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  • Doug Ferguson of Grand Haven, MI writes:

    RE: McKinnis on Letterman – Don't forget about Denny Brauer being on Letterman – for being on the Wheaties box in 1999.

  • Em Seefeldt of Medina, NY writes:

    RE: Martens' Havasu win – Blackbird bassing – what a novel concept. But wait, Bob Underwood had a chapter in his book "Lunker" entitled "Blackbird Bassing." The book was published 40 years ago. I guess it wasn't such a novel idea after all! Just a rediscovery of what the old-timers knew years ago. Smart move by Aaron.

  • Steven Bates of El Dorado, AR writes:

    Typical FLW – get guys to the last day and they screw them up by putting them in a different boat. When will they realize that despite how many Ranger products they gorge us with, some of us will still never buy a Ranger or the products they endorse on the wraps. You would think that the surprising number of big names leaving for B.A.S.S. would get their attention, but then again, it's difficult to get the attention of a snob.

    Let them use their own boats ... forcing them into yours looks a lot like an inferiority complex.

  • Jim Liner of Pintlala, AL writes:

    RE: Indiana angler drowns – Another man a PFD could have saved. I'm a good swimmer, but I wear mine all the time when I'm on the water.

  • Sid Ryan of Chesapeake, VA writes:

    RE: Balog on tournament scoring – Usually enjoy Joe's articles, but it really does take the mystery and fun out of watching MLF when he announces the winner before the finals have aired. Watching the final 6 wasn't enjoyable knowing who the winner was.

    BassFan says: The episode aired on CBS Sports prior to publication of the column.

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on tournament scoring – At the 1976 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, we had CB radios in each boat. They also had press anglers who reported each angler's catch via CB radio to the B.A.S.S. press room in Lake Guntersville Lodge. This information was posted for the public to read, but they had to come by the press room. The anglers could hear these reports being relayed to the press room, so they were aware of other anglers' catches.

    At the 1991 B.A.S.S. MegaBucks on Chickamauga, each boat had an observer who reported the angler's catch by cell phone to a local radio station, who broadcast the results to the public. The anglers in the boats could hear it if they had a radio.

    Both were efforts to keep track of who was doing what during the tournament days. We were never sure if it helped or hurt the anglers to know what others were doing. It never seemed to be a problem or a help, it was designed to keep track of anglers scattered over miles of lake.

    The radio broadcast at MegaBucks was designed to draw a crowd to the weigh-in, as that was where the action was as the weigh-in determined who was winning. Now we have the Internet and BASSTrakk to keep track of who is doing what before the weigh-in.

  • MIchael Whitten of Germantown, TN writes:

    RE: Bass Cat founder turns 80 – Happy Birthday, to one of the finest gentlemen in this or any industry. God broke the mold after making him.

  • George A. Foster III of Pineville, LA writes:

    Would love to see some more articles on David Fritts, the best crankbait fisherman ever.

  • Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on tournament scoring – MLF is a very entertaining endeavor. Perhaps the reason that all of the competitors sing its praises is because they had to put up a chunk of their own money to get it going and the opportunity to compete is by invite only. Ask the former officers of the PAA how they feel about it.

    I enjoy your perspective on things.

  • Rob Dixon of Lewistown, PA writes:

    What some fail to understand is that by all the "wannabes" wearing jerseys plastered with fake sponsors, they are actually de-valuing real sponsorship for real pros. If a company has its logo all over a bunch of jerseys on guys who they have no association with at all, why would it want to spend real money on real pros?

    Do you see some dirt late-model driver wearing a Dale Jr. firesuit to his Saturday night races? Absolutely not, but for some reason in bass fishing this type of thing has become commonplace and is greatly diminishing a company's incentive to spend its money sponsoring a real bass pro.

  • Ed Walker of Pinson, AL writes:

    RE: BassFan World Rankings – Please put Justin Lucas and Andy Morgan in a head to head tournament and see what happens. I would imagine Andy would come out on top about 9 out of 10. Andy has been winning for 10 years. The ranking system is flawed!

  • Chance Huiet of Hardin, TX writes:

    Balog on tournament scoring – I've been an in-the-boat judge at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic numerous times and that is one thing most of the pros love – the live leaderboard. Some of them just ask for an update once in a while, others want the radio on constantly. I see the future going to this type of format.

  • John A. Argese of Sayreville, NJ writes:

    Balog on tournament scoring – Thanks for the "spoiler alert" on the Evers MLF victory, although the blame lands squarely on the shoulders of the MLF management. Yeah, it's only a few dollars per round to watch the Extended Cast but it would be nice to watch said round without knowing who was victorious.

