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Friday, March 31, 2006

Santee Cooper Sow-Fest

The pros thought it may get better after Day 1 & they were right. There were 7 anglers topping the 30lb mark and the total field bested Thursday's total by more than 450 lbs.

Preston Clark continues to set the pace. His 5 fish weighed a mortal 29-05, pushing his two day total to 68-11, giving his a 5-02 lead on Kelly Jordan. Clark only needs about 20lbs per day in the final 2 days to break the record, not out of the question considering his first to limits. In fact, 8 anglers are more than half way to Rojas' record, and funny enough, Dean Rojas is one of them. In fact, if more big fish keep coming to the banks, there is potential for someone outside the Top 10 to surge up and challenge the record. Below you will see the Top 50 anglers, and "the Bachelor" Byron Velvick was the last guy in the cut. Notice the cut here is about 5lbs heavier than that of the famed Amistad Tournament.

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Preston Clark Palatka, Fla. 10 68-11 310 $1,500.00
Day 1: 5 39-06 Day 2: 5 29-05
2. Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 10 63-09 295 $500.00
Day 1: 5 31-15 Day 2: 5 31-10
3. Terry Scroggins Palatka, Fla. 10 61-02 290
Day 1: 5 33-06 Day 2: 5 27-12
4. Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 10 59-15 285
Day 1: 5 29-12 Day 2: 5 30-03
5. Kevin Wirth Crestwood, Ky. 10 59-05 280 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-06 Day 2: 5 31-15
6. John Crews Salem, Va. 10 58-13 276
Day 1: 5 29-09 Day 2: 5 29-04
7. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu, Ariz. 10 57-04 272
Day 1: 5 25-09 Day 2: 5 31-11
8. Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala. 10 55-03 268
Day 1: 5 23-06 Day 2: 5 31-13
9. Jimmy Mize Ben Lomond, Ark. 10 52-10 264
Day 1: 5 27-08 Day 2: 5 25-02
10. Bink Desaro Boise, Idaho 10 51-07 260
Day 1: 5 22-08 Day 2: 5 28-15
11. Mark Menendez Paducah, Ky. 10 50-11 257
Day 1: 5 20-08 Day 2: 5 30-03
12. Jeff Reynolds Idabel, Okla. 10 50-08 254
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 29-00
13. Aaron Martens Leeds, Ala. 10 50-03 251
Day 1: 5 22-13 Day 2: 5 27-06
14. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, Ala. 10 49-07 246
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 30-14
14. Jason Quinn York, S.C. 10 49-07 246
Day 1: 5 23-08 Day 2: 5 25-15
16. Todd Faircloth Jasper, Texas 10 49-05 243
Day 1: 5 24-10 Day 2: 5 24-11
17. Takahiro Omori Emory, Texas 10 49-02 241
Day 1: 5 21-07 Day 2: 5 27-11
18. Russ Lane Prattville, Ala. 10 48-07 239
Day 1: 5 23-00 Day 2: 5 25-07
19. Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, N.J. 10 48-04 237
Day 1: 5 20-06 Day 2: 5 27-14
20. Bradley Hallman Norman, Okla. 10 47-04 234
Day 1: 5 32-05 Day 2: 5 14-15
20. Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 10 47-04 234
Day 1: 5 21-09 Day 2: 5 25-11
22. Zell Rowland Montgomery, Texas 10 46-11 231
Day 1: 5 22-12 Day 2: 5 23-15
23. Randy Howell Springville, Ala. 10 46-08 229
Day 1: 5 19-09 Day 2: 5 26-15
24. John Murray Phoenix, Ariz. 10 46-05 227
Day 1: 5 26-02 Day 2: 5 20-03
25. Mark Rogers Naples, Fla. 10 46-00 225
Day 1: 5 20-11 Day 2: 5 25-05
26. Denny Brauer Camdenton, Mo. 10 43-13 223
Day 1: 5 26-06 Day 2: 5 17-07
27. William Smith, Jr Somerset, Ky. 10 43-12 221
Day 1: 5 22-02 Day 2: 5 21-10
28. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, Fla. 10 43-02 219
Day 1: 5 21-01 Day 2: 5 22-01
29. Lee Bailey Boaz, Ala. 10 42-09 217
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 5 25-07
30. Ishama Monroe Hughson, Calif. 10 42-06 215
Day 1: 5 16-10 Day 2: 5 25-12
31. Dave Wolak Warrior Run, Pa. 10 42-04 213
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 22-14
32. Mike Wurm Hot Springs, Ark. 10 42-01 210
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 27-11
32. Kevin Langill Terrell, N.C. 10 42-01 210
Day 1: 5 21-06 Day 2: 5 20-11
34. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, Kan. 10 42-00 207
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 23-07
35. Vince Hurtado Waterford, Calif. 10 41-15 205
Day 1: 5 16-14 Day 2: 5 25-01
36. Robert Hamilton Jr Nashville, Tenn. 10 41-05 203
Day 1: 5 21-07 Day 2: 5 19-14
37. Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 10 41-04 201
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 19-12
38. Paul Elias Laurel, Miss. 10 41-03 199
Day 1: 5 22-09 Day 2: 5 18-10
39. Bradley Stringer Huntington, Texas 10 40-14 195
Day 1: 5 27-11 Day 2: 5 13-03
39. Shaw E Grigsby, Jr Gainesville, Fla. 10 40-14 195
Day 1: 5 16-10 Day 2: 5 24-04
39. Jarrett Edwards Page, Ariz. 10 40-14 195
Day 1: 5 17-15 Day 2: 5 22-15
42. Bill Lowen North Bend, Ohio 10 40-11 191
Day 1: 5 23-09 Day 2: 5 17-02
43. Scott Rook Little Rock, Ark. 10 40-04 189
Day 1: 5 26-05 Day 2: 5 13-15
44. Mark Tyler Scottsdale, Ariz. 10 40-03 187
Day 1: 5 23-03 Day 2: 5 17-00
45. Peter E Thliveros Jacksonville, Fla. 10 40-00 185
Day 1: 5 27-01 Day 2: 5 12-15
46. Gerald Swindle Hayden, Ala. 10 39-15 183
Day 1: 5 23-15 Day 2: 5 16-00
47. Darrin Schwenkbeck Silver Spring, Md. 10 39-14 181
Day 1: 5 21-11 Day 2: 5 18-03
48. Kurt Dove Warrenton, Va. 10 39-10 179
Day 1: 5 17-07 Day 2: 5 22-03
49. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, Ala. 10 39-07 176
Day 1: 5 20-12 Day 2: 5 18-11
49. Byron Velvick Boulder City, Nev. 10 39-07 176
Day 1: 5 19-14 Day 2: 5 19-09

