Monday, July 15, 2024

Jay Przekurat Wins 2024 St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake St. Clair presented by SEVIIN

Canadian Jamie Bruce 3rd!


By Christopher Decker

BASS Press Release

There’s nothing Jay Przekurat smallmouth bass, and this week at Lake St. Clair the 25-year-old utilized a methodical approach to catch some of the most meaningful brown fish of his career. 

With a three-day total of 75 pounds, 5 ounces, Przekurat claimed the title at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake St. Clair presented by SEVIIN, his first Opens victory as a boater. His quickly growing resume includes two Opens victories as a co-angler, an Elite Series title at the St. Lawrence River in 2022 and 2022 Elite Series Rookie of the Yearhonors.

Opening the tournament in fourth place with 24-3, the Plover, Wis., pro jumped to second on Day 2 with 25-1 before landing 26-1 in the final round. All three limits were personal bests on the famed fishery. 

“I had to stay on a 25-pound average on St. Clair. That is almost unheard of in the month of July right after the spawn,” Przekurat said. “A lot of hard work and preparation came together. All of the lost fish I was thinking about, I don’t have to think about anymore. 

“I was doing my favorite thing, catching giant smallmouth.”

Given he fishes the final two Division III events at Leech Lake and the Upper Mississippi River, another body of water he is very familiar with, Przekurat will earn an automatic bid to the 2025 Bassmaster Classic. 

Currently in seventh place in Progressive Angler of the Year standings, Przekurat will have the freedom to take some risks at the final two Elite Series events in search of his first AOY title. 


“Now I feel like I can shoot for it in the Elite Series,” he said. “It relieves some stress.”

Michigan’s Aaron Jagdfeld moved into second with a total of 71-12 followed by Canadian Jamie Bruce in third with 71-10. Trevor McKinney, who led Days 1 and 2, fell to fourth with 71-8. With calm, sunny conditions prevailing, the entire Top 10 caught bags weighing more than 21 pounds on the final day of competition, an exclamation point on a phenomenal week of fishing that saw 412 limits achieved across three days. 

Throughout the tournament, the former Elite Series Rookie of the Year focused on several specific quarter-mile stretches of Anchor Bay. Those stretches featured a hard sand bottom with sparse grass. His best areas needed to have both of those ingredients, but the majority of his smallies were caught off a clean bottom.

He also recognized that if he found a group of three smallmouth together, they would almost always be better-than-average-sized bass and he could get one of them to bite easier than the single bass he saw. Garmin LiveScope was essential in finding these groups of bass.

“If I could find one in a group of three, it would usually be a bigger one,” Przekurat explained. “I did catch some big ones that were by themselves too, but I could almost call my shots if it was a group of three. They’d all chase it, and they’d all look big.”

While other anglers raced around on their trolling motor looking for smallmouth across the bay, Przekurat instead slowed down in his best stretches and refished them multiple times a day.

“A lot of guys were saying, ‘Oh, you can put the trolling motor down and go wherever you want,’ but it wasn’t really like that,” he explained. “You were going to catch fish, don’t get me wrong, but you weren’t going to catch better-than-average-sized fish consistently. I had three sections and ran them the entire day. I would sit in one spot for a couple hours and then another one a couple hours.”

During practice and the first day of the tournament, an Arkansas shiner-colored Strike King Baby Z Too rigged on a drop shot with a ⅜-ounce Woo Tungsten weight was Przekurat’s bait of choice. Because of how many short strikes he received, he threaded the bait onto his hook. 

As the tournament progressed, he began rigging the Baby Z Too on a ¼-ounce jighead and feathered the bait over the smallmouth. The slower he could let the bait move to the bass and keep it over their heads, the better, Przekurat said. Some of the bass Przekurat saw would follow the bait for 30 seconds. 

“When I made the key adjustment to put it on a jighead instead of a drop shot is when the lightbulb clicked on,” Przekurat said. “I could go through the same areas and get the fish to move. The key was to go as slow as you could go and getting the fish’s attention. Maybe pick up the pace if it picks up the pace. I was matching the pace of the fish. 

