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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

  • Makeover for a Classic winner

    <b><font color=maroon>Makeover for a Classic winner</font></b>

    In creating the new Chigger Quad, Berkley's bait designers took the top features from the popular Chigger Craw and enhanced them to produce additional action. For instance, the new offering features curved pinchers, which adds liveliness as the bait falls through thick cover.

    To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Balog: St. Clair's good, but No. 1?

    You won't hear Joe Balog say a bad word about Lake St. Clair. It's his home waters and he knows it better than just about anyone. But is it the No. 1 bass fishing lake in America, as Bassmaster Magazine recently proclaimed?

    To read what Balog has to say about it in his latest Balog's Bass War, click here.

  • Fish Falcon with Combs

    Fish Falcon with Combs

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Keith Combs and BLV Enterprises are hosting the 2nd annual KC's Bar Crappie and Bass Tournaments at Lake Texana on Saturday, June 1.

    A raffle drawing will be held after the event and features a grand prize of a trip to Lake Falcon with Combs. The trip includes $500 for travel expenses and a guided trip with this year's Falcon Lake Elite Series winner.

    "Falcon is the greatest bass fishing lake in the world and anyone from a beginning angler to a regional pro would love a day on the water at Lake Falcon," Combs said.

    All proceeds from the event and the raffle associated with the event will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

    "We have a lot of fun at the event and it's great for the town of Ganado, Texas, but most importantly we are raising money for an outstanding group of people," said Brian Vonderau of BLV Enterprises. "The Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization helping amazing people and any amount that we can contribute to that we are thrilled to do so."

    To learn more, visit or

  • Bench to speak at ICAST

    Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench will be the keynote speaker at the State of the Industry Breakfast at ICAST this year, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) announced today.

    The breakfast event marks the show’s opening and will be held on Wednesday, July 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    Bench was a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Most Valuable Player as one of the key cogs for the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s.

    “We’re delighted to host Johnny Bench as our keynote speaker during Wednesday morning’s State of the Industry Breakfast,” said ASA president and CEO Mike Nussman. “Johnny’s said that he wanted to play major league baseball since he was 4 years old. By keeping his eye on the ball, he not only achieved his dream but ultimately became a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His message of dreaming big and following through on your goals is a great way to kick off this year’s show.”

  • Kriet's shaky-head setup

    Kriet's shaky-head setup

    Jeff Kriet makes no bones about it: He loves to finesse fish. In the newest BassFan In The Boat feature, the Bassmaster Elite Series pro tells us about his preferred shaky-head setup for this time of year.

    To see Kriet's breakdown, click here.

  • Report: Proposed bill could hurt NY tourism

    One western New York lawmaker is concerned that a piece of legislation that has passed the state Assembly and is currently in front of the state Senate could have a negative impact on fishing tourism in the region he represents.

    According to an article published in the May 25 edition of the Dunkirk (N.Y.) Observer, assemblyman Andrew Goodell (R-Chautauqua) said, if signed into law, the bill would require all boaters to pass a boater safety course in New York before being allowed on state waters. Courses from other states would not be grandfathered in under the new legislation, according to the report.

    "It would basically shut down all of our fishing tournaments and other boating activities that involve experienced boaters from outside New York state," Goodell told the Observer. "If that bill were to ever become law and we would have a fishing tournament, people who are very capable and experienced boaters from Ohio and Pennsylvania would come here. Unless they took the written safety course, we would arrest them when they went out on the lake."

    To read the full report, click here.

  • Final-day rally key to Bethel's ACA title

    At last year's BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, Bethel University's Matt Roberts and Zack Parker finished a distant 10th, more than 15 pounds behind the winning North Carolina State team of Ben Dziwdulski and Ethan Cox.

    This year, anything short of victory would've been considered a failure in their eyes.

    Seizing on Roberts' ledge-fishing pedigree to work over schools of post-spawners at Lake Pickwick, the pair pulled off a day-2 rally that carried them from 6th place to the win last week behind a tournament-best 25.88-pound stringer. Their day-2 bag was anchored by a 7.87-pound giant and their total haul of 46.76 pounds set the record for highest winning weight in the 7-year history of the Association of Collegiate Anglers national championship event. Tennessee Tech's Joe Slagle was 2nd for the second straight year.

    Both Roberts and Parker are closing in on degrees in pre-professional studies with an eye toward working in the healthcare industry, but a career in fishing doesn't sound too bad either.

    Here's the scoop on how they did it.

    In Their Words

    > Matt Roberts: "We had a real good event. It was our school's first national championship so it means a lot. Who knows? It could be a stepping stone to the next level. We fished the event last year around the same time and we knew what was going on – mostly post-spawn. This year, though, it seems like everything has been happening later, but we knew it'd be won offshore. Last year, we'd found 20 to 25 schools of fish, but just couldn't get the big ones to bite. This year, we had only 12 to 15, but we knew those schools were capable of producing a 25-pound bag. The first day, we kept saying that we were missing that one big bite. On the second day we got it."

    > Zack Parker: "We came in 10th last year so we came into this one going for the win. We weren't settling for 2nd by no means. We were going to try to catch big fish because we knew a limit wasn't going to cut it. All practice, all we did was look for big ones. We must've spent 25 hours during practice and the tournament using our electronics to find the fish. We'd make a few casts and see how many were there and get an idea for how big they were.

    "My experience on the Tennessee River gave us a huge advantage I think. It's all I like to do is fish offshore. If I'm in less than 20 feet of water, that's not my style. I love sitting in 25 feet and throwing a crankbait or swimbait or jig and catch them that way. Kentucky Lake and Pickwick fish pretty similar to each other and you could tell from the standings that the Tennessee River guys stood out."

    3 Keys To Victory

    > "Throwing the Strike King swimbait," Roberts said. "It's how we got the big bites."

    > "Lining up at the right angle on those schools that we knew had big fish in them," Roberts said. "We would hit them at different angles, but there was one cast you could make that would make them bite."

    > "Our philosophy was we had those 12 schools, but we had narrowed it down to five," Parker said. "We wouldn't sit on a school for more than 15 minutes. There are always fish biting somewhere and we knew if we pulled up on one of those schools at the right time, we could catch 25 pounds like it was nothing. It was a big timing deal and if I got one to bite and Matt's lure was right there, he'd get bit and we'd double up."

    Winning Gear Notes

    > Swimbait gear: 7'6" medium-heavy Kistler casting rods, Lew's casting reels, 15- and 17-pound Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line, 3/4-ounce Buckeye J-Will swimbait head, 5 1/2" Strike King Shadalicious swimbait (ayu).

    > Parker also caught a couple key weigh fish on the Strike King 10XD crankbait despite struggling with it during practice.

