Google

User Profile
The Bass Hog
thebasshog@t...
Male
USA

 
Category
 
Recent Entries
 
Archives
 
Links
 
Visitors

You have 629607 hits.

 
Latest Comments

No Latest Comments at this time.

 
Navigation


 

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

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —The inaugural Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was held in May on one of the best-known and most popular tournament fisheries in the United States: Sam Rayburn Reservoir near Lufkin, Texas.

The 2018 edition of the $1 million Elite Series event will take place May 17-20 on a lake that B.A.S.S. has never visited before — Lake Travis near Jonestown, Texas — Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO, announced today.

“In its 50-year history, B.A.S.S. has held events on Sam Rayburn 31 times, but we’ve never had a professional-level bass tournament on Lake Travis,” Akin said. “It’s doubtful that many of our Elite Series anglers have ever fished the lake, and that’s bound to make for an exciting competition for the anglers and their fans.”

A picturesque, clear, highland reservoir on the Colorado River, Travis is popular among recreational boaters and watersport enthusiasts in the Austin area, and it also possesses a burgeoning bass fishery that anglers across the country are beginning to discover, according to Dave Terre, Texas’ chief of Inland Fisheries Management and Research.

“Lake Travis caught a bunch of new water in 2015 that inundated thousands of acres of brush habitat, resulting in a significant expansion of its bass population,” Terre explained. “TPWD responded by stocking over 750,000 Florida bass to enhance fishing quality. Lake Travis has since become a top destination for Texas bass anglers. We are excited to showcase this lake to a nationwide audience.”

“With 110 of the best bass anglers on the planet converging on Lake Travis, the millions of fishing fans who watch our live coverage of the event or read about it later will appreciate why this lake is considered the ‘crown jewel’ of the Colorado,” Akin added.

The event, which is covered in real time on Bassmaster LIVE programming on Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN and in a special episode of The Bassmasters television program to be aired later on ESPN2 and ESPN3, also will focus the national spotlight on the catch-weigh-release tournament format pioneered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.

Each Elite angler will be accompanied by a “judge” who will verify that the angler’s bass are weighed on a set of extremely accurate handheld scales. Weights of the five heaviest bass each day will go into each angler’s creel, and the heaviest four-day catch earns the $100,000 first-place award as well as a guaranteed invitation to the 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Anglers also will be able to bring in their heaviest bass of the day, if it’s longer than a predetermined minimum, to show off to the weigh-in crowd. Fish weighed in at Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown, Texas, will be returned to the lake and released alive. The heaviest bass of the tournament is worth a new Toyota Tundra pick-up with an estimated value of $50,000. The lake record is a 14.2-pound largemouth caught in 1993, but Travis is known more for its quantity of good-size bass than for producing giants like that one.

Another highlight of the Lake Travis event will be the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team tournament, which pairs the 12 top high school anglers in the country with Elite anglers for a one-day fun-fishing competition on a nearby lake.

Idaho angler Brandon Palaniuk won the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest on Sam Rayburn. It provided a springboard for a dream season that culminated in his winning the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

GREENVILLE/ANDERSON, S.C. —A star-studded field of 51 bass anglers has qualified to compete for more than $1 million in the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Only one spot remains to be filled in the world championship of bass fishing. It will go to the individual winner of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship, to be held in December.

Long known as the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, the Classic will take place — for the third time — on Lake Hartwell at Anderson, S.C., March 16-18. Morning takeoffs will be from the modern Green Pond Landing and Event Center in Anderson, and weigh-ins and the popular Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be held in Greenville on those dates.

Among the 13 former Classic champions competing for the $300,000 first prize are two who have won on Hartwell: Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., the winner in 2015, and Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas, the 2008 champion. Also aiming for bass fishing’s biggest prize are defending champion Jordan Lee of Guntersville, Ala., and four-time Classic winner Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.

VanDam also owns seven Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles. 

