Past examples of our Best on Tour Newsletter.

THE BUSINESS NEWS OF FISHING.
Best on Tour brings you interesting news from the fishing industry in a weekly email.
1. Stat of the Day
PRESENTED BY: Sunline
2. Money Matters
PRESENTED BY: Big Bite Baits
Who made more money an angler, a bull rider or a bowler?
A look at the top 10 earners in 2019 from the Professional Bull Riders, Professional Bowlers Association and pro angling, including the number of events they competed in as of November 20.
3. Behind the Scenes
PRESENTED BY: SPRO
A Classic Impact
Sports Destination Magazine recently released the results of the economic impact on the Knoxville, Tennessee area from the 2019 Bassmaster Classic.
4. Anglers Tribune
Wes Logan Ready For Elite Series
Photo Courtesy B.A.S.S.
We recently caught up with Springville, Alabama angler Wes Logan to get his take on joining the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2020, and find out what he has been up to during the off season. Check out his thoughts in this candid Q&A.
For those that are unfamiliar with Wes Logan, can you give us some background on your fishing career? “I have fished the FLW Tour the past 2 seasons, and prior to that I fished BFLs, Costa’s, and one season of the Opens in 2017 where I finished 12th in the points. After a blessed season in the 2018 Opens I was fortunate enough to win AOY in the Central Division and qualify for the 2020 Elite Series.”
What are your biggest concerns if you have any about transitioning to the Bassmaster Elite Series? “I wouldn’t say that I have any concerns because I’ve been fishing professionally for the past two seasons. I feel like that helps me as far as being used to the travel and stress level that these higher level tournaments put on you. It’s a whole different world when you go from fishing 3 day tournaments where you have unlimited practice time and no off limits to fishing 4 day tournaments with only a few practice days and you can’t get any information. It speeds everything up tremendously.”
How have you been preparing for the 2020 season, and which stops are you looking the most forward to, and also which ones have you a little worried? “Up until this point in the off season I actually haven’t been fishing much at all. I work while I am at home with a family member who is a home builder and I also help out my uncle who builds custom cabinets, so I’m pretty occupied doing that. I guess you could say the off season isn’t off for me too much. I need to make all the extra money I can. I would have to say I am looking forward to the Eufaula and Santee Cooper tournaments because I have done well there in the past. Not saying that I am going to do well this time around, but I feel like I will know what kind of lake I’m getting into before I get there. The northern swing kind of worries me just because it doesn’t fit my style of fishing, but I have done ok in a few smallmouth tournaments so there is hope.”
How has the business side of the game been since you decided to take the step to the Elite Series? “The business side of the game since joining the Elites has been the biggest difference to me. It seems to me that the weight that the Bassmaster Elite Series carries is so much more than what I was used to before at FLW. So when you say you’re on the Elites people kind of pay attention and perk up a little. Being on the Elites means more opportunity for promotion, reaching a larger number of people, and at the same time having a lot more obligations to my sponsors and the companies that support me. It’s always been a dream since I decided that I wanted to try and make a living fishing to be on the Elite Series. And now that I have made it, it is truly like a dream come true and I am blessed and thankful for the opportunity. After the great season I had in the Opens this year, it just seems like it was meant for me to be on the Elite Series and I thank the Good Lord for the opportunity and hope to make the most of it. “
5. Baits Not Being Talked About
Blade baits become a big player in the winter months for suspended and deep fish. The Damiki Vault is a great choice for those situations. It features three line ties with each providing a different action from a wider or tighter wobble.
6. What We’re Watching & Listening To
PRESENTED BY: Gamakatsu
Swindle On Bass Talk Live
Mark and Matt welcome Elite Series Professional, Gerald Swindle. The Alabama Pro takes part in an emotional discussion about his decision to make the move from MLF, back to the Bassmaster Elite Series. Watch the replay here.
