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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

  • Avena lands A.R.E.

    Avena lands A.R.E.

    FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena has signed a sponsorship deal with A.R.E., the manufacturer of truck caps and tonneau covers.

    “I'm excited to be a part of the A.R.E. Fishing Team and look forward to showcasing the high-quality, functional and eye-appealing products that A.R.E. has built their professional reputation on,” he said. “There is nothing more important to anglers while on the road than the organization and safety of our gear."

    Said A.R.E. marketing manager Andy Clutter: “We couldn't be happier to partner with an angler like Adrian Avena. He has all the qualities we look for when identifying potential members of the A.R.E. Fishing Team – a strong and growing resume, incredible talent and an eye-catching pickup truck. We look forward to working with him throughout the 2015 season to help tell the story of our fiberglass truck caps and tonneau covers."

  • Guest opinion: Earned vs. claimed

    Guest opinion: Earned vs. claimed

    Steve Boyd, a Florida guide who's contributed to BassFan several times in recent years, has penned a column about the lack of an established hierarchy among bass anglers and how that differs greatly from a couple of other sports he participates in. With so many anglers claiming to be professionals, does that term really have any meaning anymore?

    To read the column, click here.

  • Clues link Martens to Enigma

    Wondering where Elite Series angler Aaron Martens may land as far as a rod sponsor after his recent split from Megabass?

    Ever heard of Enigma Fishing?

    Neither have we, but clues are trickling out that point to Enigma being the name of the company that reportedly will manufacture an “Aaron’s Edge” series of rods bearing the name of the two-time Elite Series Angler of the Year.

    An ad for Doug Hannon’s Microwave rod guides in the February 2015 issue of Tackle Trade World (page 48) features a photo of Martens touting his new series of rods from Enigma that will incorporate the Microwave guides. A link to EnigmaFishing.com is included, but that website remains password protected with a message stating, “Will be opening soon.”

    Also, a photo (shown below) posted on the Instagram feed of Stealth Custom Shop, an Indiana business specializing in custom paint jobs for hard baits, shows Martens in an Enigma booth at what appears to be a dealer show. The photo’s caption mentions the show being held in Jackson, Miss. The words “Aaron’s Edge” are clearly visible on the booth backdrop and there is a variety of lime-green and light gray rods standing along the edge of the booth.


    A Google search for Enigma Fishing yielded very little in the way of a connection to bass fishing, although there appears to be a European-based rod company called Enigma that manufactures fly rods. There’s no indication the two are connected.

  • Wave moves to Plano

    Wave moves to Plano

    Texas-based soft-plastics manufacturer Wave Fishing announced that it's moved from Lake Fork, where it's been for 13 years, to Plano.

    “Our physical location has changed, but our tradition of, and commitment to, producing high-quality plastic baits for the angler has not changed and never will,” said company president Paul Whitman. “As a part of our move we will no longer offer walk-in retail sales. All of our sales and distribution will be through our website at www.wavefishing.com or your local dealer.

    “We want to take Wave to the next level and we feel this is the best way to do it. Retail buyers, wholesalers, distributors and dealers are encouraged to visit our site, look over what we have to offer, contact us and give our products a try."

  • Havasu produces 29 1/2-pound bag

    Havasu produces 29 1/2-pound bag

    The folks at McCoy Fishing, based in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., passed along a note that two members of the company's pro staff recently set a new Lake Havasu record with a five-fish stringer that weighed 29.45 pounds.

    The sack was caught by Billy Skinner and John Galbraith in a Total Bass Addicts team tournament. The biggest fish in their quintet weighed just over 8 pounds.

    Havasu will host a Bassmaster Elite Series event for the first time this year. Dates for the tournament are May 7-10.

  • FLW rookie Johnson picks up 5 sponsors

    FLW rookie Johnson picks up 5 sponsors

    Georgia's Jason Johnson, who's transitioning from co-angler to the front of the boat on the FLW Tour this year, has picked up six sponsors for his rookie campaign. The list consists of John Megel Chevrolet (Dawsonville, Ga.), 4G Bait Company, Seaguar, Evinrude and Hammonds Fishing Center (Cumming, Ga.).

