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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

  • Minnesotan on top at Guntersville

    Minnesotan on top at Guntersville

    As might be expected, there was no shortage of big sacks on day 1 of the Lake Guntersville Southeastern Rayovac, as the Top 36 all weighed at least 20 pounds on day 1. Minnesotan Eric Schultz's 27-07 stringer was the best of the lot.

    Schultz had a 1-04 lead over Michigan's Ron Nelson, who caught 26-03. The next two places were occupied by FLW Tour pros – Michael Neal with 25-10 and Robert Behrle with 25-01.

    Here's a look at the early Top 10:

    1. Eric Schultz: 27-07
    2. Ron Nelson: 26-03
    3. Michael Neal: 25-10
    4. Robert Behrle: 25-01
    5. Brad Carroll: 24-13
    6. Scott Canterbury: 24-09
    7. David Hendrick: 24-03
    8. Bryan Thrift: 24-01
    9. Ryan Worthington: 23-14
    10. Marshall Deakins: 23-08

  • Johnson catches 20 1/2 to lead at Red

    Johnson catches 20 1/2 to lead at Red

    Local stalwart Aaron Johnson bolted to a big early lead at the Red River Bassmaster Central Open on Thursday as he boxed a 20-08 sack that was topped by a 7-13 bruiser.

    Johnson, who won an Open in 2008 at Kentucky Lake, had a 4-06 lead over fellow Shreveport, La. resident Colby Hand.

    Johnson said the cloudy weather caused the fish to react differently than what he'd experienced in practice.

    “I really wanted the sunshine, but it was just out a little bit,” he said. “The fish really weren’t setting up on the cover, but I was able to figure out how to get them to bite (under the clouds). Once I got that figured out, I popped them pretty good.”

    A 45-mile one-way run and lock negotiation limited Johnson’s fishing time on day 1. He visited just one of his five best areas.

    “I will probably bounce around a little bit more (on day 2) just because I have a later flight, so I should have a lot more time to cover more areas,” he said.

    Here's how the initial Top 12 stacks up:

    1. Aaron Johnson: 20-08
    2. Colby Hand: 16-02
    3. Tommy Murray: 15-06
    4. Larry Puckett: 15-04
    5. Stephen Browning: 14-15
    6. Ray Hanselman Jr.: 14-13
    7. (tie) John Frye: 14-03
    7. (tie) Chad Wiley: 14-03
    9. Marvin Ettredge: 14-00
    10. Gerald Spohrer: 13-05
    11. Jerry Hester: 13-03
    12. Vu Au: 13-00

  • The Bass University intros digital training

    The Bass University intros digital training

    The Bass University today introduced its digital video training component – called The Bass University TV – designed to help anglers catch bass more consistently.

    The program consists of an ever-expanding library of digital training videos that have been captured from The Bass University classes around the country. In addition to classroom instruction, Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek have filmed on-water training, which demonstrates in greater detail the lessons discussed in each class. Viewers can watch, listen, and learn sound bass fishing strategies from the top professional anglers’ presentations on techniques that they specialize in.

    The format allows each angler to learn at his or her own pace, wherever the angler may be. Videos can be viewed on any Internet-enabled TV, computer, tablet or mobile device.

    Memberships are $15 per month or $150 annually and anglers can subscribe at As a special introductory offer, each Bass University TV member will receive an autographed picture from Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek, co-creators of The Bass University. Each member will also receive a gift pack featuring Rapala, VMC, Berkley and/or Molix tackle (retail value of $15). The introductory offer runs through May 27.

    Sneak peeks of The Bass University TV’s video library can be seen on the organization's YouTube channel.

  • Balog: Much has changed since '88

    Balog: Much has changed since '88

    After an extremely long and cold winter in the north country, Joe Balog finally gets to do some fishing that doesn't involve ice. As initial preparation for the James River Rayovac, he watched video coverage of the 1988 Bassmaster Classic at that venue, which included a much-younger version of current B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year leader Mark Davis. That caused him to reflect on how much has come and gone in the sport over the last quarter-century.

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

  • Sunline Strong Performer: Beaver

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer: Beaver</font></b>

    Most competitors who fared even reasonably well at the recent Beaver Lake FLW Tour were aided by the powerful winds that blew on days 1, 3 and 4. For Colby Schrumpf, it was just the opposite.

    The Illinoisan was in 143rd place after sacking a limit of 1-pounders on the first day. Then, when the wind died the following day, he caught 16 pounds to move up 110 places to 33rd and earn a $10,000 check.

    "On the first day I headed up the river and I wanted to stop on some areas that had some spotted bass that I found in practice," he said. "It was so windy that I couldn't fish a lot of those areas and I wasn't able to catch many.

    "I gradually worked my way up and then concentrated on largemouths, just fishing shallow cuts. I didn't catch any keeper largemouths the first day – I probably caught 20 that were between 14 and 15 inches."

    He went with the same program on day 2 and achieved dramatically different results.

    "I started in the spotted-bass areas, but the wind wasn't blowing and I could target them a little differently. And just over that one day or maybe a couple days, some bigger female largemouths had moved in and were staging.

    "I caught them from 8 feet down to 20 feet. They were suspended and I got them on a 10-foot diving crankbait. I caught quite a few that day and I had one that was about 5 1/2 pounds."

    He said his key areas were within 5 miles to the south of the Highway 12 bridge.

    "If the wind hadn't blown, I might've gotten a few (largemouth) bites there the first day, but I don't think all those fish were there yet. The water warmed up 5 degrees from one day to the next."

