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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pimp my Bass Fishing Rig

Why doesn't BassTech tackle something like this?
Check out what Randy Howell and Tim Horton will be cruising across the country in this Summer on the Elite Series. Click Here Randy Howell's Purolator rig is complete and was unveiled in Florida at the Classic this past week & you will probably find him on his way to Del Rio, TX for the Lake Amisted tournament coming up. It looks like they are still building Horton's rig.

This is really one sweet ride! It will be interesting to see how many Bass Pros actually go this route. I would think it would be pretty popular with racing teams as well.
Bassin' Blog

Monday, February 27, 2006

Luke Clausen Keeps his Eye on the Prize & Ike is Dead Last!

The 2006 Bassmasters Classic turned out to be the record breaker ESPN/BASS hoped when it made the decision for the tournament to be held on Toho in the spring. On the flip side, I am not sure anyone besides Luke himself, thought he would be the big winner.
See Final Standings

Love him or hate him, Ike Spiked and finished 51st :(

Luke Clausen joins an elite group of David Fritts, David Hite, Dion Hibdon & George Cochran as the only anglers to notch a FLW Championship & a Bassmasters Classic Championship. That is just flat out impressive. He is by far the youngest to achieve that, at 27, he was the youngest competitor in this year's Classic. See full story.

So, where is next year's classic going to be?

Bassin' Blog

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Leaderboard Shake Up on Moving Day of 2006 Bassmasters Classic

First things first, what a buzz kill it was to have the Duke basketball game steal 15 minutes from the weigh-in coverage. I now dislike the Temple basketball team for needlessly calling timeouts and cutting into the Superbowl of Bass Fishing. I will not be picking them in any tournament brackets.
Day 2 Standings

If you want to see the entire weigh-in, go to Bass Insider and you can watch it live on the web and you get to see everything the audience at the expo gets to see. Its free if you are a Federation Nation member.

Terry "Big Show" Scroggins makes the BIG Move on moving day to position himself for the win and put some real pressure on Luke Clausen. I also give Props to Jeff Coble & Jimmy Johnson as Weekend Series & Fed anglers that have made the cut and still have a shot to push the leaders.

I think tomorrow will be interesting, there is going to be a major weather change. This is going to cause some people to catch more fish & others fish will not bite. I kind of think Clausen is going to get ran down by one of the 2 Florida boys, my money is on Scroggins.

Tight Lines,
Bassin' Blog

Friday, February 24, 2006

Bassmaster Classic turns out to be a Slug Fest

The big bass came early and often in Day 1 of the 2006 Bassmasters Classic on Florida's Kissimmee Chain of Lakes (Toho). 2 fish over 10lbs, two sacks that flirted with 30lbs. 50 limits out of 51 anglers.

This tournament will not touch Rojas' record breaking tournament, but its going to smash just about every Classic records there is. The only wildcard is whether the majority of the big fish are moving up or moving off, that will be the difference in whether the top guys can continue their 6lb average.

Tune in all day Sat & Sun for live coverage from Florida on ESPN & ESPN2

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Classic Bash or Bust?

Well the moment most of Bass Rubes have been waiting for kicks off tomorrow morning. Will this move to a Spring Bassmasters Classic in Florida be the Big Bass Bash that I am sure ESPN/BASS was hoping for or will a cold front sweep in and give the temperamental Florida bass the proverbial lock jaw?

I do not think anyone is going to challenge Roja's record, but I think some Classic records will be in jeopardy. Check out the final practice report for the angler's prospective.

So tune into ESPN this weekend for all the Classic coverage and maybe even set your VCR & DVR's so you don't have to miss anything. And one more thing.... Its not too late to get your Fantasy Bass Fishing rosters in!

Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My thoughts on Bassmaster Unniversity

I recently attending the Bassmasters University in Bloomington, MN last weekend. All in all I thought I got good bang for my buck. I think anyone outside a touring pro can learn something from one of these courses. I think you probably get more out of the sessions as a good bass angler, because if all the info presented was knew to you, it would be overwhelming and you most likely would forget the majority before you could apply it on the water.

