I was just reviewing the posts of 2010 and with the end of the year so close, I thought I’d do something I’ve never tried before–that is rate the biggest bass fishing stories of the year. The only problem, most of the stories were dwarfed by just two: one local and one international–call them #1 and #1A. So let me throw them out there:

#1. U.S. Open cheating. Like it or not, the seemingly unthinkable incident on Lake Mead where prominent angler Mike Hart was caught red-handed with bass stuffed with torpedo sinkers is just too much to ignore.

Hart, already acknowledged as one of the best bass anglers in the Golden State and one who appeared several times on the California Top 40 list, apparently could not keep his ego in check when facing a strong field with a mix of national performers. And this was no “spur of the moment” action. He clearly had pre-meditated the idea with hooks whipped on one end of the lead so they would not slide out of the fishes’ mouths.

While banned from every organization,  the story lingers on.

#1A Japanese World record. Nationally, make that internationally, a story just as big as the Hart larceny came in January. Un-American by definition, still Manabu Kurita’s 22-pound, 4 1/2-ounce bass from Japan was finally acknowledged as a tie for the world record largemouth. Although caught in 2009, it took some six months for the International Game Fish Association to level the catch with George Perry’s 1932 standard of 22-4.

Though there were questions about the area the fish was taken being open to the public, some disdain that it fell for a live bluegill, plus whatever long-distance sniping to add color to the waiting period, the fish proved one thing. The world record bass was no “Million Dollar fish.” Not even close.

The rest of the stories I have marked tumble out like this.

3. Skeet Reese loses B.A.S.S Angler of the Year title. History will record KVD as the titlist, but only because the bumbling Bass Angler Sportsman Society added a “post season” with skewed points, erasing Skeet’s regular season dominance–one of the best performances ever recorded by a pro angler.

4. FLW clobbers co-anglers. Thinking they were playing by the rules, several National Guard West co-anglers including Roy Desmangles, were looking for a chance to qualify for the prestigious Forrest Wood Cup, when out of the blue, they were left on a waiting list while first-timer Arizona locals took their spots in September. FLW, of course, denied any error on their part, an act that is either incredibly arrogant, or just disingenuous.

5. Charlie Evans ousted at FLW. Bad guy? Fall guy? Wrong guy? Who knows. The CEO looked bad on TV, but in the end, FLW was looking worse. And their latest Irwin Jacobs nepotistic play doesn’t sit well with everyone either.

6. WesternBass.com on the block. An unexpected move, but compared to other events during the year, Tony Stoltz looking to sell the popular website after 14 years is significant.

7. Humminbird granted second patent. Whether it means Lowrance will have a long legal fight, or merely cave in and pay royalties, someone eventually is going to pay for infringement of Humminbird’s sidescan technology. Who could that possibly be?

8. Forrest Wood inducted in IGFA Hall of Fame. Not the only induction to a “Hall” this year, but there is only one Forrest Wood, and the IGFA’s version has international recognition. This was big.

9. Top 40 Bass Angler List announced. Almost sounds a little puffy on my part to bring this up, but the wave of response on this and other sites was just too much to ignore. I learned one thing (besides not to answer the phone in November) is when someone says, “It doesn’t matter to me,” they’re probably not telling the truth.

So what else was big in 2010?


7 Responses to “Top 10 bass fishing stories from 2010?”

How can it not be in the Top 5, probably number 4 that Ramona, Ca. resident Kevin Hawk wins the Forrest Wood Cup? I know that the list is not biased by geography. That may be another reason why the story is so worthy. It is the circumstances around Hawk’s win that make the story much more significant than just another guy bagging a $600K check. Even though he is ANOTHER California winner. Will others exploit the zip code edge to win championships? Will others have success or fail miserably? Will this type of move force organizations to go back in time to the drop ’em out of an airplane game plan to make these events fair? The win can affect fishing in so many ways that it has to be a bigger story than another shift in corporate make-up or a legal affairs wrestling match.

Even if I wasn’t Kevin’s buddy I would think this event should rank number four on your list.

Top 10 bass fishing stories from 2010? I see 9 stories George!! I want a recount!!! LOL 🙂

That’s the one you get to add…

The sale of BASS

and the return of Walmart with the addition of T. Boone pickens to FLW

KVD 2nd person ever with 3 Bassmaster Classic Titles. This most certainly is a bigger story than Skeet losing AOY.

#1 should be: Jerry McKinnis, Don Logan, and Jim Copeland buy B.A.S.S. === my #1: I finally met Byron Velvick, and he gave me a brand new Duckett Microguide Swimbait Senior Rod after hearing me say I threw 8″ Huddleston Swimbaits at the bass here in Chicago. They stock trout in a few lakes here 🙂 === Mike Hart should be trolled by his ankles around the delta for a few hours……

Platinum Equity Group now owns Ranger, Stratos, Champion and Triton and they are all built under one roof in Flippin Arkansas. Who’d have ever pictured that?

This is not the first time. It happened to me, that’s why I don’t fish FLW anymore.