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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

  • Tyler victorious at Arkansas River

    Tyler victorious at Arkansas River

    Former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Tyler cashed in his home-water advantage to win the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open out of Muskogee, Okla. on Saturday.

    The Vian, Okla. resident hadn’t fished the river since last year’s Open at Muskogee, so he relied on 5 previous years of experience to catch the winning weight of 42-14. Since he didn't fish the two previous Central Opens this year, he can't claim the accompanying Bassmaster Classic berth

    “It was simple river fishing,” Tyler said. “I just fished pretty much laydowns, little weed points and shallow-water cover – just like you would expect in a river system. The difference was I ran a bunch of spots that I have a lot of confidence in. From years of experience I knew a piece of wood I pulled up on would be a key piece.”

    Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Stephen Browning clinched the Central Opens points title with 584 points. The rest of the anglers who qualified for an invitation to the Elites are Jordan Lee, who finished 2nd with 555, followed by Carl Jocumsen (the first Australian angler to qualify for the Elites), 544; Brian Clark, 4th, 536; Randy Allen, 5th, 530; and Ken Iyobe, 6th, 528.

    “Making the Elites is something I have always dreamed about since I was in 8th or 9th grade watching The Bassmasters,” said Lee, a former Bassmaster College Series champion. “This is what I have always wanted to do. This is the first year I fished the Opens, and I fished all nine to try and reach the Elites.”

    Here are the final totals for the Top-12 finishers at Muskogee:

    1. Mark Tyler: 42-14
    2. Kenta Kimura: 41-03
    3. Tommy Biffle: 40-09
    4. Jordan Lee: 39-07
    5. Brian Potter: 37-12
    6. Rick Clunn: 35-08
    7. Vu Au: 33-15
    8. Gary Klein: 33-11
    9. Scott Barnett: 33-01
    10. Justin Margraves: 30-03
    11. Gary Clouse: 28-03
    12. Mark Goines: 26-13

  • Tyler takes over at Muskogee

    Tyler takes over at Muskogee

    Mark Tyler's strategy of relying on past history and “winging it” is giving the former Bassmaster Elite Series pro an edge at the Central Open finale on the Arkansas River out of Muskogee, Okla. Tyler, a resident of nearby Vian, caught a 14-12 bag on Friday to take over the lead with a 2-day total of 30-05.

    Tyler said he's been so busy with his cattle ranch this year that he hasn’t been able to fish the river much, so he had to rely on his extensive experience on his home waters.

    “Over the past 5 years, I have probably spent a hundred days a year on the river,” said the 41-year-old, who estimated he spent only about 6 hours practicing for this event. “I'm just fishing in the moment and reading the conditions and not tying myself down to a bank where I got bit in practice or anything. I'm just reacting and I think it's really helping me.”

    A cold front and north wind has caused him to make changes both days. “I’ve just been flying by the seat of my pants from the first day,” he said. “I am just going where the conditions seem right, where the water clarity is right and where I can make a presentation the way I want.”

    Vu Au of Tucson, Ariz. has never fished the river before, but he's found one primary area that's produced 30-04 and he trails Tyler by just 1 ounce. The 32-year-old auto repair shop owner said he missed a couple of quality fish on day 1, but made up for the lost opportunities today with a 17-15 sack.

    “I had to mix it up a bit,” he said. “I don’t know what it was today, but they didn’t eat the same thing they ate yesterday.”

    The field was cut to the Top 12 after Friday's weigh-in. Rounding out the Top 5 were Elite Series veterans Gary Klein and Tommy Biffle, along with Oklahoman Brian Potter.

    Here are the totals for the 12 anglers who'll compete on the final day:

    1. Mark Tyler: 30-05
    2. Vu Au: 30-04
    3. Gary Klein: 29-13
    4. Tommy Biffle: 28-00
    5. Brian Potter: 27-01
    6. Kenta Kimura: 26-15
    7. Rick Clunn: 25-06
    8. Jordan Lee: 25-02
    9. Scott Barnett: 25-01
    10. Mark Goines: 24-15
    11. Justin Margraves: 24-11
    12. Gary Clouse: 24-03

  • Dudley recovering from shoulder surgery

    Dudley recovering from shoulder surgery

    David Dudley is an active guy – the kind who rarely lazes around the house on days he's not fishing or tending to his Virginia farm.

    His active lifestyle is partly to blame for the condition of his left shoulder, which required surgery earlier this week. It was a procedure that could've and probably should've been done last year, but he fished through the discomfort and pain this season.

    "I've been an active guy my whole life," he said. "I played football, basketball and baseball since I was 6 years old. I never missed a season. Then I played 11 years of racquetball all the while I was fishing. That's all shoulders and swinging. That combo doesn't set up for good shoulders when you get older.

