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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

CLAYTON, N.Y. — Fall’s seasonal transition took a big chunk out of Cal Climpson’s practice findings, but the Canadian pro located enough quality to assemble a limit catch of 27 pounds, 7 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands.

The recent arrival of cooler weather and big winds have cracked the whip on large schools of smallmouth that had been lounging in deep water. With schools fragmenting and scattered fish starting to push shallower, consistency has become challenging.

“I had quite a bit of fish located in practice, but a lot of my spots were dry today, so I had to work really hard to get that weight,” Climpson said. “I wish I knew where they moved to. The fish that I caught were ones that stuck around in the same depths as they were in practice.

“This is classic September; the fish are in all depths right now. The water temperature has dropped 7 to 8 degrees in the last week and a half, and the fish are not as grouped up as they were in August.”

Knowing that Lake Ontario has historically produced a higher quality of fish than the St. Lawrence — river fish burn more calories in the higher current — Climpson began his day in the big water.

“I snuck out into the lake, but then it started getting rough, so I ended up in the river around noon,” Climpson said. “What I caught was about fifty-fifty between the lake and the river.”

For his Lake Ontario work, Climpson ran about 7 miles out and targeted an area of rock and transition bottom (rock to gravel) in 25 to 35 feet. Noting that large, isolated boulders were the key spots, Climpson said his Garmin LiveScope played a key role in his success.

“I’d be casting around until I saw one and then I’d start targeting it,” he said. “I was able to catch a couple of fish that I saw on LiveScope.

“When it was calmer this morning, I was using the trolling motor to try and cover some water, but once the wind picked up, I just let it (propel my drift).”

Climpson said he found that the fish were on the move, even within the spot he fished. To counter this, he made measured drifts that worked progressively across the hard bottom. Drifts that yielded a catch earned a follow-up pass.

Back in the St. Lawrence River, Climpson caught fish with a similar game plan.

Anchoring his bag with the 6-9 he caught in the lake, Climpson said he tried a variety of baits, but caught all of his fish on a drop shot. While keeping his bait particulars guarded, Climpson said he used a 3/4-ounce weight to keep his drop shot on target in rough water.

“I actually caught fish on three different drop-shot baits,” Climpson said. “I just rotated through the baits if I didn’t get bit.”

Cooper Gallant of Bowmanville, Canada, is in second place with 27-0. Committing his day to Lake Ontario, Gallant fished a long point using a drop shot to target several key areas in depths of 7 to 30 feet.

“I had (most of) my weight by 10 and then I upgraded once around 1 o’clock,” Gallant said. “Then I just went looking the rest of the day.

“I knew I was on a 25-pound bag in practice and I knew 27 was possible. Honestly, today I thought I had 25. I didn’t even weigh them. I just like to throw them in the livewell and surprise myself at the end of the day.”

Gary Adkins of Green Bay, Wis., is in third place with 25-10. Spending his day in the lake, Atkins said that carefully controlling his drift speed for natural presentations was essential to his success. He also benefited from a change in conditions.

“I caught my biggest fish — a 5-7 — around 1 o’clock,” Adkins said. “Actually, once the wind picked back up, the bite got better because of more current. I’m on a structure that needs current and when that current blows up on there, the fish move up to feed.”

Sharing the third-place spot is Kevin Park of Waymart, Pa.

Climpson, Brock Belik of Orchard, Neb., and Chris Hellebuyck of Waterford, Mich., share the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors. Each angler caught a 6-9 smallmouth.

Sakae Ushio of Tonawanda, N.Y., leads the co-angler division with 15-3. Matthew Mccarthy of Marysville, Ohio, holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 6-12.

Jonathan Kelley of Old Forge, Pa., leads the Bassmaster Northern Open standings with 551 points. Alex Redwine of Blue Ash, Ohio, is second with 545, followed by Spike Stoker of Cisco, Texas, with 533, Michael Iaconelli of Pitts Grove, N.J., with 527 and Hugh Cosculluela of Spring, Texas, with 522.

Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., leads the overall Falcons Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings with 977 points.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. ET at the Antique Boat Museum. The weigh-in will be held back at the museum at 2:30 p.m. Coverage of the event will be available at Bassmaster.com.

1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce and the Antique Boat Museum are hosting the event.

Courtesy of BASS Communications 2021.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

August 16, 2021

Akin_Bruce.jpgBIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After 10 years serving as CEO of B.A.S.S., Bruce Akin will be retiring September 30, company officials announced today. B.A.S.S. Chairman Chase Anderson will be assuming responsibility for the organization’s day-to-day operations and serving as CEO.

