Monday, September 20, 2021

Snagless Chatterbait



Designed by Z-Man pro and jig fishing ace David Walker, the CrossEyeZ ChatterBait leverages the weedless, oversized eye design of Z-Man’s CrossEyeZ jig series. A custom 5/0 O’Shaughnessy hook bolsters hookup and landing percentages. For optimal snag resistance around wood and grass, an adjustable, v-shaped, coated multi-strand wire weedguard deflects cover and prevents snagging and fouling, while folding back during hooksets. A dual trailer keeper, with molded lead and wire spikes, offers the ultimate in trailer security. Hand-tied silicone skirts are secured to the hook-shank with stainless wire for maximum longevity. Durable, color-matched jighead and hallmark ‘cross eyes’ add attraction. With a custom, super-hard stainless hex-shaped ChatterBlade and uniquely designed line tie snap that reduces fouling and enhances durability, the CrossEyeZ ChatterBait presents strong, bold vibration, unmatched durability and superior snag resistance.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Michael Neal Conquers MLF Bass Pro Tour Stage 7 on Lake St. Clair!


MLF Press Release

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – Dayton, Tennessee pro angler “The Real Deal” Michael Neal has long been considered one of the best pros in the world without a signature professional win. For nine years, Neal has made a name in the pro bass-fishing world with his consistency – always near the top of the leaderboard, but never ON the top. Wednesday, at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour CarParts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Neal finally came out on top.

Neal caught 58 smallmouth bass totaling 168 pounds, 11 ounces – a new Bass Pro Tour Championship Round record for the heaviest one-day weight – to win by a 76-pound, 2-ounce margin over second place – also a new Bass Pro Tour record for the largest margin of victory.

“What a week! I really am not sure what to say at this point,” Neal joked in his post-game interview. “The first win of my career. I won the (Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit) Angler of the Year title earlier this year, but this is my first actual tournament win and it feels really, really good to get the monkey off of my back. I’ve had so many second-place finishes – I finished second this year at REDCREST. I never would have expected my first win would be with smallmouth. I’ve never been a smallmouth guy – I grew up on the Tennessee River fishing offshore. But, I’ll take it.”

Neal caught his fish this week mainly off of one key area near the mouth of the Detroit River in Lake Erie – a spot that he described as a massive grass flat with some high spots, rock and depressions mixed in. He estimated that the flat was about ¾ of a mile long, and loaded with smallmouth.

“I came here in Day 2 of practice, really because I was just sick of fighting the wind,” Neal said. “I doubled up on a crankbait, then caught one or two more, then left. I really had no idea what this area really held. On Day 1 of the tournament, this was actually my fourth stop. And you can see what was here… it was just crazy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Jacob Wheeler Wins 2021 Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year!


By Tyler Brinks, MLF Press Release

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – It’s official: Jacob Wheeler is the 2021 Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year. Through the first six events this season, Wheeler had won half (Stages Two, Five and Six), and if not for Ott DeFoe‘s consistently excellent season, he likely would have had the race all but wrapped up before Stage Seven even started at Lake St. Clair.

Coming into the CarParts.com Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft, DeFoe had a 12 point advantage in the AOY race. Wheeler advanced to the Championship Round while DeFoe finished the Knockout Round in 30th Monday, sealing the fate of both anglers.

Through his remarkable season, Wheeler was able to see great success across the country and etch his name onto the list of tour-level Angler of the Year winners.

Proven Consistency in Angler of the Year Race

With the dominance Wheeler has shown since beginning his career, it was clearly only a matter of time before he graduated from being an angler who frequently wins tournaments to an Angler of the Year winner.

While the 2021 season was the first time Wheeler claimed the AOY title, he’s been consistently good across every tour he’s fished for several years.

Starting in 2016, he finished fourth in the FLW Tour points race and followed it up with a third and ninth the following two years on the Elite Series. Since joining the Bass Pro Tour, he’s been right near the top: He finished fourth in the inaugural season in 2019 and backed it up with a third-place showing last year.

That’s six straight seasons in the Top 10 in points at the highest professional level.

Three Wins and Counting

Wheeler’s wins this season occurred in Texas and twice in New York. With his advancement to the Championship Round on Lake St. Clair, he may also add one in Michigan.

His triumph at Lake Travis was the closest in Bass Pro Tour history as he edged Bobby Lane by just 2 ounces. His next two wins weren’t even close as he lapped the field and won each by close to 30 pounds.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Cory Johnston Wins the 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open on the St. Lawrence River!

