Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Change the way you fish with Minn Kota's Steve Chiasson

Step on the Ultrex™ foot pedal and feel what Power Steering does to a trolling motor. Then tap the Spot-Lock button to stay on a fishing spot automatically. Only Ultrex combines the most responsive, intuitive steering ever with GPS-powered automatic boat control. The only thing we didn't do to it, is compromise. Select models now available with Built-In MEGA Down Imaging™.

Listen to Steve Chiasson as he explains how to better your fishing with the new Minn Kota UItrex. No more fighting the wind or waves and improve your fishing!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ott DeFoe Wins 2019 Bassmaster Classic!

Hometown hero wins Classic. 

By Bryan Brasher
Ott DeFoe wins Knoxville in style with 49-03lbs.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
For decades, it seemed almost impossible for an angler to win the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in his home state.
Now it’s happened four times in six years.
Tennessee pro Ott DeFoe, who makes his home in Knoxville, caught five bass Sunday from the Tennessee River that weighed 18 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing and the $300,000 prize that goes with the iconic trophy.
His three-day total weight of 49-3 helped him slip past second-place angler Jacob Wheeler before a raucous home crowd at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena.
The world-championship bass tournament drew a record-total attendance of 153,809 to tournament venues, including daily weigh-ins in Thompson-Boling Arena, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo consumer show presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in the Knoxville Convention Center and World's Fair Exhibition Hall, and morning takeoffs at Volunteer Landing. Attendance counts, including as many as 6,500 at Saturday’s early-morning takeoff, were provided by officials at each of the venues. “This is a dream come true — a dream I’ve had since I was a 9-year-old kid,” said DeFoe, who now has six career victories with B.A.S.S. “When we came over here and did the walk-through the day before the tournament, I actually imagined hearing my name after the words ‘Bassmaster Classic champion.’
“For it to happen now … I just keep thinking I’m gonna wake up.”
For the first 36 years the event was held, no home-state angler claimed the Classic crown. But that streak was broken in 2007, and then home-state anglers won three straight times from 2014-16.
Since DeFoe lives in Knoxville — and since few others in the 52-angler field had much experience on the tournament waters of Fort Loudon and Tellico lakes — he was one of the obvious favorites coming into the event.

Ott DeFoe is the 2019 Bassmaster Classic Champion!

Local favourite Ott DeFoe does his hometown proud. More to come!

2019 Bassmaster Classic Tennessee River Day 2: Jacob Wheeler Take Lead with 32-06lbs

Zaldain, Ike, MDJ & Wheeler score big limits. 

By Bryan Brasher

Wheeler's luck in Tennessee continues as he moves into the lead
with 17-11lb limit on Day 2.
(Photo: BASS)
During the early portions of practice for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Jacob Wheeler discovered a pattern that he knew would put bass in his livewell.

But since it seemed a little too obvious, he spent the latter portions of practice looking for something he thought no one else would find.
He ultimately went back to the obvious — and it has him in position to win the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.
After landing 14 pounds, 11 ounces during Friday’s opening round, Wheeler caught five bass Saturday that weighed 17-11 and sprang into first place with a two-day total of 32-6. His five-bass limit Saturday was one of the few weighed in this week that featured all smallmouth.
“I know this crew,” Wheeler said. “I knew they would figure out the same thing I had figured out. Even though there are miles and miles and miles of water, they were going to figure it out.
“I tried to move around the lake, be smart about it and just fish what looked good to me — looking for that needle in the haystack. But I never found it, so I just had to fall back to what I knew I had.”
No angler on earth is more guarded with his techniques than the one who leads the Bassmaster Classic heading into the final round. So Wheeler only said that he was fishing a “reaction bite” with moving baits.
He said catching five smallmouth Saturday was a surprise.
“If you would have told me at the start of the tournament that eight of my 10 fish so far would be smallmouth, I would have said there’s no way,” Wheeler said. “It’s been so hard to catch a smallmouth — even a nonkeeper.”
“That is not something I thought I had dialed in at all.”

