I first met Ronnie Moore at the Elite Series event on the Delaware River in 2014. I needed a ride to the ramp one morning and somehow ended up in the passenger seat of Ronnie’s silver pickup, where I was treated to a 75 mile per hour run up the road, dodging early commuters and running up on a sidewalk or two as we hauled the mail to get there in time for blast-off.
At the 2005 Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, the suits at ESPN decided that more media coverage is always better media coverage, so they attempted to shove two writers in certain competitors’ boats on a single day. Aaron Martens, who is known to be pretty obsessive about the weight of his boat, flipped out. Not only would his ride be slower, but it would be more cramped, too. He appealed to Rick Clunn for advice.
Last year KVD won an Elite Series event at Toledo Bend with 96 pounds of bass. This year John Murray won there with 77-plus. Some pros attribute the drop-off to the fact that this year the derby took place a month earlier, when the fish were in a funky in-between stage. Others say it was because of a change in the vegetation. But there has also been lots of grumbling that the fish population is not what it was.
Three tournaments into the Elite Series season and newcomer Jamie Hartman is sitting pretty in 10th place in the AOY race, thanks largely to top three finishes at both Cherokee and Toledo Bend, two wildly disparate lakes. Hartman’s story is a good one, not only because he’s a 40-something northeasterner bashing into a circuit where rookies are still largely younger and more southern, but also because he pretty much bet the farm on this as a career – selling almost everything, putting the rest in storage, breaking up with the girlfriend and couch surfing his way to this point.
At the first Grand Lake Classic, when it was 19 degrees, I learned about the value of a Stormr cold weather suit.At the most recent Hartwell Classic, when it was 13 degrees and a number of boats were still stuck to the trailers, I learned that a Thermacare adhesive heating pad, stuck to your lower back, will work wonders.
Back in December I wrote a column arguing that the return of David Fritts to B.A.S.S. tour-level competition would be a story to watch in 2017, and then I more or less forgot about it. To be honest, given the Crankmaster’s most recent FLW campaigns, I figured there was a better than even chance that he’d end up as roadkill against the Palaniuks and Jordan Lees of the world. Nothing against the guy, whose credentials more than speak for themselves, and with whom I’ve spent some time in the boat, but this a take-no-prisoners league.
This week Lowrance announced the introduction of their HDS-16 Carbon graph, which, as the name suggests, will feature a 16-inch display. Even though I’ve always wanted to be an architect, I’ll have to take their word for it when they say that this unit “gives anglers the equivalent of four seven-inch screens on a single display.”