Cory Johnston sack 15 mega smallmouth for 78lbs!
(Photo: BASS)

By David A. Brown, BASS Press Release

CLAYTON, N.Y. — Saving the best for last, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Cory Johnston turned in his biggest bag of the week, 27 pounds, 6 ounces, and won the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands with a three-day total of 78-0.

Edging Day 1 leader Cal Climpson by 13 ounces, Johnston won the top prize of $43,433. Hailing from Cavan, Ontario, Canada, he said local knowledge proved invaluable.

“It was a great week and I had a lot of fun,” Johnston said. “I have a lot of spots out on Lake Ontario. I only pre-fished for about two days out here; I just know this place so well, but it’s burnt me so many times.

“I caught a ton of fish and I caught a lot of big fish. It just goes to show you what an incredible fishery we have here, so we have to look after this place.”

The first two days, Johnston kept himself in the hunt with limits of 25-7 and 25-3 that put him in fifth and second place. His final-round limit was the event’s second-heaviest, behind Climpson’s Day 1 bag of 27-7.

Johnston’s win provided a much-needed dose of redemption, after what looked to be a run at the victory ended with a fourth-place finish at mid-July’s Farmers Insurance Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River.

Friday, September 10, 2021

2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open on the St. Lawrence Day 1: Cal Climpson Sack 27-07; Gallant 2nd!

Climpson leads Cooper Gallant by ounces. 
(Photo: BASS)

BASS PRESS RELEASE 

Fall’s seasonal transition took a big chunk out of Cal Climpson’s practice findings, but the Canadian pro located enough quality to assemble a limit catch of 27 pounds, 7 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands.

The recent arrival of cooler weather and big winds have cracked the whip on large schools of smallmouth that had been lounging in deep water. With schools fragmenting and scattered fish starting to push shallower, consistency has become challenging.

“I had quite a bit of fish located in practice, but a lot of my spots were dry today, so I had to work really hard to get that weight,” Climpson said. “I wish I knew where they moved to. The fish that I caught were ones that stuck around in the same depths as they were in practice.

“This is classic September; the fish are in all depths right now. The water temperature has dropped 7 to 8 degrees in the last week and a half, and the fish are not as grouped up as they were in August.”

Knowing that Lake Ontario has historically produced a higher quality of fish than the St. Lawrence — river fish burn more calories in the higher current — Climpson began his day in the big water.

“I snuck out into the lake, but then it started getting rough, so I ended up in the river around noon,” Climpson said. “What I caught was about fifty-fifty between the lake and the river.”

For his Lake Ontario work, Climpson ran about 7 miles out and targeted an area of rock and transition bottom (rock to gravel) in 25 to 35 feet. Noting that large, isolated boulders were the key spots, Climpson said his Garmin LiveScope played a key role in his success.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Bassmaster Pros Helping With Hurricane Relief

Reigning Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry of Lincolnton, N.C., is one of several Elite Series anglers helping with hurricane relief efforts by raising funds or volunteering manpower. 

After Hurricane Ida devastated areas across south Louisiana and Mississippi, Bassmaster Elite Series pros are helping to raise funds for hurricane relief as well as lending a helping hand to a fellow angler and impacted communities.

Immediately after the hurricane hit, reigning Bassmaster Classic champion Hank Cherry of Lincolnton, N.C., teamed up with his title sponsor, Woods to Water Outdoor Co., to formulate a plan to get down to Louisiana and help those in need. Local sporting goods store The Great Outdoors in Cherryville, N.C., was able to lend Cherry a massive trailer to load up goods to haul down to the Bayou State.

“I just felt like I needed to do something,” Cherry said. “I want to use my platform to help those in need right now.”

The response that Cherry and company received after posting about their efforts on social media was incredible. The local community donated an overwhelming number of supplies to send with the North Carolinian — which include water, food, tarps, charcoal, roofing equipment, diapers, paper towels and countless other necessities. Cherry has also created a GoFundMe relief account for the communities that were affected.

Initially, the goal was to reach $5,000. That number was reached within the first day. The plan is to keep the account open to donations and wait to use the funds until they know exactly what is needed most.

“Our area is so great,” he said. “We’ve had people all across the board reach out to help, which has been really cool to see. It may end up that we need two trailers to haul everything by the time we leave.

