After the weigh-in & last morning on Lake Amistad

Immediately after the crowning of Ish Monroe as the champion of the inaugural Elite Series event, Ryan & I headed back out onto the lake for the last few hours of daylight.  These are two of the better fish I caught, one was on a Lucky Craft Pointer and the other was on a White 8″ Lake Fork Top Dog Lizard off a bed in about 4ft of water around a large flooded bush.

My fishing partner Ryan got one nearly 6lbs off a bed on a Red Bug Lake Fork Tackle Zig Zag, rigged on a light Texas rig.  The next morning we got into some jerkbait fish, I did not catch anything worthy of breaking out the camera, although Ryan got a 4.5lb largemouth on a large Rapala Husky Jerk fished over some grass in about 10-12ft of water.  We caught several quality fish using his technique.  I also managed a few fish on a bleeding baby bass Secret Weapon Spinnerbait that was fished around flooded bushes.   

Unfortunately the morning ended too soon, we had to pack up and head for San Antonio to catch our flight.  We were welcomed back home in Minneapolis with a 12″ of white fluffy snow  

Quick note: Greg Hackney leads the first day of the Bassmasters Elite Series at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but he only holds a slim lead over Kevin VanDam & Mike Iaconelli.  The Day 1 leaderboard looks like a who’s who list of today’s top stars.

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, La.           5  22-02  305    $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   22-02  
2.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, Mich.        5  22-01  295
  Day 1: 5   22-01  
3.  Michael Iaconelli      Runnemede, N.J.         5  21-08  290
  Day 1: 5   21-08  
4.  Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu, Ariz.      5  21-00  285
  Day 1: 5   21-00  
5.  Edwin Evers            Talala, Okla.           5  20-12  280
  Day 1: 5   20-12  

Wish I was still in TX,

Spot Remover 

Lake Amistad Final Day Roundup

There was a certain buzz around the lake on Sunday morning.  There were 12 guys hitting the lake with a Legitimate chance of breaking Rojas’ 108lb record.  There was a little wind which will help the reaction bite and calm enough not to interfere with the sight fisherman.   Not too mention Day 3 had just produced the biggest bag of the tournament this far.  We also are inching closer to a full moon, which usually moves more fish onto the beds.

I got into some early fish on Secrtet Weapon Spinnerbaits  and Lucky Craft Pointer 100’s, biggest was 4-12 and my partner got a 5-11 on a Power Jerk Shad .  We hit a mid day lull and then finally found a cove with some fish on beds.  We each caught a couple ranging from 2-4lbs.  Then we saw her!!! She was about 7ft deep on a bed in the middle of small cove, with a male that was about 3.5lbs.  My partner accidentally caught the male, which probably made catching the female more difficult than needed.  It took use about 45 minutes to get her to bite.  She finally fell for a White 8″ Lake Fork Top Dog Lizard .  She measured 25″ length & 17″ girth and tipped the scales at 8lbs 3oz.
It was extra exciting, because I caught her just 5 minutes before we had to load the boat and head in for the final day weigh-in.  It simulated a tournament situation.  We made to the weigh area just in time for the national anthem.  The Top 12 were all lined up in their boats.  They made announcement that all 12 anglers had their limits and no dead fish, which amplified the buzz.  One by one they crossed the stage taking turns in the hot seat.  Then Ish broke things open with 23-08 bag anchored by the Purolator Big Bass for the day – 9-00, see picture of big bass lower left.

