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Dock Talk

Welcome to BassFan's Dock Talk section, where you will see brief, newsworthy items that for one reason or another can't be made into full-blown news articles. Despite the name, and in keeping with BassFan's editorial policy, every effort will be made to avoid publishing outright rumors.

More dock talk articles

  • Idaho's Palaniuk wins Fed Nation title

    Idaho's Palaniuk wins Fed Nation title

    Idaho's Brandon Palaniuk won the BASS Federation Nation Championship today at Louisiana's Red River, catching a 12-00 final-day bag to top the field by nearly 5 pounds with a 3-day total of 29-09.

    “Since the first time I was taken out in a bass boat when I was 8 years old, I have been thinking about making the Classic,” he said. “And since I started fishing the Federation when I was 16, I started dreaming about winning one of these (annual championships).”

    BASS reported that he fished a Lucky Craft Skeet Reese Mini crankbait around a rock jetty and flipped a grassy backwater area with a Texas-rigged Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    George Crain of Alabama was 2nd with 24-10. Joining Palaniuk (Western) and Crain (Southern) as division winners at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic will be Oklahoma's Dale Hightower (Central), Delaware's Brian LaClair (Mid-Atlantic), Vermont's Sean Alvarez (Eastern) and Indiana's David Watson (Northern).

    The Junior Bassmaster World Championship, which took place Friday on nearby Cross Lake, resulted in two Eastern Division anglers squeaking out titles by mere ounces. Alexander Wetherell of Connecticut won in the 15-18 age group by 2 ounces with a total of four fish tallying 4-5. Christopher Catucci of Rhode Island won in the 11-14 age division with two bass weighing 5-12.

  • AFS registration, logo policy set

    AFS registration, logo policy set

    FLW Outdoors has released additional information about the 2011 American Fishing Series, including registration dates and a new logo policy.

    The top 100 pros and 100 co-anglers from the 2010 FLW Series Western Division, top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers from each division of the 2010 AFS, and the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each division of the 2010 BFL must pay deposits for all four tournaments in a division by Nov. 15 in order to secure their priority entry position.

    Ranger boat owners may register beginning Nov. 16. TBF members may register beginning Nov. 17. All other entries will be accepted beginning Nov. 18.

    Top entry priority goes to pros and co-anglers who enter all four AFS tournaments in a division by Dec. 16 for the Central, Southeast, Texas and Western divisions and Jan. 27, 2011, for the Northern Division. All other entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry.

    Tournament fees are $1,000 per event ($250 deposit) for the pro division and $400 per event ($100 deposit) for the co-angler division. That's up from $825 and $325, respectively, in 2010, but payouts have also increased – from $25,000 to $35,000 for the winning pro, and with awards of $1,100 extending through 50th place on the pro side, compared to $800 last year.

    Registration can be completed online or by contacting FLW Outdoors at (270) 252-1000. Phones open at 8 a.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

    Anglers may wear their own jersey every day of competition in AFS qualifying tournaments (last year, no logos, patches or decals other than the AFS logo, logos of AFS sponsors or logos of Ranger, Stratos or Champion dealers could be worn). FLW Outdoors reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to prohibit any angler’s jersey that it finds to be offensive.

    Additional logo restrictions apply for the televised AFS Championship and will be provided to qualifying anglers. All decisions are in FLW Outdoors’ sole discretion.

    For the 2011 AFS schedules, click here.

  • Old reels, great memories

    Several new entries were published today in the ongoing Abu Garcia For Life! contest, and they all come from different parts of the country (Tennessee, Illinois and California). To get a look at them, head on over to the Abu Garcia For Life! section of the Catch More Fish page.

    Does your Abu Garcia reel have some mileage? Then why not enter it in the Abu Garcia For Life! contest? Show us your "classic" or well-used Abu and you might win a new one. Click here to submit a picture of the reel, as well as a detailed story or two about its history. Entries must include a photo of the reel and are judged each month based on content, detail and theme.

    For technical questions or problems with entry submissions, send an email to editorial@bassfan.com.

  • Pure Fishing, Power-Pole back with BU

    Pure Fishing, Power-Pole back with BU

    Pete Gluszek, co-founder of the Bass University, announced this week that Pure Fishing and Power-Pole have re-signed as sponsors of the seminar series for year 2.

    "Obviously those companies were pleased with what we achieved last year and we're thrilled that they saw results from their sponsorship," Gluszek said. "Both Pure Fishing and Power-Pole pride themselves in helping people become better anglers and responsible stewards for the future of fishing, and we share that philosophy. We're excited that they've come on board for another season.

    The series kicks off Nov. 6-7 in Kissimmee, Fla. and will include four additional stops. To learn more, click here.

  • Cochran, Strader with Walmart

    Cochran, Strader with Walmart

    The first of the long-awaited announcements on FLW team deals for 2011 came today when the organization revealed that veteran anglers George Cochran and Wesley Strader will comprise Team Walmart. It's a return engagement for Cochran (pictured), who was sponsored by the retail giant for several years before it pulled out of the sport prior to 2010.

    “I’m real excited to be back on their team,” said the former Forrest Wood Cup winner and two-time Bassmaster Classic champion from Arkansas. “Some of the happiest times I’ve had while fishing was when I was wearing their logo. I’m honored to represent them.”

    Strader, a Tennessean, is a 10-time Cup qualifier.

    “It’s an honor to be associated with a company that’s done so much for bass fishing," he said. "It’s an honor and a blessing. I’ve never thought of myself as above anybody else, but to be right there beside George – he’s right up there with my heroes like Larry Nixon and Denny Brauer. I mean, they’re my heroes. I grew up watching them and wanted to be just like them.”