    > Roberts said they had two retrieves for the swimbait – stroke it like a jig to trigger the suspended fish in 18 to 25 feet or let it hit bottom and bring it back slowly for more bottom-oriented swimmers.

    The Bottom Line

    > Main Factor In Their Success – “My partner Zack grew up on Kentucky Lake so he's used to fishing ledges," Roberts said. "I'm used to knee-deep water on the Mississippi River so we have a good combination of skills even though our strengths are different. I've learned a lot about ledge fishing from him over the last 3 years and that's made us a good team."

    > Performance Edge – "Any time you're on Tennessee River, the better you are with electronics, the better you're going to catch them and the more fish you'll find," Parker said. "The Lowrance HDS-10 and 12 units I have are the best there is with the side-imaging."

    > For complete results, click here.

  • Pierre next stop for Berkley trailer

    Pierre next stop for Berkley trailer

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Lynn's Dakotamart in Pierre, S.D. from June 7-9. The 60-foot trailer provides fun and fishing education to all levels of anglers.

    The trailer features updated videos, interactive product demos, contests and the popular knot-tying seminars to help ensure attendees do not lose that fish of a lifetime. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    “We are excited about having the Berkley Experience Trailer on the road, its 8th year, in 2013 and we have many new locations across the country”, said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "The Berkley Experience Trailer team is ready to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location. These include not only line and bait, but rods, reels and combos.

    The store is located at 120 W. Sioux Ave. The phone number is (605) 224-8871.

    Upcoming stops are scheduled for Denny Davis Sporting Goods in Fenton, Mo. (June 13-15) and Gander Mountain in La Crosse, Wis. (June 21-23).

  • Plano to sponsor Elite Series finale

    Plano to sponsor Elite Series finale

    B.A.S.S. announced today that tackle storage giant Plano Molding Co. has signed on as the title sponsor for the final event of the Bassmaster Elite Series this season.

    The Plano Championship Chase on Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River will take place Aug. 22-25 out of Detroit, Mich.

    “We are proud that Plano decided to play a central role in our Elite Series season finale,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “The B.A.S.S.-Plano relationship goes back many years. This, our newest endeavor together, enriches that valued partnership.”

    Plano, based in Plano, Ill., wanted to partner with B.A.S.S. to be the title sponsor for several very good reasons, said Jesse Simpkins, Plano's senior vice president for sales and marketing. One reason: The Plano Championship Chase will feature the crowning of the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

    “Top pros, including our own Kevin VanDam, will be driving toward the goal of being the Angler of the Year, a title that rivals the Bassmaster Classic as the most coveted title in all of bass fishing,” Simpkins said.

  • Hollowell's rigs on display at Indy

    Hollowell's rigs on display at Indy

    Red Gold Inc., the primary sponsor of Indiana FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell, announced that Hollowell's wrapped boat and truck will be on display at gate 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through Memorial Day. It'll be parked at the gate during the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, which takes place Sunday.

  • Brown's two-fish bag enough to seal PAA win

    Brown's two-fish bag enough to seal PAA win

    Tommy Brown weighed just two fish on the final day of the Fort Loudon-Tellico PAA Tournament Series, but he nonetheless closed out the biggest win of his career. Brown, who held a 10-pound lead after day 2, scaled 5.46 pounds on day 3 to prevail with a 47.36 total.

    His winning margin over fellow Louisville, Tenn. resident Chris Whitson was a little more than 2 1/2 pounds. Whitson's 17.97 stringer was the best of the final day and he finished with 44.81.

    Tennesseans claimed four of the Top-5 slots, as Wesley Strader was 3rd with 42.88 and Joe Lee 5th with 36.48. Missouri's James Watson was 4th with 36.91.

    Details of Brown's winning pattern will be published soon.

    For full results, click here.

  • Brown leads by 10-plus at Ft. Loudon/Tellico

    Brown leads by 10-plus at Ft. Loudon/Tellico

    It's been a dream of Tommy Brown's to make a go of fishing professionally. Family and career obligations have always come first, though.

    This week, however, Brown's fantasy has become reality – on his home lake no less – and things are going better than he could've ever imagined.

    After starting strong with a 19.27-pound stringer on day 1, he broke through with a tournament-best 22.63 today and opened up a 10-pound lead after 2 days of the Ft. Loudon/Tellico PAA Series.

    "It was one of those things where it seemed like everything was meant to be," Brown said. "I couldn't have scripted it any better."

    His 41.90 total so far is 10.09 pounds ahead of James Watson, who caught 12.41 today and has 31.81 overall. Day-1 leader Brandon Palaniuk slipped to 3rd after bagging 11.24, which gave him a 31.75 total.

    Brown's local knowledge has come in handy this week. He's been starting his mornings in areas that typically hold smallmouths this time of year. His challenge today was battling a swift current and stiff winds.

    "I had to really buckle down to catch some smallmouth there and wound up catching four, including two good ones," he said. "I gave myself a 10 a.m. cutoff for that spot regardless of what I caught. After that I went to my largemouth hole where I'd caught a lot of 2 1/2-pounders yesterday."

    His first fish off that spot today was a 5-pounder and he followed that up with a 4 1/2-pounder. He then went after a fish he missed yesterday that was holed up in a bush and connected with it.

    "Those were my first five keepers and by 11, I had the weight I brought in," he said. "It's a funny kind of lake. You can catch 20 pounds one day and the next you might not catch a fish.

    "With the current being what it was this morning, I felt blessed to get two of them."

    The forecast for the region is calling for a possible record low temperature tonight as the mercury is expected to drop into the mid 40s. It's expected to be mostly sunny with highs in the mid 70s for the final day of competition, which will feature the Top 15.

    "I'm going to follow the exact same track I followed today," Brown said. "I have another half dozen places that are post-spawn type situations that hold good fish that I haven't touched.

    "For as long as I can remember, all I've ever wanted to do is fish. I really believed that was what I was going to end up doing for a living. It's a 24/7 thing for me. I can't get it off my brain and to win this would be a dream come true for me."

    For complete day-2 standings, click here.

  • Martin adds All 1 Service

    Martin adds All 1 Service

    FLW Tour pro Scott Martin has signed an endorsement agreement with Georgia-based All 1 Service, Inc., a facilities maintenance company. It's owned by Tony Dumitras, who's a Tour rookie this year.

    "I'm very excited and proud to help represent All 1 Service, Inc. with fellow pro Mark Rose," Martin said. "The diversity and quality speaks volumes about the company. Tony Dumitras' values line up perfect with myself and my family. I look forward to helping brand All 1 Service, Inc. for many years."

