Angling’s equivalent of the Super Bowl in the US – due to take place in March – has been postponed until June due to growing health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Academy + Sports Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by HUK and Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, will now be held from June 11 to 13 in Fort Worth, Texas.
B.A.S.S. CEO, Bruce Akin, said: ” It’s our hope that this delay will allow us to alleviate many of the challenges – including potential capacity restrictions and travel complications – related to hosting both the tournament and Outdoors Expo in the current pandemic environment. We look forward to seeing thousands of fans, along with our partners and industry friends at the 51st Bassmaster Classic.
“Our team will be working with the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Visit Fort Worth to make this historic trip to Texas an incredible and memorable event.”
For more than half a century, the iconic Bassmaster Classic has been the premier tournament in sport fishing. Recent events in Birmingham, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tennessee, have drawn record-breaking crowds of 122,814 and 153,809 fans respectively to Classic events, including the Outdoors Expo.
Winter time is Steelhead time on the Niagara River, ON but conditions can often keep anglers from catching winds. Strong winds in Lake Erie can really stir up the water which results in no water visibility in the Niagara River. The key is to time trips where the water is an off-green and the winds are not too strong so anglers can drift properly with the current.
James Packer braved sub-zero temperatures to take advantage of good water conditions. He drifted structure and current breaks in 20-30′ of water near shore using his electric trolling motor to keep his 3-way rig as close to the bottom as possible.
James did well drifting yarn flies and the Fishing Compete Italo’s Minnow in the white color and fished on a jighead. With this “yo-yo” weather there are bound to be many Niagara River fishing opportunities throughout this winter.
Many anglers will agree that larger panfish caught through the ice are some of the tastiest fish you can fry up. I have been targeting ice-panfish for the last 50-yrs and can confirm they can be challenging to locate, but once found, you can catch a bunch in a short period of time.
Jumbo perch are probably at the top of the list for many panfish aficionados. They are definitely schooling fish and once you locate them it’s common to locate them in “age-class” schools. If you catch one fish after another that are under eating size it’s best to move on and try another area until you find schools of eating size perch. You can use small live minnows but I have found that using small Rapalas like the W3 & W4 and 1-2 1/2″ soft-plastic lures on 1/8 oz jigheads work to catch some of the largest perch.
Bluegill are probably second on the “fryers” popularity list with some bluegill caught through the ice up to 11″ long. Those offer nice “mouthful” fillets that are very tasty. Big bluegill unlike parch can be more solitary fish. It’s common to find Bluegill of various sizes and if you do it’s best to stick to that area and just go through the smaller fish until you get the whoppers!
Pumpkinseed in my opinion are just as tasty as Bluegill but can be much harder to find in larger sizes through the ice. Often times Bluegill and Pumpkinseed will be in the same areas with Bluegill being much more aggressive it takes patience to wait for a nice size Pumpkinseed to take your bait. For both Bluegill and Pumkinseed I prefer to fish small 1/16 & 1/8 jigheads tipped with 2-3 maggots, a waxworm, or a “mousy”. You can get some of the larger “gills” & “seeds’ with tiny plastic artificial and micro-crankbaits but I find live grubs much more effective!
To locate the Bluegill & Pumpkinseed in weed-filled water as shallow as 5-7′ or open water shoals as deep as 50′ for jumbo perch, I depend on the Raymarine Element Ice Kit.
It’s so versatile that I can use it in the “flasher-mode” for shallow or deep-water applications.
Or in the real-time “A-Scope” mode for deeper water. Not only can I tell the different type of bottom and see vegetation and fish, but it is so accurate that I can see my grubs wiggle on my jig!
The market has been crying out for a cutting-edge storage solution for crankbaits, jerkbaits, poppers and the like – and now there is one, says Flambeau.
“Especially suitable for competition anglers, it is no surprise that that the Crank Bank Storage Box has been a success,” said Mark Spain, Flambeau’s European Manager. “It stores baits neatly, keeps them safe and prevents rust through our Zerust Max technology. it also means no more time wasted untangling hooks and more time on the water.”
It features 24 removable cups that are designed to fit standard billed lures in the following diving depth classes:
(15ft or less)
(8ft or less)
Jerkbaits (6ft or less)
Other features include waterproof silicone gasket, three compression cam latches and drainage holes in the bottom of the cups to allow moisture run-off for wet lures. The dimensional footprint of the 5000 series allows it to fit easily inside soft tackle bags and boat compartments. They are also proudly made in the USA and available worldwide.