Monday, May 30, 2011

The Shark Tooth

After you buy your line, it might be time to spend another dollar or two on a Shark Tooth. A Shark Tooth is a simply simple innovation for controlling fishing line. Basically, it is an elastic band with a line guide that allows for cranking line onto your reel without the pain of having someone help. It also has a neat cutting edge built into the elastic to aid in cutting the fishing line when finished. It's a great way of containing unruly line especially on smaller feeder or leader spools. A super cheap yet super cool thing for every angler.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Fishing Lines for 2011 Part 2


Another unique trend that was launched in 2009 but only now has caught on is coloured segmented line. Initially intended for trolling, metered line is becoming more excepted with anglers who cast. Trying to keep your jig 15 feet down over a school of walleye? Simply count off the coloured line segments to precisely fish that zone. Cabelas, Daiwa, Trilene, Sufix and Tuf-line offer a version of metered super lines. Even, ice fishing specific lines now come metered. A sure winner when targeting suspended fish this winter.

GORE has made a splash this year. More associated with clothing, it has many superior qualities ideal for line. According to Tom Mc Murray, Normark’s Marketing head guy,  “GORE fibres improve abrasion resistance, increase casting distance & accuracy and reduce line vibration. It is also impervious to chemical and UV light.” Sufix’s new 832 Advanced Superline which uses GORE in its weave won ICAST’s “Best Line” category for 2011. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Fishing Lines for 2011 Part 1

What's new for 2011
By Luigi De Rose

This article might seem out of place in May but not really. Many of us rush out and buy line way before our first trip of the year. If you live where you can fish bass every day of the year, consider yourself lucky. Most of us in the northern states or in Canada have set bass fishing seasons that is just opening up now. So, spooling up with new line isn't as weird as it might seem.

Have you bought some new line that's not really working for you? I know I have. It might be time to peel off a few spools and replace it with something better. Here is a guide to what's new in fishing lines for 2011.

All fishing lines are not equal. Many exciting lines are waiting for you this year along with your old favourites. Find out what you’ll need to spool up with this year.

Over the last few seasons, line has become increasing more refined and technique specific. This trend is most evident with smaller line companies. With larger multinational corporations cater to the masses, smaller companies have flourished in developing niche lines. Catering to the needs of the very discerning, these companies, many from Japan, offer unique lines for very specialized techniques. Don’t expect to see these line in every local tackle shop though and be prepared to pay a premium when you do. 

Fluorocarbon’s popularity is still growing.  Price has come down and quality has gone up. Anglers are now comfortable spooling up with it. Clear water smallmouth anglers, trout and salmon guys, fly fisherman and most anyone fishing clear water feel this line is the way to go. Its strong, sinks quickly but most of all, near invisible to the fish. Knotting it can be tricky. Experiment with the Trilene, Improved Clinch or San Diego Jam Knots. Make sure to slobber lots of spit or water on it to reduce friction.
Fluorocarbon is often used as a leader. “Top Shotting” a recent trend spawned in Japan involves spooling 25m of Fluorocarbon. This length of line reaps all the benefits of using Fluoro yet forgoes the problems of the leader knot whacking through the guides and high costs of spooling up an entirely  reel. Currently, only Toray line specifically offers “Top Shot” spools but angler can either buy smaller leader spools or crank on line from larger filler spools.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FLW Tour on Red River Day 4: Cox Clinches Win!

Florida angler’s victory fitting end to incredible story
John Cox's secret lake pay off. $100 000 Grand pay off.
(Photo: Patrick Baker FLW)

SHREVEPORT, La. – John Cox of DeBary, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces Sunday to lead wire-to-wire and win $100,000 at the Walmart FLW Tour on the Red River presented by OFF! with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 48-8.

The catch gave him the win by a 5-pound, 4-ounce margin over National Guard pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., who caught a total of 19 bass weighing 43-4 and earned $32,553.

“I’m kind of numb,” said Cox, who claimed his first Tour-level title with the win. “I don’t believe it yet.”

Cox said the win couldn’t have come at a better time. He had considered withdrawing from the tournament before it began because of a lack of funds. He wanted to fish the Red River event because he had fished there before and thought there might be a chance he could win. He considered selling the Power-Poles rigged to his boat to raise funds, but a friend told him not to. The friend let him borrow the money that allowed Cox to compete.

“I’ve got some people to pay back,” Cox said. “My buddy said, ‘Don’t sell those Power-Poles. Those are too sweet.’

FLW Tour on Red River Day 3: John Cox Ahead by 8 Plus Pounds!

Weigths Down for All Except Red Hot John Cox

by Patrick Baker
John Cox readies his rods on Day 4. It is his tournament
to loose.
(Photo: Patrick Baker FLW)
(FLW Press Release)
Mercury pro John Cox didn’t need to break his back Saturday to access his incredibly productive, nearly inaccessible fishing hole like the first two days of Walmart FLW Tour competition on the Red River. In fact, he hardly had to work up a sweat to outfish the field yet again ? at least he made it seem effortless.

