Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crankin' It

Wow, what a day! Lake El Salto continues to live up to its reputation.  The wind blew today and the crankbait bite was on. Most of my fish came on a chartreuse shad Lucky Craft Flat CB D-12. My best five today probably would have weighed 35 pounds! Many thanks to Billy Chapman and everyone at Anglers Inn for another incredible trip. Make sure to watch for this episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel!

Another Lake El Salto Giant!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anglers Inn

Another great day at Anglers Inn on Lake El Salto in Mexico. Today, I had the opportunity to fish with the American Modern Insurance "Reel Big Catch" contest winner Mike Teague. We had a great time and El Salto continues to live up to its reputation with lots of bass between five and nine pounds being taken by our group daily! Most of the big fish are comming on crankbait in the timber, as the fish are suspended about ten feet down in the branches near the deeper creek channels.

American Modern Insurance's "Reel Big Catch" 
Contest Winner Mike Teague with a nice El Salt Bass!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today, I fished and videoed on Lake El Salto.  Fishing was incredible as usual with lots six to nine pound fish being caught by our group. Tomorrow, I get to fish with our Reel Big Catch contest winner, Mike League of Alaska. Mike and his dad won this all expense paid trip for two from American Modern Insurance Group. Can't wait till tomorrow!

My El Salto guide, Martin

Mike Hopkins entertaining our group at dinner

Only a few days until new episodes air on Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors - July 2nd!  Some lucky people out there have Stihl hats and t-shirts on the way.  I'll send out another set to follower Basspastor when I receive mailing information at  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boca Grande

Yesterday afternoon we traveled south from Longboat Key to Boca Grande to video another day of tarpon fishing with our friends Jason and Rob from Odyssey Expositions and Captain Mark Liberman, one of the best tarpon guides in Boca

Captain Mark Liberman

It was tough day, but I did catch a great 140 lb Tarpon on light tackle (40 lb test and spinning gear). The fight took nearly two hours as the big fish took us two miles out into the Gulf. I'll need a special extended episode to air this on Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors!

Boca Grand Pass Lighthouse

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mark Your Calendar!

Awesome comments and thanks for reading!  CrookedArrow, I'd like to thank you for reading and for your comment by sending you a Stihl's t-shirt and hat.  CrookedArrow, send your contact information to  We getting geared up for great new episodes starting July 2nd.   Are you ready?

Next give-away is June 24th!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Man, I love my job! Today I shot an episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors with my buddy Pat DeCastro of Kerry Automotive, guide Mac Gregory and mate Nick Wettstein in Longboat Key, Florida. Unbelievable action! Jumped 14 tarpon up to 150 pounds.... Can't imagine how cool this episode will be. I'm so looking forward to tomorrow!

To help you look forward to it, I'm going to give away a Stihl shirt and hat to one of the commentors on this day's blog by tomorrow evening.  

Monday, June 20, 2011


Flew to Tampa today and rented a car, then headed on down to Longboat Key where we will be shooting a tarpon show for Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors with friend Pat DeCastro of Kerry Automotive. It has been a long time since I have fished for tarpon and I can't wait to get on the water tomorrow!

New episodes of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors air starting July 2nd.  To celebrate, I'm sending out a Stihl t-shirt and hat to Scott Crabtree!  Scott, send your contact information to and I'll get that right out to you.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Headed Home

I couldn't get my truck headed home fast enough after today's weigh in.  I took a gamble today to try to catch up after a bad day yesterday and it only got worse. I ran to Lake Barkley (which is connected to Kentucky Lake) to an area I knew from an earlier event. The area historically has good fish and I did catch two nice ones, but only two! It is so hard to go to an area without first practicing there. If it works you are a hero, if it doesn't your a zero! Well, in my case.... 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kentucky Lake - Day One

A small KY Lake 15" keeper

I caught more fish today than in any day of practice, but never caught a decent fish. My five keepers weighed in just under ten pounds.... I got crushed! I'll have to have one of those miracle stringer tomorrow if I'm going to take home any cash.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Yesterday was my final practice day on Kentucky Lake and it seemed like I was dodging storms all day long!

Big storm rolling in

Today I worked on tackle most of the morning, before heading to the other end of the lake and checking into a different hotel near the FLW launch site at Kentucky Dam Marina. I really need to catch them tomorrow.

Hiding under a boat dock to escape rain and lightning

I'm praying for light winds since I'm running over 60 miles to my fish,  but the forecast doesn't look favorable....

Give-Away:  I'd like to send a Stihl t-shirt and hat to:  David McKenzie!  David, please send your mail address to   Want your own Stihl hat and shirt?  Check back tomorrow - you may be the winner!  Don't forget that new episodes of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors will begin July 2nd!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Looks Like a Musky to Me!

Today was my second day of practice for the FLW Event on Kentucky Lake. It was a beautiful day, but still hanging in the low 90's.

Barge on Kentucky Lake

I caught a fish today that I swear looked like small Musky, even though the Tennessee DNR says there are none in this lake. 

Still slowly putting the pieces together. Like I said before, It's a big lake!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Practice on Kentucky Lake

Fishing wasn't exactly easy on Kentucky Lake today, but I did catch a few nice ones and learned a little.  Two days of practice left...

