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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

  • Lanier takes huge lead at Kissimmee Open

    Lanier takes huge lead at Kissimmee Open

    With a 27-11 bag topped by a 9-11 bruiser, Daniel Lanier Jr. staked himself to a massive lead on day 1 of the Kissimmee Chain Bassmaster Southern Open in Florida. His advantage over 2nd-place Tracy Adams was nearly equal to the weight of his largest fish.

    A cold front moved through the area Wednesday night and toughened up the bite, but Lanier, a resident of Winter Springs, Fla. who finished 5th in this event in 2011, had no difficulty overcoming that hardship.

    "I caught ’em early,” he said. “Most of my best fish came out of 4 or 5 feet of water on topwater baits.”

    Here's a look at the current Top 12 from the 198-angler field:

    1. Daniel Lanier Jr.: 27-11
    2. Tracy Adams: 18-07
    3. (tie) Todd Auten: 18-01
    3. (tie) Derek Remitz: 18-01
    5. Michael Murphy: 17-06
    6. Brandon Lester: 16-14
    7. (tie) Jamey Caldwell: 16-09
    7. (tie) Skip Johnson: 16-09
    9. Darrell Pons: 16-08
    10. Will Evans: 16-05
    11. Mike Jackson: 15-09
    12. Randy Elliott: 15-05

  • Bohannan signs with Denali

    Bohannan signs with Denali

    Denali Rods announced that it's added FLW Tour pro Greg Bohannan to its pro staff.

    “I’ve got a buddy in a tournament organization that I work with that is a mutual friend of Denali owner Scott Estes," Bohannan said. "Through fishing with him and actually using the rods a couple times, I was really impressed. I decided to approach Scott about working with them this year and we really hit it off, so I couldn’t be more excited about fishing with them this season.”

    Added Estes: “We are very proud of the professional team we have assembled to represent our brand, and Greg is another fantastic addition. Once we started talking, it was apparent that we share some of the same goals both on and off the water. We’re excited to add Greg to the staff and look forward to him having a great 2013 season.”

  • Chapman adds Dyna-Tek

    Chapman adds Dyna-Tek

    Dyna-Tek, manufacturer of the Rod & Reel Performance Kit, has struck a sponsorship deal with 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Brent Chapman.

    “The Rod & Reel Performance Kit eliminates all the friction that naturally occurs from any rod, reel and line combination," he said. "Once it's applied, I can make longer casts and with no friction and less vibration and I can feel the slightest of bites. I feel bites I used to miss,

    "The kit comes with four towelettes that you use to clean and then coat the rod, guides, the reel, and I even run my fluorocarbon line across it for additional friction reduction. Try it once and I know you’ll be hooked.”

    Said Dyna-Tek VP of sales Scott Murray: “Brent is red-hot right now and he’s from right here in the Kansas City area. We’ve had a lot of time to spend with Brent over the past few months showing him our product. We know he’s a true believer in what the product can do and that will show in the way he helps us promote it. We look forward to being a part of Brent’s 2013 AOY title defense.”

  • 'Trap event Saturday at Guntersville

    'Trap event Saturday at Guntersville

    Bassmaster Elite Series pros Jason Quinn, Cliff Crochet and Pete Ponds will be among the participants in the 2nd annual Rat-L-Trap Classic, which will take place Saturday at Alabama's Lake Guntersville.

    Spots in the tournament are still available, and registration will be taken beginning at 8 a.m. Friday at the Bait, Tackle Grill at Goose Pond Landing (site of the launch and weigh-in). Signups will also be taken on the morning of the event.

    The entry fee is $100 per boat and the top prize is $3,000 (based on a 100-boat field). The Top 50 teams will receive prizes (either cash or merchandise).

    The Elite Series anglers are not eligible to win prizes – if they place, prizes will go to the amateur directly below them in the standings. Former Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett will also be on hand to help promote the event.

    Fish can be caught only on Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps.

    To see the tournament flyer, click here.

  • Star brite to sponsor Ala. River Elite Series

    Star brite to sponsor Ala. River Elite Series

    Star brite, a leading U.S. manufacturer of marine care and appearance items, has signed on to be the presenting sponsor of the Alabama River Elite Series event slated for May 9-12 in Montgomery, Ala.

    “We wanted to support the Alabama River Charge because Montgomery is the home of our Kinpak manufacturing and distribution facility,” said Greg Dornau, executive vice president of Star brite, which markets polishes, cleaners, motor oils, fuel treatments, brushes, tie-downs, lubricants, adhesives and much more under several brands. “We were looking for a way to give back to the bass fishing community, so the opportunity to sponsor a world-class event right here in our hometown was the perfect opportunity.”

    Said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director, “With the rich history of B.A.S.S. in Montgomery, it is great to see a nationally known business with a local tie get involved with the upcoming Bassmaster event scheduled for the Alabama River. We’re always happy to bring an event to Montgomery – it’s like coming home – and we’re pleased Star brite is partnering with us to give the fans a show.”

  • Martin to run Lazer TroKar wrap

    Martin to run Lazer TroKar wrap

    FLW tour angler Scott Martin has new wraps for the 2013 season. The Lazer TroKar hooks logo will adorn both his boat and truck (click the image to see an enlarged version).

    “We enjoy working with Scott and he has been invaluable in helping us develop some of the new TroKar styles currently in our lineup,” said Chris Russell, marketing director for Lazer TroKar. “Having Scott fishing in the TroKar-wrapped boat on the FLW Tour and on the “Scott Martin Challenge” is exciting for us as we grow our one-of-a-kind brand. Scott does such a great job with fans around the U.S. and world, and we are lucky to have him on our team.”

    Martin had previously been sponsored by the National Guard through FLW.

    “I've been working with TroKar now for several years and this is such a great opportunity to be able to turn them into a primary sponsor," said Martin, who noted the work of Custom Graphics and Signs based in Okeechobee, Fla. for its work on the new wraps. "TroKar hooks are made with quality and it makes me proud to have a quality product to represent. These hooks make a difference in fishing, too, and that's a big deal.”

    BassFan welcomes new wrap photos from Elite Series and FLW Tour pros. They can be sent to editorial@bassfan.com.

  • New time slot for FLW

    Beginning this Sunday, Feb. 3 and continuing through the 2013 season, the FLW television series will air on the NBC Sports Network at 11 a.m. EST. The shows had previously aired at 1 p.m. EST.

    This week's episode will highlight last year's Beaver Lake Tour Major, won by David Dudley.

    The 2013 Lake Okeechobee Tour stop will be televised on April 7, with the Lewis Smith Lake event slated to air on April 14.

    You can find the complete FLW TV schedule by clicking here.

  • Shimano hauls in Meyer

    Shimano hauls in Meyer

    Shimano announced today that FLW Tour angler Cody Meyer is the newest member of the company's expanding pro staff, and he'll now be casting Jackall baits on Shimano rods matched with PowerPro-filled Shimano reels.

    Meyer, who's been affiliated with Jackall in previous seasons, will begin his new affiliation with Shimano at the FLW Tour season opener at Lake Okeechobee, which starts Feb. 7.

    “Cody has been a great asset to Jackall Lures, and we look forward to him helping us bring even more awareness to not only Jackall, but also Shimano and PowerPro as well,” Shimano fishing division marketing director Bob Mahoney said. “He’ll be assisting our team at tournaments, dealers functions and tackle shows as his schedule allows, plus we’ll be listening to him for input on rods, reels, line and lures.”

    Meyer, who hails from Grass Valley, Calif., will be fishing the FLW Tour this year, along with select EverStart Series tournaments and the B.A.S.S. Northern Opens.

    “I’ve already had the opportunity to fish Shimano Sustain reels on Cumara dropshot rods,” said Meyer. “Match that tackle up with a Jackall FlickShake worm along with the added sensitivity from PowerPro Super8Slick braid, and you truly take fishing to a new level.”

    To learn more about Shimano, click here.

  • Topics released for Dallas BU session

    Topics released for Dallas BU session

    The Bass University has released the list of instructors and topics for its Dallas session, which will take place Feb. 9-10 at Dallas Central – Park Cities in Dallas. Here's the lineup:

    Feb. 9
    > Gerald Swindle – (1) Junk Fishing Basics. (2) Dock Fishing 101.

    > Kevin Short – (1) Blazing square-bills for big bass. Learn which square-bill crankbait to use on different types of cover from the man who has won over a half-million dollars on the square-bill. (2) All about fishing soft plastics. Short will go over how to select the right size, shape, and colors for different situations all year long.

    > Mike Iaconelli – (1) Jigs – the best all-around bass bait. Analyzing different sizes, trailers and techniques for catching monster bass. (2) New finesse techniques. The latest in finesse soft-plastics fishing.

    Feb. 10
    > Jeff Kriet – (1) Finding fish on new bodies of water. How to manage your time to find bass fast. (2) Fishing offshore structure. How to find and catch schools of bass way off the bank.

    > Pete Gluszek - (1) Spinnerbaits and vibration jigs. How to make bass react year-round. (2) All about soft stick baits. Tricks, tips, and rigging methods for the “magic hotdog."

    > Randy Howell – (1) Topwater tips and techniques. Triggering fish on top can be the most exciting and effective way to catch big bass. (2) Lipless vibration baits. Using lipless baits year round to catch bass in any condition.

    To register or obtain more information, click here.

  • Jackall giveaway

    <b><font color=green>Jackall giveaway</font></b>

    Jackall Lures and BassFan have teamed up on a new contest to mark the opening of the FLW Tour season next week at Lake Okeechobee. We need your best guess as to what weight Jackall pro Cody Meyer will finish the event with. The person who gets closest to the actual weight without going over will win a Jackall Lures prize pack valued at more than $100, including a half-dozen ASKA crankbaits.

    To enter, visit our Facebook page by clicking here.

  • Herren picks up Elite Tungsten

    Herren picks up Elite Tungsten

    Elite Tungsten announced that it's signed Bassmaster Elite Series pro Matt Herren to its pro staff.

    "I use nothing but tungsten weights when I’m fishing," he said. "The sensitivity and smaller profile that tungsten provides plain helps me get more bites. Elite Tungsten weights are the best I've seen. They are 97% tungsten and the line-through holes are diamond-drilled, which eliminates the need for line inserts – I don’t want anything between my line and my weight. Plus they come in six chip-resistant colors."

    Said Jimmie Underwood of Elite Tungsten: “We are excited to have a top-level Elite Series angler like Matt working with us. Matt is not only a top-level angler, but he is a great person as well. We look forward to having his input on future Elite Tungsten products.

  • Chapman joins Livingston

    Chapman joins Livingston

    Brent Chapman, the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year, has been added to the pro staff of Texas-based Livingston Lures.

    “Livingston Lures is an impressive company," he said. "It’s obvious that they know how to run a business and they do everything 110% without exception. I had no idea how fantastic the company and the people at Livingston were until I got down there and saw their business in action. Once I had the chance to sit down and see and hear what they are all about, it was an easy decision to join the Livingston Team.”

    Said Livingston CEO Fred Battah: “We’ve kept a close eye on the tournament scene for a while and Chapman stood out to us. Not only is he an exceptional angler, he’s also a class act and that’s important to us here at Livingston. He’s also passionate about fishing, just like we are.

    "We know as the 2012 Angler of the Year, Brent had a lot of opportunities with hardbait companies, and for him to decide to join the Livingston team means a lot. We know that working with Brent and our other Elite Series pros, we are going to add products to our lineup that will improve any angler's fishing."

  • Tour pros featured on Fisherman's Handbook

    Tour pros featured on Fisherman's Handbook

    FLW Tour veteran Clark Wendlandt and Bassmaster Elite Series pros David Walker, Jeff Kriet and Mike McClelland will be among Wade Middleton's guests on the second season of Cabela's Fisherman's Handbook on the Pursuit Channel.

    The show airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays, 1 a.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. Saturdays (all times Eastern).

  • BU: Sellout in Chicago

    BU: Sellout in Chicago

    Pete Gluszek, co-founder of The Bass University along with Mike Iaconelli, told BassFan today that last weekend's event in Chicago was BU's first complete sellout. Every spot available in the meeting room at the convention center in Schaumburg, Ill. was filled – about 130 students in all.

    "We try to keep it around 100, but we didn't want to turn anybody away," he said. "One of the really cool things was we had a lot of kids – both college and high school – and we could hardly get through the seminars because they wanted to know everything."

    The instructor lineup for Chicago consisted of Gluszek, Iaconelli, Shaw Grigsby, Bernie Schultz, Mike McClelland and Brandon Palaniuk.

    Three more sessions are scheduled for this year: Dallas (Feb. 9-10), Oaks, Pa. (Feb. 16-17) and Suffern, N.Y. (March 2-3). To register or obtain more information, click here.

  • Robinson will run Castaway wraps

    Robinson will run Castaway wraps

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Marty Robinson has new wraps for the 2013 season. CastAway Graphite Rods logos will adorn both his boat and truck (click the image to see an enlarged version).

    “I’ve been fishing with CastAway rods since the beginning of my professional career and I’m really pumped about this opportunity,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in these rods and their actions just seem to match perfectly with the techniques I use on the water. More than anything, though, I really like the people over there. They are as serious about fishing as I am and always looking for ways to improve the equipment we use to catch fish.”

    BassFan welcomes new wrap photos from Elite Series and FLW Tour pros. They can be sent to editorial@bassfan.com.

  • Stone headed for financial sector

    Stone headed for financial sector

    Marty Stone's initial retirement from tour-level fishing lasted just 1 year. Now the same can be said for his comeback.

    Stone, the longtime Bassmaster pro from North Carolina who sat out the 2011 campaign before fishing the FLW Tour last year, announced on his Facebook page that he's stepping away from pro fishing once again. The post states that he'll fish nine BFLs and some team events this year and continue in his role as color commentator for Major League Fishing (he was part of MLF's original investment group).

    He wrote that his latest career decision was prompted when four of his major sponsorship contracts were halved following the November election. He'll now go to work for wealth-management giant Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, which he'd been training for prior to his comeback.

    He starts his new job on Feb. 11. To visit his Facebook page, click here.

  • Frazier goes with Buckeye Lures

    FLW Tour angler Micah Frazier has reached a sponsorship agreement with Buckeye Lures for the 2013 season.

