GARY MORTENSON photo

A plan is great. An adjustment (or two) is even better. The evidence is in Brent Ehrler’s second FLW Tour win this year earning another $125,000. As he told me this morning, “I’m still really shocked,” but it wasn’t just that he was facing a tough regional field, but as he said the surprise was in “how I won.”

In that part of the country, the spawn is all but over in late May and any prospects of sight fishing were over as well. “I was fully planning on fishing outside with a big worm and big crank,” he said. (more…)


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UPDATED–Holiday weekend, yes, but you have to hit the spots when you can. Lake Sutherland, one of the smallest of the San Diego City lakes, is normally only open on weekends–but Memorial Day Monday is the exception. Numbers have been good here, but the post-spawn drop-off has set in. Reports of 70 degree water with 80 degree air temp forecast suggests Kelly Salmans and I might see anything from topwater to Carolina rigs.

Here’s what really happened. We stayed a little longer than expected because a couple of early morning bites were followed by hours of “maybe’s” or nothing at all on today’s trip. It wasn’t until after lunch Kelly and I were able to find some biting fish along the east shore. (more…)


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Hey, I didn’t see it coming. I don’t think many of the qualifiers from the region did either. But Fate has struck and instead of Big Bear Lake, the regional event for the California Bass Championships is headed across the street on June 25.

So what does it all mean? Pretty much, the guys can forget everything they typically do to catch bass. (more…)


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CLICK ON AND SEE...

We may have thought differently, but that little bead on your Carolina rig that’s supposed to protect your knot? It just may be a bigger problem than any line contact with your sinker.

Have you run into this? I actually noticed a bit of the problem last year, but just didn’t connect my glass bead as the issue. I just figured either the sinker was rubbing or it was pulling line over or through the rough stuff and scratching my line. (more…)


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There are a lot of things a fishermen might put up with. Stained carpets, a marred rub rail or even a rust-spotted trailer. But that doesn’t mean he has to like it.

One of the hardest things to endure is torn upholstery. Staring back at vinyl “lips” or desperate duct tape repairs is depressing. On the other hand, what’s a guy going to do? After all, good-looking seats gobble up the money (more…)


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TWO RODS HIT MORE ANGLES IN EACH STRETCH OF SHORELINE

Bank fishing has a great appeal. It’s generally easy to read, there’s lots of it, and for much of the year there are fish on it somewhere.

But, because we consider most banks as shallow, we sometimes fall into the trap of fishing shoreline is if it were as flat as that map they handed out at the front gate.

That brochure may be two-dimensional, but that’s not really the case with the water it portrays. Bank fishing may be working “the shallows,” but (more…)


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P.M. UPDATE–To no one’s surprise, Skeet Reese’s second day limit was not enough to get him into the finals of the Bassmaster Elite Series contest at Clarks Hill, where he officially has finished in 59th place. The ESPN news release noted the obvious, however saying, “By virtue of his unprecedented start, he will still hold the lead in the AOY standings – albeit by a decreased margin.”

Every good thing comes to an end. Skeet Reese weighing just three bass (Thursday) and those barely weighing 5 1/2 pounds–good for 78th place–is about to see his streak of five straight top 5 finishes come to a stunning halt. In fact, Reese’s own personal goal of a top 10 finish in every event is equally kaput.

I’m sure a number of forces are at work this week. (more…)


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True, spring has been about as fickle as any I can remember. If there was a day or a series of days with balmy weather, as sure as lead sinks, they would be followed by chilly nights, dropping barometers and wind.

But maybe some normalcy is now in store: that being the season for overcast mornings–not just along the Southern California coast–but well inland. The so-called “onshore flow” pulls that damp ocean air all the way to the Inland Empire and that means even the clear water lakes such as Skinner, Perris and even Diamond Valley (more…)


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'SLOW FALL' IS IMPRECISE TERM

They sound the same, and some could argue, they mean the same. But when you’re talking lure presentation, there seems a difference between “sink rate” and those descriptions of a lure’s “fall rate.”

I don’t mean to split hairs. Bill Siemantel (Big Bass Zone, p 217) speaks of “fall rate” in discussing swimbaits that drop the through the water column more slowly, and as he puts it, “The longer it takes (more…)


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Bass angling has been disappointing over the last couple of months on Lake Elsinore, but the good news is, it’s not your fault. This morning’s electro-survey with the DFG turned several largemouths to 3 1/2 pounds, plus some smaller fish, but their locations were both diverse and widely scattered.

While we sampled the Seaport Landing brush patch, a long stretch of the inlet channel closed area, the dike, and fences and beaches from north of Rome Hill to mid-lake, yet the story was pretty much the same. (more…)


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