The outgoing tide and overlooked grass lines were pivotal to Jim Moulton's win at the California Delta Western EverStart Series last week. To read more details about how he did it, click here.
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.
The outgoing tide and overlooked grass lines were pivotal to Jim Moulton's win at the California Delta Western EverStart Series last week. To read more details about how he did it, click here.
Electronics manufacturer Raymarine announced recently that it's added four tour-level anglers to its freshwater pro staff. The quartet consists of Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Zell Rowland, Bernie Schultz and James Niggemeyer and FLW Tour pro David Fritts.
“We are very excited to be aligned with some of the most respected pros in bass fishing,” said Raymarine VP of sales Larry Rencken.
Said Fritts: "These are without a doubt the most refined electronics I've ever used. The Dragonfly's clarity and detail is unmatched. It's like looking at a $5,000 HD TV."
Added Schultz: "Knowing Raymarine's dominance in saltwater, I knew it was only a matter of time before they tapped the bass market. Their technology is so superior ... the units are not only accurate, they're also bullet-proof."
Former Tour pro Sandy Melvin will conduct the annual Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament at Saturday in Boca Grande, Fla. The event benefits Moffitt Cancer Center and All Children's Hospital in Tampa, and last year's event raised $30,000.
The children of Elite Series pros Brent Chapman, Aaron Martens and Randy Howell will team with Capt. Frank Davis on the charter boat "Native" to represent Moffitt Cancer Center's "Families First" program. Elite Series angler Bobby Lane will also be on hand, leading a team from his local church representing All Children's Hospital.
"We are excited to have my bass fishing friends join us for this great event," said Melvin. "Brent is going to co-host the TV show we are producing along with Carlton Wing, while Aaron, Randy and Bobby are going to help with interviews and the on-the-water reporting."
The tournament is a catch-and-immediate-release event with a goal of teaching kids the importance of goodwill, conservation and sportsmanship. The kids compete for prizes such as Apple iPads and GoPro action video cameras, while the captains compete for cash prizes.
For more information, go to www.GasparillaIslandKidsClassic.com.
Brandon Palaniuk hasn't had the season he was hoping for on the Bassmaster Elite Series. He's starting to like the PAA Series events, though.
After posting a 3rd-place finish at Douglas Lake in late March, he's off and running with the day-1 lead at the Ft. Loudon/Tellico PAA Series. His 20.51-pound stringer was the lone 20-pound bag of the day and has him ahead of 2nd-place James Watson (19.40) by a little more than a pound.
"I thought after practice that if I had a perfect day that I'd have a shot at 20 pounds," Palaniuk said. "Everything had to go right and everything did. I had three 5-pounders and two 2 1/2-pounders. To catch three 5-pounders on that system is dang impressive. There's just not a lot of them. I thought I could catch 20, but I didn't think I'd do it with three 5-pounders."
The weather was cloudy most of the day with a bit a breeze as the anglers dealt with dirtier, colder water following the rains the fell during the final 2 days of practice. He said his weigh fish came on five separate baits.
"The conditions changed a little bit today so I switched up from what I was doing in practice," he said. "There wasn't a period of time that seemed to be better than any other.
"I think the whole lake is spread out in terms of what the fish are doing. I think the fish are as lost as we are. This year, everywhere we go, it seems like the fish don't know what they're doing just as much as we do. They don't know if they want to be up shallow or out deep. I'm going to have work hard to catch another 20-pound bag. I think it's possible, but I don't think it's likely."
Tommy Brown is 3rd with 19.27, followed by Whitney Stephens, who has 17.26 in 4th. Wesley Strader rounded out the Top 5 with 14.55.
For complete day-1 standings, click here.
Sportsman Channel will launch outdoor TV’s first-ever live on-air social media feed that will populate with viewers’ Memorial Day dedication messages from Twitter using #SPORTSMANHEROES.
The content will stream on-air live via ticker throughout the network’s 8-hour long NRA Guns & Gold Marathon, which celebrates “Firearms & Freedom,” beginning at 5pm ET/PT on Monday, May 27.
“Because social media has become an everyday platform for many consumers, and complements the TV viewing experience, we wanted to use Twitter to do something unique that allowed our viewers to voice their own tributes and dedications this Memorial Day,” said Gavin Harvey, president and CEO of Sportsman Channel. “This allows our viewers to celebrate and honor memories and loved ones while allowing us to continue to innovate across multiple platforms to provide viewers a more compelling and engaging experience.”
Sportsman Channel will kick-off the ticker content with the first dedication: "Sportsman salutes America's #SPORTSMANHEROES. We appreciate and honor you this Memorial Day and every day!”
When a tournament pro says he caught his fish on a particular brand of bait, do you always believe him? The line between public credibility and appeasing sponsors is a blurry one, indeed, writes Joe Balog in his latest edition of Balog's Bass War.
