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WELCOME TO THE BASS HOG'S BLOG.  PROFESSIONAL BASS FISHING CO-ANGLER AND OUTDOOR LEGEND.  GET THE LATEST AND GREATEST NEWS AND UPDATES ABOUT FISHING.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG USING THE RSS FEED LINK IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS PAGE.  ADD THE FOLLOWING URL TO YOUR RSS FEED  http://apps.thebasshog.com/Blog/Rss FOR YAHOO, OUTLOOK, AOL, GOOGLE, HOTMAIL OR OTHER EMAIL ACCOUNT OR TABLET. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW VIA http://thebasshog.com/news.html. THANK YOU.

Posted By The Bass Hog

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Ten minutes. That’s how long it took Randy Howell to win the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open #2 presented by Allstate.
 
Howell, of Springville, Ala., desperately wanted to win at Oneida Lake after losing a 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series tournament here by 6 ounces to Boyd Duckett. Settling the score seemed impossible.
 
Howell had four small bass in the livewell just minutes before his official check-in time of 2 p.m. Coming in late meant a costly weight penalty, plus he was 2 pounds from the lead.
 
With the check-in station in view, a school of bass erupted in a feeding frenzy over a rocky shoal. Howell hooked a 4-pound largemouth on the first cast and proceeded to upgrade his catch.
 
He arrived with only 45 seconds remaining on the clock. The last-minute heroics paid off with a winning weight of 49 pounds, 2 ounces. Michael Gagliardi finished second with 48-10. Kraig Kettelkamp, who led the first two days of the event, dropped to third place with 48-0.
 
“Being strong willed and wanting to win this tournament, erasing that loss was my greatest motivation,” said Howell, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion. “The biggest key for my win was attitude.”
 
Credit the birds, too. Howell kept a lookout for diving seagulls that signaled other surface feeding action like he found in the final minutes.
 
“A lot of anglers, surprisingly, don’t look out for the birds,” he added. “The birds are an easy giveaway to the presence of the bait.”
 
That activity accounted for Howell’s catch early in the week, when a deepwater bite was successful. Plenty of perch roamed shallow water, too, where he caught largemouth on the final day.
 
Howell’s hero bait in the final minutes was a 3-inch Bass Pro Shops Speed Shad in a hologram shad color. He rigged the soft plastic bait to a 1/4-ounce jighead tied to 12-pound Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon. A Daiwa Tatula reel and 7-foot, medium/light action rod from the brand completed the package.
 
Spooking the bass and shorter casts were only preventable during windy conditions. Calm conditions early on the final day hampered Howell’s success.
 
“The wind helped move the bait and that made the bass more active,” he said.
 
Earlier in the week, Howell used a Livingston Lures Walking Boss, casting the topwater lure into the feeding schools of bass. When the feeding ceased, he switched to slower tactics and lures.
 
Those included a weightless, wacky rigged, 5-inch Gary Yamamoto Senko and the brand’s 4-inch Shad Shaped Worm. He rigged that bait on a 3/8-ounce drop shot rig.
 
Gagliardi focused on roaming schools of smallmouth following the perch hatch. Active fish were caught on a Zoom Super Fluke. He switched to a drop shot rig to coax slow biters.
 
Kettelkamp led the tournament on the first two days, only to suffer a setback on the final round. A largemouth he guessed weighing 4 pounds broke off at the boat.
 
“Losing that fish haunted me for the remainder of the day,” he said.
 
Howell’s prize included a Skeeter/Yamaha boat with accessories and trailer valued at $45,000.
 
Scott Shafer and James Schneider tied for first place in the co-angler division after both anglers caught 27-15. Shafer, of Glenville, N.Y., won in a tiebreaker for catching the single heaviest day catch between the two anglers. Shafer’s prize was a Triton/Mercury package valued at $30,000.
 

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

RICHMOND, Va. — Chris Dillow couldn’t match the 20-pound bag that Boyd Duckett brought to the scales on the first day of this year’s Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open #1, but he never faltered. Dillow caught 19 pounds, 2 ounces of James River bass Saturday to bring his three-day total to 50-12, enabling him to defeat his closest challenger by a margin of more than 9 pounds.
 
The victory earned him a Nitro Z9 bass boat and tandem Nitro trailer rigged with a Mercury 225 Pro XS valued at $45,000.
 
While the majority of the field made long runs and burned dozens of gallons of gas each day, Dillow stayed close, never venturing past the mouth of the Appomattox River tributary. He maximized his fishing time and generally avoided the crowds. Similarly, while others rued the increasingly undesirable and unpredictable tidal flows, Dillow was glad the water was higher than normal for longer than normal.
 
“I like high tide,” he said. “I like that security over my fish. When it gets too low, they tend to get spooky.”
 
Duckett’s unheard-of 20-4 limit on Thursday had Dillow in second place, but even Dillow’s subpar 12-13 on Friday allowed him to claim a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish. Duckett was not able to amass a double digit catch either the second or third day.

After falling to second on Friday, Duckett ended the tournament in 12th place. Like many others, he was a victim of a tide that didn’t go out according to the tide charts, and then a decreased amount of “good low tide” on the short final day of competition.
 
As Duckett and others like Dave Lefebre struggled to match their heavy first-day catches, Ohio pro Michael Simonton remained exceptionally consistent over the course of the three days. The former Elite Series angler turned in catches of 14-14, 13-10 and 12-11 to finish second with a three-day total of 41-3. He relied primarily on a black Spro frog, but only had a limited period of time to produce his fish.
 
“The first hour when we started fishing was game time,” Simonton said. “It was fast and furious and awesome. Today, I stayed in my primary area and never left. I’m not sure why it was so good. There was a boat ramp nearby, and I was skipping the frog to laydowns and under overhanging trees.”
 
Adrian Avena of Vineland, N.J., finished third with 36-3. Like Simonton, he was consistent, producing limits that weighed 12-10, 12-9 and 11-0, but was unable to consistently catch the larger fish that Dillow corralled. He credited his New Jersey upbringing with teaching him how the fish relate to tidal movement, but noted that he couldn’t capitalize on unfavorable tides.
 
“The tide was coming in most of the day,” Avena said. “That didn’t matter on my starting place, but after that it was pretty much a grind.” He used a “power drop shot,” a finesse worm and a 1/2-ounce Zorro buzzbait to put together his limits.
 
Nick Angiulo of Hainesport, N.J., won the co-angler division with three three-fish limits that totaled 21-3. Greg Mauldin of Archdale, N.C., was second with 20-15, and Lou Britos was third with 19-12.
 

Courtesy of BASS Communications.