    The finish was easily his best of the season – he'd had two 120ths and a 143rd coming in – and second-best of this 3-year Tour career behind a 5th at the Potomac River in 2012.

    The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most significant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.

  • Big Bite Lookback: Beaver

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback: Beaver</font></b>

    Bryan Thrift was the day-1 leader at the recent Beaver Lake FLW Tour and was seemingly a threat to win his second straight event. However, the former Angler of the Year said his 16-pound sack on day 1 was basically a fluke.

    "I never really was on anything," he said. "That first day was just a gift. It was one of those days where I couldn't do anything wrong – everywhere I stopped I caught a good one. I knew the odds of repeating that were not good."

    He dropped to 8th place the following day with a 9-10 stringer, and then to 11th on day 3 with a 10-07 haul.

    "I fished a clean tournament – I never lost any fish and I never missed any – but I just wasn't getting the bites I needed. I was really fortunate to catch what I did on the second and third days."

    The majority of his bites came on a shaky-head.

    "If I had it to do over again, I would've tried to fish a littler faster and cover more water. It seemed like there were more fish moving up on that third day."

    The Big Bite Lookback, which focuses on the angler who's first out of the final cut at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great folks at Big Bite Baits.

  • Zaldain seeks turnaround at Toledo Bend

    Zaldain seeks turnaround at Toledo Bend

    Chris Zaldain logged a Top-12 finish the last time the Bassmaster Elite Series visited Toledo Bend Reservoir in 2012. He could really use another one next week.

    The Californian had a stellar sophomore campaign in 2013, finishing 8th in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) race. Through three events this year, however, he's at the polar opposite place in the standings – 8th from the bottom (101st).

    "I've had a lot of time to think about what's happened this year over the last 2 1/2 weeks we've been off," he said. "It seems like after the Classic, everything was just boom, boom, boom. The tournaments were coming so fast and I couldn't find a groove."

    His finishes have been progressively worse – 76th at Lake Seminole, 85th at the St. Johns River and 94th at Table Rock. He said he's had some good practices, but what he's found have proven to be mirages.

    "Some of the things that seemed like positive clues have ended up being misleading. Last year when I had the phenomenal season, my decisions were always right on the mark. This year I think I've relied on practice a little too much and I've gone all-in on some patterns and areas. You can't do that; you've got to adapt and change.

    "In all three tournaments, I felt like I've been one step behind."

    He hopes to get back in sync at Toledo Bend.

    "I've got an excellent history in the state of Texas; it's like a big playground to me and it really suits my style. Toledo Bend is so large and there are so many patterns you can fish. I like to fish shallow there, the way I grew up fishing on the California Delta, and it's a very comfortable place for me.

    "I'm not going to try to force anything. I'm going to have fun and try to calm things down. I know what needs to be done and I think hard work will definitely pay off. If I find something that I think is good in the first couple days of practice, I won't be satisfied. I'm going to keep an open mind and not become sold on one particular thing."

  • New gear: Berkley rolls out new shapes, sizes

    New gear: Berkley rolls out new shapes, sizes

    For years, Berkley has used the Bassmaster Classic as a key component of its marketing platform, introducing new baits and other products just in time for spring. This year was no different as several new soft baits were unveiled in conjunction with the Classic at Lake Guntersville.

    To learn more about what's new from Berkley, click here.

  • Murphy signs with Cabin Creek Bait Company

    Murphy signs with Cabin Creek Bait Company

    Shawn Murphy, the reigning FLW Tour Rookie of the Year from Kentucky, has signed a sponsorship deal with Cabin Creek Bait Company.

    "We've watched Shawn grow in his career from a modest start fishing local tournaments to become one of the most notable professionals on the FLW Tour," said Stephen Pyle, one of the 30-year-old company's new owners. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity to support him and his efforts."

    Murphy used Cabin Creek tubes en route to a 37th-place showing, worth $10,000, in the recent FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake.

    “It’s nice to see the new ownership of Cabin Creek working hard to return the company to its former glory," he said. "They were able to overnight me a shipment of tubes that helped me catch five fish on day 2. It’s very simple, their product catches fish.”

  • Berkley trailer heads for Sioux Falls

    Berkley trailer heads for Sioux Falls

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Scheels All Sports in Sioux Falls, S.D. this Friday through Sunday (April 25-27). In its 9th year, the trailer has been completely redesigned to provide anglers with a better hands-on experience.

    Four highly trained Berkley professionals will be available to provide in-depth knowledge on products, knot tying, line selection and bait choice.

    “We are extremely excited about the upgrades to the trailer and the experiences that anglers of all skill levels will have this year,” said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "Our Experience Trailer team is ready to answer your questions and help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about fishing, our passion and our company’s heritage."

    The trailer's next stop will be May 1-3 at Scheels All Sports in Fargo, N.D.

  • ESPN's Corso will speak at ICAST

    ESPN's Corso will speak at ICAST

    ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso will be this year’s State of the Industry Breakfast keynote speaker at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) in July.

    The breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. on July 16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

    Corso is known as one of college football’s most knowledgeable, opinionated and entertaining analysts. He is a key member of ESPN’s college football team, serving as an analyst on “College GameDay,” the network’s signature Saturday morning show. Corso joined ESPN in 1987 after 28 years as a coach at the college and professional levels, including 17 seasons as a head coach.

    Tickets are required and can be purchased by calling Experient customer service at (301) 694-5243 or when registering for the show.

    ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association, the sportfishing industry’s trade association, which looks out for the interests of the sportfishing community. The world’s largest sportfishing trade show annually hosts 10,000 members of the global recreational fishing industry.

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