Thursday, February 27, 2014

Strike King and Trokar?

Photo by: Anton McKinney

It would seem that Strike King (Sponsor of KVD) and Trokar have teamed up.  What does this mean for Trokar?  Companies like Rapala use VMC (a brand owned by their parent company) which has put the brand on anglers radar.  I believe that a partnership between Trokar and Strike King just solidifies Trokars stake in the hook world.  Yes a lot of anglers don't care for the hooks (I think they make a quality hook) and the fact that a few years ago they dropped the premium price helped them in the market.  I personally use Strike King lures and will change trebles to Trokar so this is a positive for me.  Some of you won’t like the change but I am sure after seeing how easy it is to set the hook with a Trokar it won’t be an issue.     

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Win a Set of V-T2's

You might have heard about the V-T2's.  If not you can check out their website at or the blog I posted called "Is Your Livewell V-T2?"  The contest will be done on the Chris McDonald Fishing Facebook page.  It will start today 2/25/14 and end next Tuesday 3/4/14.  It will be a simple contest simply like Chris McDonald Fishing's FB page, Like V-T2's FB page and share the original post and make a comment.  If you don't win the V-T2 system I recommend you look into them and add a set to your boat so you don't regret not having the protection they give your catch this summer.   

Friday, February 21, 2014

Could We See A Historic Classic Champion?

 Randall Tharp leads after day 1 of the Bassmaster Classic.  Could this be a historic year?  Could the current Forrest Wood Cup Champion be crowned the Bassmaster Champion at the same time?  In the case of Tharp I truly think it is possible. 

He has proven time and again he is a skilled angler.  He can rise to the top and win.  So yes I think it’s a safe bet that Tharp could be both the FLW Cup and Bassmaster Classic Champion.  Throw in to the mix that Tharp is fishing both tours this year and it just proves that FLW has anglers just as skilled as the Elite Series.

Tharp brought 27- 8lbs to the weigh-in stage today.  He sits about 9 ounces head of Evers so the Championship is not locked up for Tharp by any means.  A month ago Tharp finished 4th at Okeechobee, an even many believed he was a favorite to win myself included.
In two more days we will see if Tharp can pull off something that has never been done and be both the FLW Cup champ and the Bassmaster classic champion.  Maybe this picture he posted on his Facebook page can come true.  He has put himself in position for it to.
From Randall Tharp's Facebook page

New Reels and Rods from Victory Teased at Classic

With the Bassmaster Classic also come’s new baits, rods and reels.  The Classic was where the Havoc line of baits was released a few years ago.  This year Wright and McGill is introducing the new Victory Pro Carbon Rods and Reels.  See the video HERE.
I don’t know much about the new reel other then what my. contact at Wright and McGill has told me: “It is a completely new reel, frame, design, bearings, line guide, everything. One of the main differences is in the breaking system. The original had an internal centrifugal break and the new model has an external Magnetic breaking system.” 
They don’t give you a good look at the new products in the video, but I have seen better pictures and it defiantly looks like a better baitcaster to me, I can’t say without trying it.  The will be introduced at iCast later this year and will be available to buy sometime after that.  Here is a little better look at the braking system on the new reel.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Want Tim Johnston to Win the Classic and This is Why

I was scrolling through a stupid group of photos on (yes I said stupid about Bassmaster).  It was “Trucks, equipment and bling” and it was basiclly a group of pictures looking at tires of the pros bass boats (I will say it again stupid), but I guess what does that say about me that I was suckered into flipping through it when I came upon the picture above.  This to me is a story that picture is of Tim Johnston’s Skeeter.  He is competing in the Classic and as far as I can tell that’s the boat he is fishing out of.  Now that’s a man who is living the dream….no boat wrap just a man and his boat. said this about the boat: “What this rig lacks in actual bling is makes up for in experience. This is a working man’s bass boat, and it’s also the boat of a Classic competitor. This is Tim Johnston’s Skeeter and it’s worth less than some electronics on other competitors’ boats. But, it’s got more heart.”  It kind of bothered me.

One, they are doing a photo essay on boat tires and rims basically and then they half make a snarky remark about the man’s boat on to end it with “It’s got more heart.”  I hope that Tim Johnston wins the classic and that little boat is towed around the weigh-in arena.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Have you Heard About the Big Bass World Championship?