    "I've been using Buckeye Lures products for many years," Frazier said. "The J-Will swimbait head is the ultimate head for soft plastic swimbaits. They are great fished solo or on an umbrella rig. For spotted bass, there is no better jig than one of their spot removers, but they also have a full line of jigs like mop jigs, flipping jigs and swim jigs. I'm super excited to promote these great products for a great company."

    Buckeye Lures is based in Georgia, Frazier's home state.

    "Micah is a talented angler and a great individual," said Jeremy Altman of Buckeye Lures. "We look forward to sharing his success as he continues his career. We expect great things from Frazier on the water, and he can expect great products from Buckeye. Micah is a great addition to our pro staff."

  • Menendez's class starts Feb. 19

    Menendez's class starts Feb. 19

    Mark Menendez, a veteran professional angler and holder of a degree in fisheries biology from Murray State University, will conduct his 4th annual bass fishing class at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, Ky. The class will held on three Tuesday nights (Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26).

    The cost is $65, which includes lures. Call (270) 534-3335 for registration.

  • Motor Mate to back Horton's show

    Motor Mate to back Horton's show

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Tim Horton announced that he's picked up Motor Mate USA as a sponsor for his new TV show, Timmy Horton Outdoors.

    “Keeping your motor securely locked in place and your transom protected is critical when towing the amount of miles we travel each year," he said. "Motor Mate has met that challenge, and it is very simple to use. Motor Mate is made in the USA, and whether you are towing just 1 mile or over thousands of miles, Motor Mate is the obvious choice for complete engine support and transom protection."

    Said Motor Mate's Clifton Bradley: “Having seen Tim’s popularity on various television shows over the years and now seeing him on his own show, we knew that Motor Mate USA wanted to be a part of it. We believe the show is a great success and that it is a great way to showcase the quality of our product."

  • Typhoon renews FLW sponsorship

    Typhoon renews FLW sponsorship

    FLW announced today that Typhoon Polarized Optics will return as an associate sponsor of the organization. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    In addition, Typhoon will operate a contingency program for Tour anglers called "Wear It to Win It." The Top 3 finishers (pros and co-anglers) in each tournament will be eligible for prizes of up to $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

  • Davis to speak at HOF banquet

    Davis to speak at HOF banquet

    The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF) today announced that Mark Davis will serve as keynote speaker at the 2013 induction dinner, to be held in Tulsa, Okla., concurrent with the Bassmaster Classic (where Davis will be one of 53 competitors).

    Davis won the Classic in 1995 and is a three-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year.

    "The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is honored to feature Mark Davis as a keynote speaker, and humbled that he reserves time from his rigorous Classic competition schedule to share with attendees his wisdom and vision,” said BFHOF president Sammy Lee. “Mark is a class act and a true voice and advocate for the sport. We're all in for a huge treat."

    This year's BFHOF inductees are legendary Western tournament angler Mike Folkestad, fishing electronics innovator Darrell Lowrance and the late guide, educator and lodge owner Jack Wingate. The dinner will be held February 22 Hilton Doubletree Hotel.

    For ticket information, click here or call (888) 690-2277.

  • Megabass to ramp up U.S. distribution

    Megabass to ramp up U.S. distribution

    Megabass, one of Japan’s premier fishing tackle companies, announced today that it is forming a subsidiary known as Megabass of America, Inc., which will increase the visibility and availability of its products in the U.S. market.

    The independent distributor previously known as Megabass USA will merge with its Japanese partner and the new subsidiary will emerge. Megabass founder and CEO Yuki Ito will be the subsidiary’s CEO and current Megabass USA leader Yuskei Murayama will be his vice president.

    “Megabass is driven by a passion to create products that excel not only as tools, but as works of art that have the capacity to inspire anglers both on and off the water,” said Ito. “Extending our presence to the U.S. will allow us to share this passion with the U.S. angling community, and engage in a direct design dialogue that will fuel product development for the United States.”

    As part of the new strategy, Megabass of America will tailor its lures and rods to the specific demands of American waters. This strategy will include increased marketing efforts and product development focused on the U.S. market. The reordering of the company will also effectively create a direct distribution point from California, resulting in cost savings which will be shared with retail stores and anglers alike in the form of new pricing and sales policies. This will allow tackle stores and anglers to effectively incorporate Megabass gear into their fishing arsenals.

    “I am incredibly excited to join forces with Megabass and have the opportunity to work directly with a company I truly believe in,” said Murayama. “As a part of Megabass, we have an unrivaled platform from which to better serve the needs of the U.S. market, and I am confident that anglers and retail stores alike will see an immediate and long-lasting benefit.”

    To learn more about Megabass, click here.

  • Terry topples Amistad

    Terry topples Amistad

    Austin Terry, who's set to embark on his FLW Tour rookie season in less than month, got a big shot of momentum with his win at the Lake Amistad Texas EverStart.

    The 21-year-old Texan sacked 13-13 on the final day to clinch the victory with a 59-03 total, which was just shy of 2 pounds heavier than runner-up Keith Combs, who had 57-06. Stephen Johnston was 3rd with 57-01.

    It's the first career FLW win for Terry, who finished 6th in the Texas EverStart Angler of the Year points in 2012. Here's how the Top 10 finished up:

    1. Austin Terry: 59-03
    2. Keith Combs: 57-06
    3. Stephen Johnston: 57-01
    4. Lamonte Loyd: 56-00
    5. Kris Wilson: 54-04
    6. Shane Moore: 52-09
    7. Dusty Schultz: 52-03
    8. Gene Eisenmann: 50-06
    9. Mark Rouse: 48-14
    10. T.W. Hardy: 45-10

    Details about Terry's winning pattern will be published soon.

  • PF distribution center moving

    PF distribution center moving

    The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal reported today that Pure Fishing is set to move its distribution facility from Spirit Lake, Iowa to Kansas City, Kan. The move comes about 6 years after the company was purchased by the Jarden Corporation and 4 1/2 years after PF's headquarters staff was relocated to Columbia, S.C.

    The move is expected to impact 36 employees. To read the article, click here.

  • RMC BoatWorks extends FLW deal

    RMC BoatWorks extends FLW deal

    FLW today announced that RMC BoatWorks has renewed its contract as an associate sponsor for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • A bigger Flicker

    <b><font color=maroon>A bigger Flicker</font></b>

    The proven effectiveness of the smaller versions of the Flicker Shad crankbait prompted Berkley to come out with a larger version for 2013. The new 9-centimeter (3.54-inch) model comes in 12 colors and features the same fleeing-baitfish action as its smaller cousins.

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

  • Horton's H.S. event to pay out 20 grand

    Horton's H.S. event to pay out 20 grand

    The inaugural Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge, set for May 18 at Pickwick Lake, will pay out $20,000 in scholarship money.

    “We are thrilled with the support of this entire community in helping us with this event," said Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau executive director Susann Hamlin. "We anticipate anglers and their parents from all over the state will come to participate in this new fishing format that is directed toward creating a great opportunity for young fishing enthusiasts here in Alabama."

    Added Horton: “This is going to be a great event on Pickwick Lake. What a thrill it is for me to be a part of an event that will help these kids continue their education. We are also going to do an essay contest based on conservation to go along with the fishing competition."

    For more information or to register, visit www.fishpickwicklake.com.

  • HALO nabs Horton

    HALO nabs Horton

    HALO Fishing continues to assemble an impressive pro staff today's announcement that Elite Series angler Jamie Horton will use HALO products during the 2013 season.

    “I am very excited to be working with HALO. It’s a perfect fit for me,” said Horton, the former Federation Nation champion who's entering his second year with the Elite Series. “They have a wide variety of rod lengths and different powers.”

    In addition to HALO rods, Horton will also showcase the company’s reels in 2013.

    “HALO has a great variety of different size and speed reels as well,” said Horton. “This will really help me be dialed in on the perfect setup for each technique this season.”

  • Fish PAA TV schedule released

    Fish PAA TV schedule released

    Fish PAA has returned to the Pursuit Channel in 2013. Broadcast times for the first quarter of this year are 11 a.m. Mondays, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m. Sundays.

    Action from the four 2012 PAA Tournament Series events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic will be featured.

  • HOF induction tickets available

    HOF induction tickets available

    If you're planning to attend next month's Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Okla., why not check out the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame induction banquet as well? The 2013 honorees are legendary Western angler Mike Folkestad, electronics innovator Darrell Lowrance and the late guide, educator and lodge owner Jack Wingate.

    The banquet will take place Feb. 22 at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel and tickets are $100 each. For ticket information, click here or call (888) 690-2277.

  • Vinson goes with HALO

    Vinson goes with HALO

    HALO Fishing announced today that Elite Series pro Greg Vinson will join the company's pro staff and use HALO rods during the 2013 season.

    “I'm extremely excited to be joining a relatively new company like HALO who places a high value on input from their pro staff,” said Vinson. “I had a chance to speak with other anglers on the HALO pro staff, and they had nothing but positive things to say about the products, the personnel, and the direction of the company.

    “The HALO product line has been developed to certain specifications to suit the professional tournament level anglers, but the price points are not outside the range of a weekend angler's budget.”

  • Rose joins Lew's lineup

    Rose joins Lew's lineup

    In its second major signing of 2013, Lew's has added FLW Tour stalwart Mark Rose to its powerhouse pro staff. The company brought Jay Yelas aboard earlier this month.

    "We know that today's bass anglers have many tournament options, from local to regional to national, and both Jay and Mark are excellent examples of how working hard on and off the water can pay off in a history of successes, most recently along the FLW Tour events," said Gary Remensnyder, Lew's president. "We especially like the fact that both men are good role models for our brand and for the sport of fishing everywhere they go. After all, they spend a lot more time preparing for tournaments, and traveling to and from them, than actually fishing.

    "It's during these times that they have many quality interactions with the public, and that's just as important to us in their representation of the Lew's name."

    Rose and Yelas will be joining many fellow Team Lew's members in the company's booth at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo being held in Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 22-24. Also in attendance will be David Fritts, Tim Horton, Kevin Short, Stephen Browning, Mark Menendez, Gerald Brown and Andrew Upshaw, along with crappie guru Wally Marshall.

    Lew's pros Terry Scroggins, Mark Davis, Cliff Prince, Marty Robinson and Jason Christie, along with B.A.S.S. Nation angler Jared Knuth, have qualified for the Classic and will be among its 53 contenders.

    "The Bassmaster Classic provides an excellent opportunity to meet and visit with the greatest names in fishing, old and new. And I'm confident you'll find all of Lew's guys to be approachable, friendly and ready to talk fishing," Remensnyder said.

  • Owner picks up Hawk

    Owner picks up Hawk

    Kevin Hawk, the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup champion and 2012 Bassmaster Southern Opens Angler of the Year, has reached a sponsorship agreement with hook manufacturer Owner.

    "It's a pleasure to be working closely with Kevin," said Owner VP Tony Shitanishi. "He's a class act and a great fisherman. We're looking forward to watching him have a successful 2013 season on the Elite Series."

    Said Hawk, “ It’s an honor to be working closely with Owner Hooks this season. Owner Hooks is a highly respected company in the fishing industry and they make premier products that I wouldn’t be caught without on the water.

    "What I really like about Owner as a company is they’re never satisfied. They’re always coming out with new hook designs and products for every technique and presentation anglers use on the water. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with them and helping to bring some new ideas to the table.”

  • Rose adds sauce to portfolio

    Rose adds sauce to portfolio

    FLW Tour pro Mark Rose has signed a sponsorship deal with Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. The agreement is the company's initial foray into professional fishing.

    "I can't express how excited I am about this new partnership with Country Bob's and how it came about (starting about 5 years ago) – it was definitely a Godsend," Rose said. "We both share the same Christian values and the sauce is unbelievably good … on everything!"

    Added Albert Malekovic, who works in sales and marketing for Country Bob's: "Being outdoorsmen ourselves, we've always wanted to convey to the outdoorsmen of the world that our All Purpose Sauce is not only great on beef, pork and chicken, but also the best compliment for fish, deer and other game. We've known of Mr. Rose's incredible fishing talent, his faith and his great sportsmanship for some time. Once we were able to meet with him and his wonderful family, we knew that Mark Rose and Rose Outdoors were the perfect partner for us and we couldn't be more proud and excited to work together."

  • Zona imparts some wisdom

    Zona imparts some wisdom

    (Editor's Note: The following prognostications and advice come courtesy of Mark Zona and the folks at BoatUS Angler.)

    Look, I know the new year started a couple of weeks of ago, but it’s not too late to share a couple thoughts for the 48 weeks that still await us in 2013.

    For starters, I’ve been doin’ way more deep thinking than you probably think I’m capable of, and I know this – I gotta get smarter. I’m gonna be 40 years-old in about a week, and it’s time I started taking better care of myself.

    I’m not gonna lie, I’ve lived a little reckless, and it’s been a real good time, but when you live out of suitcases and eat in airports 4 days a week, it’s time to take personal health a little more seriously.

    Secondly, I’m thinking about “Whose time is it?” Every year we see a pro have a true breakout year. A career year, like the one Skeet had in 2010, or that Ott DeFoe had in 2011, or that Brent Chapman had in 2012. I believe this year, 2013, is Edwin’s year.

    Yep, Edwin Evers has proven he’s that good. One of the absolute very best in the world. But the kind of win, or wins, he desires the most, have eluded him. It’s time to show up, Edwin. I say that jokingly to him, with all due respect. But show up, Edwin. Make this year … your year.

    Thirdly, step back. All of you … step back. Call a timeout. Catch your breath. And spend more time with people you love the most the next 48 weeks. I’m the best at saying it. Oh, I can give advice with the best of them. But I’m the worst at listening to my own wisdom.

    But seriously, take a vacation you wouldn’t normally take with your family. Go fishing with a dude you haven’t seen in a couple of years. Go to the batting cages just for fun. Call KVD and ask him to lunch. That’s what I’m gonna do, and I hope he’ll buy.

    And lastly, for the love of Ditka and Da’ Bears, stop making excuses for not signing-up for BoatUS Angler and their Weigh-to-Win program. All you have to do is call Kendell at (918) 742-6424, and she’ll do all the legwork for you. Then, for the rest of 2013, you’ll know somebody has your back should you break down on the road or on the water.

