Category Archives: Industry News

California Sportsman brings you some updated news and events happening in the Northern and Southern parts of California.

Vortex HD Binoculars & Spotting Scope

Vortex ® drops an optics hammer with their all-new Viper HD Binoculars
Viper ® HD Binoculars: If seeing is believing, you’re about to believe. The all new Viper HD binoculars are an optical
masterpiece, giving hunters, shooters and outdoor enthusiasts a premium option without the premium price tag.

The HD optical system delivers stunning resolution, color fidelity and edge-to-edge clarity. Lenses fully-multicoated with
XR™ antireflective coatings provide critical low light performance – turning waning light into game-spotting
opportunity. A super-wide field of view promotes fast subject acquisition and more efficient glassing.
Exterior lenses are protected by ArmorTek® – an ultrahard, scratch-resistant fluorine compound that repels oil, dirt and the
corrosive salts of fingerprints.
The smooth center-focus wheel dials in your image for sharp viewing. Soft and comfortable twist-up eyecups are perfect for
extended glassing and provide customized eye-relief for the viewer.
A short-hinge design and rubber armoring with perfectly-placed thumb detents makes the new Viper HD’s a dream to hold,
protects against impacts and ensures solid purchase – no matter the weather conditions. 100-percent waterproof, fogproof
(purged with Argon gas), dustproof and shockproof construction.
From a physical size and weight perspective, they are one of the lightest, most compact, full-size binos on the market – a
noteworthy attribute when gear consideration can be measured in grams.
Includes GlassPak™ chest harness – keeping your binos at the ready while providing comfortable, protected, strain-free,
all-day carry.
And like all Vortex products, the all-new Viper HD Binoculars are covered by Vortex’s legendary, lifetime, unconditional,
no-fault, transferable, VIP Warranty.
8X42 (MSRP $639.99)
10X42 (MSRP $649.99)
10X50 (MSRP $729.99)
12X50 (MSRP $739.99)

Viper ® HD Spotting Scopes: A high-end spotter, without the high-end price tag, the new-for-2018 Viper HD

spotting Scope Series stands poised to dominate as a best-in-class-optic. Packed with features and incredible
optical performance, hunters and shooters are sure to appreciate, these spotters bring far off subjects in for a
closer look – and do so with impressive clarity, resolution and color fidelity.
The HD optical system coupled with lenses fully multi-coated with XR coatings, delivers stunning image
quality and low light performance. Exterior lenses are protected by ArmorTek – an ultra-hard, scratch-resistant
fluorine compound that repels oil, dirt and the corrosive salts of fingerprints.
The ultrasmooth, fluid, and sleek helical-style focus, dials in your image for ultrasharp viewing, as well as keeps
the spotter’s profile trim for ultimate packability. A utilitarian feature, the large surface area of the helical focus
is easy to find and operate – even when wearing gloves. The twist up eyecup on the included eyepiece ensures
customized eye-relief for the viewer.
Adjustable collar allows the spotter to rotate for comfortable, versatile, multiangle viewing. Rubber armoring
protects the spotter from impacts and delivers unfaltering in-the-filed durability.100-percent waterproof,
fogproof (purged with argon gas), dustproof and shockproof construction.
And like all Vortex products, the all-new Viper HD Spotting Scopes are covered by Vortex’s legendary,
lifetime, unconditional, no-fault, transferable, VIP Warranty.
20-60×85 Angled (MSRP $1099.99)
15-45×65 Angled (MSRP $849.99)
20-60×85 Straight (MSRP $1099.99)
15-45×65 Straight (MSRP $849.99)
About Vortex Optics: American, family, and veteran-owned, Wisconsin-based Vortex Optics designs, engineers, produces and
distributes a complete line of premium binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, tripods and related accessories. Dedicated to exceptional quality, value and unrivaled customer service, Vortex backs its products with its unconditional, transferable, lifetime VIP-warranty. Built
on more than 20 years of experience in the optics industry, Vortex is rapidly emerging as a leading brand in the optics market.