“Most of the time, it was slow and steady, keep the bait coming and I would feel a tick. That’s when it would either engulf it or eat about a quarter of the Baby Z Too.”

After losing more than 20 pounds worth of bass on the second day, Przekurat landed four bass on the final day that weighed more than 5 pounds. His biggest came late in the day as the pleasure boat traffic began to pick up. Being able to forget about the bass he didn’t land and moving onto the next bite was critical.

“So many people lost fish this week,” he said. “I don’t know what the deal was, but just staying in the game was important. One minute you would lose a 5 (pounder), but you know there are 4,000 of them swimming out here ready to be caught.”

In his first Open, Jagdfeld landed bags of 24-4, 25-0 and 22-8 to finish in the runner-up position. The recent Adrian College graduate calls St. Clair home and will be competing in the College Classic Bracket later this year with teammate Elliot Wielgopolski after winning the Legends Trail of the Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops.

“It’s been an incredible experience. A lot of these guys I was watching on Bassmaster LIVE two weeks ago wanting to be in their position,” he said. “Being able to fish against them in the Opens is really cool.”



Friday, July 12, 2024

ICAST 2024: Abu Garcia Max X Spincast Combo

Abu Garcia Max X Spincast Combo

Completely redesigned from the ground up, the Max X Spincast combo offers a new spin on the traditional spincast platform



The newest spincast combo to hit the market, the Abu Garcia Max X, takes spincast reels to a whole new level. A unique, hybrid design melds the traditional spincast reel with the ergonomics and design of a low profile reel, creating a reel that not only performs well on the water but has a better fit in the palm of your hand for long-lasting comfort.


The Max X Spincast features a two-bearing system for smooth operation and peak casting distance, as well as an aluminum handle with co-molded handle knobs. The star drag system enhances the look and feel of the reel similar to a standard low-profile reel. The Max X Spincast is offered as a combo combining a lightweight and durable graphite composite rod blank with a high-density EVA handle for increased sensitivity. 

KEY FEATURES – SPINCAST COMBO

  • Low-profile spincast design
  • Two bearing system
  • Co-molded handle
  • Star drag system
  • Lightweight graphite composite construction
  • High density EVA for increased feel

MSRP: $39.99

Available: September 2024

ICAST 2024: Savage Gear's RevMag Walker

 Savage Gear RevMag Walker Delivers Long Distance Precision Presentations

The ultimate topwater walking bait with irresistible action built for smooth casting



Savage Gear has prioritized designing technology that answers the demand for lures that can attract and land large saltwater species. Savage Gear introduces the RevMag Walker, an innovative topwater lure featuring Savage Gear’s new patent-pending reverse magnetic weight transfer system that ensures longer casts while maintaining perfect balance in the water. 


The Savage Gear RevMag Walker introduces a never-seen-before lure design that enables precise casts and long-distance presentations. No longer will anglers endure the frustration of topwater lure hooks fouling on the surface upon impact. The innovative magnetic weight transfer system in the RevMag Walker allows the weight to move backward during the cast. Then the internal magnet kicks in, transferring the weight and propelling the weight forward while ensuring a smooth, flat landing on the water.

ICAST 2024: ZMan's Graph ShadZ



Blending the “Science and Art of Fishing” into a singular, powerful forward-facing sonar lure, the new Graph ShadZ is already delivering A-level impressions— on forward-facing sonar screens and livewell weights alike.

Available in October, the 3.8-inch Z-Man Graph ShadZ dons ten tournament-tailored patterns and three weights (3/16-, 1/4- and 3/8-ounce), each with color-matched heads and bodies.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

ICAST 2024: LIVETARGET's New Freestyle Frog 2.0


The all-new Freestyle Frog 2.0 capitalizes on LIVETARGET’s massive success by combining all the award-winning benefits of legacy LIVETARGET frogs. This soft-body topwater lure leverages Injected Core Technology to combine an alluring inner core and a highly durable, exoskeleton. Its innovative hollow core is easily compressed when a fish bites and greatly improves buoyancy in any environment. Ultra-realistic extending legs give the frog an unmatched lifelike profile and action in the water. MSRP $9.99

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

ICAST 2024: Berkley Fusion19 Hybrid Jighead

 Building off the success and premium components of the Berkley Fusion19 Swimbait Jighead, the brand new Fusion19 Hybrid Jighead has all of the same great features with modern roundball jig performance and a 90-degree line tie. Available in two hook size options per head, this versatile jighead gives anglers the opportunity to utilize a variety of soft bait shapes and sizes perfectly tuned for their favorite techniques. 