    "It was one of those things where it hurt, but I have such a high tolerance of pain. Last winter, I finally went to the doctor and he did an MRI and basically, he found that my left shoulder was worn out. The collarbone and shoulder bone were rubbing together."

    At the time, it was too late for surgery since the recovery would have cut into the 2014 FLW Tour season. Instead, Dudley received two cortisone shots (one before the season and one during) to help with pain relief.

    "It got to the point where if I was out deep and fishing slow like dragging a worm or jig, anything where I had to hold the rod upright, it was torture," he said. "It was non-stop pain. I would hear the pops and grinding in my shoulder.

    "At Kentucky Lake, it got to hurting again pretty bad," he added, "so I took another shot to get through the Cup. The doctor then had me on the books for both shoulders because they both have wear and tear pretty bad. Right before I went in for surgery, he double-checked everything and decided to hold off on the right shoulder for now."

    During the operation, the doctor shaved the collarbone and shoulder bone to create a space between the two.

    "I'm still a little sore and I'm trying to sit around," Dudley said, "but that's hard to do. It's hard to just sit around and not do anything. I'm doing a lot of terminal tackle work and cleaning my fishing room out and catching up on sponsor stuff now. I can't just sit down. I'm a busy guy."

    He thinks, eventually, he'll have the same surgery done on his right shoulder and fears he may need back surgery down the road as well.

    "I don't think this will be my last surgery," he said. "I know my back is in horrible condition and I know if I go there, what he's going to say. I just turned 39 last week, but I feel like I have the body of a 50-year-old."

  • Coppin tops day 1 at Arkansas River

    Coppin tops day 1 at Arkansas River

    Clayton Coppin, a Wagoner, Okla. resident who got into the Arkansas River Bassmaster Central Open off the waiting list and didn't practice for the event, caught a 16-08 stringer on Thursday to grab the early lead.

    The 43-year-old co-owner of a lawn-care service got in when a friend helped him recruit a co-angler.

    “I was really nervous," said Coppin, who said he pulled the majority of his day-1 weight off a single tree. "I was on the bubble and didn’t know if I was going to get in the tournament or not, so I took my chances and stayed home and mowed some yards (during practice).”

    He has a 5-ounce lead over Jason Christie, the two-tour standout who sits atop the BassFan World Rankings.

    “I'm just hopping around and fishing the conditions,” Christie said. “The way the weather is going to be tomorrow, I am probably going to fish different stuff. I learned on this river a long time ago that you just fish the conditions and what it gives you from day to day.”

    Here's how the initial Top 12 stacks up:

    1. Clayton Coppin: 16-08
    2. Jason Christie: 16-03
    3. Brian Potter: 16-02
    4. Andy Young: 15-14
    5. Tommy Biffle: 15-13
    6. Mark Tyler: 15-09
    7. Sammy Burks: 15-07
    8. Kenta Kimura: 15-00
    9. Justin Margraves: 14-05
    10. Brent Bonadona: 13-15
    11. Troy Broussard: 13-13
    12. Teb Jones: 13-10

  • Bass U. TV: Martin talks lipless cranks

    The lipless crankbait and grass fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    In the latest Bass University TV program, FLW Tour pro Scott Martin talks about how he fishes rattlebaits, especially in Florida.

    A preview is embedded below.

    "A lot of guys talk about ripping a lipless crankbait through the grass, which is very important," Martin says, "but you can also rip it off of cover or you can rip it just off the bottom. There are a lot of different things you can do with these baits others than cast them out and reel them in."

    BassU TV memberships are available for $149.99 per year or $15 per month. To learn more, click here.

  • Gator Guards expands HS/college program

    Gator Guards expands HS/college program

    Gator Guards, makers of the KeelShield, announced this week it is expanding its school sponsorship and tournament rewards program that started in 2010.

    Clubs from all colleges and high schools may apply for a variety of discounts and donations for raising funds. The program is meant to help support the work these clubs do on a daily basis.

    “This is a great way for clubs to get started raising funds to afford the costly travel and operations they endure throughout the year," said Nick Barr of Gator Guards, a former collegiate angler. "This platform allows clubs to show their schools they are serious about creating organizations that will get aspiring anglers on the water for years to come.”

    Students can also win tournament rewards for fishing in their respective competitive college and high school tournaments using Gator Guards marine protection products on their boats. Up to $200 in products can be won by being the highest finisher in sanctioned events across the country.

    The program is now accepting applicants. To learn more click here.