“The people down there have been devastated by this storm,” he continued. “We’re just trying to do as much as we can to help. Really, it’s just the right thing to do.” 

Cherry is heading toward the Gulf Coast to meet up with fellow Elite Series pro Brock Mosley, of Collinsville, Miss., who is currently assisting their Elite Series roommate Tyler Rivet and his family in Raceland, La. Raceland, in Lafourche Parish, was one of the areas hit the hardest as Category 4 Ida moved across the area on Sunday.

Friday, September 3, 2021

10 Trolling Motor Maintenance Tips


Minn Kota® trolling motors have been around for over 86 years and they’re the toughest out there, but that doesn’t mean periodic maintenance should be ignored.


We’re going to break down the most important trolling motor maintenance and care procedures for all trolling motors to keep them running like new for years to come.


A little bit of TLC goes a long way in keeping this important fishing tool in good condition.


Check and Tighten Battery Connections

Poor connections to batteries are one of the most common sources of trolling motor problems. All trolling motors require a clean connection to power to run effectively.


While this doesn’t necessarily extend the life of your trolling motor, it does prevent unwanted headaches during your valuable time on the water.


trolling motor battery connection maintenance. Simply pull out your wrench or socket and check that all connection points are snug. 


While you are there, check the battery terminals and wires for corrosion. Give them a quick clean with fine sandpaper or emery cloth and replace any corroded wires.

It's also important to check any additional connection points, for example, where your trolling motor wire meets a terminal ring. If it's loose, re-snug or replace the terminal ring.

Frequency: It only takes a minute, so it may be good to check every or every other outing depending on how often you fish.

For more tip link here

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Get back to school!


All across America, middle school and high school students are discovering that there’s an alternative way to feed their competitive passion – competitive bass fishing. 

Launched by The Bass Federation in 2007, the National High School Fishing Program and its Students Anglers Federation (SAF) is the fastest growing segment in fishing today. Today, more than 40,000 students will compete in an SAF-sanctioned tournament. To get your school signed up or your High School fishing events sanctioned visit HighSchoolFishing.org

For the 2021-2022 school year, the SAF plans to conduct more than 60 no-entry fee high school events, across 48 states and Canada, and will sanction hundreds of more high school events under the SAF umbrella.  The granddaddy of all high school events, the 13th annual High School Fishing World Finals and National Championship, will be held June 22-25, 2022 and conducted, in Florence, Alabama on Pickwick and Wilson Lakes with over 3 million dollars in scholarships and prizes up for grabs at that week-long event. More than 1,200 participants representing more than 40 states and multiple foreign countries are expected to attend the World Finals and National Championship alone. For more info click here





Monday, August 30, 2021

Chris Johnston Wins Toyota Series Northern Division with 77-15lbs!

Johnston brothers score 1st and 2nd on giant smallmouth!
(Photo: MLF) 

JODY WHITE • TOYOTA SERIES

MASSENA, N.Y. – Getting the monkey off his back in style, Chris Johnston plopped 27 pounds, 6 ounces on the scale on the final day of the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Northern Division event on the St. Lawrence River for the win. With a 77-15 total, Chris Johnston lead wire-to-wire and beat his brother Cory Johnston by more than 7 pounds. Taking home $39,048, he also qualified for this fall’s Toyota Series Championship on Pickwick Lake.

Though he’s an FLW Tour and B.A.S.S. Elite Series champion, Chris Johnston has been foiled by Toyota Series events on the St. Lawrence and the associated waters too many times over the last several years. After running hundreds of miles over the last three days, going from Massena to Lake Ontario each day, he finally got it done.

“I was thinking about it running back up the river, thinking ‘If I get back, I’ve finally got this off my back,’” Chris Johnston said. “It’s pretty good. I’ve obviously won tournaments, but this place is special to me. To win this one here, it means a lot. They’ve bit me in the ass too many times, always something has gone wrong. Today I jumped off a 6 before I had a good one in the boat, and my co-angler had like three good ones. Then, I broke a 6 ½ off, I was like ‘Oh no, this is gonna happen again.’ Then I finally got some in the boat, but it was going through my mind, I was sweating a little bit today.”

Catching 25-pound bags each of the first two days, Chris Johnston mixed in a river bass or two both times. On Day 3, he sent it straight to the lake to close things in style.