  • Doug Rutland of Atlanta, TX writes:

    MLF is exciting to watch and very informative. They have hit a home run with this format. I like that every bass counts and that it is catch and release.

    I also like the fact that they aren't fishing for their own money, which is what professionals should be doing.

  • Dean Coleman of Humble, TX writes:

    RE: Havasu Elite Series – Congrats to A-Mart! Awesome victory! Couldn't happen to a better ambassador for the sport of bass fishing. This dude WILL get his Classic. The blackbird thing? Pure genius!

  • Jeff Mitchell of Winamac, IN writes:

    RE: Reese's best bets – I thought my brother didn't like me enough? Jimmy can't even pick his younger brother? Dang, tough crowd.

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on lure colors – In 1971 we started B.A.S.S. Seminars with John Powell and Roland Martin doing most of the seminars. This allowed me to fish across the USA with two great bass anglers. John Powell was sponsored by a company making plastic worms, so he got all the plastic worms and all the different colors that he could use. When he fished he would put a large pile of worms on the floor near his trolling motor foot pedal, all colors. He never made more than a few casts with any worm until he changed worms and he never looked at the color, he would just bend down and grab a worm off the floor. I asked him why he did not check the color and his reply was, "It does not matter, you will get a strike within 3 feet of where it lands. If not, pick it up and cast again to another location."

    I watched John catch hundreds of bass using this method – cast it to a location, fish it 3 feet and make another cast. He never selected a color, just took whatever he picked up. Roland Martin used the same method – he would cast to a spot, fish it a short distance, then hit another spot, and he did not care what color it was. I asked him about color and his reply was, "It's where you put it that's important. If you put it near a bass they will strike it within 2 to 3 feet, so the more casts you make the more fish you will catch. It's where you put it, not the color."

    John and Roland won their share of B.A.S.S. events without being concerned about the color of their lure. Location was the most important thing.

  • Mike Nolan of Grosse Ile, Michigan writes:

    RE: Balog on Michigan regs – I'm surprised to hear someone who understands the danger and has been so outspoken about not allowing tournament anglers to fish during the spawn around the Bass Islands in Lake Erie (even though he participated) to be so seemingly open to the proposal of allowing catch and delayed release, specifically for tournament anglers, during the heart of the spawn in Michigan. Why would you assume a different result than what Lake Erie experienced?

    The fact of the matter is no scientist, biologist, or ichthyologist can say what will happen if tournament anglers in Michigan are allowed to hold stressed out (from the rigors of spawning) adult fish in their livewells for hours, bounced across 4-foot waves, and bagged up and weighed in, before being released miles from their spawning beds. How many 12- to 15-year-old bass will suffer delayed mortality?

    You have to consider more scientific evidence than the number of eggs that can successfully hatch even if a large number of guarding adult fish are removed from their nests. Comparing statistics from Florida in Michigan is ridiculous! The Florida strain of bass is not even the same species as what we have in Michigan; it grows a pound a year (reaching legal length limits in that same time), it doesn't live as long, it needs a different environment to survive, and reacts different to environmental changes. A Michigan bass doesn't reach legal length limit for 3 or 4 years. Michigan bass live longer and can survive a much colder environment and their spawn is a small fraction of the spawning season in Florida.

    Yes, you can catch a much bigger fish in Florida or some of the other Southern states that don't have closed bass seasons but the fishing average size and numbers is better here in Michigan, Minnesota, and Northern states (that have closed seasons during the heart of the spawning season) than any of those Southern states despite what you see or read about the tournaments held in the South during spawning season when fish are protecting their nests. That's why experienced national tournament anglers like KVD and Kim Stricker opposed allowing tournament anglers to delay release. They realize how good our fishing is compared to other parts of the country.

    The year-round catch and immediate release issue is totally different than the proposal to allow tournament anglers to catch and delay release, but it seems to be lumped together by many anglers who like to think in black and white. The bottom line to all of this is our fishing is some of the best in the country for average size and numbers. We won't know for sure what our fisheries can withstand as far as pressure until we go past that point ... then it's too late! I fish tournaments and would love it if we could do it year-round with no detriment to our catch rates, but judging from what I have experienced in other states, that is not possible. The risk outweighs the benefits!

  • Mark Nichols of Tallahassee, FL writes:

    RE: Benton DQd at Beaver – I understand that rules must be in effect, but to DQ an angler because he dropped a bait in the water to remove a prior backlash sounds like splitting hairs. Should have been a decision made prior to the day 2 launch. Shame on you, FLW.

  • Boots Beasley of Mooresville, NC writes:

    RE: Rose DQd at Beaver – Shame on Rose – a rookie mistake. I do feel for him, but he should have read the rules and understood them.

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