A group of savvy and successful anglers were hangin’ out this morning, talking tournament results and lake trends that have emerged since last spring. While the unconfirmed sightings of giants always gets a listen, there were also accounts of fish that real-life guys held in their real-life hands.

When one said bluntly, “_______ is the best lake in Southern California,” (more…)

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more of these

THE GOAL: More of these…

Other than, “Do you ever catch anything at Lake Elsinore?” the question I probably get asked the most is: “Where did they drop those brush piles I heard about?” Truth be known, I don’t have their GPS coordinates, but I’ve got a decent idea.

There is a history of habitat work here. Some have been orange trees, others the seasonal Christmas tree bundles and even some PVC structures. On schedule (maybe not this weekend if it rains) is an Eagle Scout project that has been approved for more Christmas tree habs. Two weeks ago, the DFW put in another dozen piles.

By the attached schematic (more…)

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LOOKS NORMAL, but it’s really not.

I know we all have foul weather gear, thermals and insulated gloves, but sometimes after being out “in it” for several hours, don’t we ask ourselves what was I thinking? Wouldn’t some of this off-season be better served with a different use of our time?

How about we learn something we maybe didn’t know or fully understand? How about expanding our thinking on lures and methods we often take for granted? (more…)

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anglers marine weigh-in

There were 83 boats at Diamond Valley for the Anglers Marine Owners tournament…

UPDATED–I’ve never thought there was only one way to have a bass tournament. Yet, those overly steeped in the traditions of 40 years ago say it’s unprofessional if you let a pro share weight with his draw partner. They totally ignore the fact that virtually every “pro sport” showcases variations of its core game.

But team fishing also has its problems. There the rigidity of the host organizations matches that of traditionalist pro circuits. Here the trend has been to (more…)

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How deep

HOW DEEP is too deep?

It’s been decades ago, but I remember the situation to this day. I was on the backside of the “big island” at Lake Casitas, sometime in the winter,  jigging spoons. And it was deep. No exaggeration, we caught fish in at least 70 feet of water.

But more than the bravado of “wow, look what we did!” I remember, none of the fish measured the legal minimum length of 12 inches. And none of them survived–each of them drifting out its final moments, struggling weakly on its side. (more…)

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While I have responded personally to a question of Outdoor Heritage Inc. in the West (here), the fact is, there has been far more conversation on the matter of a potential “low priced” (working man’s) competitive fishing circuit.  That to me shouts all you need to know about the dearth of successful pro fishing in the West.

The organizations aren’t responding to their customers. (more…)

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for the chill

IT’S COLD for us and the bass’ environment….

Recently, angler Gary Watts up in Amador County was giving me the needle on Facebook about SoCal tolerances for “cold weather.”

I chuckled, but it got me to thinking. Outside of any genetic issues regarding Florida strain bass tolerances, why are those guys out and catching up North and we are having a tougher time of it during this latest cold spell?

But then it struck me. They’re also hooking bass in water down in the 30’s, under the ice in Minnesota and lots of other cold climes. Why are our 50-something (more…)

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WATER’S COLD–you have spinnerbait options.

While our “faculties” are different than black bass, there are some similarities. For example, we might grudgingly respond to the annoying, intermittent beep of a dying smoke detector battery, or the loud, but not-so-rousing car alarm. Of course, we don’t have a lateral line to “feel” impulses through the water, but you may have some sense of it with a cell phone in your pocket on vibrator/alert.

The point being, conditions and proximity affect our response, and the same can be said for bass–especially in conditions of cold, murky water. For that reason, I remind myself that the blade combinations that I counted on when the water temperature was 75 degrees, don’t stir the fish now. (more…)

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IT’S TRUE–Bill Dance a Top 5 story in 2012…

Always liked the idea of recounting the top stories in a given year–but it’s a different game on the Internet. The audience (whom I really appreciate for hanging with me the last almost four years) doesn’t necessarily respond to the “big deals” but rather what interests them.

So even though there were a few topics that really got me fired up (KVD and the 70 odd dwarfs, or the potential DVL cover-up about quaggas), that didn’t always match what the viewers followed. (more…)

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