PRACTICE IS DONE at the U.S. Open...

Seeing is believing at the U.S. Open and after days and in some cases, weeks, of practice, you can throw out most of the speculation about conditions here. After personally viewing the last couple of days of the practice period, it’s safe to say, both water and weather conditions are like none before in the history of the tournament.

“It’s intriguing,” said former winner and two-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year Gary Klein as he came off the water. (more…)

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Always controversial, the voting of “Best of Show” product introductions at ICAST was just part of a tumultuous week in bass-related news. Even before the doors opened at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday, the announcement had come that Z-Man Lures, the makers of the original ChatterBait had won its lawsuit with Phenix Tackle, which in addition to paying a monetary settlement, must cease sale and production of its tournament-winning Vibrator Jig. (more…)

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That dream of a professional bass fishing career with a good living through high impact sales of your sponsor’s products is not a sure thing–even if your fishing skills meet the highest professional level. So says Ronell Smith, a tackle insider and former editor of Fishing Tackle Retailer, the highly respected trade publication.

No longer on the newsstands, Smith has found his way into cyberspace, where he’s no longer obligated to be “Mr. Nice Guy.” (more…)

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ICAST headquartered here. (Las Vegas Visitors Bureau photo)

For more than three decades I have attended the national fishing tackle trade show, and every year I know what to expect, and still, I’m almost always a little bit surprised. It’s kind of like dating the sisters of an old girlfriend. Nothing is new–and yet it is.

So I’ll be heading over to Las Vegas for this International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), which starts Wednesday, with an eye on certain things that could help my fishing here in the West. Yet I know full well, manufacturers are looking to pull a few surprises.

And that’s not easy anymore. (more…)

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Somewhere the marketeers of organized bass fishing are smurking. Having dumped so many resources into the professional game in the past, they now have found a cheaper way to promote. It’s called “college bass fishing.”

Sure, collegiate fishing sounds good. Some of us have actually gone to college (despite the stereotype to the contrary) and we might have a little rah-rah left in us. Except, when you discover at whose expense. (more…)

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MEAD'S REPUTATION is that of a "limit lake."

In roughly 10 days, over 200 anglers will match casts in the U.S. Open on Lake Mead. And though it’s an annual event, held at the same water at roughly the same time of year, what’s the one thing you don’t hear? There is no clear-cut favorite. Despite the talent pool of national and local pros, there is no concensus.

And it’s all because of the venue. Lake Mead shows no mercy and plays plays no favorites.

In fact, there are at least five reasons why you can count on a competitive Open that won’t likely be decided until the final day. (more…)

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TAMI CURTIS's career continues to blossom--on TV!

Fishing from the backseat of many of the top pros, ardent co-angler Tami Curtis, a sometimes California, sometimes Texas resident, has often been referred to as “Tami on Tour.” But today, through dedication, computer savvy and a sales background, we can also refer to her as “Tami on TV.”

It hasn’t happened overnight, but her goal of financial independence through fishing has driven her to this point. The process has included production work with a regional program where she filmed video for commercials.  But when she kicked off her own website, (more…)

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UPDATED (8:50 a.m. July 4)–Of course, there is always somebody out there to confirm the world is full of lunatics, come holiday weekends. At Lake Elsinore, where the beaches are closed at 10 p.m. and boats are off the water at sunset, some self-proclaimed “King of the River” was found racing his high-powered vessel up and down the lake at midnight this morning. (They got him, I think.)

I can already see the drivers getting a little exasperated with each other and it’s not even 3 o’clock on Friday afternoon. The COSTCO parking lot was jammed and the “picnic haulers” are all preoccupied. The weather is hot and tournament beverage restrictions are not in force, but I would still encourage everyone to play it safe–not only on the road, but on the water too. (more…)

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