7. Jersey Watch
PRESENTED BY: Denali
Aaron Martens
Aaron Martens has always used Shimano reels and he now will be using Shimano owned G-Loomis rods in 2020 following his switch from Enigma.
Photo courtesy of MLF
8. Regional Recommendations
McKee Outdoors is located in Maryville,TN just outside of Knoxville. They stock a full line of tackle, and are a satellite dealer for Bunch Marine. Running several local fishing tournaments from a winter series, to Monday night events keep them in tune with the needs of anglers in the area. Stop by McKee Outdoors and see what they have to offer the next time you are in Maryville.
9. Best for Last
PRESENTED BY: AFTCO
Garmin Force Available Now
Since the ICAST show in July, the fishing industry has been abuzz about trolling motors. The Garmin Force garnered much of the attention, as anglers across the country have anticipated being able to mount one on the front of their rig. The time is finally here, and the Garmin Force has not disappointed. As the most powerful and efficient trolling motor on the market, the Garmin Force Trolling Motor uses wireless chartplotter connectivity to provide navigation, autopilot, and anchor lock features. One of the new features the Garmin Force offers is a wireless foot pedal, that steers and feels just like a cable steered pedal. Not a fan of the wireless option? No problem, just install the foot pedal in a traditional hardwired method. Garmin staffer Justin McClelland spent countless hours on the water with the Garmin Force prototypes and final product, and couldn’t be more pleased with the product that is going to market. “I have had the opportunity to run this trolling motor for almost a year now, and all I can say is wow. The motor is absolutely bullet proof. I have never run a motor this powerful, and better yet I have had absolutely zero issues with it. I’ve put the motor through extreme testing in the last year, and have nothing but great things to say about it.” said McClelland. The Garmin Force bracket will line up with the current hole pattern of the Minn Kota Ultrex, so if you are planning on making the switch you won’t have to drill more holes in your boat. Available in 50″ and 57″ shaft models, the Garmin Force offers options for deep and shallow water anglers alike. Check out the full specs and all the details about the Garmin Force here.
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THE BUSINESS NEWS OF FISHING.
Best on Tour brings you interesting news from the fishing industry in a weekly email.
1. Stat of the Day
PRESENTED BY: Sunline
Tow Vehicles Of The 2019 Elite Series
2. Money Matters
PRESENTED BY: Big Bite Baits
Payout And Entries Comparison
3. Behind the Scenes
PRESENTED BY: SPRO
What Causes 95% Of All Rod failures?
Many anglers believe that “lifetime warranty” on a rod means that it should be replaced no matter the reason forever. Whether or not that break was their fault or if it suddenly broke after many uses, should be irrelevant. In reality, most rod breakage that occurs due to defect happens in one of the first uses of the rod. Breakage after those first few uses is often related to some action to the rod from the angler that weakened it causing it to break at a later date. Rod companies can only cover breaks that are truly related to a defect in the product. Tom Kirkman wrote an in depth article on the North Fork composites website about rod breakage.Over 200 blanks were analyzed for different breaks and then categorized into 16 different types of rod failures or combination failures that are a result of use or abuse from anglers. He also provides examples of actual manufacturer defects and what causes them. See the full article.
He also customizes the area by the driver’s console where his rod tips lay to protect them and to prevent tangling.
4. Anglers Tribune
Lady Bass Anglers Women’s Pro Bass Tour
Secret York won the Angler of the Year on the Lady Bass Anglers Women’s Pro Bass Tour in 2019. She was the #1 ranked angler after the three tournament season which included stops at Hickory Lake, Toledo Bend and the season finale at Logan Martin which she won.
“I can remember fishing with my Dad as far back as when I was 6 years old. I absolutely hated bobber fishing and would always pick out cool looking lures to throw. I have fished all my life and in 1994 a friend introduced me to tournament angling with the the National Bass N gals. Since then I have competed with the Womens Bass Fishing Association, Womens Bassmaster Tour, Bassin Her Style and now the Lady Bass Anglers Association.