2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Contenders 

Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C. (9) 
Josh Bertrand, Gilbert, Ariz. (3) 
Hank Cherry, Lincolnton, N.C. (4) 
Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla. (6) 
Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash. (4) 
Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas (7) 
Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala. (1) 
Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn. (1) 
John Crews, Salem, Va. (11) 
John Cox, DeBary, Fla. (1) 
Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala. (1) 
Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark. (20) 
Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn. (7) 
Brent Ehrler, Newport Beach, Calif. (3) 
James Elam, Tulsa, Okla. (3) 
Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla. (17) 
Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas (16) 
Seth Feider, Bloomington, Minn. (1) 
Jacob Foutz, Charleston, Tenn. (1) 
Micah Frazier, Newnan, Ga. (2) 
Marty Giddens, Eclectic, Ala. (1) 
Luke Gritter, Otsego, Mich. (1) 
Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La. (15) 
Jamie Hartman, Newport, N.Y. (1) 
Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala. (16) 
Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J. (19) 
Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas (19) 
Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala. (9) 
Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla. (11) 
Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala. (7) 
Jordan Lee, Guntersville, Ala. (4) 
Matt Lee, Guntersville, Ala. (2) 
Brandon Lester, Fayetteville, Tenn. (3) 
Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala. (19) 
Mike McClelland, Bella Vista, Ark. (11) 
Rick Morris, Lake Gaston, Va. (6) 
Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss. (7) 
Brandon Palaniuk, Hayden, Idaho (8) 
Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz. (5) 
Jacob Powroznik, Port Haywood, Va. (4) 
Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif. (18) 
Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky. (2) 
Caleb Sumrall, New Iberia, La. (1) 
Carl Svebek, Orange, Texas (1) 
Gerald Swindle, Guntersville, Ala. (17) 
Stanley Sypeck Jr., Sugarloaf, Pa. (1) 
Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich. (27) 
David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn. (12) 
Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn. (2) 
Jesse Wiggins, Cullman, Ala. (2) 
Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C. (3) 

(Note: Number in parentheses indicates number of Classics qualified, including the 2018 Classic.)

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

Sept. 22, 2017--GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — For the past three years, Jacob Powroznik has qualified for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods by finishing inside the cut in the season-long Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings on the Bassmaster Elite Series.  This year, he had to work overtime to get to the Classic.  But he’ll be there just the same.

The Virginia pro caught 16 pounds, 11 ounces of bass Friday — compared to the 14-8 landed by Monroe — to earn the tournament’s automatic Classic berth.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” Powroznik said with tears in his eyes. “It’s just such a relief. It’s the most pressure I’ve ever fished under — and I mean ever.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t ever want to go through that again.”

The Classic Bracket featured the Top 8 finishers in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings who failed to qualify for the Classic. The seeds were: 1. Kennedy, 2. Michael Iaconelli, 3. Jonathon VanDam, 4. Kelley Jaye, 5. Lefebre, 6. Monroe, 7. Adrian Avena and 8. Powroznik.

Powroznik, who spent much of the earlier rounds fishing boat docks with a spinning reel, switched to a baitcaster and a swimbait and scored early with a 3-4 largemouth on his first cast. He added a 1-2 on his second cast and steadily built a solid five-bass limit of 11-4 before an hour had passed.

He upgraded with a 3-14 largemouth around 10 a.m. and then had one of the strangest occurrences of the Elite Series season when he landed a solid bass with a yellow cull tag clipped in its mouth.

The tag had likely been placed there by an angler in a previous tournament who then somehow failed to remove it when the bass was released.

Monroe’s on-boat judge, B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart, originally ruled that the cull tag had to be removed before the fish could be weighed. But Powroznik objected.

“That’s the way it was when I caught it,” he said. “If the bass had a bluegill in its throat, I would get to weigh the bluegill. If it had a lamprey stuck to it, I would get to weigh the lamprey.”

Stewart consulted B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon, who advised him to weigh the fish both ways — with the tag and without. The weight in both situations was 3-3.

Once the sun began to break, Powroznik moved away from his largemouth areas and went looking for smallmouth. That’s when he put the tournament away with smallies that weighed 4-3 and 3-0.

“That place I started this morning, I had fished it so many times,” Powroznik said. “I knew they were there because I had been catching every time I went. This morning, I decided I was going to do something different and I started with that swimbait. It was the right move.”

