Unlucky These Last Few Weeks…

My SUV was hit while parked in front of my house!


The picture itself doesn’t look all that bad, but the damages exceeded $10,000 dollars – which just so happens to be all the dude that hit me was insured for. So I’m now out of pocket. I’ve had a rental truck for approximately 4 weeks and counting. All of this happened around 2:30AM – thirty minutes before I was leaving for a Bay Area Bassmasters tournament! Really frustrating…

I guess I’m cursed because this happened while traveling to our next Bay Area Bassmasters Kissimmee tournament:


Which resulted in damage to my trailer and boat:


Oh, and I lost my trailer tag as well!

Other than that, I’m doing great! We caught plenty of fish this last tournament, just didn’t get the size we would’ve liked. Rick and I weighed in 5 fish for 6.59 pounds.

Posted in Bass Fishing, Bay Area Bassmasters, Kissimmee, Sport Utility Vehicle, Team Tournament, Trailer | Leave a comment

13 Fishing Defy Black Rod – DEFBC71M

13 Fishing Defy Rod_IMG_0496
I currently have the Defy 7’1″ Med Fast rod paired with a Curado 71HG baitcaster (TackleTour Preview). It is such a balanced light lure combo, and I’m usually flinging very light texas rigged craws/creature baits with it.
One of my favorite fishing combos has at its core an original 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’3″ Med Fast rod with a J-30T blank. This is a rod that I won in a raffle at a charity tournament I participated in years ago. Winning this rod was basically my first exposure to 13 Fishing products, and that rod quickly became one of my favorite rods – remaining so to this day.
Since then, 13 Fishing has become a sponsor of our club and the local kid’s club that our club and another club helped put together and run – Tampa Bay Junior Bass Club. I’m a volunteer captain for their tournaments when my tournament and personal schedule allows, and I have acquired various 13 Fishing rods (Muses / Omens) which led me to try this lower price point Defy series rod.  I have enjoyed all of their rods from the various lines…
I recently went to my local family owned bait shop, CC Marine, to pick up some light tungsten bullet weights (I was getting low) and saw that they now have a good selection of 13 Fishing Rods in the store. They had a Defy Black 7’1″ Medium Fast rod for $59.95 and it looked to be of good quality – which is sort of ludicrous at that price point. I have a spare Curado 71HG spooled up, ready to go and figured it would pair nicely with that rod since it is of similar spec as my favorite combo… I bought it, paired it up with my 71 that was spooled with light braid (30lb Slick 8 Power Pro) and then hit my neighborhood ponds.
I’m happy to report that the pairing is outstanding! My first impressions of the Defy Black rod is that they are likely an amazing value for their price point ($60-70 range). Back when the Omen Black line came out, I thought it was absolutely the best rod in the $100 price point, fishing better than rods that were $200~300. Assuming this Defy baitcasting rod holds up as well as my trusty original series Omen Black, the Defy series appears to be a high quality/value option bass anglers on any budget – much like the Omen Blacks were and are… 

I caught a bunch of 1~3lb bass with the combo, mostly throwing Jethro Baits 1/16th oz tungsten bullet weight (T-rig), a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook (Snelled) baited with Yum Christy Craws (Watermelon Red & some Tomato Gold type color that I can no longer find anywhere). I also caught them on some Zoom Baby Brushhogs in the ‘Watermelon Slice’ color… All of these are great products, by the way! The Yum soft-plastic baits are an exceptional value at $2.99 a pack!

I can’t wait to use it in our Cartwright Realty sponsored Bay Area Bassmaster’s club tournament on Lake Kissimmee this Saturday. We’ll be launching out of Camp Mack, which might involve some drama as they seem to be experiencing some growing pains associated with improving their facilities and expanding their client base. That’s a different story for another time. 

Posted in 13 Fishing, Bass Club, Bass Fishing, Bay Area Bassmasters, Curado 71HG, DEFBC71M, Defy Black Baitcasting, Gear Reviews, Hooks, Kissimmee, Lakes, Reels, Rods, Shimano, Soft Plastics, Tackle, Tampa Bay Junior Bassmasters, Team Tournament, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gear Reviews…

My gear reviews seem to generate the most traffic (Immediately and over the long term), yet I haven’t done many up to this point. That’s going to change a bit. The few that I’ve done in the past have been of medium to deeper dive variety. I’m going to focus on keeping them shorter, and more or less as recommendations (Must haves, solid bets, meh, didn’t work for me, avoid, etc…).

We’ll start off small in this post:

The Boomerang Tool Company’s Snip Line Cutter…



Verdict: “Must Have”

Why? Once you clip this thing to your body (I hook it to my belt loop), you are never hunting around for your pair of braid scissors or trying to cut braid with some ‘attachment’ on your needle nose pliers. It is always within short reach…

I find myself changing baits and retying more frequently during tournaments due to the convenience this tool provides.

They make a variety of these tools, models with longer blades, LEDs, etc…, but the basic tool is all most will need. Retails anywhere from $11-25 dollars, depending on which model you want. You really can’t go wrong with it, and it’ll make a great stocking stuffer for the fisherman in your life.