Friday, March 15, 2019

2019 Bassmaster Classic Tennessee River Day 1: Ott DeFoe Sack 20lbs and Lead!

Local hero DeFoe a crowd favourite
By Bryan Brasher

Ott DeFoe grabs lead with help from daily big bass, a 6lber.
(Photo: BASS)
Ott DeFoe came into Friday’s opening round of the GECIO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods with two patterns in mind that he thought would work on the Tennessee River.
Only one of them did — and even then, just barely.
But it worked well enough to give him the lead at the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing.
DeFoe caught only eight keeper bass on the day, but his best five weighed 20 pounds and gave him an early cushion over Arizona pros Roy Hawk, who was second with 17-11, and Clifford Pirch, who was third with 16-11.
“I got five good bites all day, and I landed them,” said DeFoe, a Knoxville resident who was considered by many to be the odds-on favorite coming into the event. “Honestly, it felt like a very tough day.”
DeFoe’s two-pattern strategy included one tactic he believed would produce heavier bass and another he thought would be a good “limit filler.” The limit-filling pattern didn’t work at all.
Fortunately for the Tennessee pro, the big-fish strategy produced a 6-pound largemouth that anchored his catch.
“A 6-pounder here is a really big one,” said DeFoe, who also took the Day 1 lead in the Berkley Big Bass competition. “So to get that one and four other pretty good ones, I felt really blessed.”
This marks the first time that Fort Loudon and Tellico Lakes have hosted a major Bassmaster event — and since DeFoe lives in the area, he probably knows as much about the fisheries as anyone. But even he couldn’t say exactly what changed the fishing so dramatically from what he had come to expect in practice.
“Coming in, I felt like both of my patterns would hold up all week,” DeFoe said. “I don’t know if the fishing pressure got to the one that didn’t work for me today or if it was the fact that the water level came up some.
“If I had to guess, I would say the water level coming up probably caused the fish to scatter out in some places.” As the first-round leader, DeFoe receives the GEICO Everyday Leader Award of $2,500.

2019 Bassmaster Classic Starts Today

IBASSIN.com has you covered for all the news, photos and results all weekend long. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Shimano's New Generation Antares 70HG Reel

Available: Late March 
MSRP: all sizes - $599.99

Bringing bass anglers versatility for easy pitching and flipping, along with the ability for long distance casting with a wide variety of lures, Shimano introduces the next generation Antares baitcasistng reel. The flagship series in Shimano low-profile design casting reel line-up, the Antares is offered in a 70HG size.

When casting the Antares 70HG, whether throwing a heavy jig or light jerkbait, anglers will quickly notice the low inertia start-up of new MGL III spool. “The reel requires so little effort to start rotating so it’s ideal to pitch lightweight lures,” said Trey Epich with Shimano’s product development team. “Plus when you need to make that long cast with heavier lures, the easy to control spool rotation and high level of brake control offered makes the Antares 70HG equally ideal for those situations.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Streamside IM8 Predator Rods and Reels with Bill Nichols

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

Sunday, March 10, 2019

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


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

Saturday, March 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 8, 2019

2019 FLW Tour Lake Seminole Day 1: Braxton Setzer Leads with 25-15lbs.

Canadians Sim 80th & Richardson 121st.  
by Kyle Wood
Setzer big spawners grabs early lead.
(Photo: FLW)
After a cold front passed through the region during practice, day one of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole, which is presented by Costa, was better than most expected. A chilly start to the day gave way to sunny, mild conditions, and the bass responded. Braxton Setzer got off on the right foot with a 25-pound, 15-ounce limit to hold just a 6-ounce lead over Joseph Webster.
Setzer is fresh off a top-30 finish at the previous Tour stop on Toho, where he worked offshore hydrilla for some stout bags of fish. He kept that same mentality this week, and so far, it’s paying off.
“I committed myself to the offshore before practice even started,” says Setzer. “I just know [on Seminole] that when you find them offshore you can find where they are coming to and going back to, and you can get right in a hurry in one spot. It was fun today.”
Though he only caught eight or nine fish all day, the quality is there for the Montgomery, Ala., pro. And believe it or not, he didn’t even get to fish the main spot he wanted to.
“Things kind of started slow this morning,” he continues. “I started short of where I wanted to this morning since nobody was around and figured I’d work my way up to my waypoint. Well, I look up, and Webster pulled in right on the spot and started beating on them. I thought, ‘You dummy, you should have started on the waypoint.’
“I struggled a little after that, but started to pick apart the area I was in because it is a bigger area than where I wanted to go, so I had more water to cover. The spot I wound up catching them on is basically a ditch that leads to a flat with a clean spot on it. That clean spot is where I caught the majority of my fish.”
With a limit around 9:30 this morning, he kept picking apart water around the area until the bite dried up at 11 o’clock. From there, Setzer ran to another likely spot he had eyes on to see what it could offer.
Top 10 pros below

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The 7th annual Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show