  • B.A.S.S. sheds five staffers

    B.A.S.S. sheds five staffers

    Five employees of B.A.S.S. have been given notice they will be let go by the company under a restructuring plan, a company executive told BassFan today.

    Dave Precht, vice president of publications and communications for B.A.S.S., confirmed the layoffs will affect various departments, but declined to identify those affected. He said the individuals affected are being kept on for a transitional period.

    "We've moved some people around and given notice to some people that are currently on staff," Precht said. "We underwent a restructuring of the company and we aligned some of the jobs that were held by people up until now and divided up some duties. We're not changing what the company does, but we have to be able to adapt to the current business climate.

    "It's something that companies do from time to time. Until now, there had been no changes since the new owners took over (in 2010)."

    There were rumors that B.A.S.S. Nation director Don Corkran had been among those let go, but he told BassFan today that he has not been removed from his post.

    "I can confirm to you that I am still employed as the B.A.S.S. Nation director," he said.

  • Smooth and strong

    <b><font color=maroon>Smooth and strong</font></b>

    Just about all braided lines will deliver the strength that tournament anglers demand, but not all of them are easy to handle. The new Berkley Trilene Braid is a winner on both counts and worthy of taking its place alongside Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and Trilene XT in the company's professional-grade lineup.

    To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Moulton mined what others missed

    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.

  • Raymarine adds four tour pros to staff

    Raymarine adds four tour pros to staff

    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."

  • Several pros to aid with kids' tarpon event

    Several pros to aid with kids' tarpon event

    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

  • 'Perfect day' has Palaniuk out front at Ft. Loudon/Tellico

    'Perfect day' has Palaniuk out front at Ft. Loudon/Tellico

    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.

  • Memorial Day dedications will be streamed live

    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!”

  • Balog: Where's the credibility?

    Balog: Where's the credibility?

    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.

  • Father's Day Gift Guide

    <B><font color=red>Father's Day Gift Guide</font color></b>

    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.

  • Rankings: Evers ascends

    Rankings: Evers ascends

    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.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – Lake Eufaula

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – Lake Eufaula</font></b>

    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.

  • Big Bite Lookback – Lake Eufaula

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – Lake Eufaula</font></b>

    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.

  • Sniper's gone green

    Sniper's gone green

    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.

  • Moulton prevails at Cal Delta

    Moulton prevails at Cal Delta

    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

  • Kilgore hangs on to win at Logan Martin

    Kilgore hangs on to win at Logan Martin

    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

  • Another FLW blowout

    Another FLW blowout

    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)

  • Tosh sacks 23 to grab Cal Delta lead

    Tosh sacks 23 to grab Cal Delta lead

    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

  • Kilgore moves to top at Logan Martin

    Kilgore moves to top at Logan Martin

    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

  • Yamamoto signs another Classic champ

    Yamamoto signs another Classic champ

    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.”

  • Christie doubles up on Weigh to Win bonuses

    Christie doubles up on Weigh to Win bonuses

    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.

  • A tricky little Devil

    <b><font color=maroon>A tricky little Devil</font></b>

    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.

  • Stafford's 28-12 leads at Cal Delta

    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 Boat: Don't be afraid to downsize

    In The Boat: Don't be afraid to downsize

    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.

  • Lane early leader at Logan Martin

    Chris Lane was the lone angler to catch 18 pounds today as the Logan Martin Lake Southern Open got under way.

    Lane's 18-10 stringer was good enough for a 2-plus pound lead over David Kilgore, who caught 16-07. Stephen Browning, who won the Red River Central Open a few weeks ago, is tied for 3rd with Alvin Shaw after both bagged 16-00. Ott DeFoe is 5th with 15-12.

    Here's how the Top 12 aligned after day 1:

    1. Chris Lane: 18-10
    2. David Kilgore: 16-07
    3 (tie). Stephen Browning: 16-00
    3 (tie). Alvin Shaw: 16-00
    5. Ott DeFoe: 15-12
    6. Patrick Pierce: 15-03
    7. Mike Garrett: 15-03
    8 (tie). Michael Reid: 15-01
    8 (tie). William Weidler: 15-01
    10. Tim Hurst: 15-00
    11. Greg Vinson: 14-15
    12. James Cross: 14-14

  • Crews' autism jersey on auction block

    The specially-designed jersey worn by John Crews during the month of April to raise awareness about autism is now on the auction block.

    The jersey, which features colorful interlocking puzzle pieces, a symbol for autism, has been signed by Crews and is up for bid on eBay (click here).

    The entire amount of the winning bid will be donated to Autism Speaks, a national autism organization.

    "The jersey has gotten a lot of interest and created a lot of positive feedback," Crews said. "The purpose of creating awareness for autism definitely was done. Now it is time to generate as much money as we can to donate to autism. (Bassmaster emcee) Dave Mercer wants to start the bidding on the jersey so people will likely have to outbid him.”

    Also, Crews' Missile Baits company will be donating $522.53 to the Commonwealth Autism Service, which helps train people on how to educate children with autism. This figure was based on a percentage of all Missile Baits sales during the month of April.

    A t-shirt sale is also ongoing in an effort to raise funds for The Autism Society. The shirts are adorned with the phrase "Fishin' With a Mission," and feature the logo of My Little Buddy's Boat. Only 50 shirts were made and they are available through the Missile Baits web site.

  • Balog: Wheeler an interesting study

    Balog: Wheeler an interesting study

    Joe Balog didn't know a lot about Jacob Wheeler's background until he got the opportunity to spend some time with the reigning Forrest Wood Cup champion recently. Much of what he learned surprised him greatly.

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

  • Sunline Strong Performer – Alabama River

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – Alabama River</font></b>

    A simple bait change or a move to a different area wasn't enough to save Clark Reehm at last week's Alabama River Bassmaster Elite Series. He needed to shift his focus to a different species of bass.

    After weighing 8-09 and sitting in 83rd place after day 1, he doubled up on his weight the following day to move up to 45th place and earn his fourth paycheck in five outings this season.

    "The difference from day 1 to day 2 was I went after largemouth on day 2," he said. "On the first day I chased after spotted bass, and that all stemmed from practice. I caught a 4-pound-plus spot, which was my biggest one ever, and I let that mess with my head.

    "On day 1 I was leap-frogging in the river with guys like Skeet, KVD and Ike, guys who caught them, but I wasn't getting the quality. I don't know if my timing was off or what."

    With nothing to lose on day 2, he opted to pursue green fish, which were basically ignored throughout the event because the big spots were chomping in the rampaging rivers.

    He threw a DUO Realis Popper 64 topwater in grass and lily pads and pitched a Kicker Fish Hightail Lizard around trees to catch his 17-pound stringer. He said he should've backed up that bag with another strong weight on day 3, when he managed just 9-01 and fell one place to finish 46th.