And that’s just fine with him. After punishing his boat and himself the first two days to wiggle through a small culvert that granted access to a bounty of backwater bass, he said his back was awfully stiff this morning (watch video of the maneuver); and while he began the day with more than a 7-pound lead, the Debary, Fla., angler didn’t rest on his laurels.
Instead of locking down to Pool 4 like Thursday and Friday, he stayed closer to the upstream launch site in Pool 5 and still managed to sack more weight than any other pro with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce giving him a three-day total of 40-11 and an 8-pound lead going into the final day of competition.
“I wanted to so bad,” Cox said of the temptation to return to his honeyhole, but he knew the water had dropped enough to likely make entry into the backwater area impossible today. “Instead I ran down by the dam (in Pool 5) and fished a little hole down there and then moved a couple ponds up … I hit one hole and caught my limit.”

Friday, May 20, 2011

FLW Tour on Red River Day 2: John Cox Still Rocks

Florida pro takes FLW Tour Red River lead into second day, Lauer takes co-angler lead

by Patrick Baker
FLW Press Release

SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY, La.  He had to run the gauntlet to do it, but Debary, Fla., pro John Cox was able to access his Red River sweet spot again Friday, where he caught another five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds to hang on to the Walmart FLW Tour lead on day two with a total weight of 28-10.
“Today I had to get on my spot pretty quick,” he said, adding that he barely made it to the lock on time this morning to enter Pool 4 downstream before making yet another long haul to his backwater area that is only accessible through a narrow, shallow culvert.
In order to make it through this seemingly impassable tunnel underpass, he is fishing in a relatively small aluminum boat with a light outboard engine. He has even taken a few batteries out of the boat to lighten the load and is relying on only one to start the engine and run his trolling motor.
“Everybody else is going like 60, 70 (mph), and we’re going about 30,” he said with a laugh. “Then the takeoff after the lock has just been crazy ? about 10 boats wide.”
In other words, Cox is getting left in their wakes. But eventually he made it to the culvert, and then the real work began, including trying to blast his way through the tunnel with little water for the propeller to grab and then using a 2-by-4 to push the boat the rest of the way out.
“Today (the water) was super low … we were just fighting our way in there,” he said. “The boat bottomed out. We really only fished a couple hours. Then it took us 45 minutes to get out.”
But they were a productive couple of hours, and Cox was able to get a good limit fishing the conditions, which was rapidly falling water. Yesterday Cox relied on flipping to bag his limit, and today he found success with a swimbait and ChatterBait.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

FLW Tour on Red River Day 1: John Cox Rocks with 14-10

Florida pro leads FLW Tour Red River event on day one, McDonald leads Co-angler Division
by Patrick Baker
(FLW Press Release)
John Cox with a nice pair.
(Photos by Patrick Baker FLW)

SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY, La. — How low can you go? For Debary, Fla., pro John Cox, the answer was low enough to skim through a shallow underpass that led to his Red River hot spot – one that produced a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces and put him in first place on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour Major.

“We knew about it from a long time ago,” Cox said of his honeyhole in Pool 4, one lock downstream from the takeoff site at Red River South Marina, adding that he became aware of the backwater area after a 2009 tourney in which he didn’t fare well. “We brought a push-pole; I lightened the boat up completely.”

A few more details about just what it took to achieve Cox’s limbo underneath the road above: a 2-by-4 for a push-pole; a 17-foot aluminum Crestliner powered by a 75-hp Mercury four-stroke engine for maximum flotation with minimal weight; the least amount of tackle possible; and a single battery that he also used to power his trolling motor when he made it through.

Even with the herculean effort to mimic a water bug, it wasn’t easy for Cox and his co-angler partner (Timothy Sisk – 2nd) to pass through the tunnel. In fact, they saw another boat get temporarily stuck trying to thread the same needle.

“I was hoping to catch the water drop just like we did,” Cox said of the falling water level in Pool 4, which helped set off the bite in his area. “I caught a limit in like five flips.”

Cox was fishing a jig made by his friend Andy Scholz, also an FLW Tour co-angler. He fished the ½-ounce Dandy Baits jig with a green-pumpkin/green-glitter skirt in 6 to 7 feet of water. He said he was “just dropping it in, and they were yanking the rod out of my hands.”


Berkley® NanoFil™
The Next Generation of Light Tackle Fishing Line

The world leader in fishing line development introduces a new spinning reel line that pushes the limits for minimum diameter and maximum strength. Berkley NanoFil, with its smooth texture and small diameter, allows anglers to effortlessly cast further with unsurpassed precision.

Walleye anglers will appreciate the markedly longer casts using NanoFil and finesse fishing for bass has never been finer.

Not a mono, Not a Braid. NanoFil is made out of gel-spun polyethylene, much like a superline. The line consists of hundreds of highest level of Dyneema nanofilaments that are molecularly linked and shaped into a unified filament fishing line. NanoFil feels and handles like the smoothest monofilament while delivering superline type strength.

“Lures cast farther and dive deeper with NanoFil than with any other line I have ever used,” said Berkley Pro and 2010 Walleye Tournament Champion Johnnie Candle. “NanoFil glides through the guides for super-long casts and is deadly accurate. The ultra-small diameter gives anglers confidence when presenting baits to big, finicky fish, but the strength per diameter that this line possess is unmatched by any other line. I knew with my first cast that I was using something different.”

NanoFil line lends itself to a wide variety of techniques, but it is most useful when anglers desire an ultra small diameter line for greater casting yet also need maximum sensitivity to feel the subtlest of bites. With NanoFil, anglers can enjoy the feel of light tackle action for a wide range of species, yet still detect even the softest pickups and land what is on the end of the line.
NanoFil is designed for ultra-light to medium action spinning tackle. Anglers may want to move down a reel size for increased sensitivity.

