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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Invasive species stamp

AT LAKE MEAD all boats will need one of these.

The New York Yankees once tried to get more out of pitcher Joba Chamberlain than maybe he could deliver, and so the player was subjected to what was popularly called “Joba Rules.”

For those who didn’t understand the organization’s intentions, that was always a quirky situation as the directives were somewhat counter to tradition.

But for Lake Mead, home of the 33rd U.S. Open in September, some contestants might be surprised that the State of Nevada has its own Joba Rules in place.

For example, (more…)


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Rare find

SCHURMY’S SHAD, still in the package!

UPDATED 3:45 P.M. (Link added below)–Nothing like a new boat to force you into digging, dusting and moving through eons of garage clutter and paleolithic layers of old fishing tackle. How coincidental (and possibly fortuitous) that my most recent excavation found something perfectly suited for our summer boiling bass.

Indeed, there were several of Kent Schurman’s “Schurmy’s Shad,” an aluminum body spoon, made to stay up on top, yet compact enough to cast. In San Diego for a time in the 1980’s was easily the most popular and effective lure for the task.

Clearly it would have probably produced far out across the country–if those Neandrathals were yet using spinning gear (more…)


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THE RIGHT SINKER for the situation makes a difference.

THE RIGHT SINKER for the situation makes a difference.

Even my mere dabbling in team competition has forced me to make some discoveries for myself, rather than wait for the pros to confide (as I had for years). And one area that has been a revelation to me is the size, shape and weight of drop-shot sinkers–and how they matter.

I wouldn’t begin to address all situations here, but there are a few that keep popping up locally, and each one seems to make a difference.

Some examples. (Again, I’m just talking a narrow realm). (more…)


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Some of the chatter this week centered on dates in September: the 24th thru the 26th for the Rayovac tour event at Clear Lake and, in my view, the more significant Sept. 14-16 for the U.S. Open at Lake Mead.

And while I totally understand a tour guy’s dilemma over the narrow window (more…)


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Top shelf

COMFORT ZONE will be compromised when the new boat arrives in the next week or so.

Over the years, it seems the there was always some trepidation over changing tools: rods, reels, sonar and so on. And the fact is, there’s something to that.

Reels (baitcasters, anyway) were always an issue…though much less so now with the quality models featuring smooth revolving spools under control, usually by magnets.

Casting distance was an issue with the older equipment, which let to the cottage industry of “tricking” or “tuning” reels for max distance.

Still, there was that place, (more…)


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