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Posted By The Bass Hog

DECATUR, Ill. — This one had it all — long runs, risky strategies, run-and-gun fishing and a dramatic save of a stranded competitor. 


Martens’ strategy of staying close to the launch area to increase his fishing time bested Evers’ choice of making a long, difficult run up the Sangamon River. In the end, Martens’ final day catch of 13 pounds, 8 ounces on Lake Decatur was enough to outpace Evers by 1-4. Martens’ total was the heaviest catch of the week.



“I caught most of my fish on a Bagley Balsa B — chartreuse-and-blue — and a black-and-blue jig with a blue sapphire Paca Chunk trailer,” Martens said. “I covered a lot of water and focused on riprap and shallow cover with good access to deeper water.” 



Things went well going in, but there were challenges coming back out.  Coming out, he ran out of gas.  Eventually, a Nitro back-up boat arrived and Evers was able to finish the day and get to the weigh-in.  




Evers caught all of his bass on a Bagley Balsa B (chartreuse-and-blue with a black back) and a Booyah Pro Boo finesse jig in green pumpkin. He focused on outside channel bends up the Sangamon River.






Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog



Missouri’s Loeffelman Jr. Wins Co-Angler Title, $20,000

DECATUR, Ala. (Sept. 23, 2012) – National Guard pro Mark Rose again brought the largest stringer to the scales Sunday – for the third time in four days – to win the Walmart FLW Tour Open on Wheeler Lake presented by Ranger Boats. Rose weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 14 ounces to win the $125,000 prize after leading wire-to-wire, besting the bass-fishing pros from all across the United States.
     The West Memphis, Ark., native weighed in 20 bass totaling 71 pounds, 6 ounces during four days of fishing competition. Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., weighed in five bass Sunday totaling 11 pounds, 13 ounces to leapfrog pro Blake Nick and finish in second place.
     Rose dominated the event by targeting mussel beds using a crankbait and a Texas-rigged worm. He also credited a green pumpkin-colored Strike King Football jig as catching the key fish for him Sunday, but said the crankbait was the key for him throughout this event.
     “The fish were sitting in 21 to 23 feet of water, and it’s hard to get a lot of crankbaits down there,” Rose said. “I used a lot of different crankbaits this week. I’ve modified a few so I can really get down to those depths, and that was the key for me. The bigger fish wanted that crankbait more than anything else. When they weren’t eating my crankbait, I knew I could pick up my worm and really slow down and catch them. It took me some time to figure them out, but I eventually did.
     “My key fish for me today came on the Football jig,” he continued. “I didn’t have any in the boat until I started throwing that. I also used a jigging spoon this week, because it can fire them up. It may sound weird, but I’m not always trying to catch one when I throw that spoon. I’ll use it to break them up and get them all fired up, and then I’ll ease my boat back and throw the crankbait. It’s like bed fishing, but 20 feet deep.”
     Overall there were 45 bass weighing 101 pounds, 15 ounces caught by pros Sunday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.
     Pro Jerry Lawler of Athens, Ga., had his day four weight zeroed after inadvertently returning to the check-in with six fish in his livewell.
     Nick Loeffelman Jr. of Valles Mines, Mo., won the co-angler division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces, followed by Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., in second place with 14 bass weighing 28-2 worth $4,309. 


Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog

NORTHEAST, Md. — The individual competition was fairly close as the weigh-in moved along in the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional this afternoon. A dozen anglers were in the 12-, 13- and 14-pound range with Kevin Waterman from Maryland claiming first place with 15 pounds, 14 ounces of dark green bass. And then Robby Fleshman from West Virginia stepped up to the scales.


The size of his stringer caught the crowd by surprise. At first there was a stunned silence, then cheers and clapping. His five-fish limit tipped the scales at 21 pounds, 5 ounces. That put him 5 pounds, 7 ounces out in front.


