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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

  • High-resistance baits meet their match

    <b><font color=maroon>High-resistance baits meet their match</font></b>

    Catching big bass often means throwing big baits, and a lot of reels on the market today just aren't up to that task. Such is not the case with the newest edition of the Abu Garcia Revo Winch, however – it's built to handle the offerings that entice the biggest specimens around.

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

  • OHI finished before it starts

    OHI finished before it starts

    Outdoor Heritage, Inc., the circuit announced last summer that was set up to fill the void of high-level competition in the West, is disbanding a month and a half ahead of its first scheduled event.

    OHI, with an investor group headed up by Gary Dobyns (the region's all-time leading money-winner), was slated to conduct its first event Feb. 8-10 at California's Lake Shasta. Four events were planned for both the North (northern California) and South (Arizona and southern Nevada) pro-am divisions, along with a five-tournament team division in northern California.

    Several tour-level pros, including John Murray, Jared Lintner and Cliff Pirch, had told BassFan of their plans to compete in OHI events.

    BassFan received the following release from OHI today (reprinted in its entirety):

    From its launch 13 months ago, Outdoor Heritage (OHI) was a bold experiment in western tournament fishing and a valiant effort at angler promotion and payback. Unfortunately, we have not been able to garner enough sponsor support to sustain the business model or a reasonably reduced version of that model.

    The current economic situation, recent election and regulatory environment have dissuaded boat, motor and industry-related sponsors from deepening their investments in California. Therefore, we will take the very best of what we have learned at OHI and apply it in our various fishing endeavors.

    We thank the anglers who supported our efforts in this project and encourage them to support our other western circuits if tournament bass angling is to survive in the western United States. We also look forward to supporting the existing regional and national organizations that continue to operate in the West and hope there will be more to come. Full refunds of entry fees, deposits and memberships will be issued prior to Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013.

    For questions, email Our website will be taken down in conjunction with this press release, but we will keep the above email address operational until February 2013 to ensure there are no issues with angler refunds.

  • Castrol partners with FLW again

    FLW announced today that Castrol, a long-term sponsor of FLW, will return as a sponsor in 2013 and be represented by four anglers at the Tour level. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

    David Dudley, Darrell Robertson, Mike Surman and Phillip Jarabeck will comprise the 2013 Castrol team at all FLW Tour events.

  • Berkley extends deal with B.A.S.S.

    Berkley extends deal with B.A.S.S.

    B.A.S.S. announced today it has entered into a multi-year sponsorship deal with Berkley.

    Berkley will be the official premier sponsor of fishing line and soft baits for the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series and B.A.S.S. Nation. In addition, Berkley will be the premier sponsor for soft baits for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series.

    “Our association with B.A.S.S. and its Bassmaster events over the years has helped us achieve new highs of awareness for our brands with B.A.S.S. members and fans,” said John Bartow, Berkley’s senior director of marketing. “We feel that the continuity of our association with Bassmaster events at all levels will help us continue on that path of growth.”

    “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue working with the Berkley team,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “As longtime partners, we have done a lot of good working toward the same goals — especially the goal of growing fishing participation. We look forward to taking that to the next level.”

    As part of the agreement, the Berkley Heavyweight program will return for the upcoming Bassmaster Elite Series season, awarding a $500 bonus to pro with the heaviest daily bag of bass.

    At the upcoming Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Okla., Berkley will offer a spectator a chance to win $100,000 in the PowerBait Cast for Cash contest. The contest celebrates the 25th anniversary of Berkley’s PowerBait brand of soft plastics. A fan will be randomly selected at the BOK Center during the final weigh-in on Sunday for the opportunity to cast for the prize. More details will be available in the Berkley booth at the Classic Expo.

  • Lucky Craft to sponsor MLF

    Lucky Craft to sponsor MLF

    Jack Link’s Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Lucky Craft has signed on as a league sponsor for 2013.

    Four MLF anglers (Brent Ehrler, Kelly Jordon, Takahiro Omori and Skeet Reese) are members of Lucky Craft’s pro staff.

    “Major League Fishing has been forging partnerships with some of the top companies in the fishing industry,” said MLF General Manager Jim Wilburn. “And when you discuss companies that make top-shelf fishing products, Lucky Craft is a name that serious anglers consider. We are delighted to welcome Lucky Craft to Major League Fishing.”

    The league’s next event – The General Tire Summit Cup – was filmed Aug. 27 through Sept. 1 on Chautauqua Lake in Western New York and will begin airing on Outdoor Channel on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

    “Major League Fishing is one the most entertaining and exciting ventures we have ever seen in pro fishing," said Lucky Craft president Minoru Segawa. "Lucky Craft is pleased that members of our pro staff are also Major League Fishing anglers. And now we are delighted that our company has become a Major League Fishing sponsor. We look forward to growing with the league."

  • PAA schedule released, 4th event planned

    <b><font color=green>PAA schedule released, 4th event planned</font color></b>

    The 2013 PAA Tournament Series schedule was announced late Thursday with three events on the docket and the possibility of a fourth.

    The schedule will be as follows:

    > Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. – March 28-30
    > Ft. Loudon/Tellico Lakes, Knoxville, Tenn. – May 23-25
    > Table Rock Lake, Branson, Mo. – Sept. 5-7

    A fourth event is being planned for November and details should be released soon. Pro division entry fees for the 2013 Tournament Series events will remain at $1,500. Deposits will remain at $500 per tournament and are due upon registration.

    Co-angler division entry fees will remain at $250 per tournament and deposits will remain at $50. Co-Anglers will fish the first 2 days of each event. A co-angler champion will be crowned after the day 2 weigh-in based upon total weight of a three fish per day limit. Pros advancing to the final day will fish with a non-fishing observer.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Martin launches contest to fish at Big O

    Martin launches contest to fish at Big O

    Want to fish with Scott Martin in a team competition at Lake Okeechobee? Or perhaps you'd like to join forces with another top B.A.S.S. or FLW pro and try to beat Martin and his partner?

    Martin is offering such a chance to two fans, who'll be selected from among entries on the Scott Martin Challenge Facebook page. The two winners will receive an expenses-paid trip to Okeechobee for a competition that'll be taped for the TV show, and each will get approximately $2,000 worth of gear.

    To sign up, go to

  • Kota's American Dream turns 5

    Kota's American Dream turns 5

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kota Kiriyama passed along some photos and details from the 5th annual Kota's American Dream tournament, which was held this year at Lake Kitaura in Japan. Winners Naohito Hiramoto and Takeshi Hamanaka are pictured here holding their plaque – their weight was 3,150 grams (just a little shy of 7 pounds).

    The tournament featured just 23 participants during its inaugural edition in 2008, but this year it drew 165 entries. The winners earn a berth in the annual Bass Cat Owners Invitational.

    Lake Kitaura is located in the portion of the country that was most heavily damaged by the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2011.

    "I can still see the hope that the people are working hard to climb the long stairs again," Kiriyama said. "I was glad to see people's smiles and I would like to thank all the people who helped me get this tournament together, especially Rick Pierce from Bass Cat. Also, I would like to thank Power-Pole, Gamma line, Owner Hooks, FM factory, Jackall Lures, Okada Corporation, Navionics, Yamaha outboards, DNA sunglasses and Shimano for their continuous support and understanding what I do.

