Thursday, January 31, 2019

2019 Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One Group 2: Marty Robinson Score 56lbs and 15 lb Lead over Gagliardi!

Three late 6 pound bass save anglers
By Luigi De Rose

Robinson poured it on and grabbed huge Stage 1 lead.
(Photo: MLF)
Nothing can be worse in Florida than a cold, cloudy day after a major cold front in January. The 40 anglers from Group 2 were met with such conditions but the fishing was still good. Anglers stayed consistent for the morning round but big moves were made during the afternoon shift. Late in the afternoon, Marty Robinson zoomed past the field and scored 56lbs for 34 bass, his largest was a 4-06lb bass for the Stage 1 lead. Anglers in the group will rest tomorrow as Group 1 will return to fishing.

Total Weight Caught
Number of Fish Caught
Marty Robinson
56 - 00
Anthony Gagliardi
41 - 14
Jacob Powroznik
33 - 08
Greg Hackney
31 - 06
Fletcher Shryock
30 - 01
Alton Jones
30 - 01

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2019 Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One: Randy Howell Take the Lead with 49-12lbs!

Randy Howell is the first leader of the BPT.
(Photo: BPT)
Randy Howell worked the grass flats of Lake Kissimmi and Toho to gain the lead on Stage 1 of Group 1. Group 2 will start tomorrow with 40 new anglers. Thursday will be elimination day where the Top 20 anglers from each Group will advance into the weekend.

Total Weight Caught
Randy Howell
49 - 12
Ish Monroe
40 - 13
Zack Birge
36 - 09
Gerald Spohrer
35 - 04
Ott DeFoe
34 - 14

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Johnny Morris, Throw Ceremonial First Cast to Begin Stage One of Major League Fishing's Bass Pro Tour

Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, will serve as Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter of the inaugural Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour event at historic Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. On Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, Morris will throw the first cast off the Nitro Z21 boat of Kevin VanDam, one of the most successful professional anglers of all time.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Whitney Stephens Wins 2019 BASS Eastern Open Harris Chain of Lakes with 57-08lbs!

Stephens wins by 12 pounds!
By David A. Brown

Monster 32-12lb Day 1 limit key to win.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
Despite changing conditions, Ohio angler Whitney Stephens turned in an impressive catch of five bass that weighed 24 pounds, 12 ounces in the final round of the 2019 Eastern Open at Harris Chain of Lakes. Added to his Friday weight of 32-12, it helped Stephens to an impressive winning total of 57-8 in an event that was shortened to two days by inclement weather.

The full field fished both days. 

The shortened schedule amplified Stephens’ performance; specifically, Jesse Wiggins won the 2017 Open event on the Harris Chain with a three-day total of 59-4 — only 1-12 heavier than Stephens’ two-day total.

Returning to the pattern that yielded his personal-best tournament limit on Day 1, Stephens spent all of Day 2 targeting thick hydrilla beds in Lake Eustis. Fishing in about 8 to 10 feet, he noted that the week’s colder weather worked in his favor by predictably positioning big prespawn fish in the warmer refuges of thicker grass patches.

Stephens caught most of his fish by dragging a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm and a Speed Worm, both Texas rigged on a 4/0 VMC hook. He ended his day by moving to a different area and throwing a custom spinnerbait over the grass.

“I had a 7- to 8-pound cull on my last stop,” Stephens said. “I had high teens and I went to 24 on my last stop. It was just incredible.”

Stephens’ total gave him an impressive winning margin of 11-9. He made it look easy, but the winner said closing the deal was no easy task.
“It was a grind today,” he said. “You catch 24 pounds and you think it’s a lot, but I struggled today. The difference was the weather. We had another cold night, the water dropped a couple more degrees and the sun never came out.”

Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., finished second with 45-15. After placing second on Day 1 with 27-10, his productivity slipped to 18-5 Saturday. Schmitt caught his fish on 1/2- and 3/8-ounce prototype Hyabusa swim jigs. He alternated between Missile Baits Twin Turbo and Shockwave trailers.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

2019 BASS Open on Harris Chain: Day 1 Cancelled!

Due to high winds and heavy storms that would impact safety this morning at the Harris Chain, Tournament Director Chris Bowes has decided that Day 1 of the Bassmaster Opens will start tomorrow. The full field of anglers will fish on Friday and Saturday. We'll have more on this, and what some anglers are doing during the weather day, here on today. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Evinrude Becomes MLF Bass Pro Tour Sponsor

Evinrude announced today that it has signed on as a sponsor of the new Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour and will be the title sponsor of the series’ Stages in 2019.
The partnership is especially fitting because it brings together an iconic name that originated 110 years ago with one of bass fishing’s hottest brands today in MLF. The two share a focus on innovation that is mutually driven by the common desire to ensure the long-term health of the sport.
“There is great synergy in this teaming,” said Jim Wilburn, president and CEO, MLF. “Despite the disparity in age, Evinrude and MLF are a lot alike in how we got our starts from forward-thinking individuals and how each has continued to evolve since. The last three or four years have been a blur as our respective companies have worked feverishly to further enhance the angler experience and bring more participants into the sport.”
“We are very excited to partner with the MLF Bass Pro Tour for its first season,” said Tracy Crocker, president of the BRP Marine Group and senior vice president and general manager of Evinrude. “Professional bass fishing tournaments are an exciting way to attract new boaters to our industry, which is why we sponsor so many Bass Pro Tour anglers and the tournament itself. In addition to attracting new boaters, we are excited for the chance to help current anglers improve their technique. That’s why this year we will be launching the First Fish Moment during all MLF livestreams and shows.”
The First Fish Moment will highlight the best moments during the Bass Pro Tour that show anglers properly landing a bass, even under less than ideal conditions. Anglers competing on the MLF circuit are all about protecting their catch and being aware of how to do so effectively is very important. Evinrude launched the First Fish Moment to echo its core values of protecting the environment for future boaters to enjoy. Team Evinrude anglers are all equipped with the cleanest burning outboard on the market – the Evinrude E-TEC G2.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Expanded Shimano Pro-Staff Ready for 2019 Tournament Season!

BPS, Elites and FLW Tour heavy with Shimano Pros

As the professional bass fishing tours kick off their 2019 seasons, there are both established anglers and rising stars ready to show off their skills using the latest in Shimano tackle, G. Loomis rods, PowerPro braided line, and Jackall bass baits.

JVD donig Shimano/ G. Loomis proud on BPS tour. 
“All of us at Shimano are excited to be working with and providing exceptional tackle to some of the best bass anglers both in the U.S. and Canada,” said Kurt Mazurek with Shimano North American Fishing, Inc. “With 2019 being an interesting year for the pro-level bass fishing trails, we are anxious to watch how the three major circuits can generate more interest in bass fishing, and in turn, push Shimano to always be a leader in fishing tackle technology.”

On the Bassmaster Elite circuit, pro anglers including Keith Combs, Brett Preuett, Bernie Shultz, and newcomers Greg Dipalma and Ed Loughran are all using Shimano rods and reels. Clent Davis, the 2018 FLW champ, will now be using Shimano reels as an Elite angler.

Part of the ‘Canada invasion’ to the B.A.S.S. Elite angler ranks, Jeff Gustafson, Chris Johnston and Cory Johnston will be casting Shimano reels spooled up with PowerPro braid, Shimano and G. Loomis rods, and an assortment of Jackall lures.

The FLW tour will see Alex Davis, Josh Douglas and Brandon McMillan flying the Shimano colors. Davis and Douglas also use G. Loomis rods and spool their Shimano reels up with PowerPro.