For best knot strength results use the NanoFil Knot, a “Double Palomar” that increases knot strength by over 15% that of the standard Palomar knot. For best results, use a monofilament backing or tape to arbor if tying direct to spool. For attaching leaders to NanoFil, a Double Albright knot is recommended.

Available in pound tests ranging from 1 to 12 pounds with super thin diameters of 0.001” to 0.008”, Berkley NanoFil is available in 150-, 300- and 1500-yard spools with an MSRP of $19.95 to $179.95 USD.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mike Iaconelli's Secret Spinnerbait from Bass Master Elite Lake Murray Tournament

MOLIX: Ike's Secret Spinnerbait
By Luigi De Rose

Checked out BASSAMSTER.COM and it's on the water vids? This past weekend had Mark Zona in the boat with Mike Iaconelli on Day 4 of the Lake Murray Elite tournament in South Carolina. Zona was showing viewers Ike's cool spinnerbait. Never seen one like that before?  Well, here it is and it's a Molix. Molix is an Italian company with a distinct line of baits with a clear Japanese zibe. Molix is slowing organizing itself to make a huge splash in North America. Their line of baits include hard baits, spinnerbaits, jigs and soft plastics. met with Stefano and Paolo at last year's ICAST show.

Paolo with two nice ones.

Here is a peak at two spinnerbaits. Hopefully, they'll be in a tackle store near you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


May 17, 2011


I am heading back down to Alabama at the end of the week to distribute more food and supplies to the victims who have been devastated by the recent tornados. We will also be helping the folks in the surrounding states as well as the people who are being affected by the flooding from the Mississippi.
I started a non profit 501(c)3 Christian based organization in 2010 called Anglers Feeding America, Inc. My vision of the organization was to utilize anglers and companies within the outdoor industry to help feed low income families around the holidays and help people who are facing devastation from natural disasters. These people are our fans and our customers who support our companies and enjoy the great outdoors.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Recap

Lake Murray's Secret Bait
By Luigi De Rose

Casey Ashley won the Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash in grand style. Leap frogging dead locked Davy Hite and wildman Mike Iaconelli for the lead, Casey flashed his million dollar smile while hearing Dave Mercer, BASS MC, declare him the winner. Casey used a shaky head to win over a few larger bass on Day 4, but it was the fast and furious schooling fish that got him and most others into the Top 12.

Double Fluke rig gear. 
One semi-secret technique that rained supreme was a double Fluke rig. This rig involves two Zoom Fluke soft jerkbaits, each on a length of leader line tied to a three-way swivel or two barrel swivels. The goal is to create an illusion of two bait fish swimming. A swivel system is needed to connect the dropper rig and ensure tangles are kept to a minimum. 

The rig is tied with either mono or Fluorocarbon line in the 8lb to 15 lb test range and each soft plastic jerkbait is rigged Texposed with a large off-set worm hook. Hooks with a screw lock system are ideal for keeping the bait straight. Another trick is to use one weighed hook along with another unweighted hook. This added additional bulk for longer casts and helps keep the two baits from knotting with each other.   

A cool and very new addition to this system is a T-TURN Swivel by Thundermist Lure Company  It makes transforms this setup to near perfection. Designed for trolling, live bait rigs in rivers and saltwater, the T- Turn will not tangle. Tangles are a huge problem especially if you're trying to fire quick cast to an active school after landing a hot fish. No one wants to start unknotting two leaders. Give the double Fluke rig a try anywhere bass are schooling. Yes, pink is a hot colour especially in the northern states and Ontario.

Two unrigged hooks (Daiichi Butt Dragger and Mustad weighted Power Lock ) on two different leaders create wild soft jerkbait action.

Top is a pink Zoom fluke(ran out of white) bottom is a Mister Twister Exude Slug.

Rigging with a weighted Mustad Power Lock Plus. Mustad replaced the pin with a spring lock for 2011.

Thundermist's T-Turn swivel. A really cool 3-way rigging that will not tangle.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Day 4

Casey croons at Clash

Ashley triumphs at home in South Carolina

By Deb Johnson

Official Bass Press Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. —  Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., won the Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash on Sunday with a total weight of 61 pounds, 3 ounces.
Casey's limit bumps Ike and Hite for a win. Mike and Davy
were tied for second and a fish off was pending.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
The leader on Day Three, Ashley closed the deal with a fourth-day catch of 15-5. He won with a 3-pound, 2-ounce margin over fellow South Carolinian Davy Hite and New Jersey’s Michael Iaconelli, who tied for second place at 58-1.
 Ashley’s prize was $100,000 and an instant entry into the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
 It was Ashley’s second Bassmaster Elite Series win. His first was in 2007, his rookie year. The two wins feel very different, he said.
 "The win at Smith Mountain Lake was special because it was my first, and in my first year on tour. I really didn’t know then what it meant to win,” he said.  "Now I know they’re hard to come by. I’m glad I won, but I’m real glad I won in South Carolina with all my family and friends.”
 Two 3-pounders in the last 45 minutes of fishing put Ashley over the top. He took both on a shaky head rig after deciding that finesse techniques was what he had to do to correct a day that began slow and shut down quickly.
 He had started fishing Sunday in what he said turned out to be the wrong choice of spots.
Lake Muray Champ!
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
 “The fish were there, but they just wouldn’t bite,” he said.
 About two hours into his day, he made an adjustment by going to a new spot that got him going with a 3-pounder. He left it, came back, then lost a big one, and came back to catch another fish.
 “And then it was over,” he said. “I had to go totally to finesse fishing after that.”

