almost every lure type

ALMOST EVERY lure type may signal a pre-bite…

From my medical resource, the bass fishing physician, Dr. Joe Johnson from Alabama, I got an introduction to the term, prodromal. It refers, in lay terms, to an early symptom (and most likely one consciously detected) that precedes an attack or illness.

EMT and BBZ angler, Bill Siemantel, likewise referenced the medical issue, noting that people in his profession have seen or at least heard of the behavior of certain seizure patients. In said situations, these individuals recognized in an instant what was happening and either (more…)

Continue Reading
good one

LAKE SKINNER is going to draw a crowd with the DVL ramp closure.

UPDATED–Since the announcement of the closure of the ramp at Diamond Valley in April, a couple of things have happened. One, guys are getting out to Hemet for one last hurrah–no one knowing when it might reopen.

And more significantly, anglers have to figure out where to fish. Perris will take some of the traffic, yet Elsinore is not an option and Vail still doesn’t have its pricing in order. Like it or not, and regardless of the plodding 10 mph speed limit, that place is going to be Lake Skinner.

While it too, suffers from low water, the fact is, the average fish is very good, and as seen with the latest flurry since trout plants were resumed, there are some very big fish to be had on top of that nice average.

The facilities at Skinner are excellent, parking substantial and distance relatively the same as DVL, depending on where you live. But here they don’t let you get up on plane (well, maybe that first run in the morning) but even that (more…)

Continue Reading

Without dismissing the various bass fishing specialists around the Golden State, to see ourselves as others do is to recognize that California’s bass fishing image continues to diminish as the “brightest stars” take their leave. (more…)

Continue Reading
2015-02-28 01.44.01


Yeah, I know we just finished a Bassmasters Classic–one that sparked a single day of heightened interest on the Left Coast, which then faded into a sea of guys you’ve only sorta heard about.

In that sense, it kind of reminds me of 1992, when a guy we had hardly heard of, Robert Hamilton, Jr. became the World Champion we can barely remember.

Yes, he had his moment in the sun, catching 59 pounds, 6 ounces at Logan Martin Lake near Birmingham, AL. But what I actually remember was one of the perks I received as a Press Observer. (more…)

Continue Reading

I’ve heard all the arguments. The Bassmasters Classic World Championship is supposed to be a challenge and putting it on during the winter, as opposed to fall or, heck, summer, means the weather could turn the event into an episode of “Survivor.” (more…)

Continue Reading
winning or losing

NO BITES in an area is still good info.

I like to poke the guys about their pre-tournament exploits. It’s called “winning the prefish,” where they knock ‘em dead in the days and weeks before the contest, or worse yet, go overboard posting their catches with images and videos on social media.

You would think I wouldn’t have to remind everyone: those fish don’t count. And in fact, those images offer clues to where or what others in the field might also fish. That for sure lessens the chance of  the prefish winner duplicating the same success when the real competition starts.

But there’s another side of the coin. That’s when your scouting doesn’t produce much (more…)

Continue Reading
smokey joe

SMOKEY JOE, a color I remember from Cordell Lures.

I hope there are many who mourn for the passing of Cotton Cordell, today, at the age of 86. The angler/luremaker is indeed, the one those names that still endures. Yet, I have come to understand that with age more of us tend to look back–while a younger generation can’t imagine the interest or the attachment.

Cotton wasn’t a friend in the traditional sense, but whenever we crossed paths over the years following my very first press junket to Hot Springs, Arkansas back in 1977, it took him only moments to put a name with a face–and his face seemed always to wear a smile.

Clearly, many others will have stories about Cotton and about the baits (more…)

Continue Reading

SEEMS FAR AWAY, but law now requires a boater “license.”

Sweeping up the confetti and tossing away the decorations from last night’s gathering, you’d think I’m talking about your 2015 fishing license. But not so.

Instead, California anglers can expect to be asked for their “boaters license” following a newly passed California law that goes into effect today. So you don’t have yours?

After enduring yet another season with too many boating fatalities, state legislators have decided to take matters into their own hands, and the Governor has signed the new legislation, SB 941. In fact, he did so back in September of 2014!

In case you missed it, (more…)

Continue Reading

NEW DOCK MOORINGS have already been poured, here and even higher up the bank, as shown by Ranger Jim Dayberry.

In SoCal, most of the attention has been to the reopening of San Vicente Lake in Lakeside. One article had it opening in November of 2015, but the last three news releases from the City of San Diego say: “There is NO projected opening date at this time!”

Still, we know it’s coming.

But in Escondido, the earthquake-threatened dam at Lake Wohlford is also due for a new structure–perhaps as soon as 2017. Here it will allow the lake level to rise where nobody has seen it for a decade or more–it’s original capacity, some 20 to 25 feet higher than it is presently.

While replacing the old one with a new, seismically sound, concrete dam, it’s not a perfect situation all around. The city’s hands are tied by construction costs and with issues such as (more…)

Continue Reading
Vail Lake jump

JUMPING for a Vail Lake public opening in 2015.

Almost an enigma among SoCal reservoirs, Vail Lake was once a regular stop for clubs in the 1970’s, produced bass to 18 pounds in the 1980’s and then after developers got into the act, became both a hot ticket and a hot potato as an exclusive (or not), private fishing hole.

In today’s Press Enterprise it was reported that the new manager for the lake and adjacent properties, Rancho California Water District, has plans for improvements, but when they say “family friendly” attractions, that always makes me uneasy.

It’s not that I mind (more…)

Continue Reading