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Pete Weighs In

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Be sure to check the "Article Archive" on the home page for blogs prior to 2010. There's a mess of 'em!

PWI Patch = WINNING

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August 2, 2011

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Ott Defoe.

8 letters.

1 patch.

One hundred thousand clams.

You do the math.

Can you afford to NOT wear the patch?

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 08:18
 

Cali-Bama Dreamin’

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August 1, 2011

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California knows how to party, California knows how to party
In the city of L.A, in the city of good ol' Watts
In the city, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin', we keep it rockin'

Our friends in California often complain that they don’t get due respect in the world of fishing – despite the fact that they may be the greatest net exporter of fishing knowledge and fishing talent anywhere in the United States. On top of that, they’ve given us 27 Skeet Reese inspired hairdos and the California Pizza Kitchen.

It's all good, from Diego to tha Bay
Your city is tha bomb if your city makin' pay
Throw up a finger if ya feel the same way
Dre puttin' it down for California

Without the help and mad photography skillz of California’s Erick Prado, this blog would have been dormant on more than one occasion. He’s gotten pics of the PWI patch with everyone from KVD to BDO (that’s Gary Dobyns, to the uneducated). Until now, I’ve been convinced that he’s the number one patch maggot bird dog to ever walk the earth, his skills never to be eclipsed. Should I ever be unable to complete my limited duties here, we’d have to change “Pete Weighs In” to “Prado Weighs in.”

Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreamin'
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I'm hearin' hooches screamin'

This past week another Californian stepped up to the plate and went yard. Longtime friend and PWI supporter Tom Leogrande made the cross-country trip from the left coast to Alabama for the BASS All-Star festivities. Most importantly, he brought the patch…and he put it on a fricking hat!

Say what you say but give me that bomb beat from Dre
Let me serenade the streets of L.A. from Oakland to Sack town
The Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put they mack down, give me love

There’s room for two VPs in the PWI media domination empire. If Prado’s my enforcer, Tommy boy can be my consigliere.

Uh, yeah, uh, long beach in tha house, uh yeah
Oak town, Oakland definitely in tha house, ha ha ha
Frisco, Frisco, hey, you know L.A. is up in this
Pasadena, where you at
Yeah, Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good

Speaking of “up to no good,” pictured here is an angler who has probably been the subject of more of my writing than anyone else on tour – Amart. It’s not a man crush, not quite a bromance, but still, I’m fascinated by him. No other angler has demonstrated as much personality as Martens, both on and off the water. From hair jigs to horsey heads, he’s an innovator. Maybe Clunn’s personality was equally distinct back in the day, but the media saturation that we have today didn’t exist in his heyday, so we have no TV/internet/blogging record of just how revolutionary he was. I’m convinced that Ike’s actions are genuine, but he’s always aware that the camera is there. Martens, on the other hand, would probably have the same dialogue (monologues?) whether he’s talking to the TV camera, the press, a group of corporate executives or his kids. To thine own self be true.

Most importantly, he rocks the solar sombrero and sun gloves unironically. If only we could get him to sew a PWI patch on his jersey.

Yeah, that's right
West coast, west coast
Uh, California love
California love

--“California Love” (Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre)

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Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2011 14:29
 

Brown is the New Black

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July 28, 2011

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In case you haven’t noticed, members of the tackle industry thrive on copying one another. It’s not just reverse-engineering of the Senko, Sweet Beaver and squarebill, though – it’s also about language. You’ve gotta use the buzzwords if you want to be considered a serious player.

Last year, all of the tackle manufacturers were keyed in on crankbaits. Our squarebill, they'd say, is special because it "hunts" or because of its incredible "deflection" qualities. Those terms are still in vogue, of course. Since KVD won the 2011 Bassmaster Classic on the aptly-named KVD crank, every plug whittler from here to Juneau has spent his time, energy and money creating the ultimate crank of his own. Someone should just build one and call it the "Hunting Deflector" and be done with it.

