sponsor.

    “At this point, I don’t know what’s going to be going down,” he said. “I’ve been working hard to get some things lined up, but obviously this is a very difficult time in the industry to do that. Time is running out as far as deposits and plans for next year. I’m not real sure what 2013 looks like at this point."

  • Snapcast: Parents should stay away

    Competitive bass fishing at the high school level is taking root all over the country, and here's one neat thing about the sport that many might not have considered: The vast majority of the competition takes place far from the view of the athletes' parents. Even if they wanted to, most moms and dads lack the ability to show up in a boat at a huge body of water in the middle of the afternoon to embarrass their kids while the boys and girls are trying to focus on their performance

    I was a mainstream sports journalist for 18 years before I came to BassFan in 2005, and during that time I witnessed at least a thousand high school athletic contests. There were quite a few factors involved in my decision to leave the newspaper business, and an ever-growing disdain for the parents of high school (and younger) athletes was right up near the top of the list. The vast majority of them weren't a problem, but there was always a small percentage at any given time or place who were straight out of a Dr. Phil episode. I miss those people about as much as the case of the chicken pox I contracted at age 15 that caused me to sit out two Senior Little League games.

    There's undoubtedly a heavy dose of parental involvement in most of the newly formed fishing clubs – they'd never become established without it. But those types of parents, the ones willing to volunteer their time and resources, are rarely the source of the kind of negativity that often makes prep athletics a less-fulfilling experience for the participants than it should be. They're not the ones whose chief concern is that their children be recognized as "superstars," or the ones seeking a do-over of their own unsatisfactory athletic careers via the exploits of their offspring.

    And to you parents who do have access to boats and time off during daylight hours, do your kids a favor and stay away from them while they're competing in a tournament. Go fish another part of the lake, and let them tell you about their day on the water once you're all back at the ramp.

    There's little chance that bass fishing will ever become as popular as football or basketball on high school campuses. It's unlikely that you'll ever see a marching band or a cheerleading squad at a weigh-in and there won't be an assembly of the entire student body and an invasion of local media when the best angler in the school's history announces where he or she will attend college.

    In some ways, that's a very good thing.

    ––John Johnson
    ––BassFan Senior Editor

    Snapcasts are brief opinion pieces produced by BassFan staff members. The views presented are the author's alone.

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