Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2020 NOCO Bassmaster Elite on Lakes Guntersville Day 1: Welcher Leads with 19-05Lbs!

Cory Johnston 20th, Gustafson 25tt & Chris Johnston 37th


Alabama rookie leads despite bass in transition.
(Photo: BASS)

Alabama pro Kyle Welcher takes the early lead at the NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville with a limit weighing 19-5.  

Kyle Welcher is technically an “in-state angler” during this week’s 2020 NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville.

But since the rookie from Opelika, Ala., lives four hours away from the famed Tennessee River fishery, he had very little experience on Lake Guntersville before the official practice period began Sunday — and he thinks that might have been a good thing.

With no preconceived notions, Welcher took a fresh approach to the 69,000-acre lake and put together a five-bass limit that weighed 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take the opening-round lead.

“I’ve fished here almost none, and the times I had been here I was fishing from the back of the boat,” Welcher said. “It’s probably good I’m not from here, because if I had all the history of catching 25 pounds a day on roadbeds down south, I would have probably been doing that.”

Welcher’s experience lies mostly on Chattahoochee River fisheries like West Point Lake, Lake Eufaula and Bartlett’s Ferry. But for what he did Wednesday, he said a river is river, no matter the location.

He didn’t give specific details of the pattern he’s fishing. But he said it’s basically the same one that worked for him earlier this year on Florida’s St. Johns River — and one that will work most places across the country when conditions are right.

“I’m really just running a certain unique deal that the river does,” he said. “So, every time I see it on the map, I’ll just stop and fish whatever cover is there — whether it’s a dock or grass or whatever.”

3 Simple Ultrex™ Maintenance Tips

Three very simple tips for seasonal maintenance of your Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor. These quick care procedures can be done periodically throughout the season and will help keep your Ultrex running like new.

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Patrick Walters Wins 2020 Bassmaster Eastern Open on Lake Hartwell with 44-05lbs!

Forward facing sonar major player for schoolers

By David A. Brown


Walters punches ticket to 2021 Classic
(Photo: BASS) 

Making a key bait adjustment, Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., sacked up a Championship Friday limit of 13 pounds, 11 ounces and won the Bassmaster Eastern Open at Lake Hartwell with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 5 ounces.

In keeping with Hartwell tradition, the Bassmaster Elite Series pro spent a lot of time with a Zoom Super Fluke on Days 1 and 2. However, during Friday’s competition, he switched to a Fluke Stick — a 6 1/4-inch stickworm with a deeply forked tail like the Super Fluke.

“I had been throwing the Super Fluke in white pearl on 14-pound line on a baitcaster, but when I switched over to the Fluke Stick in natural shad on a spinning rod, it was lights-out after that,” Walters said. “A little bit of bait profile change showed out this week. It was like they had never seen it.

“No one else is throwing this bait; everyone else is throwing a Fluke. They’ve been throwing a Fluke on this lake for eight years, so the fish have seen it before and they know it’s the same action. The Fluke Stick is something that gets them fired up."

Walters, who weighed 14-15 and 15-11 the first two days, said a blistering retrieve proved most effective. Hartwell is full of blueback herring, a fast-paced species of baitfish that typically roams open waters. Mimicking the herring’s frantic appearance was the key to tempting bites.

Also important was a highly mobile game plan. Walters spent most of his time on the lake’s lower end because he felt that region held bigger spotted bass and largemouth. Although the latter eluded him Friday, Walters weighed a big largemouth the first two days, including a 4-6 on Day 1.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Daiwa Unveils New and Improved Tatula CT Baitcaster

Daiwa has just launched another Tatula reel that promises anglers a wealth of performance and value. The reel was specifically designed and manufactured to bring anglers looking for an entry level baitcaster an entirely new standard of performance and aesthetics. Perfect for everything from plastics to cranks to Chatterbaits and more, the TATULA CT (Compact) brings versatility to anglers of all walks. Extremely palmable and a mere 7.2 ounces, the reel feels great in the hand and your choice of favorite rods.