Over the past year, Akin oversaw the beginning of a new multiyear television deal with FOX Sports, which ensured live broadcast coverage for every Elite Series event and the Bassmaster Classic for the first time in history. The eight hours of live coverage during the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk reeled in nearly 2 million viewers to the FOX broadcast network and FS1.

Under Akin’s leadership, B.A.S.S. also set records for attendance at both the Bassmaster Classic and Elite Series events, introduced junior, high school and kayak tournament trails, revived the Redfish Cup Championship and recorded growth in almost every facet of its business, including membership, viewership, readership and digital engagement, with record-breaking engagement on Bassmaster.com and Bassmaster social media channels in 2021.

“I am incredibly proud of everything B.A.S.S. has accomplished in the past decade and am especially excited about the growth we’ve seen as a brand and across our sport,” Akin said. “During a challenging time, we’ve seen how important fishing is and how people gravitate to the outdoors, and I look forward to seeing how the industry continues to serve anglers. B.A.S.S. has a storied history and a bright future, but I am excited to get started on this next chapter in my life.

“Through working with our associates, anglers and sponsors I’ve made some great friends in this industry. It really will be the people I’ll miss most.”

Akin originally planned to retire last year but stayed on to guide the organization through the pandemic, ensuring that the Bassmaster Elite Series completed its full schedule. This solid leadership during an uncertain time was part of why Akin was named one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s Executives of Influence for 2020.

Akin is a respected and effective leader in the sportfishing industry as part of the American Sportfishing Association Board of Directors and as an active member of the Center for Sportfishing Policy and Keep America Fishing. He has also long been active in civic affairs, serving the community as part of the board of advisors for The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences, board of directors of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation and Leadership Birmingham.

“Bruce has been instrumental in growing B.A.S.S. over the past decade and has demonstrated a tireless dedication to serving our associates, anglers, members, fans and business partners,” said Anderson. “Bruce’s leadership has been instrumental in positioning B.A.S.S. as the growth-focused industry leader we are today. Thanks to Bruce’s solid guidance, we are better positioned for the future and focused on being the leader in the sportfishing industry for many years to come.”

Anderson Media Corp. acquired controlling interest in B.A.S.S. in 2017 and Anderson has been working as Chairman of B.A.S.S. LLC while also serving on the board of directors and in strategic roles for several other Anderson family-owned companies.

“I have been working directly with our associates, anglers and business partners for the past four years, and am excited for the opportunity to expand my role and work more closely with everyone in a more hands-on capacity. Much of my time has been spent on the operations of B.A.S.S., and I look forward to dedicating even more of my time to working with our great team as we continue to grow. My family and I have always had a long-term view of the business and organization, and I’m really excited about our future. I have so enjoyed working closely with Bruce and he’s been a great mentor and friend. I wish him the absolute best in retirement.”

No other changes to the organization’s daily operations are currently planned.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It was a day of firsts for Bill Perkins, as the New York pro made the most of his Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens debut to dominate the Northern Division event at Oneida Lake from start to finish with a three-day winning total of 52 pounds, 3 ounces.   

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

With weights of 18-11 and 17 pounds, the first two rounds gave Perkins a slim lead each day. On Championship Saturday, he stepped on the gas, added 16-8 and crossed the finish line more than 2 pounds ahead of second-place A.J. Slegona Jr., of Walker Valley, N.Y.

Because Perkins didn’t fish the first Northern Open of the season on the James River, he’s not eligible for an automatic berth into the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. That berth will go instead to Texas pro Ray Hanselman, who was sitting on the verge of Classic qualification in the Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year standings. 

But Perkins, a resident of Rochester, N.Y., still earned the Skeeter Boats top prize of $45,000 — and was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“I haven’t let loose in three days; I haven’t slept, I haven’t eaten, I’ve been losing my mind, but it was all worth it,” he said. “I don’t know what to say, I’m just superappreciative.

“Thank God — He blessed me this week and He’s blessed me time and time again. I thank B.A.S.S., I thank my family and friends. The last three days have been epic. I won’t ever forget it.”

Spending his tournament in the midlake region, Perkins targeted rocky bottom structure in about 14 to 20 feet.

The first two days, he had to contend with full-field crowding, plus strong winds that presented challenging conditions. While there was no escaping the boat pressure, Perkins managed to moderate the latter impediment with tackle adjustments.

“I was fishing a drop shot with a 2.8-inch Keitech Easy Shiner and a 1/4-ounce tungsten weight, and a 1/6-ounce Z-Man finesse Ned head with a Z-Man TRD in the goby Bryant color,” Perkins said. “I had to go heavier on my weights to keep the baits on the bottom.