Have you heard of the Big Bass World Championship?  Well if you haven’t don’t worry you are about to.  Bassin’ Magazine, the PursuitChannel, Bass Resource and F&H Decals are putting on the event.  Anglers have a chance to win prizes that include a new boat motor and trailer, 50,000 in cash and other prizes.  Anglers might also find themselves on the cover of Bassin’ Magazine as well.
You have to enter the contest which cost $25 with that entry fee you also get subscription to Bassin’.  Then you go fishing, you have to take 3 photos of the fish you are entering.  One showing the bass next to a ruler, one wrapped around the bass showing its girth and of course you have to have a photo of you holding the fish (which is the one that might end up on the cover of Bassin’).

Each state will have a winner (the one from each state that caught the largest bass) who will then go on to fish in the final championship event.  You can submit more than one bass so you are not limited to one bass.  They will only accept largemouth and smallmouth submissions.   

Bass Resource will be keeping a running tab of submissions so anglers know what the winning bass is in each state.  You can see the leader board HERE.  The entries for certification for the 2014 BBWC begins Jan 1, 2014 and ends August 15, 2014. 

After looking through all of the information about the contest, the real pain for any angler is going to be sending your catch in to have it counted.  You have to jump through a lot of hoops your entry form for any bass has to include a form filled out in front of a “NOTARY PUBLIC.”
You can fish in any state and submit catches for multiple states as well.  This seems to be a great way for the average angler to win prizes.  With a $25 entry fee its far less then tournaments.  There is not much I have found about the Championship.

You can register for the Big Bass World Championship HERE.  Good Luck!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Is Your Livewell V-T2?

You can catch the winning bag of fish, but if you don’t get them back to the weigh-in it doesn’t matter.  One of the biggest struggles an angler can deal with while on the water, is keeping their catch alive.
Livewells have come a long way over the years.  Keeping fish alive has become easier.  Despite the improvements in livewells I would still venture to say most anglers have had a fish or two die.  Tournament anglers have to worry about the condition of their catch along with catching them.

The V-T2 livewell ventilation system can and will help you keep those fish alive.  Unlike other livewell systems, the V-T2 does not use any of your precious battery power and after installation it does not require any maintenance to keep it working at 100%.  The V-T2 will fit any make or model of boat, is environmentally friendly, and easy to install.

The V-T2 is constantly and silently working all day to help keep your fish safe and healthy.  It allows oxygen to flow into your livewell while providing an escape route for the heat and metabolic gases that build up in a livewell to exit. 

Anglers know heat can be a killer for bass in a livewell.  A lot of guys will add ice to their livewell to help
cut down on heat, but if you aren’t careful and add to much ice you can cause more harm to the fish when you place it in the colder water.  The shock from one extreme to another can be deadly for bass.  The V-T2 cools the water naturally the “movement of your boat (will) increase circulation and livewell water inversion that naturally cools livewell water.” 

You also don’t have to worry about water splashing out of your livewell once the V-T2 is installed.  The three inch sleeve keeps the water in the livewell where it belongs.  It has been tested in heavy chop and because the three inch sleeve impedes water movement even in large waves you won’t lose any water.

The V-T2’s are relatively inexpensive they cost $44.99 and come in black or white.  They can be purchased at  There are also instructions on how to install your set of V-T2’s which can be done quickly and easily, with a drill, a few bits, and a hole saw. 

Don’t let another bass die in your livewell this year.  Take a few minutes of your time and install the V-T2 which could be the difference in a check or going home empty handed.  Don’t regret not adding the V-T2 system to your boat.
Keep checking back because we have a set of V-T2’s we will be giving away soon!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Technology Driven Fishing

Technology is always evolving; it’s a product of the world we live in.  The constantly changing world of technology is even evident in fishing.  Fishing electronics have made monumental leaps and bounds over the last five to 10 years.
We no longer use flashers on boats.  Screen sizes have grown larger.  We can now operate a GPS unit with the touch of a finger.  Side imagining has allowed anglers to see large sections of bottom contours without even idling over the spot.  Humminbird 360 imaging allows us to see all the way around the boat, without ever moving.

