Friday, March 22, 2019

Z-Man's New Neko ShroomZ Nose Weight

Ask pro angler Mark Daniels Jr. to call out his all-time favorite finesse rig and the answer is easy: “Neko rig, man, no question.” Daniels, a rising star on the Major League Fishing Tour calls the Neko an “always-on-deck” technique.
Easing the process of weighting his favorite soft stickbaits, Daniels recently unveiled Z-Man’s Neko ShroomZ Nose Weight, an intelligent terminal tackle accessory that’s simple and effective to rig with all softbaits, including ElaZtech®.
“The Neko ShroomZ employs the same head design as Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jighead, a shape that adds a sweet rocking, pivoting action to whatever bait you put on the hook,” said Daniels. “This cool little weight has a stainless centering wire and a double-barbed keeper. The wire easily penetrates the material and makes it way easier to rig perfectly straight. The keeper grabs hold and stays locked in place.”

Z-Man confidant Drew Reese, co-creator of the Neko ShroomZ, said the team worked through “at least nine different keeper configurations before implementing its final, bulletproof design. It grabs and holds ElaZtech just as well as other soft plastics; much easier to rig than traditional nail- and screw-style weights. If you’re dealing with extra aggressive bass that like to jump and thrash on the hook, a tiny drop of superglue on the shaft creates a permanent connection.”
Timed to tap spring bass bites across America, Daniels offers advice for putting the Neko ShroomZ to work. “I’ve always got a medium action spinning rod on the casting deck, Neko-rigged with a Z-Man Hula StickZ—that’s my favorite finesse bait for sure. The Finesse WormZ is another fish catcher. And I’m super hyped about a brand new ElaZtech bait I’ve been throwing lately. Can’t talk about that yet,” he says with a playful grin. “But stay tuned.”
Neko Tackle
Daniels casts his Neko rigs with 15-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid and a 6- to 10-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader. “You need line that’s fine and supple enough to maximize the action of a Neko rigged bait. From there, I run a #2 Owner Sniper Finesse hook, impaling the worm about 1/8-inch up from the egg sack, toward the narrower end.”
While traditional Neko- and wacky-rigging requires the angler to slide a rubber O-ring over the bait, under which the hook is planted, ElaZtech is actually tough and tear-resistant enough to eliminate this extra accessory. “You can definitely direct-hook ElaZtech baits for Neko rig fishing,” Daniels observes. “Sometimes, though, I’ll still use an O-ring, which helps prevent the hook from stabbing back into the bait on a hookset. The O-ring also helps the bait slide up the line, so you’re directly connected to the bass.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

New Poison Adrena Bass Rods from Shimano

Available late March
from $349.99 to $359.99

Lightweight, responsiveness, and sensitivity will be what anglers experience in Shimano’s new Poison Adrena bass rods, being introduced this week at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo in Knoxville, Tenn., and soon to be available from select tackle dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Featuring Shimano’s proprietary Spiral X Core blank construction, the series includes four rods – three casting and one spinning – offered in the lengths, actions and powers for the primary techniques used most by avid, tournament-level bass anglers.

Through Shimano’s Spiral X Core construction process, internal and external layers of carbon tape are combined at opposing angles on a layer of NanoAlloy carbon material. “What this all means for bass anglers is a rod that won’t roll over during the cast for better distance and the exceptional accuracy,” explains Trey Epich with Shimano’s product development staff, “along with providing unsurpassed strength, rigidity and responsiveness.”

Further contributing to overall light rod weight, the Poison Adrena’s hollow structure ‘Full Carbon Monocoque’ grip end design uses super lightweight carbon construction “to greatly increase sensitivity – you’ll be able to feel the vibration of your lure going through the water from the tip of the rod to your hand,” Epich notes. “You’ll feel the smallest bites from that sensitivity, and then it’s up to you to set the hook – the power is there to drive it in.

Also keeping rod weight down while maintaining maximum strength is the use of Shimano’s CI4+ material in the reel seat.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Change the way you fish with Minn Kota's Steve Chiasson

Step on the Ultrex™ foot pedal and feel what Power Steering does to a trolling motor. Then tap the Spot-Lock button to stay on a fishing spot automatically. Only Ultrex combines the most responsive, intuitive steering ever with GPS-powered automatic boat control. The only thing we didn't do to it, is compromise. Select models now available with Built-In MEGA Down Imaging™.

Listen to Steve Chiasson as he explains how to better your fishing with the new Minn Kota UItrex. No more fighting the wind or waves and improve your fishing!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ott DeFoe Wins 2019 Bassmaster Classic!

Hometown hero wins Classic. 

By Bryan Brasher
Ott DeFoe wins Knoxville in style with 49-03lbs.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
For decades, it seemed almost impossible for an angler to win the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in his home state.
Now it’s happened four times in six years.
Tennessee pro Ott DeFoe, who makes his home in Knoxville, caught five bass Sunday from the Tennessee River that weighed 18 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing and the $300,000 prize that goes with the iconic trophy.
His three-day total weight of 49-3 helped him slip past second-place angler Jacob Wheeler before a raucous home crowd at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena.
The world-championship bass tournament drew a record-total attendance of 153,809 to tournament venues, including daily weigh-ins in Thompson-Boling Arena, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo consumer show presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in the Knoxville Convention Center and World's Fair Exhibition Hall, and morning takeoffs at Volunteer Landing. Attendance counts, including as many as 6,500 at Saturday’s early-morning takeoff, were provided by officials at each of the venues. “This is a dream come true — a dream I’ve had since I was a 9-year-old kid,” said DeFoe, who now has six career victories with B.A.S.S. “When we came over here and did the walk-through the day before the tournament, I actually imagined hearing my name after the words ‘Bassmaster Classic champion.’
“For it to happen now … I just keep thinking I’m gonna wake up.”
For the first 36 years the event was held, no home-state angler claimed the Classic crown. But that streak was broken in 2007, and then home-state anglers won three straight times from 2014-16.
Since DeFoe lives in Knoxville — and since few others in the 52-angler field had much experience on the tournament waters of Fort Loudon and Tellico lakes — he was one of the obvious favorites coming into the event.

