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Matt Arey Introduces the FETCH from Lunkerhunt

The Lunkerhunt Fetch is a professional grade swimbait that is designed for anglers of all skill levels. Developed collectively with fishing pro Matt Arey, this signature series bait will catch a wide range of fish.

The Fetch Swimbait casts far and has a neutral and steady action under fast or slow retrieve speeds. This enables it to stay in the strike zone longer, even at slow speeds. The Fetch resembles live bait and predator fish cannot resist it.

See the full Lunkerhunt line up here.

Follow Matt on his Facebook page.

Wesley’s Ploppin P

Wesley’s Ploppin-P was originally designed by Missouri angler Doug Flannery. This unique bait offers a beautiful balsa wood version to other ploppin style baits on the market.. This bait features a nickle blade that can be bent to adjust the amount of surface commotion during retrieve. The Ploppin-P is meticulously hand painted in select color combinations for maximum topwater fish attraction.Check out the full PH line up here.

Toyota Bonus Bucks Winners Take $5K and Swindle’s Jacket

As Cody Millican and John Cook idled through morning ‘boat check’ prior to throttling down in the 6th Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners event, Millican told top pro Gerald Swindle, who was emceeing the event, that if he and Cook won – he was taking Swindle’s jacket home.

Swindle, being a good sport, agreed – and by day’s end, had to present Millican with not only his jacket, but a check from Toyota for $5,000 at the No Entry Fee event for registered Bonus Bucks members on Table Rock Lake.

Millican and Cook also took Swindle’s advice on maintaining a positive mental attitude en route to victory, as they overcame the adversity of thinking their boat might be sinking when big waves crashed over the stern.

“We were tied up to a tree making repeated casts with a ¾ ounce football jig to a brushpile along side a dock, and before too long strong winds started filling the boat with water,” says Millican, who calls Table Rock his home lake.

“We maintained our composure and pulled into a boat dock to escape the wind, let our bilge pump get rid of all the water, and went back to fishing,” he added.

While their winning weight of just 11 pounds 6 ounces was the lowest in the six-year history of the fellowship-rich event, it was good enough for a lifetime memory.

“This is a top-notch event, no entry fee, great food, lots of free stuff – we were here last year – and now we’ll fish this event forever,” says Millican.

Millican’s partner John Cook has deep loyalty to Toyota. He pulled the winning boat with a 4Runner, but has a Tacoma at home with 302,000 miles on it. “I call that old Tacoma “Otis’s truck” – because I have a dog named Otis that loves to ride in it.”

Millican and Cook weren’t the only team to enjoy the event’s prize-filled payout. The top 30 teams received a paycheck, three teams that finished outside the top 31 were randomly chosen for a $500 cash prize, and the 31st place team got the LEER Truck Caps “Lucky Dog” $750 cash prize.

Plus, the 15th place team won a $1,000 Bass Pro Shops Gift Certificate, and the 4 pound 3 ounce largemouth caught by the team of Ronnie Dobbs and Troy Eakins was good enough for $1,000 worth of free merchandise from Carhartt.

Certainly, nobody went home empty handed. Participants who traveled from states across America were treated to free meals, a generous amount of free gear, and tremendous fellowship before the first cast was ever made.

You don’t have to win a tournament to win the “Bonus Bucks” – you just have to be a registered participant in any of the dozens of tournaments sanctioned by Bonus Bucks, and be the highest-placing participant. To learn more and get signed-up, please visit http://www.toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com/ or phone (918) 742-6424, and ask for Jessica or Kendell and they can also help you get signed-up.

Why Hackney Chooses Gamma

The 2017 Bassmaster Elite season is a wrap, we caught up with Greg Hackney to talk about his year. Greg finished the season in 8th place and is headed to the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. One of the things Hackney stressed to us was the fishing line he uses, with all the variables on the water your line is something you should not have to worry about. Are you using Gamma? If not give it a try….check out all the Gamma products here.