Monroe’s early-morning strategy carried him into a small, picturesque canal that led into a weed-lined pond known as “Little Pokegama.” The decision proved to be a tough one, as Monroe got only two bites in the area — both of which came from northern pike.

He finally caught his first bass — a small 1-3 largemouth — at 8:53 a.m. and followed quickly with a 3-6 at 8:57. But the big bite like the 5-1 smallmouth he landed during the semifinals Thursday never came, and he wasn’t able to catch Powroznik.

Just before the final round ended, Monroe — who has long been known as one of the fiercest competitors in the sport — hooked a fish and lost it, causing him to throw his rod in frustration.

When time ran out, he cranked his outboard and motored back toward the launch in total silence.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.  (Congratulations Jacob, fished the FLW BP Series on the Potomac with you way back when!)


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

August 27--MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. —Catching a drum isn’t usually much of a reason for a bass fisherman to get excited. They don’t count in a bass tournament, and they can waste valuable fishing time while the angler fights and lands them.

But it certainly excited Jason Christie this week — mostly because every time he’d catch one, the smallmouth bass in the area would get excited, too.

Christie caught five smallmouth that weighed 22 pounds on Championship Sunday to push his four-day weight to 88 pounds, 8 ounces. It was enough to win the Advance Auto Parts Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair and keep the Oklahoma angler in contention for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.

The drum were one of the keys to his week.

“Everything is lying on the bottom, and they were all eating crawdads,” said Christie, who is now a five-time B.A.S.S. winner. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught a drum here this week — and as the drum was coming up, it would be spitting out crawdads. There would be smallmouth out there below them, just eating everything they could get their mouths on.”

That commotion seemed to set the bass on fire.

“It’s just something that gets the bottom moving,” he said. “It may sound stupid, but I honestly believe that. I would take a drum off as fast as I could and throw my tube right back in there. I caught a lot of bass doing that.

Christie caught most of his bass with a Yum 4-inch tube in green pumpkin on a 3/4-ounce tube head. He used a Lew’s Custom Pro reel with a 7.5:1 gear ratio spooled with 10-pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon. His rod of choice was a 7-3 Falcon Cara Amistad Casting Rod.

“I chose a baitcaster for one reason,” he said. “I would rather use a spinning rod. But the grass is just thick enough that I couldn’t keep the bait clean on a spinning rod, and they wouldn’t eat it with grass on it.” The stiffer baitcast rod enabled Christie to rip the lure and shed any weeds clinging to it.

Garmin Panoptix helped Christie identify the smallmouth that were tagging along behind the drum in 15 to 20 feet of water. He said there seemed to be one solid window each day when the fish were really biting.

“Every day, there was an hour to hour-and-a-half spurt,” he said. “The first two days, it was the first hour. Saturday, it was 9 to 10, and today it was about the same time.

“I don’t know what makes them do that. I don’t know if you get a school fired up and you catch them real quick or what.”

Smallmouth are notorious for their high-flying acrobatics, and they’ll often throw a bait when they jump. But Christie said he was pleased with his execution during the landing process.

Mississippi angler Brock Mosley finished in second place for the second time in the past three Elite Series events with 86-5. Rookie Mark Daniels Jr. of Alabama earned his highest finish ever in an Elite Series event — third — with 85-7.

Besides winning the $100,000 first-place prize, Christie held onto to his second-place spot in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. With 796 points, Christie is just 15 points behind Brandon Palaniuk (811).

For retaining his lead in the AOY race, Palaniuk was awarded $1,000.

Mosley won the Livingston Lures Day 2 Leader Award of $500 for leading the tournament on Saturday’s second day of competition.

Christie was awarded the Toyota Bonus Bucks Award of $3,000 for being the highest-placing eligible entrant in the program. He also earned the Power-Pole Captain’s Cash Award of $1,000 for being the highest-placing angler who is registered and eligible and uses a client-approved product on his boat.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

RICHMOND, Va. —August 5, 2017--Thirty years of fishing the James River paid off for Virginia pro Rick Morris, who won the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open No. 2 on Saturday.