Ott DeFoe is the 2019 Bassmaster Classic Champion!

Local favourite Ott DeFoe does his hometown proud. More to come!

2019 Bassmaster Classic Tennessee River Day 2: Jacob Wheeler Take Lead with 32-06lbs

Zaldain, Ike, MDJ & Wheeler score big limits. 

By Bryan Brasher

Wheeler's luck in Tennessee continues as he moves into the lead
with 17-11lb limit on Day 2.
(Photo: BASS)
During the early portions of practice for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Jacob Wheeler discovered a pattern that he knew would put bass in his livewell.

But since it seemed a little too obvious, he spent the latter portions of practice looking for something he thought no one else would find.
He ultimately went back to the obvious — and it has him in position to win the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.
After landing 14 pounds, 11 ounces during Friday’s opening round, Wheeler caught five bass Saturday that weighed 17-11 and sprang into first place with a two-day total of 32-6. His five-bass limit Saturday was one of the few weighed in this week that featured all smallmouth.
“I know this crew,” Wheeler said. “I knew they would figure out the same thing I had figured out. Even though there are miles and miles and miles of water, they were going to figure it out.
“I tried to move around the lake, be smart about it and just fish what looked good to me — looking for that needle in the haystack. But I never found it, so I just had to fall back to what I knew I had.”
No angler on earth is more guarded with his techniques than the one who leads the Bassmaster Classic heading into the final round. So Wheeler only said that he was fishing a “reaction bite” with moving baits.
He said catching five smallmouth Saturday was a surprise.
“If you would have told me at the start of the tournament that eight of my 10 fish so far would be smallmouth, I would have said there’s no way,” Wheeler said. “It’s been so hard to catch a smallmouth — even a nonkeeper.”
“That is not something I thought I had dialed in at all.”

Friday, March 15, 2019

2019 Bassmaster Classic Tennessee River Day 1: Ott DeFoe Sack 20lbs and Lead!

Local hero DeFoe a crowd favourite
By Bryan Brasher

Ott DeFoe grabs lead with help from daily big bass, a 6lber.
(Photo: BASS)
Ott DeFoe came into Friday’s opening round of the GECIO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods with two patterns in mind that he thought would work on the Tennessee River.
Only one of them did — and even then, just barely.
But it worked well enough to give him the lead at the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing.
DeFoe caught only eight keeper bass on the day, but his best five weighed 20 pounds and gave him an early cushion over Arizona pros Roy Hawk, who was second with 17-11, and Clifford Pirch, who was third with 16-11.
“I got five good bites all day, and I landed them,” said DeFoe, a Knoxville resident who was considered by many to be the odds-on favorite coming into the event. “Honestly, it felt like a very tough day.”
DeFoe’s two-pattern strategy included one tactic he believed would produce heavier bass and another he thought would be a good “limit filler.” The limit-filling pattern didn’t work at all.
Fortunately for the Tennessee pro, the big-fish strategy produced a 6-pound largemouth that anchored his catch.
“A 6-pounder here is a really big one,” said DeFoe, who also took the Day 1 lead in the Berkley Big Bass competition. “So to get that one and four other pretty good ones, I felt really blessed.”
This marks the first time that Fort Loudon and Tellico Lakes have hosted a major Bassmaster event — and since DeFoe lives in the area, he probably knows as much about the fisheries as anyone. But even he couldn’t say exactly what changed the fishing so dramatically from what he had come to expect in practice.
“Coming in, I felt like both of my patterns would hold up all week,” DeFoe said. “I don’t know if the fishing pressure got to the one that didn’t work for me today or if it was the fact that the water level came up some.
“If I had to guess, I would say the water level coming up probably caused the fish to scatter out in some places.” As the first-round leader, DeFoe receives the GEICO Everyday Leader Award of $2,500.

2019 Bassmaster Classic Starts Today has you covered for all the news, photos and results all weekend long. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Shimano's New Generation Antares 70HG Reel

Available: Late March 
MSRP: all sizes - $599.99

Bringing bass anglers versatility for easy pitching and flipping, along with the ability for long distance casting with a wide variety of lures, Shimano introduces the next generation Antares baitcasistng reel. The flagship series in Shimano low-profile design casting reel line-up, the Antares is offered in a 70HG size.

When casting the Antares 70HG, whether throwing a heavy jig or light jerkbait, anglers will quickly notice the low inertia start-up of new MGL III spool. “The reel requires so little effort to start rotating so it’s ideal to pitch lightweight lures,” said Trey Epich with Shimano’s product development team. “Plus when you need to make that long cast with heavier lures, the easy to control spool rotation and high level of brake control offered makes the Antares 70HG equally ideal for those situations.”