But now a new piece of jargon has emerged. Just about every major manufacturer has added a frog to their lineup. If you want to converse with the cool kids, here's the line you need to use: "Our frog has a bottom shaped like the keel of a boat, which makes it walk more easily." Trust me on this one.


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On Top of the World

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July 27, 2011

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Do you remember the scene in the movie "Big" where Josh Baskin (played by Tom Hanks) tells a female admirer who wants to sleep over that she's welcome to do so "but I get to be on top"? (Baskin, 13 years old but trapped in the body of an adult, was referring to his bunk beds)

Hollywood legend tells us that the line was inspired by Zell Rowland.


Everything the dude does is somehow related to being on top.


Another rumor I heard from a semi-reliable source tells me that Zell was kicked off of his high school swim team because instead of swimming in a straight line down the lane, he either bloop-bloop-blooped forward or walked the dog right into the next competitor.


Whether or not those stories are true, I'm sure he's caught more fish on the surface on odd-numbered Thursdays in the month of June than I'll catch in my entire life. I'm still waiting on the custom-sanded Pop-R he promised me at Kentucky Lake a few years ago, but pending the delivery of that package by UPS I'll gladly welcome him on the PWI team.


 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 08:34
 

Good Golly!

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July 25, 2011

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I've never fished with Shaw Grigsby, but everyone I know who has spent a day in the boat with him has raved about it. "It's like fishing with your long lost best friend," is a common refrain. My friend Bill practiced with him one day on the California Delta and didn't catch a single bass, but went on and on about how much fun he had.

Here's the cool thing: Shaw Grigsby is a GRANDFATHER.


I can only imagine being 5 years old and being woken up by the mop-topped angler like this: "Let's go eat some fruity pebbles and watch cartoons, then go out and jack some 10-pounders off the beds with some super-sharp Laser Trokar hooks!" (normally I hate the use of exclamation points, but in this case I think one is warranted).


Ponce de Leon made it to Florida in his search for the Fountain of Youth. He must not have looked in Gainesville, because we've got some
prima facie evidence right here that that's where it exists.

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Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 09:21
 

Lure name for the taking

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July 21, 2011

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The lobbyists for toads really need to get to work. Look at the coverage of ICAST and you’ll see that there are frogs everywhere, but the lowly toad has been relegated to second class status. I have a plan for Buzz Frog resuscitation, though:

Someone needs to come out with a humpbacked buzz frog and call it the "Camel Toad." I nominate Andre Moore. He'd have a field day with that one. I can think of 20 names for colors off the top of my head that are unprintable in the Inside Line but could see daylight on soft bait packaging. Andre, call me if you want to get started on this project.

I’m not going to tell you the ideas Clemons came up with for the bait's legs.

 

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US Open Letdown

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July 20, 2011

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I’ve been fascinated with western bass fishing since I first happened upon an issue of Bass West magazine at a Maryland (?!?!) news stand somewhere in the 1996 or 1997 timeframe. It seemed like the subculture out there had a different language – they talked about reapers and metering your fish and ripbaits – than the one spoken by those of us here in the east. They were also the gateway to Japanese tactics and tackle at a time when most of us hadn’t even heard of Lucky Craft.

The world has grown smaller since then, primarily as a result of the internet. Now a kid sitting in Kentucky or Maine can know the name, specs and application of every swimbait just as soon as the hardcore guy in Cali. But the information age does not appear to have reached WON Bass.

WB conducts one of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing, the US Open, being held on Lake Mead as I type this. It’s been called “the Iditarod of fishing,” and in addition to top western talent it consistently draws a lot of top national sticks to fish it – not just former sons of the west like Gary Klein and Aaron Martens, but also all-world competitors like former winner Rick Clunn. The organization has created a top-flight event, but the way they promote it begs the question: If you held a championship and no one knew about it, does it still exist?