Sure you it can be a little infomercial like at times.... I will not be buying Woo's Shoes anytime soon. I did not agree with everything the pro's had to share, but most of it was really good and informational. It also interesting to see how some Pro's advice conflicts with others. For instance, Fritt's would not throw a bait with Red Hooks, while Woo Daves & Joe Thomas think there are times when it can help.

If you are a serious tournament angler, much of it will be review for you, but I think there are a few small things you will pick up from each presenter that will help you put a few more fish in the boat and that is what really counts. As long as there are different instructors next time they come to town, I will attend and you should do the same. Besides they usually have these in the winter, would you rather be home doing chores are hanging out with a bunch of people talking about fishing. Oh yeah, one more thing, bring a kid and let them learn as well.

Never Stop Learning,
Bassin' Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Design Denny Brauer's New Ride!

Check this out...
You can design Denny Brauer's new Boat & Truck Wrap and win a Fishing Trip with Denny and a boat load of Strike King products. So here is your chance to put your talents to work for you.

Click Here for Templates

I just wish I had a lick of design talent....

Good Luck,
Bassin' Blog

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Better to have hooked & lost, then to have never hooked at all....

Better to have hooked & lost, then to have never hooked at all.... That is my motto when it comes to fishing heavy cover, docks and other challenging situations.

I cannot believe how many times my partners are afraid to throw a bait somewhere, because they are worried they will lose the fish if they get a bit. I find a large flaw in that logic! Even if you have only a 10% chance of landing the fish, that is better than the 0% chance you have by not trying. There have been many a tournaments that I have cashed a check or at least gained valuable points by going after some of these fish that many would not dare. What is the worse that could happen, you lose a lure, big deal. Now I am not recommending throwing a high dollar custom crankbait or a $5 jig.... when fishing these situations, most of the time I go with a Texas Rigged soft plastic bait. It has very high hook up, you do not lose many fish, you can fish it on heavy line, its darn near snag-proof and its relatively cheap if you do have to break it off.

I have caught fish on the back side of closing dams and sandbars on a falling river system, dragged fish over bogs, giant laydowns, over piers and boat slips, you name it, I have tried it. Its a great way to find unpressured fish, so next time you are faced with an opportunity like this, grab your meat stick with spooled up with your favorite heavy line and go at it, you would be surprised how many fish you will catch.

Tight Lines,
Bassin' Blog

BASS Federations Nation vs. BASS Weekend Series

Tougher competiton: Federation Nation or Weekend Series?
Inside the cover of my new Classic Preview edition of Bassmasters Magazine there was an interesting article about progression of bass tournament as a sport and chart explaining the format of B.A.S.S. sanctioned tournaments. This is a handy chart showing the general flow of how one achieves reaching the classic which is the pinnacle of bass fishing.

The thing I find most interesting, is that the Federation is above the weekend series. I often regarded club fishing below "money tournaments", but I can see that when you combine all the divisional & national tournaments associated with the Federation, it is maybe a rung up from the weekend series. Plus 6 federation anglers qualify for the Classic & only 1 Weekend Series angler qualifies. All in all at the bottom level of the federation and the weekend series, I would guess the competition is a little stiffer in the weekend series tournaments over most club tournaments. On the other hand, maybe this is an indicator of the importance ESPN/BASS puts on the Federation Nation compared to the Weekend Series. The Federation is what drives all of B.A.S.S.'s youth & conservation projects, you do not see Casting Kids events at the Weekend Series events. What do you feel is the higher level of competition? Well I am fishing both this year, so I guess I will see what the true separation is.

Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Skeet Reese in Superbowl Ad

One small step for Bass Fishing, One huge step for Skeet Reese...

On a more serious note, I think is great for bass fishing, not sure how many people actually noticed the bass fishing part of the commercial or even knew that it was Skeet Reese or that is he is a Bass Pro, but it doesn't hurt the sport. You can view the ad below.