“I fished weeds and wood,” said the Mountain State angler immediately after carrying his fish to the release boat. “I was shallow — in the 4 to 5 foot range — and moved around a lot with a moving bait. I don’t want to say any more than that right now. I’ll tell you more on Friday afternoon.”


Asked if he had enough fish left for tomorrow and Friday, Fleshman replied that he was confident his fish would hold up as far as numbers are concerned but he didn’t know about the weather affecting his bite. He was clearly worried that warming temperatures and clearing skies would not be kind to him.


Fleshman also claimed the day’s Cabela’s Big Bass honors with a 5-pound, 12-ounce hawg.


In the state team competition, Delaware is in first place with 40 fish totaling 93 pounds, 7 ounces. That’s 5 pounds, 5 ounces in front of second place Zimbabwe. Members of the African team managed 34 keepers on waters many miles from their home. Holding onto the third slot is Virginia, with Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia rounding out the first day standings, respectively.


The leader for each state team advances to next month’s 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake, Oct. 25-27. Fleshman leads for West Virginia, and other leaders after today are Waterman, Maryland; Donald Lauer, Delaware; Craig Townsend, New Jersey; Darin Doll, Pennsylvania; Bryant Copley, Virginia; and Glen Fowler, Zimbabwe.



Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

James “Jim” Tyson won the last tournament of the season for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Maryland Division 21 tournament, held Sept 15-16, 2012, on the Potomac River.


Running out of Smallwood State Park in Marbury, Tyson a 49 year old business owner from Middletown, PA, wins big in the Boater Division. Jim secured a one pound lead on day one with 14.42 pounds and sealed his win on Day two with 14.64 pounds. He had a ten fish limit for a total of 29.06 pounds with a 4.68 pound kicker in his bag and $4,301 in his pocket.


“I practiced the last couple of weeks fishing the rocks using Baker crankbaits, so I decided to try and stay with the rock. It seemed like I was catching bigger fish off the rock. With the wind blowing the first day it just helped me, the fish were there on the rock and I was able to get them in. It was just unbelievable. I probably caught sixteen bass the first day. Today was hardly any wind at all and I had a hard time getting a bite. I had one fish going in at 11am and I went into the grass for about an hour and caught a couple of good ones. I saw the wind was starting to pick up a little so I left and went to some more rock and decided to throw the crankbait until the end and I was able to finish out my limit and upgrade probably four or five times. Fishing the Baker crankbait was the key. I want to thank the Good Lord for letting me come out here and fish, I just feel blessed. I want to thank my wife, Michelle, she just lets me come out and she never complains and thanks to my two daughters.”


In second, Bill Kramer of Gaithersburg, Maryland, weighed ten bass for 27.03 pounds. He had two consistent days for 13.41 pounds on day one and 13.62 pounds on day two and brings home a check for $2,100. Kramer finishes the point chase in second place among the boaters in the Maryland division.


In third of the 71 boaters, James Donegan of Leesburg, VA, brought ten bass to the scales for a total weight of 25.39 pounds. He had two good days of fishing for 12.18 pounds on day one and finished up day two with 13.21 pounds and a payday of $1,435.

John Hutchins of Warrenton, VA, finishes a close fourth with a ten bass limit for 25.04 pounds with a 4.19-pounder anchoring his bag. He received a check for $1,005 for his efforts this weekend. Hutchins holds the third place spot in the final points for the season here in Maryland.


In the Co-Angler Division, Michael Nelms of Fredericksburg, VA, caught the six fish limit and the big fish title for his 4.66 pound lunker. He just couldn’t find what he was looking for on day one and brought 7.13 pounds to the scales but he got out the frog on day two and hooked his big fish and a bag weighing 10.20 pounds. He takes home $2,404 for his time on the water.


In second, Robert Wedding of Welcome, Maryland, finishes slightly behind first place with 16.94 pounds for a payday $1,075. At the end of day one he was in first with 9.30 pounds but couldn’t hold his lead on day two with 7.64 pounds but manages to collect $1,075 for his efforts.