    FLW Outdoors announced this summer at the Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta that it had agreed to a long-term sponsorship with Walmart, with the company again becoming the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors in 2011.

  • Oakley schedule out

    Oakley schedule out

    The schedule for the 2011 Oakley Big Bass Tour has been announced. The series, open to all amateur anglers, is designed to provide competitors of all skill levels and exciting tournament format and experience on some of the nation's best fisheries.

    Here's a look at next year's slate:

    March 5-6 -- Lake Conroe Big Bass Classic -- Lake Conroe, Texas
    March 26-27 -- Kevin VanDam Big Bass Classic -- Table Rock Lake, Mo.
    April 30-May 1 -- Jamie McMurray's Carolina Big Bass Classic -- Lake Norman, N.C.
    May 21-22 -- Blue Ridge Big Bass Classic -- Smith Mountain Lake, Va.
    Sept. 24-25 -- Kelly Jordon Big Bass Classic -- Grand Lake, Okla.
    Oct. 15-16 -- Gerald Swindle Big Bass Classic -- Lake Guntersville, Ala.

    Information regarding tournament entry fees, eligibility, rules and payouts will be posted in the coming months. Anglers can visit OakleyBigBass.com for more information.

  • Harrison stays with FLW

    Harrison stays with FLW

    Chip Harrison notified BassFan today that he's opted to remain with the FLW Tour for 2011. The Indiana veteran had the option of competing on the Bassmaster Elite Series due to his 7th-place finish in the Northern Open points standings.

    "Probably the main reason is loyalty toward FLW," he said. "I think it's a well-run organization and in the past they've done a good job of being loyal to me, helping me get sponsors. When the opportunity arose, I thought I should probably be loyal back.

    "I'm excited about Walmart coming back and I'm looking forward to maybe getting one of the team deals that goes along with that. I've always enjoyed working the Fun Zones and doing all the other stuff that was involved with being on a team. I had some (sponsorship) stuff lined up to fish BASS – it wouldn't have been a full ride, but I would've been comfortable with it.

    "Also, I think the lakes on the FLW Tour next year set up better for me," he added. "When I weighed all the FLW plusses, they outweighed the BASS plusses by a long way."

  • Meninger wins Kota's event

    Meninger wins Kota's event

    Jason Meninger, a 2010 FLW Tour rookie who competed at the Forrest Wood Cup, won Kota Kiriyama's American Dream tournament over the weekend at Alabama's Lake Wheeler. Meninger weighed 26.28 pounds over 2 days to edge the runner-up team of Allan and Lisa Glasgow by nearly 2 pounds.

    Part of Meninger's prize is a trip to Japan with Kiriyama, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro and native of that country. He'll get an opportunity to fish Lake Biwa, which produced a world-record-tying largemouth in 2009.

    The event featured 42 teams. The team of FLW Tour pro Scott Canterbury and Danny Cantey weighed the largest bass of the event – an 8.14-pounder.

    For photos and more info, visit KotaAmericanDream.com.

  • Facts of Fishing this week

    Oprah on the water, the PAA and Bassmaster Open finales, the new Canadian record, an 8-day battle with a fish and a potential million dollars down the drain are all part of this week's Facts of Fishing FYI with Dave Mercer. To watch, click below.


  • New Canadian record

    A new Canadian weight record was set Saturday when Mark Moran and Joe Muszynski brought a 31 1/2-pound limit of smallmouths to the scale at the Lake Simcoe Open. The mark broke the 2009 record of 30.35 set by Charles Sim and Nigel Touhey.

    The duo earned $25,000 for the victory, plus an additional $20,000 from Toyota for breaking the record.

    To read an account from the Orillia Packet & Record, click here.

  • Yamaha's FLW pullout statement

    Yamaha's FLW pullout statement

    When news came down last week that Mercury would be joining Evinrude as FLW engine sponsors for 2011, it signaled the end of Yamaha's lengthy relationship with the organization. Yamaha addressed that issue in a statement issued to BassFan today, which is reprinted below in its entirety:

    "After lengthy review, Yamaha Marine Group elected not to renew its contract for sponsorship with FLW Outdoors beyond 2010.

    "Yamaha remains firmly committed to the bass fishing marketing. Tournament sponsorship and pro staff are valuable elements of Yamaha's marketing plan and are important to its customers.

    "A successful element has been the Yamaha VMAX SHO Demo Tour, which has allowed thousands of customers to experience the superiority of the VMAX SHO. It will continue through 2011 at Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments and many other venues.

    "Yamaha recently signed a multi-year extension to an agreement with BASS and looks forward to continuing to support the BASS tour and its anglers. At the same time, Yamaha will do its best to continue providing tournament service support to anglers who wish to use Yamaha outboards in FLW Tour competition.

    "With these and other programs, Yamaha will continue to vigorously support its position in the bass fishing niche."

  • Ranger enhances site

    Ranger enhances site

    Boat buyers seeking additional insight before stepping into the showroom now have an enhanced tool at their fingertips with the launch of the new Ranger Boats website. The completely redesigned site offers in-depth information about the brand through product profiles, feature videos and other original content.

    New features of the site include RBTV, Ranger’s own online television channel complete with original video content that features new products, tips and insight from Ranger’s pro staff and factory personnel. Ranger owners will also be able to post and read reviews of each model, giving buyers valuable first-person insight into the features and benefits of the boats. Elsewhere on the site, visitors can access their local dealer’s Ranger Owners Group store to purchase dealer-exclusive Owners Group merchandise.

