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.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Streamside IM8 Predator Rods and Reels with Bill Nichols

Streamside's new Predator Series of rods and reels are the perfect match for your freshwater fishing. Available in 9 rod actions in both spinning and casting along with a series of spinning reels will have to on the water without breaking the bank.
Listen to Streamside Pro Bill Nichols, a Canadian tournament legend, as he explains the Predator Series of rods and reels from Streamside.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Brian Latimer Wins 2019 FLW Tour Lake Seminole with 80-15lbs!


Finesse and pitching key for B.Lat's first Tour win.
(Photo: FLW)
Brian Latimer has dreamed his entire life of being crowned an FLW Tour champion, and after years of hard work and dedication, it has finally paid off. The Belton, S.C., pro led coming into the final day of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole, presented by Costa, and though it wasn’t easy, he sacked up 21 pounds, 3 ounces to lock up the win with 80-15 overall. He edged out day-one leader Braxton Setzer by 2 pounds, 1 ounce in one of the most emotional victories seen on the FLW stage.
While his weights may reflect a somewhat easy week on the water, the truth is far from it. With just a handful of bites each day, “B. Lat” had to make them count, and despite losing some fish in the last few days, he stayed focused and determined, avoiding the dreaded spinout that many pros would experience.
“It happened,” Latimer says of his win. “It really happened.”
To make it happen, Latimer had to evolve over the week, adjusting to the fish as he went. While flipping shallow grass did much of the heavy lifting, without his cranking spot on day one to catch the majority of his 19-1 limit, who knows what would have happened?
“I caught my 19 pounds on day one cranking in the [Flint River],” he says. “On days two and three, I started in the river again hoping that would materialize again, because that’s easy, and I was hoping to catch a limit quick, but it never happened. So, today, I went straight down to my flat early so I could spend all my time where I’ve been catching my biggest fish.
“It was slow, just like it’s been every day, and the first bite I missed – just didn’t grab it good. But I think the heartbreaker was my first two good bites I hooked up with, I lost them. I was really down and out, and then I caught that big one that was probably 7 pounds. Then, a few minutes later, I caught another one that was pushing 4.”
After getting those good bites, he boxed another decent keeper and hit a dry spell. With three fish in the box around lunchtime, things were starting to look like the tournament may not swing his way.
“I didn’t get a bite for a very long time after that, so I decided to go do something else and mentally reset,” admits Latimer.  “I went sight-fishing, found one right away, immediately cast over there, hooked up on the fish and it comes off. I was like, ‘Oh, it’s a bed fish, it’ll swim back.’ The thing never came back.”

Saturday, March 9, 2019

2019 FLW Tour Lake Seminole Day 2: Bradford Beavers Bolts to Lead with 43-14lbs.

Canadians Sim 46th & Richardson 103rd.  
by Kyle Wood

Rookie Beavers holding his own on pre-spawn bite.
(Photo: FLW)
While the weather may have been nicer on day two of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole presented by Costa, the fishing fell off to a degree. Overall, the weights were lower across the board, and getting off to a good start yesterday proved to be vital today.
Tour rookie Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C., hauled in 18 pounds, 12 ounces to go with his 25-2 from day one to take the lead with a total weight worth 43-14. Beavers will head into the weekend with a 3-pound lead over Sheldon Collings, who is also keeping the fire stoked.
Beavers got off to a quick start yesterday, catching all of his weight before noon. Today, things looked as though they were going to go the same way.
“I went to the same spot and same casting angle I caught them yesterday and couldn’t get them to bite,” Beavers says of his morning. “I switched up my casting angle and I caught four in about 30 minutes. The feeding window wasn’t as long this morning for some reason as it was yesterday, and I don’t really know why.”
After the flurry, things came to a screeching halt. He’d spend some more time hoping to get another bite from his primary area before running to another offshore spot. With no luck there, Beavers went shallow.
“I only got seven bites all day and caught five of them,” Beavers adds. “I went ‘till two minutes before I came back in before I caught my fifth fish.”
A vibrating jig has been the major player for Beavers so far, but he has a few other presentations that he’s keeping under wraps until later.
The South Carolina pro has plenty of experience on Seminole, though he’s finally dialed in on an offshore bite this week – something that has always eluded him on the fishery. With potentially $125,000 on the line, it’s hard to pull yourself away from a spot or pattern that has treated you good, but Beavers is fully aware that warming weather isn’t doing much to help his bite and anticipates having to make adjustments along the way.
“I just don’t have any other deep spots to run,” he says. “It takes too long to find them out deep, too. I don’t know if the fish on my spot are educated or if the weather is changing them. I’m going to go back there in the morning and see what I can get and then probably just run new water from there.”

2. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 40-14 (10)

Moving from fourth on day one, Sheldon Collings pieced together a solid limit worth 17 pounds to slide into the passenger seat atop the leaderboard.

Things were noticeably slower for Collings today as he only caught five bass all day, but that still doesn’t deter his confidence. He has one spot that has produced all of his weight, and he is committed to milking it for every bass.

“From what I’ve seen on that spot, yesterday the fish were all grouped up,” Collings says. “Today, they were more spread out. It’s like with the cooler weather the first day they were bunched up and not moving around much, but it was warmer overnight and I think that has them moving a little more.