Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Old Town Paddle Topwater Fishing Kayaks with David Hadden and IBASSIN

Newly released at ICAST 2018, the Old Town Topwater PDL boat will change the way you fish. Listen as David Hadden takes us through this fantastic fishing rig.

Old Town is proud to unveil its all-new Topwater™ Series, which offers great Old Town performance in a compact, nimble format. A marriage of stability and performance, the Topwater—with the all-new ultra-stable DoubleU™ hull—quietly glides through any water condition while providing a stable, comfortable stand-up fishing platform. Equipped with thoughtful onboard tackle and rod management and a revolutionary universal transducer mount, even the most discriminating anglers will be impressed by the overall fishability of the new Topwater Series: paddle versions Topwater 106 and Topwater 120; and a pedal-driven model, the Topwater PDL. “The growth and popularity of kayak fishing has brought many new companies into the marketplace but unfortunately we have seen a glut of poorly-made and engineered boats in the sub $1000 category,” says David Hadden, Brand Director, Johnson Outdoors Watercraft. “Our goal with the Topwater™ Series was to engineer a boat that gave a great on the water fishing experience, which would allow anglers to catch more fish and be more comfortable. We also wanted it to outperform other kayaks when not on the water and made it smaller in size and weight for easy transportation and storage. Too many of today’s stable fishing kayaks need a trailer to transport to your local boat launch. The small size and reduced weight of all models in the Topwater Series make car-topping realistic and negate the need for a kayak trailer.” Check us out at:

Monday, April 26, 2021

Lee Livesay Wins 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite on Lake Fork with 112-05lbs!

Monster Bag Lifts Livesay To Bassmaster Elite Series Victory At Lake Fork


Mega 42-03lbs final day limit secures win and Century Club for Livesay.
(Photo: BASS)

For three days, Lee Livesay caught quality fish, but nothing close to the Lake Fork potential he intimately knows. On Championship Sunday, the third-year Elite Series pro and local guide showcased his home lake’s treasures by winning the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork with a phenomenal four-day total of 112 pounds, 5 ounces.


As the 32nd individual to enter the prestigious Bassmaster Century Club (a five-fish limit of 100 pounds or more), Livesay outpaced Day 1 leader Patrick Walters by a 10-pound margin. Along with his second Elite trophy — his first came last fall at Chickamauga Lake — Livesay won a first-place award of $100,000.


For Livesay, it was a monster final-day limit that weighed 42-3 and ranks as the third-heaviest, single-day weight in Bassmaster history that sealed the deal.


“I have no words right now, it’s amazing,” he said. “I’ve been around them, but I haven’t caught any big ones all week; I just survived. Everything just worked out and it never goes like that.”


Hailing from Longview, Texas, Livesay made no assumptions and fished hard until the last minute. But when the smallest bass in your five-fish limit goes 7 pounds, 6 ounces, good things are likely.


“I caught big ones everywhere I went,” he said. “I started off with big ones (a 9-2 at 7:14 a.m.) and ended with big ones (7-14 at 1:10 p.m.). It was just one of those surreal days, and it was amazing because I’ve spent a lot of time on this lake.”


Spending his tournament in Little Caney Creek, Livesay rotated among several secondary points where bass were chasing big gizzard shad. His main spot — a bar extending off a small island — allowed him to sneak into range of bass schooling on the opposite side without spooking them.


Throughout the tournament, Livesay caught fish on a mixed arsenal that included a 3:16 Lure Company line-through Rising Son swimbait, a 3:16 Lure Company Work Horse glidebait, a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait, a Carolina rig with a Netbait Little Spanky, a 6th Sense Magnum Squarebill and a bone color Heddon Saltwater Super Spook.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Matt Becker 2021 Tackle Warehouse Circuit Lake Murray with 76.-05lbs!


Matt Becker wasn’t planning on taking a risk this week on Lake Murray. Fate had other plans.

One of the most consistent anglers on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Becker started Day 1 of the event with a conservative plan of sight-fishing and fishing docks. But, before doing that, he slotted in a little time to try a risky timing/herring-spawn pattern. He never looked back in route to his first win, as he brought in 17 pounds, 11 ounces today to hold off local favorite Anthony Gagliardi with 76-5 total.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life,” says Becker after the victory. “I had started to think it was never going to happen.”


