Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Your Chance to Win Kevin VanDam's Boat


VanDam Victory Lap Sweepstakes
Your Chance to Win Kevin VanDam's Boat
It’s your turn to take the wheel from the best bass angler ever. KVD’s Nitro® Z21 XL Pro was his final competition bass boat — his signature setup with signature technology from Minn Kota® and Humminbird®.
How & Where to Enter:
  • Method 1 - Form Entry (limit 1 entry per person): Enter Here
  • Method 2 - Enter on Instagram: Enter Here
    • Follow the instructions on our pinned VanDam Victory Lap Post and stay tuned for final opportunities to enter on Instagram on May 16th.
  • Method 3 - Post a Photo on Instagram
    • Post a photo of yourself with a Minn Kota or Humminbird logo or product on Instagram with #KVDVictoryLap and tag both brands (limit 1 post per day, March 14 – June 2, 2024)

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Abu Garcia Zenon LTX BFS Reel and BFS Spinning and Casting Rods


Abu Garcia’s improvement to the Bait Finesse Systems (BFS) craze

Avid anglers are always eager to hop on new trends to improve their skill set. Recently, anglers have jumped on the bandwagon of a new trend in fishing tackle called Bait Finesse Systems (BFS). For Abu Garcia, it is imperative to have a rod and reel solution for every angler looking to Fish to Win. To improve the experience and performance of utilizing BFS style baits, Abu Garcia introduces the Zenon BFS casting reel to pair with all new Zenon BFS spinning and casting rods.

Bait finesse is a specialized technique that started in the Japanese market and is quickly making its way to the shores of North America as new finesse techniques become more popular. BFS reels in particular allow for a low-profile set up that is able to throw very lightweight baits. This is specifically effective for highly pressured fish or when anglers need to throw baits that are ⅛-ounce or lighter and want to do so on casting gear. The new Zenon BFS reels have been purposefully designed to give anglers the right tool for the job, regardless of any lightweight technique. 

Adding three models of BFS rods to the Abu Garcia Zenon rod series, these rods feature premium carbon blanks with Abu Garcia’s exclusive Powerlux 100 resin system. This enables the rods to deliver powerful ultra-light sensitive blanks with higher break strengths and improved impact and fracture resistance without increasing the overall weight or diameter of the rod. The BFS models feature the perfect power and action to throw super lightweight baits, expanding an angler's set of tools for lighter techniques. In addition, the Abu Garcia custom designed reel seat delivers hypersensitivity around the exposed blank sections and improves comfort for fishing all day long.

Abu Garcia Zenon LTX BFS Casting Reel – KEY FEATURES

  • Ultra shallow, super lightweight spool

  • Tuned magnetic brake system

  • Compact A-SYM designed reel

  • HPCR 9+1 bearing system

  • Lightweight carbon handle

  • Available in two gear ratios:

    • 8.3:1 for small jigs, small plastics, Ned (Pair with rod model: ZENBFC71-5)

    • 6.8:1 for spy baits, small cranks, hair jigs (Pair with rod model: ZENBFCW71-4)

MSRP: $549.95

Abu Garcia Zenon BFS Casting and Spinning Rods – KEY FEATURES

  • Abu’s most sensitive rod with Powerlux 1000 

  • Carbon split grip design for reduced weight and increased sensitivity

  • ROCS (Robotically Optimized Casting System) guide train for maximized casting distance with lighter lures

  • Titanium alloy guides with super thin zirconia inserts allow for a lightweight balanced rod

  • Fuji reel seat for greater comfort

  • Fuji hook keeper folds down to prevent line tangle and adapts to any position on the rod

  • Limited 5-year warranty

MSRP: $449.95

Monday, April 22, 2024

Cory Johnston Wins 2024 MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River; Brother Chris Finishes 5th!

With a four-day total of 93 pounds, 6 ounces, Cory Johnston takes the title in dominant fashion at the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

By David A. Brown


PALATKA, Fla. — Cory Johnston fished a full tournament.

