Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Cold Weather Preventative Boat Maintenance

Learn how to prevent boat and motor problems during the fall and winter. Follow these tips will ensure your motor, pumps and fuel remains safe. This video will explain some preventative boat maintenance that will keep you on the water and your rig out of trouble.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Cord Bird Wins 2020 Bassmaster Central Open on Neely Henry Lake with 34-01lbs.

Bird Classic 2021 bound

By David A. Brown

BASS Press Release

Quick pace key to finding win.
(Photo: BASS) 

Focusing on current-related habitat enabled Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, to win the Bassmaster Central Open on Neely Henry Lake with a three-day total of 34 pounds, 1 ounce.

Bird placed third on Day 1 with a limit of 13-1 and moved into the Day 2 lead after adding 11-9. On Championship Saturday, he turned in a limit of 9-7 and earned the $35,000 top prize for his first B.A.S.S. win.

“I have two seconds, a third, a fourth, two fifths, a sixth and three sevenths — it feels good to finally win one,” Bird said. “I’m just not a closer. This time, when I got up there, I made up my mind that they were going to have to take it from me.

“It took me a while, but it was worth it. I earned this one, for sure.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Freedom Tackle Mischief Minnow Bladed Topwater Review!

The secret to the Mischief Minnow’s performance is the unique custom shaped patent-pending Kilter blade design which is center-mounted on the bait's body by an angled blade pin.

Working the bait is simple with a steady retrieve - relying on the custom blade design combined with the side-to-side body rolling action which mimics a wounded baitfish on the water’s surface. The Mischief Minnow’s unique thrashing action combines sound, wake vibration and Kilter blade flash – a true triple threat in topwater fishing. At rest, the high float body relies on a nose-up presentation that thrashes into action with the slightest twitch. Use a straight retrieve or mix it up with a pause-and-rip rod technique
Check us out at:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Lee Livesay Wins 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake with 58-02lbs!

Staying with ultra shallow froggin' key to fickle bite

By David A. Brown


Staying shallow and close pays off for Texan.
(Photo: BASS) 

Lee Livesay
 had options, but he committed to a singular game plan based on patience and execution to win the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake with a four-day total of 58 pounds, 2 ounces.

Livesay of Longview, Texas, turned in daily limits of 13-0, 13-3, 16-13 and 15-2. Notching his first career victory, the second-year Elite Series pro won the top prize of $100,000.

On Day 1, three of the fish that made up his 10th-place sack ate a football-head jig — one on a Hiwassee River bluff and two by the Highway 60 Bridge. He caught the other two by fishing a Scum Frog Launch Frog over main-lake grass mats, a technique that accounted for each of his bass the final three days.

“I stayed in between the Dayton Boat Dock and the Highway 60 Bridge the whole time (Days 2-4),” Livesay said. “It was so tough, you had to keep your bait in the water the whole time. That area is where I had the most bites.

“The farther south you went, the more fishing pressure you got; the farther upriver, the more pressure you got. I had a little zone where I was comfortable. Right where that river comes into the lake, that’s where you have the most nutrients, the most fish and you have current flow. That’s where I decided to set up.”

Livesay was particular about the types of mats he fished, with seclusion and current flow topping his criteria. Also, venturing far into the mats’ shallowest reaches allowed him to target bass that see little to no fishing pressure.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

2020 Bassmaster Elites on Chickamauga Lake Day 3: Livesay Leads with 43lbs

Canadians Gustafson 21st, Chris Johnston 38th & Cory Johnston 67th

By David A. Brown


Livesay overcomes stubborn bass and
flog delay to claim first.
( Photo: BASS) 

The tournament’s shortest fishing day yielded Lee Livesay’s biggest bag, which allowed the angler from Longview, Texas, to take the Day 3 lead of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake with a three-day total of 43 pounds. 

After a 2 1/2-hour fog delay, Livesay backed up his first two weights of 13-0 and 13-3 with a Day 3 limit of 16-13 and overtook Day 2 leader Stetson Blaylock by a margin of 1-15.

He did so by fishing a frog around matted vegetation — and was very specific in the type of vegetation he sought.

“I’m doing what I like to do. I like to pick up a big rod and a frog and hunt them,” Livesay said. “I’m not just fishing, I’m hunting individual fish. I know which mats they’re under; it’s just whether they eat it or not.” 

Livesay said he’s targeting mats in two main scenarios. The first are located off small main-river bars. The key is what he calls supershallow water. 

“Everybody’s fishing the deep mats, but you can’t catch them there,” Livesay said. “You might get a hit every now and then, but it’s random. I fish around the shallowest mats with a little rock under them and two of them have current under them.”