    "Going into my rookie year, I'm thankful to be aligned with companies and products I've used for years," said Johnson, who finished among the Top 4 in the co-angler points in each of the past 2 seasons. "From the John Megel Chevy getting me to the lakes or the Seaguar fishing line getting the fish to the boat, to my Evinrude E-Tec getting me back to weigh them in, it takes a lot of stress off your rookie year having complete confidence in the products you are using."

  • B.A.S.S. levies sanctions on Monroe, Poche

    After nearly a two-week investigation into the on-the-water altercation that took place between Ish Monroe and Keith Poche during the Southern Open at Lake Toho, B.A.S.S. has announced both will be fined and suspended from Open competition in 2015.

    The following is a statement released by B.A.S.S. this afternoon:

    B.A.S.S. announced today that it has completed its investigation of an incident January 16 involving two professional anglers, Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., and Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., during the Bassmaster Open tournament on Lake Tohopekaliga, Fla. After interviewing both anglers as well as many of the numerous eyewitnesses of the incident, B.A.S.S. has imposed the following penalties, which are covered in the current Angler Code of Conduct:

    For unsportsmanlike conduct, Monroe has been fined $500, the maximum amount for a first offense. In addition, he has been suspended from participation in all Bassmaster Opens for 2015. He already had been disqualified from the Southern Open on Lake Tohopekaliga, forfeiting any payouts he would otherwise have earned.

    Also for unsportsmanlike conduct, Poche has been fined $250, the minimum amount for a first offense. In addition, he has been suspended from participation in Bassmaster Opens in the Southern Division for 2015. He, too, had earlier been disqualified from the Southern Open in Florida.

    “Both Keith Poche and Ish Monroe have cooperated fully in our investigation of the incident, and they have expressed regret for their roles in it,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “While conflicts occur frequently in other sports, we hold bass fishing professionals to a higher standard, particularly when the safety of participants is involved. We believe the penalties imposed under the Angler Code of Conduct agreement are appropriate and fitting in these circumstances.”

    Akin also noted that B.A.S.S. has refunded the entry fees of the co-anglers paired with Monroe and Poche on January 16 in consideration for the effect the incident may have had on their fishing success.

    Both anglers have 48 hours to file an appeal of the sanctions, according to B.A.S.S. rules.

  • BlueWater LED lands Roumbanis

    BlueWater LED lands Roumbanis

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Fred Roumbanis has added BlueWater LED as a major sponsor for 2015. BlueWater LED offers high quality LED lighting for the outdoor and marine industry.

    “I spend a lot of time working in my boat in parking lots of lakes and hotels around the country," Roumbanis said. "Having BlueWater LED lighting on my boat will make that easier. They will also make my boat safer on the water, and my truck and trailer safer on the road. “

    Roumbanis will be joining fellow Elite Series pros Randy Howell, Scott Ashmore, and several more national level tour pros on the BlueWater LED’s Pro Team.

    “Fred has always been a consummate pro and a talented angler. Adding him to our pro team is something we are excited about. Fred has a large fan base and is primed for a great year on tour,” said Eric Hall of BlueWater LED.

  • Balog: Will geeks shine?

    Balog: Will geeks shine?

    The practice of gathering information prior to a tournament has greatly expanded in recent years as technology has boomed. Joe Balog thinks it'll continue to play a larger and larger role, perhaps to the point where the best gatherers can outfish the most gifted anglers.

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

  • Livingston back with FLW

    FLW has announced it has renewed its partnership with bait company Livingston Lures. The two organizations have partnered since 2013. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

    “Livingston Lures is a quality brand that has gained a lot of respect amongst FLW tournament anglers,” said Trish Blake, president of marketing at FLW. “Their dedication to innovation and excellence in the sport aligns perfectly with our mission at FLW. We are excited to partner with them again in 2015.”