“It was good, but I didn’t have a lot of time,” he said. “People think it’s easy to go out there and catch a big bag, but it’s really not. I don’t have a spot that’s loaded, I only hit two spots today, but they’re not loaded, I had to work for them. I needed all four hours to catch them. Today, my starting spot never had a bass on it. On Day 2, I hit two that were dry. That’s what’s scary, when you’re making that run, if you hit two spots in a row that don’t have them, you don’t have enough time to be running around.”

Friday, August 27, 2021

Chris Johnston Wallops 25-7 on Day 1 at Toyota Series Event o!n St. Lawrence River

Chris Johnston doesn't make the run to Lake Ontario. 
Brother Cory is sitting in 3rd. (Photo: MLF)

By Jody White 

MLF Press Release

For the second stop of the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Northern Division on the St. Lawrence River, there didn’t seem to be much doubt that the smallmouth factory would show out. With Canadian waters and Lake Ontario in play, the field had plenty of room to work and work they did.  

After Day 1, 28 bags weighing 20 pounds or more hit the scale, and Canadian superstar Chris Johnston set the pace with a whopping 25-pound, 7-ounce limit. Behind him, three other pros cracked the 23-pound mark and four bested 22 pounds.

Electing not to make a giant run into Ontario for his fish, Johnston stayed in the river to get off on the right foot.

“Not that I don’t want a part of it, but I didn’t want to go today, because I had something else lined up,” Johnston said. “I’m probably going to go fish it again tomorrow and see if there’s anything left. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy, so it’s not going to be a great day for the lake. If I need to I might go out there for an hour or so, but we’ll see what the wind is like, it might be a river day for me.”

One of the best at the 1000 Islands, Johnston’s worst finish since 2016 on the fishery is third. Typically, he’s done his best work out in the lake. This time, it sounds like he has a chance to keep the river train rolling.

“I’ve been practicing the river because I keep getting burned here when the lake is off-limits,” he said. “I’ve got a few spots in the river, I don’t know if I can get 25 again, but there’s some fish left.”

Plying a drop-shot with a secret bait, it sounds like Johnston is on a roll.

“It was all deep, anywhere from 20 to 45 feet,” he said. “I caught a ton of fish, it was hard to get a big one. I never really had a kicker, they’re all clones. Out here now, a 5-pounder is honestly kinda average, you need a 6-pounder to get up and over.”

Top 10 Pros

1. Chris Johnston – 25 – 07 (5)           

2. Justin Atkins – 23 – 15 (5)  

2. Cory Johnston – 23 – 15 (5)

4. Matt Becker – 23 – 06 (5)   

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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 guide service 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.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Jimmy Washam Win 2021Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Championship!


Jody White
Tackle Warehouse Pro Tour 

LA CROSSE, Wis. – In 2020, Jimmy Washam started fishing the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers after qualifying via the Toyota Series Central Division. Then, he was in the running for Polaris Rookie of the Year most of the way and fished the Tackle Warehouse TITLE in his first season, doing basically everything you could ask for in a rookie year.

This year has seen Washam take it to the next level, with a Toyota Series win on Lake Guntersville, a fifth-place finish in Angler of the Year on the Pro Circuit and a dominating Championship Round win in the second-annual Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury. Putting 17 pounds, 15 ounces on the scale, Washam beat out Bass Pro Tour superstars Bobby Lane and Zack Birge to earn $200,000 and the TITLE belt.

“All the glory goes to God,” Washam said of the win. “This is so amazing, but it’s His work above, I promise you. Five years ago, I bought my first fiberglass boat and decided I’d fish the [Phoenix Bass Fishing League] as a boater. Now I’m standing here with a TITLE belt on my shoulder.”

A deputy sheriff sergeant in Tennessee, Washam took a big financial risk in 2020 and did it again in 2021 after losing his title sponsor right before the season started. Now, he’s gone from a kid ate up with fishing to a TITLE champ.

“I’m 34 years old, I did not start as young as I wished I would have, but I had to earn a living and work, and I slowly progressed and stepped up to this level,” Washam said. “After last year I knew that I could hang, after this year, it’s been an absolutely incredible year. It’s humbling to know the group of anglers I just joined.”

