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The Buckeye Lake Dam Dilemma – What it Means for the 2015 Tournament Season

By now, you’ve probably heard the news about Buckeye Lake.

According to a report by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the 4 mile earthen dam that impounds the 2,800 acre lake is at risk of failing. For several weeks after the news of the report became public, there was much speculation amongst Ohio’s bass fishing community as to how the issues with the dam would impact their ability to launch a boat on this phenomenal spring bass fishery. Would the lake be drained permanently? Was there a temporary fix that would allow the lake to be brought up to summer pool? Who would pay for the dam to be repaired?

Check out this video showing the history of the Buckeye Lake dam and how problems have developed:

Although many questions are still unanswered, last week Governor Kasich announced that the State of Ohio would pay for the repairs to the dam, which he estimates will cost between $120 and $150 million dollars and will take up to 5 years to complete.

As a result of this news, most of Ohio’s tournament circuits have decided to remove Buckeye Lake from their 2015 schedules. Most notably, the 6th Annual Vance Outdoors Open tournament that was scheduled for April 4th has been cancelled.

If the State ends up keeping water levels at winter pool over the course of the dam repairs, how will it impact the fish living in the lake? At this point, not much is being said about that issue. Once more information is available, I will provide an update.



Knox Marine’s 2015 Spring Open House

Knox Marine will be hosting its annual Spring Open House event on March 14th and 15th at their newly-remodeled sales and showroom facility located on the banks of Knox Lake in Fredericktown, Ohio (Directions).

The Spring Open House is an excellent opportunity to meet the friendly staff of Ohio’s best bass boat dealership and service department. In addition, Knox Marine will be offering its absolute best pricing of the year on Ranger bass boats, Lowe aluminum boats, Lowe pontoon boats, Evinrude and Mercury engines, electronics, fishing tackle, and boating accessories. For specific sale details, please visit the Knox Marine website at www.knoxmarine-ltd.com, or give them a call at (740) 694-7774.

2015  G2

Throughout the weekend, FLW Tour Professional Larry Nixon (1983 Bassmaster Classic Champion, 1980 and 1982 BASS Angler of the Year) and former professional Kim Stricker will be giving fishing seminars.  The seminars are free, and open to the public.  For more details regarding seminar times, please contact Knox Marine.  The doors open at 9 am, so be sure to mark your calendar.

Team Knox Marine

Knox Marine’s Service Department

For any bass boat owner, finding a quality service department is critical.  We put our boats through a lot of rough conditions, and things inevitably break.  And when your boat is out of commission, there is no higher priority than getting it fixed – and fixed correctly – so that you can get back on the water.  That’s where Knox Marine comes in.  With over 75 years of combined marine service experience, Knox’s staff of Mercury and Evinrude factory trained technicians will quickly diagnose your issues and fix them in a timely and professional manner.  And they stand behind their work.

To me, the service department at Knox Marine is the best in Ohio.  It’s so good that I drive over an hour to get there.  Although there are many reasons why I consider it the best, two examples in particular come to mind.

Mike Steel, Owner

First is the manner in which they conduct their service appointments.  If you schedule a specific time for your boat to be serviced, Knox will actually work on your boat during that time.  That means a lot when you’re coming from out of town, because you can bring your boat home the same day you brought it in for service.  The technicians will even allow you to observe them as they perform the work, explaining to you what they’re doing and answering any questions you may have about your boat.  How cool is that?

Second is the problem solving advice that they are willing to provide over the phone.  If you’re a Knox Marine customer, and something breaks or stops working on your boat while you’re on the water, you can call the service department and Mark, Jeff, Steve or Mike will do everything they can to help you diagnose and fix the problem.  They bailed me out of a jam last season during an Open tournament on Buckeye Lake when my motor cut out on me. They walked me through it over the phone, and I was up and running again in minutes. That type of service is rare, and is just another example of Knox Marine’s commitment to going the extra mile for their customers.

New and Used Boat and Motor Sales

Knox offers a full lineup of new Ranger Bass Boats, Ranger Aluminum Bass Boats, and Lowe Boats – all powered by Evinrude and Mercury outboard motors.  If you’re interested in purchasing a new boat, or if you simply want to learn more about a particular model, give Steve Dalton a call.  Steve has many years of experience selling boats, and as a tournament angler, he understands what is important to bass anglers when it comes to choosing the right boat.  Knox also carries a wide selection of used boats, and new and used motors!

