Saturday, October 31, 2015

FLW Rayovac Championship Ohio River Day 2: Texan Leading with Smallies!

Smallmouth Key to Leaders
by Rob Newell 

The smallmouth smackdown on the Ohio River continued on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship in Paducah, Ky., hosted by the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Paducah.
Heading into Saturday’s championship round, the top-5 positions on the leaderboard are dominated by big smallmouths caught from the same 15-mile section by anglers targeting mostly offshore current breaks. The bites in the area are generally scarce, but the quality of the fish is well worth the lack of quantity.
Smallmouth key to Championship leader Hanselman. (Photo: FLW)
On day two there was a flip-flop atop the leaderboard between day-one leader Dave Barnes, Sr. and the amazing Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, who now has the pole position.
Going into the final day as the leader, Hanselman is poised to do the unthinkable in FLW history: win an unprecedented four Rayovac FLW Series events in a row. He has already won all three Rayovac Texas Division events this season and he’s eyeing the grandest of grand slams – a Rayovac Championship win.

Friday Hanselman took the lead with an 11-pound, 14-ounce catch of smallmouths that gave him a two-day total of 30 pounds, 14 ounces, which constitutes a 2-1/2-pound lead over second-place Barnes.

Friday, October 30, 2015

FLW Rayovac Championship Ohio River Day 1: Barnes Leads with 21 Pounds of Smallies!

Smallmouth produce for leader Barnes.
(Photo: FLW)
First, David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine showed up with an eye-popping limit of smallmouths that weighed 21 pounds. Then, red-hot Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, who won all three Texas Division tournaments this year, proved he is still in the fish-catching groove with a limit that hefted 19 pounds – all bronze. For them at least, it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
After four rainy days of practice, Rayovac Championship qualifiers were greeted with bluebird skies and chilly temperatures down into the middle 40’s on opening morning. And apparently that fall weather tripped the big smallmouths’ trigger as Barnes and Hanselman are working similar patterns in swift river currents.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


2016 BFL Schedule
FLW recently announced the 2016 Walmart Bass Fishing League schedule, rules and details. The BFL will include 128 tournaments in 24 divisions in 2016. Awards being offered total nearly $8 million, including as much as $120,000 to the winning boater and $60,000 to the winning co-angler in the nationally-televised All-American, plus advancement to the Forrest Wood Cup for the All-American boater winner.
A summary of highlights:
Entry Dates
Entries will be accepted by division beginning at 8 a.m. CT on the following dates:
Dec. 7, 2015 – Hoosier, Michigan, Music City and Volunteer
Dec. 8, 2015 – Bulldog, Cowboy, Great Lakes, Illini and Mississippi
Dec. 9, 2015 – Bama, Buckeye, Choo Choo, Gator and Mountain
Dec. 10, 2015 – Arkie, LBL, North Carolina, Northeast and Okie
Dec. 11, 2015 – Ozark, Piedmont, Savannah River, Shenandoah and South Carolina
Entries will be accepted online at, by phone at 270.252.1000 or by mail, to 30 Gamble Lane, Benton, KY 42025.

Angler and Co-angler of the Year
  • $1,000 Angler of the Year award in each division
  • $500 Co-angler of the Year award in each division

96 Qualifying Tournaments
  • $8,000 top boater award
  • $3,000 top co-angler award
  • Ranger Cup bonuses
  • Saturday tournaments
  • Winners determined by heaviest one-day catch
  • 20 percent of field earns a check
  • Every angler receives points
  • Entry fees: $230 boaters and $115 co-anglers

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fizzing A Bass | Bass Fishing

Fall bass fishing often means deep water presentations. One downfall from catching bass on the bottom is that it can really mess up their air bladders. One technique that will save fish from dying is fizzing. Who else better to explain this vital procedure than Doug Hannon.

Friday, October 23, 2015

2015 Bass Pro Shop Lake Simcoe Open Cancelled!

Cancelled due to forecast of high winds. Many anglers angry for cancellation three days before event. Tournament director sites insurance and angler safety key worries. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

IBASSIN's Drop Shot Guide Part 2: Off Set Hooks

Big hooks Better Bite?
By Luigi De Rose

The offset or straight shank worm hook has its roots in bass fishing. It is the original drop shot hook for largemouth and is still very popular but smallmouth guys shy away from it; that’s their mistake.  Worm hooks do have many positives especially in strength and hooking deeper.

Its difficult to find a strong hook that is thin enough to stick a big smallmouth down deep and sharp enough to pass the barb on light hook sets. Hooks with too thick of a gauge are murder to use with thin line and lighter action rods.