Finding the Winning Fish

Washam tallied 25-1 (10) in the Qualifying Round to make the Knockout Round out of Group A. In the early going, he caught all his fish in the Black River, but that well started to dry up during the Knockout Round.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Title: Avena Wins Group B, Knockout Round Field Set


jody white • 
TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT

PRESS RELEASE

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Putting 13 pounds, 10 ounces on the scale on the second day of competition for Group B, Adrian Avena totaled 29-6 to win the group and advance directly to the Championship Round of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury on the Mississippi River. Behind him, Jared McMillan finished second in Group B and will be followed by eight other anglers from the group into the Knockout Round on Saturday.

Avena Heads to the Championship Round

After an uncharacteristic performance in the Bass Pro Tour event on Lake Champlain, Avena made up for it a bit with two great days of fishing to win the group and lock in his spot among the Top 10 in the Championship Round.

“Champlain is one of my favorite lakes in the country, probably my favorite,” Avena said. “I cut my teeth there and won a tournament early. Four of the Top 10 were at Ti, and that’s where I love. It burnt me a little bit, and I didn’t want to end on that. I’ve still got the St. Clair [Bass Pro Tour] event coming up, but it’s nice to come out here and really catch ‘em.”

Fishing mostly in a small section of the Black River, Avena is happy he’s not fishing the Knockout Round and looking forward to saving some fish.

“Honestly I feel like a million dollars, because I didn’t want to fish tomorrow,” Avena admitted. “I’m burning up fish up there, but I’ve still got something in my back pocket that I’m glad I don’t have to burn tomorrow. It’s one of those deals that I have no idea if I’m going to be able to get to it or not, but at least I’m going to do it on championship day. If I get stuck, I get stuck or if I take off my lower unit, I take off my lower unit, but at least it’s on championship day.”

The schooling bite has been robust this week, and Avena has taken advantage of it as well or better than anyone else so far.

“I’m throwing a swimbait and throwing a topwater,” Avena outlined. “I’m mixing in a bunch of other stuff, I think I’ve caught one on a fluke and maybe one or two on a jerkbait. I’m fishing schoolers, and it all comes down to making the right casts. I had a couple opportunities and pulled off some 3-pounders today, and I had some other opportunities where I made bad casts.”

Avena has also been dealing with some unique pressure this week, not from his direct competition, but from some young fishing enthusiasts in the same area he is.

Friday, August 20, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Title: Miles Burghoff Qualifies for Championship Round!


Kyle Wood • 
TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT

PRESS RELEASE

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Miles Burghoff is the first angler to punch his ticket to the Championship Round of the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury.

The Tennessee pro brought 14 pounds, 13 ounces of Upper Mississippi River bass to the stage at Veterans Freedom Park in La Crosse on Thursday to push his two-day total to 26-8, giving him a scant 1-ounce win over Oklahoma pro Zack Birge (26-7) for the top spot in Group A. Burghoff receives the group’s automatic berth in Sunday’s Championship Round, where he’ll be joined by the Group B winner and eight other anglers from the Knockout Round.

Locking down to Pool 9 each day of the Qualifying Round, Burghoff knew he was on a good school of largemouth. He expanded on that area during Day 1, so even with a shortened day due to a fog delay, Burghoff was set in his ways to lock back down.

“There was no doubt I was going back down,” Burghoff said of going to Pool 9. “It’s not like that pool is fishing better, I just found a good area. I caught my limit in six casts today. And I culled six or seven times in 30 minutes, but I only had 9 ½ pounds. Then I started searching some areas and caught that one that was almost 6 and left immediately. Never made another cast.”

That 5-11 kicker was the gamer-changer for Burghoff and is the current Berkley Big Bass of the event. Coming into Thursday’s final Qualifying Round for Group A, Burghoff was adamant about trying to avoid big bites, hoping to slide through the Knockout Round with consistent bags. So, even though he was excited to box a Mississippi River giant, he’s also a little upset to pluck a fish that like so early in competition.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Title: Avena Leads Group B!


Jody White • 
TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT

PRESS RELEASE


LA CROSSE, Wis. – As stingy as the Upper Mississippi River is fishing right now, Adrian Avena certainly found a way to make it shine on Day 1 of Group B competition in the Qualifying Round of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury.

Tallying 15 pounds, 12 ounces,  the New Jersey pro put up the biggest limit of the event so far to take the early lead in Group B. Overall, Group B made the river look good on Day 2, with three pros cracking the 14-pound mark and 10 pros catching more than 12 pounds, a feat which only six pros in Group A managed on Tuesday.  