    The new site also incorporates an “Inside the Ride” overview covering a myriad of unique Ranger features and designs. Highlighting recent tournament results, the “Driven to Dominate” section showcases the latest Ranger angler accomplishments and the popular Custom Finish Shop gives visitors the opportunity to design a custom rig.

    To visit the site, click here.

  • Combs, Reehm Classic-bound

    Combs, Reehm Classic-bound

    FLW Tour pro Keith Combs and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Clark Reehm claimed the two Bassmaster Classic spots offered via the Central Opens as the circuit concluded today at Lake Texoma out of Denison, Texas. Mike Pharr (pictured) won the event with a 10-13 final-day bag that gave him a 3-day total of 27-04.

    Combs, the day-2 leader, finished 3rd in the tournament, but topped the final points list. Reehm ended up 5th in the tournament and edged out Craig Schuff, the points leader coming into the event, for the second Classic slot.

    Pharr, who failed to weigh a limit on any of the 3 days, relied on a variety of baits. Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.

    The Top 7 on the final points list will receive invitations to fish the 2011 Elite Series, and BASS will call down as far as 12th if anglers decline. Here's a look at the Top 12 in the points:

    1. Keith Combs -- Texas -- 840
    2. Clark Reehm -- Texas -- 782
    3. Craig Schuff -- Texas -- 779
    4. Lee Sisson -- Florida -- 741
    5. Dean Alexander -- Texas -- 727
    6. Aaron Johnson -- Louisiana -- 711
    7. James Stricklin -- Texas -- 688
    8. Bo Middleton -- Oklahoma -- 684
    9. Russell Parrish -- Texas -- 671
    10. Randy Allen -- Louisiana -- 657
    11. Mike Kernan -- Texas -- 641
    12. Tim Skelton -- Oklahoma -- 639

  • Combs surges to top

    Combs surges to top

    FLW Tour pro Keith Combs took a big step toward securing a 2011 Bassmaster Classic berth today by moving into the lead at the Texoma Bassmaster Central Open. His 11-10 bag, compiled with a crankbait and a worm, gave him a 2-day total of 20-06.

    Combs brought one of five limits to the scales. Only three limits were weighed on day 1.

    Two former Bassmaster Elite Series pros were directly behind Combs on the leaderboard – Jeff Reynolds was 2nd with 19-04 and Jay Fuller was 3rd with 19-03. Day-1 leader Lee Sisson weighed 8-03 today and fell to 4th.

    Here's a look at the Top 10 with one day to fish:

    1. Keith Combs -- 20-06
    2. Jeff Reynolds -- 19-04
    3. Jay Fuller -- 19-03
    4. Lee Sisson -- 18-13
    5. Ray Brazier -- 18-12
    6. Mike Pharr -- 16-07
    7. Bo Middleton -- 15-07
    8. Don Merki -- 15-00
    9. Clark Reehm -- 14-11
    10. Paul Ferguson -- 14-10

  • Split down the middle

    The new Berkley PowerBait Split Belly swimbait is modeled on the company's wildly popular Hollow Belly bait, which was introduced in 2008. Its unique characteristic is that its design allows it to collapse in the mouth of a fish, allowing for superior penetration with a wide-gap hook.

    To learn more about the Split Belly, head on over to the Catch More Fish page.

  • Sisson leads at Texoma

    Sisson leads at Texoma

    Florida's Lee Sisson brought in one of only three limits today and weighed the lone double-digit bag to take the early lead at the Texoma Bassmaster Central Open. The event is the circuit finale and two Bassmaster Classic berths and seven Elite Series invitations will be doled out to the top anglers on the points list upon its conclusion.

    Forty-five anlgers, more than a quarter of the field, failed to catch a keeper. The full field will fish again on Friday, with only the Top 30 advancing to Saturday.

    Here's a look at the Top 10:

    1. Lee Sissson -- 10-10
    2. Mike Pharr -- 9-13
    3. Jay Fuller -- 9-12
    4. Aaron Johnson -- 9-04
    5. Dean Alexander -- 8-14
    6. Keith Combs -- 8-12
    7. (tie) Stephen Fatherree -- 8-07
    7. (tie) Bo Middleton -- 8-07
    9. Don Merki -- 8-07
    10. (tie) Brian Clark -- 8-04
    10. (tie) Russell Parrish -- 8-04

  • Adx teams with BU

    Adx teams with BU

    Team Bass Adx, the new clothing company co-owned by Ish Monroe, has signed on as a sponsor of The Bass University. The clothing will be available for purchase at all five BU sessions.

    Monroe will be a featured speaker at two of the sessions – Kissimmee, Fla. (Nov. 6-7) and Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 11-12). For registration information, click here.

  • Merc back with FLW

    Merc back with FLW

    FLW Outdoors announced today that it's signed an extensive agreement with Mercury Marine, marking the engine manufacturer's return to the organization's sponsorship ranks. MotorGuide and Brunswick Zone family entertainment centers will also have a strong presence across the FLW Outdoors platforms.

    Along with Mercury, Evinrude will continue to serve as one of two official outboard-engine sponsors of FLW Outdoors in 2011. Which of course means that Yamaha will not return as a sponsor – a fact that seemed clear given Yamaha's recent moves to cut ties with many of its FLW pros.

    “We are very pleased that Mercury has rejoined the ranks of FLW Outdoors,” said FLW Outdoors Marketing Division president Trisha Blake. “With our aggressive programs, we’re confident Mercury will see considerable market-share growth. They’re making a strong statement of support to professional fishing, and our anglers are sure to respond enthusiastically.”

