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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

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. — Wildlife Forever is proud to announce B.A.S.S., the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, as the newest partner of the national Clean Drain Dry Initiative. A recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) will raise awareness, educate anglers and implement the best practices to prevent invasive species. Through the Clean Drain Dry Initiative, B.A.S.S. members and pro anglers will have access to communication tools and educational content and have the opportunity to join the national public awareness campaign.

“B.A.S.S. anglers and members are on the frontlines, day in and day out. They see the impacts of invasive species and what’s at stake if species spread and new invaders arrive. We’re proud of their commitment to join the fight and protect the future of our fisheries,” said Pat Conzemius, president and CEO of Wildlife Forever.

The integration of Clean Drain Dry conservation messaging within the B.A.S.S organization is a call to action for all anglers to join the movement. Membership is free, and by signing up, anglers will receive the new Pro Ambassador Clean Drain Dry decal.

Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to our nation’s waters. We’re proud to join the national conservation movement and encourage members to become a Clean Drain Dry Pro Ambassador in protecting the future of our sport,” said Gene Gilliland, conservation director for B.A.S.S.

Since 2006, Wildlife Forever’s nationwide coalition of partners has been united in educating America’s sportsmen and women on simple, effective strategies to prevent invasive species. B.A.S.S. will begin utilizing the vast array of Clean Drain Dry Initiative materials to empower and educate members and followers on how and why prevention is critical. Through this shared vision, B.A.S.S. and Wildlife Forever efforts seek to conserve America’s fisheries and waterways ensuring the timeless tradition of bass fishing is enjoyed by future generations.

“I grew up watching B.A.S.S. tournaments with my dad and grandpa, so it’s exciting to see this partnership promote the sustainability of the sport and the waters we enjoy. I hope it inspires the next generation of anglers to join the fight against invasive species,” said Elliott Engen, public service coordinator at Wildlife Forever.

About The Clean Drain Dry InitiativeTM

The Wildlife Forever Clean Drain Dry Initiative is the national campaign to educate outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Strategic communications, marketing, outreach and educational services provide access to consistent messaging and tailored prevention planning. To learn more, visit www.CleanDrainDry.org.

 

About Wildlife Forever

Our mission is to conserve America's outdoor heritage through conservation education, habitat restoration and management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is an organization dedicated to investing resources on the ground. Ninety-six percent of donations support our award-winning conservation programs. Join Today and learn more about the Art of Conservation® programs Fish Art and Songbird Art Contests, Clean Drain Dry Initiative and Prairie City USA at www.WildlifeForever.org. 

Media Contact: Elliott Engen, Public Service Coordinator, EEngen@WildlifeForever.org

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Volunteers, community organizations and Bassmaster anglers will come together at three venues to help make a positive impact on Elite Series fisheries thanks to the Lake Clean-Up Challenge sponsored by AFTCO and Yamaha Rightwaters™. The events will be held April 6 in Dayton, Tenn., June 4 in Counce, Tenn., and August 27 in La Crosse, Wis.

Conservation efforts are a cornerstone of the B.A.S.S. tradition, and leading efforts to collect litter can have a sizable impact on the waterways the organization and its fans frequent.

“B.A.S.S. was founded on three things: tournament fishing competition, youth participation and conservation,” B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland said. “We’re thrilled to partner with AFTCO, Yamaha Rightwaters and the communities we’ll be visiting for Elite events on Chickamauga Lake, Pickwick Lake and the Upper Mississippi River for these Clean-Up Challenges. One of the things that we want to try to do is to improve the resource anytime we have a chance.

“An event like this builds camaraderie between those participating. It builds goodwill with the communities that host our events. Most importantly, it helps us leave the venue better than we found it.”

At each event, participants will receive a gift package from AFTCO and Yamaha Rightwaters. Plus, registered volunteer organizations participating in the Lake Clean-Up Challenges will be eligible for conservation grants from AFTCO and Yamaha Rightwaters. The brands will select the conservations grants — totaling over $25,000 for 2022 — based on their participation in the Lake Clean-Up Challenges and the group’s overall conservation or public service mission.

“Clean water is vitally important to the health of fisheries, and we're excited to partner with Yahama Rightwaters and B.A.S.S in rewarding local groups for participating in the type of collective action needed to keep our waterways clean,” said AFTCO President Casey Shedd. “We hope that these clean-up challenges will also bring further awareness to the need for single-use plastic reduction and more careful waste disposal consideration.”

