Hampton Roads Bass Fishing Resource

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Club Bass-Jons Club Newsletter
Club Newsletter



January 2015 Newletter on its Way.

Club Newsletter April 2012 

The first month of the 2012 season is in the books, and some pretty good fish have been brought to the scales.  The first tournament had Walt DeGraaf and Adam Bach taking first place, and tournament lunker, with a good 14-pound limit.  Not far behind were Dan Griffin and Chaz Carrington, and rounding out the top three was Luther Showaker and Greg Thompson. The second tournament at Burnt Mills was another good one.  Rick Burton took the top spot with his 15 pound limit followed by Luther Showaker and Marion Martin with Larry King taking the number three spot.  Overall, Rick B and Luther S. are tied for 1st for AOY.  Could this be a trend?  We'll see... 

For the Month of April, we'll be fishing Lake Cahoon and Western Branch.  Both of these tournaments are expected to bring some good limits to the scales. Best advice, be patient and get some good sunglasses. 

The other tournament trails in the area are also doing well.  The Single/Double opens on Sunday, BassChasers on Wednesdays and Sundays, Rule-9 and the rest look to be having a great year as well. I encourage everyone to get out and see what the other tournaments have to offer, I am sure if you fish them, along with BassJons, you'll have a great time and learn how to catch more fish.  I know I have. 

VA DGIF has posted the tidal river largemouth bass outlook for 2012.  Check it out at The report highlights the excellent outlook of some of the rivers several anglers in the area like to fish.  

DGIF has also listed the VA Reservoir Rankings for largemouth bass at  In Region I, Southeast-Tidewater, the top 5 bass fishing lakes are 1) Waller Mill, 2) Chesdin, 3) Lake Prince, 4) Lake Meade and 5) Western Branch.  Follow the link to see the entire list.  It's good to know that our waters are ranked among the best in the state. 

If you have an article you'd like to have in any of the upcoming monthly newsletters, please send me an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Don't forget that we have the line recycling station at Lake Smith.  Please keep out the trash and hooks and get your used line turned in so it doesn't wind up at the bottom of one of the lakes.



Mike Peregrine

Vice President




March 2012

First, congratulations to Rick Burton for taking the top spot in the winter series tournaments.  Winter fishing is always challenging and Rick was able to bring in enough fish to take it all in the end.  A clean sweep for Rick in 2011.  Thanks to everyone who fished these tournaments and we hope to see you on the water next winter.


The regular tournament season is about to start…I know some of you are getting cabin fever and are looking forward to pitting your skills and knowledge against the rest of the club members, and learning to catch more fish…me too!


The schedule is posted. Our first tournament is at Lake Meade.  Last year Chaz took the top spot at the March 5th lake Meade tournament weighing 3 fish for 10lbs 2ozs (4-4 big fish).


Keep your eyes on the intent, message and club discussion boards for details and information. 


Just like everywhere else in the bass fishing world, the Alabama Rig is stirring up interest here in Hampton Roads.  During the February winter series tournament, one of the anglers reported catching a fish on the Alabama rig.  Once this was posted on the discussion board, of course some questions and comments arose.  Here are a few of them:


“Are Virginia and Bass Jons are okay with using Umbrella style rigs?”

“I want to make sure (they’re legal) before I go spend the money on one.”


“This whole rig is kind of ridiculous to me. The idea behind bass fishing and tournaments (as far as my interpretation) is that it is difficult. Want to catch a slew of fish on one cast, go croaker fishing with a bunch of bottom rigs. Want to troll for fish with multiple baits, go float around off of cape henry for a few weekends.  Bass are not the biggest fish in the water, nor the most prevalent, or the easiest to catch, and that seems to be why catching one and winning a tournament is so rewarding, because its difficult. I’d rather lock down a few consistent techniques than chuck a 5 lb rig over and over and hope for one lucky cast. The goal is to get a fish that otherwise might not bite to bite.”


“I view this rig as just another innovation, no different than the chatter bait, senko, drop shot or any other new bait/technique that has come along in the past 10 years.”


“Hopefully, I don't have to spend a half hour getting one of those $25 rigs (not including the cost of the plastics hanging off it) out of a submerged tree in 18) feet of water.”


“Better get in the weight room if you plan to cast that thing.”