    Mercury Marine officials said the FLW sponsorship offers great opportunities to support tournament anglers in both the bass and walleye arenas.

    “Mercury Marine and MotorGuide are extremely excited about this opportunity to work with the FLW and Ranger Boats,” said Mercury marketing VP Mike Shedivy. “We feel Mercury represents the heart of tournament fishing, and we will continue to support the various species of competitive angling.

    “We recognize that the FLW has traditionally offered very lucrative prizes, and Mercury and MotorGuide will support the FLW in its continued efforts to provide the highest payouts possible.”

  • AFS skeds released

    AFS skeds released

    FLW Outdoors today announced the 2011 FLW American Fishing Series schedule, along with the paybacks and entry fees. Pros will compete for top awards of up to $35,000 and co-anglers will vie for a new Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard. If the angler is Ranger Cup-qualified, the pro will also win a new Ranger 198VX with a 200-horsepower outboard and the co-angler will win an additional $5,000.

    The AFS will expand to five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western – with the new Western Division replacing the FLW Series Western Division. Each division will consist of four qualifying tournaments with the season culminating with a no-entry-fee championship.

    “The American Fishing Series is an extremely popular circuit, and we think the changes we’ve made will make it even more popular going forward,” said FLW Outdoors Operations Division president Kathy Fennel.

    Here's a look at the schedule for each division:

    Central
    > March 10-12 -- Lake of the Ozarks -- Osage Beach, Mo.
    > March 31-April 2 -- Kentucky Lake -- Gilbertsville, Ky.
    > July 14-16 -- Detroit River -- Trenton, Mich.
    > Oct. 6-8 -- Table Rock Lake -- Kimberling City, Mo.

    Northern
    > June 23-25 -- Lake Champlain -- Plattsburgh, N.Y.
    > July 28-30 -- 1000 Islands -- Clayton, N.Y.
    > Aug. 18-20 -- Lake Erie -- Buffalo, N.Y.
    > Sept. 29-Oct. 1 -- Potomac River -- Marbury, Md.

    Southeast
    > Jan. 6-8 -- Lake Okeechobee -- Okeechobee, Fla.
    > Feb. 24-26 -- Lake Guntersville -- Guntersville, Ala.
    > April 28-30 -- Lake Eufaula -- Eufaula, Ala.
    > June 9-11 -- Pickwick Lake -- Florence, Ala.

    Texas
    > Jan. 20-22 -- Choke Canyon -- Calliham, Texas
    > Feb. 10-12 -- Sam Rayburn Reservoir -- Jasper, Texas
    > March 17-19 -- Toledo Bend -- Hemphill, Texas
    > May 12-14 -- Lake Texoma -- Pottsboro, Texas

    Western
    > Jan. 13-15 -- Lake Shasta -- Redding, Calif.
    > Feb. 17-19 -- Lake Roosevelt -- Payson, Ariz.
    > May 5-7 -- California Delta -- Stockton, Calif.
    > Sept. 22-24 -- Clear Lake -- Clearlake, Calif.

    Championship
    > Oct. 27-30 -- Kentucky Lake -- Buchanan, Tenn.

    Pro entry fees will be $1,000 per tournament and co-angler entry fees will be $400 per tournament, with awards of $1,100 and $450 extending through 50th place, respectively. Anglers can begin registering for the circuit on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

    The fields in the qualifying events will consist of 150 boats fishing Thursday and Friday and the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advancing to Saturday. Winners will be determined by total weight from all 3 days.

    The no-entry-fee championship will consist of 200 boats – the top 40 pros and co-anglers in points from each division, fishing the first 2 days of competition. The top 20 pros and co-anglers based on total weight from the first 2 days will advance to Saturday, with the co-angler champion being crowned based on total weight from the first 3 days. The top 10 pros will advance to Sunday, and the winner will be determined by total weight from all 4 days.

    The winning pro, who could earn $50,000 and a new Ranger boat, and co-angler, who could take home a new Ranger boat plus $5,000, will qualify to compete in the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup.

  • Biffle won't break down yet

    Biffle won't break down yet

    In late October and November, there's usually no reaching Tommy Biffle. He puts down his rods, picks up his gun and disappears into the woods, not to be heard from for weeks at a time.

    He'll have to keep his rods strung for a few more weeks though. Fresh off his recent PAA Tournament Series points title, Biffle received a last-minute invite to compete in Joe Thomas' Ultimate Match Fishing. That's an invitation few if any pros would turn down.

    "I am going to hunt, but I'm going to do that Ultimate Match Fishing with Joe in November," Biffle said. "They just came up with this in the last day or two. I don't know who I'm going to be fishing against. Joe was betting I wouldn't do it because it was deer season. And I really want to hunt, but this is the first time they asked me so I said I'd do it. They sure make it hard on somebody."

    Based on the FeedBack section of BassFan, Ultimate Match Fishing is a favorite among readers. The popular show pits pro against pro for a day of fishing, and also provides an opportunity for fans to qualify through federated competition. Significant news is that the show will now air 52 weeks a year on Outdoor Channel, and Q1-2 2011 will feature best-episode highlights from the first 6 years. There'll also be some new type of All Star showdown.

    Keep up with show details at UltimateMatchFishing.com.

    Federated qualifying takes place in the spring. For details, keep watch at OutdoorChannel.com/UMF.

