3 with “G” from La Crosse Elite Series

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

Team Toyota’s Gerald Swindle, or as his bride LeAnn and close friends call him -- “G” -- has fished a bunch of pro derbies on the Upper Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin.


So, on the eve of 2022’s final Bassmaster Elite Series event, he answered three insightful questions with a wealth of perspective for fans following along this weekend.


Q: Name three things that come to mind first when you think of the Upper Mississippi at La Crosse.


“G”: Current, rocks on wing dams, and grass. Typically, you want this river about as high as Snoop Dogg and running as fast as Usain Bolt, but that’s dang sure not the case this week.


Q: After all the tournaments you’ve fished here, what three lures would you call your all-time MVP players?


“G”: Topwater frog, a heavy Texas rigged Zoom Z Craw to punch grass, and a topwater walking bait like Rapala’s Skitter V.


Q: What three storylines should fans pay attention to at this event?


G”: Pay attention to those guys you didn’t pick in your fantasy league, because the dark horses that are low in the AOY points race having nothing to lose, and a Classic berth to gain. That makes for a dangerous competitor.


Secondly, sand bars will be a factor like never beforewith the river so low. Sand bars attract shad, and that means bass will follow.


Lastly, watch for the guy who finds the magical patch of vegetation half the size of a football field.

Simms Launches All New Fall 22 Product Collection

Designed And Developed For Anglers That Are Always On The Water.

Bozeman, Mont. (August 24, 2022) – Simms Fishing Products, preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear, footwear, and technical apparel release Fall 2022, a product collection boasting new styles, features, and innovations across all categories. Fall 2022 launches in conjunction with the brand new campaign — Always On The Water, a campaign designed to not only inspire anglers to embrace the colder fishing seasons ahead, but also to celebrate the lifestyle they live when they’re off the water.

“The dog days of summer always reinforce how much I love the colder temps and less crowded waters of fall and winter,” says Simms CEO, Casey Sheahan. “This Fall collection really captures Simms’ longstanding heritage and reputation of delivering industry leading, performance driven, innovative, and durable fishing gear and apparel. It also reflects the fact that for us, we truly are always on the water. If we’re not physically there, we certainly are in our minds. Fall 2022 perfectly represents two of the most important aspects of fishing — the technical side as well as the lifestyle that comes with it.”

Adhering to the Always On The Water theme, Simms’ product team spent the past 18 months designing and developing an array of technical gear and apparel that allows anglers to comfortably fish longer and harder than ever before, regardless of the weather and conditions.

Leading the charge on the technical side is Simms’ all new Guide Insulated Jacket and Bib. Featuring an outer shell constructed from premium waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX® fabric, both the Guide Insulated Jacket and Bib are lined with PrimaLoft® insulation that provides incredible warmth without excess bulk. The jacket also comes equipped with an insulated hood, ventilation zips under the arms, handwarmer pockets, and two chest pockets that utilize TRU® Zip zippers for fully submersible protection. Paired with the bib, the Guide Insulated Suit is the ultimate foul weather fortress.

For the coldest days on the water, Simms has introduced two new styles that are sure to keep anglers warm and in the moment without sacrificing range of motion. Available in Men’s and Women’s, the all new ExStream® Hooded Jacket and ExStream® Pull Over Hoody are powered by ultra-warm PrimaLoft insulation and feature a quilted stitchless construction for next level layering capabilities and durability.

Simms’ ever popular Freestone collection expands with the addition of the all new Women’s Freestone Jacket and Freestone Backpack. Built with a fully taped waterproof/breathable 3-layer Toray® fabric, the W’s Freestone Jacket features two oversized chest pockets, an adjustable hood, articulated sleeves and a shaped waist with two zippered gussets for a flattering women’s fit. Constructed from a 330D Nylon Ripstop with a DWR finish, the Freestone Backpack features a clamshell top opening as well as a U-shaped side opening to access a spacious main compartment that features internal organization. Equipped with a fully cushioned harness system, the Freestone backpack also includes a tethered, stashable rain cover to keep cargo dry in wet weather.

The Tributary collection also receives a new member with the all new Tributary Hip Pack. Constructed from recycled polyester fabric with a water-resistant, polyeurathane finish, the Tributary Hip Pack features internal organization, hypalon tabs for docking tools and a large loop fly filed for storing and drying flies.

Recycled materials don’t stop with the Tributary Hip Pack, Fall 2022 also inlcudes the Fall Run Collared Jacket. With an exterior and interior built from 100% recycled materials, the warming qualities of this jacket are powered by PrimaLoft Eco Black insulation which consists of 60% recycled materials.

Finally, for anglers looking for footwear innovation, Fall 2022 includes the all new Simms Challenger Mid-Deck Shoe. Built with a highly abrasion resistant textile mesh upper with TPU overlays for increased durability, these shoes also come equipped with a waterproof/breathable membrane to keep angler’s feet dry all day long. For comfort and support Simms’ Challenger Mid-Deck Shoes feature a dual density comfort footbed with a molded arch suppport while a non-marking EVA outsole with micro-siped rubber pods provide unmatched traction and slip-resistance.

On the lifestyle end of the spectrum, Simms is excited to launch the Cardwell Hooded Jacket. Built from a Nylon Elastane blend, the Cardwell’s canvas-like exterior offers just enough stretch in an incredibly rugged, durable package. Chunky baffles house PrimaLoft insulation for warmth and two zippered chest pockets and two handwarmer pockets provide a secure place to store small necessities and provide relief for cold hands. Built from the same fabric, Simms is also offering the Cardwell Jacket and the Cardwell Vest, both of which boast a super cozy Sherpa fleece liner.

Simms extensive line of flannels continues to grow with the inclusion of the Guide Flannel, a soft, warm, moisture wicking flannel built from recycled materials that features a double weave for performance and mobility. The Guide Flannel also comes equipped with vertical, zippered chest pockets to secure small essentials and a left chest pocket designed to house a pair of sunglasses. The Santee Flannel Hoody and the Men’s and Women’s Santee Flannel Shirts provide a slightly lighter weight option that offers comfort and style for on and off the water applications.

Other key standouts to the Fall 2022 collection include the Henry’s Fork Hoody (also available in a crewneck) and the Vermillion Hoody (also available in a full zip). Built from natural, recycled, and synthetic fibers, the Henry’s Fork collection offers comfort and performance at every turn. A French Terry backer constructed from an organic cotton polyester blend provides comfortable warmth while its HeiQ Fresh finish provides anti-microbial protection against odor.

Featuring an athletic cut, a brushed soft interior and a comfy 3-panel hood, the Vermillion collection feels cozy, moves with you, and keeps you odor free with HeiQ Fresh technology. As an added bonus, both the Vermillion Hoody and Full Zip feature a unique drop-in pocket specifically designed to hold the angler’s beverage of choice.

To See Simms’ Fall 2022 product collection in its entirety, click here.

Arey talks frogs, family, and whitetails at La Crosse Elite

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

 Team Toyota’s Matt Arey is the kind of guy you’d want for a college roommate. Goal focused, spiritually grounded, a great sense of humor, and willing to call time-out to share a plate of cheese curds along Wisconsin’s most famous farmhouse ale, Spotted Cow.

Those traits have him sitting solidly in the Top 20 of the Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race on the eve of this season’s final event. So Arey paused after two full days of practice to talk topwater frogs, family and whitetail deer at one of Wisconsin’s many neighborhood gathering places – the Thirsty Turtle.

Q: Let’s start by looking back at last week’s event at massive Lake Oahe. What will you remember most about that event?

Arey: If fans haven’t seen the ‘agony of defeat’ video I posted on Instagram @MattAreyFishing, it’s worth a look. I get a 5-pound smallie inside the boat, grab him to walk to the front deck, he jerks and jumps back in the lake. I’ll never forget that fish.

Q: You’ve logged two long days of practice here on the Upper Mississippi River at La Crosse. What can you tell Bassmaster fans to expect this weekend?

Arey: They’ll be a lot of fish catches, but a 3-pounder here is a treasure, and 4-pounders are fairly rare. So they’ll be plenty of action, but a 15-pound limit here is really strong.

Q: The Upper Mississippi River at La Crosse is a topwater frog anglers dream. What should fans look for when buying a topwater frog?

Arey: No doubt frogs will be one of the top three most used lures this week, along with swimjigs and Chatterbaits.

When picking out a quality frog, make sure it has great hooks, a really soft body, and don’t get caught-up buying ten different colors. All you need is a couple light-bellied frogs, and a couple dark bellied frogs. I like the Lunkerhunt compact frog because it comes out of the package with the hooks bent upward a bit and the legs already trimmed.

Q: You’ve been away from your wonderful wife Emily, and your two young daughters for 12 days. How’s everybody holding up back home in Shelby, NC?

Arey: Everybody is doing great, but as always, my sweet wife is balancing the start of a new school year with a golden retriever puppy, plus feeding horses and cleaning their stalls.


Q: As this Elite Series comes to an official end Monday afternoon, I know you’ll soon be immersed in whitetail hunting. Do you have your eye on a particular buck?

Arey: Oh yea, for sure. I’ve got my eye on two great bucks. One is a Pope & Young caliber 8-pointer we call “B 2” – and the other is a buck we call “City Slicker” – he has matching flyers growing off both his G2 antlers.

"It's All Mental" With Dakota Ebare

This week Dakota Ebare joins the show to talk about Bull Riding, Bull Fighting and Bass Fishing. From his incredible run in the Pro Circuit to a current top 10 in points in the Bass Pro Tour Dakota is an up and coming Pro that should be at the top of your Fantasy Fishing Teams. The Boys also discuss the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Race and CB makes a call and welcomes in an impromptu guest to the show mid-stream without missing a beat. Tune in now!


Brandon Lester, the Elite Series’ best cutman

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships


Boxing’s “cutmen” are responsible for managing a fighter’s lacerations during a match to help him continue competing effectively, but on the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series tour, no other angler has made more “cuts” than Team Toyota’s Brandon Lester.


Entering this week’s final regular season Elite Series event on the Upper Mississippi River at La Crosse, Lester is the only angler on tour to make every semi-qualifier round this season once the full field of anglers in the opening rounds is cut in half, and he highlighted the streak by winning at Pickwick in June.


Not to mention, Lester made ‘the cut’ in both Bassmaster Opens he competed in this year too, and claimed victory at the Southern Open at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes back in early February.


“Obviously, everybody on the Elite Series wants to make the cut, get at least a $10,000 paycheck, and the chance to fish on Championship Sunday. But at the St. Lawrence River, I started realizing I had the chance to make every single cut this season, including the Opens, and that’s pretty special,” smiled the always humble Tennessean.


Never did his streak come so close to ending as last week at Lake Oahe, SD, but in true Brandon Lester style, he squeaked into semi-final Saturday by grabbing the final cut spot in 47th place.


“I thought there was no way I was gonna make it after catching 10-pounds on Day 1, but on Day 2 my 12-pound limit was barely enough to make it,” says Lester, still shaking his head in disbelief.


Asked what two lures he’d call his MVP of this incredible season, he singled out a Berkley Maxscent plum apple-colored worm that helped him win Pickwick, and a 3/8-ounce Chatterbait Jackhammer tipped with a Lake Fork Live Magic Shad – none of which are sponsor’s lures.


However, there’s more than just “making cuts” on the line this week in La Crosse. Lester sits barely behind Brandon Palaniuk in the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year title race, and could in fact win the highly respected title if Palaniuk slips up.


“Palaniuk really has to stumble, and that seldom happens. So, my focus is purely on doing my job, and making sure I put myself in position to win, in the rare event he struggles,” says Lester.


That starts with making the cut for the chance to compete on Sunday and Monday, and nobody has been better at that this year than Lester.


Team Support Leads High Schoolers to $5K in Yamaha Power Pay

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships


Competitive bass fishing can be a financially demanding endeavor, even at the high school level. And when good parents encounter challenging times, the cash strain intensifies.


Thankfully, generous support from their Mt. Pleasant High School fishing team, and a 5th place finish, made it possible for the team of Spencer Lovett and Evan Word to earn the $5,000 Yamaha Power pay bonus at the recent Bassmaster®High School Championship on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.


“There’s probably no way we’d ever make the championship on Hartwell without the incredible support of our Mt. Pleasant, TN High School Bass Fishing team,” says Spencer’s dad and their boat captain, Alan, who runs a 19-foot Xpress aluminum boat powered by a 150-horsepower Yamaha V MAX SHO®.


Our high school team is a special group of generous people – and Spencer and Evan were absolutely ecstatic when they learned we’d won the $5,000 Power Pay bonus from Yamaha,” he added with a smile.


While Spencer and Evan actually won the very first Bassmaster® High School event they ever fished together with a 19-pound limit of Pickwick smallmouth, their 5th place finish at the high school championship on Hartwell using a spinnerbait and a squarebill crankbait was good enough to collect the Power Pay contingency money.


Their earnings spotlight a big advantage of the Power Pay program -- you don’t have to win the tournament to win the Power Pay money. You just have to be the highest finishing registered participant, and it’s free to sign-up.


“Whether you’re fishing big tournaments or high school events, if you’re running a Yamaha purchased in the past 60 months, you’d be foolish not to sign-up for Power Pay. I’m certainly grateful we did,” concluded Lovett.


Making sure you’re eligible for Power Pay bonuses is easy, just visit https://yamahapowerpay.com/.

Gravel Roads and Ghostly Smallmouth

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships


Ask Elite series competitors what they think of Lake Oahe and you’ll likely hear one of these words in their response: unique, massive, weird, or different. These are some of the buzzwords this week for the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Oahe and they are all absolutely true. The scale of this Missouri River reservoir is hard to comprehend.


With over 2,200-miles of shoreline and maximum depths of over 200-feet, Oahe earns the moniker of massive and is unlike any other fishery on the tournament schedule. And that’s just the lake; the surrounding terrain, the dusty gravel roads, the scenery,and the rural feel in this area of South Dakota give off a vibe that is not at all typical of professional bass fishing derbies.


Elite Series veteran Gerald Swindle summed it up in a social media post upon arriving to Mobridge.


“When I think of gravel roads, I don’t normally think about smallmouth bass,” Swindle said.


The Team Toyota pro added nearly 1,400 miles to his 2022 Tundra while making the 21-hour drive from Alabama. This fishery is a long way from home for just about everyone in the Elite Series field, which is partially why this event is so intriguing. Oahe is a wildcard.