I love to fish and just being on the water is my sanity pill. Of all the years of my fishing and travels, the things that have meant the most to me are the people I have met and the friendships that I have shared. I am very blessed by being married to my husband (Kent) for 28 years, two children and three grands.
At my real job I am a heavy equipment operator in a steel mill” York concluded.
5. Baits Not Being Talked About
The Mann’s 1-Minus series of crankbaits has long been a sneaky tool in many top anglers tackle boxes. Rising to prominence after Mike Iaconelli utilized it to help him win the 2003 Bassmaster Classic, the1-minus has had it peaks and valleys in popularity. Essentially the Mann’s 1-Minus is one of the first wake baits that became mainstream. Whether you fish it over submerged grass, or bounce it off wood targets it is something that flat out gets bites. Check them out here.
6. What We’re Watching & Listening To
PRESENTED BY: Gamakatsu
AFTCO Bass Boot Camp
After fishing two divisions of the Costa FLW Series and qualifying for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, AFTCO Bass Boot Camp recruit Matt Pangrac finds himself in 3rd place and fishing on the final day. Targeting big smallmouth with light line, Matt experiences a roller coaster ride on the final day while the FLW Live cameras roll. Watch here.
7. Jersey Watch
PRESENTED BY: Denali
The Hack Attack
Greg Hackney finished his inaugural season on the Bass Pro Tour in 19th place in the final standings and second at the season ending Redcrest. His sponsor lineup is headlined by top industry brands like Academy Sports, Phoenix, Mercury, Garmin, Strike King, Lews and Bass Mafia. His switch to Lews in 2019 from Quantum was well timed with the merger of Strike King and Lews earlier this year.
Photo courtesy of MLF
8. Regional Recommendations
If your in the Little Rock area Southern Reel Outfitters is certainly a place you want to stop and check out. They have everything from fishing tackle, to fishing clothing and much more. This is by far one of the top tackle stores in the state, offering a huge selection. The Store Manager is Scott Rook, who is a retired Bassmaster Elite Series pro. Scott is happy to help with all of your fishing needs. Check them out in person, or online at www.southernreeloutfitters.com
9. Best for Last
PRESENTED BY: AFTCO
B.A.S.S. Announces New National Kayak Tour
With the popularity of kayak bass fishing on the rise it was only a matter of time before B.A.S.S. formally became involved in the scene. Last week the organization announced that they would be launching the B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series, a five tournament trail kicking off in 2020. Read all about it here.
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THE BUSINESS NEWS OF FISHING.
Best on Tour brings you interesting news from the fishing industry in a weekly email.
1. Stat of the Day
PRESENTED BY: Sunline
2. Money Matters
PRESENTED BY: Big Bite Baits
The B.A.S.S. Bluelight Special
Throughout the years numerous non-endemic sponsors have entered the world of professional fishing. Kmart was a major sponsor of the Bassmaster tournament trail for several years before ceasing the relationship. KMart, along with some other brick and mortar retailers have fallen on hard times of late with Kmart filing bankruptcy in 2018 . Another retail giant Wamart, sponsored the FLW Tour for nearly 20 years but drastically reduced their role in 2017, relinquishing the title sponsorship role for the tour.
3. Behind the Scenes
PRESENTED BY: SPRO
Call The Coach
For 33 years Les Bratcher was a successful high school football, basketball and softball coach in Alabama not only creating success on and off the fields and court but helping students follow their dreams. In 2013 Les was recognized for his outstanding achievements, and was put in the Alabama Wiregrass Hall of Fame. When it was time to move on to his next career, Les followed his second passion to carry him to his present job, and that was fishing. Throughout his coaching career Les had a passion for bass fishing and it would be a perfect fit to tackle his next stop at Big Bite Baits.
