Tuesday’s unveiling of the California Top 40 Bass Anglers’ list could have some unpleasant surprises as the assessment team digs deep into the list of potential qualifiers. Tournament fishermen, in particular, will feel the sting of bad scores on one circuit nullifying good scores in another.

The top 10 has already been established, but even those names will raise some eyebrows. (more…)


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close-up big underspinBeing open-minded is a good attribute for any bass fisherman. Trouble is, most of us, because of past successes, sort of pre-decide that it is we’re going to be open-mined about.

Fortunately, sometimes all it takes one guy to try something “different” and a ripple effect moves through the angling population. When Bret Hite put a Swimming Senko on the back of his chattering bait and won tournaments on both sides of the country, suddenly that swimbait tail trailer didn’t look so odd.

I even noticed when co-angler Tami Curtis Jennings started drop-shotting (more…)


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UPDATED–I’m sure you’ve heard, but FLW has switched dates: Roosevelt to September and Lake Mead to May. This probably makes a more competitive circuit, but it certainly doesn’t avoid the heat. But maybe FLW has found a way to get all those timid tournament fishermen some time on Lake Mead and discover: there is no Boogeyman over there. Out. (more…)


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one more castWater temperature is on the decline, and down it will go from here through the end of January or so. Some places it won’t matter quite as much, but in other places, metabolism will be sluggish enough that your first cast–even on the best stuff–doesn’t do anything.

We heard an inkling of this idea from FLW Clear Lake winner Cliff Pirch when he mentioned getting his casts at the “right” angle to get the bigger bites. And in the case of his biggest sack, the right angle repeatedly got the bigger bites.

It seems to me a couple of things are in play. One, especially on structure, (more…)


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FLW Pirch photoDid you see those weights at Clear Lake this past weekend: 18 1/2 pounds a day for the 10th place guy–and 97 1/2 pounds to win? How about that Clifford Pirch busting 37 1/2 pounds on the final day of the National Guard to go from six down to win by 10!

But then, Pirch is hardly some guy who just got a BPS gift card for his birthday. U.S. Open champion in 2007 and runner-up this summer, he didn’t fall for the great Clear Lake illusion that seems to baffle so many would-be contenders.

And what’s that? (more…)


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Ornament shot

Not often willing to go into the bushes to retrieve a lure or worm nor afraid to toss something that’s no longer in production, it’s true what they say about me–I’m not a collector.

On the other hand, I do enjoy the holidays, and (at my house) decorating the Christmas tree is a traditional affair. My wife has some collectible ceramic ornaments and several with kids’ names on them. Still, I’ve never really thought about a fishing theme for Christmas.

But, when I saw this offer from Heddon drop in my email, I had to get on it. What they’re offering is a whole selection (more…)


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While everyone might be expecting another FLW Series “slam” from this desk, the fact is, the 89 boats that went out this morning is barely below the tour average of 95 for the season. Given that this is the final event of the year–when the numbers typically fall off dramatically–there was enough interest, and the venue Clear Lake popular enough, to hold the line on competitors. Perhaps this is a sign that the number of tour-type anglers (thick or thin, points or no points) has been solidified.

One thing the tournament provides is one chance (more…)


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above my houseThey want to sell us color graphs, side-scan, punching rigs, and enough rods to outfit a Boy Scout troop. But what they can’t do is help you catch fish when there are none in the area.

I was reminded of that last night as I joined the DFG and volunteers for the fall electro survey of Lake Elsinore. Though wind may have kept us (more…)


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recordbass_japan[1]If we can take the International Game Fish Association at its word, this week we should hear their final decision regarding Manabu Kurita’s July 2 catch weighing 10.12 kg or 22 pounds, 4 ounces (as IGFA likes to call it.)

Of course, when you do the conversions, what we had heard about the fish weighing 22 pounds, 5 ounces, was not exactly accurate. In fact, 10.12 kilograms converts to 22.3 pounds (22 and 3/10’s of a pound) or 22 pounds, 4.8 ounces.

Personally, I would have no problem recognizing a 22-pound, 5-ounce bass as larger (more…)


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kellen double digitOctober 20 Update: The FLW Series event at Clear Lake, plus any exceptional bass catches made this week will be the final entries into the database, in selecting the Top 40 bass anglers list for 2009. The list includes only California resident anglers, however, their achievements can span the entire U.S. or other parts of the world, and includes big fish specialists and guides in addition to tournament competitors.

Since there is no sponsor in 2009 for my annual Top 40 California Bass Anglers list, I’ve decided to give my crack Bass Anglers Assessment Team (BAAT) a little help this year, by asking viewers for their input.

Coming up are both the annual Bass-A-Thon in Southern California, (more…)


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