Even though this is the Elite Series second time to this fishery, the 2018 event was held out of Pierre, SD, which is over 100-miles as the crow flies from tournament HQ this week in Mobridge.


“After three days of practice I have literally not seen any of the same water I fished in 2018,” Swindle said. “That sounds insane, but on this lake it’s easy to do. I’ll be honest, with the way the wind blows here I don’t want any part of a 100-mile boat ride (each way). In my opinion, the guys who make the long run to the lower end of the lake will have a strong chance of winning this tournament… if they can make it back each day.”


En route to amassing $2.5 million in winnings and two Bassmaster AOY titles, Swindle has plenty of experience with wind, waves, and long runs. But he’s opting to avoid those factors this time around. Instead Swindle plans to stay relatively close to takeoff with two rods on the deck of his Phoenix boat, keeping his baits wet as much as possible. He said Minn Kota Spot-Lock and an emphasis on not getting in a hurry will be key for him on Oahe.


“These fish disappear like the dust you kick up driving on the gravel roads around here,” Swindle explained. “One minute the dust or the smallmouth are everywhere, and the next they settle out of sight like they were never there. It’s almost spooky. You can’t get in a hurry and try cover water with your electronics or spot hop here, or at least I can’t. You have to give the fish time to show themselves.”



Swindle described one example from practice where he saw two lone fish on his graph, but after hooking one of them, his screen lit up with a school of what had to be fifty bass. He said it was like they came out of nowhere. This ability to appear out of thin air must be a quality of all South Dakota wildlife, because I’ve had similar experiences on land driving around the lake.


Even though this area has a lot of relief in terms of topography, there are very few trees, and it somehow appears flat. You can see a long way around here, so it’s easy to take a quick glance and think the creek draws and agricultural fields are devoid of life. But if you slow down and take a closer look for a few minutes, you’ll come to realize there are plenty of critters here, hiding in plain sight.


In the faced-paced hustle and bustle of today’s world it’s hard to slow down, but Lake Oahe and the South Dakota terrain stand in contrast to this societal norm. Around here if you don’t decelerate you just might miss a covey of quail, big mule deer buck, sacred Native American site, or even a giant school of smallmouth bass.



AC Insider Podcast - The TITLE & The League!


This week Chris & the boys welcome in Major League Fishing PR Guru Chairty Muehlenweg to the show to talk about her career, her fishing and the Pro Circuit TITLE happening now on the St. Lawrence. The National Professional Fishing League President Brad Fuller joins the Circus in the second segment and talks candidly about the NPFL, the ups and downs of running a tournament circuit, what they have learned AND Brad drops some HUGE news on the boys regarding 2023. The best thing you can do is hit PLAY! NOW!

Matt Arey: “Pro bass fishing’s a team sport.”

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponso

As Matt Arey piloted his Toyota Tundra past countless acres of corn and soybean fields along his 23-hour drive from home in Shelby, NC to massive Lake Oahe in South Dakota the answer to a question he’s been asked dozens of times tugged at his heart once again.


“Is pro bass fishing a team sport?”


It’s a question Arey says he gets asked a lot by folks who aren’t hard-core fishing fans when he’s at elementary school functions with his daughters, church, and elsewhere.


“The obvious answer is “no, pro fishing’s not a team sport” but I usually follow-up by explaining to people from an emotional and mental standpoint this career is absolutely a team sport,” says Arey. “If you don’t have loved ones sacrificing to help you chase your dreams and prosper, this sport will eat your lunch in a hurry,” he adds.


This current Elite Series travel swing to South Dakota and Wisconsin means he won’t see his beloved bride Emily and their two young daughters Reese and Wren for at least 18 days.


That’s rough. And for Arey, leaving home these days seems to be even tougher than when his daughters were younger. At ages 5 and 9, they love interacting with their daddy – fully conversational, active in school, dance, and church activities, and not yet teens seeking independence – family time is the centerpiece of the entire Arey family universe right now – and that includes drawing with colored chalk on the family driveway.

There’s never been a time in Arey’s illustrious pro career that Emily and his daughters failed to draw him a fish-themed “Good Luck” message on the driveway just before he leaves. The colorful heart felt messages on the concrete are among the last images of home as he heads-out to the next tournament, and generally lead to smiles, hugs, and a few flooded tear ducts too.


“About the only way I’m able to cope with leaving is knowing Emily is such an incredible woman and mom, that whether it’s a broken kitchen appliance, a flat tire, or simply getting the girls to all their activities, I can leave home knowing she’ll handle things incredibly well. But don’t get me wrong, her job at home is way tougher than mine as a pro angler,” reflects Arey.

Regarding the job he has to do at giant Lake Oahe, he says managing productive fishing areas based on wind will be the biggest challenge. But a Pulse jig head tipped with a small swimbait, and a Lunkerhunt finesse worm on a Ned head should help yield the 20-pound limits he expects he’ll need to do well at the 370,000-surface acre reservoir.


Arey enters the Oahe event sitting securely in 8th place in the Progressive Angler of the Year points race, and while we all know there’s no such thing as an easy event in this sport, he says the 18 days away from Emily, Reese and Wren will be the toughest challenge of all.


“There’s nothing about this job that’s more challenging than leaving my wife and daughters. It’s tougher than making Classic cuts and Top 10s. But at least I’m blessed to compete with a clear mind knowing I’ve got such an awesome team cheering me along from 1,500 miles away,” says Arey.


Because after all, pro bass fishing really is a team sport as far as the Areysare concerned.


T-H Marine Announces Ocean Bio-Chem Acquisition

Continues acquisition growth in parts and accessories business
HUNTSVILLE, AL, August 11, 2022 – T-H Marine Supplies, LLC, a subsidiary of OneWater Marine Inc. (NASDAQ: ONEW) (“OneWater” or the “Company”) announced today that OneWater has completed the previously announced acquisition of Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCBI) (“OBCI”), a leading supplier and distributor of appearance, cleaning, and maintenance products for the marine industry and the automotive, powersports, recreational vehicles, and outdoor power equipment markets. As a vertically integrated supplier, OBCI manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad portfolio of products under the Star brite®, Star Tron®, Odor Star® and other brand names. OBCI and all affiliates will be integrated into T-H Marine Supplies, LLC, OneWater’s subsidiary and strategic growth platform for parts and accessories businesses.  Marking T-H Marine's third acquisition of 2022 and its 17th add-on acquisition overall, OBCI will function as a standalone division of T-H Marine that will continue to operate at its current facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Montgomery, and Netherlands.

“The addition of OBCI meaningfully advances OneWater’s strategic growth and diversification strategy in the marine parts and accessories business. Utilizing our best-in-class integration playbook, we expect to capitalize on the numerous opportunities to expand market share and drive further margin expansion,” said Austin Singleton, Chief Executive Officer for OneWater.

“We are truly excited to welcome the OBCI team to the T-H Marine/OneWater family,” said Jeff Huntley Sr., Chief Executive Officer of T-H Marine. “Greg Dornau and his leadership team will continue to operate OBCI / Star brite as an independent division.  Furthermore, we know there are great synergies that we will accomplish by combining the strengths, channel penetration, and brand equity of the Star brite and T-H Marine teams, along with the OneWater parent organization.  This is our largest acquisition to date and we are excited to continue being a strong acquisition platform to add great businesses and brands”.

“It was always about fit, for fifty years Star brite has been based on a winning team with a successful strategy. When T-H Marine/OneWater approached us about this acquisition, we knew it was the perfect fit. Our mission would remain the same but with a bigger family. Our three companies share a common culture; focus on the customer, offer superior products and have great customer service. Star brite is proud to be part of the T-H Marine/OneWater family and we look forward to what the future holds” said Gregor Dornau, President of Star brite.

T-H Marine and OBCI/Star brite announce that all customers, suppliers, and industry partners will continue to work with the same teams at the separate companies as they currently do.  Future collaborations and synergies will expand opportunities from both companies, but for now, it is business as usual.  With OBCI’s presence in over 30,000 retail outlets and T-H Marine’s supply relationship with every boat manufacturer in the United States, there are great opportunities to leverage customer relationships for both brands across a broader product line.


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – August 10, 2022 – For Immediate Release -  For the third consecutive year, the Board of Directors of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame announces that the Hall has awarded four conservation grants to contribute to the mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing. The awardees were selected through a highly competitive process, and they represent a diverse group of deserving projects.

“Each year we continue to be impressed by the seriousness and dedication of our applicants,” said Bass Fishing Hall of Fame President John Mazurkiewicz. “We all agree that habitat restoration and management, and other conservation efforts, remain the bedrock of our sport and are critical to bass fishing’s future. These grants are one means of giving back to the wider community.”

The four grantees are as follows:

  • Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation and High School/Youth -- Tims Ford Lake Reservoir Habitat Restoration/Enhancement: This project encompasses angler (youth and adult) education, reservoir habitat enhancement/clean up, fish attractor construction and organizational partnership development.  With the guidance and supervision of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) fisheries personnel, US Army Corp of Engineers (Nashville District), Tennessee Valley Authority Natural Resources personnel and BASS Nation leaders, this grantee will coordinate build, educate anglers on how to build effective habitat and fish attractor structures and the benefits of both through proper planning, placement and evaluation on Tims Ford Lake in support of the Bill Dance Fishing Trail.
  • Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School Team Trail -- Mobile Fish Care Trailer: This grantee will buy a dual-axle heavy duty trailer and modify it with a tool box and oxygen tank holder and subsequently mount upon it a fiberglass live release tank. Oxygen and aeration systems will be added in consultation with BASS and AL Fisheries biologists. This trailer will be used for high school events instead of a live release boat as it is much less expensive to build and easier to maintain, with greater conservation benefits
  • Bluegrass Bassmasters -- Lake Barkley cypress tree planting: This project aims to decrease siltation and the expansion of mud flats on Lake Barkley by increasing shoreline stability through cypress tree plantings. Cypress trees are native to western Kentucky and are one of only a few species that can thrive along the shoreline and within the drawdown zone of Lake Barkley. One thousand young trees will be planted in groves of several individual trees in sites chosen by KDFWR. This project may be expanded if and when more funds become available in the future.
  • Texas B.A.S.S. Nation -- Lake Belton Structural Habitat Improvement Project: This project will replace fish habitat that has been lost to natural reservoir aging processes. Specifically, Texas B.A.S.S. Nation worked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the US Army Corp of Engineers, and the Brazos River Authority to create four new fish habitat sites and will use the provided funds to further enhance artificial fish habitat at these same sites.

“Once again we are proud to incentivize and reward the substantial sweat equity that these entities will produce,” said Board member Gene Gilliland, who is also the B.A.S.S. Conservation Director and a recent Hall inductee. “It was difficult to choose the best four, but we’re confident that this group represents the best of the best. As time goes on, we hope that our efforts will become even more inclusive and substantial.” Gilliland and Board member Casey Shedd with AFTCO spearheaded the BFHOF conservation grant selection process.

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame has become much more than honoring the legends and innovators in the sport of bass fishing. Noted pro bass angler Kevin VanDam, a 2018 Bass Fishing HOF inductee and recent addition to the Board, “I have clearly reaped the benefits of the many volunteers and organizers who take on these types of projects. While people come to the induction ceremony to recognize the big names of the sport, all of these contributors need to be recognized for their efforts as well.”

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction dinner on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. There will also be a concurrent auction, taking place from October 3-6 (visit www.BassFishingHOF.com for details), which will assist the Board in hosting the dinner and other recognition events each year, along with funding its conservation grants and other worthy endeavors benefiting the sport of bass fishing. Sponsor tiers for the “Celebrate Bass Fishing Week” are still being offered. Information on the plaque unveiling presenting sponsor, along with Gold, Silver, Bronze and table sponsors, along with individual dinner tickets is available by contacting the BFHOF executive director Barbara Bowman at [email protected] or (501) 541-6660, or Board president John Mazurkiewicz at [email protected] or (574) 292-2500.


First Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarships Awarded To Eastman And Morris

Elizabeth Eastman - solo (2).jpgBIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S. and Shimano have partnered to award the inaugural Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarships to Elizabeth Eastman of Fairhope, Ala., and Dixie Morris of Valley, Ala. These scholarships not only honor Sevier’s leadership and long-term vision for the growth of sportfishing, but also recognize the efforts of young female anglers as they pursue fishing at the collegiate level.

“Shimano is thrilled to support Elizabeth and Dixie in their future ambition as anglers,” said Sarah Harper Burke, senior marketing manager, Shimano North America Fishing. “They are exemplary young women who are claiming their space within the fishing industry. We applaud their drive and encourage their pursuit of taking their fishing to the next level.”

Eastman, who is entering her senior year at Fairhope High School, grew up fishing the biodiverse Mobile-Tensaw Delta with her dad and sister. She plans to attend Louisiana State University, where she will compete on the fishing team while pursuing a degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture. In addition to a Top 15 finish at the 2022 Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School State Championship and serving as treasurer for her fishing team, Eastman is also active in dance, archery team, art club, marine life club, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America and was named a National Archery in the Schools Program Academic Archer.

“Winning this scholarship connects me to some amazing women,” said Eastman. “It gives me a sense of support that will help me push through any barrier I may encounter. It also creates a sense of obligation to carry on the legacy that Helen Sevier started.”

Dixie Morris.jpgMorris is a freshman on the Southern Union Community College Bison Fishing Team with plans to complete a pre-veterinary bachelor’s degree at Auburn University before veterinary school and a master’s degree. Morris had the initial idea to start her high school’s fishing team, the Valley Bass Team, and earned Top Angler (along with her teammate) three times while also helping to grow the team. Morris lives on the Chattahoochee River, with West Point Lake and Lake Harding providing other rich “home waters” for family fishing excursions. In addition to fishing, Morris is active in 4-H, Future Farmers of America and National Honor Society, an award winner in the SkillsUSA program and earned a Bronze Award from Girl Scouts.

“Winning the Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarship has meant so much to me,” said Morris. “I was already looking forward to fishing on the Southern Union fishing team, but now I am even more excited because this helps to show women and young girls that they can achieve great things in a male-dominated sport. This has really encouraged me to step out and try for more scholarships and things that seemed unachievable.

“I want to thank B.A.S.S. and Shimano for choosing me for this award. I also want to thank Helen Sevier for making the pathway for the entire sportfishing industry.”