Livesay’s other mat scenario is on the back side of an island bar with a small depression in a flat. The area has scattered rock and tiny cheese mats (topped-out grass coated with a bubbly yellowish algae) within a larger mat. 

“It’s 100 percent confidence, knowing where the fish are and not leaving,” he said. “Also, I’m being quiet; I’m push poling into some areas, keeping my trolling motor up and sitting there for (long periods). 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

2020 Bassmaster Elites on Chickamauga Lake Day 1: Brandon Cobb Takes Commanding Lead with 19-06lbs

Canadians Gustafson 34th, Chris Johnston 40th & Cory Johnston 73rd

By David A. Brown


Two 6lbers key to Cobb's big limit
 as field struggles.
(Photo: BASS) 

A big start, a big finish and solid productivity in between gave Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, S.C., the Day 1 lead of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake with a five-bass limit of 19 pounds, 6 ounces.

A passing cold front created challenging conditions in which bites were few and reports of noncommittal fish were many. With a pair of bookend kickers, Cobb touted execution with two different reaction baits as the key to his success.

“It was not an easy day; I caught six and two of them just happened to be 6-pounders, so that always helps,” he said. “You can’t miss any. You have to boat every fish and just stick to it. 

“It’s so tough, it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing. But I stuck with one thing all day, got six bites and turned in 19 pounds.”

Spending his day upriver, Cobb targeted shallow grass and got most of his bites in about 3 feet of water. After his opening spot produced the first of his 6-pounders around 8 a.m., he gave the area a little more time but soon realized he needed to secure a limit. 

“I covered an area of 20 miles; I ran a lot throughout the lake,” Cobb said. “Even though I had some bites in practice, I never really figured anything out; but I could get bites by just covering water. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Major League Fishing and FLW Unify as One Brand


To further elevate the sport of tournament bass fishing and align multiple circuits as one company, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today its unification with Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) as one brand, transitioning all FLW brand assets to MLF.  

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League, Abu Garcia College Fishing and High School Fishing will all carry the MLF logo and continue the five-biggest-fish format. A new website that builds on the existing sites, streamlines tournament entry, provides cutting-edge gear and tactics advice, and better highlights participating anglers is set to be unveiled in early 2021.

“Merging the FLW brand under the Major League Fishing umbrella is the next logical step in our company’s evolution, which now includes a broader reach than any of us thought possible in our formative years,” MLF BIG5 Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel said. “The key to our success lies not in a name, but in our unwavering focus on providing the best possible tournaments for anglers, fans, hosts and sponsors – our family. Uniting with MLF under a single brand makes the whole greater than the sum of the pieces. The letters may be different, but the people and the values will remain the same.”

The FLW organization now known as “Major League Fishing BIG5” began life as Operation Bass. Founded on the shores of Kentucky Lake in 1979 by Mike Whitaker, a teacher and football coach turned electronics salesman, Operation Bass grew from humble beginnings to become the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization with five circuits and more than 300 events in 11 countries offering $21 million in awards.

Operation Bass was purchased by Minneapolis businessman Irwin L. Jacobs in 1996 and renamed FLW Outdoors in 2001 to honor Forrest L. Wood and the principles he embodied. While those principles still guide the company, FLW became Fishing League Worldwide in 2014 to set the stage for international growth, which now includes bass tournaments in Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Korea, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Brandon Palaniuk Wins 2020 Bass Elite Santee Cooper with 72-02lbs!

Punching & chatterbait key to win!

By David A. Brown


Array of baits fattens final day.
(Photo: BASS)

Championships come down to decisions and execution — two things that Brandon Palaniuk mastered en route to amassing a four-day total of 72 pounds, 2 ounces for a dominant win at the Bassmaster Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes brought to you by the United States Marine Corps.

 Notching his fifth Elite victory — his second in 2020 (the first at Lake Champlain) — Palaniuk earned a top prize of $100,000.

 After leading Day 2, Palaniuk entered Championship Sunday in third place, just 1-3 behind Carl Jocumsen. On Sunday, the pro from Rathdrum, Idaho, added a limit of 22-11 to his previous weights of 21-1, 18-13 and 9-9 to edge Jocumsen.

 “This one is so unexpected,” Palaniuk said. “Every single one I won before, I had a good practice and I knew that I would have a shot at the Top 10 and a shot at the win. This one came out of nowhere.”

 Spending his tournament in Lake Marion, Palaniuk attributed his final-round success to a prelaunch decision to start in the mouth of the Potato Creek area. Having started there on Day 1, he had a feeling the area was ready to reward him again.

