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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

  • Lew's renews FLW deal

    Lew's renews FLW deal

    FLW announced today that Lew's, the manufacturer of reels, rods and fishing accessories, has signed on as a sponsor for the second consecutive year.

    “Lew’s is a high-quality, well-respected brand," said FLW marketing president Trish Blake. "Their products are a favorite among our anglers and FLW is proud to continue our association with such a powerful brand.”

    Said Lew's CEO Lynn Reeves: “FLW has proven to be a good fit and marketing partner for the Lew’s brand and our products. As does FLW, we also have something for every level of tournament angler from weekend participants to top-tier Tour pros. We’re pleased to continue the relationship into 2015 and will be supporting some of the events with our tournament trailer and new angler incentive programs.”

  • Martens, Avena will join Ike

    Martens, Avena will join Ike

    Bassmaster Elite Series stalwart Aaron Martens and FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena will be Mike Iaconelli's guests for a holiday edition of Ike Live! The show will be live-streamed from 8 to 9:30 p.m. ET on Monday (Dec. 22) at

    The show will be followed by a discussion period during which viewers can call in or tweet.

  • Crews signs rod deal with Cashion

    Crews signs rod deal with Cashion

    Cashion Fishing Rods announced today it has signed Bassmaster Elite Series angler John Crews to its pro staff.

    “I joined Cashion Rods because the growth potential is huge with this company," Crews said. "Most companies have a top down approach and introduce a product to fit the market. Cashion is the exact opposite. They developed materials that lead to introducing superior fishing rods. With this company the product and materials used are everything.”

    Cashion's national sales manager Paul Benson said the company is excited to work with Crews, who joins FLW Tour angler Michael Neal and Elite Series angler Tracy Adams on the company's pro staff.

    “John Crews is the epitome of professional and he demands the best equipment available," Benson said. "In
    John’s position he could choose to work with any company, but he chose Cashion because of our innovation and vision."

    “2015 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Cashion Rods," added company founder Matthew Cashion. "We have a terrific team of top-level anglers, we are introducing new rod lines, and the Cashion Rods Tour will be the biggest and best ever."

  • Balog: Displacement could be devastating

    Balog: Displacement could be devastating

    Is releasing tournament-caught bass at locations that are many miles from where the fish entered an angler's livewell a practice that could be harmful to fisheries? Joe Balog, who holds a degree in fisheries biology, certainly believes so, and he's even more convinced after reviewing a recent study conducted at Lake Champlain.

    To read the latest edition of Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Review: Megabass Orochi XX rods

    Review: Megabass Orochi XX rods

    Megabass has made a strong push into the North American bass fishing market over the last couple years with the introduction of the Orochi XX line of rods.

    At ICAST last summer, the Japanese tackle giant unveiled six new technique-specific models to be added to the Orochi family. Over the past several weeks, BassFan's Tim Carini has been able to test a couple of the new models.

    To check out his review of the new Megabass rods, click here.

  • Five Spot: Ott DeFoe

    Guess how many fish Ott DeFoe caught in his first tournament while fishing his dad? Not many. He also thinks reigning Elite Series Angler of the Year Greg Hackney "looks mean."

    Check out what else the Tennessee native had to say in the latest edition of the BassFan Five Spot (embedded video below).

    If you missed last week's Five Spot with David Dudley, you can click here to check it out.

  • King says he's cancer-free

    FLW Tour angler Stacey King received some positive news today from his doctors in his fight with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer he was diagnosed with this spring.

    Following is a post from King's Facebook fan page from earlier today:

  • Sonar: Fun in front of the camera

    Sonar: Fun in front of the camera

    BassFan columnist Miles "Sonar" Burghoff has recently embarked on a new professional venture as co-host of a multi-species TV show. Filming for the initial season is in the books and he's finally had a little time to reflect on the whirlwind project that played out over the span of just a couple of months.

    To read the newest Sonar Sound-Off column, click here.

  • North Carolina's Gray gets last Classic slot

    North Carolina's Gray gets last Classic slot

    Brandon Gray of North Carolina dominated the 2-day individual portion of the Bassmaster Team Championship at DeGray Lake in Arkansas to claim the final berth for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.

    The 42-year-old occupational hearing conservationist (he conducts OSHA standard hearing tests for companies) was the only one of the six competitors to catch a limit on both days. His 20-03 total gave him a margin of victory of nearly 7 1/2 pounds.

    Gray said he'd come close to making the Classic three times through the Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship. That route to the sport's premier event was supplanted by the Team Championship this year.