    "There are many people in Japan whose dream is to visit the U.S. and fish one day, but for many reasons they cannot make it, so I'd like to keep offering this event for as long as I can. The competition gets harder and harder, but more people keep joining."

    More photos and video are available in the Japan section at

  • Brauer to fish Texas EverStarts

    Brauer to fish Texas EverStarts

    According to a news story posted on the FLW website today, Denny Brauer will fish the 2013 Texas EverStart division.

    Brauer, who retired from Bassmaster Elite Series competition earlier this year, owns a home near Lake Amistad so travel won't be much of an issue. The four EverStarts are slated to be held at Amistad, Toledo Bend, Lake Texoma and Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

    If he were to win the Angler of the Year (AOY) title for the division, he'd qualify for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

    “I really don’t have any goals right now except to have a good time and fish with some friends,” he told Colin Moore, the editor of FLW Bass Magazine. “But if I enter a tournament, I’m going to fish as hard as I can. If I wind up getting in the Forrest Wood Cup, that would be pretty cool.”

    To check out the complete article, click here.

  • Bass U. promo extended

    Still looking for a gift for that angler in your life? Maybe you’re thinking about taking your fishing to the next level. Whatever the case, the Bass University has extende its holiday gift package incentive through New Year’s Day.

    With each 2-day class registration now through Jan. 1, 2013, a gift package worth $25 will be included. A $10 gift package will accompany each 1-day class registration. The gift packages include Rapala fishing lures, autographed photos of Bass University co-founders Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek, and more.

    To learn more or to register, click here.

  • Koppers signs on with B.A.S.S. College Series

    Ontario-based Koppers Fishing and Tackle Corp. has signed on as the newest sponsor of the Bassmaster College Series for 2013.

    “Koppers Fishing is very proud and excited to expand our relationship with B.A.S.S. by supporting the college fishing segment this year. We feel this is a natural progression for our growing company to support youth and grass-roots anglers who are vital to the future of our industry,” said Koppers product placement specialist Tom Chopin.

    The seven-event College Series season kicks off Jan. 4-5, 2013 at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Tavares, Fla.

    “Koppers can expect a big welcome at College Series events,” said Hank Weldon, College Series manager. “Hard baits with cutting-edge design are always going to get the attention of any angler, but collegiate anglers are especially tuned in to how technology can help their fishing. Koppers makes that kind of lure.”

  • Never Slip Bait Tape lands Lucas

    Never Slip Bait Tape lands Lucas

    FLW Tour angler Justin Lucas announced today he has added Never Slip Bait Tape to his lineup of sponsors for 2013.

    The Alabama pro is confident the product will have a positive impact on his tournament results in the coming year.

    “Never Slip Bait Tape is a really unique product,” Lucas said. “It has really caught on quickly in Japan, and I think it will do the same here. I am looking forward to using it this year on the FLW Tour. There are quite a few uses for it. It can be used for wacky-rigging stickbaits like the UVenko, and using it to hold swimbaits onto an umbrella rig. With Never Slip Bait Tape, I will spend less time fixing soft plastics and more time fishing. An added benefit is that I save money on used and torn plastics.”

    Said Les Butters, president of Never Slip Bait Tape, “Justin is one of the top anglers on Tour and in social media. He’s a perfect fit for us because he is so involved in educating the public through social media and with his Justin Lucas’ Top Secret Tips videos. The thing about our product is that until you see it and try it, you really don’t know how much it can help. Having Justin help us show the everyday angler about Never Slip Bait Tape will be instrumental in the overall success of our product.”

    For more information about Never Slip Bait Tape, visit

  • Bass Mafia to sponsor ACA events

    Bass Mafia to sponsor ACA events

    The Association of Collegiate Anglers has announced that Bass Mafia, a lifestyle apparel brand and makers of the Bait Coffin tackle boxes, will join the 2013 Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series as a sponsor.

    Bass Mafia, a division of Mafia Outdoors, is focused on hardcore gear for hardcore sportsmen. Their product line includes apparel, tackle storage, as well as an expanding line of accessories.

    "Our growing line of products is, and will continue to be, geared toward the serious angler and we love what we are seeing from the collegiate anglers across the country," said Bass Mafia founder Bart Langley. "Like Bass Mafia, these young men and women are hardcore and we're excited to start building a relationship with them now. We certainly look forward to growing together in the coming years."

    Danny Blandford, program director for the Association of Collegiate Anglers, added, "We'd like to welcome Bass Mafia to our growing list of partners who see the value in supporting collegiate anglers. Students will have an opportunity to save money on the world's toughest tackle box, the Bait Coffin, among other products via our Discount and Incentives Program."

  • Rose to don Walmart colors in 2013

    Rose to don Walmart colors in 2013

    FLW announced today that professional angler Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark., will join the Walmart Fishing Team for the 2013 FLW Tour season. Rose will replace George Cochran, who retired this year after 32 years on the water.

    Rose previously fished as part of the National Guard team.

    “I have so much respect and admiration for what George has accomplished and his longevity in our sport,” said Rose, who has accumulated more than $1.6 million in winnings throughout his 14-year career on the FLW Tour. “To be chosen to follow in George’s footsteps is an absolute honor. I’ve fished a long time and tried to do the best that I could do to represent good companies. I’ve shopped at Walmart since I was a kid. I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to represent Walmart in 2013.”

  • Horton issues jersey challenge

    Horton issues jersey challenge

    Veteran Alabama pro Tim Horton has issued a challenge via Facebook to fellow Elite Series anglers, asking that they commit to wearing a green and white jersey on day 1 of the 2013 event at the Sabine River in March. Those are the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed in last week's massacre.

    To visit Horton's Facebook page, click here.

  • Classic gets a presenting sponsor

    Classic gets a presenting sponsor

    B.A.S.S. announced today that the Cherokee Nation-owned Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa will be the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, which will take place Feb. 22-24 at Oklahoma's Grand lake.

    “We are proud to continue the Cherokee Nation’s legacy of being a good community partner by helping bring large events like the 2013 Bassmaster Classic to northeast Oklahoma,” said Cherokee Nation principal chief Bill John Baker. “This event will be an economic boost for the entire region, especially our Cherokee communities. We are pleased to partner with B.A.S.S. and the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s Tulsa Sports Commission to make this wonderful event possible.”

    The sponsorship will support both the B.A.S.S. organization and the Tulsa Sports Commission in execution of the 3-day competition predicted to bring roughly 100,000 attendees and an economic impact of $26 million to the region.

    Said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin: “This newest Classic partnership is very fitting because we’re planning to rock Tulsa with the Classic. We couldn’t do that without the help of the many partners we have from the Tulsa area. The instantly recognizable Hard Rock name is a great addition to what is quickly coming together to be one of our best Classic events ever.”

  • Ehrler goes with Gamakatsu

    Ehrler goes with Gamakatsu

    FLW Tour angler Brent Ehrler has agreed to terms with Gamakatsu on a sponsorship deal. Terms of the deal were not announced.

    Ehrler is the 2006 Forrest Wood Cup champion and winner of three FLW Tour Majors, including the Lake Hartwell event earlier this year. He also won the inaugural Major League Fishing tournament at Lake Amistad in 2011.

