Thursday, November 30, 2023

WON Bass announces new partnerships, incentives

 WON Bass, the longest-running Western bass fishing tournament circuit, has announced new partnerships for the 2024 WON Bass Western Opens Series and more incentives for its participants.

In 2024, the WON Bass Western Opens Series will include five pro-am style events that will be held in California, Nevada and Arizona. The events will also feature automatic berths for pro and AAA anglers to compete in the 2025 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

In a new partnership with B.A.S.S., the Top 5 anglers in each of the four regional pro and AAA events as well as the Top 5 anglers in the WON Bass Angler of the Year standings after the five events will receive berths into the 2025 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. From that event, three anglers will earn berths into the 2026 Bassmaster Classic.

In addition to the 25 B.A.S.S. Nation entries, the Top 5 pros in the 2024 WON Bass Angler of the Year standings will receive priority entry codes to the 2025 Bassmaster Opens, guaranteeing their spot in the Opens Elite Qualifiers Division. Only EQ anglers, who compete in all nine Bassmaster Opens have a chance to qualify for the 2026 Bassmaster Elite Series.

To be eligible, each angler will be required to be a current member of WON Bass and B.A.S.S Nation and not competing in the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series, MLF Bass Pro Tour, MLF Invitationals or the National Professional Fishing League (NPFL).

Monday, November 27, 2023

Legendary Angler Hank Parker Joins X Zone Lures!


TV and BASS Angler legend has moved to X Zone. This is their announcement on their Facebook page, t “Thrilled” is one word to convey the feelings that we at X Zone Lures have in our recently formed partnership with one of the greatest bass anglers of all time! Join us in welcoming Hank Parker to X Zone Lures!! 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Former Classic champion David Fritts announces retirement from B.A.S.S.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After a career that spanned parts of five decades, decorated professional angler David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., has announced his retirement from B.A.S.S. The 1993 Bassmaster Classic champion and 1994 Bassmaster Angler of the Year said his declining health and the rigors of the various B.A.S.S. schedules were the major factors in his decision.

“I had COVID-19 in 2021, and I still have what they call ‘long COVID,’” Fritts said. “I still can’t smell anything. I never got all of my energy back, and it sort of messed my heart up a little bit. My bones and my joints still work pretty well, but I just don’t quite have the stamina or energy I used to have.”
Though Fritts said he may still explore a less rigorous schedule, he doesn’t think he has it left in him to pursue the Bassmaster Elite Series or the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens.

That puts a cap on a star-studded career that began with the 1986 Georgia Invitational on West Point Lake and ended with the 2023 Elite Series event on the St. Lawrence River. Between those dates, he became one of the few anglers to win a Classic, an AOY title and the FLW Tour’s Forrest Wood Cup.
“Winning the Bassmaster Classic makes your career, and to follow up with the AOY in 1994 was really something special,” said Fritts, who had five victories and earned more than $1 million with B.A.S.S. “Winning the Forrest Wood Cup in 1997 was also a really big moment for me. All of those things were big stepping stones and building blocks for my career.”

Monday, November 20, 2023

Major League Fishing announces roster for 2024 Bass Pro Tour

Reigning Angler of the Year Matt Becker, six-time BPT winner Jacob Wheeler highlight 80-angler field


BENTON, Ky. — Major League Fishing announced today the roster for the 2024 Bass Pro Tour, the sixth season of professional bass fishing’s preeminent tournament circuit. The field of 80 of the world’s top bass fishing professionals will compete across nine states during the Bass Pro Tour season for a total purse of more than $6.7 million.

The season starts Jan. 30 at the Bass Pro Tour Stage One at Toledo Bend in Many, Louisiana, and ends in August at the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, where the 2024 Bass Pro Tour Angler of Year will be crowned and 40 berths into REDCREST 2025 on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville will be determined.

“We’re excited to announce the Bass Pro Tour roster for the 2024 season,” said Kathy Fennel, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Major League Fishing. “The Bass Pro Tour represents the highest level of competition our sport has to offer, and nowhere is that more evident than in the field of anglers who will be competing in 2024. It’s going to be an extremely competitive season.”