Kentucky Lake

I actually slept in yesterday morning until 7:30, then headed north from Pickwick Lake on the Alabama border to Kentucky Lake. It was a real nice drive through some country I hadn't seen before. I checked into my motel near Paris around 11 A.M. My plan is to stay on this end of the lake during practice since this is the end I plan on fishing in the tournament. On the off day, I'll move to a different hotel closer to the dam where we will launch from in the tournament. I can only hope I'm picking the right end. This is a big body of water and definitely can't see it all in three days of practice!

Crossing Tennessee River heading up to Kentucky Lake

Give-Away:  The Boomerang pliers and holster were thrown out there but came back!  Remember, to win a give-away you must check the blog daily and respond within a week., send your contact information to and you'll receive these great fishing pliers in the mail.

In anticipation of our great new episodes starting July 2nd on Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors, will receive a Stihl tshirt in the mail if he sends his contact information to the above email.  Want to celebrate with a shirt of your own?  Check back tomorrow to see if you won!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pickwick Lake Smallies

Yesterday, I got up very early and drove seven hours to Pickwick Lake which is the site of our final FLW event next month. Since my schedule won't allow me any other time to pre-fish before the off limits begins, my goal was to get a half day on the water just riding, graphing and GPS'ing any potential deep water spots for next month's tournament.

Even after my terrible finish at Red River, I am still in contention for the FLW Championship if I can do well in the last two events. It was definitely a productive afternoon and worth the extra driving and a day away from home. I even got a bonus, when right before dark a big school of Smallies came up chasing shad on a point I was graphing. I grabbed a Lucky Craft gunfish out of my rod box, made one cast, and caught a beautiful smallmouth! Hey, a guy's gotta have a little fun! Today, I headed on up to Kentucky Lake to get ready for practice which begins Sunday.

Give-Away Day:  I'm sending a Stihl shirt and a hat to follower Mac McBroom!  Mac, send your snail address to and I'll get it right out to you.  Sadly, the Boomerang pliers and holster, a $40 value, has not been claimed.  I'll be drawing for that tomorrow morning.   Will you be the lucky winner?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stihl Yourself for Reel in the Outdoors

We are so sure you're gonna love the new episodes of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors, you're gonna want to tell everyone by wearing a shirt or hat that says Stihl.  I'm giving away a few things in the weeks leading up to our first show on July 2nd.  

A name is chosen randomly from our followers, subscribers and commentors.  Winners will be notified only on the blog, not by email.  You must check the blog frequently to see if you won something, as winners have one week to respond.  If no response is received in that time, a second winner will be chosen.  

I was driving long hours today - part of the territory.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reeling Them In on Mullett Lake

Today, we shot an episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors on Mullett Lake in Indian River, Michigan. I think the photo speaks for itself.


Six pound smallmouth

The fish were just coming in to spawn and it was clearwater sight fishing at its best! We had calm winds and sunny skies making it perfect conditions. I fished with Gerry Gosyinek of Great Lakes Bass  Fishing Guide Service. Our best five smallies would have weighed over 25 pounds! What is even more exciting is that we are scheduled to to shoot our second round of Ultimate Match Fishing here next month. It should be awesome!

Joe with Gerry Gostinek and a big Mullet Lake smallmouth.

Beginning Saturday, July 2nd, Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors moves to a new time slot at 1 PM on the Outdoor Channel.  Join me as I take you to some of the most famous bass fishing lakes in the world.  To celebrate the new episodes and time slot, we are sending a Stihl t-shirt., send your contact information and size shirt you'd like to and I'll get that right out to you. 
Want your own Stihl shirt or hat?  Check the blog frequently to see if you are a winner!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stihl the One!

Get ready, because the new episodes of STIHL's Reel in the Outdoors are set to begin on Saturday, July 2nd in a great NEW time slot! I think this season might be the most exciting ever as I travel to some of the most famous bass lakes in the world.  You can catch us at 1 PM EST immediately before Bassmasters, only on Outdoor Channel.

In anticipation of our upcoming shows, STIHL has provided us with plenty of STIHL t-shirts and hats to give away to my loyal blog followers, subscribers and commentors.  Starting Monday, I will randomly draw a winner every other day to win a t-shirt or hat. 

Another way to win:  email a photo of yourself with a big fish you caught while wearing a hat or shirt that says "Stihl" (must be visible in the photo).  I'll send you a Stihl shirt and a hat and feature your big catch on one of my blogs.  The first person to respond will additionally win a pair of Stihl suspenders.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Boomerang! is the winner of today's random drawing and will receive the Boomerang pliers with a holster!, please email with shipping details so I can get those right out to you.  Thanks to all of you that follow, subscribe, and comment on my blog!  

Didn't win this time?   No worries!  Check this blog tomorrow afternoon for some exclusive news and great give-away opportunities.  

Memories from McDougall Lodge, Alaska

I had to postpone my much anticipated opportunity for a King Salmon show at McDougall Lodge in Alaska this week. I shot an episode there two seasons back and it was an awesome experience. We were forced to postpone due to our need finish up commercial production and put the finishing touches on our first two episodes of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors which begins airing at the end of this month. We have given the show a new look and I think the extra work and schedule juggling will definitely be worth it.

Give-away winner for these past two weeks will be announced this afternoon!
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