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All Topics   June 2017
  • Kirby Cottrell of Chandlerville, IL writes:

    RE: Fishing TV poll – I watch them all because each allows me the ability to learn from the diversity of lakes and rivers that are fished.

  • Eddie Mullins of Morristown, TN writes:

    RE: Fishing TV poll – I like Major League Fishing best because they show more actual fishing.

  • Derek Fike of Edmond, OK writes:

    RE: Fishing TV poll – Bassmaster is still a decent show and I watch it occasionally, but there is too much down time. I watch these shows to watch fishing, not Zona talking and trying to be funny. FLW has completely ruined their show and I can't watch it anymore. MLF, it is awesome. Tons of fishing. Hell, I signed up for a new cable service just so I could watch it.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    RE: Fishing TV poll – Zona's show gives good info but he is so arrogant I do not watch it!

  • Randy Blaukat of Joplin, MO writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing – I've always said that there is zero reason for B.A.S.S. or FLW to hold events during the prime spawning periods or during the post-spawn. Post-spawn TVA events are always epic fish kills, and spawning events not only disrupt spawning and fry survival chances, but make anglers targets for criticism. Tournament organizations can simply avoid any of this negativity and fish mortality by scheduling events in pre-spawn, or late summer/fall. It's the right thing to do.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing – Good column, Joe. I have always thought that it is unethical to knowingly take a fish off a bed. Don't us bass fishermen all consider ourselves to be sportsmen? There is nothing sporting about sight-fishing females off beds.

  • Martin D Lamb of Albia IA writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing – If bed fishing were as detrimental to the fisheries as what these tilted studies indicate, the populations would be decimated in the major reservoirs nationwide. One will never convince me that eight anglers were able to catch 60 percent of the population in an hour. I would challenge that the feat could not be accomplished in that timeframe with a seine net.

    I do, however, realize that recreational anglers who keep their fish inflict 100-percent mortality on the bass they catch, but talk about ignoring facts! Every DNR will micro-regulate the tournament industry, which places every effort on fish care, while simultaneously allowing unchecked numbers of recreational anglers to kill their five a day. Let's not even mention the endless parade of yachts, cabin cruisers and race boats destroying habitat on a daily basis ... just keep beating down the only group that is focused on conservation.

  • Paul Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing – Well, obviously Canadian bass aren't very smart!

  • Brad Finch of Hendersonville, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing – Joe, it would be a good follow-up to post the findings of the FWC studies. As a rebuttal to the 22-year studies on controlled lakes in Canada, you did not go into any specific detail other than to reference the FWC findings and your personal experience. I, for one, would be interested in the additional facts supported by research.

  • Ed Straw of Chenoa, IL writes:

    RE: TV show poll – MLF tells which pros make the right moves to adapt to the conditions presented at any time. Great learning format. Best fishing show on TV.

  • Rich Godwin of Shreveport, LA writes:

    RE: TV show poll – All of the fishing shows have started to excel in their information and getting the viewing public more involved and up to date information. B.A.S.S. is getting more information as it happens in their new formats. FLW is getting out on the water with more videos, In-Fisherman shows more types of fishing in their show and more forms of fish and methods used to catch them. But, my choice right now would be Major League Fishing. It is real time and the constant updates even makes the TV viewers on edge as they have their own fisherman they want to win. They even have a follow-up show that shows the anglers telling what, when, where and their logic of breaking down the lake they fished and what area.

  • Steve Lindner of Lake Havasu City, AZ writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I'm older (66) and have been watching Bassmasters since the beginning. I didn't even bass fish when I started watching. I was fascinated and I started bass fishing at 40. It's been my world for 25 years.

  • Mark Thompson of Plainfield, IN writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Have always enjoyed The Bassmasters since day 1, but they no longer cover the tournaments like they used to. Covering the tournaments is what grew them and now they show a 4-day tournament in 30 minutes. Their magazines only have a page or two about a tournament. Major Leaue Fishing covers 1 day in a 2-hour show and we get to see and hear details from the pros. Bassmasters, I feel, is on the downslide.

  • Dean Jones of Tulsa, OK writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Major League Fishing is No. 1. Bassmasters is 2 but they seem to be slacking off, or maybe it's ESPN. Don't know, but it's not what it used to be.

  • Sam Calabro of Omaha, NE writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I did not vote for any of the shows outlined because they focus upon the competition rather than the fishing techniques. Also, the tournaments reflect the perspective of high-dollar boats and tackle are the only relevant means to fish, which I don't believe.

