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Topwater Takes 3rd Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tourney

Tournament Director Chris Bowes knows who the top anglers are in each region where B.A.S.S. conducts tournaments. So no surprise, a moment after Bowes called Boat #106 into his microphone from a dock at Paris Landing on Sunday morning, he turned his head and whispered, “that’s Sam Lashlee, he’ll be tough to beat today.”

Bowes was right. Lashlee and partner Phillip Arrington dominated the no entry fee, $5,000 first place, 3rd Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners tournament with a winning weight of 24 pounds 15 ounces.

Iaconelli, KVD and Swindle talk Vibrating Jigs, Metallica and Stuffed Shrimp

Five questions with three of the most popular Bassmaster Elite Series pros from Toyota All-Star week in Muskegon, Michigan.

Q: The thing you like most about Muskegon Lake?

Ike: Diversity, and it has tons of industrial stuff – like iron pilings – city fishing kinda stuff like I love and grew up on. Plus, docks, vegetation, humps, largemouth, smallmouth. It’s got it all, man.

KVD: It’s a really diverse little fishery.

Swindle: I like the fact that this lake is small enough for me to actually see my competition. I feel like a free safety in football keeping my eye on the offense.

Bassmaster Pro Terry Scroggins at Home in NASCAR

His syrupy thick southern accent is a bit out of place in the lobster-laden land surrounding New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but Bassmaster Elite Series pro angler Terry “Big Show” Scroggins feels right at home here.

Toyota graciously invited Scroggins, who has hooked more than $1.7 Million dollars as a pro, to be their guest for a weekend of NASCAR racing in New England, and he’s grateful for their hospitality.

A Morning With Casey

It’s Day One of competition at the Bassmaster Elite Series Diet Mountain Dew Mississippi River Rumble in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The sun sets late and rises early. The days are long. And for 29-year-old Casey Ashley, a 2-time winner on bass fishing’s toughest trail, the day begins in a hotel parking lot, at a speed matched well to his thick, near whisper, of a drawn-out southern drawl.

School’s Out. Let’s Go Fishin’.

Well, another semester is in the books here at Auburn. The best news is I managed to pass classes like Manufacturing Systems and Electronics Manufacturing, and now I’m looking forward to a little more free time the next two months. Which for me, means more time to go fishing.

Hopefully, summer means more time spent fishing with your friends and family too, so I thought I would share a few thoughts on how I approach bass fishing during the warmest months of the year.

How VanDam Chooses Crankbait Colors

If you think Sexy Shad is Kevin VanDam’s favorite crankbait color, you’d be right … but only a third of the time. “Sexy Shad is awfully good in a lot of situations, but I only choose it about 30-percent of the time, based on its fit for the conditions,” says VanDam. He defines crankbait conditions, and subsequently his color of choice, by three parameters. 1.) Water color 2.) Season 3.) Available forage.

Adapt or Fail

How Three of the Very Best Elite Anglers Adapted to a Host of Changing Conditions at Bull Shoals

One hundred pros came to Bull Shoals, fifty of them are leaving with a paycheck. The difference between empty handed, and at least $10,000, was adaptation. Adapt or fail. The confidence and willingness to change with changing water conditions and bass behavior is the ultimate separator between tournament success and disappointment.

Few Bassmaster Elite tournaments in recent memory have dished out more changes than 62-year-old, history rich, Bull Shoals Reservoir did this weekend.

Elite Pros Use Hot Dogs For Bait

Justin Larson was proudly discussing he and teammate Adam Saldaña’s recent conference regional victory as members of “The Wheelchair Spurs”, as 7-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Kevin VanDam attempted to bait their hooks with hot dogs.

Yes, hot dogs. VanDam actually started the day by molding a pinch of Snickers bar on to a size #10 hook, before fast realizing that frankfurters were generating bigger bites. His teammate Gerald Swindle placed pizza crust left over from his lunch on a hook, stating, “I’ve figured out that thin crust works better than thick.”

Sharks and Satellite Radio

Four of the most accomplished and popular pros find themselves in Orange, Texas just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to begin the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Season. VanDam, Iaconelli, Scroggins and Swindle graciously share their insight about the Sabine River, saltwater catches and satellite radio favorites.

Q: Did you scout or pre-fish the Sabine River prior to arriving here this week?

KVD: No, not at all, in fact I haven’t even studied it on Google Earth.

Pace and Palaniuk Pick-Up More Classic Cash

A giant cardboard paycheck brought a grin to Bassmaster Classic Champion Cliff Pace’s face when he was presented $7,500 in Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks money.

The new champ has long towed his Skeeter with a Tundra, and this is not the first check that Pace has hauled home from Toyota’s angler friendly cash bonus program. Much like the superior wisdom he’s displayed for fishing, the $7,500 he’ll add to his Classic winning $500,000 first place prize proves he was wise to sign-up for the Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks Program several years ago.

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