I wonder if there was a similar discussion when crank baits with multiple hooks were introduced.  By the way, if your Alabama rig is hung and you can’t reach it, consider it gone, I’ve already lost one at Cahoon…and you’re right about the effort it will take to fish it all day, but I think that a fish on the end of your line is a pretty good pain reliever.


So, here is the deal.


Virginia has no regulation against its use and Bass-Jons will allow it to be used in tournaments, unless the state changes the regulation.


If you are already fishing one of the BASS trails (Region 7) or the FLW trails (BFL/TBF), make sure you are up to date on their tournament regulations.  Here are their positions.


January 18, 2012, B.A.S.S. imposes One-Lure Rule for the Bassmaster Classic and Elite Series. New rule affects The Alabama Rig

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — B.A.S.S., upon the recommendation of its Bassmaster Elite Series Rules Committee, has amended its tournament rules to limit anglers competing in the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series to the use of a single lure during practice and competition.

The rule change, which does not apply to Bassmaster Open, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, College B.A.S.S. and other events, clarifies the intent of long-standing rules permitting only one rod, one reel and one cast at a time. No longer permitted are double soft jerkbait rigs, drop shot rigs with jigs used as weights, double topwater setups and other multi-lure rigs, such as “umbrella rigs.”

The change becomes effective Feb. 1 and includes the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at Shreveport-Bossier City, La., Feb. 24-26.

Elite Series Rules Committee members, comprised of 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series qualifiers, seemed most concerned about new multi-lure rigs such as The Alabama Rig, which Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Elias used to win an event on Lake Guntersville in October. In the weeks since, tens of thousands of the multi-lure devices have been sold, and they have proved extremely effective in both recreational and competitive fishing.

The Alabama Rig and similar setups from other manufacturers consist of a weighted head with five wire leaders trailing behind. Soft plastic swimbaits and similar lures are attached to the leaders, imitating a school of baitfish.

Rules Committee members believe the rig eliminates some of the skill that should be required in tournament competition at the highest level. “It doesn’t matter how you work it,” said one of the anglers. “The fish can’t help themselves.”

“The Alabama Rig has become enormously popular in recent months, and it has definitely had an impact on the tournaments in which it has been used,” noted Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. “Personally, I have enjoyed catching bass on umbrella rigs and found them to be very effective in some situations. I have witnessed first-hand the excitement this technique has generated in our sport.

“However, the Elite Series Rules Committee members unanimously asked to be held to a higher standard,” he added. “We have decided to honor their recommendation.”

The rule change follows a precedent of imposing more stringent restrictions in Elite Series and Classic competition than in other B.A.S.S. events. For example, landing nets are prohibited in the Elites and the Classic but not in other circuits. Additional rules specific to the Elites include off-limits periods, no-information restrictions and new limits on boats that can be used in competition.

B.A.S.S. officials emphasized that the decision should not be construed as disapproval of multi-lure rigs.

“We are as excited as the rest of the country about the new multi-lure rigs,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We will continue to cover new ways to utilize these tools in Bassmaster Magazine and on Our Classic and Elite tournaments simply have a higher standard for the sake of competition. The rest of us will enjoy learning how to catch more fish with these tools.”

A Rules Committee member added, “I don’t have a problem with the use of umbrella rigs or multi-lure rigs to catch bass. If you are out fun fishing, there may be nothing more fun to use. However, our events represent the highest level of professionalism in our sport and I think as participants of these events, we should be held to a higher standard, as well. I like the idea of one rod, one reel, one lure.”


January 20, 2012, FLW releases their position:


The Alabama Rig has taken the bass-fishing world by storm. Every discussion about its use seems to generate an emotional response unlike anything I’ve seen in my more than 30 years in the sport.

For every passionate plea that it be banned from tournaments, there is an equally passionate plea that it be allowed. No matter which side of the debate you are on, one thing is undeniable: The Alabama Rig has generated a level of excitement and interest in bass fishing unlike anything that has come before.

