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Posted By The Bass Hog

May 23, 2017--DUBLIN, Va. – The Madison County High School duo of Connor Hughes of Brightwood, Virginia, and Brian Canterbury of Madison, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 9 pounds even to win the 2017 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Virginia Open tournament on Claytor Lake. The win advanced the team to the 2017 High School Fishing National championship, held June 27-July 1 at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama.

According to post-tournament reports, the duo caught their fish targeting bedding fish and rocky banks in the mid- to lower-end of the lake with a Yamamoto Senko.

A field of 14 teams competed in the no-entry fee, tournament which launched from Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin. In FLW/TBF High School Fishing competition, the top 10-percent of teams competing advance to the High School Fishing National Championship.

The top team on Claytor Lake that advanced to the 2017 High School Fishing National Championship was:

  1st:       Madison County High School, Madison, Va. – Connor Hughes, Brightwood, Va., and Brian Canterbury, Madison, Va., (five bass, 9-0)

Rounding out the top 10 teams were:

  2nd:     New Kent High School, New Kent, Va. – Tyler Colgin, New Kent, Va., and Justin Bostic, Providence Forge, Va., (five bass, 6-14)

  3rd:      Broadway High School, Broadway, Va. – Austin Knicely, Harrisonburg, Va., and Anthony Lookadoo, Rockingham, Va., (five bass, 6-13)

  4th:      Pulaski County High School, Dublin, Va. – Landon McDaniel, Dublin, Va., and Paul Southern, Pulaski, Va., (five bass, 6-11)

  5th:      Tunstall High School, Dry Fork, Va. – Sean Gunter and Landon Siggers, both of Danville, Va., (five bass, 6-10)

  6th:      Buckeye Boss Hawgs – Briar West, Newport, Ohio, and Wyatt Oliver, Newport, Ohio, (three bass, 5-1)

  7th:      Dan River High School, Ringgold, Va. – Andrew Turner, Sutherlin, Va., and Ezra Johnson, Keeling, Va., (four bass, 4-7)

  8th:      New Kent High School, New Kent, Va. – Bryce Henley, Lanexa, Va., and Edward Davis, West Point, Va., (one bass, 3-8)

  9th:      Franklin County High School, Rocky Mount, Va. – Peyton Brown, Rocky Mount, Va., and Timmy Massey, Moneta, Va., (three bass, 2-11)

  10th:    Tunstall High School, Dry Fork, Va. – Chance Richie, Dry Fork, Va., and Evan Frazier, Dry Fork, Va., (two bass, 2-11)

Complete results from the event can be found at FLWFishing.com.

The 2017 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Virginia Open was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12, open to any Student Angler Federation (SAF) affiliated high school club in the United States. The top 10 percent of each Challenge, Open, and state championship field will advance to the High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2017 High School Fishing World Finals, held in conjunction with the National Championship. At the 2016 World Finals more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded.

Full schedules and the latest announcements are available at HighSchoolFishing.org and FLWFishing.com.

Courtesy of FLW Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

June 1, 2017--MARBURY, Md. – The seventh and final regular-season event of the 22nd season of the FLW Tour, the most competitive circuit in professional bass fishing, is coming to Marbury June 15-18 for the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar. Hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, the tournament will feature 320 pros and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

The FLW Tour last visited the Potomac River in 2015, when pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, took top honors with a four-day cumulative weight of 60 pounds even. This year, local pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, said he expects a lot more weight to come from the tidal fishery.

“I believe the weights will be substantially higher than when the Tour visited in 2015,” said Schmitt, who has 20 career top-10 finishes on the Potomac River in FLW competition. “The grass has really improved over the last two years and there’s a lot food in the system for these fish. The bass haven’t had to expend a lot of energy and have gotten big in a short amount of time.”

Schmitt said areas like Chicamuxen Creek, Wades Bay, Aquia Creek and Nanjemoy Creek will be popular because they tend to harbor the cleanest water.

“I think a lot of competitors will work their way into shallow, protected bays and cull through a ton of fish,” said Schmitt. “They’ll have to try to find that 4-pounder that sets them apart from the rest of the field – they’re out there.”

Schmitt said an assortment of baits including soft-plastic worms, jigs, frogs, stickbaits and swimbaits will be featured in this event. The Maryland veteran predicted the winner will need as much as 80 pounds of bass over four days to secure the win, a major increase in weight from just two years ago.

“If we don’t get any heavy rainfall or flooding prior to the event, I think we’re going to be in for a pleasant surprise,” said Schmitt. “This fishery can definitely produce 20 pound limits a day right now.”

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road, in Marbury. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, June 15-16, will be held at Smallwood State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, June 17-18, will also be held at Smallwood State Park, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, fans are invited to come out and experience the free FLW Expo at Smallwood State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The FLW Expo is a great opportunity for fishing fans of all ages to meet-and-greet with top FLW Tour anglers, enjoy games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Youth are also invited to participate in the free FLW Foundation Unified Fishing Derby at Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, on Saturday, June 17, from 9-11 a.m. The event, hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, is free and open to area youth (18 years of age and younger) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for the first 50 participants to use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.

Courtesy of FLW Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--A half-century ago, when Ray Scott of Montgomery, Ala., wanted to entice outdoor media to cover his upcoming press conference, he didn’t soft-sell the event.  He invited the journalists to meet him in Springdale, Ark., and learn about “The Biggest, Most Important Happening In Bass Fishing History.”