“Even with that adjustment, it was hard to make accurate presentations because I was getting blown off my spots by the wind. Even with Spot-Lock, I was getting blown back.”

A field that was reduced to 10 for the final round allowed Perkins the freedom to fish just about anywhere he wanted. The biggest advantage, however, was the nearly flat conditions, which allowed him to closely inspect his area with his Humminbird MEGA 360 and make precise presentations.

“I’ve been running multiple areas and today, I sat down on my best spot in Fisher Bay because there wasn’t as many guys on the water and I had it all to myself,” Perkins said. “There was a bunch of isolated rock in there and I was just slowly picking it apart.”

Surprisingly, Perkins was unable to get bit on his drop shot or Ned Rig Saturday, so he switched to a 1/2-ounce Keitech tungsten football head with a green pumpkin Keitech Spider Grub. Working this bait with a painfully slow retrieve delivered prompt results.

“I had a limit today by 8:04 and I caught my biggest one — about a 4 1/4 — at 7:30,” Perkins said. “That took the pressure off.”

Day 1 yielded only six bites and Perkins had to endure several hours of catching only drum before boating a bass at 11:30. Day 2 started more productively, with a limit by 10:04, but Perkins would catch only six fish. He attributed his final-round success to persistence.

“The key was staying put,” he said. “I got all my good bites in Fisher (the first two days) and I said, ‘There’s not going to be nearly as many guys today, I’m gonna buckle down in there.’ I had it all to myself — it was great.”

Slegona placed second with 50-2. After a 21st-place bag of 15-12, he added 17-14 on Friday and entered Championship Saturday in third place. Matching Perkins’ final-round weight allowed him to rise one spot.

Focusing on main-lake rock shoals in 10 to 12 feet, Slegona fished a Carolina-rigged Zoom Speed Craw in grassy areas. In more open areas, he used a 1/2-ounce Keitech football jig with an Erie Darter trailer.

“I only had six to seven bites a day throughout the tournament,” Slegona said. “It was just all about timing. They turn on at different times and, every once in a while, you get the right rockpile with fish biting on it.”

Sam George of Athens, Ala., finished third with 49-8. He caught 18-2 on Day 1 and tied Thomas Hughes of Cicero, N.Y., for third place, then added 16-10 on Friday and moved up to second before slipping back a spot with a final-round limit of 14-12.

Targeting a large main-lake grass flat with gravel patches, George caught his fish by drop shotting a Strike King Rage Swimmer in sexy shad and a Strike King KVD Dream Shot in honey candy.

“I got a little dialed in on Day 1,” George said. “I had a rough start and didn’t get a lot of bites, but late in the day, I got on a little area where it started happening for me.”

Liam Blake of Syracuse, N.Y., won the $750 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award.

George won the $500 Garmin Tournament Rewards for being the highest finishing competitor using Garmin products.

Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, leads the Northern Open standings with 392 points. Mike Iaconelli of Pitts Grove, N.J., is in second with 381, followed by Hugh Cosculluela of Spring, Texas, with 372, Alex Redwine of Blue Ash, Ohio, with 360 and Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., with 357.

Powroznik leads the overall Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens points standings with 878 points.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

June 13, 2021 FORT WORTH, Texas — Hank Cherry now occupies some rare air in the sport of professional bass fishing, and he has the bank statements to prove it.

The Lincolnton, N.C., pro, caught five bass Sunday that weighed 13 pounds, 1 ounce and won the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk with a three-day total of 50 pounds, 15 ounces.

He is only the fourth angler in the 51-year history of the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing to win the event in back-to-back years. He earned another of the iconic Classic trophies and his second $300,000 check in 18 months.

Another North Carolina pro, Matt Arey, finished second with 49-1 and lost at least one big bass on Championship Sunday that might have put him over the top.

“I feel bad for Matt, and I told him I’ve been where he was,” Cherry said. “I had the same thing happen to me and mine happened a lot closer to the boat.

“I’m not giving it back — not apologizing for it. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Cherry, a nine-year veteran of the Bassmaster Elite Series, finished third in his first Classic back in 2013 on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees. Like Arey, he lost a crucial fish in that event that would have given him the trophy.

He went through a tough stretch in the Classic after that, finishing no higher than 27th in three tries. But then he put the bad memories of 2013 behind him last year on Lake Guntersville when he caught 29-3 on the first day and rode that mammoth bag to a wire-to-wire victory.

He didn’t quite go wire-to-wire this year, starting in third place on the first day with a limit of 20-4. But as suffocating heat moved into the area, the fishing got tougher and Cherry remained consistent enough to stay on top with a Day 2 catch of 17-10 and a final-round bag of 13-1 that was just enough.