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Day 4

Day 4 Morning Up-Date
By Luigi De Rose

Lake Murray is windy and the bass are biting. Ike, Snowden, Evers, Ashley and Hite have all be whacking them. Unofficially, the day's leader board looks like we will be in for a roller coaster ride at the weigh-in. Anglers fishing for schooling bass felt their whole day would unfold in the first few hours. By 10am the game might be over. Wind along with sunny skies might prolong the bite. So, if someone can nail a big bite after the schooling action dies, they really have a change to claim the win.

Check out the latest standings from BASSTrakk, all weights are unofficial. 

FishDay 4Total
1Michael Iaconelli516-0059-05
2Brian Snowden517-0458-05
3Casey Ashley510-0856-06
4Davy Hite514-0455-07
5Edwin Evers513-0052-12
6Tommy Biffle510-0452-04
7Fred Roumbanis59-1448-05
8Jami Fralik39-0448-05
9Chris Lane48-0047-00
10Jeff Conella12-0044-04
11Rick Clunn23-1343-06
12Kevin Wirth00-0042-01

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Day 3

Local Boy Ashley Lead Day 3

By Luigi De Rose

Casey's on top.
(Photos: James Overstreet BASS)
The Bassmaster Elite anglers had a rough ride today. The highs were high but the lows were very low. Many who did very well the last two days barely qualified for the Top 12. South Carolina's Casey Ashley took the lead after Day Three on Lake Murray. His charming grin said it all when he placed his limit on the scales and claimed first place. Being a local might be his saving grace as he understands the moods of schooling largemouth bass.

Look carefully to see the double white flukes.
He seems to be doing most of his damage on a double fluke rig. This employs tandem Texas rigged soft jerkbaits. Jerked on the surface or just below it, bass envision fleeing bait fish and attack. Many are using this technique but Casey has the timing down. He is also been using topwaters and hard swimbaits but he has been tight lipped about confirming or denying specifics.

TOP 20
Place/name/day 3 weight/total
1 Casey Ashley 15-13  45-14
2 Michael Iaconelli 16- 6  43- 5
3 Jeff Connella 14-11  42- 4
4 Kevin Wirth 15- 3  42- 1
5 Tommy Biffle 16- 7 42- 0
6 Jami Fralick 14-15 41- 4
7 Davy Hite  11-12 41- 3
8 Brian Snowden 12-12 41- 1
9 Edwin Evers  18- 8 39-12
10 Rick Clunn 11-13 39- 9
11 Chris Lane 14- 9 39- 0
12 Fred Roumbanis 7-14 38- 7
13 Morizo Shimizu 12-12 38- 3
14 Marty Robinson 11- 8 37-13
15 Clark Reehm 13-11 37-10
16 John Crews 15-10 37- 7
17 Bradley Roy 14-13 37- 5
18 Dustin Wilks  11-13 37- 5
19 Matt Reed  14-15 36-14
20 David Smith 11-11 36- 8

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Day 3

Half Day Report
By Luigi De Rose

Fishing on Lake Murray is changing and the leader board is getting a good shake in the process. Many who did well in the sunnier conditions yesterday are struggling in the cloud filled morning. This is a ranking of the best limits of Saturday around 1:40pm These are BASS's guesstimates so they're not official but they do offer some insight to whom is doing well.

1. Tommy Biffle 16-15 (In 2nd overall)
2. Edwin Evers, 16-8 (10th)
3. Bradley Roy, 15-0 (11th)
4. Matt Reed, 14-12 (13th
4. Russ Lane, 14-12 (16th)
6. Michael Iaconelli, 14-10 (3rd)
7. Kevin Wirth, 14-8 (5th)
8. Casey Ashley, 13-11 (1st)
9. Terry Butcher, 13-10 (19th)
10. Brian Snowden, 13-4 (3rd)

Surprising that Tommy Biffle is doing so well. Our post yesterday displayed a few rod rigged for schooling bass. I wonder if he is backing that up with a pitching bite. It seems that Biffle comes on strong in the post spawn period just like around this time last year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Day 2

Boom Boom Busts to the Top!
BASS Official Press Release
May 13, 2011
Booming BOOM BOOM!
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a second-day rally to repeat his 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series title on Lake Murray, Fred Roumbanis shot from 34th place into the lead Friday at the Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash.
With a catch of 18-4 Friday for a two-day total of 30-9, the pro from Bixby, Okla., kept two South Carolina challengers at bay, but just barely. Eight ounces back was Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., who put up 30-1 for two days. A home-lake favorite, Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C., fell one spot into third with 29-7 after two days.
Fourth and fifth places were secured by pros from Missouri: Brian Snowden with 28-5, and Rick Clunn with 27-12.
Roumbanis struggled on the first day, but was able to turn it around and establish a pattern he said is strong enough to carry him to a repeat win. He encountered a slight hitch: The pattern drew strikes from stripers, too.
“It was a little slow because I started catching striped bass. Every time I’d hook a fish, I’d say, ‘Please be a bass, please be a bass.’”

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash Day 2

Lake Murray: What's Happening!
Lake Murray - Columbia, SC, May 12 - 15, 2011

By Luigi De Rose

Fred " Boom Boom" Roumbais is on top on Day 2 of the Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash. The who and what will be covered in the official BASS press release. I will be discussing the where and how to catching them at Lake Murray.