Vortex – The Force of Optics |

Maxpedition Introduces New Backpacks


The following press release is courtesy of Maxpedition: 

For Fall 2018, Maxpedition introduces two(2) new backpacks in the Advanced Gear Research (AGR) lineup.
Building upon the success of the RiftcoreTM design introduced in early 2016, Maxpedition now offers the larger

30L RiftbladeTM and the more compact 15L RiftpointTM to round out this trio of ergonomic concealed carry ca-
pable backpacks. This latest release reinforces Maxpedition’s mission in the creating of the AGR line: to build military-grade tactical gear based on cutting-edge research using custom developed materials & components
and with modernized aesthetics. Maxpedition’s pursuit of the best since 2003 has cultivated a clientele that
has come to expect only products of uncompromising quality, durability and innovation.

These two new packs fill the gap for larger and smaller
versions of our bestselling 23L Riftcore™ backpack, fulfilling what our customers have been requesting for the past year. Built to last and designed for maximum performance, these bags are sure to
become fan favorites!


Support Conservation With This Custom Duck Call

The following press conference is courtesy of Wildlife Forever

White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever proudly unveils Calls for Conservation, a new promotion with the Deadshot Custom Call Company offering acrylic, hand-made duck calls just in time for the upcoming waterfowl season.

Made in the USA, each call is custom built and hand tuned for amazing sound and clarity. With every Calls for Conservation duck call purchased, the Deadshot Custom Call Company will donate 20% directly to Wildlife Forever’s North American waterfowl and habitat enhancement efforts.  Skillfully made, the radiant copper, double reed duck call features amazing sound quality and is sure to attract attention from fellow hunters and waterfowl alike. As a special bonus, everyone who participates will receive a membership to Wildlife Forever and a special “Calls for Conservation” leg band to adorn on their favorite lanyard.

“Waterfowl require good habitat and groups like Wildlife Forever working to ensure our hunting heritage. Our business and customers depend on it and I’m proud to make this commitment to giving back”, said Brian Rubenstein, Owner of Deadshot Custom Calls.

Calls for Conservation is a wonderful program that helps to support our mission of conservation, ensuring the sights, sounds and future of waterfowl. We’re honored to partner with Deadshot Custom Calls and are offering a free membership to anyone who participates, just text WFCALLS’ to 41411“, said Pat Conzemius, Executive Vice President of Wildlife Forever.

The Deadshot Custom Call Company was hatched from the heart of the Prairie Pothole region in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Producing quality products to help make lasting memories of times afield have helped Deadshot to become a soaring success.  You won’t find them in a big box store or retail outlet…calls are produced to have a direct connection to each customer. Prices are low for a reason, to provide high quality, unique products for every level of waterfowl hunter.  From novice to professional guides and outfitters, Deadshot calls are built to last a life time…and the connection between you and their calls is their #1 goal.

Wildlife Forever’s conservation efforts span over 30 years of projects across the U.S. and Canada. With a 94% to mission rating, funds donated get poured back into the ground to help fish and wildlife. Purchase with a purpose! Calls for Conservation works to improve waterfowl habitat through restoration projects and educating sportsmen and women about invasive species. text “WFCALLS” 41411 to get your custom call and become Wildlife Forever’s newest member.

Restored Prairie Grows Pheasants and Pollinators on Public Land

The following press release is courtesy of Wildlife Forever:


White Bear Lake, MN – Through partnership with MN DNR and United Prairie Foundation, Wildlife Forever’s newly completed restoration project on the Orwell Wildlife Management Area, near Fergus Falls, MN is flush with pheasants, whitetail deer and pollinators.

The Orwell WMA project was part of a three phased project to remove invasive trees and shrubs such as European Buckthorn and other non-native species. Decades of neglect and lack of resources left the public hunting area overrun with poor quality habitat and little food sources for insects which serve as the base of the food chain for countless wildlife species.

“This restoration project is a prime example of partnerships working in tandem to advance conservation of public lands, improving the experience of hunters and birders while creating a healthier ecosystem,” said Pat Conzemius, Executive Vice President for Wildlife Forever.

