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  • Fred Haenisch of Astor, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on Bass Pro Shops I would argue about the cheapest prices being found at Bass Pro. I do 90 percent of my tackle shopping at Walmart and the price of Trickworms there is close to $2 lower than Bass Pro. The huge expenses involved in the acquisition of everything necessary to open such enterprises usually equals higher prices.

    As to the point about M&A and it's effect on competition, there was and is the same opportunity for businesses to start and expand that there was when Sam Walton or Johnny Morris started their tiny enterprises.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    RE: Clausen DQ'd I've been fortunate to know Luke for several years, and he is as honest as they come. I did not hear about this until this morning and wondered about a comment that Mark Zona made on Bassmaster Live Sunday, about a guy in a boat near the eventual winner's boat, which was a kayak. Now I see it was a pun.

    Luke is a smart guy and would never take any information that would violate the rules. Maybe the B.A.S.S. guys fear his presence.

  • Joe Roberts of Clarksville, TN writes:

    RE: Clausen DQ'd This is an unjust rule. What if someone sitting at the next table was talking about the fishing conditions and looking at Luke? This doesn't make sense. What you guys need to be after is these guys fighting over a fishing area. With these electronics, just look and see if they fished there. You cause all of this by filming these guys in action the public is watching.

  • Steve Lindner of Lake Havasu City, AZ writes:

    RE: Clausen DQ'd I certainly understand why a rule like this may be necessary. However, it is absolutely impossible to prove the rule was broken without video or very credible witnesses. Even in bass fishing, you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. Sorry, this rule is not even close to being enforceable.

  • Neal Locklear of Cumming, GA writes:

    RE: Clausen DQ'd This a terrible rule for B.A.S.S. to have. Who cares what info they get? Pros can listen or not, but 99.9 percent will always go with their own gut and what got them to the show. Your putting politics in bass fishing.

  • Chance Huiet of Hardin, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on Bass Pro Shops Bass Pro Shops cheap? Ha! I can get the same baits from ANYWHERE else for cheaper. And some are quite a bit cheaper elsewhere. That's if Bass Pro even has it. My two local stores seem to be getting more and more thin on what they carry.

  • Steve Kirby of Columbus, OH writes:

    RE: Balog on Bass Pro Shops Kudos, Joe, regarding the BPS mega0store status. I for one feel that this is not a good thing. To me, BPS has lost sight of their roots. They've essentially morphed into the "Walmart" of the fishing industry. Look at the country of origin on the majority of products get my point. Cabela's, on the other hand, at least tries to sell "Made in the USA." 's true that they also carry China junk, but not near to the extent of BPS. BPS also has a well-deserved rep as rip-off artists as well, local and regional favorites are continually copied, and yes, I'm aware that everyone does it, but BPS has made an art of it. Do I order from BPS? I used to, but haven't availed myself of their junk for years now, preferring Cabela's, etc. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, just like too big isn't always a good thing.

  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    I have to smile in reading of Todd Woods' recent win on Clear Lake. One just does not read a lot about African Americans competing in, never mind winning, a bass fishing event. In the turbulent early '60's, my parents moved their 11 children out of New Orleans to the very edge of this huge Delta. That was a big blessing for this guy, for Lake Cataouatche was directly in my back yard.

    I saved some money from grass-cutting and other deals and bought a fishing rod and some lures, and started walking the banks of these bayous, catching literally hundreds of bass along the way. One day, I happened upon a young black angler, Jay, who was giving the bass a hard time also. This encounter started a life long friendship and it was truly a lucky day. Over the years, Jay and I have boated some of the largest bass on this Delta. He just had the knack of knowing his prey, and how to take advantage of the prevailing conditions.

    I would have never become a fisherman if we had stayed in the concrete city and I would surely have never met Jay either. Over the years, I have made it a point to take youngsters out to fish. I love to take out young guys who have no access to the waterways and nobody to show them. Many have become fishermen and good citizens. It is a shame we cannot involve more of the youth in our cities in sports such as fishing. Our prisons would be a lot less full, and a drive-by would take on a whole new meaning.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Balog on Bass Pro Shops Joe, good article. I am 52 years old and no longer a fan of BPS. They built their reputation on having the widest selection of tackle, now they want to push their own brands. Walk into a store and check out their "selection," it is a lot of their baits and a few of the other popular brand-name baits. Also, I am guessing that it costs about $1 to make a $6 KVD spinnerbait. Finally, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think you can put Johnny Morris in the same league with Roosevelt.

  • Allan Bridgford of Chicago, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on Bass Pro Shops Great article Joe. BPS is a great American success story. Good for them. But I think most serious bass anglers still support their local tackle shops. In my case, the valuable information and friendships I have gained with the independents is priceless.