In his role at Big Bite Baits Les is the Pro Staff Director. His primary duties are making sure that the Big Bite Pro Staff members have what they need. He oversees the BASS and BPT Pros, Walleye, Crappie, Saltwater, Lady Professionals as well as the Big Bite Field Staff.
Asked what it is about your job that you like the most? Coach adds “being a true fisherman it is being involved in the fishing business, but I’m a people person at heart it is the day to day interacting with all of the pros and the customers that call in asking about baits that we make, and I have been known to give them a few fishing tips also along the way”. You can catch some of Les’s best tips on the popular Rig It LIVE weekly segment on the Big Bite Baits Instagram account, which typically airs Thursdays at 3PM CST.
4. Anglers Tribune
Nose Hooked
Keith Leftridge is a successful regional tournament angler from the Kansas City area. He and his long time tournament partner were fishing a tournament early this Fall when his partner swung and missed on a bite in the first 10 minutes of their day on the water. The hook and tungsten weight flew thru the air hitting Keith in the face and mouth. The Gamakatsu hook buried into his nose and the tungsten weight struck him in the mouth, knocking out a tooth. Keith had a great attitude despite the pain and was back on the water later that same day after a trip to the emergency department. It also required multiple dentist visits to repair the tooth damage. His advice to all anglers is “always wear sunglasses or clear safety glasses when fishing”. He and his partner both carry safety glasses in their boats for times of low light when it is too dark for sunglasses.
5. Baits Not Being Talked About
Designed by the legendary crankbait angler, David Fritts, the Berkley Frittside Crankbait is based on the crankbait that helped David win the 1993 Bassmaster Classic. Featuring a flat sided profile that mimics a wide variety of baitfish, the Berkley Frittside Crankbait delivers a tight balsa-like thumping action and flash that is deadly during tough conditions when fish are sluggish or heavily pressured.
6. What We’re Watching & Listening To
PRESENTED BY: Gamakatsu
Bill Dance Blooper Reel
Bill Dance’s television show has aired since 1968, making him one of the World’s most famous anglers with his iconic Tennessee hat. Thousands of anglers have grown up watching his television show. If you need a good laugh today, check out one of his blooper videos.
7. Jersey Watch
PRESENTED BY: Denali
Tommy Biffle
One of the most veteran anglers on the BPT, Tommy has long had Gene Larew as his title sponsor. See one of his best commercials with Gene Larew for the Biffle O here . One of Tommy’s other long term sponsors is Mercury Marine. Mercury is currently accepting sponsorship proposals on it’s website thru Nov 30. The Mercury program offers three levels of sponsorship for anglers to apply.
Photo courtesy of MLF
8. Regional Recommendations
Princess Anne Distributing Co. has been selling quality fishing tackle in Virginia Beach, VA since 1958. Offering its customers excellent products at affordable prices. The store employs a knowledgeable staff with over 80 years of experience and fishing knowledge. If you are in the Virginia Beach area stop by and check them out.
9. Best for Last
PRESENTED BY: AFTCO
Power-Pole Bass Team Gets Salty
Power-Pole recently held an annual event where they bring members of their freshwater and saltwater pro staffs together at their Florida headquarters for training, fellowship, and fun. While some of the time was spent educating their staff on all of the great Power-Pole products , a portion of the event was spent on the water having a friendly competition between Power-Pole pros, staff, and other event attendees. This year the team of Dean Rojas , Randy Howell , Capt. Geoffery Page, and Power-Pole’s Casey Carpenter took home the bragging rights by winning the event. Be on the lookout for great new content and products from Power-Pole team.
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THE BUSINESS NEWS OF FISHING.
Best on Tour brings you interesting news from the fishing industry in a weekly email.
1. Stat of the Day
PRESENTED BY: Sunline
2. Money Matters
PRESENTED BY: Big Bite Baits
Brunswick Corp Parent to Mercury Marine Rising
Image courtesy of Google
Brunswick Corporation parent company to Mercury Marine, Crestliner, Lund Lowe and a number of other marine brands, has seen a strong couple months with it’s stock performance. Boat sales have been strong in 2019 and continue this Fall as Brunswick announced record sales at the recently completed Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. Many anglers running the new Mercury Four Stroke motors this year have been very impressed with the reliability and performance.