    I have a son who loves to fish and I taught him to learn how to fish rather than focusing upon emulating the tournament scenes. The tournaments are a great venue for tackle development and new gear, however the fish seem to be less important and not properly handled.

    I do applaud the instant release approach of MLF where the fish are not stuck in a livewell all day for a weigh-in. I do watch many fishing shows, but prefer those that focus upon learning to fish with a variety of techniques for multiple species.

  • Blake Pressly of Knoxville, TN writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I watch BASS Live! for every tournament it is offered. It's the show that I make sure that I catch when not at work. However, as far as TV shows go, I DVR MLF on all new episodes.

  • Brian Hopwood of Short Gap, WV writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Ultimate Match Fishing should be added. It is one of the best shows going.

    #1 MLF (hands down)
    #2 Ultimate Match Fishing
    #3 Bassmasters (need to get away from ESPN)
    #4 FLW

  • Brian Hopwood of Short Gap, WV writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Where is Ultimate Match Fishing? That is second behind MLF – these two formats blow Bassmasters and FLW away big time.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Bassmasters is still the best tournament show because of their camera coverage and Sanders, Hite and Zona try to give you the most helpful information, and you have guys like Steve Bowman who know what serious bass fishermen want to see. FLW has always been very weak with poor on-the-water coverage. MLF is entertaining, but I see the fishermen as treating it as a recreational tournament – sure they want to win, but I don't get a lot of helpful information from watching it.

  • Steven Fairfield of Westfield, IN writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I like the MLF format. Bassmasters has shortened their coverage and you never know when FLW will be on.

  • Greg Sutton of Broken Arrow, OK writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Major League Fishing is the best of fishing shows in regard to feeling involved in the event. The live scoring of each catch and reporting to the competitors involved adds to the pressure to produce and stay in the game. The roller coaster of emotions and thoughts expressed by the anglers of what they may need to do or change their approach is enlightening as well as being a great learning experience.

    The best fishing show ever, in my opinion.

  • Mike Bingham of Florence, AL writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I love the intensity and the pressure of MLF. Knowing what everyone is catching messes with the guys' heads and makes the show addictive. I'm always looking forward to the next show!

  • Ozzy Izquierdo of Miami, FL writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Tim Horton Outdoors for the learning aspect. Mark Zona's Awesome Fishing Show for all around entertainment.

  • Ron Desimone of Elkhart, IN writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Zona's Awesome Fishing show needs to be added.

  • David Buffaloe of Wendell, NC writes:

    RE: TV show poll – #1 - MLF
    #2 - Bassmasters
    #3 - FLW

  • Dennis Fiedler of Minnetonka, MN writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Love all three shows but feel I learn the most about tactics and strategies for traditional tournament fishing watching Bassmasters.

  • Brady WInans of Caddo Mills, TX writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I have always loved the MLF shows because it is pure "fishing" and not a bunch of studio fluff. My second-favorite show would be the Bassmasters, but I feel they have done the show a disservice this year by combining two tournaments into one 1-hour show. It is not the same this year and I understand they increased their Bass Live! coverage but who has 6 hours during a workday to watch it? The show was always a compressed version of the tournament and I am disappointed they got away from that format.

  • Remi DeMatteo of Poydras writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Major League Fishing is hands down the best; love the action, love seeing the other anglers' reactions (especially when KVD starts catching). But there's also enough info about where and why; which baits are working and the frustration we all share when the fish aren't where we think they should be.

    The biggest plus? No overbearing, irrelevant " hosts" ruining the show. Marty Stone is the model for the perfect analyst. He competed at the highest level and always asks the right questions.

    P.S. – the wannabes can't match Fish Fishburne – he made that style work, but only him. Just one man's opinion.

  • Scott Gatlin of Leesburg, FL writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Actually Bass Live! and although I have only seen the FLW Live product once, they are the best things going. Informative and the cold, unvarnished truth.

  • Bernie House of Lebanon, TN writes:

    RE: TV show poll – Bassmasters used to be my favorite but their coverage has gone downhill – not enough about the anglers and the fishing. MLF does the best job of presenting a fishing show we can learn from and get to know the anglers better.

  • Rick Mills of Woodbridge, VA writes:

    RE: TV show poll – I watch all three. I would rate Major League Fishing #1 because it has more fish catches and more drama. Bassmasters would be #2 but only because their job is so much harder. They have to cover 100-plus anglers over large bodies of water for 4 days as opposed to MLF covering 6 to 12 over a small course in one day. Bassmasters definitely has the best content. FLW runs a distant 3rd.

