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Posted By The Bass Hog

Bassmaster Classic Logo
TULSA, Okla. — Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of early morning launches could keep bass fishing fans from packing venues at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The world championship bass fishing tournament, held Feb. 22-24, recorded the second highest attendance for the three competition days in the event’s 43-year history.
A total attendance of 106,850 was reported at the various venues of the Classic, including 42,593 during the three daily weigh-ins at the BOK Center. Saturday and Sunday the BOK’s doors were closed when the building reached maximum capacity.
In addition, more than 54,000 attended the Classic Outdoor Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods during the two and a half days it was open.
Heavy snow storms throughout the region on Wednesday prior to competition not only blanketed the 53 Classic contenders with snow during their official practice day on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, but the weather prompted road closures in Oklahoma and nearby states.
The weather story was a natural for The Weather Channel, which broadcast live from the launch at Wolf Creek Park in Grove, Okla., on Friday and provided updates on the tournament throughout the weekend.
Stava, who is also COO of the Tulsa Community Foundation, said the event was “hugely successful.”
“Everything went smoothly, and we know that, thanks to the incredible support of the community, this will be one of the best Classics ever hosted.”
He said he and others on the local organizing committee are looking forward to receiving reports soon on the impact the Classic had on the local economy, including sales tax collections, hotel room bookings and more.
Michael Mulone, director of site selection for B.A.S.S., noted that previous Classics with lower attendance have generated as much as $24 million in economic impact for the host communities.
Officials representing presenting sponsor Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa also termed the event a success.
“We were honored to partner with the Bassmaster Classic, such a high-caliber sporting event,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Like many other local businesses, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa had an outstanding weekend by hosting many of the event sponsors and fans. We thank the Tulsa Sports Commission, Tulsa Regional Chamber and B.A.S.S. for the opportunity to be the presenting sponsor of the Classic and look forward to their return to Tulsa and the Cherokee Nation.”

Despite temperatures in the low 20s at the start of competition, the 53 Classic contenders caught 548 bass, including 86 five-bass limits. The winning weight of 54 pounds, 12 ounces by champion Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., is among the heaviest winning catches ever in a world championship.
“We’re especially proud of the fact that all 548 bass weighed in were alive and healthy when they were released back into Grand Lake,” noted Akin. Biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation examined the fish and transported them to the lake. Assisting the state in fish care were B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Noreen Clough and volunteers from the B.A.S.S. Nation.
The 2014 Bassmaster Classic will be held Feb. 21-23 in Birmingham, Ala., headquarters of the B.A.S.S. organization. Lake Guntersville, which ranked third in 2012 on Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list, will be the host fishery. Grand Lake was listed 17th in the rankings.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

