Monday, August 31, 2015

Aaron Martens Wins BASS Elite Angler of the Year!

A-Mart Wins AOY Skipping the Championship Event.
DETROIT, Mich. ­— Only the incomparable Aaron Martens could experience a day like he had Sunday. It was like some Bassmaster version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Aaron and Dave lament on the day and entire season.
(Photo: BASS)
First, Martens slept through his alarm clock and woke up about the time the other 11 finalists in the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair were motoring out of the Metropark takeoff area.
“I’ve never done that before,” he said. “When you wake up and see it’s light outside, you know you’re in deep doodoo.”
Martens didn’t get on the water until about 6:45. Then he used a six-inch swimbait on a half-ounce jighead with a 5/0 hook on 16-pound test line – some heavy tackle he hadn’t fished all week – to catch a five-bass limit of 19-6. So after inadvertently subtracting a half-hour from his competition time, Martens caught his biggest bag of the week.

Todd Faircloth Wins the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Lake St. Clair Event!

Texan scores 5th Elite Tournament!
DETROIT — A thrilling conclusion to the 2015 Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair brought a new level of anticipation to the professional bass-fishing world.
Drop shotting St. Clair was key to great day and win!
(Photo: BASS)
Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, continued to improve his daily weights of bass and clinched the championship on Lake St. Clair.
Meanwhile, Aaron Martens caught 19 pounds, 6 ounces of bass, which was good enough for a sixth-place finish and the necessary points to lay early claim to the prestigious Toyota Bassmaster Anger of the Year title.
Faircloth spent the entire tournament building on the previous day’s weight by catching large smallmouth bass from Bell’s Hump, which is located on the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

David Mutual Wins the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division Lake Erie!

North Pelee Is. bass turn on!
by David A. Brown
Of all the angling axioms that drive our decisions, few top the wisdom of following the food. Exemplifying this simple, yet undeniably productive strategy, David Matual posted a three-day total of 65 pounds to win the final event of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division on Lake Erie.
Fishing Canadian waters, Matual targeted shallow reefs northwest of Pelee Island. He had three different areas, all within a few miles of one another.
The spots looked good, from a structural standpoint, but it was the presence of baitfish — a lot of baitfish — that convinced him to commit.
Mutual big bag secures win by a 1/2 pound. (Photo: FLW)
On day one, Matual noticed hordes of baitfish migrating into the shallow reefs — likely prompted by seasonal cooling, according to Matual. Smallmouth don’t miss much when it comes to filling their bellies and this buffet brought the brownies running with their mouths open.

“I was around a school of fish that were so jacked up that every morning when I got there, I saw them busting on the surface,” Matual says. “My spot just got better every day.
“I didn’t bring any topwater baits, but I wish I did; we had so many splashes.”
Initially, Matual fished the shallow reef areas in about 10 feet, but astute observation helped him dial in the sweet spots.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Lake St. Clair Day 3: Brandon Palaniuk Extends Lead as St. Clair Group Shines!

St. Clair performs as river dies!
DETROIT — After a poor start to the season, Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, claimed that paying attention to the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings had been negatively affecting how he approached each day.
He hasn’t checked the points in a couple of months. He’s simply been swinging for the fences.
His approach is clearly working to his advantage — he weighed 20 pounds of smallmouth bass Saturday to retain the lead going into the championship round in the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair.
Brandon was the only one to catch big river bass. (Photo: BASS)
His three-day total was pushed to 64-5, keeping exactly 2 pounds between him and the second-place angler, Todd Faircloth.
“I started my day in the same place where I managed to catch three nice fish and one that I hoped to cull out later,” said the five-time GEICO Bassmaster Classic contender. He hooked, fought and boated all four bass on Bassmaster Live, an innovative video service that allows visitors to watch the leaders fish in real time.
“I left a little earlier, based on what I learned from the past couple days. It seems that the bite is shut off by noon, and I knew there were quality fish in St. Clair that could help me wrap up a limit.”
Palaniuk believes that to seal the victory Sunday, he’ll need his hot spot near Lake Huron — a 50-minute boat ride from Lake St. Clair — to produce another limit of 4-pound bass.
Coming in under the radar to take over second, Faircloth weighed five bass for 21-11 Saturday, including the Bass Pro Shops big Bass of the day, a 6-3 smallmouth. He has a three-day total of 62 pounds, 5 ounces.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division Lake Erie Day 2: Rhode and Lefebre Bagging Big Ones!