On Major League Fishing’s new Bass Pro Tour, the Shimano brands are well represented. Continuing their use of Shimano reels are James Elam – now also using Shimano rods, and David Walker and Jonathon VanDam, who both also use G. Loomis rods. Aaron Martens continues to fish with Shimano Curado DC and Metanium casting reels, along with Stella spinning reels. New to the Shimano team is past Bassmaster Classic and FLW Cup winner Luke Clausen all rigged-up with Shimano reels and G. Loomis rods.

“We have long-time pros who continue to show they know their way around just about any lake, anglers just starting their professional fishing careers, and a solid group with plenty of experience who can easily be at the top of the leaderboard at any of the tournaments,” Mazurek said. “Having them use Shimano rods and reels, G. Loomis rods, PowerPro braid and Jackall lures at the events helps us prove the tackle’s durability, performance and fish-catching features to the hundreds of thousands of bass anglers who follow pro bass fishing. We look forward to all the upcoming events from B.A.S.S., FLW and MLF.”

Friday, January 18, 2019

BASS Elite Angler Jeff "Gussy" Gustafson Joins Z-Man Team!

You might call it the ultimate tackle testimonial.
Long before Jeff "Gussy" Gustafson flashed the Z-Man logo—or cashed a sponsor check from the cutting-edge South Carolina tackle company— the versatile tournament angler was already boating big sacks of bass with ChatterBaits and other Z-Man creations, under the radar.
Actually, at the March 2018 FLW Tour event at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes, Gussy made no secret of the fact he and fellow Ontario angler Chris Johnston wielded identical Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammers to finish 2nd and 1st, respectively. (In truth, Johnston' tourney-winning ChatterBait came from Gustafson's personal stash.) At the time, neither angler was sponsored by the company whose lure earned them a cool, collective $155,000.
The lure Gustafson calls the 'crankbait of grass fishing'.
On the heels of the 2019 season, Gustafson's first in the Bassmaster Elite Series, Z-Man has legitimized the alliance, inking an endorsement deal with the popular Canadian angler.
"Formally linking up with Z-Man is especially cool because I've been friends with these guys and have fished their baits for years," said Gustafson, while packing for inaugural Elite Series events, two-thousand miles from his Keewatin, Ontario home. "These days, you almost have to fish ElaZtech softbaits and ChatterBaitsto stay competitive. Z-Man makes some high-level stuff that helps a lot of guys cash checks."

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

OFAH Get Outdoors Winter Camp! - February 1-3, 2019

The OFAH Get Outdoors Winter Camp is just around the corner and we are looking forward to this three-day, action-packed youth conservation and leadership event. We have a really dynamic and exciting program planned at Camp Kawartha from February 1- 3, 2019.

Potential activities include:
  • ice fishing
  • cross country skiing
  • virtual hunting
  • high ropes course
  • survival skills
  • hands-on education
  • winter games
  • new friends and much, much more!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Terry Bolton Wins 2019 FLW Tour on Lake San Rayburn Day with 91-03lbs!

Canadian Charles Sim finishes 10th! 
by Justin Onslow

Bolton hangs on for win crankingup 91-03lbs with Rapala DTs.
(Photo: FLW)
Terry Bolton’s professional fishing career almost ended before he finally had his moment. The moment every tournament angler dreams of. The moment decades in the making, so close so many times, yet still so far out of reach.
Today, Bolton finally grabbed hold of that moment, and he didn’t let go.
With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro.
Bolton bagged 33 pounds and 9 ounces on day two of the event, which set the wheels in motion for everything that followed. He added 19-10 on day three to retain the lead, and his 17-pound bag today brought his winning total up to 91-3.
But for all the fish Bolton caught this week, there were two moments that truly stood out for the man who has earned more than $1.2 million in his FLW career.
On day two, Bolton pulled up to a spot at which he caught all 20 pounds and 10 ounces the day before. He made some casts, landed a lot of fish and got up to “27 or 28 pounds” before he decided to move. Almost.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Big Sam Rayburn has turned nasty and FLW has postponed Day 4 until Monday. 