“Marine conservation is at the heart of the Yamaha Rightwaters mission and every community clean-up effort can make a major difference in our nation’s waterways,” said John O’Keefe, Senior Specialist, Government Relations, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “We proudly join forces with B.A.S.S., AFTCO, a great league of pro anglers and community volunteers to help preserve these great fisheries for today’s competitors as well as future generations of anglers.”

The three Lake Clean-Up Challenges are timed so that Bassmaster Elite Series pros are able to join volunteers to protect the fisheries where they compete. This is particularly important to these pros, who recognize the opportunity to make an even bigger impact on the river and our sport by showing how important it is to help these environments thrive.

“At every stop we make, it seems like there is a lack of education about the harm leaving trash behind does to the environment,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Carl Jocumsen. “We want to do our part to change it.”

In order to participate, volunteers and groups must preregister by contacting Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, at ggilliland@bassmaster.com.

“Whether they’re part of a junior Bassmaster club, fishing team, church group, Scout troop or a group of civic-minded friends, anyone who wants our waters to be clean and free of trash is welcome to join us lake-side for these events,” said Gilliland.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

 

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Steady productivity paved the path to success for Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Lester, who tallied a three-day total of 51 pounds, 2 ounces to win the St. Croix Bassmaster Southern Open on Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.

Recording his first Bassmaster victory, the pro from Fayetteville, Tenn., placed 13th on Day 1 with 14-13, added a second-round limit of 18-1 and earned his Championship Saturday berth in second place. With a final-round limit of 18-4, Lester edged Joey Cifuentes of Clinton, Ark. (48-12), who led the first two days.

Lester won $52,500 and earned a berth in the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, to be held in Knoxville, Tenn., March 24-26.

“There were 225 hammers fishing this event — I feel like this is harder to win than an Elite Series tournament,” said Lester, who was fishing his 114th major tournament with B.A.S.S. “I’ve been close; I’ve finished second here, I’ve finished third here, I have I don’t know how many Top 10s in the Opens. I love fishing these events and it feels really good to finally pull one off.

“Now the Classic qualification is off my mind the rest of the year. I couldn’t be happier because it was just announced that the (2023) Classic will be in my home state of Tennessee.”

All three days, Lester locked down to the lower Kissimmee Chain waters and split his time between Lake Kissimmee and Cypress Lake. The latter yielded most of his weight and dominated his final-round productivity.

“Cypress had a ton of hydrilla; this is the first year with this much grass in it,” said Lester, who now has 22 Top 10 finishes with B.A.S.S. “When I went in there in practice, I noticed right off the bat that I was seeing empty beds everywhere. That was the whole key to me winning this tournament, there’s no doubt.

“I knew they were bass beds and I knew that with that many beds around and a warming trend coming, those fish would be coming in — and they did.”

Days 1 and 2 saw Lester catching his fish on a 5-inch junebug-colored Gambler Fat Ace (soft stickbait) rigged on a 3/0 Mustad Grip Pin Big Bite hook with a 3/16-ounce Mustad Tungsten weight. With an approaching cold front bringing cloudy skies, light afternoon rain and cooling temperatures, Lester switched to a reaction-based presentation.

“I knew if I was going to catch them today, I needed some type of moving bait, so I caught them on a 3/8-ounce Evergreen JackHammer ChatterBait in the golden shiner color with a 3.3-inch Keitech Swing Impact Fat trailer in Tennessee shad,” Lester said. “It was pretty much just a chunk-and-wind deal, but once I found the area where it went down, I just milked that one area all day.”

Lester spent the first two days on the north side of Cypress Lake, but when Day 3 brought north winds of 10 to 15 mph, he switched to the south shore.

“The spot where I had been catching them the last two days got blown out by the mud (from strong winds),” he said. “I just got on that south side because it hadn’t been getting much pressure, and I thought with that wind in there, maybe there’d be some bait in there and I was right.”

Cifuentes took the early lead by catching a Day 1 limit of 28-10, which ranks in the Top 15 single-day weights in Bassmaster Opens history. Retaining his lead on Day 2 with a limit of 10-13, he entered Championship Saturday leading Lester by 6-9. On Day 3, Cifuentes added 9-5 and ended with 48-12.