To read Balog's latest column, click here.
With Father's Day fast approaching, the staff of BassFan has put together a gift guide to help you find just the right gift for the bass-fishing dad in your life. From baits to rods and everything in between, anything on this list beats a necktie or a pair of slippers.
To check it out, click here.
Edwin Evers, winner of the most recent Bassmaster Elite Series event at the Alabama River and the leader in the Angler of the Year race, has climbed to the top of the BassFan World Rankings presented by Livingston Lures. He holds an edge of a little more than 3 points over Todd Faircloth, who held the top slot earlier this year, with previous No. 1 Jason Christie dropping to 3rd.
To see the full list, click here.
David Fritts figures he could've weighed in at least a 22-pound stringer on the final day of practice for the Lake Eufaula FLW Tour last week.
"It was one of those deals where you could almost call your shot," he said, adding he shook off numerous other good fish.
Then came the off day, which brought with it stable, hot weather.
"The water went from 70 to 78 and it went from cool to quite hot," he said. "There were just a lot of change in conditions."
By the time he started the tournament on Thursday, he realized the fish he was peppering just 2 days prior had checked out. He struggled most of the day, but managed a limit for 9-03, which had him in 84th place.
"I really expected to catch 20 pounds a day," he said. "That's sort of how practice was. I was catching in the mid-range depths from 6 to 8 feet with some in 10 feet. I really thought they wouldn't move, but amazingly, I think they started heading in.
"Toward the end of day 1, I was near the end of my rotation and I started catching them, but it was a terrible day. Nothing went right."
He started day 2 where he finished day 1 and caught a 6-pounder right away that paved the way for an 18-12 bag that earned him the 20th and final spot for day 3. He also benefited from some water being moved through the dam, which created just enough current to position the fish.
"I just reversed my game plan and it worked out," he added. "Most of the places they come to after they spawn, they were gone, but I'd found a couple places that still had fish. You had to cover a lot of water fast and if you made a few casts and didn't get bit, you might as well leave."
He slid up to 10th on day 3 with a 14-04 bag and eventually finished 9th, an overall jump of 75 spots, despite having three fish on day 4.
"The last day, I had an opportunity to have a decent bag, but I lost a 4-pounder and stuck another one that I never did see," he said. "I think I had an opportunity to get in the Top 5 if I'd caught both of those fish."
He said if he hadn't misjudged the fish that he caught during practice, he might've contended for his second Tour win at Eufaula.
"That blew me away," he said. "If the fish are in a ditch in 8 feet and you can throw in there and get three or four bites, there's no reason why should move that much, especially in one day. The reason I know is because Justin Lucas caught a bunch up on the bank not far from where that ditch led to.
"I know that lake real well because I've fished it for 30 years. I know where a lot of cover is anywhere from 3 to 20 feet and that helped me a lot. I just kept adjusting and doing things different. I was probably pretty fortunate to get to where I got. If they had moved water like they should've instead of leaving the lake 6 inches high, I might've had a better opportunity, but in order to win one of these, you have to have everything go right."
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.
There's really nothing strategy-wise Andy Morgan would've changed at Lake Eufaula. Execution? Sure, he'd like to have a few moments to do over again.
"I had the bites (on Saturday) to make the (Top-10) cut," he said. "Looking back, I land one of those, I make the cut."
Instead, he settled for 11th, his third Top-15 result of the season and a good bounce-back effort after a 68th at Beaver Lake last month.
"I was throwing a swimjig around and had really counted on the morning bite to catch a couple good ones," he said, referring to day 3. "They'd come up and blow it out of the water and snap the claws off my trailer. I just didn't hook one."
He never got onto a wad of fish during the tournament – he maxed out at nine bites on day 1, four on day 2 and five on day 3 – and also couldn't connect with any kicker-quality specimens.
"That water came up a bit Saturday," he said. "It looked perfect and it was rainy and stormy, but it just never materialized for me. I thought I was fixing to mop up. It was strange. I did catch two on a spinnerbait on day 3 so I guess the only thing I might've changed would've been to throw that a little longer."
He'll head to Grand Lake next month in 2nd place in the Angler of the Year points, a position he never expected to be in.
"Other than Beaver, I'm just surprised," he said. "As good as Brent (Ehrler) is, I'm surprised he stumbled (at Eufaula). It's nice to be in contention because I thought I had no chance."
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.
Sunline has added a colorful twist to its best-selling product.
The Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon line is a proven winner at the tournament level and Sunline is now offering the product in a natural green color. BassFans can expect the same great performance – high abrasion resistance, low memory, long life and uniform line diameter. The green tint will give anglers better visibility of the line when fishing ultra-clear water conditions.
It's currently available in 7-pound test up to 20-pound test. To learn more, click here.