    "Gamakatsu USA is very pleased to announce Brent Ehrler joining our pro staff for the upcoming tournament season," said Jeff Roberts, an assistant sales manager with Gamakatsu. "Brent is a consummate professional and a highly-skilled angler who understands the rich tradition of quality that makes Gamakatsu the world's leading premium hook manufacturer. We are confident Brent will add greatly to the future of Gamakatsu both on and off the water. We are looking forward to working closely with Brent, continuing our growth as a company and helping Brent meet his career goals with our combined efforts".

    Said Ehrler, "I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Gamakatsu. I have always put them on a pedestal in the fishing industry, and to be associated with their brand name and premier products is truly a privilege. I already use a lot of their hooks and can't wait to fish with some of the new models. I am ready to revamp my hook boxes, both worm hooks and trebles. In fact, I have several Plano boxes that I have labeled that are ready to be filled. I'm anxious to start the 2013 season with a fresh box of premier Gamakatsu hooks."

  • McMillan gets tungsten deal

    McMillan gets tungsten deal

    Florida's Brandon McMillan, who'll fish full-time on the FLW Tour in 2013, has inked a sponsorship deal with Elite Tungsten.

    "I've been using Elite Tungsten for a while now and it has not only increased my catch ratio, but my confidence as well," he said. "Elite Tungsten weights have smooth edges due to diamond-bored holes and this precision eliminates the need for an insert. It's neat to represent a company you believe in."

    Said Elite Tungsten owner Jimmy Underwood: "We are very proud to add Brandon to our staff. Having his expertise adds value not only to our products, but the Elite Tungsten name as well. We know he wouldn't use it if it wasn't an excellent product and we look forward to working with him both in product development and new product design in the future."

  • Evinrude launches boat show promo

    Evinrude launches boat show promo

    Evinrude has launched its E-TEC “Experience More” Boat Show Sales Event. Through March 13, qualified U.S. consumers who purchase and take delivery of an eligible Evinrude E-TEC engine or boat package from a participating Evinrude dealer can take advantage of the retail offer.

    The package offer consists of 6-year B.E.S.T. extended warranty coverage. The repower offer consists of 5-year B.E.S.T. extended warranty coverage or as low as 3.9 percent financing plus free rigging on 40- to 300-HP models, or a 6-year B.E.S.T extended warranty.

    “The Evinrude E-TEC ‘Experience More’ Boat Show Sales Event provides consumers with the strongest incentives of the entire year,” said Christopher Berg, director of marketing and strategic planning for Evinrude. “Now is the best time to take advantage of these benefits and get out on the water with Evinrude E-TEC.”

    For full promotional details and conditions, or to find a local Evinrude dealer, visit

  • Straight Talk renews with FLW

    Straight Talk renews with FLW

    FLW announced that Straight Talk Wireless will return as a sponsor for the 2013 season. The company will again be represented on the FLW Tour by Scott Canterbury and J.T. Kenney.

  • Pace likes Grand's pattern potential

    Pace likes Grand's pattern potential

    Cliff Pace is coming off a strong Bassmaster Elite Series season during which he notched three Top-12 finishes, including back-to-back runner-up placements at Toledo Bend and the Mississippi River. He finished 18th in Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) points and secured a berth in the Bassmaster Classic at Grand Lake in February. It’ll be his fifth career Classic and second time competing at Grand (he finished 93rd in the 2007 Elite Series event there).

    Shortly after Thanksgiving this year, the Mississippi angler made a scouting trip to Oklahoma to get his bearings on the lake and what could potentially be going on there once February rolls around. He didn’t fish a whole lot – maybe 2 hours over the course of 3 days – but he thinks Grand is one of the best pattern lakes around.

    Here’s his take on his scouting excursion and what he thinks the Classic competitors will find once they return in Februrary:

    “I expect Grand to change a lot between now and February and it’s really going to depend on what the weather is throughout the off-limits period as to what stage the fish are going to be in. I don’t think it’ll be a spawning deal, but it could be a very strong pre-spawn deal or it could be a full-blown winter pattern. It just depends on what Mother Nature gives us to play with over the next 60 days.

    “I don’t think it ever hurts you to spend time on a body of water. People say that you can practice too much and there is some truth to that. I don’t think it was time wasted by any means, but I think the lake is going to change. Regardless, I think you’re going to have to figure it out the week of the tournament because it’s anybody’s guess as to what kind of weather we’re going to have.

    “The one thing I like about how Grand lays out is it’s going to be a pattern lake, especially if we have a warmer winter. I think it’ll be pattern fishing and I don’t think someone will win it off of one spot. If we have a real cold winter and the fish stay in a winter pattern and are more bunched up out deeper, then a guy could win it off one spot. I’d rather have it be warmer so the fish are a little shallower and more spread out and have it be a pattern deal.

    “Pre-spawn is one of those times of the year that if you get the right thing in your hand it’s really all you need. Those 3 practice days before the tournament will be very important and that’s one thing some guys aren’t looking at. Those 3 days could be a blizzard and you might not get to do all of the things you’re thinking you’ll be able to.”

  • Morgenthaler to Missile, Bomb Squad unveiled

    Morgenthaler to Missile, Bomb Squad unveiled

    Missile Baits announced today the addition of Chad Morgenthaler to its pro staff. The veteran touring pro from Illinois joins Ish Monroe and John Crews.

    Morgenthaler will fish the FLW Tour, the PAA Series, and all three divisions of the Bassmaster Opens in 2013.

    “I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with such an accomplished pro staff and a new aggressive company," Morgenthaler said. "I’ve known John for years and he is definitely an out-of-the-box thinker, which is reflective in the research, development and marketing of Missile Baits. Simply put – Missile Baits catch fish and will definitely provide bass anglers with an added competitive edge.”

    Said Crews, the founder and owner of Missile Baits, “I have known Chad for a long time. He certainly understands the business and promotional end of this business very well. Chad is also a very talented angler. We look forward to working with him and having him help grow Missile Baits.”

    In addition, Missile Baits has finalized its lineup of Bomb Squad members. The Bomb Squad is made up of anglers from from California to Virginia and New York to Texas.

    “There was just a ton of interest from anglers all over the country so it was amazing," said Shannon Wheeler, Bomb Squad coordinator. "We felt honored that there were so many anglers that believe in our products. We know that we have a very talented and well-spoken group of anglers representing Missile Baits.”

    Below are the anglers chosen for the Bomb Squad:

    > Heath Anderson – Bessemer, AL
    > Hunter Baughman – Cabot, AR
    > Kyle Bordelon – Groves, TX
    > Mike Burchett – Pulaski, VA
    > Tony Campbell – Sharpsburg, GA
    > Coby Carden – Shelby, AL
    > Dave Cavell – Prairieville, LA
    > Clayton Coppin – Wagoner, OK
    > Jake Davis – Winchester, TN
    > Tim Domaille – Rochester, MN
    > Tim Foster – Louisville, KY
    > Andre Fraser – Mount Vernon, NY
    > Allan Glasgow – Ashville, AL
    > Tim Grein – Winston Salem, NC
    > Eddie Griggs – Richmond, VA
    > Chris King – Jasper, TX
    > Jamie Laiche – Gonzales, LA
    > Ed Loughran – Mechanicsville, VA
    > Robert Matsuura – Sacramento, CA
    > Adam Petty – Garner, NC
    > Kelly Pratt – Williamsburg, VA
    > Jeff Salmon – Chester, VA
    > Ricky Shabazz – Rialto, CA
    > Gerald Spohrer – Gonzales, LA
    > Rick Sweadner – Woodsboro, MD
    > Tee Watkins – East Point, KY
    > Corey Wheat – Gonzales, LA
    > Kyle Woodland – Richmond, VA

  • Clausen chats Tuesday

    <b><font color=green>Clausen chats Tuesday</font color></b>

    Find out what Luke Clausen has been up to recently when the FLW Tour pro joins us at 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 18 for a live chat on Twitter. He will be taking your questions on all things bassin'.