You can also see Ish Monroe hoisting his trophy on the Jumbo Screen.  Ish gave Props to Reaction Innovations and his Vixen Topwater .  They also showed KVD throw his spinning rod in the lake after losing a giant that came unbuttoned sight fishing.  It was very exciting to watch it all happen, much better than what you see on Saturday mornings.  I highly recommend attending a BASS weigh-in if you get the chance.  This is my 2nd, the first was KVD’s E-50 victory on Lake Wissota.  Notice that the top 3 anlgers were all from California, this lake fishes supposedly fishes similar to Clear Lake out in California.  I have more pictures that were taken at the weigh-in and other bass that my fishing party caught that I will post in another post(s). See Tournament Stats Below:
Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Ishama Monroe          Hughson, Calif.        20 104-08  310  $103,000.00
  Day 1: 5   25-11    Day 2: 5   21-04    Day 3: 5   34-01    Day 4: 5   23-08  
2.  Fred Roumbanis         Auburn, Calif.         20 101-13  295   $31,000.00
  Day 1: 5   24-04    Day 2: 5   28-13    Day 3: 5   20-11    Day 4: 5   28-01  
3.  Mike Reynolds          Modesto, Calif.        20  99-04  290   $25,000.00
  Day 1: 5   20-06    Day 2: 5   26-00    Day 3: 5   28-00    Day 4: 5   24-14  
4.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, La.          20  98-05  285   $18,000.00
  Day 1: 5   25-09    Day 2: 5   28-15    Day 3: 5   22-01    Day 4: 5   21-12  
5.  Steve Kennedy          Auburn, Ala.           20  97-03  280   $17,000.00
  Day 1: 5   27-14    Day 2: 5   22-00    Day 3: 5   25-06    Day 4: 5   21-15  
6.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, Mich.       20  97-00  276   $15,500.00
  Day 1: 5   27-03    Day 2: 5   22-09    Day 3: 5   27-06    Day 4: 5   19-14  
7.  Alton Jones            Waco, Texas            20  95-06  272   $15,000.00
  Day 1: 5   23-13    Day 2: 5   29-10    Day 3: 5   23-02    Day 4: 5   18-13  
8.  Gary Klein             Weatherford, Texas     20  94-03  268   $16,000.00
  Day 1: 5   25-15    Day 2: 5   26-03    Day 3: 5   19-13    Day 4: 5   22-04  
9.  Ken Cook               Lawton, Okla.          20  93-07  269   $15,000.00
  Day 1: 5   31-10    Day 2: 5   17-01    Day 3: 5   22-15    Day 4: 5   21-13  
10. Matt Reed              Madisonville, Texas    20  91-03  260   $13,500.00
  Day 1: 5   31-08    Day 2: 5   20-14    Day 3: 5   24-06    Day 4: 5   14-07  
11. Edwin Evers            Talala, Okla.          20  87-13  262   $12,500.00
  Day 1: 5   25-04    Day 2: 5   29-14    Day 3: 5   19-00    Day 4: 5   13-11  
12. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu, Ariz.     20  82-06  254   $12,300.00
  Day 1: 5   27-05    Day 2: 5   25-15    Day 3: 5   18-02    Day 4: 5   11-00  

Purolator Big Bass
1   Pete Ponds              Madison, Miss.            10-05  $1,000.00
2   Gary Klein              Weatherford, Texas        10-05  $1,000.00
3   Ishama Monroe           Hughson, Calif.            9-05  $1,000.00
4   Ishama Monroe           Hughson, Calif.            9-00  $1,000.00

Purolator Big Bass of Tournament
     Gary Klein              Weatherford, Texas        10-05    $500.00
     Pete Ponds              Madison, Miss.            10-05    $500.00

Busch Heavyweight
1   Ken Cook                Lawton, Okla.             31-10  $1,000.00
2   Jimmy Mize              Ben Lomond, Ark.          31-14  $1,000.00
3   Ishama Monroe           Hughson, Calif.           34-01  $1,000.00
4   Fred Roumbanis          Auburn, Calif.            28-01  $1,000.00

Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1      102       521      1932-00
2      101       517      1938-14
3       49       249       948-07
4       12        60       242-00
        264      1347      5061-05

Tight Lines,

Spot Remover 

Amistad – Day 3

Sorry for the delay, I was too busy fishing to find time to do any Blogging. 
I got up early and watched the take-off in the boat.  It was cool to hear the Star Spangled Banner echo off the water and canyon walls.  It was very exciting to see the Top 50 all lined up and introduced as they took off in order of their place on the leaderboard.  We attempted to follow KVD, but got lost in the boat wakes and he got away. 

Day 3 proved tougher for some and others made big moves.  The wind was light in morning and non-existent by afternoon.  Our boat got some early jerkbait fish and snooped around the lake observing some of the Top 50 pros & doing a little fishing.  It was also interesting to see several pros who did not make the cut out fishing for fun instead of heading off to get ready for Rayburn.  I watched Brett Chapman catch a 6.5lb bass out fishing with his wife & son.  We talked to him and mentioned he wished he had a swimbait.  I offered him a Storm Wild Eye Swim Shad, he quickly tied it on and hung a 5# bass on his 3rd cast as we drifted along.  His young son then caught about a 3# bass dragging senko with his snoopy pole.  Overall the day was moderately tough, we caught several fish on plastics, Norman DD22 , jerkbaits, etc.    We even caught a few fish off beds, the biggest was probably 4.5lbs.  One of the guys that made the trip with me, caught a 6lb 4oz which was new personal best for him.  I will get his picture in a later post.  He caught that on a brush line on a June Bug Lake Fork Tackle Zig Zag fished Mojo Style.