“Bringing Prairie to the People is what our work is all about.  I couldn’t be happier with the success of our projects and partners who make it all happen,” said John DeVries, President of United Prairie Foundation.

After planting a native eco-type seed mix, seasonal grasses and prairie flowers began to appear attracting a wide variety of insects that waterfowl and pheasants need for rearing young of the year. Favorable spring conditions and great habitat have helped to boost populations of wildlife in the area where Wildlife Forever and partners are conducting numerous prairie restoration projects.

About Wildlife Forever (WF): Wildlife Forever’s mission is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. As a non-profit, 501c3 charity, for over 30 years, WF supporters have donated millions of dollars in all 50 states plus Canada, to conduct  fish, game and habitat conservation projects. By investing resources on the ground, recent audits reveal 94% of every dollar supports our conservation mission. Please Join Today!  To become involved and learn more about the award-winning programs, including work to engage America’s youth, visit

Raymarine To Present New Technology At ICast

The following press release is courtesy of Raymarine:







Take Flight with Raymarine Axiom UAV!

See our latest innovation at ICAST On the Water! Plus, a chance to WIN a new DJI Mavic Pro drone!



Coming this summer, Raymarine’s new Axiom UAV app integrates advanced marine electronics with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. Our powerful Axiom multifunction displays integrate seamlessly with the advanced DJI Mavic Pro drone to give anglers a bird’s-eye view of fish, bait, reefs, weed lines and much, much more!



When:Tuesday, July 11, 2018.


Where:ICAST On the Water, Booth 26
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
At the ponds adjacent to the North/South Concourse (North side)
Directly across the street from the West Concourse
Look for the exhibitor tents and flags


Time:10:00 AM until 2:00 PM




Every boater has wished for a bird’s-eye view of their surroundings at some time. Now the dream of flight has become reality with Raymarine’s new Axiom UAV App, which brings together marine navigation and advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs.)


Compatible with the popular and highly capable DJI Mavic drone, the Axiom UAV app automates many common tasks including launch, airborne imaging, in-flight navigation, and return-to-boat. Fishing and cruising boats alike can now experience cutting edge aerial imaging integrated right into their Raymarine Axiom multifunction navigation display.


Please join us at the Raymarine tent and see a demonstration of this amazing technology in action! Plus, you can enter to win a new DJI Mavic Pro drone of your own!




Wildlife Forever Introduces New Program To Map Invasive Species

A New National Effort to Increase Citizen Science Capacity to Map Invasive Species in America’s Wild Places.

White Bear Lake, MN – In partnership with the University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, USDA Forest Service, and other organizations across the United States, Wildlife Forever has launched a nationwide citizen science volunteer capacity-building program called Wild Spotter.  Designed to help locate and map aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in Wilderness Areas, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and other wild places across the 193 million-acre National Forest System,

Press Release Image 300x300lf2 4this new program engages and empowers the public, local communities, states, tribes, and many other groups to help the Forest Service confront the threats from harmful exotic plants, animals, and pathogens that invade America’s beautiful and economically important wild places.  The Wild Spotter program provides the tools these volunteers need to help locate, quantify, map, and report invasive species infestations in a simple and effective manner, while raising public awareness about invasive species and promoting collaborations across the landscape.

“We started the collaboration with these great partners to design and build the Wild Spotter program to expand citizen science volunteer capacity on 12 pilot National Forests and Grasslands distributed from East to West across the U.S., primarily to gather important occurrence data on invasive species and how they are impacting Wilderness Areas, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and other Natural Areas”, said Mike Ielmini, National Invasive Species Program Manager in the USDA Forest Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The first set of National Forest System units participating in the Wild Spotter program, includes the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest (Idaho), Lincoln National Forest (New Mexico), Santa Fe National Forest (New Mexico), Bridger-Teton National Forest (Wyoming), Payette National Forest (Idaho), Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (Oregon), Siuslaw National Forest (Oregon), Ozark-St. Francis National Forest (Arkansas), Daniel Boone National Forest (Kentucky), Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (Wisconsin), Monongahela National Forest (West Virginia), and Shawnee National Forest (Illinois).  Additional National Forests and Grasslands and other wild places across America will be added annually.“As many new partners and groups scrambled to join this effort, and the demand increased for more places to be added to the Wild Spotter effort, we quickly realized the potential this program had to rapidly accelerate citizen-science support nationwide to address the invasive species threat, not just for National Forest Wilderness Areas and other wild places, but across the entire landscape. We have designed the program to benefit everyone across the landscape and boost citizen science capacity while raising public awareness and action”, Ielmini added.

