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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

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

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. — Television’s biggest name in fishing is now entering its 20th season on ESPN. The 2019 season of the award-winning program The Bassmasters will see expanded airtime on ESPN networks as part of the sports giant’s increased coverage of B.A.S.S. fishing.

Beyond its 30 hours of coverage of Bassmaster Elite Series events and the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, ESPN has nearly doubled (54 hours) its shows on ESPN Classic for the 2019 season.

“For two decades, ESPN has had an incredibly strong relationship with B.A.S.S., giving millions of bass fishing fans innovative, quality coverage of professional bass fishing,” said Mike McKinnis, vice president of media content for JM Associates and producer of Bassmaster LIVE and The Bassmasters. “No matter the sport, ESPN has the best networks for coverage, and we’re excited that ESPN has committed fantastic coverage for our shows.” (View the schedule here, https://www.bassmaster.com/tv-schedule )

In addition to the television coverage, ESPN will now be streaming 24 hours of “Bassmaster LIVE” programming from each Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on both ESPN3 and the ESPN App – up from 18 hours per tournament in 2018. Counting nine regular-season Elite events, the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship and the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods, B.A.S.S. will be live-streaming 252 hours of programming through ESPN and Bassmaster.com this year, an increase of 27 percent in streaming hours over last year.

Coverage of B.A.S.S. will also extend to ESPNU, with nine hours of programming from events in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops as well as the Mossy Oak Fishing High School Series.

The Bassmasters will begin airing on ESPN2 with back-to-back weekends from the biggest stage in tournament fishing, the Bassmaster Elite Series. March 9 will kick off with the inaugural event of the Elite season, the Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River, Fla., followed the next weekend, March 16, by the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier, Ga.

The GEICO Bassmaster Classic will be covered in three episodes airing on Sunday mornings, March 31, April 7 and April 14.

McKinnis noted that the recently announced agreement with the Pursuit Channel to air The Bassmasters has been expanded to 130 hours for 2019, providing for a total of 223 hours of television time to complement the on-the-water streaming programming.

“Along with our industry-leading magazines, website and social media following, the increased programming hours on ESPN networks and the Pursuit Channel, more fans will now be able to enjoy their favorite sport wherever, whenever and however they want to follow it,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “This means the biggest stage in bass fishing just got even bigger.”

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. With more than 510,000 members internationally, B.A.S.S. is not only home to the nation’s premier fishing tournament trails, but it also boasts the most expansive and comprehensive media network in the fishing industry. Its media include The Bassmasters on the ESPN networks, more than 130 hours of tournament programming on the Pursuit Channel, 250 hours of on-the-water streaming coverage onBassmaster LIVE and 1 million monthly visitors to the flagship website on bass fishing – Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. also provides more than 4.4 million readers with the best in bass fishing coverage through Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times, and its radio and social media programs and events reach hundreds of thousands each month.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, culminating in the ultimate event on the biggest stage for competitive anglers, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The trail also includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, BassPro.com Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series, and the Bassmaster Team Championship.

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

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

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.