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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The monthly Diagnostic Discussion from NOAA is out and the percentages continue to climb–now a 70 and even 80 percent likelihood–for the return of El Nino condition, typically associated with wetter winters. So, if the banks on your local reservoir look like the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the prospects for future rainfall are pretty tantalizing. (more…)

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fluke bite

END RESULT is to get bit.

Recently I brought up rods and their role in fluke fishing, especially for casting unweighted baits such as the Super Fluke Jr. But in trying to become more adept at the method, I first talked to someone who is considered by many in my area as the best of the best with the little fluke.

Some know him as James and by some Jim (his father and my long-time friend’s name) but I kind of know him as Jimmy. Last name: Emmett, from Wildomar.

His might not be a household name, but those lucky few that have shared a boat with him at any of the local ponds know it. When it comes to this particular technique, everyone else (more…)

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a clipRain damage (from the little rain we had this year) led to me finding the answer to a bass fishing trivia question. That being, “How long has there been a California Top 40 Bass Angler List?”

Curious as it might seem, before I could begin my search through a broken storage box of old, water-logged publications, a gust of wind picked up a photo copy of the first such list and tossed it on my back lawn.  (Really.)

And the issue date (in Fishing & Hunting News) was April 14-18, 1994. (more…)

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Until I did the research, I had no idea there was such an abyss when it comes to spinning rod lengths. I started looking for a fluke rod (SoCal, 4-inch Super Fluke Jr. style) and due to a short lead time, I had to borrow one from one of the best (though possibly unknown) anglers in my area. (more…)

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