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January 28-30, 2016      BASS Southern Open      Toho       Kissimmee, FL  

I made the money on Toho at the FLW last year but plan to fish Kissimmee this time around.  Plan to throw Zoom UV Speed Worms, Zoom Trick Worms and do some flippin in pads.

Feburary 4-7, 2016      FLW Tour #1     Okeechobee     Clewiston, FL

I’m excited about the tour opening up on Okeechobee again.  I love this big lake and really enjoy staying at Mary Ann Martin’s in Clewiston.  Results will depend on water levels, water temperatures and whether or not one of the dreaded cold fronts hits during the tournament.  Florida bass don’t like cold fronts!  Packing lots of Zoom baits for this event…Florida bass love Zoom!

March 4-6, 2016      Bassmasters Classic     Tulsa, OK

I’m really excited about appearing with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Classic.  I’ll be working in the Kid Casters booth and will also spend time in the Garmin and Lew’s booths.  My TMNT Toyota with its Leer top will be on display in the Toyota booth; be sure to stop by and visit.

Classic Kid Casters        Classic Garmin          Toyota 2016

Turtles at boat_6167

March 17-20, 2016      FLW Tour #2      Lake Hartwell      Anderson, SC

I made the money the last time the Tour visited Hartwell.  I caught my fish on a Zorro Booza Bug teamed with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk.  Every Lew’s rod and reel on my deck will have a Booza Bug on the business end.

March 31-April 2, 2016     BASS Southern Open   Smith Lake    Jasper, AL

I really messed up last year when the FLW Tour visited Smith Lake last year.  I’m looking forward for a chance to redeem myself this year.  As with Hartwell, you’ll find lots of Booza Bugs rigged on my Lew’s rods and reels.

April 14-17, 2016      FLW Tour #3      Beaver Lake     Rogers, AR

I made the money last year throwing a wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worm.  I’m not going to quit a winner; out with the Lew’s spinning outfit and a green pumpkin Trick worm.

April 28-30, 2016     Costa Series      Kentucky Lake     Paris, TN

I lived on Kentucky Lake for 33 years.  I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to return to my favorite lake and especially the opportunity to practice with my life-long friend and fishing legend Jerry McKinnis.  Jerry and I have practiced together for this event too many times to count and this year we’re gonna kill ’em!

Classic McKinnis

May 5-8, 2016      FLW Tour #4     Pickwick Lake      Florence, AL

I do like the Tour schedule this year – I made the money the last time FLW visited Pickwick using my three favorite baits: a Zoom Trick Worm, a Zorro Booza Bug and a Zoom Ol Monster.  My Ranger’s tackle storage will be full of all three!

May 19-21, 2016     BASS Southern Open     Douglas Lake     Dandridge, TN

Douglas is usually in the Northern Opens but when BASS moved it to the Southern Opens…I moved too!  The last time out I narrowly missed the money and feel confident that I can get over the hump this time!

June 9-12, 2016     FLW Tour #5     Kentucky Lake     Gilbertsville, KY

Last year the Tour went out of Paris, TN and I had to make a long run to my favorite areas on the North end of the lake to get a check.  This year we are going out of the dam on the North end which will give my more fishing time and a opportunity to move up in the money!  No doubt what I’ll be throwing – a Zoom Ol Monster!

June 23-26, 2016      FLW Tour #6     Lake Champlain     Plattsburgh, NY

It’s a long and expensive haul to Champlain but outside of Kentucky Lake I can’t think of another place I rather wet a line.  Lake Champlain and the mountains around it are absolutely beautiful and is it ever full of bass.  I usually choose to stay on the North end instead of making the long and usually grueling ride to the South end.  Tubes, spinnerbaits, drop-shotting, Carolina rigs – you can pick your poison at Champlain and bring a solid bag to the scales.

July 13-15, 2016      ICAST     Orlando, FL

For the second year in a row ICAST will be held in Orlando and for the second year in a row my TMNT rig, the TURTLES and I will be there working the Kid Casters booth.