Makes me excited for BassCenter
Bassin' Blog

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lake Amistad kicks out another Giant

Lake Amistad kicks out another Giant and my dad, a.k.a. Wayne Lindgren caught it, 13.18lbs.
Initial Picture on Water (top) and At scales (bottom)

Wayne (Left) along with trusty rod, senko and net man!

It was caught around 2pm March 28th on Lake Amistad in a cove that he caught a 9.8lb bass the week before. The fill fell for a wacky-rigged Senko type bait (Watermelon) The initial weight in the boat was 13.7lbs. There was a bit of regurgitation in the livewell and it was certified at 13.18lbs. Length=26.5" x Girth=20.75"

You can check it out on the Budweiser ShareLunker Website

More Interesting Stats:
#329 out of 412 ShareLunker in Size
14th Largest this season
5th ever from Amistad

Boy am I jealous,
Bassin' Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Breaking News - KVD DQ'd at Santee Cooper

Kevin VanDam disqualified for breaking a rule in official practive of the Santee Cooper Elite Series event that starts on Thursday. Here is an excerpt from

VanDam DQd from Santee 3/28/2006
Kevin VanDam was DQd from the entire Santee Cooper Bassmaster Elite Series, which begins this Thursday, March 30. According to BASS, he was DQd for a violation of Rule 12 (Boat Operation and Expense), which states that co-anglers may not drive the boat during practice or competition, except in emergency situations.

The applicable part of the rule states: "Non boaters are only allowed to drive the boat in emergency situations in both practice and competition with the exception of loading and unloading from trailers."

BASS stated that VanDam's co-angler, Jim Stawiarski, drove the boat during practice while VanDam stood on the front deck to spot bed-fish. Reportedly, another angler notified BASS of the infraction, and apparently, VanDam was unfamiliar with the rule.

Stawiarski was DQd from the event as well.

Wow, what a crushing blow to KVD's AOY race with Hackney & Rojas, although this definetly takes some heat of the other leaders. At the same time, it will be a lot tougher for KVD to qualify for the upcoming Classic. This is a technique often used when prefishing in the spring. I have done this with my father when we fished team tournaments, not only for bed fish, but for looking for specific cover as well.


Bassin' Blog

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Minnesota Bass Federation Launches New Associate Membership Program

New program focuses on expanding awareness of Conservation & Youth activities on both a State and National level. It’s a budget-minded way to support the great work the MNBF does to protect our fisheries and outdoors.

Minneapolis, MN - March 25, 2006 – There is now a new program for those in support of sportsmanship and conservation. The Minnesota Bass Federation (MNBF) recently launched a new and innovative Associate Membership program that allows anyone to support the MNBF’s political, conservation and youth angling related efforts.

Associate membership adds additional voices to Minnesota bass fishermen and anglers alike committed to preserving and enhancing our sport and to keeping Minnesota’s lakes and rivers healthy and available to every responsible angler.

