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RichF

New B.A.S.S Rules

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Well it's official...no more tunnel hull boats in BASS Open competitions.  I like it.

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I'm not familiar with tunnel hulls. What's the reason?

 

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Ott will be delighted!

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1 hour ago, Tracker22 said:

I'm not familiar with tunnel hulls. What's the reason?

 

They're specially constructed hulls of aluminum boats that allow the boat to run full speed in a few inches of water.  Ott Defoe (and a few other guys) used them to run way up the French Broad river during this year's Northern Open on Douglas Lake.  Ott won.  He also won the Open there back in 2014 doing the same thing with the same boat.

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I dare say B.A.S.S. has put themselves on a slippery slope. 

 

 

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I never really saw it as an advantage.

Whatever you're driving you still have to catch them.

 

Several people ran tunnel hulls at the last open on Douglas Lake.

It worked out for Ott but he was fishing the same water as Drew Benton who was not running a tunnel hull.

So Ott's water wasn't some unreachable creek arm that only he was able to access.

Skylar Hamilton a local favorite ran a tunnel hull on day 1 but only weighed a couple fish before switching to his regular Aluminum boat for day 2.

Mike Watson also ran a tunnel hull but he blanked on day 2.

 

1 guy ran a tunnel hull and won

2 other guys ran tunnel hulls and they finished 27th and 37th

 

So was the advantage the boat or is one guy a better fisherman at his home lake than the others?

 

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I get the feeling this won't hamper Ott one bit.  I think the impression will always be it was the boat.  If they all had the same type of boat, there's less controversy.  Seems like it's more about limiting the controversy rather than adding parity.

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Ott is no doubt a great fisherman and obviously knows his home waters well.  My issue isn't so much with the type of boat, it's the concept of basically fishing a different body of water than the rest of your competitors.  I'm sure most guys would say "both the French Broad and Douglas are one in the same" but I don't see it that way.  Because much of that river could only be accessed with a special boat, that eliminates nearly all the competition, meaning, next to no pressure on the fish (compared to the rest of Douglas which had 150 boats hammering it).  To me, that's like fishing an entirely different body of water, which I don't see as fair.  I had the same issue when Palaniuk ran to Ontario to win the first Elite tournament on the St. Lawrence River.  

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I don't know how far the run was for Ott but I remember reading after his win that those boats don't go fast at all. 

 

It's a gamble running those boats. You lose speed therefore you lose fishing time. Another big gamble is the potential to destroy a lower unit. I saw at least one of the guys running a tunnel hull carried a spare lower unit with him. 

 

Either way I wouldn't care or see it as an advantage if someone used one.

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I remember my buddy telling me at the final weigh in the tunnel rule would be changed. Same thing happened in the Elites years ago. It was jet boats back then. If memory serves me correctly, Roland brought a jet to a tournament and cleaned house. A bunch of the competitors cried that they didn't have jet rigs.

 

Ott, James Watson, Drew Benton, Skylar Hamilton and Bryant Ailor all had tunnels at the 2017 Northern Open on Douglas. The guys that either didn't have a tunnel, or access to one, complained enough to get the rules changed. Some were complaining during the weigh ins. Heck, Ott's rig was built with B.A.S.S. knowledge and approval, he said so on stage. I hate that those guys made that large an outlay of cash, with B.A.S.S. approval, only to have the rules changed after the fact.

 

Bassaholic, your right those boats are slow and get horrible fuel mileage. It is a huge gamble to run one. Ask Drew Benton about lower units. A large portion of his is still in the river. Hit a huge rock on the last day.

 

Keeper, I'm not trying to be argumentative. In any tournament, you can run from the dam, as far up river as you can go unless otherwise noted. It really is all one body of water, by the rules. You can get a glass boat pretty far up in that river if they are really pushing water. Should it be off limits in a glass rig? In some tournaments you can "lock through" and truly go to a different body of water. I have an issue with that one, but rules are rules. The boat that Ott used in 2014 was an 18 footer with a 90. He sold it. His new one is a 17 footer with a 60. Lighter boat, smaller outbound, better mileage. 

 

BassNJake, To my understanding, Hamilton's lower unit went south on day one. He had to change boats.

 

 

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B.A.S.S. could just define the areas that are considered fishable in a tournament to the main lake and eliminate the need for a tunnel hull boat. Seems like it would be easier to do that than limit what kind of boat anglers can fish from. Just saying.