A key prespawn staging spot amid deep grass produced Cifuentes’ Day 1 weight by 8:30 a.m. But Day 2 found the spot devoid of bass, so he caught a limit by punching grass. On Saturday, Cifuentes gave his best spot another look, but it offered nothing and he ended up catching his fish on a Berkley Stunna jerkbait.

“That big bag did good; it just didn’t do enough,” Cifuentes said. “It was fun. I had a blast and it was a great way to start the year.”

In addition to a $25,500 second-place prize, Cifuentes also earned the $500 Garmin Tournament Rewards for being the highest-placing competitor using Garmin products.

Tom Frink of Southside, Ala., finished third with 47-8. He placed 19th on Day 1 with a limit of 13-9, rose to eighth by catching 17-3 on Day 2 and gained five more spots with a final-round bag that weighed 16-12.

While he spent some of his time throwing a 1/2-ounce Evergreen lipless bait offshore in Cypress Lake, Frink fared best when he focused on shallow reeds. Targeting clear, sandy spots in the reed lines with a beaver-style bait rigged with a Ryugi Black Bean sliding sinker.

“I’d go a couple hundred yards and not get bit, then I’d hit a 50-yard stretch where I’d catch three or four fish,” Frink said. “On Day 2, I got lucky and caught a 7-pounder doing that. Today, I started offshore for (a brief time), but I went shallow again and had one 50-yard stretch where I caught all my fish.”

Elite Series pro Frank Talley of Temple, Texas, won the $750 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award for his 9-7 largemouth.

As part of the Yamaha Power Pay program, Adam Neu of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., took home an additional $1,500 while John Soukup of Sapulpa, Okla., claimed an additional $750 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

Toyota will also award $1,500 to the highest-placing entrant in their Bonus Bucks program and an additional $1,000 to the second-highest placing entrant.

Additionally, the St. Croix Rods Rewards program will award an extra $500 to the highest-finishing Top 10 angler fishing St. Croix rods.

The tournament was hosted by the Kissimmee Sports Commission.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog
MONROE, La. — Matty Wong said he envisioned the Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial Trophy sitting on his passenger seat during the 25-hour drive from his home in Culver City, Calif., to the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

Turns out, it’ll be there.

Wong caught 15 bass for a three-day total of 35 pounds, 9 ounces to win the championship that concluded Friday on the Ouachita River in north Louisiana. In addition to the hardware, Wong collected a $20,000 Nation’s Best first prize presented by Nitro/Mercury and a spot on the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2022. He’ll have use of a fully-rigged Nation’s Best tournament boat for the Elite season, which he emphatically stated he’ll join.

Wong also earned a berth into the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk scheduled for March 4-6 on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell. Washington’s Taylor Smith (second place, 33-15) and former Elite Series angler Jared Miller who hails from Oklahoma (third, 33-7) also claimed spots in the Classic.

Wong, a 33-year old Hawaii-born angler, rallied from an 8-ounce deficit heading into Day 3. He fished cypress laydowns on the main river channel throughout the week and was consistent with his catch. He caught a 12-2 limit on opening day and followed with an 11-2 limit on Day 2, trailing only Alabama’s Coby Carden heading into the finals.

Wong caught a 12-5 bag Friday, with no fish weighing more than 3 pounds.

“I caught a 3-pounder to start the day and felt OK,” he said. “Then I caught another 3-pounder and felt good. When I caught my third 3-pounder, I actually started crying.”

Wong doesn’t hide his emotions. He shed tears again on stage shortly before taking the hot seat with only Carden left to weigh. Carden, who’s reached two previous Classics, mustered only a 6-8 limit on the final day and fell to seventh overall.

That left Wong holding the trophy he dreamed was sitting shotgun on last week’s long drive across the continent.

“This whole thing is a dream,” he said. “I’m absolutely speechless.”

Wong leaned on a variety of balsa wood squarebill crankbaits to boat his best bass, with bluegill, shad and chartreuse as his go-to colors. He also flipped a brown jig and used a War Eagle spinnerbait with a chartreuse blade and chartreuse trailer.

“It basically was trash fishing,” he said. “But I was looking for unusual stretches of laydowns. I was looking for places on the riverbank that were on a bend, after a sandbar or a long stretch of mud.”

Smith, 36, caught the big bag on Friday – a 16-8 limit that vaulted him from 12th place to second. It is the second time he’s finished runner-up at a B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, having done so on Lake Hartwell in 2019. He’ll head there again for his second trip to the biggest event in bass fishing.