Associate memberships will also bolster assistance to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) to improve fishing opportunities, habitat, water quality and preservation of public access to Minnesota’s waterways. At the same time, it will aid workings with state and local government, lake associations and other outdoor organizations to protect fishing heritage.

Beyond the conservation efforts, associate memberships help fund youth initiatives including education and on the water experiences to foster youth involvement and sustained interest in our sport. These youth activities provide alternatives to our youth above and beyond traditional sports and activities.

Summary Recent Activities Include:

· Supported Constitutional Amendment to preserve our rights to hunt and fish

· Participate in the discussion on the US Fish and Wildlife Services Upper Mississippi Management Plan with a special focus on maintaining access to backwaters

· Supported further research into the effects of lead tackle on our aquatic resources rather than banning it outright

· Interceded when a metro lake association passed an ordinance restricting fishing within 100 feet of shore

· Opposed a statewide “no cull”

· Attend the annual MnDNR fisheries roundtable

· Developed Internet creel survey collection tool to supply the DNR with fish population data

· Annually, organize and participate in lake and ramp cleanups statewide

· Sponsor Junior Bassmaster Clubs and Bassmaster CastingKids events

· Annual fundraising for local charities and non-profit lobbying

There are benefits beyond supporting the MNBF’s activities. Below are some benefits for associate members.
Benefits to joining as an Associate Member:

· Annual subscription to BASS Times magazine

· Discounts to Federation sponsor products

· Paid AD&D Insurance

· Free Internet classifieds

· Open invitation to attend Federation meetings and to network with other anglers

· E-mail notification of special events and legislative alerts

"I joined the MNBF as an associate member to support tournament bass fishing in
Minnesota," said Gregg Ripley, one of the inaugural members to the newly founded associate program. "We really designed this membership program for the casual anglers and sportsmen that do not have the time to dedicate but still want to contribute," said Stephanie Peterson, board member MNBF.

To find out more about membership opportunities, check out You can also get more information at the MNBF booth at the Northwest Sports Show in Minneapolis, MN; March 28 – April 2, 2006

About Minnesota Bass Federation Nation:
The Minnesota BASS Federation is committed to promoting fishing for all ages & skill levels. We offer our assistance to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to improve fishing opportunities, habitat, water quality & preservation of public access to Minnesota’s waterways. We work with state & local government, lake associations & other outdoor organizations to protect our fishing heritage. Through our youth initiatives, we provide education & on the water experiences to foster youth involvement & sustained interest in our sport. Please visit
I think this is a great program - check it out!
Bassin' Blog

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fish for a Good Cause

This a great event, check it out! 2006 St. Jude Tournament, a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Reserach Hospital.
Click here for more info

Check it out!

Fish for a cause,
Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

To peg or not to peg.... that is the question.

There is always a debate when it comes to fishing soft plastics & how to rig your sinker, here are a couple tips to help you make the right decisions...
There are advantages to both, hopefully this will help you make better decisions.

Not Pegged
In that case, when you set the hook, the sinker goes away from your bait and you don't lose very many fish. Any time you peg your sinker, the fish sucks it in with the bait, and when you set the hook, you knock the fish's mouth open. Once in awhile, the hook will come flying out, too. Also sometimes when fishing sparse cover you want your bait to drift up or lift a little from your sinker.

Any time you are fishing heavy cover, docks, brush or any flippin' or pitchin' situations. Pegging your bait will keep your lure close to the weight which gives you better feel so a big fish does not take off and wrap you up while you are lifting on your sinker. It also keeps you from hanging up as much and at the same time lets you make a more accurate presentation, ecpecially skipping under over hanging objects. Another place you really need a pegged weight is in current situations, in heavy current its is impossible to feel your lure without it. Pegging can be done with a toothpick, threaded rubber skirt material or Top Brass Peg-It II Rubber Pegging System.

Nice Compromise
You can use a small rubber bobber stop in front of your sinker and put it a few inches up when you are fishing sparse cover and then push it down tight when you need to get into tight cover. Its the best of both worlds and you can adjust in a split second from cast to cast as you fish along a bank. It does not wear on your line, but holds the sinker tight when fishing. At the same time it moves easily enough that the sinker will slide up the line on a hook set and let the weight slide up the line to it reduces the chance of hook coming free when a bass surfaces.
You can find these at

The small splash of color in front of your sinker can actually be an attractor as well. Its also a good way to fish a brass and glass rig while maintaining a semi-fixed weight.

Bassin' Blog

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Look what I caught!

Well not exactly.... But the guy in the picture did not catch it either!

25.1lbs smashes the previous record of 22.25 held for so many years by Bob Crupi. This is an exciting turn of events, but because of the World Record or the myriad of odd circumstances that may jeopardize the catch's chance of being accepted by the IGFA (International Game Fish Association, the most-recognized keeper of angling records). See the full article on ESPN.