Finishing third of the 69 co-anglers, Kermit Crowder of Petersburg, Virginia, had six bass for 13.46 pounds. Ha had a slow start with 4.77 pounds on day one and added over three pounds on day two for 8.69 pounds and pockets a check for $720.


Jonathan Marlow (the Bass Hog) finished 48th overall but did advance to the Regional Championship in October at Smith Mountain Lake.


Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood.

Posted By The Bass Hog

elite series logo
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — And then there were 12 — All-Stars, that is. After nearly 400,000 votes spread among 89 candidates, the final four places in Toyota Trucks All-Star Week are set. Along with the Top 8 anglers in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year rankings for 2012, the fans have selected Gerald Swindle, Aaron Martens, Michael Iaconelli and Skeet Reese. Coincidentally, they were the Anglers of the Year for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, respectively.


The four join newly crowned Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Brent Chapman, defending All-Star champion Ott DeFoe, and Terry Scroggins, Todd Faircloth, Randy Howell, Matt Herren, Kevin VanDam and Edwin Evers for the first of two tournaments in Illinois. They will be competing for $100,000 in prize money, including $60,000 for a first-place finish.


On Sept. 23, angler weights will be reset to zero for the final competition round — also on Lake Decatur — which features the two advancing seeds, one of whom will be crowned the 2012 Toyota Trucks All-Star champion.


All four of the All-Stars voted in by the fans this year also competed in All-Star Week a year ago, though only one of them — Swindle — earned his berth last year by virtue of his AOY ranking.


Iaconelli won the Bassmaster Classic in 2003 and AOY in 2006. He's the only angler in B.A.S.S. history to earn those titles, plus win a B.A.S.S. Federation National Championship, earning $1 million in prize money and bringing in more than 100 pounds in a tournament. The fans definitely like “Ike.”


Martens is “The Natural.” The 2005 AOY winner is the only four-time runner up in Classic history. His attention to detail and the finer points of fishing and tackle are legendary.


Reese won the Classic in 2009. He’s topped 100 pounds in an Elite Series tournament, a feat he’s accomplished four times, and once made the finals (Top 12) in six consecutive events.


“I felt like I started out with a bang — with Top 5 finishes — then the wheels came off,” Reese said. “I went from being on top to wondering if I would qualify for the Classic. I rallied at the end and had some good finishes. Now I’m looking at the list of the eight anglers who qualified, plus the four voted in. It’s a tough crowd to fish against anywhere or any time. It should be some good competition, and I’m looking forward to fishing a new venue this week and getting a new lease on winning.”


“It’s very humbling that the fans of bass fishing think enough of me to vote me in,” Swindle said. “You put all this time and effort into your career, and people appreciate that. It makes me step back in awe about the whole deal. The fans said I’m going, so I’m going. If I do leave there with a trophy, I owe it to the fans, and I’m not going to forget that.”


One of Swindle’s Facebook fans will receive a big bonus for his or her support. The angler plans to give one person $1,500 in tackle and $1,000 in travel expenses to join him at the All-Star event. 