    "I should've had 14 or 15 pounds that day, but I didn't put the bites in the boat."

    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.

  • Still time to make TTBC

    In the YouTube video embedded below, Mike McClelland reminds fellow pro anglers that they can still qualify for the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic via the PAA Tournament Series – even if they missed the opener at Douglas Lake.

    One finish out of four will be thrown out in determining TTBC qualifiers, so anglers who fish at Fort Loudoun/Tellico (May 23-25), Table Rock (Sept. 5-7) and Grand (Nov. 8-10) still have a shot.

  • T-H Marine buys Oxygenator, U2 Pro Formula brands

    T-H Marine Supplies today announced it has acquired the Oxygenator and U2 Pro Formula product line assets of O2 Marine Technologies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    “We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of the O2 Marine product line assets," said Jeff Huntley, T-H Marine president and CEO. "We have admired the work of Dennis Clark and the O2 Marine team for many years and are proud to be able to add their great products to ours. Dennis has worked hard building this business from scratch and we are thankful he is going to help us insure a smooth transition for our mutual customers.”

    Huntley noted that T-H Marine and O2 Marine have had many common customers and have both worked to improve survival of bait and sport fish in the recreational marine business for many years.

    “I am very pleased that I am able to hand off these great fishing and conservation products to T-H Marine," said Dennis Clark, president of O2 Marine. "I know my many years of research and development in building these products and this business will be carried on with the T-H Marine team."

  • Ingram says hype unwarranted this week

    Ingram says hype unwarranted this week

    One angler who's generated a fair amount of buzz heading into the Lake Eufaula FLW Tour is Ryan Ingram.

    You won't find his name anywhere in the Angler of the Year standings because he hasn't fished a Tour event this year, or ever, but the chatter amongst other anglers this week and even locals who know the ins and outs of Eufaula indicate he's the odds-on favorite heading into the first Tour event on the Chattahoochee River impoundment since 1997.

    He's the definition of a decorated local angler with a half-dozen wins at Eufaula combined in FLW and B.A.S.S. competition. The Phenix City, Ala., native paid the deposits to fish all six Tour events with the intention of only fishing the Eufaula tournament.

    "I was going to fish this tournament and maybe one other one, but probably just this one," he said, "which I think they're frowning upon now."

    Asked if he meant FLW or other anglers, he said, "I think it's a little bit of both, but it's per their rules. The rules say if you pay your money, you can fish one of them or all of them."

    He said he should be the least of everyone's worries this week as he called his practice session "terrible," and he guesses he'd have a difficult time catching a limit if the tournament were to start today.

    "Little do they know they don't have much to worry about with me," he said. "I didn't catch them at all. The water's 2 1/2 feet higher than it usually is, the water's 12 degrees cooler than it normally is and the shad are still spawning a month later than usual. I'll have been lucky to catch a limit, let alone a big limit.

    "It's so far from ideal it's awful for me. I'm trying to make the fish be somewhere they're not. I'm not a good shallow-water fisherman and I don't practice that way. I guess the egg's on my face this time."

    He said he'd much rather be targeting shallow ledges this time of year and maybe some brush piles, of which he's said to have planted hundreds around the lake, but that's more of an early-spring pattern.

    "That's a March and April deal to win on," he said. "If the shallow fish turn on like I'm scared they are going to with the water stabilizing and the temperatures warming up and the south wind, which is always better for shallow fishing, it doesn't look good at all for me. As bad as they want me out of this tournament, I wish someone would walk down this dock right now and offer to buy me out. I'd come real cheap."

  • Big Bite Lookback – Alabama River

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – Alabama River</font></b>

    A couple of fish that never made it into the boat on day 3 cost Jared Miller an opportunity to advance to the final day of the Alabama River Bassmaster Elite Series. The second-year pro's 13th-place showing was nonetheless his best to date and marked the third time he's finished in the money this year after cashing just one paycheck during his rookie campaign.

    He spent the tournament upriver near the Jordan Dam. Third-place finisher Steve Kennedy was within sight most of the time and runner-up Brent Chapman was about a half-mile downstream.

    He missed out on advancing to the final day by a little over a pound.

    "I lost a 4-pounder (on day 3) and I broke one off that I never saw," he said. "I caught about 20 drum a day the first 2 days, but none that day after the water went down, so I don't think (the fish that broke off) was a drum."

    Like Chapman and Kennedy, he threw a big spinnerbait and a swimbait attached to a jighead. Fellow Oklahoman Kenyon Hill, who won a Bassmaster Tour event on the Alabama in 2003, clued him in on what he needed to be doing.

    "I was throwing the spinnerbait on 50-pound braid. I was throwing it on 25, but I figured that the current was so strong it didn't matter."

    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.

  • Vision 110 family welcomes Jr. version

    Vision 110 family welcomes Jr. version

    The reputation of the Megabass Ito Vision 110 family of jerkbaits is well-deserved and for some anglers it's unmatched. It's long been a standard for anglers looking to fool pressured bass with its tantalizing roll and erractic darting action. Well, the family just welcomed a new addition in the form of the Vision 110 Jr.

    The scaled-down version measures 3.85" and weighs in at 3/8 ounce, making it about a half-inch shorter and 1/8 ounce lighter than the regular Vision 110. Armed with the multi-way moving balancer system, it still produces long-distance casts despite its petite footprint and will be a deadly bait for fish that are keying on smaller forage.

    In this latest BassFan "In The Boat" feature, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Aaron Martens talks about when the 110 Jr. is a useful tool and even shows off its castability.

  • Taylor didn't see rally coming

    Rick Taylor had not been able to fish any of the first three Southeast EverStart Series tournaments this season due to various personal reasons. He finally got a chance to compete last week at Wheeler Lake and put on a memorable final-day rally that saw him erase a 5 1/2-pound deficit and come from 10th place to capture the victory.

    To read about how the Michigan native pulled it off, click here.

  • So-so start at Eufaula

    Jay Yelas has fished several tournaments at Lake Eufaula in Alabama. He said you wouldn't have known it from how his first day of practice went today for this week's FLW Tour event there. It was a struggle, to be sure. Meanwhile, Luke Clausen caught some fish, just not the quality he'd like to see in a few days once competition gets rolling.

    To check out their complete day-1 practice recaps in BassFan Pro View Reports, click here.

  • Herren was done early

    Herren was done early

    Matt Herren's miserable season took another bad turn Saturday when he incurred a zero on day 3 of the Alabama River Bassmaster Elite Series and finished in 50th place. He caught four keepers early in the day that combined to weigh about 10 pounds, but was forced to release them when his disabled boat could not be repaired about 30 miles downriver from the launch in Montgomery, Ala. and he had to have it towed to the service trailer.