Why does it seem that every time a potential world record is caught, that is must be muddled in controversy? This one was foul hooked, weighed on a hand held scale, and released live. I am sure this will get plenty of attention in the coming days & weeks. One way or the other, that is one monster of a bass being held in that picture. Could you even imagine?
Additional Article

I do not think the question should be whether or not the world record will fall someday, the question is will it fall in a clear, no doubt, manner that will satisfy everyone?
What are your thoughts on this latest catch?
Bassin' Blog

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fishing with your eyes - Polarized Glasses are Key!

It baffles me the number of guys I know that still fish without sunglasses and/or caps/visors. If you ask me its just plain stupid not to protect your eyes when fishing! It’s the only set you have and probably the only set of eyes you will ever have and I depend pretty heavily on my eyesight. Not too mention, polarized sunglasses will help you catch more fish.

I have been hit in the face with a lure several times, either by a fellow angler or me jerking on a lure that springs free and fires at my face. Two of those times my glasses deflected lures that otherwise would have hit me in the eye. The other factor of protection is UV rays, it is important to protect your eyes from over exposure to Ultraviolet Rays from the sun and a good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes in both instances. Good glasses will also protect your eyes when you are blasting to your honey hole on tournament day, how many times have you had to run in the rain or on a morning when there were a lot of bugs hovering on the water.

Catchin’ More Fish:
I know people will argue that they rarely have water clear enough to see bass where they usually fish and that the spawn is short, so why bother with sunglasses. Sunglasses more often help you observe structure, holes in grass, baitfish and other things that either help you cast where the bass should be or help clue you into what the bass are doing. If bass are holding open pockets in a grass flat and I can see the holes better than you because of my glasses, I will wear you out that day in the boat if we are together.

What to Buy:
Rule of thumb, buy the best glasses you can afford and make sure they fit your face. You can have a $200 pair of sunglasses, but if they are uncomfortable, you will not wear them and you will lose then because you keep taking them off. I am a big fan of JKruz sunglasses and I see the value of investing in good glasses. I use to wear $10-20 sunglasses and after wearing high end glasses, I really believe you get what you pay for. With my old glasses, I would be tired after a day on the water in the bright sun, eyes would feel strained, and they would be bloodshot. I can now fish all day and my eyes feel great and I have more energy to drive home after a long day, rather than fighting to keep my eyes on the road. The reason is because cheaper glasses have lower quality lenses that have inconsistencies in the lens that cause your eyes to constantly readjust and refocus to compensate and that is terrible for your eyes. A good set of wrap around glasses that fit your face not only reduce glare of the water but cut down on wind that dries out your eyes in the wind or when you are hauling down the water. You can find a great selection of glasses at

So invest in your eyes and some new sunglasses, buy what you can afford, but do not sacrifice comfort and fit. You will be glad you did!

Rather be Fishing...
Bassin' Blog

Friday, March 17, 2006

Amistad is done.... On to Rayburn!

Immediately after the crowning of Ish Monroe as the champion of the inaugural Elite Series event, Ryan & I headed back out onto the lake for the last few hours of daylight. These are two of the better fish I caught before sunset, one was on a Lucky Craft Pointer and the other was on a White 8" Lake Fork Top Dog Lizard off a bed in about 4ft of water around a large flooded bush.

My fishing partner Ryan got one nearly 6lbs off a bed on a Red Bug Lake Fork Tackle Zig Zag, rigged on a light Texas rig. The next morning we got into some jerkbait fish, I did not catch anything worthy of breaking out the camera, although Ryan got a 4.5lb largemouth on a large Rapala Husky Jerk fished over some grass in about 10-12ft of water. We caught several quality fish using his technique. I also managed a few fish on a bleeding baby bass Secret Weapon Spinnerbait that I fished around flooded bushes up in California Creek, that is where Ish spent most of his time during the Elite Series.

Unfortunately the morning & the weekend ended too soon, we had to pack up and head for San Antonio to catch our flight. We were welcomed back home in Minneapolis with a 12" of white fluffy snow :(

Quick Rayburn note: Greg Hackney leads the first day of the Bassmasters Elite Series at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but he only holds a slim lead over Kevin VanDam & Mike Iaconelli. The Day 1 leaderboard looks like a who's who list of today's top stars. See Top 5 below:

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 5 22-02 305 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-02
2. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 5 22-01 295
Day 1: 5 22-01
3. Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, N.J. 5 21-08 290
Day 1: 5 21-08
4. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu, Ariz. 5 21-00 285
Day 1: 5 21-00
5. Edwin Evers Talala, Okla. 5 20-12 280
Day 1: 5 20-12

Wish I was still in TX,
Bassin' Blog

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Final Day - Lake Amistad Elite Series

There was a certain buzz around the lake on Sunday morning. There were 12 guys hitting the lake with a Legitimate chance of breaking Rojas' 108lb record. There was a little wind which will help the reaction bite and calm enough not to interfere with the sight fisherman. Not too mention Day 3 had just produced the biggest bag of the tournament this far. We also are inching closer to a full moon, which usually moves more fish onto the beds.