    It’s the smart thing to do. And heaven knows I, for one, need to be smarter in 2013.

  • Lew's BB1 raffle in Richmond

    Lew's BB1 raffle in Richmond

    Raffle tickets for a new Lew's BB1 reel will be sold Friday through Sunday at the Richmond Fishing Expo in Richmond, Va., with all proceeds benefiting the United Special Sportsman Alliance. The USSA is a national wish-granting charity that specializes in sending critically ill and disabled youth and disabled veterans on outdoor adventures.

    Tickets will be sold at the Dave's Tournament Tackle booth.

  • Motorsports Designs back with FLW

    Motorsports Designs back with FLW

    FLW announced today that Motorsports Designs has renewed its contract as an associate sponsor for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    The High Point, N.C.-based company specializes in high-quality decals and wraps for boats, cars, trucks and trailers for both private and commercial applications.

  • The Rod Glove lands Ehrler

    The Rod Glove lands Ehrler

    FLW Tour angler Brent Ehrler announced today he has signed with The Rod Glove to promote the company’s line of rod protection sleeves.

    “I’ve been seeing co-anglers from all over carrying their rods around in these cool sleeves for quite a few years now,” Ehrler said. “I’ve noticed the co-anglers on my boat that use the Rod Gloves are much more efficient and spend less time switching rods. I can’t help but think that this will also be the case for me. I have as many as 25 rods in my rod locker at any time, and keeping them from getting tangled is impossible. Plus, by using Rod Gloves I know my rods will be protected. Nothing beats up a rod up faster than bouncing around a rod locker in rough water unprotected.”

    Jim Van Ryn, owner of The Rod Glove, is excited about adding Ehrler to his pro staff.

    “The Rod Glove is very pleased to have had this opportunity to sponsor Brent Ehrler and have him join our team,” Van Ryn said. “Not only is Brent a great professional angler, but he is also a good man and an ambassador for the sport. Brent’s image in this industry truly represents what we stand for here at The Rod Glove. As big fans of his and now a sponsor of his, we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

  • World Series: Still no news

    World Series: Still no news

    It’s looking more and more likely that the World Series of Bass (WSOBass) will not get off the ground this year.

    While the tournament’s web site continues to say the dates and information about its 2013 schedule were to be released on Dec. 20, 2012, nothing new has come out recently about the event that was billed as a revolutionary tournament that would feature a potential $600,000 payout to the winner of its Main Event championship.

    Tournament organizers have not responded to numerous emails from BassFan seeking an update and multiple sources with ties to the tournament have indicated that WSOBass founder Joe Habib hasn’t returned their calls or emails since November. Inquiring fans have taken to the tournament’s Facebook page looking for answers as well. As recently as Jan. 17, in response to a reader’s question about the status of the schedule, the page’s moderator indicated the information had not been passed along yet, but it would be posted as soon as it became available.

    Initially, the schedule was due to be released last October, but organizers said overwhelming response from communities wishing to host a regional event prompted them to twice push back the release of the event lineup. Habib had previously said the three regional events would be held in the April-June timeframe with the Main Event planned for October. While it’s still conceivable that a schedule could be released, the likelihood of filling three 100-boat fields is dwindling by the day.

    This could be a troubling sign for a tournament organization that generated a considerable amount of buzz last summer with its bold $10,000 entry fee. The concept called for a $15,000 payout to the top 35 finishers in three separate regional tournaments. The top 35 from each regional would advance to the Main Event, where anglers would compete for a potential $3 million in prize money, assuming each regional had a full 100-boat field.

    As a marketing tactic, a WSOBass television series was filmed last summer and broadcast on NBC Sports Network in the fall, but the final episode has yet to air. It was essentially a two-part series, with the first segment pitting Elite Series pros Brandon Card, Jared Lintner, Mike McClelland and James Niggemeyer against each other in a sequence of skills challenges and mini-tournaments. McClelland claimed victory and a paid entry fee into one of the regional qualifiers.

    The other portion involved a group of amateur anglers who were selected to be on the show after submitting video applications. Again, the field was narrowed down through a series of on-the-water challenges and tournaments and James Biggs prevailed, also earning a paid entry into a regional qualifier. Biggs will be an FLW Tour rookie this season.

  • TTBC: Conroe this fall, Fork next spring

    TTBC: Conroe this fall, Fork next spring

    Officials of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) announced today that the tournament will return to Lake Conroe this fall, and then the 2014 edition will be staged at Lake Fork in late spring of that year. That means that this year's qualifiers for the unified championship will carry over to following year's event under a similar scenario to the one the Bassmaster Classic underwent in 2005-06.

    This year's TTBC is set for Oct. 4-6. The dates for 2014 at Fork, the TTBC's inaugural site, are May 9-11.

    “The City of Conroe has been an incredible host over the past 4 years,” said tournament director Lenny Francoeur. “We have an amazing partnership and we’re excited to return to Conroe again in October. We are also excited to return to Lake Fork, an historic Texas bass fishery where the community was so welcoming the first time around.”

    Anglers qualify for the TTBC through the Angler of the Year (AOY) points races in the Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour and PAA Tournament Series. There are four sponsor-exemption slots and the champion from the prior year is guaranteed a berth.

    With the 2014 move, anglers will qualify for both tournaments via the 2013 AOY races.

    “With having double event qualification, it makes each and every point available on each respective tour that much more valuable,” Francoeur said. “Anglers who compete at TTBC are the best of the best and to come here and win is truly something special. Earning the chance to compete in the event twice in one season is something we know will give the anglers extra motivation for this year.”

    The tournament remains a no-entry fee event and all 50 competing anglers will receive guaranteed prize money. Through a continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the TTBC will continue its focus on conservation efforts and adhere to a strict catch, weigh and immediate release format.

    Over the last 6 years, the TTBC has donated over $1.5 million to the TPWD.

  • Classic draw determined

    At the B.A.S.S. offices this morning, the boat draw for day 1 of next month’s Bassmaster Classic was done by employees of B.A.S.S.

    Reigning Elite Series Angler of the Year Brent Chapman was awarded boat No. 1 for the opening day of competition at Grand Lake, while defending Classic champ Chris Lane was given boat No. 2. The remaining 51 spots were determined by a random draw.

    The first flight will consist of boats 1-27 and the second flight will feature boats 28-53. The order will invert on day 2 before the field cuts to the Top 25 on day 3.

    Check out a video of today’s draw at www.bassmaster.com.

  • Sonar: Ups and downs at Big O

    Sonar: Ups and downs at Big O

    Sonar Sound-Off columnist Miles Burghoff cashed checks in both of his season-opening events at Lake Okeechobee, but both the Gator Division BFL and the Southeastern EverStart were fraught with missed opportunities to put bigger numbers behind those dollar signs.

    To read his latest submission, click here.

  • Reese to sponsor, mentor Okla. St. team

    Reese to sponsor, mentor Okla. St. team

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Skeet Reese announced today that he has agreed to sponsor the Oklahoma State University fishing team, making him the first pro angler to officially provide sponsorship support and mentorship to a collegiate fishing team.

    OSU competes in the B.A.S.S. College Fishing Series.

    As a part of the sponsorship, Reese will provide each team member with some of his signature Wright & McGill Co. fishing rods and Victory reels as well as Lazer TroKar hooks. The six-time B.A.S.S. winner will provide also 2 days of hands-on mentorship of the team.

    "I have always felt strongly about sharing my love of fishing in the hopes of being a part of growing the sport of bass fishing," said Reese. "College fishing programs are one of the most immediate ways to inject new anglers into the competitive side of the sport, and I want to be a part of helping foster their growth in the sport.

    "These students have proven to be passionate anglers who will go to some of the same lengths to compete as we do on tour, and helping them with a little bit of gear is a way to help offset costs," he added. “But, really, spending some time to give them some of the things I've learned throughout my career; both on and off the water, is really what this is about."

    Chase Edmiston, president of the OSU fishing team, said he and his teammates are excited about having Reese’s support.

    "Our goal every year is to win the School of the Year program," said Edmiston. "The Association of Collegiate Anglers ranks all college teams according to participation and overall performance in all collegiate tournaments throughout the year. In my opinion, an award like this is the greatest honor in fishing because it represents the body of work throughout an entire season.

    "What better way to accomplish this goal than to have Skeet Reese as our mentor? He knows what it takes to win and to succeed in the business. The entire team was ecstatic to hear that Skeet would be mentoring us; we are excited for him to come speak to us about his career and give us pointers on how to succeed. Providing us with some of his sponsor product in Wright & McGill Co., Eagle Claw and TroKar is also a really nice added benefit as well."

  • Z-Man to launch event campaign

    Z-Man to launch event campaign

    Bait manufacturer Z-Man has announced that it'll embark on a 29-stop event campaign this year that'll include four FLW Tour derbies and the Forrest Wood Cup, along with three Bassmaster Opens and numerous BFLs throughout the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest.

    "We're very excited to build upon our existing partnerships with FLW Outdoors and B.A.S.S.," said Z-Man executive VP and GM Daniel Nussbaum. "Both organizations provide us with a direct pipeline to the nation's most avid, passionate and influential anglers, and present an outstanding opportunity for Z-Man to realize impactful connections with the right audience in the right setting."

    On site, attending anglers will be treated to product education and demonstrations, as well as special sales and promotional offerings.

    "We have found that the best way to build excitement about our products is through face-to-face interaction with the hard-core anglers that make up the backbone of the sport," Nussbaum said. "This campaign will afford us the opportunity to work with our retail partners to generate buzz about Z-Man that will impact sales as we educate anglers about the benefits of our products."

    The campaign will include appearances at the FLW tour events at Florida's Lake Okeechobee (Feb. 9-10), Alabama's Smith Lake (March 9-10), Arkansas' Beaver Lake (April 13-14) and Tennessee's Lake Chickamauga (June 29-30), as well as the Forrest Wood Cup at Louisiana's Red River (Aug. 15-18). Bassmaster Open stops include Tennessee's Douglas Lake (April 6), the Red River (April 27) Alabama's Lake Logan Martin (May 18).

  • Dove, Pagnato align with NASCAR’s BK Racing

    Dove, Pagnato align with NASCAR’s BK Racing

    Paul Pagnato and Kurt Dove, who make up the PK Fishing Team, have officially announced they’ve reached a sponsorship agreement with BK Racing, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, for the 2013 season.

    The BK Racing Team will serve as the primary sponsor on both anglers’ boats, trucks and jerseys as part of the new BK Fishing Team.

    “To join the BK Racing Team is an absolute dream for both Kurt and I,” said Pagnato, who will compete in the Bassmater Opens this season. “To be associated with such an established brand and NASCAR team is great for the entire sport of bass fishing. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”

    The deal coincides with Dove’s return to the Elite Series after a 4-year absence.

    “The opportunity to align with NASCAR’s BK Racing Team is truly a unique opportunity,” he said. “Both Paul and I are proud to be associated with this partnership and look forward to interacting with our fans.”

    Among BK Racing’s main sponsors on the racing side are Burger King and Dr. Pepper. It’s unclear whether this deal includes any tie-ins with those companies.

    "We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Paul and Kurt," said Ron Devine, owner and president of BK Racing. "During our consideration process, the PK Fishing Team demonstrated the greatest ability to not just join us as an intricate part of the BK Racing family, but to become a key marketing partner for both the team and our sponsors.”

  • Special deals on two 'Cats

    Special deals on two 'Cats

    Bass Cat is offering special boat show pricing on two models through April 15.

    The 17-foot, 7-inch Margay with a 115-horsepower Mercury XS engine can be had for $23,995 and the 19-foot, 5-inch Pantera IV with a 200-hp Yamaha SHO is going for $39,995.

    The Margay, a combination of affordability, maneuverability and ease of operation, appeals to anglers looking to purchase their first fiberglass boat, as well as those who are ready to downsize a bit while still enjoying the sport to the fullest.

    The Pantera IV serves anglers' needs so well that it's been untouched since 2004. It features the roomy hull of a 20-footer while retaining the ability to slice up waves.

    To learn more about the specials, click here.

  • Rigid locks up Palaniuk

    Rigid locks up Palaniuk

    Rigid Industries, a company that manufactures LED lights for vehicle and marine use, has announced that Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brandon Palaniuk has joined the company’s “Torture Team” pro staff as part of a 2-year sponsorship deal.

    Palaniuk’s Skeeter boat will feature a Rigid wrap this season and next, and both his boat and trailer will feature new Rigid Industries LED products.

    “I’ve spent many hours on the water and behind the wheel of a truck,” he said. “There is no question in my mind that Rigid Industries LED Lighting Products are the brightest, most durable and functional lights on the market.”

    Said Dave Davis, Rigid’s director of sales, “It’s no question that Brandon Palaniuk and Rigid Industries are carrying a ton of momentum into the 2013 season. You can now not only spot Brandon’s truck and boat being loaded with tons of fish and gear, but also by both having the brightest, most advanced LED Light Bars in the Industry.”

    To learn more about Rigid Industries, visit the company's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/RigidIndustries.

  • Shimano inks Lintner, Pace, Walker

    Shimano inks Lintner, Pace, Walker

    Shimano announced Monday that it has added Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Jared Lintner, Cliff Pace and David Walker to its pro staff. All three anglers will be using Shimano products at the Bassmaster Classic next month.

    Lintner, entering his 8th year on the pro circuit, will be fishing with Shimano reels, G.Loomis rods and Jackall lures.

    “Fishing with Shimano Chronarch and Calcutta-D reels – matched with G.Loomis GLX rods - will provide me with an extra edge of confidence when I’m casting Jackall hard and soft baits,” he said.

    Pace will fish Shimano rods and reels and continue his association with Jackall Lures. Both Lintner and Pace have a lengthy background with Jackall. Shimano took over the sales and distribution of Jackall products in the U.S. and Canada this month.

    “I started using Curado reels going back to one of my first tournaments on Sam Rayburn in 2003 so I’m very familiar with Shimano quality,” he said. “I’ll be using the new Shimano Cumura rods to cast Jackall Squad Minnow jerkbaits in hopes that my fifth Classic is my time.”

