Good Tournament & a Great Cause!

This a great event, check it out!  2006 St. Jude Tournament, a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Reserach Hospital.
Click here for more info

Check it out!

Fish for a cause,

Chatterbait Craze! Is it the Swimming Jig Phenom all over again?

Overnight sensation: the Chatterbait

(Photo: Ron Davis)  

“The Chatterbait works best when either a spinnerbait or swimming jig would be a choice, says Ron Davis. The Chatterbait has a tremendous vibration and frantic action like a startled critter hightailing it.”

The Chatterbait begins as a jig with a silicone skirt and soft plastic trailer, and then appends a blade to the jig eye, which some say makes it akin to a spinnerbait. Except the blade doesn’t spin like on a spinnerbait. The blade makes a Chatterbait wobble vigorously like a crankbait.

 In mid-January 2006, FLW co-angler Bryan Thrift of Shelbyville, NC, blew the lid off the Chatterbait, crediting it for his first place win in the Stren Series event on Lake Okeechobee, Fla. In the two months since, Thrift spilled the beans, Ron Davis’ business problems have gotten much bigger and much better. First quarter sales forecasts for Rad Lures have skyrocketed from 50,000 to 75,000 pieces & there are currently over two million Chatterbaits on order now — with no end in sight.

 “I had no idea that Bryan’s win would do what it has done. Bryan was even apologetic about it. First, Bryan felt sorry that we got flooded beyond our wildest dreams with orders,” says Davis. “We are now working round the clock to get Chatterbaits to the people who want them.”

 He continues, “Second, Bryan apologized because he had won two Stren Southeast series events as a co-angler in 2005 but did not publicize the Chatterbait at that time. Bryan didn’t realize the impact that publicity by him would have on sales. In one event, Bryan was so far ahead that all he needed to do was catch one fish on the last day to clinch the co-angler win. When Bryan got that fish early in the morning, he sat out the rest of the day so his pro partner could get some rod time with the Chatterbait to win the pro side of the event.”

 “Top national pros, if they hadn’t been using it, surely were aware of the Chatterbait and now that it’s out in the open, they either have to use it — or possibly risk the consequences of not using it,” says Bassmaster Tournament Trail pro Ben Matsubu, who used the Chatterbait to help him take third and $33,000 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir at the Southern Tour stop in March 2006.

 “Every lure has its place,” adds Davis. “When Bryan Thrift won Okeechobee, he was smack in the middle of 15 to 20 boats. The only other guys getting any bites at all were some of the best flippers in Florida. They were flipping into thick mats for fish hunkered down in dense cover.”

 “Meanwhile, Bryan was getting hammered on the Chatterbait on a day when fast-moving reaction baits weren’t working,” continues Davis. “Watching Bryan, many of the other boaters started slinging spinnerbaits, trying to do what they could to copy his success, but not catching any fish. While people say the Chatterbait blade makes it like a spinnerbait, fish may see it differently. What I mean is people who throw spinnerbaits, you can come down the bank behind them with the Chatterbait and catch fish they didn’t catch.”

 “The Chatterbait is somewhat snag-free but not entirely snagless. It works best where there are no thick weeds or wood,” claims pro Tom Monsoor from La Crosse, Wis. (Note: Monsoor is rightly famous for making his own style of swimming jig.) “Another situation where I feel the Chatterbait will do best is earlier in the season while the water is still too cold for my own swimming jig to produce,” he adds. You can find Monsoor’s Swimming Jig at

 “The Chatterbait is like a lipless rattling crankbait in that it gives off heavy vibrations and therefore works in dirtier water than my own style of swimming jig,” continues Monsoor. “An example is the last FLW Tour event on Pickwick. I caught all my fish on my own swimming jig in clear water the first day. The water dirtied up so much the second day that I had to switch to the Chatterbait in order to continue to do well in the dirty water.” Another high quality swim jig is the Outkast Pro Swim Jig.

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My 10 Least favorite fishing shows all-time

 On a lighter note, outside the spotlight of tournaments & world-records….  Here are my least favorite fishing shows off all time.  Hey I posted my favorites, its only right to point out the duds.

10. In-fisherman – Overall its really a decent show and well produced.  I had to stretch to get 10 shows.  I still like to watch In-Fisherman, but its pretty low on my priority list.  Main reason is too much multi-species and not enough bass.  Its easier to handle now that I have DVR technology, I just fast forward through the non-bass segments


9. Fishing with Bob Dillow – The Buckeye Basser!  The show had overall low production quality in early years.  Not that informational, I guess I can take it or leave it.


8. One More Cast with Shaw Grigsby – Wasn’t Shaw a bass pro once?  I would never be able to tell with all the bonefish and redfish shows.  Watching Saltwater fishing does nothing for me.  Get back to your roots Mr. Grigsby.


7. Fishing University – Charlie Ingram reminds me of my high school English teachers, he always puts me to sleep.  At least Charlie puts me to sleep on my sofa, rather than those old wooden desks that would leave a kink in your neck.


6. North American Fisherman – The show is over simplified, I rarely learn anything.  The waters they fish are boring and again way too much multi-species.


5. Jimmy Houston Outdoors – Outdoors is the problem, I do not care to watch Jimmy hunt pigs, turkeys and elk.  Not too mention he rarely leaves his private pond when he fishes.  Also there is a little too much crappie fishing with the wife.  I do like that he kisses his fish.  One more thing, do you think Jimmy will ever let his hair go natural?