Cory Johnston Vaults Forward in AOY!
by David A. Brown
Lefebre (l) and Rhode (r) are tied for the lead.
(Photo: FLW)
FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre added 22 pounds, 3 ounces to the 21-6 he caught yesterday and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode – who’s catch slipped from 23-10 on day one to 19-15 today – also tallied 43-9 on day two of the the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie.
Day two brought south winds and calm water, which allowed anglers to run around more and fish their spots more efficiently. The standings reflect these benefits with nine pros breaking 20 pounds, three of which also caught 20-plus on day one.
Here’s how the top two pros fared.
Lefebre strikes early
The pro from Erie, Pa., looked at multiple stops today, but his first — a closely guarded honey hole — gave him all he needed.
“I went to the same place I fished yesterday and caught those five real quick and I only culled one time the rest of the day,” Lefebre says. “I’m letting them breathe. It’s a good spot and it’s loaded.”
Today’s performance, Lefebre reports was more a testament to consistency.
“I didn’t have the kickers today, I just had a better average,” he says. “I had two 5-pounders yesterday, but today I didn’t even have a 5-pounder. I thought I had a little bit less, so I was pleasantly surprised.”

2015 Bassmaster Elite Lake St. Clair Day 2: Brandon Palaniuk Grabs Lead as Crowds Tightens.

Bluewater Bridge area clusters leaders.
DETROIT — There was ample position shifting on Friday’s leaderboard during Day 2 of the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair, proving that some dreams never die, and persistence can pay off.
Brandon fishing in crowds but he's finding
the bigger ones.
(Photo: BASS)
After a strong showing on Thursday, Brandon Palaniuk stayed on the fish and weighed five smallmouth for 21 pounds, 1 ounce. With a two-day total of 44-5, Palaniuk claimed the top honors, including the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass, a 5-11 smallie.
“I caught my two biggest fish right away — both over 5 pounds — and I thought for sure I was about to catch the biggest limit of smallies I’ve ever weighed,” he said. “I managed to find another 3-pounder, but then the bite just died.”
The two-time Elite Series champion said he returned to the same spot a couple of times during the day to check if the fish had returned, but they hadn’t. He decided to run back into St. Clair where he managed to catch his fifth bass to fill out his limit with just minutes to go.
“The wind direction changed midday; the last couple of days it was out of the north, which pushes a lot of water from Huron into the river," he said. "I believe the current that gets created is key to those specific fish being on that spot. When the wind turned almost 180 degrees, the current was reduced.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division Lake Erie Day 1: Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Lead!

Big water equals big smallmouth. Johnston closer to AOY.
by David A. Brown
He was hoping to preserve a special spot for later in the event, but when Jared Rhode realized he had to hit the sweet stuff, the fat smallmouth therein did not let him down. Sacking up a limit of 23 pounds, 10 ounces the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, grabbed the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie.
“I have a spot where I’ve been catching quite a few fish, but I went there this past weekend and they weren’t there,” Rhode says. “I wanted to try to avoid fishing there today, in hopes that I could save my best spot.
Local knowledge propels Jared Rhode into lead.
(Photo: FLW)
“I fished elsewhere and I only had three bass, so I went to my best spot and caught them very quickly. There seems to be quite a few fish there and there are no other boat around, so I’m very excited about tomorrow.”
Fishing in the general vicinity of Pelee Island, Rhode’s first spot was shallow — about 10 feet. According to Rhode, this spot had kicker potential, but the fish didn’t cooperate.
“I only fished where I started for 10 to15 minutes because I could tell they weren’t there,” he says. “Once I went to my main spot offshore, I had my limit by 9 o’clock in the morning and I had most of my weight [shortly thereafter].