You may purchase one by following this link (TackleWarehouse.com).

Posted in Bass Fishing, Boomerang Tooling Company Snips, Equipment, Gear Reviews, Line Cutter, Tackle, Tools | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Forward…

Ok, I’ve not been the most prolific of bloggers. I am ashamed. I’m going to try and do better for 2018.

Here’s my plan of attack. Shorter posts – I.e. just giving the readers a sense of what I’ve been up to, what gear I’m using, etc…

For example, I recently was able to get out to the Harris Chain of lakes to be a volunteer captain for our Tampa Bay Junior Bass Club again. We had a good time, despite the somewhat miserable weather conditions (A cold front was pushing through the region during the tournament). We felt the effects of the same front that caused snow in spots along the Gulf Coast region.

I was fishing with Tyler and Jackson that day.


I didn’t really take many pictures as we were all just trying to stay warm and out of the wind – Sorry!

My guys were slightly underdressed for the damp and cold conditions – as were many that day. Other than them hopping around every once and a while to warm up a bit, they survived…

The bite was slow, but they were biting. It was a Senko bite where you needed to hop (Long and slow) the worm out of submerged grass (Milfoil). Tyler (Pictured at the bow of the BassCat) managed just shy of 9lbs that day. I’ve not seen the results yet, but I’m guessing he finished in the top three of his age group, if not 1st.

It was good to get out there with the boys. We all had a good time.

The only thing that was less than ideal was realizing my SUV’s tire was completely flat when I went to load the boat on the trailer…


Someone loaned me the emergency compressor, and I aired it up enough to get me to a station with a stronger compressor (Finally getting the tire(s) up to 45PSI).

In closing, don’t let this cold weather stop you from fishing this holiday season. I’ve caught some of my biggest bass ever during miserable weather conditions. Just dress appropriately (BPS 100mph Suits are the bee’s knees – worth it)!

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What’s Next…

So, I just committed to being a captain for the kid’s club tourney this Saturday on the Harris Chain of Lakes… Work has been crazy, so I’m really looking forward to getting the boat out and fishing a bit with the kids. Plus, we have our regular club tourney the following weekend on the Harris Chain, so hopefully the kids will figure out some patterns that I may be able to use the following weekend.

That being said, there’s probably more than a few product write-ups (Reviews) that I need to do. Mainly regarding 13 Fishing rods (Club sponsor) and the Daiwa Tatula line of baitcasting reels.

I’ve become a big fan of 13 Fishing rods ever since I won one in a charity tournament. The one I won is probably my favorite rod. I’ve been meaning to purchase more of them, but have only managed to purchase one additional one – so there are two in my current arsenal.

The one I recently purchased was out of this line: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/13_Fishing_Envy_Black_Casting_Rods/descpage-FEBC.html. TW had it on sale during December, and my frogging rod has seen better days, so I bought a 13 Fishing Envy Black Casting Rod 7’3″ Heavy with extra fast tip. It is a great frogging rod, but more so if you are fishing from a casting deck on a boat. If you’re throwing hollow bodied frogs from the shore, I’d recommend the 7’1 version. I’ve noticed that when fishing from the shore, the 2 extra inches is a bit too much in some cases. The rod itself is fantastic. Great quality and very light. Great sensitivity as well…

I’ve been on a Diawa Tatula kick ever since buying my first one a year or two back. I now have 4 or 5 different versions, including the Zillion version (Daiwa Zillion TWS Casting Reel 100XXSL) that I got on sale. All of them are tremendous reels for the money. I was a hardcore Shimano guy before I got on the Tatula kick, but since I can get basic high-speed lefty Tatulas online for around $110 a pop (Amazon, shipped to my door), I’ve not really looked back. Phenomenal product at that price-point. Every bit as good as my more expensive, Shimano reels that I’ve obtained over the years.

I’ll try to do more in-depth reviews of the above at some point, with pics. Stay tuned…

So, in closing, if you know of any hot patterns on the Harris Chain right now, feel free to message me or comment!

I’m shameless, I know…

Posted in 13 Fishing, Bass Club, Bass Fishing, Bay Area Bassmasters, Daiwa, Harris Chain, Pre-Spawn, Reels, Rods, Tackle, Tampa Bay Junior Bassmasters, Team Tournament | Leave a comment

First Bay Area Bassmasters Tourney of 2017 is in the Books…

We recently fished our first tournament of the year with our club, Bay Area Bassmasters. Our club is now officially ginormous, as we fielded 47 teams/boats on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes.

It was the first regular season tournament fishing out of our new rig, a 2011 BassCat Puma. The boat is great, but we weren’t so great in it that day! We lost more than a few fish, as we probably had 10~15 bites with at least 6~7 of those being keeper fish. Out of those potential keepers, we only managed to boat three of them! It was actually fun because we were getting bites, just frustrating that we weren’t capitalizing on those bites by getting them into the boat’s live-well . I know we lost one that was a solid fish that looked to be approaching 3 pounds. Landing that one would have bumped us up quite a bit in the standings! It was a weird day for us…

We finished 35th out of 47 boats (Link to results).