Points and herring are the key ingredients to the early morning bite. Rick Clunn, the legend of all legends and currently in 5th stated that the herring bite is early and quick. With that in mind almost every angler was zipping back and forth between points waiting and hoping for a school to erupt. Many had success and many others didn't Check out these photos to see the action.

Davy Hite in 3rd working the points.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)

Ike zipps around Ott De Foe as Ott fishes a point.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
  Another surprising trend is all the spinning gear. Lighter line and further casts are needed to work the schools of bass and these pros are all on to it. Very interesting to watch how many of these Elite stars felt spinning was the way to go.
Ike's got one.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)

Big Show has one.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)

Even Jami got one.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
The most important ingredient is the correct lures to catch schooling bass. Soft plastic jerkbaits, swimbaits and topwaters are all deadly. 
What? No flipping jigs. Even Biffle is after the schoolers.
(Photo: Seigo Saito BASS)

A little double rigged fluke rig for South Carolina’s Jason Williamson.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)

Bassmaster Elite Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash: Day 1

Fralick Find Enough for First

Lake Murray - Columbia, SC, May 12 - 15, 2011

BASS Press Release

May 12, 2011
Fralick Finds Them.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jami Fralick was struggling on Lake Murray until he landed a 6-pound, 9-ounce largemouth, the anchor to his 17-9 bag and the key to the first-day lead in the Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash.
“It was tough out there. I didn’t get the number of bites I thought I was going to get. I was fortunate to catch that 6-9 — that turns around a tough day pretty fast,” said the pro from Martin, S.D.
Fralick edged ahead of Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C., who considers Lake Murray home water. The winner of the season’s third event, Hite had 16-7 to show for his day.
Bass fishing legend Rick Clunn was third with 15-12, and John Crews ended the day in fourth place just 1 ounce behind Clunn. Rounding out the top five with 15-8 was Steve Kennedy, who on May 8 won the Elite event on West Point Lake in his native Georgia.
The day started with fishing-favorable overcast skies, but ripened to hot sun over slick water, factors that made the post-spawn bite on Murray a challenge for most of the Bassmaster Elite Series field. Only 78 of the 99 anglers were able to bring in limits.


Sorry, Sorry but BLOGGER has been down for over 30 hours!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bassmaster Elite West Point Summary

Evers fishing everything to get a bite.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)

Late Spring
By Luigi De Rose

The recent Bassmaster Elite tournament on West Point Lake in Georgia is a prime example of late spring fishing. The previous tournaments on the Elite circuit have all typified fishing around the spawn. The two stops in Florida were classic bed fishing battles and many anglers who did well know the nuances of bedding bass. This past weekend was a whole different style and mind frame of fishing.

Scan down the list of top finishers and ask what they used and prepare to be surprised. The range of lures is mind blowing. Steve Kennedy used swimbaits and a Kinami Flash stick bait. Second place Edwin Evers flipped a Yum Wooly Bug. Ish Monroe, the leader on Day 3 used a topwater, flipped a Warmouth to bedding bass and a Brush Hog to trees. On day 4 he cranked a Team Diawa crankbait. Kevin Van Dam who fell to 7th but was second for a while during the tournament used a popper, along with a Strike King Shadalicious Swimbait, Strike King Caffeine Shad, Strike King Spinnerbait. Another top angler who ran out of fish on Sunday was Andy Montgomery who machine gunned docks with a Shooter jig and Z-man’s Chatterbait.

The point being made is that top anglers during the late spring have to adapt and use their confidence baits to excel. West Point is a difficult fishery that requires anglers to hunt for fish. Many ran out of fish by Sunday like Van Dam and Montgomery but others like Gerald Swindle and a few others couldn’t ride the wave of consistency and fell from the top.

What can be learned from West Point? Late spring is a time to hunt. Find active fish and stick with them. Don’t fall in love with any one technique or spot. Steve Kennedy the eventual winner knows this lake well and seems to have had fished almost all of it to win. Watching videos on or viewing photography of the event, we witnesses angler after angler driving with the big motor with the trolling motor still in the water. It’s was an attempt to save time while covering water. (We at don’t recommend doing it because I’ve seen what a trolling motor shaft looks like when it hits something hard.)  

Fish quick but thorough this time of year is the name of the game. Good Luck you'll need it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Pride of Georgia West Point Lake: Final Day

Kennedy is King at West Point

By Deb Johnson 
Kennedy Become King at West Point
(photo: James Overstreet BASS)
BASS Press Release