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1 hour ago, Gundog said:

B.A.S.S. could just define the areas that are considered fishable in a tournament to the main lake and eliminate the need for a tunnel hull boat. Seems like it would be easier to do that than limit what kind of boat anglers can fish from. Just saying.

Quite agree. I think limiting the area that is fishable should be something they look into for all tournaments. Seems ludicrous to me that people can run 100 miles or more from the launch point. Just from an environmental point of view that promotes a ridiculous waste of fuel.

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Slippery slope is right.....What's next?  Competitors can only use XXXX Rods, XXXX Reels, XXXX Boat manufacturer. XXXX Baits and can only tow with XXXX trucks?  While I agree, there is a need for "off-limits" areas, I would have a problem with a boat restriction beyond a USCG Tagged hull including the proper HP outboard.  So is someone going to complain that one brand of hull is faster and more fuel efficient (Like Allison for example) and can therefore go further and faster unleveling the playing field?   Hmmmmmmm.........

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1 hour ago, TOXIC said:

Slippery slope is right.....What's next?  Competitors can only use XXXX Rods, XXXX Reels, XXXX Boat manufacturer. XXXX Baits and can only tow with XXXX trucks?  While I agree, there is a need for "off-limits" areas, I would have a problem with a boat restriction beyond a USCG Tagged hull including the proper HP outboard.  So is someone going to complain that one brand of hull is faster and more fuel efficient (Like Allison for example) and can therefore go further and faster unleveling the playing field?   Hmmmmmmm.........

I agree ... what's next?

I see the hummingbird 360 imaging as a lot bigger of an advantage than running a tunnel hull.

 

Using a different type of boat adds to the strategy of tournament fishing.

Do I run 120 miles and sacrifice 4 hours of fishing time?

Do I run upriver where I'll be sharing very skinny water with half a dozen guys for 3 days?

How much tackle do I need when running a small aluminum boat VS a 21 footer?

 

To me its all part of the game and done within the framework of the rules.

Next year there will be guys that will use aluminum boats just not tunnel hulls and people will still think they had an advantage.

 

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11 hours ago, volzfan59 said:

Keeper, I'm not trying to be argumentative. In any tournament, you can run from the dam, as far up river as you can go unless otherwise noted. It really is all one body of water, by the rules. You can get a glass boat pretty far up in that river if they are really pushing water. Should it be off limits in a glass rig? In some tournaments you can "lock through" and truly go to a different body of water. I have an issue with that one, but rules are rules. The boat that Ott used in 2014 was an 18 footer with a 90. He sold it. His new one is a 17 footer with a 60. Lighter boat, smaller outbound, better mileage. 

Totally get that nobody broke any rules.  I'm fine with that.  It looks like you're from that area, so you obviously know more about that body of water than i do.  I understand it is technically all one body (as defined by the rules), but I imagine they fish like two completely different ones.  I wasn't there, but I can't imagine they were pushing much water given that it was late summer.  I assume that's why the tunnel hulls were used in the first place.  

 

2 hours ago, TOXIC said:

So is someone going to complain that one brand of hull is faster and more fuel efficient (Like Allison for example) and can therefore go further and faster unleveling the playing field?   Hmmmmmmm.........

I guess it's possible, but I see that as a minor difference compared to a jet boat or tunnel hull.  

 

45 minutes ago, BassNJake said:

I agree ... what's next?

I see the hummingbird 360 imaging as a lot bigger of an advantage than running a tunnel hull.

 

Using a different type of boat adds to the strategy of tournament fishing.

Do I run 120 miles and sacrifice 4 hours of fishing time?

Do I run upriver where I'll be sharing very skinny water with half a dozen guys for 3 days?

How much tackle do I need when running a small aluminum boat VS a 21 footer?

 

To me its all part of the game and done within the framework of the rules.

Next year there will be guys that will use aluminum boats just not tunnel hulls and people will still think they had an advantage.