  • Platinum's got cash (lots of it)

    Platinum's got cash (lots of it)

    Platinum Equity flexed its financial muscle during the Genmar bankruptcy when it scooped up boat brands like Ranger, Stratos, Champion and Glastron. But those deals were small beans compared to a new deal announced this week – Platinum's $777 million buyout of shipping giant American Commercial Lines Inc.

    The full text of the buyout announcement can be found here.

  • The Power of time

    The Power of time

    For most of his life, Kelly Power's been too busy to fish professionally. He spent 23 years with Champion Boats, most recently as brand manager, until he left a few years prior to the Genmar meltdown.

    Power fished select Bassmaster Invitationals in the '90s and dabbled in some regional stuff, but again was just too busy to get out on the road.

    That's changed, he said, and he's now got some time to pursue a career and his dream to appear on the Bassmaster Classic stage.

    It all started when he left Genmar.

    "When I left Genmar, I was very soured on the (boat-building) industry, but I had several dealers and customers around the area who talked me into opening a fiberglass-repair facility," he told BassFan. "They didn't have anyone around here doing it and it just went through the roof. The first year was kind of slow, but after that we were covered up with work. We did warranty work for pretty much all the manufacturers and insurance companies – (last) weekend we had two boats coming up from Louisiana.

    "But last September (2009) I had a gentleman who I've known for a long time – he decided he wanted the business more than I did," Power added. "I sold it to him. I'm still involved, but that's kind of what made the turn for me to get back into fishing. My wife has a store where we live (Cape Fair, Mo.), and it's all kind of freed up some time for me to fish a little more."

    After the sale of his Championship Power in Spokane, Mo., he didn't want to jump right into a heavy schedule, so he competed in the four-event PAA Tournament Series. His plan right now is to fish next year's PAA Series and Bassmaster Central Opens with an eye toward making the Bassmaster Elite Series.

    "I jumped in and went after the PAA Series primarily with a goal to fish in a four-state region. I haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up yet. For now I want to fish. And if I have any one goal, I want to stand on the Bassmaster Classic stage one time."

    > Power finished 4th last weekend at the Table Rock PAA Series.

  • BBBC: Fork this weekend

    BBBC: Fork this weekend

    The 5th annual Berkley Big Bass Challenge at Texas' Lake Fork will be held this Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 23-24). Last year more than 800 anglers vied for over $90,000 in cash and prizes, including two Skeeter boats.

    While participants are competing for the biggest bass over and under the slot limits to win the boats, most checks are for fish in the 2- to 4-pound range and several were handed out last year for 1-pounders. The rules do not allow anglers who have paid a $2,500 tournament entry to fish the tournament, and this opens the field for the weekend tournament competitor and recreational angler to win some money and have fun.

    Each hour an angler can bring one fish to the scakes for a chance to receive one of the hourly cash awards. The unique aspect of the tournament is that only Berkley baits can be used.

    “This fun format lets anglers enjoy the full spectrum of Berkley baits,” said Berkley marketing direcgtor Andrew Marks. “It is challenging to not only adjust to some of the new baits that are being used, but also the added strategy of when to weigh in your fish that lends a unique twist, making it fun for everyone.”

    The Berkley Experience trailer, a 60-foot event center, will be on site for the entire event. The trailer features interactive presentation screens, educational seminars on line selection, reel maintenance, rod selection and selecting the right bait, a knot-tying station and competition, bait demonstration tanks and many other elements designed to help the angers catch more dish. Lake Fork Marina will partner with the Experience trailer and will have a good selection of Berkley baits for sale for anglers who have not already stocked up for the tournament.

    More information can be found at BassChamps.com.

  • Evinrude promotes Browne

    Evinrude promotes Browne

    Florida FLW Tour angler Glenn Browne has been promoted to Team Evinrude – a select group of 32 anglers from across the nation who compete in bass, walleye and saltwater events. The winner of this year's Tour event at Fort Loudoun-Tellico has run Evinrude motors for several years.

    "I'm thrilled to death about it," he said. "It's a real honor to join guys like Larry Nixon, David Walker, the Hibdons and the Brauers.

    "I'll be a lot more involved with promotional stuff, and this whole deal is truly exciting for me."

  • Spro video contest running

    Spro video contest running

    Spro is giving away $1,750 worth of lures via a YouTube video contest that will run through the end of 2011. Entrants can upload their best Spro-related videos to YouTube, and then send a link to the company.

    The top prize is an honorary 1-year Spro sponsorship that will provide the winner with approximately $1,000 worth of Spro lures. The 2nd-place entrant will receive $500 worth of lures, and 3rd place will get a $250 lure package.

    A list of contest rules and other information is available at the Spro website.

  • What are the primaries?

    A few BassFans wrote in about a recent story on the Catch More Fish page about bass and color perception.

    The confusion arose because we're all taught in art class that the primary colors are red, blue and yellow. That's true when using pigments, like paints. It's called subtractive primaries – when you blend the three primary colors you get black, or the absence of color.

    But when dealing with light, and an animal's perception of light, red, green and blue are the primaries. It's called additive primaries, because when you blend all three you get white (the presence of all colors). This article deals with light perception, thus the relevant primaries are red, green and blue.

  • Bass and RGB

    <b><font color = maroon>Bass and RGB</b></font>

    The three primary colors – red, green and blue – can be combined to create millions of different colors. The human eye can discern them all, but what about bass?

    Research suggests that bass possess color receptors for only two of the three primary colors. Can you guess which one's missing – red, green or blue – and what impact that might have on bait color?

    For the answer, head on over to the Catch More Fish page to read a new article in the Fish Science section.