2015 Bassmaster Elite Lake St. Clair Day 1: Jones Leads with 23.10lbs.

Three bags over 23 pounds!
DETROIT — Weather is always a dynamic element in competitive bass fishing, but it is the biggest factor when the tournament is taking place on big lakes.
The Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair is the final event of the regular season, and many anglers are putting it all on the line to garner a berth in the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro next March.
Alton takes lead as pack is ounces behind.
(Photo: BASS)
Texas pro Alton Jones took control of the event by bringing in 23 pounds, 10 ounces of smallmouth bass to the scales after the first day.
“When you’re fishing the Great Lakes, where wind is a dominating weather condition, my goal is to locate the best drift over the best piece of structure,” the 2008 Bassmaster Classic champion explained. “My practice time was spent finding the right drift, but it only produced small fish for me this morning. I knew they had moved, and after I found them again — only a few hundred yards away — it was a pretty consistent bite.”
Jones expects the bass he found to move again by Friday with another weather change predicted. He caught about 15 fish throughout the day and expects the numbers to be similar again in the second round.
“My big-fish spot contributed my best fish of the day, and several opportunities to cull up,” he said. “I found numerous spots that I’ve devoted my attention to, and I really hope they will hold up as the tournament goes on. But, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if they will.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Massive 2016 product launch for Panther Martin!

Original post by 
Angling International
Panther Martin is introducing more than 100 new products for 2016 – a significant increase on the number it would normally produce annually and a measure of the company’s capacity for innovation.

Prominent among the new launches are two lightweight series of lures for salmon and steelhead anglers fishing slower and shallower rivers.

The SalmonLite selection comprises four sizes and eight colours, with replaceable hoochie skirts, hammered spinners and a painted UV finish to maximise reflection and visibility. They also feature two true-to-life UV-treated salmon egg beads, an easy to replace split ring hook attachment system and a Mustad Big Gun Siwash hook.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bass Pro Shops makes redundancies to be ‘more efficient’

Original article posted by 
Angling International

Bass Pro Shops has shed jobs at its headquarters and laid off an average of six employees at most of its nearly 90 retail stores.

The company’s Vice President, Paul Shore, last week told newspapers out west that the retailer, which has annual revenues of over $4.2 billion, was making the job cuts as part of an effort to be more efficient and had nothing to do with its financial situation.

It is estimated that more than 500 jobs will be cut – around 2% of Bass Pro’s 22,000 workforce. The retailer is continuing with its plans to open eight new stores this year, including five in Florida.
Among private companies in the US, Bass Pro Shops ranks number 100 according to Forbes and was also rated on another Forbes list as one of the best companies to work for.

More than one million visitors went through the turnstiles in just 70 days after the opening of the Bass Pro Shops Memphis Pyramid in April. On the first day alone, more than 35,000 came through the doors.

After lying empty for years, the pyramid-shaped former home of NBA side Memphis Grizzlies has been transformed into a new national destination attraction and boasts restaurants, retail, a hotel and attractions to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts.

“From the outset we envisioned Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid as a ‘must-see’ destination and the enthusiastic response confirms our customers agree,” said General Manager David Hagel.
The brainchild of Bass Pro Shops owner, Johnny Morris, the ambitious Memphis project is the single largest investment the company has made outside its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Brad Knight Wins the 2015 Forrest L. Wood Cup Lake Ouachita!

Knight Slays Ouachita 
by Rob Newell

For the last decade, Brad Knight has had the same recurring dream at night. Although the dream has varying versions, scopes and backdrops, the theme is always the same: He is in contention to win a big bass tournament.
Sticking to his guns kept Brad in the same area the entire tournament.
(Photo: FLW)
“It’s not so much that I win the tournament or that I catch a big bass or anything like that,” he said Saturday afternoon. “It’s more that I’m in contention to win. I’m in a good position, I feel good about what I’m doing and I know exactly how I’m going to catch them. It’s not a nervousness but an anticipation – a good anticipation …”
And then he wakes up to his normal life as a part-time manager of Wartburg Pharmacy in Wartburg, Tenn., and all the intense feelings of anticipation are chased into the shadows by reality.
Knight again experienced that same dream on Saturday night. Except this time when he awoke, it was reality: He really was in contention to win a big tournament, the biggest of its kind – the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup.
“When I woke up, the first thing I said was, ‘If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me up. I want to know how this ends,’” he added.
On Sunday afternoon, Knight stood before a packed house in the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., hoisting a Forrest Wood Cup over his head. He now knows how his dream ends.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Forrest L. Wood Cup Lake Ouachita Day 3: Wheeler Back on Top!