August 4-7, 2016     Forrest Wood Cup     Huntsville, AL

I’ll be attending the Forrest Wood Cup in Huntsville.  Time will tell if it’s as a competitor or working the Kid Casters booth.  This could be the year for qualifying for the Cup on the Pro side (I qualified as a co-angler in 2011).  Wish me luck!

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March 5-8, 2015     FLW Tour #1      Toho       Kissimmee, FL         

I’ve never fished a tournament on Toho but expect to find some similarities to Okeechobee where I have a ton of experience.  One thing I know about the place is there is a lot of aquatic vegetation and a ton of monster bass!  Not sure yet where I will spend practice – with four lakes involved and a tiny lock leading to the other three lakes in the chain I will try to narrow down my choices before getting there.  At this point I plan to take the big hardware and do a lot of flipping.

March 26-29, 2015     FLW Tour #2     Smith Lake     Jasper, AL

I’m delighted to get a “do over” on this beautiful lake.  The last time the FLW was there I made some critical mistakes and hope I don’t repeat them this time.  I know you should never plan ahead but I would be a dollar to a doughnut that I’ll catch ’em (giant spotted bass) on a Zorro Booza Bug!

April 23-26, 2015     FLW Tour #3     Beaver Lake     Rogers, AR

Beaver is the site of my first Top 10 cut in my first year as a Pro in 2012…It’s high time I did it here again!  Time to pull out the Zoom Trick worm and go to work.

May 14-17, 2015     FLW Tour #4     Lake Eufaula     Eufaula, AL

Another second chance lake.  I’m sure looking forward to returning to Eufaula.  The last time there I caught ’em on a Zorro Aggravator and a Zoom ‘Ol Monster.

June 11-14, 2015     FLW Tour #5     Chickamauga     Dayton, TN

Last year I fished the BASS Fest on Chickamauga and had the bites to finish in the top 50 but had a few execution problems.  I feel confident that I can do much better this time around.

June 25-28     FLW Tour #6     Potomac River     La Plata, MD

This will be my third trip to this tidal river.  I made the cut as a co-angler in 2010 and both my co-angler partners made a check when I returned as a Pro the next time around.  I’m anxious to return!

July 9-11     BASS Open     James River     Richmond, VA

This will be the third time BASS has held an Open on the James that I have fished.  Both times before I had final day cut fish hooked up but couldn’t get them in the boat.  I’ll probably make the long trip downstream to the Chick and take my chances there again.

August 6-8     BASS Open       Lake Oneida     Syracuse, NY

Another chance to right the boat on this beautiful lake.  The first time I fished here my second day co-angler spanked me good, I only needed to catch a limit the second day to get a check and only brought in four while my co-angler landed over 2o keepers!

August 20-23     Forrest Wood Cup     Lake Ouachita     Hot Springs, AR

I qualified for the Cup as a co-angler in 2010 when Scott Martin won and would love to make my first Cup as a Pro this year.  Stay tuned…

September 24-26     BASS Open     Lake Erie     Sandusky, OH

Erie is one of the most fun and most terrifying places you could ever ask for!  It’s chunked full of giant smallmouth that have an attitude.  Can’t wait to get back there and throw a Buckeye Jiggin Blade and do some drop shotting with RockyBrook Sinkers.

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January 31, 2014     Broward County Boys & Girls Club Tournament     Ft. Lauderdale, FL

When Mike Surman called and asked me to help in this event by taking a couple of sponsor folks out fishing on the Everglades prior the Okeechobee FLW, I jumped at the opportunity.  Besides helping to raise money for an extremely worthwhile program it also will give me an opportunity to put my new Ranger Z520c powered by Evinrude ETEC through its paces prior the first day of practice.

February 6-9, 2014      FLW Tour #1      Okeechobee       Clewiston, FL         

I always look forward to starting the season at Lake Okeechobee.  It’s a pleasure to get out of the winter weather in Kentucky to enjoy the Florida sunshine and I love fishing Okeechobee.  I’ve been fishing the Big O since 1983 and every year this lake changes.  Water levels vary widely depending on how much rain southern Florida receives during the hurricane season and the aquatic vegetation changes from year to year depending on the weather.  It’s a challenge to figure out where the bass are most active and what method to use to catch them.  I’m spooling up Tough Line SuperCast braid on my Lew’s BB1 Pro reels and pulling out my biggest and strongest Mustad hooks so I’ll be ready to battle some Big O monsters.