    “It’s been a long hard road for me,” he said. “The last 3 years I have fished it, I finished 2nd at Dardanelle and lost by 2 pounds, then lost by 2 pounds at Guntersville the year before and lost by about 3 pounds at Old Hickory last year."

    He thought spooning would be the best way to catch fish at DeGray, but changed his mind when the tactic produced only a couple of keepers in practice.

    “It’s all about making the right decisions, and I felt like I made the right decisions here,” said Gray, who decided to throw Norman DD22 crankbaits to catch his fish the last 2 days.

    The deep-diving crankbaits produced three keepers for him on Saturday, but the calm weather prompted him to make a switch. He completed his limit by catching two keepers on a 1/8-ounce shaky-head jig tipped with a black Zoom Trick Worm.

    Here are the totals for the six finalists:

    1. Brandon Gray: 20-03
    2. Jon Griffith: 12-12
    3. Royce Davis: 9-04
    4. John Stewart Jr.: 4-13
    5. Flannagan Fife: 3-00
    6. Todd Massey: 2-06

  • Navionics joins FLW sponsor ranks

    Navionics joins FLW sponsor ranks

    FLWhas announced a sponsorship agreement with electronic navigation giant Navionics. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    “The team at Navionics is committed to helping grow the sport of fishing,” said Trish Blake, FLW president of marketing. “Having them on board as a sponsor of FLW will greatly benefit our anglers, fans and the sport of professional bass fishing.”

    Founded in 1984, Navionics offers the world’s largest database of marine and lake charts, covering the salt waters of the entire planet as well as tens of thousands of lakes and rivers.

    “We put tremendous effort into developing products with content and features that are essential for anglers,” said Paul Michele, Navionics national sales manager. “And we are very excited about our partnership with FLW, which allows us to reach a very wide audience with our latest technologies."

  • Team Championship finalists DQd

    Team Championship finalists DQd

    B.A.S.S. announced today that the 2nd-place team in this week’s Bassmaster Team Championship on DeGray Lake, Arkansas, has been disqualified due to the use of an illegal bait. Members of that team have been replaced by the 4th-place team for the individual portion of the event that will determine a 2015 Bassmaster Classic berth.

    Tournament director Jon Stewart said the team of Brandon Gladish and Aaric Correll of Indiana was banished for violating Rule C7, which covers tackle and equipment.

    The rule states, “Any umbrella-type rigging, harness, or other device designed to hold more than one lure at a time – with or without hooks - is not allowed. Such rigging, harness, or device cannot be added to a single lure as described above. Traditional twin-arm spinnerbaits or buzzbaits are allowed. Trailer hooks and plastic trailers must be on the main hook of the bait; only spinner blades can be affixed to the arms. The head on the main stem may be hinged. On these spinnerbaits or buzzbaits, no more than two wires, with a maximum length of 6 inches, may extend off the main arm or body of the lure. The ‘head and hook’ portion of the lure must trail behind the blade or blades. B.A.S.S. officials have the sole authority to determine whether a lure is considered a single lure as defined above.”

    The team of Brandon Gray and Todd Massey of North Carolina moved into 2nd place, and the 4th-place team of Jon Griffith and John Stewart Jr. of Arizona moved to 3rd.

    Members of the Top 3 teams – including champions Flannagan Fife and Royce Davis of Arkansas – returned to the water today to compete individually for the Classic slot.

  • Arkansans capture B.A.S.S. team title

    Arkansans capture B.A.S.S. team title

    Fishers of Men teammates Flannagan Fife and Royce Davis made B.A.S.S. history Thursday by becoming the first winners of the inaugural Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship at DeGray Lake in their home state of Arkansas. They prevailed with a 2-day weight of 26-08.

    Fife and Davis topped a field of 155 two-man teams from a host of B.A.S.S.-sanctioned team trails across the country to earn the championship title along with the grand prize of a Nitro Z7 bass boat/Mercury Optimax 150 Pro XS outboard rig and the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $500. The national champions also received a traveling trophy to take back to their Fishers of Men team trail.

    Thursday’s action concluded the team competition of the 4-day tournament. On Friday the six anglers from the Top 3 teams will fish individually for the final two days of competition. The individual Bassmaster Team Trail champion qualifies for the final 2015 Bassmaster Classic berth and receives a Skeeter FX20/Yamaha 250 outboard rig to run in the event.

    Fife and Davis spent both days cranking the shallows to earn the nine bass they caught Thrursday. Although the weather changed from sunshine yesterday to clouds today, Fife thought their pattern stayed about the same.

