Friday, March 27, 2020

Score on Clear Water Bass with Chris Zaldain

Clear lakes can be a challenge. The clearer the water conditions, the less traditional presentations are effective. This just makes anglers frustrated. Listen to BASS Elite angler Chris Zaldain as he explains some great tips on fishing clear water lakes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Proposed New Bass Fishing Seasons for Lake Ontario

We need your input. Smallmouth bass spawning at risk in Lake Ontario. The cold Great Lakes postpone the spawn for big water smallmouth in  Ontario's FMZ 20. Two proposes exist. 

First: delaying the smallmouth bass season until July 1st. 
Second: a version of a pre-spawn bass season from January 1 to May 10th

PUBLIC FEEDBACK: email:  (Due date March 30, 2020)

Here is the issues and science

Fisheries Management Concern
The Ministry is concerned about the future of the Smallmouth Bass (SMB) bass fishery in FMZ20. Recent science indicates the current open season date (3rd Saturday in June) provides little protection to spawning fish which could result in a long-term population decline and reduced social and economic benefits. The current open season date for Largemouth Bass (LMB) provides sufficient protection.

Fishing Seasons – Bass Management
Typically, bass angling season is closed during spawning time to improve reproductive success. Bass are especially vulnerable during spawning because they guard their nest against predators and can be easily caught by anglers. Nest predation by Round Gobies and other species following the removal of the parent, even for short periods of time, has been well documented.

Bass Spawning Time in Lake Ontario
In southern Ontario, the timing and duration of bass spawning is closely related to water temperature and generally occurs from mid-May to mid-July. In Lake Ontario, LMB and SMB are typically found in different habitats which warm up at different rates in the spring. SMB that occupy deeper cold water habitats in the main Lake and in the St. Lawrence River have been observed spawning
much later than LMB in the warmer near shore areas.

New Science - FMZ20 Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass spawning
Queens University researchers, led by Dr. Bruce Tufts1, conducted a three year study from 2014-2017 to evaluate the amount of protection provided by the current closed season for bass angling. The study examined the timing of spawning and development from egg to the swim-up fry stage (free swimming juvenile fish) for both LMB and SMB in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Reaching the swim –up fry stage (free swimming juvenile fish) is considered a nest protection threshold. Once “swim-up” is attained the nest is considered to be successful.
The researchers conclude that there are important differences in the timing of spawning between the two species in Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River and that the current dates for the open season provide minimal protection to Smallmouth Bass.

Proposed Early Season Angling Options
1. Early season angling for LMB and SMB (January 1 to
May 10) with catch and release (no harvest).
2. Early season for LMB and SMB (January 1 to May 10)
with reduced daily catch limit - Sport (2) Conservation
(1) - exception: no early season harvest (catch and
release only) in small waterbodies in FMZ20 such as:
Roblin Lake, Fish Lake, Lake Consecon, East and West
Lake, Lake on the Mountain Wellers Bay, Pleasant Bay,
Hamilton Harbour
3. Maintain status quo – no early season

In both early season options (1 & 2) the season is closed between May 10 and the proposed opening date. (No bass angling would be allowed when the majority of bass are staging and spawning.)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Abram Wins 2020 FLW Pro Circuit Lake Martin with 52-09 lbs!

Docks and finesse key for top anglers
By Sean Ostruszka

The docks in the back of coves key to first win for Abram.
(Photo: FLW)
One big bite – that’s all that separated the entire top 10 going into the final day on Lake Martin. Whoever got it was probably going to win.
Turns out, one big bite is all Jason Abram got in five hours of fishing his main pattern today, but that one big bite anchored a bag just big enough to earn his first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event.
“This is a childhood dream,” says Abram, who weighed in 11 pounds, 3 ounces today to get to 52-9 total for the event. “I can’t even tell you … It just feels so great; so great!”
Of course, Abram wasn’t feeling so great prior to the final read out.
As mentioned, Abram had spent five hours fishing his main pattern with just one bite to show for it, and that bite came at around 10:30 a.m. From then on, it was hours of “mentally exhausting” fishing and wondering if he’d left the door open for someone to catch him.
Yet, the reason he kept fishing his pattern was the same reason he’d be fishing it all week – it didn’t get many bites, but it got the right bites. In this case, a 4-pounder that couldn’t resist his merthiolate Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm walked under docks – but not just any docks.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

