Live News:

An eye on new products

The so-called break for Bassmaster Elite pros comes to an end this week as we gear up for the annual ICAST show in Orlando, then back on the tournament trail the following week. I call it a so-called break because our time has been filled with working with sponsors creating new videos and advertisements for new tackle being introduced at the ICAST show. I can’t complain though. I enjoy working with sponsors to develop products and then seeing the world’s reaction at ICAST to those new ideas. It all comes together next week in Orlando, one of two places where new …

Rods and racing

While most of the Daytona International Speedway’s 180-acre infield bristled with campers, RVs, inflatable pools, BBQ grills and corn hole games of every theme imaginable, a 29-acre section known as Lake Lloyd saw a different list of priorities. Here, it was all about jerkbaits, soft plastics, sunscreen and lots of water. A day before this famous east Florida race track kicked off Independence Day weekend by hosting the Coke Zero 400, Toyota Racing and Bass Pro Shops hosted a crossover event in which red-hot driver Martin Truex Jr. joined Bassmaster Elite Series phenom Kevin Van Dam for a morning of contrasting …

Licenses are critical and worthy

As I prepare for our Elite schedule northern swing to New York and back to Michigan, it reminds me of important considerations all anglers should remember when going on out-of-state fishing trips. Fishing licenses and regulations. It’s something touring pros must take seriously at every event we attend. We have to buy licenses everywhere we go and sometimes we are required to have multiple licenses. For example, when we’re in New York we have to have a New York license and an Ontario Canada license. When we are St. Clair, we’ll need Michigan, Ontario and an Indian Reservation license. (For details …

My thoughts on sound and being stealthy

I get asked a lot about the effect of underwater sounds on bass. One reason people inquire about sound because they know I’m a longtime believer in HydroWave system that emits natural fish feeding activity through an underwater speaker on my trolling motor. The HydroWave is as much a part of my arsenal as a spinnerbait, a jerkbait and side-imaging electronics. But there are other manmade sounds that anglers need to be cognizant of that can have a negative effect – at times – on bass. Given the hours I spend in the woods as a hunter, I know the importance of …

Gearing up for our smallmouth season

We’re on our so-called tournament “break” between events before we make the northern swing to my beloved smallmouth waters in late July. For several Elite pros, the “break” is only from tournaments. For example, last week I flew to New York to appear on Fox and Friends for Bass Pro Shops. I’ve also be busy filming commercials, TV shows and will soon head to Daytona for the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR race on behalf of Bass Pro Shops and Toyota and to do some work with Driver Martin Truex. And then there’s the annual tackle show in Orlando where all the new gear …

Taking time to share

It’s nice to be able to chill. For some, that means climbing into a recliner or spending time doing nothing. For me, it’s going fishing. Fun fishing. Let me explain. I just came off an intense week of fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series on the Arkansas River and Lake Dardenelle. It was a long week, filled with conditions that changed constantly. We had a lot of high muddy water that fluctuated throughout the week. It was mentally and physically draining. So, when the event ended, I drove to the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid store in Memphis and met the winner of my Foundation Sweepstakes …

A holiday with valued tradition

America has a big Memorial Day holiday this weekend and a lot of folks will be traveling, enjoying cookouts and celebrating our freedom with family and friends. And while all of these are good times, we should never forget the importance of this holiday. I ask each of you to take time to count your blessings for the men and women who have made sacrifices to serve this country and provide us the freedom we all enjoy. The Memorial Weekend has provided an additional meaning to me as a kid growing up in Michigan. For years, it marked the opening of …

Rayburn is great and will get better

If you have been tuning into Bassmaster LIVE, I don’t have to tell you that Lake Sam Rayburn is a pretty amazing fishery right now. Admittedly, I didn’t do much the first day of the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest to show off the lake. Although my total weight didn’t show what this lake is capable of producing, the tournament is illustrating just how good the bass fishing is here. And man, are we catching a lot of bass. I caught more than 100 yesterday but couldn’t get the big bites that I needed to move higher in the standings. I know …

Fantasy Fishing: Select big hitters at Big Sam

Right now the only people who want to put Ross Barnett further into the rear view mirror than I do are the pros who finished worse than 100th and the staff of the Weather Channel. It was a great event, with rookie Dustin Connell fending off half of Kalamazoo in the quest for the big blue trophy, but it wasn’t so great for my Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing choices. Four events into the season – five if you count the Classic – and we’re in a situation where none of the clear-cut favorites have taken home the top prize. With capital-R Rookies …

Pros and cons of longer rods

The new Bassmaster Elites Series rule that allows rods up to 10 feet this year hasn’t been a factor, but that could change as we get into summer patterns. Several companies have come out with longer rods, and I’m working with Quantum to develop new spinning and cranking rods that extend beyond the former 8-foot limit B.A.S.S. imposed. Are there benefits? Absolutely, especially in those fishing scenarios where longer casts give the angler an edge. My experience of fishing the ultra-clear Great Lakes has proven that the farther you can stay off a school of fish the more success you can …