Steve Dalton, Owner

Parts and Accessories

Knox carries Evinrude genuine parts and accessories, and Mercury precision parts and accessories.  They keep their parts department well stocked, and if they don’t have a part you need, they get it for you quickly.  Don’t hesitate to call Matt Blakesley if you have a question on parts or warranty.

Boat Storage

Knox also offers indoor boat storage for their customers.  The cost is extremely affordable, and the process is easy.  Simply schedule a winterization appointment when you’re ready to put your boat away for the season, and drop it off with Mark or Jeff at the service department.  They will winterize your boat and then transport it to the storage facility for you.  When you’re ready to pick it up in the spring, they’ll have it ready to go. For more information regarding storage packages, please contact Knox Marine.

Knox Marine Supports Ohio Based Tournament Organizations and Businesses

Knox Marine provides support to the Ohio bass fishing community by sponsoring Ohio based tournament circuits, including the Ohio Mega Bass Tournament Trail, Bass Pro Shops Ohio Tournament Trail, the Lake Erie Largemouth Series and Ohio TBF.  And they support local businesses by stocking products in their tackle shop from Ohio based Venom Lures, A.C.T. Lures, and Hookerz Tackle. Come check out their newly remodeled tackle shop!

Knox Marine Remodel

So if you don’t already have a trusted service department for your bass boat, or you’re looking for a change, don’t hesitate to give Knox Marine a call – you’ll be happy you did.



Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters 2015 Spring Bass Weekend!

This weekend, Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters will be hosting its annual Spring Bass Weekend at its flagship store in Ashland, Ohio.  With a full schedule of bass fishing seminars being taught by Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour anglers, and a huge selection of bass fishing gear marked at discounted prices, attending the show is a great way to kick off the 2015 Ohio bass fishing season! 

Beginning Saturday morning, these free seminars will offer a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the best anglers in the sport. The two-day schedule of professionals includes:

Saturday February 28th
Gary Klein – Two-Time BASS Angler of the Year 
11:00 a.m. – Noon
“How to Improve Your Angling Skills”
Greg Hackney – Reigning BASS Angler of the Year
1:00pm – 2:00 p.m.
“Shallow Water Bass Techniques”
Kevin Hawk – 2010 Forrest Wood Cup Champion
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
“Spybaiting and Specialty Techniques for Bass”
Greg Hackney – Reigning BASS Angler of the Year
4:00pm – 5:00 p.m.
“Techniques for Finding Shallow Bass Quickly”
Sunday March 1st 
Gary Klein – Two-Time BASS Angler of the Year 
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“How to Improve Your Angling Skills”
Kevin Hawk – 2010 Forrest Wood Cup Champion
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
“Swimbaits and Specialty Techniques for Bass”
Mark Davis – ’95 Bassmaster Classic Champ, ’95, ’98, ’01 BASS AOY
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
“Structure Jigging & Cranking for Bass”

About Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters

“The Fin” carries an enormous selection of outdoors products and gear that rivals any of the national outdoor retailers.  The fishing department, which is located in the left-wing of the 72,00 square foot Ashland store, is stocked with the most popular brands and models of rods, reels, electronics, terminal tackle, soft plastics, crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and anything else you could possibly need for the upcoming bass’n season.



The Staff

Although The Fin’s product selection is impressive, it’s the quality of their employees that differentiates them from the competition. Managed by Ohio tournament angler Steve Hatfield (Two-Time Mosquito Madness Champion), The Fin’s fishing department is staffed by a group of friendly bass fishing experts who strive to deliver the highest level of customer service.  The staff at The Fin knows their stuff.  All of them spend considerable time on the water chasing bass around Ohio’s waters, and several of them are avid tournament anglers, which means they understand what is important to bass fishermen.  They are well-trained when it comes to the technical side of the products they sell. Steve and Sales Associates Tyler Young or Jeff Stigall can talk to you in depth about every fishing product they carry and explain to you how those products will help you catch more fish.


Fin, Feather & Fur Supports Ohio Bass Anglers and Local Businesses

Besides the large product selection and great service, another reason to support Fin, Feather & Fur is because they support us – the Ohio bass fishing community.  The Fin sponsors many Ohio based bass tournament circuits, including the Ohio Mega Bass Tournament Trail, DoBass, Great Lakes Largemouth Series, Bad Bass Champs, The Bass Pro Shops Ohio Tournament Trail, several of Ohio’s collegiate bass fishing teams, and a number of annual open tournaments.  Their contributions allow these circuits to provide competitors with a superior tournament experience and increased payouts.  The Fin also supports Ohio based bass fishing companies, carrying a number of local brands like Warrior Baits, Ohio Pro Lure, and Hookerz Tackle.





