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Posted By Hawgsrus
LA CROSSE, Wis. — Tommy Biffle was watching the clock. With 45 minutes left in the final round, Biffle knew it was time to give up on the special smallmouth spot he’d been milking during the entire four-day Diet Mountain Dew Mississippi River Rumble presented by Power-Pole. Thirty years of pro bass fishing tells you to when to make a move. “If you sit there and hope they come, and they don’t come, you have do something,” said Biffle, 55, of Wagoner, Okla. Going into Sunday’s final round, Biffle was 7 ounces behind leader Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala. Biffle wanted the win, and especially the Bassmaster Classic berth that comes with a Bassmaster Elite Series trophy. He abandoned the spot that had kept him in contention all week and ran to a similar place he knew of nearby, with hard current between two islands. It hadn’t produced much before, but Sunday it paid off quickly. “First throw, I caught a big one, second throw I caught a big one,” Biffle said. He built his weight to 16 pounds, 13 ounces. It was enough to get the better of Martens by 2 pounds, 7 ounces. Biffle won with a four-day total of 64-2. The win was the seventh in his Bassmaster career and his fourth in the Elite Series. He also hit the $2 million mark in B.A.S.S. earnings. Biffle’s prize was $100,000 and an instant-in for the 2014 Classic. “Now I’ve got the Classic made. That’s the best feeling,” said Biffle, who was facing an uphill battle to qualify based on Toyota Angler of the Year points. Martens took second place with 61-11. Third was John Crews of Salem, Va., with 59-4. Taking fourth place with 56-8 was Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Okla. Brandon Card of Caryville, Tenn., rounded out the Top 5 at 56-2. The 2012 Rumble winner, Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, finished sixth at 55-15. Like the other 99 Elite pros, Biffle had to overcome wind, muddy water, shifting currents and thunderstorms over four days on the Upper Mississippi River, the fishery that’s lately become so productive that it earned the No. 17 spot on Bassmaster Magazine’s “100 Best Bass Lakes” list of 2013. The move he made to his last spot was critical for his win, but the majority of Biffle’s Rumble bass actually came from what he called his “special smallmouth” place. “It was the end of an island where the current was coming around the island. Over the years, it made a little ditch. The bass were holding in the ditch,” he said. The ditch was actually a small depression, just a foot or two deeper than the surrounding water. It ran about 100 yards, but the bass were holding in a 20- to 30-yard stretch. The island lies only about 10 miles from the takeoff location, which gave Biffle time enough to run to other spots and catch the largemouth he weighed Sunday with four smallmouth. Biffle’s winning rig was a 7/16-ounce Biffle HardHead jig made by Larew, which has a swivel hook to give the trailer more action. He rigged the jig with a green pumpkin Larew Biffle Bug. “It’s always been great in rocks, but this is the first time I’ve ever fished it in pure sand. Smallmouth love it,” he said. For Martens, it was déjà vu. He had the same near-miss almost exactly a year ago on the same fishery in an Elite event. He was just 7 ounces behind leader Faircloth going into the final day of that 2012 event, but the bass chose to wrap their lips around a huge hatch of mayflies, ignoring the lures he was throwing. In 2012, Martens finished 4-3 out of first for a fifth-place finish. “Second place isn’t bad,” said Martens, who knows how it feels. Sunday’s finish was his 12th at second place on the Bassmaster circuit. Martens relied on a drop shot rig for three days, making long casts and giving the lure subtle shakes. His lures were 4 1/2- and 6-inch thick-bodied Fat Roboworms and a 6-inch original Roboworm, all in the color Aaron’s Magic. When the bite got tougher, he rigged the soft plastics wacky-style. Courtesy of BASS Communications.