2020 FLW Pro Circuit Lake Martin Day 3: Jason Abram Continue Lead with 41-06 lbs!

Shallow largemouth key for top anglers 
By Sean Ostruszka

Shallow bite and skinny dipper key to larger bites for Abram
(Photo: FLW)
About 2 1/2 pounds separate Kerry Milner in 10th place and Ron Nelson in second. That’s the same amount separating tournament leader Jason Abram from Nelson going into the final day.
In what has been a remarkably tight Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin, Abram did something very important today: Despite losing a 5-pounder and a 3-pounder, he still found a way to separate himself from the pack. His 12-6 limit was the third largest of the day, and it pushed him to 41-6 total.
As was showcased on day one, Lake Martin does have some kickers swimming around in it, and just one from any pro in the top 10 tomorrow could make a close tournament all that much closer. In talking with many of the guys chasing Abram, it sounds like they’ll be swinging for kickers tomorrow to try and catch him.
That makes the 5-pounder Abram lost today (and the 5-pounder he lost yesterday) all that much more important, especially since his pattern seems to be dying both because of a lack of sun and falling water.
“It [the falling water] definitely has been a problem for me,” says Abram. “The fish I’ve been catching have been dirt shallow; like in 10 inches of water.”
Despite the deteriorating conditions, he’s still getting the right bites. 
Just as he did the previous two days, Abram started out burning the bank in the mid-lake region in search of a quick limit of spotted bass.
“They’re just random banks I’m paralleling with a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper,” says Abram. “I think the spots [spotted bass] are just pushing bait up against the bank, because I’ll go a while and then catch three or four quick. It’s like a pod swam up and I’ll catch them.”
That gave him a “confidence-booster” limit by 9 a.m. today, and once the sun peeked out just a bit around 10:30, he immediately switched to his largemouth pattern, with instant results.
“The first bite I got was that big one I lost,” says Abram. “Then I caught two more after that within 30 minutes.”

Friday, March 20, 2020

2020 FLW Pro Circuit Lake Martin Day 2: Jason Abram Leads with 29lbs!

Canadians Sim 56th & Lucak 119th
By Sean Ostruszka

Largemouth key to Abram's control of the lead.
(Photo: FLW)
He figured out half the puzzle yesterday and the other half today to get him in the lead. Too bad Jason Abram thinks the entire puzzle may fall apart tomorrow.
While most pros at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin are either in the sight-fishing or offshore camps, the Piney Flats, Tenn., pro has been running and gunning a pattern all to himself. He only figured out part of the pattern yesterday. Hence his 11-6 bag. When he put it all together today, the result was the biggest bag of the tournament – 17-10 – and the lead with 29-0.
“I had everything I weighed in by 11:30 today,” says Abram. “I only fished the pattern for a few hours, and then I stopped and just went looking for more of it the rest of the day.”
No surprise, Abram is quite tight-lipped on the exact pattern, as it’s quite specific. He did say that in order to execute it, he has to run and gun a lot, figuring he hit in excess of 40 spots today. 
“I don’t know how much gas I used today, but it was a bunch,” he jokes.
Now, the hard part is, in a lake where bites have been plentiful, his pattern has been anything but. Today, Abram only got seven bites on his pattern (though he did catch a quick limit of spotted bass first thing). It’s just that when he gets bit, it’s the right-sized largemouth. Abram had a 5-4 kicker and actually lost another around that size that could’ve helped him crack 20 pounds. Once he lost that last big one, it forced him to make a tough decision.
You see, the other key part of Abram’s pattern is it needs the sun to position the fish, and with clouds in the forecast for tomorrow, Abram is openly worried about whether his pattern might disappear. Thus, he had to weigh the pros and cons of leaning into his fish today to try and go for a mega bag or lay off and hope he can still catch them tomorrow.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Ott DeFoe Wins Lake Fork/Lake Athens MFL Event with 57-4lbs!

Last Period Charge Secures Win
By Tyler Binks
MLF Press Release
After five days watching the field battle with big bass at the General Tire Stage Three Presented by TrueTimber on Lake Fork, the Championship Round moved to Lake Athens.
Athens set up much differently than Fork and was a complete unknown to nearly every angler in the field. And while very little was known about this 1,799-acre lake located an hour south of Lake Fork, the day developed into one of the closest races seen in the final round of a Bass Pro Tour event.
That was until Ott DeFoe caught fire and turned a close tournament into an all-out blowout. His ascension to the top was quick and unrelenting.
With just over an hour to go, DeFoe found himself in fifth place with less than 20 pounds for the day, trailing then-leader Mark Daniels, Jr. by over 15 pounds. That’s when he turned things on and left the field in the dust.
In the end, he won by over 28 pounds.