It's The 7th annual Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show this Sunday March 10th, Be sure to check out this great event if you are in the area, or even if your not in area but are looking for something fun to do Sunday stop by. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

New Megabass Vision 110 +2 with Nick Cousvis

The Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait is one of the most famous and best jerkbait on the market. The brand new Megabass Vision 110+2 is a deep diving version that will work great on bass, walleye and anything else down deep. Check out Megabass Pro-staff Nick Cousvis as he explains the Megabass Vision 110 +2 deep diving jerkbait.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

MLF Bass Pro Tour Names Table Rock Lake Stage Six Stop

Major League Fishing® (MLF) announced today that Missouri's majestic Table Rock Lake, located in the heart of the Ozarks at the city of Branson, will be hosting the 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour's Stage Six event, May 17-22, 2019.
The popular tourist destination community and the big 67-square-miles reservoir are both well known for their angler hospitality and serving up a quality bass tournament experience for participants and spectators alike.
Most of the 80 pros in the event have fished on Table Rock before, but this will be their first time as competitors in the newly formed Bass Pro Tour and as the first bass anglers to achieve professional status in the sport's league that requires no tournament entry fee for competitions.
"Major League Fishing is showing professional competitive fishing in the same manner that Americans see other sport organizations, such as the NFL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, etc.," said Jeff Seifried, President/CEO, Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB. "Branson is excited to host these great anglers on our pristine lake."
"Table Rock Lake has it all - largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass - and some of the most beautiful scenery in America," said Michael Mulone, Senior Director of Events & Partnerships for Major League Fishing. "Branson is a fantastic destination known for reeling in tourists and we are looking forward to highlighting "The Rock" to a national audience.
The region's extreme geography also calls for league officials to manage where anglers can fish due to MLF's stringent connectivity requirements because MLF NOW! live stream and SCORETRACKER™ are critical components of the event's execution and coverage.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Picasso Lures Catches Hank Cherry!

Picasso Lures, the innovative manufacturer of fishing tackle, announces the addition of North Carolina Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Hank Cherry to their National pro staff. 

The 44-year-old Cherry is a veteran of 155 pro level events between FLW and B.A.S.S. Competition, has amassed 25 career top 10 finishes, six career victories, nearly $700,000 in career earnings, and the title of 2013 Elite Series Rookie of the Year.

Cherry joins the staff of a company that is regarded as an innovator, and quality products are a strong reason he loves Picasso Lures. "A great deal of my fishing style is built around jig fishing, as well as bladed jigs, and I trust Picasso’s baits entirely," he said. “Their bladed jigs are the best vibrating jigs I have used, the Rhino Head is one of the best jigheads I have ever used with a worm, and the jigs are top notch; they help me catch more fish."

Being able to get involved in development personally is another reason he joined the team. "Picasso has always had a reputation for listening to their pros and building products specifically to their needs and desires," he said. "I'm truly looking forward to being able to work with them and come up with new products that I can share with the fishing public to help us all catch more fish."

Monday, February 25, 2019

HUMMINBIRD Mega Imaging+ in Helix and Solix with Steve Chiasson

Hunninbird Electronics has improved their fantastic Helix and Solix models with the 2019 addition of Mega Imagining Plus. Delivering up to 3X the output of standard Side Imaging®, MEGA Imaging technology took fish finding into the megahertz frequency for the very first time. Humminbird improved this technology even further by extending the depth range and expanding the side coverage areas, all while improving the crystal clear imagery.  It's indisputably the clearest, sharpest sonar image ever-brought to you by the undisputed leader. More anglers are finding structure and fish they didn’t know were there, thanks to the clarity of MEGA Imaging, pioneered by Humminbird. Using this high-frequency sonar, you can easily distinguish fish from structure, see the direction fish are facing and even target individual species. And with new MEGA Imaging+™, there’s absolutely no place left to hide, thanks to extended range and depth, plus 20% more detail than MEGA Imaging.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Jay Martin and Brad Arnott Join Team Streamside

Streamside is pleased to announced that Jay Martin and Brad Arnott have join the Streamside Tournament Pro-staff team for 2019 representing Streamside on the tournament trails. Jay and Brad have been one of the most consistent teams and anglers on the tournament trail for the last 15 years. With over 15 tournament wins, over 60 top 5's and 3 classic wins. They will be fishing with the brand new Predator Elite rods and spinning reels. Great to have both of them on the Streamside team.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Edwin Evers Wins BPT Lake Conroe Event with 51-12lbs!