The elements within the Wild Spotter program provide adaptable tools and technologies for engaging a diverse array of public stakeholders and user groups, including natural resource agencies looking for community engagement opportunities. Utilizing a targeted list of “most wanted” species, volunteers receive information and support to get started as a Wild Spotter volunteer; all free.  Once a Wild Spotter volunteer identifies and reports a species, the data is verified by experts and then made publically available through a networked invasive species inventory database hosted by the University of Georgia.

“The invasive species identification and mapping technology of Wild Spotter is based on the national Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System – EDDMapS for short”, said Chuck Bargeron, Associate Director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, and one of the principal partners working with the Forest Service on the project.  Bargeron noted that by using EDDMapS as a platform for the Wild Spotter program, it allows everyone to help locate, quantify, and map invasions anywhere in the country.

“We are very proud that Wild Spotter is expanding citizen science volunteer capacity against invasive species by capitalizing on the outdoor activities of millions of people who are already enjoying some of the most beautiful places in America, to help us gather information on the locations of these harmful exotic invaders in any ecosystem.  Like the idea of ‘see-something, say-something’ the Wild Spotter greatly enhances the early detection and rapid response capabilities of agencies like the Forest Service”, said Bargeron.  “Mapping, quantifying, and reporting new infestations early helps our biologists and other land managers to implement better strategies for prevention, control, and eradication”, said Allen Rowley, Director of the Forest Management, Rangeland Management, and Vegetation Ecology Units for the Forest Service in Washington, D.C.

Invasive species threaten access, productivity, and ecosystem health to millions of acres of public and private lands and waters.  Congressionally-designated Wilderness Areas, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and other natural areas are extremely vulnerable to invasion, and represent some of America’s best intact landscapes that must be maintained in their natural state for native plants and animals to flourish. “The Wild Spotter program expands our ability to accomplish mandated Wilderness stewardship responsibilities against invasive species, with the help of the public, and ultimately protect these wild places from the associated degrading effects of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.  This is especially exciting to launch the Wild Spotter program in the same year as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act”, said Sue Spear, Director of the USDA Forest Service’s Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River Resources.

Wild Spotter utilizes a free mobile mapping app for Apple and Android devices including a comprehensive website that boosts volunteer capacity and training to help increase capacity.  “This program has tremendous appeal and ability to engage citizen scientist volunteers, friends’ groups and the entire conservation community into taking action against America’s greatest threat to our public lands – invasive species”, said Pat Conzemius, Executive Vice President for Wildlife Forever, “and don’t forget to check out the new Wild Spotter Facebook page.”, Conzemius added.

If you want to become a Wild Spotter or learn more about the program, visit the website:  Like us on Facebook.  Join the effort to Map Invasives in America’s Wil

Costa Sunglasses Leads Way To Recycle Discarded Fishing Nets Into High-Performance Sunglass Frames

Costa’s Baffin with Green Mirror 580G lens.
Costa’s Pescador (with side shields) with Blue Mirror 580G lens.
Costa’s Caldera with Gray 580G lens.
Costa’s Victoria with Copper Silver Mirror 580G lens.














The following press release is courtesy of Costa Sunglasses:


Daytona Beach, Fla. – May 23, 2018 –  Costa Sunglasses, the leader in world-class performance sunglasses and the initiator of the growing Kick Plastic campaign, is helping to bring positive solutions to the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution through its new Untangled Collection—a collection of frames made entirely from recycled fishing nets.

The brand is partnering with Bureo, the pioneer in recycled fishnet products, to turn discarded fishing nets into quality sunglass frames. Identified as the most harmful form of ocean plastic, discarded fishing nets and gear account for ten percent of ocean plastic pollution, which grows by an estimated 640,000 tons every year. The new collection will be available at retailers nationwide and online in late May.