There are just too many choices to summarize or create a "Top 5" list. Hooks must be strong yet sharp and offer enough length to hold the bait well but not so long to oversize small, thin baits. Take the time to take advantage of offset or straight-shanked worm hook for smallmouth bass.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

EO - Electric Outboard Motor

The all-new Minn Kota EO provides up to 9 hours of primary propulsion for smaller boats – meaning you’ve got more than enough power for a full day of catching your limit. It’s backed up with a rock-solid bracket, battery-boosting Digital Maximizer, and the strength and reliability of the Minn Kota name.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Big Changes Coming to 2016 FLW Tour Events

FLW announced Thursday its planned enhancements and key changes for the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season. Among the major changes are the additions of two fall FLW Tour Invitational tournaments and changes to Rule No. 19 to now allow competitors to fish in their own wrapped boats on all four days of FLW Tour competition.
Key points from the recently updated rules:

 Fall FLW Tour Invitationals
Two fall FLW Tour Invitational tournaments will be held after the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup at locations yet to be announced. The tournaments will feature a three-day format and a 125-boat pro field (no co-anglers) with a $4,000 entry fee. The field will consist of the top 100 professionals and top five co-anglers from the 2016 FLW Tour Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year standings, respectively, along with the top four pros from the Angler of the Year standings in each of the five 2015 Rayovac FLW Series divisions. Co-anglers accepting invitations to compete in the Invitational tournaments will compete as pros. The winner of each Invitational will receive a top prize of $100,000 cash along with automatic qualification into the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup.
 Angler Boats, Boat Wrap Exclusivity, Jersey Exclusivity
Also new for 2016, pros will use their own boats on every day of competition. Sponsor exclusivity for boat wraps will no longer exist, and the list of FLW exclusive categories for logo display on jerseys during the final two days of competition has been reduced from nine to five.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

IBASSIN's Drop Shot Guide Part 2: The Hook

Start with the hook.
By Luigi De Rose

Smallmouth can be suckers for a drop shot. Learn to do this technique correctly will vault your skills to near Jedi level. Half the battle is having the tackle matched to the fish and fishing conditions. Here’s’s Drop Shot Guide Part 2: The Hook.

Part Two in this series will focus on the hook. Two styles, the traditional octopus and an off-set worm hook, are the most common. Here’s a run down on several of the most effective hooks on the market.

Gamakatsu’s Aaron Martens TGW Drop Shot Hook

This Japanese hook company has been a leader for decades.  Capturing 70% of the Japanese hook market; they have a creative design team that strives to make superior products. Teaming up with Aaron Martens, a BASS Elite star and the 2015 BASS Angler of the Year has produced a wonderful hook. Slightly elongated, this one is ideal for nose hooking. I personally feel the extra length helps hook finicky smallmouth a bit deeper in the mouth. Rarely do I hook them on the crease of the lip. Only slight pressure is required for the hook to penetrate, making it ideal for ultra deep angling. Ranging from tiny #2 to 2/0 in size, there is one that will match your needs. A bit pricey, they are well worth the extra dough.

Gamakatsu’s Wicked Wacky Hook
Based off a kahle hook design it sports a hand tied, two prong fiber weed guard. The magic of this hook is a tube that is sewn to the underside of the hook. While knotting this hook, Gamakatsu intended the dropper line to run through this channel to ensure the hook rides straight. Intended for cover, it hooks anything that bites it.  It’s deep gap in ideal for wacky rigging or thick-bodied baits.  Available from 1/0 to 5/0 it can be your solution to wide goby imitators or swim baits.

VMC Spinshot
Winner of Best in Show in Terminal Tackle at the 2011 ICAST Show, it set the trend in zero line twist technology. Many copycats now exist but credit has to go to the original. Based on the VMC 7119 drop shot hook, a light wire allows the hook to rotate freely from the line. The brainchild of Toronto inventor, Bernard Yong-Set, the hook spins on this wire shaft reducing line twist considerably. Another benefit of this set up is that the line and dropper line can be tired directly to the hook. This speeds up rigging and allows for easy adjustments to dropper length without the aggravation of retying the entire rig. They’re available from #8 to 2/0 sizes.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2016 BASS Opens Announced.

By B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. announced the three-division, nine-tournament Opens schedule today, noting that it kicks off with the Jan. 28-30 Southern Open No. 1 on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Kissimmee, Fla., and concludes Sept. 29-Oct. 1 with the final Central Open on the Red River out of Shreveport/Bossier City, La.
“The 2016 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens schedule offers a diverse group of fisheries,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Natural lakes, reservoirs, rivers and tidal waters all have a place on this schedule. It should challenge anglers and reward those who are the most skilled and proficient at adapting to the various fisheries and conditions.”
Anglers will compete for a portion of more than $250,000 awarded at each Open event, including a boat-and-motor package to the winners. And the winning pro, if he or she competes in all three events within a division, will earn a berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic.
“I look forward to seeing all the competitors and watching the season unfold,” said Chris Bowes, B.A.S.S. senior tournament manager. “I have the unique opportunity to watch firsthand as dreams come true and B.A.S.S. history is made.”
Competitors earn performance points at each tournament, and the Top 5 in each division are invited to join the Elite Series — the most prestigious bass fishing circuit in the sport — the following year. In recent years, nearly all who received Elite bids have joined the tour.
“More than half of the current Elite Series field has qualified through the Bassmaster Opens,” Bowes said. “I’m excited to see who the additions from the 2016 Opens will be.”
Weigh-ins will be held lakeside during the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday of each tournament week. The 12 finalists who earn the right to fish on Saturdaywill weigh their catches in at nearby Bass Pro Shops stores, except for the Lake Champlain event which will remain at the original location.
Registration for B.A.S.S. Nation and Life members begins online on Nov. 17. Other details and complete registration information will be posted on