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

BFL Logo

Boyce wins co-angler title
HENDERSON, N.C. (Sept. 10, 2012) – Larry Inman of Greensboro, N.C., weighed a two-day total of 10 bass totaling 29 pounds, 13 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division super tournament on Kerr Lake in Henderson on Sunday. For his victory, Inman earned $5,821.
     “I must have fished around 75 of these BFL events,” said Inman. “This was my first win, and I can’t tell you how good it feels.
     “I fished all over the lake, running from place to place,” Inman continued. “I was throwing a topwater early and a worm later. It was a pretty good tournament for me. I had around 15 keepers on Saturday, and eight on Sunday. I had a limit by 8:30 a.m., though.
     “The key for me was my cadence, and the way that I was working my baits,” Inman went on to say. “I have to thank my wife for this win, too. She’s always putting up with me sneaking away for a few days to go fish, and I couldn’t do this without her.”
     Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
          2nd:   James Wall, Greensboro, N.C., 10 bass, 27-1, $1,911
          3rd:   Chris Baldwin, Lexington, N.C., 10 bass, 25-7, $1,273
          4th:    Brandon Gray, Bullock, N.C., 10 bass, 24-9, $892
          5th:    Douglas Washburn, Chapel Hill, N.C., 10 bass, 21-14, $764
          6th:    Ryan Mace, Forest, Va., six bass, 20-12, $701
          7th:    Darren Gay, Richfield, N.C., nine bass, 19-7, $637
          8th:    Reginald Pickett, Greensboro, N.C., seven bass, 16-12, $573
          9th:    Doug Young, Salisbury, N.C., six bass, 14-3, $510
          10th: Walt Bowen, Walnut Cove, N.C., five bass, 11-8, $446
     George (Jack) Boyce of Fuquay Varina, N.C., weighed in eight bass totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win $1,911 in the co-angler division.
          The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4-6 Regional Championship on Cherokee Lake in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
 Courtesy of

Posted By The Bass Hog

elite series logo

DECATUR, Ill. — Scores of high school students will have a chance to rub shoulders with and learn fishing techniques from some of the world’s best professional anglers in the Bassmaster High School Elite Experience, to be held Saturday, Sept. 22.


The event is free to students in grades nine through 12. It is part of the Bassmaster Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, Sept. 20-23, in Decatur, Ill., and it’s intended to instill in youngsters a passion for fishing.


“The Elite Experience in Decatur will give these students a chance to see many aspects of bass tournament fishing as B.A.S.S. makes its first-ever visit to the Decatur area,” said Jerry McKinnis, co-owner of B.A.S.S. and a popular television fishing show host and producer. “Along with the four-day All-Star competition, there will be plenty of activities for the kids, including special seminars on fishing crankbaits, soft plastics, finesse tactics and more — all presented by Bassmaster Elite pros and geared toward high school anglers. Meeting the pros and learning from them will be a truly memorable experience.”   


The All-Star competition itself will be exciting for the youngsters and their families, as well as other fishing fans. It features 12 of the top bass anglers in the world competing for a $100,000 prize purse. The field includes the Top 8 competitors in the season-long Bassmaster Elite Series, along with four “fan favorites” selected through online voting at Related activities include a special Hope For The Warriors fishing tournament for wounded veterans, a college bass fishing tournament, concerts and more.


Introduced during the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail, the Bassmaster High School Elite Experience will be a regular feature of Elite events in 2013. According to Jon Stewart, senior manager of B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and head of the high school program, “These kids will have a chance to talk to the top pros, ask questions, and see B.A.S.S. tournament operations behind the scenes. That’s a real thrill for them, and the anglers like to encourage them to keep fishing for the love of the sport. We have fans that stand in long lines just to get autographs from these expert bass fishermen. The high school students will have the opportunity to actually learn from the sport’s ‘greats.’”


“This High School Elite Experience has had a very positive impact when we have held it in the past,” McKinnis said. “We’re expecting record attendance from Illinois students at our postseason tournament, and we look forward to expanding the program to include more young people in 2013.”


The High School Elite Experience will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue through weigh-in at Nelson Park in Decatur, Ill. For information or to register, contact Jon Stewart at or call 205-313-0900.


Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Everstart Series Logo


MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 7, 2012) – FLW has announced the 2013 EverStart Series schedule, which will again consist of five divisions — Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western — with four events per division.

The events will feature a field of up to 150 pros and 150 co-anglers. The full field will compete on days one and two, then the top-10 pros and co-anglers will advance to the final day of competition, where the winner will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight.

Top awards have been increased for 2013 with pros competing for $40,000 and co-anglers fishing for a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard in every tournament. If the angler is Ranger Cup qualified, the winning pro will also receive a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower outboard and the winning co-angler will receive an additional $5,000. Second place pays $15,000 for pros and $5,000 for co-anglers. Entry fees are unchanged at $1,000 per tournament for pros and $400 per event for co-anglers.