 “I was sitting at the dock this morning and something told me to go try it,” Palaniuk said. “With the (warm) weather, the humidity, I felt like I could catch them on topwater, but when I got there, the water was dirty.

 “I couldn’t get them to eat it, so I just picked up a 1/2-ounce bladed jig with a 4-inch white X-Zone Swammer. I had not caught a fish on this all week and I caught a 4-pounder and a 3 1/4-pounder.”

Monday, October 12, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2020

2020 BASS Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes Day 2: Brandon Palaniuk Jumps into Lead with 39-14lbs!

Canadians Gustafson 4th, Cory Johnston 11th & Chris Johnston 57th

By David A. Brown


Punch key to big bass bite.
(Photo: BASS) 

Locating big-fish areas and remaining mobile enabled Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, to take the Day 2 lead of the Bassmaster Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes brought to you by the United States Marine Corps with 39 pounds, 14 ounces.

After placing second on Day 1 with 21-1, Palaniuk added 18-13 Friday.

Palaniuk, who claimed his fourth Elite Series win on Lake Champlain earlier this season, caught two of his keepers on a jerkbait, one on a 5-inch X-Zone Swammer rigged on a 1/2-ounce VMC swimbait head and two on a punch rig comprising an X-Zone Muscle Back Finesse Craw on a 3/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flippin’ Hook with a 1 1/4-ounce weight.

Rotating through 10 to 12 spots within a 2-mile area on the upper end of Lake Marion, Palaniuk anchored today’s limit with a 6-6 that he caught while punching shortly before 2 o’clock. Proximity, he said, confirmed he was in the right area.

“I caught the 7-9 I had yesterday maybe 5 feet from where I had a 4-pounder in practice, and then today, I caught a 6-5 maybe 30 feet from where I caught that big fish yesterday,” Palaniuk said. “It’s definitely an area that’s holding the right size fish; I just need to catch five of them.”

Palaniuk said the challenging conditions of the fall transition have required significant consideration, as the fish are in a completely different seasonal mode than they would have been during the event’s originally scheduled dates of April 16-19. When the pandemic required rescheduling, Palaniuk went to work studying for an autumn tournament.

“I came here and pre-practiced in January, which has nothing to do with now,” he said. “I was practicing for an April event, so where I’m actually catching them, I never looked at in pre-practice.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

2020 BASS Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes Day 1: Carl Jocumsen Snatches Lead with 25-08lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 8th, Gustafson 34th & Chris Johnston 73rd


Jocumsen's two giants secures lead.
(Photo: BASS) 

Carl Jocumsen is known for his aggressive fishing style, but it was actually a healthy dose of caution that led him to three of the five fish he needed to take the Day 1 lead of the Bassmaster Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes brought to you by the United States Marine Corps with 25 pounds, 8 ounces.

The veteran pro from Queensland, Australia, who captured his first Elite Series win last year on Oklahoma’s Lake Tenkiller, said he started his practice with a well-founded respect for Santee Cooper’s minefield of submerged stumps. Doing so compelled him to spend more time idling.

“When you roll up to a place like this, it is scary,” Jocumsen said. “When I first launched at the ramp (in practice), I didn’t even know if you could get up on pad going out of the ramp. To go from that to a bag like this is just a magical day.

“It actually helped me not knowing this place because I got to idle some areas, not knowing how to get back in. That’s how I found a couple of little magical spots.”

With a limit that included a 6-15 and a 6-3, Jocumsen started in the midsection of Lake Marion, which along with Lake Moultrie to the south, comprises the Santee Cooper Lakes (linked by a diversion canal). His main area was a grass-lined depression that dropped from 2 feet to 4 1/2.

“If you ran the area, you would never see it, but I idled it because I was worried about getting into the back,” Jocumsen said. “I saw the grass on my Humminbird, and I think that’s what’s holding them.”

In practice, this spot hosted intense afternoon schooling action and produced several big bites. Today, Jocumsen saw minimal surface activity but caught one of his bigger fish from the schoolers.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Whopper smallmouth on Lake St. Clair with Sparkus Fisher: POV hookset to net on light line

Wonder why guys love big smallmouth? Its the FIGHT! Check out this video, from hookset to net, as Sparkus Fisher lands a Lake St. Clair stud. If you want to see for yourself how a big smallmouth fights on light line, give Sparkus Fisher Fishing guideservice a call at 519-803-8666 or #sparkusfisherfishing

Sparkus Fisher runs a Ranger 522D, one of the biggest, battleships out there making any future trip so much easier. Give Sparkus a call and go battle some big water smallies.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Frank "The Tank" Talley Wins 2020 NOCO Bassmaster Elite on Lakes Guntersville with 64-3Lbs!