Southern Opens

No. 1 — Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 28-30
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes including Lake Tohopekaliga has been a popular venue for Bassmaster tournaments for more than 40 years. The fishery has hosted 22 Bassmaster events including the 1977 and 2006 Bassmaster Classics. Chad Morgenthaler was the lastest to win there, claiming a 2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open title with 52 pounds, 7 ounces. The local host for the event is Visit Kissimmee and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
No. 2 — Smith Lake, Jasper Ala., March 31-April 2
A clear, deep lake near Birmingham, Smith Lake is noted for its huge spotted bass and outstanding topwater action. One of the Alabama Bass Trail Lakes, Smith has hosted seven Bassmaster events, including three Southern Opens. The local host for the event is the Walker County Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

IBASSIN's Drop Shot Guide Part 1

The Basic Drop Shot Rig. 

Drop shotting is an awesome technique for smallmouth bass particularly in the autumn. Learning how to drop shot is a must. Here's part one of our guide to make your smallmouth bass fishing more successful.

This is a video that I did for Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine that explains traditional and heavy drop shot.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

LIVETARGET Lands Scott Martin

LIVETARGET announces that it has enhanced its Pro Staff team with the addition of FLW Tour pro, and TV personality Scott Martin along with his long-running TV show, Scott Martin Challenge to a multi-year sponsorship agreement.

Gary Abernethy, marketing manager of LIVETARGET commented on the selection of Scott Martin to the LIVETARGET team: “Scott brings to LIVETARGET a great blend of proven tournament fishing excellence along with one of the best media outlets via his TV show and recognized personality.  We’ve talked to Scott over the years, and with his recent Angler of the Year achievement on the FLW Tour, and our ongoing growth at LIVETARGET, it was the right time to add Scott onto our team.”

Abernethy added, “Scott will help us in promotions with the media elements, but as with all our ProStaff, we look to use Scott and his proven skills as a leading bass angler to help us with our continued lure designs.  It is great that Scott is also a multi-species angler, and that works well to help us across a product line that now has over 750+ lure models.  We have plans to have Scott present tips and techniques to anglers so they can become better fishermen with LIVETARGET lures.”     

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cold Weather Preventative Boat Maintenance with IBASSIN

Learn how to prevent boat and motor problems during the fall and winter.  Follow these tips will ensure your motor, pumps and fuel remains safe. This video will explain some preventative boat maintenance that will keep you on the water and your rig out of trouble.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mustang Inflatable Recall!

With safety a top concern with Safariland Group, the owners of Mustang Survival Gear, they has asked for a voluntary recall. 

In keeping with Mustang Survival’s commitment to the highest level possible for product quality, we are voluntarily recalling certain MD315XInflatable and PFDs MD318X Inflatable PFDs. There may be missing reinforcement fabric on the bladder which may cause the bladder to tear when flexing the lobes of the bladder apart when it is fully inflated. 

We have a solution and we are asking all our dealers and consumers to return their PFDs to Mustang Survival directly for inspecting and repairing the affected units.

Attached is the full press release. Complete details on the recall and FAQs are available online at

If you have an affected model, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-526-0532. They will provide the shipping instructions so your unit can be inspected, repaired (if affected), and returned to you.

We’d appreciate your help in getting the word out to your readers who may have purchased this item. Thank you in advance for your help in keeping people safe on the water and please contact me if you have any questions.

We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation with this important matter.

Monday, October 5, 2015

BASS Elite Star Mark Davis Battling Cancer.

“The docs don’t know how much of my lower lip they will take. They go down layer by layer until they get to the layer that doesn’t have any cancer in it.” Mark Davis

BASS writer Don Barone pens an important piece that explains Davis' cancer and gathers prays for a friend. 

Link here for full story

Friday, October 2, 2015

Learn From the Best with Navionics

Fish smarter! Join our fall webinars hosted by experienced tournament anglers who will share valuable tips and tricks that will put you on fish! Or, join our sailing specialist’s webinar and start planning your next tropical getaway! See the full schedule, registration links, and recordings of past webinars at
Register now for any of these webinars: 
September 29: 8 PM EDT / 02:00 CEST   
September 30: 8 PM EDT / 02:00 CEST   
October 21: 7 PM EDT / 01:00 CEST   
"Night Walleye in the Fall" — Mark Martin
October 22: 7 PM EDT / 01:00 CEST   
"Cruising the Bahamas on a Budget" — Jessica Anderson