We got the majority of the bites on a club sponsor’s bait that I had won in the club raffle during the club meeting earlier that week. The sponsor, MirrOlure is a new one for our club in 2017. The bait was the Lil-John XL, june-bug colored. It is an interesting bait that looks like a fluke at first glance. I rigged it weightless as we were fishing over and in-between topped out milfoil / eel-grass clumps in a cove. The water was the clearest we’d found in the chain that day, and the depth was between 5-7′. The bait has a great twitching action that is like walking the dog under water or on top. Got some vicious strikes coming off the edges of topped out grass clumps with the bait still on top. It’s a great bait with a unique action. I’ll definitely pick up some more in my usual colors. You can also rig it with jig heads, but we’ve not tried that yet. Looking forward to giving that a shot at some point.

So, we’re not off to a fantastic start, but the Harris Chain of Lakes is our next tournament on the schedule, and we’ve done well in the past there. I’m hopeful about the next one!

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Bass Clubs are Dying? Not Bay Area Bassmasters…

So I read this article in December of 2016 and it bothered me: http://www.pantagraph.com/sports/recreation/fishing/below-the-waterline-time-is-now-to-revive-bass-and/article_4b90f0e3-f0ce-5e58-84bf-192cd7ee739c.html

The author, Terry Brown, is President of Wired2Fish.com, an industry leading, daily website and social media fishing centered community that provides information on products, industry newsmakers and fishing techniques.

It bothered me so much that I tried to find a way to contact the author – basically to tell him that if what he wrote did indeed represent a general negative trend for bass clubs across the country, that our club, http://www.bayareabassmasters.com is an outlier!

Bay Area Bassmasters just had its first club meeting and tournament of 2017. We were big before, but now we are just plain huge! We are a team format club that now has upwards of 50 teams in the club. We have increased in size every year I’ve been involved, and most of the years preceding our team’s involvement with the club. If bass fishing clubs across the U.S.A. are in as dire of straits as Terry’s article seem to imply, then Bay Area is bucking that trend in a big way, as we’ve been the largest B.A.S.S. Team Format club in the country for many years now, with no end in sight. We fielded 47 boats in our first tournament of the year!

This is the first bass fishing club I’ve ever been a part of,  and now it’s like an extended family to us. It is comprised of a group of extraordinary guys and gals, who were nothing but supportive and generous to Brian and I last year when we experienced a series of unfortunate events, leaving us boatless near the beginning of the 2016 season. The members of Bay Area stepped up, loaning us boats time and time again to make us able to finish out the season – E.g. it took forever insurance to figure out that the boat was a total loss, and therefore settle the claim. It also took us a long time to find a quality tournament rig to replace the Nitro. We found that replacement boat just before our end of the year classic on Lake Okeechobee (I bought it the day before). It was a crazy year, and they were crazy supportive of us!

Anyhow, I would invite the Author to come down and check out our club. It is well run. The rules are crafted in such a way as to minimize conflict during meetings. We have great sponsors, and we give back to the local community, donating thousands of dollars a year to one of our local hospice orgs, Gulfside Hospice & Pasco Palliative Care, as well as donating material and time (sponsoring) a spectacularly successful youth bass club, Tampa Bay Junior Bass Club. For instance, the youth club currently has a waiting list of kids wanting in – as we get more volunteer boaters/captains, more kids on the waiting list get in…

If anyone out there knows how to get in touch with the author, Mr. Terry Brown, I’d love to have him come check out our club as a case study example of a good club that is certainly bucking the negative trend he has described in his article.

#bayareabassmasters #BABtillidie   ;^)



Posted in Bass Club, Bass Fishing, Bay Area Bassmasters, Fishing Industry, Florida BASS Nation | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bass Nomad’s favorite moment: Rick, River and Skeet — Bass Nomad Online

Our friends at Bassmaster.com were gracious enough to include us recently in their “My favorite moment” series. The 2016 Elite Series season was memorable in many ways, but nothing was as powerful to us as that afternoon in Palatka, Florida where Rick Clunn and his son River shared one of the greatest moments we’ve ever […]

via Bass Nomad’s favorite moment: Rick, River and Skeet — Bass Nomad Online

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Bobby Lane Cup…

I had a good time captaining in the Bobby Lane Cup a few Saturdays back. I think my anglers had a good time as well.

The weather was nice, but the fishing was tough. Most of their bites came from deep within mats. They finished 33rd out of well over 100 teams. I think that’s a pretty respectable result.

Here are some random pics and a video for you to enjoy…




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Hooked up with a Big One Today!

Too big to get into the boat, so I had to let it go near the ramp… It was at least 16 feet long!

Hehe… These nice folks had their starter rope break on them. Gave them a tow back to the ramp. They got a new pull start rope and we’re back out within an hour or so. 

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