  • Gator Guards back Dyer

    Gator Guards back Dyer

    Gator Guards, the makers of KeelShield, announced today the company has become an official sponsor of angler Clay Dyer.

    Dyer, a professional bass angler and motivational speaker from Hamilton, Ala., who was born without any lower limbs, no left arm and a partial right arm, will help promote the company's broad line of American-made marine protection products. Gator Guards is extremely excited to be able to work with someone who touches the lives of people on a daily basis.

    “Clay is truly a gifted speaker telling his life stories and introducing and leading new believers to Jesus Christ," said Gator Guards owner Scott Smith. "If you watch any of his videos and listen to his messages you can't help but feel motivated to get over that problem in your life. If anything, after listening to Clay Dyer, you should feel if Clay can do it, I can.”

    Dyer will represent Gator Guards via the many avenues in which he shares his message. He competes regularly on the Bassmaster Open tour along with traveling the country speaking at a number of community, charity, and church events. 

    “As a professional angler, I need the very best equipment and products and I need them to perform flawlessly," Dyer said. "With Gator Guards products protecting my boat's hull I know I can go into the toughest of areas with my boat and compete to my fullest potential and know I'm protected from the harshest things so my Ranger is always in like-new condition. That's why I completely trust Gator Guards products and I am blessed and honored to be partnered with such a great company that has the same passion, belief, qualities and vision as myself. I am truly honored to represent them as I live my dream of a professional angler.”

  • Skeeter, Lowrance announce alliance

    Lowrance announced today it reached a three-year agreement to form an exclusive partnership with Skeeter Performance Fishing Boats. Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch navigation systems and Elite-3x fishfinders will now be the standard electronics systems offered on Skeeter high-performance bass, multi-species and saltwater fishing boats. The contract will carry through to the 2017 model year.

    Effective immediately, the HDS Gen2 Touch fishfinder/chartplotter combination display is offered standard on all Skeeter FX, ZX and TZX model boats and optional on multi-species and saltwater class fishing boats.

    The new Elite-3x fishinder, offered as an option on SL model boats, provides anglers with features traditionally reserved for much larger units, such as full color backlit LED screens, broadband sounder technology and Advanced Signal Processing (ASP).

    “At Skeeter we have built a reputation for listening to our dealer network and the performance requirements of end users,” said Jeff Stone, Skeeter Boats' senior vice president and general manager. “Back by popular demand, we are pleased to once again be able to offer Lowrance products on our boats.”

    Added Leif Ottosson, CEO and president of Lowrance, “Skeeter's pursuit of perfection is evident in the way they engineer their high quality bass boats. The Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch and Elite-3x model fishfinder and navigation systems complement their philosophy by offering unmatched clarity and functionality.”

  • Pirch claims third U.S. Open title

    Pirch claims third U.S. Open title

    Arizona Bassmaster Elite Series pro Clifford Pirch became the third angler to win the WON Bass U.S. Open three times on Wednesday as he caught an 8.19-pound sack from Lake Mead to complete a wire-to-wire victory with a 3-day total of 31.26.

    "I'm speechless right now, especially after being so close the last 2 years," said Pirch, who joined Bass Fishing Hall-of-Famer Mike Folkestad and reigning Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Aaron Martens as three-time winners of the derby. "I really didn't think that I had produced enough weight to hold on, but it feels great to pull through and I'm especially blessed to have been so fortunate to win this event three times; I'm completely humbled right now."

    Pirch, who compiled nearly half of his total on day 1 when he brought a 15 1/2-pound bag to the scale, made a long run to the back of the Overton Arm on day 3 to target dirty runoff and debris that had resulted from upstream monsoons and flash floods. It was an area that he had saved for the final day and it took a while for his bite to develop, but he connected with fish that had moved downstream and caught more than 25 keepers.

    He employed three different techniques during the event – dropshotting, cranking and flipping a 1/2-ounce jig (full details of his winning pattern will be published Friday).

    "It was a tournament where I had to do a lot of different things to produce the right bites; I had to change with the conditions," he said. "I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out today, but I'm blessed and honored to have won this event."

    A trio of Californians claimed the three spots directly behind Pirch, as Todd Woods was 2nd with 28.70, Gabe Boliver 3rd with 28.49 and Brett Leber 4th with 26.54. Veteran tour pro John Murray, a two-time U.S. Open winner, completed the Top 5 with 25.80.

    Here are the final totals for the Top 12:

    1. Clifford Pirch: 31.26
    2. Todd Woods: 28.70
    3. Gabe Bolivar: 28.46
    4. Brett Leber: 26.54
    5. John Murray: 25.80
    6. Tony Lain: 25.33
    7. Scott Davis: 25.25
    8. Joe Uribe Jr.: 24.67
    9. Pete Marino: 24.66
    10. Luke Clausen: 24.59
    11. Randy Blaukat: 24.54
    12. Chris Bozarth: 24.13

    For complete final standings, click here.