  • Terry L. Bonsell of Fruitland Park, FL writes:

    RE: Forrest Wood Cup – Should be 50 competitors in the Cup.

  • Tim Farruggio of Long Branch, NJ writes:

    RE: Forrest Wood Cup – An outstanding field, and as usual BassFan will do a great job covering the tournament. Congratulations to all!

  • Jim Liner of Pintlala, AL writes:

    RE: Sonar says thanks – Good job, Miles. Keep up the good work and attitude.

  • Remi DeMatteo of Poydras, LA writes:

    RE: Balog on circuits – Great article, which brings me to, hands down, my favorite T.V. fishing show – Major League Fishing. Very much the competition the article speaks of and informative at the same time. I'm still all in with FLW and BASS competition, but it's not presented on TV with the same direction and I can't travel to events like I would like to; plus some of the "personalities" are overbearing and take away from the event, just MHO.

  • Dave Shellhaas of Frostproof, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on Istokpoga – One of the big problems at 'Poga and most of the other lakes, in my opinion, is the FWC needs to have better control over the spray boats. They keep saying that they need to spray to help control waterways and navigation. Would like to know how spraying every living thing on all the banks affects navigation. Not sure the FWC and the actual sprayers are on the same page. Now they want to establish native plants in 'Poga. Pretty sure they would not have to do that if they would not have sprayed all the native plants that were already there. Need some accountability on the spray boats that will make sure that what is getting sprayed is not EVERYTHING!

  • Andy Williamson of Lake Andes, SD writes:

    After talking with the FLW tour tournament director, June 12, 2017, I learned that they regard the Guadalupe bass as a spotted bass, thus making them legal to weigh in!

    What made me curious about this was the article on Stephen Patek in the May/June 2017 issue of FLW Bass Fishing, where he said about his day 3 in the Lake Travis event, that he needed to cull "one little Guadalupe bass". FLW Tour tournament rules say only largemouth, spotted, redeye or smallmouth bass are accepted. If they want to include Guadalupe bass in there, they should have it written in the rules. Spotted bass and Guadalupe bass are two entirely different species.

  • Michael Bedenbaugh of Lakeland, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on Istokpoga – This story is just one of the many that has happened in our state. For years our lake managers have felt that our lakes didn't need the management other states have put in place because we are the "bass capital." The state of our fisheries is now proving otherwise.

    Another example of a fishing tragedy right down the road from Istokpoga is lake Walk in the Water – once one of the best lakes in the country and now it's the shell of what it used to be. Once the hydrilla was gone, 2 years after, so are the fish. This lake once supported many guides and was an incredible fishery. Now other than a few days during the spawn it is almost impossible for an average angler to catch a limit. With all the year-round pressure and the countless new people moving into our state, we need to be on the cutting edge of fish management, but I think the total decline in almost all fisheries in our state prove we are anything but.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Balog on Istokpoga – As usual, good article, Joe. I would not be too optimistic about the future since the lake is up against probably the most powerful lobby in D.C., big agriculture. Usually all water-quality problems can be tracked back to sediment, nitrogen or phosphorus.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Kissimmee, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on Istokpoga – Florida lake levels remain constant? Lake Toho and the Kissimmee chain have the water level dropped very early in the year. This is supposedly in preparation for the rainy season. Add in the ridiculous amount of hydrilla and you have a significantly smaller lake, much of it unnavigable. This is the case for a good part of the year. Most docks and canals are unreachable.

  • Dustin Daggett of Twin Lake, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Istokpoga – When the real estate bubble burst, I moved from Michigan to Florida with the company I worked for. I spent many weekends (far too many, if you ask my wife) fishing Okechobee, Istokpoga and the Kissimmee Chain. I saw firsthand the destruction U.S. Sugar and other special interest groups did (and continue to do) to these fisheries.

    Thanks for writing this article and letting the bass fishing masses know!

  • Bryan Heaberlin of Lake Helen, FL writes:

    Istokpoga has always been my favorite lake in Florida Even as nasty as they have allowed it to become, it still has been giving up awesome weights this season. We have huge problems here in Florida. The machine that controls the herbicide sprayboats is completely and utterly out of control ... it needs to be rolled back. Yes, control and access is necessary, so they are needed for this, but they spray so much and so often that they are killing all these lakes. They spot-spray around the natives so much that they end up killing the natives back so much that the exotics take their place. It's called chasing your tail.