“I don’t catch big fish, and you need to catch big fish to win. But that’s fishing risky, which is basically what I did this week.”

The 2018 Rookie of the Year admits what he did went against his nature and made it one of the most stressful fishing weeks of his life. It’s understandable considering just how risky his pattern was. He truly had no idea where, when or if he’d get a bite. If his timing was off all day, he’d zero.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite on Lake Fork Day 2: Card Clobbers Them for Lead with 1: Walters Whacks 32-14lbs!

Canadians Gustafson 15th, Chris Johnston 18th & Cory Johnston 27th

BASS Press Release

(Photo: BASS)

Brandon Card of Salisbury, N.C., committed to a spot he called the “Hammer Hole” and nailed down a limit of 28 pounds, 1 ounce to lead Day 2 of the
Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.


Rising from third place, Card bolstered his Day 1 weight of 27-6 for a two-day total of 55-7 that leads Quentin Cappo of Prairieville, La., by 11 ounces.


Working in Little Caney Creek, Card’s key spot was a subtle point adjacent to multiple spawning pockets with a creek channel in close proximity. What’s interesting is that Card encountered this fish-laden staging area on his way to inspect other spots.


“I’m really fortunate I found this spot,” he said. “It didn’t look like much when I saw it on my side scan, but it looked like just enough to make me want to make a cast in there.


“I caught them at the mouth of Little Caney really good (during the Elite event) in 2019. I had two giant schools, so I checked that out and they weren’t there. So, I just kept going farther in there.”


With two fish over 6 pounds in his bag, Card did most of his work with a Yo-Zuri 3DB 110 jerkbait. He also caught fish on a 3DB 110 Deep, a Yo-Zuri Hardcore Crank 3+ and a 4-inch hand-poured swimbait on a 1/2-ounce lead head.


“Changing angles and trying to stay fresh on the baits was important,” he said. “I’m just thinking, ‘What else can I throw out there?’ I’ll rig up some new stuff tonight.”


Noting that he had his weight by about 9:45 a.m., Card said, “What a morning. There wasn’t much to speak of after the morning. I did catch a 4 1/2-pounder that didn’t help, but I couldn’t get on anything (productive) after I left the Hammer Hole.


“Hopefully, that place keeps reloading. It’s a pretty magical spot.”

2021 Tackle Warehouse Circuit Lake Murray Day 2: Becker Moved Into Lead with 41-02lbs!

Canadian Luzak 86th


Top 5 mixing up tactics. Sight fishing, docks, herring bite and points
are all key to bigger bass.
(Photo: MLF) 

No risk, no reward, right? Well, few anglers have taken a bigger risk this week than Matt Becker, and the reward has thus far spoken for itself.

Keying on a timing/schooling-fish pattern, the 2018 Rookie of the Year has turned only a couple 10-minute flurries into some of the biggest bags on Lake Murray. On Day 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers event, he turned three flurries into 21 pounds, 9 ounces. On Day 2, it was just one flurry, but it was good enough to help him toward his 19-9 bag that has him in the lead with 41-2 total.

“We survived another day, but boy was it stressful and risky,” says Becker. “I was super lucky on my timing again where I pulled up and was able to catch four of the five I weighed in in a few minutes. Otherwise, it was a struggle.”

That flurry came at 9 a.m. and before that, he hadn’t had a bite. But what really makes Becker’s pattern so stressful is he truly has no idea where, when or if he’ll get a bite. He knows the fish are there hanging off the edges of the points, but unless they move up shallow, he hasn’t been able to catch them. And he has no idea when he pulls up on a point if the fish have moved up, as the fish are not schooling visibly on the surface but just “schooling” and feeding up shallow.

Friday, April 23, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite on Lake Fork Day 1: Walters Whacks 32-14lbs!

Canadians Chris Johnston 11th, Cory Johnston 16th & Gustafson 45th

BASS Press Release


Repeat performance for Walters as he eye repeat win. 
(Photo: BASS) 

Patrick Walters
of Summerville, S.C., took advantage of a dramatic increase in opportunity to sack up a five-bass limit of 32 pounds, 14 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.


November saw Walters capture his first Elite title on Fork by topping the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a four-day total of 104-12. In that fall event, Walters targeted standing timber, but today’s leading limit came from staging areas outside the spawning pockets.


“My plan this morning was to start on shallow points and catch one or two fish,” Walters said. “When I got out there, I was surprised how many fish I started to see; it was like they multiplied from practice.