  • Balog: The final-day fiasco

    Balog: The final-day fiasco

    Joe Balog was in great position to win the Lake St. Clair Bassmaster Northern Open last week before encountering major mechanical issues at take-off on the final day. In the newest installment of Balog's Bass War, he describes what he was thinking and feeling as, hour by hour, he watched victory slip through his grasp.

    To read the column, click here.

  • Another ShareLunker season set to start

    Another ShareLunker season set to start

    The 29th season of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Toyota ShareLunker program will begin Oct. 1.

    Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or heavier largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Oct. 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the ShareLunker program. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

    ShareLunker entries that genetic testing shows are pure Florida-strain largemouth bass are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Offspring from ShareLunkers that spawn are stocked into each water body that produces an entry during the season. Some offspring may be used for research, while others may be retained by the hatchery system for use as future brooders.

    Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. The person who catches the season’s largest entry will be named Angler of the Year and will receive a G. Loomis rod, Shimano reel and PowerPro line combination. If the Angler of the Year is a Texas resident, that person also receives a lifetime Texas fishing license.

    ShareLunker catches can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the season by calling (903) 681-0550. For complete information and rules of the program, tips on caring for big bass and a recap of last year’s season, click here.

  • Pirch stays on top at Mead

    Pirch stays on top at Mead

    Clifford Pirch weighed a bag on day 2 of the WON Bass U.S. Open that was less than half the size of the one he brought in the previous day, but he nonetheless will carry a substantial lead into the final day at Nevada's Lake Mead.

    The two-time U.S. Open winner's 7.48 stringer, which was only a pound heavier than his biggest single fish from day 1, pushed his total to 23.07. He has an advantage of a little more than 2 pounds over 2nd-place Zack Holwerda, who caught 12.29.

    "I had an area in mind when I set out this morning, but then changed and decided to stay closer and I didn't quite get the bites I thought I would," Pirch said. "The weather slicked off and we didn't get the amount of breeze that we expected and it made the bite a little tougher for me.

    "I've got an area that was a key piece in my strategy for this tournament. I haven't gone to it yet and I'm pretty sure nobody else has found it. I'm going to go there tomorrow, and hopefully I didn't leave too much room on the table today for someone else to sneak in."

    Holwerda said execution was the key to his big day.

    "I've been catching the quality fish here that I needed throughout practice, but yesterday I lost a few that mattered," he said. "I've been able to duplicate this pattern over all of the different conditions we've had, but I like the calmer weather and I'm hoping that it will play into my hands tomorrow again."

    Here are the totals that the Top 12 will carry into the final day:

    1. Clifford Pirch: 23.07
    2. Zack Holwerda: 21.02
    3. Brett Leber: 20.37
    4. Douglas Jones: 19.72
    5. Gabe Bolivar: 18.88
    6. Tony Lain: 18.74
    7. Todd Woods: 18.66
    8. Donnie Scroggins: 18.57
    9. Pete Marino: 17.57
    10. Luke Clausen: 17.42
    11. Kyle Grover: 17.21
    12. Bill Brown: 17.20

    For complete day-2 standings, click here.

  • Evinrude running fall promo

    Evinrude running fall promo

    BRP announced today the “Choose to Extend the Season Fall Sales Event” for its Evinrude outboard engine brand.

    During the promotion, which runs Nov. 30, U.S. consumers who purchase and take delivery of eligible loose or package Evinrude engines from a participating dealer will be eligible for one of the following program options:

    > Package offer – All new boat package buyers receive 5-year B.E.S.T. engine warranty on Evinrude E-TEC engines 15 H.O. and above.

    > Loose engine re-power offer – Re-power buyers can choose from a 5-year B.E.S.T. engine and rigging warranty on Evinrude E-TEC engines 3 HP and above or 3.99 percent financing on Evinrude E-TEC engines 15 H.O. and above or free SystemCheck Rigging Kit on Evinrude E-TEC engines 75 HP and above.

    “Boaters demand more time on the water, and that’s why we want to provide consumers with incredible offers on our industry-leading outboard engines into the fall, so they can spend even more time on the water enjoying our industry-leading performance,” said Evinrude director of marketing and strategic planning Christopher Berg. “The Evinrude E-TEC 'Choose to Extend the Season Fall Sales Event' is the perfect time for consumers to take advantage of these offers and choose Evinrude E-TEC engines to power their season and beyond.”