DeFoe Rallies to a Landslide Win

DeFoe did most of his damage a short idle from takeoff, fishing near a bridge. He put on a clinic in the final 75 minutes of the day with a flotilla of bass boats, kayaks and pontoon boats getting a front-row seat to watch one of the best anglers in the world dominate the competition.
DeFoe’s fishing spot was so close to the ramp that he was easily the first angler back; when he put his boat on the trailer a few short minutes after lines-out, he was still trying to process what just happened.
This was surely what the other nine anglers were feeling.
DeFoe finished the day with 23 bass for 69 pounds, 12 ounces.
“That last hour was one of the more special hours that I have ever had in all of my time bass fishing,” DeFoe said.
He discovered his honey hole by watching his electronics, specifically side imaging.

2020 FLW Pro Circuit Lake Martin Day 1: Barron Adam Scores 17-2lbs for Lead!

Canadians Sim 71th & Lucak 126th
By Sean Ostruszka

Big bass and overall lead, Adam finds a great way to start a tournament.
(Photo: FLW)
A 4-pound kicker on Lake Martin is like an 8-pounder in Florida. And if that’s the case, Barron Adams’ kicker was like weighing in a marlin.
Tipping the scales at 8-13, Adams’ kicker blew away the Berkley Big Bass award on day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event and weighed more than nearly a third of the field’s limits by itself. Needless to say, the Georgia rookie had THE fish to anchor what was the day’s heaviest bag at 17-2.
The scary part is, he could’ve had a megabag over 25 pounds if everything went right.
“I had [the kicker] by 7:30 a.m. this morning,” says Adams. “After that I went trying to catch a megasack with some other ones I had marked on beds, but it just didn’t happen.”
Pros were already having to adapt on the fly for this event with the actual start being moved up a day and not having Marshals, all as precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19. With no day off between practice and the start of the event, many pros hoped their banner practices would extend into today. Yet, for many, falling water levels had the bite a bit off.
Of course, the lack of an off day certainly helped Adams. He found the big girl locked on a bed yesterday evening, and when he found out he was boat No. 4 today, he knew exactly where he was going.
“I actually pulled in and couldn’t see her,” says Adams. “It was too dark, so I went to the back of the pocket and came back out, and there was just enough light for me to see she was still there. Within 5 minutes I was screaming and hollering.”
Adams originally had a pattern from practice he planned on utilizing today, but once that kicker hit his livewell, he opted to scrap it and try to see if he could go for two other big ones he had marked on beds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

2020 FLW Tour Lake Martin Starts Today Till Saturday

The Lake Martin event starts today, a day earlier than normal events. The Top 30 anglers fish Friday and Top 10 on Saturday. 
Link  here for coverage

FLW Postpones Events Until April 5!

The following letter was recently shared with FLW members regarding upcoming FLW tournaments and efforts being made to help combat the spread of COVID-19. It is being shared here with the public. 
As an open-air sport that disperses competitors on thousands of acres of water, tournament fishing allows for social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Pretournament meetings can be modified, check-in times can be staggered, and additional precautions can be taken during weigh-ins to maintain social distancing guidelines. 
Out of an abundance of caution and the uncertainty of venue availability amid rapidly evolving restrictions, however, FLW will reschedule all tournaments through April 5, except for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama, for which practice has already begun and extra precautions have been instituted. 
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit tournament originally scheduled for April 2-5 on Cherokee Lake will be held June 11-14 on Cherokee. 
In addition to tournaments through April 5, the May 7-9 Toyota Series tournament on Neely Henry Lake will also be rescheduled to allow for cohesive scheduling in the circuit’s Southeastern Division given the need to reschedule the division’s March 26-28 tournament on Wheeler Lake. 
Rescheduled dates for all affected tournaments during this period will be announced as soon as possible. These tournaments include:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Elite Series event at Chickamauga postponed amid COVID-19 concerns