I got into some early fish on Secrtet Weapon Spinnerbaits and Lucky Craft Pointer 100's, biggest was 4-12 and my partner got a 5-11 on a Power Jerk Shad . We hit a mid day lull and then finally found a cove with some fish on beds. We each caught a couple ranging from 2-4lbs. Then we saw her!!! She was about 7ft deep on a bed in the middle of small cove, with a male that was about 3.5lbs. My partner accidentally caught the male, which probably made catching the female more difficult than needed. It took use about 45 minutes to get her to bite. She finally fell for a White 8" Lake Fork Top Dog Lizard . She measured 25" length & 17" girth and tipped the scales at 8lbs 3oz.

It was extra exciting, because I caught her just 5 minutes before we had to load the boat and head in for the final day weigh-in. It simulated a tournament situation. We made to the weigh area just in time for the national anthem. The Top 12 were all lined up in their boats. They made announcement that all 12 anglers had their limits and no dead fish, which amplified the buzz. One by one they crossed the stage taking turns in the hot seat. Then Ish broke things open with 23-08 bag anchored by the Purolator Big Bass for the day - 9-00, see picture of big bass on stage.

You can also see Ish Monroe hoisting his trophy on the Jumbo Screen. Ish gave Props to Reaction Innovations and his Vixen Topwater . They also showed KVD throw his spinning rod in the lake after losing a giant that came unbuttoned sight fishing. It was very exciting to watch it all happen, much better than what you see on Saturday mornings. I highly recommend attending a BASS weigh-in if you get the chance. This is my 2nd, the first was KVD's E-50 victory on Lake Wissota. Notice that the top 3 anlgers were all from California, this lake fishes supposedly fishes similar to Clear Lake out in California. I have more pictures that were taken at the weigh-in and other bass that my fishing party caught that I will post in another post(s). See Tournament Stats Below:

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Ishama Monroe Hughson, Calif. 20 104-08 310 $103,000.00
Day 1: 5 25-11 Day 2: 5 21-04 Day 3: 5 34-01 Day 4: 5 23-08
2. Fred Roumbanis Auburn, Calif. 20 101-13 295 $31,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-04 Day 2: 5 28-13 Day 3: 5 20-11 Day 4: 5 28-01
3. Mike Reynolds Modesto, Calif. 20 99-04 290 $25,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-06 Day 2: 5 26-00 Day 3: 5 28-00 Day 4: 5 24-14
4. Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 20 98-05 285 $18,000.00
Day 1: 5 25-09 Day 2: 5 28-15 Day 3: 5 22-01 Day 4: 5 21-12
5. Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala. 20 97-03 280 $17,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-14 Day 2: 5 22-00 Day 3: 5 25-06 Day 4: 5 21-15
6. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 20 97-00 276 $15,500.00
Day 1: 5 27-03 Day 2: 5 22-09 Day 3: 5 27-06 Day 4: 5 19-14
7. Alton Jones Waco, Texas 20 95-06 272 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 23-13 Day 2: 5 29-10 Day 3: 5 23-02 Day 4: 5 18-13
8. Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 20 94-03 268 $16,000.00
Day 1: 5 25-15 Day 2: 5 26-03 Day 3: 5 19-13 Day 4: 5 22-04
9. Ken Cook Lawton, Okla. 20 93-07 269 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 31-10 Day 2: 5 17-01 Day 3: 5 22-15 Day 4: 5 21-13
10. Matt Reed Madisonville, Texas 20 91-03 260 $13,500.00
Day 1: 5 31-08 Day 2: 5 20-14 Day 3: 5 24-06 Day 4: 5 14-07
11. Edwin Evers Talala, Okla. 20 87-13 262 $12,500.00
Day 1: 5 25-04 Day 2: 5 29-14 Day 3: 5 19-00 Day 4: 5 13-11
12. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu, Ariz. 20 82-06 254 $12,300.00
Day 1: 5 27-05 Day 2: 5 25-15 Day 3: 5 18-02 Day 4: 5 11-00

Purolator Big Bass
1 Pete Ponds Madison, Miss. 10-05 $1,000.00
2 Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 10-05 $1,000.00
3 Ishama Monroe Hughson, Calif. 9-05 $1,000.00
4 Ishama Monroe Hughson, Calif. 9-00 $1,000.00

Purolator Big Bass of Tournament
Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 10-05 $500.00
Pete Ponds Madison, Miss. 10-05 $500.00