Anchors have been replaced by power poles and Talons which allow us to stay put in shallow areas with the push of a button.  Trolling motors now talk to our gps units allowing us to follow a contour line or stay on a spot without having to touch the foot pedal.  With all of the advancements it can be hard to keep up.  Tournament anglers for any species must stay on the cutting edge, but those who enjoy time on the water may find it a challenge.

With the introduction of smart phones and tablets, anglers have more challenges to stay current with ever evolving technology.  When I was a child my grandfather shied away from technology, I find myself being like him in this aspect.  Being a tournament angler, I know I can’t have that same mind set.  I have to keep up with changing technology so I can keep a competitive edge.
Being “old school” I have a hard time transitioning into the digital age.  The idea of having a cell phone with me while fishing seemed almost like a sin.  However, the information you can bring with you on the water is invaluable.  If you leave your doubts and reservations behind and bring technology on the boat, you might just be a better angler.

I want to share with you the technology that has changed my fishing.  I will tell you what apps and programs I use to help me become a better angler.  You may hesitate about bringing technology on your fishing trip but my hope is that by the end of this article you will at least allow technology to help you prepare before you go out on the water.

If you are a weather watcher who studies weather patterns there are many more options than there used to be.  Instead of having to watch the news or the weather channel looking for the area you are planning to fish, anglers now have it at our finger tips.  Smart phones give us access to apps that allow us to track weather, stay current and see the weather for states or cities we are not in with a push of a button.  I use multiple weather apps on my phone.  I am weather junky when it comes to fishing.  I want to know what the wind speeds are, wind direction, temperature, and barometric pressure. 

I watch the weather for days before a fishing trip.  I like to know if cold fronts are pushing in or if there has been a high pressure system leading up to my time on the water.  I like to have different weather apps so I can compare the information.  You will see slight variances between different weather organizations or apps.  On both platforms IOS (Apple platform) and Android, you can find many weather apps that are free along with ones that can cost .99 cents to $5.  I use Weather Bug and The Weather Channel app the majority of the time.  I have found they seem to have the best up to date information.  They are both free and can be found in any app store.

Another great weather app, The Weather Call To Go app is a bit pricey but might save your life.  It has a yearly fee of 11.95 or 17.95 depending on what version you get.  This app will alert you if a weather system is headed your way.  It will also alert you if there are lighting strikes within six miles of your current location.  When on a big body of water it can be hard to know what is coming at you.  This app will alert you when the weather is dangerous and will help give you time to get off the water before you are taken by surprise, you can find out more about the app and purchase it at: (

I also utilize a moon phase and sun rise/sun set app.  Some weather apps will give you this information but I have found it is easier to have separate apps for this because with a push of a button you can see the information without having to dig around the data a weather app gives you.  Anglers know that all of this information will affect fishing, so why not have it with you?  There are plenty of apps that you can find for free that will give you this useful information if you spend the time to find it in your app store. 

Another useful app to have with you is the North American Fishing Club Knot Wars app.  I don’t know about you but I can’t tell you how many times I have been on the water and wanted to tie a certain knot but forgot how.  The Knot Wars apps will allow you to look up a knot from their data base and then shows you how to tie the knot with an animated instruction guide.

The Knot Wars app is free and is worth the little space it may take up.  There are forty different knots you can get instructions on tying.  There are other knot tying apps as well but most will cost a dollar or more.  I have looked at a few and found that the free Knot Wars app is just as good or better, than some you will pay for.

If you like to log your fishing trips there are many options for you on your PC, phone or tablet.  There are many websites and apps dedicated to fishing logs.  I have been using Fish Addix for a few years.  It is basically a social media site for anglers which also allows you to log fishing trips, connect with other anglers and share pictures and videos.  They also have a app for the IOS format so you can log your trips while you are on the water instead of waiting until you get home.  There are other fishing log apps that range in price.  I personally don’t know that this aspect technology is better than a pen and paper.  They both take time to input the info for your catches, I can write faster than I can type on a phone or tablet.  It can still be a useful tool.

Map study has been a part of my tournament and fishing prep for as long as I can remember.  Paper maps are becoming harder to find.  They are still out there and has a wide range of paper maps.  The paper topo maps we have come to know are becoming obsolete.  The Navionics Lake Map app has changed the game when it comes to doing your prep work.  Instead of having to linger over a map spread across your table you can now look at a lake map on your tablet or phone.  The app is $14.99 and looks like the map you will see on your gps unit.  You can mark wav points, track tides and weather as well.  You can take your tablet or phone with you and look over a map instead of pulling out a big paper one while on the boat and the wind won’t disrupt your navigation attempts.