  • Tucker fights cancer

    Tucker fights cancer

    As part of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Elite Series Pro J. Todd Tucker and grill company Big Green Egg teamed to create a pink tournament jersey that Tucker wore the month. The shirt is being auctioned today and tomorrow at the annual Big Green Egg Eggtoberfest at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tucker is also selling another tournament jersey and will be accepting individual donations at the event.

    All money raised will be donated to the Breasts Cancer Awareness Foundation to support research and to aid families affected by this dreaded disease.

    Tucker noted: "Last October I lost my first cousin, Kiley Sanchez, after a long battle with breast cancer. Kiley left behind two young children and a loving husband and family. This hit our family very hard and we're dedicated to making everyone aware of how not only breast cancer, but all cancers, can drastically affect all of us. My 'pit crew' and I will be making this an annual fundraiser in conjunction with Big Green Egg."

    Those not in attendance who wish to donate can do so through PayPal here.

  • Can you type? Some BassFan can...

    Xtranormal is a site with the slogan: "If you can type, you can make movies." Seems some BassFan took the challenge and there's a short animated clip on the site that's downright hysterical.

    The first line: "Honey, I'm going to become a professional bass fisherman."

    Somebody who follows the sport closely made this clip because everything's dead-on. Check it out below or click here.

  • The ABCs of ABT

    The ABCs of ABT

    Remember the ABT Lure Co.? This California tackle outfit grew legs around 2001-02 when it introduced the Gladiator hinged swimbait. Soon after, ABT largely fell off the map, but not really. Allen Borden needed marketing muscle so he hooked up with Strike King to design swimbaits and is credited with recent Strike King hits like the King Shad and Baby King Shad, King Kong, Sexy Swimmer and Wake Shad. Many of Borden's baits share the trademark internal plastic hinge that have made the King Shads so hot. Selling price on King Shads right now is more than $20 per bait.

    Things have a changed a lot in Borden's world, though. He told BassFan he's no longer connected with Strike King and is putting all his weight behind a resurrected ABT Lures.

    "I did all the ground work on the Strike King baits (mentioned above) – from design to prototyping to actual production of the body parts," Borden told BassFan. "Those were done down in Chino, Calif. under our roof and Strike King was purchasing the assembled bodies from us and shipping them to their plant for assembly and paint.

    "Things kind of died down and I'm not working with Strike King anymore," he added. "I had two more baits that were going to be introduced at ICAST but at the last minute it didn't happen. I'm kind of in negotiations with Strike King right now to do those on my own. There are a lot of decisions to make."

    Borden noted too that although Strike King plans to manufacture some future baits in China, he's going to stick with his current domestic manufacturing process. Most interesting is that Borden said he never sold the actual King Shad lure design itself, so the ABT Shad swimbaits (pictured) he still sells are identical to King Shads, except they're a fraction of the cost.

    "ABT's back up and running strong," Borden said. "We've got new baits coming out – some really nice stuff from soft frogs to all different kinds of things. And we're offering the ABT Shad Swimbaits, which are the same as the King Shad, for less than half of what (King Shads) are selling for now."

  • Morgenthaler inks Merc

    Morgenthaler inks Merc

    Longtime Yamaha pro Chad Morgenthaler has inked a deal to run a Mercury instead. Morgenthaler actually competed this year without a motor sponsorship – he left Yamaha after the 2009 season, he said, and ran a self-purchased motor on his Phoenix boat.

    He's competing with his new Phoenix/Mercury combo for the first time this week at the Table Rock PAA Tournament Series.

    "I did sign a contract with Mercury and it allowed for an entry-level position with the company," Morgenthaler said. "We both felt that was a good place to start because it takes some time to switch over the branding and marketing. My local dealer, Nameoki Village Marine, helped with everything. They're a platinum Mercury dealer and I've already been able to direct a bunch of potential sales in Mercury's direction.

    "I'm looking forward to a longstanding relationship and I'm thrilled to death with the new motor," he added. "It's a 250 OptiMax built by Mercury Racing with a Torquemaster lower unit. It's bad to the bone."

    He also noted that 80% of the Phoenix boats that leave the factory have a Mercury attached, and now both he and Phoenix teammate Greg Hackney run the same boat/motor combo.

  • Falcon lake update: more violence

    According to a CNN report, the lead Mexican investigator in the Falcon Lake case has been murdered himself. He was believed to have been beheaded by drug-cartel members, who then delivered his head to the Mexican army in a suitcase.

    The case is receiving serious international media attention as authorities on both sides of the border struggle to contain violence at the popular bass-fishing destination.

  • Flippin plant will expand

    Flippin plant will expand

    Fishing Holdings today announced it will significantly expand its boat-manufacturing facility in Flippin, Ark.

    Fishing Holdings is a subsidiary of Platinum Equity, which acquired the Ranger, Stratos and Champion brands in the Genmar bankruptcy, then later acquired Triton from Brunswick Corp.

    The acquisition of Triton united the No. 1 and No. 2 boat brands under a single roof.

    After the integration of Stratos manufacturing at Flippin, Fishing Holdings began the transfer of Triton production from Ashland City, Tenn. to Arkansas. The Champion brand was rolled into the Stratos brand.

    Fishing Holdings will invest $13 million to retool, transition and expand its Flippin facilities, which it said will create more than 115 new jobs. The additional jobs will increase total employment at the manufacturing facility to approximately 540 people.

    The announcement did not state whether former workers would be transferred from the shuttered Ashland City plant.