The Lake Gaston, Va., angler weighed in a 16-pound, 11-ounce five-bass limit and finished with a three-day total of 43-15 to clinch the pro division title. Morris received the top prize of a $45,000 Skeeter bass boat/Yamaha outboard rig and $6,784 in cash. He also qualified for the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, contingent upon him fishing the Northern Open finale at Douglas Lake in September.

The former Bassmaster Elite Series competitor ran to the Chickahominy River Saturday morning and noticed a “dead low” tide when he got there.

“So, the bite was pretty fast and furious, and I caught a lot of fish early because the water is clean when it is low,” he said.

Morris’ vast experience on the river helped him put together the patterns that produced all three competition days. He caught his fish on a Texas-rigged 6-inch Riverside ring worm (grape and powder blue) and Ditto worm in black and blue, a 3/4-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait and a 1/2-ounce War Eagle jig tipped with a Strike King Rage Craw. He knew bass on the James River feed on blue crabs, so he decided to use blue worms throughout the tournament to mimic the forage.

The worms produced best for Morris early Saturday morning. “I caught a good one of about 3 1/2 pounds and lost a real giant in a brush pile,” he said. “Then the tide started coming back in and the water was getting dirty, so we went to pitching the War Eagle spinnerbait and caught a few more.”

During midday, Morris moved out to the main river and started fishing dock blinds and barges with the War Eagle Jig and Strike King Rage Craw in various colors. Morris said he caught his fish the first two days running about the same spots and fishing with the same lures.

Henrico, Va., angler Jeff Hamilton finished second in the pro division with 42-14. He decided to stick close to home Saturday and fished around the Osborne Landing area.

“I feel real comfortable fishing there so that is what I did,” he said. “I just kind of grinded it out.”

The 40-year-old car salesman caught most of his fish Saturday on a Zoom Trick Worm. He also caught fish throughout the week on a Rapala DT6 crankbait, a Chatterbait and a Rebel Pop-R.

The other Top 5 finishers in the pro division were Shin Fukae, Palestine, Texas, third, 40-14; Garrett Paquette, Canton, Mich., fourth, 39-14; and Greg Dipalma, Millville, N.J., fifth, 39-7.

Jon Jezierski of Troy, Mich., caught only one keeper Saturday, but he still won the co-angler division with 20-5 and earned the grand prize of a $30,000 Triton bass boat/ Mercury outboard rig. The 49-year-old finish carpenter was bolstered by a Day 2 catch that included an 8- 9 largemouth he caught on a shaky head worm while fishing with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike Iaconelli. Jezierski’s big fish earned him the $250 Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award on the co-angler side.

The Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award of $750 on the boater side went to Rick Shannon of Woodlawn, Tenn., with an 9-3 bass.

Pete Gluszek received the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $250 for being the Day 2 leader in the pro division. Jezierski received the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $250 in merchandise for being the Day 2 leader in the co-angler division.

Morris earned the Power-Pole Captain’s Cash Award of $500 for being the highest-placing angler who is registered and eligible and uses a client-approved product on his boat.

Visit Richmond hosted the event. 

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. —Julyy 30, 2017--Nobody thought it was possible, Aaron Martens least of all. But on the final day of competition at the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain presented by Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Martens massed a 23-pound, 5-ounce sack of bass and stunned the crowd, and the field, who all thought such a feat was impossible. He edged second-place finisher Seth Feider of Bloomington, Minn., by a little less than a pound.

“I'm still in shock,” Martens said, surrounded by reporters behind the stage, trophy at rest beside him on a chair. “I can’t believe I won. It still hasn’t set in yet.”

Martens, originally from California but now a resident of Leeds, Ala., wasn’t sure how much his limit weighed — it’s difficult to judge weight at a tournament where winners can be decided by ounces. But his bag included a 6-2 largemouth that was second only to Seth Feider’s 6-4 bass, which won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award of $1,500 for the tournament.