    Walker is a a long-time user of G.Loomis rods and will now also be using Shimano reels.

    “The first baitcasting reel I ever bought was a Shimano Bantam back in the early ‘80s,” Walker said, “and I look forward to using Chronarch reels on GLX 894C FPR flipping stick, and the Core reels on GLX worm rods to help me become a better finesse bait angler.”

    Said Shimano marketing manager Bob Mahoney, “We look forward to Jared, Cliff and David providing input on and field-testing new tackle. David has been of great help to our G.Loomis crew for a more than a decade, and Jared and Cliff have had a big hand in the success of Jackall Lures. We’ll have them involved in various opportunities at fishing events and with our dealers as their travel schedules fit.”

  • Friend wins at Oroville

    Friend wins at Oroville

    Competing in his first EverStart Series event as a boater, Oroville, Calif. resident Ryan Friend weighed a 13-00 sack today to win the Western Division derby at Lake Oroville with a 3-day total of 37-05.

    "Basically, I had a really good practice,” he said. “I started getting on the fish pretty good the first part of January. Once I found those good areas, I left them alone and focused on finding more areas. I fished up the West Branch, which required almost 50 minutes of idling if you wanted to fish up there. I knew that would lock a lot of guys out from fishing there.

    “Today I had a small limit by 9 o’clock and just upgraded from there. I think a lot of that pressure really got to those fish."

    He threw finesse jigs on spinning gear with 6-pound line. Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    Here are the total for the Top 10 finishers:

    1. Ryan Friend: 37-05
    2. Jeff Michels: 33-06
    3. Brett Leber: 33-00
    4. Wayne Breazeale: 32-05
    5. Richard Dobyns: 32-03
    6. John Maes: 31-12
    7. Cody Meyer: 30-03
    8. Alax Parker: 30-03
    9. Jason Borofka: 30-01
    10. Glen Lockhart: 28-05

  • Breazeale moves into EverStart lead

    Breazeale moves into EverStart lead

    Kelseyville, Calif. resident Wayne Breazeale topped 12 pounds for the second straight day at the Lake Oroville Western EverStart on Friday and moved to the top of the standings with 1 day left to fish. His 24-09 total game him a 4-ounce lead over local Ryan Friend, with day-1 leader Jeff Michels another 6 ounces back.

    Here are the totals for the 10 anglers who'll return to the water tomorrow:

    1. Wayne Breazeale: 24-09
    2. Ryan Friend: 24-05
    3. Jeff Michels: 23-15
    4. Richard Dobyns: 22-13
    5. Cody Meyer: 22-04
    6. Alax Parker: 21-04
    7. Brett Leber: 20-13
    8. John Maes: 20-12
    9. Jason Borofka: 20-09
    10. Glen Lockhart: 20-08

  • Additional layoffs at Brunswick brands

    The New Bern (N.C.) Sun Journal reported Thursday that 40 more employees at the Hatteras and CABO Yachts plant in New Bern were informed their positions were being eliminated.

    The layoffs come on the heels of a Jan. 3 announcement that 105 workers had been let go after Brunswick Corporation announced plans to sell the two brands, which specialize in high-end luxury yachts and saltwater fishing boats.

    Presently, about 390 people are employed at the plant, which once had a workforce approaching 1,400.

    To read the complete report, click here.

  • Affordable dependability

    <b><font color=maroon>Affordable dependability</font></b>

    The one-piece graphite frame on the Pflueger Purist casting reel makes it smooth, compact and light. It'll virtually disappear in your hand, but is built with features that'll outlast the toughest-fighting fish.

    The reel is available in two combos that'll serve any angler well, but won't break the bank. To learn more, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Festival planned for St. Lawrence Elite Series

    A report in today’s Watertown (N.Y.) Daily News outlines plans that are being made for an outdoor festival that will coincide with the St. Lawrence River Elite Series, which is scheduled for Aug. 8-11 in Waddington, N.Y.

    The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce will be involved in the organizing of the festival, which is tentatively titled “Tastes and Talents of the North Country,” and will feature crafts, food, artisans, wine, entertainment and music.

    According to the story, per the contractual agreement between B.A.S.S. and the Village of Waddington, “the community is required to host an expo to draw people into the area for the event.”

    To read the complete report, click here.

  • FLW Tour field released

    FLW Tour field released

    The field for the six FLW Tour events this year will be 175 anglers, according to a list provided to BassFan today by FLW.

    Some notable facets are the presence of seven Bassmaster Elite Series pros who will fish both pro-level circuits. It’s the first time since 2010 that the FLW Tour and Elite Series schedules haven’t overlapped at some point during the season. Pulling double duty this year will be: Tommy Biffle, Steve Kennedy, Bobby Lane, Chris Lane, Ish Monroe, Fred Roumbanis and Zell Rowland. Jason Christie and Kelley Jaye will also fish the Elites after qualifying through the Opens a year ago.

    Clifford Pirch isn’t listed and had said he would fish the Elites over the FLW Tour if he couldn’t secure enough sponsorship support to do both. Kevin Hawk also jumped to the Elite Series. Russell Parrish opted to fish FLW this year, forgoing his invite to return to the Elite Series.

    Among the notables who aren’t fishing the Tour in 2013 are David Wolak, Marty Stone, Tom Mann, Jr., Craig Dowling, JT Palmore and Thanh Le.

    Legends Roland Martin and Jimmy Houston are both back for another season as is Shirley Crain, who last fished the Tour in 2006.

    Pro anglers will compete for up to $125,000 and co-anglers will vie for up to $25,000 in each tournament, including Ranger Cup bonuses. With the full field, the paybacks will be $4,000 through 60th place on the pro side and $700 on the co-angler side.

    The Tour will have anglers representing 26 states and Canada. Following is a state-by-state breakdown of the field:

    Alabama
    Robert Behrle – Hoover, Al
    Scott Canterbury – Springville, Al
    Rick Cotten – Guntersville, Al
    Alex Davis – Albertville, Al
    Clent Davis – Montevallo, Al
    Allan Glasgow – Ashville, Al
    Ryan Ingram – Phenix City, Al
    Kelley Jaye – Dadeville, Al
    Steve Kennedy – Auburn, Al
    Christopher Lane – Guntersville, Al
    Justin Lucas – Guntersville, Al
    Casey Martin – New Market, Al
    Harry E. Moore – Valley, Al
    Jonathan Newton – Rogersville, Al
    Blake Nick – Adger, Al
    Randall Tharp – Gardendale, Al
    Scott Wiley – Bay Minette, Al
    Barry Wilson – Birmingham, Al

    Arkansas
    Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ar
    Greg Bohannan – Rogers, Ar
    Shirley Crain – Fort Smith, Ar
    Robbie Dodson – Harrison, Ar
    Travis Fox – Rogers, Ar
    Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ar
    Larry Nixon – Bee Branch, Ar
    Matt Pennington – Springdale, Ar
    Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ar
    Ray Scheide – Dover, Ar
    Ron D. Shuffield – Bismarck, Ar
    Spencer Shuffield – Bismarck, Ar
    Scott Suggs – Bryant, Ar
    Rodney Thomason – Maumelle, Ar
    Michael Williamson – Fort Smith, Ar

    Arizona
    Brett Hite – Phoenix, Az
    Bobby Lanham – Cave Creek, Az

    California
    Brent Ehrler – Redlands, Ca
    Cody Meyer – Auburn, Ca
    Ishama Monroe – Hughson, Ca
    Kevin Stewart – Elk Grove, Ca
    Charlie Weyer – West Hills, Ca

    Florida
    Drew Benton – Panama City, Fl
    Glenn Browne – Ocala, Fl
    John Cox – Debary, Fl
    Darrell Davis – Dover, Fl
    Bob Eagleston – Newberry, Fl
    Jerry Gore – St. Cloud, Fl
    George Kapiton – Inverness, Fl
    JT Kenney – Palm Bay, Fl
    Koby Kreiger – Okeechobee, Fl
    Bobby Lane – Lakeland, Fl
    Roland Martin – Naples, Fl
    Scott R. Martin – Clewiston, Fl
    Stephen Mckinnie – Umatila, Fl
    Brandon Mcmillan – Clewiston, Fl
    Jared Mcmillan – Belle Glade, Fl
    Brandon Medlock – Lake Placid, Fl
    Chad Prough – Chipley, Fl
    Jeremy Prouty – Vero Beach, Fl
    Terry Segraves – Kissimmee, Fl
    Kevin K. Spooner – Vero Beach, Fl
    Mike Surman – Boca Raton, Fl
    Pete Thliveros – Saint Augustine, Fl

    Georgia
    Glenn Chappelear – Acworth, Ga
    Tony Dumitras – Winston, Ga
    Micah Frazier – Newnan, Ga
    Wil Hardy – Harlem, Ga
    Rodney Jones – Athens, Ga
    Jason P. Meninger – Gainesville, Ga
    Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga
    Rusty Trancygier – Hahira, Ga
    Derek Yasinski – Senoia, Ga

    Illinois
    Frank Clark – Benton, Ill
    Tim Gaskill – Edwardsville, Ill
    Richard Lowitzki – St Charles, Ill
    Travis Loyd – Kinmundy, Ill
    Chad Morgenthaler – Coulterville, Ill
    Colby Schrumpf – Highland, Ill
    Matthew Stefan – Park Ridge, Ill

    Indiana
    Ryan Chandler – Valparaiso, In
    Todd Hollowell – Fishers, In
    Bill Mcdonald – Greenwood, In
    Shad Schenck – Waynetown, In
    Todd Schmitz – Goshen, In
    John Voyles – Petersburg, In
    Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, In

    Kentucky
    Terry Bolton – Paducah, Ky
    Ramie Colson Jr. – Cadiz, Ky
    Bill Day – Frankfort, Ky
    John G. Devere – Berea, Ky
    Charlie Evans – Gilbertsville, Ky
    Rex Huff – Corbin, Ky
    Tim Mcdonald – Prestonsburg, Ky
    Ray Meredith – Smiths Grove, Ky
    Dan Morehead – Paducah, Ky
    Shawn Murphy – Nicholasville, Ky
    Kenneth (Boo) Woods – Hazard, Ky

    Louisiana
    Chad Billiot – Raceland, La
    Zach Caudle – Shreveport, La
    Jim Dillard – West Monroe, La
    Wade Leblanc – Gonzales, La
    Chris Neau – New Orleans, La

    Michigan
    Tommy Robinson – Westland, Mi

    Minnesota
    Chad Grigsby – Maple Grove, Mn
    Jim Moynagh – Carver, Mn

    Missouri
    Randy Blaukat – Joplin, Mo
    Sammy Burks – Joplin, Mo
    Dion Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo
    Guido Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo
    Payden Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo
    Stacey King – Reeds Spring, Mo
    Shane Long – Willard, Mo
    James Watson – Waynesville, Mo
    Kyle White – Tightwad, Mo

    North Carolina
    Matt Arey – Shelby, NC
    Chris Baumgardner – Gastonia, NC
    David Fritts – Lexington, NC
    Wayne Hauser – Mooresville, NC
    Brent Long – Cornelius, NC
    Bryan Thrift – Shelby, NC

    New Jersey
    Adrian Avena – Vineland, NJ

    New York
    Ken Golub – Pittsford, NY

    Ohio
    Robert Collins – Morrow, Oh
    Vic Vatalaro – Kent, Oh

    Oklahoma
    Tommy Biffle – Wagoner, Ok
    Gerald Brown – Chickasha, Ok
    Jason Christie – Park Hill, Ok
    Dale Hightower – Mannford, Ok
    Jimmy Houston – Cookson, Ok
    Douglas Jones – Fort Gibson, Ok
    Darrel Robertson – Jay, Ok
    Fred Roumbanis – Bixby, Ok
    Alton Wilhoit – Harrah, Ok

    Ontario, Canada
    Jeff Gustafson – Keewatin, On
    Mike Neilson – Markham, On

    Oregon
    Jay Yelas – Corvallis, Or

    Pennsylvania
    Dave Lefebre – Erie, Pa
    Brad Rightnour – Mingoville, Pa

    South Carolina
    Todd L. Auten – Lake Wylie, SC
    Anthony Gagliardi – Prosperity, SC

    Tennessee
    Brandon Coulter – Knoxville, Tn
    Wade Hendricks – Thompsons Station, Tn
    Charlie Ingram – Santa Fe, Tn
    Brad Knight – Wartburg, Tn
    Tim Malone – Gatlinburg, Tn
    Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tn
    Robert Morin – Seymour, Tn
    Michael Neal – Dayton, Tn
    Brandon Rummel – Knoxville, Tn
    Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tn
    Jack L. Wade – Knoxville, Tn

    Texas
    James Biggs – Richland Hills, Tx
    Cody Bird – Granbury, Tx
    Christopher Brasher – Hallsville, Tx
    Rich Dalbey – Greenville, Tx
    Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Tx
    Lamonte Loyd – Gilmer, Tx
    Tommy Martin – Hemphill, Tx
    Lendell Martin Jr. – Nacogdoches, Tx
    Russell Parrish – Riesel, Tx
    Tom Redington – Royse City, Tx
    Jason Reyes – Huffman, Tx
    Zell Rowland – Montgomery, Tx
    Joe Don Setina – Pittsburg, Tx
    John Tanner – Quitman, Tx
    Austin Terry – San Angelo, Tx
    Jim Tutt – Longview, Tx
    Andrew Upshaw – Hemphill, Tx
    Clark Wendlandt – Leander, Tx
    Gary Y. Yamamoto – Palestine, Tx

    Virginia
    David P. Dudley – Lynchburg, Va
    Philip Jarabeck – Lynchburg, Va
    Robert H. Pearson – Herndon, Va
    Jacob Powroznik – Prince George, Va

    Washington
    Luke Clausen – Spokane, Wa

    Wisconsin
    Tom Monsoor – La Crosse, Wi

  • Tosh foregoes lake record, regrets it

    Tosh foregoes lake record, regrets it

    Former FLW Tour pro Stephen "Bub" Tosh had a shot at becoming the new spotted bass lake-record holder at California's Lake Oroville, but he said he released the giant fish he caught during practice for this week's Western EverStart and told no one other than this father (ex-tour pro Steve Tosh Sr.) about it until the day-1 weigh-in.

