Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Website for New Pro Products

This spring I posted about the VT-2 livewell system (Click here to read).  This week launched a new responsive website.  It is now easier to find out more about this great product.  The website is colorful and easy to navigate.  Everything you need to know about the products is there at the click of a mouse.

I have used the VT-2 system this tournament season.  I can’t say enough about how happy I am with it.   I only wish I had them sooner.  I did lose one fish early this season but it was my fault.  I had my live well system set wrong (I had a new boat and didn’t understand the way Stratos livewells worked) It turned out I had a switch set wrong and the live wells were not full.  The VT-2 system was not at fault, even my pumps were not, it all came down on my shoulders for failing to understand my boats livewell system.

With that said I did have two situations this year where I ran my battery dead and had to turn my pumps off.  I was able to turn them back on after I made a run to charge the battery some, but I truly believe having the VT-2’s helped keep those fish alive during these situations.  In both situations I was able to keep the fish alive and because of it I was in the money.  I don’t believe I would have brought all my fish to the weigh-in alive without the VT-2’s. 

If you have lost fish this tournament season and are looking for a cost effective way to keep your fish alive look into the VT-2 system.  If you want that extra layer of protection for your catch, look into the VT-2’s.  I personally will never own another boat without them. 

Make sure you go check out the new, New Pro Products website.  Find out why the VT-2 is right for you.  Read over the testimonials, watch the install video and see how easy they are to install.  I doubt any angler would ever regret buying a set of VT-2’s; you will regret not buying them.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Don’t Count Out KVD Just Yet

Perhaps you missed it, if so KVD will not be fishing at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.  Yes that’s right the 4 time Classic winner is not going to be fishing for his 5th title.  If you follow other writers many have said Kevin is in the twilight of his career.  This is the beginning of the end for the 7 time AOY?

By finishing 53rd in the AOY standing Kevin did not qualify for the Classic.  George Kramer wrote: “You have just witnessed the end of the dominance and uncanny consistency of the guy who once made every right decision and out-worked virtually every other competitor.” 

In a article we learn just how close KVD came to making the Classic: “If VanDam had caught just one additional 2 1/2-pound bass, he would have made the Top 50.”  One bass was the difference between fishing and working the Expo at the Classic. 

Anyone who follows the Elites will tell you that KVD showed he was human this year.  The cape and super hero costume bearing the KVD logo has been removed.  If we had doubts about KVD being human we witnessed it at the Delaware River event where he failed to weigh-in a bass the first day of competition and only weighed-in 3.6lbs for the tournament, finishing in 97th place.

I don’t believe Kevin is in the twilight of his career; however the sport of bass fishing has changed.  Kevin had a shot at winning Bass Fest, where he fished deep with a hair jig and crankbait.  Isn’t that what we expect Kevin to win with?  When I think back at why I learned how to throw a crankbait it was because KVD was dominating with it.  The name KVD is synonymies with power fishing.  Even though he is a power fishing machine it might take a change to get back on top.

This year a crankbait wasn’t the winning bait week in and week out.  We have seen anglers win on a variety of baits.  In a Bassmaster article Kevin said this: “The fact that I messed it up so bad this year tells me that I need to really re-think how I'm going about these events. "Believe me, I'm going to have a different focus next year."  Does that focus change KVD mentioned have to do with the baits he throws or is it a change in his mind set?   

It sounds like we will soon see a new and improved KVD.  Will it be one who can get back to his winning ways?  Time will only tell.  With two bad years behind him Kevin can rely on the things that got him to where he was or he can evolve and become an even better angler.  Might we see KVD win with a dropshot?  When he does leave the sport will he be known for more then just power fishing?   

It will be odd not seeing KVD on the Classic stage, after 24 straight Classic appearances he is a staple.  I truly believe if KVD can refocus and evolve he will be back on the Classic stage perhaps even raise the Classic trophy for a 5th time.  Despite the fact that he is 46 I don’t think KVD is done.  Yes the Elite field is full of younger anglers but KVD is still driven.

Kevin said it best when talking to Bassmaster: “"I've watched the greatest anglers in the sport rise and fall," VanDam said. "It's inevitable. "I'm just not ready to go away yet."  Don’t count him down and out just yet, maybe, just maybe we have yet to see the best KVD has to offer.
Articles I mention in this post can be view below:
Bassmaster: Click Here
George Kramer: Click Here

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Best Laid Plans

For the last week and a half I have been prepping for a tournament on Gull Lake in south west MI.  I studied maps, I spent time just driving around scanning the lake and yes I fished it some as well.

During this time the smallmouth spawn was going on and tournament after tournament was being held.  The first tournaments winning weight was 22lb of smallmouth.  As the week progressed the weight needed to win dropped to about 18lb.  Beds had been picked over and those that didn’t bite moved off the beds.   

I didn’t think going into Saturday’s tournament based on what I had found I could get 18lb, I felt as if I could catch 12 to 15lb and still be in the hunt for a check.  I was confident that I could catch that kind of weight.  I had a few high percentage areas I felt like I could land a big one and then catch a few keepers to help my bag.

