WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN?

It looks like maybe the bass were saving some of the bites I couldn’t get this summer. At least, that’s the way it felt today out on Lake Elsinore. Unfortunately,  I converted on some, but missed a chance at a very respectable sack.

Starting about 9:30 (hey, I had to move furniture out of the way to get the rig out of the garage), I fished until about 2:00 with the fish in the picture, plus an 18-plus inch wiper.

They came along the west shore on the half-ounce Booyah on 17- and 20-pound line as I looked to cut down on the break-offs. In clouds of visible 1 1/2-inch shad, the bigger blades apparently gave them something different to look at.

Seeing fish this size sure gave me something different to look at! (more…)


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It wasn’t bad, but it certainly was different–the surface action at Diamond Valley. There were black bass and stripers scattered around the lake, but many of the fish preferred to be seen on sonar only.

Nonetheless, top pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands managed to work his way around the lake, enticing fish with a small (3 to 4-inch) weightless grub or swimbait. The most notable catch was a near 4-pound  smallmouth that came west of the eucalyptus trees.

With mostly a cloudless sky and light breezes from the West early and then the Northeast, the fish did not crash topwater or subsurface as they did when the skies were darker. (more…)


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Call it a slow news day, but these pictures point up that Lake Elsinore (and San Antonio for that matter) don’t have a corner on the airborne fire-fighting equipment that has been available here in Southern California.

These photos were just taken by Lake Castaic lifeguard John Ragsdale, and were forwarded to me by longtime TD  Ron Cervenka.

Not much to say, except these big birds make an impressive sight. (more…)


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Fresher, and offering more more visual information than ever, www.rangerboats.com just got more than a face lift–it’s got a whole new heartbeat.

Now boat buyers can get “additional insight” before they even step into the showroom, thanks to Ranger’s new research tool on the web. According to the latest release, “The completely redesigned site brings in-depth information about the industry’s most celebrated brand through product profiles, feature videos and a wealth of other original content.” (more…)


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Right on cue, the first stiff winds have hit the Southland and the water temperatures dropped overnight. This comes on the heels of some early trout plants, so there’s reason to be thinking change–but not just yet.

The one thing I’ve learned from the big bass specialists, even the biggest predators don’t immediately react to a tank truck on the launch ramp. With shad so plentiful and all around the surface or upper stratum of water, those baitfish still remain on top of the menu for now.

However, I’m still looking ahead. (more…)


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It was another damp, gray day on Thursday–and the bait balls were thick and staggered along much of the south side of Diamond Valley.

To be honest, I thought there might be some pretty good striper action–since those fish typically come up with dark skies or rain. And I was lucky enough that Gregg Silks had a day off of guiding so we took to the water thinking “big bites.” (more…)


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American Fishing Series, sort of like the addition of four U.S. Open fee level events, is the new look for FLW starting in January. Ending speculation about the former National Guard Series, and now with the addition of Mercury Marine as a sponsor, the FLW circuit retains a western flavor.

More than the $1000 entries for pros and $400 for co-anglers, the fields will be limited to 150 boats–hopefully not an imaginary figure. (more…)


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LAID FLAT, worm boxes are fine, but...

Hey, some of you have heard this rant before, but the people who design tackle systems need to go back to school. Way back to school.

Remember as a kid in the first grade when the teacher had you stack the blocks to see how the shapes relate? Remember how the classroom had sets of blocks that would fit inside each other so they wouldn’t take up so much space in the toy closet?

We remember.  How come Plano or Flambeau or whomever else on the planet could be so hazy on this spacial concept?

Take the the standard “big utility box” (3700 in the parlance)–the one that is roughly 14 by 9 by 2 inches–and see what they try to sell you. Whether in a box or a bag, everybody does the same thing. They stack four horizontal boxes on top of each other and call it a system. (more…)


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Okay, I didn’t get the retail price on those twist on/off soft tungsten weights from Sebile, but I did hear they may be available as soon as November.

And while many of you serious guys saw the possibilities, you should know you are in good company. Sebile actually won ‘best of show’ awards (more…)


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He’s probably not going to invite me to his 70th birthday for writing this, but the soft-spoken Mike Folkestad has got some significant things to say.

In a week he’ll be battling some very good fishermen in the final WON Bass Tour event at the Delta, trailing young Paul Bailey for a shot at 2010 Angler of the Year–and a new Nitro bass boat.

“He’s pretty good,” Mike said of his angling adversary from Willits. (more…)


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