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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

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

November 1, 2017--MINNEAPOLIS – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Jimmy Ashlock, of Treviso, Italy, to begin sanctioning FLW bass-fishing tournaments in Italy. The agreement was signed by FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel and Ashlock, CEO and President of FLW Italy.

“We are really excited to become FLW partners and believe that we have a tremendous opportunity to grow the sport of bass fishing in Italy,” said Ashlock. “The FLW international sanctioning program is the best program for anglers worldwide, and our goal is to work collaboratively to grow the global FLW brand and help to advance bass fishing as a worldwide sport.”

Italy will run a series of FLW tournaments that advance anglers, who are citizens of the host country, to the International Division at the Costa FLW Series Championship beginning in 2018. Two anglers will compete as pros, with FLW providing Ranger boats, and two will compete as co-anglers.

The top pro award at the Costa FLW Series Championship is $95,000, including a Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard if the pro is Ranger Cup qualified, and the top co-angler award is a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard. The highest finishing pro from the International Division at the Costa FLW Series Championship will advance to the following year’s Forrest Wood Cup for the chance to compete on the sport’s biggest stage. FLW will also provide a Ranger boat for use in the Forrest Wood Cup.

"We are excited to add Italy to the growing list of countries that are now offering FLW tournaments," said Kathy Fennel, FLW president of operations. "The international expansion of FLW has flourished over the last three years, and we are proud to announce our latest addition on the eve of the 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship, which will showcase international anglers from all over the world. We look forward to the talented Italian anglers joining the competition in 2018.”

Italy is the sixth country to sign on for the international sanctioning program, joining Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea.

Additional FLW qualifying tournaments in other countries will continue to be forthcoming. Watch FLWFishing.com for details.

Named after the founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW introduced its Fishing League Worldwide tagline in 2014 to better reflect its status as the world’s largest tournament fishing organization. In early 2015, FLW expanded its presence on the world stage with the introduction of a sanctioning program allowing international partners to license the iconic brand and run FLW tournaments abroad.

Courtesy of FLW Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

November 4, 2017--PARIS, Tenn. – Boater Bradford Beavers of Ridgeville, South Carolina, caught five bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday – the only limit of the day – to win the Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake with a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 45 pounds, 12 ounces. Beaver’s efforts earned him $50,200 and a slot in the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup - the world championship of professional bass fishing.

Tournament anglers faced incredibly difficult conditions on Kentucky Lake this week. Bites were scarce, and the weather wasn’t very cooperative. The final 10 anglers and co-anglers were met with a fog delay at Saturday morning’s takeoff that lasted nearly 2 hours. Despite the setbacks, Beavers was able to bring in consistent limits of around 15 pounds each day and vault to the top of the standings after the third and final day of competition.

“I’m speechless. I can’t believe I won one of these events,” said Beavers, who will return to the Forrest Wood Cup for the second-consecutive year after qualifying through the FLW Series Championship. “I’ve been in the top 10 in four of these, and my fish have always fallen off on the last day. It’s unbelievable.”

Beavers spent his week fishing shallow bars on the main lake, just north of New Johnsonville. He said he worked through three areas, with two producing the bulk of his weight.

“I wanted to fish down there because I saw it had more shallow water and that’s where the grass used to be, from what I’ve read,” said Beavers. “I think they were community holes because a lot of people were fishing them. I tried to slow down and get on stretches where people fished for like five minutes before moving on.

“The sweet spots were about 35 yards long and had deep water nearby,” continued Beavers. “I don’t think I caught a fish in more than 1½ to 2 feet of water all week. I had to run my trolling motor on 25 (slow) just to keep from spooking them. It’s hard to be that stealthy in shallow water, but I tried to take advantage of the wind and let it push me.”

Beavers said he caught 90-percent of his fish this week on one lure – a bone- and chrome-colored Heddon Zara Spook. He also caught some key fish on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper, a Cotton Cordell Red Fin and a Pearl White-colored Zoom Magnum Fluke.

“The ticket for me today was adding a treble hook to the fluke,” said Beavers. “I caught one and lost three, but after I attached the treble hook it was on.”

The top finishing boater from each of the six Costa FLW Series divisions that qualified for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup were:

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be held Aug. 10-12 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Justin Hicks of Roanoke, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $30,000, including a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day total of eight bass weighing 30 pounds, 11 ounces. Gabriel Scott of Stanardsville, Virginia, finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 3 ounces, good for $12,700.

Courtesy of FLW 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

August 26, 2017--MARBURY, Md. – Boater Mike Hicks of Goochland, Virginia, weighed five bass totaling 16 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the Potomac River presented by Plano. Hick’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 48 pounds, 10 ounces, was enough to earn the win and $42,200.

“I’ve had a lot of top-10 finishes in past FLW events on the Potomac River, but never a win,” said Hicks, who earned his first career-victory as a boater in FLW Series competition. “I told my wife that I didn’t want to make the top 10 again – I wanted to win. I went out there, swung for the fences and it paid off.”

Hicks said he spent his mornings in Aquia Creek, picking apart grass beds with offshore milfoil clumps. He said he worked through a couple of community holes each day before moving on to different areas.

“I don’t normally fish community holes, but they produced a couple of good bites for me this week,” said Hicks. “The bigger fish were relating to the outermost clumps, and I weighed in three on Day One using a black Lobina Rio Rico topwater bait. I then ran to some wood and lily pads in Aquia and Potomac Creeks and filled out my limit.”

On Day Two, Hicks said he managed to catch another three keepers from the milfoil clumps on the Rio Rico, but wasn’t able to fill out a limit at his secondary areas. He said he decided to make a run to an area 25 miles north, near Pohick Bay, around 1:30 p.m. There, Hicks said he used a Team Daiwa TD Pencil topwater bait to complete his limit.

“I caught three in the back of a grass flat where the wind had blown out sediment and created a ditch,” said Hicks. “The sandy bottom was key. I think it was a good place for fish to ambush food.”

On Day Three, Hicks once again worked through his milfoil clumps, but couldn’t get anything to bite his Rio Rico.

“I noticed other anglers were catching them on swim jigs, so I picked up a 3/8-ounce bluegill-colored (Lil’ Hustler) swim jig with a Dirty Sanchez-colored (Reaction Innovations) Skinny Dipper and caught two of my biggest of the day,” said Hicks.

Hicks capitalized on his big bites and caught another three using the TD Pencil. He noted that his later catches on Day Three came from clearer water.

“When the water clears up, I think the Rio Rico is too big and makes too much noise,” said Hicks. “I’d call the TD Pencil more of a finesse-style topwater bait. I caught my last fish around 1:30 (p.m.) and that’s what I brought in.”

A complete list of results is available at FLWFishing.com.

Tim Dube of Nashua, New Hampshire, caught a 5-pound, 15-ounce bass Thursday – the heaviest of the tournament in the Pro Division. For his catch, Dube earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.

Richard Perez of Naples, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard motor with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 28 pounds, 3 ounces. 

Darrin Wells of Stafford, Virginia, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.

Congratulations Mike it's been a long time since we fished Lake Anna and Smith Mountain tournaments together you have surely earned this one.

Courtesy of FLW 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.