    Tosh said the bruiser inhaled his 8 1/2-inch Huddleston swimbait on his fourth cast Tuesday morning. He said he weighed it three times on his Berkley hand-held scale and it registered 8-13 twice and 8-15 the other time. The Oroville record is 8-02.

    Tosh, the owner of Paycheck Baits, said he immediately called his father and asked for advice as to what he should do. After a brief consultation, he turned the fish loose to prevent the details of the catch from spreading among the other EverStart competitors.

    "If I'd have brought it in, everybody in the tournament would've been out there throwing the Hud this morning," he said Thursday afternoon. "I was trying to keep that from happening."

    He might've been the only competitor heaving a Huddleston early on day 1, but it didn't do him any good. He didn't get a single bite on it in 4 hours and had to scramble around later in the day to catch a run-of-the-mill limit that left him in a tie for 43rd place in the 115-angler field.

    Ironically, his sack weighed 8-13 – the exact number that the single practice fish had scaled.

    He said he practiced alone on Tuesday and was handicapped in his quest to get a decent picture of the fish with his cell phone. You can click the photo to see a larger version.

    "Now I wish I'd brought it in and had it weighed on the certified scale," he said. "I ended up not catching them anyway, and at least I'd have the record."

    The California state record, which is also the world record, is 10-04.

  • Michels grabs lead at Oroville

    Michels grabs lead at Oroville

    Jeff Michels got off to a good start in pursuit of his third career EverStart victory on Thursday as he weighed a 13-05 bag to take the day-1 lead of a Western event at Lake Oroville.

    Michels, a resident of Lakehead, Calif., has EverStart triumphs at Lake Mead and Lake Shasta (his home water) on his ledger. The sack he weighed today was headed up by a 4-pound spotted bass.

    He'll carry a 5-ounce lead over local stalwart Glen Lockhart into day 2. Lockhart took big-bass honors with a 4 1/2-pound spot.

    Here's a look at the Top 10:

    1. Jeff Michels: 13-05
    2. Glen Lockhart: 13-00
    3. (tie) Richard Dobyns: 12-08
    3. (tie) Ryan Friend: 12-08
    5. Wayne Brezeale: 12-05
    6. Tony Rainey 11-15
    7. Alax Parker: 11-04
    8. (tie) Jason Borofka: 11-00
    8. (tie) Mike Folkestad: 11-00
    10. (tie) Cody Meyer: 10-15
    10. (tie) Owen Thatcher: 10-15

  • Dudley weighs in on beer deal

    Dudley weighs in on beer deal

    David Dudley, the top-ranked angler in the current BassFan World Rankings, has decided to weigh in on the recent furor stirred up by the addition of Keystone Light to FLW’s stable of sponsors for the 2013 season. He contacted BassFan today after reading the assortment of reader responses in today’s featured news story. Below are Dudley’s comments:

    When topics like beer sponsors draw this much attention, I feel the need to express some thoughts on the deal that FLW has made. I have gone through and read a lot of the comments that are posted on BassFan today. Like any discussion, there will be people on both sides with some in the middle. Let's get my belief about alcohol out in the open. If I were to see any of my fans sitting down drinking a beer, I would sit down right beside them and talk fishing, raccoon hunting or deer hunting with them while drinking my soda!

    I do not see drinking alcohol as a sin! I would not turn my nose up at you if I knew you were drinking a beer! I hope you would invite me over and buy me a soda! I DO think it is a sin to drink in excess! Let’s face it – alcohol is a mind-altering substance. Make no bones about it. If the government thinks it is important to control a substance, then it must be really important.

    My personal choice for my life has been that I don't want to drink alcohol because of where it might lead. I know myself personally and know it would be difficult to control myself at times. So my conviction about it is strong because it is a mind-altering substance. To this day, I have never had one single drop of alcohol, grain of tobacco or a puff of a cigarette and I'm 37! I don't say that to brag or “Look at me, I'm perfect!" By no means am I perfect. But I say it to encourage you to stop if you have a personality like mine. If you are still thinking that drinking is wrong, what do you think about overeating as being a glutton? Overeating, I don't hear much preaching about that. And yet we will sit at a pig-trough buffet and eat till we bust, which is kind of like getting drunk. Our bodies are not designed to handle that much grease, sugar and preservatives, and yet we do it. Look, we could argue and bring up examples until we are blue in the face.

    Let's jump to the choice FLW has made and where it might lead. My biggest concern is if they are going to use Keystone Light as a title for a tournament. For example, "Beaver Lake presented by Keystone Light." I won that event last year and I would throw a fit if I had to hold a trophy up while FLW is blasting "David Dudley: The winner of Beaver Lake presented by Keystone Light." With that being said, they are stamping my name in association with beer directly. That would be wrong, as would if they headlined their web page with Keystone Light with me below in the picture.

    Another question is has FLW given thought to their age limit on starting tournaments, which as I understand is 16 years old? Now if I was a principal of a school and was looking at starting a program under the title of FLW, I would look at the sponsors of the organization. I would have to say, “No,” because of the age of the students that are in my care. So the question is, is FLW biting the off the hands of the future that feed its organization? Whether it be high school or college, they are all organizations that have under-aged students. We all know 21 is the limit. Remember, if the government thinks it’s important, it must be. Now parents of young, aspiring anglers will now be forced to make a decision.

    In most people's eyes it is always about perception. There is a song that I will never forget the lyrics. It's called "Waiting on the World to Change" and the lyrics are, "When you trust your television what you get is what you got cause when you own the information you can bend it all you want." With me being involved with television and seeing how stories are told, I know that statement is so true. I think FLW will have to be very, very picky in how they advertise with this company utilizing their anglers.

    Now, the best argument I have heard yet is a grocery store is an organization that sells beer, cigarettes and tobacco. Do you still go and buy milk, cookies and meat? If so, you still are supporting that grocery store. And if you go to a restaurant that has a bar or serves alcohol, do you still eat their food? The difference is the grocery store, nor the restaurant, will make us sign a contract that says they can use your name, picture, and reputation in any way they choose for advertising. When you fish FLW as a pro, you sign all of your rights away. I still support FLW just like I still buy groceries at the store. I am very proud to be associated with them. They have great-hearted leaders with a drive to always improve and I still believe it is the best training grounds for aspiring anglers.

  • Dove to announce NASCAR deal

    Dove to announce NASCAR deal

    Kurt Dove, who's returning to the Bassmaster Elite Series this year after a 4-year absence, distributed a notice to the fishing media today about an impending NASCAR-affiliated sponsorship to be revealed next week. He and Paul Pagnato, a former Elite Series co-angler who's spent the past several years competing in the Bassmaster Opens, have formed the PK Fishing Team.

    “We are very excited about this announcement and partnership with a major brand and
    NASCAR team, not only in the United States, but globally,” Pagnato said. “We have a great relationship with our major sponsor and look forward to continuing it for many years to come.”

    No other details were released, but a couple Internet searches revealed a potential connection to BK Racing, which counts fast-food chain Burger King and soft drink Dr. Pepper among its main sponsors and will field three teams in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The BK Racing driver roster includes Travis Kvapil and David Reutimann.

    The website www.rodneylyman.com features photos of Dove and Pagnato holding up fish and provides a link to a site for the BK Fishing Team, which is still under construction. Facebook pages for both the PK Fishing Team and BK Fishing Team were created on Dec. 18, 2012, but currently have no content on them. A Twitter account was also launched bearing the @BKFishingTeam name and Dove is presently the account's lone follower. Also shown on the page is a link to www.bkracing.com. In addition, both Pagnato and Dove are both followers of BK Racing's Twitter page.

    Pagnato's name might not be familiar to most BassFans, but he's a bigwig in the financial sector. He's the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Pagnato-Karp Group, which, according to its website, "specializes in meeting the unique needs of the nation's wealthiest individuals and their families."

    Another possible link to the NASCAR realm is the D.C. connection (Dove, by the way, formerly resided in nearby Virginia before relocating to Texas to become a full-time guide at Lake Amistad). Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs now operates Joe Gibbs Racing, which fields several teams at NASCAR's highest level (Sprint Cup). The JGR driver roster includes Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Truex, and the list of sponsors includes Interstate Batteries, small-box discount retailer Dollar General, FedEx, Home Depot and Toyota.

    One more clue: The contact person listed on Dove's release is A.J. Hawrylak, who's in charge of marketing for Pagnato-Karp. A Google search revealed that Hawrylak, like Gibbs, was once employed by the Redskins.

    Reached by phone, Hawrylak declined further comment at this time. The official announcement is set for next Tuesday.

  • Phoenix's rise

    Phoenix's rise

    BassFan sales executive and PAA Tournament Series competitor Tim Carini recently made the 3-hour drive from his home in the Atlanta area to Winchester, Tenn. to check out the new Phoenix Boats facility and speak with PAA Angler of the Year Gary Clouse, who's also the company's founder and president. To find out what he saw and heard, click here.

  • Power-Pole back with FLW

    Power-Pole back with FLW

    FLW announced today that Power-Pole has renewed a contract as an associate sponsor for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

  • Christie, Robinson land with Lew's

    Christie, Robinson land with Lew's

    Lew's announced today the addition of Elite Series angler Marty Robinson and two-tour pro Jason Christie to its Team Lew's pro staff. Both anglers will be fishing Lew's reels in the Bassmaster Classic next month at Oklahoma's Grand Lake and throughout the 2013 season.

    "Yes, winning the Bassmaster Classic is a big deal for an angler and his sponsors, but that's not why we've tapped Marty and Jason for Team Lew's," said Lynn Reeves, Lew's CEO. "First and foremost, both of these anglers are classy guys that present themselves well in whatever the circumstances, on and off the water. They are simply a good fit for the Lew's brand, which has earned its reputation by being a workhorse name that you can always depend on.

    "Marty and Jason are joining an elite group of like-minded individuals that make up our team and make us proud every day of the year, not just during the Classic."

    For more information about Lew's pros and products, click here.

  • Jones speaks on reservoir aid

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department posted a video on YouTube this week that features 2008 Bassmaster Classic champion Alton Jones speaking on behalf of Friends of Reservoirs, a national non-profit organization that assists local groups wishing to improve fishing and water quality in reservoirs in their area.

    To see the video, click below. To visit the Friends of Reservoirs website, click here.


  • BU releases topics for Chicago session

    BU releases topics for Chicago session

    The Bass University has released the list of instructors and topics for its Chicago session, which will take place Jan. 26-27 at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill. Here's the lineup:

    > Shaw Grigsby: (1) Sight-fishing basics – how to catch fish that you can see. (2) Shaw’s top smallmouth secrets – baits and techniques to get the brown ones to bite.

    > Bernie Shultz: (1) Topwater from A to Z - an in depth look at all types of surface offerings for catching big bass. (2) Clear-water spinnerbait secrets – how to use spinnerbait cosmetics, presentations, and retrieves to trigger clear-water bass into biting.

    > Mike Iaconelli: (1) How to find fish fast and on new bodies of water – using the G.U.S.P. system and maps to locate fish. (2) Using medium- to deep-running crankbaits to find and catch more bass.

    > Pete Gluszek: (1) Shallow crankbait fishing – how to get bass to react. (2) All about soft stickbaits – tricks, tips, and rigging methods for the “magic hotdog."

    > Mike McClelland: (1) All about jerkbait fishing – a guide to selecting the right bait, rod, reel, and line for each seasonal pattern. (2) Fishing spinnerbaits and football jigs deep – earn to probe offshore spots with these baits for consistent big-fish action.

    > Brandon Palaniuk: (1) Uncovering the secret of success for swimbaits – how to utilize
    swimbaits in all kinds of water conditions. (2) Crankbait fishing – an in-depth look at cranking as a system from shallow to deep.

    To register or obtain more information, click here.

  • HydroWave sets contingency program

    HydroWave sets contingency program

    HydroWave, maker of the electronic sound device that emits the natural sounds of baitfish and predatory fish feeding on them, is offering a Competitive Angler Package for 2013 that includes a contingency program.

    The package consists of:

    > $250 contingency awards (qualifying tournaments);
    > Free shirt or hat;
    > Vehicle and boat stickers;
    > 25 percent discount on apparel and accessories;
    > Foot switch for pause/play adapter.

    For more information, call (972) 323-9777.

  • BoatUS Angler backs Dove

    BoatUS Angler backs Dove

    BoatUS Angler, the fishing boat insurance program that also offers roadside boat-trailer assistance and on-the-water towing, announced today that it has re-signed Kurt Dove to its national pro-staff. Dove competed in the Bassmaster Elite Series for 3 seasons from 2006-2008 and will return to Elite competition in 2013.

    In the interim, he'sbeen guiding full-time on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas. The last 2 years he recaptured his desire to return to the top level of competitive bass fishing and re-qualified for the Elites through the 2012 Bassmaster Northern Opens.

    "Kurt has been working with our team for several years now and he has become an angler who has shown us great value in promoting our marine insurance program and our 24/7 on-the-road and on-the-water towing services," said BoatUS Angler brand manager Steve Levi. "Kurt will continue to provide content for our newsletter, pro-staff blogs and upcoming video section at BoatUSAngler.com. We also look forward to teaming up with Kurt and presenting one of our members with a unique opportunity that we will announce this coming spring."

    Said Dove: "I'm stoked to strengthen my relationship with BoatUS Angler. You keep hearing these stories about how members have been assisted with untimely breakdowns – whether it's getting towed back to the launch ramp or given help when their rig is broken down on the side of the road. It makes you proud to help more anglers become aware of a service that saves valuable time and money. Not to mention when you have a great tournament, you can get rewarded with the BoatUS Angler Weigh-to-Win contingency program."

    For more about BoatUS Angler, click here.

  • Vicious adds Meunier as marketing director

    Vicious adds Meunier as marketing director

    Vicious Fishing has announced the hiring of Greg Meunier as marketing director.

    Meunier brings w15 years of endemic and non-endemic outdoor lifestyle marketing experience. His history includes work with brands such as Evan Williams Bourbon, ONOS Eyewear, Red Man Moist Snuff, Strike King Lures and Vicious. In previous advertising agency roles, he has served as account manager, VP of business development and agency president. He brings with him a background in strategy, creative development, media planning, social media and traffic generation.