March 6-9, 2014                   FLW Tour #2                    Hartwell                       Seneca, SC

This will be my third trip to Hartwell.  I first fished it as a co-angler in 2011 and was fortunate to finish in the money primarily targeting boat docks with Zoom Trick Worms.  Then I returned on the Pro side in 2012 and had a real good practice using Zorro Booza Bugs but didn’t make the right adjustments when the pattern changed during the tournament.  I’m really looking forward to a rematch this year.  I expect we’ll find the deep clear water of Hartwell to be pretty cold; probably in the low 50’s.  This will call for Vicious ProElite fluorocarbon in the 10 to 12 pound range and fishing slow.

March 27-30, 2014               FLW Tour #3                  Rayburn                      Lufkin, TX

I’ve run a lot of tournaments on Rayburn but never fished it before.  It’s a big lake with lots of stumps and stickups a usually a lot of vegetation.  This early in the year it can be really windy on Rayburn making it tough and dangerous to get around.  The bright side though is that this lake is full of giant bass!  No light line on this pond; if we hit a warming trend just right and the wind is not too bad it could be a slug fest.

April 10-13, 2014                   FLW Tour #4                    Beaver                                    Rogers, AR

I’ve had my ups and downs on Beaver Lake, it’s a tough lake to fish anytime but if we have an early spring and the water temps are anywhere near 60 the fishing should be good.  One thing you can count on…with this large field it will be crowded.  I’ll try to target largemouth with swimbaits, spinnerbaits and Zorro Booza Bugs.

May 29–31, 2014                BASS Open #1             Douglas                       Dandridge, TN

This is the first of three events I’ll fish in an effort to qualify for the BASS Elites.  I recall fishing a night tournament on Douglas in the 70’s but don’t really remember much about it.  I’m not sure what to expect so this may be one tournament that I might prefish after I get back from Beaver. Douglas is only about 5 hours from my home on Kentucky Lake and it’s extremely important to get a decent start on the Northern Opens since I feel pretty confident on the other two venues on the 2014 schedule.

June 5-8, 2014                      FLW Tour #5                    Pickwick                     Florence, AL

I fished Pickwick in 2010 as a co-angler with a couple of my heroes;  George Cochran on Day 1 and Jim Tutt on Day2.  George fished super shallow and Jim fished off shore structure and both were successful and I learned a lot from them.  Given that history on Pickwick I’ll probably try both shallow and deep during practice.  Shallow fishing will call for Zorro Booza Bugs and deep will call for StrikePro crankbaits.

June 11-15, 2014                  BassFest                     Chickamauga             Dayton, TN

This is a brand new event for BASS, it combines the BASS Elite field with the top 20 from each of the BASS Open divisions.  I qualified based on my 19th place finish in the Northern division.  Jerry McKinnis of BASS says this event will be the second largest event in bass fishing, second only to the Classic.  I fished Chickamauga last year with the FLW Tour for the first time and look forward to returning this year.

June 26-29, 2014                  FLW Tour #6                    Kentucky                     Paris, TN

Kentucky Lake has been my home lake since 1982 but the majority of my fishing has been done on the North end of this huge lake.  This tournament is going out of Paris Landing State Park on the South end of the lake.  This will definitely be a ledge fishing slugfest with the key to success being at the right spot at the right time.  Not a simple thing to do because you could travel for miles to get to your next ledge only to find it is already occupied by another angler.  Now that umbrella rigs have been banned by FLW, anglers will go back to slab spoons, football head jugs, deep crankbaits and big worms.

July 15-18, 2014                   ICAST                                        Orlando, FL

I am delighted I won’t have to make the long trip to Las Vegas this year for ICAST!  I’ll be working the RockyBrook Sinkers booth but will also be visiting the booths of other companies whose products I endorse.

