Monday, February 23, 2009

Skeet Reese is the 2009 Bassmaster Classic Champion!!

Skeet ReeseAs most of you already know, California's Skeet Reese won the most prestigious title in bass fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. The Red River proved to be an excellent fishery, but it wasn't easy. The 51 anglers in this competition all had to overcome harsh weather along with the gnarly backwaters to even have a chance at being a top competitor in this event. Skeet was able to hold off the field with a three day total weight of 54-13 and barely held off a charging Mike Iaconelli who brought 20-3 to the scales the final day for a three day limit of 54-2.

Skeet stayed in pool 5 for the final day to maximize his fishing time. He was targeting shallow wood by throwing a Lucky Craft Redemption Spinnerbait and then slowing down by flippin' a Berkley Crazy legs Chigger Craw directly to the cover. In the end the decisions were perfect and Skeet took home his first Classic title and added it to an already impressive resume that also includes the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year title.

All in all, my fantasy team did pretty good. I'm involved in three different leagues and I'm in the top 90%+ in all of them. Mike Iaconelli took 2nd, Kelly Jordan 10th, Terry Fitzpatrick 17th, Greg Hackney 20th, and the biggest surprise Kevin Van Dam missed the cut and finished in a disappointing 30th place. Next up for the Elite Series is hog heaven AKA Lake Amistad. I'm expecting a big time showdown on one of the best lunker lakes in the world.

I have to be honest, all this fishing has got me completely antsy to get out on the water. The problem is all the lakes in Minnesota are frozen shut and the bass fishing season ended yesterday and doesn't reopen until the end of May. My wait will be short lived however, I'll be heading to Oklahoma's Grand Lake the start of April, and then I get back for an early Spring tourney in Iowa on Lake Okoboji and then a few in Wisconsin on the Mississippi River. Then I have a full schedule from there. I'm anxiously awaiting the 2010 Bassmaster Opens schedule to be released. My lifelong goal isn't to be watching the Bassmaster Elite Series and Classic, but instead to be competing in it. The vast majority of competitors qualified for that level by doing well in the Opens. I'll be fishing either the Central or the Northern Opens, possibly both if the schedule permits. I can't wait!

I have to admit though the time off is much needed. I have been sorting threw all my tackle along with my rods and reels getting it all ready for the upcoming season. I'm also in the process of upgrading somethings on my boat. I'm looking at adding a new Lowrance HDS unit to the console of my boat and I'm awaiting the arrival of my new Power Pole, as well as making plans to have a Loc-R-Bar installed to protect all my equipment on overnight stays. To much to do and so little time!

Congrats to Skeet Reese, the 2009 Bassmaster Classic Champion!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gearing up for the BASSMASTER Classic!

The top 51 bass anglers along with Louisiana's Red River are getting ready to throw down this weekend at the BASSMASTER Classic. The Classic in my mind is the most prestigious bass tournament available. We're talking about the best going against the best and there is no better place to do it than the Red River. I'm expecting the weights to be pretty high for this tourney. The time of year is setting up a great prespawn bite and reaction style baits should just be the thing going. Consider those two alone and it should be obvious that the big girls will be biting. They are reporting a pretty dramatic cold front moving in but I see that as only helping insure bigger stringers. Anglers are reporting some good fish being caught shallow, showing that indeed the first wave of spawners are moving up. When this cold front moves in I would bet that they move back out to deeper water. The front won't be drastic enough to effect the deeper fish, meaning the bite should be steady and all the good ones will be schooled up together waiting to move up. Get on a good school and the possibility of a 20+ stringer becomes a lot more likely.

Going with that way of thinking, I have selected a pretty solid group of power fisherman to lead my Fantasy Fishing campaign. Of course I sold out and picked Kevin Van Dam as my first pick. I'm a firm believer in the phrase,"the numbers never lie". Take into consideration that KVD has finished no worse than 5th in his last 5 Classics, that includes to seconds and a first. Not to mention he's coming of his 4th season as Angler of the Year and not only has the one Classic win from '05, but also has another one from the '01 Classic on the Louisiana Delta. I'd be stupid not to have him as a starter. I'm expecting KVD to contend for this years title. The scary part for the other 50 is that, he expects to win it.

I also added Mike Iaconelli to the starting roster. Ike has both an Angler of the Year and a Classic victory to his resume. He's no stranger to winning big events and Louisiana seems to set up nicely for the New Jersey native. ESPN reports that he's claiming he's on 'em good, even going as far as saying he has a "magical area". This doesn't fair well with his competition, because a confident Mike Iaconelli is a tough one to beat. I'm sure we'll be hearing A LOT of what Ike has to say this weekend!

I also went with Lake Fork's own, Kelly Jordan. Kelly is a great fisherman, that often excels in deeper water but he's also known for catching big ones in and around the spawn. Plus he quotes the Red River as "being in his own backyard". Jordan is one of my favorite anglers on the tour and I'm thinking we will be watching him put in work on the final day.

When I think of Louisiana and bass fishing the name Greg Hackney instantly comes to mind. You would naturally think the Red River would be considered his home lake, that isn't the case at all. In fact he has spent very little time fishing this body of water. Don't let that fool you, he still knows Louisiana fishing, and the Hack Attack also knows how to work a jig for gorilla bass. Add in a cold front and schooled up toads, you can expect the bayou fisherman to have heavily stuffed livewells.