Final day rally key for 1st Elite win

By Bryan Brasher 


Frank Talley has dreamed of winning a top-level professional bass tournament his entire life.

But with three small children at home, he kept that dream in his back pocket for two decades in favor of coaching youth sports teams, fishing local tournaments and just being a good husband and dad. 

Saturday, at age 45, the second-year Elite Series pro affectionately known as “Frank the Tank” saw his dream come true, weighing in 18 pounds, 2 ounces of bass during the final round to win the NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville with a four-day total of 64-3. 

Talley earned $100,000 and the cheers and tears of his family, who drove 14 hours through the night Friday from their home in Temple, Texas, to be there for his big moment.

“I was perfectly fine with just raising my kids — that’s why we had kids,” Talley said. “Finally, when my youngest boy got into high school, my kids and my wife kind of had an intervention. That sat me down and said, ‘You’re gonna go do this.’

“That’s what helped me understand it was OK to finally go and chase this dream — and they’re the reason I’m standing here with this trophy now.”

Good fishing instincts also played a role in Talley’s success, especially with a key decision he made before his first cast Saturday morning. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

2020 NOCO Bassmaster Elite on Lakes Guntersville Day 3: Wes Logan Commands Leads with 49Lbs!

Cory Johnston 13th, Gustafson 28th & Chris Johnston 34th 

By Bryan Brasher 


Logan scratched his way to the top
hitting grass mats.
(Photo: BASS) 

The good news for Wes Logan is that he’s leading the NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville heading into Championship Saturday.

The bad news is he says he’s fresh out of ideas.

The rookie from Springville, Ala., caught five bass that weighed 16 pounds, 2 ounces during Friday’s semifinal round, pushing his three-day total to 49-0 and giving him little more than a 1-pound lead.

As for what Saturday holds? He couldn’t say. 

“I think my area is shot,” Logan said after making his first career Elite Series Top 10. “I think the pressure finally got to it. There were a bunch of local boats on it today, and I think they beat it up pretty good.

“If I’m gonna win, I’m gonna have to find something else.”

As tough as Friday may have been for Logan, his catch of 16-2 was the second-largest of the day behind Texas pro Randy Sullivan, who caught 17-15 to move into second place. 

Logan has spent most of the tournament flipping grass mats with a 1 1/2-ounce Ark Tungsten weight, a 4/0 straight-shank hook and a rotation of soft plastics that includes a Zoom Z Craw, a Zoom Z Craw Jr. and a beaver-style bait — all in black and blue.

After exhausting the stretch of water that has been so good to him this week, he ran a new 300-yard stretch Thursday, landing a 4-pounder and losing a bass he estimated to be more than 5 pounds.

That will likely be his starting point Saturday.

2020 NOCO Bassmaster Elite on Lakes Guntersville Day 2: Brandon Cobb Scores Lead with cher Leads with 34-11Lbs!

Chris Johnston 18th, Cory Johnston 23rd & Gustafson 24th 

By Bryan Brasher


Cobb using range of techniques to
counter difficult bite.
(Photo: BASS)

Professional bass anglers are some of the most notorious poor-mouthers on the planet. Even on their best days, they’re likely to tell you the fishing was tough.

But at this week’s NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville, they may actually be telling the truth — even the ones who seem to be doing well.

During Thursday’s second round, when 31 of the 85-angler field failed to bring in a five-bass limit, South Carolina pro Brandon Cobb managed to catch five that weighed 17 pounds, 11 ounces to take the lead with a two-day total of 34-11.

He said don’t let his success at the scales fool you.

“The weights really don’t reflect how hard the fishing has been,” said Cobb, who earned his first two Elite Series victories last season. “It is very tough. Today, I had four big bites and I lost one.

“The Guntersville way is to catch schools of fish, whether it’s ledge fish or grass fish or whatever. But since I haven’t really found that, I’ve just been fishing shallow and trying to catch one at a time.”

Despite those limited bites, Cobb has been the most consistent angler in the field. Before landing his 17-11 Thursday, he opened the event Wednesday with 17-0.

He’s been fishing a little bit of everything — docks, riprap, bank grass and offshore grass — to make it happen, and he’s been relying heavily on a tactic he admits isn’t his specialty.

“I’ve been flipping a lot this week, and I don’t do that in South Carolina,” he said. “That’s probably why I lost that one big fish today. When you go so long between bites, you start sort of halfway not paying attention.

“I’m too gun-shy flipping. I felt that fish bite, but I waited too long to pull the trigger.”