Contour Elite is software designed with anglers in mind.  This software is not cheap but is worth the money.  Imagine, you are fishing a lake either while on the ice or in a boat, you have found the fish on a point that drops from three feet of water to twenty five feet.  You pattern the fish and find them on spots like this throughout the lake.  Contour Elite allows you to plug in this information and it will find all of the spots just like it on that lake.  You can save time and map out the areas you want to fish all on your computer or phone.  The software is $149.99 and is geared towards ice fisherman but I have used it for summer time fishing with great success. 

The biggest down fall besides the price is you have to purchase the software for different regions.  So if you live in one state and plan to fish in another they might not have software for that state.  The areas/lakes it covers are limited, but growing.  If you are planning to fish in one state and you want this kind of power at your beckon call it is a good investment.  Because the covered lakes are limited I suggest you look over the website ( so you can see if the lakes you fish are covered. 

Google earth is another advantage modern anglers have at their fingertips.  Anglers can basically do a fly over of a lake and get a bird’s eye view from the comfort of your couch.  You have to download the program to your computer but it allows you to see the water from above.  You can make out weed patches and other things you won’t see on a topo map.  The software is free and after you have learned how to use it, it is pretty simple.  I have found it really helps to scout new water and find access points into back areas you won’t find on a topo map.  You can use Google earth on computer, tablet and phone (  The only downside is that the images are not always current.  The images are not taken the second you look at them but may be a day, week, or even a month old.  So a weed patch you saw on Google Earth may no longer be there when you go to fish it.

Technology is ever changing and so is fishing.  Not only is our equipment becoming more advanced but so is the information anglers have at their fingertips.  We live in a digital age, we no longer have to go to our local tackle shop and hope they have the latest bait we just read about.  We can get online and have it on our door step with a few clicks of a mouse. 

Anglers who rebel against the tide of change will be left behind.  If we embrace the changes in technology we will benefit.  Map studies have become easier, more streamlined.  We no longer have to wait for a paper map of a lake we are planning to fish.  We can use an app to look over the lake and find the contour lines we are looking for.  Weather is only a push of a button away, along with how to tie that knot you just can’t figure out.       
Not only do we have apps and programs at our beckon call we have access to videos, product reviews and fishing articles as well.  All that can be viewed wherever we go.  Knowledge is waiting, we as anglers simply need to be open to technology.  You can always check the latest articles on no matter where you are.

Use this off season to explore your phone, tablet and computer.  Look into the apps I have talked about or find others you like.  Take the time to understand technology and how it can improve your fishing.  Who knows, if Amazon is allowed to use drones for deliveries in a few years we might be able to order that bait that is smashing the fish and drop it off to you on your boat, in the middle of the lake, all from the deck of your boat using our phone or tablet.  Until then let’s just embrace the change so we can catch more fish.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FLW Pro In Hot Water

FLW Tour pro Travis Loyd made the News in Chicago on February 6th.  Not for his performance on Okeechobee where he finished 169th.  He made the news because he resigned from his other job as the deputy director at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
From the news report from Chicago Fox 32 News which you can read the full article and watch the news report at Fox 32 News website. it appears that Fox 32 was the one who did the digging and in the end lead to Loyd resigning.  It does not state why Fox 32 looked into the story.  Maybe it was a slow day. 

The main issue is that Loyd called in sick to fish most of the tournaments.  The main issue is Loyd “claimed he was on sick leave for 44 consecutive days.”  Loyd has been a FLW pro for 3 years and has $31,504 in career earnings.

FLW has not address the issue from what I can tell.  I searched their site looking for anything about the situation and if they plan to do anything about the charges being leveled against Loyd.  I am not sure if they decide to do something about it what it would be.
It is not as if Loyd cheated in a tournament, and what Fox 32 News has sited against him does not affect the tournaments in anyway.  My guess is FLW will not address the issue.  If anything Loyd may have more issues with his sponsors but that is still to be seen as well.  The issue is not making much noise in the fishing world to be honest only a few sites have reported on it.