Busch Heavyweight
1 Ken Cook Lawton, Okla. 31-10 $1,000.00
2 Jimmy Mize Ben Lomond, Ark. 31-14 $1,000.00
3 Ishama Monroe Hughson, Calif. 34-01 $1,000.00
4 Fred Roumbanis Auburn, Calif. 28-01 $1,000.00
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 102 521 1932-00
2 101 517 1938-14
3 49 249 948-07
4 12 60 242-00
264 1347 5061-05

Tight Lines,
Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lake Amistad - Day 3

Sorry for the delay, I was too busy fishing to find time to do any Blogging.
I got up early and watched the take-off in the boat. It was cool to hear the Star Spangled Banner echo off the water and canyon walls. It was very exciting to see the
Top 50 all lined up and introduced as they took off in order of their place on the leaderboard. We attempted to follow KVD, but got lost in the boat wakes and he got away.

Day 3 proved tougher for some and others made big moves. The wind was light in morning and non-existent by afternoon. Our boat got some early jerkbait fish and snooped around the lake observing some of the Top 50 pros & doing a little fishing. It was also interesting to see several pros who did not make the cut out fishing for fun instead of heading off to get ready for Rayburn. I watched
Brett Chapman catch a 6.5lb bass out fishing with his wife & son. We talked to him and mentioned he wished he has a swimbait. I offered him a Storm Wild Eye Swim Shad, he quickly tied it on and hung a 5# bass on his 3rd cast as we drifted along. His young son then caught about a 3# bass dragging senko with his snoopy pole. Overall the day was moderately tough, we caught several fish on plastics, Norman DD22 , jerkbaits, etc. We even caught a few fish off beds, the biggest was probably 4.5lbs. One of the guys that made the trip with me, caught a 6lb 4oz which was new personal best for him. I will get his picture in a later post. He caught that on a brush line on a June Bug Lake Fork Tackle Zig Zag fished Mojo Style.

We got off the lake early to observe the
weigh in. It was quite the show, as big bags continued to poor in. Ish Monroe made the biggest move with his 34lbs 1oz bag, anchored by a 9lb 5oz Purolator Big Bass.

It was also cool to see
Gerald Swindle give his shirt of his back to a special fan. The crowds continued to grow each day at the weigh-in despite the unbearable heat. Mike Reynolds made many new fans with his "Tribute to Armed Forces" wrapped boat that he paid for himself. Today I managed to remember my camera, but my batteries failed me, I vow to produced Day 4 pictures :) At this point, none of the Top 12 anglers are out of it and they all have a change at Rojas' Record, even Rojas himself.

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Ishama Monroe Hughson, Calif. 15 81-00 305 $2,000.00
Day 1: 5 25-11 Day 2: 5 21-04 Day 3: 5 34-01
2. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 15 77-02 295
Day 1: 5 27-03 Day 2: 5 22-09 Day 3: 5 27-06
3. Matt Reed Madisonville, Texas 15 76-12 290
Day 1: 5 31-08 Day 2: 5 20-14 Day 3: 5 24-06
4. Alton Jones Waco, Texas 15 76-09 282
Day 1: 5 23-13 Day 2: 5 29-10 Day 3: 5 23-02
4. Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 15 76-09 282
Day 1: 5 25-09 Day 2: 5 28-15 Day 3: 5 22-01
6. Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala. 15 75-04 276
Day 1: 5 27-14 Day 2: 5 22-00 Day 3: 5 25-06
7. Mike Reynolds Modesto, Calif. 15 74-06 272
Day 1: 5 20-06 Day 2: 5 26-00 Day 3: 5 28-00
8. Edwin Evers Talala, Okla. 15 74-02 273
Day 1: 5 25-04 Day 2: 5 29-14 Day 3: 5 19-00
9. Fred Roumbanis Auburn, Calif. 15 73-12 264
Day 1: 5 24-04 Day 2: 5 28-13 Day 3: 5 20-11
10. Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 15 71-15 260 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 25-15 Day 2: 5 26-03 Day 3: 5 19-13
11. Ken Cook Lawton, Okla. 15 71-10 262 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 31-10 Day 2: 5 17-01 Day 3: 5 22-15
12. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu, Ariz. 15 71-06 254
Day 1: 5 27-05 Day 2: 5 25-15 Day 3: 5 18-02

Tight Lines,

Bassin' Blog

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bassmasters Elite Series - Amistad - Day 2

Overall the bite seemed to be a little tougher for most anglers after yesterday's high winds blew the front though. Bed fish became a little more finicky and anglers had trouble catching fish on jerkbaits & spinnerbaits in the near calm conditions. This being said, Jimmy Mize brought in almost 32lbs today and Edwin Evers & Greg Hackney made big charges to lead the field and the pursuit of Dean Rojas' 4 day total record. I managed to forget my camera, so no pics of the weigh-in this evening.