    "I hit a submerged floating log," he said Sunday morning. "Neither of us (he nor his marshal) even felt it, but it broke the strings in the water intakes. The service crew came down and we thought they were going to be able to fix it, but when they couldn't, it was too late to get a back-up boat.

    "The wood got sucked up in there and they couldn't get it out, so we had to go back to the service trailer. When that happens, you have to release your fish and restart your day and all that, and there wasn't time to do that. It was just a bad deal.

    "If it'd been a hard log, it probably would've just deflected and everything would've been okay," he continued. "But it was one of those soft, mushy, rotten things and it just exploded."

    The veteran from Trussville, Ala. has made the 50-cut just twice in five events this year and has yet to log a finish better than 46th.

    "I could write a book on the (bad) things that've happened this year. To top it off, I got home last night and went to get something to drink and the refrigerator had quit working. I mean, give me a break!"

  • Taylor rallies for Wheeler EverStart win

    Taylor rallies for Wheeler EverStart win

    Rick Taylor began the final day of the Wheeler Lake Southeast EverStart in 10th place, just about 5 1/2 pounds behind leader Brian Merriman.

    He ended the day by celebrating his first FLW victory after weighing a final day-best 21-12 to finish with 57-09.

    “That’s a good day of fishing,” Taylor said afterward.

    The former Tour pro from West Olive, Mich., beat J.T. Kenney by more than 2 1/2 pounds for the win. Kenney closed with 54-14 while Jeff Fitts wound up 3rd with 54-11. Merriman, who led after the first 2 days, slipped to 7th in the final standings.

    Taylor said the strong current moving through the lake this week was pivotal to his success.

    “I really didn’t think I would be able to overcome a 6-pound deficit, I didn’t think there was a snowballs chance that I would win today," he said. "Remarkably I did."

    Here's how the Top 10 shook out at the end:

    1. Rick Taylor: 57-09
    2. J.T. Kenney: 54-14
    3. Jeff Fitts: 54-11
    4. Jordan Lee: 54-08
    5. Koby Kreiger: 54-05
    6. Chad Aaron: 51-10
    7. Brian Merriman: 51-07
    8. William Davis: 50-14
    9. Josh Dorr: 48-12
    10. Eddie Jewell: 48-03

  • Berkley trailer to Sioux Falls

    Berkley trailer to Sioux Falls

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Scheels in Sioux Falls, S.D. from May 17-19. The 60-foot trailer provides fun and fishing education to all levels of anglers.

    The trailer features updated videos, interactive product demos, contests and the popular knot-tying seminars to help ensure attendees do not lose that fish of a lifetime. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    “We are excited about having the Berkley Experience Trailer on the road, its 8th year, in 2013 and we have many new locations across the country”, said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "The Berkley Experience Trailer team is ready to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location. These include not only line and bait, but rods, reels and combos.

    The store is located at 2101 W. 41st St., No. 25A. The phone number is (605) 334-7767.

    Upcoming stops are scheduled for Dakota Mart in Pierre, S.D. (June 6-9) and Denny Davis Sporting Goods in Fenton, Mo. (June 13-15).

  • A non-conformist worm

    <b><font color=maroon>A non-conformist worm</font></b>

    The action in most plastic worms is produced entirely by the tail, but the new Skeet Reese-designed Berkley Havoc Federale is different. It has a ribbed section on the upper portion of the body that allows it to gyrate across the bottom rather than just moving along.

    To learn more about it, click here to visit the Catch More Fish page.

  • Biffle and waterfalls don't mix

    Biffle and waterfalls don't mix

    (Day 1 of the Alabama River Elite Series was an adventure for Tommy Biffle, to say the least. The Oklahoman was 60th after catching 11-09, but that hardly tells the story of his day. Industry rep Alan McGuckin passed along this account of the lengths Biffle went to in order to access his fishing area and the troubles he encountered along the way.)

    Tommy Biffle finds his favorite music on a SiriusXM satellite radio station called “The Highway”. Found on Channel 59, they spin the latest country music. But it was TLC’s rhythm and blues hit “Waterfalls” that played heaviest in my mind as Biffle recounted his daredevil-like Day 1 at the Bassmaster Elite Series’ “Alabama River Charge.”

    The song “Waterfalls” spent seven weeks at No. 1 back in 1995, and its lyrics are a perfect fit for Biffle’s self-described James Bond-like tactics in a bass boat yesterday: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to.”

    Biffle ran an estimated 60 miles from launch yesterday, burned 46 gallons of gas, and attempted to climb-up over two shallow waterfalls in his Mercury powered Ranger bass boat.

    “I made it over the first waterfall, it was the second that got me,” lamented Biffle.

    At 10 a.m. Biffle was without a lower unit on his outboard.

    “The prop was still on there, but one big rock knocked the lower unit clean off,” said Biffle, showing a smartphone photo of the formerly destroyed part. “Jay Anderson and Andy Stallings (both well-respected marine service technicians) are the ones that deserve to be talked about, not me. Those two guys drove all the way up there to where I was stranded and put a new Mercury lower unit on so that I could get back to fishing."

    Ironically, there was a small boat ramp located barely above the waterfall where Alexander and Stallings gained access to Biffle. The ramp became the ‘service yard’. But with no outboard power, and a very fast running current, it was all Tommy could do to keep his boat from being swept over the falls.

    “Jay and Andy were hollering at me to not let it go over the falls,” said Biffle.

    With Jay and Andy’s skilled help, Biffle was able to continue fishing, but due to lost time, by noon, Biffle had only boated one small keeper. No surprise, a Quantum EXO 100 reel spooled with 25-pound Sunline fluorocarbon line, tied to the career-building jig that he's become famous for, salvaged four more keeper bites in short order and resulted in an 11 pound 9 ounce limit for the day.

    When asked his age, Biffle responded, “Uh 55, no maybe 54, old enough to know better, and too old to be jumping up over waterfalls.

    “I’m thinkin’ about shavin’ my head," he continued. "I’ve got three buddies my age that are all millionaires, and they’re all three bald. They spend their days goofin’ around, while I’m out here jumping over waterfalls in a bass boat to make a living.”

    Fact is, you don’t climb to the top of the charts as a pro angler without guts and competitive fire. Biffle may have a grey beard and stiffened body movements, but obviously, there’s still plenty of flame and fortitude.

    “My back hurts every day, but what hurts the most today is my butt from not catching them better," he said. "You do what you do. Another boy in the tournament made it over both those waterfalls, and he caught a 17-pound limit today.”

    In ironic, yet fitting, conclusion to the story of Biffle’s drive and desire, comes the next line of that famous TLC song from ’95 – “I know you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all. But I think that you’re moving too fast.”