We got off the lake early to observe the weigh in.  It was quite the show, as big bags continued to poor in.  Ish Monroe made the biggest move with his 34lbs 1oz bag, anchored by a 9lb 5oz Purolator Big Bass.

Photo courtesy of ESPN

It was also cool to see Gerald Swindle give his shirt of his back to a special fan.  The crowds continued to grow each day at the weigh-in despite the unbearable heat.  Mike Reynolds made many new fans with his “Tribute to Armed Forces” wrapped boat that he paid for himself. Today I managed to remember my camera, but my batteries failed me, I vow to produced Day 4 pictures   At this point, none of the Top 12 anglers are out of it and they all have a change at Rojas’ Record, even Rojas himself.

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Ishama Monroe          Hughson, Calif.        15  81-00  305    $2,000.00
  Day 1: 5   25-11    Day 2: 5   21-04    Day 3: 5   34-01  
2.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, Mich.       15  77-02  295
  Day 1: 5   27-03    Day 2: 5   22-09    Day 3: 5   27-06  
3.  Matt Reed              Madisonville, Texas    15  76-12  290
  Day 1: 5   31-08    Day 2: 5   20-14    Day 3: 5   24-06  
4.  Alton Jones            Waco, Texas            15  76-09  282
  Day 1: 5   23-13    Day 2: 5   29-10    Day 3: 5   23-02  
4.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, La.          15  76-09  282
  Day 1: 5   25-09    Day 2: 5   28-15    Day 3: 5   22-01  
6.  Steve Kennedy          Auburn, Ala.           15  75-04  276
  Day 1: 5   27-14    Day 2: 5   22-00    Day 3: 5   25-06  
7.  Mike Reynolds          Modesto, Calif.        15  74-06  272
  Day 1: 5   20-06    Day 2: 5   26-00    Day 3: 5   28-00  
8.  Edwin Evers            Talala, Okla.          15  74-02  273
  Day 1: 5   25-04    Day 2: 5   29-14    Day 3: 5   19-00  
9.  Fred Roumbanis         Auburn, Calif.         15  73-12  264
  Day 1: 5   24-04    Day 2: 5   28-13    Day 3: 5   20-11  
10. Gary Klein             Weatherford, Texas     15  71-15  260    $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   25-15    Day 2: 5   26-03    Day 3: 5   19-13  
11. Ken Cook               Lawton, Okla.          15  71-10  262    $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   31-10    Day 2: 5   17-01    Day 3: 5   22-15  
12. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu, Ariz.     15  71-06  254
  Day 1: 5   27-05    Day 2: 5   25-15    Day 3: 5   18-02  

Tight Lines,

Spot Remover 

Amistad Elite Series – Day 2

Overall the bite seemed to be a little tougher for most anglers after yesterday’s high winds blew the front though.  Bed fish became a little more finicky and anglers had trouble catching fish on jerkbaits & spinnerbaits in the near calm conditions.  This being said, Jimmy Mize brought in almost 32lbs today and Edwin Evers & Greg Hackney made big charges to lead the field and the pursuit of Dean Rojas’ 4 day total record.  I managed to forget my camera, so no pics this evening. 

There appears to be several patterns available for anglers.  Guys are catching them on deep flats, flippin’ heavy cover, sight fishing and jerkbaits.  Fish are available in all from prespawn to postspawn.

As far as my personal success…..  Got a late start due to arriving into Del Rio in the early morning.  By the time my tackle was prepared and license purchased we only had a few hours to fish.  I lost more fish than I caught, I believe this is due to winter rust of my fishing skills since I have not been out since October.  I boated a handful of small keeper and lost a 6-7lb fish on a mojo rig along with a couple more 3-4 lbs fish.

Check back tomorrow for day 3 results as they cut down to the final 12.

Tight Lines,

Spot Remover 

Amistad Bound: Tournament Preview

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.


Spot Remover 

Get kids hooked on Fishing, NOT DRUGS!

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 Drop Ike

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

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…

Fishing with your eyes

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


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…


Luke Clausen Keeps his Eye on the Prize & Ike is Dead Last!

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?


Store - TD Vibration 

Trailer Hooks: Are you being stubborn or foolish?

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…

Store - TD Vibration 

Bass Fishing Videos, News, Tips, Tricks & More