July 31 – August 2, 2014       BASS Open #2               Lake Champlain          Plattsburg, NY 

I love Lake Champlain and made a check here in the 2012 FLW Tour and had the opportunity for a much higher finish if I could have landed a few of the monster smallmouth I had hooked up.  I’ll practice for both smallmouth and largemouth but think smallmouth will be the way to go.  Zoom tubes could be the answer.

August 14-17, 2014              FWC                            Murray                                    Columbia,SC

I’ve never fish Lake Murray but hope I get my chance to compete in the Cup for the first time as a Pro.  I qualified in 2010 as a co-angler but so far have come up short as a Pro.  With larger fields this year and less qualifiers it will be tough…if I don’t qualify I will work the RockyBrook Sinkers booth instead.

September 4 – 6, 2014         BASS Open #3                Lake St. Clair              Detroit, MI

This is my final scheduled event for 2014 and I’m excited about returning the Lake St. Clair.  I fished the BASS Northern Open here in 2012 and caught 17 pounds of smallmouth a day and didn’t even get a check!  This time I need to put some giants in the boat.  Zoom tubes and drop shotting with RockyBrook limestone sinkers can get it done.

January 12, 2013     Jet-A Marina

I’ll be participating in an Open House event at Jet-A Marina (my Ranger dealer) in Calvert City, Kentucky.  It’s free and open to the public and will feature seminars by FLW Pro Brent Ehrler and Dan Morehead, Terry Bolton, Billy Schroeder, Ramie Colson, Ray Barga, Tim Griggs and other Kentucky Lake experts.  Mark this on your calendar and be sure to stop by and say hello, I look forward to seeing you there.

February 7-10, 2013     FLW Tour #1

FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina in Clewiston, Florida.  This is the first of six events to qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup.  Okeechobee has been on fire the last few years and with the recent hurricanes bringing lots of rain to south Florida the lake level should be around 15 feet, just right for a slug fest!  Its really important to get off to a good start and I feel positive about this event.  Having spent the last two winters at Okeechobee I have a lot of experience there, but…the “Big O” changes every year.  One thing you can count on is that the big Florida strain largemouth will be relating to aquatic vegetation.  I expect to be casting Zoom Ol’ Monsters, Zoom Swimming Flukes and flipping Zoom Z-Hogs on Tuf-Line SuperCast braided line with 1 oz weights.

March 7-10, 2013      FLW Tour #2

FLW Tour on Smith Lake at Smith Lake Dam Access near Jasper, Alabama.  I have ran tournaments on Smith Lake but have never fished there before but with GPS mapping on my Lowrance I don’t expect to have any problems getting around.  We will hit this deep, clear lake just before the spawn and the fishing should be great!  Smith Lake is know for big Kentucky spotted bass and I expect to be casting Zorro Booza Bugs with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer, Zoom Trick Worms tipped with a Chartreuse Spike-It Garlic Scented marker and maybe a Zorro Aggravator with a Zoom Fat Albert trailer.

March 30, 2013     Jet-A Marina Open     Kentucky Lake

This annual buddy tournament goes out of Kentucky Dam Village State Park and usually draws about 300 boats.  I’ll be fishing with Bill Taylor.

April 11-14, 2013      FLW Tour #3

FLW Tour on Beaver Lake at Prairie Creek Marina near Rogers, Arkansas.  Beaver Lake was the site of my first Top 10 on the Pro side last year so I have a lot of confidence going into this tournament.  This big lake is basically divided into three sections:  The lower lake which is super clear and home to smallmouth and spotted bass.  In the lower lake section I’ll probably be using Zoom Trick Worms on drop-shot and shakey head rigs with RockyBrook Limestone Sinkers.  The mid section which usually has a little color and is home to all three species.  In the mid section I’ll try crawdad colored Strike-Pro crankbaits.  The upper section which usually has a lot of color and is home to the largemouth.  In the upper section I’ll definitely throw a Zorro Aggravator spinnerbait with a Zoom Fat Albert trailer and Zorro Booza Bugs with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer.  Unless I get on some big spots or smallmouth in practice I’ll concentrate on largemouth (15″ size limit).   A five bass limit of largemouth each day will make the cut and give me a shot at winning this event!