  • In The Boat: Backlashes be gone

    No matter your experience level with baitcasting gear, backlashes are part of the game. In the first installment of BassFan's new "In The Boat" feature, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike McClelland shares a quick and effective way to save time on the water when your line snarls in the reel.

    To check it out, click here.

  • Balog: Money not the determining factor

    Balog: Money not the determining factor

    Is money the only thing standing between a lot of guys and bass-fishing superstardom? Not likely, writes Joe Balog. Even an unlimited supply of cash won't buy an angler what he needs to excel at the sport's top levels.

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

  • Big numbers at the Big O

    How fast can the action be when you get around a bunch of bass that are schooling on baitfish? As former tour pro and Lake Okeechobee guide Tom Mann Jr. demonstrates in the video embedded below, you can sometimes catch one on nearly every cast.

    Most of the fish are in the 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-pound class, but a much larger specimen makes an appearance at about the halfway mark.

  • Newtown benefit tournament draws 86

    Newtown benefit tournament draws 86

    The 26 Angels Foundation, formed to help residents of Newtown, Conn. in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, recently conducted a fund-raising bass tournament at Candlewood Lake. The event drew 86 competitors and more than 700 people overall, with all proceeds going to the foundation.

    For a report from the Danbury News-Times, click here.

  • MLF finale airs tonight

    MLF finale airs tonight

    The championship round of the Major League Fishing event from Florida's Lake Istokpoga will be broadcast at 9 o'clock ET tonight on the Outdoor Channel. The finalists are Brent Ehrler, Edwin Evers, Alton Jones, Ish Monroe, Takahiro Omori and Kevin VanDam.

  • Scatter Rap tweak

    FLW Tour angler Dave Lefebre has been putting the hammer to some Lake Erie smallmouth lately using the new Rapala Scatter Rap minnow.

    The unique lip design on this bait imparts an erratic, hunting action, but as Lefebre has learned there are tweaks an angler can make to give the bait additional action in the water.

    In this video posted on his YouTube page, Lefebre makes a slight adjustment and sees it pay off immediately.

  • B.A.S.S. moves launch due to high water

    B.A.S.S. moves launch due to high water

    B.A.S.S. announced today that it's moving the launch site for this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event at the Alabama River from the Riverfront in Montgomery to Cooter's Pond in Prattville due to high water that's continuing to rise.

    “It’s great being in Montgomery because we have such strong relationships here that the people involved were able to assist us with coming up with a plan as good as the original one in a matter of minutes,” said Eric Lopez, director of operations for B.A.S.S. “We appreciate the cooperative efforts of the City of Prattville and the City of Montgomery in facilitating this change.”

    Anglers will launch at 6:30 a.m. CT each day at Cooter’s Pond Boat Ramp, 1844 Cooter’s Pond Road, in Prattville. The weigh-ins, originally scheduled for the first 2 days at the Montgomery Riverfront Ampitheatre, will now be held each day beginning at 3:15 CT at the Riverfront Park Union Station Train Shed (300 Water St., Montgomery).

  • Cherry aligns with Reel Men Fishing Team

    Cherry aligns with Reel Men Fishing Team

    Bassmaster Elite Series angler Hank Cherry has agreed to represent the Reel Men Fishing Team by focusing on spreading the word about the organization and helping them raise money.

    The Reel Men Fishing Team is a non-profit organization made up of anglers and companies that are working to raise money for the families of fallen military personnel.

    "The U.S. special operation forces from all branches of the military are made up of amazing individuals, they are truly the best of the best in every aspect," Cherry said. "These men and women have not only signed up to defend our freedom, they've gone beyond that by volunteering to serve as part of our special operations forces. It's an honor and a privilege for me to help get the word out about the Reel Men Special Forces Fishing Team to help the families of true American heroes."

    The Reel Men Fishing Team is made up of a group of anglers, mostly active or retired Army Special Forces. They seek donations, from private parties and companies which are then distributed to charities in support of families of fallen military personnel.

    For more information, visit

  • New species: Choctaw bass

    If you've ever fished the coastal river systems in Alabama or the western Florida panhandle, you might've caught a Choctaw bass without knowing it. The species, discovered by wildlife scientists in Florida, appears almost identical to its close relative, the spotted bass, but carries a different DNA profile.

    To read more, click here.

  • Lane sets annual kids' fishing camp

    Lane sets annual kids' fishing camp

    Chris Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion, will conduct his 6th annual Reeling in Future Pros fishing camp on July 20 at Lake Guntersville.

    In addition to fishing with Lane, the day will feature seminars, hands-on stations, casting and fishing contests, take-home tackle kits, knot-tying, lunch and live music from country singer Rodney Clawson. The cost is $30 and participation is limited to the first 150 kids who sign up.

    To register, go to

  • Haynes hammered 'em

    Haynes hammered 'em

    First-year FLW Tour pro Randy Haynes, who lives along the shore of Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee side, cranked up nearly 80 pounds of fish over 3 days en route to winning last week's Central EverStart. He weighed a whopping 33-01 on the first day and led the rest of the way.

    To find out some of the specifics, click here.

  • PAA picks Grand Lake for fourth event

    PAA picks Grand Lake for fourth event

    The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) announced today the fourth event on its 2013 schedule will be held at Grand Lake in Grove, Okla., on Nov. 8-10.

    It will be the final qualifying event for the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic.

    “We are thrilled that the prestigious PAA will be coming to Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees and the new Wolf Creek Park Facility," said Tad Jones, executive director of the Grand Lake Association. "This event will bring more professional anglers and continued nationwide notoriety to the region."

    PAA president Dave Mansue said, “The PAA is excited to be heading back to Oklahoma for our first-ever event on Grand Lake. Known for its outstanding bass fishery, we could not ask for a better venue than Grand Lake to decide the final 15 anglers who will represent the PAA at the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork.

    "The City of Grove and Grand River Dam Authority have built a state-of-the-art facility at Wolf Creek Park and Boating Facility. We expect some great crowds to turn out to see their favorite PAA, Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour anglers competing there in November.”

    Due to a scheduling conflict at the Broken Arrow, Okla., Bass Pro Shops store, the competition days for this event will be Friday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 10 rather than a Thursday-Saturday schedule.

  • Sunline Strong Performer – West Point Lake

    <b><font color=green>Sunline Strong Performer – West Point Lake</font></b>

    Yusuke Miyazaki did not get off to the start he had hoped for or expected at the West Point Lake Bassmaster Elite Series.

    By the time it was over, though, he couldn't stop smiling or singing the praises of a trusted friend.