Sevier, the second full-time member of B.A.S.S. hired by founder Ray Scott in 1970, was a pioneer at all levels of the organization. During her 31-year career at B.A.S.S., Sevier oversaw a boom in membership as well as the expansion of Bassmaster’s media operation to include seven magazines and two television shows. Sevier was also instrumental in recruiting young people to the sport through the innovative CastingKids program. In 2004, Sevier was inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, and her induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame came in 2018.

Both Eastman and Morris earned a $2,500 scholarship.

College Anglers - Register Now for the 2022 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley

No entry fee, double points event set to take place in Paris, TN at Kentucky Lake on September 17-18

SAN ANTONIO, TX (August 9, 2022) – The calendar recently turned over to August and in just a few weeks many students will be returning to the classroom for the start of the 2022-23 school year.  With the start of a new school year also comes a new season of the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  The Association of Collegiate Anglers will kick off the year at Kentucky Lake for the 2022 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley on September 17-18.


Register for the 2022 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley.

Registration for the first ACA event of the 2022-23 season is set to close Sunday September 11 at 6:00 PM (CT).

Anglers that originally registered to compete in the event back in March are required to register again for the fall installment of the tournament.

Full details for those who are looking to register, or have already registered, can be found here, to include a complete breakdown of the rules.  Each angler is expected to register individually prior to the cutoff deadline listed above.  If you have any changes to your registration, please notify ACA staff.  All anglers, upon registering for the event, should review the Angler Packet and Official Tournament Rules.

Prizes, Contingencies, and Valuable Points

The Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley is always one of the most anticipated events of the season thanks to it featuring a robust prize payout several times a day and double points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

80 total places will be paid out over the course of two days of competition on Kentucky Lake.  Day 1 will feature four weigh-in sessions, and Day 2 will be comprised of three weigh-in sessions.  All sessions will pay out the Top 10 largest fish, except for Day 2 Session 3 which will award prizes to the Top 20 fish in the final session.

Here is a look at the presenting sponsors for weigh-in sessions throughout the event:

Day 1

Session 1 – Engel Coolers

Session 2 – HydroWave

Session 3 – Bass Pro Shops

Session 4 – Garmin

Day 2

Session 1 – Abu Garcia

Session 2 – Bob’s Machine Shop

Session 3 – Bass Pro Shops & Abu Garcia

Along with the valuable prizes & contingencies available to anglers competing in the event, schools will also be able to earn points for each of their highest two placing fish in the event down to 150th place.

The Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley is a defining event in the race for Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia each season.  Teams travel from all across the country to earn their share of the points awarded at this ACA major event.  The winner of the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley will earn 1,750 points.

Be on the lookout for updated standings in the race for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia leading up to the event.

Berkley Baits Only on Day 2

On the second day of tournament competition, anglers will be permitted to use only Berkley baits.  Here is how this is addressed in the official tournament rules:

Berkley Special Lure Rules for Day 2 Only:

During Day two of the Big Bass Bash only artificial Berkley Baits, including hard baits, may be used. Please refer to “Special Lure Rules” below.

Special Lure Rules

  • Spinner bait frames, jig heads, buzz bait frames, etc. may be used when paired with Berkley products as trailers. To clarify you may use other brands jigs and spinner-baits, but those baits must have a Berkley trailer on them.
  • All terminal tackle (Alabama Rig Style) must include a “functional” Berkley soft plastic.
  • Non-Berkley soft plastic trailers are NOT permitted at any time.

BTL - New Head Man in Charge!

This week Chris & the boys welcome in Bass Talk Live Host Matt Pangrac to the show to talk about Bass Talk Live, his quest for the Elites through the Bassmaster Opens and much more! Matt is a huge wealth of knowledge in the bass fishing industry and a really good dude. Listen as we talk about all of this and more!


Nolan Minor captures first tourney victory, brother Ewing snags second on one of country’s premiere smallmouth rivers.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (August 8, 2022) - Nolan Minor panned the shallows of the Susquehanna River and sifted up a bounty full of bronzebacks to seal his first professional tournament victory at the 2022 Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) Anchored by Power-Pole® Susquehanna River event held July 30-31. Throwing an Evergreen Gizmo to tempt shy but surface feeding smallies in mostly shin-deep water, the 24-year-old from Charlottesville, VA, tallied 187.75 total inches of bass to top the field – and his brother, Ewing Minor, who finished second – buy a full two inches. Jake Harshman grabbed third as all three finished in the top four slots on both days of the catch, photograph and release (CPR) event.

“It really was a great weekend if your last name was ‘Minor’” said tournament director, Cody Prather. Not only did Nolan grab the gold while Ewing captured silver but their dad, Todd Minor, finished in the top 20 on Day 1 before falling off the pace. What a great weekend he must have had tracking his boys as they battled it out for the top two spots.”

Which is exactly what the Minors squared had set out to do, explained Nolan. “Ewing and I don’t really share waters because we’d be splitting the potential catch, but we do exchange information during tournaments. So, when I found myself on a solid pattern, I clued him in. He managed to find a comparable spot that offered a similar bite, but his fish were just slightly smaller on Day 1. He’s had some serious success in these competitions, so I was glad I managed to hold him off down the stretch.”

Nolan Minor spent most of his time working the famed smallmouth river on foot since, due to the shallow nature of the Susquehanna, the rules allowed safe portaging and wading as long as the boat remained tethered to the angler.

“I had a few bass on a Berkley Choppo, but most of the fish I saw were giving it a look and then shying off,” said Nolan. “Fortunately, I brought along a couple of Ever Green Gizmos after talking to a friend who had said he was experiencing a solid topwater bite on the James River back home in Virginia. At 1.5 inches and 3/64-ounces, that lure is a lot more subtle, and it proved just the ticket for those cautious smallies. I was simply floating black and green pumpkin patterns on the surface for those ‘bug fish,’ adding a twitch for any that seemed interested but wouldn’t commit. The bass just crushed ‘em.”

Nolan, who is no stranger to shallow water river smallmouths, having grown up targeting them at home, planned out his entire approach to the Susky event more than two weeks prior. “I know from experience that big shallow water smallmouths will smack topwater offerings in the heat of summer, but I still can’t believe how perfectly things worked out,” he said with a laugh. “Usually, you need to make some adjustments at any event - but this game plan proved spot-on right from the start.”

While Nolan walked the flats, Ewing, 20, chose to stay in his vessel but used a novel approach to round up his fish. “I was floating down past my spots and then looping back upriver to approach them from below,” he revealed. “I didn’t find quite the concentrations of fish that Nolan was able to locate, but I had plenty of action. I was mostly sight-fishing, letting that Gizmo float and giving it just a slight twitch or two if a bass nosed-up and didn’t eat it.”

While this was Nolan’s first win on the tournament trail, it didn’t come as a surprise to his brother. “He can fish,” said Ewing. “He’s as good an angler as you’ll ever meet. He’s taught me more about fishing than anyone else. Having him and my father as mentors has really helped me grow into the successful angler I’ve become.”

“It was nice to have the whole family out there this weekend,” continued Ewing, “and I’m thrilled my brother got it done against such stiff competition. You had anglers like back-to-back champion Jody Queen and Drew Gregory at this event, plus a packed field of river smallmouth sharpies. When you win a Hobie B.O.S. event, there’s no doubt you’ve beaten the best.”

Both Minor brothers were using Hobie Kayaks for the event with Nolan in a PA12 360 and Ewing in an Outback loaned to him by Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN, where he is currently a sophomore member of the fishing team. Nolan totaled 95.5inches of bass on Day 1 to lead the field while Ewing took the third spot with 92.5 inches. On Day 2, Ewing charged hard to lead the pack with a 95.5-inch total while Nolan drilled 92.23 inches for fourth place.

Harshman, 37, of Pennsylvania, chose to focus his efforts on stretches of fast-moving, highly oxygenated water, buzzing a spinnerbait so the blades mostly fluttered on the surface. “I found about four spots in a 200-yard stretch of the river that were holding a lot of bait and just kept rotating through them,” he revealed after finishing fourth on Day 1 with 91.75 inches, and second on Day 2 with 93.25 inches. “Congratulations to Nolan and Ewing, they are both class acts and solid fishermen. For his youth, Nolan has a wealth of knowledge about bass and his victory was well deserved.”

For their efforts, Nolan Minor banked $10,500, Ewing Minor earned $5,500, and Harshman pocketed $3,200. Bassin’ Big Bass honors and a $500 check for the tourney’s largest fish went to Collin Lamkin, of Chicago, IL, for a 21.50-inch lunker smallmouth caught on Day 2 using a Whopper Plopper 75.

Additionally, AFTCO Angler of the Year (AOY) points were awarded to the top 100 finishers in the 192-angler field. Nolan Minor, Jake Harshman and fourth-place finisher Chris Blair also punched tickets to the 2022 Hobie Tournament of Champions (TOC) on Caddo Lake, November 11-13, in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. Ewing Minor had previously qualified by winning the Broken Bow event. The TOC is a three-day 50-angler championship with a $100,000 payout guarantee and $45,000 first-place prize.

“The Susquehanna River welcomed us with open arms once again,” summed up Prather following the award ceremony. “When it comes to river fishing, this place is a smallmouth heaven and a kayaker’s dream. There are very few boats to pressure the fish here, and our competitors basically have the waters to themselves when the Hobie B.O.S. comes to town. Big thanks to the Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Event Authority for inviting us out. We had a slugfest from the first cast to the last cast which is just the way we like it. All of our participants seemed to catch well with a lot of limits, plenty of smiles and even some personal bests. Everyone went home happy.”

Especially Nolan Minor, who expressed his admiration for the tournament’s competitors in general and the Hobie B.O.S. Anchored By Power Pole in particular. “It’s really neat to be able to fish for river smallmouths from a kayak while cutting in some wade fishing,” he remarked. “And to have a chance to win $10,500 doing it is a unique opportunity that’s so new to the kayak fishing scene. Payouts like this simply didn’t exist on the kayak trail a few years ago. The Hobie B.O.S. is undisputedly the most competitive kayak series right now, and that’s drawing even more great anglers to these contests. I love the opportunity to fish with the best, and I get that chance every time I launch in a Hobie competition.”

Up next on the Hobie® B.O.S. Series Anchored By Power-Pole® schedule is the Wolf and Fox Rivers event in Appleton, August 20-21. Registration is now underway.

Lester’s Ice Cream Treats for Back to School Bass

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

Team Toyota’s Brandon Lester loves ice cream. Chocolate chip cookie dough, as well as butter pecan top his list. But if you want to go next level, he’s picking a Dairy Queen Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard® with extra peanut butter cups blended in.


Lester’s passion for fishing is on par with extra peanut butter cups too. Between Bassmaster events, you’ll often find him on Lake Guntersville or Tims Ford Lake near home, and when on vacation at the beach, you guessed it, he chases saltwater species in the Gulf.


“I try to fish at least two days a week between tournaments. And this morning, as I was launching at Alred’s Marina on Guntersville, I spotted them busting shad, and I’ve been catching 3-pounders on a Super Spook Jr. ever since,” grinned Lester amid our phone interview.


The Super Spook Jr. is actually one of Lester’s top three choices for catching largemouth as kids prepare to head back to class while daytime highs are still well into the 90s.


He graciously shared his wisdom about how he fishes the iconic topwater, along with insightful thoughts on two of his other favorite lures for back-to-school largemouth.


3.5” Super Spook Jr.


“Anytime you get into late summer there’s gonna be bass schooling on bait near the surface. And while ten pros might tell you the names of ten different topwater lures they love most, I’ll tell you with zero sponsor affiliation a Super Spook Jr. has always been the one I can count on to catch August and September schooling fish,” he shares.


Lester adds a #4 Mustad feathered treble to the rear of this time-proven topwater, and stresses the importance of improving your hook-to-landing ratios by using 30-pound Vicious No-Fade braided line.


Deep Crankbait


“If I was going to try to win a tournament on a Tennessee River impoundment like Pickwick or Guntersville in August, there’s a strong chance I’m going to be throwing a deep diving crankbait first,” says Lester.


He strongly believes the heat of summer keeps plenty of winning schools positioned in the 12 to 20-foot deep zone during August, and a crankbait tends to catch bigger bass than most lures.


Neko Rig


Lester’s not the only one who pounds on summer schools with a crankbait. In fact, thousands of other anglers have joined him since the post-spawn days of May to show largemouth a menu full of diving plugs. As a result, largemouth often grow leery of smashing diving baits by this time of year.


“A Neko Rig on a spinning rod is a bite-getter in August when they’ve seen every crankbait in the book all summer long and start getting really finicky,” says Lester.


And the best part is, a Neko Rig also catches big ones like the 6-pound 13-ounce beast that helped me win the Elite Series on Pickwick,” he smiles.


He picks apart finicky August schools from 5 to 25-feet deep with a Neko-rigged finesse worm with a 1/8-ounce Mustad Tungsten nail weight inserted in one end.


As we began to hang up from our interview around 9:30 a.m., Lester promised to send me a photo from the water when he caught a big one later in the day. And I won’t be shocked if his Tundra pulls into a Dairy Queen near Huntsville on the drive back home for a Blizzard with extra Reese’s.

Neal Wraps Up Back-to-Back Angler of the Year Titles

Courtesy of Major League Fishing.com

JULY 31, 2022 • JODY WHITE

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – In the history of the FLW Tour and Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me, only Andy Morgan (2013, 2014) and David Dudley (2011, 2012) had won back-to-back Angler of the Year titles prior to the emergence of Michael Neal. Now, after finishing 15th at Covercraft Stop 6 Presented by Wiley X at Lake Champlain, Neal has locked up his second title in back-to-back fashion, becoming the third pro to win AOY in consecutive years and the sixth pro to win multiple AOY titles.

Neal’s win is also notable because of how extreme it was. Winning at Sam Rayburn to start the year off, he made the Top 10 four times, but also caught just one bass on Day 2 at Pickwick Lake to finish 105th. It’s the first time since Denny Brauer won AOY in 1998 that a pro has earned the points title with a finish below 100th on their ledger.

Trophy in hand, after sweating some and pretending to sweat some during weigh-in, Neal was more than appreciative of his newly secured place in history.

“Just to be mentioned in the same category as two of the guys I grew up fishing against and always looked up to … it’s surreal,” said Neal, who competes on the Bass Pro Tour against Morgan and Dudley. “To be fishing against the same guys and have an accolade like that, that a bunch of guys at the age of 30 never had the opportunity to do, I’ve been very fortunate to be where I’m at.”

Raised around pro fishing in East Tennessee, Neal has seemingly been destined for stardom for a long time. Now, he feels he’s living up to his potential.

