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 …

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 …

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 …

It’s a high water year

It’s going to be a high-water year for anglers, and that could require some adjustments in your fishing approach. We saw it at Ross Barnett last week, and it’s ongoing through most of the South. Missouri is flooded out; Texas lakes are high; and even our Midwestern natural lakes are rising. My pond is the highest it’s been in 25 years. Barring severe droughts, this high water could impact lakes well into the summer. The floods and high water can cause dreadful harm to communities, but when it’s controlled, it can create good fishing. As these waters rise, the bass move …

Fishing History

No, this week’s column is not about history like that. I’m not going to tell you about the earliest bass anglers or who invented the spinnerbait.  This column is about the tendency we all have — including me — to fall into a comfort zone and continue to fish the same way and in the same places even when we should know better. When I say, “fishing history,” I’m talking about a double-edged sword — going back to the same places and fishing the same ways can be a terrific shortcut to success … or it can absolutely kill your chances to …