Payback is based on the number of paid entries for each tournament.

The top pro and co-angler from the point standings in each division after four events win the Strike King Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year titles, respectively, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup provided they fish a full EverStart Series Division or the Walmart FLW Tour in 2014.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the EverStart Series on Facebook at and on Twitter at



Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Everstart Series Logo

Reese claims co-angler title
MARBURY, Md. (Sept. 8, 2012) – John Hutchins of Warrenton, Va., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11 pounds, 3 ounces (WOW that is a low weight for the Potomac River) Saturday to lead wire-to-wire and win the EverStart Series Northern Division event on the Potomac River with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 12 ounces. For his victory, Hutchins earned $31,695.
     “I have seven years of tournament fishing experience,” said Hutchins. “This is definitely the biggest event that I have ever fished. I really had to stay focused out there. I came in with the mindset that I was not competing against any other anglers, but against the fish. I told my wife before the tournament that if I could boat the fish that would I knew would bite for me, I would have a real good shot at winning.”
     The weather conditions were brutal Saturday – heavy winds, rain and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Hutchins decided that his best strategy was to return to the same areas that he had fished on day 1, and headed north into the wind-protected bays. Hutchins methodically fished hard cover, throwing a shaky-head trailered with a plum apple-colored Yamamoto Senko.
     “I fished as shallow as 2 feet and the deepest I fished all day was 8 feet,” Hutchins went on to say. “I only lost three fish throughout the tournament, and two of them were right away this morning on my first two casts. And they were big. I knew I just had to stay calm, and fish. I just kept grinding and was able to get a fish about every two hours. I ended up with eight bites and a limit, so it still worked out.
     Hutchins said his experience on the Potomac River has been a huge key to his tournament success. He now has two tournament wins on the Washington, D.C. fishery, as he tied for first place at a Walmart BFL Shenandoah division event earlier this year.
          Hutchins also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $258.               
     Marvin Reese of Gwynn Oak, Md., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 35 pounds, 8 ounces.
     Stephen Semelsberger Jr.of Mount Airy, Md., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $172.


Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Bassmaster Opens Logo

WAGONER, Okla. — With all the challenges facing anglers at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Fort Gibson Lake, it only seems logical that an Oklahoman would take the top prize. Jason Christie of Park Hill did just that, posting the second heaviest catch of the tournament in the final round to edge out Arkansas Elite Series pro Kevin Short by almost 2 pounds. Christie’s Day 3 limit of largemouth bass weighed 15 pounds, 15 ounces and gave him a total of 40-15 for the tournament. Short finished with 39-0.



“I knew a lot of guys would be looking deeper,” he said, “but deep water bass just aren’t as reliable for me. You catch ‘em today, and they’re gone tomorrow.”


Christie fished flats in the Whitehorn Cove area of the lake, looking for isolated rocks, logs or anything else that might hold bass. He relied heavily on his Power-Poles to hold his boat in stiff winds, so he could focus on fishing rather than boat control, saying that without the shallow water anchor system, he could not have won the tournament.


When it came to lure selection, Christie kept things simple.


“I’m an old-school bass fisherman,” he said. “I don’t carry a lot of different baits in my boat. This week I used three baits to catch all my bass: an old Rebel Wee-R crankbait, a Heddon One Knocker Spook, and a Yum Wooly Bug.”



Short caught his bass on a trio of baits, as well: a Peeper’s Baits Deuce topwater prop bait, a WEC-E1 crankbait made by Ed Chambers of Zoom Baits fame, and a Zoom Baby Brush Hog. Short’s “fish-my-butt-off-pattern” fell just shy of the finish line.





On the co-angler side, Day 1 leader Joe Lane rebounded to beat Clayton Coppin by just 10 ounces. Though Lane weighed in only two bass in the finals (co-anglers have a three-bass limit), it was enough to tally 22-15 for the tournament and earn the win.


Courtesy of BASS Communications.