    You'll need a Twitter account to participate. To join the conversation, click here.

  • Right rod, right price

    <b><font color=maroon>Right rod, right price</font></b>

    The All Star AST Series rods now feature a new split-grip design that provides greater balance and sensitivity. There are 10 baitcasting and four spinning models to choose from, each built with a particular technique in mind.

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

  • Horses: Investigation stalled

    The latest update from KRGV-TV in Texas on the dead and dying horses near Falcon Lake reported by Bassmaster Elite Series angler Jeremy Starks says the horses may be suffering from a highly contagious disease that attacks the lymph nodes. However, the investigation is on hold until necropsies can be performed on the dead animals, and veterinarians are in short supply in that area.

    To see the report, click here

  • Manson: Time to regroup

    Manson: Time to regroup

    Travis Manson has opted out of the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2013 due to financial reasons, the Wisconsin angler told BassFan today after his name did not appear on next year’s Elite Series roster.

    “Financially, I’m off the fence, but emotionally I’m not,” he said. “I want to be there.”

    He said he had the money for the first deposit, but was still working on securing additional sponsorship support to fund the rest of the season.

    “Last year, I fished on my own dime,” he said. “That makes it tough. It was hard. It sucks because the three northern events up here (La Crosse, St. Lawrence and St. Clair) I’d love to be there. It just comes down to finances. It’s just not there just yet. It makes it tough to continue. It’s hard to fish when you’re worried about money coming in.”

    The former walleye tournament pro cashed four checks in two years of Elite Series competition with his best finish (13th) coming at Wheeler Lake in the 2011 season finale. He said he’s going to regroup and intends to return to the Elite Series, which will require him to re-qualify through the Bassmaster Opens.

    “In my mind, I know what I need to do as far as going out and gathering up some money in the next 3 or 4 years,” he added. “I’ll be back. That’s for sure.”

  • Wilks: Headed in new direction

    Wilks: Headed in new direction

    Dustin Wilks, a 14-year tour veteran from North Carolina, confirmed to BassFan today that he's opted out of the Bassmaster Elite Series.

    "I've decided to take my career in a different direction," he said in an email. "I'm working on a project that I'll be able to share will you all in the coming months."

    The 35-year-old Wilks has earned more than $500,000 in B.A.S.S. competition and qualified for six Bassmaster Classics. He missed all but the first event of the 2006 season and the entire '07 campaign due to a severe case of tendonitis in his casting elbow.

    He finished 7th in this year's Classic at the Red River, but fared no better than 30th in any of the eight 2012 Elite events and ended up 73rd in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year (AOY) race.

  • Lake Fork giant now tops 15 pounds

    Lake Fork giant now tops 15 pounds

    Gary Sims of Gunter, Texas, caught Toyota ShareLunker No. 538 from Lake Fork on Wednesday. The fish weighed 15.02 pounds.

    Examination revealed the fish was caught previously on March 13, 2011, by Ed Carter of Broken Bow, Okla. At that time it weighed 14.25 pounds and was 22.25 inches in girth and 25 inches long, and was Toyota ShareLunker No. 518. The fish is now 22 inches in girth and 25.25 inches long.

    Sims was fishing for crappie with a double jig in 30 feet of water near the dam when the big bass bit. “She made several long runs, and at first I thought it was a catfish, because we had already caught several,” he said. “Finally she came up and I lipped her.”

    Lake Fork has now produced 250 of the 538 entries into the ShareLunker program.
    Genetic information on file shows the fish is an intergrade, or a cross between pure Florida largemouth and northern largemouth bass. Pure Floridas are held for spawning, while intergrades are returned to the lake as soon as possible.

    Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Oct. 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the ShareLunker program by calling (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number, including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

    ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.

    Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet.

  • 2013 Elite Series field set

    2013 Elite Series field set

    B.A.S.S. today announced the field for the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series will be 102 anglers, its largest roster since 2008.

    Twenty-five states will be represented and the group includes 11 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Anglers of the Year (21 total titles), 11 Bassmaster Classic champions (17 Classic wins) and more than 200 B.A.S.S. tournament victories.

    “We’re excited about the lineup for the upcoming season,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “The Elite Series represents the highest level of competition our sport has to offer, and nowhere is that more evident than in the field of anglers who will be competing next year. They tell our members and fans that ‘Elite’ is not just a name – it’s a level of performance and of commitment.”

    Of the 25 states represented, Alabama leads the way with 16 anglers, followed by 13 from Texas and 12 from Oklahoma, site of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees out of Tulsa on Feb. 22-24.

    Nine rookies who qualified through the Bassmaster Opens will grace the 2013 Elite Series roster: Hank Cherry of North Carolina; Chad Pipkens of Michigan; Jason Christie, James Elam and Chip Porche of Oklahoma; Kevin Hawk and Kelley Jaye of Alabama: and Josh Bertrand and Clifford Pirch of Arizona.

    Also returning to the Elites next season are Kurt Dove (Texas), Byron Haseotes (Massachusetts) and Dennis Tietje (Louisiana). Dove, who last participated in 2008, requalified through the Opens, while Haseotes and Tietje are returning from hardship exemptions.

    Nine anglers who competed in 2012 won’t be back in 2013. They are: Denny Brauer, Terry Butcher, Kyle Fox, Chad Griffin, Pat Golden, Travis Manson, Mark Menendez, Russell Parrish and Dustin Wilks.

    Brauer retired following the 2012 season, while Butcher, Griffin and Golden opted out for family reasons. Menendez is taking a medical hardship exemption to care for his wife, who is ill. Parrish is opting to fish the FLW Tour. Fox was suspended for the 2013 Elite Series season after an incident at the Lake Michigan event this past season.

    Wilks confirmed to BassFan he is out and will provide additional information shortly. Manson could not be reached for comment.

    The eight-tournament schedule gets underway at the Sabine River in Orange, Texas, on March 14-17, 2013.

