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Posted By The Bass Hog
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Florida native Chris Lane, 2012 Bassmaster Classic champ, waved goodbye to the Sunshine State in favor of living near the fine fishing in his current hometown, Guntersville, Ala. Bassmaster Elite Series angler Aaron Martens bade farewell to California and put down roots in Leeds, Ala., to enjoy the proximity to some of the country’s finest fisheries. Bold moves, such as those made by Lane and Martens, are evidence that Alabama is an appealing state for professional anglers and an ideal one for high school students to launch into the competitive side of bass fishing, says Jon Stewart, senior manager of the B.A.S.S. Nation and head of the high school and youth programs. B.A.S.S. and its partners will host three events in the coming months to offer high school students who are members of high school bass fishing clubs a shot at qualifying for the first ever Bassmaster Classic High School Exhibition in 2014. The event will follow the same format seen in college exhibitions at past Classics with students weighing in their catches on the prestigious Bassmaster Classic stage. The world championship of bass fishing is scheduled for Feb. 21- 23 in Birmingham with fishing on Lake Guntersville. High school teams will fish a different body of water for the exhibition. •First up is the Alabama Games, a three-day Olympic-style event. On June 22, the bass fishing portion will take place on Lake Logan Martin in Pell City. The winning team earns an automatic berth in the 2014 Bassmaster High School Exhibition. B.A.S.S. will be the tournament administrator in association with the Alabama Games event. The cost to enter is $15. Interested anglers can visit www.alagames.com to sign up. •Another opportunity to participate in the 2014 Classic Exhibition is by winning the 2013 B.A.S.S. High School Invitational, July 20, on Wheeler Lake in Decatur. The event is open to all high school students nationwide whose school has an existing high school bass club. B.A.S.S. encourages students from all states to participate. The tournament will be streamed live on Bassmaster.com and will qualify eight teams or schools for the exhibition. The fee to enter is $30. Click here for more details. Click here to register. •Also on the calendar is the Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School State Championship on Nov. 2. The winning team and the second- place team will advance to the 2014 B.A.S.S. High School National Championship. The winning team also will advance to the 2014 Bassmaster Classic High School Exhibition, as well as the 2014 Southern Divisional Championship, competing as part of the Alabama State team. For details, contact eddieplemons@charter.net. “Young people in Alabama have access to great fisheries year- round,” Stewart said. “A lot of these young people grow up fishing with their dads and granddads on these outstanding lakes. They reach a point where they want to fish with their buddies and peers. It’s fun for them to compete.” Stewart credits Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association (ASABFA), a grass-roots organization that recruits and promotes development of Alabama’s future anglers, with having established a strong fishing community among high school students in the state. “We applaud the work done by the ASABFA in involving high school students in the sport of bass fishing,” Stewart said. “They’ve done a great job in creating a strong foundation among students in Alabama, and we believe our program is an excellent complement to that. This offers high school students opportunities in addition to their involvement with ASABFA. It’s another chance for them to get outdoors, compete and enjoy fishing.” Courtesy of BASS Communications.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. and BassGold announced today that BassGold will provide its bass patterning app free for one year to members of the B.A.S.S. Nation, including Carhartt Bassmaster College Series anglers. “We are very excited to provide BassGold free to our members,” said B.A.S.S. Nation Director Don Corkran. “It’s an amazing tool that will help every fisherman — from beginner to expert —get on fish faster. It will also give them more confidence on the water by knowing what has worked and will work where they’re fishing. “We’re also excited that BassGold is seeking our members’ feedback in this pilot program. Nation members are the most dedicated bass anglers on the planet, so it makes sense that they will have input on what I believe is a terrific digital bass fishing tool.” “BassGold has proved itself in tournaments from the Bassmaster Classic to local events, so we know it works,” said Hank Weldon, tournament manager for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series. “It’s definitely a tool collegiate anglers will benefit from, and it’s great that we are able to save them the cost of subscribing.” With a database of thousands of fishing patterns from bass tournaments over the years, the program provides fishing recommendations (where, how and with what) for any body of water in the United States. BassGold — a Web-based app that runs on any Web-connected device — has predicted with remarkable accuracy the winning patterns and weights for recent Bassmaster Classics, Bassmaster Elite Series events and many other tournaments. It also has helped anglers catch more fish quickly on fun-fishing days as well. “It’s a wonderful thing to help bass anglers get on fish faster and hopefully catch more fish, too,” said BassGold CEO Jay Kumar. “BassGold’s new improvements make it even more powerful, and we’re happy to provide it free to B.A.S.S. Nation and B.A.S.S. collegiate anglers through this pilot program. It’s great to see this partnership with B.A.S.S. continue to develop.” About BassGold BassGold, the ultimate bass patterning app, is a property of Sasquatch Media, which specializes in enthusiast-focused digital strategy and implementation. It also produces the daily BassBlaster e-newsletter (bassblaster.bassgold.com), one of the largest daily reads in bass fishing. For more information go to www.bassgold.com. About B.A.S.S. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles. The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry- leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle. The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. Courtesy of BASS Communications.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
