After a long break, the Bassmaster Elite Series is back to business & fishing this weekend on famed Lake Guntersville. Still, some time to get your Fantasy Team picks in, so check out my latest Fantasy Fishing Edge video to gain some insight to set your team and WIN!
In bass fishing’s biggest event, labeled as the Super Bowl of bass fishing, Cliff Pace, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro from Petal, MS, looked like
he was in position to blow away the Bassmaster Classic field at the end
of the day two weigh-in. Back to back days of surpassing BassTrakks
best estimations with over 21lbs each day gave him what seemed a quite
comfortable 7lb margin over Brandon Palanuik who was in second place. It was strange watching Bassmaster.com coverage as closely as I did and see most of the fields weights be pretty close, but then be so off on Cliff Pace’s BassTrakk weight every day. After watching footage, I lend it two things, Cliff is a pretty big guy, so 3lb bass might look like 2lbrs when he is holding them to some, but more likely, when he would catch a fish, he would yank them in the boat, unhook and stuff into the livewells in a blink of an eye. I don’t think his Marshalls ever had a chance to really eye up these fish, then they probably asked him how big and he low balled them.
Cliff Pace 2013 Bassmaster Classic Champion!!!
Pace worked a two bait pattern all week, he would target deeper bottom hugging fish with a 3/4oz V&M Football Jig
and then look for fish higher in the water column with a suspending
jerkbait. The tough thing about his pattern, he was fishing for about 6-7 bites per day, but they were the right ones, as shown on day 2 when he had two 7lbrs. Some reports suggest his jerkbait of choice was a Jackall Squad Minnow, but Mark Zone reported that he fished a more traditional and larger Smithwick Rogue jerkbait rather then diminutive Squad Minnow. The Rogue actually
makes more sense, as it is a well known producer on Grand Lake, and
with the bigger fish keying on jumbo Gizzard Shad, the Rogues larger
profile does a much better job of matching the forage for this event.
V&M 3/4oz Football Jig – Image from BassZone.com
As far as the football jig itself,
Pace trimmed a few strands from the weedguard to help with the deep
water hook up ratio and he also dipped the ends of his V&M Twin Tail trailer
with orange dye to help generate a few extra strikes in the dingy Grand
Lake waters. And it was the jig that Pace utilized to catch his last
two fish, giving him 4 fish for 11lbs that held off a hard charging
Brandon Palaniuk and went on to win by about 3 pounds.
This Bassmaster Classic win solidifies Cliff Pace as one of the great
up and coming bass pros and the $500,000 in his bank account should
help him fish more comfortably for years to come! Even though he didn’t show much for emotion when he won, I am sure Cliff is intensely satisfied and excited on the inside! Catch some videos of the moment here.
Even though I was pretty much glued to my laptop all weekend, it will still be cool to see the coverage next weekend on ESPN2 to see more of the fish catching footage from all 3 days.
This week marks the official unofficial start to major tournament bass fishing for the year; yes we have had some Everstarts & Bassmaster Open events, but the real show starts with the Classic.
Like most years, I will be glued to the coverage all weekend long, so feel free to follow me on Twitter or on my FB page and I will make sure you are kept up to date on the high points.
Fantasy Fishing continues to grow and so do the prizes, so make sure to join up, couple of good leagues with free prizes, including those presented by BassTEK & Bass Utopia. If you need some help making your picks, make sure to check out the Fantasy Fishing Insider Podcast that I help out with. The high points of my picks are Jason Christie, Alton Jones, Brandon Card, Casey Scanlon, & Jared Knuth, to here the details and my co-hosts picks, catch the podcast.
Also, the Bassmaster Classic always gets me in the mood to buy lots of new tackle & gear, which means I will be listing stuff on ebay this week to make room for new stuff, catch yourself some deals!
Back from Ireland, finally getting caught up and done a little fishing with things ramping up this week. This weekend I will be fishing the NABC tourney on the Madison Chain and then checking out the Elite Series final day on Sunday in La Crosse.
But back to the contest. I will be reviewing a few baits in the near future, Kompak Craw, VibraGrub & DarkStarr swimbait. The winner of this contest will get some of each of these baits. First step is to check out Evolve Baits website, then leave a comment on this blog entry with the size and color VibraGrub you like best and how you would rig it to catch your favorite fish on your waters. Then leave a comment on my Facebook Page to tell me that you have entered the contest as well. Also, be sure to check out Evolve’s Facebook & Twitter pages. And if you can’t wait to see if you have won baits, check here to buy them anytime. We will end this contest on July 4th.
I look for the La Crosse Elite Series event to be super competitive and tight weights up and down the standings. Look for froggers, river rats and flippers to excel at this event. So as of now, here are my picks:
Thank you to all entries! And your winners are…… Knot2Kinky Leader Material – Chris Van Eyde – we expect to hear how it holds up against Musky & Pike!
And the 3 winners of Invisa-Swivel Sample Packs: Brandon Olson, Mark, Samuel Groves & Jesse Heinecke – can’t wait to hear your thoughts on how they work!
Winners will be contacted shortly. If you missed out, I will start a new contest in the next couple days for a much bigger prize. So make sure you subscribe to this blog via email or RSS and/or tune into my Facebook Page.