He caught the bulk of his weight during the week flipping flooded bushes along the shoreline and throwing a jerkbait around riprap along the dam.

“The bite in the bushes is going away,” Cherry said. “It’s so hot out there right now. The water temperature was 71 degrees when we got here for practice, and I saw it as high as 87 today. A lot of those bushes are starting to break down, and those fish just don’t want to be there.

“I was fortunate to get enough out of them to win.”

For flipping the bushes, Cherry used a 3/4-ounce tungsten weight with a 4/0 flipping hook and a variety of soft-plastic baits, including a Berkley Pit Boss, a craw lure and a beaver-style bait.

“I would just alternate between five or six baits, back and forth,” he said. “That probably wasn’t as much for the fish as it was for me. Whatever I was using, I was doing the same thing. But it felt like I was doing something different.”

When the bass got extremely lethargic in the 99-degree heat Sunday, Cherry did actually make a change to his flipping setup, switching to a 1/4-ounce tungsten weight with a 3/0 hook. He had two fish in his livewell at the time but caught three bass to fill his limit within 30 minutes after making the switch.

“I caught maybe the dumbest bass in the lake,” Cherry said. “I flipped into a bush and instead of going into the bush, that lighter bait kind of ricocheted off of it. The bass actually swam out of the bush to get the bait and swam back in with it.”

That fish weighed almost 4 1/2 pounds and helped Cherry recharge on a day when he said sweat was constantly rolling into his eyes and blinding him.

When Cherry fished the rocks along the dam, he used a new jerkbait called a Berkley Stunna in the stealth shad color. He believes he caught the tail end of the jerkbait bite, just as he did with the flipping bite.

“The bushes I was fishing, if the lake was at normal pool, they wouldn’t even be in the water,” Cherry said. “So, you know the fish are probably itching to move away from there and go offshore.

“I think the same is true around those rocks. The heat is just radiating off those things — and if it makes us miserable, you know it probably makes them miserable, too.”

Cherry joins Rick Clunn (1976-77), Kevin VanDam (2010-11) and Jordan Lee (2017-18) as the only back-to-back Classic winners. This marks his fourth victory with B.A.S.S., including last year’s Classic, an Opens win on Smith Lake in 2012 and an Elite Series victory on Muskegon and White Lakes in 2013. He was the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year.

Cherry said he enjoyed his reign as the 2020 Classic champion even though the year was marred by the COVID-19 pandemic and many of the personal appearances he might have made as Classic champ didn’t happen.

Whether this next reign will be different, he couldn’t say for sure.

“I don’t know what to expect, I really don’t,” Cherry said. “I’ll just take it as it comes — and I’ll never doubt just how blessed I am.”

Frank Talley of Temple, Texas, took home Berkley Big Bass honors and an additional $2,500 for his 8-3 caught on Day 1.

As part of the Yamaha Power Pay program, sixth-place finisher Scott Canterbury of Odenville, Ala., earned a $20,000 bonus.

Cherry took home an additional $7,500 for being the highest-placing entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program, and Chris Jones of Bokoshe, Okla., earned $2,500 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

The Bassmaster Classic was hosted by the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Visit Fort Worth.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

LEESBURG, Fla. — When Patrick Walters happened across a golden opportunity, the Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Summerville, S.C., stepped on the gas and sacked up a five-bass limit of 24 pounds to lead Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open at the Harris Chain of Lakes.

Walters, who opened his 2021 season with a fourth-place finish in the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River, said he typically approaches Florida events by moving fast in practice to locate productive areas and then slowing down with methodical tournament execution.

Thursday saw him go off script.

“Honestly, sometimes, it’s just fluke luck,” Walters said of his unexpected morning events. “I started throwing a (lipless crankbait) on a spot, and I looked down and saw two of them chasing my bait.

“I said, ‘Okay, maybe there’s some fish here.’ I passed through there, turned around and started whacking them. I probably caught 30 fish there and had my weight by 10 a.m. and then I left.”

Committing his day to Lake Harris, Walters found those morning bass in about 6 feet of water. He attributed the attraction to the right mix of habitat and clarity.

“There’s a little bit of clear water, there’s some hard bottom, there’s some grass; it’s just that good mixture,” he said. “It’s also a little shallower than most people are fishing.”

With a cold front dropping overnight and tournament morning temperatures by about 10 degrees, Walters surmised that Thursday’s postfrontal “bluebird” skies had repositioned the shallow fish. The ones he was catching were postspawn fish that had pushed out from recent bedding areas and staged in a comfortable recuperation area.

“I should have had about 28 pounds (based on the length of the fish), but every single one of them was skinny as a rail,” he said. “I think they just stopped at the first feeding spot.