Fox 32 News broke the story on February 6th which was the first day of the Okeechobee event.  With all of the other news from anglers being disqualified from the event for violating rule 5 maybe FLW will address the issue in the days to come.  Only time will tell.

So what do you think of the situation?

Major League Fishing Expanding

I was working on a write up about Major League Fishing until they sent out a press release.  With the press release they have addressed part of my issue I have with MLF.  Now don’t get me wrong I like the show, I have not paid for the extended cast but what they air is not bad.

This was what I was working on before I read the press release:

I have watched every episode of Major League Fishing (MLF) so far.  I am still not 100% sold on the show.  I don’t think it’s a new bread like they billed it when it first aired.  Yes it has different rules, and penalties, but I am still not convinced it’s the best thing in tournament fishing.

One of my biggest issues with MLF is the 24 competitors.  I want to see other guys involved.  Yes MLF has shuffled through other pros when someone could not make the event, like KVD couldn’t be at one last year.  That’s not what I am talking about I am talking about guys in FLW or BASS who are those middle of the road anglers, the ones who don’t have their show’s or are on the radar all the time like the names in MLF are.

MLF has addressed this with what they are planning on doing.  I think they have taken a step in the right direction.  Read the press release below.

TULSA, Okla. - Major League Fishing will double in size in 2014 by adding two events and 24 new anglers. The new events will be sponsored by GEICO. Called the GEICO Selects, the events will be filmed this year and televised early in 2015 by Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader in Outdoor TV. Prior to their television run, the two events – the Summit Select and the Challenge Select - will be aired as extended-coverage, web-based broadcasts. The new Major League Fishing anglers are: Scott Ashmore, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Keith Combs, Ott DeFoe, Kurt Dove, Paul Elias, Todd Faircloth, Randy Howell, Andy Montgomery, Cliff Pace, Brandon Palaniuk, Keith Poche, Marty Robinson, Mark Rose, Casey Scanlon, Morizo Shimizu, Kevin Short, Fletcher Shryock, Michael Simonton, Scott Suggs, Gerald Swindle, James Watson and Jacob Wheeler. “Major League Fishing has been successful beyond our most hopeful expectations," said Major League Fishing General Manager Jim Wilburn. "In fact, I’ve never seen a sports property gain the kind of momentum that Major League Fishing earned in such a short period of time. Our ratings, sponsor support and fan reaction are off the charts. “As a result, Outdoor Channel and the existing Major League Fishing anglers believe that it is time to expand our reach and our brand," Wilburn said. "So we’re taking the next logical step, which is to bring in additional quality anglers and produce more events. And we have a terrific partner in GEICO, who understands what we’re doing and wants to be part of our growth.” GEICO Vice President of Marketing Ted Ward said, “Fishing is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and the sport of angling has grown immensely. We are excited about the possibilities of working with Major League Fishing and promoting the GEICO brand to the vast community of anglers nationwide.” “ ... this also means that traditional Major League Fishing events will grow from 24 anglers to 30. ” – Jim Wilburn, MLF General Manager The Selects will serve as companions to the Major League Fishing Summit Cup and Challenge Cup, which began their television run on Outdoor Channel in 2012. Major League Fishing has filmed five events. Four have been aired on Outdoor Channel. The fifth will be broadcast during the second quarter this year. Wilburn also announced that six anglers from the Summit Select event will advance to compete in the companion Major League Fishing Summit Cup, which will feature the original 24 MLF anglers. Also, six anglers will advance from the Challenge Select to compete in Major League Fishing’s Challenge Cup. “The Selects will feature intense competition and stand on their own,” Wilburn said. “But this also means that traditional Major League Fishing events will grow from 24 anglers to 30.” The Selects competition will employ the popular Major League Fishing format, which places leaderboards in the boats with anglers at all times. During Major League Fishing competition, anglers are not allowed to practice and have only 15 minutes of scouting time on the water before events begin. Though the Selects will be televised as early as January 2015, fans will be able to see the competition as early as October 2014, when the series becomes available via Extended Cast, a two-hour-plus, web-based version of the show. Major League Fishing angler Gary Klein said that the original 24 league anglers unanimously endorsed the addition of the Selects and 24 new anglers. “We believe that we always need to make sure we keep Major League Fishing moving forward, and we think the Selects will be great for both Major League Fishing and the fishing industry as a whole,” Klein said. “I can’t wait to see what happens, and I’m also looking forward to bringing six more anglers into our field.”

