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  • 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.

  • Paul Allessi of Bradenton, FL writes:

    Seems like most of the FLW guys who choose to fish B.A.S.S. do just fine. The B.A.S.S. guys are marketed better, but that doesn't make them better anglers.

  • Mike Webb of Orange, TX writes:

    RE: Winyah Bay Very happy for Britt's first Elite win! What a nice guy.

  • David A. Hopkins of Dillsburg, PA writes:

    RE: Martin's consistency Let him come to where the big boys play over in the Elite Series. Let's see what he can do with that field.

  • Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, IN writes:

    RE: Balog on jerseys The NASCAR fan comparison is fair, if not equal in exposure. I enjoy seeing fans and local club guys donning logo-filled jerseys. It shows a loyalty, an identity to a sport and pastime they enjoy. It sparks interest in non-fans, potentially broadening the fanbase. A larger fanbase eventually equals more money for my buddies trying to make a living at this crazy sport.

    On the other hand, I , Joe the donator, who occasionally fishes some triple-A stuff, will no longer display brands on my clothing for which I do not receive some type of compensation. Not because I'm above that, or deserve anything. It's because I know how much time and effort those who cross the stage with me have put into securing those logos.

    And I don't think you'll see the drivers in the Xfinity or Truck series plastering logos on their get-ups they don't get paid for, either.

  • Nathan Wolfgang of Nederland, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on jerseys I feel that the jerseys have really put a hurting on the sponsorship side of fishing. You now have anyone who signs up for a tournament acting as if they have all these "sponsors." The truth is, most of them only get a small discount on the product, if anything at all. Then, when an angler who has proven themselves as a top competitor in their trail or area attempts to get a true sponsor (actual money), they blow him off with an offer of discounts or free product. And to be fair, why would a company pay someone to advertise their product when they have an email box full of "Joe Blows" that will do the same at little to no cost to them.

    This in itself is the reason I do not wear jerseys anymore. I don't want to be seen as a fisherman with too much time and money on his hands with no talent to back it up. Do you know how many $40,000 trucks and $65,000 boats I have seen that can't even back the boat down the ramp? Tons! I don't want to ever be seen as one of those guys. I'll let my fishing do the talking.

  • Dean Coleman of Humble, TX writes:

    Just watched the World Fishing Journal and I've got a few new heroes Kevin and Kerry Short and Mr. Don Barone.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Potomac River issues Interesting article. Hopefully the fishery will be the first priority and politics won't get involved.

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