    “It’s quite an honor to be a part of this team,” Meunier said. “It’s great to work for a company that not only understands the industry they are in, but is truly passionate about marketing quality products that deliver a value to the consumer.”

    He will also head up a new division, JBS Marketing, which will deliver marketing strategy and execution to companies looking for industry expertise and marketing management.

    “Greg has a proven track record of growing brands, a deep understanding of the consumer and a strong desire to take us to the next level,” said Vicious Fishing president Jeff Martin. “Plus, he has proven year after year to be one of the best at stretching our marketing dollars. It’s great to finally have him on the team.”

  • Todd triumphs at Big O EverStart

    Todd triumphs at Big O EverStart

    Ben Todd of Pierson, Fla. closed out a wire-to-wire victory at the Lake Okeechobee Southeastern EverStart Saturday with a 16-03 final-day bag that gave him a 3-day total of 59-03. Trevor Fitzgerald, who caught a day-best 25-10, equaled Todd's total, but Todd won the tiebreaker by virtue of a higher placement in the day-2 standings.

    “I’m speechless,” said Todd, whose bags on both the first (31-07) and last days contained a 9-pound fish. “After (Friday), I thought my fish were gone and I had slipped. This still hasn’t set in for me.”

    He said he targeted eelgrass and reeds on a half-mile stretch between J&S Park and the Henry Creek locks. His primary baits were a Gambler Fat Ace and a Tighlines UVenko. Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Here are the totals for the Top-10 finishers:

    1. Ben Todd: 59-03
    2. Trevor Fitzgerald: 59-03
    3. Brandon McMillan: 56-03
    4. Paul Malone: 55-08
    5. Chris Brill: 48-04
    6. Casey Martin: 46-04
    7. Kyle Monti: 46-02
    8. Brandon Medlock: 45-09
    9. Preston Clark: 44-15

  • Todd retains EverStart edge

    Todd retains EverStart edge

    Ben Todd's bag on day 2 of the Okeechobee Southeastern EverStart was nearly 20 pounds lighter than his previous day's catch, but it was enough to give him a lead heading into the final day.

    The Pierson, Fla. resident has a 43-00 2-day total. Brandon McMillan (17-05 today) is next with 37-15, followed by Chris Brill (13-10) with 37-11.

    Here are the totals for the 10 anglers who'll be on the water tomorrow:

    1. Ben Todd: 43-00
    2. Brandon McMillan" 37-15
    3. Chris Brill: 37-11
    4. Paul Malone: 36-11
    5. Keith Fels: 36-02
    6. Casey Martin: 35-14
    7. Trevor Fitzgerald: 33-09
    8. Preston Clark: 33-06
    9. Kyle Monti: 33-06
    10. Brandon Medlock: 32-12

  • T-H Marine launches Atlas Awards

    T-H Marine launches Atlas Awards

    T-H Marine announced today the introduction of the Atlas Awards Program for the 2013 tournament fishing season. Qualified anglers can earn cash prizes of up to $1,500 by winning a sanctioned event. Anglers must be a member of the Atlas Awards program and have one or more of the following products on their boat to be eligible for the incentive program:

    > Atlas Series Hydraulic Jack Plates
    > Hot Foot
    > G-Force Trolling Motor Handle
    > Two-Way Boat Alarm

    The cost to join the Atlas Awards program is $29.95 for the remainder of 2013. If all four parts listed above are present on the winning boat, the angler will be eligible for the Grand Slam Bonus of up to $500 per event. To sign up or see a list of sanctioned events and the complete rules, visit www.thmarine.com/atlasawards.

    To help launch the program, T-H Marine put together a video with Elite Series angler Gerald Swindle. To view it, click here.

  • Morgan will run a Bullet

    Morgan will run a Bullet

    Andy Morgan told BassFan today that he's switching boat brands and will run a Bullet on the 2013 FLW Tour.

    "They're based right here out of Knoxville, Tenn., and the first bass boat I ever had was a Bullet," said Morgan, who moves over from Bass Cat. "I won one of them one time and I've had five or six others. I actually ran one when I first started with FLW.

    "They're wanting to get away from the speed thing a little bit and prove that they're a little more fishable. I'll be running the new XRS with an Evinrude 250 – quick, efficient, and more fishability than ever before!"

    Morgan is currently the only tour-level angler on the Bullet pro staff.

    "We're delighted to have him on board," said Bullet's Kevin Keith. "I think it speaks volumes about how good our boats really are. We've been building bass boats for 32 years, so we're doing something right."

    The company's new 21XRS, which blends many of the best features from models in the existing line, will be introduced this week. It can be seen at local dealerships soon, and at fishing and boating shows in the following locations over the next several weeks:

    > Knoxville, Tenn. -- The Fishing Show -- Jan. 17-20
    > Huntsville, Ala. -- Von Braun Civic Center -- Jan. 18-20
    > Knoxville, Tenn. -- Expo Center -- Jan. 24-27 and Jan. 31-Feb. 3
    > Chattanooga, Tenn. --Civic Center -- Jan. 24-27
    > Lexington, Ky. -- Feb. 1-3
    > Nashville, Tenn. -- Fairgrounds -- Feb. 6-10

  • MLF: Tempers flare

    MLF: Tempers flare

    A story posted today on the Major League Fishing website suggests that some of the competitors got a bit hot under the collar on day 2 of the Summit Cup, which debuts on Outdoor Channel at 9 o'clock Eastern tonight. Ish Monroe, Edwin Evers, Takahiro Omori, Jeff Kriet, Aaron Martens, Kelly Jordon, Skeet Reese and Dean Rojas are the anglers who'll be featured.

    For the full story, click here.

  • Missile unveils shaky-head jig, Fuse 4.4

    Missile unveils shaky-head jig, Fuse 4.4

    Missile Baits announced it has added two new products to its lineup – the Fuse 4.4 and a shaky-head jig called the Warlock Head.

    The Fuse 4.4 is a slender, finesse-type worm that is designed for shaky-head and drop shot applications. The 4.4-inch worm is a somewhat longer and thicker version of the Drop Craw, another Missile plastic. It features slender craw appendages on the end of the worm. It'll be available in nine colors and will retail for $3.99 for a bag of 12.

    The Warlock Head is a totally custom, screw-lock style shaky-head built around a 3/0 Gamakatsu hook. The shorter spring lock coupled with the bigger-bite Gamakatsu hook allows for a larger gap, which translates into better hooksets. The Warlock Head will come in two colors (green-pumpkin and black) and three sizes (1/8, 3/16, and 1/4). A 3-pack will sell for $4.99.

    “The Fuse and Warlock combo is my new go-to shaky-head rig,” said John Crews, Missile owner and Elite Series angler. “Like our other products, they are totally unique and designed to perform better. The Fuse will also be my dropshot bait when I need that size worm. I know that this worm and shaky-head will help anglers catch a lot more fish just like it will for me.”

    To learn more about Missile Baits, click here.

  • Howell signs with Livingston

    Howell signs with Livingston

    Alabama Bassmaster Elite Series pro Randy Howell has picked up a sponsorship deal with Livingston Lures.

    “Livingston not only has some unique qualities in their baits that I really believe in, but the people behind the company are smart, passionate about fishing and serious about improving the tools we use to catch fish," he said. “I’ve been a big proponent of utilizing sound to catch bass. Products like the Hydrowave unit have made an impact in my fishing. Likewise, the proprietary sound technology built into Livingston’s baits make a lot of sense to me and I'm excited to use them this season.”

    Said Livingston CEO Fred Battah: “Randy is a great angler; his tournament success has proved that. Even more important to us, he enthusiastically shares his knowledge and expertise with anglers of all levels. We know our lures will help Randy catch more fish. We also know that as he shares his proven techniques with other anglers, he will help them catch more fish with Livingston Lures."

  • New poll: Beer good or bad?

    The big news today comes from FLW, which announced that it has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship deal with beer company Keystone Light. It's notable because FLW has had a long-standing policy against alcohol and tobacco advertising. The move will certainly spark a debate on the topic and whether those two product categories should have a place in the professional fishing world.

    So it stands to reason that our new poll question would center on this topic. We're asking BassFans how they feel about FLW's move to welcome a beer company to their sponsor cache.

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

  • Fourth Lindner enters Hall

    Fourth Lindner enters Hall

    Veteran outdoor photographer and videographer Bill Lindner has become the fourth member of his family to be inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, joining his father Ron, brother James and uncle Al.

    Lindner's underwater and dramatic action images (both still and motion) have appeared on postcards and calendars and have been featured in numerous TV shows, DVDs, videos and Internet content. His magazine credits include Outdoor Life, Saltwater Sportsman, Field and Stream, In-Fisherman and North American Fisherman.

    He's won three major Canadian bass tournaments and was the 2004 Storm Angler of the Year.

  • FLW strikes deal with Keystone Light

    FLW strikes deal with Keystone Light

    FLW today announced that it has reached a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Keystone Light, beginning in the 2013 season.

    The deal is the first of its kind for FLW, which had previously banned any sort of alcohol or tobacco advertising. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Keystone Light is one of more than 30 brand names in the MillerCoors portfolio.

    “This partnership reinforces the marketability that professional bass fishing offers,” said Trish Blake, President of FLW’s marketing division. “The popularity of this sport continues to grow and the involvement of the Keystone Light brand emphasizes this. The passion and loyalty of fishing fans in this country is something that Keystone Light recognizes and plans to embrace. FLW considers itself a visionary leader in the industry, and this partnership solidifies our commitment to bringing the sport to mainstream America.”

    Anglers Brent Ehrler and Chad Grigsby will compete out of Keystone Light-wrapped boats in 2013. Ehrler had previously fished for the National Guard team while Grigsby previously had an FLW team deal with Goodwill Industries.

    “We are thrilled to begin our new partnership with FLW,” said Jordan Krawll, Keystone Light brand manager. “We know Keystone Light drinkers enjoy fishing and this sponsorship is a great way for us to further connect with our loyal fans and celebrate our common passion.”

  • Tenn. tailwaters in Corps' crosshairs

    Today’s edition of the Fishing Wire includes a story about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers favoring the closure of tailwaters to public boat access below several dams in Tennessee, including Old Hickory Lake, Cheatham, J. Percy Priest, Cordell Hull, Center Hill and Dale Hollow.

    The matter’s been an issue for the last several months and time appears to be running out for sportsmen to voice their concerns over the potential closure of some prime fishing waters.

    According to the article, District Commander Lt. Col. Jim DeLapp says safety is the driving force behind the movement to restrict boat access to waters immediately below the dams. However, statistics cited in the story indicate less than 3 percent of all the deaths that have occurred on Tennessee's rivers and reservoirs over the last 50 years were below the dams. Nearly all of those were the result of failure to wear or properly inflate a life jacket as required by law.

    Former Cheatham Lake resource manager Mike Patterson recently wrote an open letter on the matter, encouraging citizens and anglers alike to engage their elected officials in discussions about the proposal.

    To read the complete article, click here.

  • Despite low water, Falcon still on for Elites

    Falcon Lake is currently about 34 feet below its conservation pool level, but there appears to be enough water in the south Texas reservoir for it to host a Bassmaster Elite Series event in a little more than 2 months.

    Falcon, which last year was ranked No. 1 in Bassmaster Magazine’s Top 100 Bass Lakes countdown and was the site of a record-setting Elite Series tournament in 2008, is presently at less than a third of its capacity.

    Rumors have been swirling that B.A.S.S. was possibly looking at alternate venues for the second stop on the 2013 Elite Series schedule – perhaps Lake Amistad or Sam Rayburn Reservoir – if Falcon is deemed unfishable. Falcon’s slot on the schedule (March 21-24) falls immediately after the season opener at the Sabine River in southeast Texas so any schedule modification would have to be within reasonable proximity to the Sabine.

    However, a venue change is not in the works, according to a B.A.S.S. communication official who today provided BassFan with the following message that was recently sent via email to Elite Series competitors by tournament director Trip Weldon:

    ”Several of you have had questions regarding the water level on Falcon. Please see the two attached charts. Based on these charts, conversations with different anglers and B.A.S.S. staff who have been there in recent weeks, we are a go for Falcon and look forward to the expected great catches from the best bass anglers in the world. We will continue to keep a close eye on conditions and if anything changes, you will be notified ASAP.”

    The charts referenced in Weldon’s note were links to websites that track water levels at Falcon. You can view them here and here.

    The water has been falling at Falcon at an alarming rate for the better part of 2 years now due to a lack of consistent rainfall. Several launch ramps are high and dry and last summer, local television station KRGV reported on the impact the low water was having on the area. To watch that report, click here.

  • Triton renews with B.A.S.S.

    B.A.S.S. announced today that Triton Boats has renewed its agreement as a top-level sponsor of the organization for 2013. The deal covers the Bassmaster Classic, Elite Series, Opens, College Series and B.A.S.S. Nation.

    “A Bassmaster sponsorship at the Premier level reflects our deep commitment to the sport of bass fishing,” said Triton founder Earl Bentz. “B.A.S.S. and Triton have forged the type of successful partnership that only top-tier companies can achieve. Together we are reaching all types of bass fishing fans. Also, like B.A.S.S., we especially value the grassroots connections we make through the B.A.S.S. Nation.”

    Said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin: “With strong partners like Triton, we are able to keep working hard to provide the best experiences possible for B.A.S.S. members and fans.”

  • Orthopedic deal for Evers

    Orthopedic deal for Evers

    Bassmaster Elite Series veteran Edwin Evers has picked up a sponsorship from the medical arena for the 2013 season as he's inked a deal with the Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center in Owasso, Okla. He's been a patient of the EOOC's Dr. Ryan Pitts for about 2 years.

    "I had really bad tendonitis in my elbows, and he helped me a bunch by working on me and getting me through the rehab," he said.

    Evers' jersey, boat and truck will carry the EOOC logo.

  • Bolton joins Picasso

    Bolton joins Picasso

    Picasso Lures announced that FLW Tour pro Terry Bolton has joined the company's pro staff.