    After weighing two fish for 4-01 on day 1, he found himself in 90th place. It would've been easy for him to lose faith in his strategy considering he hadn't cashed a check in the first three events of the season. Instead, he put his head down and rallied 71 places to 19th by the end of day 3 when he caught 13-01, including a 6-10 behemoth.

    "I didn't make adjustments," he said. "I knew I could catch them, I just knew it. I could catch at least 10 pounds. The first day, it just didn't happen. I had such a good practice and to be in 90th after day 1, I was so disappointed."

    Like many of his competitors, he threw a topwater bait, but also mixed in a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits Senko. He said a conversation with Yamamoto himself before the tournament clued him into some rigging tips for the Senko, including the reverse Texas rig, which involves pushing a nail weight into the end of the bait.

    "He told me to try a smaller hook," he said. "He's taught me so much over the years. I owe him a lot."

    He had his most success fishing the backs of coves and pockets. His big fish on day 3 fell for the Senko.

    "I knew there were a couple of good ones in there, but I just got lucky," he said. "I didn't know a 6-pounder was there. I thought there was a 3 or 4 in there because 10 minutes before I'd lost a 3 1/2."

    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 – West Point Lake

    <b><font color=green>Big Bite Lookback – West Point Lake</font></b>

    Andy Montgomery did everything he could possibly do to put himself in position for a strong finish at the West Point Lake Elite Series. The only missing ingredient?

    "I just never got a 4- or 5-pound bite," he said. "It was a good week, but if you look at the guys in the Top 12, it's pretty safe to say they all caught at least one 4 or 5. I never caught anything over 2 1/2 pounds."

    He weighed 10-plus pounds on each of the first 2 days, but his weight slipped to 8-13 on Saturday, enough to keep him out of the final round by 3 ounces. He finished 13th with 29-06.

    After posting two finishes in the 80s earlier this year and missing a check in the first three events, he was still mostly pleased with the outcome, which was his best showing since finishing 6th at Douglas Lake last year.

    "I'm a little disappointed because anybody could've won that deal," he said. "I was only 4 pounds out of the lead (after day 3) and that's one bite there. If you caught a 5 there, you were culling a 1 1/4-pound spot. I'm disappointed because I thought I would've had as good a chance as anybody to win."

    The only thing he would've changed about his strategy was he might've slowed down on Saturday and flipped a little more. That's what other anglers around him were doing and it resulted in some big fish.

    His main pattern was targeting areas where shad were spawning and pulling a Strike King spinnerbait through them.

    "I dabbled in some pockets, but most everything I caught was off main-river or main-lake stuff," he said. "Mostly clay banks and natural rock and some bushes. The main key was channel swings on the main river."

    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.

  • Haynes clinches Pickwick EverStart win

    Haynes clinches Pickwick EverStart win

    The Tennessee River has been good to Randy Haynes over the years, especially Pickwick Lake.

    Today, he collected his third career EverStart victory at Pickwick (and fourth overall) by bringing in 26-14 to close out a wire-to-wire win with a 3-day total of 79-11. Strike King 6XD and 10XD crankbaits were the key baits in his triumph.

    “I think that the biggest key for me, though, was my knowledge of the lake,” said Haynes, who collected $30,088 and a new boat and outboard for the win. “I’ve spent a lot of time on this water. It provides a huge advantage when you know where to start and what to look for each day.”

    Jeff Suratt, of Leoma, Tenn., caught 76-00 and finished 2nd. David Suratt was 3rd with 72-05.

    Here's how the Top 10 finished up:

    1. Randy Haynes: 79-11
    2. Jeff Suratt: 76-00
    3. David Suratt: 72-05
    4. Kevin Wright: 67-03
    5. Mark Rose: 62-08
    6. Todd Rasberry: 62-07
    7. Jeremy Utley: 62-03
    8. Robert Boyd: 53-12
    9. Jade Keeton: 52-09
    10. Matt Van Meter: 43-09

    Details of Haynes' winning pattern will be published soon.

  • Haynes still leads, but margin shrinks

    Haynes still leads, but margin shrinks

    Tennessee's Randy Haynes held onto his lead today at the Pickwick Lake Central EverStart, but the 5 1/2-pound margin he enjoyed after day 1 has been reduced to less than a pound.

    Counce's day-2 bag weighed 19-12. It was more than 13 pounds lighter than his day-1 haul and pushed his total to 2-13.

    Jeff Surratt caught a day-best 25-13 to climb into 2nd with a 52-00 aggregate. The totals for the Top 10 are listed below.

    1. Randy Haynes: 52-13
    2. Jeff Suratt: 52-00
    3. David Suratt: 47-01
    4. Kevin Wright: 21-04
    5. Todd Rasberry: 43-09
    6. Jeremy Utley: 42-06
    7. Robert Boyd: 42-05
    8. Mark Rose: 40-15
    9. Jade Keeton: 39-15
    10. Matt Van Meter: 39-11

  • Ex-Humminbird icon hailed

    Ex-Humminbird icon hailed

    David Rainer of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wrote a tribute to former Humminbird marketing director Larry Colombo, who was recently inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, that appeared on the Fishing Wire today. One of the anecdotes details the time that Bill Dance fooled Colombo (on the left in the accompanying photo) into thinking he was going fishing with football great Joe Namath.

    To read it, click here.

  • Haynes pounds 33-01 for Pickwick lead

    Randy Haynes, a decorated tournament angler on the Tennessee River, opened the Pickwick Lake Central EverStart today with a whopping 33-01 stringer and will take nearly a 5 1/2-pound lead into day 2.

    Todd Rasberry is 2nd with 27-10 while Jeff Surattleoma is 3rd with 26-03.

    Here's the Top 10 after day 1:

    1. Randy Haynes: 33-01
    2. Todd Rasberry: 27-10
    3. Jeff Surattleoma: 26-03
    4. Mark Rose: 25-14
    5. Greg Schultz: 24-02
    6. David Suratt: 22-14
    7. Jeremy Utley: 22-12
    8. William Davis: 22-10
    9. Matt Van Meter: 22-05
    10. Jade Keeton: 22-04

  • Sonar: Moral support helps

    Sonar: Moral support helps

    Trying to forge a career as a professional angler can be a lonely pursuit, and Miles Burghoff has come to realize the critical role that a support network plays during the inevitable periods when a competitor is struggling on the water.

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

  • Balog: TV must do better

    Balog: TV must do better

    Joe Balog used to be a big fan of bass fishing TV shows, but much of that enthusiasm has dissipated. In his view, many current shows are so product-oriented that they can't possibly deliver what the viewer wants – entertainment.

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

  • ShareLunker season concludes with mixed results

    ShareLunker season concludes with mixed results

    The Toyota ShareLunker program operated by the Texas Wildlif and Parks Department received a below-average number of entries during the season just ended, but the number of lakes producing 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass continued to increase and investments in DNA testing showed promising results.

