Jigging at Okeechobee

Chris Daniels. Photo FLWOutdoors.com.

Chris Daniels. Photo FLWOutdoors.com.

Today it’s no secret that a jig is a top tool for fishing reed heads and other heavy cover at Florida lakes. It surprised no one that Ish Monroe won the Elite Series event on Okeechobee in 2012 by pitching and flipping. What surprised some people, though is that when the bite got tougher for him on Day Three he put down the punching plastics and picked up a black and blue Medlock Jig, a double-weedguarded leadhead that had become increasingly popular in the Sunshine State. He ended up beating his nearest competitor by nearly 13 pounds.

A year earlier, Florida guide Brandon Medlock had won his first major tournament , a Southeastern EverStart on Okeechobee, fishing that same jig, which is made by his father. As with Monroe, his jig was black and blue. He paired it with a black and blue Zoom Big Salty Chunk. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Victorious Velvick Answer and Winner (April 20, 2015)

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Congratulations to Adam Hinkle for winning this week’s trivia contest!!!  For the answrs read below.

Fifteen years ago this month, Byron Velvick won the 2000 Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake by a margin of more than 11 pounds. It wasn’t like he was beating up on the Little Sisters of the Poor, either, as the three anglers directly behind him were Skeet Reese, Aaron Martens and Brett Hite. Other western/national powers like Dean Rojas (6th) and Ish Monroe (9th), as well as legends like Gary Dobyns (13th) and Mike Folkestad (16th) also made the top 20, but all fell well short of Velvick’s 83-05 total.

Velvick certainly wasn’t a newcomer to the sport, having previously won the 1990 and 1996 U.S. Open Championships, but the Clear Lake victory marked the first of his three B.A.S.S. wins to date. In winning, he also set the B.A.S.S. record for total weight in a three-day, five-fish-limit event. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Victorious Velvick (April 20, 2015)

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Byron Velvick broke the 3-day, 5-fish limit weight record in 2000 on Clear Lake. Photo May/June 2000 issue of Bass West Magazine.

Fifteen years ago this month, Byron Velvick won the 2000 Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake by a margin of more than 11 pounds. It wasn’t like he was beating up on the Little Sisters of the Poor, either, as the three anglers directly behind him were Skeet Reese, Aaron Martens and Brett Hite. Other western/national powers like Dean Rojas (6th) and Ish Monroe (9th), as well as legends like Gary Dobyns (13th) and Mike Folkestad (16th) also made the top 20, but all fell well short of Velvick’s 83-05 total.

Velvick certainly wasn’t a newcomer to the sport, having previously won the 1990 and 1996 U.S. Open Championships, but the Clear Lake victory marked the first of his three B.A.S.S. wins to date. In winning, he also set the B.A.S.S. record for total weight in a three-day, five-fish-limit event. [Read more…]

Stranded – A Look Back on Two Unexpected Overnight Stays

STRANDED GilliganWhile professional bass fishing is not a contact sport in the same sense as football or boxing, it does offer a set of physical challenges that can often prove dangerous. These risks have been apparent since the early days of the sport and in some ways have increased as time has gone on. As we detailed previously on the Bass Fishing Archives, two boats crashed during the 1986 Bassmaster New York Invitational on the Hudson River, and two competitors – James Atkinson, 37, of Texas, and Daniel Barragan, 36, of New York – were killed, while another angler was hospitalized for injuries sustained in the accident. As we noted in our summary of that tragedy, there have been many other near misses, including Shin Fukae’s 2011 collision with a bridge piling on Kentucky Lake. [Read more…]

How They Began – John Murray

John Murray holds one of his numerous western trophies after winning yet another western event. Photo courtesy of Bill Rice.

John Murray holds one of his numerous western trophies after winning yet another western event. Photo courtesy of Bill Rice.

To folks east of the Mississippi the name John Murray probably rings a bell as an angler who came out east in the late 90s with anglers such as Skeet Reese, Aaron Martens and Byron Velvick. They know he’s won a couple events, generally makes the Classic and probably also know him as a better deep-water angler who’s always in contention when the tour travels to the northern-tier lakes or southern highland impoundments such as Smith Lake. This is all correct but there’s actually a lot more to John Murray than those stats.

In all actuality, Murray’s been fishing professionally since 1985 when his early mentor Art Price told him to leave the tackle shop he was working at. Since then he’s won 31 boats, fished 7 Bassmaster Classics and won the U.S. Open on Lake Mead twice. He’s fished every major tournament trail and a number of regional trails over the course of his 29-year career and overall he’s won nearly $2-million dollars casting for cash. Yes, he’s been around a while. [Read more…]

Before They Were – Byron Velvick

A 1993 Byron Velvick talking about not getting in a rut. American Bass Association 1993.

A 1993 Byron Velvick talking about not getting in a rut. American Bass Association 1993.

You can’t imagine how big my library here at BFA Central is and to be honest, neither can I. That’s why when I pick up any old magazine or newsletter I sometimes run into the problem of what to write about. This was the case today as I found myself running through old American Bass Association (the west coast version) newsletters. Between the tournament pics and various write-ups I didn’t have any idea what to talk about as the possibilities seemed endless.

That was until I ran across this cameo article appearance by a young Byron Velvick. [Read more…]

Bass Club News via the May 1974 CLC

May 1974 California Lunker Club Magazine Bass Club Reports. Courtesy of Dave Coolidge.

I know this is really southern California-centric but I’m posting it for two reasons. One, I want to put out some old material for my friends in California and two, it’s a calling card for any of you readers who may have similar reports stashed away in your closet.

For those of you who reside in Cal (or lived there) and fished during those early years of competitive bass fishing, I hope you enjoy reading these club reports. Not many of these clubs exist today, if any, but I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of the anglers, some of which are still competing. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Lure of the Rising Sun

A bevy of BASS winners past and future fished the 1998 Bassmaster New Mexico Western Invitational on Elephant Butte Reservoir. Included among their ranks were Ish Monroe (4th), Skeet Reese (11th), Mike Reynolds (21st), Aaron Martens (25th), Mike Folkestad (T31st ), John Murray (42nd), Byron Velvick (53rd), James Niggemeyer (90th) and Robert Lee (T135th). The field was also full of western studs like Larry Hopper, Gary Yamamoto, Bill Siementel, Greg Hines, Rich Tauber and Don Iovino.

Despite the fact that it was a stacked field, this was one of the rare Bassmaster tournaments where a local won. On a stingy lake that produced only five cumulative catches over 20 pounds in the course of three days, Elephant Butte, NM resident Dennis Hoy claimed the crown, beating runner-up Rich Iannolo by over four pounds.

It was Hoy’s only Top 20 finish with BASS, but it was significant to the history of tournament fishing for another reason. Do you know what it was? [Read more…]