The one thing that I am left wondering now is will MLF turn into a full blown field soon?  Think about it they went from 24 to 48, what is to stop them from going to 72 in another year or even 96 anglers?  I am not saying that’s a bad thing.  They can do many different seed events and bring them to one main championship tourney.  It’s a way to grow the brand I like it.

Only time will tell what is in store for the future of MLF but it seems like they are on the way to being a larger organization.  If they continue to add to the anglers it would seem that they would be able to sell more sponsorship’s or even expand upon those they already have established. 

My one hope is that MLF will continue to fish smaller lakes that large tournaments are not fished.  Take the Alpena events, Michigan was showcased.  Anglers all over America got to see the quality and quantity of brown backs this state has to offer.  Just like other smaller lakes they have fished have been able to show case the bass they hold.   

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nemesis Baits Major Player on Okeechobee

Kyle Prskalo put the Nemesis Baits Bullet Craw to work during last week’s FLW Outdoors Lake Okeechobee tournament and sacked up 17+ lbs on day two which landed him in check range. Among the fish in his bag was the toad he is hold in the picture.  It was a 8.9lb Florida Strain special that Kyle caught on the Bullet Craw. The fish was the biggest weighed in for co anglers and one of the biggest of the event!

2013 Forrest Wood Cup co angler champion Theo Corcoran used a Nemesis Baits 7" Sicko (watermelon red flake) to put together a 19lb bag on day 2 of the FLW Outdoors season opener on Lake Okeechobee in Florida this past weekend. The bag catapulted Theo into 7th place and allowed him to fish day 3. He ended up finishing 13th in the event! What a start to the season!!!

You can find out more about Nemesis Baits and the lures Theo and Kyle used.  Along with the great baits you can find Bass Thumb Apparel as well, which is a must have for any bass angler.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Bass Fishing Podcast

I found a new bass fishing podcast last week.  The “Bass Guys” are not your normal fishing show.  They don’t interview pros, the host has said in the future he will.  They share their opinion on stuff and some might not like what they have to say.  If you are not a fan of the site Fish Strong this podcast may not be for you.  They have 3 episodes so far and all are under 20 minutes so you are not giving up much time listening to them.
So far I have enjoyed the podcast.  They also have a website you can check out also.  Like I stated it might now be for you but it is worth giving it a listen once or twice.  I personally don’t agree with everything Fish Strong has to say but they do have some great ideas and always makes me think about the sport.  I have felt the same way after listen to each of the podcast.  It helps there is humor mixed in. 

This is the description from their Facebook page:
“What is We are the forbidden the love child of The Ultimate Warrior and the girl climbing across the cars in the White Snake for Here I Go Again. We are when Undertaker threw Mankind off the cage at Hell in a Cell '98. We are the last 7 minutes of the movie Space Jam. is actually the brainchild of two guys who really love to fish. One of us loves to make bad jokes, write and say mean things about strangers. The other has a luke warm relationship with coding websites, social media and won't stop throwing a dropshot.
In the weeks to come we hope to bring you insight and an alternative look at the world of bass fishing. From the ridiculous to the practical and everything in between we'll take a look at tips & techniques, news and culture. Stick with us, we won't let you down like all those avocado colored flukes you bought and never caught a fish on.”    

Give them a listen you can find the first two episodes Here.  Episode 3 can be heard Here.  new podcast are being posted each Monday, so be sure to check out their new episodes each week as well they post the link to on their Facebook page.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Brandon McMillan Has Withdrawn from the 2014 FLW Tour

From McMillan's Facebook Page 
Brandon McMillan has now withdrawn from the FLW Tour for the season after being disqualified the night before the tournament on Okeechobee.  If you don’t know McMillan was in violation of rule 5 because he practiced with someone who wasn’t in the tournament.  McMillan took to Facebook yesterday and shared this:
“I’m disappointed to say I have been disqualified from the FLW Tour event on Okeechobee. I fished with my practice partner of 2 years who drove down from Tennessee thinking he was confirmed as a co-angler only to find out at registration that he was not confirmed in the tournament. I’m sorry to disappoint my friends and family.”

It would seem that McMillan believed that Cal Clark (the one he fished with) was registered and confirmed to fish the event.  FLW has said Clark never registered (read more below).  From everything I have read it sounds as if McMillan has pulled himself from the tour not FLW (my assumption). 

