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Marsh Punch-out — How to punch grass mats for big bass

Back in 2009 during the Bassmaster Central Open held in the Atchafalaya Basin, Elite Series angler and local favorite Cliff Crochet punched grass mats to earn his first trip to the Classic.

The Pierre Part pro proved the technique, when employed correctly and used under the right conditions, can be a deadly tactic for putting weight on the scale. 

Basically fishing in his own backyard, Crochet employed the tactic with precision in the waters he grew up on. He used a heavy tungsten weight, a flipping hook and braided line — all basic elements required to punch grass for lunker bass.

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March 01 at 7:00 am
3401 Views

Basin bass on verge of spawn

Pierre Part’s Cliff Crochet spent all last week either practicing for or competing in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic held on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville.

And all he could think about after the final-day weigh-in was pitching to cypress trees in his home waters within the Atchafalaya Basin.

So after a single day of rest — which included the six-hour drive home — Crochet launched out of Belle River Landing Tuesday morning and headed into the thick of the Basin.

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February 26 at 5:15 pm
4574 Views

Phoenix 919 offers benefits of larger boats in more-compact package

Bass boats have gotten longer over the years, and now it seems almost everyone runs a 21-foot boat. However, Phoenix Boats realized that many anglers would like smaller, more manageable fishing platforms — but they didn't want to give up the quality that is now expected.

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February 24 at 5:58 pm
5082 Views

Howell wins 2014 Bassmaster Classic

Alabama’s Randy Howell had only two B.A.S.S. wins to his credit when his twelfth Bassmaster Classic competition began on Friday. He went into today’s final round in 11th place, 9 pounds behind the leader.

No one, including Howell really thought he had a shot.

“I didn’t expect to have the chance to win after the first day, and especially after yesterday,” Howell said.

But he whacked the bass today, putting 29 pounds, 2 ounces on the scales to seal the 2014 Bassmaster Classic championship and pocketing the $300,000 first-place prize.

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February 23 at 8:13 pm
3934 Views

Evers claims Bassmaster Classic Day 2 lead by 1 ounce

Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers was the last to weigh in during the second day of the Bassmaster Classic, and when the scales settled he had claimed the lead of the so-called Superbowl of Fishing — but just barely.

Emcee Dave Mercer announced Evers needed 20 pounds, 9 ounces to claim the lead, and that’s exactly what the scales read.

The stringer brought Ever’s two-day weight to 47 pounds, 6 ounces.

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February 22 at 7:57 pm
2583 Views

Tharp falls to second in Bassmaster Classic — by 1 ounce

Randall Tharp is known for his cool demeanor, but the second day of the Bassmaster Classic was almost more than he could take.

He went into the day leading the event. That’s enough pressure to try an angler.

But what really affected Tharp’s game plan was when his outboard went down early, costing him nearly 2 hours of fishing time while he was towed to a ramp to have his gear case repaired.

And he lost the lead in the event, falling a mere ounce behind Day 2 leader Edwin Evers.

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February 22 at 6:59 pm
1445 Views

Crochet rebounds on second day of Bassmaster Classic

 Video Included

When Pierre Part’s Cliff Crochet struggled to log a 51st place spot in the first day of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, he said he was going to go out today and have fun.

He accomplished that feat — and weighed in five bass worth 23 pounds, 15 ounces that pushed him WAY up in the rankings. However, his Classic still ended because he just missed the Top 25 cut.

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February 22 at 5:39 pm
3842 Views

Ardent introduces Apex reels at 2014 Bassmaster Classic

Ardent reels are known for their bullet-proof constructio, and its new Apex line continues that tradition.

The reels offer the perfect balance of light weight, comfort and durability. Each model in the line features high-strength aluminum frames, and between 8 and 12 ball bearings for silky-smooth operation.

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February 22 at 2:38 pm
4174 Views

Crochet struggles during first day of Bassmaster Classic

Cliff Crochet was stoked about his second Bassmaster Classic, but thing fell apart quickly when competition began today on Lake Guntersville in Alabama.

“I caught two (bass), swung a little early on a swim bait bite and missed one on a ChatterBait,” Crochet said.

When it was time to head to the weigh-in stand, he had only two fish that combined for 7 pounds, 5 ounces. That put him into 51st place going into the second round of competition.

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February 21 at 11:09 pm
2776 Views

Tharp leads after first day of Bassmaster Classic

Randall Tharp said local knowledge was one of the keys to his 27-pound, 8-ounce showing today that put him in lead of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville.

“The fish are in some places I haven’t seen them in five to seven years,” the Florida pro said. “Every time I fish a tournament here this time of year, I make a point to check these places — and the fish haven’t been there in years.”

But in his fall practice he found the fish were stacked up.

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February 21 at 8:38 pm
2235 Views

Warmer temps and phenomenal fishing are in the forecast for south Louisiana

Barring any unexpected  cold fronts, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro and Sportsman TV host Greg Hackney expects bass and sac-a-lait fishing to explode across south Louisiana over the next 10 to 14 days.

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February 14 at 3:12 pm
6557 Views

You can’t beat crawfish

A Louisiana bass fishing pro getting ready for his fifth season on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail said there’s no question about one of the artificial lures he’ll nearly always be throwing when the bass and the money are on the line in 2014.

“I mean, everybody pretty much knows it’s going to be a crawfish,” Dennis Tietje said.

Tietje had just returned from his deer-hunting camp during the holidays and obliged a question about one of the favorite artificial lures in his tacklebox, a confidence bait.

“I’m going to keep three baits on no matter what — a small crankbait (red KVD Square Bill), a (Strike King) Rage Craw and a small (Strike King) spinnerbait,” the angler from Roanoke said. “Even though I may not rely (full-time) on the soft plastic, I tend to throw some type of crawfish bait 60- to 70-percent of the time.”

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February 14 at 9:00 am
7174 Views

Freshwater lures

Vicious Frog

It seems fitting that a bait so commonly thrown from a bass boat would have a design feature common to this type of vessel. Indeed, the Vicious Frog owes its tantalizing side-to-side walking style to the “bass boat” belly that effects this bass-tempting movement.

The soft, hollow body frog also benefits from an internal weighting system, while the incredible anatomical detail and realistic colors seal the deal.

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February 13 at 2:43 pm
2412 Views

Minnesota angler wins Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Lake Amistad

Andy Young, a Minnetonka Lake guide, topped hard-charging Stephen Browning to win the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Lake Amistad by only 1 ounce. 

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February 10 at 1:04 pm
3224 Views

Pierre Part's Crochet ready for second Bassmaster Classic

Cliff Crochet decided to make the eight-hour drive to North Alabama twice this past November to scout Lake Guntersville, where his second Bassmaster Classic cranks up on Feb. 21.

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February 05 at 11:00 pm
3215 Views

Sip-float slabs — Top fishing tips for wintertime crappie

In most activities, a slip-up is a bad thing. Botched snap that leads to a recovered fumble, dropping an easy fly ball, missing that breakaway slam dunk — all bad.

But for crappie fishermen, a slip-up can actually refer to a well-planned tactic for tempting those tasty schooling fish.

Bobby Murray knows this game well. He holds the first Bassmaster Classic title, but he also holds a lifetime interest in crappie fishing.

Tactics are many, but when the fish hold over structure like brush piles, Murray knows keeping a bait on fish’s radar is essential for consistency.

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February 01 at 7:00 am
3242 Views