The 2024 field is headlined by 2023 Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) Matt Becker, as well as two-time Bass Pro Tour AOY Jacob Wheeler and 2019 AOY and REDCREST champion Edwin Evers. Also returning are multi-time MLF winner Ott DeFoe, REDCREST 2023 champion Bryan Thrift, multi-time Bass Pro Tour winner and REDCREST 2021 champion Dustin Connell, and up-and-coming superstars Alton Jones, Jr. and Dakota Ebare. REDCREST 2022 champion Bobby Lane will also return to the lineup via a champions exemption after a one-year hiatus from the Tour. The 2024 field includes 29 anglers who have won either a major circuit Angler of the Year title or national tour-level championship.


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Jordan Lee makes legendary return to Bassmaster Elite Series


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Former back-to-back Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic champion Jordan Lee is headed back to the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2024. Lee will return to the Elites via a Legend’s spot in the field, which opened when Larry Nixon announced his retirement.

 In just five seasons competing in major B.A.S.S. events, Lee, of Grant, Ala., amassed more than $1.1 million in earnings through wins in the 2017 and 2018 Bassmaster Classic and dominant performances in both the Elites and the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens, notching 21 Top 10s and 36 Top 30 finishes.


“It is great to welcome Jordan back home to the Bassmaster stage, where he built such a fantastic career spanning from college to the historic back-to-back Classic victories,” said Lisa Talmadge, tournament director for the Elite Series.


The former Auburn University angler, who was an early star in the Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, is ready to get back to the biggest stage in fishing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Larry Nixon retires from Bassmaster Elite Series

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Bassmaster’s first “Million Dollar Man,” Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., is stepping away from the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2024. Nixon decided at the end of the 2023 season that his health would not allow him to compete at his usual high standard.


Two-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year and 14-time B.A.S.S. champion Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., who returned to the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2023, has announced his retirement. (Photo: BASS)

“The Elite Series grind is more than most people could ever imagine,” said Nixon. “The elements of professional bass fishing are some of the toughest things in all of sports. Over the course of my career I’ve worn out two thumbs, a shoulder, a heart, a knee and an elbow due to competitive repetition.


“My health is OK, but, believe me, everything is just worn out. It’s become really difficult to just do normal things like tie knots and other little things.”


Nixon’s return to the Bassmaster stage in 2023 was much anticipated by the fans of the sport, the anglers and Nixon himself.


“Coming back to B.A.S.S. was one of the highest points of my career,” he said. “Year 46 — or whatever year this is — was absolutely fantastic. The fans at B.A.S.S. are unlike anything else in the sport. It was honestly like I never left.


“The camaraderie, the kids (and) the other Elite competitors all made me smile a lot this year because of the reception I got all year.”


With 14 B.A.S.S. wins and over $1.66 million in career earnings, Nixon cemented his legacy as one of the all-time greats in professional bass fishing.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Bradley Hallman steps away from Bassmaster Elite Series


After rejoining the Bassmaster Elite Series during the 2023 season, Bradley Hallman of Edmond, Okla., has decided to step away from Elite competition. Every angler fishing the Elite Series understands how much time and effort it takes to be successful, and Hallman — citing among other things a desire to be more connected to his family — decided that this lifestyle was no longer a fit.


“I think it’s just a combination of a lot of different things to be honest,” said Hallman on why he’s decided to step away. “I knew in my heart on the way back from the New York tournaments that I had a lot to think about, and I just wanted to make this decision for myself and my family.


“I knew a few years ago when I jumped (into) the Opens that it would be something to help motivate me to have a goal and want to make the Elites, but I’ve realized that I just don’t burn like I used to in order to compete at the highest level.”

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Lest We Forget


Lest We Forget the brave men and woman who created a free Canada.
Freedom was never free. 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Score a front-row seat to Elite Series action as a Bassmaster marshal

Bass fishing enthusiasts who want to learn from the world’s best anglers while exploring legendary fisheries can enjoy insider access to their favorite pros as marshals for the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series.

Not only will marshals learn tips for breaking down a fishery and fast-track their learning curve, but AFTCO will be hooking marshals up with apparel, gear, a gift card and other items with a total value of $75, plus a 20% off coupon for future purchases. For those dedicated few who serve as marshals for more than three events, they will receive a $100 AFTCO gift card.