A big 8-pounder seals deal for Evers
By Joel Shangle

Evers adds a win and a 2nd place in 2 BPT tournaments.
(Photo BPT)
In the immediate aftermath of the first MLF Bass Pro Tour event in Kissimmee, Florida two weeks ago, Edwin Evers’ dissatisfaction with finishing second was palpable. Ever the professional, Evers complimented his fellow competitors and smiled for photos at the Berkley Postgame Show, but no talk of Cup points could bring the Oklahoma pro comfort.
Sunday afternoon on Lake Conroe, Evers made sure that the only postgame talk would be of how he earned his first-ever MLF Bass Pro Tour trophy.

Evers racked up 51 pounds, 12 ounces to outdistance Jeff Sprague, (40-8), Boyd Duckett (35-15), Brent Ehrler (34-13) and David Walker (34-7) and claim the win at the Bass Pro Tour Huk Stage Two presented by Favorite Fishing. The Oklahoma pro caught 24 scorable fish on the day, including an exclamation point with 9 minutes left in competition: an 8-1 that hit a drop-shot Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper.

“You can’t imagine how good it feels to catch a fish like that,” Evers admitted. “I knew there were big fish in there, because I shook some big ones off the second day of the event. The big females just hadn’t gotten there yet, but they’re coming.”

Evers’ winning area
Evers’ pattern was to flip his way down the bank with a Black Blue Berkley Havoc Pit Boss, picking out small indentations and grassy, undercut banks and flipping his bait as close to the bank as he could. He also caught some fish on a vibrating jig.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Paul Mueller Wins 2019 BASS Elite on Lake Lanier with 69lbs!

Canadian Chris Johnston 10th. 
By David Precht
Mueller's first Elite a family celebration.
(Photo: BASS)

Former B.A.S.S. Nation Champion Paul Mueller proved he belongs in the big leagues of professional fishing by winning a spotted bass shootout on Georgia’s Lake Lanier. Mueller earned $100,000 by winning the Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier today.

Desperate to fill out his five-bass limit with bigger spotted bass, Mueller returned to a deep ridge that had produced most of his big spotted bass on previous days. There, he managed to dredge up two big spotted bass that pushed him ahead of Texas angler Chris Zaldain by less than a pound.

“I struggled today,” Mueller said. “I had run out of options, so I went back to my primary spot and caught a 5 1/4 (pounder) and then a 4. Without those two fish, I don’t win.”

Mueller had 18 pounds, 8 ounces for the day, giving him a four-day total of 69-0. It could have been even more. “There were still fish on that spot when I left,” he added. “At the end of the day, I lost a couple of big ones. I could have had a 20-something bag today.”
He described the structure as a large, underwater ridge with two shallower areas on top and very deep water on each side. He caught most of his spotted bass the first day on a Reins Bubbling Shad on a Do It Molds Freestyle Jighead, but the big producer the rest of the time was a 3 1/4-ounce Reins Fat Rockvibe Shad Swimbait on a 1/2-ounce herring head underspin jighead with the spinner removed.

“Who would have thought you could win this tournament — a blueback herring tournament — off of one spot?” he said. In fisheries where the nomadic herring are a main staple of bass diet, spotted bass are notorious for leaving their holding areas unexpectedly and en masse.

That happened to Zaldain, who also had to contend with a wind shift today that moved his schools of bass. A sudden drop of temperatures into the low 40s didn’t help.

“I fished long, sloping points all week and had to switch to western banks today because of the east wind,” he said.

Zaldain was the leader with 51-9 going into Championship Sunday, when only the Top 10 finalists competed, but he fell short with a 16-9 limit today that included two smaller bass. He alternated between a 3-inch Megabass Spark Shad swimbait on a 3/8-ounce jighead and a 3/8-ounce drop shot with a 3-inch Megabass Hazedong Shad.

Unlike Mueller and Zaldain, the others in the Top 5, and most of those in the Top 10, fished crankbaits in shallow to medium depths, especially on shorelines and points in 38,000-acre Lake Lanier.

Keith Combs of Texas finished third with 66-1, earning a $20,000 payday that pushed him into the Millionaire’s Club of B.A.S.S. His career earnings now stand at $1,001,635. He alternated between Strike King crankbaits and a 6-inch shaky head worm and followed a “run-and-gun” pattern to try numerous spots during the day. “I didn’t stay anywhere long,” he said.