“I caught my first 7-pounder (around 7 a.m.) and I said, ‘That’s the fish I was here for.’ Then, I caught my second one and I was like, ‘Whoa, this may happen.’”


From there, Walters began running points and inspecting each spot with his Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. He reported finding bass grouped in numbers far exceeding anything he’d found in practice.


“Every point I started going to, the fish quadrupled on the places I found them, whereas in practice, on my starting spot, I caught one on a glidebait and it had one with it. I went back there today and there were 15 fish sitting on that spot.


“After that, I just starting running areas like that, and I’m pretty surprised what’s showing up. They almost seem prespawn, so I don’t know if that bite is going to get even better.”


Noting that he caught one small fish in 45 minutes of bed fishing, Walters said he spent the majority of his day throwing a glidebait and multiple jerkbaits on the offshore spots.


He wants to see his fish in a particular depth zone, as this indicates an interest in feeding. Walters found that not all of the fish he spotted on LiveScope were actually ready to go.


“I’m really surprised by the fish that are showing on the majority of spots I’m fishing, but it’s just getting them to bite,” he said. “There’s a weird bite going on; you have to fish slow sometimes, but I think if we keep our foot on the gas and fish for the aggressive fish, I think we can catch some fish this week.


“Hopefully we can just ride it out and make it to the weekend. That’s the plan — just make it to Championship Sunday.”


Friday’s forecast for rainy, windy conditions could play well for Walters. Many of his competitors spent larger portions of their day sight fishing. A dimmer day will significantly limit that pursuit, but Walters is prepared to deal with any impacts on his game plan.


“You can’t control any of the variables, especially Mother Nature, so you just have to adapt and go with whatever you’re presented with,” he said. “We’re just going to go fishing tomorrow and stay on our toes, adapt as much as possible and hopefully get five good bites.”


Enjoying a quick start, Walters tallied approximately 20 pounds with four fish by about 8:20 a.m. A dry spell followed, until Bassmaster LIVE saw him come tight on a serious fish that went 8-14.


About 30 minutes later, he culled a 2-pounder with a 5-8. Hooked in the back, that fish put Walters through a nail-biting battle before rising into reach.


Quentin Cappo of Prairieville, La., is in second place with 28-15. Starting his day with an 8-3 at 7:25, Cappo did his damage on shallow, rocky bottom.


“I’m excited to go out tomorrow; I’ve found them, I know where they’re at, it’s just a timing thing,” Cappo said. “I need wind on my spots. When the wind blows, I can catch them.”


Cappo caught all of the bass he weighed on a large-body squarebill. He’s using an aggressive presentation he described as “dredging” to stir up the bottom and trigger bites.


“The fish are feeding on big gizzard shad and I’m looking for five good quality bites,” Cappo said. “Fortunately, I had 18 keepers in the 3- to 8-pound range. I stepped on the gas because you don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring.


“This is a heavily pressured lake and they see these baits (often), so something different gets them fired up. When I’m there at the right time, it’s fast and then I get off of them.”


Brandon Card of Salisbury, N.C., is in third place with 27-6. Bed fishing was his opening game plan and while Card sight fished a 4 1/2-pounder, he ended up catching all of his weight fish by targeting offshore hard spots from 7 to 20 feet.


“I actually found a couple more areas that had some really good spawners, but the carp had muddied them up and finally, I said, ‘Forget this, I’m going to go out there and fish offshore like I like to fish,’ and it just kind of unfolded.


“I had some offshore places that I was confident about but I didn’t know how good they were going to be. On my best spot, I thought I was going to be able to catch a few, but it was unbelievable. I probably caught 20 fish off that spot.”


Card said he caught some fish with dragging presentations but most bit reaction baits.


There were 36 bags of 20 pounds or more caught and 10 bass over 7 pounds. Walters is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 8-14 largemouth.


Walters leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 433 points. Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., is in second with 424, followed by Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Canada, with 382.


Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Ala., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 340 points.


Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT from Sabine River Authority (SRA) — Lake Fork. The weigh-in will be held at SRA at 3 p.m.


The Top 49 anglers after Friday’s weigh-in will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Circuit Lake Murray Day 1: Clabion Johns and Tommy Dickerson Tie for Lead with 21-12lbs!

