CO-ANGLERS, such as Tami Curtis from a few seasons back, are being phased out of FLW.

CO-ANGLERS, such as Tami Curtis from a few seasons back, are being phased out of FLW.

Let them down easy.

That seems to be the strategy of FLW as it gets ready to drop co-anglering from the national Tour. Announcing its new rules last week, the FLW won’t be inviting co-anglers to the annual Forrest Wood Cup in 2016. One would have to suspect, in due time there won’t be a need for co-anglers anywhere else.

Read: the Rayovac contribution of co’s–other than for a Rayovac championship, this year or next.

True, the official status report remains the same for the “battery boys” in 2015, but no mention was made of co’s beyond next season. (more…)


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UPDATED 7:05 a.m.Spoiling a perfectly insightful post here on KGF, it appears (read first comments posted) that National Bass West has had a change of heart and will continue its operation in 2015. I apologize for any distress today’s post may have caused.

They say the customer is always right–and for that reason, the goal of most tournament organizations is to get the customer what he wants in the way of paybacks, locations and rules. On the other hand, how does the customer respond when one of those successful circuits suddenly disappears? (more…)


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Hey, I’m kind of a chips and cookies guy when it comes to vending machines. Watching the spring turn with my snack bag inching forward, or hearing the seismic, double thump of that soda bottle hitting the catch bin. But in Australia, (more…)


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fluke biter

HOOK POINT should poke through the center ridge on the back of the fluke.

Back about June 2, I was talking about fluke fishing, based on the advice of local expert, Jimmy Emmett of Wildomar. Things have come up to interrupt that story (including some tournament in the desert) but now there’s time to discuss rigging and working that little bait.

What I’ve come to find out is his use of the fluke was not for subsurface action (as I have seen some of the pros utilize) but rather it is much more a topwater bait–with requisite variations, depending on how the fish react.

To fish it that way does include some other tackle elements (more…)


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Maybe I just woke up cranky (my back still aching from a wild Lake Mead race already two weeks ago), but sometimes I’m not ready to accept every angler testimonial of what I should buy.

What set me off today was a Facebook promo for a spinbait featuring former California pro Kevin Hawk. It’s a dynamic shot, and as a former Forrest Wood Cup winner, Hawk is a credible guy. But for me, (more…)


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Top shelf

QUIET on the rooftop during practice period.

While bruises and muscle strains have yet to heal, the U.S. Open is now in the rear view mirror. A third, three-time winner, Clifford Pirch, has been crowned (joining Hall of Famer Mike Folkestad and angling savant Aaron Martens in that achievement) yet everyone who was there, all 330-plus anglers, will take something home.

Gratefully, I’m bringing my boat home, intact, after a harrowing ride in the final 12 minutes of the opening day. A broken locker latch, trolling motor prop and tie-down and my cell phone were the primary victims.

Someone said they saw us desperately trying (more…)


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LOCALS show in Temple Bay...

LOCALS show in Temple Bay…

After spending a couple of days at the end of August and a couple of days this past week in advance of the U.S. Open that starts Monday, I can say without equivocation, the weather forecasters have blown up our practice.

Unlike the common monsoonal flows over in Arizona and Nevada–and this weather must be related–we also have the dying hurricane Norbert petering out of the eastern Pacific and moving up and across the Southwest.

Bottom line, we had sunshine and modest winds for most of practice after flash flooding about a month ago. (more…)


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safety net

SAFETY NET in place allows limited opening to avoid flying smallmouth.

Maybe it will help and maybe it won’t. But when I leave tomorrow for the U.S. Open, I will have scrambled with one more, last-minute concern.

Yesterday it was rub rail removal and screw tightening (with Loctite) plus a 50 cent knob to keep my net from slipping off my console while fishing. Then last night (with the help of my bride of 43 years) I added a mesh netting over the livewell openings.

Truth be told, I’ve never lost a fish that sky-rocketed out of the box when it saw the light of day. But then, I don’t fish many tournaments and, more importantly, I don’t see many smallmouth during the year. (more…)


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4M2Z3407

KVD’s reign appears to be over…

UPDATED–Kevin VanDam did not have a good year. Check that, the iconic KVD did not have a good last two years.

But just a note to apologists. His 53rd place finish this year in the 106-angler Bassmaster Elites is not an illusion.

You have just witnessed the end of the dominance and uncanny consistency of the guy who once made every right decision and out-worked virtually every other competitor.

Is he through? No. His experience over (more…)


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Hoping (even praying) for a wet El Niño winter may not be enough to make it happen. That’s my take, based on today’s El Nino Watch from the Climate Prediction Center. Sure, the predictions are based on a discussion of the conditions being witnessed, so a consensus may or may not be reached, but it looks like I may not have to do any preemptive roof work after all. (more…)


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