Designed with a low center of gravity, the Fusion19 Hybrid Jighead is able to maintain precise balance and bait orientation while cutting through the water, providing anglers with the ability to generate a side-topside rolling action that proves deadly with finicky fish.

The Fusion19 Hybrid Jighead comes equipped with a sticky sharp double-conical hook point and a conical bait keeper for straight and precise locked-in rigging. Excelling in a variety of fishing applications, the hybrid jighead can be utilized for mid-strolling, Damiki style baits, finesse swimbaits, and vertical fishing applications. Pair it with Berkley’s new PowerBait Drip Minnow and Drip Swimmer or any of Berkley’s softbaits for an unprecedented advantage.


KEY FEATURES

  • Ultra-sharp double-conical point for easy hook sets
  • Conical bait-keeper for locked in rigging
  • Ballast weighting keeps the jig and soft plastic upright
  • Forged light-wire hook provides strength and finesse
  • High-definition detail and 3D eye for added realism
  • 90-degree line tie "roundball performance" for vertical or casting presentations
  • Weight and hook size printed on head
  • Six weights in two hook sizes each for perfect technique paring
Sizes: 1/32oz #10, 1/32oz #4 • 1/16oz #4, 1/16oz # 1 • 1/8oz 1/0, 1/8oz 3/0 • 3/16oz 1/0, 3/16oz 3/0 • 1/4oz 2/0, 1/4oz 4/0 • 3/8oz 2/0, 3/8oz 4/0
Colors: Pearl White • Chartreuse • Firetiger • Fish Head • Unpainted • Chrome
MSRP: $5.99-$6.99

Available: September 2024

ICAST 2024: Siglon PE AMZ by Sunline

 


Siglon PE AMZ is an eight-strand high performance braided line. AMZ features a new special processing of braided line strands. Performance Sustainable Processing (PSP) is done on this product which significantly prolongs the initial performance of the braided line. SPS maintains the initial smoothness and durability of the braided line to help it keep performing at peak performance. By preventing fraying and maintaining initial slickness casting distance and feel remains at initial levels. AMZ is a great choice for spinning or baitcast reels and any technique where braided line is the choice.

  • 8 strand braid

  • PSP-Performance Sustaining Processing for greater longevity

  • Reduced fraying and maintained slickness for longer performance life

  • Two colors available, orange for high visibility and dark green for stealth

Orange: 165 YD or 660 YD Spool; Available in 10 LB, 12 LB, 16 LB, 18 LB Test

Dark Green: 165 YD or 660 YD Spool; Available in 35 LB, 50 LB, 60LB Test

Monday, July 8, 2024

ICAST 2024: Northland Fishing Tackle’s New Eye-Candy™ Jiggin’ & Riggin’ Leeches

 Leeches have been a walleye fishing mainstay since the early 1960s. Prior to that, only a handful of savvy anglers trapped and used them. Just ask longtime Northland guide and angler, Dick “Griz” Gryzwinski, who was fishing leeches in the 1950s, but kept their walleye magic close to the vest.

Eye- Candy Jiggin' Leech






Eye Candy Riggin' Leech 


Over the years, leech prices have inflated – especially for larges and jumbos – the bait currently fetching $50/pound or more—if you can find them. And if you’re a slip bobber or rigging angler, you know that you can go through a lot of leeches, sorting panfish and other species from walleyes. Of course, that’s not a bad thing for the table, but you can burn through a lot of bait.

Have there been other bait companies who have tried to mimic the unique look, texture, feel, and action of fishing leeches? Absolutely.