Canadian Luzak 90th


Numerous ties throughout the standing but Johns and Dickerson 
lead with 21-12lbs
 ( Photo: MLF) 

On one hand,
Lake Murray was what everyone expected. And on the other, it wasn’t.

With no single pattern or area of the lake outperforming any other, and anglers having numerous patterns available to them, Day 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers event played out perfectly. Down the lake, up the river, sight-fishing, herring spawn, topwaters – you name it, pros did it and caught fish.

That was especially true for Clabion Johns and Tommy Dickerson, who sit tied atop the leaderboard with 21 pounds, 12 ounces apiece.

Still, as great as the weights looked come weigh-in, plenty of anglers were left wondering what-if by the end of the day. More specifically, what if they hadn’t awoken to 34-degree air temperatures that sent many marked bedding bass running and had the morning bite as cold as the air temperature.

Just look at Dickerson.

The Texas pro hoped to get on a herring-spawn bite first thing, only to find no herring up shallow thanks to the cold. So, then he decided to try sight-fishing. Strike No. 2, and at 11:30 a.m. he didn’t have a fish.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pure Fishing Inc., the world’s largest fishing tackle company, has concluded its purchase of Plano Synergy Holdings Inc..

Originally posted by Angling International

As part of the closing of the purchase, Pure Fishing has also confirmed that it has closed the sale of Plano Synergy’s archery and hunting accessories brands to GSM Outdoors, the leader in the hunting, sport shooting and rugged outdoor market.

Pure Fishing will retain ownership of the iconic Plano and Frabill brands to complement the company’s existing footprint in the global fishing tackle market. It will also retain ownership of Plano’s storage and fall storage business, as well as the Creative Options and Caboodles brands.

This strategic acquisition is the third for Pure Fishing in two years under the ownership of private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

“This acquisition allows Pure Fishing to continue to build upon its industry-leading position within the fishing industry, something that remains a priority for the company,” said Pure Fishing CEO Harlan Kent. “By selling the archery and hunting accessories brands to GSM Outdoors, already a leader in the hunting and outdoors industry, we have created great brand alignment for both companies, which allows each of us to play to our own unique strengths.”

Through its purchase of the Plano Synergy archery and hunting accessory brands, GSM Outdoors adds Wildgame Innovations, Ameristep, Tenzing, Zink, Halo Optics, Flextone, Avian X, Evolved, Barnett and Zero Trace to its existing portfolio of 33 hunting and shooting-related brands. This strategic acquisition is the fourth for GSM Outdoors under the partnership with Gridiron Capital.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Dreams come true for Japanese Aoki with Douglas Lake win!

Finesse bite key to win for Japanese pro


Aoki claims his 1st BASS Open by 1 ounce. 
(Photo: BASS)

Daisuke Aoki has claimed numerous accolades in his homeland, but the Japanese standout secured his grandest objective Saturday by topping a stout field at the Bassmaster Southern Open on Douglas Lake with a three-day total of 43 pounds, 13 ounces. 

Hailing from Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi, Japan, Aoki kept himself in contention all week. He placed fourth on Day 1 with 15-13 and held that position a day later with a second-round limit of 13-5. On Championship Saturday, Aoki added 14-11 and edged Bassmaster Elite Drew Benton by an ounce.

With an impressive resume including the 2015 Japan Bass Top 50 Angler of the Year and the Basser Allstar Classic title, also 2015, Aoki has had his sights set on the sport’s most prestigious event. 

“The Bassmaster Classic is my dream,” Aoki said as he removed his sunglasses and wiped his eyes. “This is a dream come true.”

Along with his $51,833 first-place prize, Aoki earned a spot in the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk on Lake Hartwell. He achieved his long-awaited dream by applying techniques he commonly uses back home.

“Every day, I study American bass fishing,” Aoki said. “Fishing on Douglas Lake is very similar to Japanese finesse fishing.”

Aoki spent all of his time in about 5 feet of water, where he targeted prespawn and spawning fish with wacky rigs. He fished a pink DStyle finesse worm unweighted on a Hayabusa hook and a green pumpkin/blue flake Yamamoto Senko on a 1/16-ounce wacky jig.

“I used the Senko for bed fish,” Aoki said. “I used (rapid rod twitches) to swim the bait across the bottom.

“I used the 4-inch Senko when I could not see a bed. When I could see a bed, I used the 3-inch Senko.”

