Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Carrot Stix 2.0

Customer service driving force in branding of new Carrot Stix.

By Luigi De Rose

At the recent 2016 ICAST SHOW a distinct booth, a distinctively orange booth seemed busier than most. The blazed orange of Carrot Stix rods gained constant attention throughout the show and warranted a closer look. Aware of success years back, I was curious of their new gear. 

In 2007, Carrot Stix launched their Carrot Orange rods and won an unprecedented 3 ICAST Best of Show categories. At the time, these rods were ground breaking with the introduction of Nano-technology, micro guides and feather light weight. Within a few years the rod company was in trouble then disappeared. In 2014, the company was bought and they were back into the fishing game.

Interested in more information, I sat down with Matt Ki, VP of Operations for Carrot Stix.

Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to tell us more about Carrot Stix.

No problem. The booth is a bit quieter now. Yeah, Carrot Stix has 6 lines of spinning and casting rods plus several saltwater and specialty rods along with our brand new 2 speed spinning reel and casting reel. We’re really excited about the 2 speed spinning reel. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback. 

Please tell me more about the company? Is it under new ownership?
In 2014 it was bought and relaunched. We are steadily building back the business. The past owners left the company in bad shape.

Yeah, Carrot Stix was popular then it died out. What happened?
The problem was poor warranties and customer service. The real problem was that the factory they used cheated. Instead of hand winding the guides they used a machine which probably wrapped too forcefully creating a weak spot on the blank. So, they shipped out a bad batch of rods without knowing the problem existed.  It seemed that all the rods were breaking between the 2nd and 3rd guide. Instead of honouring their products, they were worrying about all the money they were losing by replacing the broken rods. It tarnished the brand. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Kinstler and Lecky Win Lake St. Frances FLW Canada Event with 45.27 Pounds!

Big smallmouth rule!
By Luigi De Rose
The third and final 2016 FLW Canada qualifier was held this weekend on the famed Lake St. Francis in eastern Ontario. Again, Lake St. Frances didn't disappoint with Kinstler and Lecky grabbing the win with giant smallmouth totalling 45.27lbs anchored by a Day 1 5.72lb beast. The weekend's big bass was 6.18 lbs landed by the team of Lees and Baker.

 Angler 1
 Angler 2
Day 1 Weight
Big Fish
Day 2
Big Fish
Total Weight

Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Score on Clear Water Lakes with Megabass Pro Chris Zaldain

Clear lakes can be a challenge. Clear water conditions makes traditional presentations less effective and anglers can become frustrated. Listen to BASS Elite angler Chris Zaldain as he explains some great tips on fishing clear water lakes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Navionics+ Regions in five coverage areas throughout the U.S. and Canada.

At the affordable price of $149 per region, Navionics+ Regions is a tremendous value that includes Nautical Chart, SonarChart™ 1 foot HD bathymetry map and Community Edits, as well as easy access to daily updates for one year. With both Nautical Chart and SonarChart™ preloaded, Navionics+ Regions owners have all the best cartography available right out of the box.

To keep their Navionics+ charts current, customers can update their cartography anywhere within the coverage area. Navionics charts are updated every day with official information, while SonarChart and Community Edits are continuously enhanced by regular contributions from fellow boaters.

Navionics+ Regions offers boaters the best solution by combining two familiar and proven products, Gold marine charts and HotMaps Premium lake maps (discontinued 1/1/16), together with SonarChart in one powerful product at an affordable price.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


For Canadian anglers this will be under the Storm label.