Since their inception, tournaments have been the spawning ground for lure, equipment and technique innovations that help recreational anglers catch more and bigger fish. It’s the reason fans tune in to our television shows, visit our websites, read our magazines and attend our events. There are millions of bass anglers out there with an insatiable appetite for cutting-edge information that will make them better at their sport. To argue that the Alabama Rig and other castable umbrella rigs be banned from tournaments is to believe that we’ve finally reached the end of innovation; that the great equalizer has been found; that the only thing separating novice anglers from the world’s top professionals is a weighted head with five wire leaders and swimbaits. There is nothing more to learn.

We believe professional anglers deserve more credit than that. We believe their skill and intuition will not be undercut by a baitfish-imitating technique that helps less experienced anglers catch fish when otherwise they might not. Will it force some pros to elevate their game and adapt? Of course it will. Just like GPS, side-imaging sonar, sight-fishing, shallow-water anchors and countless lure, line and rod innovations have done over the years. Buzzbaits and ChatterBaits were once considered radical, as were flipping and sight-fishing. But they are all simply tools of the trade now. The same will hold true for Alabama Rigs. It’s not the end of fishing as we know it.

Anglers are still held to a daily five-fish limit. Tournaments are still catch-and-release. Our conservation ethic has not changed. We’ve taken the additional step of contacting wildlife officials in each state hosting an event in every FLW circuit to urge them to study the effects of castable umbrella rigs on live release rates. If conservation issues are discovered, we will reevaluate our rules accordingly. For now, we are leaving that in the capable hands of the experts within each state, and castable umbrella rigs will be permitted in our 2012 tournaments.


Again, good luck to all in 2012!!



Mike Peregrine

Vice President




February 2012

Welcome to February.  If you haven’t been on the water lately to enjoy the weather and try your luck, you’re missing out.  Just check out the message board.  The Sunday singles tournaments are starting to get some bigger fish and had a big turnout last Sunday, 21 boats.  On January 29th, our own Larry King and his partner came away the winner with his 12 plus pound, 5 fish limit. Good job Larry.

The Angler spotlight is updated.  Please check it out and offer your congratulations to Roccoa and Mike K. for their Lunkers of the Year for 2011.  Great job guys!

Don’t forget that Bass-Jons is still sponsoring the line recycling station at Lake Smith. Thanks to Vic and Aida Lopez for doing the work to keep it going. Make sure you give them a pat on the back and offer your thanks for their efforts.


The winter tournaments are still going on.  I can’t wait for the next one, February 4th and the next one, February 18th.  On the 4th we’ll be meeting at the BP gas station on 460 to draw one of the Suffolk lakes, and the February 18th tournament we’ll fish the same lake that the first regular tournament is on.  Keep your eyes on the intents board for open seats if you’re a non-boater or if you’re a boater planning to fish and want to offer your back seat to one of the members, please post it on the intents board.  There is no need to post your intent, so if you decide Saturday morning to come out, no problem.  See you there.

Remember to get your annual dues to Bob, and that they must be paid before the 2nd scheduled tournament, or you could be dropped from the roster and someone on the waiting list will have the chance to become a member.

Finally, as we get closer to the start of our tournament season, make sure you do some maintenance on your equipment.  Rods, reels, trailers, boats, outboards, etc…There are some good articles that can be easily found on line and if you post a question on one of the discussion boards, it is likely that someone will provide some solid advice.  If you have an article you’d like to share with the rest of us, please get it to one of the officers for posting on the site.  Also, if would like to submit someone for the monthly Angler Spotlight, please contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 757-510-8898.