As with all best laid plans it seems it didn’t work out.  The first spot on my list never produced a fish that went longer than 13.5 inches.  I honestly thought most of my weight would come from that spot, I was wrong.  I struggled for 6 hours to catch 7.5lbs, just half of what I thought I could catch.

I know where I went wrong, I kept basically one rod in my hand all day.  The rod and bait I was sure were going to catch me some giant bass.  I never made the adjustment I should have or tried something else when the one lure I though was going to work didn’t work as well as I had planned.

Plans are one thing, but as anglers we need to be willing to ditch a plan in an instant if it’s not working for us.  We have to read the water, the conditions around us and adapt to them.  We can’t force feed a bass something they don’t want to eat.  I struggle with this very concept as I think many anglers do from time to time.  We have to be willing to adjust we can force the fish to.  That was my problem not adjusting like I should have.

Adjusting on the water is what separates those who cash checks and those who don’t.  I’m not saying I would have made the right adjustment, I think I know what I should have done as I look back at the day but I can’t guarantee it would have worked.  Even if I had made an adjustment and it didn’t work I would have been better then never making one in my mind.

I know the areas I struggle in.  I struggle when it comes to changing the game plan I have in place when a tournament starts.  It hurts me every time my plan doesn’t work because I struggle to put away the lure or lures I am using and switching to something else.  As anglers we all need to be willing to give up the game plan we have.  We have to be willing to work on areas we struggle with.  We have to force are selves to grow as anglers.  I should have put the rod down and not allowed myself to pick it up the rest of the day or even put it back in the rod locker so I was forced to fish something else.

I had rotated through all of my spots halfway through the tournament and had 3 fish.  Yes I had caught them on the plan and bait I thought I would, but when things slowed down I tried to force the lure and presentation I wanted.  I didn’t listen to the fish.

The next time you are out fishing a tournament or even fun fishing for that matter if your game plan for the day isn’t working don’t be afraid to change, maybe doing a 180 is the answer.  We have to be willing to adapt and change at a moment’s notice.  When we don’t we are left regretting what we didn’t do.  As much as I personally hate change, when it comes to fishing change is a good thing.   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Installation of V-T2 Livewell System Video

Tournament anglers have two goals when they hit the water.  1) catch 5 legal bass and 2) keep them alive for weigh-in.  Goal number one seems to outweigh goal two in most fishing articles and videos.  Yes catching them has to happen first but keeping them alive is just as important.

A few months ago I wrote about the benefits of adding the V-T2 Livewell System to your boat (read post here).  With Tournament season a mare three days away I finally had a non-rainy cold day to install my V-T2’s. 

The process is simple and painless (assuming you can bring yourself to cut two holes into your bass boat).  The process takes about 15 minutes.  You need a 3” hole saw, a 9/64 drill bit and a 5/16 socket or wrench.   In the video below I used a towel to catch the shavings from drilling the hole.  V-T2 recommends a garbage bag, which after installing my set would have been a better option. 

If you want to find out more about the V-T2 System you can check them out at  The 49.99 you spend might just be the difference between a live bass and a dead one, which could be a check in your pocket.  Make sure you check out the V-T2 System, you don’t want to regret it later.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chris Lane Starts Bassmaster Event in Flames

This morning at the start of the BASSMASTER Elite event on Lake Dardanelle Chris Lane woke up to a miserable morning.  This was taken from

"Chris Lane awoke to a call to move his truck and boat from the hotel parking lot as one of the angler's boats was on fire. It was his.

He watched in horror as the Russellville Fire Department attempted to put it out.

"They got the call at 2:02 a.m. and it was out by 2:20. It didn't want to go out," he said, adding the cause of the fire is being investigated. "I lost pretty much everything. Fortunately, nobody was hurt."

 He can't say enough about everyone who helped him. He was at the launch with Fred Roumbanis' old boat, which now has Jodie Haralson's name on the wrap.

 During launch, anglers were still offering him tackle. He thanked them and said he would be OK.

 "The boat's a total loss. There's no reason to tow it home," he said.

 Lane was still working on getting the electronics set up on the loaner as the last of the Elites blasted off.

 "It is what it is. You have to make due," he said”

There are conflicting reports Jeremy Starks posted on Facebook this morning: “Someone broke into Chris Lanes boat then burned it last night. Lost all of his tackle. Wish him luck today.”

Whatever the cause it was a tuff start to his day.  Despite this Lane has to put it behind him and fish today.  I am sure more details will be given after the investigation has happened.  If his tackle was stolen and boat set on fire I hope they catch those responsible.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Is Keith Combs The Best In Texas?

Keith Combs has set records in the Texas Toyota Bass Classic (TTBC) over the last few years.  Last year when he won his 2nd TTBC title, he was the first angler to repeat as champion.  After winning again over the weekend he has now won 3 TTBC titles and is in a league of his own. 