Aoki said he used the unweighted wacky rig to cover water between likely bedding areas. He fished this bait higher in the water column.

“It was cast, cast, cast — many spots,” Aoki said of his thorough coverage strategy.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Alton Jones wins 2021 General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops

Sprague Lands $100,000 Big Bass

By Mason Prince BPT

Alton Jones
is the winner of General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops after a dominating performance on Shearon Harris Reservoir to end a memorable week outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. The win was Jones’ first win on the Bass Pro Tour and the seventh tour-level win of his career.

Jones wasn’t the only Texas pro to take home $100,000 during the Championship Round. Fellow Texan Jeff Sprague finished second to Jones on SCORETRACKER®, but also caught a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth that earned him $100,000 for the biggest bass caught in the Championship Round. Sprague was able to edge out Jones by just 3 ounces for Berkley Big Bass honors.

Jones Was In the Championship Zone

Alton Jones’ son, Alton Jones Jr., tweeted earlier Wednesday morning that if the Championship Round of Heavy Hitters turned into a sight-fishing derby, his money was on his old man. Junior’s faith in his father’s sight-fishing ability proved to be prophetic as Senior separated himself from the other nine anglers decisively.

Jones beat out Sprague by 15-5 and was the only angler in the Championship Round to register more than 10 bass to SCORETRACKER®. That even more impressive considering the scorable bass weight threshold was raised to 3 pounds for the final round.

The Bass Force pro knew he had the win locked up for much of the final hour. When his MLF official gave him the good news, Jones was overcome with emotion.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Humminbird MEGA 360 Vs. Garmin LiveScope Perspective

There is a lot of debate about which unit is best for you. The Humminbird 360 has been a game changer but the Garmin LiveScope is getting a very strong following. 

This video is from Lawren Wetzel, who really knows his stuff when it comes to electronics. Lawren has spent almost 2 decades honing his skills using and selling electronics. He's up on all the trends and focuses on the fine details. Check this video out and determine for yourself. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Jason Christie Wins 2021 Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River with 43-15lbs!

Canadians Chris Johnston 4th!


Being a river rat pays off for Christie as he pushed his aluminum 
bass boat to the far reaches of the Sabine. 
(Photo: BASS)

Sticking with a bold plan, but making key adjustments was the winning formula for Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., whose four-day total of 43 pounds, 15 ounces topped the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.


Claiming his sixth Bassmaster victory, Christie posted his best effort on Day 1 with a second-place limit of 15-1. He took over the top spot on Friday by adding 13-14 and held that position on Day 3 with a limit of 6-12. He closed the deal with a Championship Sunday limit that weighed 8-4.


After entering the final round with a 15-ounce lead over Day 1 leader Brock Mosley, Christie edged Mosley by a margin of 1-6.


For four days, Christie committed the majority of his time to a narrow creek about two hours upriver from takeoff. Locating the spot in practice, Christie recognized its mix of shallow wood and cut banks as prime bass habitat, while the distant run discouraged all but one competitor from fishing the area.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

2021 Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River Day 2: Christie Jumps into Lead with 28-15lbs!

Canadians Chris Johnston 4th, Cory Johnston 70th & Gustafson 72nd 


Christie fishing skinny water for fat bass.
(Photo: BASS)

Putting significant distance between himself and the rest of the 98-boat field, Jason Christie amassed a two-day total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces and took over the Day 2 lead of the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.


Placing second on Thursday with 15-1, the pro from Park Hill, Okla., added 13-14 Friday.


Christie is running nearly two hours up the Sabine River to fish a small backwater area with abundant shallow cover and clear water. He caught fish flipping yesterday, but with more inflowing water, a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white/blue Booyah Covert spinnerbait with tandem nickel and gold Colorado blades produced best Friday.


“The water was high and the current was ripping in there and I’m starting to think that the best thing to do is just cover water when it’s high,” Christie said. “Tomorrow, I might go up there and it might be low and the current’s slowed down and I can catch them flipping again. I’ll just have to see what happens when I get there.”


Christie had previously visited his general area when the Elites last visited the Sabine in 2018. Expanding his waters led him to greater opportunity.


“I just didn’t go far enough the last time we were here, and it seems like they’re tucked in there a little ways,” Christie said. “I had practiced up there and, honestly, I had written it off, but I got home and looked at Google Earth and there was one place I hadn’t been.