April 25-27, 2013     B.A.S.S. Central Open #1

B.A.S.S. Central Open on the Red River out of Red River South Marina just outside of Shreveport, Louisiana.  The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be held here in August (I plan to be fishing it) so this will be a good opportunity to run my RockyBrook Ranger up and down the river for the first time.  I fished the Red River as a co-angler in 2011 and made the money but more importantly between practice and competition my three Pros fished completely different water so I got to see just about all of the two pools that I think will pay off in this event.  The big decision will be whether to stay in the pool where the tournament launches from, which allows more time with a lure in the water or to lock down to the next pool and have a shot a a bigger stringer, but between locking and running I will lose about two hours of fishing time.  I plan to practice on both pools and then decide.  I love river fishing…shallow cover, dingy water and current – makes my blood boil, I’m really looking forward to this tournament!

May 16-19, 2013     FLW Tour #4

FLW Tour on Lake Eufaula out of Lake Point State Park just outside of Eufaula, Alabama.  I started fishing on Eufaula in the 70’s.  I have a lot of fond memories about fishing with my cousin Sargent Major Roy Combs on Lake Eufaula.  Roy was stationed at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia and fished Eufaula regularly during his 30 year Army career and then retired to full-time fun fishing on Eufaula.  While fishing with my Dad he caught a 12-15 on Eufaula so I know there are some “big uns” living there.  Even though I have a lot of experience on Eufaula and have been relatively successful in the tournaments I fished there it has been 15 years since I was on the lake and I’m sure it has changed a lot.  The spawn should be pretty much over by the time we get there so the bass should moving out to their summertime haunts.  I expect to be casting Zoom Ol’ Monsters and cranking Strike-Pro deep runners.

June 6-9, 2013     FLW Tour #5

FLW Tour on Grand Lake out of Wolf Creek Park near Grove, Oklahoma.  Another FLW Tour stop where I have ran tournaments on in the past but have never fished before.  Given the time of the year I expect the bass to be in full summertime mode.  Ledge and brush pile fishing should be the order of the day.  Just like Lake Eufaula in  Alabama, I expect to be casting Zoom Ol’ Monsters and cranking Strike-Pro deep runners and maybe throwing in some heavy Zorro football head jigs.

June 13-15, 2013     B.A.S.S. Northern Open #1

B.A.S.S. Northern Open on the James River launching from Osborne Landing outside Richmond, Virginia.  We fished the James in 2012 around the same time and I’ll be looking for some redemption this time around.  I had enough bites to do well but had more than my share of execution problems.  Although tidal water is not my strongest suit I felt really comfortable on the James fishing shallow cover.  No off time here, I’ll go straight from the FLW in Grove, Oklahoma to Richmond and not have a lot of practice time but I feel like it will fish the same as last time…I’m just looking for different results!

June 27-30, 2013     FLW Tour #6

FLW Tour on Lake Chickamauga out of Dayton Boat Dock in Dayton, Tennessee.  FLW visited Chickamauga in 2011 but launched out of the lower end of the lake which may put more pressure on the upper end than last time.  I fished that event as a co-angler and drew out with Cody Byrd and Dan Morehead, both tremendously talented anglers that fished the same area of the lake.  I was fortunate to make a check behind these two “human ospreys” and hope I can locate as many fish on Chickamauga as they did.  That event was in the Spring so the lake will fish completely different this time.  Chickamauga is only four hours from home so I would normally be able to do some pre practice before the off-limits but because of the B.A.S.S. Northern Open on the James River that ain’t gonna happen.

July 10-12, 2013     ICAST

I’ll be working the RockyBrook Sinkers booth at the ICAST tackle show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This time of the year in Vegas is where the word “hot” was invented, we’ll see triple digit temperatures!  I think this will be my 31st ICAST show and I truly enjoy seeing what is new for the coming year and getting to visit with a lot of friends I have made over the years in this amazing sport.

