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POP-ULAR PRACTICE - Tom Monsoor Shares His Thoughts on Surface Baits

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By David  A. Brown

March 10, 2014

The folks that make those decadent peanut butter cups tell us “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reece’s.” Well, FLW Tour Pro Tom Monsoor holds a similar view of topwater lures.

Last fall, when Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits debuted a new line of hard baits, Monsoor was particularly enamored with the Shibuki popper and Tate' walking bait. Impeccable quality and detail offered exciting new tools for which Monsoor had wide-reaching plans.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:33 Read more...
 

Behind the Scenes with a Classic Champ

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By Pete Robbins


March 5, 2014

Heading toward the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, I reported that Randy Howell’s son Laker had asked him an important question: “Are you going to be able to hold that big Bassmaster Classic trophy up?”

A year later, father provided son with a definitive answer -- he can.

At this point, we’ve gotten that answer with our own eyes, but if the younger Howell has any remaining doubts, all he needs to do is take dad to the mantle of their Alabama home, where Randy can show off the guns again and again and again. He’ll reign for a year, but the trophy will stay forever.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 11:40 Read more...
 

Crappie Corner - Long-Lining in Warmer Water

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By Tim Huffman

March 3, 2014

Southern fishermen can use these tactics now but Northern fishermen need to plan on trying them in a few months. Moderate water temperatures and active fish equals good long-lining.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 09:37 Read more...
 

Hawk Talk - Ready to Start the Season

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March 4, 2014

I’m only a few weeks away from the first Elite Series tournament of the 2014 season and I feel overwhelmed.  I’ve done my best to prepare and stay organized, but I’m scrabbling to finalize sponsorship contracts, wrapping my boat, and dialing in all of my equipment before the season starts. I’m also in the process of moving into a new house, which has added some pressure.  Despite the chaos, I know I’ll be ready for Lake Seminole on March 13th.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 15:00 Read more...
 

Guntersville Storms Could Throw Anglers a Curveball in Classic’s Opening Day

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By Alan Clemons

February 21, 2014

 

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Last night definitely was not how the 55 anglers in
this weekend’s Bassmaster Classic on Guntersville Lake wanted to spend their
evening — watching weather reports about severe thunderstorms, rain and a
cold front dropping temperatures by 20 or more degrees.
What started out earlier this week as high hopes for a sunny, even warm
Classic on the famed Tennessee River impoundment now becomes a series of
questions. Will the weather affect the fish? Will they still bite as well as expected?
Will the barometric pressure changes mess up things too badly? How about the
wind that gusted up to 40 mph or more over the lake?
No one knows what will happen until reports start rolling in Friday. The line of
thunderstorms built midday Thursday in east Texas, with warm Gulf of Mexico air
colliding with a collapsing cold front from the Midwest. By 7 p.m., a hard line had
formed from Louisiana to Kentucky and north Alabama was in the crosshairs.
Already it had been a tough practice. Despite the typical sandbagging that goes
on for tournaments, not to mention big championships, Yamamoto pro-staffers
were cautiously optimistic.
“It was a tough few days of practice, it really was,” said Alabama veteran Randy
Howell, who lives about an hour south of the lake. “The water was cold on the
weekend and it was not as good as expected. Plus, we’ve lost a lot of grass due
to cold water and current this winter.
“Somewhere in the 8-10 foot range, yeah, you probably could do well and if we
get the warming trend continuing that will make them more active and wanting to
feed. It was about 42 degrees last weekend on the main river and they weren’t as
active.”
Yusuke Miyazaki of Texas said he may be targeting shallow bass if he feels
comfortable enough with water temperatures. His arsenal will include Daiwa hard
baits and a vibrating jig with a 3.5-inch Swim Senko. If the bite gets tough, he
could patiently work a Senko.
Miyazaki lives on Lake Athens, which he says is similar to Guntersville in many
ways. That gives him confidence to not only fish well, but also be relaxed due
to the vegetation and amount of practice he did on Athens to stay tuned in. He
has had two top-12s and three top-20s on Guntersville, and this is his second
Classic.
The 55 Classic anglers all have a game plan, including a Plan B. They won’t
be flying by the seat of their pants today. But, after last night’s harsh storms,
they will be more tuned in to adjusting for runoff, muddy water, colder water and
whatever else is going on. Making the adjustments and staying in the chase is
critical.
“With the warm-up we had, the lipless bite would be a big deal and maybe a
Senko,” Howell said. “Some big fish could be shallow, too. But there’s a lot of
guessing and speculating until you get out there and see what’s going on.”
It’s been 10 years since Takahiro Omori, also of Texas, claimed his Classic
championship on Lake Wylie. He fished solidly the first two days and was right
there in the hunt, and on the final day in the final hour had a flurry of square-bill
crankbait activity that sealed the deal.
This week, Omori said he’ll probably throw some Lucky Craft square-bill cranks
and Daiwa lipless cranks. The latter traditionally is hot on Guntersville this time of
year, in a red-gold color, but the square-bill could scare up a big bite or two.
Omori said he’ll also be working a jig with a Yamamoto double-tail grub as a
trailer. Despite any warm-up conditions, the big jig also is a reliable go-to bait
here. Omori said he may have to work on being patient, though, dragging the jig,
as he likes fishing fast and moving around.
Howell is thrilled that Guntersville is host to the championship. It’s only the
second time here; the first was in 1976, won by Rick Clunn. Some have tabbed
Howell as a favorite or “one to watch” but he just takes it in stride.
“It’s cool, having a place where fish will be caught and records set and you could
be part of history if you find them,” he said. “But it’s also a little stressful because
you can’t just have a decent bag of fish and do well. You have to catch them
here.”

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Last night definitely was not how the 55 anglers inthis weekend’s Bassmaster Classic on Guntersville Lake wanted to spend their evening — watching weather reports about severe thunderstorms, rain and a cold front dropping temperatures by 20 or more degrees.

What started out earlier this week as high hopes for a sunny, even warm Classic on the famed Tennessee River impoundment now becomes a series of questions. Will the weather affect the fish? Will they still bite as well as expected? Will the barometric pressure changes mess up things too badly? How about the wind that gusted up to 40 mph or more over the lake?

Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 05:17 Read more...
 


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