2019 BPT Lake Conroe: Duckett Leads Top 10 Anglers into Championship Round

Stephan Browning jumps into Top 10 at very last moment!
By Rory Connellan

Battle for the win starts tomorrow!
(Photo: BPT)
For the better part of the past year, Boyd Duckett has been "Mr. MLF" as he worked endlessly to establish the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour. But for the seven hours of competition in the Knockout Round of MLF Bass Pro Tour Huk Stage Two Conroe presented by Favorite Fishing, Duckett was "Mr. Consistency".

Duckett caught his first scorable bass 22 minutes into the competition at Lake Conroe and then steadily added fish to SCORETRACKER® throughout the morning and early afternoon, swimming a small worm. By the time Period 3 got underway, Duckett had already weighed 31 pounds, 14 ounces, and owned a 9-plus-pound lead on the field.  


The Alabama pro would eventually finish the day with 38-5 on 21 fish, followed by Gary Klein (30-1), Edwin Evers (29-2), Brent Ehrler (28-12) and Jordan Lee (28-12).
"I've always been decent at compartmentalizing my fishing and my work, but I just couldn't make fishing the most important thing at Toho," Duckett admitted, referring to the MLF Bass Pro Tour's inaugural event in Florida two weeks ago. "Coming into this one, I told everybody that I was going to concentrate on my fishing. It's been nice to just be an angler at this event."
And Duckett the angler has been consistently stout on Conroe from Day 1. He recorded 46 fish in his first three rounds, despite spending the majority of each competition day either looking for new water, or guarding what he considers his best area.    
"I like that this fishery is tough," Duckett said. "I've traditionally done well in events that are difficult to fish. You really have to figure out how to catch these fish, you can dial something in that's just a little bit different than what the other guys are doing."
Surviving the battle for the Championship 10
Randall Tharp (27-13), David Walker (27-10), Wesley Strader (27-5), Jeff Sprague (26-6) and Stephen Browning (25-13) filled out the Top 10 and will compete in the Championship. And while all five anglers endured their moments of stress, Browning had to work especially hard for his spot in the finals.
Entering the last 10 minutes of competition, Browning, Shin Fukae, Keith Poche, Andy Montgomery and Jonathan VanDam all sat within 14 ounces of each other in the race to make the 10 cut.   

Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 Bassmaster Elite Lake Lanier Day 3: Chris Zaldain Battles to Lead with 19-02lbs!

Chris Johnston 6th 
By Bryan Brasher

Fishing deep paying off for Cali pro.
(Photo: BASS)

For Chris Zaldain, this week has been an exercise in extreme patience.
The California native, who is fishing his eighth season on the Bassmaster Elite Series, said many of his casts have been taking an excruciating five minutes from start to finish as he targets spotted bass suspended in 40 to 60 feet of water.
But his patience has paid off, as he’s built a three-day total of 51 pounds, 9 ounces, including a Saturday catch of 18-4 that lifted him into first place at the Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier.
Zaldain will lead the Top 10 remaining pros into Championship Sunday, with a $100,000 first-place paycheck on the line.
“From the time I cast my bait, let it sink and reel it all the way back to my rod tip, it’s literally taking me up to five minutes,” said Zaldain, who now lives in Fort Worth, Texas. “You have to do that simply because the fish are really picky. You can’t fish fast at all, or you won’t get a bite.”
Zaldain is fishing near Buford Dam on the lower end of Lake Lanier in water that he said is only 47 degrees. Having fished ultradeep, ultraclear water in California, he knew coming into the week that’s where the lake’s biggest spotted bass would be.
“I’m fishing deeper than most everybody else,” Zaldain said. “I truly believe that’s where the biggest spots live because it’s the deepest, bluest, clearest water on the lake.
“They suspend out in those deep trees — and when they begin feeding to get ready for the spawn, they pull up to the depth zone I’m targeting.”
Zaldain’s catch of 18-4 was his biggest of the week. But he doesn’t think duplicating that catch on Sunday will be enough to help him win.
He believes a 20-pound catch is “more than doable” on the lake — and he says the conditions could be shaping up perfectly for it to happen. The Sunday forecast calls for a high of 49 degrees with a 90-percent chance of rain.
“That’s exactly how it was when I had my best day in practice,” Zaldain said. “I keep checking those spots where I caught them really good in practice, and they haven’t been there.
“Maybe it ends up being one of those magical weeks where they start showing up on my best stuff on the last day.”
Zaldain can’t afford to stumble, with veteran pros like David Mullins of Tennessee (51-4), Paul Mueller of Connecticut (50-8) and Keith Combs of Texas (49-10) all within easy striking distance.
After catching 17-12 and 19-6 the first two days, Mullins slipped a bit Saturday. But even as his game plan cooled, he still managed to catch 14-2.
“I actually caught as many today as I did yesterday,” Mulllins said. “But every fish I ‘laid back on’ was a lot smaller.”

