This morning, the Bassmaster Elite Series has officially kicked off on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, TX. My plane departs this evening at 7:30pm and I will be on the water with the Pros tomorrow thru Sunday. Everything points to a very exciting tournament, lots of fish and lots of big fish. My parents are wintering on Lake Amistad, I always thoughts snowbirds were silly. Now that my parents are on on the premier bass fisheries in the US, I am becoming much more accepting of the whole concept. As it turns out, there are several pros staying in the same RV park as I will be staying and Randy Howell’s giant Purolator rig is just a few spots away from my parents.
There is a lot of talk records being broken, but that was before the 30+mph winds that came in today for launch. It will be interesting how that will effect today’s weights. I think it will affect many anglers, but a few of them will still crack some big bags. That just means there will be less people chasing Rojas after the first day.
I talked to a friend who had just talk to former, Classic Champion, Bob Hamilton and he has been on some good fish. He has had 25lbs bags in prefishing everyday by lunchtime and caught an 8 & 10 lb bass on Monday’s practice.
In the next few days, I hope to Blog on tournament happenings as well as my personal catches. I plan to take digital photos of both my fish and the tournament and post them in the Blog entries as well. Check back in the evenings for updates throughout the weekend.
Woo Daves said it best, “you will rarely ever find a kid in juvenile detention or in jail that has a hunting or fishing license in his pocket.” Seems like kind of an odd statement, but the more I think about, the more truth I find in his words.
I consider myself to be a good example, I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand, I never remember not loving to fish and I have spent a fare amount of time hunting growing up as well. Sure I have made my mistakes, but no real brushes with the law of any magnitude. I thank my father for giving me the opportunity to learn and love the great outdoors. That’s probably why my friends were always so much better at video games than I was. I am not sure how well those video game skills serve them these days anyways J My father never forced me to go fishing, but always extended the opportunities, I am not sure I ever said “No.”
The great thing about today is that there are more & more great opportunities fro young kids to become involved in fishing. Bass fishing organizations have established programs like CastingKids & Jr. Bass Clubs that make it easy and inexpensive for kids to get involved.
CastingKids events are completely free and happen all year long all over the country. You can find schedules online. CastingKids is a free casting clinic and contest that teaches kids (ages 7-14) different casting techniques and then allows them to compete fro prizes and scholarships.
There are more and more Jr. Bass Clubs popping up all over the United States, these clubs introduce kids to the fun of competitive fishing as well as teaching them about everything from lure selection to seasonal patterns of fishing. I only wish there were these types of clubs when I was young. I ad to wait until I was 16 to join an adult club & most of the guys I fished against were in their 40’s. Most events happen during the summer when kids are out of school and have the time to participate. Kids fish with adult bass club members out of their boat.
So do your children a favor and introduce them to the great sport of fishing. It could be an hour of fishing at the local fishing pier or a CastingKids event at the mall one weekend; there are lots of ways to test the water. They may never turn out to be as passionate about the sport as I am, but I doubt they will regret the experiences or the opportunity to learn more about the great outdoors.
See another “Take a kid fishing” article
Also Checkout Gopher Jr. Bassmasters
Ranger boats released a statment saying that they terminated Mike Iaconelli’s boat sponsorship. This statement was released on Feb 28 by Ranger president Randy Hopper. You can see this article on BassFan.com
It turns out Mike’s antics on Day 1 of the Bassmasters Classic is much more costly than his first day weight. Boat sponsorship is a big deal for a touring pro. This may turn out to be a very important lesson for Ike and a humbling experience to say the least. It will be interesting if Ike continues to run his Ranger for the rest of the Elite Series and how long it takes him to get a new boat deal. I think it would be hard for Ike not to be running his wrapped Ranger at Amistad, it would be awful difficlut to get a new boat wrapped that quickly.
On one hand, he is one of the sport’s most well known stars and on the other hand, do you want to be the boat company that scoops him up? Berkely has also released a statment that he will reamin on their ProStaff. I wonder what route his other sponsors will take. This should be an interesting story to follow.
Rather be Fishing…
It baffles me the number of guys I know that still fish without sunglasses and/or caps/visors. If you ask me its just plain stupid not to protect your eyes when fishing! It’s the only set you have and probably the only set of eyes you will ever have and I depend pretty heavily on my eyesight. Not too mention, polarized sunglasses will help you catch more fish.
I have been hit in the face with a lure several times, either by a fellow angler or me jerking on a lure that springs free and fires at my face. Two of those times my glasses deflected lures that otherwise would have hit me in the eye. The other factor of protection is UV rays, it is important to protect your eyes from over exposure to Ultraviolet Rays from the sun and a good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes in both instances. Good glasses will also protect your eyes when you are blasting to your honey hole on tournament day, how many times have you had to run in the rain or on a morning when there were a lot of bugs hovering on the water.