    “FLW is an outstanding organization and we appreciate the opportunity to continue our association with them and the professional anglers who fish on the FLW Tour,” said Kendall Hodges, Livingston Lures vice president of sales and marketing.

  • Igloo re-ups with FLW

    Igloo Products Corp., a leading manufacturer of coolers, has renewed its partnership with FLW, for 2015. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    "Igloo stands for the very best quality in its category and FLW is proud to continue our partnership with this iconic brand," said Trisha Blake, FLW's president of marketing.

    Igloo will be entering its fifth year as an FLW sponsor.

    “Igloo is excited to continue our sponsorship of an organization that provides unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to so many of our customers," said Igloo vice president of marketing and product Candi Whitsel.

  • Megabass confirms Martens has moved on (updated)

    Megabass confirms Martens has moved on (updated)

    In what could prove to be the biggest angler/sponsor news of this offseason, Japanese tackle company Megabass confirmed today that its long-standing sponsorship of two-time Elite Series Angler of the Year Aaron Martens has ended.

    It's not often a company issues a release complimenting a departing pro staffer, but Martens and Megabass were synonymous with each other for much of their 17-year run and he was instrumental in bringing more exposure to the premium tackle maker's rods and baits in the U.S. market.

    There's no word yet on a potential replacement as Martens' title sponsor.

    The text of the Megabass release follows:

    Megabass of America, the U.S. arm of Japan’s foremost innovator of premium fishing tackle, confirmed today that after 17 years, Megabass’ title sponsorship of Aaron Martens is ending.

    “While we are of course disappointed that our professional relationship will not continue in 2015, we certainly understand Aaron’s decision to pursue a new business opportunity,” said Yuskei Murayama, Vice President of Megabass of America. “Aaron is one of the most gifted anglers of his time, and it is no surprise to us that a fledgling brand would invest heavily in his services.”

    Partnered with Megabass since his early days on the West Coast circuits, Martens has quickly risen to the top of the national stage. With two Bassmaster AOY titles, three U.S. Open Championships, and multiple victories to his name, Aaron has solidified himself as one of the most consistent, talented, and feared anglers on Tour.

    “In many ways, we would not be where we are today without Aaron,” said Murayama, “so we wish to take this opportunity to give thanks for the whole-hearted dedication, passion, and expertise Aaron has shared with us these past 17 years. Megabass is certainly better for it, and will continue to strive to make the kind of equipment that elevates our anglers to ever-greater success. We wish Aaron the best in this next chapter of his career.”

    Shortly after the Megabass release was published, Martens issued the following statement about his departure:

    "I would like to take the opportunity to thank Megabass for 17 years of support and friendship. While it is the end of our business relationship, it is in no way the end of the many friendships I have developed with the people at Megabass. I will always consider Yuskei Murayama of Megabass USA and Yuki Ito and the many other great people of Megabass Japan to be my friends.

    "The experiences provided to me through Megabass both inside of the fishing industry and outside of it will always be special to me. Megabass products have helped me climb the ranks from a young wide-eyed rookie to a two-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year. That wouldn't have been possible without the long-time support of such a great company.

    "At this time, I am not making an announcement about my next steps, but I will be ready to do so soon. For now, I am focused on preparing for the Bassmaster Classic and enjoying some time with the family."

  • Yelas to head C.A.S.T.

    Yelas to head C.A.S.T.

    The Cast for Kids Foundation (C.A.S.T) announced that veteran pro angler Jay Yelas has been named the organization's new executive director. After an orientation period Yelas will replace retiring executive director and founder Jim Owens, who has served in the position for 24 years.

    Yelas is a familiar name on the professional bass fishing tour. His notable accomplishments include winning the 2002 Bassmaster Classic, the 2003 B.A.S.S Angler of the Year and the 2002 and 2007 FLW Angler of the Year. Additionally Yelas won a 2003 ESPN Espy award in the Best Outdoor Athlete category.