    "Terry Bolton is a very accomplished veteran angler, having qualified for 11 FLW Championships in a relatively short time," said Picasson president Terry Monteleone. "His expertise and applications to the many spinnerbait techniques make Terry one of the premier spinnerbait fisherman on tour. Spinnerbaits were the very first product that Picasso introduced to the market back in 1995 and I look forward to collaborating with Terry on developing new and innovative products to bring to the marketplace."

    Said Bolton: "I was attracted join Picasso Lures' pro staff because of the high quality and attention to detail in every lure they make. I’m pretty picky about my jigs and spinnerbaits and Picasso's quality is second to none. Most of their entire product line is handmade right here in the USA, which allows them to keep a close watch on the entire manufacturing processes to assure that only the products that meet their strict QC get packaged and out to us anglers. That allows me to be confident that every lure coming right out of the package will perform correctly out on the water, where money is at stake."

  • BU Frankfort topics announced

    BU Frankfort topics announced

    The Bass University has released the list of seminar topics for its first session of 2013, to be held Jan. 19-20 at the Capital Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.

    Jan. 19

    Mike Iaconelli: (1) How to find fish fast on new bodies of water using the G.U.S.P. system and maps. (2) Using topwater plugs year-round to consistently catch big bass.

    Ish Monroe: (1) All-around frogging – how to fish hollow-bodied frogs around all types of cover. (2) Power-fishing with spinnerbaits throughout the year.

    Brent Ehrler: (1) How to properly set up sonar and read it correctly. (2) Using jigs and dropshots to catch deep-water fish.

    Jan. 20

    Pete Gluszek: (1) Shallow crankbait fishing – how to get bass to react to square- and round-bill baits. (2) All about soft stickbaits – tricks, tips, and rigging methods for the “magic hotdog."

    Ott DeFoe: (1) Jerkbait fishing for staging bass in the spring. (2) How to effectively fish rising water – cutting through the debris for magnum-size bass.

    John Crews: (1) When and how to fish a shaky-head under all conditions, shallow to deep. (2) The power-fishing tandem technique – using the power-cranking and power-flipping combination to consistently catch big stringers.

    To register or obtain more information, click here.

  • Card gets Floatback deal

    Card gets Floatback deal

    Brandon Card, the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year, has signed a sponsorship deal with South Africa-based Floatback Lures. The company produces "line-through" hardbaits – fishing line goes directly through the bait and is tied to the treble hooks, allowing the lure to slide up the line while in a fish's mouth and preventing the fish from leveraging the weight of the lure in order to throw it.

    The lures are also designed to be easily retrieved after getting hung up, as they'll float to the surface after being disengaged from the hooks.

    Floatback plans to release one new bait every few months, with the first being a deep-diving crankbait (the FB 10/25) that will be available shortly after the Bassmaster Classic.

    "I'm honored to be working with an innovative company like Floatback and very excited to be the first angler in the U.S. to have my hands on the FB 10/25," Card said. "I think it will be a serious player in many of the events this year, including the Classic, where deep-cranking may excel. Deep-cranking is a double-edged sword – it's one of my favorite techniques, but there's nothing worse than having a big one jump and throw the bait. With the FB 10/25, I'll put those key fish in the boat."

    Said Floatback CEO Anthony Stone: "We are very pleased to be working with Brandon and we hope that with our help, he will continue to build on what he did in his incredible breakout season last year."

    For more about the company, go to www.floatbacklures.com.

  • Western talent gathers Saturday

    Western talent gathers Saturday

    Some of the top anglers in the history of competitive bass fishing in the West will conduct demonstrations Saturday at the International Sportsman's Expo in Sacramento, Calif. The lineup includes Gary Dobyns, the region's all-time leading money-winner; Bassmaster Elite Series pros Skeet Reese and John Murray; FLW Tour standout Cody Meyer; and three-time U.S. Open champion Mike Folkestad.

    Presentations get under way at 10:30 a.m. at the Ultimate Bass Demo Tank and will run continuously until 5:30 p.m.

    To see the demo schedule, click here. For general info about the Sacramento show, click here.

  • Registration open for Triton event

    Registration open for Triton event

    Registration is now open for the Triton Owners Tournament East, which is scheduled for May 31 and June 1 at Kentucky Lake with Paris Landing State Park in Paris, Tenn., serving as takeoff.

    "Our owners say this is the best tournament they have ever fished," said Triton founder Earl Bentz. "This is a great opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie with fellow Triton owners and talk with the staff that make the boats that take America fishing."

    In addition, registration is also open for the Triton Gold tournament bonus program, in which anglers can win up to $7,000 for winning a Triton Gold sanctioned tournament.

    To learn more about both program, visit www.tritonboats.com.

  • Pradco tabs Skrabo for marketing VP post

    Outdoors industry veteran John Skrabo was named Vice President of Marketing for PRADCO Outdoor Brands, effective Jan. 7, according to a story in today’s Fishing Wire.

    Among his duties will be providing leadership and management oversight across PRADCO Outdoor Brands' (POB) marketing organization, including brand management, marketing services (research, marketing communications, promotions, advertising, training), and e-commerce functions, as well as the strategic initiatives, budgets, business processes and people assigned within those resources.

    Skrabo brings more than 20 years of experience in the outdoors industry to his new position. Most recently, he was brand manager for B.A.S.S.

    "John's experience with marketing in the outdoor industry is vital to the growth of all of PRADCO's hunting and fishing brands," said Ron Ten Berge, POB President and General Manager. "He brings a sharp focus on hunting and fishing consumers and customer segments that is so essential to success."

    Skrabo will report to Ten Berge and is based in the EBSCO Industries Headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. He will work closely with all of PRADCO's fishing and hunting offices.

    "PRADCO has some of the finest brands in the hunting and fishing industry and I'm excited to be joining this organization which has a great culture and long tradition of manufacturing some of the world's best products to help fishermen and hunters be more successful in the outdoors," Skrabo said.

  • Mars back with FLW, Newton to Twix team

    FLW announced today that Mars Chocolate North America has extended its sponsorship throughout the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Chris Baumgardner (Snickers) and Jim Moynagh (M&M's) will continue to fish as members of the Mars team. They'll be joined this year by Jonathan Newton, who'll represent the Twix brand. He had previously fished as part of the National Guard team.

  • Day's adds McDonald, Chandler

    Bill Day of Day's Boat Sales announced today the addition of FLW anglers Tim McDonald and Ryan Chandler to its pro staff.

    "These guys flat-out rock and I couldn't be more pleased to be their partners in this great industry," Day said via email.

    For more information, click here.

  • Horton joins Sunline staff

    Horton joins Sunline staff

    Veteran Bassmaster Elite Series pro and TV personality Tim Horton has been added to the Sunline pro staff.

    "Fishing line is the link between you and the fish and that can lead to some tense moments on the tournament trail," said Horton, a former B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY). "In the past few months I set out to find the absolute best line in the industry. In doing so, I reached out to a lot of Elite Series pros whom I trust, and I kept hearing 'Sunline' over and over.

    "Then, after using the product I knew it was the line I wanted to move forward with. I am stoked about this new season and about using the Sunline brand on both the Elite Series and Timmy Horton Outdoors."

    Said Sunline America president Nubuyoki Kajio: "Tim has had great success as an angler at the highest levels of bass fishing and also as an educator helping anglers at all levels. We look forward to him helping us educate more anglers about the benefits of Sunline products across the U.S.”

  • FLW inks country singer

    FLW inks country singer

    FLW announced today that country music artist Dylan Scott will perform at six Tour events this year.

    “Growing up in Louisiana, I have long been familiar with the FLW tournaments”, said the 22-year-old Scott. “It is an honor for me to be involved in the partnership with this organization, and I look forward to performing at the weigh-ins and being part of the festivities.”

    Scott will perform prior to the weigh-ins at Lewis Smith Lake (March 10), Beaver Lake (April 14), Lake Eufaula (May 19), Grand Lake (June 9), Lake Chickamauga (June 30) and at the Forrest Wood Cup at the Red River (Aug. 18).

    All concerts and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

  • Yamamoto welcomes Nixon, Yelas

    Yamamoto welcomes Nixon, Yelas

    Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits officially announced its sponsorship deals with former longtime Pure Fishing pro-staffers Larry Nixon and Jay Yelas in a press release today.

    “I’m proud to add Larry and Jay to my team,” said company founder Gary Yamamoto. “Both of them are not only champion anglers, but also true professionals. I look forward to their many future successes on the water and their help developing my product lineup.”

    Nixon won the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) title in 1980 and 1982 and earned a Classic victory on the Ohio River in 1983. He’s been to 25 Classics and 13 Forrest Wood Cups.

    “I’ve been a big fan of Gary’s for many, many years,” Nixon said. “He makes some of the greatest baits ever designed and this is a great opportunity for me.”

    Yelas won the Bassmaster AOY in 2003 and the FLW AOY in both 2002 and 2007. He also won the Classic in 2002, one of 16 times he qualified for the B.A.S.S. championship. Additionally, he has competed in nine Forrest Wood Cups.

    “I’ve used the Yamamoto Hula Grubs and double-tails for a long time and I’ve always been a believer in their effectiveness,” Yelas said. “I’ve also been a closet Senko user as long as they’ve been around – all of the pros are. No one else has been able to make a soft stickbait with the exact same action.”

  • Troll Perfect lands Crews

    Troll Perfect lands Crews

    Perfect Outdoor Products, manufacturers of the patented Troll Perfect trolling motor tension adjusting system, announced the addition of Elite Series angler John Crews to its pro staff. The Virginian will be using a Troll Perfect on his boat during the 2013 season.

    “I’ve used the Troll Perfect product on my MotorGuide for almost 2 years and love it,” Crews said. “Its patented design is simple and enhances any trolling motor. It quiets the play between the shafts of the trolling motor, which is very important to me. The Troll Perfect also reduces the torque of the powerful motor so the direction of the motor does not shoot to one side or the other when in big waves. It is an advantage that I need to have.”

    Said Ed Laabs, Perfect Outdoor Products senior manager: “We are proud to have John Crews, a great fisherman, lure inventor and true gentleman, representing and promoting Troll Perfect products. We feel our Troll Perfect products can benefit all anglers, and will certainly offer John that extra advantage which will compliment his fishing skills during the 2013 tournament season."

  • FLW increases max Tour field to 175

    In response to better-than-expected registration numbers for the upcoming six-event FLW Tour season, FLW has increased its maximum field size to 175 boats, up from 160.

    FLW operations president Kathy Fennel confirmed the move in an email to BassFan today.

    “Fortunately, both pro and co-angler entries exceeded our expectations, and we received more than 175 entries for the coming season,” Fennel wrote. “That said, we will move the max field size to 175 and increase the depth of the payouts for all events where more than 150 boats fish. There is naturally some attrition throughout the season, so fishing more boats will help ensure that payouts never fall below the 150-boat mark they are based on.”

    During the 2012 season, the average field size for the six Majors was 147 boats with three events maxing out at more than 150. The figures were slightly lower in 2011 (145 average) and smaller yet in 2010 (141).

    A portion of the increase may be attributed to a handful of Elite Series anglers opting to also fish the FLW Tour this year since none of the events conflict. It’s the first year since 2010 that fishing both tours has been an option.

  • A real Big O hog

    A real Big O hog

    Scott Martin spent a considerable amount of time on Lake Okeechobee during the Christmas season, but he did a lot more pig hunting than fishing. The photo shows his daughter Amelia with a massive boar taken on an excursion with Martin's brother-in-law, Scotty White, and White's daughter Chloe.

    The pig (click the photo to see an enlarged image) was the largest the Martins have bagged this year.

  • Lowrance extends with B.A.S.S.

    Lowrance extends with B.A.S.S.

    Lowrance and B.A.S.S. have struck a deal to continue their working relationship, B.A.S.S. announced today.

    Under the multi-year agreement, Lowrance will continue as an official supporting sponsor of the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens Series and B.A.S.S. Nation events. For the first time, Lowrance will be an official supporting sponsor of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series.

    “Bassmaster events provide an excellent worldwide stage to showcase Lowrance’s premier range of marine electronics,” said Louis Chemi, COO of Navico Americas, owner of the Lowrance brand. “As one of the charter B.A.S.S. sponsors, we are excited to renew our long-term commitment and ensure that tournament anglers can make the most of our industry-leading products and support.”

    Lowrance also has become the title sponsor of the War Room on Bassmaster.com, a play-by-play presentation of Bassmaster tournaments.

    “We are proud to count Lowrance as one of our long-standing partners, and we look forward to discovering additional new ways of working together and of making the future even more productive than the past,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S.

  • Quit with Clausen and win

    Quit with Clausen and win

    In an effort to help fellow anglers kick the habit of using smokeless tobacco, FLW angler Luke Clausen and Hooch Herbal Snuff have teamed up to offer a discount on two cans of Hooch Snuff.

    In addition, Clausen will give away a prize pack that includes an autographed tournament jersey and fishing gear from Z-Man Fishing Products and Megabass valued at more than $500.

    To be eligible to win the prize pack, just upload the best photo of yourself and a can of Hooch to Clausen's Facebook page. All photo submissions must be received by midnight PST on Feb. 15, 2012. The winner will be selected at 5 p.m. PST on Feb. 21.

    In addition to Clausen's prize pack, Hooch is giving away a T-shirt every day to people who have liked their Facebook page. To receive the discount on Hooch, visit HoochSnuff.com and enter the promo code “LUKE2013” when ordering.

  • Fish with Ike

    Fish with Ike

    Ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day in the boat with Elite Series pro Mike Iaconelli? The winner of a sweepstakes happening now at Bassmaster.com will get the opportunity to find out later this year.

    The Fish With Ike sweepstakes got underway on Jan. 2 and the winner will receive an expenses-paid trip to La Crosse, Wis., to fish with Iaconelli on Monday, June 24, 2013, the day after the Mississippi River Elite Series event wraps up in La Crosse.

    The package also includes round-trip airfare from anywhere in the continental U.S., a two-night hotel stay, rental car and $500 in spending money. In addition, the winner will take home $900 worth of Berkley and Abu Garcia fishing gear and $500 worth of Rapala products as well as a free seminar at The Bass University. The total prize package is valued at $4,995.