So whether you’re looking for a new Humminbird unit for side imaging the offshore humps on Clear Fork Reservoir, a heavy flipping stick for punching the pads at Indian, or just some friendly advice from a bass fishing expert, stop by Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters this weekend and say hello – you’ll be glad you did! The Ashland store is located at I-71 and US-250, and can be contacted at (419) 281-2557.


The 2015 Columbus Fishing Expo February 13-15

If fishing is your passion, then be sure to mark your calendar for February 13-15 when the Columbus Fishing Expo comes to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

With a jam-packed schedule of educational seminars, professional angling speakers, and activities, the Columbus Fishing Expo will provide an excellent opportunity for anglers of all ages and skill levels to expand their fishing knowledge.
Columbus Fishing Expo

For details about the Columbus Fishing Expo , including the schedule of events and a list of the 100+ vendors that will be present, please visit the official website at www.columbusfishingexpo.com.

Friday 12:00 (noon) – 8:00 pm

Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Features of the show include:

-Over 100 vendor booths on display. Vendors include fishing tackle, gear companies, fishing guides, outdoors outfitters and much more

-Local boat dealers will be showcasing their 2015 fishing boat inventory

-Daily seminars taught by professional bass, walleye, crappie, musky, perch, trout, catfish and carp anglers including The Bass University

-Visit the Ice Fish Ohio.com booth to check out the latest Ice Fishing gear and enter free drawings for product

-Fly fishing clinics taught daily, learn the new fly fishing technique called Tenkara presented by Mad River Outfitters with special fly tying instructional sessions available for attendees of all ages

-Instructional courses on how to use modern day electronics

In support of the Columbus Fishing Expo’s efforts to introduce future generations of anglers to the sport of fishing, all children age 17 and under who attend the Expo with a paying adult will receive FREE ADMISSION (limit two children per paying adult). Tickets can be purchased directly from the official website, or at a local ticket retailer for $10 or at the gate for $12. A Weekend pass is also available for $20 online only.


2015 Tournaments are Posted!

Happy New Year!

Now that that the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to get out the calendar and start planning your 2015 tournament schedule.

Ohio Bass Blog is pleased to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 Ohio bass tournament season.

For your convenience, tournament schedules are broken down into the following categories: Circuits, Opens and Weeknight.  Tournament results will be regularly posted on the Results page. Be sure to check back frequently, as I will be updating these pages with more tournament listings on a weekly basis.

If you are thinking about joining a club, be sure to check out the Ohio Bass Clubs page.

For tournament directors who are interested in having their bass tournaments listed on Ohio Bass Blog, please send an email to ohiobassblog@gmail.com.

Want to start fishing team tournaments but don’t have a partner?  Be sure to visit the Find a Partner page.

For college students who are interested in joining a collegiate bass fishing team, be sure to visit the Ohio Collegiate Bass Fishing page for more information.

2015 will bring many exciting things to the Ohio bass fishing community. I encourage you to follow along with Ohio Bass Blog this season, and to share your photos, tournament results, and any other bass fishing related news with me for publication to the website.

Mike Reeves


Knox Marine Winterization Services Still Available

I hate to say it, but with a severe cold snap forecasted for Ohio in the upcoming days, our boating season is over. For those who have not yet had their boats winterized, there’s still time!

Knox Marine offers winterization programs for motors of all sizes and designs.  The service includes fuel conditioning, engine fogging, lower unit lube, and preventative maintenance checks on your engine and lower unit. It also includes anti-freeze, oil filter and fuel filter change for I/O units, directed injected motors, and 4-stroke outboards.  For more details on winterization programs, please call the service department at (740) 694-7774.

And if you’re in need of winter boat storage, Knox also offers indoor storage, starting at $200, which covers a time period from now until May 1, 2015.

Team Knox Marine



Mister Twister’s New Line of Soft Plastics for Bass

Growing up, I spent most of my spare time wading the Scioto River for smallmouth bass. One of my go to lures was a Mister Twister Curly Tail Grub, rigged on a Round Jighead. Tossing that subtle rig into the current and slow rolling it through the riffles was a guaranteed way to catch those river bronzebacks!