“Healthy oceans have always been a crucial part of our core mission at Costa,” said Holly Rush, CEO, Costa Sunglasses. “The Untangled Collection is helping to raise awareness and provide a solution to keep discarded fishing nets from being lost in our oceans each year. Through this important program, we will also help Bureo scale and replicate its net collection program to a growing number of fishing communities.”

The collection will include four new frame styles made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets, each featuring mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos, PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads, and a unique tumbled finish. The Untangled Collection includes two male/unisex styles, Pescador and Baffin; and two female styles, Victoria and Caldera. All styles feature Costa’s patented 580 Lightwave® Glass lenses, providing 100 percent UV protection and polarization to offer the clearest lenses on the planet. The Costa 580® color-enhancing lens technology selectively filters out harsh yellow light for superior contrast and definition and absorbs high-energy blue light to cut haze and enhance sharpness. In addition, Costa’s lens technology reduces glare and eye fatigue.

“Aligning with partners that really want to support us and expand our mission is how we’ve grown over the past five years,” said David Stover, CEO and co-founder of Bureo. “Working with Costa to develop the Untangled Collection is another step in the right direction—not only for us, but for the replication of solutions to secure a healthy future for our ocean and its ecosystems.”

Bureo’s Net+Positiva recycling program is working to prevent fishing net pollution by partnering directly with fishermen to collect back discarded nets at their end of life and providing funds to local communities for every pound of fishing net collected. This in turn creates value in the discarded material, to generate a net positive impact for this once harmful material. Costa’s Untangled Collection supports Bureo’s ongoing efforts where they have collected more than 220,000 pounds of discarded fishing nets to date.

Once collected, the discarded fishing nets are washed and prepared for a mechanical recycling process. Within this process, they are shredded and fed through a pelletizer where they are melted and cut into small recycled pellets. These pellets are then injected into steel molds to form products, which most recently includes Costa’s Untangled Collection.

“Nets lost at sea are four times more harmful than all other forms of ocean plastic pollution combined,” added Rush. “This new collection is a positive step towards untangling our oceans and creating awareness for the dangers our oceans are facing.”

The Untangled Collection retails from $199 to $269. For more information on the new frames and Costa’s full line of sunglasses, visit

About Costa
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. Born on the water, Costa works hard to protect the waters it calls home. Through programs like its Kick Plastic campaign, where the brand seeks to raise awareness about the growing plastic pollution problem threatening oceans worldwide, to serving as a long-term partner to shark research organization OCEARCH, Costa encourages people to help protect the Earth’s natural resources in any way they can. Find out more on Costa’s website and join the conversation on FacebookInstagram or Twitter at @CostaSunglasses.

About Bureo
Bureo, based in the US and Chile, is focused on finding solutions for the growing issue of plastic pollution in our oceans and initiating social change. Bureo’s Net+Positiva program works together with fishermen to provide a positive solution for their end of life fishing gear, which Bureo transforms into highly recyclable and durable raw materials. Headquartered in California, Bureo is a certified B-Corporation, a member of 1% for the Planet, and is a participating company in Patagonia’s Tin Shed Ventures Fund, an internal fund supporting likeminded start-up companies having a positive impact on the environment. To find out more visit:

Spring Spawning Bass Tips

The following is courtesy of Traditions Media

Photo courtesy of Jon Ray

Cold Winter Equals

Condensed Spawning Season

The calendar provides the macro view, but it’s the meteorological and lunar factors that spur this seasonal show.

By David A. Brown

Anglers can catch largemouth bass in every season; but hands-down, spring dominates in terms of accessibility to quantity and quality. Essentially, the fish are at their heaviest of the year, they display voracious feeding interests — pre and post periods — and often position in areas where they can be visually located.

Broadly described as a trident of prespawn, spawn and postspawn stages; spring sees bass moving from their deeper wintering haunts to the shallow bays, pockets, coves and flats where they’ll set up shop. With the exception of Florida, whose mostly warm climate and lengthy geographic profile generally, most of the nation sees a more well-defined spawning season during which fish efficiently utilize favorable windows to launch the next generation of rod-benders.