But until now, most have been crude, lifeless pieces of plastic. That’s where Northland’s Eye-Candy Jiggin’ Leech and Eye-Candy Riggin’ Leech differ. Molded of a highly-buoyant and scent-absorbing TPE plastic, they nearly float on a dropshot, jig, or rig hook, making them move just like the real thing with subtle rod actions, boat speed, or underwater currents, even at a standstill.

We talked with a few guides to get the skinny on these fat walleye-catchers, catching up with Brian “Bro” Brosdahl (northern MN), Donnie O’Bert (Rainy Lake), and Brad Hawthorne (Mille Lacs). 


Bro Knows Leeches

“The new Jiggin’ and Riggin’ Leeches are ideal summer walleye baits,” says Bro. “The Jiggin’ Leech is the perfect size and works great on a long-shank, short-shank, or stand-up jig. They’re really as effective as the real thing without the fuss of live bait. Another thing: For going into Canada or places where live bait is restricted, they’re the perfect solution.”

Bro continues: “I’ve been fishing a lot of the black- and darker-colored leeches, but on guide trips I will have clients experiment with different colors based on water clarity. Bright colors on bright days and darker colors on dark days holds true.”

Both baits, Bro says, catch walleyes. “Fish recognize the size, shape, and movement and come over right away to eat it, which is super cool for a plastic bait. They have a real swimming motion, and rigged on a jig, rig, or dropshot, it’s pretty close to the real thing because of the TPE plastic which has a lot of buoyancy and will also absorb scent to kick it up a notch—like adding some Pro Cure.”

Lastly, Bro adds that now through fall, the Riggin’ Leech is going to be a dynamite solution for spinner harnesses—either drifted or trolled. 

Friday, July 5, 2024

Jason Greentree Teams Up with Fish TV


Jason Greentree, a well-known angler from southern Ontario has joined Fish TV. He will be a co-host with Leo Stakos and Jeff Chisholm. He takes over co-host duties as long time co-host Ron James retired. This year marks Fish TV's 21st season on television. 

Jason made the announcement on his Facebook account. He wrote:

I’m very proud to make this announcement. Some have already heard but as I’m packing for my first adventure that starts tomorrow I will make this official. As the New Co-Host of “Fish Tv” @teamfishtv I’m looking forward to the opportunity to both educate and entertain you through our many planned adventures this year. Be sure to tune in this fall and check them out.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Skeet Reese claims first Bass Pro Tour trophy with James River!


By Michell Forde

BASS PRO TOUR

RICHMOND, Va. — On his 55th birthday, Skeet Reese received the best present of his life. The Bass Fishing Hall of Famer added his first Bass Pro Tour trophy to his long list of accolades at General Tire Stage Six Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts on the James River, plus the $100,000 top prize that came with it.

Reese totaled 54 pounds, 3 ounces on 23 scorable bass during Sunday’s Championship Round. He would need just about all of it, as Jeff Sprague put together a furious late-day rally but ultimately fell 3-11 shy of Reese’s total. 

The California pro said the 12th victory of his legendary career will go down as one of his most memorable, as each passing season has made him increasingly hungry to join the list of BPT champions.

“This I what I’ve been fishing for the last five years out here, trying to be able to be in a position to hoist one of these Bass Pro Tour trophies,” Reese said. “To beat the group of guys that we compete against – I mean, literally, this is the best group of anglers assembled ever in the history of the sport. So, to beat these guys, that means a lot to me.”

Here’s how the Top 10 finished the Championship Round:

  1. Skeet Reese — 54-3 (23)
  2. Jeff Sprague — 50-8 (25)
  3. Nick LeBrun — 37-3 (16)
  4. Bryan Thrift — 35-9 (16)
  5. Michael Neal — 34-10 (16)
  6. Gerald Spohrer — 32-11 (14)
  7. Dylan Hays — 30-4 (14)
  8. Spencer Shuffield — 24-9 (12)
  9. Andy Montgomery — 18-2 (10)
  10. Jonathon VanDam — 14-6 (7)

Complete results

Monday, July 1, 2024

Happy Canada Day!!

 


Wishing all our Canadian fans a wonderful Canada Day!

Takumi Ito Wins 2024 TNT Firework Bassmaster Elite at Smith Lake with 58lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 4th & Cooper Gallant 6th!