This begs the question why, pull yourself from the tour?  I have no answer as to why I have tried contacting McMillan but have not heard back.   

Here is all FLW has released on the topic as of today Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014:
Yesterday FLW announced that Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, Fla. was disqualified from the 2014 FLW Tour season opener on Lake Okeechobee. McMillan was disqualified for violating FLW Tour rule No. 5, which contains provisions restricting who pros and co-anglers can practice with. Specifically McMillan practiced with Cal Clark of Pulaski, Tenn., during the tournament’s three-day practice period. While Clark fished the FLW Tour as a co-angler in 2013 and had earned priority entry for the 2014 season, he never entered the 2014 FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee or any other 2014 FLW Tour event.
“Some people have speculated that Clark was on the waiting list for the Lake Okeechobee tournament, but the truth is he never entered,” said FLW Tour tournament director Bill Taylor. “He never registered for the event, never paid a deposit, and never received a confirmation.”
Clark was a competitor in the Rayovac FLW Series Southeastern Division season opener on Lake Okeechobee in January.

“This is tragic for the McMillan family, just as it was for other pros who inadvertently violated the rule,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW president of operations. “In Anthony Gagliardi and Frank Clark’s case, they inadvertently ran afoul of a new provision in the rule that restricts who pros can fish with 30 days prior to the first practice day. In McMillan’s case, the violation, while inadvertent, is the result of a longstanding provision that limits who pros can practice with during the official practice period leading up to the tournament.”
Here is the complete text of FLW Tour Rule No. 5:

5. RESTRICTED ACCESS, OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE AND COMPETITION • Thirty days prior to the first practice day pros are only permitted on tournament waters alone or accompanied by a contestant in the tournament, a member of their immediate family (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild or spouse), approved sponsor representatives, approved youth age 18 or younger or approved media representatives. With prior approval from the tournament director, pros may participate in FLW, B.A.S.S. Elite Series, B.A.S.S. Opens, PAA and other pro/am tournaments featuring random partner draws within the 30-day window. Tournament waters will go off-limits to all contestants 13 days prior to the first practice day in all tournaments. Contestants, including pros and co-anglers on the waiting list, may not enter tournament waters to fish, test equipment, sightsee, or for any reason without FLW permission, during the off-limits period. During the off-limits period, practice and competition days, pros may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except pros confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are NOT publicly available sources). Beginning with practice and extending through competition, pros may not obtain information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from co-anglers or information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from noncontestants or follow a noncontestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers by noncontestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Anglers eliminated after each round of competition are considered noncontestants. Pros in the top-20 cut after the close of weigh-in on day 2 may not solicit or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except other top-20 pros. Pros in the top-10 cut after the close of weigh-in on day 3 may not solicit or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except other top-10 pros. Co-angler contestants who share information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters with pro or co-angler contestants will be disqualified from the entire tournament along with the pro or co-angler requesting and/or using the information. Tournament waters will reopen for practice three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) prior to registration day (Wednesday). Pros and co-anglers may practice alone, with another contestant or with a member of their immediate family (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild or spouse), approved sponsor representatives or an approved youth age 18 or younger, provided the practice companion has also observed the off-limits period and procedures. Pros and co-anglers may also practice with an approved media representative. Flights over tournament waters are not permitted beginning with the start of the off-limits period, extending through practice and competition days. Tournament waters will be closed to all contestants on registration day (Wednesday).

Tournament ———— Restricted Access Begins ———– Off-limits

1. Lake Okeechobee ——— Jan 3, 2014 ———-Jan 20–Feb 1 & Feb 5, 2014

2. Lake Hartwell ————— Jan 31, 2014 ———Feb 17–Mar 1 & Mar 5, 2014

3. Sam Rayburn Reservoir – Feb 21, 2014 ———Mar 10–22 & Mar 26, 2014

4. Beaver Lake —————– Mar 7, 2014 ———-Mar 24–Apr 5 & Apr 9, 2014

5. Pickwick Lake ————— May 2, 2014 ———May 19–31 & Jun 4, 2014

6. Kentucky Lake ————– May 23, 2014 ——–Jun 9–21 & Jun 25, 2014

7. Lake Murray —————– Jul 11, 2014 ———-Jul 28–Aug 9 & Aug 13, 2014
“I feel for the McMillans, Gagliardis and Clarks. Nobody likes to see someone disqualified when there is no evidence of ill intent. The fact remains, however, that rules must be enforced without prejudice,” Fennel said. “There is no room for judgment calls on an angler’s intent. That is a slippery slope that we will not go down. Our goal is to make the rules as black and white as possible and then strictly enforce them, which is what we have done.”