LAGRANGE, Ga.  Steve Kennedy had been counting down the months ever since the 2011 Pride of Georgia location was announced as West Point Lake more than a year ago.
“I was very confident I had a chance to win this tournament. I knew exactly what I was going to do, and it worked,” he said after coming from behind Sunday to win the fifth stop of the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series.
He collected $100,000 and an instant entry into the 2012 Bassmaster Classic for the win, his second Bassmaster title.
Kennedy squashed Edwin Evers’ hopes for a second Elite win this season. Leading after two days, Evers ended up in second place ? 2 pounds, 1 ounce behind the winner. Kennedy had 64-14 to Evers’ 62-13 over four days.
Day Three leader Ish Monroe dropped to third, finishing up with 61-3. A late surge by Jared Lintner didn’t carry him home: 22nd on the first day, then up to 10th, to 7th, and stopping at 4th. His total was 60-5.
Nate Wellman, in his second Top 12 showing of his rookie season, claimed fifth place with 56-9.
Kennedy started the tournament in a strong position, coming in second to Evers on the first day. Then Kennedy took a backward step for two days. He went into the final round Sunday in fourth place, but only 1 pound, 8 ounces behind leader Monroe.
Kennedy, 42, tapped into a long West Point history. Raised in Georgia and now living in Auburn, Ala., he fished West Point Lake since the age of 2 or 3 with his brother and father, traveling to the lake to fish about twice a year.
More recently, he narrowly missed winning on the Alabama-Georgia border impoundment in 2005 in a non-Bassmaster event. Back then, he said, he blew a 4-pound lead on the final day.
“That’s what’s been going through my mind all morning: ‘Don’t blow it!’” Kennedy said Sunday.
He said he fished the same patterns and locations as he did in that 2005 tournament.
“I didn’t own a swimbait back then, so a swimbait was a new addition,” he explained. “And the weights were up significantly because of it.”

He said he threw two swimbait models ? one a “no-name” model out of production, the other a Basstrix.
“I’d get them to swim out and show themselves. On a clear lake like this, I can see what’s there, what size of fish is on the structure,” he said.
If he liked whate he saw, he skipped a watermelon-seed Kinami Flash to get the strike.
“It almost looked like a little baitfish skipping on top of the water,” he said of his technique. “Then I just let it settle and let the line lay there  I call it flylining. I used mono so it lays on top of the water, and I watched for it to start swimming (moving).”
He allowed a bass to pick up the Flash and swim out of heavy cover before setting the hook.
Other lures of the week included a white D&L jig with a white chunk trailer.
Kennedy debunked the dock talk during Pride of Georgia practice days that pegged the bass as scarce, finicky and tough to catch. Kennedy said he found plenty of big bass during practice.
“I was just chompin’ at the bit to get at them,” he said. “I tried to show out, I knew where some big ones were.”
After leading two days in a row, Evers was disappointed he could not close on the win.
“I feel dejected, horrible,” he said. “You can’t win one of these things by weighing in only four fish.”
Evers was one bass shy of a limit Saturday. He lost by just over 2 pounds, and he could not help but replay every lost fish of the event, including four on Saturday that would have been solid additions to his weight.
“I had my hand on one, then it ran under a log and I never could get it. It just came off,” he said. “But hey, it’s part of the game.”
Monroe was not displeased with his third-place finish. It was his second top-12 in ?a row for the season, and a big boost to his bid for a 2012 Bassmaster Classic seat. He credited his recently acquired ability to relax and remember to have fun.
“I was putting too much emphasis on how serious it is and forgot what it was all about,” Monroe said. “I took some kids out fishing during the offseason and got back to enjoying it.”
The Berkley Big Bass of the Tournament bonus of $500 was won by Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., for his 7-pound, 8-ounce largemouth on Day One.
The next stop for the Elite Series will be this week on Lake Murray out of Columbia, S.C. The dates of the competition, the Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash, are May 12-15.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Pride of Georgia: West Point Lake

West Point Worries
By Luigi De Rose

Ish Could be the MAN on Sunday.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
 West Point Lake is steaped in bass fishing folklore. Nestled between the state of Alabama and Georgia this place can be a decent fisher. West Point Lake is a man-made lake along the Chattahoochee River system. It is about 35 mi (56 km) long and has numerous creek arms. With almost 26 000 surface areas, this lake has plenty of areas to fish. West Point is down stream of Lake Eufaula and this area was considered the heart of bass fishing especially the early years of BASS. Legendary anglers like Tom Mann, Blake Honeycutt and 1985 Classic Champion Jack Chancellor all called this area home. These three and many others were local legends that helped shape BASS in the early years. 

West Point is well known for it deep, winter time fishing with spoons. This week, the Elite anglers have picked a difficult time to fish. Post spawn bass and a fickle shad spawn has many of the lake's big bass MIA. Anglers are catching a few big ones but their long and skinny. Catching decent limits has been a chore. Consistency here has been very difficult.
The G-Man Swindle stated after he weighted his catch on Day 1 that, "I cannot go down the same bank and repeat. I will let the wind blow and just drift me." Andy Montgomery currectly in 6th on Day 3 with 45-06 explained that the fish are not repleshing in proven areas and anglers need to continuely hunt for new areas and try to search for active bass. Scrolling down the leader board its clear all the catches are very close. Van Dam and Evers are only 1 ounce apart between second and third at the end of Day 3.

What to do?
Two patterns have been producing well. Well is relative considering West Point has a reputation for being stingy at the best of times. Mornings find anglers searching for schools of spawning shad with active bass around them. Topwaters, especially poppers and spooks (walking baits) have excelled. The trick is to cover water looking for active bass. When they're on they're on. Stephen Kennedy, a favourite here and currectly in 4th, was reporting his success is coming within the first few minutes after blast off. The bite is that early and time sensitive.
Pattern two consists of fishing wood. Fallen trees and docks seems to be best. Many are idling up to tree, pitch, pitch, pitch and move on. Most are skipping everything else on the bank and often using the big motor to reposition between trees to save time. It has worked but the pattern is evapourating quickly due to fishing pressure. But, all one needs is a good bass and the game changes. Ish Monroe from Hughson, California, nailed two big ones and rocketed to first place on Day 3.