Friday, February 15, 2019

2019 Bassmaster Elite Lake Lanier Day 1: Jeff Gustafson Grabs Lead with 19-02lbs!

Chris Johnston 27th & Cory Johnston 57th
By Bryan Brasher

Gustafson fishing like back home!
(Photo: BASS)

Jeff Gustafson said coming into this week that Lake Lanier on the historic Chattahoochee River was probably his favorite fishery in the lower 48 United States.
Thursday didn’t do a thing to change his mind.
The 36-year-old first-year Elite Series pro from Keewatin, Canada, caught five bass that weighed 19 pounds, 2 ounces and took the lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier. He said the lake reminds him of home — even though he is more than 2,000 miles away, fishing for green spotted bass instead of brown smallmouth.
“Obviously, today was a lot more fun for me than last week when I had two fish to start out my Elite Series career in Florida,” Gustafson said. “I’m not catching a lot of fish, but I got some good ones today.”
Gustafson learned to love Lake Lanier last year when he finished seventh here in an FLW Tour event. He said that prior knowledge told him what was swimming in the lake — but not how to catch them this week.
“It’s completely different this year,” he said. “I didn’t catch fish off any of the places that I did last year.
“But I like fishing for spots. These things act a lot like the smallmouths do up at Lake of the Woods, where I live.”
Gustafson’s two biggest fish — both spotted bass in the 4-pound range — were the first two he put in his livewell. His finesse tactics included a jerkbait, a swimbait and other lures he said were “really no secret.”
His biggest obstacle of the day was the light line he’s using to target fish in the clear water. He said he broke off two bass in brushpiles that could have helped him eclipse the 20-pound mark.
Gustafson’s bag topped a day that was dominated by healthy spotted bass that looked like they had all swallowed footballs. David Mullins of Mount Carmel, Tenn., was second with 17-12, followed by Virginia pro Rick Morris with 17-6 and Californian Chris Zaldain with 16-15.
Like Gustafson, Mullins said his experience with smallmouth — albeit on Tennessee’s Cherokee Lake — played a role in his Day 1 success.
“This lake fishes a lot like home, where you have a window in the morning for about an hour and half to two hours and then it kicks back up in the evening,” Mullins said. “It’s the same way at home — and if you have wind, it seems like they’ll bite all day long.
“The wind just didn’t blow much today.”

Thursday, February 14, 2019

2019 BPT Lake Conroe Pool 1 Day 2: Wesley Strader Seal the Deal with 56lbs!

Strader rallies in skinny water
By Joel Shangle

Wesley Strader put enough fish on SCORETRACKER to finish on top of Group A.
(Photo: BPT)

With the first Elimination Round of the MLF Bass Pro Tour Huk Stage Two presented by Favorite Fishing officially in the books, Wesley Strader can take a quick breath of relief and rest up for Saturday’s Knockout Round.
Even more importantly, he can let his best water rest, too.
After adding 23 pounds to to his Shotgun Round total of 33-0 – bringing his two-day total to 56-0 – Strader heads into the semi-final round on top of the 40-man Group A, exactly 1 pound ahead of Bobby Lane (55-0). But Strader is quick to acknowledge that the competition has now become as much a game of strategy as of picking apart the water at Lake Conroe.

The East Tennessee pro summed it up best right after he put his last fish of Period 2 – a 4-4 – on SCORETRACKER: “I don’t care who passes me, I’m out of here,” Strader said as he Power-Poled up and backed his way out of the narrow creek he had been fishing to go scout new water. 

Strader would eventually add another three fish to his total in Period 3 to claim the top spot in the group, but used the entire period as a scouting exercise, hoping to find “the juice” for Saturday, when the weights zero.

“I looked around more than I fished today,” Strader admitted. “I have a real specific (condition) I’m looking for – when I see it, I catch one about 75 percent of the time. But this thing I’m looking for is really hard to find, and I have to cover a lot of water on the trolling motor to find it. I feel like I can go behind guys and catch them, though, because I have a real specific bait that they really like. Hopefully I can make that work again on Saturday.” 
The majority of the Top 10 – most of whom were in good shape on SCORETRACKER when competition began, anyway – followed Strader’s lead.