Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 Bobby Lane Cup

December 3, 2016 marked the 6th Annual Bobby Lane Cup. The Bobby Lane Cup High School/Youth Fishing Tournament is held annually to raise funds to provide educational scholarships for high school seniors with an interest in bass fishing. Bobby is an Elite Series pro and I am happy to call him a friend. I have assisted him before in running the event, but this year I was able to participate and take two young gentlemen fishing.

I arrived in town on Friday afternoon and got to spend a few hours on the water with Devon Roberts and Brandon Carter. Devon and Brandon and relatively new to the tournament scene and we only got 1 bite in practice. I was definitely worried that we would have a tough day.

Tournament day comes and we are boat 86. I decided at the last minute to take them to a ‘community hole’. That turned out to a great decision. When we arrived there were 2 other boats fishing there but they weren’t getting bit. I pulled up, put the power –poles down and told them to pick up the Sebile Flatt Shad(rattletrap) and get to work. The immediately started catching fish. We had a limit in the first 30 minutes thanks to Brandon catching 2 on one cast!!

The boys fished hard all day and was able to upgrade a few times. They ended up in 8th place out of 112 boats. They just never got a big bite to put them over the top. I couldn’t be more proud of the job the boys did. Heck, we never even put the trolling motor in the water!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2016 NASCAR Hot Rods and Reels

I have been blessed to have the opportunity to participate in the NASCAR Hot Rods and Reels Fishing Tournament to benefit the Darryl Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis since 2005. Darryl has helped improve so many lives since he started the Tournament in 2003.

Seven year old Manny Martinez was this years recipient. Manny was born paralyzed due to a stroke before he was born. He had grown out of his original chair and the new chair will improve his quality of life. He will now be able to be more mobile, play with his brother and friends and continue his rehabilitation.

Now back to the fishing part…. In my first event(2005), I fished with NASCAR owner Richard Childress. I misunderstood the rules and threw a fish back that we could have weigh in. Needless to say we lost that event by less than a pound. I haven’t been close to winning since then and it has bothered me. Plus all the guides(friends) and event coordinator(Todd Kersey) are sure to remind me every year that my name is not on the trophy yet.

This year would be different though. I had the pleasure of fishing with Bobby Allison(Legendary Driver) and Bobby and Timn Nichols from Guns and Drugs Custom Gun Shop in Islamorado Florida. It started off a little slow then we found one small spot that we caught all our fish from. The second place team caught all their fish off that spot too.

After 12 events at Homestead and several at Daytona Speedway, my name is finally on the trophy. I will say that it is my most prized trophy to date. Cant wait to get back at it next year!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bassmaster Classic 2016: Tulsa, OK

Last week I attended the 2016 Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I grew up about 100 miles northeast of Tulsa in a small town in Kansas called Riverton.

I took the opportunity to visit my family for a few days. It was great to spend some time on the farm. Spring is always a great time in the Midwest with all the new additions.

After a few days on the farm and working on trucks with my Dad, it was time to head to Tulsa. My nephew Taylor and his friend attended the Expo and weighed in on Friday. The crowds seemed a little smaller than usual but the Pros did not disappoint. Local favorite Jason Christie took an early lead. He continued his dominance on Day 2 and took a commanding 6 lb lead going into the final day.

Now this is where things got interesting.

Edwin Evers, another local pro, caught over 29 lbs to mount the largest come from behind win in Classic history. I am proud to say that I have become friends with Edwin over the years and he is a true Class Act and a well-deserved Champion. I fished with him on Okeechobee back in 2003 when I first started and he inspired me to stay in the sport and follow my dreams. He also helped me obtain my first sponsorship with Nitro Boats back in 2004.

Congrats Edwin on a phenomenal victory and enjoy the reign as Champion !

March 10, 2016
Jeff Brooks

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

B.A.S.S. Southern Open, Lake Toho, FL

Welcome back everyone to 'On the Trail' with Jeff.

2016 is going to be a great year and the season kicked off, in my backyard (so to speak), with the B.A.S.S. Southern Open on Lake Toho. It is the third year that B.A.S.S. has started the season on the famous Lake Toho. Every single year it has fished different.

The weekend before the Open, I and the Florida Bass Nation hosted the second High School qualifier of the year. The young anglers were greeted with some of the nastiest conditions I have ever faced in practice on Saturday. The tournament was Sunday and the kids never disappoint. They always seem to catch fish. I applaud their open mindedness and commitment. Mark my words, the next generation of anglers are "HAMMERS" !

Joey Bloom and Colin Blanton
I am not going to lie, my finish this year totally sucked and I was disappointed in my performance. But here is the catch, I was not upset with how I fished (never lost a fish) but in how I practiced. I stayed away from community holes where I just knew that I would be able to catch a small limit so as not to be seen catching fish. The problem is that with all the weather changes they weren't in the traditional 'community holes' like I thought they would be. Translation, I spent way too much time on tournament days fishing unproductive water.

Every tournament I learn something about fishing and the lake I am at, but it's the tournaments where you learn something about yourself that stick out. I learned to never let up on the gas when competing against the best in the world or they will beat you up and take your lunch money!!

A big congrats to my friend and Boca Bearing Pro Staff member Cody Detweiler on his 2nd place finish. He did his homework and put in his time on the lake and almost pulled off the victory. He was 2 ounces from making his first appearance at the Bassmaster Classic -- March 4-6 at the Grand Lake O'the Cherokees in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cody Detweiler
Which brings me to my next trip, I am heading to the Classic so make sure you enter our version of "See What's Out There" Contest. Guess the winning weight and win a pair of Costa Sunglasses (580 glass). Enter contest here: https://www.wishpond.com/lp/1481675/

March 1, 2016
Jeff Brooks