Hampton Roads Bass Fishing Resource

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Club Newsletter

June 2011 Newsletter


We are at the halfway point of the 2011 season, and as always, it is shaping up to be a great battle for the Bass-Jons awards.  The Angler of the Year title is shaping up to be an epic battle.  Defending champion Carlton "Moose" Wells has come on strong to take over the lead at the half-way point, but the 2nd and 3rd place anglers, Chaz Carrington and Rick Burton, are only one and two points behind respectively.  After floating around the top two for most of the year, Mike Peregrine has slipped to 4th place, but is still within striking distance.  To be crowned the winner, anglers will need to continue their top performances throughout the tough summer months. 

Roccoa Spurlin leads the Lunker of the Year race with a 6 lb 14 oz giant caught on the Nottoway River.  Catching the Lunker of the Year at the Nottoway would be the "upset of the year," and with the spawn behind us, the field of anglers will have a tough time topping that number as we move into summer fishing.  However, it is never over until after the final tournament, and with the exception of Lake Meade, the club still makes a return trip to all the venues on the schedule.    

The Co-Angler of the Year race is led by Bass-Jons rookie Marion Martin, who has quickly established himself as a top angler with high finishes at several events.  Also, Michael Taylor leads the Junior Angler of the Year race on the strength of several top finishes with family plan partner Jim Carlson.

As we get into the hot summer months, it is important to remember to take extra good care of our resource, the bass.  All of our lakes and rivers are outstanding fisheries due, in large part, to all of the area clubs and trails diligently practicing catch and release, and that starts with good fish care practices.  Water temperatures in our lakes typically creep above 80 degrees and even into the 90's in the summer, and livewell temperatures are sure to be much higher.  Remember to bring ice bottles or other cooling devices to keep the temperature low in the livewell, and run your aerators 100% of the time to ensure plenty of dissolved oxygen is delivered to the fish.  Changing the water out during the day can be helpful, but remember that you are usually pumping in surface water, which is the warmest water in the lake.  Studies have shown that keeping the same water, but controlling the environment with ice, constant aeration, and even "keep alive" livewell formulas, is a better practice.  This prevents dead-fish penalties that can move you down the standings, but more importantly, it preserves your catch so our lakes can remain viable for years to come.

A few issues have come up related to tournaments that need to be addressed.  The first is tiebreakers.  Although exact ties may seem unlikely, we have had several this year with points implications.  In one tourament, we had 3 ties for total weight, and in the case of a tie, the tiebreaker is the largest fish in your limit.  That fish MUST BE WEIGHED to count as a tiebreaker.  Estimation is not permitted.  If you don't weigh a big fish, and your competitor does, they automatically get placed ahead of you.  If neither boat weighs a big fish, the two will remain tied, earning equal points.  We encourage you to always weigh a big fish, even if you aren't in the running for tournament big fish to serve as a tiebreaker, especially if you project yourself to be in the top 10.

The second issue is guests.  Guests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and our paying non-boater members ALWAYS take priority over guests.  Our member participation has been great this year, which is a good thing, so I encourage you to submit your intent early if you expect to bring a guest, Also, be prepared for your guest request to be denied if we can't field enough open backseats for our non-boaters.  Regarding guest rules, you have to fish three tournaments in the pairings before you can bring another guest, and the same guest can only fish three tournaments throughout the season.  There are no exceptions to these rules. 

In closing, we have had an excellent season thus far, with participation at an all time high.  We have not had fewer than 16 boats at any event, and most of our tournament fields feature 19 or more boats.  We have raised over $200 through the 50/50 raffle, which will be paid out in cash and prizes at the Classic.  Keep up the great work and remember to Share the Knowledge!

Daniel Griffin




March 2011 Newsletter


The 2011 Bass-Jons tournament season got off to a great start at Lake Meade, with 19 boats and warm temperatures creating an enjoyable and competitive atmosphere.  Expectations were high for a good day on the water; the only problem is that the fish didn't get the memo.  None of the 19 boats were able to bring a limit of 5 fish to the scales, and only two boats were able to bring in as many as 4 fish.  The big fish didn't show up either, as 4lbs 4oz was good enough to win the big fish pot.  Congratulations to Chaz Carrington for finding a few better fish and taking the early lead in the Angler of the Year race.  As we did last year, we will be awarding Angler of the Year, Co-Angler of the Year, Junior Angler of the Year, and Lunker of the Year. 

While Chaz currently also holds the Lunker of the Year lead with a 4lb 4oz big fish, that mark will most likely fall in the coming weeks.  Next up on the Bass-Jons circuit is Lake Prince, which traditionally gives up some nice kicker fish in the spring.  The March 19th full moon and forecast daytime temperatures mostly in the 50's for the next 10 days should get the bigger fish moving around.  Then, in April, we will move into spawning season, with the Lake Cohoon and Western Branch tournaments lining up in the front half of the month.  This should make for some great fishing (and big fish) in the next month or so.