  • Steve Smith of Commerce, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris' story is the American dream come true one man starting a business and taking it to the top. Look at the Auto industry, it went through the same thing. Big companies buying the little ones.

  • Rick Pierce of Mountain Home, AR writes:

    RE: Bull Shoals vs. Norfork We have held 26 Bass Cat Invitationals out of Mountain Home on Lake Norfork over a 27-year period. There were only a few regional or national events on Norfork and four of those we inspired to be here or sponsored. It's 23,000 acres and really competes well today. Like any lake, it has its ups and downs. Right now, local anglers feel it's fishing much better than Bull, and Bull is no slouch.

    The Sunday of Elite practice a 9-pound-plus was caught and more in that class have been brought in. It's good to see it get some comparable ink, as we have for decades said it was every bit what Bull is in respect locally. It is a great location for moderate-sized events. The area did a great job rallying to host the event and the Mountain Home Advertising and Promotion Commission brought it together to the Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to Bassmaster and Jerry McKinnis for bringing the event to the Ozarks and Twin Lakes area. It was a great week in Mountain Home!

  • Steve Brown of Oakland, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on preventing skin cancer A few years back I began researching a way to shade my wife while she rode in our bass boat. To Joe's point, unlike our runabout, the fishing platform of a bass boat is not conducive to covering up during high sun periods. Let me preface this by saying I am in no way affiliated with the company I'm about to mention. In fact, I had to Google them just to see if they're still around.

    I bought a Pro-Techt Manta sun umbrella that has several options for attaching it to your boat. We use ours in the heat of summer. As a Tennessee River ledge junkie, I've used mine with the suction cup holder to come over the cockpit area of my boat when idling for hours on end scanning ledges. I've also got a seat mount for it as well. It's sometimes a little bulky, but it was the best I found at the time. It retracts quickly and stows easily.

    I get a lot of questions about it when I use it and I need to use it more. I am an avid buff and long-sleeve wearer.

  • Kyle Dennis of Kalispell, MT writes:

    RE: Megabass Levante review I always wonder why companies don't offer these sticks with the option of a cork or foam grip. I don't like foam grips, and so I don't even look at rods like this that would otherwise be really interesting to me. I'm guessing the market share isn't enough to justify it nowadays. I am in my early 50s and maybe younger anglers prefer the foam, but I also use left-handed reels and run into the same thing on that issue. Luckily, I prefer Shimanos, and they offer the lefties.

  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    Just read the deal on the Elite fisherman, Matt Vermilyea, who had to throw the towel in on his season due to money constraints. I am not knocking him, heck, he tried what he wanted to try ... and that says a lot. But would it not be best to put a pen to paper and list all the expenses one would run up, and then the monies one has available to cover this, before committing to an Elite season?

    These guys are merely fishing for each other's money, and a fisherman would have to be very fortunate to win enough money to stay on top of it all without some serious outside financial help. In talking to a few high school and college team kids with huge aspirations of going pro, it seems like someone or something is giving these young men some bad advice. Stay in school, stay with a study that will earn you a decent living ... one where you can purchase a boat and continue to fish. If they want to try an Open or two, why not? But use that head on your shoulders.

  • Bill Taylor of Benton, KY writes:

    RE: FLW charity event I want to thank every FLW pro and all local northwest Arkansas anglers who were willing to sacrifice their valuable time to compete in this well worthwhile event! Please send FLW pro Shirley Crain and FLW staffers KIm Lynn and Chisty Noles a big thank you for their dedication to this event. It was one of the best days I've witnessed in fishing. God bless everyone!

    BassFan says: Bill Taylor serves as tournament director for the FLW Tour.

  • Mark Nichols of Tallahassee, FL writes:

    RE: Myers' Winyah victory Great win. At least he admitted he was talking to his friends to get ideas and locations.

  • Tom Cox of Canton, GA writes:

    RE: Balog on sun protection Good Article. Grew up in Alabama and basically as a kid between March and end of October, a shirt was optional. Never burned but did tan really well. Starting about 8 years ago I started having abnormal moles removed. Out of seven or eight, five came back pre-cancer. Now I cover up and put sunscreen on before I go out. Ido need to get better about reapplying.

  • Errol Duckett of Charlotte, NC writes:

    RE: Triton replacing hulls Kudos to Triton Boats for stepping up and doing the right thing. My next new boat will absolutely be a Triton.

  • Bill Barlow of West Grove, PA writes:

    When you work for a company, you do what your told or you don't have a job. Many companies sponsor FLW pros and they know there will be better exposure on the Elite side. For this reason, many of the FLW pros moved because they were told or encourged to do so. I do not believe they moved just to fish against the "big boys." If you look at the BassFan World Rankings on the home page, you will see that seven of the Top 10 are either FLW or former FLW fishermen. Both sides have excellent fishermen who will succeed no matter where they fish.

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