“The good thing is I caught them pretty well and I didn’t have to burn any of my other water. I didn’t touch any of the stuff I’d found in practice, so I’m going to go back tomorrow and ride this as long as I can.”

Noting that his spot is most productive in the morning, Walters said he caught his bass on a mixture of lipless baits and jerkbaits. Returning in the afternoon, he found a couple more bites that encouraged him to keep that spot in his Day 2 game plan.

“There was some dirtier water that moved in later in the day, so I may go there (on Friday) and not catch another fish, but I pulled in there around 2 and caught a couple more on a Zoom Mag Trick Worm,” he said.

Walters said his productivity belied a lean practice.

“My other spots were similar but a little different,” he said. “Practice was tough, but I thought I could catch a limit in (my spots). It’s a little different type of cover than what I fished today.

“The good thing is I didn’t have to fish those spots today. I had some good flipping bites in practice, but I didn’t get any flipping bites today.”

Scott Gibbs of Rome, Ga., is in second place with 21-5. Making his Harris Chain debut, he crafted a concise game plan of targeting hydrilla and eelgrass in Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris and stuck with it all day.

Gibbs caught his fish slow rolling a reaction bait.

“My plan was to hit some areas where I thought there’d be some good postspawn fish,” Gibbs said. “I had three key areas and I made a little milk run.”

Alex Wetherell of Middletown, Conn., is in third place with 20-11. He looked for shallow bed fish, but when that search came up empty, he moved offshore and used a combination of moving baits and slower presentations to target postspawn bass in deep grass.

“I looked for the thicker stuff, and the cleaner the water, the better,” he said. “Those were the only two good spots I had and I milked them all day. Thankfully, they had some good fish on them.”

Charles Proctor of Conway, S.C., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with a 9-0 largemouth.

JW Battle Jr. holds the overall lead in the co-angler division with 13-11, and Jeff Fellows holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with an 8-8 largemouth. Both anglers are from Orlando.

Besides prize money and a berth in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, the anglers are fishing this week for valuable points that will count toward the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year title. The title, which was won last year by North Carolina pro Bryan New, carries a cash prize of $10,000.

This year’s Opens circuit includes three divisions — Southern, Central and Northern — with three events in each. The Top 3 finishers from each division’s points standings will receive an invitation to fish the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series, as will the Top 3 from the overall standings accumulated in all three divisions.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET from Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach). Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach) at 2:45 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Bass Pro Shops in Orlando at 4 p.m.

Lake County and the City of Leesburg are hosting the tournament.

2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Basspro.com

2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series Premier Sponsors: Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha

2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Bass Pro Shops, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Marathon, Rapala

Courtesy of BASS, LLC Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

Millions Watch Bassmaster Comeback On Lake Eufaula

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The highly anticipated return of the Bassmaster Elite Series season and Buddy Gross’s dramatic final-day comeback lured in approximately 2.8 million viewers, who followed live, on-the-water action from the DEWALT Bassmaster Elite at Lake Eufaula for four days on ESPN2.

“Thanks to our longtime partner, ESPN, we were able to air more than 19 hours of real-time coverage, reaching more viewers and creating fans across the country,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Our Elite Series anglers reeled in big bags while also doing an incredible job taking the time to explain the sport to those who might be watching bass fishing for the first time.”

Between televised coverage on ESPN2 and the livestream on Bassmaster.com and ESPN3, fans watched more than 85 million minutes of tournament coverage.

It wasn’t difficult for everyone from enthusiastic fishing fans to complete novices to get drawn into the action at Lake Eufaula, which saw a new leader each day of the event and featured a bevy of impressive catches. On the Final Day, Gross surged from 10th place — more than 7 pounds behind leader Scott Canterbury — to take home his first Elite Series win and the $100,000 prize.

While the increased viewership is encouraging for the growth of sportfishing, it also reflects the tremendous growth in both interest and participation that fishing is enjoying so far this year.

States across the country have seen remarkable growth in fishing license sales as many seek to reconnect with their families and the outdoors. Iowa, Minnesota, Vermont and Louisiana all report more than 50% higher fishing license sales in 2020, according to their state conservation agencies. Considered a hotbed of recreational fishing, even Alabama has experienced a 37% jump in resident fishing license sales.

An hour-long episode of The Bassmasters television show featuring highlights and analysis from the Lake Eufaula tournament will air later this year on ESPN2, ESPN Classic and the Pursuit Channel. A complete 2020 tournament schedule can be found at Bassmaster.com/tv-schedule.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Public boat ramp closures in South Carolina and Kentucky, as well as extended federal guidelines limiting social gatherings to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, have prompted B.A.S.S. to postpone four additional upcoming tournaments.