3. Behind the Scenes
PRESENTED BY: SPRO
Easily Identify Your Line Size
4. Anglers Tribune
Are You Spooling Your Braid Correctly?
Are you spooling your braid correctly? Dean Rojas recently gave us a few tips to help you get the most out of your braided line. “First you want to make sure you are using backing 100% of the time. I pick a backing that is similar to the diameter of the braid I will be spooling up with. Typically I am only using 15 feet or so of backing, but that makes all the difference in the world. It prevents the braid from digging into the spool and slipping.” said Rojas. Using more braid than you think you need to is also a big part of the equation Rojas insists. “When you first spool the braid on it will be what I like to call ‘fluffy’. Once it gets wet it will lay down and become more compact, so you always want to spool a little more than you think you will need,: Rojas concluded.
5. Baits Not Being Talked About
Designed in collaboration between Spro and BPT angler Shin Fukae, the Spro Wameku Shad 70 has been fine tuned with a unique acoustic profile that sets it apart from all other lipless crankbaits. Coming from the Japanese word “Wameku,” which means “loud talking and noise,” the aptly named Spro Wameku Shad 70 features a distinct, high-pitch knocking sound that is unlike anything bass have ever heard.In addition to its defined auditory presence, the Spro Wamkeu Shad 70 also features two line ties, allowing anglers to utilize two distinctly different, yet equally effective presentations. The forward line tie provides an attitude that excels in shallow water, while the rear line tie provides a more subtle action that allows the bait to get down in the water column.
6. What We’re Watching & Listening To
PRESENTED BY: Gamakatsu
Jimmy Houston YouTube
Jimmy Houston has been a fixture on the national tournament scene and television for decades. Since his retirement from the FLW Tour Jimmy has been concentrating more on his YouTube channel , uploading a variety of different content regularly. On a recent trip to educate his viewers on some of his favorite fall fishing techniques Jimmy hooks into a massive Flathead Catfish. Check out the video here.
7. Jersey Watch
PRESENTED BY: Denali
World Wide Watson
James “WorldWide” Watson is a large personality on the Bass Pro Tour and brings a wide range of sponsors including Ranger, Mercury, Russell Marine Products, Luck E Strike and Bass Pro Shops to name just a few.
Photo courtesy of MLF
8. Regional Recommendations
Located in Bessemer, AL Simmons Sporting Goods has been serving their customers since 1945. Offering a complete lineup of products for fishermen of any skill level, Simmons has everything you need for a great day on the water. With customer service that is second to none, Simmons is definitely a place any angler needs to check out.
9. Best for Last
PRESENTED BY: AFTCO
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THE BUSINESS NEWS OF FISHING.
Best on Tour brings you interesting news from the fishing industry in a weekly email.
1. Stat of the Day
PRESENTED BY: Sunline
2. Money Matters
PRESENTED BY: Big Bite Baits
The Crankbaits with Laser Beams
Around 2009, a new hardbait company featuring laser lights in the baits launched on the fishing scene with much fanfare. The baits featured red laser lights in the bills that activated when the bait got wet. The company believed lasers would attract bass to the baits at a higher rate than traditional crankbaits or jerkbaits. The baits were some of the most expensive hardbaits on the market at the time with retails of $19.99. Some anglers claimed the baits ran well, but many anglers were plagued with baits that leaked and didn’t show increased fish catching abilities over traditional crankbaits. Laser Lures promoted the baits with a large marketing campaign that featured pros Mike Iaconelli and Boyd Duckett, but by late 2012 the company was out of business.
Outdoor Life rated the Laser Lure #1 on it’s Top Ten List of the The Worst Fishing Lures of All Time.