North Carolina’s New Nets Co-Angler Title, $20,000 EUFAULA, Ala. (May 19, 2013) – Pro Randy Haynes of Counce, Tenn., displayed why he is known as one of the best deep-water ledge fisherman in the country as he targeted the Lake Eufaula ledges to win convincingly Sunday at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Eufaula presented by Straight Talk Wireless. Haynes’ five bass weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce gave him a four-day weight of 73 pounds, 1 ounce – 11 pounds heavier than second place – as well as the championship trophy and the $125,000 purse. “There are an awful lot of good fisherman out here,” said Haynes, who was fishing only his third event as a pro at the sport’s highest level, the Walmart FLW Tour. “Everything has to go just right for you in order to win a tournament of this size. I’ve really been blessed this entire week.” Haynes said that he had five or six different areas that he fished throughout the week, but that he really only concentrated on three today. “Today, I was just trying to catch a limit and get by,” Haynes said. “I had three main spots where I was fishing, and I was rotating through them, giving them a few hours of rest before I would go back. I figured out that they were setting up in different ways. In the early morning, they would suspend in front of the bars. I’d fish a swimbait, and they really started eating.” Haynes said that most of his fish this week came from throwing a mixture of swimbaits and cranking Strike King 5XD and 6XD crankbaits. His go-to rod-and-reel combination for the week was a Kistler Mark Rose Signature Series Z-Bone crankbait rod paired with a Lew’s BB1 reel. “That rod and reel is just an unbelievable combination,” Haynes said. “I was using 14- to 20-pound-test line when I was fishing the swimbait, and 14-pound-test line when I was cranking. “I’m real lucky that I have been able to stay on the road with Mark Rose and Greg Bohannan,” Haynes continued. “It’s nice to be with two great guys like that, and I’ve learned a lot. They are definitely one of the reasons that I am up here. “This is pretty awesome,” said Haynes of his win. “I’m so happy for my family and friends. There are so many people back home that I compete for, and against. This is just special for me to do this for them.” Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., finished in second place with a four-day total of 19 bass weighing 62 pounds, 1 ounce. He earned $35,000 for his efforts. Overall there were 38 bass weighing 109 pounds, 15 ounces caught by pros Sunday. The catch included six five-bass limits. Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., won the co-angler division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces, followed by Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., in second place with 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces worth $7,500. Pros competed for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15-18 on the Red River. The Tour stop on Lake Eufaula presented by Straight Talk Wireless was hosted by the Eufaula Barbour Chamber of Commerce and was the fourth of six events on the Walmart FLW Tour’s 2013 season. The next Walmart FLW Tour event will be held at Grand Lake June 6-9 in Grove, Okla., and is presented by Castrol. The event will be hosted by the Grand Lake Association and boats will launch from Wolf Creek Park in Grove. For a complete schedule, visit FLWOutdoors.com. Coverage of the Lake Eufaula tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs June 23 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — “Man, you’ve got me,” Brent Chapman said to Edwin Evers. Evers was already in Sunday’s final-round hot seat of the Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite. Chapman, the leader for the two previous days, was the last of the 12 finalists to weigh in. He climbed the stage steps already knowing it was over for him. No one in the crowd under Montgomery’s historic Union Station Train Shed heard Chapman’s remark on stage. But that’s how Evers later told the story. “I didn’t realize until he said, ‘You’ve got me’ that I had a chance,” Evers said after he’d hoisted the eighth trophy of his Bassmaster career and claimed his second regular-season Elite Series win. “I’m so happy. I can’t believe it.” Evers of Talala, Okla., got the best of Chapman by 1 pound, 12 ounces. Evers took home $100,000 and a win-you’re-in berth for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. He took over the Charge by weighing four limits of spotted bass for a total of 75-13. The Charge was the first time, Evers said, that he’d won on spotted bass alone. He also hit a career high by weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces of spotted bass on Saturday, the largest sack of that species he’s ever caught. To win in Montgomery was special for another reason, he said. In the 2010 and 2011 postseason events out of Montgomery on the river, he ended up second to Kevin VanDam in the tournaments and in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year races. Evers began the tournament in fifth place, then rose to third place. After Day 3, heading into Championship Sunday, he was in second place, behind Chapman by 1-3. Evers said sticking to his game plan — and keeping a sweet spot in Cooter’s Pond in reserve until the final hours — “saved” him Sunday, when he weighed 17 pounds, 12 ounces. “I pulled up to that spot that I’ve been saving all week, and they were on fire,” Evers said. Evers said he ran more than 125 miles every day on the river system, hitting areas on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and in the canal that connects the Walter Bouldin Dam tailrace to the Alabama River. “I focused where the current made a direct hit on a vertical wall [bluff or cut in the bank] that was clean,” he said. The biggest challenges of the tournament were adapting to non- stop changes in the current and water level over the event’s four days. By Sunday with the dropping water, he had to relocate fish, finding them in slightly deeper water. Hook-ups with the strong spotted bass that live in the river systems were a big challenge, he added. “They’re so strong. They’re some of the hardest fish to hook. I’m flipping braid on a heavy action rod, and I’ll hit them as hard as I can, and it’s like I didn’t even touch them,” he said. His go-to lures were a War Eagle Spot Remover spinnerbait in a shad color, a Texas rigged Zoom Z-Hog Jr., and various crankbaits. His flipping line was a Bass Pro Shops braid with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan., said he chalked up his second- place finish to being too conservative. “I didn’t run up to my best spot today,” Chapman said. “I saw Steve Kennedy and David Walker go up, and I should have tried. You don’t get that many opportunities to win. I don’t know if I could have by going up there, but I would have felt a lot better finishing second if I’d at least have gone up there to fish my good spot.” Chapman’s “good spot” was about 1/4 mile below Jordan Dam in the Coosa River. To reach it, he had to shoot the rapids over rocks. Chapman went up there other days, but decided he should not risk it Sunday after the water dropped 7 feet. Several other Elite pros ran the whitewater successfully in their bass boats during the Charge, but several tried and struck rocks, damaged their boats or got stuck, even in higher water. Finishing third in the Charge was Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., with 72-5. Fourth was Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas, with 71-8. Courtesy of BASS Communications.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog

LAGRANGE, Ga. — Skeet Reese is on fire — again.

The Auburn, Calif., superstar of bass fishing was victorious Sunday in the Bassmaster Elite Series’ West Point Lake Battle after starting the final round in seventh place, almost 2 1/2 pounds behind leader Tommy Biffle.

But when Reese weighed 15-4 Sunday, he squashed the other 11 finalists’ hopes of winning the four-day Battle out of LaGrange, Ga. Closest to catching Reese with a 46-6 total was Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., who finished second with 44-6, exactly 2 pounds back.

Reese won $100,000 and his 14th Bassmaster Classic qualification. He also racked up points in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, rising eight steps in the standings into third place.

“We play for the win — and the money’s always nice. But I fish for one title — Angler of the Year. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Reese, who has won the AOY crown once in 2007.

The West Point event win, the seventh of his Bassmaster career, was his first since he won two Elite competitions in 2010. He was in contention for the AOY title throughout 2010, but Kevin VanDam took it.

Then Reese’s streak stopped — until Sunday, that is, when as quickly as a kitchen match bursts into flame when scratched against a rock, Reese again was on fire.

“If they’re sitting out there,” Reese gestured to the crowd unsheltered from the rain, “I can sit out here.”

Soaking wet, Reese savored every minute of the win, at one point jumping up and down on the stage.

Reese talked later about his expectations going into the West Point event.

“I thought if I could win, I’d win on a swimbait,” said the California angler who often turns to that lure. “I couldn’t get a bite on a swimbait. I didn’t think I’d be picking up a spinning rod, but I adapted to conditions.”
In fifth place with 13-0 the first day, he said, “I was excited. But on Day 2 it was back to reality. I had 9 pounds — just a normal limit. Yesterday, I had 8 1/2 pounds, and I didn’t think it would put me in the 12-cut.”

It did. Saturday night he studied the Top 12 weights. He decided he had a chance.

“I saw how tight the Top 12 were,” he said. “I realized it was one of those tournaments wide open for any of the 12. I thought 15 to 16 pounds today would wind up winning it. Fortunately, I was the one who caught 15 pounds.”

Reese targeted bedding bass all four days, even trying for one large female several times before she seemingly disappeared.

Sunday he caught his first two fish of the morning on a Lucky Craft LV100 lipless crankbait, fishing shallow flats in the backs of ditches. Then he picked up a dropshot rig with a 4-inch smoke-purple Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper. That yielded two more keepers.

“Then I went quite a while without a bite,” he said. “I tried for spotted bass, and it just wasn’t happening.”

Reese checked on that big female again — no dice — so he fished banks. He boated a few more that weighed between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds. His total of 15-4 was the largest bag of the day, hands-down.

“I was just fortunate I had all decent fish today,” Reese said.

Martens walked away with second place for the 11th time in his Bassmaster career.

He lamented the loss Sunday of a 5-pounder about 12 feet from his boat. That was the bass that could have given him a win, he said. It broke off when the line wrapped around a tree.

“You have to have a flawless event to win one of these, and Skeet did,” Martens said.

The West Point Lake Battle will air on ESPN from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET May 12 on The Bassmasters TV show.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.