Open champion


Rusty Brown’s rock-solid performance in the 2013 U.S. Open provides further evidence that Lake Mead defies the rules of tournament fishing. His catch goal, that revered and oft-repeated formula of “10 pounds a day” earned Brown the title.  But perusing the board after three days, it seems he wasn’t on “the winning fish.”

Take nothing away from the champ. His gameplan to avoid traffic by going far from the weigh-in was spot-on.  And his execution of milking the combination of grass beds and flat points each day (a small area by desert lake standards) (more…)

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Western choices

WESTERN CHOICES from Rusty Brown…X Pops, Skitter Walk, Skitter Pop

Just two and a half months until the U.S. Open and 2013 Open champ Rusty Brown was talking topwater–especially following a successful trip to Minnesota, where he fished Mille Lacs Lake for smallies.

While you could argue, the difference between the natural lakes on the northern tier of the country and the arid desert of Arizona and Nevada are worlds apart, it’s hard to argue the methods are similar.

Even the wider availability of smallmouth bass at Lake Mead and the September U.S. Open connect the two extremes. (more…)

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He's the best one


How long of an introduction should I have here, before I lay out The List for 2013? What started as more of a historical tribute back in the mid 90’s has grown into a monster.

It’s still a tribute–but the stakes appear to have grown bigger than I imagined. I don’t think anything I’ll ever do with a word processor will ever have the impact of listing the Top 40 Bass Anglers in California.

But first, let me give a shout out to the trusted, but anonymous, consultants to whom I turn to track down the top candidates. Having lots of eyes and ears in the field is critical and have to thank the Bass Angler Assessment Team (BAAT) for adding insight. (more…)

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Nationally prominent and also regionally pertinent. I think those words describe the upcoming 2013 Bass-A-Thon with its on-stage headliners as well as more personalized workshops.

I never mind being in the building with the national stars of the game, but unless one has western roots ala Aaron Martens this Nov. 23-24, (more…)

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Izzy gettin em

SPRING is where you find it…

You look at the calendar and sure enough, May still falls in “the springtime” everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. But relative to annual behavior of black bass, there are specific things going on in a given environment, and using 30/31-day increments is not the best way to gauge a plan of attack.

Locally in the bottom half of the state, the bulk of the spawning activity is over. Yet that’s not universally true as you move farther north. It takes longer for those waters to warm–based upon the amount of sunlight available. I think we understand this, but it’s possible to get ahead of ourselves. (more…)

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threesome anyone

THREE’S COMPANY? More like a party with these DVL dandies.

In these “parts” we used to include parts of Riverside County and refer to them as the IE or Inland Empire. But really, the Inland Empire is more about San Bernardino County, which is sort of out there for bass fishing. But where are we?

Geographically, BSA once referred to the area as the Tri-Lakes District–that is until they had to tear up those patches when Diamond Valley Lake opened. I guess they could have kept it at Tri-Lakes, but then somebody was sure to get left off the guest list that had included Perris, Skinner and Lake Elsinore.

For the sake of occasional fish reports and angling highlights, I’m going with Quad Lakes Region. Sure, I’m a homer from the natural lake, (more…)

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RUSTY’S BFJ at work…

Sometimes there is a cluster of activity in a local area and that could be said of the Temecula to Lake Elsinore region this week. On the tackle side (jigs), of course, it’s not quite bound to one location, but because of what they call “Cyber Monday” it’s the most time sensitive. On the other hand, the digging will go on for a couple weeks on the centermost part of the southern border of Lake Elsinore.

As you can see from the lead photo, guide Rusty Brown was at it again at Lake Isabella, catching that 8-pounder yesterday off Rocky Point. Sure enough, that made for a nice lead-in to Phenix Tackle’s 20 percent off, online sale today. (more…)

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We know some under-performers already in 2012 (notably Diamond Valley Lake). And a few that have not got the same boat traffic due to the popularity of other local waters (Perris, or Silverwood). There’s even a lake that might get future consideration after its bass stocking next week (Elsinore).

But this year is there a clear “Comeback Lake” that is kicking out fish and suddenly drawing angler attention? (more…)

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A CHUNK for Rusty Brown...

This weekend will probably see a bigger crowd than opening day (Wednesday, Feb. 1) but word trickling in suggests there are some fish to catch as long as the weather holds. Although you may be able to root out fish on cuts or rockpiles from the narrows to the dam, the most common denominator of reports I’ve received are the deeper tules or reeds.

Orange County guide Rusty Brown  offered this, “I’d say, eight to 11 feet, on the isolated, deeper tules with a little rock.” In the case of his biggest fish of the day–an 8 1/2-pounder– (more…)

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MAYBE we call it Rocky's Pt...

I know the Isabella Lake map says “Rocky Point” but forgive the Brown family of Tustin if they don’t see it quite that way. That’s because just a few days ago–on “Black Friday” of all misnomers–guide Rusty Brown put his father, Rocky, on a career best–14.51 pounder on that storied spot.

So, you can’t really blame the family if around the dinner table, they’r now calling that structure “Rocky’s Point.”

Indeed, as a fall tradition, father and son have been visiting the lake regularly and this is the third bass over 13 pounds to hit their scale (more…)

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