3. Behind the Scenes
PRESENTED BY: SPRO
Protect Your Expensive Swimbaits
With premium hand made swimbaits like the Bull Shad selling for $50 or more it can be very important to make sure they are stored properly, especially to protect areas like the tails. You can easily make a custom box for swimbaits by cutting notches with a dremel tool in one of the deeper tackle boxes from companies like Plano or Flambeau. This allows the baits to stand vertically, keeping the tails in perfect condition. The slats can also be aligned with the joints to insure the bait doesn’t move.
4. Anglers Tribune
Walters Captures A Monster
Summerville, SC Elite Series Pro Patrick Walters and his father Todd are never too far from an outdoor adventure. Recently the pair took advantage of the SC gator hunting season to capture this 10′ 6″ monster out of the South Santee River. Walters has been busy in the off season, after a solid start to his professional career in 2019. Staying sharp by fishing local waters, hunting, and making appearances for his sponsors he is keeping his schedule full. Walters recently signed a sponsorship deal with Humminbird, and will be running the One-Boat Network system on his Falcon Boat in 2020.
5. Baits Not Being Talked About
Fall has arrived and winter is just around the corner, and with those colder seasons finesse jigs will become more of a player in many parts of the country. Andy’s Custom Bass Lures makes a E Series Finesse Jig that features flat, living rubber that is hand tied in combination with silicone skirt material. This is the jig Edwin Evers used to win the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. A number of anglers believe little brown jigs made from living rubber provide greater action in the water. Andy’s also makes a version with a heavier hook for flipping applications.
6. What We’re Watching & Listening To
PRESENTED BY: Gamakatsu
Latimer And Daniels Win Gold
Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. recently teamed up to win Gold at the 2019 Pan American Bass Fishing Championship with a massive two session weight of 45.08. Latimer documented the experience for his YouTube channel, letting you get a glimpse at all of the action. Check out the final day action here.
7. Jersey Watch
PRESENTED BY: Denali
New Jersey Guidelines for FLW in 2020
MLF announced their plans for the 2020 season to FLW anglers in a recent phone call and presentation with the details. In 2020 FLW Pro Circuit anglers are allowed to promote any of their sponsors on all the competition days. On days three and four the anglers will have to wear a jersey that complies with a new FLW template. The new template will reserve some spaces on the angler’s jersey for FLW sponsors that do not conflict with angler’s personal sponsors. Anglers receive 1/3 upper chest and 2/3 of the primary locations on the back of the jersey.
Photo courtesy of FLW
8. Regional Recommendations
Located in Greenwood, SC Hunters Headquarters is much more than a stop for avid hunters. Offering an extensive selection of fishing tackle and gear, for the beginner all the way to the seasoned tournament angler, Hunters Headquarters has you covered. If you are in the upstate of South Carolina stop by and check out their great selection.
9. Best for Last
PRESENTED BY: AFTCO
Denali Rods National Sales Manager Bryan Head
If you’ve spent anytime around the fishing industry over the last two decades you’ve likely crossed paths with Bryan Head. Head has been working in the industry for over 20 years and has experience in the distribution, dealer sales, and retail sales aspects of the business. He is currently the National Sales Manager for Denali Rods, assisting in all aspects of the brand’s business. “As National Sales Manager for Denali I have my hands in every aspect of the business, and I think that is what it takes to truly be invested in your brand. You can find me unloading trucks, packing orders to ship, calling on accounts, doing really whatever it takes to get the job done,” says Head. Since joining Denali over 5 years ago Head has garnered great satisfaction from seeing their hard work paying off in brand recognition and sales. “I get great satisfaction from seeing all of the hard work that we have been putting in at Denali Rods paying off. Whether it is with our sales goals, or a customer simply sending a note saying how satisfied they are with one of our products, the positive reinforcement that we get from reaching our goals is a great feeling.” Head concluded. You can keep up with all things Denali Rods by visiting their website at www.denalirods.com
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