“I didn't know how much I actually had,” Martens said. “The only time all day when I thought I had a shot to win was when I saw 23-5 on the scales. The BASSTrakk (unofficial leaderboard) said I had 20-11. I thought I maybe had 22. But I just didn’t know. I overestimated BASSTrakk the first day, so maybe I got a little gun-shy and underestimated today. I’m still really in shock.”

For Martens, each B.A.S.S. win is a redemption of sorts. He’s widely regarded as one of the best anglers to compete in the modern era of bass fishing, and this marks only his ninth B.A.S.S. win across almost two decades of competition. Alongside those nine wins sit 13 gut-wrenching second-place finishes — four of which were at the Bassmaster Classic and seven were at Elite events.

Martens’ last win came at the 2015 Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay.

Martens also set a unique B.A.S.S. mark today: He climbed 19 spots on the final day to win an Elite event — a feat made possible because this weather-shortened event spanned three days, instead of four, and the Top 51 anglers fished the final day, instead of the traditional Top 12.

His winning pattern involved drop shotting a 4-inch Roboworm in Aaron’s magic red color on massive weed flats. The largemouth and smallmouth were mixed together and he caught quality fish of both species, although it was the largemouth that ultimately propelled him to victory.

He fished predominantly deep (20 to 30 feet) the first two days, but moved shallow today into 12 to 21 feet. He made a critical tackle change and switched to a 6'11" medium-heavy rod that allowed him to move hooked fish through the grass and to the boat. He noted that areas with several different weed types were best.

Brandon Palaniuk of Hayden, Idaho, retained his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with one event remaining in the season. He was awarded $1,000 for leading at the end of the event.

“I don’t think about the race — I just think about catching them the next day,” Palaniuk said. “Every guy wants to win an Angler of the Year title, but I know for me, mentally, I fish a lot better not knowing where I am in the race. It’s not like I don’t care. It’s more like a racecar driver — if you’re worried about the guy behind you, you’re looking back and slowing down. I’m not going to do that. I’m going full speed ahead.”

Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., won the Livingston Lures Day 2 Leader Award of $500 for leading the tournament on Saturday’s second day of competition.

Palaniuk was also awarded the Toyota Bonus Bucks Award of $3,000 for being the highest-placing eligible entrant in the program.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BEMIDJI, Minn. —August 3, 2017--Ninety of the best collegiate student/angler teams representing 59 of the nation’s universities will meet for the 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, August 10-12 on Minnesota’s Lake Bemidji.

College anglers can compete in one of five regionals and in a wild card qualifier for the opportunity to advance to the national championship.

After three days of championship competition, the best team will be crowned national champions.

Bemidji State University and Visit Bemidji will join with B.A.S.S. as the host of this prestigious competition.

“Both here at Bemidji State and across the community, people are truly proud and excited to welcome these collegiate anglers,” said Scott Faust, director of communications and marketing for BSU. “It’s an honor to share the quality of our fishing and the beauty of northern Minnesota.”

From there, the Top 4 teams will advance to the College Bracket to be held at an undisclosed location, Aug. 14-16. At that point, team members will fish solo and be pitted against one another in a bracket-style, win-and-advance competition.

The eight anglers will vie for a berth into the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, scheduled for South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, March 16-18.

“Visit Bemidji is excited to partner with B.A.S.S. and Bemidji State University for the 2017 Bassmaster College Series National Championship,” said Susan Goudge, executive director for Visit Bemidji. “The event will be second to none with our university campus being located on the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji.”

Goudge said the scenic lakes and local amenities provide an ideal venue for the nation’s top college anglers.

“Lake Bemidji and area lakes are naturally connected to multiple waterways that include the Mississippi River,” she said. “Bemidji, First City on the Mississippi, looks forward to welcoming the fishing teams, families and B.A.S.S. staff to our beautiful community. And, we’d like to wish the best of luck to all the young anglers.”

Following the tournament briefing Tuesday night, Yamaha Pro Night will take place when several of the stars on the Bassmaster Elite Series will offer seminars. Pros will include Minnesota native Seth Feider, Dustin Connell, Josh Bertrand, Justin Lucas and 2017 Classic champion and former college champion Jordan Lee.