Andy should be good for one big
dock bite.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
 Sunday will see more of the same that happened today, not what happened the first two days of the tournament. Fishing is getting poorer and unpressured bass are more difficult to find. My pick to win the whole thing is Ish Monroe. He has experience fishing very fast and the courage to fish topwaters all day. His FLW experience will help him do well this weekend. Many past FLW tournaments have fallen during the post spawn and he's done well in tournaments when the top water bite was on. Ish is my pick.

Another key angler is Andy Montgomery. Andy is a former FLW angler who has done fairly well during post spawn. He loves docks and if the dock bite picks up he might do very well. I don't think he will win but he should climb in the standings. I say he'll be in third maybe in second. Evers is another who can pull it off. Saturday was his only poor day but it was poor for almost everyone. He has a real shot at winning. KVD is KVD and that is enough but the bite is flipping and topwaters. If is was more a cranking deal he would be my top choice. I think he always has a bit more magic on the last day than other Elite pros. Again, he might win but I'll pick Ish because I like his style.   

Bassmaster Elite Pride of Georgia West Point Lake: Day 3

Ish Jumps in Front. KVD Still Second & Evers Falls to Third

By Deb Johnson May 7, 2011
(Bass Press Release)
Ish Jumps into First on Day 3
(Photo: David Hunter Jones BASS)

Securing his second Bassmaster Elite Series top-12 cut in a row, and this time with the lead, Ish Monroe was a happy man Saturday. He has, in fact, been feeling great about his fishing in general
“I’m going out there fishing, and having fun, there’s nothing special about what I’m doing,” Monroe said. “I don’t get mad. I don’t get frustrated. I’m chattin’ it up with the crowd back there near me, and enjoying the day. That’s what it’s all about.”
The Hughson, Calif., pro said his buoyant mood was a case of success breeds success: A great second day  a single sack of 21 pounds  acted as a confidence boost, in turn a springboard to a Day Three catch of 14-0.
Not a 21-pound bag, but still better than almost all other anglers could show after a slow day, and enough to push Monroe up and over Edwin Evers and Kevin VanDam in the Pride of Georgia.
Monroe’s three-day total was 47 pounds, 11 ounces, besting VanDam by 1 pound, 3 ounces. VanDam managed just 9-5 on Saturday to hold at second place. It’s his launching pad for a run at his 21st Bassmaster tournament title, not to mention more points toward a fifth Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Pride of Georgia West Point Lake: Day 2

Edwin Evers Still Leading as Standings Flip Flop
West Point Lake - LaGrange, GA,
May 5 - 8, 2011
By Luigi De Rose

Working on the lead early on Friday.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
Edwin Evers still in command of the Elite tournament on West Point Lake in Georgia. Landing a very respectable 15-03 limit, Edwin has kept on top of the leader board for the second day. Most of the Bassmaster Elite field didn't fair as well as Edwin. Many who did very well on Day 1 struggled. The name of the game is always consistency but here on stingy West Point it really is a deal breaker.

Notable slips were Stephen Kennedy who was expected to win and looked like he would with a first day limit of 22 pounds. But on Friday, he was only able to net 10-14 which was good enough for fifth. David Walker who entered Day 2 in second fell to ninth with a small catch of 9-13. Considering Walker had engine trouble it is amazing he didn't fall completely out of the top 20. He might be the secret threat at this tournament. Dustin Wilks had a 7 pound difference in his catch today compare to yesterday but that was because he nail the tournament's largest bass of 7-08 on Day 1. Without that giant bass he wouldn't be sitting in sixith place.  

Others who has a disappointing second day were: Bobby Lane 18th, Dave Wolack 26th, Ben Parker 35th, and Boyd Duckett who dropped from 6th to 49th. He only managed 1-13.

Not everyone stunk on West Point today. KVD roared into second with the tournament's best catch so far with 23-10. Kevin is only ounces off the lead. This is a post spawn tournament and a tough one at that, both factors play into Van Dam's style of fishing. Another strong showing was from Ish Monroe who is sitting in third on the back of a 21 pound limit.  He is another who does well during the post spawn, his most recent success was last year with a top 5 finish at the FLW Lake Ouachita tournament. Again, he is another angler who does well at covering tremendous amounts of water hunting for active fish.  Others who did well today were Alton Jones17-11, Andy Montgomery 17-11, Nate Wellman 16-11 and Ott DeFoe with 17-02.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bassmaster Elite Pride of Georgia West Point Lake: Day 1 story

Edwin Evers Day 1 Leader with 22-04
Evers Took Day 1
By Deb Johnson
May 5, 2011
BASS Press Release

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- Steve Kennedy’s deep and wide West Point Lake history stood him well Thursday, but Edwin Evers went 1 ounce better to take the lead on the first day of the Pride of Georgia.
Evers, of Talala, Okla., weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces to Kennedy’s 22-3. They have more than a few ounces as a cushion over David Walker, in third with 21-3; Dustin Wilks in fourth with 20-3; and Bobby Lane with 18-4 claiming fifth place.
Ninety-nine Bassmaster Elite Series pros are competing on West Point Lake for a first-place prize that includes $100,000 and an instant entry in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
Anglers are also trying to earn points that count toward three coveted prizes: the 2011 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year crown, 2011 postseason berths, and 2012 Classic qualifications.
Evers already has a Classic berth in hand. He came from behind in March to win the season’s second event, the Power-Pole Citrus Slam on the St. Johns River.
Evers played it close to the vest Thursday, giving nothing away in hopes he can keep an advantage and score win No. 2 for the year.
“You have to keep it to yourself -- these guys are too good,” he said.
He did reveal that his day started so slowly, he scrapped his initial game plan and “went fishing.”
“Man, that worked out really good,” he said, adding that he was covering “a bunch of water,” and burned 26 to 27 gallons of gas, jumping from spot to spot and blowing through his arsenal to try to isolate a bait, technique or a pattern that worked.