Mike Peregrine

Vice President


It’s a new year!  2011 was a terrific year for the club.  Congratulations again to Rick Burton, Dave Evans and Mike Taylor, our reigning Anglers of the Year.   Thanks also to the 2011 club officers, Mike Howie, Dan Griffin and Dennis Sclater, for their efforts to make 2011 a successful year.  Finally, congratulations and good luck to the new officers for 2012: President: Dan Griffin, Vice President: Mike Peregrine, and Tournament Director: Bob Bullen.
Even though the regular season has ended, fishing continues.  The 2011-2012 winter series has shown that fish can be caught year around in the Hampton Roads Area. Rick Burton is running this year’s tournament series and has done a great job.   Everyone has a good time catching or talking about the ones they should have caught.  Current Winter series standings are: Mike Peregrine and Vic Lopez fishing together at each tournament are in 1st place. Mike and Vic are followed closely by Rick Burton, and Josh Adkisson.   Jim Carlson and Walt DeGraaf continue to bring in the impressive small fish of each tournament.  It takes a special skill to catch fish that almost don’t register on the scale.  It has been a terrific series, and if you’re up to the challenge, come on out and joint the fun.  The next scheduled tournaments are January 7th, February 4th and February 18th. For the next two tournaments, we’ll be meeting at the BP on 460 and draw one of the Suffolk lakes, and the Feb 18 tournament we’ll fish the same lake that the first regular tournament is on.
Our annual meeting is January 14th at 1:00 PM. Bass Pro Shops in Hampton is letting us use their classroom in the back of the store.  We will welcome back returning members and new members, hash out the schedule and review some of the club by-laws.  Experienced or not, boater or non-boater, come on out and see what Bass-Jons is about and most of all have some fun fishing in 2012.
The “Hall of Fame” has been updated to reflect the 2011 milestones and check out the angler spotlight. Please take a moment to offer congratulations to those that are selected. If you would like to nominate someone for angler of the month, please contact the vice president, Mike Peregrine, at 757-510-8890, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Have a happy new year!
Mike Peregrine
Vice President

After ending the regular season as Angler of the Year, Rick Burton capped off a great year with a banner performance at the Classic.  Rick caught the largest fish in Bass-Jons club history by reeling in a 9.2oz giant at the Classic.  This fish anchored their first place bag, allowing Rick and partner Huck Palmatier to take home the lion's share of the pot.  What a way to close the Bass-Jons 2011 calendar!

Speaking of Angler of the Year, Rick Burton edged out Mike Peregrine by a total weight tiebreaker to take home the title.  Both Rick and Mike had great seasons, along with Luther Showaker who finished in 3rd in the points standings.  The Co-Angler of the Year title was won by Dave Evans, who triumphed over second place finisher Aida Lopez, again by a total weight tiebreaker.  The Junior Angler of the Year title went to Mike Taylor, who fished on the family plan with Jim Carlson to take home his first Bass-Jons award.  Finally, the Lunker of the Year award was shared by Roccoa Spurlin and Mike Kane at 6 lbs 14 oz.  They caught their big fish at the Nottoway River and Lake Prince respectively.  Congratulations to all who won awards, and to all anglers who constantly pushed the field all year!

Next up for Bass-Jons is the Awards Banquet, which will take place at Joe & Mimmas in Newport News on November 5, 2011 at 6:30pm.  We hope to see everyone there.

Also, the Bass-Jons annual Winter Series will kick off on November 5th at the Hercules Ramp on the Nottoway River.  The Winter Series is a way to shake off the cabin fever and compete for cash and bragging rights during the late fall and winter months.  These tournaments are NOT open tournaments.  There must be at least one Bass-Jons member in the boat, and there is an open guest policy (members can fish with whoever you want).  This is a great way for returning members to stay sharp during the offseason and for prospective members to get a chance to see what Bass-Jons is all about.  The rules are availble on the Club message board, and the start times and additional information will be listed on the Tourney Intents board.  The schedule is as follows. 

11/5/2011 Nottoway--Hercules Ramp
11/19/2011 Blackwater--Joyners Bridge
12/10/2011 Suffolk Lake/Draw
1/7/2012 Suffolk Lake/Draw
2/4/2012 Suffolk Lake/Draw
2/18/2012 Site of 1st Bass Jons Tourney

Also coming up will be officer elections for the 2012 season.  Members should submit their nominations for President, Vice President, and Tournament Director on the Club message board.  The election date and location will be posted on the message boards when it is finalized.  Nominations will also be accepted in person on election day, and proxy votes are allowed (see by-laws for details about proxy voting).

In closing, it has been a great year for Bass-Jons.  It has been a pleasure serving as Vice President, and I speak for Mike Howie (President) and Dennis Sclater (Tournament Director) in thanking all the members for participating in another successful season.  The "State of the Club" is as strong as it has ever been, as we brought several new members into the fold to complement our experienced group of anglers.  We look forward to moving forward in 2012 and beyond!

P.S. Don't forget to post fishing reports and articles!  The website is only as good as its contributors, and that responsibility falls to everyone in the club.

Daniel Griffin

Bass-Jons Vice President / Webmaster



Page 2 of 3