Due to public health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), B.A.S.S. officials announced today they will postpone the Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake originally scheduled to be held on the Dayton, Tenn., fishery March 19-22. 
“Any time we are forced to postpone a tournament it is disappointing to our anglers, fans, sponsors and staff,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “The anglers want to fish this incredible lake, where we have enjoyed amazing fan support over the years. After careful discussions though, it was apparent that the best decision was to postpone the tournament and festivities.”
The decision comes after the number of Tennesseans infected with the coronavirus doubled to 18, and Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency on Thursday. The CDC has also recommended that those at higher risk for contracting the disease or those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should avoid crowds and events to help prevent the spread of the virus. This has prompted other outdoor sports, including NASCAR, MLB and the PGA, to postpone or cancel events.
B.A.S.S. is monitoring the situation with local public officials and following precautions and advice outlined by the CDC and World Health Organization as they evaluate upcoming events. A new tournament date will be announced in the future.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Toronto Sportsmen’s Show CANCELLED

March 13, 2020
In light of the direction announced late Thursday afternoon by the Ontario Chief Medical Officer, as well as the recommended direction of Peel Public Health, we have made the decision to not move forward with the 2020 Toronto Sportsmen’s Show.
In the 73 year history the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show this is the first time we have not held the show, but we feel it is paramount to be in compliance with the Region of Peel’s direction to help reduce the risk regarding the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
As exhibitors we know you have many questions and we ask for your patience while we work through this unprecedented situation. Please rest assured we will work as quickly as possible to assess the outcomes with our partners and suppliers and will honour our commitments to you in the fairest manner possible.
Jennifer Allaby
Vice President
30 Village Centre Pl.
Mississauga, ON L4Z 1V9

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Old Town Sportsman: Meet the AutoPilot 120 + 136

The Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot™ is a high-end, high-tech fishing machine that leverages Minn Kota's Spot-Lock technology enables fishermen to motor to their fishing spot faster and effortlessly keeps them there. Anglers can command the kayak with the touch of their thumb using the i-Pilot remote. The patent pending AutoPilot™ revolutionizes kayak fishing, delivering the most advanced fishing platform on the market. The Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot™ is part of our all-new Old Town Sportsman line. From the casual fisherman to the avid tournament angler, this line features boats for every type of sportsman. Learn more at

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Hank Cherry Wins 2020 Bassmaster Classic with 65-05lbs

Wire to wire win for Cherry 
By Bryan Brasher

Jerkbait and riprap pattern works from start to end of Cherry.
(Photo: BASS)
Across the country, there are thousands of ultra-talented bass anglers who would have loved to compete in this week’s 50th Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
Only 53 got the opportunity — and from start to finish, there was no doubt which one of them owned the event.
Hank Cherry, a 46-year-old pro from Lincolnton, N.C., and an eight-year veteran of the Bassmaster Elite Series, caught five bass on Championship Sunday that weighed 19 pounds, 8 ounces. It gave him a three-day total of 65-5 and put the exclamation point on a dominant wire-to-wire victory that netted him a $307,500 first-place prize. 
The competition was held at historic Lake Guntersville, but Cherry’s raw emotion shined through most back at the final weigh-in, which was held at Legacy Arena inside the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
“I talked to (fellow competitor) Paul Mueller in the boatyard, and he told me the devil was gonna try to get in my head today,” Cherry said. “He said just tell the devil to get out of your boat. He said tell him you don’t have time for him.
“That’s what I did. I caught my first fish and then I lost a big one. I could hear those voices in my head, but I didn’t listen to them. I just went and caught four more.”
This was the fifth Classic appearance for Cherry, and he had come close to hoisting the trophy once before — back in 2013 on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake, when he came in third after losing a key fish on jerkbait.
That same lure was one of his weapons of choice this week during three days of fishing that saw him catch 29-3, 16-10 and 19-8.
He did most of his damage during Friday’s first round with a Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait. The bait allowed him to cut through a strong wind on his way to a tournament-best bag that featured a pair of 7-2 largemouth.
On Days 2 and 3, he relied mostly on his own Hank Cherry Signature Series Jig from Picasso in green pumpkin with a matching Berkley MaxScent Chunk trailer and the jerkbait — a Megabass 110+1 in the French pearl OB color. He replaced the factory hooks on the jerkbait with Berkley Fusion EWG No. 5s.

Cherry Wins 2020 Bassmaster Classic!

Hank Cherry wins the 2020 Classic. He led it wire to wire.
Learn how he did it coming up soon. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

2020 Bassmaster Classic Lake Guntersville Day 2: Hank Cherry Continues to Lead with 45-13lbs!

Canadians Gustafson 31st, Chris Johnston 34th & Cory Johnston 47th
By Bryan Brasher

Jerkbait and crankbait key to Cherry's lead.
If Hank Cherry’s arm is bothering him, it certainly doesn’t show.