There appears to be several patterns available for anglers. Guys are catching them on deep flats, flippin' heavy cover, sight fishing and jerkbaits. Fish are available in all from prespawn to postspawn. It will be interesting to see what pattern prevails as the tournament winner.

As far as my personal success..... Got a late start due to arriving into Del Rio in the early morning. By the time my tackle was prepared and license purchased we only had a few hours to fish. I lost more fish than I caught, I believe this is due to winter rust of my fishing skills since I have not been out since October. I boated a handful of small keeper and lost a 6-7lb fish on a mojo rig along with a couple more 3-4 lbs fish. Nothing worth breaking out the camera yet. Hope to change this tomorrow.

Check back tomorrow for day 3 results as they cut down to the final 12.
Bassin' Blog

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Elite Series Kicks off on Amistad

Early this morning, the Bassmaster Elite Series has officially kicked off on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, TX. My plane departs this evening at 7:30pm and I will be on the water with the Pros tomorrow thru Sunday. Everything points to a very exciting tournament, lots of fish and lots of big fish. My parents are wintering on Lake Amistad, I always thoughts snowbirds were silly. Now that my parents are on on the premier bass fisheries in the US, I am becoming much more accepting of the whole concept. As it turns out, there are several pros staying in the same RV park as I will be staying and Randy Howell's giant Purolator rig is just a few spots away from my parents and Aaron Marten is there as well.

There is a lot of talk records being broken, but that was before the 30+mph winds that came in today for launch. It will be interesting how that will effect today's weights. I think it will affect many anglers, but a few of them will still crack some big bags. That just means there will be less people chasing Rojas after the first day.

I recently talked to a friend who had just talk to former, Classic Champion, Bob Hamilton and he has been on some good fish. He has had 25lbs bags in prefishing everyday by lunchtime and caught an 8 & 10 lb bass on Monday's practice.

In the coming days, I hope to Blog on tournament happenings as well as my personal catches. I hope to garner inside info from Pros that I see on the water as well as lodging in the same park. I plan to take digital photos of both my fish and the tournament and post them in the Blog entries as well. Check back in the evenings for updates throughout the weekend.

Bassin' Blog

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Becoming a Better Bass Angler

Learn how to become a better bass fisherman by joining your local bass club.

In my mind, the best way to shorten the learning curve of bass fishing is to join your local bass club. It’s also probably the most cost effective way as well. Below you will find the 7 reasons why.

1. You can only learn so much by reading articles and going to seminars. You need an outlet to practice and try the things you learn. Reading things do not mean a heck of a lot until you can try them and build some confidence on the water using your new lures or techniques. A bass club is a good way to get onto some lakes, especially if you do not have a boat. You can learn fishing from shore, but some things you need to get out on a boat to practice.

2. So let’s say you have a boat and you can get on the water when ever you wish. There is only so much you can learn fishing by yourself. Fishing with partners or buddies can really accelerate the learning curve, especially if you are fishing with someone who has a lot of experience. Often times in a bass club, you fish with a new guy every tournament; think how much you could learn in 6-8 tournaments over a summer, especially if you practice with your partner as well. Thinks of the olds adage, “Iron Sharpens Iron”

3. Why not money or pay tournaments? Its good way to learn, but it also can be a very expensive lesson. If you enter tournaments as a boater, you can really take some lumps and at a couple hundred dollars per entry, its not that effective. Pro-am or draw tournaments are a good option, but you are still better of getting the basics down in club competition which the dues may only cost $50-$100 for the whole season which could be 8-10 tournaments. Besides you may draw a boater that does not care to teach or help you learn and really just wants to catch his fish, hard to blame him, he has money invested as well.

4. Most of the members in a bass club have similar goals to yours. Learn more about bass fishing and have fun while doing it. Sounds simple, but its very true. They are very open to sharing their knowledge, because they were probably in your shoes when they joined a bass club. You will meet people you will fish with the rest of your life.

5. Thinking about buying a boat? Join a club as a non-boater for one summer first. Ride and fish out of 6-8 different boat brands and models during the year. You will quickly find out what you like and dislike about these boats and you will be better educated when you hit the spring boat shows the following year.

6. Don’t just take my word for it. Many well known pros started in bass clubs and worked their way up the ranks through federation tournaments. Mike Iaconelli & Denny Brauer are a few of the biggest.

7. There are clubs for everyone. There are clubs that fish for fun, clubs that fish for money, clubs for couples, and clubs that have JR. clubs for kids.

So go out and contact your local bass clubs, you will not regret it. Usually its pretty easy to find bass clubs in your area if you search the internet or contact the State Bass federation in your state. You will find out a lot of information and links to good bass site with club listings at

Bassin' Blog

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ranger Boats drops Ike like a Hot Rock!