    Spraying leads to more spraying, all the breakdown releases even more nutrients into the system and we end up with algae blooms and nasty water. We as citizens need to stand up to this and demand they stop this level of application. It isn't going to stop unless we get together and demand that it does.

    Anyone ever wonder why FWC always trots someone out to speak about this with about 5 years to go before retirement? Folks, it will always be someone else's fault – the farmers, the lakefront property owners, high water, low water, you name it ... they take zero responsibility.

  • Mark Zona of Sturgis, MI writes:

    RE: All-American winner – Way to go, Marshall Deakins! You are one of the best I've ever met .. on and off the water. Well-deserved on your win.

  • Troy Dodd of Lawrenceburg, TN writes:

    Why is Mark Zona not on Bassmaster shows?

    BassFan says: He's working a more limited schedule with B.A.S.S. this year and devoting additional time to his own TV show. He'll be back on Bassmaster Live! later this summer.

  • Mark Romanack of Tustin, MI writes:

    RE: New Bass Cat sales chief – Congratulations, Dallas. All the best at Bass Cat.

  • Bryan Heaberlin of Lake Helen, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on exotics – I no longer believe that it is the fisheries biologists that have issues with the invasive vegetation in the lakes. In my own opinion, it is instead the invasive plant biologists because one would have to be a fool as a fisheries guy and try and do a good job when you support the ridiculous amounts of herbicide application that is occurring all over. It just doesn't make sense.

    If you care to view this, all are welcome to come to Florida and put in on most any lake in the state and view it firsthand. I wonder where it all went wrong? I mean when these biologists signed up for classes, did they hand them a spray bottle of Roundup and tell them to have it, or what?

  • Jackie Carroll of Graysville, AL writes:

    Fred Bland was much loved by his family and friends. His quick wit and competitive spirit made any time spent with him special. He has moved to the top of the leaderboard for eternity. Rest in peace, Fred. You are truly healed!

  • Charles Bowman of Kernersville, NC writes:

    I wanted to share a quick story about Fred Bland. I drew Fred as my boater in a BASS Top 100 tournament at Lake Gaston back in the mid '90s. At that time, I had not been exposed to the shaky-head. Fred had two shaky-heads tied on, one for docks and one for deep water. Half the day he skipped the shaky-head under docks and half the day we traveled to the dam and he used the shaky-head in 40 feet of water. Fred caught fish both ways.

    Having never been exposed to this method of bass fishing, it was very interesting to see him work. In my neck of the woods, power-fishing with baitcasters, spinnerbaits and jigs was the name of the game. Fred's use of spinning rods and a shaky-head changed my mindset. It's easy to forget that not that many years ago, the spinning rod and shaky-head was not the staple of tournament fishing that it is today.

    In my opinion, Fred was innovative and used his spinning rod technique in the headwind of baitcasters and power-fishing. I know worms and weights have been used for decades, but Fred's specific technique, with a spinning rod, in North Carolina was an exception at the time, not the rule. Super-nice guy and made a great impact on the sport.

  • William Heitzman of Hills, IA writes:

    Joe Balog's articles are my first read. Keep up the good work.

  • Dave Krantz of Albany, GA writes:

    RE: Balog on exotics – You have to wonder how much of this spraying of invasive plant species is being driven by the chemical industry as a way of selling chemicals. Keep in mind that likely the majority of plants, shrubs and trees in your neighborhood are foreign species and there is no great outcry to spray them because they are beneficial in most cases.

    Hydrilla might choke off a small pond and ruin the fishing, but be a godsend in a large and aging reservoir to provide cover for the entire chain of life in that body of water. Look no further than what happened to the fishing in the numerous reservoirs where they killed the grass and ruined the fishing. Hyacinth is another invasive plant that provides valuable cover along the banks and fish love it, but the biologists still mistakenly claim that it is poor habitat because it reportedly deprives the area of oxygen. Ask any fisherman how good the fishing is under hyacinths.

    The problem is two-fold for the fishermen. We've got people who live on the lake and want all vegetation killed so they have a pristine and sterile body of water to wakeboard, jetski and cruise around. The other influence to kill grass is the chemical companies, which will make campaign contributions and channel money to biologists through scholarships and handouts disguised as research studies.

    I fault the fisheries biologists for not recognizing the tremendous benefit of hydrilla and its huge effect on the bass population in our reservoirs ... and the equally devastating effect when the grass is killed with poison, grass carp or both.

All Topics   June 2017

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