Like many others have voiced, I’m appreciative of the efforts put forth to petition the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) to extend the launch ramp at Diamond Valley Lake.

However, such hard work was done without heeding some of the oldest advice in citizenship/politics. That is, don’t pick any fights you can’t win. Or said another way, don’t burn any calories you don’t have to. The MWD is not a government agency. It doesn’t answer to the voice of the people. In fact, short of a Presidential Decree, they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do.

While it is true, not every member of its Board of Directors is opposed to recreation, the agency cleverly operates in such a fashion there is no practical recourse later for the Board to reconsider. And nothing has changed from the beginning here. There was no ramp on DVL just a few weeks before the lake opened.

It was just a facade. There was a welcome mat, but the house wasn’t finished. They built a chimney, but the flue was blocked. So Santa won’t be coming this year.

And probably for many years.

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whats-he-doingWho knows where the former U.S. Open winner John Kerr will take us this morning, but from a passenger standpoint, this is a pretty good draw. I haven’t been this way in a couple of seasons while the construction was going on for the Olivenhein project, but what the hey. We don’t have a lot of options in the region right now.

Kellen Ellis knows his way around the city lakes as well, so it’s bound to be a good time. He tells me the lake is clear–very clear–not a traditional dingy green we’re used to over the years, so that will mean some tackle adjustments.

But I’m kind of in a pickle. The lads are going to be fishing a tournament here in a few weeks–they’re probably not going to like to see their secrets unveiled here. Of course, after I tell, they won’t really be secrets anymore.

Anyway, film at eleven. Or sometime this afternoon.

I’M BACK and hello, Lake Hodges. Long time no see. Post-spawn conditions were definitely in order, I can tell you that. Fry all over the isolated bushes, especially in the dam arm, but we looked at a lot of stuff from Del Dios to Felicitas.

And then a boat suddenly made a bee line straight for us. John gets hooked up, but Kellen is pointing the camera in another direction. What the heck is going on?


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There’s a heavy marine layer this morning, the water temperature just can’t crack that 70-degree mark, but I’m going to try and see if I can keep up with the shad spawn that is seemingly underway. Hoping the situation will be comparable to years past; we’re going to throw topwater, though everyone thinks it’s a bit early here in western Riverside County.

The real science will manifest itself tomorrow (Wednesday) when I head south to see how similar the conditions are at Lake Hodges, maybe 30 miles from here.

Chrome has always been a good color when the water is clear under cloudy skies, so that’s what I’ve got tied on. I’ll know more in a few hours. Gotta run, still have to spool on some new line….


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You might wonder if I would actually tout a publication that’s never run one of my stories, but the fact is, I can. And I’m doing it right here.

In their own words, the Bass Angler’s Guide (B.A.G. magazine) is really unlike any other bass magazine. Now in its 18th year of publication, the Bass Angler’s Guide continues to make a strong statement with timely articles that unveil the newest tackle and latest techniques for catching more and bigger bass. Though the B.A.G. is written from a western vantage point, our goal is to help anglers everywhere become more proficient at their craft.

“Our writers are professional anglers and guides who understand the value of sharing what they know to help our readers become more successful on the water,” (more…)

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underwaterI’ve kicked around a lot of ideas about what works and what doesn’t in catching bass. And I would probably have some real firm answers—if it wasn’t for those fish that break just enough of the rules to keep me guessing.

Line visibility (plus all the other issues related to bass vision) makes me wonder a lot. I’ve seen untold number of situations where say, 15-pound green mono beats the heck out of 8-pound clear, and also those days where a 6-pound tinted mono got bit just as well as 6- or 8-pound fluorocarbon.

Furthermore, we’ve all heard the arguments related to the color red (as in hooks, line and bleeding bait imitations). Proponents of the color’s visibility or invisibility are so diametrically opposed; it makes you wonder what the heck they are looking at in those laboratories. (more…)

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When I first met Garrett Mercer, he didn’t have a driver’s license. The next time I got in a boat with him, he was giving me a test ride in a new Skeeter.

Today he is testing his skills as a professional on the Bassmaster Open tour’s Central Division, enjoying an opportunity to compete against the top pros in the land.

He made the decision to chase this dream at the beginning of 2008, but due to the high interest in the tour, he might have been shut out, (more…)

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And RON CERVENKA is our winner.

Sometimes it’s just fun mailing out tackle–like Jackall’s Flick Shake worms and Wacky jig heads. The wacky jig and Flick Shake from Jackall ( has been one hot item this spring, and previous winners have been pleased with what they received.

But this time we’re going to toss in something nobody else on the planet can give you, a huge bag of 6-inch plastic worms, from the mystery angler’s own historic sponsor. And in a color made notable by none other than the legendary Bill Dance–that you’ll probably never use. (Oh well.)

The sponsor: Kalin Lures Not jarring your memory?

How about a few more clues?  Try this one. This mystery angler has never moved out of the same house for more than 30 years, but still had to change his address. He lived in Santa Ana until the city boundaries were changed and he became a Tustin resident. (more…)

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Lake Perris, that ever-shrinking reservoir in the Inland Empire, continues to draw tournament after tournament in the face of the Diamond Valley closure. And after every tournament I get the same calls and emails and read the same Internet posts about encroachment, bad sportsmanship, verbal bullying and either no rules or no tournament directors willing to enforce them.

So the answers to these problems usually come in one of two categories. (A) keep fishing these events and just get over the bad behavior. Or, (B) as some have suggested, (more…)

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Sometimes, I push a little too much. I know that. So I called an old friend, Jay Yelas, bass fishing world champion, Oregon State grad, husband and father and asked him to talk about the difference in his fishing today compared to when he first set out on tour with his wife in his van. WARNING: this blog may contain wholesome language.

Here’s how Jay answered:

“Life has its different seasons, like chapters in a book, if you will. I love this one I am in now, it is unique and different than those I have lived previously. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the ones I have lived before as well. I have lived a very blessed life, and have so much to be thankful for. I have truly lived from my heart, which is the way God intended for us to live, I believe.

“As a young man, my heart was purely just to fish for bass (more…)

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Like you, I’ve been waiting for something to pop up on YouTube–especially since every other mis-spoken word, misstep or misdeed by mankind seems to end up there. And yet, since last week when the tip came in regarding a sordid (snagging) bass fishing incident– silence has ruled the medium.

Unlike most rumors borne of malice or petty jealousies, this one was different. It contained a subject (prominent angler), a witness (one catching the alleged incident on video) and a third party that was purported to have heard the subject confess that he had indeed been caught on video. You have to admit, (more…)

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