TULSA, Okla. — Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., now owns what only 33 others can claim: a Bassmaster Classic title.
On Sunday, Pace won the 43rd world championship of bass fishing, the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. His prize for a three-day catch of 54 pounds, 12 ounces, was $500,000 and the most coveted trophy of the sport.
His victory on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees was wire-to-wire, although he shared the first-day lead with the 2003 Classic champ, Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J. On the second day, Pace stepped over the entire 53-angler field, surpassing his nearest challenger — Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho — by 7 pounds. Sunday Pace took the win with a margin of 3 pounds, 4 ounces over Palaniuk, who had to settle for second when his hard charge proved to be unsuccessful.
“This is a gift that I will always cherish,” said Pace, 32, claiming his first Classic trophy at his fifth Classic appearance. “This is the ultimate high of a career, a life-changing moment.”
Each day of the competition brought a new complication, from snow, rain, below-freezing temperatures and then warming air and water under high, bluebird skies — all challenges for anglers. Pace overcame the changing fishing conditions, weighing consistent bags of bass the first two days: Friday he had 21-8; and Saturday he did even better with 21-12. His two-day total distanced him from all challengers by 7 pounds or more.
But Sunday he experienced a reverse that gave him some uneasy hours out on Grand Lake. The day, he said, “was probably the hardest day I’ve ever spent on my boat. I caught two in the first hour and didn’t get another bite until about 1:30.”
He said the wind direction Sunday was not to his advantage.
“The places I was on were like flat glass today. I knew when I saw that, I was probably not going to catch any, but they had been so good to me for two days, I fished them. But I never got a bite on that stuff today,” he said.
He went 5 1/2 hours without a bite.
In the end, his Sunday weight of 11-8 was enough to slide home.
Pace said his winning lures were Jackall jerkbaits — a Squad Minnow and a Soul Shad — plus a Jackall DD Cherry crankbait in a crawdad color. He also used a 1/2-ounce B&M Football Jig with a V&M Twin Tail trailer in green pumpkin. He dipped the plastic trailer’s tails in orange dye for greater visibility in Grand Lake’s stained water.
He had two main patterns. Early in the morning, when the bass were deeper, he worked the football head jig deep on channel banks and on the inside of main-lake points. When the sun came out, he tied on a jerkbait for fish that had moved up shallower on shelves.
“That’s how I caught a lot of my big ones — except today. I never got a bite on a jerkbait today,” Pace said. “Sometimes during the day, fishing a place where there wasn’t any wind on it, and the fish wouldn’t come up to take a jerkbait, I’d throw the DD Cherry.”
Finishing behind Palaniuk, who had 51-8 over three days, was Classic rookie Hank Cherry of Maiden, N.C. Cherry sacked 17-4 on Sunday, pulling him up to third place with a total of 49-0. Ending in the fourth-place spot was Iaconelli, who had 48-5. Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., jumped from 14th place on Saturday to finish fifth with a 45-5 total.
The Carhartt Big Bass of the 2013 Classic was the 7-pound, 4-ounce largemouth brought to the scales by Mark Pierce of Clarksville, Tenn., on Day 1. He could collect a bonus from Carhartt of up to $2,500.
Complete Classic coverage is available at Access to the site is free.
Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog


BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Bassmaster Magazine and, the industry-leading fishing magazine and website, have joined forces with, the only major U.S. weather service owned and operated solely by fishermen and hunters, to release a powerful new fishing-specific weather app for Android and iPhone markets.




The Bassmaster Fishing Weather App, found at, simplifies planning for professional and recreational anglers alike by merging world-class weather information, wind mapping, solunar times, tides and moon, and hourly barometric changes all in one free app.


Fishermen who wish to add logging capability to these key tools can download the Bassmaster/ScoutLook Fishlog app (, which includes all the functions of the basic app, plus a simple logging tool. Catch a fish, snap a photo, and capture all weather conditions at the moment and time of the catch automatically.



FishMarX is a GPS marking tool used while on the water to save important points of interest. Return to the exact places, or check the weather before heading back. Save beds, boat launches, buoys, channels, creek mouths, dropoffs, gravel, flats, mangrove holes, parking areas, rip tides, river/stream outlets, timber, trailheads, weedbeds and more.

Any location saved on the app is stored and saved in a free online account at

To download the Bassmaster Fishing Weather app free for your Android or iPhone, visit  


Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog
North Carolina’s Jones Wins Co-Angler Title, $25,000
CLEWISTON, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2013) – Twenty-four year-old rookie Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., was fishing in his first event as a professional this week and caught a 7-pound kicker bass with only seven minutes to spare to win the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee presented by Mercury on Sunday. That fish pushed Benton’s day 4 weight to 13 poounds, 4 ounces and his total four-day weight to 75 pounds, 7 ounces and was enough to best 174 of the top bass anglers in the world to earn him a $100,000 paycheck. Finishing in second place was Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., who weighed in 20 bass totaling 70 pounds, 8 ounces.
     “Fishing in my first ever Tour event, I never expected this,” said Benton, whose previous high finish was a 14th-place effort in EverStart competition on Lake Seminole. “I have to pay my entry fees all on my own, so this is such a big step for me. Now I can actually relax and fish for the rest of the year and not have to worry about just making a check.”
         Benton said the kicker – a 7-pound Okeechobee behemoth – came while throwing an entirely different bait than he had used all week.
     “I had thrown a PGM Lures bladed swimjig all day and not had one bite on it,” Benton said. “I decided to try a Hildebrandt white and gold-bladed spinnerbait, and it bit.”
     Benton credited the bladed swimjig trailered with a Bass Assassin Die Dapper as catching more than half of the fish that he weighed in. The others came on a mixed assortment of Houdini-colored Bass Assassin baits, including the Die Dapper, a Vapor Shad and the Pure Craw. He also mixed in a Gambler Big EZ swimbait when conditions got tough.
     “When it was real windy and I needed to stir up the top a little more I would throw the Big EZ,” Benton continued. “It’s a bigger bait with a bigger profile, and it seemed to attract them more.
     “It was really all about the timing in South Bay,” Benton continued. “The bass needed the sun to move in from offshore and they would set up on the reeds. When they first moved up, you could catch them really fast. With the wind blowing so hard yesterday and today I never could get on them real good. I was able to catch a few keepers, but the majority of my fish came from Turners Cove.”
     Justin Jones of Apex, N.C., won the co-angler division and $25,250 Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 39 pounds, 4 ounces, followed by Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., in second place with 13 bass weighing 35-8 worth $7,500.

Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Here’s an interesting exercise: Ask any Bassmaster Classic qualifier to describe why being in this particular tournament is cool. Most will come up something like this: “Well, it’s the Classic, isn’t it?”


End of story, their tone of voice implies. And indeed, especially among anglers, nothing more needs to be said. When anglers talk about the Classic, it’s a given that “making the Classic” — qualifying, that is — is the No. 1 goal of any competitive bass angler. And that winning a Classic is an achievement of a lifetime.


1. Longevity. When the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa comes to Tulsa, Okla., and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees on Feb. 22-24, it will be the 43rd time that the world championship has taken place. That makes the Classic almost as time-proven as the Super Bowl. Every sport has its premier championship, and the Classic is professional fishing’s main event.


2. Winnings. The Classic’s first-place prize is $500,000, a life-changing amount. And because it’s a no-entry-fee competition, even the dead-last angler’s take of $10,000 is considered hefty.


3. Media coverage. The media attention that comes with being a Classic winner can solidify a pro’s career. This goes hand-in-hand with how sponsors cash in. Old sponsors are delighted, and new sponsors come knocking, especially if the champ is just getting started as a pro. But it’s not winner-take-all; almost every qualifier gets ink and air from their hometown media.










Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Bassmaster Opens Logo
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Rich Howes, 39, of Oviedo, Fla., is the winner of the 2013 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida, but it wasn’t easy, and it didn’t happen fast. It took Howes four days to defeat fellow Floridian Daniel Lanier Jr. The two ended the tournament regulation days (three) in a tie with 47 pounds, 2 ounces apiece.


B.A.S.S. rules require anglers who are tied for first place on the pro side of a Bassmaster Open to have a fish-off, so Howes and Lanier met again today to decide the title. On the line was the title of champion, $10,000 in cash, a Skeeter bass boat, Yamaha outboard motor and valuable points toward an invitation to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series next year. Perhaps more importantly, there’s a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic for any Open winner who fishes all three events in that division.


Howes and Lanier adopted very different strategies in the fish-off. Howes elected to lock through from the launch site on Lake Tohopekaliga and run to his most productive area on Lake Kissimmee. It would put him on more productive water, but the long run would consume a lot of time — time that was precious in the five-hour fish-off.


Lanier had been fishing Kissimmee, too, but decided to stay on Toho for the fish-off. He felt the extra fishing time would outweigh being on better water.


Both moves were gambles. Howes didn’t catch a single bass before 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, and today’s fish-off weigh-in was scheduled for noon. Lanier hadn’t fished Toho at all in practice or competition, so he wasn’t sure where he might find the bass.