“With its cupped face, the new Terminator® Popping Frog pops and spits, causing a major commotion and drawing in fish,” says Ott DeFoe, a four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and 2011 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year. “But it also walks very well, too. Other frogs can maybe do one or the other well but not both. I think Terminator really hit a home run with this one.”
DeFoe has already caught a lot of fish on the Popping Frog, which he helped design. “It’s already proven its merits to me in a few tournaments this year,” DeFoe says. “I’ve thrown it a lot and caught a lot of fish on it. It’s been pretty awesome.”
When the conditions call for frog fishing, DeFoe will tie on a Popping Frog about 80 percent of the time. “In most cases, especially around scattered grass — stuff with a lot of holes in it — I’m going with that one,” he says. “I like the added action and sound it offers.” When bass are holding under really thick mats of vegetation, however, he’ll turn to the Terminator Walking Frog, which he helped design as well.
By varying retrieve cadence and how much slack you give it on the stop, you can make a Popping Frog attract fish in different ways. “If you keep it tight-lined, it doesn’t want to walk as much and you can make it chug really hard,” DeFoe says. “If you twitch it on a slack line — a lot like you would walking a topwater hardbait — then it’s going to have a lot more walk and side-to-side action.”
Both the Popping Frog and Walking Frog feature a custom VMC® frog hook, round-rubber legs, a heavy-duty welded line tie and lifelike detail from nose to rear. Both are tail-weighted to increase casting distance and stability on the retrieve. The bodies of both are extra soft, easily compressing when bass bite them to increase your hook-up ratio.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cory Johnston Wins 2016 Costa FLW Oneida Lake and Angler of the Year!

King of the North!
by Jody White

One of only three pros to bring limits to the stage on the final day of the Costa FLW Series presented by Ranger Boats on Oneida Lake, Cory Johnston earned the win by more than 4 pounds. In total, the Cavan, Ontario, pro toted 14 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale on the final day for a 50-4 total that earned him $32,778 and a new Ranger Z518. In addition to winning the tournament, Johnston also finished off his third Northern Division Strike King Angler of the Year title, earning a Strike King tackle pack and the deposits in the division of his choice for 2017.
Cory is " King of the North" in New York!
(Photo: FLW)
“We’ve never been here before and its fun to go out and learn a new lake,” says Cory Johnston of his and Chris’s first time on Oneida. “When you’re somewhere you haven’t been before you’re not going into the lake with a preconceived notion of what the fish were doing last time here. You can really figure it out and zone in on them real good.”
Zone in they did. Combined, the brothers rustled exactly 95 pounds of Oneida bass over three days of fishing with Cory taking the win and Chris settling for fourth place.
All week, Johnston followed a strict shallow game plan that separated him from other pros grouped up on shoals or slinging umbrella rigs on points and flats.
“The whole thing that I was fishing was isolated rock piles off the shore,” says Johnston. “When it was calm and clear like in practice you should see all these rock piles and that’s how I found all my fish. The first two days when I got here I put my trolling motor on 100 and just went looking for stuff and right away I caught a 4-pounder and a 3-pounder on topwater so I knew the big fish would be shallow and I could key in on what they were on.”

Thursday, August 18, 2016

2016 FLW CUP: Interview with Chris Johnston FLW Rookie of the Year PART 2

The family connection.

By Luigi De Rose 

Chris (L) and Cory Johnston & girlfriends.
We continue our chat with Chris Johnston, 2016 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, as he journeys back to Canada from an 8th place showing at the recent FLW CUP on Wheeler Lake.  We also get Lynn Johnston, the father, to discuss his sons’ exceptional year on tour.   
IBASSIN: Chirs, you said that your dad is in the truck? Lynn Johnston, do you have anything to say about how well Chris and Cory have done this season?
Lynn:  I’m thrilled at how well both did this season. Cory and Chris finished well all year and the Rookie of the Year title is well deserved.
IBASSIN: Are you surprised at how well they did? There are so many top anglers on FLW Tour that failed to make the CUP their first year.
Lynn: No, I am not shocked at all with the boys’ success. Cory has fished competitively with me and then Chris since he was 14years old.  The way these young guys are so intense and how well they use their gear especially their Garmin electronics is remarkable. The work ethic is incredible. They’ll find a rock in the middle of Lake Ontario and then go back and catch 2 fish off of it. In the old days, I was just trying to get back to shore safely on that big water. They’re totally confident in fishing.
IBASSIN: I guess you helped train them.
Lynn: I guess but they have always had great skill and a desire to fish. Cory has been fishing since he was 4 years old and Chris started tournament fishing when he was 10. These kids could out flip and pitch men when they were just 10 years old. I would take them for a full day of pre-fishing and they would keep fishing at the dock while I was putting all the gear away. I would have to plead to them to get into the truck so we could go home.  They both love fishing that much.
Chris: Luigi, my dad had a great tournament career of his own. He won many tournaments with us and other anglers so he showed us what it took and the techniques we needed to learn. We didn’t need 4 or 5 years of tournaments under our belts to start cashing cheques. So, my dad really helped in that respect.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Z-Man StreakZ XL