    “I am thrilled to be the new Executive Director of C.A.S.T.” said Yelas, whose list of angling accomplishments in a Bassmaster Classic win in 2002, a B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year award in 2003 and FLW Tour AOY titles in 2002 and '07. “I've been a member of the board of directors for nearly a decade and am very familiar with what this unique organization does to help brighten the lives of special children all over the U.S. I look forward to continuing this great work and getting to know the hundreds of volunteers that make C.A.S.T. such a great organization”.

    Said Owens: “What a great fit for C.A.S.T. I feel very comfortable turning the reins over to Jay. He knows our mission, is a very caring person and dedicated to what C.A.S.T. does. Jay will help to move the foundation forward to even higher levels”.

    In addition to dozens of fishing events for children yearly under the Cast for Kids and Fishing Kids programs, C.A.S.T also runs several events for active-duty and retired service men and women under the Take a Warrior Fishing program introduced in 2012. Founded in 1991, C.A.S.T. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit.

    For more about the organization, click here.

  • Have Martens, Megabass split?

    Have Martens, Megabass split?

    One of the more recognizable angler-sponsor relationships in pro bass fishing circles may have run its course as Aaron Martens and Megabass appear to have parted ways after 17 years. Both sides have been mum on the topic, but signs are pointing to a change.

    Questions started to arise about Martens’ future with Megabass last week after a press release put out by the company highlighting its expanded sponsorship of Elite Series angler Chris Zaldain failed to mention Martens as part of its 2015 pro staff – Luke Clausen, Edwin Evers, Randy Blaukat were listed.

    Megabass is no longer listed as a sponsor on Martens’ website or Facebook page. A Jan. 22 post on Martens’ Facebook page linking to his latest Bassmaster blog was met with a reader question about his status with Megabass. Martens replied, “Stay tuned…”

    If the two parties have, in fact, decided to go in different directions, it will mark the end of a lengthy partnership that saw Martens become the face of the Japanese premium tackle maker in the U.S. market. As other sponsors came and went through Martens’ Elite Series career, Megabass remained a constant as he rose to stardom and became a two-time Elite Series Angler of the Year.

  • Five Spot: Brent Ehrler

    Brent Ehrler wouldn’t mind jumping out of a plane or doing some extreme skiing. He’d also like to share the boat with Brandon Palaniuk in a team tournament. Check out what else the Elite Series newcomer had to say in the latest edition of the BassFan Five Spot (embedded video below).



    To check out last week's Five Spot with Dean Rojas, you can click here to check it out.

  • Ehrler teams with NationalProStaff.com

    Ehrler teams with NationalProStaff.com

    NationalProStaff.com, a website and App for people to connect with anglers, pro staff and their sponsoring companies to get and share fishing information and sponsorship opportunities, has announced Bassmaster Elite Series newcomer Brent Ehrler has joined Team NPS.

    “After meeting with Brent and giving him a tour of the website, he was immediately very impressed with NPS, our plans for the future, and what the website currently offers anglers all over North America," said Dan Miguel, marketing director for Team NPS. "Brent is one of the best in the sport and arguably the best angler in the world. He’s also extremely friendly, an amazing role model, and will be a huge asset to our team as we continue to grow."

    Ehrler will switch over to the Elite Series in 2015 after a magnificent run with FLW that included five Tour victories, including a Forrest Wood Cup win and seven top-10 finishes in points.

    “I'm excited to work with NationalProStaff.com," he said. "I always get questions from anglers about how to get sponsors. NPS is a place for anglers to go and interact with other anglers and sponsors. It's also a great place to network with people in the industry and have a chance at starting a career in the bass fishing world.”

  • Decoy omen didn't work for Lane

    At the Lake Toho Southern Open, Elite Series angler Russ Lane happened upon a duck decoy that had become entangled in some matted vegetation. Thinking it could bring him some good luck, he put it in his boat. The end result was a 139th-place finish. The following week, without the decoy in his boat, he was 73rd at the Lake Okeechobee Southeast Rayovac and earned a small check.