But that’s not always the case.

In weird years, it’s tough to nail down specifics, as historical norms often yield to a catch-as-catch-can reality during which the playbook goes out the window and the team adopts a “just get it done” mentality. That being said, fundamentals of fish behavior do not change much; so, while the 2018 spawning season may experience some off-script moments, we can offer a handful of guiding principles to help you dial in your search.

Transitional banks where larger rock meets gravel usually marks a good area to start looking for spawning fish.


The calendar provides the macro view, but it’s the meteorological and lunar factors that spur this seasonal show.

Warm Water: When the temperature gauge on your Raymarine Multifunction Display reads 55-65 degrees, that range usually gives bass the confidence to hit the nests. Higher is better, as eggs need warmth for complete development and hatching.

Water Level: Sounds obvious to say that bass need to keep their nests submerged, but when heavy spring rains and snowmelt swell reservoirs, lake managers will strive to bring them down to normal pool. The rising water may push that ideal spawning zone into new territory, but as soon as the water starts falling — high and dry.

This is why daily observation, either on the water, or online release schedules stand essential for finding dependable bedding areas. Tidal environments see daily rises and falls, but local bass know the deal and will bed in that compromise zone that’s shallow enough to allow sunlight penetration, but deep enough to stay wet during low tides.

The ultra-realistic LIVETARGET Sunfish Swimbait is lights-out for spring and summer bass.

Moon phases: Full and, to a lesser degree, new moons will stimulate spawning movements; assuming other factors fit the fish’s preference.

One thing to consider is that not all the fish in a lake — especially large bodies — will spawn at the same time. Generally, the fish will advance in waves, almost like a shift change at the grocery store.

This year has really scrambled the schedule, as an extended winter and some pretty fierce temperatures have delayed the spawn in many southern waters that would have already seen significant levels of activity in April. The result in many areas may be a condensing of the spawning waves. Picture a multi-screen theater that properly staggers movie times so show-goers arrive and depart in manageable groups most of the week, but botches one night’s schedule with several overlaps. That throws off everything from parking to popcorn lines.

Kinda the same deal with a delayed spawn. The upside is greater opportunity for anglers, as more fish may converge on the spawning areas.

Laydowns can offer prespawn staging habitat, but the ones tucked back in a spawning pocket may also shelter bed fish.


Often, tournament anglers will talk about staking out spots like hydrilla lines, shallow ledges and points where they can catch fish “coming and going.” This refers to staging areas that host prespawners preparing to move up and post-spawners that have recently left the beds and need a comfortable recovery lounge before moving to their summer haunts.

Other key habitat features for the spring season include:

Transitional Banks: Could be boulders to chunk rock, chunk to pea gravel, or even clay to rock; in any case, these seams in bank makeup represent progression points in the bass’ spawning migration and, therefore, natural pausing points.

Docks: Cover, feeding angles and shade are always popular with bass, but look under those walkways and along the shoreline between docks and you’ll often find bedding bass.

Natural Wood: This is a bigger deal than many may think this time of year, so pay attention to big laydowns, standing timber and even wood jams in the backs of those small, secondary fingers running into major spawning pockets.

Docks offer that ideal combination of shade, protection and feeding opportunities for pre and postspawn fish. Also look between adjacent docks for spawners on the bank.

Electronics play a key role here in not only identifying the sweet spots, but also finding the bait schools that will interest staging fish on both sides of the spawn. This is where your Raymarine CHIRP SideVision excels at scoping the adjacent areas for a bass buffet.

Below the boat, CHIRP DownVision will show you a key element of the annual bass trek — the ditch. Fish may rise up on the flats of a creek or pocket to feed or sun, but their movements into and out of the spawning areas trace a distinct course along the deeper drain.

The depth variance may only be a few feet, but this is the travel route the fish will follow year after year, so look for those staging spots close to this drain. That’s particularly relevant during a delayed spawn, as the ditch will often look like a parade route.