    Here are the 2013 Elite Series anglers (italics denotes 2013 rookie):

    > Casey Ashley – Donalds, S.C.
    > Scott Ashmore – Broken Arrow, Okla.
    > Josh Bertrand – Gilbert, Ariz.
    > Tommy Biffle – Wagoner, Okla.
    > Brent Broderick – Oregonia, Ohio
    > Stephen Browning – Hot Springs, Ark.
    > Brandon Card – Knoxville, Tenn.
    > Brent Chapman – Lake Quivira, Kan.
    > Hank Cherry – Maiden, N.C.
    > Jason Christie – Park Hill, Okla.
    > Rick Clunn – Ava, Mo.
    > Keith Combs – Huntington, Texas
    > John Crews – Salem, Va.
    > Cliff Crochet – Pierre Part, La.
    > Mark Davis – Mount Ida, Ark.
    > Ott DeFoe – Knoxville, Tenn.
    > Kurt Dove – Del Rio, Texas
    > Boyd Duckett – Demopolis, Ala.
    > James Elam – Tulsa, Okla.
    > Paul Elias – Laurel, Miss.
    > Edwin Evers – Talala, Okla.
    > Todd Faircloth – Jasper, Texas
    > Jami Fralick – Martin, S.D.
    > Grant Goldbeck – Boerne, Texas
    > Matt Greenblatt – Port St. Lucie, Fla.
    > Shaw Grigsby – Gainesville, Fla.
    > Greg Hackney – Gonzales, La.
    > Charlie Hartley – Grove City, Ohio
    > BJ Haseotes – Centerville, Mass.
    > Kevin Hawk – Guntersville, Ala.
    > Matt Herren – Trussville, Ala.
    > Kenyon Hill – Norman, Okla.
    > Davy Hite – Ninety Six, S.C.
    > Jamie Horton – Centreville, Ala.
    > Timmy Horton – Muscle Shoals, Ala.
    > Randy Howell – Springville, Ala.
    > Michael Iaconelli – Pittsgrove, N.J.
    > Kelley Jaye – Dadeville, Ala.
    > Alton Jones – Lorena, Texas
    > Kelly Jordon – Palestine, Texas
    > Steve Kennedy – Auburn, Ala.
    > Kotaro Kiriyama – Moody, Ala.
    > Gary Klein – Weatherford, Texas
    > Jeff Kriet – Ardmore, Okla.
    > Bobby Lane – Lakeland, Fla.
    > Chris Lane – Guntersville, Ala.
    > Russ Lane – Prattville, Ala.
    > Kevin Ledoux – Choctaw, Okla.
    > Jared Lintner – Arroyo Grande, Calif.
    > Bill Lowen – Brookville, Ind.
    > Aaron Martens – Leeds, Ala.
    > Billy McCaghren – Mayflower, Ark.
    > Mike McClelland – Bella Vista, Ark.
    > Jared Miller – Norman, Okla.
    > Yusuke Miyazaki – Forney, Texas
    > Ish Monroe – Hughson, Calif.
    > Andy Montgomery – Blacksburg, S.C.
    > Rick Morris – Virginia Beach, Va.
    > John Murray – Phoenix, Ariz.
    > Britt Myers – Lake Wylie, S.C.
    > James Niggemeyer – Van, Texas
    > Takahiro Omori – Emory, Texas
    > Cliff Pace – Petal, Miss.
    > Brandon Palaniuk – Rathdrum, Idaho
    > Chad Pipkens – Holt, Mich.
    > Clifford Pirch – Payson, Ariz.
    > Keith Poche – Pike Road, Ala.
    > Pete Ponds – Madison, Miss.
    > Chip Porche – Bixby, Okla.
    > Cliff Prince – Palatka, Fla.
    > Jason Quinn – Lake Wylie, S.C.
    > Matt Reed – Madisonville, Texas
    > Clark Reehm – Shreveport, La.
    > Skeet Reese – Auburn, Calif.
    > Derek Remitz – Grant, Ala.
    > Marty Robinson – Lyman, S.C.
    > Dean Rojas – Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
    > Scott Rook – Little Rock, Ariz.
    > Fred Roumbanis – Bixby, Okla.
    > Zell Rowland – Montgomery, Texas
    > Bradley Roy – Lancaster, Ky.
    > Casey Scanlon – Lenexa, Kan.
    > Bernie Schultz – Gainesville, Fla.
    > Terry Scroggins – San Mateo, Fla.
    > Morizo Shimizu – Osaka, Japan
    > Kevin Short – Mayflower, Ark.
    > Fletcher Shryock – Newcomerstown, Ohio
    > Michael Simonton – Fremont, Ohio
    > David Smith – Del City, Okla.
    > Brian Snowden – Reeds Spring, Mo.
    > Jeremy Starks – Scott Depot, W.V.
    > Gerald Swindle – Warrior, Ala.
    > Dennis Tietje – Roanoke, La.
    > J Todd Tucker – Moultrie, Ga.
    > Jonathon VanDam – Kalamazoo, Mich.
    > Kevin VanDam – Kalamazoo, Mich.
    > Byron Velvick – Boerne, Texas
    > Greg Vinson – Wetumpka, Ala.
    > David Walker – Sevierville, Tenn.
    > Nate Wellman – Newaygo, Mich.
    > Jason Williamson – Aiken, S.C.
    > Chris Zaldain – San Jose, Calif.

  • Strike King signs on as MLF sponsor

    Strike King signs on as MLF sponsor

    Jack Link’s Major League Fishing announced today that Strike King Lure Company has become a league sponsor for the 2013 season.

    “We welcome Strike King to Major League Fishing. This is a top-notch company that has been great for the fishing industry for more than 40 years. We are pleased to have them as a partner,” said Major League Fishing General Manager Jim Wilburn. “We believe Strike King is a natural fit for Major League Fishing because several of our outstanding anglers are sponsored by them."

    Major League Fishing anglers Denny Brauer, Mark Davis, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney and Kevin VanDam are sponsored individually by Strike King.

    “Major League Fishing is adding a new dimension to the professional fishing industry, and Strike King is pleased to be a partner with the league and the outstanding group of anglers that are participating," said Strike King President John Barns. "The format is truly exciting, and I think the more sports fans around the country see of Major League Fishing, the more they’re going to appreciate it."

    The next MLF event – The General Tire Summit Cup filmed at Chautauqua Lake in Western New York – will begin airing on Outdoor Channel at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.

  • C.A.S.T. offers bait to aid soldiers

    C.A.S.T. offers bait to aid soldiers

    The C.A.S.T. (Catch A Special Thrill) Foundation has partnered with Illusion Baits to offer the red, white and blue American Shad spinnerbait, with all proceeds from sales of the bait going to the Take A Warrior Fishing program. The program, designed to support military personnel and their families and specifically targeting wounded warriors, creates an adaptive, community-based outdoor recreation experience through the sport of fishing.

    The bait is priced at $6. To purchase one (or more), click here. To learn more about the Take A Warrior Fishing program, click here.

  • Elite rookie Cherry signs with Denali

    Elite rookie Cherry signs with Denali

    Denali Rods announced today that it's signed Hank Cherry, a North Carolinian who'll be a rookie on the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2013, to its national pro staff.

    "A couple buddies had been using Denali’s rods and I actually drew one of Denali’s owners in an FLW Tour event a couple years ago, so I reached out to them again and it has really been great," he said. "They are an up-and-coming company and I am an up-and-coming angler, so we’ve got a lot of ways we can help each other out.”

    Said Denali president Scott Estes: "We have been looking to get someone on the Elites for a while, so when Hank called we were immediately interested. After talking for a while, it became obvious that he has some of the same goals as we do both in the short and long term. We think Hank’s going to do big things on the Elites, so we’re looking forward to working together in the coming years.”

  • Mercer's show comes to Outdoor Channel

    Dave Mercer is bringing his Facts of Fishing to Outdoor Channel.