The Bassmaster Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, S.C., Carhartt Bassmaster College Series at Lake Cumberland presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series at Lake Cumberland presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors and Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior Series at Lake Cumberland, all three to be held in Jamestown, Ky., are being rescheduled for later in the year, B.A.S.S. officials announced today.

“B.A.S.S. believes it is imperative to heed the advice not only of the CDC but of our elected officials as our country navigates this national crisis,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We are encouraging our anglers, staff and fans to live smart and fish smart, practicing responsible social distancing measures and doing their part to help limit the spread of this disease.”

B.A.S.S. has postponed eight events originally scheduled between March and May and is evaluating upcoming tournaments based on precautions and advice from the CDC and public officials as well as local mandates regarding public spaces and events.

“Although we are disappointed to postpone the Bassmaster Elite Series event previously scheduled for April 16-19, the health and safety of event organizers, the anglers and our community is our top priority,” said Tiffany Myers, Director of Tourism for the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce. “We are continuing to work with the B.A.S.S. organization to reschedule the event at a later date.”

While the national State of Emergency is in place, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has closed boat ramps and landings on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways. Additionally, he has ordered anyone arriving into South Carolina from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans to self-quarantine for two weeks.

As more states adopt “shelter in place” recommendations and continue to limit operation of nonessential businesses, B.A.S.S is also considering the impact that potential logistical issues and travel restrictions, including Canadian border closures, may have on anglers’ ability to travel to tournaments.

During this national crisis and uncertain time, B.A.S.S. is encouraging people, where possible, to use this unexpected time to enjoy the outdoors and recreational fishing in a safe and responsible way with their new “Live Smart, Fish Smart” campaign.

B.A.S.S. is also producing stories and videos designed to ensure those staying inside can still connect to the sport, and people, they love. This includes upcoming content covering topics such as teaching fishing skills to kids and bank fishing basics.

 

Fans of fishing and the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers can find live Q/A videos, inspiring stories, helpful tips and more at Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. is also encouraging outdoor enthusiasts and tournament anglers alike to share photos with the hashtags: #livesmart #fishsmart #bassmaster.

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

 

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

 


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Across the country, there are thousands of ultra-talented bass anglers who would have loved to compete in this week’s 50th Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

Only 53 got the opportunity — and from start to finish, there was no doubt which one of them owned the event.

Hank Cherry, a 46-year-old pro from Lincolnton, N.C., and an eight-year veteran of the Bassmaster Elite Series, caught five bass on Championship Sunday that weighed 19 pounds, 8 ounces. It gave him a three-day total of 65-5 and put the exclamation point on a dominant wire-to-wire victory that netted him a $307,500 first-place prize.

The competition was held at historic Lake Guntersville, but Cherry’s raw emotion shined through most back at the final weigh-in, which was held at Legacy Arena inside the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

“I talked to (fellow competitor) Paul Mueller in the boatyard, and he told me the devil was gonna try to get in my head today,” Cherry said. “He said just tell the devil to get out of your boat. He said tell him you don’t have time for him.

“That’s what I did. I caught my first fish and then I lost a big one. I could hear those voices in my head, but I didn’t listen to them. I just went and caught four more.”

This was the fifth Classic appearance for Cherry, and he had come close to hoisting the trophy once before — back in 2013 on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake, when he came in third after losing a key fish on jerkbait.

That same lure was one of his weapons of choice this week during three days of fishing that saw him catch 29-3, 16-10 and 19-8.

He did most of his damage during Friday’s first round with a Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait. The bait allowed him to cut through a strong wind on his way to a tournament-best bag that featured a pair of 7-2 largemouth.

On Days 2 and 3, he relied mostly on his own Hank Cherry Signature Series Jig from Picasso in green pumpkin with a matching Berkley MaxScent Chunk trailer and the jerkbait — a Megabass 110+1 in the French pearl OB color. He replaced the factory hooks on the jerkbait with Berkley Fusion EWG No. 5s.

“I changed the hooks out to make it sink just the right way,” Cherry said. “About 90 percent of the fish I caught would be when it was directly falling. I had it heavy enough that I could see it falling, and if I saw one following it, I could watch them kill it.”

Cherry suffered an arm injury on Day 1 that he said may have limited the amount of running he did the rest of the week. But the major factor in his limited travel, he said, was the wind that blew hard on Lake Guntersville for most of the tournament.

He spent practically the whole event fishing one causeway and one grass flat.

“I never put gas in the boat all week,” Cherry said. “Y’all know me. If it’s windy, I’m not going to be making a lot of long runs — and anyway, I just didn’t need to.”