2019 FLW Tour Lake San Rayburn Day 3: Terry Bolton Continues to Lead with 73-13lbs!

Canadian Sim makes final day cut  with 10th! 
by Justin Onslow
Bolton eye first FLW win cranking red Rapala crankbaits.
(Photo: FLW)
Terry Bolton has done a great many things in his professional fishing career. He has 46 top-10 finishes in FLW competition, 29 of which were also top fives. He has a Costa FLW Series victory and another in T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) competition. With over $1.1 million in career earnings and 13 FLW Cup appearances to his name, there’s not much Bolton can say he hasn’t done in the sport of bass fishing.
Save for a victory on the FLW Tour.
Luckily for Bolton and the fans watching him at Sam Rayburn this week, the Kentucky pro is just a day away from reaching that goal. With a total of 73 pounds, 13 ounces, he’s nearly 5 pounds ahead after weighing 19-10 on day three of the FLW Tour event presented by Polaris.
Still, don’t expect Bolton to put any pressure on himself to get his first win — or even to chase down the elusive century mark with a 26-plus-pound bag tomorrow. Both would be nice, he admits, but that’s not what it’s all about for the 23-year pro from Benton, Ky.
“If it’s your time to win, you cannot stop it,” Bolton says. “I’ve been in this position. If it’s your turn, it’s your turn. If it’s not, it’s not. You might as well go enjoy it. You’re going to get to fish the final day on a great fishery. Would I love to win? Sure. It would be big for me. Is it the end-all if I don’t win? No.”
That’s been Bolton’s approach all week, even on Friday when he walked onto the weigh-in stage with a megabag of bass good for 33 pounds and 9 ounces. On Saturday, when Big Sam was fishing a little tougher than it had the previous two days, Bolton took the same approach and landed enough big fish to retain the lead.
With any luck, that same laid-back approach will produce enough big bass to earn him a win.
Bolton has done many of the same things all week. He’s relied on a Rapala DT 14 and DT 16 for some deep fish at several of the same spots, though he did mix in a 3/4-ounce Accent spinnerbait — his favorite technique — to land one keeper that made his final five.
Tomorrow will be business as usual for Bolton. He’ll run some of the same spots and throw some of the same baits, but who knows? According to the crafty vet, he may try some new things if that’s what the lake is asking for. And he won’t feel one ounce of pressure while he’s out there.
Nick LeBrun – 69-1 (20-13 day three)
FLW Tour rookie Nick LeBrun went swinging for the fences Saturday and legged out a triple. He didn’t clear the fence, but he sure put a charge into one with a 20-pound, 13-ounce bag that was one of only two 20-plus-pound stringers on the day.
“I went swinging early,” he admits. “I thought, man, if I can get one of those big ones to bite… I caught one little spot on that deep stuff, and then I went to my third spot and jacked them.”

Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019 FLW Tour Lake San Rayburn Day 2: Terry Bolton Crushes 33lb Limit and Grabs Lead!