    Fishing Holdings president Randy Hopper announced the news and said: "We're very fortunate to have a world-class manufacturing facility that's home to such wonderful employees and some of the industry's strongest brands. The progress we've made recently wouldn't have been possible without the support of (Arkansas) Governor Mike Beebe and the state's Economic Development Commission. It's a partnership we're very proud of and look forward to being able to serve our community and the Natural State in an even greater capacity."

    Gov. Beebe stated: "Ranger Boats is an Arkansas institution and a brand respected worldwide. We're excited to see the company's continued growth and thank Ranger for this show of confidence in North Arkansas and its people."

  • The Dracula minnow?

    Ever heard of the Dracula minnow? And what's PETA got to do with it? For the answers to those questions and more, check out this week's episode of Facts of Fishing FYI below.


  • Tharp, Montgomery make Classic

    Tharp, Montgomery make Classic

    The conclusion of the Bassmaster Southern Open season last weekend delivered several critical berths and qualifications. Randall Tharp (pictured) and Andy Montgomery, respectively 1st and 2nd in the points, earned a berth in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic.

    BassFans likely recognize Tharp's name. He's a second-year FLW Tour pro who's had a remarkable run of success in the Opens. He won back-to-back Southerns in 2008. He's fished five Opens in his career and finished in the Top 5 in four of them.

    "For anybody who knows anything about tournament bass fishing, going to the Classic is almost unreal," Tharp said. "I've fished most every championship there is, but never the Classic. This is what I've wanted to do for quite some time."

    Montgomery, meanwhile, is a fourth-year FLW Tour pro who finished inside the Top 15 at each of this year's three Southern Opens and won the Smith Lake stop.

    "I can't wait to get there," Montgomery said of the Classic. "I'm only 28, so to do it so early is great.".

    In addition to the Classic spots, the Top 7 in the Southern points earned a guaranteed invite into the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series, although BASS routinely calls down as far as 12th to fill the Elite field. Here's a look at the Top 12. Note the presence of other FLW Tour pros like Ott DeFoe and JT Kenney, as well as "JVD."

    1. Randall Tharp -- Ala. -- 818
    2. Andy Montgomery -- S.C. -- 807
    3. Terry Scroggins -- Fla. -- 749
    4. David Kilgore -- Ala. -- 744
    5. Bobby Lane -- Fla. -- 743
    6. Jason Knapp -- Pa. -- 734
    6. Ott DeFoe -- Tenn. -- 734
    8. Trevor Fitzgerald -- Fla. -- 719
    9. JT Kenney -- Fla. -- 706
    10. Derek Remitz -- Ala. -- 697
    11. Davy Hite -- S.C. -- 684
    12. Jonathon VanDam -- Mich. -- 666

  • Tragedy at KY Lake

    An accident this morning at Barkley Lake claimed the life of a co-angler fishing the BFL Regional there.

    Kentucky Dept. of Fish & Wildlife public-affairs officer Sgt. Garry Clark issued the following statement to BassFan about the accident.

    "Two bass boats in two different tournaments collided on Barkley Lake near Kuttawa, Ky. at approximately 7:15 this morning," Clark said. "One boat was fishing the Renegade Bass Classic, and there were two people on that boat. The two people in the other boat were fishing the BFL Regional bass tournament. They were on Barkley out in the main channel – one heading east, the other heading west. They came on a collision course and collided with each other. When they realized they were on the same course they tried to make amends and still collided.

    "On the (Renegade) boat, it ejected the operator but he had his lifejacket and killswitch on and it didn't hurt him. (Both the driver and the passenger) were unhurt. In the other boat, the passenger did have the boat hit him and he died on the scene. The driver was okay – he had his safety stuff on too. He was practicing safety as far as having the killswitch hooked up and lifejacket on while moving."

    Sgt. Clark added that the deceased was a 41-year-old male from Eupora, Miss.

    According to FLW Outdoors standings and pairings for the event, Freddy McCrory was the only co-angler in the event from Eupora, Miss. His boater today was David "Scotty" Young. Young, a Kentucky Lake legend, survived a terrible boating accident in October 2007 at the Kentucky Lake BFL Regional that resulted in lacerations to his head and a neck injury that required surgery. His accident apparently occurred when his boat contacted underwater structure. Young's motor became dislodged and struck him. His partner then was uninjured.

    The sport grieves.

  • Why save your UPCs?

    BassFans use a lot of fishing line and we're betting that nearly everyone recycles their spent line. That's great. But do you save the UPC labels from your Berkley line boxes? You should, because if you collect enough of them, you can get a free 4'x4'x4' Berkley Fish Hab – a piece of artificial cover created from recycled line and other materials.

    To find out more about the program, and the Fish Hab itself, head on over to the Catch More Fish page.

  • New Pinnacle sales chief

    New Pinnacle sales chief

    Pinnacle Fishing, a subsidiary of Silstar Corp., continues its push into higher-end tournament-grade tackle and this week announced a new sales chief. Adrian Dare is the company's new sales VP.

    Dare's an industry veteran with more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience. He served most recently as national-sales/product-development manager at HYI USA. Prior to that appointment, Dare worked at Daiwa for 17 years, where he started off as customer-service manager and later served as product-development manager, regional-sales manager and special-markets manager.

    In his new role with Silstar, Dare will manage the sales program, oversee all regional sales-rep groups, service key accounts and help develop new business nationwide.

    Silstar president Charles Park noted: "With the launch of our new Pinnacle Tournament Class reels and rods, Adrian couldn't be joining our company at a better time. His considerable sales experience, skills and industry contacts will be instrumental in our continued growth and success."