August 1-3, 2013     B.A.S.S. Northern Open #2

B.A.S.S. Northern Open on Lake Oneida just outside Syracuse, New York.   I’ve never been on this lake but have watched a couple of BassMaster TV shows filmed here.  Because of the distance, I’ll not pre- practice for this event but will do some Internet research and with no off-limits period at this tournament I may spend a couple of extra days there prior to the tournament.  Oneida has both largemouth and smallmouth so I intend to spend some time in practice trying to locate some quality schools of both.  If I can get on the smallmouth in practice, drop-shooting Zoom Finesse worms rigged with two RockyBrook Sinkers on the bottom so that they click against each other can really pay off!

August 15-18, 2013     Forrest Wood Cup

The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be held on the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Cajun country will be hot and steamy in August and I’m betting the fishing will be just as hot!  Here’s hoping I see you when I’m on stage weighing in a limit instead of talking to you in the RockyBrook Sinkers booth.

September 12-14, 2013     B.A.S.S. Northern Open #3

B.A.S.S. Northern Open on Lake Erie at Sandusky, Ohio. Any way you cut it Lake Erie is the world’s headquarters for smallmouth….big smallmouth on big water.  Catching a limit of smallmouth is pretty standard fare on Erie, heck even catching a limit of three pound smallmouth happens more often than not, but the problem is 15 pounds a day probably won’t even make the money, let alone make the final day cut.  If you want to be competitive on Erie you’ve got to find four to five pound smallmouth and then it gets tougher still, even when you get a hook into one of these rockets you’ve got to get the strongest and wildest fish that swims into the boat…no easy task, but man is it fun to try!  If Detroit, Michigan had the same weather, population and cost of living as Gilbertsville, Kentucky I would move there in a heartbeat.  Zoom Super Tubes, Zorro Booza Bugs and drop-shooting Zoom Finesse worms rigged with two RockyBrook Sinkers should get really exciting.

September 19-21, 2013     B.A.S.S. Central Open #2

B.A.S.S. Central Open on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  The last time I was there I was helping run the Red Man All American way back when.  I don’t remember much about it and never went out on the river so this will be a totally new experience.  But me and my Zoom Trick Worms and Zorro Booza Bugs like rivers!

October 17-19, 2013      B.A.S.S. Central Open #3

B.A.S.S. Central Open on Ross Barnett in Jackson, Mississippi.  Same story…ran tournaments there years ago but have never fished there.  From what I remember the fishing is pretty good so it should be a lot of fun.

 

October 22 – 23, 2012     Jimmy Houston

Brook Pauley and I will be filming a show with legendary angler Jimmy Houston featuring RockyBrook Limestone Sinkers.  I can’t wait to get in the boat with Jimmy, it will be a blast and we will smoke ’em!

I was right on track, fishing with Jimmy was a dream come true and we did “smoke ’em”.  Brook caught a 7 and I watched Jimmy kiss a bunch of “biguns”!  I’ll let you know when these shows are scheduled for NBC Sports.

November 24, 2012     Lake Cumberland

Bill Taylor and I will be fishing a buddy tournament on Lake Cumberland out of Conley Bottom Boat Dock near Somerset, Kentucky.  This is an annual event (Saturday after Thanksgiving) put on by the folks at Pittsburg Marine, the Ranger dealer in London, Kentucky.  You can bet we’ll be throwing Zorro Booza Bugs with Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailers.  Lake Cumberland has largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky spotted bass.  This event will draw over 100 boats and is an open tournament with a $100 entry fee and 100% payback; if you live anywhere near Lake Cumberland come on down and see how you stack up against Bill and I (yes, that is a challenge)!

November 29-30, 2012     Ranger Boats

I’ll be attending the Ranger Advantage Tour at the Ranger plant in Flippin, Arkansas.  This is an annual event that is attended by Ranger dealers and promotional staff from all over the country.  This year features a tour of Ranger’s new aluminum production facility and an in-depth look at the all new Ranger Z520C (the model I’ll be running in 2013).