    It was announced today that "Facts of Fishing THE SHOW" starring Mercer, the emcee of the Bassmaster Classic and Elite Series events, will premiere at 11 a.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 30. Other air times will be Thursdays at noon EST and Fridays at 6 p.m. EST.

    The unique show will feature what really happens on the water as each episode will be shot in one day on one lake, showing the good, the bad and the funny.

    For more information or to check if Outdoor Channel is available in your area, click here.

  • Wright Brand renews its FLW deal

    Wright Brand renews its FLW deal

    FLW announced today that Wright Brand Bacon has extended its associate sponsorship of the organization through the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Horses at Falcon: TV coverage

    KRGV-TV in Texas picked up the story of the dead and dying horses near Falcon Lake that were reported to authorities by Bassmaster Elite Series angler Jeremy Starks and ran it twice on Monday during its 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. To see the report, click here to visit the station's website.

  • BoatUS contest winner scores twice

    BoatUS contest winner scores twice

    Southern Illinois’ Travis Cockburn is a highly accomplished outdoorsman. The 40-year-old insurance man has cashed many tournament paychecks in regional events, and he recently arrowed one of the largest whitetails in Illinois history.

    Still, no amount of experience in a treestand – or on a trolling motor – can compensate for a dropped cylinder in your outboard when you're 50 miles from the weigh-in ramp.

    That’s exactly what happened to Cockburn during a Bassmaster Weekend Series event that came uncomfortably close to costing him the points he needed to qualify for a regional championship after a long season of effort. In a sense, one call to BoatUS Angler saved Cockburn’s season.

    “It didn’t take me long to realize what an awesome value a BoatUS Angler memberships is,” he said. “They dispatched help, and they had me back to the weigh-in just in time to weigh my fish, save some points, and qualify for the regional championship."

    He became such a believer in the goodness of BoatUS Angler that he wrote a sweepstakes-winning testimony that landed him a free day of smallmouth fishing with Mark Zona.

    “When it comes to sweepstakes winners, you get a mixed bag of very novice anglers and a few fairly serious ones. Then, every once in a blue moon, you get a dude that’s an absolute ‘stick’ like Travis,” said Zona.

    “He and I flirted with the razor’s edge of disaster when, late in our day together, I offered him a gambler’s chance to stop fishing the lake we were on, load the boat, make what I called the Old Spice Hot Sauce Move of the Day, and race to a lake I thought could be even better. Key word there is 'thought' – no guarantees. It could have been a disaster."

    It was anything but a bomb. Instead, with just a couple hours of daylight left, Cockburn and Zona proceeded to whack 4- to 6-pound smallies on nearly every cast until near darkness.

    For very different reasons, Cockburn’s two most significant BoatUS Angler-associated days are very memorable ones. Both played out along a sharp edge between falling short and celebration, but ultimately, each were punctuated with the kind of success in the outdoors Cockburn often seems destined for.

    Signing up for BoatUS Angler and becoming eligible for “Weigh-to Win” tournament cash bonuses like Travis did is easy. Just visit, or call (918) 742-6424.

  • Davis to fish Tour in 2013

    Davis to fish Tour in 2013

    Alabama angler Alex Davis, who won the Lake Guntersville Southeast EverStart this past season, will fish the FLW Tour in 2013, according to a news item posted on

    Davis operates the Spinnerbait Kid Guide service near Guntersville and spends nearly 200 days a year on the water.

    “I have been working for this for a long time,” said the 27-year-old. “With how the FLW Tour Open and EverStart event went for me, it really made the financial part of the decision easier. Those tournaments showed me that my fishing skills are up to par and I feel like I am ready.

    “This is about as good of a time as any to try to fish the Tour. I’m single and don’t have any kids or anything to worry about – so the timing is perfect.”

    Davis’ sponsors for the 2013 will include Halo Fishing, Vicious Fishing, Strike King, Power-Pole and Mercury.

    To read the full story, click here.

  • Day's "Race to 200" nearing finish line

    Day's "Race to 200" nearing finish line

    Time is ticking down on the "Race to 200" retail promotion being offered by Day's Boat Sales and Service of Frankfort, Ky. The goal is to reach 200 boats sold for the calendar year.

    In an effort to facilitate financing while working with retail finance partner RecLending, the promo offers special low interest rates and $200 vouchers to be applied toward any extended service contract or warranty extension for new and eligible used boats purchased during the event.

    Here are the highlights:

    > A 20 percent discount off installation charges for accessories such as electronics, black lights, rod holders, etc., will apply to any boat purchased during the event.

    > Every boat sold will include a $200 voucher for The Bass University at the venue of the consumer's choice, or $200 worth of BassADX clothing, plus a $200 voucher for Ranger Wear for every new Ranger ordered or delivered during the event.

    > All purchasers of boats sold during the promotion will qualify for a $200 discount on Power-Pole shallow-water anchors installed at Day's.

    The event runs through Dec. 31. To visit the Day's website, click here.

  • Ranger Cup U. payouts increase for 2013

    Ranger Boats announced today that cash payouts through its Ranger Cup University program will increase during the 2013 season.

    Schools affiliated with FLW and ACA are eligible to win a $250 cash prize if they are the highest-placing Ranger Cup University-qualified team/angler at the following events:

    > Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash (March 21-23) — Table Rock Lake
    > Collegiate Bass Fishing Open (April 18-20) — Kentucky Lake
    > FLW Southeastern Conference Invitational (May 11-12) — Wheeler Lake
    > FLW Central Conference Invitational (July 27-28) — Detroit River
    > FLW Northern Conference Invitational (Sept. 14-15) — Chesapeake Bay
    > FLW Southern Conference Invitational (Oct. 5-6) — Sam Rayburn Reservoir
    > FLW Western Conference Invitational (Oct. 12-13) — Clear Lake

    A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded to any qualified team/angler that wins either the FLW College National Championship Beaver Lake (April 19-21) or the BoatU.S. Collegiate Championship at Pickwick Lake (May 23-25). In the case that the winning team/angler is not qualified for the Ranger Cup University, the program will still guarantee $1,000 cash to the highest-finishing qualified team/angler fishing either event.

    In addition, the highest-finishing Ranger Cup University qualified team/angler will also receive automatic entry into the Ranger Cup University Challenge, scheduled for Aug. 7-8 at Lake Fork in Texas. The event, which will be filmed for an episode of Americana Outdoors on NBC Sports Network, will pit the highest-finishing qualified team from each championship event against one another in an expense-paid tournament on one of the best big-bass lakes in the country.

    To learn more about the Ranger Cup University program, click here.

  • Anglers help out at disabled hunt

    Anglers help out at disabled hunt

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Bill Lowen, Greg Vinson, Bradley Roy and Kelley Jaye were among the volunteers who assisted at a recent deer hunt for disabled children near Kellyton, Ala. (click on the photo to see a larger image). The event was put on by Outdoor Friends Forever (OFF).

    "OFF has some property down there, and for the last couple years some landowners in the area have let them use their land, too," Lowen said. "It was my first year being involved with it, and I'll be there every year that my schedule allows.

    "The deer hunting was pretty slow – I think we ended up with three or four. One day we took them all to a lake to fish from the shore, and that turned out pretty good."

    Two of Lowen's sponsors – Buck Knives and Flambeau – provided equipment that included hats, knives and calls.