I get the whole "strategy" argument when it comes to tournament fishing (run/sacrifice fishing time, etc.).  I understand why guys to it and get that it's within the rules...I just don't like it, personally.  When guys run so far on a body of water that it basically turns into a different ecosystem...c'mon.  Sure it's a gamble to run far.  Your boat could break down or you could run out of gas, but that doesn't seem to happen all that often.  Equipment is so good nowadays.  I just get a little suspicious when guys make 100+ mile runs in competition.  I think of Palaniuk running to Ontario from the St. Lawrence at Waddington.  Why would you gamble on a run like that (different story if he was a local)?  If he actually practiced in the Lake during the official practice period, why?  Especially knowing it was such a long, treacherous run from the launch spot.  My guess is he got some outside help.  Same thing with Mclelland at the last Sabine Elite event.  A guy from Arkansas running 200+ miles across Galveston Bay to a tiny canal holding enough quality bass for a 2nd place finish.  How the heck did he know about that spot?  I'm just not naive enough to believe these guys looked on a map and thought..."this spot 200 miles away looks really good, I'll spend my official  practice days there."  

 

Now, of course, I'm speculating and could be completely wrong in my assumptions.  I can be a negative nancy sometimes.  If that's the case, then I offer my apologies to the aforementioned anglers.  And, to be clear, I don't think this was the case for Ott.  I have zero doubt that he just knows that place really well from years of experience. 

 

 

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The other rule change in the Elites involves getting outside information.  Soooooooo......the waypoint pirates or fishing acquaintances that provide "helpful" information, is now a rules infraction.   

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37 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

The other rule change in the Elites involves getting outside information.  Soooooooo......the waypoint pirates or fishing acquaintances that provide "helpful" information, is now a rules infraction.   

I'd love to know who it is who's been performing above their ability with these waypoints. Every pro seems to say it will be a good thing and stop the "others" from getting an advantage, but nobody has yet said it will put a kink in their season next year!

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48 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

The other rule change in the Elites involves getting outside information.  Soooooooo......the waypoint pirates or fishing acquaintances that provide "helpful" information, is now a rules infraction. 

I like that they did this, but I know it won't stop it completely.  How can it really?  

 

10 minutes ago, Tim Kelly said:

I'd love to know who it is who's been performing above their ability with these waypoints. Every pro seems to say it will be a good thing and stop the "others" from getting an advantage, but nobody has yet said it will put a kink in their season next year!

Iaconnelli had Chris and Trait Zaldain on an episode of Ike Live not too long ago and I'm pretty sure I recall them outting David Walker as being big into buying waypoints.  At times, I feel like it's somewhat obvious who's getting info (see my above examples).  This reminds me of an article Rick Clunn wrote before his last Elite win in FL a couple years ago.  He basically said it's so hard to compete in the Elites because of the info guys get from outside sources.  He went on to say how he was basically going to cave and do the same out of necessity...very soon after, he wins an event.  I also think of the Winyah Bay tourney last year.  Very few, if any, of the anglers knew much about that place.  Then comes tournament time and most of them run to the same far off area, miles and miles away from the launch and end up jockeying for position.  Look at Cherokee Lake this year too and the "Damiki Rig." That little bait had never been mentioned by any Elite angler ever and then miraculously shows up tied to the end of pretty much every guys' line during the event.   

 

I just have a hard time buying the whole "these guys just know how to find them and catch them anywhere" argument.  

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3 minutes ago, RichF said:

 

I like that they did this, but I know it won't stop it completely.  How can it really?  

 

 

Maybe they will attempt to detect infraction of these new rules through polygraph testing.  Pretty sure they still do that, so they would just need to ask the right questions. 

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Nobody is going to admit they purchased way points and got outside information.

Really, its all speculation. Unless you were there when "Bobby Best Guide Ever" gave the way points to whatever pro.

I'm waiting to see if more guys fail polygraphs this year, because of this rule.

 

The thing is that you can still share information between elite series pros so some guys (Jordan Lee who seems to be buddies with everyone) have the possibility of getting more info than somebody like Dave Lefebre( Dave doesn't even really like Dave)

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, RichF said:

 

I like that they did this, but I know it won't stop it completely.  How can it really?  

 

Iaconnelli had Chris and Trait Zaldain on an episode of Ike Live not too long ago and I'm pretty sure I recall them outting David Walker as being big into buying waypoints.  At times, I feel like it's somewhat obvious who's getting info (see my above examples).  This reminds me of an article Rick Clunn wrote before his last Elite win in FL a couple years ago.  He basically said it's so hard to compete in the Elites because of the info guys get from outside sources.  He went on to say how he was basically going to cave and do the same out of necessity...very soon after, he wins an event.  I also think of the Winyah Bay tourney last year.  Very few, if any, of the anglers knew much about that place.  Then comes tournament time and most of them run to the same far off area, miles and miles away from the launch and end up jockeying for position.  Look at Cherokee Lake this year too and the "Damiki Rig." That little bait had never been mentioned by any Elite angler ever and then miraculously shows up tied to the end of pretty much every guys' line during the event.   