Like the other higher priced reels in the Tatula family, what really makes The Daiwa TATULA CT so special is the inclusion of the T-Wing System level-wind. When you take the reel out of gear it allows for less resistance on the line, allowing the line to cast further. Daiwa’s spool lets anglers finely tune the spool tension while the T-Wing System level-wind opens up line feed, working together to cast longer, more accurately, and provide stress-free control when chunking into the wind, skipping baits or casting light lures. The T-Wing System is also very efficient at reducing backlashes. It does this by reducing the angle of the line coming off the spool and spool speed, providing efficient operation unlike anything on the market in this reel class. 

TATULA CT Features:

  • Aluminum Frame for strength, rigidity and smooth performance
  • T-Wing System (TWS)
  • Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD)
  • 90mm Heavy Swept Handle
  • Gray and anodized dark blue look with Daiwa Tatula Spider Logo
  • Available Gear Ratios (6.3:1) (7.1:1) (8.1:1)

MSRP $129.99 USD

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Heavy Neko Rig: The Easiest Way to Fish Matted Grass

Fishing matted grass needs the correct tackle. But, what happens when you're not comfortable using a magnum bullet weight and punching rig? Look no further than a heavy spinning rod and reel spooled with braided line and a beefed up neko rig.

Check out this video and learn how to break through the heavy cover without using the big rod. Neko rigged senko style worm with braid is a great solution if you know how to rig up for monster bass. MOBILE LINK:
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Monday, September 21, 2020

Scott Dobson Wins 2020 Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River with 59-03lbs!

Power fishing key for repeat win

Swimbait, Alabama Rig and Jerkbaits sacked the
smallmouth for Dobson. (Photo: FLW)

By Jody White


Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.  

With the whole field pinned in the Detroit River on days one and two and everything open on the final day, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the winner would do quite a few things. Leveraging his experience on the fishery and smallmouth savvy, Dobson caught fish on more than a half dozen baits and weighed fish from the mouth of the Detroit River near Erie to the mouth of the St. Clair River in St. Clair.

“I appreciate them making the call to keep us all in the river day one and two, I don’t think I’ve ever fished 16 hours in the Detroit River in two tournament days,” says Dobson. “I practiced like five days for this tournament, I spent two days up on St. Clair, and two and a half down here in the river. I grew up here in Trenton, I see a lot of Trenton people here, it’s awesome to win a big tournament out of Trenton.”

Dobson’s baits this week ran the gamut, but aside from a few fish caught on dragging baits, his main players were moving baits. His umbrella rig of choice was a Shane’s Baits Mini Blades of Glory with Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbaits. For his spinnerbait, he used a ¾-ounce War Eagle Spinnerbait with gold and silver willow blades and a trailer hook. On the jerkbait side of things, Dobson wielded a Megabass Vision 110+1, a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 and a Duo Realis Jerkbait 100DR.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

New Winch Rods from Abu Garcia Designed for Crankbaits

Crankbait anglers looking to up their game won't want to miss the new Abu Garcia® Winch series of rods hitting tackle shops this fall. Specifically designed for anglers using crankbait techniques, these rods are offered in seven casting and one spinning variation for optimum performance with everything from jerkbaits to deep diving cranks. Featuring cork and high-density EVA grips and ergonomic Fuji® reel seats, the Winch series is built with a custom composite construction for a more moderate action.

Hank Cherry, winner of the 2020 Bassmaster Classic, relies on the new Winch crankbait rods to help him increase his hookup ratios when the crankbait bites aren’t aggressive. “The rods are sensitive enough to allow me to react quickly upon biting,” Cherry said. “Every bite counts; one missed fish can be the difference between winning and missing the cut completely. With these rods I know I have everything I need to fish to win.”
Said Abu Garcia Marketing Director Andrew Wheeler: “Due to the exacting nature of fishing crankbaits, where testing and tuning are mandatory for anglers to get the most out of their presentations, we saw a need for a technique-specific rod series. The sizes and actions of these rods make it easy for anglers to pair their rod to specific crankbaits, all the while benefitting from best-in-class ergonomics, performance and sensitivity.”

All winch series rods are built with a custom composite-construction for a more moderate action, making them perfect for fishing crankbaits. Rods also feature cork and high-density EVA grips, an ergonomic Fuji® reel seat, and stainless-steel guides with Zirconium inserts. Winch rods have an MSRP of $149.95.
For more information visit

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

James Maupin Wins 2020 FLW Toyota Series Eastern Division on the Potomac with 40-11lbs.

