Is it just me, or has Ish Monroe actually kicked it into reverse over the last two national campaigns?

Oh, he’s won some things out here. And he’s been close in others. So for me, that’s the puzzling part because there is nothing harder than winning. But I’m not talking about the regional wins.  In 2007, Hughson’s main man was riding the wave, getting ESPN face time at Amistad while soaring to 15th among the Bassmaster Elites, just a few points out of 10th place. He was high-stepping like Billy “White Shoes,” (more…)


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Bass fishing’s spinnerbait history probably has seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of regional bladed lures, though many were only known in the narrowest regional niches. But a few national brands, along with a similar number of local models have had their moments in the Golden State–and some throughout the western region.

After thinking back to some wish lists from days gone by, I’ve come up with nine brands and their respective model names. Why don’t you take a shot at matching them up? (more…)


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WEEKEND UPDATE–Latest word is: not everything in the fishing world is going south, and my sources suggest there will actually be some good news to put out on Monday. When it breaks I will post it!

Just got an email from Bruce Holt up at G Loomis, and starting July 1, he will no longer be Executive Director for the company he has been with nearly 25 years. But he is not really out. It seems Shimano is grabbing a tighter hold on the Washington-based rod maker, (more…)


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marso-in-the-morningGOT BACK, GOT BITES, no thanks to the CHP. I think they put up a special traffic break at the I-15/215 split so I’d miss dinner.

So how was it? Actually, good action, but with bass that weren’t nearly as aggressive as they had been. If I could add up all the short strikes, I’d make it in the NBA. Mainly, though, it was Jerk Shads (very nice bait using a weighted hook) fished quickly around the brush, with a mix of watermelon/candy worms and creature baits fished in the bushes–just like spring time.

Water clear, 71 degrees.

One huge blow-up on the topwater, but no fish to show. And none hooked from a few random boils outside at the north end, below the 5 mph buoys. (more…)


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mars-for-websiteYET ANOTHER UPDATE–There has been a delay in deploying Hawaii Mars at the north end of the lake. The revised schedule calls for the big plane to arrive on Saturday, June 20 at approximately 5 p.m. You read it here first.

UPDATE–According to one source at the City Council meeting, June 9, approval was granted to berth Hawaii Mars at Lake Elsinore. There may be some haggling about price, but it sounds like this is a done deal….

I’m sure Smokey Bear would have told you the same thing, but in case you hadn’t heard, Diamond Valley Lake has been designated as the primary source from which the Martin Mars fire-fighting seaplane will draw water this fire season–from mid-June through Dec. 15. (more…)


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I know you had nothing to do with it: Choosing the Columbia River for your second $3400 (is that $4000, now?) installment of FLW Series entry fees, that is.

Sure we could blame the poor economy for a lot of things, express doubt over FLW leadership or staffing or even argue about Genmar product viability. Yet those are all somewhat subjective.  But let’s be honest. When it comes to choosing tournament waters for a circuit normally dominated by California and Arizona fishermen, could FLW find anyplace, short of Manitoba, that is more out-of-the-way for rank and file participants than the Oregon/Washington border. (more…)


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casitas-whopperLake Casitas is making heroes out of bass anglers every week, according to guide Rich Tauber.

“This guy should fish tournaments,” says Tauber, the 1982 U.S. Open winner, as he emailed me the latest photo from the lake. “Mark Bagan (pictured) went fishing with me again yesterday. And once again he catches a Casitas monster. This 8-pound 2-ounce fish fell for the live candy–shad.”

According to Rich, the lake continues to produce a solid stream of nice largemouths.  “The grass is growing all over the lake. The water gets clearer each and every day. The topwater fishing just got going strong,” he said “and, of course, there is little or no boat traffic. ”

For those who want a little more in the way of instruction, as opposed to just a guide trip, Rich has something that you may be interested in. As he notes, “I have been conducting an on-the-water tournament school at the lake also.” Interested? Go here.


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Still waiting. Well, nothing posted Saturday as of 9:30 p.m. PDT. But if I had to guess, BassFan will have a big story with all the details on Monday.

If there is such a thing, bassfan.com is reporting that Ranger Boats, the golden nugget in the Genmar line-up of freshwater boats, is getting some good news from a Minnesota bankruptcy court. Apparently, though yet confirmed, most of Ranger’s marketing concessions, including Ranger Cup contingency monies, will be honored–a boon for tournament regulars. This comes after earlier getting notice that warranty commitments would be met for customers, according to the website (Dock Talk). (more…)


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The plastic worm has been a big part of bass fishing history, with some brands enjoying a strong regional presence, while others were better known nationally. But how good is your memory?

The idea here is to match the brand name with the worm. The brands are alphabetically (A) Big Mert’s, (B) Burke, (C) Creme, (D) Ditto, (E) Kalin, (F) Mann’s, (G) Mister Twister, (H) Stembridge

The worm models are: (1) Fliptail, (2) Fluttertail, (3) Gator Tail, (4) Hard Head (5) Jelly Worm, (6) Lunker Worm, (7) Phenom, (8) Shimmy Babe

Let’s see how you do. Post your answer in Leave a Reply section. (more…)


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While several nervous parties await response from bankruptcy court over the restructuring plan to be submitted today by Genmar, many out there must rest on the brave and hopeful words put forth by Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper, as well as corporate magnate Irwin Jacobs.

But frankly, it’s out of their hands–and ours. And so it reminds me of Rick Clunn’s sage words regarding “variables” in a competitive environment. Some variables, perhaps like the current economic climate in the boating industry, or more immediately, the rulings by a Minnesota bankruptcy court, are uncontrolled variables.

On the other hand, (more…)


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