"I enjoy doing it, for one, because I tournament fish as a co-angler ... and you get to learn a lot from the guys,” said Holly Keen, the marshal who had a front-row seat to Lee Livesay’s record-breaking day on Lake Fork in 2021. “If you’ve got questions, they’ll answer them. They’ll tell exactly what they think you should be doing under certain conditions, what to use and why." 


Registration for B.A.S.S. Life and Nation members opens online on November 30. All other B.A.S.S. members may register online beginning December 7. Marshal spots are available for just $99.


According to Keen, the learning experience on the water with Elite anglers is invaluable.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Lee Livesay Switches to Xpress Boats for the 2024 BASS Elite Season!

New for the BASS Elite Tour, Lee Livesay will be teaming up with Xpress Boats. 

Here is his Facebook post about it. 

Proud to announce my partnership with the Xpress Boats family. I am excited to team up with such a historic brand with over 55 years of knowledge in the boat building industry. Xpress Boats are the original all welded high performance aluminum boats. I will be running an Xpress X-21 on the Bassmaster Elite Series. I look forward to showcasing the performance, fit, finish and logistics of running an Xpress.

To follow Livesay, link here.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Mrazek makes it happen! Texas pro claims Toyota Series Championship with 7-ounce win on Table Rock

Top Canadians Evan Kung 10th & Erik Luzak 12th!

Bringing a sweet 16 pounds to the scales took Chad Mrazek to his first major win. Photo by Matt Brown.
MLF Press Release 

BRANSON, Mo. – Chad Mrazek backed up his impressive Day 2 bag with a five-bass limit for 16 pounds even on the final day of the Toyota Series Championship Presented by Simms. His Saturday bag was enough to boost his three-day total to 47-2 and earn him the win by 7 ounces over All-American champion Emil Wagner.

The victory represents the first win as a pro for the 23-year-old Texas native. He picked a good time for it. The win is worth $200,000 plus contingencies and a berth in REDCREST 2024

Down to the wire

Ideally, Day 3 of the tournament sails by – big fish bite early and often, and the winner ends up back at the dock with a good chunk of time to spare. Of course, that’s usually not the case, and it was certainly not the case for Mrazek, as the Texas pro didn’t have a keeper in the boat until noon.

“I fished drains all day, ‘Scoping them of course, mainly targeting singles, casting at every one I would see,” he said. “In the evening, I was fishing flatter, shallower pockets and creeks. Every school I had that was setting up late in the day, they were only setting up in flatter, shallower drains, and there aren’t a lot in this lake. I pretty much found five of them, and rotated them all day.

“I didn’t have a fish until noon. I was sitting on one until like 1 p.m. Then, I hit the back of this drain with a giant tree. The timber fields will have standing timber, and some that have fallen sideways. This one had a giant fallen tree on it, and I caught a 3 ½-pound spot and a 3-pound smallmouth off it.”

It was part of a hot afternoon that saw Mrazek go from a goose egg to 16 pounds and the win.

This week, the young Texan started out fishing deep with an ice jig and a Damiki rig – basically on the same game as much of the field. Then, he adapted.

“Day 2, I needed to go swing, and the only way I knew how was to fish for smallmouth all day,” he said.

Swinging meant fishing “shallow” in 20 to 37 feet. Targeting main lake pockets and “drains” with a flat contour and timber, Mrazek was able to pick off fish with a jig that were in and around the trees.


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Northland Tackle's Greater Expansion into Canada!

Legacy tackle manufacturer recruits Can-Am Sales Group to multiply sales in Canada

 Northland Fishing Tackle and Canada are like peanut butter and jelly. If it catches fish in Canada, Northland makes it. And now, the Minnesota-based fishing gear manufacturer further fortifies its relationship with Canadian anglers by recruiting the Can-Am Sales Group, a leading full-service sales organization out of Quebec, Canada.

“We have always had strong business partners in Canada, but now with the signing of Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, and our purchase of Smeltinator, we are adding the Can-Am Sales Group to help us expand our retail and marketing support throughout all of Canada,” said Northland President and CEO Gregg Wollner.