Maupin makes it happen despite tough fishing

By Kyle Wood


Spinnerbait and swimjig key to win.
(Photo: FLW) 

The dock talk all week at the Potomac River for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again today as the wind help stall the tide making things tough for most of the top 10. James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from second to first with 40 pounds, 11 ounces overall. For the win, Maupin earns his first FLW trophy and over $24,000. 

Maupin was ecstatic just to make a top 10 in a field with Potomac hammers like this event featured, but to win was even more special.

“This means a lot,” Maupin says. “This makes all the hard work worth it to know I can compete with these guys.”

It’s no joke when Maupin talks about the hard work he puts into fishing a whole, but especially for this tournament.

“I got a top 10 in the Northeast Division for the [Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine] a couple weeks ago,” Maupin says. “But other than that, I have been at the bottom of the pack on this river every other tournament. The last six months I’ve been putting a lot of time in here and it’s paying off.”

Maupin also gives the nod to his buddy, Derek Brown, for helping him figure out the Potomac puzzle.

“He’s a stick up here,” Maupin says of Brown. “He actually fishes as a co-angler, but he should be doing it as a boater. Me and him practice fished up here for months and caught fish all over the river, but we got on to where the bigger fish were. The bigger fish are definitely concentrated in certain areas.”

The two areas Maupin spent the majority of his time on this week were Greenway Flats and Mason Neck. Each area had a 200-yard stretch that he would work back and forth no matter the tide and each produced fish throughout the day.

“I’m not too familiar with tides, so I just put my head down and fished,” says the 42-year-old angler. “I just got on this bite Wednesday and it was just so consistent. The main thing that made it consistent was that it was cloudy. When that sun would peek out I couldn’t get a bite going, but I could throw that spinnerbait down those grass lines when it was cloudy and it was cloudy all three days.”

The bread and butter for Maupin was a 3/8-ounce Terminator spinnerbait with two gold willow blades. He had two identical spinnerbaits rigged on the deck, one on 15-pound-test fluorocarbon and the other on 20-pound-test to help the bait run lower or higher in the water. When the sun poked out, especially on day two, Maupin ran a V&M swim jig with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub as a trailer to get a few bites.

Maupin has been fishing since he was in diapers, so the win this week means everything to him. It means even more knowing his grandmother, Christine, was looking down on him today.

“She was wonderful, she was the fisherwoman of the family and taught me how to fish,” Maupin says. “She’d call big ones ‘Mary Alice,’ so all day long I was praying to granny saying, ‘c’mon granny, just give me two Mary Alice’s.' And nearly every time I’d say that prayer and go back down a stretch I’d catch a nice one. So I think granny was riding in the boat with me this week.”

As a brick mason by day, Maupin is more than happy to see fish pay the bills for a change. Though he may not be ready to dive into fishing full-time, he’s ready to keep competing at this level.

“If I could do this a lot more often I’d like to not lay bricks,” jokes Maupin. “But this seriously is one of the greatest moments of my life. It’s just amazing. The check that I got I’m going to use that to pay my house off, so it’s cool to say I did that with fishing. I’m not sure what I’m going to fish next year, but I definitely want to keep it going."


Top 10 pros

1. James Maupin ­– Stanardsville, Va. – 40-11 (15) – $24,293

2. Todd Walters – Kernersville, N.C. – 40-4 (15) – $9,413

3. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 38-4 (15) – $7,288

4. Wayne Vaughan – Chester, Va. – 37-14 (14) – $6,139

5. Michael Hall – Annandale, Va. – 32-9 (14) – $5,532

6. Kurt Mitchell – Milford, Del. – 31-7 (15) – $5,059

7. Danny Kirk – Bartow, Ga. – 30-15 (12) – $4,251

8. David Williams – Maiden, N.C. – 30-15 (14) – $3,644

9. Cody Pike – Powhatan, Va. – 27-12 (12) – $4,037

10. Joseph Thompson – Coatesville, Pa. – 26-8 (11) – $2,429

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Masayuki Matsushita Wins 2020 Bassmaster Central Open on Sam Rayburn with 60-14 lbs.