Well, of course it still exists, but does it carry the weight that it should?

Just try to find timely information about the tournament. You can go to their website (www.wonbass.com), but even their in-house promotions don’t tell much of a story. There’s some information there, but it’s not necessarily the amount that I think would befit an event of this magnitude. And their PR staff, if one exists, isn’t farming out the info to the major bass websites. I can understand why BASS and FLW might not cover a competing circuit, but go to BassFan or BassZone or Wired2Fish and there aren’t daily updates. Is there a reason for this? Do they want to keep the event exceptionally exclusive and non-publicized? Somehow I doubt it. An opportunity is being missed.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 12:54
 

Big Man, Big Voice

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July 20, 2011

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At some point in just about every conversation with Gary Dobyns, he’ll stop, catch his breath, and say “I need to get off my soapbox.”

I think that’s the worst part of every conversation with him. Up until then, he’s been chugging along, riffing in stream-of-consciousness fashion about some problem or issue confronting the sport of bass fishing. Just when his passion reaches a crescendo, he gets all self-conscious and pulls back.

That’s not what the sport needs.

The sport needs more people who are willing to go out on a limb, buck convention and shoot a big middle finger when such action is warranted. Kumbaya is good when everything is swimming along with the tide, but there are times when someone, anyone, needs to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Gary is good at that, and he has sufficient on- and off-the-water credibility so that even if you disagree, you have to listen to him.

He makes a pretty damn good rod, too.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 10:19
 

The Patch is Back….and Better Than Ever!

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July 20, 2011

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I was unable to attend ICAST this year, so in my stead I sent Erick Prado, Executive Vice President of the Pete Weighs In Media Empire (cash value of that title: 1/20 of a cent). Once again, he proved that he is the greatest patch maggot picture bird dog in the industry.

In case your eyes have been sealed shut by sexy shad paint, you probably know that the angler pictured here is the Babe Ruth of bass fishing. He’s probably posed for about twenty bajillion pics in his life, one more hackneyed than the next (no offense to Greg Hackney), but Mr. Prado could not be satisfied with a simple “grip and grin.” The composition of this snapshot is brilliant. Let me take you through my own little Zapruder exercise:

First, if I’m not mistaken, that’s Luke Clausen striding into the picture directly behind KVD’s patch-holding hand. A mere coincidence, you say? Hardly. My own personal Ansel Adams planned it that way. It’s a statement if I’ve ever seen one. It screams out that even though Luke has won both the Classic and the Forrest Wood Cup, KVD will do everything in his power to block him from entering his elite circle of competition.

Second, look at the placement of the fingers on the patch. Where the words would normally read “Official Patch Maggot,” KVD has covered up the first two. Now it just says “Maggot.” I’m not sure who that’s directed to, but everything the guy does is purposeful, so it must have some meaning. Is he calling me a maggot? Is he saying that he’s anything but a patch maggot? Erick leaves it all to the viewer’s discretion. Surely future generations of Bass University attendees will spend hours dissecting KVD’s body language and this artiste’s depiction will engender a great deal of scholarly debate.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 10:44
 

Shark Bait?

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July 19, 2011

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I’m still a little bit bitter that I didn’t attend ICAST. On the one hand, no one was going to pay my way and I didn’t have any real assignments for the show, so there was no compelling reason to travel to Vegas. On the other hand, I feel like EVERYONE was there and I missed out on something – and really, who needs a compelling reason to go fondle fishing tackle?

Because I was having withdrawal symptoms, I monitored a lot of the ongoing online coverage of the show. To be honest, a lot of it was pretty boring. Another squarebill? Our frog is better than your frog. Hey look, more tungsten. That type of stuff.

But I found this little nugget on the blog of my friend Jason Bryant, a swimbait representing a puffin.

Who thinks these things up? I’m not sure, but I want whatever’s in the bottom of his tequila bottle.

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