“It feels like I finally got to the point in my career where I feel I should be,” Neal said. “For the first part of my career there were a lot of close calls. It feels like now I’ve got the confidence in myself and my abilities to get the job done.”

Neal has been on a tear for the last two years, and he credits confidence and time on the water for his success.

“Early in my career, I questioned it some, I think everybody is going to question it some,” he said. “But, you’ve got to have the confidence without the arrogance to believe you can do it. That’s a very fine line; but if you’re not confident and pull up to the best hole in the lake you’re not going to catch them.

“I’ve just made it a point now to go out and fish my strengths, and fishing both tours, spending a lot of time on the water – there’s no replacement for that.”

The Year That Was

Neal put together a sterling season overall, finishing first at Sam Rayburn, 10th at the Harris Chain, 105th at Pickwick, third at Guntersville, fourth at the James River and 15th at Champlain. Outside of Pickwick, it was a truly spectacular season, but it almost went too easily. In 2021, Neal had a moment or two every tournament where something lucky or special happened, when a pattern clicked into place or he made a perfect decision. This year, he struggled to come up with a standout moment other than his win at Rayburn.

“I didn’t have much, but I caught two big ones the first day,” Neal said. “I was lucky enough the second day to catch enough where I was going to be okay, and I could go practice. Then, I caught a couple big ones (later in the day on a jerkbait) and it set me up to win the tournament. Last year, every tournament I could look back and tell you one of those moments, this year, there’s not any.”

Of course, on the bad side was his second day at Pickwick, when he brought just one fish to the scale in an event that largely featured excellent fishing.

“One of my favorite lakes was the one that let me down so bad,” he said. “That was the one time in the last two years I can remember doing something that I knew I shouldn’t do, or that I don’t do. I ran up the river on Pickwick and fished the bank. On the Tennessee River, they live offshore, they spawn offshore, everything. For some reason, I gave up on it and it bit me. I didn’t give it enough time, I could have put the trolling motor down at the ramp and caught more than I did that day. In Angler of the Year stuff, typically you’re not going to have a chance if you don’t weigh a limit one of the days, let alone catch one fish.”

Neal’s Pickwick letdown didn’t end up costing him the title, though he didn’t lead AOY again until after Day 1 at Champlain – but it may prove instructive for others. One of the best offshore anglers in the game, Neal abandoned the ledges and bars that he’s made so much money on over the years.

“You’ve got guys like Andy Morgan and (Randall) Tharp that strictly power fish up shallow, and only so many fish live up there, and that’s in a 40-boat-a-day Bass Pro Tour event,” Neal said. “That’s what I’m going to do if I have to, but I’m going to fish my way as often as I can. If you don’t fish your way, just like what happened at Pickwick, you’re not going to do well, because you’re not fishing in your element.”

Neal’s Next Challenge

Going into the 2023 season, winning another Angler of the Year title will be at the top of the list for Neal. And with regular season wins under his belt, he’s good on that front. But, a major championship still eludes him, despite some close calls in the Forrest Wood Cup and REDCREST.

“I want to win a TITLE,” Neal said. “Angler of the Year is great, and a tournament win is great; I’ve done those and would love to do them 10 times over. But, now, the one thing that’s missing is a TITLE championship.”

At just 30 years old, recently married and fishing incredibly well, that goal seems pretty attainable for the Dayton, Tennessee, angler.

“I feel like I’ve got at least another 10 to 15 good years, prime years,” Neal said. “Whatever happens after that, happens.”

Darold Gleason’s picks for summer’s dog days

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships


These are the days when temps soar so high even small dogs like Rowdy Gleason look for a cool slab of concrete to lay their bellies on.


His ‘dad’ Darold Gleason wouldn’t mind doing the same, but he gets paid to catch fish, not lay on the porch. So, what two lures does the Elite Series pro and famed Toledo Bend guide lean on to catch fish when the thermometer hits a hundred?


“Obviously, in the extreme heat of summer, you could go with a deep diving crankbait, big worm, or a football jig, but I chose two lures to help people catch fish in this heat, based on two factors – simplicity and versatility,” says Gleason.


“So Rowdy and I are choosing a V & M Baby Swamp Hog and a 4.5” Straight Shooter dropshot worm,” says the always comical Gleason, who was one of the very first anglers to register for Toyota’s Bonus Bucks program 14 years ago.


Baby Swamp Hog


“I can hook a Baby Swamp Hog on a Carolina Rig behind a 1-ounce egg weight and reach fish that are 20-25’ feet deep. But I can also pitch it around the shade of dock, as well as submerged vegetation,” he explains.


“Again, it’s versatile. A Gleason’s Candy colored 4” Baby Swamp Hog imitates everything from a crawfish to a bluegill, and it gets bites from big fish, even when it’s 100-degrees outside,” says Gleason, who has a wall full of 10-pound fiberglass replicas representing the many giant largemouth he’s caught from Toledo Bend.


4.5” V & M Straight Shooter finesse worm


“This choice might surprise some people, but the goal is to get bites during smokin hot conditions, and very few rigs in bass fishing generate more bites than a drop shot. If you don’t believe me, look at the front deck of nearly any pro’s boat, and you’ll see at least one drop shot rigged up everywhere we go on tour,” says the Yamaha pro.


“The Straight Shooter worm is super soft, so it’s loaded with action, but it also has a ton of salt, so fish hold on to it longer,” he adds.


Much like the Baby Swamp Hog, Gleason says he’ll cast a hot summer drop shot from docks to deep water. He adjusts the leader length between the hook and weight below depending on what habitat he’s fishing.  He prefers 10” of line between hook and weight around docks, and more like 20” when fishing the deeper zones.


So while several options abound for dredging up summer bass by anglers brave enough to bear the heat, remember these two suggestions from Gleason as straight-up “bite getters” no matter how high the temp.


And remember, you can’t catch ‘em if you’re laying on the porch.


Shimano Ingenuity Captures Two Honors at ICAST 2022


Stella FK and Spheros SW Combo Enhance Angling Excellence Across Wide-Ranging Global Fisheries


Shimano is no stranger to the winner’s circle. In the New Product Showcase at ICAST 2022, Stella FK and Spheros SW Combo rose to the top of the Freshwater Reel and Rod & Reel Combo categories, capturing coveted hardware and industry accolades.

ICAST Best of Category: Freshwater Reel


Stella FK


Whenever Shimano introduces a new Stella, the industry takes notice. Outshining a field of baitcasting and spinning reels from top manufacturers in the most revered New Product Showcase category, the Stella FK spinning reel leverages premium technologies to enhance power and durability, drag performance and line management.

Shimano’s legacy of high-precision gear development continues to evolve within the all-new InfinityXross system. Distributing contact points over a larger surface area, InfinityXross delivers unrivaled gear durability to enhance reel performance and longevity. Passed down from Stella’s larger saltwater models, Infinity Drive features a unique low-friction bushing that decreases frictional resistance, delivering smoother and more powerful winding.

The Stella FK features a litany of advanced technologies and refined aesthetics, highlighted by Shimano’s new InfinityLoop line management system. Extending spool oscillation during the retrieve, InfinityLoop ensures the line lays as evenly as possible on the spool. InfinityLoop benefits anglers on every cast, as smooth and even line lay results in reduced friction as line leaves the spool, yielding dramatically enhanced casting distance.

A foundation of premium technologies supports all the best-in-class innovations that permeate the Stella FK family. A lightweight and robust magnesium HAGANE Body and a cold-forged HAGANE Gear fortify Stella FK for enhanced durability. No other spinning reel can claim a stronger legacy or a brighter future than the award-winning Stella FK.


ICAST Best of Catagory Stella.jpeg

Stella FK Features:

·      InfinityXross

·      InfinityLoop

·      Infinity Drive

·      Anti-Twist Fin

·      DuraCross Drag

·      MicroModule Gear II

·      HAGANE Gear

·      HAGANE Body

·      Long Stroke Spool

·      CI4+

·      X-Protect

·      X-Ship

·      Titanium One-Piece Bail


Best of Category: Rod & Reel Combo


Spheros SW Combo


Further demonstrating Shimano’s enduring passion and legacy of design and engineering excellence, the all-new Spheros SW Combo sets the new standard for best-in-class rod and reel combos with four models delivering a remarkable balance of performance and durability to a broad range of anglers and fishing styles.

High-quality graphite rods with tapered EVA handles and comfortable reel seats feature Fuji Aluminum Oxide guides allowing anglers to spool with monofilament or PowerPro braided line. Every Spheros SW Combo features a Spheros SW A reel, fortified with Shimano’s exclusive cold-forged HAGANE Gear for the smoothness and durability that saltwater anglers demand.

Drawing many of its design attributes from the flagship spinning reels, Spheros SW A integrates HAGANE Body technology to enhance rigidity and eliminate flexing, transforming angler inputs into more direct and effortless cranking power. Further improving winding torque under load, Infinity Drive and X-Ship technologies optimize the overall drive gear design for exceptionally smooth handle rotation and efficient power transmission.

Immune to harsh saltwater environments, Spheros SW A spinning reels feature X-Protect and X-Shield technologies to keep water and fine contaminants from disrupting the internal components of the reel. Shimano also incorporates sealed S A-RB bearings to eliminate the possibility of salt or sand inhibiting the bearing’s rotation. The Spheros SW Combo offers an amazing collection of benefits that are key for so many saltwater anglers, offering unparalleled versatility and a virtually endless range of applications.


ICAST Best of Category Combo

Spheros SW Combo Features:

·       HAGANE Gear

·       HAGANE Body

·       X-Ship

·       Infinity Drive

·       CoreProtect

·       S A-RB Bearings

·       Cross Carbon Drag

·       X-Protect

·       X-Shield


Synonymous with excellence, Shimano’s legacy of design and manufacturing supremacy continues with the ICAST New Product Showcase award-winning Stella FK and Spheros SW Combo.

Zenon Low-Profile Baitcast Reels – Abu Garcia’s Newest Casting Reels

New level premium low-profile reels created with avid anglers in mind

COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 1, 2022) – Designed for anglers who appreciate compact and lightweight reel design, the Zenon Low-Profile Casting Reels meet the mark in both responsiveness and decreased weight with the three models weighing in at a featherlight weight between 4.6-5.5oz. This family of reels continues to build on the quality of the Zenon Spinning reels and have been optimized for top-tournament winning performance right out of the box.

The Zenon lineup offers three different models: Zenon MG-LTX, which is the most finesse-focused, the Zenon MG-X, which is the ultimate lightweight performance reel, and the Zenon X, which delivers power in a light, aluminum design.

Zenon MG-LTX
The Zenon MG-LTX is the most finesse focused of the Zenon casting family featuring a spool that is 10% lighter and a smaller diameter than MG-X and X models. The Ceramalite spool bearings facilitate a more free and lower start up inertia making it the ideal choice for accurately casting lighter baits.

Key Features
• New A-SYM body design
• EXD concept design to maximize casting performance
• Finesse-focused Model
• 30mm spool
• Spool 10% lighter than other Zenon models
• Ceramalite bearings
• Weight: 4.6 oz
• Unique One Piece Aluminum Cross Brace
• 8 SS HPCR Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing
• Chip resistant paint finish
• Gear ratio available: 8.3:1 - 31IPT
• Max Drag: 12lbs

MSRP: $549.95
Available: July 2022

Zenon MG-X
The mid-tier reel in the Zenon lineup, the MG-X offers anglers an ultimate lightweight performance reel in a compact package. Weighing in at 5.1 ounces, the reel combines the EXD body design for improved castability and the new A-SYM body design with a smaller palm side plate for a more comfortable feel while fishing.

Key Features
• New A-SYM body design
• EXD concept to maximize casting performance
• One piece X-Mag Alloy frame
• 9 SS HPCR Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing
• Compact bent carbon handle
• 90 mm Carbon handle with oversized handle knobs
• Weight 5.1 oz
• SHS-Gear Ratio 8.3:1 - 32IPT
• Regular - Gear Ratio 6.8:1 - 27IPT
• Max Drag 15lbs

MSRP: $449.95
Available: July 2022

Zenon X
The Zenon X delivers power in a small, lightweight aluminum frame featuring the same A-SYM body design and EXD concept for unmatched castability. This workhorse model provides the ability to throw anything from finesse baits to small jigs and is equipped with 90mm aluminum handles and oversized knobs to provide comfort in a compact reel.

Key Features
• New A-SYM body design
• EXD concept to maximize casting performance
• X2 Craftic Alloy frame
• 8 SS HPCR Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing
• Carbon Matrix drag system
• 90mm Aluminum handle with oversized knobs
• Gear Ratios: Zenon X – 6.8:1 (27” per turn) • Zenon X-SHS – 8.3:1 (32” per turn)
• Max Drag: 15lbs
• Weight: 5.5 oz

MSRP: $349.95
Available: July 2022

AnglersChannel.com Announces the August Awesomeness New Product Awards! - FINAL DAY TO VOTE ON ROUND 1

Now is the time for YOU to vote on what you think should be the hottest new product of the year!

Each year at the ICAST Fishing Trade Show, New Products are showcased for Media Members to vote on and decide what they think is the hottest New Product of the show.

We have turned the tables and now its YOUR turn to VOTE on what you think should be the New Product Showcase Winner!

Rules are simple. This is a bracket style voting format, divided into categories similar to what is used each year at ICAST.

We have narrowed this down to better fit our demographic, mainly freshwater.  

For Round 1, simply vote for the product you like or are excited about in EACH bracket. THERE ARE MULTIPLE BRACKETS PER SECTION.

Voting will end Monday night August 1st for round 1, Winners will move on, the losers will go home. 

Tuesday August 2nd, we will begin Round 2 and the voting will continue until we have a winner for each category. 

Once we have come to a category winner then Overall Awesomeness Head to Head battle will begin until YOU, the fan, the viewer, the listener, the fisherman (or woman) decide who YOU Think is worthy enough to be named


What’s in this for you, you ask? Each week and round we will randomly pick voters from each category for gift cards, swag, new products giveaways, etc… When the contest is over we will pile all the names into a Hat and the Big Bass Ninja himself will choose a Grandprize winner! (prize yet to be determined, but we can promise it will be AWESOME!

Vote here today!

The Mimicry Continues

New Mimic Minnow Swim Jig combines Northland Fishing Tackle’s iconic sculpted head and performance with a precision Gamakatsu hook. 