The North Carolina veteran pro, who fell and injured his arm in his boat Friday, played through the pain Saturday to catch five bass that weighed 16 pounds, 10 ounces. Added to the 29-3 he caught Friday, it gives him a two-day total of 45-13 that leads the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
Competition is taking place at Lake Guntersville, and weigh-ins are being held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Cherry’s solid Saturday catch gave him a lead of 4-13 going into Championship Sunday with a $300,000 first-place prize on the line.
“I’m gonna do what I’ve got to do to get this done,” Cherry said. “New fish are still moving into my area. I’ve just got to relax — and if it’s my time, it’s my time.”
Cherry fished the same three baits Saturday that he used to catch his massive bag Friday — a bladed jig, a jerkbait and his own Hank Cherry Signature Series Jig from Picasso. He’s fishing one small area with a causeway and a flat, and he’s done so little running that he hasn’t even had to buy gas for his boat this week.
Now, it’s just a matter of settling down and finishing the job.
“My last thoughts before I go to bed tonight will just be to thank the good Lord for putting me in this position,” said Cherry, who finished third in the 2013 Classic at Grand Lake in Oklahoma. “Then I’ll just get up in the morning ready to go.
“I have to stay relaxed. I have to get that first one in the boat. The first one’s always the roughest one. After that, they start coming.”
The angler closest to Cherry going into the final day is Fayetteville, Tenn., pro Brandon Lester, who caught 20-1 Saturday and jumped from fourth place into second with a two-day mark of 41-0.
Lester started his day with a lipless crankbait and caught a limit early. But since he didn’t have the quality of fish he knew he’d need to win, he made a drastic change.

Friday, March 6, 2020

2020 Bassmaster Classic Lake Guntersville Day 1: Hank Cherry Grabs Lead with 29lbs!

Canadians Gustafson 12th, Chris Johnston 38th & Cory Johnston 45th
By Bryan Brasher

Hank Cherry scored 29-03lbs and 8 pound lead.
Rock and wind helped steer himself into glory.
(Photo: BASS)
Halfway through Day 1 of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, North Carolina pro Hank Cherry fell and injured his right arm.
For a moment, he thought it might even be broken.
But Cherry powered through the pain — and with only one good arm, he caught five bass that weighed 29 pounds, 3 ounces to take the lead at the 50th edition of the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing. Competition is taking place on Lake Guntersville with weigh-ins at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
Cherry said his injury, which occurred as he was reaching down to grab a fish, would likely require a visit to a local doctor — but it wouldn’t keep him from fishing Saturday morning.
“I didn’t expect to catch them like this at all,” Cherry said. “What I caught my fish on was actually plan B. But it’s plan A now, for sure.”

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Covid -19 Fears Sees Shimano Pull Out of 2020 Bassmaster Classic

Shimano not on display at the 2020 Bassmaster Classic. As per a Facebook post, they state: 

Due to growing concerns regarding the recent Coronavirus outbreak, Shimano has made the difficult decision not attend this year's Classic for the safety and health of our employees who would be attending the expo.
With that being said, Shimano will still be posting regular updates and keeping everyone in the loop with everything Shimano!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Pure Fishing Bolstering Pro-Staff Team for 2020!

Pure Fishing has had a rocky couple of years. Change in ownership, an open call for prospective buyers and a massive reorganization saw many legends in the sport be cut. This year sees a large push towards rebuilding their pro-staff roster.

Abu Garica
Bassmaster Elite Series
Clent Davis — Montevallo, Alabama
Destin DeMarion — Grove City, Pennsylvania
Kelley Jaye — Dadeville, Alabama
Luke Palmer — Coalgate, Oklahoma
Jake Whitaker — Fairview, North Carolina
Jason Williamson — Wagener, South Carolina
FLW Pro Circuit
Blake Smith — Lakeland, Florida
Joseph Webster — Winfield, Alabama
Bassmaster Elite Series
Destin DeMarion — Grove City, Pennsylvania
Soft baits and hard baits
Kelley Jaye — Dadeville, Alabama
Soft baits, hard baits, line and hooks
FLW Pro Circuit
Blake Smith — Lakeland, Florida
Hard baits, line and hooks
Joseph Webster — Winfield, Alabama
Soft baits, hard baits, line and hooks