 

I just have a hard time buying the whole "these guys just know how to find them and catch them anywhere" argument.  

I live about 30 minutes from Cherokee and about an hour from Douglas and have fished them both many times.

You go into any baitshop from November to March they'll tell you to throw the Damiki rig or some variation of it on Cherokee at that time of year.

 

I'm sure a lot of the more technically savvy anglers are using Google Earth and are going through satellite pictures from previous years to find points, breaks, structure that may now be sitting in 10 feet of water. I read somewhere that Brandon Palaniuk said he puts in an entire work week(40 hrs) just studying maps before an event. Pretty sure Tommy Biffle ain't doing the same thing.

 

Lets say 20 pros are buying waypoints ... aren't they going to be buying them from the same guys/guides and aren't they going to be the same places? I dont buy into the secret spot theory. So wheres the 20 way tie for first at every event amongst the same 20 waypoint buyers?

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29 minutes ago, BassNJake said:

I live about 30 minutes from Cherokee and about an hour from Douglas and have fished them both many times.

You go into any baitshop from November to March they'll tell you to throw the Damiki rig or some variation of it on Cherokee at that time of year.

 

I'm sure a lot of the more technically savvy anglers are using Google Earth and are going through satellite pictures from previous years to find points, breaks, structure that may now be sitting in 10 feet of water. I read somewhere that Brandon Palaniuk said he puts in an entire work week(40 hrs) just studying maps before an event. Pretty sure Tommy Biffle ain't doing the same thing.

 

Lets say 20 pros are buying waypoints ... aren't they going to be buying them from the same guys/guides and aren't they going to be the same places? I dont buy into the secret spot theory. So wheres the 20 way tie for first at every event amongst the same 20 waypoint buyers?

Well you got me with the Cherokee deal. That makes sense. As for buying waypoints...I answered another member's question with info I got about 1 guy from the mouths of 2 other Elite anglers.  I wasn't insinuating that tons of guys are actually buying waypoints (hopefully it didn't come off like that).  I'm also not saying most guys aren't doing any of their own research.  But, I really do think most guys are getting some help.  Just like Cherokee and Douglas are in your backyard, the St. Lawrence and Ontario, specifically Waddington and Henderson (close to where Palaniuk won) are in mine. It makes zero sense to me that someone completely unfamiliar with the area would make that decision based on google earth imagery.  Not only is it a crazy long run, it's almost always bad running across Ontario.  If he did research it as much as that article says, he would've known that the river spits out 20+ lb bags almost as regularly as the big lake.  Why would you take that kind of risk when similar caliber fish are living up and down the entire river?  It just seems strange to me.  And seriously think about the Sabine and Winyah events.  Those gotta stir up some questions as to how and why.  

 

I'm with you, mostly, on the secret spot theory.  I don't think most anglers are winning off some super secret spots they're buying from locals or guides.  They're getting help though.  I bet it's more than we realize too.  another site just put out an article about Brent Chapman earlier this week I found interesting.  He talks about how the new no info rule should change up the game because several anglers have such "large networks."  No names were mentioned, obviously.   

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@RichF

 

I have been seeing a lot of the pro's talking about the no info rule like there was a bunch of guys doing it.

Almost seemed like a mini conspiracy theory where everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, yet nobody is admitting they have done it.

 

I agree that it's funny how guys find that spot after a 100 mile run like the 100 miles they just passed didn't look good?

I'm sure that guys were getting help but how often are fished camped on a certain spot day after day?

If there was a 30 day cut off period before the tournament, how likely are those waypoints going to help today?

How often does one years conditions match the previous years conditions?

 

 

I tend to view this the way I viewed baseball during the "steroid" days.

Were McGuire and Sosa juicing - Yes.

Were Clemens and Shilling juicing - Yes.

Advantage - none

 

 

All of the above issues are why so many of us like the MLF format

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With the St Lawrence/ Ontario thing, you could easily look at recent tournament results and if the lake was producing bigger weights decide to go to the lake for your practice. Whether the lake should be off limits or not is another argument. 

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Keeper, Your right, they weren't pushing a ton of water during the tournament. I was just making a "for instance" kind of point. Again, your correct, I do live in the area and and as a river rat, I'm familiar with the area. 

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