Catchin’ More Fish:
I know people will argue that they rarely have water clear enough to see bass where they usually fish and that the spawn is short, so why bother with sunglasses. Sunglasses more often help you observe structure, holes in grass, baitfish and other things that either help you cast where the bass should be or help clue you into what the bass are doing. If bass are holding open pockets in a grass flat and I can see the holes better than you because of my glasses, I will wear you out that day in the boat if we are together.
What to Buy:
Rule of thumb, buy the best glasses you can afford and make sure they fit your face. You can have a $200 pair of sunglasses, but if they are uncomfortable, you will not wear them and you will lose then because you keep taking them off. I am a big fan of Costa Del Mar glasses and I see the value of investing in good glasses. I use to wear $10-20 sunglasses and after wearing high end glasses, I really believe you get what you pay for. With my old glasses, I would be tired after a day on the water in the bright sun, eyes would feel strained, and they would be bloodshot. I can now fish all day and my eyes feel great and I have more energy to drive home after a long day, rather than fighting to keep my eyes on the road. The reason is because cheaper glasses have lower quality lenses that have inconsistencies in the lens that cause your eyes to constantly readjust and refocus to compensate and that is terrible for your eyes. A good set of wrap around glasses that fit your face not only reduce glare of the water but cut down on wind that dries out your eyes in the wind or when you are hauling down the water. You can find a great selection of glasses at Basspro.com
So invest in your eyes and some new sunglasses, buy what you can afford, but do not sacrifice comfort and fit. You will be glad you did!
Rather be Fishing…
The 2006 Bassmasters Classic turned out to be the record breaker ESPN/BASS hoped when it made the decision for the tournament to be held on Toho in the spring. On the flip side, I am not sure anyone besides Luke himself, thought he would be the big winner. See Final Standings
Luke caught all but one if his fish on Mann’s HardNose Worm
Luke Clausen joins an elite group of David Fritts, David Hite, Dion Hibdon & George Cochran as the only anglers to notch a FLW Championship & a Bassmasters Classic Championship. That is just flat out impressive. He is by far the youngest to achieve that, at 27, he was the youngest competitor in this year’s Classic. See full story.
So, where is next year’s classic going to be?
If you are fishing and there is anything on the line, you should have a trailer hook on your buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. It is more important with buzzbaits, spinnerbaits are a little more situational. Whether its bragging rights with your fishing buddy, a tournament or you are on a lake that has big fish potential, there are very few instances that trailer hooks are not a good idea.
I have found very few instances that the cover did not allow me to use a trailer hook, when rigged correctly, they cause very few problems. About the only time I do not fish a trailer hook, is when I am prefishing for a tournament. In those instances its better to just see the fish and not hook it, saving it for the tournament. In some cases, if you use a red hook or feather hook, you can actually increase the appeal of the bait with your trailer hooks. Even when the bass are really getting on the your buzzbait and getting the main hook, the trailer hook is a nice insurance policy as you winch your fish out of the cover.
If you do not believe me, how about this. Secret Weapon Lures sells Spinnerbaits & Buzzbaits; they feel it is imprtant enough that they include a sharp Mustad trailer hook in the package with every Buzzbait.
I love fishing, but I really love catching fish! So take the time, put the trailer hook on and start landing more fish!
Rather be fishing…
A Co-Angler’s Secret Weapon
If you fish a lot of tournaments as a co-angler, you are probably always looking for ways to get an edge on your competition. Especially when top prize for the co-angler in some of these tournaments is a new boat!
Whether you are in a draw style tournament or you sign up as a co-angler, fishing as a non-boater can be a very challenging situation. Among the many challenges, probably the biggest challenge what tackle should pack? You cannot bring everything, because there is not room and its bad non-boater etiquette to clutter up the boat and it can make for a difficult fishing day for both anglers. Sometimes your partner will clue you in on what you will be doing or what he/she may be catching them on, but often times partner’s are protective of their patterns and will not tell you anything until after you are on the water for take-off. If even if you are well informed, everyone knows things change on the lake on a day to day basis.
How many times have you been out on the water as a non-boater and found yourself needing something you decided not to bring so you could save space? There is one thing I found that can tip the tackle scales in your favor. What if I told you, it is possible to carry nearly every spinnerbait combination possible in a tackle box that is equal to medium sized hook box? You would say, yeah right! Well its true, thanks to the innovation of Secret Weapon Lures. They have developed a unique spinnerbait system that allows you to carry a handful of spinnerbait heads, extra skirts and wide array of blades all in one small box. You can make blade and skirt changes in just seconds as water conditions dictate. And on top of all that, these spinnerbaits flat out catch bass. They have a true running head design and that creates a spinnerbait that never rolls and it even slow rolls great. Check out these great baits at www.secretweaponlures.com
So now that you can fit all your favorite spinnerbaits in a small box, just think of all the other stuff you can fit in your tackle bag….. Find your Secret Weapon Starter Kits and ProPacks here!