    To learn more about OFF, click here.

  • Horses at Falcon: TPWD responds

    Horses at Falcon: TPWD responds

    (Editor's note: BassFan received the following statement from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regarding the account published earlier today of some dead and dying horses near Falcon Lake observed by Bassmaster Elite Series angler Jeremy Starks. The statement is reprinted in its entirety.)

    A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden had begun collecting information in regard to distressed horses on a ranch adjacent to Falcon Lake in Zapata County two days prior to Jeremy Starks' web posting on the situation.

    On Dec. 4 Game Warden Colby Hensz, stationed in Zapata County, had seen the emaciated horses and began looking into the case. He talked to an adjoining property owner in an effort to determine who owned the animals and intended to continue looking into the matter.

    The two game wardens Starks said he saw on a boat ramp near the horses had been patrolling the lake and were not involved in the investigation initiated by Warden Henz. Starks did not make contact with the two wardens.

    While Starks had no contact with the two game wardens he saw at the boat ramp last Thursday, when he talked with Game Warden Jake Mort on Friday, Dec. 7, Mort immediately reported the situation to the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office.

    TPWD game wardens and Zapata County deputies are continuing their investigation of this incident.

    As a state conservation agency committed to sustainable and ethical hunting and fishing, TPWD respects life and deplores the unnecessary suffering of any living thing.

  • Shimano becomes a B.A.S.S. sponsor

    Shimano becomes a B.A.S.S. sponsor

    B.A.S.S. announced today that Shimano has become a supporting sponsor of the organization.

    “Two of the best names in bass fishing just joined forces, and I think B.A.S.S. members and bass fans are the biggest winners here,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Shimano will be a great addition in 2013 to all Bassmaster events and media.”

    Shimano and B.A.S.S. have partnered before. One recent collaboration was in early 2012 in the creation of, a site that helps educate anglers about Shimano products, then directs them to local retailers to make a purchase.

    “While we have relied on the support of B.A.S.S. and its members for a good number of years in order to become a prominent brand among bass anglers, this new sponsorship takes Shimano to a new level,” said Shimano fishing division VP Carey Graves. “We’ll be interacting with anglers and fans at most of the B.A.S.S. tournament venues and events, plus we’re very pleased to be able to support the B.A.S.S. efforts with its live-release boats. It’s inherent to our success to do all we can to ensure a thriving, healthy bass fishery.”

    Shimano will wrap Bassmaster live-release boats and will also wrap the giant video screen on the Bassmaster stage used at Elite Series events.

    “B.A.S.S. members and others can expect to see a Shimano demo team exhibit at all the Elite Series events, and select Opens, B.A.S.S. Nation and College Series tournament sites,” Shimano marketing manager Bob Mahoney. “We want anglers to be able to experience Shimano reels – the feel, the sensitivity, the smoothness, the power – rigged and ready to cast, whether they’ve come to watch their favorite pro anglers or are competing themselves in an event.”

    For more about Shimano, click here.

  • Starks makes disturbing discovery near Falcon

    Starks makes disturbing discovery near Falcon

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jeremy Starks has been in south Texas recently scouting at Lake Falcon for the Elite Series event there in March. However, before he even launched his boat Saturday, he came upon a disturbing scene near a launch ramp involving several horses that appeared to be weak and starving.

    He noted a number of horses were already dead while others looked despondent. He walked around the area and saw two game wardens parked nearby, but he was unable to communicate with them before they drove away. He later contacted the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and officials he spoke with referred him to the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office, which dispatched a deputy who had to euthanize some of the animals.

    Eventually, the landowner was contacted and some hay was brought to the horses, but Starks was unsure how the matter was being dealt with going forward.

    Mike Cox, a spokesperson for the TPWD, told BassFan today he was aware of the scene Starks encountered and that the matter is now being handled by Zapata County Sheriff’s Office.

    “Our primary function is to enforce laws that involve game and fish,” he said. “Cruelty to animals and that sort of thing is a crime that’s most likely to be worked by a sheriff’s office.”

    Below is Starks’ account of what he witnessed and the video he took. He has posted it to his Facebook page as well.

    I shot this video while fishing at Falcon Lake yesterday. I was driving to an out-of-the-way ramp and the road turned through a fenced area containing numerous horses. I was appalled to see the condition of these poor animals. They were emaciated beyond belief and had no food available.

    It gets much worse. I couldn't believe what I was seeing – there were dead horses lying all around the launch ramp area. Then I spotted the horse in the video. He was so weakened from starvation that he no longer had the strength to get up. Unfortunately, as I surveyed the area I noticed that there were more that could no longer stand. They were looking at me as if to ask for help.

    Horses were lying in the sun, unable to help themselves, and dying before my eyes. The story now takes a more sickening turn. As I arrived at the ramp, there were two Game Wardens parked literally feet from dead and dying horses, yet they had done absolutely nothing to help. I tried to catch them as they were leaving but was unable to.

    Unsure of whom to call, I started with the Texas Parks and Wildlife. I contacted the supervisor of the two officers and was told that it wasn't their job. The captain said the horses were dying from starvation most likely because of the drought. I explained that there were cattle in the fenced area immediately adjacent to the horses that were fat and healthy and had plenty of food. He was unconcerned.

    I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I then took it further up the chain and spoke with commander Teague. He was understanding and he seemed much more concerned about the situation. He advised me to call the Sheriff. I then called the Zapata Co. Sheriff’s Department and a deputy came to humanely put down some of the animals that were beyond saving. The owner was contacted and he brought some hay for the short term. The fate of these poor horses is yet to be determined.

    I am still in shock that two officers from the Texas Parks and Wildlife commission ignored these suffering animals. These are the same officers that would gladly write any one of us a fine for not having a light on your boat or a small fish over your limit. If you believe that these horses deserved the respect of these officers, then please share this with everyone you know. Contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife commission at (800) 792-1112 and demand an explanation.

    Jeremy Starks

  • Minn Kota back with FLW

    FLW announced today that trolling motor manufacturer Minn Kota has signed a multi-year deal as an associate sponsor, extending a partnership that dates to 2002.

  • Slimmer and sharper

    The second generation of Abu Garcia's Vendetta rod series has a new look. That's not all, though, as the company's designers have figured out how to take away a little bit of weight without sacrificing performance.

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

  • BU offering registration gifts

    BU offering registration gifts

    The Bass University is including a stuffed-stocking gift package with every registration for a 2013 seminar completed through Dec. 18.

    Each 2-day class registrant will receive a package valued at $25 and each single-day registrant will get a package valued at $10. All packages include Rapala lures, an autographed photo of BU founders Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek, and more.

    For more about BU, click here.

  • Johnson Outdoors back with PAA

    Johnson Outdoors back with PAA

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) announced that Johnson Outdoors, the maker of Humminbird/Minn Kota and Talon, has renewed as a PAA sponsor for 2013.

    Said PAA president Dave Mansue: Samuel C. Johnson was a visionary whose thoughts and ideas led to the development of the most dependable, user-friendly marine electronics on the market. Mr. Johnson once said, 'I believe that making a better place goes beyond providing jobs. It means being a worthy neighbor who cares about the neighborhood. It means adding an unspoken dimension of decency and consideration to the community.'