Everyone at my Superbowl party looked at me strangely when I pointed it out and made them rewatch it when I rewinded it with DVR to play it again. I look at them the same way when they talk about NASCAR, so I guess to each their own. Do you think you can really can get fishing info, stats or tournament updates on an ESPN Mobile phone?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Trend vs. Mirage – Bleeding Baits - Just a Gimic?

Are you fed up with all the bleeding crankbaits, tubes, spinnerbaits, and everything else under the sun? Do you think this is just another mirage put on by tackle manufacturers, just so they sell more baits? Are you thinking to yourself that you are too smart for that and you will just wait this fade away? Well if that is your line of thinking, I think you are missing the boat.

Granted some of these bleeding baits are a little overdone, but the adding of red coloring and bleeding spots is a trend that is not going away anytime soon. In general I am a big fan of sprucing up my baits with touches of red.

For instance, I do not throw a crankbait or a topwater plug with out changing out the front hook for a red hook. In my experience I believe it gets me more bites and I land more fish that bite. Now granted fish are not biting it just because there is a red hook, if you are in the wrong place or throwing a plug at the wrong depth, the red hook is not going to save your tournament day. I think the red hook gives the fish a target, so if you have a red hook on the front, you hook more fish on the front hook, which means you get better hookups. I think it also helps to trigger strikes from bass that are only following or are turning away at the last instant.

Red can be applied to a lot more that crankbaits and topwaters. When fishing spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, I like to add red trailer hooks and a few strands of red into the skirts. Gill markings can be added to frog baits and your favorite soft jerk baits and shad imitations. When fishing jigs I like to slide a chunk of red plastic up on the shank of the hook or are add red rattles, that way when the skirt opens up the fish catches glimpses of red witch can trigger some great reaction strikes when fishing heavy vertical baits in thick cover.

Bleeding baits are no mirage, and they are more then just a trend as well. All in all, the color red is not going to make you an instant pro, but it can turn a good day into a great day and get you those extra bites that will help you cash more checks. No need to go out and buy all the fancy bleeding baits, just upgrade your existing favorites and experiment with your own combinations and start getting the best of your bassin’ buddies next time you are in the boat.

Tight Lines,
Rich Lindgren

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Does the Math really work for FLW?

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the math the TBF/FLW is going to use and if it really makes sense. When FLW talks about 80% of the federation, are they talking current state 35,000 or the number that is often thrown out 45,000 which is where it was at is peak about a year ago? See a few articles by below:

A recent FLW Outdoors press release contained language that appears to have
confused a few Federation (TBF) members. Here is the quote: "At the heart of FLW
Outdoors' partnership with The Bass Federation is an agreement to pay the
Federation as much as $1 million annually if all existing Federation members
join FLW Outdoors. The $1 million cash payment will be prorated based on the
number of Federation members joining. For example, if 90 percent of existing
Federation members joins FLW Outdoors, the annual cash payment will be
Some Federation members thought that only 80% of Federation
members would have to join FLW for TBF to get the full $1 million per year. But
TBF president Robert Cartlidge said that was never the case. The prorated $1
million arrangement "was exactly what Irwin (Jacobs) told the presidents in
Florida - in writing," he said, though he noted that the presidents asked for
some wiggle room there.
That proration arrangement was also what was issued
in an FLW news release announcing the TBF-FLW partnership (click here to read
the details).
But TBF did include this line in a post-Florida meeting note
to members explaining the benefits of the FLW proposal: "At least 80% of the TBF
state Federations, clubs and members will join the FLW/TBF relationship and
become FLW Outdoors members" (click here to see
that document).

Another short article:

According to Federation representatives who were at the January meetings with
BASS, the former, or previous, BASS Federation was down to around 35,000 members
as of the end of 2005. If true, that's 10,000 members (or 23%) off the alleged
45,000-strong Federation roster when ESPN bought BASS in 2001.
"Nevertheless, here's some simple math regarding the FLW Outdoors-TBF deal.
If you assume that 100% of former BASS Federation members register with FLW
(unlikely), and were not already FLW members (unlikely), that's 35,000 x $25
annual membership = $875,000. FLW's $1 million that it's giving TBF annually
minus $875,000 in annual membership dues leaves $125,000 as FLW's annual cash
contribution under this scenario (note that FLW is contributing more than just
cash to the TBF package)."

