True, it is somewhat of a ritual migration, going to the annual Bass-A-thon in Anaheim. However, there are no crocodile-filled rivers to cross, no risk of starvation (especially with the In-N-Out truck present) and there is always an array of bass fishing celebrities and bass catching products on display. (more…)

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probable el nino

THE ODDS look good, but are they?

EDITED 1:06 p.m.–I know we continue to get ripping predictions on this winter’s rainfall–ooh, actually this winter’s El Nino condition that has in the past, brought rain. But as I look at the long range forecast for Southern California–even a couple of weeks out–and there is nothing on the board for the rest of November.

My concern is that past patterns (and we are sure putting a lot of stock in past patterns) say that typically we get a little precursor blast of precipitation, followed by a month-long lull, and then come the consistent and regular storms. (more…)

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MATT ALLEN rises to the top in California.

Take nothing away from our skilled cadre of tournament anglers—well, maybe just a little. This year there just was no unbeatable, don’t-even-bother-to-try, indisputable competitors to dominate on the California Top 40 Bass Angler List. For that very reason, you can roll out the red [deck] carpet for 2015’s very best–Matt Allen!

Each year, with diverse help statewide from the Bass Angler Assessment Team (BAAT) we try to discern the very best throughout the Golden State and present them on the Top 40. And by virtue of that effort, Allen, who paraded an almost unimaginable number of trophy largemouth and spotted bass from the likes of Clear Lake, Berryessa, the Delta and even the under-rated Bullard’s Bar, is the man in the spotlight. He’s clearly #1. (more…)

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best shot

TWO HOT SELLERS: Clone Fry and Whopper Plopper. How long will they sizzle?

While neither bait is new, the fact is, both are currently on the radar–in high resolution! The Jackall Clone Fry and the River2Sea Whopper Plopper are leading the league in empty shelf pegs and Internet backorders.

The Plopper, a noisy, floating buzz bait with the clever use of its “tail” as the blade will likely peak in national attention, given it catches everything (more…)

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THIRTEEN inches right? Or so?

THIRTEEN inches right? Or so?

The fact we don’t hear of many instances of tournament anglers being docked for bringing in “short” fish (those less than the prescribed minimum size for an event) is a departure from earlier days. It might even reflect a stronger ethical climate in the West.

And after agonizing a few times, myself, over fish that barely make it, or maybe don’t, I understand there is a crisis moment. When you need that fifth fish, even if it barely adds a pound or so to the total weight.  There’s that risk. (more…)

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I'M GIVING UP my spot in the parking garage.

I’M GIVING UP my spot in the parking garage.

The thought has been nagging me during my last few attempts as a U.S. Open competitor. While I know more about the game now than I ever did (and enjoy full sponsorship), I’ve come to recognize the mortal who was going to have to put that knowledge to work is not up to the task.

I’m just not Benjamin Button. I don’t wake up after a hard day on Lake Mead and feel younger and stronger.

In fact, it takes every over-the-counter aid to keep me focused on seeing what the fish are doing, not to mention (more…)

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VEST ON, kill-switch attached.

VEST on, kill-switch  attached?

UPDATE–Just learned the body of Jim Schafer was found Wednesday, Aug. 19 in more than 290 feet off Middle Point, Lake Mead.

My last words on the phone to Laurence Schafer last night were: “Give your mom a hug from all of us.” It wasn’t much then–and this morning it feels even more inadequate.

You see, Laurence is the son of “the missing bass fisherman” out at Lake Mead that you may have read about on Facebook. Whatever happened, happened a week ago today in the center of the Virgin Basin out off Middle Point. (more…)

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clif pirch

DANGEROUS in the desert: Cliff Pirch.

While we still occasionally hear that hollow claim, “You only fish against the fish,” when it comes to the killer desert clime or the mobile Lake Mead bass population, it’s just not so. From a U.S. Open perspective, like it or not, when you’re there on the water you’re fishing against Clifford Pirch.

No one in the last decade has dominated like the young gun from Payson, Ariz. True, he’s not the only three-time Open champion, (more…)

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We all see it, but sometimes we don’t make better use of it.

You know, when we catch a fish (or see someone catch one) out of certain spot or depth or condition, and it’s not textbook “green and black.” Bass (and other species) have the ability to alter their color and affect how they contrast with (or blend into) the bottom or immediate cover. (more…)

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Having been beaten to death by four years of drought, my haggard brown lawn almost matches my hope of ever seeing wet sidewalks again. And so we carry on, each year hiking farther and farther up the ramp to where we parked the truck. (more…)

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