Bassmaster Elite Pride of Georgia West Point Lake: Day 1

Edwin Evers Edges out First Place
West Point Lake - LaGrange, GA, May 5 - 8, 2011
By Luigi De Rose

1 Edwin Evers 5 22- 4
2 Stephen Kennedy 5 22- 3
3 David Walker 5 21- 3
4 Dustin Wilks 5 20- 3
5 Bobby Lane 5 18-14
6 Boyd Duckett 5 18-10
7 Bill Lowen 5 18- 9
8 Greg Vinson 5 18- 3
9 Keith Poche 5 16-10
10 Ben Parker 5 16- 4
11 Andy Montgomery 5 15-11
12 Bernard Schultz 5 15- 8
13 Terry Scroggins 5 15- 7
14 Nate Wellman 5 15- 6
15 James Stricklin 5 15- 5
16 Dennis Brauer 5 15- 2
17 Bradley Hallman 5 15- 2
18 Fred Roumbanis 5 15- 2
19 Dave Wolak 5 15- 1
20 Brandon Palaniuk 5 14-13

More to come!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

$20 000 Trout at Isabella Lake Derby

Thousands of Dedicated Anglers Attempted to Land
Their Share of a Quarter Million Dollars.
With the 22nd Annual Isabella Lake Fishing Derby sponsored by Berkley in the books, another great weekend of family, friends, and fishing was had by the thousands of participants. Every year this event draws fisherman from all over the United States, this year was no exception.
Dave Wensel, Pure Fishing's Western Region Sales Manager stated, "This year's event was an impressive sight with all the volunteers busily helping all the anglers and it was fun to see the excitement of the families looking forward to spending time together and trying for the elusive $20,000 trout." Dave went on to say, "It is great to be a part of an industry that supports time together with family and friends, catching fish is just the bonus. Berkley has the best consumers in the world and we are proud to be a part of the one of the largest trout derby in the country if not the largest."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Big Topwaters for Big Bass part 2

By Luigi De Rose

The most popular of all topwater plugs is a popper. Poppers or chuggers are versatile in cover and open water. With a minnow profile and large concaved mouth, poppers spit water and pop distinctly. Traditionally, poppers where meant for still evening with the bait gently worked next to lilies in a gentle plop, plop, plop fashion. This is fine, but poppers are much more versatile. David Chong a seasoned bass tournament angler and topwater nut from Thornhill loves hunting the mid-depths with poppers. He’s always done well with poppers and last year it helped him seal a victory on Stoney Lake. Stoney, a clear lake with thousands of rocky outcrops is nestled along the northern edge of the Kawarthas. Working both a Frenzy and Splash It popper he landed numerous four pound plus smallmouth all in five to eight feet (1.8 to 2.7m) of water.
Worked next to cover, poppers can be chugged slowly to agitate big bass into striking. With a lot of slack in the line, about two feet, snapping the rod tip will cause the bait to jump a few inches at a time. This way poppers remaining in the strike zone until they’re goggled up. Although great at slow speeds, popper are also fantastic zipped across the surface at lighting speed. Zell Roland, a highly successful tournament angler and topwater guru, resurrected the Rebel PopR popper to superstar status in the mid 1980s. He popularized skittering poppers across the water at high speeds. Anytime the fish are scattered or suspended off mid-range structure anglers can really mop up with this bait. With the rod tip held high, snap the rod tip in 1-foot intervals and collect slack line with half turns of the reel handle. The popper will sputter water as it zigzags towards the boat. As the lure nears the boat, drop the rod tip closer to the water line and continue popping the bait along. Lure cadence should vary according to the furiousness of the bass. Most work the bait in a pop, pop, pause, pop, pop, pause routine. If the bass are eager, anglers can skip the pause altogether. Poppers will draw in fish from great distances especially in clear water, which is ideal habitat for big smallies. One trick to keep the bait running true is to use heavy monofilament line. You need the stretch of mono, but most important is that heavy line like 17lb test, which floats a bit keeping the bait on the surface. It’s not uncommon for smallies to strike two, three, four times and still catch nothing by air. To transforming those misses into solid hook ups add a Storm Suspend dot or strip on the belly of the lure just up from the back hook. The weight keeps the tail section slightly lower. Instead of lying horizontal, the bait sits diagonally making it easier to be sucked in. Be careful not to add too much weight. Lowering the bait’s tail can also be done but replacing the back hook with a slightly larger one. The weight of a larger hook, just one size larger, should be enough to bring the tail down, but not as drastically as the lead strips. Another great modification is adding a feathered trailer to the back hook. Most poppers already come with some type of trailer. Bucktail is common, but feathers are far superior. When making your own trailer add a few strains of mylar for added flash. The trailer should be lively and undulate with the slightest rod movement. A shimmering feathered trailer can be just enough to make a bass eat.