By Andrew Calulette

BASS Press Release

CULLMAN, Ala. — The Bassmaster Elite Series Media Guide notes that Smith Lake is Taku Ito’s favorite U.S. fishery.

On Sunday, at the TNT Fireworks Bassmaster Elite Series stop at Smith Lake, he showed the world why.

Ito, a 38-year-old pro from Chiba, Japan, led a field of 98 Elites with a four-day total of 20 bass totaling 58 pounds. That was 4-1 more than Robert Gee, who finished second with 53-15, and 4-2 more than Jay Przekurat, who placed third with 53-14. 

Ito claimed $100,000 for finishing first, his second Elite title. In a virtual tie with Gee and Przekurat late in the day, Ito landed a 5-12 spotted bass with just over an hour left of fishing time. That fish earned Ito bonuses as the daily ($1,000) and overall Phoenix Boats Big Bass ($2,000) and helped him weigh the Rapala CrushCity Monster Bag of 16-9 worth $2,000.

It was a wild finish to what had been a difficult tournament for many of the Elites. The Alabama heat made Smith’s fabled spotted bass bite go slack at times, and most bass caught ranged from 1 to 2 pounds. The heat index, which climbed into triple digits during the final three days of the tournament, made the sluggish bite that much more grueling. 

Saturday, June 29, 2024

2024 TNT Firework Bassmaster Elite at Smith Lake Day 3: Robert Gee Snags Lead, Takumi Ito 2nd!

Canadians Cory Johnston 4th, Gallant 7th, Chris Johnston 18th & Gustafson 40th

By Andrew Calulette


BASS Press Release

CULLMAN, Ala. — With the leaderboard as tight as it’s been at the TNT Fireworks Bassmaster Elite at Smith Lake, the door was open for any of the 50 remaining anglers in the tournament to move up the standings.

Robert Gee is that guy.

After lurking near the lead for the first half of the tournament, the 25-year-old Knoxville, Tenn., resident grabbed the pole position on Saturday with a 14-pound, 2-ounce bag that gave him a three-day total of 41-9.

It’s the slimmest of cushions, though, with every one of the remaining 10 anglers in the field less than four pounds from Gee’s lead. And that’s perfectly fitting for what could be one of the most competitive Championship Sundays in recent memory.

Taku Ito, the 38-year-old veteran from Chiba, Japan, is just behind Gee with a three-day weight of 41-7. Jay Przekurat, a 25-year-old Elite pro from Stevens Point, Wis., is third with 41-6.

Gee’s lead might be bigger, but he had three fish expire on Day 2 of the tournament, which resulted in a 12-ounce deduction to his daily total. In a difficult derby, when every ounce is precious, he’s hoping that unfortunate situation doesn’t come back to haunt him.

“It’s going to be a game of ounces,” Gee said. “And I might be up by a pound without that penalty. It was the heat. I guess I didn’t buy enough ice. It was just stress on the fish from being so hot.”

2024 TNT Firework Bassmaster Elite at Smith Lake Day 2: Cody Huff Grabs Lead!

Canadians Cory Johnston 5th, Gallant 15th, Chris Johnston 25th & Gustafson 40th

By Andrew Calulette 

BASS Press Release

CULLMAN, Ala. — The heat was on,

literally and figuratively, on Day 2 of the

TNT Fireworks Bassmaster Elite at

Smith Lake. And at the halfway point of this Elite


Series derby, Cody Huff is the one

holding fellow Elite feet to the fire.

Huff, a 27-year-old pro from Ava, Mo., leads the tournament with a two-day total of 10 bass for 29 pounds, 1 ounce. And while that might not be the eye-popping weight the sport’s best sticks regularly post, it’s certainly an impressive total given the slack bite on Day 1 followed by blistering temperatures that pushed the heat index into triple digits Friday.

The heat was extreme enough that Huff came to the scales more than an hour early on Friday, weighing in at approximately 1 p.m.

“I had a fish die on me, and I didn’t want to take the chance of losing any more,” Huff said.

His 15-4 total Friday was the heaviest of the day, even with the expired fish factored into his total. He bagged 13-13 on Thursday.