I think this adds some confusion to what the 80% number is based on... I am guess this lower number is due to a lot of clubs holding their dues, my club has only sent in the minimum 6 man roster to state and national to stay in good standing and holding the rest of our dues, to see what happens. The plot just keeps getting thicker when it comes to the Federation(s)..

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lowrance not sold?

The merger between Outdoor electronics company Lowrance & Simrad Yachting AS may not be so final. See Article Below from

Sale stopper?
A group of Lowrance shareholders have purportedly
filed a class-action lawsuit in Oklahoma state court that seeks to prohibit the
announced sale of Lowrance Electronics Inc. to Simrad Yachting AS. Lowrance and
members of the company's board of directors have been named as defendants.
The lawsuit alleges that the Lowrance board breached its fiduciary duties by
entering into the acquisition agreement with Simrad and its subsidiary, and by
not making adequate disclosure in its SEC filings concerning the proposed
acquisition. In an announcement, Lowrance said the company and defendants
"believe the lawsuit is without merit and intend to vigorously defend against

Not sure what this may or may not mean for Lowrance.... Lowrance has been a long
time supporter of the Bass Federation, hopefully this remains the same.


Trailer Hooks: Are you being stubborn or foolish?

If you are fishing and there is anything on the line, you should have a trailer hook on your buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. It is more important with buzzbaits, spinnerbaits are a little more situational. Whether its bragging rights with your fishing buddy, a tournament or you are on a lake that has big fish potential, there are very few instances that trailer hooks are not a good idea.

I have found very few instances that the cover did not allow me to use a trailer hook, when rigged correctly, they cause very few problems. About the only time I do not fish a trailer hook, is when I am prefishing for a tournament. In those instances its better to just see the fish and not hook it, saving it for the tournament. In some cases, if you use a red hook or feather hook, you can actually increase the appeal of the bait with your trailer hooks. Even when the bass are really getting on the your buzzbait and getting the main hook, the trailer hook is a nice insurance policy as you winch your fish out of the cover.

If you do not believe me, how about this. Secret Weapon Lures sells buzzbaits and they feel it is imprtant enough that they include a sharp Mustad trailer hook in the package with every buzzbait. I love fishing, but I really love catching fish! So take the time, put the trailer hook on and start landing more fish!


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Kids getting in on the Classic Action!

In just a few weeks the Superbowl of Bass Fishing will occur in Florida, but that is just the main event. There are several other important events happening that same week.

For one, all the State Federation Conservation Directors gather to exchange ideas, share information and work together to get things done on state and national levels, this is really important, as they are doing a great job to protect the resources that we and outdoorsmen enjoy so much. They do fantastic work for protecting fishing for our children.

Speaking of children, there are two big youth events that coincide with Classic week as well. First is the Casting Kids World Championship. This is where 12 of the brightest and potential future stars of bass fishing (ages 7-14), who will compete for $21,000 in scholarships during the Bassmaster CastingKids finals and championship in conjunction with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 24-26, on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla. The CastingKids program was developed in 1991 to teach the fundamental techniques of bass fishing to children, with competitions that focus on pitching, flipping and casting a hookless lure at a bull's-eye target. The 12 finalists this year advanced through local, state and national semi-final levels and will now compete in the finals representing six divisions of the country.

There is also Jr. Bass Fishing World Championship, which is bascily the Jr. Classic, for ages 11-18. Contestants will be fishing at nearby Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, FL. This will be the 3rd year for the Jr. Championship and its been growing every year. Classic contender act as boat captains for the contestant both prefishing and during the actual tournament. Winners in each division win a new Triton boat, in all its a great opportunity for Jr. angler. Good Luck to Don Brennhofer representing both MN and Gopher Jr. Bassmasters.

Rich Lindgren