Once the fish move to the beds, the game becomes mostly visual; but note that grass lakes often find the bigger fish staking out isolated holes and pockets in a shallow hydrilla, milfoil or eel grass bed. Raymarine Axiom’s RealVision 3D will help you find well-defined grass features where the pickier big fish like to spawn.

Raymarine’s RealVision 3D reveals submerged timber, grass, bait, and bass. Dropping waypoints allows the angler to precisely work the fish-holding area, thus eliminating dead water.


When bass are in that transitional mode, it’s wise to prepare a two-pronged approach that addresses looking and targeting. Easing through likely areas with a steady trolling motor level that won’t spook jittery fish, blind cast from shallow to deep with tempting search baits like LIVETARGET’s ultra-realistic swimbaits. Bass despise nest-raiding bream, so the sunfish replicas will draw their ire, but you won’t go wrong with the threadfin or gizzard shad pattern.

Note: While prespawners will bite to eat, bed fish, especially recent arrivals, will be more concerned with bed defense. They’ll often chase a bait until it’s out of their security zone, but even these wakes, boils and pushes are helpful, as they define a target area for potential sight fishing, or at least an estimated toss with a wacky-rigged Z-Man ZinkerZ stick bait.

The Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait and Z-Man RaZor ShadZ combo has turned bass fishing on its ear, winning tournaments and producing fish for everyday anglers like magic.

Another effective search bait is the Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait with a Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ or RaZor ShadZ trailer. Noisy and flashy, this reaction bait is meant to resemble a range of prey and potential nest threats, so expect arm-jarring bites. Same goes for your shallow running crankbaits, both the lipless and squarebill design. The former’s great for machine-gunning an area with rapid-fire casts, while the latter likes to ricochet off the hard stuff.

Savvy anglers also keep a topwater frog handy for covering water in search mode and targeting beds. Unlike the bottom-oriented baits most commonly thrown at bedding bass, topwater frogs hover overhead in a menacing display that bass simply cannot handle.

For those who dig the sight-fishing game Texas-rigged craws, lizards or stick worms will irritate protective bass. Natural colors like green pumpkin tend to get the more aggressive responses, but white’s easier to spot when spooky fish require lengthy presentations. Watch target and when the white disappears, you’re in business.

Shorelines with shallow vegetation and docks are spring gold mines.


Wildlife Forever Announces State Fish Art Contest Winners


The following press release is courtesy of Wildlife Forever:

White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever and title sponsor Bass Pro Shops are proud to announce the winners of the 20th Anniversary State-Fish Art Contest.  A distinguished panel of five honorary judges selected the following Top 12 National Awards from the 1st place winners of all 50 states plus international.

2018 judges included Jeff Edmundson, KARE11; Doug Grann, Wildlife Forever board; Ed Rudberg, CD3; Bob White, wildlife artist and  Erin Williams, National Park Service.

“Students, educators and parents from across the United States and around the world connect with this contest, with its amazing student’s art and aquatic conservation message,” remarks Bob Ziehmer, Senior Director of Conservation at Bass Pro Shops.

And the winners are…


Top12_Korea_NaEun_Kim_Gr12_Nat1st_SFA18 2

The grades 10-12 top honor went to Na Eun Kim from the Republic of Korea with, “Trout’s Recovering Memories”, his stunning watercolor of a brook trout. Second Place was awarded to Ian Oh of California.  Yejin (Shelly) Lee Li from Virginia received Third Place.



Mindy Zheng from Herndon, Virginia took First Place in grades 7-9 with a captivating acrylic, titled “Northern Pike”, swimming out of the deep. The Second Place winner was Nicole Li of Georgia and Third Place went to Yuzhe Tian from Massachusetts.



The 4-6 grade category winner is Alston Leung from Great Neck, New York with his watercolor of a kid on a dock fishing for bluegill titled “Bluegill”. Second Place went to Calvin Yu from Massachusetts and Third Place to Bethany Zhao of California.