But with all due respect to nine other talented and worthy Top 10 competitors, he could’ve slept in the final day and still won the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

A four-day total of 93 pounds, 6 ounces gave the pro from Otonabee, Canada, a winning margin of 21-2 over Texan Brad Whatley. But Johnston’s Day 3 total — 73-13 — would have edged Whatley’s tournament total of 72-4 by 1-9.

“Everyone who fishes these tournaments dreams of winning one of these blue trophies,” said Johnston, who took home the $101,000 top prize. “I don’t know what to say; it was just one of those weeks that was absolutely incredible.

“People say, ‘When it’s your time, it’s your time.’ This week, I couldn’t do anything wrong.”

Saturday, April 20, 2024

2024 MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Day 3: Cory Johnston Take 14 Pound Lead into Final Day!

Canadians Chris Johnston 3rd, Gallant 31st Gustafson 101st. 

By David A. Brown


PALATKA, Fla. — With less competition, but more company, Cory Johnston leveraged late-day heroics to extend his lead on Day 3 of the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

Bolstering his first two days’ weights of 23-3 and 27-8, the seasoned pro from Otonabee, Canada, added a Semifinal Saturday limit of 23-2 to tally 73-13 and hold on to the lead he set on Day 2.

“It’s been an incredible week, but it’s one of those things — if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen,” Johnston said. “The past two days, I caught a big one on the last cast. We’re just going to go out tomorrow, go fishing and see what happens.”

Leading Texan Brad Whatley by 14 pounds, Johnston spent his day looking for bed fish in Salt Springs, which runs off the northwest side of Lake George. He had far fewer competitors in the area, but with weekend pleasure boaters packing into this popular area, he had to account for more noise and habitat disturbance.

“They stir the water up a little bit, but you just keep looking and looking and looking and eventually you come across them,” Johnston said.

Friday, April 19, 2024

2024 MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Day 2: Cory Johnston Vaults into Lead!

Canadians Chris Johnston 4th, Gallant 27th Gustafson 101st. 

By David A. Brown


PALATKA, Fla. — Cory Johnston knew he was playing a high-stakes game, but the Canadian pro believed the potential payoff justified his day’s commitment.

Cashing in on his gamble, Johnston sacked up a five-bass limit of 27 pounds, 8 ounces to lead Day 2 of the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

After placing second on Day 1 with 23-3, Johnston now has a two-day mark of 50-11. The only competitor to break 20 pounds the first two days, Johnston heads into Semifinal Saturday with a lead of 11-9 over North Carolina’s Matt Arey.

Repeating his Day 1 strategy of targeting bed fish in Salt Springs, which runs off the northwest side of Lake George, Johnston described the requisite plodding pace.

“It takes a lot of patience; it’s not like it’s fast and furious,” he said. “You fish all day and it’s one of those high-risk, high-reward things.

“I went probably three hours midday without catching a fish. It was a lot of looking at them and trying to see which fish are going to bite. Sometimes, you waste an hour on one and it never even bites.”

Well-schooled in the ways of bed fish, Johnston said he expected nothing less. Several fish pushed him to the limit of exasperation, but persistence proved to be his best tool.

2024 MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Day 1: Caleb Sumrall Scores Lead; Cory Johnston 2nd!

Canadians Cory Johnston 2th, Gallant 19th, Chris Johnston 23rd & Gustafson 100th 

By David A. Brown


PALATKA, Fla. — A little bit of water can make big things happen. Leveraging that logic, Caleb Sumrall sacked up a massive Day 1 limit of 28 pounds, 8 ounces to lead the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

“That was the best day of fishing in my life,” the pro from New Iberia, La., said. “I’m trying not to get too excited because I don’t know what’s left on my spot.”

Leading Cory Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, by 5-5, Sumrall said he fished in Salt Springs and focused on sight fishing for bedding bass. Notably, Sumrall had not initially intended to fish this area, largely due to his take-off order.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

John Garret Wins 2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes!

