HE'S NUMBER ONE in 2011... (photo by Bill Mays)

It’s that time of year again, a time to tout the very best bass fishermen in the Golden State. But it’s also never been a more difficult assignment to figure out. The playing field has been an obstacle course for the competitors as a combination of a poor economy and travel-killing, quagga mussel inspections have kept most fishermen close to home—once deemed to be the kiss of death for maximum career recognition.

With a year to chew on things, more diligent researching of numerous tournament circuits, plus a concern that fishing guides and even non-shared weight co-anglers were not getting enough credit, the 2011 California Top 40 Bass Anglers List has a different feel. (more…)


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WHO HAS A CHANCE for the Top 40?

The 25th annual Bass-A-Thon coming up this fall and Rick Grover’s can’t-miss event will again coincide with the release of the annual, California Top 40 Bass Anglers list.

But expect a shake-up this time around as I will be taking a hard look at current and past performances, and spending a lot more time looking for hidden gems and under-publicized fishermen.

Frankly, in spite of lobbying on behalf of anglers from numerous locations, I’m giving the boot to a number of guys who have been riding their reputations like a loose hood ornament. (more…)


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I know what the Google stats say. This year’s California Top 40 Bass Anglers List got it’s biggest response ever, and certainly the heaviest one-day traffic ever on KGF. Really. Bigger than Skeet Reese changing rod sponsors (and that had a boost from BassFan.com). Bigger even than me being replaced at WON Bass. Yikes!

It’s also safe to say, the list generated some strong opinions out there. (more…)


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What started out as a mere Honor Roll for California bass fishermen some 15 years ago has turned into an exercise in sleep deprivation. The California Top 40 Bass Angler’s List brings both satisfaction and its share of aggravation for me and members of the crack Bass Angler Assessment Team (BAAT) as we tried to piece together this worthy list.

And I blame the 200 or so candidates under consideration. Even among the top pros, the 2010 season had its share of ups and downs: (more…)


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It’s about that time of year. The annual California Top 40 Bass Anglers list will be released next week, just ahead of the annual Bass-A-Thon in Anaheim. Tapping assistance from professional observers and assessors from around the Golden State, this year’s Top 40 will feature a few surprises as we have tried to dig deeper than in years past.

What that means is some anglers who typically make the list “by reputation” (more…)


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Top 40 Brent photoThe continued evacuation from the Golden State by its leading bass anglers puts growing stress on the Bass Angler Assessment Team (BAAT) as together we try and discern the best bass fishermen still holding residence. But I think the lads were up to the task with this year’s California Top 40 Bass Anglers List.

Still, as one goes through the names, the hint of Ray Davies’ obscure lyric about Hollywood’s Walk of Fame comes to mind: “Some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of….” (more…)


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Tuesday’s unveiling of the California Top 40 Bass Anglers’ list could have some unpleasant surprises as the assessment team digs deep into the list of potential qualifiers. Tournament fishermen, in particular, will feel the sting of bad scores on one circuit nullifying good scores in another.

The top 10 has already been established, but even those names will raise some eyebrows. (more…)


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kellen double digitOctober 20 Update: The FLW Series event at Clear Lake, plus any exceptional bass catches made this week will be the final entries into the database, in selecting the Top 40 bass anglers list for 2009. The list includes only California resident anglers, however, their achievements can span the entire U.S. or other parts of the world, and includes big fish specialists and guides in addition to tournament competitors.

Since there is no sponsor in 2009 for my annual Top 40 California Bass Anglers list, I’ve decided to give my crack Bass Anglers Assessment Team (BAAT) a little help this year, by asking viewers for their input.

Coming up are both the annual Bass-A-Thon in Southern California, (more…)


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Always under consideration as one of the best anglers in California, it should be worth noting that this week’s SDFish.com final rankings has Kevin Norling on top in the region for 2014.

The SDFish rankings utilizes a strict points calculation for events held only in San Diego County, leaving non-tournament anglers (more…)


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a better bite

YOUR CONNECTION could produce and hold a big bite.

One of the nice things about hanging around bass anglers is they sometimes give up some helpful info–even little things that could make a difference. You probably have some in your bag, but in case these are new to you, just add add them to your inventory.

These things refer to connections. Whether on the angler end or the fish end, connections matter, especially on topwater. Baits typically perform best (angler end) when the connection enhances the lure’s properties. And on the fish end, anything that might keep a jumper connected has got to be a plus.

Maybe you’ve heard or read Rick Clunn’s advice (more…)


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