Canadian Sim 11th and Richardson 110th
Bolton blasts giant limit and takes lead with 54-03lbs!
(Photo: FLW) 
Countless giants lie beneath the swollen and detritus-strewn waters of Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Terry Bolton might be able to give an accurate count, though, seeing as he caught a bunch of them Friday.
After sacking up 20 pounds, 10 ounces on day one of the FLW Tour season opener presented by Polaris at Big Sam – good for 10th place entering Friday – the Benton, Ky., angler put together a megabag full of hawgs that totaled 33-9 and moved Bolton to the top of the leaderboard with all the momentum he could want heading into the weekend.
One could point to technique, preparation and skill as the reasons for Bolton’s success on Rayburn, and all would be valid reasons. Yet, what’s happening for Bolton at the weigh-in stage is all about what’s happening between his ears on the water.
“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do [on Saturday]: I’m going to do the same thing I’ve done the last two days,” he quips. “I’m going to get up, put my clothes on, go fishing, and I’m going to enjoy myself because that’s all this year is about is me having fun.”
Bolton kicked around retiring after the last Tour season, during which he says he didn’t have as much fun as he should have. Rayburn tends to be a cure-all for that when it’s fishing as hot as it is right now.
“When you catch 33 pounds, that helps you have fun,” Bolton adds.
The veteran pro says he caught some of his fish on day one on a spinnerbait, but overcast conditions today ignited a crankbait bite, and he did most of his damage with a Rapala DT14 or DT16 in his hand. Bolton caught fish throughout the day but really pounded on them during an early afternoon flurry that culminated with him culling 5 1/2-pounders.
Surprisingly enough, Bolton’s massive stringer wasn’t his largest bag ever. In 2008, during the FLW Series East-West Fish-Off, Bolton sacked up 38-15 at Falcon Lake. Still, you won’t catch him complaining. Quite the opposite, actually.
Nick LeBrun – 48-4 (19-2 day two)
Louisiana native Nick LeBrun put up a big showing at Rayburn on day one, totaling 29 pounds, 2 ounces for the outright lead heading into Friday. Bolton might have eclipsed LeBrun both on the leaderboard and in the big-bag rankings, but second place on cut day isn’t too shabby, especially considering it could have been much worse.
LeBrun had 12 pounds at 1 o’clock. His spots seemed to dry up a bit, which he attributes in part to fishing pressure in that area of the lake. After a tremendous day one, it was starting to look like all of LeBrun’s momentum was about to push him headlong into a brick wall.
Instead, the Tour rookie reached into his bag of tricks and decided to fish a spot he’d been saving for a rough stretch. It paid off in a big way, aided by a 5-pounder that buoyed his day-two weight into the high-teens.

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 FLW Tour Lake San Rayburn Day 1: Nick LeBurn Leads with 29-02lbs!

Canadian Sim 28th and Richardson 88th
by Justin Onslow
FLW Tour rookie Nick LeBrun is no stranger to Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but that doesn’t necessarily explain his day one eruption on the Tour’s first stop of the 2019 season. Abnormally high water levels at Rayburn this week have all but eliminated the “local advantage” for the lake’s regulars, but LeBrun still found a way to sack up 29 pounds, 2 ounces to kick off the tournament and pace the rest of the 170-angler field.
Great start to the 2019 season. Rayburn is flooded and warm.
(Photo: FLW)
The Bossier City, La., native has fished Rayburn and Toledo Bend perhaps as much as any southern lake. He considers both to be his home lakes, though his focus for the last month-plus has been on Rayburn and the Tour’s first event of the year. Still, preparation only goes so far when a lake’s water level is nearly 10 feet above full pool.
“The lake’s never been this high, and I really didn’t know what it was going to do,” he says. “Once I knew that some of my fish (from December prefishing) were still there, I had to spend a day or two to find out what’s going to be the deal to get them fired up where you can catch them one after the other.”
LeBrun spent most of the day — and caught most of his fish — throwing a crawfish color Bill Lewis 1/2-ounce Rat-L-Trap. He only needed a couple spots to do his damage.
“My marshal said I had a limit in like seven minutes after I went to the second spot,” LeBrun says. “I probably caught 20 fish today.”
Twenty wasn’t a gaudy total for day one at Rayburn — several anglers mentioned catching upwards of 60 keepers — but LeBrun found the right mix of quantity and quality. He did so to the tune of his best-ever individual limit in a tournament.
And he sure picked a good day to do it.
 Sam George – 28-5 (5)
LeBrun outpaced fellow rookie Sam George on day one, but not by much. The 23-year-old Athens, Ala., pro appeared to be headed for the top spot at weigh-ins before being bumped to second by LeBrun’s monster stringer. He finished the day just 14 ounces short of the outright lead.
“I really—and I know everybody’s going to think I’m lying—but I really only had one good bite the entire practice,” he says. “It was on a deal that felt like it had potential, but I really only had one area that had what I was looking for.”
George ran around looking for similar areas throughout the day, and he found one at 8 o’clock that produced a near 6-pounder. From there, he continued to roll, filling out his limit and culling up to his eventual 28-pound, 5-ounce stringer, thanks in large part to a 9-3 behemoth.
“They’re pre-spawn fish, but they’re on a very specific kind of grass and a break line,” he admits. “I can’t find enough of it. I found one place in practice that had what I wanted.”
Chad Warren – 25-7 (5)
Chad Warren of Sand Springs, Okla., pulled six keepers off his first spot of the day and left plenty of meat on the bone for day one. If conditions hold, there’s a good chance he’ll get another crack at those same schools of fish on Friday that he opted to leave hungry and biting on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Major League Fishing reveals on-air talent for MLF NOW