Top12_NY_Ivy_Mo_Gr2_Nat 1st_SFA18

Top honors in the “Mighty Minnows” K-3 grades division went to Ivy Mou from New York with her delightful watercolor painting, “Hawaii Triggerfish”.  Second Place was awarded to Aadya Ganjalagunte from Arizona and Third Place to Zia Lee from Washington.



This Award recognizes creativity, originality and unique artwork from across the world. This powerful acrylic painting, titled “The Expert Fisherman“,  features a bald eagle grasping an American shad in its talons. “Wildlife Forever is pleased to honor a very talented 7th grader, Angelina Drost from South Carolina, with the 2018 Art of Conservation® Award,” said Pat Conzemius, Executive Vice President, Wildlife Forever. “This painting depicts two species that are conservation successes.. By recognizing the work of students today, we hope to inspire the conservationists of tomorrow.”



The Smile Award is given to a painting selected from all the contest entries that “makes you feel good inside when you see it. You just can’t help but smile!” said Karen Hollingsworth, Manager of State-Fish Art.  Vritika Gupta. a talented kindergartener from Princeton Junction, New Jersey, is the winner with, “Sad Fish”, a delightful smile-worthy oil pastel.



The artist winning this year’s Invader Crusader was selected from all the entries in the Silent Invader Category. The artist needs to paint not only a state-fish species, but also an invasive species.  The 2018 winner is Mark Acker, a 9th grader from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, with his watercolor and colored pencil art “The Underwater Fish”.  It shows a native humuhumunukunukuapoa’a swimming in water infested with the invasive aquatic plant Hydrilla.  Invasive species are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats.

National 2018 “FISH MAKE YOU SMARTER AWARDS” are announced on for the best essay that is required in addition to the art.

All state winners in the four grade categories from across America and internationally are listed at The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest seeks to involve students in the outdoors through the arts. Students compete in four grade-level divisions: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.  Deadline for submitting entries to the contest is always March 31 each year.

The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest™ is celebrating its 20th year of bringing children, adults and aquatic conservation together through the Art! To enter, young artists create an original art illustration of any official State-Fish and an essay detailing its behavior, habitat, and efforts to conserve it. Entries are in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Educators nationwide utilize Fish On!, the State-Fish Art Lesson Plan, combining the disciplines of science and art. It is available free on CD and by download. Entries are always due on March 31st.  Visit

Pelican Products Introduces Pioneering New LED Flashlight

The following press release is courtesy of Pelican Products:

TORRANCE, CA – May 7, 2018 – Pelican Products, Inc. (Pelican), the global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced portable lighting tools, today introduced the new safety certified Pelican? 3345 LED flashlight as its first flashlight with a variable light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness to its surroundings.
“The new Pelican 3345 flashlight is like a self-driving light,” said Scott Jones, Director of Lighting Sales, Commercial/Government, US. “The variable light sensor measures the ambient light and automatically adjusts the brightness. For example, up close it’s at a low level but it will instantly adjust to full brightness at hundreds of feet away if needed.”
With dual beam, spot and flood capability, it delivers up to 280 lumens with both beams, 117 lumens in flood mode, and 219 lumens in spot mode – allowing the user maximum versatility. The dual beams provide the ability to illuminate a pathway and at a distance simultaneously. For those jobs that go into overtime, the Pelican 3345 flashlight’s variable light sensor automatically regulates power as needed, which stretches run time to its ultimate potential.
Unlike most flashlights on the market, the Pelican 3345 flashlight has a full-time battery level indicator integrated into the switch and carries IPX7 ingress protection, allowing it to be used in the most inclement weather conditions and for work in hazardous areas around the globe.
Additional key features include:
  • Class I, II and III, Division 1 / IECEx ia safety certified.
  • Spot beam can shine a distance up to 137 meters.
  • Run time of up to 13 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Integrated clip, allowing for hands free use when needed.
  • Lightweight at 7.5 oz with batteries.
The new Pelican 3345 flashlight MSRP is $41.95 and it’s available for purchase now through Pelican’s stocking dealers. For more information visit As with all other Pelican flashlights, it comes with the legendary Pelican lifetime warranty.
Pelican Products, Inc. is a portfolio company of Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm based in New York and San Francisco.