In light of his disqualification at Lake Okeechobee, McMillan has withdrawn completely from the 2014 FLW Tour.

McMillan posted the following on his Facebook page:

“I’m disappointed to say I have been disqualified from the FLW Tour event on Okeechobee. I fished with my practice partner of 2 years who drove down from Tennessee thinking he was confirmed as a co-angler only to find out at registration that he was not confirmed in the tournament. I’m sorry to disappoint my friends and family.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another Angler Disqualified for Okeechobee

One day before the first FLW Tour event of the season on Lake Okeechobee yet another angler has been disqualified.  Brandon Mcmillan joins Anthony Gagliardi and Frank Clark who were disqualified from the event last week.  All three were in violation of rule five, which if you don’t know what the rule is you can find HERE.   
Brandon Mcmillan explained what happened via his Facebook page:
“I'm disappointed to say I have been disqualified from the FLW Tour event on Okeechobee. I fished with my practice partner of 2 years who drove down from Tennessee thinking he was confirmed as a co-angler only to find out at registration that he was not confirmed in the tournament. I'm sorry to disappoint my friends and family.”
If Brandon was on your fantasy team you might want to go make a change in your line up.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fishing for Drew

The greatest thing in fishing is seeing the community of people in the sport come together and rally around someone who shares our passions.  Drew is a special little boy who has cancer at 6 years old he has a passion so many of us share fishing.  If you read below you can learn more about it.  There is a Facebook community page you can like so you can show your support for him.  Follow his smile and love of fishing.  It is amazing to see the awesome things those in this great sport have sent him.  Give the page a like support Drew, figure out how you can help Drew.

“Drew had a pretty typical summertime injury after falling on his grandparents dock in August 2013, but what followed was a parent's worst nightmare. A routine CT scan also revealed an "unknown" mass in Drew's abdomen, and he was transferred via ambulance to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.

After a 3 day stay in the hospital, countless blood draws and tests, a bone marrow aspirate and an MIBG scan, doctors had the tumor narrowed down to 3 probable types, but wouldn't know for sure until they could biopsy it. On August 30th, Drew underwent a 6 hour surgery to remove the tumor. About 4 hours into the surgery, the pediatric neurosurgeon informed us that they stopped the surgery. They encountered a 4th type of tumor that they were not expecting (because it’s so rare) -- and it could not be removed without doing significant, permanent damage to Drew. The tumor was located in the left psoas muscle, and had grown into his sacral nerve (which controls hip flexor, walking movement and bladder function), and was intertwined into 3 lower vertebrae in his spine. Removing the tumor could have caused permanent paralysis. Instead, the doctors took samples for biopsy.

We received Drew's diagnosis of Stage 3 Ganglioneuroblastoma Intermixed, a rare childhood
cancer, on September 11th, 2013. This tumor is a mix of benign and malignant cells, and grows along nerves within the body. The pathologist estimated that the tumor was 95-97% non cancerous and 3-5% cancerous - which is good and bad. Because chemotherapy will only "attack" cancerous cells - the only other way to get rid of the tumor is to remove it surgically - which, in Drew's case, cannot be done.

Drew completed 4 rounds of chemotherapy, and the MIBG scan indicated that the tumor had not shrunk at all. Our doctors changed chemotherapy regimens mid-cycle, and Drew is now undergoing a more intense, 8 round cycle, 5 days a week every 21 days. His next scan should be at the end of March, and we hope and pray that it shows the tumor shrunk, and the cancer GONE!
Drew is a happy, smart, yet silly child who is a fishing FANATIC. Where there is water – you’ll find Drew with his fishing pole! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree - he does some bass tournament fishing with his Dad, and loves to catch bluegill, perch and crappie off his grandparent’s dock. He knows countless fish species, baits and fishing techniques. He’s our little fisherman, and we love him more than life itself!”