 The Bass Pro Tour program will feature five hours of daily live stream coverage

Major League Fishing (MLF) today announced its five-person MLF NOW! talent lineup that will be calling the action during the program's five hours of live-streaming broadcast on each competition day of the new MLF Bass Pro Tour that kicks off Jan. 29 in Kissimmee, Fla.
Cast of MLF Live (left to right): Rob Newell, JT Kenney, Marty Stone, Natalie Dillon and Chad McKee

For the play-by-play coverage, MLF veteran announcer Marty Stone will team with former pro angler JT Kenney, outdoors communicator Rob Newell, college sports announcer Chad McKee and social media personality Natalie Dillon.
"I really like the dynamics of this group we've assembled," said Randy White, MLF vice president for broadcast production. "We wanted people who had different strengths and perspectives, and to that effect we have a great mix of personalities and knowledge with Marty, JT, Rob, Chad and Natalie. With each of them having their own style, it will no doubt add to the entire on-the-water viewing experience for our livestream audience."
Stone is a color analyst for General Tire Major League Fishing Cup events that air on the Outdoor Channel and CBS Sports, and has been since the television show's debut in 2011. During his previous pro angling career, he garnered two wins among 20 Top 10s in B.A.S.S. and FLW events.
Kenney is a former MLF Select pro who earned 45 Top 10 finishes and more than $1.5 million throughout a 17-year career along the FLW tournament trail. He elected to join the MLF NOW! team instead of competing in the Bass Pro Tour series.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Ray Hanselman Wins 2019 Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division Lake Amistad with 38lbs!

Managing fish is a common tournament tactic in which anglers restrain their effort for the purpose of conserving a spot’s potential for subsequent days. For Ray Hanselman, tossing that notion out the window positioned him for a dominant performance culminating in a winning total of 38 pounds at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Amistad.
Hanselman swept the Southwest Division (then called Texas Division) in 2015, including an opening win on Lake Amistad, and won that year's Costa FLW Series Championship for four wins in a row. He now has five Costa FLW Series wins, tying him for the most all time with Randy Haynes, Koby Kreiger and Bryan Schmitt. 
This week the Del Rio, Texas, pro roared into the lead in the first round on Friday with 25-15 – the event’s only bag of more than 20 pounds. Normally, he would have eased off the throttle after sacking up a strong morning limit the first day, but the tournament’s scheduled start on Thursday was postponed by severe weather. With the tournament shortened to two days, Hanselman shifted his strategy and leaned on ’em Friday.
“When a tournament is shortened by a bad weather day, you kinda have to swing for it,” he says. “You want to have three days of fish, and I did. That spot was three days worth of fish, but yesterday I caught three days’ worth in one day.
“I had a little company, but also you can’t be too conservative on a two-day tournament. I tried to get all I could out of that spot, knowing that I had other areas.”
Carrying a 9-pound, 7-ounce lead into the final day, Hanselman added another limit for 12-1 today and ended with a winning margin of the same amount. Hanselman’s Friday catch weighed as much as second-place pro Tyson Patrick’s two-day total.
Both days, Hanselman caught his fish amid the grass lining a prominent spawning bay. Working within the 15- to 25-foot range, he targeted particular sections of grass.
“It’s a big basin with one subtle ditch that runs through it,” Hanselman says. “Back in the summer, it had a wall of grass, and it set up for this type of fishing a lot quicker than other places because the grass had already fallen down and there were a few isolated high spots in the grass. That’s where the fish were congregated.”
Contrasting yesterday’s fast-and-furious action, today’s post-frontal conditions had the fish pinned to the bottom and profoundly sluggish for most of the day. The key comparison: Hanselman had about 20 pounds by 8:30 Friday morning, but today found him with only a small limit of about 8 or 9 pounds by 10 a.m.
After catching his first day’s limit on a Strike King 5XD, Hanselman alternated between that crankbait and a suspending jerkbait (both in shad colors) for most of the second morning. The latter required a patient presentation.
“I’d pause it five to 10 seconds and just watched the bow in my line straighten out,” Hanselman says.
When it became clear that the bite was tough, Hanselman switched to a drop-shot with a Strike King KVD Dream Shot in the KVD magic color. He used a 3/8-ounce weight and a 12- to 18-inch leader.
“Two days after the front, with the higher pressure, they were really holding tight to the bottom,” he says. “They weren’t coming off to hit a moving bait as well, so I had to adapt to that. I almost left, but I picked up that drop-shot and started catching them.
“The weather changed midday, and a southeast wind picked up. That seemed to trigger them.”