Cherry said Garmin LiveScope allowed him to keep track of the giant schools of gizzard shad that were drawing fish to the area. He also said a solid understanding of the way bass use causeways helped him catch big limits each day.

“Everybody has a misconception about those causeways,” Cherry said. “They think they should just fish the four corners. But bass use those causeways like highways. When they’re coming in, they come through the causeways and go down the rocks and to the back. Then they go exactly the same route when they come back out.

“That Garmin LiveScope just made them easy pickings.”

The win brought Cherry’s career earnings with B.A.S.S. to $934,500. He now has three career victories and 10 Top 10 finishes.

Perhaps more important than any statistic, however, was the fact that he exorcised some old demons that had lingered in the back of his mind since his near miss at Grand in 2013.

“When I caught that biggest bass on a jerkbait (Sunday), I felt some redemption,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot — and I’m still learning. I learned from this event how to handle the situation when you start with a big lead and have to protect it. I learned that your body will do wild things when you need that last fish to seal the deal, but you have to work through it.

“Those kinds of things make for an amazing feeling — and once it sinks in that I won this thing, I think that will be the most amazing feeling of all.”

South Carolina pro Todd Auten finished second with 58-10, and Arkansas angler Stetson Blaylock was third with 58-1.

Hank Cherry added an additional $7,500 to his winnings for being the highest-placing eligible angler in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program. Todd Auten was awarded an additional $2,500 for being the second-highest placing eligible angler in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program.

Virginia pro John Crews took the Berkley Big Bass award for the day with a 6-10 largemouth. But the Berkley Big Bass award for the week went to Auten for the 7-9 he caught on Day 1.

2020 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: Academy Sports + Outdoors

2020 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsor: Huk Performance Fishing Apparel

2020 Bassmaster Classic Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2020 Bassmaster Classic Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Yamaha

2020 Bassmaster Classic Local Partners: Alabama Power, Black Rifle Coffee, Books-A-Million, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Jack’s Family Restaurants, Thompson Tractor, TNT Fireworks, TVA, Wind Creek Casino

2020 Bassmaster Classic Hosts: Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alabama Tourism Department and Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

 

2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk 3/6-3/8

Lake Guntersville, Birmingham  AL.

(ANGLER) Standings Day 3

 

   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

 

1.  Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          15  65-05    0 $300,000.00

  Day 1: 5   29-03     Day 2: 5   16-10     Day 3: 5   19-08  

2.  Todd Auten             Lake Wylie, SC          15  58-10    0  $52,500.00

  Day 1: 5   20-00     Day 2: 5   18-00     Day 3: 5   20-10  

3.  Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              15  58-01    0  $40,000.00

  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   19-04     Day 3: 5   20-08  

4.  Seth Feider            New Market, MN          15  54-00    0  $30,000.00

  Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   15-09     Day 3: 5   21-13  

5.  Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              15  54-00    0  $25,000.00

  Day 1: 5   20-00     Day 2: 5   16-00     Day 3: 5   18-00  

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jerry McKinnis, former B.A.S.S. co-owner, founder of JM Associates, and a legend in the fishing industry, passed away early Sunday morning. The 82-year-old McKinnis had been in the hospital for six weeks, dealing with an injury and infection sustained on a fishing trip in Wyoming.

McKinnis, along with Don Logan and Jim Copeland, purchased B.A.S.S. from ESPN in 2010, and then sold controlling interest in the organization to Anderson Media in 2017. He was the leader of JM Associates, producing award-winning television and Internet shows about fishing and the outdoors. McKinnis was also the beloved host of the television series The Fishin' Hole, which ran on ESPN for 44 years.

McKinnis was a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.

“Jerry was a true friend of the angler,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “He contributed so much to the sport of fishing, extending all the way from his days on The Fishin' Hole through his ownership of B.A.S.S.”

McKinnis and his partners hired Akin to lead the 500,000-member fishing organization shortly after they acquired it.

“Jerry was one of the most passionate people I’ve ever known as it relates to the world of bass fishing,” said Logan. “I don’t think I ever met anyone who spent more time than Jerry did thinking about how to make B.A.S.S. and bass fishing better — better for the anglers, better for the fans and members, and better for the sponsors.

“We came from very different backgrounds and totally different perspectives, but we always were able to reach common ground on any issue or problem we faced. He was not only a business partner, but he was also a true friend.”

A pioneer in outdoors television, McKinnis and his JM Associates production team took over production of the long-running television program The Bassmasters for B.A.S.S. and ESPN in 2001. Prior to that he helped create the FLW Tour and ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, and he later developed the Redfish Cup and the Madfin Shark Series.