Jim Moulton weighed a 14-07 sack on Saturday to win the California Delta Western EverStart with a 3-day total of 59-13.
“This was so much fun!” Moulton exclaimed about his first FLW win. “I just had a great week and can’t express how happy I am.
“I had a great pre-practice, found a lot of fish and had marked a lot of places. But then on the first day, everywhere I went there was a boat. I was scratching my head, because every spot I had marked was taken, so I had to figure something else out.
He opted to move away from the bank and fish to the rear of the other boats.
" I moved about 25 to 30 feet off the bank, targeting grass. It was a grind, though. I only had one or two fish by noon each day. As the tide went out in the afternoon it started to push the fish off the banks and that’s when I started getting steady bites."
His primary baits were a Revenge Viberator bladed jig and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.
Below are the totals for the Top-10 finishers:
1. Jim Moulton: 59-13
2. Toshitada Suzuki: 57-02
3. Benjamin Boyd: 56-07
4. Stephen Tosh Jr.: 55-13
5. Miles Howe: 54-05
6. Timothy Venkus: 54-01
7. Jeff Michels: 50-15
8. Vu Au: 50-08
9. Sean Stafford: 48-01
10. Aaron Lesieur: 45-02
David Kilgore's final-day bag at the Logan Martin Bassmaster Southern Open was one fish short of a limit, but the 12-11 he took to the scale was enough to give him the victory Saturday with a 3-day total of 46-08.
Heavy rain that lasted through the night following day 2 muddied the lake and rendered many areas unfishable. Seven of the Top 12 still managed a limit, but none of those stringers outweighed Kilgore's four-fish haul as he outdistanced runner-up Greg Vinson by 5-09.
Kilgore's 1st-place prize package includes a berth in next year's Bassmaster Classic. He focused on docks in 10 to 15 feet of water where shad were spawning and threw a bladed jig. All but one of the fish he weighed were spotted bass.
Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.
Here are the totals for the anglers who advanced to the final day.
1. David Kilgore: 46-08
2. Greg Vinson: 40-15
3. David Walker: 40-11
4. Paul Elias: 38-09
5. Ott DeFoe: 37-13
6. Tim Hurst: 37-03
7. Michael Reid: 36-06
8. Hank Cherry: 36-02
9. Tim Frederick: 34-15
10. Alvin Shaw: 31-07
11. Chris Lane: 31-02
12. Bill Weidler: 29-09
Just in the last year and a half, BassFans have witnessed four of the biggest victory margins in FLW Tour history, including Randall Tharp's record 23 1/2-pound beatdown at the Lake Okeechobee Tour Open to kick off the 2012 season.
Randy Haynes added his name to the history books today with an 11-pound win at Lake Eufaula. It ranks as the eighth-largest winning margin and ran the total number of 10-pound wins to 12. Here's a rundown of the most lopsided wins in FLW Tour competition:
1. Randall Tharp: 23-09 (Lake Okeechobee – 2012)
2. Brett Hite: 20-04 (Lake Toho – 2008)
3. Paul Elias: 17-03 (Lake Guntersville – 2011)
4. Phil Marks: 16-05 (Sam Rayburn Reservoir – 2012)
5. Brent Ehrler: 13-02 (Table Rock Lake – 2010)
6. Ray Scheide: 13-00 (Lake Okeechobee – 2004)
7. Mark Rose: 12-10 (Wheeler Lake – 2012)
8. Randy Haynes: 11-00 (Lake Eufaula – 2013)
9. Chris Daniels: 10-12 (Lake Okeechobee – 1997)
10. Mike Wurm: 10-10 (Lake Murray – 1999)
11. Steve Kennedy: 10-01 (Kentucky Lake – 2003)
12. Jason Christie: 10-00 (Lake Hartwell – 2011)
Former FLW Tour pro Stephen "Bub" Tosh Jr. moved into the lead Friday at the California Delta Western EverStart as his 23-00 sack gave him a 2-day total of 48-04. He holds a lead of just under 2 pounds over Jim Moulton, who boated a day-best 26-02 for a 45-06 aggregate.
Western points leader Jeff Michels weighed more than 21 pounds for the second straight day and moved into 3rd with 43-01.
Here are the totals for the anglers who'll compete on day 3:
1. Stephen Tosh Jr.: 48-04
2. Jim Moulton: 45-06
3. Jeff Michels: 43-01
4. Toshitada Suzuki: 41-07
5. Vu Au: 39-08
6. Sean Stafford: 39-02
7. Benjamin Byrd: 38-13
8. Aaron Lesieur: 37-13
9. Miles Howe: 37-06
10. Timothy Venkus: 37-04
David Kilgore caught a 17-06 bag of spotted bass Friday to take over the lead at the Logan Martin Lake Bassmaster Southern Open with a 2-day total of 33-13. He supplanted Chris Lane in the top slot as the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion dropped to 5th with a 10-03 stringer.