Elite rookie wins wire to wire!

By David A. Brown


LEESBURG, Fla. — Sometimes, you close the door.

Other times, you slam it shut.

John Garrett did the latter and tallied a four-day total of 84 pounds, 5 ounces to claim his first Bassmaster win with a wire-to-wire victory at the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

The rookie from Union City, Tenn., endured a final-round emotional roller coaster that started with unexpected bonuses, followed by a desert of disappointment. Thankfully, the ride ended with a fist-pumping, “Let’s go!” kinda moment that sent a blue trophy to Garrett’s mantle and a $103,000 top prize to his bank account.

“I used to watch the Bassmaster Elites on the weekends with my grandad (former St. Croix Bassmaster Opens co-angler Johnnie Garrett),” said a clearly emotional Garrett. “It was a hard choice whether to watch the Elite weigh-in or go fishing all weekend.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Jacob Wheeler Wins 8th BASS PRO TOUR Event on Dale Hollow!


Before making a cast in the Championship Round at PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by MercuryJacob Wheeler knew he was about to send Dale Hollow Lake’s bass into a feeding frenzy. He even warned MLFNOW! viewers not to expect much commentary from him, as he planned to be too busy boating bass.

It took less than two minutes for Wheeler to make good on his promise with a 3-pound, 7-ounce largemouth. That sparked a bass barrage for the ages.

Wheeler followed that fish with another 3-pounder, then a 2-3 and a 2-8 — all in the first 10 minutes. In the opening hour, he stacked 14 scorable bass for 43 pounds, 3 ounces on SCORETRACKER®. By the end of the first period, he’d amassed 70-6, all but burying the other nine anglers on the water.

Wheeler would cruise to a 116-6 total on 39 scorable bass – more than 30 pounds clear of Michael Neal in second place. The victory marked the second of the season for Wheeler, who also took home the title at Stage Two on Santee Cooper. He also added to his Bass Pro Tour-best win total, hoisting his eighth trophy since the inception of the league in 2019 and doing so on one of his favorite lakes in the country.

“This is like my lake; this is my home away from home,” the Harrison, Tennessee, native said of Dale Hollow. “My wife literally jokes that we should have moved to Dale Hollow, you like it so much, like giving me crap about it. And I just love it, man. … First big, national tournament on the lake, to get that win, it means a lot.”

Here’s how the Top 10 anglers finished up the Championship Round. Complete results can be found here.

  1. Jacob Wheeler — 116-6 (39 bass)
  2. Michael Neal — 85-10 (28)
  3. Spencer Shuffield — 85-5 (29)
  4. Drew Gill — 78-8 (27)
  5. Alton Jones Jr. — 74-0 (23)
  6. Marshall Robinson — 61-14 (21)
  7. Dustin Connell — 60-14 (20)
  8. Justin Lucas — 38-4 (13)
  9. Keith Poche — 36-12 (14)
  10. Alton Jones — 20-7 (7)

Capitalizing on an epic morning bite

Wheeler sowed the seeds for his Sunday morning blitzkrieg days earlier. As noted above, he spends quite a bit of time fun-fishing on Dale Hollow, so he knew to check the area during practice — which he described as a flat, main-lake drain protected by an island cluster. The islands act like a funnel, concentrating baitfish, and the flatter topography serves as fruitful spawning territory, making it a bass magnet.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes Day 3: Garret Leads for 3rd Day in a Row!

Canadians Chris Johnston 24th, Gustafson 34th,  Cory Johnston 43rd & Gallant 83rd

By David A. Brown


LEESBURG, Fla. — Things got a little hairy for John Garrett, but that transitional period helped the Tennessee pro amass a five-bass limit of 19 pounds, 3 ounces and extend his lead at the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

Heading into Championship Monday (the event’s scheduled start was delayed one day by Thursday’s severe weather) with a three-day total of 63-2, Garrett holds a margin of 6-9 over fellow rookie JT Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Facing the potential for a wire-to-wire Elite win, Garrett said: “I’m just going to try my best to sleep well tonight and fish calm tomorrow. Last night, I didn’t sleep very well and today, before I got my big bites, I started thinking, ‘Alright, something needs to happen.