If you need a big bait that will stay rigged without falling apart after a couple of fish then check out the  Z-Man StreakZ XL. Outdoor writer Lonnie King has been testing them out on giant pike with no problems imagine how long they will last with big bass. Save money and catch more fish makes sense and cents.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 FLW CUP: Interview with Chris Johnston FLW Rookie of the Year

Hometown legend in the making.
By Luigi De Rose 
As the scales settled on the FLW CUP on Wheeler Lake, Alabama on August 7th, the 2016 Walmart Tour season came to a close.  John Cox was declared champion but there is another champion who was bolting back home to continue his bass tournament season in Canada. Chris Johnston, of Peterborough, Ontario had concluded his rookie season on tour. We caught up with him to discuss his fantastic season and his 8th place finish at the FLW CUP. 

Chris Johnston 2016 FLW TOUR Rookie of the Year. (Photo: FLW)
IBASSIN: Thanks for taking the time out to chat. 

Chris: No problem we are just about 40 minutes from the Canadian border.

IBASSIN: You had an amazing FLW CUP! Let’s talk a bit about it the championship and how you fished. 

Chris: I am surprised that I did so well. I had a very poor practice. I was expecting to flip trees to get the better bites and I did get a few fish but it was random. The first couple of practice days I could get about 5 to 6 bass a day. I was worried that I couldn’t get a limit each day. The deep bite wasn’t there. I got nothing out deep.
On the third practice day, I found a point that had some schoolers but many of the fish were very small. Some were only a few inches long but there were a few 2 pounders mixed in. So, I determined that I would get a few schoolers each morning then try for the flipping fish.
What I discovered was that the schooling bite got better throughout the day. That is something you shouldn’t figure out during an event but in practice so I got a bit lucky. On Day 1 of the tournament I determine that bite was stronger than what I imagined it would be. 

IBASSIN: FLW had pictures of you with some big smallmouth. Did you catch them mixed in with the small schoolers?

Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 Team Ontario BASS Qualifier Results!

Team Ontario 2017 set!
By Luigi De Rose

This past weekend 100 boaters and 100 co-anglers from BASS Chapter clubs throughout the province took to the water on the Bay of Quinte to determine who would make Team Ontario BASS.

Boaters have a 5 fish limit and co anglers have a 3 fish limit and they take the top 10 anglers and the top 10 co anglers ( plus 1 alternate on each) to represent Team Ontario at the Eastern Regionals in 2017. Venue has yet to be announced in the US.

For more info on the anglers or if you wish to join a BASS Club

Justin Lucas Wins the 2016 BASS Elite Potomac River with 72-14lbs!

Lucas rocks around the docks. 
By Bryan Brasher
If professional bass fishing fans didn’t know it before, they know it now.

Justin Lucas is a force to be reckoned with — and it doesn’t matter which coast he’s fishing on.

West coast drop shot is winner on the East coast bass. (Photo: BASS)
The California native, who now lives in Alabama, caught five bass Sunday that weighed 19-13 to win the Bassmaster Elite at Potomac River presented by Econo Lodge. His four-day total of 72-14 was more than 4 pounds better than second-place angler Jason Christie (68-7), who finished strong himself with 23-1 Sunday.

It was Lucas’s second career victory on the Bassmaster Elite Series and the first away from his native West Coast waters. The 30-year-old pro picked up his first win last season on the Sacramento River.