“Being in the Classic for me is pretty special,” he said. “Whether it’s Ping-Pong or cornhole, I want to win. So, there will still be pressure.”

Smith used an aluminum boat on Friday to reach a backwater area that wasn’t accessible earlier in the week in his fiberglass boat. He threw a white Bandit crankbait on Day 3 and wound up catching the second-biggest bag of the tournament.

Miller, 37, caught a 13-4 limit on Day 3, moving from seventh place up to third and into a spot in the Classic. His primary bait was a Berkley MaxScent Creature Hawg (green pumpkin).

“Half my fish this week came from squeezing behind docks and the other half came from main-river laydowns,” Miller said.

Both Smith and Miller will have their entry fees paid into the 2022 Bassmaster Opens in all divisions. 

Also fishing on Friday were: fourth, Arkansas’ Chris Johnson, 32-6; fifth, Wisconsin’s Jim Barczak, 31-11; sixth, Utah’s Ben Byrd, 30-6; seventh, Carden, 30-4; eighth, Rhode Island’s Mike Wolfenden, 28-0; ninth, South Africa’s Justin Karan, 26-13; 10th, Missouri’s Ray Cates, 26-4; 11th, Pennsylvania’s Aaron Green, 24-15; 12th, Wisconsin’s Dustin Drath, 23-12; 13th, Arizona’s Zack Holwerda, 20-6; and 15th, Minnesota’s Richard Lindgren, 17-4.

A total of 101 anglers from 47 states and three foreign countries competed this week for $96,000 in prize money. The field was narrowed to 14 after Thursday’s cut, including the Top 10 boaters, Cates and Drath from the nonboater division, and Green and Lindgren as leading anglers in the championship from their respective B.A.S.S. Nation regions. Missouri’s Nick Luna finished 14th overall with 17-5 but didn’t make the cut to the final round.

Carden won $1,000 for having the big bass of the tournament (5-7).

Cates won the nonboater division on Thursday. He collected the Louis “Pee Wee” Powers Memorial Trophy as well as a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Nitro/Mercury. His 4-3 bass was the heaviest among nonboaters and he won another $500 for that catch.

Drath, who finished second among nonboaters, won $7,500, part of a $31,500 purse split among the Top 12 in that division.

As part of the Yamaha Power Pay program, Jason Pittman of Covington, Miss., earned $5,000 as the program’s highest placing entrant while last year’s B.A.S.S. Nation champion and current Elite Series pro Pat Schlapper of Eleva, Wis., claimed an additional $2,500 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

JASPER, Ala. — Jacob Powroznik had one goal in mind when he signed up for the entire 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens schedule: requalify for the Bassmaster Elite Series.

Saturday was another major step toward accomplishing that goal, as Powroznik rallied in the final round to win the second Central Open of the season, on Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake, with a three-day total of 37 pounds, 9 ounces.

After catching 11-12 on Day 1 and 11-8 on the second day, the North Prince George, Va., native landed 14-5 of spotted bass on the final day, propelling him past Days 1 and 2 leader Nick LeBrun, who caught just three keeper bass on the final day to finish with a three-day total of 33-6.

Not only does Powroznik maintain his lead in the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings, but he also punches his ticket to the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk at Lake Hartwell. The win is his fifth in Bassmaster competition.

“It is a dream come true. That is what you fish for,” Powroznik said. “My best friend Hank (Cherry) has won it two years in a row, so now I’ve got something to shoot for. I put myself in to requalify for the Elite Series, and then to be able to come here and win this tournament is a blessing.

“It all kind of came together and I can’t wait to get to Hartwell. God is good and I love bass fishing.”

Powroznik’s pattern all week centered around standing timber in deep water areas where suspended spotted bass were feeding on blueback herring. Some of the trees he was fishing were in over 100 feet of water, but the bass were suspended only 20 feet deep.

“I was fishing in ditches that run into pockets and they had to have standing timber that was taller than anything else,” he said. “The thermocline was at about 35 feet this week, so those bass would never go below that.”

After experimenting with several techniques in practice, Powroznik settled on a V&M Drop Shad rigged on a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce jighead paired with a Quantum Smoke spinning outfit and 10-pound High Seas braid and an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader. He added his Lowrance Active Target units were essential as he could watch how the bass reacted to the bait as it fell to them.