The new website launched on February 11, and since then, we have had over 4,500 visits to the site, with over 1,500 unique visitors.  I have had several suggestions for new items to add to the website that will be implemented in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!  One new feature will be the 6 lb, 7lb, and 8 lb Clubs, for members who have caught fish that exceed these weights in Bass-Jons tournaments.  Regarding site content, keep the fishing reports and message board entries coming.  The site is only as good as the content generated by our visitors, and our membership should lead the way in contributing to message board chatter, fishing reports, and articles.  If someone asks a question or wants advice on fishing our lakes and rivers, and you have an answer, go ahead and post it.  If you have a fishing report you want to share, post it on the Fishing Reports board or send pictures to me to post on Latest Buzz.  Again, our motto is "Share the Knowledge", and Bass-Jons members should always take the lead in helping our fellow fishermen. 

In addition to our events, the Boot'legg trail kicked off their season the last week of February and holds their second event on March 13th.  BassChasers holds their March event on March 20th.  We strongly encourage our members to support these other open trails as much as possible and represent the club in a positive manner. 

Finally, Bass-Jons' membership is currently open for Boaters to join our club.  We currently have several non-boaters on our waiting list, and due to the imbalance between Boaters and Non-boaters on our current roster, these individuals will not be able to join and fish until we add a few more boaters.  If you know of anyone that is interested in joining, have them contact one of our officers.

I look forward to seeing everyone on the water in the coming weeks.

Daniel Griffin
Bass-Jons Vice President


February 2011 Newsletter

It is so close, you can taste it!  After all these months of cabin fever and cold, warmer weather is on the way, and the beginning of the season will be here soon.  Time is running out for taking care of those maintenance items you have been putting off, such as changing your lower unit oil, re-packing your trailer bearings, and cleaning/oiling your reels.  It is much better to take care of these tasks now that it is cold rather than waiting for the week before our opening tournament.  Check out the article A Maintenance Resolution for some tips on getting your gear ready for prime time.  Don't forget to renew those licenses and lake permits as well. 

Also, there is a good opportunity to get a tune up for your fishing skills by attending the final Winter Series event at Lake Meade on February 19th.  See the Tourney Intents board for details.

While you have hopefully been busy preparing for the season, the officers at Bass-Jons have been busy re-designing the website, putting together our schedule, and finalizing our roster.  

If you are reading this, you already know that the website has undergone a massive transformation.  I focused on retaining all the existing content from the old site, while improving the layout to allow our visitors and members to more easily navigate through the site.  Besides the aesthetic and speed benefits for our vistors, the new hosting service allows Bass-Jons to cut costs, reduce managment effort, and store more images and data than before.  This makes for more cash to payout to our anglers' at the Classic, and a happier webmaster.

Our schedule is complete, and while we are still confirming an August date for the Bass'n-9 tournament, we have used a "fixed venue" format for this year where we selected all the lakes/rivers at our January meeting.  We added one new venue, the Northwest River, which we will fish in October for our last regular-season event before the Classic.  Check out our schedule here.

We are currently in the process of filling out our roster for the 2011 season.  We have many great anglers returning from last year, as well as some new guys to add to the mix.  I am in the process of contacting all the members from last year that have not posted an intent to return this year to get their status and finalize the roster.  Due to our current membership composition, we have to temporarily close the membership to prospective non-boaters until we finalize our numbers and add more boaters.  This ensures that we don't get into a situation where we have to tell our non-boaters that we do not have a back-seat available.  We still have membership openings for boaters, so if anyone knows of any boaters who want to be a part of our club, that will allow us to bring in more non-boaters as well.

Finally, I wanted to review the procedure for posting your intent to fish our upcoming tournaments.  Two weeks before the first tournament, our Tournament Director, Dennis Sclater, will post an Intent to Fish message on the Tourney Intents Message board, which is accessible from the Club page or Members-Only page.  To declare your intention to fish/not fish, simply reply to this message, filling in your name, and in the subject line, list your intent.  The Subject Line should look something like the following: 

  • Yes, Boater
  • Yes, Non-Boater
  • Yes, Family Plan with <Family Member Name>
  • Yes, Boater with Guest <Guest Name>
  • No, Can't Make It

Remember to supply your guest or family member name in your intent so we can update our records.  Also, make sure to post a "No" intent if you can't make it.  If you fail to post an intent or contact an officer for three straight tournaments, then your membership will be placed in "Inactive" status as a member to allow us to promote prospective members from the waiting list.  

That's all for now, and I look forward to the coming season.  Remember to post fishing reports, send me new articles, and contribute to the discussions on our message boards.  This site is only as good as the content that our members and visitors provide to us. 

Daniel Griffin
Vice-President, Bass-Jons


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