Lake Hartwell To Host World’s Top Amateur Anglers At B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

Ryan Lavigne of Gonzales, La., won the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors last year on Lake Conroe with 58 pounds, 3 ounces. He’ll be back this year to defend his title on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell Oct. 19-21.

                                                                                                                  Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

ANDERSON, S.C. — Amateur bass anglers from the U.S. and nine foreign nations will compete next week on Lake Hartwell in a tournament that will be the ultimate test of their fishing skills.

The event is the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. The competition is Oct. 19-21 with the tournament based in Anderson, S.C.

What began as an American sport has grown globally through the B.A.S.S. membership, and specifically through the club network known as the B.A.S.S. Nation. The qualifiers advanced through local, state and regional club tournaments to reach the championship.

Joining anglers from 47 states are those from Mexico, Japan, Australia, Portugal, Italy, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the province of Ontario and the Republic of South Africa.

Also on the qualifier list is the Paralyzed Veterans of America champion and defending championship winner Ryan Lavigne of Gonzales, La. The Ascension Area Anglers club member scouted the tournament fishery just prior to the official off-limits period that began in mid-September.

What Lavigne found could make this tournament a truly competitive event. Under normal autumn conditions the lake’s abundant population of spotted bass begins to form schools and feed on baitfish in shallow water. Bass concentrated in the creeks are much easier to locate and catch.

So far, unseasonably warm weather has prevented that initial migration of spotted bass from the main lake. During summer, the bass stay in deep water and are challenging to locate.

Lavigne said the spotted bass he found were somewhere in between the deep- and shallow-water areas.

“I didn’t make many casts and instead spent most of the time riding around looking for good areas,” he said. “I only stopped a few times to find out what size spotted bass were in the schools.”

The results were somewhat disappointing for Lavigne. He caught plenty of bass but not of the size to put him into contention to win.

“It could be very hit and miss,” he continued. “It might take a lot of running around to bring back a quality limit of spotted bass.”

Deep reservoirs like Hartwell are far away from Louisiana, where most of the bass fishing happens in shallow rivers, bayous and saltwater estuaries. Call Lavigne a hybrid of Cajun bass anglers. He likes fishing for bass in deep water and mastered the skill through his travels to B.A.S.S. Nation regional events.

“It will take a cold snap to get the fish moving because the water temperature was too warm during my trip,” he added. “But I do like fishing offshore and in deeper water more than anything else.”

The long-term weather forecast predicts daytime high temperatures in the mid-70s and nighttime lows in the 50s. That’s about 15 degrees cooler than current highs and lows.

The Top 3 anglers from the championship advance to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The Classic is March 16-18 on Lake Hartwell.

The Top 3 anglers also earn paid entry fees in the division of their choosing for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens, and use of a B.A.S.S. Nation’s Best Phoenix Boat package for one year.

The winner also receives the Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial Trophy. A Skeeter ZX200 rigged with Yamaha SHO 200 outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics are part of the prize package. The winner also receives a berth in the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series, with $16,000 paid toward the entries.

The runner-up receives a Skeeter TZX190 and Yamaha SHO 150, rigged with the same accessories as the winner’s boat. The nonboater champion receives a Skeeter TZX190 package rigged with those same accessories, paid entries in an Opens division, and a Classic Marshal spot.

A Triton 189 TRX, Yamaha VF150LA and Triton standard equipment will go to the third-place angler.

Daily launch and takeoff time is 7:30 a.m. ET. The weigh-in begins at 3:45 p.m. Both events will be held at Green Pond Landing and Event Center in Anderson.

Bassmaster.com will provide extensive coverage of the tournament to include daily stories, videos and photo galleries.

The event will be hosted by Visit Anderson.

2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Title Sponsor: Academy Sports + Outdoors

2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Presenting Sponsor: Magellan

2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Premier Sponsors: Yamaha, Shell Rotella, Power-Pole, Mercury, Minn Kota, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats

2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, T-H Marine, Livingston Lures, Phoenix Boats, Shimano, Advance Auto Parts, Lowrance, Nationwide

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

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