McKinnis was dedicated to bringing new participants into the sport of bass fishing. He held the first collegiate bass fishing championship and was instrumental in the creation of B.A.S.S.’s Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Bassmaster.com will have addition information on funeral arrangements in the coming days.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

Sixth-Year Costa FLW Series angler Earns First Career Victory – and $83,340

Link to photo of tournament champion Wayne Vaughn

MASSENA, N.Y. (Sept. 21, 2019) – Pro Wayne Vaughan of Chester, Virginia, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the three-day Costa FLW Series on the St. Lawrence River presented by Realtree Fishing.

Vaughan's three-day total of 15 bass weighing 63 pounds, 5 ounces was enough to earn him the victory by a 1-pound, 9-ounce margin over second-place pro Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, and earn him $83,340, including a new Ranger Z518L boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The tournament was the third and final regular-season tournament of the year for anglers competing in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits.

"I caught a few fish this week on a tube, but every fish that I weighed in came drop-shotting a Redbone-colored Z-Man Jerk Shadz," said Vaughan, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. "I fished basically from takeoff all the way down to Clayton, hitting 20 to 25 spots each day.

"The first day my numbers were not that great – I think I only caught 10 fish," Vaughan continued. "On the second day I caught around 25, and today I only caught 10. I was fishing around the ends of points – I caught them all in 35- to 55-feet-of-water. Yesterday the current was moving really well, so it had the fish up a little higher – around 35 feet. Today, I couldn't get them that shallow and had to go real deep. I caught one down 55 feet."

When asked what he felt was the key to his victory, Vaughan was honest and blunt with his answer – "luck."

"I had no keys," Vaughan joked. "I think my key was luck. I had caught a couple of fish in practice, but the last day I caught a 6-pounder way out deep. I told myself, 'That is definitely where the big ones live, and I'm committing myself to this.' It was a grind – I was only getting one or two fish on each of those spots.

"It's been a great year, and to win at the last event of the year is just a great way to end the season," Vaughan went on to say.

The top 10 pros on the St. Lawrence River finished:

              1st:          Wayne Vaughan, Chester, Va., 15 bass, 63-5, $83,340

              2nd:         Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., 15 bass, 61-12, $14,199

              3rd:         A.J. Slegona, Pine Bush, N.Y., 15 bass, 59-7, $11,115

              4th:         Casey Smith, Macedon, N.Y., 15 bass, 58-12, $9,096

              5th:         Jason Burger, Bridgeton, N.J., 14 bass, 54-10, $8,186

              6th:         Neil Deleeuw, Fenwick, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 54-4, $7,277

              7th:         Ken Golub, Pittsford, N.Y., 14 bass, 54-1, $7,967

              8th:         Brian Hughes, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 53-8, $5,458

              9th:         Jonathan Kelley, Old Forge, Penn., 15 bass, 50-4, $5,548

              10th:       Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 50-0, $3,638

A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Vaughan weighed in a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass Friday – the heaviest of the tournament in the Pro Division – and also earned the day's Boater Big Bass award of $256.

Noah Winslow of Naugatuck, Connecticut, won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Winslow took home the top prize package of a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor, worth $27,100.

The top 10 co-anglers on the St. Lawrence River finished:

              1st:          Noah Winslow, Naugatuck, Conn., 15 bass, 50-11, $27,100

              2nd:         Dexter Andrews, King George, Va., 15 bass, 50-3, $4,874

              3rd:         Grant Loney, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, 14 bass, 49-2, $3,723

              4th:         Jeff Zeisner, Arva, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 49-1, $3,258

              5th:         Gary Haraguchi, Antioch, Calif., 14 bass, 48-6, $3,042

              6th:         Michael Sciacca, Augusta, N.J., 14 bass, 43-2, $2,327

              7th:         Will Litchfield, London, Ontario, Canada, 14 bass, 40-13, $1,862

              8th:         Joshua Hertzog, Ephrata, Penn., 14 bass, 39-0, $1,729

              9th:         Jeff Melsop, East Liberty, Ohio, 12 bass, 38-12, $1,396

              10th:       D. Brett Walker, Kansas City, Mo., 11 bass, 33-1, $1,163

Henry McKee of Haddon Heights, New Jersey, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces. He earned the day's Co-angler Big Bass award of $170.

The Costa FLW Series on the St. Lawrence River presented by Realtree Fishing was hosted by the Town of Massena. It was the third and final tournament in the 2019 regular season for Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits anglers. The next tournament for FLW Series anglers will also be in the Western Division, the Costa FLW Series at the California Delta presented by Power-Pole, held Sept. 26-28 in Bethel Island, California. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.

The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on FLW's social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About FLW

FLW is the world's largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.