4. Fishing with Roland Martin – The great American fisherman…   What a lame theme song.  Roland is guilty of too much saltwater fishing and does a fair amount of live shiner fishing, which does little for the imagination.  Have you ever caught anything on the Helicopter lure?


3. Bill Dance Outdoors – Has he ever done a show not in his private pond?  It is kinds of fun to watch the giant bass he catches, but my grandma could catch 8lb bass all day in that pond.  It does very little for his credibility.  Let also think back to the Dancin’ Craw, Dancin’ Eel, The Pork-O, do I need to continue will all the lousy products he has endorsed?


2. Beat Charlie Moore – Has there ever been a more annoying host in Bass Fishing Television history?  I like the concept of the show, but it really seems like they pick some chumps for him to fish against.  What is with the challenges at the end of the show?  Why don’t they just keep showing the fishing part?  It gets great ratings for some reason and now we have lost quality shows like Schooled by Denny Brauer and Loudmouth Bass because people for some reason cannot take their eyes of the train wreck that is Beat Charlie Moore!


1. Fishing with Orlando Wilson – I am not sure why, but from my early years of watching fishing shows on TNN, I have always hast this show.  I believe there was a annoying intro the show and he rarely had any good info to share about bass fishing.  He also put me to sleep, but I would usually change the channel first.

Review the my Top 10 Favorite Shows
Agree to disagree?  Let me know your thoughts.  Did I dis one of your favorites or did a leave a dud off my list?


New World Record Bass?

25.1lbs smashes the previous record of 22.25 held for so many years by Bob Crupi.  This is an exciting turn of events, but because of the World Record or the myriad of odd circumstances that may jeopardize the catch’s chance of being accepted by the IGFA (International Game Fish Association, the most-recognized keeper of angling records).  See the full article on ESPN.

Why does it seem that every time a potential world record is caught, that is must be muddled in controversy?  This one was foul hooked, weighed on a hand held scale, and released live.  I am sure this will get plenty of attention in the coming days & weeks.  One way or the other, that is one monster of a bass being held in that picture.  Could you even imagine?
Additional Article

I do not think the question should be whether or not the world record will fall someday, the question is will it fall in a clear, no doubt, manner that will satisfy everyone?
What are your thoughts on this latest catch?

Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog

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Rayburn Wrap-up & Amistad in Pictures

Hack Attack conquers at Sam Rayburn, 20 bass for 79lb 10oz.  Dean Rojas was the only one that really challenged him after 4 days of competition (75-13).  From what I read & saw on BassCenter, he was fishing in heavy wood cover for most of the tournament.  I guess his former profession has a logger, may have paid dividends in this tournament

Also here you will find pictures from the final day weigh-in at Lake Amistad, you will not see these anywhere else.





I hope you enjoyed these pictures off our group’s digital cameras.,

Rumble at Rayburn

The final 50 are out on Sam Rayburn Reservoir today battling to get into the Elite 12 and fish on Sunday, led by KVDKevin VanDam is fishing better than anyone else right now, he has been in the Top 10 in his last 8 tournaments, which have been  against the top competition the sport has to offer (Elite 50s, Classics, Elite Series) This is not Lake Amistad, but there are some good solid bags crossing the scales.  I think the bags are good considering all the tournament pressure Rayburn is receiving due to the dangerously low waters at nearby Toledo Bend Reservoir.  2004 Classic Champ Takahiro Omori made the largest push with his 20-12 limit, that is the biggest of the tournament.

KVD made a big mistake yesterday as he flipped a 5lb fish into the boat and came unhooked and went right out the other side of his boat.  They aired it on BassCenter this morning.  I think this will shape up to a very exciting tournament, just look at the names that are currently in the Top 12.

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

1.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, Mich.       10  39-06  305
  Day 1: 5   22-01    Day 2: 5   17-05  
2.  Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu, Ariz.     10  39-03  295
  Day 1: 5   21-00    Day 2: 5   18-03  
3.  Greg Hackney           Gonzales, La.          10  38-15  295    $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   22-02    Day 2: 5   16-13  
4.  John Crews             Salem, Va.             10  37-09  282
  Day 1: 5   20-06    Day 2: 5   17-03  
4.  Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, Ala.    10  37-09  282
  Day 1: 5   18-03    Day 2: 5   19-06  
6.  Edwin Evers            Talala, Okla.          10  37-03  276
  Day 1: 5   20-12    Day 2: 5   16-07  
7.  Takahiro Omori         Emory, Texas           10  36-06  272    $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-00    Day 2: 5   20-06  
8.  Matt Reed              Madisonville, Texas    10  35-15  268
  Day 1: 5   17-04    Day 2: 5   18-11  
9.  John Murray            Phoenix, Ariz.         10  34-14  264
  Day 1: 5   20-11    Day 2: 5   14-03  
10. Skeet Reese            Auburn, Calif.         10  34-09  260
  Day 1: 5   19-03    Day 2: 5   15-06  
11. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, Ark.      10  34-03  257
  Day 1: 5   14-04    Day 2: 5   19-15  
12. Michael Iaconelli      Runnemede, N.J.        10  34-00  252
  Day 1: 5   21-08    Day 2: 5   12-08  

On another not, did you call catch the airing of the Bassmasters today on ESPN2?  It was amazing to see the big fish lost by some of the anglers.  What a giant that Hackney lost and Ish made some big mistakes and still crushed the lb mark and took home the victory.  I think there is a pretty good chance the Elite Series will be on Amistad in 2007

Still another month of ice in MN,

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 

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