Category News

For more than a decade now, Megabass USA has been importing product from Megabass Japan for distribution within the United States. Lures found their way into retail locations relatively easily and just this year, rods have become more readily available. Though their presence has been felt and seen, we’ve never seen the Japanese manufacturing icon at ICAST. The question we’ve heard quite often and never really had an answer for is why not?

 

Recognize these baits?

Take a closer look, for we haven’t seen them at ICAST before.

Well, 2012 marks the year Megabass Japan has taken on a new perspective, and this vision involves a more prominent presence here in North America. Their intent? More pervasive product distribution, better information regarding the design, intended application, and availability of product, and a subset of product that is actually tailored for the US market. That’s right, Megabass is finally stepping out from behind the cultural mystique that defines their products’ allure and they started it all by a show of force here at ICAST 2012. None other than the company’s CEO himself, Yuki Ito, was on hand to show us what he has planned for the US market.

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Sunline SX1 was designed by Aaron Martens and Brent Ehrler, two masters of finesse fishing at the top levels of professional bass fishing. The line was designed for more under the surface applications where light, manageable but extremely strong and sensitive lines were paramount at smaller diameters. The new SX1 has no coating that will wear off and fade the line. It won’t fuzz like traditional floating braid. It will be offered in 10,12, 16, 20, 30, 40 and 50-pound options with a dark green tint.

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Megabass, long known for producing quality rods and reels, is expanding their American line. With names like Fast Moving Special, Extreme Mission Type F and Flapping Shaft, these rods are set to open new horizons for bass anglers.

There are 13 in all, each made with 30 ton super-low resin carbon material impressed into the shaft. Additional manufacturing processes increase sensitivity and give the rod additional twist rigidity.

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One of our favorite tackle manufacturers out of Japan is Megabass. This year we’ve some very interesting and innovative designs from them. We don’t use the “i” words loosely. We think those words get overused by folks just making their versions of baits that already exist. But it’s not the case from what we’ve seen coming down the pike from Megabass.

The first bait that wowed us this year was the Vision 110 FX. They really changed the jerkbait market with their weight-transfer jerkbait the Ito Vision 110. The new 110 FX has a lip that actually collapses and makes the bait even more aerodynamic on a cast allowing for greater distance and opened up applications. The lip then jumps back into place on a the jerk. Very cool and a lot of thought and engineering went into this design.

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By Walker Smith

At tournament time, tight territory and too many anglers put extra pressure on the bass and on you as angler, but one professional angler has learned hard lessons on how to make the most fishing in crowds.

Professional anglers are the best in the world when it comes to overcoming adverse fishing conditions. Whether they are facing torrential winds, 6-foot swells or brutal cold fronts, these guys will put fish in the boat when many anglers will want to go to the house. There is one condition, however, that even the most accomplished professionals loathe: fishing in big crowds.

These anglers spend countless hours searching for bass fishing nirvana – perfect structure, great water conditions and limited fishing pressure. However, circumstances and, lately, restrictive tournament boundaries sometimes force the pros to get up close and personal with each other.

Megabass pro Aaron Martens is known for his ability to fish effectively in crowded areas. We all remember watching him battle it out with KVD in the 2011 Classic and most recently in the 2012 Green Bay Challenge, sharing water with the likes of Ott DeFoe, Terry Scroggins and Mark Davis. Martens believes that four key elements enable him to catch more bass in crowded areas.

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By Todd Ceisner
BassFan Editor

Aside from winner Jonathon VanDam and a handful of other anglers, the Lake Michigan Elite Series was the first time many Elite pros had launched their boat at that particular Great Lake.

Once they all got their bearings on the big water, an old-fashioned clear-water smallmouth derby broke out with pros relying on the dropshot to catch a good portion of their fish. Other typical smallie techniques played as well, such as jerkbaits (both soft and hard) and topwaters. One angler even went the hair-jig route.

A commonality among the top finishers was most of their fish came out of less than 20 feet of water and in most cases, less than 10, as they found the fish either heading up to spawn or on their way out to the first deeper water after their annual ritual.

Here’s an overview of how the rest of the Top-5 finishers put fish in the boat.

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By Steve Wright

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brandon Palaniuk appears to be the favorite going into the final day of the Bassmaster Elite Series Green Bay Challenge. Not only did he catch the biggest bag of the tournament so far, with 21 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday, he found a new hot spot at the end of the day.

And it’s not like Palaniuk needed it. He had about 20 pounds in the boat when he left the place he’d found late on the last day of practice and has expanded upon every day since. His three-day total is 56 pounds, 2 ounces.

“I ended up finding another spot,” said the 24-year-old Palaniuk, who is from Rathdrum, Idaho. “On my second cast there, I caught a four-pounder and I left, so whether or not there are any more fish there, I don’t know. But it’s definitely a spot I will hit tomorrow.”

Palaniuk led the youth movement that flipped the top four Saturday: Veterans Dean Rojas and Aaron Martens fell from first and second, respectively, to fourth and third. Youngsters Palaniuk and 23-year-old Jonathan VanDam jumped from fourth and third, respectively, to first and second.

In an event that due to limited tournament waters has made Lake Michigan fish incredibly small, Palaniuk and VanDam, the nephew of Kevin VanDam, have found areas that they’ve had virtually to themselves for three straight days.

Rojas and Martens, on the other hand, have caught their fish from the heavily pressured waters right at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ inexplicable boundary established north of Little Sturgeon Bay.

“I don’t know what to think anymore,” said 37-year-old Rojas, who led going into the day thanks to some help Friday from his friend Terry Scroggins. “I knew I could catch them the first day, but after what happened yesterday and what happened today, I don’t have any preconceived notion of what could happen tomorrow.”

Rojas, a 10-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, had only two bass in the boat about 1 p.m. Saturday when he resorted to some fish he had been able to see on Thursday.

“I had sight-fish leftover from the first day,” Rojas said. “I knew I could go to them.”

Rojas weighed, by far, his lightest limit of the tournament – 13-8 – Saturday. But he felt lucky to have that.

Martens also weighed his smallest limit of the tournament on Saturday – 16-1 – but it wasn’t that far off his 16-5 the day before. Martens had the only 20-pound bag of the event until Palaniuk and VanDam (20-12) came charging Saturday.

Martens, at least, sounds a bit more confident than Rojas.

“It’s possible their fish could move,” said the 39-year-old Martens, who has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic 13 times. “My fish could move, too. But I’ve got a ton of spots.”

The margin is miniscule between Palaniuk and VanDam – only four ounces. Martens is 3 pounds, 2 ounces behind Palaniuk and Rojas is 4-12 back.

VanDam should be considered a co-favorite going into Sunday, now that the only other angler in his area – his uncle – isn’t part of the final day field. Kevin VanDam, the seven-time Bassmaster Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year, finished 19th.

“I really only have one area,” Jonathan said. “But it’s a good-sized area and there are a lot of fish there.”

Outside of the top four, everyone else in the final 12 anglers is a long-shot Sunday. Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., is fifth, almost nine pounds behind Palaniuk, and he’s fishing in the Fox River, where a 20-pound-bag may be out of the question.

“If the wind came up, where they had a hard time fishing, or couldn’t get there, I’d have a real good shot,” Biffle said. “But other than that, I’m not catching the 20-pound stringers that they are.”

Amazingly, for the fourth straight day the wind isn’t predicted to blow Sunday on Lake Michigan.

It looks like two youngsters vs. two veterans for the $100,000 top prize in the Green Bay Challenge.