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UPDATED ACCOUNT (11 p.m.)–Gonna have to find a better field reporter. Gary Dobyns busted a near 4-pound largemouth, not a smallmouth as earlier reported. That changes the prognosis for me–Gary is definitely on the winning fish!

Gary Dobyns, though yet to win an Open, was hardly the surprise leader in the U.S. Open today (11.73 pounds) but perhaps no one figured he would anchor his catch with a 3.9-pound smallmouth. On the other hand, the standings are snug click here, and a 3-pounder in another sack could change the balance of power at the end of day two.

Several former winners, Justin Kerr, John Kerr and Rich Tauber (left) commented on the day. (more…)


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While some individuals in the U.S. have had contact with Japanese sources regarding acceptance or not of the 22-5 largemouth caught at Lake Biwa in July, official statements seem difficult to find. One post on the Trophy Forum (click here) sounded authentic as to the tenor in that country.

But at least I can say I received something official from the Fisheries Dept. over there. You may, as I do, find it unsatisfactory, (more…)


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tami on tour mugA development coming out of the Traveling Folkestad Fishing Team (Mike Folkestad plus co-anglers Chris Ricci of Oregon and Tami Curtis Jennings of Texas) is the concept of the “Co-angler hole”–a spot that is essentially available to a tournament pairing for either Ricci or Curtis.

In effect, says Tami, “It’s a place where we’re pretty sure you can catch at least one keeper during the tournament. Of course, we let each other know if it has been used.” (more…)


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DSC_0116Rich Tauber gave the official number–113 degrees at Callville Bay today and that is almost as hot as it gets for a major bass tournament. And yet, the field has expanded to maybe 120 boats–and maybe as high as 130 by the time the last straggler commits.

But seeing Mead this year was almost like seeing a brand new lake. Yes, the ramp is down to two lanes, but fortunately, in the dark on a weekday, what better group of drivers (more…)


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Reminiscent of some of the U. S. Open events of the 1980’s, the thermometer hit upwards of 109 on Lake Mead today and more heat is on the way.

Yet the bite seems a bit of a puzzle for this year’s contest. Fish are being caught–and the preponderance of them are smallmouth–by  wide margin. And though there had been some grass a year ago, it is now very thick in many parts of the lake, from what I witnessed, which was in accord with the fishermen I talked to. (more…)


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AnglerSurvey, a monthly consumer monitoring service, reports the species most sought by anglers in 2008. The tables below report the freshwater and saltwater species targeted most often by anglers between January and December.

Please note the rankings report the species targeted more often, which is not the same as anglers’ preferred species or the species most commonly caught. For example, a Texas angler’s favorite fish may be freshwater trout, but does not pursue trout based on the distance to the nearest trout fishery. He may instead target bass on most trips – which is reported in the tables below – but catches more panfish over the course of the year based on that species high numbers.

The tables show largemouth bass continues to be the most targeted freshwater species across the U.S., followed by panfish, smallmouth bass and trout, respectively.  Rankings are available each month to AnglerSurvey subscribers, as well as information on where anglers shop, preferred brands, average prices paid, and more. For more information, please contact Southwick Associates.
Freshwater :
Largemouth or spotted bass 59.30%
Panfish (Crappie, Perch, Sunfish, Bluegill/Bream) 36.80%
Smallmouth bass 25.30%
Trout 20.10%
Catfish 17.40%
Walleye 14.30%
Any freshwater fish that bites 13.50%
Perch 9.40%
Striped bass (freshwater) or hybrid bass 8.70%
Pickerel, pike or muskie 8.30%
Carp 4.60%
White bass and Sunshine bass 4.50%
Steelhead 3.20%
Salmon 3.10%
Saugeye 2.10%
Other fish not on this list 2.00%

Southwick Associates, Inc. specializes in natural resource & environmental economic, business and statistical research.  Our staff is comprised of economic, business and statistics professionals throughout the U.S. who have in-depth experience measuring the values, benefits and revenues possible from fish, wildlife, and water-related natural resources plus their associated industries.  We can help clients better address many business, legal, legislative and public communication issues through the practical application of reliable and accurate economic information and statistics.

For information and other reports, visit our web site at www.southwickassociates.com


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quagga drop-shotSince quagga mussels are present or likely are on their way to most waterways in the state, eventually, angler access will return to the “old ways” (though probably with higher fees to combat the mollusks). When that happens, the full impact of their razor-like presence may be felt–and it may require some tackle wrinkles we probably thought could never work.

When the Havasu bass are up in the grass thumping frogs (and soon to be punched as well, if Dean Rojas’ predictions for the lake come true), there is still going to be break-off problems with the mussels on the fish habs and other hard structures.

We saw it last summer in the U.S. Open along many of the cliffs and rockpiles at Lake Mead. I watched Gary Klein lose crankbaits when his line cut so easily, and the same was true with any other piece of terminal tackle that contacted the bottom at an angle.

So, I’m trying some experimenting (more…)


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Today's catch at elsinoreWith the DFG’s six-hour tournament limit in place, you had to be encouraged with the result of today’s Elsinore Bass Club tournament. I know I was.

Just a week after a second, successive fish die-off, it seemed pretty clear that most of the casualties came from the ranks of shad, catfish and to some degree, wipers. But the black bass stayed strong, clearly evident by the club stats Sunday.

With 13 boats on the water, fishing the standard 5-fish limit, 10 of those boats returned at noon with limits– (more…)


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website gabe catchAs advertised, there were breaking fish in open water at the north end of El Capitan, Thursday. But what wasn’t there was the intensity. Still, days before he was to head to Lake Mead and the U.S. Open, Gabe Bolivar of Oceanside used a full array of tackle to catch keepers.

Recounting our morning on the water, we actually caught fish on Sammy’s, Ricos, Scrounger heads, flukes, under-spins, wacky jigs and drop-shot worms. But the best technique, despite the enticing surface flurries, was the Rapala ice jig, the little 2 incher in chartreuse/pearl.

For whatever reason, the bass were much more willing to stay down and the meter was alive with marks (more…)


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Trying to get my arms around the big bass catch made at Lake Biwa in Japan earlier this year has been difficult. Lots of varied sources has one hopping all over the Internet, and then trying to guess which accounts were the most accurate.

Since the IGFA has not yet made a determination (one account says there has been no record submission) and questions have arisen as to whether the fish was caught from a “closed area,” I got help from Matt Paino at Optimum Baits who has a strong company/family connection with Japan. Matt was able to connect me (more…)


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