Unsettled day mixes leaderboard.
by Rob Newell

The weather across the Ozarks was unstable and volatile today – much like the leaderboard on the third day of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart at Lake Ouachita.
First there was rain. Then sunshine. Then wind. Then another round of storms thrashed the top 20 pros just before check-in.
Jacob set to win his second Cup!
(Photo: FLW)
Names on the leaderboard swirled about as well. Weights were the lowest of the week, with Bryan Thrift checking in the day’s best weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces for his biggest move of the tournament from 10th to fourth place. But some, like day-two leader Ramie Colson Jr., endured the dark clouds of not being able to complete a limit, which dropped him to third place.
By day’s end it was Jacob Wheeler who found the sunniest spot atop the leaderboard, regaining his first-place position from day one with a 14-pound limit, which gives him a three-day total of 41 pounds, 1 ounce and a scant 12-ounce lead over second-place pro Brad Knight.
Interestingly, as Wheeler and Knight battle it out on the final day, their strategies are very different. Wheeler is running a true pattern across the lake. Knight, however, is banking primarily on one area for the win.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Forrest L. Wood Cup Lake Ouachita Day 2: Colson Takes Lead as Field Cut to 20!

Big bass key for leader
At about 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Ramie Colson Jr.’s life might have changed forever. It was at that point that Colson cast into a brush pile on Lake Ouachita, felt a tug, set the hook and battled to the boat a fish that weighed nearly 6 pounds.
Now, normally, catching a 6-pound bass is not that big of a deal, unless of course you are fishing the Forrest Wood Cup for $500,000 and the big bass anchors the biggest limit of the tournament, putting you in the lead.
Welcome to Ramie Colson's world.
“After I caught that bass, I had to drift over to the bank, Power-Pole down, and just sit down and take a drink of water for about 15 minutes,” Colson recalls. “And those thoughts start popping up in your mind … about possibly winning. I had to take a few minutes to sort of recompose myself and get focused again.”
For the record, Colson’s day-two limit weighed 17 pounds, 14 ounces, giving him a two-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce for nearly a 3-pound lead going into the third day of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

Top 20 Below

Friday, August 21, 2015

2015 Forrest L. Wood Cup Lake Ouachita Day 1: Jacob Wheeler Takes Lead!

All or northing at Ouchita for Cup anglers
By Luigi De Rose

Wheeler is all smiles on Day 1 (Photo: FLW)
Day 1 is a wrap with Jacob Wheeler taking the lead with 16-2 lbs just over a pound ahead of two-tour pro Ish Monroe. The next top nine anglers are within striking range and this tournament will be an endurance race. One big day might make or break a career here at Ouchita. Many anglers are working established patterns but size is a huge problem. Most of the field has under ten pounds for a five bass limit. Spotted bass are more plentiful but tend to be slim and fail to amass enough weight to make a big difference. Expect tomorrow's top anglers to try to duplicate their first day and the rest of the field to make adjustments.

Here is the top 10.

16 - 2 (5)

15 - 0 (5)

14 - 10 (5)

14 - 6 (5)

14 - 4 (5)

13 - 8 (5)

13 - 3 (5)

13 - 1 (5)

12 - 15 (5)

12 - 0 (4)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Johnson Outdoors wins first stage of patent dispute.

Original article posted by 
Angling International

Johnson Outdoors has won a patent infringement case against competitor Garmin International Inc.
A US administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Garmin violated the Tariff Act of 1930 by selling SideV├╝ sonars, which the judge found violated a Johnson Outdoors side scan sonar patent used in some of the Racine, Wisconsin company’s award-winning Humminbird® fish finders.

Key findings of the judge included that all three patents asserted by Johnson in the case were valid and enforceable and that numerous models of Garmin’s SideV├╝ sonars directly infringed six patent claims.
The result of the ruling means that Garmin will be excluded from importing the offending sonars into the US. A cease and desist order has also been issued prohibiting Garmin from selling any infringing products from its inventory. The ruling is subject to review by the ITC.