Below are my Lake Douglas picks, might tweek this, an Elite Series pro sent me a message and said to pick some flippers, not sure to go with this info or not…..
Who knows, I am feeling less committed to this roster the more I think about it!
Recorded the Fantasy Fishing Insider podcast earlier this morning, hopefully it edits and drops in time for all of you to listen in, but if not, here are my picks.
Last Saturday was so beautiful, had to get out on Pool 2 if only for a few hours. Tried some new water, for the most part unproductive, caught a few fish though.
I am also excited for the Minnesota Bass Expo this weekend, looks like it is going to be a really cool show, check out the list of vendors. I will be there from 4-8pm on Friday, probably find me walking around or hanging near the TBF or Kruger Farms booth. FYI – Kruger Farms had some killer deals at the Northwest Sportshow, do yourself a favor and stop by their Bass Expo booth, they might surprise you, plus they should have some Dobyns Rods on display if you have not checked them out yet.
Don’t forget about the Aquateko contest, you still got 12 days to enter that contest for free tackle!
Last but not least, I did another quick video showing my system for organizing and storing my soft plastics for bass fishing. Check out the video.
Since my office bracket had Missouri over Florida State, I am not talking about the NCAA basketball tournament. The madness that is going on for me, is frantically preparing my boat for the early open water this year, listing more stuff in my Bass
Store, because I have been on a tackle organization kick and trying to keep momentum going after picking winners in the last two fantasy fishing events.
So this week, the Elite Series is on the Big O. If you have not checked out BassRankings.com, its a great new site for doing Fantasy Fishing research and keeping up with which pros are fishing the best!
So here are my picks:
As always, check out our podcast page to get more insight to these picks and some of my runner up choices for each bucket and my co-hosts picks (use their picks at your own risk). Good stuff can be found at BassUtopia.com as well!
Sure this is an exciting week because of March Madness, but what has me all geeked out right now is the warm weather in Minnesota, on the bring of open water bass fishing in March and the Bassmaster Elite Series starting tomorrow on the St. John’s River. So here are my picks, listen to the podcast to get the 411 and the logic.
Mean while, I need to remember to call tomorrow and check if my hot foot will be done so I can pick my boat up before the weekend! I did fill out a few NCAA brackets, but I spent more time thinking about my Fantasy Fishing lineup.
Still need to get caught up on the latest Major League Fishing episode.
If you were glued to your laptop. tablet or phone all day you probably had a pretty good idea that this was going to be a two horse race at the final weigh-in. BASS does a good job of getting you a feel of what is going on and who the players are but leave just enough detail out to make it exciting to watch the final weigh-ins online and the following weekend on ESPN2.
Congratulations to Chris Lane on becoming the 42nd Bassmaster Classic champion. More details will come out this week with exact details on locations, lures and patterns, but I think there are a few things that are already interesting.
Photo by James Overstreet
I thought the biggest part of Chris Lane’s victory was his game plan and his decision to fish a pattern rather then just devote his Classic hopes to a single area. He really did the best job of managing his fish, the spectators and executed very well. Day 1 he milked an area for a solid 16lbs bag that tied him with his brother for 6th. Then on day 2, he fished completely new areas feeling his day 1 spot was depleted. He fished in both pools 4 & 5, locking midday. Part of the reason was, he thought spectators could be an issue in his Pool 5 area, so he chose to lock down to start his day in 4 and then return midday to finish up and fish for bigger fish in a smaller area and maximize the end of his day closer to the ramp.
Pile of used Ugly Otters building up on Day 3 of his Classic Victory!
It was awesome to watch another angler achieve a life long dream and secure a career in personal bass fishing, seems like every time someone other then KVD wins a classic, I get goose bumps and chills as the scale locks in and they clinch victory!
As expected, things changed on day 2, from the weather to the conditions to the fish to the leaderboard, it was a ripple effect. Greg Vinson still holds down the runner up spot, but instead of being an ounce behind Mr. Poche he is a full pound behind a surging Chris Lane who brought a tournament’s best 19lbs 4oz to the scale today.
Photo by James Overstreet
For me, their were two surprises today following today’s coverage, there is a fair amount of sight fishing happening as bass are moving up on beds and the other was Timmy Horton’s super sweet throwback jump suit. I didn’t expect bedding fish to be factor, but it is obviously happening. Even sweeter was Horton’s tournament attire, I am guessing he will wear it again tomorrow as he was tied for 3rd biggest bag of the day.
The top two anglers do have a little distance from the pack, but not much. I think it is pretty wide open down through the top 6 or so and the top 12 are still in the game. Outside of the top 12, it would take some serious 20lb plus bags and some stumbling on top to make that happen. All reports point this to being a grinder’s tournament, jigs and soft plastics seem to be dominating.
Everything is shaping up to be another exciting Bassmaster Classic final day! I am putting my money on Vinson, but Lane is surging, either way a huge career booster for either angler!
On a side note, my fantasy team surged from 19% to 45% and I still got 3 guys alive fishing day 3 that can move me up, but only 1 is a any threat at all for the top spot, which is Keith Combs and he is a long shot at 11th.