    In the embedded video below from Lane's Facebook page, the decoy pays the price for messing with Lane's Florida mojo.



  • Lew's picks up McDonald

    Lew's picks up McDonald

    Lew's announced the addition of veteran FLW Tour angler Billy McDonald to its Team Lew's national pro staff, citing the amiable Indiana pro's passion for promoting the sport, more so than his many tournament successes, as being the distinguishing qualifier behind the new sponsorship agreement.

    "Whether at a tournament weigh-in or sport show, Billy is easy to find because he's always the one in the middle of a crowd who's smiling big and talking excitedly about something to do with fishing ... he's what the sport is all about," said Lew's CEO Lynn Reeves. "We need guys like Billy McDonald in this industry and we're proud that he's now officially associated with Lew's rods and reels."

    Said McDonald: "I love to compete and always want to win, but just having the opportunity to fish is rewarding regardless of where I finish. So in my mind there's no such thing as having a 'bad' tournament day. Yes, I do like to help others learn about fishing, especially youth. It's important to me that I give back to this great sport. Lew's has the perfect range of equipment to take any angler fishing from beginner to expert. I'm proud to be part of such a legendary brand."

  • Jimmy Reese aligns with Boing

    Jimmy Reese aligns with Boing

    California FLW Tour pro Jimmy Reese has signed a sponsorship deal with Indiana-based topwater bait manufacturer Boing Lures.

    "I'm so excited to be working with (Boing owner and CEO Jason Yocum)," Reese said. "We have been brainstorming for weeks now. Jason and I have so much in common and are excited about the future of his brand. We both understand the importance of building strong long-term relationships as well as giving back to the industry.

    “These lures flat out catch fish," he continued. "The unique sound these baits make when walking across the surface gives the fish a different low to high frequency sound for them to react to."

  • Amphibia partners with Florida circuit

    Amphibia partners with Florida circuit

    Amphibia Eyegear has partnered with the Florida Big Bass Trail to create the Amphibia Big Bass Trail. The trail will host five events in 2015, starting at Lake Okeechobee on Feb. 28.

    “Amphibia is very excited to be the title sponsor," said company president Jeff Gibson. "Our roots are in fishing and the technology within our product is fishing-specific. This partnership will help us both expand our brands while giving the anglers great prizes and contingencies in addition to a great payout.”

    Said FBBT president Daniel Vasquez: “2015 is going to be a great year for our trail and the addition of Amphibia will only make it better. We have aggressive plans to expand our trail and having the participation of such a revolutionary product and powerful brand will be key to our expansion. Anglers use and easily recognize the Amphibia brand, so partnering was a natural progression.”

  • Fire ravages Tennessee Ranger dealership

    Watson's Marine, a Ranger Boats dealership in Bluff City, Tenn., was ravaged by fire Sunday. The blaze destroyed seven boats and damage estimates are in excess of $1 million.

    For a report from local TV station WCYB, click here.

  • Sprague links with Bass Kandi

    Sprague links with Bass Kandi

    Bass Kandi baits announced that second-year FLW Tour pro Jeff Sprague has joined the company's pro staff. Sprague finished 47th in the Angler of the Year race in his initial season.

    “The durability and action of these plastics is on point," he said. "I love the fact that I can control the speed of the jig and feel the vibration, which makes a difference when fishing. I’m excited to partner with an American-made plastic company like Bass Kandi Baits and help spread the word of how good these baits are to fish.”

    Said Bass Kandi owner Mike Holland: “It’s an honor to have a hard-working man like Jeff represent our company values on and off the tournament trail."

  • Sancho, Lee brothers on Ike Live; Exmark signs

    Elite Series pro Joe Sancho and soon-to-be rookies Matt and Jordan Lee will be guests of Mike Iaconelli and co-host Pete Gluszek on Ike Live! streaming webcast at 7 p.m. EST tonight. Ike After Hours, a free-form discussion among fish heads who call or tweet Mike and the gang, follows from 10 to 11 p.m. EST.