“The morning bite was slow yesterday,” Kilgore said. “Today I had all the bass I weighed in by 7:30 (a.m.).”
Kilgore left his key areas after that and concentrated on largemouths. He caught five of those, but nothing big enough to cull anything from his initial limit. On day 3 Kilgore plans to hammer his best spotted-bass water all day.
Former FLW Tour pro Alvin Shaw jumped three spots to land in 2nd place with a 15-07 bag. He's fishing an area that he believes the spotted bass moved into during the high water of the previous week.
“They haven’t moved out yet,” he said. “I’m hoping they stay 1 more day.”
Here are the totals for the 12 anglers who'll be back on the water for day 3:
1. David Kilgore: 33-13
2. Alvin Shaw: 31-07
3. David Walker: 30-15
4. Tim Hurst: 29-14
5. Chris Lane: 28-13
6. Michael Reid: 28-08
7. Greg Vinson: 28-04
8. William Weidler: 27-12
9. Paul Elias: 27-11
10. Tim Frederick: 27-05
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits announced that it's added 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett to the company’s pro staff. He joines Larry Nixon and Jay Yelas as the third former Classic winner to sign with the company this year. In addition to the company’s soft plastics, Duckett will promote an additional line of products that will be introduced at this year’s ICAST show.
I have admired Boyd Duckett for many years,” said company founder Gary Yamamoto. “He’s a successful businessman of the highest integrity and he’s also extremely articulate and opinionated. Most importantly, though, he’s a proven winner at the highest levels of professional fishing.”
Said Duckett: “I don’t need to align myself with any company at this point in my career, but the opportunity to combine forces with Yamamoto was too great to pass up. I’ve used their soft plastics for years with great success, and when the new items come to market later this year I think that they will really turn some heads. I look forward to continuing to win high-level tournaments with these lures and feel that they give me a substantial edge over those anglers who don’t use them.”
Jason Christie had an April full of tournament success that was more like a dream than reality. In back-to-back weeks, the former college basketball player won two professional tournaments.
First he won the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake in Arkansas, then headed 120 miles east to Bull Shoals Reservoir and won the Bassmaster Elite Series event. His winnings totaled more than $225,000 in about 8 calendar days.
Thanks to BoatUS Angler’s “Weigh-to-Win” cash bonus program, Christie is still cashing-in. He picked up $500 for each of his professional victories to add an extra thousand bucks to his April to remember.
“To be honest, as a professional angler, any tournament bonus program gets my attention and the chance to win extra cash through Weigh-to-Win is the biggest reason I originally signed up for a membership with BoatUS Angler,” said Christie. “But the added benefit of knowing if I blow a trailer tire or have mechanical issues, that I can dial the toll-free number on this key chain and BoatUS will send somebody to help me fix it or get off the highway safely, is worth way more than the $38 it cost to sign-up.”
Simply said, it pays to buy a highly affordable BoatUS Angler membership regardless of which B.A.S.S., FLW, LBAA, College Bass or PAA events you compete in, especially when you’re registered for the “Weigh-to-Win” cash tournament bonus program. That’s why hundreds of anglers have already signed up.
To make sure you're eligible, just dial (918) 742-6424 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday. To learn more, click here.
The Mike Iaconelli-designed Berkley Havoc Devil Spear created some waves within the industry when it was released a couple of years ago due to its unique shape and multiple rigging options. Now the company has produced a smaller version that's suitable when the fish are a bit more finicky.
To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.
The California Delta kicked out 13 stringers that exceeded 20 pounds Thursday as the third Western EverStart Series of the season got under way.
Leading the way is Sean Stafford, who caught 28-12. He's 3 1/2 pounds clear of Stephen Tosh, Jr., who bagged 25-04. Miles Howe is 3rd with 23-15.
Here's how the Top 10 looked after day 1:
1. Sean Stafford: 28-12
2. Stephen Tosh Jr: 25-04
3. Miles Howe: 23-15
4. Benjamin Byrd: 23-09
5. Aaron Cole: 23-06
6. Vu Au: 23-04
7. Mike Saso: 23-01
8. Kent Brown: 21-12
9. Andy Scholz: 21-10
10. Bob Cepek: 21-05
In the newest BassFan "In The Boat" tip, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Jared Lintner talks about why he'll downsize his baits and tackle when targeting bedding bass.
To check out the video, click here.
By Todd Ceisner BassFan Editor Acting on a tip from a friend, Jim Moulton made a simple tackle change that wound up making a huge difference in his
By Todd Ceisner BassFan Editor Terry Butcher's house will need a new roof. His truck bed will likely have to be replaced. And he'll have to plant
By Todd Ceisner BassFan Editor David Kilgore has been tantalizingly close to a Bassmaster Classic berth in the past. Back in 2009, when the top