 “I thought I had a chance when I got near the launch area and realized that Danny had spent all day on Toho,” Howes said. “I know how tough the fishing has been there, and I thought my bag might be enough.”


It was.


And if Howes needed to point to one key bass, it would have to be the 2-pounder he caught with two minutes to go on the third day.


“I pulled up to a grass mat within sight of check-in and started flipping and pitching a patch of hydrilla,” he explained. “I told my co-angler, ‘This is it, get your gear ready to head in.’ My bait was all chewed up and the hook was hanging out. There was no time to fix it. Luckily, the fish hit it.”


That 2-pounder made all the difference, putting Howes in a dead heat with Lanier and sending them to extra innings.



Much of the field was doing the same thing, Howes acknowledged, but he was fishing shallower than most. “For the first three days, I was catching my fish in 2 1/2 to 3 feet of water,” he said, “and I was right up against the bank. Today [Sunday] I moved out and fished a little deeper — where everybody else had been fishing earlier.”


Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Bassmaster Opens Logo
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Florida bass are fickle. Just ask Daniel Lanier. Yesterday, he was the King of the Kissimmee Chain. Today, Rick Howes of nearby Oviedo took the throne. Howes leads 198 professionals with 32 pounds, 8 ounces going into the final round of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open. For Saturday, the field will be cut to the Top 12 professionals and Top 12 co- anglers. Howes rode a limit catch of five bass weighing 20-2 to grab the lead. He ended Day 1 in 29th place with 12-6 and credited “better execution” for his success. “I lost an 8-pounder yesterday,” he said. Today he fished “clean,” making few errors and losing no key fish. “I’m flipping and pitching isolated cover with soft plastics,” Howes said. “Most of my fish are coming from 5 to 7 feet deep.” Howes believes the prognosis for the final round is good. “I only made one pass through my key area today, so I think I have a real chance at another 20 pounds.” His catch today was the only one that eclipsed 20 pounds. If Howes stumbles, virtually all of the other 11 pro anglers competing on Saturday are within striking distance. Two-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and former Open champion Tracy Adams of North Carolina is just 14 ounces back with 31-10. Brandon Lester is third with 31-9. The 12th place angler — Bradley Jones of Georgia — has 27-4 and is just 5-4 off the lead. Yesterday’s leader, Lanier, fell to sixth after weighing in two small bass for 2-11; after two days, he has 30-6. “Mother Nature messed me up,” he said. “It got cold, and I wanted to fish shallow. The water temperature dropped 10 degrees in my area. I went there for an hour and didn’t do anything, so I left. I thought I could go somewhere else and catch five and hang onto the lead. It didn’t happen. I won’t make that mistake again in the finals.” Two Elite pros — David Walker and Derek Remitz — qualified for the finals in fifth and seventh place, respectively. Walker, for one, thinks he can move up. He caught a giant in practice that weighed well over 10 pounds. “I had a limit (five bass) with four good fish today for 17-2,” he said. “Usually, you need an 8- or 9-pounder to have a good day here, and I didn’t get it today. If I can get that bite tomorrow and have several other good ones, I’ll be in business.” Remitz found the bass a little more lethargic today than on Day 1. “They were less aggressive and not eating the bait as well,” he explained. “I think I missed my first five bites. Then I let them have the bait a little longer before setting the hook, and I was able to catch them.” The biggest bass of Day 2 weighed 8-12 and was caught by Bob Grosso of Odessa, Fla. The top co-angler heading into the finals is Brian Kelly of Liverpool, N.Y., with 22-9. The pro angler winner will earn $10,000 plus a Skeeter boat and Yamaha motor combo. The co-angler will win a Triton boat and Mercury motor combo. Also at stake are critical points toward a spot in the Bassmaster Elite Series and a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic for a champion who competes in all three Southern Opens this season. Courtesy of BASS Communications.