BEMIDJI, Minn. (July 28, 2022) – Swimbait fishing has its origins on the southern reservoirs of California. Back in the 80’s, anglers learned to mimic the looks and locomotion of trout. Why? Like stripers on mid-state reservoirs, gigantic black bass realize the full-meal-deal these stocked fish provide.

Over time, bassers around the country applied the presentation to their local quarry, regardless if trout were on the menu, because swimbaits can emulate everything from bluegills to shiners and shad.

Now, improving on what the market has to offer, Northland introduces the Mimic Minnow Swim Jig. This best-of-class swimbait jig is established on the cosmetics and effectiveness of the original Mimic Minnow Jig, which has been a multispecies darling for years. The Mimic Minnow Swim Jig commences on an authentic looking, sculpted jighead. The bait-shaped and detailed jighead features realistic eyeballs and flared gills, and its 60-degree line-tie promotes an even-keel action and ability to find its way through cover like cabbage and coontail.

Separating it from the pack, the extraordinary heavy-duty jighead is outfitted with a premium Gamakatsu hook, which is noticeably sharp and extremely strong for hearty hooksets. You’ll also appreciate the Mimic Minnow Swim Jig’s unique double bait keeper. The base keeper is forged into the jighead. Next, Northland added a stout wire keeper to amplify the Mimic Minnow Swim Jig’s ability to hold plastics in place.

Northland pro Craig Peterson offers his take on swimbait fishing with the new Mimic Minnow Swim Jig: “Swimbaits are great for long casts and covering a lot of water, like big weed flats. You can also run them along the outside weed edge just as effectively.”

“I fish heavier size Mimic Minnow Swim Jigs – like a ½- or ¾-ouncer – when I want to fish it fast or deep,” added Peterson. “The lighter and smaller ¼- and 3/8-ounce sizes are better for fishing slower and with more finesse. The lighter versions also work well for pounding shallow banks.”

Peterson has color preferences in specific situations, too. He likes darker patterns such as Black and Green Pumpkin in darker water, as they produce the natural shadowed silhouette bass experience in real life. In clearer conditions, he selects the brownish gold Walleye pattern. He says Smelt, a whitish pattern, produces just about anywhere. And to match-the-hatch, he picks Bluegill when bass are feeding on young-of-the-year and juvenile sunfish.

In Peterson’s experience, it’s wise to look for what’s finning and creeping around the boat landing – like baitfish, bluegills, and crayfish – and emulate the size and coloration. As well, he suggests paying attention to what a landed bass might upchuck and match it.

Paddletails and soft jerkbaits are proven pairings with the Mimic Minnow Swim Jig. As a rule, you want to match up jig size with the appropriate bait length to give it an authentic baitfish profile and promote smooth swimming. Coordinating colors is the most popular process, too. For example, employing dark-patterned plastics with a Black Mimic Minnow Swim Jig, or white to silvers with a Smelt jighead. That said, don’t be afraid to contrast colors for extra pop.

Swimbaits were concocted for bass fishing, but savvy walleye anglers have also tapped the tactic. Patterns like Perch, Sexy Shad, and Purple Shad sport combinations of favored walleye colors. Consider pairing them with aggressive plastic colors like chartreuse, blue and something purplish.

Green Pumpkin





Purple Shad

Sexy Shad

Northland’s new Mimic Minnow Swim Jig is available in 4 sizes and 8 tested colors. Sizes include ¼-, 3/8-, ½-, and ¾-ounce. Colors include Black, Smelt, Walleye, Perch, Bluegill, Sexy Shad, Green Pumpkin, and Purple Shad. Sold 2 per pack. MSRP is $6.49.

Available now, the Mimic Minnow Swim Jig will be a surefire addition to your tackle arsenal.

ICAST Round-up & Cheaters Never Win.....

Chris and David are back from ICAST with some insight into this years show and Kenneth brings the heat with his take from the outside looking in during last weeks festivities. The trio also jump on the cheating bandwagon and look into some recent news as well. All this and more!

MLF Issues Statement on Bass Pro Tour Stage One Penalty for Sprague


Pro Jeff Sprague of Wills Point, Texas, will forfeit his fifth-place finish from the 2022 Stage One Bass Pro Tour event in West Monroe, Louisiana, for violating Bass Pro Tour rule No. 23-A. The disqualification was announced today by Don Rucks, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Major League Fishing. The rule states that Bass Pro Tour anglers are prohibited from intentionally soliciting or intentionally receiving any information pertaining to tournament waters from a non-competitor for the purpose of locating or catching bass. If any such information is unintentionally being received from a non-competitor, the MLF Bass Pro Tour angler must politely ask the non-competitor to cease from divulging the information.

Sprague issued a statement on the incident:

“I received information from a non-competitor regarding Lake D’Arbonne, which violated rule 23-A. I fully accept MLF’s penalty ruling of a disqualification for the Stage One event. I want to apologize for my mistake in this matter. I am ready to head north to finish the remainder of the 2022 season and I look forward to continuing my fishing career with MLF for many seasons to come.”

Bass Pro Tour point standings and payouts from Stage One will be adjusted accordingly.

For complete rules, details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

Palaniuk asked a young fan for help

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

There’s a good chance 15-year old Preston Bartley of North Gower, Ontario is still shaking following a lifetime memory made possible by Brandon
Palaniuk’s perceptive heart at the Bassmaster Elite on the St. Lawrence River.


The teenager who labels Palaniuk his favorite angler, was standing with his loving parents in a crowd of a couple dozen fans near the dock when the longtime Yamaha pro entered the harbor to sack-up yet another 20-pound limit of St. Lawrence smallies.


Most folks didn’t notice, but Palaniuk seemed to be stalling just a tad, but only because he was scanning the crowd, and looking to make a young angler’s day.


“I need a kid to help me bag these fish,” said Palaniuk to the crowd. Then quickly singled out Bartley to climb on to his Skeeter.


The Idaho pro was sure to tell the teen to close the bag after each fish was dropped-in, knowing how smallies love to jump, and based on the fact his admirable kindness nearly backfired earlier this year at Santee Cooper when a big bass nearly jumped back in the lake as a youngster helped him load his catch.


Sacked-up successfully with no escapees, Palaniuk toted his catch to the holding tanks, while Bartley stood next to his parents visibly shaken in a real good way.


“I just love Brandon’s social media content, and you can tell he’s an awesome human, and super approachable. Plus, I caught a 6-pound smallmouth last year on one of his X-Zone Finesse Slammer baits!” grins Gower.


Palaniuk says it’s not possible to involve a young fan every single time he loads up a limit, but whenever the situation fits, he makes a concerted effort to do so.


“It’s something I’ve tried to do for a couple seasons now, and hey, I do need help loading my fish, and I know how much it might mean to a kid, so everybody wins,” says the always thoughtful pro, and brand new dad.


Sure enough, everybody won. The Bartleys, who are longtime B.A.S.S. members, drove nearly two hours to take-in their first ever Bassmaster weigh-in, and thanks to Brandon Palaniuk’skind heart, it’s absolutely one they’ll never forget.

Wilkinson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on the Ohio River

Record Breaking Rookie Update!


While at ICAST DX Catches up with recent Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie Jay Przekurat on his Rookie win and his whirlwind year!

Gamakatsu® G-Shield Tungsten Weights Add Japanese Quality to Casting, Pitching and Flipping

Tacoma, Washington (July 20, 2022) - Gamakatsu®, the longtime leader in hooks, has revolutionized the fishing world with ultra-sharp tools for every specialized technique. Now Gamakatsu brings its legendary attention to detail and innovative thinking to the tungsten weight market. The new G-Shield Tungsten Weights are available in standard worm weights, flipping weights and punch weights.

All three versions of the G-Shield weights feature a specially designed composite insert that not only protects an angler’s line, but also provides 360 degree protection for the knot. No more breaking off on the hook set or in heavy cover – these are made to eliminate the issues caused by uneven and rough tungsten. Furthermore, the insert is wider at the base than at the insertion hole so the hook eye can recess itself into the weight, thereby creating a more compact, lifelike and snag-resistant offering. All of the weights also come in a stealthy smoke-colored finish which blends in with plastics and your lure’s surroundings to generate more strikes. The weight size is stamped into the side of each weight making it easy to identify when it's time to make a change.

Each shape provides distinct best-in-class advantages. The worm weight is the all-purpose champ, best for casting into light cover or dragging plastics across bare lake and river bottoms when subtlety is essential. It’s available in six sizes from 1/8 ounce through 3/4 ounce. The flipping weight is slightly wider, and excels when flipped or pitched into heavy cover – it goes in and comes out easily. The flipping weight comes in six sizes from 3/8 ounce to 1 1/4 ounce. Finally, the punch weight will penetrate thick overhead canopies that resist other shapes. It’s bulbous at the front, creating a weight-forward design that builds inertia when it first contacts likely bass-holding cover. That means the lure will enter cleanly and relatively quietly, inviting even the wariest bass to strike in reaction. These start at 3/4 ounce, and are also available in 1, 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 ounce sizes. These are the true beasts of the mat-punching world. They are also durable, so they’ll save money in the long run – all while putting more bass in the boat.

G-Shield Tungsten Flipping Weight Features:

  • Specially designed composite insert protects line and knots
  • Features stealthy smoke-colored finish
  • Weight size is stamped into the side of each weight
  • Color: Smoke
  • Sizes: ⅜, ½, ⅝, ¾, 1, 1 1/4
  • Qty/Pkg:
  • 3 (3/8)
  • 2 (1/2, 5/8)
  • 1 (3/4, 1, 1 1/4)

G-Shield Tungsten Worm Weight Features:

  • Specially designed composite insert protects line and knots
  • Features stealthy smoke-colored finish
  • Weight size is stamped into the side of each weight
  • Color: Smoke
  • Sizes: ⅛, 3/16, ¼, ⅜, ½, ¾
  • Qty/Pkg:
  • 4 (1/8, 3/16, 1/4)
  • 3 (3/8)
  • 2 (1/2, 3/4)

G-Shield Tungsten Punch Weight Features:

  • Specially designed composite insert protects line and knots
  • Features stealthy smoke-colored finish
  • Weight size is stamped into the side of each weight
  • Color: Smoke
  • Sizes: ¾, 1, 1 ¼, 1 ½, 2
  • Qty/Pkg: 1

Bassmaster Elite Brotherhood Rescues Downey On Championship Sunday At St. Lawrence River

Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Matt Robertson and Lee Livesay, who did not make the final day cut, exchange boats with fellow pro Bob Downey (right) during Championship Sunday at last weekend's Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River.

Photo by Shane Durrance/B.A.S.S.

July 20, 2022



CLAYTON, N.Y. — Bassmaster Elite Series pros Lee Livesay of Longview, Texas, and Matt Robertson of Kuttawa, Ky., were at the weigh-in venue waiting for their time to appear on the Bassmaster LIVE Mix broadcast when they heard that fellow angler Bob Downey’s boat was malfunctioning during Championship Sunday of last weekend’s Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River.


Livesay and Robertson, who did not make the Championship Sunday cut, jumped at the chance to help a fellow competitor. They left to pick up Livesay’s boat, filled it with gas, bought ice and some snacks and launched to go find Downey, who hails from Detroit Lakes, Minn. Livesay noted that he and Downey are not particularly close friends. In fact, Livesay didn’t even have Downey’s phone number. But as a fellow Elite Series competitor, that’s plenty close enough.


“I’d do that for anybody,” Livesay said. “And anybody would do that for any one of us.”


Swapping boats in the middle of a competition day is not a simple task. Livesay had to delete the waypoints on his Humminbird graphs. Downey had to grab just enough tackle that he needed to finish the day. They had to transfer Downey’s fish into Livesay’s livewells, where cool, iced water awaited them.


“We both had Humminbirds, so that was good,” Livesay said. “We put one of his Humminbirds in my boat.”


Downey’s outboard motor wasn’t completely disabled. It just wouldn’t get his boat up on plane.


“We stayed close just in case either boat had a problem,” Robertson said.


“It didn’t surprise me,” Downey said. “Lee and Matt are awesome dudes, good character guys. It didn’t surprise me at all that they did it, and I’m thankful they did.”


Downey started the day in second place, only 2 pounds, 15 ounces behind leader and eventual tournament winner Jay Przekurat. But his day had gone south long before his outboard malfunctioned. Downey had been fishing in the St. Lawrence River all week, and he wasn’t able to catch them there Sunday. He finished 10th with a four-day total of 91-07, but he was able to weigh in a limit of fish.


“I had some fish when they got there with Lee’s boat,” Downey said. “I was able to catch some more and get back for the weigh-in. I was happy to have a 17-pound limit and some fish to weigh on Championship Sunday.”


Downey, Robertson, Livesay and the rest of the Elite Series field will take to the water again August 18-21 for the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Oahe in South Dakota.

Fenwick Elite Series Rods

New Fenwick Elite rod series created for multispecies applications excels in sensitivity and performance. 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 20, 2022) – For over 50 years, the Fenwick name has been a legend among anglers all over the world with sensitivity being the name of the game since day one. The new Fenwick Elite rod family lives up to that legacy featuring seven species-specific rod models and a total of 49 unique rod actions designed to excel regardless of the species targeted.

Featuring Powerlux 200 resin and 30-ton graphite, the Elite rods are a combination of lightweight feel and sensitivity. Each model features proven Fenwick actions that pair perfectly with popular techniques for catching a variety of fish. Combined with the advanced resin technology, other key features include premium high-quality cork, an ergonomic reel seat, Titanium guides with zirconia inserts, and a limited lifetime warranty.

The Elite series rods offer stronger, more durable rods without compromising the sensitivity and lightness that anglers have come to expect from Fenwick. Every rod series is constructed out of the most-effective and highest grade materials suited for each application for an overall excellent performing series of rods.