    In addition, Ish Monroe and Keith Poche are slated to call in to talk about their recent altercation at the Southern Open at Lake Toho. They will give their perspectives and reflections.

    Iaconelli also announced that Exmark Manufacturing Co. has signed on as a sponsor of Ike Live.

    "I'm extremely excited to be working with Exmark in 2015, and am proud to help bring awareness of this superior brand of mowers to the sport fishing world,” Iaconelli said. “As a father of four who is always on the road, the last thing I want to do when I get home is spend all day mowing the lawn. Thanks to my Exmark, I can spend more time doing the things I love knowing my yard looks great.”

    Exmark will utilize the Ike Live digital platform to further its commitment to solidifying its brand with the nation’s most active outdoor enthusiasts, as 75 percent of Exmark’s existing customers consider themselves to be avid fishermen.

    “Mike’s ‘Never Give Up’ mantra, coupled with his charismatic brand essence and strong work ethic, are a perfect match for Exmark in demonstrating our commitment to quality workmanship, durability, and desire to create more free time for our customers,” said John Cloutier, senior marketing manager at Exmark. “As evidenced by Mike’s recent win on the Delaware River, it’s clear that he has an extremely passionate fan base who embraces his unique approach to professional fishing and enjoyment of the sport. We are thrilled to tap into Mike’s enthusiasm to help Exmark continue becoming the preferred mower brand among fishing and outdoor enthusiasts.”

    As part of the partnership, Exmark will be unveiling a Take Back Your Weekends-branded content campaign and associated video submission contest (open for entries April 1 through June 30) that will include an all-expense-paid fishing trip with Iaconelli in his hometown of Philadelphia.

  • Zoom signs Tharp

    Zoom signs Tharp

    Randall Tharp, the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion and current Elite Series anglers, has joined the pro staff of Zoom Bait Company, the company announced today.

    “It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing in your local pond or you’re competing in the Bassmaster Classic, Zoom baits are the very best and catch fish all over the world,” Tharp said. “My first national win was the 2008 EverStart championship on Lake Eufaula. The winning lures were a Zoom 6-inch lizard, a Zoom Big Critter Craw and a Chatterbait with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer. That seems like a long time ago but one thing hasn’t changed – Zoom is a company that is obsessed with building the very best lures you can use to catch a bass, and their lineup gives me everything I need to do my job.”

    Tharp competed in five consecutive Forrest Wood Cups from 2010 through 2014, and next month he’ll compete in his third Bassmaster Classic.

  • Order set for Classic

    Recently, B.A.S.S. held the drawing for boat numbers for the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at B.A.S.S. headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.

    The numbers were randomly drawn by B.A.S.S. staffers and will determine the order in which boats leave the dock on days 1 and 2 of the event.

    The top two positions were automatically given to reigning Angler of the Year Greg Hackney, who will be boat number 1, and Randy Howell, the 2014 Classic winner, who will be boat number 2.

    During the Classic, the full field of participants will be split into two flights, boats 1-28 and 29-56. On Day 1, the boats will head out on Lake Hartwell in numerical order. On Day 2, the order will be reversed with 56-29 followed by 28-1. On Day 3, after the field is cut to the Top 25, takeoff order will be decided by angler rank in the tournament.

    2015 Classic Boat Draw

    Flight 1
    1. Greg Hackney
    2. Randy Howell
    3. Mike McClelland
    4. Jared Lintner
    5. Gerald Swindle
    6. Cliff Prince
    7. Chad Morgenthaler
    8. Clifford Pirch
    9. Keith Combs
    10. Skeet Reese
    11. Casey Ashley
    12. Andy Montgomery
    13. Dean Rojas
    14. Cliff Crochet
    15. Brian Snowden
    16. Brandon Gray
    17. Jacob Wheeler
    18. Brandon Lester
    19. Chris Lane
    20. David Walker
    21. James Niggemeyer
    22. Paul Mueller
    23. Randall Tharp
    24. Jason Christie
    25. Mark Davis
    26. Takahiro Omori
    27. Bobby Lane
    28. Shin Fukae