This year Combs did it in dramatic fashion on Lake Fork with a weight of 110lbs for a 3 day tournament.  Being the 2nd time in his career he has broken the century mark.  In 2013 at the “Elite Series Rigid Industries Falcon Slam,” Combs weighed in 111lb over 4 days.

 When you do the math Combs bass averaged 7.33lb pounds this year in the TTBC.  That right there says something about Lake Fork, the lake proved it is still one of the best bass lakes in America.  Being a guide on Lake Fork most likely helped him in understanding the lake.  This weekend Combs proved he knows how to find and catch big bass in Texas.

When you look at Combs career in B.A.S.S. he only has the one win on Falcon but in other tournaments held in Texas by B.A.S.S. he has cashed a check with the exception of the first B.A.S.S. Open on Lake Amistad this year.

Looking at Combs record with FLW as well you see the same pattern when he is on Texas lakes.  Combs continually cashed checks.  Time and again is in contention to win the event as well.  The one lake that stands out as his achilles heel seems to be Amistad.

Combs talent on Texas water cannot be over looked.  He understands the water and the bass in his home state.  I would say it is safe to say that he will be a front runner next year to win the TTBC once again.  If they move the event to Amistad I might not say that with his results on that lake.

Truth be told Combs is a great TTBC champion and I think over the last four years he has helped the
event.  In 2011 Combs won by beating Mike Iaconelli in a sudden death fish off.  In 2013 he won by 12lbs leading all 3 days of the tournament.  He capped it off this year with his 110lbs of bass.  Even though he didn’t win in 2012, he finished 3rd in the TTBC.  The run Combs is on in the TTBC event is reminiscent of KVD’s run at the classic in 2010 and 2011.

As I followed the TTBC this weekend I could help but wonder what Combs might have done in the MLF event in Denton Texas that is currently being aired.  Would he have put a smack down on the field like KVD did in the Alpena MI event?  Personally I would have liked to see Combs be part of the MLF field in Denton TX.  It would be interesting to see how Combs would do on Texas waters in the MLF format where the anglers don’t know where they are going and are not given an practice time.  

Keith Combs is a force to be reckoned with in TX and he has proven it time and again.  If the TTBC wants a new champion my suggestion would be to move the event to Amistad, but I said it once and I’ll say it again I think Combs has been good for the TTBC.  I think it is safe to say he has not held the TTBC trophy for the last time.  The TTBC is right in his wheelhouse and it seems like it was almost made for him.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Misfire Leads to FLW Win

From FLW Website
Jonathan Henry won the FLW Rayovac event on Lake Guntersville on April 26th.  On the last day Henry weighted in 30.14lbs, the heaviest bag of the tournament.  He fished bridges and community holes on his way to the win.  FLW told of his winning bait like this: “Most of his damage was done on a 6-inch Scottsboro Tackle Company Fringe swimbait in a color called “shad # 1” tied to 20-pound test Gamma fluorocarbon line.”

What you don’t know is the rest of the story about the swimbait that help Henry win.  The following is from Fringe Tackle Companies Facebook page:

“Here's the story on the bait that won so you get it straight from the source. On April 5th I posted a
From Fringe Tackle Companies Facebook page
picture of the bait along the lines that it was a good bait but I wanted a mulligan. It was what I term a color misfire where it didn't achieve the illusion I was trying to. Truth be told I wasn't even going to finish putting eyes on them. At some point shortly after I offered them to Scottsboro Tackle as a "one of" not to be duplicated. Jonathan Henry got them from Scottsboro not me directly (I've never spoken to him) Then Saturday happens which causes me a panic because as is my norm when I have a misfire I put the recipe in a pile of to be "thrown away" papers, I do this so they don't get mixed with "good" recipes. Luckily I found the recipe and that's what I duplicated for Scottsboro under the "Basswhacker Shad" I pictured yesterday. There you have it, the bait was in a word a "dud" to me...a $40K dud that under normal circumstances I would've probably not sold but Scottsboro said they'd take them so they actually deserve credit for taking a chance on it. Just one of those flukes that happens in life...who'd a thought..”

A simple “misfire” led Henry to a win on Guntersville.  “Just one of those flukes that happens in life,” is an understatement.  Anglers should learn from this, a simple not what I was looking for, lead to a bait that won.  Just because we think something won’t work doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a try.  If you think there’s a chance it might, even a small chance, give it a shot.  You don’t have to commit to it forever but pick it up and try it for a few minutes, you never know a misfire might lead to something big, just ask Fringe Tackle and Scottsboro Tackle Shop.

From Fringe Tackle Companies Facebook page: Swimbaits
being shipped to Scottsboro Tackle Company 
If you are looking for the winning bait you are going to have to wait, they are currently sold out at Scottsboro Tackle.  You can get on the waiting list from what I understand.

You can find Scottsboro Tackle Company on line at

Fringe Tackle Company can be found at
You can read the whole story about the tournament on Guntersville HERE.