Key Features
• 30-ton graphite with Powerlux 200
• Bass crankbait models feature S-glass with spiral carbon core
• Ergonomic Fenwick designed reel seat (Fuji on Predator rods)
• Premium grade cork handles (cork split grip on Bass)
• Patent pending ferrule locking mechanism on Predator rods
• Titanium guides with zirconia Inserts
• Limited Lifetime Warranty

Models Include:
Elite Light Finesse: 4-8 UL • 5-3 UL (2-piece) • 5-8 UL (2-piece) • 6-3 L • 6-6 UL (2-piece) • 6-9 L
MSRP: $139.95

Elite Walleye Casting: 7-0 M • 7-6 M
MSRP: $169.95-$189.95

Elite Walleye Spinning: 5-9 M • 6-2 M • 6-2 ML • 6-6 ML • 6-6 M • 6-6 M (2 piece) • 6-9 ML • 6-9 ML (2-piece) • 6-9 M • 7-0 M • 7-0 ML • 7-2 M • 7-2 M (2-piece) • 7-2 MH • 7-4 ML
MSRP: $169.95 – $189.95

Elite Bass Casting: 6-10 ML • 7-0 M • 7-0 MH • 7-3 MH • 7-3 H • 7-6 MH • 7-6 H7-9 H • 7-11 XH
MSRP: $169.95 – $189.95

Elite Bass Spinning: 6-9 M • 6-9 M (2-piece) • 6-10 ML • 7-0 M • 7-0 M (2-piece) • 7-0 MH • 7-0 MH (2-piece)
MSRP: $169.95

Elite Bass Cranking: 7-0 M • 7-0 MH • 7-3 MH • 7-8 H
MSRP: $169.95

Elite Predator: 7-9 MH (2-piece) • 8-0 H (2-piece) • 8-6 H (2-piece) • 8-6 XH (2-piece) • 9-0 XH (2-piece) • 10-0 XXH (2-piece)
MSRP: $149.95 – $269.95

Available: July 2022

To learn more about Fenwick, click here.

Strike King Launches Two New Worms the Put More Fish in the Boat in 2022

Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 –Never satisfied with last year’s success, Strike King hits the new year with two exciting additions to their legendary worm line up.  Introducing the Filler Worm and the Zeus Worm.

 First on the list, the next generation of finesse fishing has arrived.  The team at Strike King is pleased to introduce the new Filler Worm, the soft plastic drop shot worm finesse fans have been asking for.  Working with Strike King Pro and finesse legend Mark Zona, Strike King has crafted the Filler Worm with an extra wide, extra durable head, for withstanding hard fishing and multiple catches without tearing.  “No more losing a worm after one solid hookset,” offered the Michigan pro.   “With the Filler Worm’s wide noggin, Strike King has managed to really impact the strength and integrity of the plastic, a feature that tournament competitors will appreciate.”

A key feature of the Filler Worm is the Open Pour Technology that allows Strike King to develop realistic color patterns for a unique display.  With Open Pour Technology, the Filler Worm offers 15 striking, vibrant blends that mimic forage and entice fish.  For fishing in clear water, Zona favors Watermelon Red Flake and Green Pumpkin for the most natural presentation, while in stained water he often switches to Morning Dawn or Firecrawler for greater visibility.

Strike King’s enhanced pouring techniques also add additional fishing benefits for finicky fish and lethargic bites.  Zona explains: “Open Pour Technology allows us to insert a layer of salt-impregnated plastic along the base of the Filler Worm to keep it in an upright position on a drop shot rig. This gives the Filler Worm a lifelike presentation and offers a little extra flavor to keep a fish holding on.”

Next on the 2022 line-up, Strike King is pleased to introduce what is sure to become a must-have for ledge fishermen and deep structure enthusiasts, the Zeus Worm.  Ready for a battle, the Zeus Worm hits the ledges with 9.5-inches of fury and enough girth to make quite a scene in heavy cover.  The key feature of the big worm is the ribbon tail design, emitting a powerful action that is truly hard to ignore.  This worm is designed to excel on deep underwater ledges when you often need a bigger profile to get fish to react.

The Zeus pairs great with a 4/0 and 5/0 hook and excels at Carolina Rigging and Texas Rigging.  This worm fits perfectly on the business end of the Mag Jig Head, with its free-swinging Owner Twistlock, allowing the giant worm to give off plenty of life-like action.

For anglers who fish bigger profile worms but need to downsize a notch or two, the Zeus is marked off to be easily paired down to a 7-inch worm.  This gives anglers the option of offering a slightly shorter worm with the same great action as the bait has out-of-the-package.  Like a number of worms in the Strike King line-up, the Zeus Worm is engineered with the premium Perfect Plastics system, offering exceptional, striking color blends and the famous Strike King coffee scent that keeps fish holding on. With 12 colors to choose from and a MSRP of $6.99 you probably all of them!

Whether you are power fishing for aggressive feeders or finessing to coax a bite, Strike King has you covered.  When you hit the water in 2022, make sure you have the new Strike King Filler and the Zeus Worm tied on.

Strike King completes the avid angler’s tackle box with four new additions to the terminal tackle line-up

Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 – Strike King, the creator of some of the most essential tackle designs of the last half century, is proud to announce five new terminal tackle products that will be trusted additions for avid anglers in 2022.  Introducing the Strike King Tour Grade Mini-Mag Worm Jig Head, and the Tour Grade Crackin’ Tube Jig Head, the Bitsy Crackin’ Tube Jig Head, the Tour Grade Tugnsten Neko Weight and the Strike King Tour Grade Weight Stop.

The Tour Grade Mini-Mag Worm Jig Head follows the success of its bigger cousin, the Mag Jig Head, which has gained notoriety since its 2017 release as a staple for serious soft plastics anglers.  The key for the Mini-Mag’s preeminence on the water is the premium-grade Owner Twistlock Spring that holds bait firmly in place and protects the integrity of the plastic throughout long hours of fishing in the heaviest of cover.  Unlike other jig heads with a twist lock, the Strike King Mini-Mag’s Locking Spring swings freely, allowing a worm or creature bait to move freely during retrieve, resulting in superior action, and just as critical, increased hook penetration during a hookset.  Anglers who pay a premium for a tour grade Strike King jig head expect to land more fish and achieve a more natural presentation.  That is what you get with the new Mini Mag.  The cobra-style nose of the Mini-Mag Jig Head, made popular by Strike King’s successful Structure Jig, has proven to be highly effective at maneuvering the bait through heavy cover without constant snags, while maintaining exceptional contact with the bottom. The Mag Jig Head has proven to be a winner for brush pile and ledge fishermen.  Now, with the reduced profile and downsized 3/0 hooks, the Mini-Mag brings a little more finesse to a standout jig head. The Mini Mag Jig head comes in 2 colors and 3 sizes with a MSRP of $5.99

Additionally, the Tour Grade Crackin’ Tube Jig Head is a must for anglers who have rediscovered the fish-catching power of the KVD Pro-Model Tube and the Denny Brauer Flip-N-Tube.  With its Extra-Wide hook shank, the Crackin’ Tube Jig Head is the ideal tackle for a variety of tube rigging techniques.  Key to its success on the water is the teardrop design of the lead head, which places the majority of the weight at the front of the tube.  Coupled with its 70-degree horizontal line tie, anglers have a tube that will fall in a smooth, diagonal manner.

Strike King Pro Angler Mark Zona has relied on the Strike King Tube all over the country and considers it to be a consistent performer.  “The Strike King Coffee Tube and Tour Grade Crackin’ Tube Jig Head are a deadly combination for Smallmouth, Largemouth and Spots,” the Michigan native said.  “It’s a ‘must have’ on the deck of my boat.”

While anglers have traditionally relied on the tube as a finesse lure, Zona and a growing cadre of competitive anglers have found that upsizing the jig head can improve the strike.  Zona explains: “This is no longer strictly a finesse bait for me.  I have found over and over that a heavier Strike King Crackin’ Tube Jig Head produces a faster rate of fall that will cause a bass to pound this lure.”  The Strike King Crackin’ Tube Jig Head is available in six different weights and is equipped with a 3/0 hook, with a MSRP of $4.99

Anglers who depend on the tube to tackle their finesse applications will find the Strike King Tour Grade Bitsy Crackin’ Tube Jig Headto be an essential item on the deck.  Like its bulkier cousin, the Bitsy head places the majority of the weight in the front of the tube and features a 70-degree line eye to perfect the strike-enticing fall of the tube.  The Bitsy is also available in six different weights, and features a downsized 2/0 hook, ideal for a 2.75 Strike King Fat Coffee Tube. The MSRP for this junior size is $4.99

Strike King is pleased to offer its first Tour Grade Weight Stops, ideal for a host of different applications on the water.  Weight Stops are an absolute must for anglers who use sliding lead or tungsten weights when punching vegetation mats or flipping in heavy cover, as they serve an essential role in keeping the weight near the soft plastic.  This is a simple and easy application to a soft plastic flipping or punching rig that will actually help put more fish in the boat.  Additionally, Carolina Rig enthusiasts have grown fond of the Weight Stop for protecting swivel knots from the friction of a heavy sliding weight, or for eliminating the need for a leader altogether. Strike King’s silicone engineering of the Tour Grade Weight Stops provides exceptional durability and keeps the weight stop firmly in place throughout multiple hours of casting. MSRP is $7.99 for a 54 pack.

Finally, for the finesse fishing enthusiasts, Strike King announces the Tour Grade Neko Weight.  Built with tungsten, the Tour Grade Neko Weight is designed for extra durability to provide years of fishing without corrosion.   Strike King has engineered the Neko Weight with a pointed, cone-shaped body to be quickly and easily inserted into a plastic worm or other soft plastic.  It features a ribbed body to keep the weight securely in place inside the soft plastic for prolonged use and throughout multiple fish catches.  Strike King is offering the Tour Grade Neko Weight in four sizes so that anglers have ultimate control over the rate of fall for their finesse soft plastics.  MSRP is $5.99 to $6.99

The Tour Grade Terminal Tackle line-up is designed with serious anglers and tournament competitors in mind.  For those who depend on the finest equipment to perform at the highest levels, only Strike King will do.  Tie one on!

The Chick Magnet Has a Little Brother.

Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 – Fresh off an ICAST 2021 “Best of Category” win for the launch of the Chick Magnet, Strike King is pleased to announce a new crankbait on the scene, the Chick Magnet Jr.  This little brother to the 2021 fan favorite weighs in at 1/4-ounce and offers the same proven features of the original.  Strike King once again teamed with MLF pro and back-to-back FLW Angler of the Year Andy Morgan to design the new size of the award-winning lure.

Like the original, the Lil’ Chick is a tribute to the legendary craftsmen of East Tennessee who carved flat-sided crankbaits by hand out of cedar and balsa.  “Those early lures I remember so fondly growing up on Lake Chickamauga had action like no other, with a tight wiggle,” offered the Dayton, TN pro.  For decades, the balsa flat-sided plug was a closely guarded secret of the region, where these homemade plugs were built to produce an erratic action and an unmistakable thump that excels in tough conditions.  Morgan and lure-designer Marion Tipton poured heart and soul into perfecting the art of the flat-sided plug design.  With the help of Strike King in 2021, the two smalltown innovators shared it with the world.

As lethal as the old hand-carved balsa plugs were along the Tennessee River, Morgan was never quite satisfied with their durability and casting distance.  With Strike King’s superior engineering, the team has introduced a lure that retains all the fish-catching qualities of the legendary plug with supreme castability and long-lasting build.

The Chick Magnet Jr is ideal for targeting fish in tougher conditions and excels in cool water, as well as when fishing pressure is high.  Morgan also uses it after a weather front has made for a challenging bite.

Pro Angler Kevin VanDam is no stranger to the mystique of the flat-sided plug.  “This pared-down Chick Magnet is a go-to for me when I need a smaller bait while cranking in stained water,” offered VanDam.   “When I am looking for maximum water displacement to get their attention, I turn to the Chick Magnet Jr.”

Strike King offers the Chick Magnet Jr in 13 colors with a MSRP of $9.99.  For clear water, Morgan prefers the Green Gizzard Shad, Natural Shad, Natural Bream and Sexy Shad 2.0.  When fishing stained water, Morgan often switches to a Chartreuse with Blue/Black Splatterback or a Chartreuse Copper.  His personal favorite color in the line is “Tip’s Special,” which pays homage to the legendary lure craftsman and his personal friend, Marion Tipton.

Strike King and KVD collaborate on the Perfect Jerkbait.

 Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 – Back with additions to a fan favorite, Strike King is pleased to introduce the KVD Elite Jerkbait 300.  Tournament-ready straight out of the package, the Strike King J300 Elite comes equipped with three KVD Elite Triple Grip Treble Hooks and a premier paint finish that is second to none.

Michigan native and arguably the best angler ever Kevin VanDam worked tirelessly with the Strike King design crew to build the new and improved KVD J300 Elite Jerkbait. Jerkbait fishing is close to the heart of the seven-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year; with one cast of the KVD J300 Elite Jerkbait and you can feel his influence with every twitch of the rod tip.  "The hooks we used on this bait are specifically built to excel on lures like the jerkbait that require exceptional balance," explained VanDam.  "They are weighted perfectly for the J300 Elite and are designed with the best angle for maximum hold.  They are 20% sharper and stay sharp longer."  In fact, VanDam credits the KVD Elite Triple Grip hooks with two of his Bassmaster Classic Championship trophies. "The holding power of this hook is unbelievable," KVD offered.

The other key feature of this bait is the almost hand painted look of the new colors the Kevin personally picked out. These colors are unique and match the hatch in areas where the forage can be very specific. These are colors that work across the country. KVD uses water clarity and sky conditions to determine the color pattern, preferring natural patterns in clear conditions and fishing brighter colors in stained water, with this in mind KVD made sure these colors are the best bait imitation possible and finishes that make these lures a work of art.

VanDam, to whom the jerkbait is his go to bait, has relied on the KVD J300 from one end of the country to the other. "This is an all-season bait for me," VanDam said.  The 2018 Bass Hall of Famer typically fishes the J300 Elite with line as light as 8-pound test and as heavy as 14.  "I may go as light as 8-pound test if I am looking to get maximum depth out of the lure, but out of the box it will run four to seven feet deep."  KVD uses water clarity and sky conditions to determine the color pattern, preferring natural patterns in clear conditions and fishing brighter colors in stained water, with this in mind KVD handpicked the premier 12 colors and finishes that make this lures a work of art.

Another feature that sets the KVD Elite Jerkbait 300 apart is the weight transfer system, critical for consistently long casts.  VanDam explains: "We spent a lot of time on the weight transfer system.  You must engineer the balance just right.  And Strike King nailed it.  This thing casts like a rocket, even right into the wind."

The KVD Elite Jerkbait J300 is engineered to produce the same standout action of the original.  "This lure sets the standard for jerkbaits," VanDam said.  "It fishes perfectly when snapped quickly in warmer water, as well as slowly with a lot of pauses in colder water. Strike King has perfected that erratic movement pattern that fish cannot ignore." The J300 Elite comes in at MSRP $14.99

Hobie Releases the all-new Mirage® Passport® R Series

Rotomolded R Models upgrade popular fishing and recreational pedal kayaks

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (July 19, 2022) – Hobie, the leading manufacturer of premium kayaks and watersport products, launched the newest additions to their 2022 product line today with the unveiling of the Mirage Passport 12.0 R and the Mirage Passport 10.5 R. The first look of these rotomolded kayaks were made at the on the water demo day at ICAST, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show.