    Flight 2
    29. Michael Iaconelli
    30. Kevin Short
    31. Teb Jones
    32. John Crews
    33. Brett Hite
    34. Scott Rook
    35. Chad Pipkens
    36. Van Soles
    37. Matt Herren
    38. Justin Lucas
    39. Todd Faircloth
    40. Ott DeFoe
    41. David Kilgore
    42. Paul Elias
    43. Troy Diede
    44. Brandon Palaniuk
    45. Brett Preuett
    46. Morizo Shimizu
    47. Steve Lund
    48. Cliff Pace
    49. Coby Carden
    50. Jacob Powroznik
    51. Aaron Martens
    52. Jeff Lugar
    53. Stephen Browning
    54. Edwin Evers
    55. Andy Young
    56. Bill Lowen

  • Omori signs with TIEMCO for shades

    Omori signs with TIEMCO for shades

    Takahiro Omori, the only international angler to win the Bassmaster Classic, has announced that he's signed a sponsorship contract with Japanese manufacturer TIEMCO and their Sight Master line of sunglasses.

    "I have been wearing these sunglasses for 10 to 12 years now because of their quality," said Omori. "The lenses are high quality glass, with the best polarization I have ever found, and that is important to help me see fish and fish holding cover in the water; which helps me in tournaments."

    He is proud and humbled to be chosen to be a part of the brand's expansion into the U.S. market.

    "There are many anglers they could have selected to help them, and I am humbled that they chose me," Omori said. "I'm proud to be representing a brand that I have used for so long."

    Tetsuji Himeno, product development manager for TIEMCO LTD, feels Omori is the right angler to represent them.

    "We are truly honored and excited that Takahiro Omori has chosen our polarized sunglasses Sight Master for his 2015 season," he said. "We know he is very particular about his fishing tackle, and we are pleased to provide him the best polarized fishing vision ever."

  • Bohannan lands with Skirmish Baits

    FLW Tour angler Greg Bohannan announced he has signed a deal with represent Skirmish Baits, a new custom-painted hard bait company owned by Army veteran Chris Turner.

    "Skirmish has a unique product in that every bait is custom painted," Bohannan said. "They have the best colors on the market and I am extremely honored to represent Chris and his company. He is a veteran who was injured protecting the very freedom that we get to enjoy as fishermen. I look forward to a long term relationship."

    To learn more, visit www.skirmishbaits.com.

  • 'Big O' is for Osinski

    'Big O' is for Osinski

    Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Baits, caught a 25-04 sack on Saturday to complete a wire-to-wire, blowout victory at the Okeechobee Southeastern Rayovac with a 3-day total of 70-08. His total bested runner-up Brandon Medlock by more than 12 pounds.

    “This feels fantastic,” he said. “So much time and effort went into this tournament. I made a few adjustments every day and the key for me was my patience flipping. I was not worried about catching a lot of fish; I was looking for big fish.”

    The strategy paid off as he managed to bring stringers weighing more than 25 pounds to the stage on two of the three days of competition. He fished transition areas near spawning flats in the south end of Okeechobee, targeting isolated patches of heavy cover flipping a Gambler Why Not and a Gambler Burner Craw.

    “(Day 3) was a challenge,” he said. “The wind was blowing from the south but switched to blowing out of the north. I had to switch to a White Lightning-colored Gambler EZ Swimmer to fill out my limit. I went back to flipping in the afternoon and was able to boat my biggest bass – weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces – around noon.”

    Here are the final totals for the Top 10:

    1. Val Osinski: 70-08
    2. Brandon Medlock: 58-04
    3. Joe Holland: 50-08
    4. Mark Daniels Jr.: 48-11
    5. Trevor Fitzgerald: 45-08
    6. Brandon McMillan 45-05
    7. Tyler Suddarth: 44-05
    8. Hensley Powell: 43-09
    9. Scott Martin: 43-07
    10. Tim Frederick: 37-02

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