 
Posted By Hawgsrus
Ralls wins co-angler title HARDIN, Ky. (June 15, 2013) – Curt McGuire of Paris, Tenn., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Central Division event on Kentucky Lake presented by Evinrude after leading wire-to-wire with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 70 pounds, 3 ounces. For his victory, McGuire earned $40,000 and a new Ranger Z518 with a 200- horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor. “This one was a little bit more special than my first win,” said McGuire, who had a previous EverStart victory on Kentucky Lake in 2010. “I feel like the competition here on Kentucky Lake is much stiffer now than it used to be. There are no better local fisherman than here at Kentucky Lake.” McGuire said that he made a long run each day from north of Paris down to New Johnsonville, hitting 50 to 60 different schools of fish along the way. “I really had a fantastic week,” McGuire said. “I must have caught at least 40 to 50 4-pound fish. Some of my schools that I had located, I never even touched. I really just tried to concentrate on the schools that I knew held bigger fish.” McGuire said that he caught fish this week throwing a variety of baits, including a Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait, a BOOYAH football-head jig and a YUM Money Minnow swimbait. He also caught a few keepers fishing a spoon and a Carolina rig. He said that he varied his colors based on his location. McGuire said that when he fished in the north he would throw more natural looking colors and switch to brighter colors as he moved south. “I was really embarrassed after the previous EverStart event on Lake Pickwick,” McGuire went on to say. “I did not catch them nearly as good as I thought I could. The key for me in this event was putting my time in. I worked on finding areas that other guys might not be looking for and figuring out how to catch them differently on the more popular ledges. I saved one hole just for today, and it feels good knowing that my hard work paid off for me.” McGuire caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division on Thursday, a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $300. S Steve Ralls of Buncombe, Ill., won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 54 pounds, 10 ounces. Chuck Sabia of Ottawa, Ill., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $200. The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. The final EverStart Series Central Division tournament will be July 25-27 on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich., and will be presented by Mercury. Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By Hawgsrus
ZAVALLA, Texas — The frog bite was on at Sam Rayburn Reservoir but Texan Albert Collins avoided that temptation and won the B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional. While runner-up Brandon Pedigo and other contestants turned in double-digit sacks today by fishing plastic frogs in the shallow grass, Collins stuck with an offshore summertime pattern of targeting channel swings near points. He brought a 17-pound, 4- ounce limit of five bass to the scales to clinch the victory. He noted the fish were caught at various depths. “I was fishing different areas of the lake,” said Collins, who finished with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 53-4. “In some areas they were in 6 to 8 feet and in some areas they were in 18 to 20 feet. “My primary lure, the one I caught the most fish on, was a Missile Baits Tomahawk worm [in the Love Bug hue].” The 48-year- old plumber from Nacogdoches, Texas, said he rigged the worm Texas style with a 5/16-ounce lead weight and a 5/0 Gamakatsu worm hook. On the first day, he tried to fish as many different areas and types of habitat as he could to accumulate a decent weight, which he accomplished with a 16-12 limit to move into the runner- up spot behind Pedigo. The second day started slowly for Collins, but he finished strong with the heaviest bag of the tournament (19-4) and leapfrogged over Pedigo to take over the lead. Collins won the Livingston Lures award of $250 because he led the tournament on Day 2. The fishing got tougher for Collins during Friday’s final round, because he exhausted several of his best spots in order to build such a heavy stringer of bass on the second day. “It worked out well though,” said the Nacogdoches Bass Club member. “I planned everything out, and it worked.” Collins credits his partner in the draw tournament, Kevin Johnston of Missouri, for letting him call the shots in the final round. “He let me position the boat to the point to where I had a good advantage to throw at everything without getting interfered with,” he said. By winning the divisional and finishing as the top angler on his state team, Collins earned a berth in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship to be held on Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas, Oct. 24- 26. Other state winners who qualified for the National Championship were Doug Thompson of Arkansas; Beau Branine, Kansas; Ryan Lavigne, Louisiana; Randy Ladner, Mississippi; Brian Wilson, Missouri; Nick Ash, Nebraska; and Pedigo of Oklahoma. Louisiana won the team championship for the second straight year with 301 pounds, 12 ounces, while the host Texas squad finished second with 280-15. The Carhartt Big Bass Award of $500 was presented to Destre Dedeaux of Mississippi for his 8-6 largemouth caught on Day 1. For more details, visit Bassmaster.com. 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Supporting Sponsors: Boat US, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Luck-E-Strike, Power-Pole, Shimano About B.A.S.S. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles. The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry- leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle. Courtesy of BASS Communications.