    “We had a lot of lulls when we weren’t getting bites, and we would try to make adjustments. But we still wouldn’t get bit, so we went right back to cranking,” he said.

    Brandon Gladish and Aaric Correll moved into 2nd place with 23-13 and will also fish in the bracket round starting Friday. Day-1 leaders Brandon Gray and Todd Massey stumbled on day 2 and caught only four keepers weighing 8-14, but made the bracket cut by finishing in 3 place with 23-00.

  • Yo-Zuri adds Davis

    Yo-Zuri adds Davis

    FLW Tour pro Clent Davis of Alabama has entered into a sponsorship deal with Japanese lure manufacturer Yo-Zuri.

    "I'm extremely excited to be working with Yo-Zuri in 2015," he said. "I've been fishing with Yo-Zuri all of my life and I'm glad to finally be a part of the team. They put an incredible amount of time and attention to detail into every bait they make. I'm looking forward to 2015 and having a lot of success on tour with Yo-Zuri Baits."

    Said Yo-Zuri VP of sales and marketing Buddy Prause: "We're absolutely thrilled to be working with Clent. We're looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship that will allow us to build our collective synergies successfully together."

    With Davis on board for 2015 Yo-Zuri is excited about the future with him.

    "We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship that will allow us to build our collective synergies successfully together-we are absolutely thrilled to work alongside Clent," said Prause.

    Davis' season starts in early January when he travels to Lake Toho for the first B.A.S.S. Southern Open and then to Lake Okeechobee for a FLW Rayovac series tournament. His FLW Tour season kicks off on Lake Toho in March.

  • Bass Pro Group buys Ranger, Triton, Stratos

    <b><font color=red>Bass Pro Group buys Ranger, Triton, Stratos</font color></b>

    In a stunning move, Bass Pro Group announced today it has reached an agreement to acquire Fishing Holdings, LLC from private equity firm Platinum Equity. The move brings Ranger Boats along with the Stratos and Triton brands under the same umbrella as Nitro and Tracker, among others.

    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports earlier this fall indicated Platinum was seeking $250 million for the three companies it acquired as part of its purchase of Genmar Holdings in 2010.

    Following is the release that was circulated this afternoon regarding the aquisition:

    SPRINGFIELD, MO – Bass Pro Group announced today an agreement to acquire Fishing Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer of fishing boats that include Ranger Boats and the Stratos and Triton boat brands from Platinum Equity.

    The agreement combines popular fishing boat brands that are recognized internationally. It also creates another connection between two industry leaders, Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris and Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood, who are dedicated fishermen, conservationists and entrepreneurs. Years ago the iconic outdoorsmen both began fishing on the White River and White River Chain of Lakes in the Ozarks and even fished together in the first National BASS Tournaments.

    “This partnership brings added long-term stability for both companies and for the dealer networks that provide customers with quality boats at exceptional values,” said Morris, who also is founder/CEO of Tracker Marine Group. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Forrest Wood many years, and I deeply respect him and his family that founded and built a solid performing business with excellent products.”

    Morris added that: “It’s also important that our companies share comparable cultures and values and are dedicated to manufacturing quality products in the USA.”

    Following the closing of the transaction, Fishing Holdings will continue operating independently under its existing management at its headquarters in Flippin, Ark., located a two-hour drive from Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield.

    “We are impressed with the company’s leadership team and performance and look forward to welcoming them to the Bass Pro Shops family,” said Morris.

    “We are fortunate to partner with Bass Pro Group, which understands the industry and our brands,” said Fishing Holdings President Randy Hopper. “This new alliance will provide synergies that will strengthen our independent dealer base and ensure our continued focus on fishing.”

    Having grown the business since its origins, Wood also praised the transaction. “I’m excited for Ranger and the team at Fishing Holdings,” he said. “Johnny’s organization is deeply rooted in fishing and dedicated to conservation. He’s made a huge contribution to our sport, and I believe this is a real opportunity to better serve so many dealers and loyal customers around the country.”

    Both Morris and Wood have for many years generously donated their time and financial resources to support conservation efforts that help ensure a future for fishing by future generations.

    The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not publicly disclosed.

  • Balog: Why did BoatUS bail?

    Balog: Why did BoatUS bail?

    Like many BassFans, Joe Balog was surprised to learn recently that marine insurance provider BoatUS will discontinue its popular Weigh-to-Win contingency program in 2015. It makes him wonder whether companies that aren't totally married to tournament bass fishing are capable of committing for the long haul.

    To read the latest edition of Balog's Bass War, click here.

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