    "These same comments can be made about the PAA and our goals, so we are very excited to extend our partnership with a great company like Johnson Outdoors."

  • B.A.S.S. to put marshals in Classic

    B.A.S.S. to put marshals in Classic

    B.A.S.S. announced today that it's extending its marshal program to include the Bassmaster Classic and will soon begin taking registration for the 2013 event at Oklahoma's Grand Lake. Previously, B.A.S.S. used "observers" for the Classic, primarily drawn from the media ranks.

    “B.A.S.S. is pleased to offer the marshal experience at the highest level of professional bass fishing," said B.A.S.S. tournament director Trip Weldon. "Classic week is as exciting as it gets in this great sport of ours."

    As a thank-you to the host state, B.A.S.S. will provide priority marshal registration to members of the Oklahoma B.A.S.S. Nation from Dec. 11-13. Then, on at 9 a.m. on Dec. 18, registration will open to all B.A.S.S. members. The cost is $350, which includes a special Bassmaster Classic marshal uniform, as well as a minimum of 2 days on the water with a Classic qualifier.

    Marshal slots for the final day (when the field is cut in half) will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the pool of registered marshals.

    For more information, go to

  • Clausen to chat live

    Clausen to chat live

    Take a break from the holiday hustle when Luke Clausen joins us at 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 18 for a live chat on Twitter. The FLW Tour pro will be taking your questions on all things bassin'.

    You'll need a Twitter account to participate. You can follow along by searching hashtag #bassfanchat. For more information, click here.

  • Topwater springs for free Arizona bash

    Topwater springs for free Arizona bash

    Arizona-based Topwater Clothing will host a Christmas party for anglers of all levels on Dec. 13 in Scottsdale. The only catch is that attendees must RSVP on the event's Facebook page.

    Food, drinks (no alcohol will be served) and entertainment are all free of charge. There will also be dozens of product giveaways from companies such as Wright & McGill, Lazer Trokar, the World Fishing Network, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Seaguar, Yamamoto Custom Baits, Lobina Lures, Kinami Baits and Buck Knives.

    "The people who fish are the ones who buy our stuff and allow us to make a living in the industry," said Topwater owner Brad Altman. "Hopefully, this is a way that we can give something back."

    To see an enlarged version of the flyer, click on the image at right. More details are available at the link above.

  • FLW, Shop-Vac extend

    FLW, Shop-Vac extend

    FLW announced today that Shop-Vac has extended its sponsorship deal with the organization through the 2013 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • New poll: Best of 2012

    There was no shortage of highlights during the 2012 Tour season. From Chris Lane's Bassmaster Classic victory to Jacob Wheeler's dominance at the Forrest Wood Cup, BassFans were treated to another collection of dazzling and dramatic performances at the sport's highest level.

    Earlier this week, BassFan broke down each Tour event of the 2012 season (click here to check it out). Now, it's time for your voice to be heard. We launched a new poll question that asks BassFans, "What was your favorite winning moment of 2012?"

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

  • Stanford launches video contest

    Stanford launches video contest

    Stanford Lures, the producer of hand-made cedar crankbaits, has launched a video contest called the National Championship Bass Bowl that runs through Jan. 7. Entrants must catch a fish on a Stanford bait and submit a video of the catch to the company's Facebook page.

    The video receiving the most "likes" on the page will be deemed the winner. The prize package includes five top-selling Stanford crankbaits, a Stanford T-shirt and the National Championship Bass Bowl trophy.

    The size of the fish might not determine the winning entry – other potential factors include (but are not limited to) the quality and creative nature of the video, type of fish, use of lure, type of lure and potential narrative of video.

    To visit the company's Facebook page, click here.

  • B.A.S.S. picks up Livingston Lures

    B.A.S.S. picks up Livingston Lures

    B.A.S.S. announced today that Livingston Lures has signed on as a supporting sponsor.

    “We see the Bassmaster Tournament Trail as a way to introduce our lures to bass anglers,” said Fred Battah, CEO of the Livingston, Texas-based company. “Fishermen are instantly intrigued when they see the craftsmanship, detail and realistic swimming actions of our lures. When they have a chance to experience the difference that our exclusive vibration and sound technology makes, they’ll get hooked – and so will the fish.

    “We’ve also signed a sponsorship agreement with Jeff Kriet, Bassmaster Elite Series angler, and we are confident that Jeff will help to make anglers across the country aware of Livingston Lures’ ability to call the fish to you.”

    Said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin: “We are very pleased to have Livingston Lures on board as an official supporting sponsor. I’m confident that our new partnership will be a great marketing tool for Livingston as we both work to grow fishing.”

    All of Livingston Lures' new crankbaits and topwaters are equipped with proprietary technology that activates when the lure hits the water. The lures produce a sound that mimics the "croak" made by a real baitfish in distress. In addition, a proprietary chamber produces vibration during retrieve. All models contain this audio technology, and most are enhanced with the additional visual trigger of an LED light that subtly fades in and out intermittently.

  • Canadian Open set for July

    The Competitive Sport Fishing League (CSFL) announced recently that Lake Ontario will be the venue for the Kingston Canadian Open of Fishing next summer. The dates for the tournament will be July 25-27, 2013. The 3-day, no-cut team event will feature 80 teams of celebrity and pro anglers along with co-anglers.

    The winning pro will take home $30,000 while the co-angler winner will take home a boat package valued at $16,000.

    The event will support The Kingston Military Family Resource Centre (KMFRC), a non-profit, charitable organization that supports and enhances the health and well-being of the military community.

    Registration opened Dec. 1 and entry fees are $1,000 for pros and $750 for non-boaters. To register, call the CSFL at (905) 640-2277, send a fax to (905) 640-2278 or click here to send an e-mail. To learn more about the event, click here.

  • Rapala renews its deal with FLW

    Rapala renews its deal with FLW

    FLW announced today that lure-maker Rapala has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the organization through 2013. The company's Sufix and Trigger X brands are also included in the deal.

    Rapala pro-staffers on the FLW Tour are veterans Terry Bolton and Dave Lefebre and 2012 Forrest Wood Cup champion Jacob Wheeler.

  • Plano to fall under Canadian ownership

    Plano to fall under Canadian ownership

    The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan announced late last week that it had reached an agreement for the acquisition of tackle-storage giant Plano Molding Company. OTPP, the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada serving more than 300,000 active and retired teachers, is making the acquisition through its private equity investment division, Teachers' Private Capital (TPC).

    The company, based in Plano, Ill., has been in business for 80 years.

    "Plano has exceptionally strong brands and product categories supported by attractive market characteristics," said TPC senior VP Jane Rowe. "It also benefits from its long-standing relationships with top North American retailers. Plano's proven management team has a record of solid organic growth and has strongly positioned the company to benefit from acquisition opportunities. We look forward to supporting their success."

    Said Plano president and CEO Tom Hurt: "The Plano management team and I are extremely excited to be partnering with Teachers'. Together we look forward to growing Plano's heritage brands to their full potential and continuing our dedication to exceeding our customer expectations in product innovation, market leadership and world-class customer service. An exciting new journey has just begun for Plano, our valued associates and the many market-leading brands under our umbrella. The Teachers' partnership in Plano promises to yield more exciting opportunities than ever before."

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