    Dare will be based at Silstar's headquarters in Tustin, Calif.

  • This week's FYI

    Dave Mercer's newest episode of Facts of Fishing FYI covers topics like the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, Ike's stash, the Berkley B1, Asian carp & the hunt for reds in October.


  • This is Lowen calling

    This is Lowen calling

    It's no secret that many if not most bass pros love to hunt. A select few are even able to parlay that into sponsor opportunities. Bill Lowen, for example, is sponsored by Feather Flage camo. He also works with Buck Knives and Flambeau Outdoors. In fact, Flambeau recently announced a new limited-edition Bill Lowen duck call, with 10% of the sales proceeds to be donated to Delta Waterfowl.

    The limited-edition Flambeau piece is a Big River sweet cherrywood call signed, individually numbered, hand-tuned by Lowen himself and engraved with "A bad day hunting is better than a good day at work." Fans may recognize the engraving is similar to the Bill Lowen limited-edition Buck Knife offered this past spring. Those knives sold out in just 2 days.

    Check out the call here at ZonkShop.com.

  • Boat/motor sponsor shakeups

    Amidst optimism brought on by the sale of BASS and the return of Walmart comes sobering news among pros that all is not well with some boat and motor sponsorships.

    BassFan spoke with several FLW Tour and BASS pros who indicated that their hull or power deals have been either severely downgraded, or disappeared altogether.

    On the BASS side, the sale of Triton Boats to Ranger parent Project Boat Holdings now means that Triton and Ranger are sister companies – not competitors. And as expected, the Triton promotional contracts appear to have taken a hit. Pros wouldn't go on the record yet – they remain hopeful that better deals can be negotiated – but they indicated that many Triton deals are now simple memo bills, rather than loaner arrangements or promotional stipends.

    Over on the FLW Tour, several pros learned that their Yamaha deals were either cut or seriously downgraded. The cuts, at this point, seem be on an angler-by-angler basis, but clearly, Yamaha's divesting itself to some extent from the FLW Tour. Whether the engine manufacturer will renew as an FLW Tour sponsor isn't yet clear.

    BassFan did ask Yamaha if it could clarify that status of its FLW Tour pro staff, and whether it would continue its sponsorship of the FLW Tour in 2011. Yamaha spokesperson Martin Peters told BassFan: "We don't want to discuss our arrangements with individual anglers, so I can't tell you what we've discussed with anglers individually. Certainly, our business plans dictate how we manage our relationships with our anglers and what we offer the pro staff, and it's that time of year when we talk to those folks. I can tell you that we're sponsors of FLW Outdoors through the end of the year. That hasn't changed."

  • Post-TTBC Rankings

    The BassFan World Rankings were updated today to reflect the recent Toyota Texas Bass Classic. Click here to check 'em out.

  • El Grande signs Roumbanis

    El Grande signs Roumbanis

    El Grande Lures, an Indiana-based soft-plastics manufacturer, announced that it's signed a sponsorship agreement with Oklahoma Bassmaster Elite Series angler Fred Roumbanis. He joins Chad Morgenthaler and Kurt Dove on the company's pro staff.

    “As a touring professional angler, I know how important it is to catch big fish," Roumbanis said. "It’s not about the number of fish … it’s all about the size of the fish. That’s why I’ve teamed up with El Grande Lures, a company dedicated to catching giant bass."

    Said El Grande owner Jay Schurz: "We are extremely pleased that Fred Roumbanis has chosen to partner with El Grande Lures. Fred will be involved in marketing, product design and working with our partners and staff in South Africa as well as the U.S. and Mexico.

    "We chose to partner with Fred Roumbanis because he is obviously a great fisherman, has superior work ethic, is very personable and understands what we are striving to do here at El Grande Lures. We look forward to many years of working with Fred and will assist him in any way we can to help him achieve his professional goals."

  • Falcon pirate tragedy

    Thanks to several BassFans who wrote in to alert us of a recent tragedy at Falcon Lake in Texas. Apparently, a jetskier was shot and killed last week by pirates on the lake. For the Fox News story, click here.

  • FishPAA debuts

    FishPAA debuts

    Original episodes of FishPAA Television will begin airing today (Saturday, Oct. 2) on Versus. The 13 new segments for this season will highlight the 2010 PAA Tournament Series.

    Starting with an introductory episode about the Professional Anglers Association, the 30-minute shows will air weekly at 7 a.m. EST each Saturday and 4 a.m. each Friday from October through December. Tournament coverage will begin Oct. 9 with day 1 of the season-opening event at Cherokee Lake in Tennessee.

    "FishPAA Television will take viewers through the PAA Tournament Series season from start to finish," said PAA program director Danny Blandford. "From the opening launch at Cherokee Lake in July to the final winning total at Table Rock in October, fishing fans will be able to see the best bass fishing pros in the nation on the water in challenging competition."

    Careco Multimedia of Texas handles on-site coverage and production of the series. Ninety minutes of airtime are devoted to each tournament.

    "Producing three episodes per event allows us to highlight all the anglers who do well, regardless if they are still in contention on the final day," Blandford said.

  • Battling breast cancer

    <b><font color = maroon>Battling breast cancer</b></font>

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This terrible disease seems to touch all of us in some way, but there's a way to help. The best part is, it involves what we all love – fishing!

    Shakespeare, as one example, offers women's fishing tackle with proceeds directly tied to breast-cancer awareness. And Pure Fishing this week added several other brands to the fold. For the full story, head on over to the Catch More Fish page.

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