Powered by MirageDrive® with Glide Technology and Kick-Up Fins, the new R Series models will be able to avoid obstacles with ease and navigate rocky or shallow waters thanks to the automatic retraction of Kick-Up Fins on impact and subsequent re-deployment once clear of the obstacle. With the rotomolded hull construction, available in Seagrass Green and Slate Blue, the new R models fuse a new sleek aesthetic with excellent performance and stability without sacrificing speed.

“Since 1950, Hobie has always strived to create fun, accessible experiences on the water,” said Kelley Woolsey, Hobie Vice President of Global Sales, Service, and Marketing. “Today’s launch of the new Mirage Passport R Series kayaks echo Hobie’s values and mission of always striving to improve and update our product offering to deliver the best experience available. Hobie will always ensure that the highest quality products are available for kayakers of all experience to enjoy.”

The 2022 Mirage Passport 10.5 R and the Mirage Passport 12.0 R will be available at authorized Hobie dealers starting later this month at an introductory MSRP of $1,649 and $1,869 respectively. To find a Hobie dealer, please visit: hobie.com/dealers.

Iconic Bassmaster Classic Trophy To Be Named In Honor Of Ray Scott

Beginning at the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, the famed winner's trophy will be named in honor of Ray Scott. 

Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

July 19, 2022


2022_Classic_CB6_5696_Chris_Brow.jpgBIRMINGHAM, Ala. — When a world champion of fishing is crowned at the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, the angler will hoist a familiar trophy emblazoned with a legendary name. B.A.S.S. officials announced today that the famed Bassmaster Classic trophywill be named in honor of the organization’s founder Ray Scott.

Scott, who passed away in May at the age of 88, founded the first national professional bass fishing circuit, the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, in 1967 and the following year founded B.A.S.S., which grew to become the world’s largest fishing organization.

“Ray Scott’s passion and vision for bass fishing more than 50 years ago created not only the B.A.S.S. organization but our entire industry,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We could think of no better way to celebrate his lasting legacy than by officially naming the most iconic trophy in sportfishing — the Bassmaster Classic trophy — in his honor. It is often said that winning the Classic etches an angler’s name on the pages of bass fishing history, but it is a book that would never have been written without Ray.”


Scott’s brainchild, the Bassmaster Classic, grew from two dozen competitors and a smattering of spectators at Lake Mead, Nev., in 1971, to become the biggest event in sportfishing over the next half-century. Today, the Classic and related events such as the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo record more than 100,000 fishing fans each year and boast an economic impact of more than $30 million for host communities.


Aspirations of fishing in the Bassmaster Classic have drawn generations of anglers to tournament fishing.


“I can remember being a kid, getting up to watch The Bassmasters with Ray and Bob Cobb,” said 2022 Bassmaster Classic champion Jason Christie. “Ray Scott not only started modern-day bass fishing, but he was responsible for setting the bar on fish care and how tournament fishing should be done. I just hope whenever I’m done in this sport that I’ve lived up to the bar that Ray Scott set.”


One talented angler will be awarded the Ray Scott Bassmaster Classic trophy March 26 in Knoxville, Tenn., after three days of competition on the Tennessee River.


SPRO’s Rk Crawler 50DD – A New Smaller Crankbait for Deep Water

Kennesaw, GA (July 19, 2022) The new SPRO® Rk Crawler 50DD is a deep-diving crankbait that features the famous ‘hunting action’ of the original Rk Crawler but in a smaller size – perfect for targeting wary fish in deep water!

MLF Angler Mike McClelland designed the Rk Crawler 50DD in a smaller size that’s neither too big nor too small for most freshwater game fish. The Rk Crawler 50 DD weighs ½ ounce and is 50 mm long. It dives fast, covering more fish-holding structures with every cast. When targeting game fish in 9 to 12 feet of water, the versatile Rk Crawler 50 DD will quickly become a go-to crankbait.

SPRO crankbaits also include industry-leading #5 Gamakatsu treble hooks. The extremely sharp trebles allow for faster hook sets and deeper penetration. Each Rk Crawler 50DD is ready to fish right out of the package, and its quality components ensure a long fish-catching life!

Like other Rk Crawler baits, the 50DD is available in a wide range of colors for just about any fishing situation.

SPRO’s Rk Crawler 50DD is the anglers-choice for catching deep water fish. Its smaller size, wide-wobble action, and choice of colors are what’s needed to trigger a bite!


SPRO Rk Crawler 50DD Features:

  • Weight: 1/2 oz
  • Size: 50 mm
  • #5 Gamakatsu Trebles
  • Depth: 9-12 feet
  • MSRP: $11.99

Gamakatsu’s New Power Drop Series

Tacoma, Washington (July 19, 2022) - Gamakatsu®, the industry leader in fresh and saltwater hooks and terminal tackle, introduces their new ingenious Power Drop series. The Power Drop is perfectly engineered to keep a variety of baits just off the bottom and flawlessly performs as they move naturally in and out of cover.

The Power Drop series is uniquely built around a solid ring that connects the premium hook, swivel and a 3.5-inch dropper wire. The Power Drop series design results in the bait presented naturally just above the bottom, allowing perfect strike and hooksets on predator fish.

Once the lure is down, anglers will fish it just as they would a basic Texas rig, jig, or punch bait. Using the dropper wire at full length keeps bait above mud and silt. If anglers want to hug the bottom even more, simply shorten the stealthy, black-finish dropper wire. Size the weight to fishing conditions and style technique to keep baits in the ideal position. For added commotion to fire up fish, try adding two weights to the wire for increased noise and attraction. Three different models are available, each featuring a different premium Gamakatsu hook. The premium Gamakatsu swivel completes each rig to prevent line twists.

The Superline EWG is considered the gold standard in high-performance wide-gap hook designs; this option features our Superline EWG 744XX series hooks. The Superline Offset Round option offers a larger bite area that’s perfect for any worm presentation. It features the Superline Round Bend 3984XX series hooks. The G-Finesse Hybrid Worm’s unique feature here is the distinctive acute hook angle, designed to align baits perfectly. It features the G-Finesse Hybrid Worm 3622XX series hooks.


Power Drop w/ Superline EWG Features:

  • Features a solid ring connected to a swivel to prevent line twist
  • Add the desired weight to the dropper wire and bend end of wire to secure weight in place
  • Dropper wire is 3.5” long to keep baits off bottom. Can be shortened if needed
  • Superline EWG hook features heavier wire for use in heavy cover
  • Sizes: 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0
  • Qty/Pkg: 2

Power Drop w/ Superline Offset Round Features:

  • Features a solid ring connected to a swivel to prevent line twist
  • Add the desired weight to the dropper wire and bend end of wire to secure weight in place
  • Dropper wire is 3.5” long to keep baits off bottom. Can be shortened if needed.
  • Superline Round Bend hook offers a large bite area that’s perfect for any worm presentation
  • Sizes: 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0
  • Qty/Pkg: 2

Power Drop w/ Hybrid Worm Features:

  • Features a solid ring connected to a swivel to prevent line twist
  • Add the desired weight to the dropper wire and bend end of wire to secure weight in place
  • Dropper wire is 3.5” long to keep baits off bottom. Can be shortened if needed.
  • Hybrid Worm hook features a distinctive acute hook angle to keep baits aligned perfectly
  • Sizes: 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, 8/0
  • Qty/Pkg: 2

Rise of the Topwater ChatterBait® 


Groundbreaking Z-Man® HellraiZer™ carves out radical new topwater category

Ladson, SC (July 17, 2022) – To harness the sound and action of a ChatterBait® bladed jig and to transfer its pent-up energy straight to the surface . . .

No one knows for sure when Ron Davis first envisioned his original surface slashing ChatterBait. That includes Davis himself, whose workshop harbors an astonishing collection of never-before-seen, occasionally theoretical fishing lures. Some of these, Davis reserves for his personal fishing experiments. Others, like the new Z-Man HellraiZer . . . let’s just say this one was too good to remain undercover any longer.

“I remember fishing the early versions of Ron’s remarkable topwater lure and hoping I could keep it to myself for a while,” laughs Z-Man ChatterBait pro Bryan Thrift. “After fishing the definitive Z-Man HellraiZer this season, I can tell you this lure has an action and a vibration every angler needs to experience. The HellraiZer definitely has that familiar ChatterBait feel—a combined sound and a swimming motion no topwater lure’s ever had before.”

The Z-Man HellraiZer takes an innovative, explosive approach to topwater bassin'.

Davis, whose original ChatterBait launched tournament careers and attracted waves of imitators starting in 2004, recalls the HellraiZer’s origins. “Going back almost to the beginning of the ChatterBait and Bryan Thrift’s first big tournament wins, we knew we had something pretty extraordinary on our hands,” notes Davis, a lifelong lure craftsman. “All along, though, I kept returning to my passion for topwater fishing for big bass and stripers, and potential ways to bring the distinct vibration of a ChatterBait topside.

“From the beginning I wanted to create a very specific type of topwater action. Needed to really resemble something alive and frenzied, like an injured fish or a fleeing critter. We’ve all seen how prey swims with these almost dizzy, disoriented side-to-side surface movements—always propelled by a tail or kicking back legs. It’s not a mechanical walk-the-dog action, but something more natural you might mistake for a real animal in distress. When you see it in the water, you just know it’s something alive.”

Next, Davis designed a precisely weighted tail blade to trail the lure’s body and create the illusion of organic propulsion; to mimic the chaotic tail and leg kicks of a prey animal in distress. Oscillating on a wire shaft, direct-connected to the lure’s body, Davis’ modified ChatterBlade® drives the lure’s energetic action and game-winning vibration.

“I knew if I could duplicate the desirable sound and action of a ChatterBlade—make this the lure’s driving force—I’d have something that really grabbed the fish’s attention,” explains Davis, who exclusively fishes lures of his own design.

Finally, Davis carved a distinctive body shape—slender, elongated and finished with an eyelet and split ring strategically planted in the lure’s chin, well back from its nose. Davis wasn’t content until he achieved a specific side-to-side fleeing action, and that required him to position the lure’s line-tie in a non-traditional location.

Yielding exceptional hookup rates, a treble hook rides the lure’s midsection, while a second feathered treble trails the blade, providing bonus color, flash and natural flow. Further elevating hookset success is the lure’s low-profile position; the HellraiZer rides low in the water, preventing it from being blown out. For increased sound attraction, twin steel BBs in the lure’s body clack audibly and remind you it’s out there talking to bass throughout the retrieve.

“Admittedly, the first time you see the lure, you scratch your head a little,” says Z-Man pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff, describing the HellraiZer’s eccentric physique. “But for me, that changed right away, when I caught a bass with the lure on my very first cast. This thing’s legit.”

The HellraiZer's blade-driven design and underbelly line tie produce crazy action up top.

Thrift likes to remind anglers that headlining the packaging on Davis’ original ChatterBait was a simple tagline: Simply designed to catch fish. Not fishermen. “I think the same thinking applies to the HellraiZer,” he notes.

Like a buzzbait, Burghoff and Thrift explain that retrieving the HellraiZer begins by immediately cranking the lure to the surface. From there, a simple straight retrieve— rodtip pointed slightly down— activates the HellraiZer’s unexpected frenzied, fleeing action.

“A straight, medium to fast retrieve works awesome,” suggests Thrift. “Fish it the same way you work a ChatterBait. You can also slow it way down and still maintain that palpable vibration and cool wakebait-like action. The blade creates that awesome ChatterBait sound, adding a visual bubble trail that leads bass right to the feathered treble hook.

The HellraiZer was inspried by Ron Davis' original ChatterBait, which launched tournament careers and

waves of imitators starting in 2004.

“Throw it over submerged grass, docks and riprap,” Thrift continues. “The HellraiZer’s an exceptional lure late in summer and fall, especially during blueback herring runs. Heck, I’ve even caught some really big redfish with it. And stripers and smallmouths absolutely destroy this thing. Fish haven’t really seen this action in a surface lure before, so I think we eventually might see a big tournament or two won with it.”

For Davis, creating a truly original surface lure began with a simple idea and a time-tested concept. For anglers, unleashing its power and fury starts with faith and that first cast over nervous water.

Available in September, the new 5-inch (5/8-ounce) Z-Man HellraiZer casts like a bullet and works at almost any retrieve speed. Ten blade/body color combinations cover any water color or fishing situation, including Ghost Shad, Snow and Matte Black for low light conditions. MSRP $14.99.

Experience Z-Man’s HellraiZer Tail Blade Topwater Lure at ICAST’s On the Water event— Tuesday, July 19. Or see us at ICAST booth #5130 for a first look at this original topwater lure.

XZone New 4.25" Neko Ned Zone Worm!

X Zone Lures has released the new
4.25" Neko Ned Zone.
  • Neko Rig
  • Ned Rig
  • Shakey Head
  • Texas Rig
  • Ballhead Rig
  • Damiki Rig
Made from the same high buoyancy plastic found in most of our baits, this design and plastic composition makes this bait look alive!
Available in 12 Awesome Colors!

Strike King Revolutionizes Jig Line-Up with the Compact Tungsten Casting Jig

Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 – The creators of some of the most legendary and innovative jigs on the water are back with a revolutionary new design for 2022.  Introducing the Strike King Compact Tungsten Casting Jig.

“We built this tungsten casting jig to cast well in all situations and maintain a great rate of fall, yet with a finesse profile,” explains Strike King Pro Team member Mark Zona, who was instrumental in the development of this groundbreaking jig in the Strike King line-up. “These tungsten jig heads are 40% more dense than lead, so we get a heavier lure with a much smaller presentation.  It’s the ideal jig to downsize for a slow, cold bite or when targeting pressured fish.  This is what our tournament anglers have needed from Strike King.”

With the Compact Tungsten Casting Jig, Strike King solves a key problem for many tournament anglers.  “It’s often just so hard to get a finesse jig to where it needs to go,” offered Zona.  “And it is hard to maintain contact with the bottom.  In a tournament, you just don’t have time to deal with that.  Strike King’s tungsten jig is the answer competitors are looking for.”