    Mailed entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2013 and received no later than March 22, 2013 to be eligible. No purchase is necessary to enter or to win; up to one entry per person will be accepted each day of the sweepstakes. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and notified by mail. Complete sweepstakes rules and an entry form are easily accessed by clicking the sweepstakes icon on the Bassmaster.com home page.

  • Z-Man back with FLW

    Z-Man back with FLW

    FLW announced today that Z-Man Fishing Products will return as an associate sponsor of the tournament organization for the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Duckett joins Vicious team

    Duckett joins Vicious team

    Vicious Fishing today announced the signing of Bassmaster Elite Series angler Boyd Duckett to the Vicious Fishing Elite Team.

    “I’m proud to have been chosen to join the Vicious Fishing team,” Duckett said. “It’s the kind of company that I enjoy being a part of. They are fresh, innovative, and truly in touch with the needs of the anglers. The new Pro Elite Fluorocarbon is ‘tournament grade’ line that is affordable to the weekend angler. It’s the same philosophy that we use at Duckett Fishing.”

    “To bring an accomplished angler like Boyd into the Vicious family not only compliments our proven team of fishing pros, but also adds to the brain trust of guys on our team dedicated to growing this sport,” said Vicious Fishing President Jeff Martin. “Plus he has proven, through his own company, to align with our belief that weekend and recreational anglers deserve great fishing equipment at a price they can afford. Together, we will continue to deliver on that promise.”

  • Tackle Grab snatches Haseotes

    Tackle Grab snatches Haseotes

    Subscription-based Internet retailer Tackle Grab announced a sponsorship deal with Bassmaster Elite Series angler B.J. Haseotes of Massachusetts.

    “With B.J.’s expertise, we will be able to provide an array of new products and learning experiences for our bass anglers,” said Tackle Grab CFO and co-founder Owen Hall.

    Haseotes competed on the Elite Series in 2010 before sitting out the last 2 seasons on a hardship basis.

    “I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “With Tackle Grab on board, I’ll have access to all of the products I need to succeed wherever I travel around the country.”

  • Duckett will expand into reels

    Duckett will expand into reels

    Alabama Bassmaster Elite Series pro Boyd Duckett told BassFan today that his company, Duckett Fishing, will expand into the reel market. It's produced white Micro-Magic rods exclusively since it was founded in 2009.

    "We'll probably launch at ICAST in 2014," he said. "We're in the process of getting all of the sub-components farmed out. That's the hardest thing to do with reels, but I'm dead on it now.

    "We should have the prototypes built by next fall. It's going to be a high-end reel with some creative things. One of the reasons I haven't done this before was because of my (previous) association with Pure Fishing – I didn't want to be competing with the Revo."

    He said the company has hired a reel designer with vast experience in the industry.

    "We're going to start with baitcasting, but I fully intend to be in the spinning-reel game, too."

  • Horton buys stake in Amphibia

    Horton buys stake in Amphibia

    Elite Series pro Tim Horton announced today he has purchased a "significant" stake in Amphibia Sports Sunglasses.

    As of Jan. 1, Horton took on a substantial, although not majority, ownership role in the company, with an eye on leveraging his current and future marketability, business savvy and new product development skills. This is not Horton's first venture into the business side of fishing. He has an extensive list of businesses, including his own outdoor production company and new television show, "Timmy Horton Outdoors."

    “It’s important for anglers to recognize the impact they can have on a company's success," he said. "This impact is not temporary and typically sets the foundation for future growth. I want to be part of that future. I want today’s efforts to pay off in the future. I’m not the first to take on an ownership role and the trend is gaining traction in our industry."

    To learn more about Amphibia, click here.

  • MLF offers free webcast

    MLF offers free webcast

    Major League Fishing is offering a free extended-coverage Internet broadcast of the Summit Cup, which makes its TV debut at 9 o'clock tonight on the Outdoor Channel. The more in-depth web version, called Extended Cast, will be available immediately after the TV broadcast.

    “The bottom line is that the hour-long broadcasts on Outdoor Channel are terrific," said MLF commissioner Don Rucks. "But we feel that a true fishing fan might want even more, and Extended Cast delivers double the action. In fact, the Extended Cast versions are so good that we want to do everything we can to encourage our loyal audience. And 'everything we can' means offering the first one free of charge."

    MLF will offer seven Internet broadcasts of the Summit Cup, with one new episode presented each week. After the initial free week, the Extended Cast total-event package known as BassPass will cost $15.94, with individual episodes available for $2.99 each.

    Details about Extended Cast can be found on the MLF website. Features include:

    > More than twice the coverage than what will be televised on Outdoor Channel;

    > Commentary from anglers during competition about how they searched for, found and caught fish;

    > Unedited angler reactions to their own frustrations and successes, as well as reactions to other competitor activity.

    The Summit Cup was taped Aug. 27-Sept. 1 on New York's Chautauqua Lake.

  • Nixon to fish Dobyns Rods

    Nixon to fish Dobyns Rods

    Dobyns Rods announced that it's added Arkansas legend Larry Nixon to its pro staff.

    "As an Evinrude Pro Team member, I've gotten to know Larry over the years," said Gary Dobyns. "He's easy-going, he's a true gentleman and he's still catching them. He's one of the trailblazers of our sport and we're honored to be associated with such a true professional."

    Like Jay Yelas, the 62-year-old Nixon, who won last year's Detroit River FLW Tour Open, recently saw a decades-long relationship with the Pure Fishing companies (including Abu Garcia and Berkley) come to a close. He's also added Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits and Luck-E-Strike to his portfolio for 2013.

  • Gluszek picks up Gamma

    Gluszek picks up Gamma

    Veteran New Jersey pro, Bass University co-founder and 2013 Bassmaster Classic qualifier Pete Gluszek has signed a sponsorship deal with Gamma line.

    “Once I started using Gamma, I was immediately impressed with both the strength and castability of the line through a variety of conditions," he said. "It held up unbelievably well and I didn’t lose a single fish during my win at the (Cayuga Northern) Open, so to say I’m sold on the quality is a bit of an understatement. I’m looking forward to a long relationship with Gamma and using their line definitely gives me peace of mind heading into the Classic.”

    Added Black Night industries president Dale Black: "Adding Pete to the staff makes sense on a lot of levels. He is not only a great tournament fisherman, but he‘s also dedicated to teaching through the Bass University, and we really like that.”

  • Yelas adds four

    Yelas adds four

    FLW pro Jay Yelas has signed with an assortment of new sponsors for 2013 in the wake of his departure from Pure Fishing after a 20-year stint with the company.

    The former Bassmaster Classic champion with three career Angler of the Year titles to his credit has agreed to deals with Lew's (reels), Kistler Rods, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits for soft plastics and Punisher Lures for jigs and spinnerbaits.

    “I’ve got some great new partners that I’ve been thankfully able to sign with over the past few months,” Yelas told BassFan today.

    He still hasn’t secured new hard bait or line sponsors, but is confident deals can be made.

    “I’m trying to be patient and wait for the right deal,” he added. “I don’t expect to have all six categories filled instantly, but I was real fortunate to get four of the six filled as we go into 2013.”

    He’s already hard at work on a signature series jig and spinnerbait with Punisher, a Tennessee-based company, and is also working on a signature series rod with Kistler.

    “It’s a neat opportunity to get to work with some smaller companies that are growth companies,” he said. “Lew’s is making a comeback with a bunch of real high-quality reels. Gary Yamamoto has been a friend of mine for years and I’ve fished Senkos and some of his Hula Grubs for years and years so it was kind of natural to get with him.

    “After you work for a certain company for 20 years, there’s a little bit of adjustment after you leave, but I am really excited to be working for these new companies. They all have great, quality products. There a lot of different opportunities to work with these companies in some growth areas and work on some new products.”

  • Hollowell signs with Elite Rod Sleeves

    Hollowell signs with Elite Rod Sleeves

    FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell has added Elite Rod Sleeves to his list of sponsors.

    “It’s great to partner with Elite Rod Sleeves, as they are an asset to protecting some of my most important equipment – my rods," he said. "When I’m on the road and traveling for events, I have 20 to 30 rods with me and it’s crucial to make sure they don’t take a beating. The Elite Rod Sleeves help protect that investment, and their unique labeling system allows me to keep track of things like the type of line on a rod setup.

    "I’m all about efficiency, and this system helps me be as efficient as I can be. I’ve used their products for a few years and they are a huge asset.”

    Said Elite Rod Sleeves owner Dan Bowman: "Todd is a real class act, so to say that we are excited about this partnership is an understatement. Todd will be performing at the highest level for many years to come and to have him representing and working with us on his ideas is the perfect fit for the company."

  • TWF gets walleye, bass circuits

    TWF gets walleye, bass circuits

    The Walleye Federation (TWF) announced today the acquisition of the events division of Minnesota-based North American Media Group, including the Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) and the 2-year-old North American Bass Circuit (NABC).

    “We are honored to bring these businesses, their top-notch staff, anglers, sponsors and premier tournament operations into our family,” said TWF official Robert Cartlidge. “They are the best in their respective fields and have a trusted reputation for serving the anglers at great events."

    All previously published schedules, dates, locations, entry fees, memberships and formats will remain the same for both circuits in 2013. Cartlidge added that all current MWC and NABC staff will be offered positions with the new owners, and some will transfer to TWF’s Oklahoma corporate office.

    The NABC conducted four qualifying events and a championship in the Upper Midwest during 2012.

  • Ride with KVD (again)

    Remember the cool boat wrap Kevin VanDam used at the Oneida Lake Elite Series event last August – the one with the mosaic of hundreds of pictures taken from his Facebook fans?

    Well, he’s bringing it back for the Bassmaster Classic and he’s in need of some fresh images.

    According to a post on KVD’s Facebook page today, fans have until Jan. 7 to upload their favorite fishing picture for a chance that it’ll be incorporated into the wrap for the Classic. In addition, one fan will be selected to receive a KVD Signature Series HydroWave.

    To learn more, click here.

  • General Tire title-sponsors MLF event

    General Tire title-sponsors MLF event

    Major League Fishing has announced that General Tire will be the title sponsor for the Summit Cup, which will begin airing in prime time on Thursday (Jan. 3) at 9 p.m. ET on the Outdoor Channel. The event was filmed Aug. 27-Sept. 1 at Chautauqua Lake in western New York.

    “We’re especially pleased to welcome General Tire, one of America’s best automotive companies, to our league,” said MLF GM Jim Wilburn. “In addition to welcoming a great company to our broadcasts, another benefit to our partnership with General Tire is that we’re expanding the sponsorship base of Major League Fishing. While we love to have the recognition of sponsors within the fishing industry, we also believe it is healthy for our industry to attract great companies outside our normal boundaries – companies like General Tire.”

    Said General Tire director of Marketing Travis Roffler: “We’re thrilled to partner with Major League Fishing. This made-for-TV event is a great way to engage not only diehard fans, but reel in new ones with the series’ fan-friendly approach to production. This is a key market for the General Tire brand and we’re honored to be associated with Outdoor Channel and 24 of the world’s best anglers. We’re looking forward to a great partnership.”

  • Ranger announces anniversary promo

    Ranger announces anniversary promo

    As a tribute to the company’s 45th Anniversary, which is being celebrated this year, a new Ranger Boats sales promotion will include special incentives, providing customers with a combined retail value of up to $1,450 with a qualifying purchase.

    The promotion runs through Feb. 15 and applies to purchases of Ranger’s most popular freshwater models. Any new Z500 Comanche Series or Fisherman Series model sold during the period will be automatically upgraded to include a custom, deluxe Ranger boat cover – a retail value of $950 – as well as a $500 credit toward premium Ranger clothing and accessories available through RangerWear.com.

    Additionally, any new Z100 Series, Angler Series or Reata Series model sold during the promotion will also include the custom, deluxe Ranger boat cover upgrade as well as a $300 credit toward premium clothing and accessories.

    The program incentive is limited to new, eligible Ranger boats sold during the promotion’s timeframe powered by Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude or Suzuki engines. No other offers can be combined with the promotion, with the exception of Ranger’s “Operation Troop Salute” military appreciation program, which includes a custom dye-sub clothing package and up to $4 per engine horsepower rebate for qualifying military personnel.

    For more, see your local dealer or visit www.rangerboats.com.

  • Plano extends deal with FLW

    Plano extends deal with FLW

    FLW announced today that Plano Molding Co. has extended its associate sponsorship of FLW through the 2013 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Plano will also offer a contingency award package for teams competing on the FLW College Fishing circuit. The program awards prize packages to teams fishing each of the 2013 qualifiers and the FLW College Fishing National Championship. To be eligible, college teams must register and wear a Plano patch on their tournament jersey each day of competition.

  • Legend adds to incentive program

    Legend adds to incentive program

    Legend Boats has revised its Legend Advantage program for 2013, giving Legend owners a chance to win up to a $10,000 contingency bonus for a single tournament victory.

    Anglers must be registered in the Legend Advantage program and own a 2011 model or newer to be eligible to win. The boat must be purchased before April 15, 2013 in order to qualify. Sanctioned tournaments will be split into two tiers depending on field size – Tier 1 will be 60 or more boats and Tier 2 will be 35 to 59 boats.

    Here’s a brief breakdown of potential paybacks:

    > 2013 boats (purchased between Dec. 15, 2012 and April 15, 2013): Eligible for up to $10,000 bonus.
    > 2012/2013 boats (purchased before Dec. 15, 2012): Eligible for up to $6,000 bonus.
    > 2011 boats: Eligible for up to $1,500 bonus.

    To learn more about the program and to register, click here.

  • Adams, 81, Lindy co-founder, dies

    Nick Adams, who helped launch the Lindy Tackle Company, died on Christmas Day at Essentia Health-St. Joeseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, Minn., according to an obituary posted on the Brainerd (MN) Dispatch website. He was 81.

    A resident of East Gull Lake, Minn., Adams partnered with brothers Al and Ron Lindner in 1968 to form Lindy and bring the Lindy Rig to market. It was a smashing success across the upper Midwest, especially among walleye anglers. According to the Lindy website, more than 40 million Lindy Rigs have been sold since its introduction.

    Adams was a member of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota. He is survived by wife, Idalene, and seven children, 18 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

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