Recently, Darryl Laurent of Mister Twister contacted me to see if I was interested in sampling their new line of soft plastics that were designed for targeting bass. As an angler who is always looking to expand his arsenal of tricks, I took him up on the offer. I was pleasantly surprised when a box of assorted plastics in a wide variety of colors appeared at my doorstep a few days later. After field testing Mister Twister’s new bass fishing line over the last few weeks, they have my stamp of approval. Here is a list of my favorite three bait styles that I sampled, and what I like about them.

Flip’n OUT

Available in 21 colors, the Flip’n OUT is Mister Twister’s version of the beaver. At 4 inches in length, this bait can be fished Texas Rigged, Carolina Rigged, or used as a jig trailer.  What I like most about this bait is that it’s made with a plastic that strikes a good balance between softness and durability. It’s a touch heavier than most beaver baits, which means you can get away with rigging it with a lighter bullet weight. And because the plastic is durable, a single bait will last for several fish catches.  It has a claw appendage that can be separated into two segments to maximize water movement, as well as two twister arms that oscillate lightly even when the bait is sitting still. Give it a try for flipping weed clumps or laydowns.

Flipn Out

Poc’it Craw

The Poc’it Craw is a crawfish profiled soft plastic bait that can be pitched, flipped, or used as a jig trailer.  I had most success using it as a trailer on a 1/2 ounce jig.  At 3.5 inches, I like to bite off the top segment before threading it on my jig hook.  When separated, the claws flap and create a lot of commotion on the fall. If you choose to keep the claws connected, the profile and fall of the bait will be more streamlined. This bait features Mister Twister’s Poc’it technology, which allows the bait to trap air in narrowly grooved pockets that are located on the back side of the craw. As the bait moves through the water, it releases bubbles for extra attraction.

Pocit Craw

Magnum SinSation

The Magnum SinSation was my favorite of the lot due to its versatility. I caught fish on it while dragging rock piles with a Carolina Rig, and on top with the bait rigged as a trailer on a buzzbait.  It’s a long profile at 5 inches, and it moves a lot of water with its tapered body design, flapping appendages, and oversized curly tail. It also features the Poc’it technology for generating air bubbles. I think that the gigantic profile draws strikes from bigger than average fish.  As a tip, be sure to add a couple drops of super glue to the buzzbait head before threading the SinSation over the hook.

Magnum SinSation

Mister Twister also offers an array of worm baits, ranging from senko-style finesse worms to 10 inch monsters for dragging deep summer haunts. Be sure to check out their full lineup of bass plastics at Mister Twister Bass Products.






The 1st Annual Ohio High School and College Bass Fishing Seminar

On Saturday November 8th, The North Coast Black Bass Anglers Association will be hosting the 1st Annual Ohio High School and College Bass Fishing Seminar at The Quest Conference Center located at 8405 Pulsar Place, Columbus, Ohio 43240.

North Coast Black Bass Anglers Association

All youth and college level bass anglers are invited to attend the FREE event, which will be limited to the first 250 participants who register. Professional anglers from the Walmart FLW Tour and the Bassmaster Elite Series will be hosting informational seminars on such topics as Lake Erie smallmouth fishing, Fishing Shallow Grass, Cranking, Flipping & Pitching, and Sonar/GPS use. In addition, manufacturer reps from many of the bass fishing industry’s leading companies will be present to teach participants about the hottest products on the market today.

To reserve your spot, and for more information about the seminar, contact Bob Davis at 216-780-1424 or davismanagement2000@yahoo.com. Click Here to view the official seminar flyer.


Ohio Bass Blog is Back!

It’s been a while since I last blogged. My wife and I had our first child three months ago, a little girl named Tinsley, and to say I’ve been busy is an understatement! I never thought that anything could pull me away from wanting to be on the water, chasing bass. As it turns out, I was wrong. I’m sure all of my readers who are parents know exactly what I’m talking about.

Now that things have settled a little at home I’ll have more time to get back to writing. In the meantime, here’s a summary of what’s been going on.

In August I had the opportunity to attend the Forrest Wood Cup as an on-the-water blogger and photographer for FLW. FLW put on an impressive show, but it wasn’t by chance. A LOT of hard work goes into running a major championship, both on the stage and behind the scenes.