“The technique is called tight-lining,” he said. “When I know it is going to fall right to them, I’ll hold my rod and it will pendulum down. It looks like a dying shad or a herring, whatever they are after. They didn’t want anything with a paddletail, they wanted it kind of clean and one of them was going to get it.”

Powroznik noticed distinct feeding windows for the spotted bass.

“They would bite right off the bat and then there would be an hour or two lull,” he said. “Once it got to be around noon, that’s when they clustered around those trees a whole lot better. And then they would slack off toward the end.”

While there had been a couple of striper fishing boats in his areas throughout the tournament, Powroznik didn’t have very much fishing pressure around him throughout the week. When he arrived at his spot Saturday, there were a few more boats, but he was able to find success.

“I don’t ever say this, but I told my buddy that I might have found the winning bag of fish,” Powroznik said. “I ended up catching a big one right off the bat and then I caught another one. I am never sitting still, so I moved around and ended up catching another big one. They were bigger than the ones I had been catching all week.

“Being around the striper fisherman, they know what is in there and the stripers feed on herring and so do the big spots.”

After leading through the first two days with 15-2 on Day 1 and 12-13 on Day 2, LeBrun weighed in just three bass for 5-7 to drop into second place.

“It was a great week,” LeBrun said. “Something changed with those suspended fish. It was tough to get bites and when they did they were small and I hadn’t had that problem all week. It seemed like the bait was up at the surface a lot more and I think that was due to the lack of boat traffic. When the fish were busting, I couldn’t catch them.”

Hometown favorite Jesse Wiggins finished in third with 33-3, jumping up from fifth place with a Day 3 bag that weighed 10-10.

“Overall, I’m not satisfied but I’m pleased,” Wiggins said. “It could have been a lot worse. I know how fickle it is and it could have been a really bad deal. I’m excited to be in the Top 10. It was a tough week and this lake doesn’t handle boat pressure really well, especially during a tough time of year.”

After a tough Day 1, Wiggins went all in on a largemouth pattern on Day 2 to catch 12-6 to get to the final day.

“The water cleaned up a little and I was able to grind out 10 pounds on Day 1,” Wiggins said. “I started on my river stuff Day 2 and they were biting. I caught them all on a Jackall Firecracker Buzzbait and then one on a squarebill.

“Today I went back up there and caught a few on a buzzbait and a couple on a shaky head and my second biggest one on a squarebill.”

With a 5-15 largemouth on Day 1, Brandon Ackerson won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the Tournament and earned $750.

With 1,371 points, Powroznik leads the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings. Tommy Williams is second with 1,301 and Daisuke Aoki is third with 1,269.

Joseph Webster leads the Central Opens standings with 381 points while Jay Przekurat and Brandon Lester are tied for second with 378.

The final Central Open is scheduled for Grand Lake in Grove, Okla., Oct. 21-23. 

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

1.  Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 15  37-09  200  $50,400.00

  Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   11-08     Day 3: 5   14-05  

2.  Nick LeBrun            Bossier City, LA        13  33-06  199  $24,480.00

  Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   12-13     Day 3: 3   05-07  

3.  Jesse Wiggins          Logan, AL               15  33-03  198  $17,280.00

  Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   12-06     Day 3: 5   10-10  

4.  Kyle Austin            Ridgeville, SC          15  31-08  197  $14,900.00

  Day 1: 5   10-04     Day 2: 5   10-10     Day 3: 5   10-10  

5.  Cody Huff              Ava, MO                 14  28-15  196  $12,528.00

  Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   09-10     Day 3: 4   08-01  

6.  Tom Frink              Cedartown, GA           10  27-08  195  $11,520.00

  Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   13-06     Day 3: 0   00-00  

7.  Jay Przekurat          Stevens Point, WI       10  24-15  194  $10,800.00

  Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 4   10-02     Day 3: 1   01-10  

8.  Cody Bird              Granbury, TX            10  23-06  193  $10,080.00

  Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 4   07-07     Day 3: 1   01-05  

9.  Allen Stewart          Lakeview, AR            11  23-00  192   $7,920.00

  Day 1: 5   09-11     Day 2: 5   11-14     Day 3: 1   01-07  

10. Robin Erb              Crane Hill, AL           9  20-14  191   $6,480.00

  Day 1: 4   08-08     Day 2: 5   12-06     Day 3: 0   00-00  

Courtesy of  BASS Communications.