“Humminbird’s pioneering, patented side scan technology, marketed under its SideImaging® brand, is a gold standard in fishfinders,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Outdoors. “This reflects our unique understanding of anglers and our expertise in designing products which provide the best fishing experience on the water.

“We are recognised as an innovation leader – a company that respects the intellectual property of others and protects its own. Obviously, we are pleased by this initial victory and look forward to a final resolution by the ITC regarding this matter in the months ahead.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Aaron Martens Wins 2015 Bassmaster Elite Chesapeake Bay with Record Last Day!

Big bass rockets A-Mart to second win of the season!
NORTH EAST, Md. – Aaron Martens could feel it all slipping away.
After starting Sunday’s final round of the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay with a 5-pound lead, he was struggling as the clock ticked toward noon. And to make matters worse, Bill Lowen, his closest competition coming into the day, was off to a red-hot start.
Martens land second win of the season.
Also, solid lead in AOY!
(Photo: BASS)
But just when some watching on Bassmaster LIVE were ready to count him out, Martens landed a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth that helped him put together a final-day bag of 21-5. Both numbers ranked as the best of the tournament, and they helped Martens secure his second win of the season with a four-day weight of 70-2.
Lowen placed second with 62-3.
“That fish ranks right up there with any one that I’ve ever caught,” said Martens, referring to the bass that marked a dramatic turn for a day that had been extremely slow. “I was struggling, and I was starting to get a little grumpy. After I caught that fish, I wasn’t grumpy anymore.”
Martens started his day with a lengthy run downriver to a series of marina coves that were lined with dock pilings.
He had a tough morning and once trailed Lowen in the unofficial standings by close to 10 pounds. Martens had one three-hour stretch without a bite and then lost several bass in the 3- to 5-pound range once the fish finally started feeding.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

2015 Bassmaster Elite Chesapeake Bay Day 3: Aaron Martens Lead Going into Finals!

Martens Aims for Wire to Wire Win!
NORTH EAST, Md. — Aaron Martens said he’s exhausted after averaging only four hours of sleep a night since the tournament began, and he’s lost at least four good-size bass this week.
But through it all, he’s put himself in position to score a rare wire-to-wire victory at the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay.
Spinnerbait key to Aaron's lead.
(Photo: BASS)
Martens caught five bass that weighed 16 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday and held onto his lead for the third straight day with a total of 48-13.
After entering Saturday’s semifinal round with a lead of only 11 ounces, Martens will begin Championship Sunday with nearly a 5-pound cushion over Indiana angler Bill Lowen (43-14). Alabamians Russ Lane (41-12) and Gerald Swindle (39-15) are next, followed by South Carolina pro Davy Hite (39-13).
“I was panicking a little bit today, all day until the end,” said Martens, who stretched his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings to 69 points over Justin Lucas. “Every day has been like that. It was a nerve-racking day, to say the least.”
Martens caught two “good fish” (any bass weighing 3 pounds or better is considered “good” in this event) early and then pushed closer to a limit with one that weighed only about a pound. Then he lost four heavy bass before finally putting his fourth fish in the boat.
“That makes you kind of jittery,” Martens said. “But once I caught another one, I settled down and started thinking again.”

Saturday, August 15, 2015

2015 Bassmaster Elite Chesapeake Bay Day 2: A- Mart Continues to Lead!

Martens keeps lead but Pipkens, Jocumsen less than a pound back!

NORTH EAST, Md. – Aaron Martens took another step toward his second victory of the season Friday, bringing in five bass that weighed 15 pounds in the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay.
The weight pushed Martens’ two-day total to 32-8 and kept him in the lead for a second straight day. But two young anglers, Michigan’s Chad Pipkens (31-13) and Australian Carl Jocumsen (31-12), are less than a pound back, and reigning Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Greg Hackney (30-5) is within easy-striking distance.
Aaron spins spinnerbaits along dock post to capture the lead.
(Photo: Steve Bowman BASS)
Martens, who has performed well in tougher tournaments throughout his career, said he doesn’t know how long his pattern will hold up.