Matsushita punches 2021 Classic ticket

By David A. Brown


Monster first day key to Japanese angler's big win.
(Photo: BASS)

A stellar start positioned Masayuki Matsushita to overcome a Day 2 stumble and mount a final-round surge to win the Bassmaster Central Open on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a three-day total of 60 pounds, 14 ounces.

Hailing from Tokoname Aichi, Japan, Matsushita took the Day 1 lead with 27-10 — the event’s largest catch — but slipped to second after adding 15-5 on Friday. On Saturday, he rallied and added 17-15 to win by a margin of 1-9.

Speaking with the assistance of fellow angler Calvin Balch of Porter, Texas, Matsushita said he was fishing midlake, just south of the 147 Bridge. He targeted a mix of brushpiles and trees in 20 to 30 feet of water.

“I was fishing fast and (making a milk run) between my spots,” Matsushita said. “My Humminbird MEGA 360 was very important for finding my spots.”

Matsushita caught several of his fish on an 8-inch golden shiner-colored Deps Sakamata Shad Texas-rigged on a 7/0 Owner wide-gap hook. He also fished a Texas-rigged redbug Zoom Ol’ Monster worm.

His key bait Saturday was a Neko-rigged Zoom Magnum Trick Worm in the redbug and green pumpkin colors. This bait produced his biggest bite — an estimated 5-pounder — shortly after takeoff around 7:30 a.m.

“I was staying far away from my spots and made long casts,” Matsushita said.

Friday, September 11, 2020

2021 FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

Major League Fishing (MLF) and FLW announced today the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit schedule, kicking off February 11 at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida, and wrapping up August 1 at the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York.

The 26th season of FLW’s top professional circuit will feature six regular-season tournaments showcasing the best 150 anglers in the world competing for as much as $135,000 in a five-biggest-fish format on top bass fisheries at peak times. The 2020 season culminates in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota, where the top 50 pros will compete for as much as $235,000 in a catch, weigh, immediate-release format.


Payouts for 2021 remain the same as 2020 qualifying events and the 2020 TITLE, but entry fees for qualified pros have been reduced by $10,000 to $30,000 for the season.

  • Feb. 11-14 – Lake Okeechobee – Clewiston, Fla., hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council
  • March 11-14 – Smith Lake – Cullman, Ala., hosted by Cullman Area Local Organizing Committee
  • April 22-25 – Lake Murray – Columbia, S.C., hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board
  • May 13-16 – Lake Eufaula – Eufaula, Ala., hosted by Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce
  • June 17-20 – Potomac River – Marbury, Md., hosted by Charles County Board of Commissioners
  • July 29-Aug. 1 – St. Lawrence River – Massena, N.Y., hosted by the Town of Massena
  • Aug. 17-22 – Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota – TBA

“We are thrilled to offer our top pros an exciting 2021 schedule with the sport’s largest payouts for a new lower entry fee,” says Kathy Fennel, FLW Executive Vice President and General Manager. “With one less qualifier, pros will have less time on the road and the ability to fish a complimentary Toyota Series division to qualify for a second championship that pays as much as $235,000 to the winner.”

Thursday, September 10, 2020

5 Ways the Minn Kota One-Boat Network Helps You Work Smarter

The power and precision of Minn Kota, together with the intelligence of Humminbird is an unstoppable combination that delivers new levels of boat control. That’s why we created the 
One-Boat Network™ of products, to help any angler do more with their boat to put more fish on the line.

Whether you’re an elite pro winning the Bassmaster Classic or a weekend warrior on the hunt for big fish, the more your trolling motor and fish finder work together, the more successful you can be.
But how?

Link here to find out how

Monday, September 7, 2020

Frog frustrations! 4 strikes and you're OUT!

A little throw back to a cool place I visited in Quebec. Eastern Canadian Outfitters on Lac Mer Bleue has a back lake and the bass, yeah both smallmouth and largemouth, love the pads. The only problem was them eating a frog. Here's a short vid with 4 blow ups and 2 horrible hooksets.

Pay them a visit at:

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Why Coloured Braided Line Is A Must!

A lot of pro bass anglers love coloured braided line. Most weekend anglers don't feel comfortable using red, yellow or white lines as they worry it will cost them fish. Check out this video as we explain the benefits of using coloured braided line for everything from deep-water smallmouth to shallow, heavy cover largemouth.


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