My dark horse pick goes to Iowa's Terry Fitzpatrick. This is a river rat true and true. Terry qualified through the BASS Federation Nation, and although this is the biggest tournament he has ever been involved in, I expect to see some surprising results. He understands current and he's proven at running extensive backwaters in search of good fish. If he keeps his nerves under control I wouldn't put it past Terry to contend against the very best.

Also for those of you that are not signed up yet be sure you do it very soon. Click here to be directed to the BASS Fantasy Fishing Page to register and put in your starting lineup. Also once registered look for teams like Tackle Warehouse to join. Their giving away tackle, rods, reels, and gift certificates. Be sure to tune into ESPN2 on both Saturday morning and evening for highlights of both days 1 and 2. Then absolutely make sure your tuned in Sunday evening for the third and final day highlights and see who gets to be titled World Bass Champion!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tackle Update: Introduces their New Tungsten Football Jig

I'm really excited about the new products that have recently been added to the Tacklesmith line of products. is a tackle distributor that only sells non lead based lures. They carry companies like Tru Tungsten, Keitech, Zappu Inchi, and River to Sea, but to be honest, it's their own line that's getting all the buzz. I recently started employing the Tacklesmith Tube Jig for all my tube style applications for smallmouth bass. Instead of using lead, a known toxin to our waters, they made them from a bismuth/tin alloy. More often than not you fish these rigs with the hook exposed and considering that most of the good smallie areas are on beautiful rock piles, snags are going to be inevitable. I can't even imagine how many lead jigs are scattered across the rock flats on Lakes Mille Lacs, or worse yet, Lake Erie. By using bismuth, tin and tungsten in their products they are doing there part to insure our lakes and rivers stay healthy.

Anyone that's read my blog knows that I'm a giant fan of tungsten in my baits. Tungsten just offers so many advantages when fishing. It's a harder and heavier metal, that offers smaller profiles, while also producing more noise underwater attracting fish to the bait. The only downfall is the price and with the addition of companies like Tacklesmith the price is starting to come down.

Very recently Tacklesmith added a tungsten composite 1/2 ounce football jig to their lineup. This is something I have been begging for in the past and was just shocked that no companies could put two and two together. Until now. The Tacklesmith Bronzeback Football Jig is the first I have found of it's kind. I recently received one to try out and am really excited about the possibilities this jig will provide. I throw football jigs as often as possible, pulling up giant bass form the deeper depths. The key is feeling the bottom for key changes in the structure. A lot of the times I'm looking for small rock piles that are holding schools of lunker largemouth and smallmouth bass. The key is to finding the sweet spot. The advantage of a tungsten head over lead is the head of the jig is smaller than your average lead jig of it's same weight, producing less hang ups. Also there is much more density to tungsten, this produces more sensitivity making it easier to feel the bottom and detecting subtle bites.

The jigs comes skirtless so you can easily thread up a double tail grub. I took the liberty to tie up a custom skirt made of silicone and round rubber. I also added a tungsten rattle and a Gary Yamamoto Double Tail Grub. The results are great. I can't wait for my upcoming trip to Grand Lake, Oklahoma! These jigs are going to cash me some serious paychecks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Welcoming Home the Newest Member of the House, Kigen

Finally! He's here. Last Monday, Bri and I picked up our new puppy, a 9 week old rottweiler named Kigen. Kigen is awesome! He's been adjusting great. Bri has got him on an all raw meat diet. Something that is proven to help the age long health of dogs. I do encourage any dog owners to take a look into it sometime if they haven't already.

With the new addition I haven't had the chance to get out fishing, which worked out perfectly since the high all week has been hovering right around 15, but that's all about to change starting tomorrow when it's supposed to hit 40 and then is offering highs in 30's the rest of the week. I'm planning on heading up to northern Minnesota for a largemouth slug fest on open water! A warm water discharge keeps the water from freezing so don't think I sold out to drilling holes!

After talking with my buddy Rich Lindgren about the ridiculously good outing he had there last weekend, I decided to put down my light smallie gear and bust out the serious ammo. In Rich's most recent blog entry, he talked about sticking quality largemouths with baits like Tru Tungsten Jigs, Basstrix Paddle Tail Tubes and even Tru Tungsten swimbaits! Not many people can say that in Minnesota, at least not in February when 99% of our lakes and rivers are covered in at least 2 feet of ice. So after listening to all that non sense I was quickly making plans to do just the same. I mean come on, it ain't no fun if the homies can't get none, right? I'll be sure to give a full report when I get back.

I also plan on getting out and exercising some smallies on Sunday. Last Saturday, Seth Fieder and I caught somewhere between 75 and 100 quality smallies in just a few short hours of fishing. We didn't even make our first casts till right around 11 in the afternoon. We caught our first dozen using tubes, grubs and darters. Later in the afternoon we revived the bite by throwing dropshots rigged with 4" Jackall Cross Tail Shads (Green Pumpkin). As the afternoon wore on I started nailing the bigger schools with a Biovex Real Craw (Green Pumpkin) and 3" YUM tube, rigged with an environmental friendly 1/8 oz. Tacklesmith Tube Jig, made of bismuth. We never did catch one over 4 pounds but we did get real close a few times. Hopefully on Sunday I'll get a 5! Wish me luck.

For more information on raw diets for your dogs, please feel free to email myself or Bri at, or if you live in the Twin Cities here's a link to Raws for Paws.

Blog Archive