    One season highlight was the catch of a 12.54-pound ShareLunker offspring from Lake Naconiche near Nacogdoches and the subsequent identification of the parentage of the fish using archived DNA samples.

    Nine fish were intergrades and two were pure Florida largemouth bass. The two pure Florida entries spawned, producing a total of 58,550 eggs. In addition, a ShareLunker offspring from a research lake produced 36,957 eggs. Each lake producing an entry this past season will receive a share of the fingerlings resulting from those spawns.

    Twelve entries were received from eight lakes. Two of those lakes, Dunlap and Palestine, produced their first ShareLunkers ever. The Lake Palestine fish, a 13.13-pounder caught by Lindell Booth, Jr. of Chandler, is a new lake record.

    Two program entries were caught by out-of-state anglers, both from Louisiana.

    Eleven of the 12 fish were returned alive to the lakes from which they were caught. One, Toyota ShareLunker 545, the new Lake Palestine record, was donated to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) for display.

    Lake Fork rebounded from low production the past few seasons to produce four entries, the most of any lake. Lake Austin produced two entries, and lakes Dunlap, Falcon, Toledo Bend, Palestine, Amon G. Carter and Lake O’ the Pines produced one each.

    One fish, Toyota ShareLunker 538, caught by Gary Sims of Gunter on Dec. 12, 2012, was a recapture. The fish weighed 15.02 pounds when caught by Sims; it weighed 14.25 pounds when caught by Ed Carter in March 2011.

    Lake Fork also produced the big bass of the season, a 16.04-pounder caught by Richard Scibek of Granbury on Feb. 2. Scibek’s catch earn him Angler of the Year honors. In addition to a lifetime fishing license, he will receive a prize package from G. Loomis consisting of a G. Loomis GLX854C jig and worm rod, a Shimano Chronarch 200E7 casting reel and a spool of PowerPro braided fishing line.

    New ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Stations were established at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, Falcon State Park, Oak Ridge Marina on Lake Fork and Johnson Creek Marina on Lake O’ the Pines.

    An analysis of ShareLunker entries since the inception of the program in 1986 shows there has been a slight decline in the number of entries per season, from an average of 19.6 the first 5 seasons to 18.8 the past 5. There has also been a slight decline in average weight from 14.1 pounds the first fi5ve seasons to 13.8 pounds the last 5.

    Driving these declines were the fish from Lake Fork. It has contributed 253 of the 548 ShareLunker entries, and its decline from extraordinary to merely great has obscured the patterns observed among other reservoirs.

    “There’s nothing wrong with Lake Fork, it’s just getting older, and largemouth bass productivity typically declines as reservoirs age,” said TPWD geneticist Dijar Lutz-Carrillo. “All reservoirs go through this process. What is amazing about Lake Fork is that is has continued to produce big fish for such a long time.”

  • Bismarck to host Berkley trailer

    Bismarck to host Berkley trailer

    The Berkley Experience Trailer will be at Scheels in Bismarck, N.D. from May 9-11. The 60-foot trailer provides fun and fishing education to all levels of anglers.

    The trailer features updated videos, interactive product demos, contests and the popular knot-tying seminars to help ensure attendees do not lose that fish of a lifetime. The Berkley Experience staff will be on hand to answer questions.

    “We are excited about having the Berkley Experience Trailer on the road, its 8th year, in 2013 and we have many new locations across the country”, said Berkley marketing director Andrew Marks. "The Berkley Experience Trailer team is ready to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

    Each stop has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location. These include not only line and bait, but rods, reels and combos.

    The store is located at 802 Kirkwood Mall. The phone number is (701) 255-7255.

    Upcoming stops are scheduled for Scheels in Sioux Falls, S.D. (May 17-19) and Dakota Mart in Pierre, S.D. (June 6-9).

  • B.A.S.S. seeks marshals for three events

    B.A.S.S. seeks marshals for three events

    B.A.S.S. announced this week that it's seeking marshals to ride along with Bassmaster Elite Series competitors during three events. Those tournaments will take place at the Alabama River out of Montgomery, Ala. (May 16-19), the St. Lawrence River out of Waddington, N.Y. (Aug. 8-11) and Lake St. Clair/Detroit River out of Detroit, Mich. (Aug. 22-25).

    “It’s an ideal opportunity to learn the latest and best bass fishing techniques from the anglers who invented and perfected them,” said B.A.S.S. tournament director Trip Weldon. “There’s no better classroom and no better opportunity to gain the insight needed to take bass fishing to the next level.”

    For more information, click here.

  • Frazier aligns with FishMarker app

    Frazier aligns with FishMarker app

    Pro angler Micah Frazier has signed an endorsement contract with FishMarker, a mobile app-based community that allows anglers to share their favorite fishing spots, guides, lodges, marinas and photos.

    By using the FishMarker app, anglers can plan trips, the use of guides, and select fishing locations based on ratings from other anglers.

    "FishMarker is a great app-based community for sharing the love of fishing and great information to help other anglers catch more fish," Frazier said. "The information can be public or held privately for your own personal knowledge database. It's easy to use and fun to check out what's going on in the fishing community."

  • Powroznik, Blaylock sign with Livingston Lures

    Powroznik, Blaylock sign with Livingston Lures

    Livingston Lures today announced it has signed FLW Tour anglers Jacob Powroznik and Stetson Blaylock to its growing pro staff.

    “Adding Jacob Powroznik to our pro angler team will assist us in reaching a broader demographic," said Livingston CEO Fred Battah. "With Jacob’s runner-up finish in the 2012 FLW AOY standings and his continued tournament success, he has proven he’s an angler on the verge of superstar status within the sport."

    Said Powroznik, “I’ve seen Livingston all over the place for the last year, and that shows commitment to the sport. It also shows consistency and that impressed me. When I finally got a chance to try a few of their lures and see the fish react to the sound and vibration technology in action, I was sold and wanted to be a part of the rise of Livingston Lures.”

    Blaylock said he was introduced to Livingston Lures and their technology by a fellow angler.

    “I was fishing with a college angler who was introduced to Livingston Lures on the B.A.S.S. tournament trail when I heard a noise coming from his bait," he said. "I asked him about it and he told me all about Livingston Lures. I cut it off his rod and played with it for the rest of the day. I was impressed with what I saw and heard, and when the opportunity came along to be a part of their team, I jumped at it.”

    “Stetson was the youngest angler to ever win an FLW Tour event, and we know he’ll lead us to the future generation of our sport," Battah added. "We believe that his tournament history shows consistency and excellence – two things we believe in strongly. Stetson is a very welcome addition to our team.”

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