“Tomorrow, I just really want to be calm, do my thing and fish hard. If it’s meant to happen, I’ll get those bites.”

Returning to Lake Carlton, where he has spent the majority of his time focusing on a 75-yard shellbar, Garrett followed his standing strategy of boxing an early limit and then hunting big bites.

The past two days, his window of opportunity has come later in the morning, but when the big fish he was watching on his forward-facing sonar refused to engage, Garrett made a game-changing adjustment.

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes Day 2: Garret Remains in the Lead!

Canadians Chris Johnston 15th, Gustafson 23rd, Cory Johnston 39th & Gallant 83rd

By David A. Brown


More than 800 miles separate John Garrett’s home in Union City, Tenn., from Leesburg, Fla., but the Elite rookie said he feels like he’s fishing at home. Leveraging the confidence and comfort born of such familiarity, Garrett sacked a Day 2 limit of 19 pounds, 13 ounces to retain the lead in the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at the Harris Chain of Lakes with a two-day total of 43-15.

“The good Lord has absolutely blessed me the past two days,” Garrett said. “I got some good bites and I really didn’t expect this whatsoever. I’m fishing the way that I grew up fishing and the way I love to fish.

“I hope I can get five, maybe 10 more of the right ones.”

Drawing on his lifetime of fishing Tennessee River shellbars, Garrett focused most of his effort on a 75-yard stretch of Harris Chain mussels in about 12 feet of water. On the same spot that yielded his first-round weight, postspawn bass were mixing with tilapia and running up and down the bar.

“Like yesterday, from 10 to 1 is the sweet time,” Garrett said. “Today, at 1 o’clock, the wind slicked off and I did not get another bite. Today, the fish were there better — I could see them on my Humminbird 360 — I just could not catch them.

“I’m just covering as much water as I can in that zone and making as many casts as I can.”

Saturday, April 13, 2024

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes Day 1: Garret Scores Lead with 24-02lbs!

Canadians Chris Johnston 24th, Gustafson 28th, Cory Johnston 46th & Gallant 82nd

By David A. Brown


LEESBURG, Fla. — The combination of quantity and quality define bass tournament success, and John Garrett gladly sacrificed the former for the latter’s potential.

The Tennessee angler’s decision paid big dividends with a five-bass limit of 24 pounds, 2 ounces, which leads Day 1 of the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

“I only got seven bites today, but they were the right ones,” Garrett said. “This was a totally blessed day.”

After extreme weather postponed Thursday’s scheduled start, anglers fished under clear, sunny postfrontal conditions. Thankfully the front did not significantly drop air and water temperatures.

More importantly, the fish Garrett found in practice held their ground.

“I kinda gambled today; I went to an area that I knew had the right size fish in it,” he said. “There aren’t many fish there and they’re extremely hard to catch.”

Garrett said he made a long run from the take-off site on Lake Harris’ northwestern corner. The round-trip journey burned a big chunk of his day, but he said it was a calculated risk.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Day 1 postponed at Harris Chain

Unsafe boating conditions prompt decision to postpone Day 1 of the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain.

LEESBURG, Fla. — After consulting with the National Weather Service, B.A.S.S. officials are postponing Day 1 of competition at the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes due to high winds and the possibility of severe weather, including sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 to 45 miles per hour. This afternoon’s forecast includes the possibility of lightning and hail as well as wind gusts of up to 50 to 60 miles per hour.

The full field of anglers will now compete on Friday and Saturday, with the Top 50 competing Sunday and the Top 10 advancing to Championship Monday. Harris Chain of Lakes is off limits today.

Daily takeoffs will be held from Ski Beach at 7 a.m. ET and weigh-ins each day back at the launch site at 3 p.m. Bassmaster LIVE will be streaming on Bassmaster.com all four days, and coverage will also be available on FS1 on Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


Building on the success of the Rippin Rap, Rapala® is introducing the Rippin’ Blade. 