The “happening” was the All-American Bass Tournament on Beaver Lake, Arkansas, an event many mark as the beginning of the modern era of bass fishing. The tournament was held June 5-7, 1967 — 50 years ago next week. The tournament was successful enough to launch the professional fishing careers of Bill Dance, Stan Sloan, Don Butler and others, and it inspired Scott, an insurance salesman turned promoter, to conduct a “tournament trail” of events across the country.

And it spawned the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society — B.A.S.S. for short — which would grow into the world’s largest fishing organization with more than 500,000 members and a magazine, Bassmaster, currently read by 4.5 million people each month.

Bassmaster’s June issue marks the milestone of tournament fishing with a cover story written by Bob Cobb, who contributed greatly to the All-American’s success.

“This article is special because it pulls back the curtains and offers never-before-released details of how Scott was able to pull off a bass tournament that probably should not have happened,” said Bassmaster Editor James Hall. “Secondly, it is written by Bob Cobb, the first editor of Bassmaster Magazine, who was standing in the crowd during the weigh-in of the All-American event. Cobb was there, and he is one of only a few people on this earth able to tell the story in vivid detail from firsthand experience.”

Cobb is quick to note in his article that other tournaments, including Earl Golding’s Texas State Bass Tournament and Hy Peskin’s World Series of Sport Fishing, predated Scott’s event by a decade or more. But it wasn’t until the All-American Bass Tournament was held that competitive fishing caught on and outgrew its regional roots.

Thanks to tournaments organized by Scott and, later, by others, the black bass has become America’s most popular sportfish, helping drive a freshwater fishing industry that generates $73 billion for the nation’s economy and provides employment for more than 500,000 people nationwide.

“The celebration of Ray Scott’s first tournament is vital to our sport,” Hall said. “Ray and his small band of supporters legitimized bass fishing competitions and spawned an industry. That’s a big, big deal. Almost every tournament organization today still uses the basic rules developed for the All-American event held 50 years ago. That effort became the constitution for bass tournaments.”

Cobb, who was outdoors editor of the Tulsa Tribune newspaper at the time, said he was initially skeptical of Scott, but he bought into his vision for bass fishing after the two met in person.

“Scott looked me in the eye and told me about his dream to make bass fishing more popular, to create bass angling heroes, to get the sport on TV and have fishing fans watch and learn how-to techniques — the secrets of bass angling pros — and how he wanted to create a ‘Take A Kid Fishing’ movement and youth angling program, to ensure the future of the bass fishing sport,”.

He said those goals became the founding principles of B.A.S.S., which was officially organized in early 1968, when Butler became the first member of the organization and when the first issue of Bassmaster was published. B.A.S.S. will mark the 50th anniversary of those milestones with a yearlong celebration of the history of bass fishing, beginning in January 2018.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.--Despite high water and heavy flows on the Arkansas River, the GoPro Bassmaster Elite at Lake Dardanelle presented by Econo Lodge “is a go,” B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon said Wednesday.

“Barring unforeseen changes in weather or river conditions, the tournament will be held as planned,” Weldon said. He announced the decision after discussions this week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other local experts on river conditions. “However, we will continue to track developments at Lake Dardanelle, and we will reschedule the event if conditions dictate,” he added.

In a message to the 109 Elite anglers participating, Weldon urged them to exercise caution in running the river, and to be especially alert because some jetties are expected to be under the surface.

While flow on the river next week is predicted to be higher than normal, B.A.S.S. events in the past have taken place on the same fishery when water levels and flow rates were similar. Boyd Duckett won a Bassmaster Major tournament in 2007 after a planned event out of Little Rock was moved upstream to Dardanelle. And Mark Menendez won an Elite tournament in 2009 on the same section following high-water events. Both four-day tournaments were won with about 55 pounds of bass.

The high, muddy water could present challenges during the sixth regular-season Elite tournament, but you can bet as the 109-angler field spreads out across the 40,000 surface acres, somebody will catch them and take home the $100,000 first-place prize money.

The Arkansas River would typically be a factor during a tournament like this; but with the high-water conditions, the river might not be as fishable as in years past, thus restricting the anglers to the backwaters of Dardanelle.

“The red Oklahoma clay is being washed into smaller tributaries thanks to an overabundance of spring rain, which is eventually ending up in the Arkansas River with a destination of Lake Dardanelle,” said Jerry Williams, a retired professional bass fisherman from Conway, Ark., who has fished the lake for more than 30 years.

He said Dardanelle has been a great bass fishery for years, but upstream erosion has taken its toll on the vegetation growth.

“There are still plenty of opportunities for big fish and heavy stringers,” he said. “But thanks to the persistent difficult conditions in recent years, the muddy water greatly restricts the needed sunlight, which impacts how well aquatic plants grow.”

Williams started fishing the lake in 1970, and enjoyed an exciting career as a pro angler on the Bassmaster Top 100 and Top 150 circuits. He qualified for the Elite Series twice but declined the invitations. The Arkansas native has seen his share of tough tournaments, and he expects Dardanelle to be challenging.

“With the high-water conditions, the main river will be difficult to navigate, and the backwaters will be jammed with anglers,” he said. “There are plenty of great spots to consider on the main lake, but if the wind blows hard enough, the field will be forced to share the water along the shoreline.

“It’s very exciting to win a tough tournament, I think,” he said. “Knowing you beat everyone when the conditions aren’t conducive to catching numbers of bass really places the top angler on a pedestal. This one will come with an exciting finish for sure.”

Even if the fishing is better than he expects, a thrilling finish is likely. When Jason Christie of Oklahoma won here in May 2014 with 72 pounds, 3 ounces, only 4 ounces separated him and Gerald Swindle, and Greg Hackney was only 8 ounces out of the lead.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.