Avena Makes It Look Easy

Coming off a bottom-of-the-barrel finish in the Bass Pro Tour event on Lake Champlain, Avena was looking to get revenge on something, and the Mississippi River bass just happened to be in his way. Putting them in the boat early and often, Avena didn’t have to do anything too wild to catch his fish, he just caught ‘em.

“Today was fun, I got in an area that had some bass in it and really, just caught a lot of bass and I was able to catch those better than average fish,” Avena said. “I found it in practice. I had three bites right at the end of practice and they were all better than average. I rolled into that area today, and there were a lot of bass there, it’s just whether or not I’ll be able to fish it again.”

Catching more than 25 keepers on the day, Avena wants to shoot for the win and the automatic berth in the Championship Round.

“I’m gonna try to wind the round, that’s going to be my goal,” Avena said. “I feel like where I’m at, it can only do good with rest. If I can go out there and catch a really good bag and possibly win the round and punch my ticket to the Championship Round that’s what I want to do.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Title: McClelland Grabs Group A Lead!


KYLE WOOD • 
TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT

PRESS RELEASE

LA CROSSE, Wis. – While there was a level of excitement shared among the 25 pros in Group A that set out on the Mississippi River for the first day of Qualifying Round action in the Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury, uncertainty was another frame of mind they all had in common.

Water level and clarity on the Mighty Miss had changed almost by the hour thorough practice – with that, the smallmouth and largemouth were equally as fickle. With a full day between Sunday’s final round of practice and today’s competition, so much could have changed.

Picking up where he left off in practice, Mike McClelland set the pace on Day 1 with a limit weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces to take a 2-ounce lead over Alex Davis heading into Thursday’s final round of competition for Group A.

One thing playing into McClelland’s hand this week is the the fact he’s made several trips to the Upper Mississippi River over his career and has witnessed it in low water years to flood stage.

“The fortunate part about my practice is that I’ve actually fished here when the river was down,” McClelland confirmed. “It seemed like every time we showed up for a tournament in the past a massive flood hit, so anything I did in practice didn’t actually work. This week as we got to town there was localized heavy flooding, the river came up a foot and a half, two foot – maybe a little more – and muddied the water up and really messed some areas up.

Monday, August 16, 2021

T-H Marine Adds Designer Tool & Products, Inc., Completes 12th Acquisition

 

T-H Marine Supplies, LLC., of Huntsville, Alabama, is marking the completion of its 12th add-on acquisition after purchasing Designer Tool & Products, Inc. Prior to the acquisition, Designer Tool served as a leading supplier for T-H Marine, providing high-quality hatches, deck plates, and seals. For over a decade, T-H Marine brought those products to market under its “Designer” brand.  

  

By acquiring Designer Tool, T-H Marine will gain immediate logistical synergies and broadened capabilities.  Furthermore, as Designer Tool is combined with T-H Marine’s Innovative Plastics division, it will substantially increase hatch and deck plate production capacity, empowering T-H Marine’s sales team to offer more hatch products to more customers once the integration is complete.  

  

“T-H Marine is excited to complete this vertical integration, acquiring our most valued hatch supplier,” said T-H Marine CEO, Jeff Huntley. “Bringing Designer Tool’s production and expertise in-house enables T-H Marine to aggressively expand our hatch and deck plate offerings. We are very glad that we can now allow more customers on board to use Designer-series products.”  

Friday, August 13, 2021

Next Generation of Precision Chargers Optimized for Lithium Marine Batteries


Lithium batteries bring numerous advantages over more traditional marine power options including reduced weight and longer run times.  But these advantages come with the possibility of damaging batteries through over –or under-charging. Minn Kota’s new line of Precision On-Board Chargers take the guesswork out of running lithium power and maximize the life of 12-volt (LiFePO4) marine lithium batteries.

Select models boast an industry-leading 15 amps of true-rated output, and the new Minn Kota Precision On-Board Chargers protect lithium batteries as well as fishing time. By maximizing run times and delivering shorter charge times, these chargers keep anglers on the water longer and get them back on the water faster.

Enhancements to the line, optimized for 12-volt lithium (LiFePO4) batteries, include charge profiles specifically formulated for the high demands of lithium batteries. The new chargers can even wake lithium batteries from standby mode unlike traditional charging methods which can require a more manual process.