This slender, lipless, blade bait lure produces a tight, instant vibration on the lift or retrieve and because it is perfectly balanced, it falls upright, reducing line twists and fouling. The Rippin’ Blade comes in 10 premium colors that give a fresh look to the blade bait market. 

The Rippin’ Blade is a hi-tech blade bait designed to be cast, pitched, or vertically jigged. Blade baits excel in cooler water and the Rippin’ Blade is no different, proving its place as a cousin to the Rippin’ Rap. Whether it's early springtime walleyes, late fall smallmouth, or anything in between, the Rippin’ Blade is going to earn a place in every angler’s tackle box.

What’s more, with three-line tie positions on the top blade, it’s easy to customize the action to fish any situation or time of the year. With its tungsten-weighted belly, it gets to the bottom fast and is easy to fish in deep water, heavy currents, or strong wind.

The lure features a durable, metal frame-plastic body construction, a VMC® crankbait snap, and two, super sharp No. 6 VMC® black nickel round bend treble hooks.

The new Rippin’ Blade comes in ten eye-catching colors: chrome blue, clown, chrome tiger, firetiger, gold, gold chrome tiger, glow, purpledescent, silver, and wonderbread. The new lure is being introduced in size no. 7. It has a body length of 2-3/4 inches and weighs 9/16 oz.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Bryan New's DQ at Lake Seminole BASS Open: Andrew Upshaw's Perspective

BASS officials disqualified BASS Elite angler Bryan New from their most recent Open on Lake Seminole. Tournament officials announced their ruling weeks after event but it has become a whirlpool of rumors. Andrew Upshaw was the first to contact BASS regarding the infraction. Watch as Andrew offers his take on the rule(s) infraction and disqualification. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

G. Loomis Refines Legendary GLX Bass Series

Purpose-built models bring tournament-ready technology to modern bass fishing techniques

G. Loomis, the renowned manufacturer of performance-driven conventional and fly fishing rods, is proud to unveil the revamped GLX BASS series. This comprehensive lineup of 36 purpose-built models represents proof of the brand’s continuous drive for excellence. 

With structural upgrades achieved through a proprietary blend of high-modulus graphite and advanced resin technologies, the GLX BASS series is handcrafted in Woodland, Washington, and features rod blanks with boosted strength-to-weight ratios, heightened balance, and pumped sensitivity. To isolate and reinforce areas likely to fail under load and to provide maximum durability, G. Loomis engineers roll each rod on stepped mandrels machined with micro-tapers within the overall taper.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Mustad® AlphaPoint® Hooks Available Now


With Norwegian design and manufacturing expertise tracing back to 1877, Mustad hooks are meticulously engineered and purpose-built to assist anglers in conquering every species in any body of water worldwide. Wherever and however you fish, Mustad hooks enhance your fishing experiences by providing superior hooking efficiency, durability, and reliability.

Although Mustad has expanded its offerings to include a variety of lures, rods, and terminal tackle, its reputation remains firmly rooted in top-quality hook production. The AlphaPoint® line, consisting of over two dozen specialized hooks, continues to reinforce this renowned reputation for excellence.

A foundation of premium technologies supports the innovations and design initiatives encompassing all-new AlphaPoint® 4.8 technology. Complementing the strengths of Mustad’s existing premium UltraPoint® 4.3 needlepoint with state-of-the-art, three-stage Opti-Angle sharpening, AlphaPoint® delivers an even sharper and slimmer hook point that is 4.8 times the wire diameter. 

Debuted at ICAST 2023, the full lineup of AlphaPoint® hooks is now available through select retail outlets and online distributors.

Alpha-Grip Flipping Hook

Designed for tempting bass in heavy cover, where hooksets are often violent, the Alpha-Grip Flipping Hook boasts a 2X strong heavy gauge construction that that