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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Not all rods and reels

NOT QUITE READY, but I’m getting there…

I was hoping to get over to Lake Mead this week, having spent last week putting together all this summer’s rod, reel and line combinations for another shot at the U.S. Open.

But what I had not allowed for was so many other things associated with boat and motor prep, along with storage reorganization. Before I could get to the highway, I needed my annual Anglers Marine water pump replacement, computer diagnosis, plus a strap here, a hinge there, plus some bulk oil for the extra miles I plan to run before Sept. 8.

I won’t bore you with the specifics, (more…)

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El cap closed

A bass boat (NOT PICTURED in this file photo) was involved in a fatal collision at El Capitan Lake.

UPDATED–If you heard about the death of a young angler {officially two anglers} and bass boat involvement in the crash at El Capitan Lake yesterday (click here) then you know everyone in the sport has a knot in their stomach about this.

And while not all the facts are clear, finger-pointing will fix on someone. Yet, I have to think that of the potential causes, sheer lunacy is probably not the primary issue. (more…)

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Probably before your time, they had binoculars and telephones and guides for hire. These were the hated instruments of guys who were looking to get information on a body of water–before the next tournament.

If you were an active competitor close to a certain body of water, chances are, you got a call or two–or several. And for just about as many details as you would release, you would get grilled on conditions, areas and baits. Kind of like, “Where were you on the night of the 15th?” (more…)

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highest speed

NEW Speed Freak…

Several weeks back I rued the fact I could not find a full 7 1/2-foot rod for a specific method [flukes] for less than $360. I settled on four inches shorter (for now) and $230 less.

At that time, it became clear to me as I hunted all around the web, that I couldn’t find one because I wanted something that most people don’t want. So while I may be scratching my head over Quantum’s new 8.1:1 retrieve Smoke Speed Freak baitcaster introduced this week, I’ve come to the conclusion: somebody wants one. (more…)

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Hey, nobody likes a critic, but if I didn’t say something regarding the Straightcast “spinning” reel about to be unveiled at ICAST this week, I wouldn’t be doing my job.

Take a look at the video and you really won’t need my observations. (more…)

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ROAD TO OVERTON is better served on the water right now.

Just like many structure spots move in and out of their “prime” so you could say the same for launch ramps. Especially those at sprawling Lake Mead where a fairly big bass tournament is on the calendar later this year

It’s interesting to look back at the history of the lake. It didn’t start out full, and over the decades its features have changed as conditions have changed.

Most of that history in our view goes back to the 1971 Bassmasters Classic where unimaginable flooded brush was actually present. No wonder the winner (more…)

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At the risk of sounding like Jurgen Klinsmann, come September, I know I can’t win the U.S. Open. But as the year has progressed (not to mention the historic condition of the Colorado River) I find I’ll be going back to Lake Mead–because I need to. (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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