The foundation of safe, fast and precise charging from Minn Kota’s new Precision Line of battery chargers is automatic, multi-stage charging which adjusts output based on the current needed to charge Lithium, Flooded Lead-Acid or AGM batteries in each stage of the charging cycle.  These battery-specific charge curves can then be selected individually by bank, allowing for endless options when it comes to trolling motor and accessory battery power. Boaters and anglers can run outboard manufacturer-recommended AGM-style cranking batteries while running a trolling motor or accessories with lithium power. Anglers with a dedicated electronics battery powering multiple fish finders will also appreciate the addition of a 5 bank, 10 amp option.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Jacob Wheeler Wins 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour Lake Champlain!

Jacob Wheeler claims back-to-back Bass Pro Tour events after winning the Toyota Stage Six Presented by Googan Baits. Photo by Josh Gassmann.

By Mason Prince

Bass Pro Tour Press Release

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – What else is there to say about Jacob Wheeler? What other superlatives can be thrust upon the most successful angler in Bass Pro Tour history? Not only is it another win for Wheeler—his third of the season and his fifth in three years on the Bass Pro Tour—but it’s another win in dominating fashion in the Championship Round. Jacob Wheeler is your Toyota Stage Six Presented by Googan Baits champion on Lake Champlain.

The Googan Baits pro grabbed the lead from Kelly Jordon just 30 minutes into Period 1 and never surrendered it again. Wheeler brought in 27 bass for 88 pounds, 2 ounces to win his second event in a row and the eighth MLF win of his career. After adding another trophy to his mantle from a win on the St. Lawrence River just over a month ago, Wheeler may be considering adding a second home in the Empire State thanks to his recent success.

“New York has been pretty good to me this year, I’m not going to lie to you,” Wheeler said shortly after confirming his win with his MLF official. “I love this sport so much. I love competing, I love preparing for events, I love competing against this group of guys and I love winning. You have to fish against the best guys in the world to become better and that’s what I’ve done since joining the Bass Pro Tour.”

Wheeler once again rode a drop-shot to his win, the same setup that helped him succeed all week long. The week on Champlain showed that the largemouth bite could get you paid, but Wheeler showed that it was the smallmouth bite that was going to get the win. All of Wheeler’s 27 scorable bass were smallmouth while all of Gallelli’s 21 bass were largemouth.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour Lake Champlain: Wheeler’s Drop-Shot Dominates for Knockout Round Win

Jacob Wheeler will fish in the 13th Championship Round of his career
after a win in the Knockout Round on Lake Champlain. Photo by Phoenix Moore

By Mason Prince

Bass Pro Tour Press Release

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – While the Knockout Round didn’t earn him another $100,000 check for the season, it’s safe to say that Jacob Wheeler, once again, has as good of a shot as anyone to take home another win in the 2021 season. Wheeler totaled 32 Lake Champlain bass for 107 pounds, 2 ounces to beat Brent Ehrler by 27-7 in the Knockout Round of the Toyota Stage Six Presented by Googan Baits.

Wheeler—a four-time winner on the Bass Pro Tour—will head into the Championship Round as the only angler besides Group A winner, Matt Lee, to have a 100-pound day on Champlain. The Tennessee pro spent most of his day in deeper water working a drop-shot catching both smallmouth and largemouth.

The Googan Baits pro will have to go toe-to-toe Tuesday with some hammers who have Champlain figured out in their own right, but he heads into his fourth Championship Round of the season with tons of confidence thanks to another solid day of fishing.

COMPLETE RESULTS

“This place is unbelievable even though it’s taken me a little longer than usual to dial it in,” Wheeler mentioned. “Every time I fish here it’s different, and this time I’m starting to get it. It’s one of the best lakes in the country and this lake has got ‘em. I’ve got my work cut out for me tomorrow, but it should be a lot of fun.”

Turning an eye to the Angler of the Year race, four of the top five anglers in the standings will compete on Tuesday. Ott DeFoe (first), Brent Ehrler (second), Wheeler (third) and Lucas (fifth) are all in a dogfight as they head into the Championship Round and then into the final event of the season on Lake St. Clair. Thanks to his 10-point lead over Ehrler, even if DeFoe finishes in 10th place and Ehrler finishes first, the two would be tied for first in AOY heading into Stage Seven. As for Wheeler and Lucas, they will be looking to not only win Stage Six, but hope for Ehrler and DeFoe to struggle with the changing conditions expected on Champlain tomorrow.