1. Ray Hanselman – Del Rio, Texas – 38-0 (10) – $36,751
2. Tyson Patrick – McCamey, Texas – 25-15 (9) – $14,263
3. Jeff Kriet – Ardmore, Okla. – 25-4 (10) – $10,965

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019 Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division Lake Amistad Day 2: Hanselman Take Big Lead!

Texas wizard grabs 10 pound lead.
(Photo: FLW)
Suffice it to say that Ray Hanselman’s plan definitely came together – just a little earlier than he anticipated. The Del Rio, Texas, pro’s not griping, of course, as his limit catch of 25 pounds, 15 ounces leads by a wide margin at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Ranger on Lake Amistad.
Working the perimeter of a spawning bay, Hanselman looked for scattered grass in 15 to 25 feet. He targeted bass that were transitioning from winter patterns to prespawn staging spots.
Hanselman, who swept the division in 2015 in one of the most remarkable seasons of bass fishing ever, says he carried moderately optimistic expectations into his home lake this week and ended up pleasantly surprised to be carrying a lead of 9-7 into tomorrow’s final round. (After Thursday’s scheduled start was postponed due to severe weather, the event was shortened to two days of competition.)
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to catch a bag like that on your home lake,” Hanselman says. “I was thinking I’d get lucky and catch 15 pounds of fish. In practice I found schools of fish, but this cold weather must have really bunched them up, so I was fishing the way I like to.”
Hanselman found his fish on three particular clumps of grass.
“It’s just little patches of it. That’s the way you want it because that congregates them on [a few] good patches. This place was set up good with grass that was growing a foot or two off the bottom.

2019 Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division Lake Amistad Day 1 Cancelled!

High winds and dangerous boating conditions cancel first event of the year.
More Amistad coverage coming as the tournament starts today. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

JL Marine Systems appoints Canadian distributor

Power Pole's New Canadian Partner
Originally posted in Angling International
JL Marine Systems, inventor of the Power-Pole shallow water anchoring system, has made Land ‘N’ Sea Distributing its exclusive sales partner in Canada.
Land ‘N’ Sea Distributing, which is owned by Brunswick Corp., has more than 2,500 marine dealers, retailers, service centres and speciality shops across the country.
The deal is the latest step in Power-Pole’s expansion into markets outside the US, said Robert Shamblin, Vice President of JL Marine Systems Inc., headquartered in Tampa, Florida. “Land ‘N’ Sea’s commitment to customer centricity and its desire to get people on the water aligns with our own values and mission,” he added.
Tom Wurster, National Sales Manager of Land ‘N’ Sea Distributing, said the partnership is a response to strong demand from customers for the Power-Pole product line.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019