There is another key feature that cannot be overstated with tungsten.  Strike King Pro and jig designer Jeff Sprague explains: “What is exceptional about the Strike King Tungsten Jig is just how sensitive it is, and how well anglers connect with the bottom and feel fish.  This tungsten head helps me fish with the confidence that I am going to detect even those subtle, sluggish bites and pick up on any small change in the structure.”

The Compact Tungsten Casting Jig boasts a smaller diameter - yet stronger - hook that is designed to hold its integrity during powerful hooksets or when fighting fish in heavier cover, and the tournament-grade, hand-tied skirt emits a vibrant swimming movement that serious anglers have come to expect from Strike King.  For a faster rate-of-fall, tournament pros trail the Strike King Compact Tungsten Casting Jig with the slender-profile Rage Craw or Baby Rage Craw, while a slower presentation and a more subtle approach calls for the wide-bodied Rage Bug as the trailer of choice.  Regardless of the trailer, Strike King’s trailer keeper on the Compact Tungsten Casting Jig ensures soft plastics are kept firmly in place throughout bruising fights with fish in deep cover and hours upon hours of casting.

The Compact Tungsten Casting Jig is offered in 1/2, 3/8, and 1/4 oz models and is available in seven vibrant colors. MSRP for the Tungsten Casting Jig is $6.99

Strike King Announces Two New Twists to the Thunder Cricket Family

Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 – Strike King is pleased to offer two new bladed jigs in the Thunder Cricket legendary line-up.  First, introducing the long-awaited Tungsten Thunder Cricket.  Now with the finest quality tour grade tungsten head, anglers finally have a small profile Strike King bladed jig without compromising the bait’s most important features.  “In the past, we gave up that tight vibration and long-distance casts to have a junior-sized bladed jig,” offered Strike King Pro Andy Montgomery.  “But with the heavy and compact Tungsten head, the Thunder Cricket has all the features we need in a small package.”

Along with Strike King Pro Team members Greg Hackney and Kevin VanDam, Montgomery was one of the designers of the original Thunder Cricket.  “There is no doubt that big fish love the Thunder Cricket, but there are times that you need to offer them a smaller presentation,” said Montgomery.  “I also love that you can really slow this Tungsten Thunder Cricket down and get the same iconic vibration at a slower retrieval.  This Tungsten Thunder Cricket wobbles with the slowest movement.”

Like its larger Strike King cousin, the standout feature of the Tungsten Thunder Cricket remains the long shank super tough jungle style hook.  “Gone are the days of anglers settling for less hookups on a bladed jig,” said Elite Pro Greg Hackney.  “Strike King paired these hooks perfectly with the Tungsten Thunder Cricket, and the hook penetrations are second to none.” The Tungsten Thunder Cricket has a MSRP of $17.99.

Along with the Tungsten model, the team at Strike King are pleased to offer the Gold-Bladed Thunder Cricket.  The standout feature of the gold-bladed cricket is its performance in stained water or in low-visibility conditions.  The gold-bladed version is offered with the same vibrant skirts that first put the legendary Thunder Cricket on the map.

Fans of the original will also be pleased to recognize the exceptional trailer keeper on both the tungsten and gold-bladed models.  “We designed these Thunder Cricket trailer keepers to withstand the most brutal strikes and deal with the heaviest cover,” offered Kevin VanDam, an original design team member.  Like Montgomery and Hackney, VanDam frequently uses the Strike King Rage Swimmer as a trailer for added vibration.  “When I need a more subtle presentation, I will often use the Strike King Rage Menace,” said VanDam.  “That Rage Menace will also help that cricket achieve more depth, while the Rage Swimmer’s buoyancy keeps it higher in the water column.” The Gold-Bladed Thunder Cricket has a MSRP of $13.99

Like the original, the gold-bladed Thunder Cricket is offered in 3/8, 1/2 and 5/8 ounce sizes in 10 colors.  The smaller profile Tungsten Thunder Cricket will be offered in 3/8, and 1/2-ounce and all of the original 14 colors.

Strike King Launches Two New Lures to the Hybrid Hunter Line-up

Columbia, S.C. – July 20, 2022 –Following the groundbreaking 2021 release of the Hybrid Hunter, Strike King is back with two new twists to the innovative hard plastic lure.  Introducing the Shallow Hybrid Hunter and Shallow Hybrid Hunter Jr.

“With so many companies out there, it’s rare that a truly remarkable lure comes along and catches anglers by surprise, but that is exactly what the Hybrid Hunter did,” said Strike King Product Development Director Todd Castledine.  “The design and action are simply like no other.”

Like the original, the Shallow Hybrid Hunter and Shallow Hybrid Hunter Jr. are designed to excel around vegetation.  The Hybrid Hunter is built with an unmistakable L-shaped bill, allowing the bait to achieve depth and run horizontally unlike traditional crankbaits.  Additionally, its body is designed with a high level of buoyancy, allowing it to rise out of vegetation quicker than other lures, greatly reducing grass snags and hang-ups.

The Shallow Hybrid Hunter and Shallow Hybrid Hunter Jr are crafted with the best attributes of a traditional crankbait but can be fished well with a jerkbait and square bill technique.  “That’s why we call this little guy the hybrid,” explained Castledine.  “It’s not really a crankbait, and it’s not really another lure.  It performs like a hybrid of several exceptional lures in one.”

Though the original was built for fishing vegetation, the Shallow Hybrid Hunter has a growing reputation of performing well around timber and rock, as its bill design allows it to deflect off cover, veer off course, and smoothly correct.  “We call this hunting,” explains Castledine.  “And as the name implies, the Shallow Hybrid Hunter and the Shallow Hybrid Hunter Jr. can hunt like no other.”

Another stand out feature of new shallow series is the amazing sound chamber that emits a rattle like few baits can.  Castledine explains: “Fishing around dense cover, like the Hybrid Hunter is built to do, requires you to call fish out of the grass.  We designed this bait to really get their attention.”

The 3.5” Shallow Hybrid Hunter weighs 1oz.  The 3” Shallow Hybrid Hunter Jr. weighs 7/16oz. Both will dive 1-3 feet, ideal for prowling shallow cover or fishing over submerged grass.  They come in 13 colors  and a MSRP of 8.99 for the junior and $9.99 for the bigger one.

Texas Team Trail announces 2023 season schedule and new qualifying rules

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (July 18 , 2022) – The Texas Team Trail (TXTT) presented by Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s recently unveiled the schedule for the 2023 season, which includes stops at some of the most popular tournament bass lakes in the country. In addition to releasing its schedule, Texas Team Trail announced plans for changes to how anglers qualify for the championship, as well as a new robust Team of the Year program that will reward teams for top finishes based on their season-long performance. Each of the regular season events will feature a boat-and-motor combination for 1st place, as well as a payout that rewards teams for owning a variety of boats, motors and other items.  Ranger Boats, Nitro Boats, Triton Boats, Garmin, and other brands will reward eligible teams with additional prizes based on their finishes in regular season events.
The 2023 regular season kicks off February 18 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir – a favorite stop for many TXTT anglers – for what promises to be a pre-spawn slugfest. The TXTT then returns to the famed Sam Rayburn on March 25, a guaranteed shallow water slugfest during the spawn.
Next up, the series goes north to famed Texas reservoir Lake Ray Roberts for an event on April 22 for another shallow water slugfest, based on past history. This event will also feature on-site activation by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, including inflatables, games and fun for the whole family.
Rounding out the regular season qualifying events is a stop at Richland Chambers Reservoir on May 6.  This body of water hasn’t been visited by the Texas Team Trail in many years and will be set up perfectly for anglers targeting post-spawn fish. Based on points standing from the regular season at the conclusion of this event, the top 75 teams will move on to the two-day championship to fish for the first-place boat-and-motor combination prize and many additional prizes. Championship location and date to be announced.
At the conclusion of the TXTT championship event, the prestigious Lucas Oil Team of the Year will be named, and the all-new Bass Pro Shops Team of the Year payout will reward the top 10 teams in the final point standings.
Anglers should stand by for additional information on the events, contingency prizes, and more announcements in the near future. For more information on updated angler qualifications, please visit www.texasteamtrail.com.
2023 TXTT scheduled events:
February 18 – Sam Rayburn
March 25 – Sam Rayburn
April 22 – Ray Roberts
May 6 – Richland Chambers
Championship - TBD

Big Bass Tour Announces 2023 Schedule

Woodlands, Texas – Tour officials announced the 2023 Big Bass Tour schedule today, ahead of ICAST in Orlando, Florida.

“We are thrilled to announce our 2023 schedule today,” said Tournament Director Scott Gordon. “We are looking forward to visiting our host communities and can't wait for next year!” added Gordon.

  • Feb 10-12 | Harris Chain of Lakes, Florida
  • March 2-5 | Lake Conroe, Texas (4 Day Event for 25th Anniversary)
  • March 10-12 | Clarks Hill, Georgia
  • March 24-26 | Lake Norman, North Carolina
  • March 31-April 2 | Lake Eufaula, Alabama
  • April 14-16 | Table Rock Lake, Missouri
  • April 28-30 | Lake Murray, South Carolina
  • May 5-7 | Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia (Spring)
  • May 19-21 | Lake Chickamauga, Tennessee
  • Sept 29-Oct 1 | Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia (Fall)
  • Oct 6-8 | Douglas Lake, Tennessee
  • Oct 13-15 | Guntersville Lake, Alabama

*We are also currently in discussions to add California (Delta) in the fall of 2023 and Michigan (St Clair) in the summer of 2023 and hope to have these finalized in the coming weeks. If we are able to get them signed, we will add them to the schedule here.

Registration for the 2023 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Big Bass Tour will open on Thursday December 1st. Visit www.bigbasstour.com for all details.

Iaconelli’s best memories at the 1,000 Islands

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

Some say a fishing guide’s wife invented Thousand Island salad dressing on the St. Lawrence River, yet others say it was a chef at the iconic Boldt Castle. Team Toyota’s Mike Iaconelli isn’t sure who invented it, but he’s positive the famous salad dressing is awesome on a Reuben sandwich, and the smallmouth are biting as good as ever on the St. Lawrence River.


“Ike” has a long and treasured history on the ultra-clear river connecting Lake Ontario and the Atlantic, but three memories stand out a bit betterthan others.


Blood on the back deck


“I remember fishing a Bassmaster Invitational here back in 1995 when I was like 23 years old. I drew Tom Mann Jr., and I was fired-up because he was a dude I grew up reading about,” smiles Iaconelli.


“We targeted largemouth, because back then, believe it or not, smallmouth weren’t much of a factor here. Anyhow, we started catching pike and largemouth like crazy on a spinnerbait that rainy day, and at one point a pike cut me, and I bled all over the carpet of Tom’s rear deck. About 10 years later I ran into him at a gas station, and he still remembered all the blood.”


Catalyst to a Classic victory


The year was 2002, and “Ike” was fishing the Opens, and B.A.S.S. sent the top three anglers in the Opens points standings to the Bassmaster Classic.


“I was running down the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, and some dude started waiving his hands telling me and my partner to turn around. I went anyway and encountered the biggest waves of my life here. They were legit 8-footers, with an occasional 12-footer. I tore off my trolling motor, and one wave knocked my helmet off,” he clearly remembers.


“I had a spare trolling motor. Caught 17-pounds in 45-minutes, made a Top 10, earned enough points to qualify for the 2003 Bassmaster Classic, won that, and my life changed forever,” Ike says humbly, still shaken by the sequence of events.


Becky’s the One


Iaconelli will be the first one to tell you his wife Becky is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. And the 1,000 Islands provided the stage to an epiphany that told him with heartfelt certainty “she was the one.”


“I think it was a tournament here in either 2007 or 2008. Becky was traveling with me, and I had rented a dumpy cabin. It was pretty bad. But she never complained. She stuck with me all week and cheered me alongto a Top 10. And to this day I can still remember realizing she was the girl I needed to marry. Best decision of my life – right here on the St. Lawrence,” says Ike with heartfelt sincerity.


At this point, the St. Lawrence could only provide one more memory to perfectly punctuate Iaconelli’s iconic career. A Bassmaster Elite Series victory. Don’t bet against him this week. He’s at home here. And he’s got27 years of great memories to prove it.


2023 Bassmaster Opens Will Feature New Elite Qualification Format

Current Elite Series angler Jacob Powroznik fished all nine tournaments in the 2021 Bassmaster Opens Series en route to earning his invitation to join the Elites in 2022. 

Photo by B.A.S.S.

July 13, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Beginning in 2023, anglers hoping to earn a coveted invitation to join the Bassmaster Elite Series can only qualify by competing in all nine tournaments comprising the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series presented by Mossy Oak Fishing, B.A.S.S. officials announced today. Anglers competing in every tournament will form the Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers.

The Top 9 anglers in the Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers standings will earn an invitation to join the prestigious Bassmaster Elite Series in 2024. With the exception of a berth going to the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation champion, fishing all nine events and participating in the Opens EQ will be the exclusive route for earning entry into the Elite Series. This season, an unprecedented 83 anglers registered for all nine Bassmaster Opens tournaments.

“We are looking forward to launching the new Bassmaster Opens EQ,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Chase Anderson. “From the length of the season to the variety of waters and regions where these anglers will compete, this model is as close as you can get to competing at the Elite level and will bring even more attention to the skills and incredible commitment made by anglers striving to reach the Bassmaster Elite Series.”

Bassmaster Opens events will continue to be divided into three divisions with three tournaments each, and event winners will still earn a Classic berth if they compete in all three tournaments in that division.

“The new Elite Qualifiers format really allows the Opens to serve two groups of anglers moving forward,” said Hank Weldon, Bassmaster Opens tournament director. “Those who want to make fishing a full-time career and pursue the Elite Series have a clear direction preparing them for that path. But there are also nine opportunities for those who’ve always aspired to fish the Classic to chase that dream.”

The 2023 schedule for the Bassmaster Opens Series will be released this fall.

For more information, visit Bassmaster.com/Opens.

Revital Outdoors - Keeping you Competitive!

This week Chris welcomes in Kyle Smith and Theron Asbery with Revital Outdoors. Revital is a Premium CBD Company based in NE Florida that focuses on us Outdoorsman and keeping us on the water and in the woods longer! David and Kenneth join in later in the show to talk pre-Icast new stuff and more. Check it out!

"If you're not First...... You're Last."


This week Chris and the circus welcome in Elite Series Pro and Humminbird / MinnKota Pro Wes Logan to the show to talk FG knots, his fishing thus far this year and a new toy he has on his boat that just might give him a competitive edge, Shake and bake baby, its time to talk new products, gadgets and gizmo's!