Lee will also be the keynote speaker during Sponsor Night, which is set to take place Wednesday evening before official competition kicks off Thursday morning.

The 2012 Bassmaster college champion Matt Lee, the older brother of Jordan Lee, said fishing at the college level and winning the national championship helped mold and prepare him for a career as pro angler on the Elite Series.

“I sat there in the briefing before the 2012 college championship began, and I was thinking about how difficult it would be to win that tournament,” Matt said. “But I was ready for it, and it was a dream come true to actually win it. That time really prepared me to make smart decisions on the water, interact with the media and fans and what it meant to be a champion.”

Matt also said finishing college is paramount.

“As much as I wanted to skip out on finishing school and start fishing the Bassmaster Opens working for an Elite invite, earning my degree was critical,” he said. “You never know what life is going to throw your way, and having a degree will lay the groundwork for a successful life regardless if you decide to fish as a pro or not.”

For more information, visit Bassmaster.com/college.

Courtesy of BASS 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.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

LUFKIN, Texas--It’s not like Brandon Palaniuk had never won a Bassmaster Elite Series event. Coming into this week, the 29-year-old pro from Idaho had already claimed Elite Series trophies in 2012 and 2013 and came close to raising that win total with three other second-place finishes.

But for an intense competitor known as the “prodigy,” the four-year victory drought was an itch he desperately needed to scratch — and he did it during this week’s Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Palaniuk caught 24 pounds, 7 ounces of bass during Wednesday’s opening round and followed with 23-2 and 24-7 the next two rounds. Then he caught he caught 21-12 on Championship Sunday to push his four-day total to 93-12 and hold off a late charge by California pro Brent Ehrler.

Ehrler, who led the first two days, finished second with 91-12.

“I never found a school in practice where I could just go and pound on them and catch multiple fish in one spot,” said Palaniuk, who earned a $100,000 first-place prize and an automatic berth into the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented DICK’S Sporting Goods. “It wasn’t until the tournament started to roll around that more and more fish started to transition out and school up on spots.

It was a sign of things to come for Palaniuk when he started Wednesday’s opening round with his biggest fish of the tournament — a largemouth that weighed 8-4. Palaniuk caught the bass in deeper water than what was being fished by most of the field.

That gave him the confidence to stay away from the shallower areas that were holding incredible numbers of bass, but not necessarily the size it would take to win.

“I was torn between deep and shallow,” he said. “There were so many fish shallow, and you could get so many bites, but I just wasn’t getting the big fish that I needed. I just kept telling myself the big fish were out deep, and if I could stick it out and get five to 10 bites a day, I could have a chance to win.”

Palaniuk said he spent a lot of time idling around looking for the usual summer postspawn hot spots, like the tips of points, humps and ledges.

He found lots of smaller fish on those places. But while moving from spot to spot on straight banks, he found a several brushpiles on his Humminbird electronics with incredible numbers of crappie and one or two bigger dots that he believed were bass. In that situation, he used a Neko Rig with a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm — and immediately caught a big fish.

“I knew that if I was hooking 8- or 9-pounders in brushpiles on that lighter line, there was a chance I was going to lose some,” he said. “Those fish are so strong, and that stuff is so thick. And it wasn’t like I was fishing the outsides of it. I was throwing directly into it and trying to get it to drop directly down into the center where the fish were.”

Palaniuk’s key bait for shallower, more aggressive fish was the size 13 Storm Arashi Top Walker in the pro blue color pattern. For deeper fish — since he couldn’t get bass to bite a crankbait — his top two lures were a 10-inch Zoom Ol’ monster worm in the plum color pattern with 1/2-ounce VMC tungsten weight pegged with a VMC stop on a 5/0 heavy-duty VMC extra-wide gap hook, and a Neko Rig Zoom with a green pumpkin magnum trick worm on a 1/0 weedless Neko hook that will debut at the annual ICAST fishing industry trade show in July.

Though Ehrler finished 2 pounds away from his first Elite Series victory, he didn’t go home emptyhanded. For catching the Toyota Big Bass of the week — a 9-1 largemouth on the first day — he earned a $50,000 Toyota Tundra pickup truck.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.