Ranger boats released a statment saying that they terminated Mike Iaconelli's boat sponsorship. This statement was released on Feb 28 by Ranger president Randy Hopper. You can see this article on

It turns out Mike's antics on Day 1 of the Bassmasters Classic is much more costly than his first day weight. Boat sponsorship is a big deal for a touring pro. This may turn out to be a very important lesson for Ike and a humbling experience to say the least. It will be interesting if Ike continues to run his Ranger for the rest of the Elite Series and how long it takes him to get a new boat deal. I think it would be hard for Ike not to be running his wrapped Ranger at Amistad, it would be awful difficlut to get a new boat wrapped that quickly.

On one hand, he is one of the sport's most well known stars and on the other hand, do you want to be the boat company that scoops him up? Berkely has also released a statment that he will reamin on their ProStaff. I wonder what route his other sponsors will take. This should be an interesting story to follow.

Rather be Fishing...
Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Destination Bass: List of Top Destinations for Bass Fishing Rubes like myself & you!

I thought I would throw together a list if the top 10 places I would like to make a trip to or have made a trip for a bass fishing excursion. I did not rank them, too hard to do, they are all fabulous destinations.

Lake Fork - I have been here 3 times & know lots of people who visit regularly. Probably regarded as the best big bass lake in the world, its had its ups & downs of late, but it seems to be on an upswing again. Probably not going to produce the world-record, but you can sure go out there and load the boat with 5-8lbs on a consistent basis, not too shabby.

Lake Amistad - Have not been there, but headed there in early March to observe the Bassmasters Elite Series tournament and do some fishing. This lakes seems to be on an upswing, a recent 5 bass limit of 39+ lbs for a Bass Champs tournament, that is huge, not too far off of Rojas's mark. There is a lot of talk about this lake breaking Rojas's 4 day total of 108#. I am pumped to take part in the action and maybe witness history. There was recently a Stren Series tournament with a 4-day total of a 105lbs, that is awfully close to Roja's Toho performance.

Lake Guntersville - Have not been there yet, but I am targeting next spring. Where else can you toss rattletraps and catch - 6 lbs plus fish on a consistent basis, I have watched to many "Big Mommas" caught on TV not to get there some day. Need to hit up my Nashville Buddy and head down there.

Lake Champlain - Have not been there, too busy fishing in MN to get there so far. A perfect blend of green & brown bass, not going to catch any giants, but great numbers of 4 lbs plus fish to be had. June seems like the perfect month to head there for a smallmouth & bucketmouth combo platter bonanza.

Great Lakes - I did sneak out on Chequamegon Bay (Lake Superior) one afternoon, caught several 3-4 lbs fish in a few hours, just enough to really wet the appetite. The kicker is that part of the great lakes is not even that great for bass fishing comparatively to Erie, Michigan & Huron. I would lump St. Claire & the Detroit River into this mix as well. Too much water to fish them all, you should try one of these at some point. Probably the best pure Smallmouth waters in the world and on windy days you can harass some largemouth in the boat harbors.

Santee Cooper - Need to get here still as well. There have been a lot of huge weights out of this chain. Seeing & reading about Zell Rowland, Kelly Jordan and others in/on Bassmasters makes this just too tempting. Looks like there is everything from great structure fishing to sight fishing available.

Lake Minnetonka - Been there a bunch, probably should fish more, its right in my backyard. Still in the top 5 of all time for total catch in Bassmasters events. Takes 5 fish - 20lbs plus bags to win out there on a consistent basis and Largemouth up to 8 lbs are possible. There is also a nice population of smallmouth, they do not get a lot of pub, but they are nice change of pace. This lake has every kid of cover you could want, there is truly something for every angler on this chain of interconnected bays & lakes. If you are interested in getting to Minnetonka - click here

Clear Lake, Ca - WEST SIDE! That's for Byron & his swimbaits. California's largest natural lake and its full of huge greenies! Tons of ways to catch them, almost always takes a huge sack to win tournaments out there. When I see the lake on TV, it looks a lot like lakes that I fish in MN. Just another place I need to get to.

California Delta - Have not been... All I have to say is 10# plus bass on frogs, enough said. Probably the best big fish tidal fishery in the world. Looks like I need to make a West Coast swing!

Mexico - Guerrero, Mateos, El Salto, Baccarac..... It does not matter where in Mexico, they are all tremendous and probably is just a matter of time or some trout stocking away from kicking out a world record. If I had only known El Salto was so close to Mazatlan when I was on spring break...

Honorable Mentions: Pickwick, Columbia River, Toho, Big O, Lake Allen Henry, San Diego area lakes, Potomac.....I think its pretty clear, its hard to get down to a Top 10.
So many places, so little time. Good thing I am still young. This list could easily be my life goal list at the same time. Do you agree, disagree, got better ideas?

Let me know.
Tight Lines,
Bassin' Blog