    For full details and conditions of the promotion, consumers can visit an authorized, participating Evinrude dealer or visit

  • SPRO Open winners pocket 10 grand

    SPRO Open winners pocket 10 grand

    Chris Blair and Kevin Allen caught a 20.36-pound bag to win the recent SPRO Open at Lake Guntersville in Alabama, earning the top prize of $10,000 by topping a 290-boat field. They won by just seven-hundredths of a pound over runners-up Ramey Harrell and Mike Nunnery, who caught 20.29.

    A 7.39-pounder brought to the scale by the team of Greg Conway/Chuck Mayfield took big-fish honors.

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dean Rojas (far right in photo) was on hand for the presentation of awards.

  • Two-time winner Pirch grabs early U.S. Open lead

    Two-time winner Pirch grabs early U.S. Open lead

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Clifford Pirch laid a strong foundation for his third career WON Bass U.S. Open title on Monday as he weighed a 15.47 sack on day 1 at Nevada's Lake Mead.

    Pirch's stringer, which included a 6 1/2-pound largemouth, was nearly 4 pounds better than anyone else's on a day that featured dramatic weather changes, including a significant amount of rain and much lower temperatures than the Nevada desert normally experiences in early September.

    "I had a stretch that I thought I could get a pretty strong limit on first thing, but by 1 o'clock I still only had 7 pounds in the boat," said Pirch, who won the event in 2007 and again 3 years later. "I saw the weather changing and the wind and rain picking up and I started moving around more. Within a couple hours I had caught the big one and two other really good fish that got me to 15 pounds."

    He said he had water that he couldn't fish today because of the conditions.

    "The water I ran today was all stuff that I had planned on as my B grade stuff and maybe it turned out to be a little better than I had thought. I've got some other water that I'm planning on running tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to put it together again tomorrow."

    Brett Leber, who was 2nd with 11.54, reported using reaction baits and covering a lot of water, but said he didn't have the kind of day he'd hoped for.

    "I had over 13 pounds in practice on Friday and another good day on Saturday," he said. "I didn't do as well today because the wind wasn't right for my areas – there was too much on it to do what I wanted to do. If I get a little bit better conditions tomorrow, I should be able to improve my weight."

    Rusty Brown, the 2013 champion, weighed just 3.38 and is in 135th place in the 167-angler field.

    Here are the critical numbers for the initial Top 12:

    1. Clifford Pirch: 15.47
    2. Brett Leber: 11.54
    3. John Morrow: 11.17
    4. Zachary Elrite: 10.84
    5. Todd Woods: 10.80
    6. Johnny Johnson: 10.17
    7. Joe Uribe Jr.: 10.07
    8. Shawn Lee: 9.89
    9. Chris Kinley: 9.82
    10. Mark Rauenzahn: 9.81
    11. Luke Clausen: 9.78
    12. Kona Borja: 9.75

    For complete day-1 standings, click here.

  • Competitive catfishing next for colleges?

    College bass fishing has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and now a group of students at the University of Tennessee is hoping to expand intercollegiate angling competition to include catfishing. The UT whisker-fish group has been around for almost a year and hopes to get other schools in its state and throughout the Southeastern Conference interested in launching clubs of their own.

    To read an article from the UT student newspaper, click here.

  • LEER offers bass anglers discounts this month

    LEER offers bass anglers discounts this month

    Bass anglers looking to add a cap or tonneau cover to their truck this month are in luck – LEER is offering a special discount to America’s bass anglers.

    From Sept. 5 through Oct. 5, anglers can save $150 on select truck caps, and $100 on tonneaus, simply by visiting a local LEER dealer. To find out more, click here.

    On top of the cash savings, there’s also an opportunity to earn additional cash by enrolling in the Cover Cash tournament bonus program when purchasing a LEER product. Anglers don’t have to win a tournament to win the They just need to be the highest finishing eligible angler in the following supported trails:

    B.A.S.S., FLW, TBF, ABA Weekend Series, LBAA as well as Alabama Bass Trail, Bass Champs, Nichols Marine Tournament Series, Platinum Team Trail, Priority Fishing Team Series, Skeeter XFL, Texas Team Trail and the Bassmaster Team Championship.

    To learn more about the Cover Cash program, click here.

  • New gear: Minn Kota Ulterra

    New gear: Minn Kota Ulterra

    The Minn Kota Ulterra has eliminated the physical work involved with deploying and stowing your trolling motor. That's right – Minn Kota has introduced a trolling motor with a fully automated stow and deploy features as well as auto trim to adjust the depth of the motor – all with the push of a button on a remote control.

    To learn more and see the motor in action, click here.

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