FWC with the Cup

For three days I followed the pros around Lake Murray in South Carolina, providing on-the-water updates for the FLW website and capturing action photos. On Day 1 I covered the 2013 BFL All-American qualifier, Marcus Sykora. Sykora had been on an incredible frog bite in practice, skipping casts to shade pockets around shoreline cypress trees. You can read my account of the day by clicking here.

On Days 2 and 3 I tailed a number of pros, including Brian Thrift, Jason Christie, Mark Rose, and James Biggs. Watching these guys fish is a heck of a learning experience. In fact, there’s no better way to pick up new techniques and tricks than to spend a day on the water observing them. I never knew it was possible to skip a buzzbait 40 feet under a dock until I witnessed Thrift do it.  The trick – remove the skirt and thread a buzzfrog on the hook.

The highlight of the Cup for me was the final day, when I watched from close proximity as Steve Kennedy sacked a 20 pound bag by skipping a Zoom Horny Toad under overhanging willow trees and gurgling it back on the surface. The topwater explosions were heart-stopping, and the feeling of magic was in the air as Kennedy attempted to come from 10th place to win. Here is an action photo I shot, courtesy of FLW Outdoors. To read about what it was like to almost witness the historic comeback, click here.

Kennedy Image 3

On the Ohio tournament front, I’m sad to say that the 2014 season is approaching its end. Many circuits wrapped up their schedules in recent weeks, and crowned their points champions. To read a rundown of who won and how much weight it took to get it done, be sure to visit the Ohio Bass Blog Results page.


With the end of tournament season comes the great late-season bite. The chilly fall air has dropped water temperatures close to 20 degrees in recent weeks, and the biggest bass in our lakes will soon have the feed bag on! The AEP crew is reporting that the bigguns are turning on, so if you’re waiting for the right time to make the trip, this is it. You can read the most recent AEP reports here.

Corn Harris October 3rd



Mid-Season Bass Boat Maintenance Tips from Knox Marine

Most bass boat owners have their boat serviced at the end of the season, during their annual winterization. But as hard as we are on our boats, the best practice is to give your boat a once-over from time to time throughout the season to check for signs of problems with your trailer, boat, and motor.

Knox Marine, Ohio’s leading dealer of Ranger bass boats and an Ohio Bass Blog sponsor has offered the following mid-season maintenance pointers for all bass boat owners. So take a few minutes to examine your boat. Some preventive maintenance now can save you big money, and time, in the long run. If you do find a potential issue with your boat, the service department at Knox Marine will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at (740) 694-7774.

Team Knox Marine

1. Check air pressure – always put in max cold PSI indicated on the tire
2. Check all trailer lights
3. Check brake fluid level on master cylinder located on trailer tongue
4. Jack up trailer and spin wheels – listen for any noise coming from bearings. If you have bearing buddies, be sure to pump fresh grease through, only a few pumps is needed
1. Check bolts and nuts holding the motor to the boat or jackplate 
2. Grease all fittings on engine
3. Check all fuel lines for deterioration and leaks
4. Remove propeller and check for fishing line on propeller shaft
5. If engine has reached 100 HRS change fuel filter, spark plugs and gear lube
Trolling Motor
1. Check bolts and nuts holding trolling motor to boat
2. Remove propeller and check for fishing line and check drive pin
3. Check wires and cable routing for any wear or poor connections. If you notice wear in any spots you may consider rerouting wires
1. Check over boat and make sure all screws are tight – dash, bow, lids, hinges, etc.
2. Check rub rail – If you notice any parts pushing out, this means a screw on the base has worked itself loose. Remove rub rail, tighten screw and reinsert rub rail. * Easier to work with when it has been sitting in the sun *
3. Check to ensure all battery connections are tight. Also check for corrosion around posts. If corrosion is present, a wire brush and battery cleaner should be applied
4. Check water level unless battery is maintenance free or AGM. Use only distilled water to replenish low water levels
5. Check over all boat components – bilge, aerator, lights, horn
6. Check bilge area for any debris that could clog pump and cause damage
7. Always remember the sun is your boats worst enemy – be sure to wash and wax your boat at least twice a year. Marine vinyl protection should be applied to seats and dash often. * Do not use automotive Armor All, as it will dry out and crack the vinyl
8. Lucas Oil has a product called Slick Mist – Speed Wax. Every fiberglass boat owner should have a bottle of this in their truck. Every time you pull your boat out of the water just spray on and wipe off to keep your boat looking great between waxes



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