NEW the links...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lake Mohave...

Photo by Rich Holland with WON Bass
The spawn was mostly done in the southern portion of the lake.  I only had 2 1/2 days of pre fish, so I made the choice to fish north because the fish weren't as far along in the spawn. 

There were fish on beds and some guarding fry.  The fish were around the brush in the cuts, but with fishing pressure and water elevation dropping to 642' caused most the fish to move out of the brush and stage on the little shady ledges adjacent to the bigger brush.  So I concentrated on the shady ledges fishing for the staging females.

We had heavy winds and I would leave the north around 12:00 each day, with a limit of bass. It would take an hour to get back to the Kathrine's area.  Then I would fish for smallmouth and managed to cull out a couple of fish each day.

I used 6 and 4 lb test Seaguar Flouro Line, a 4 1/2" Roboworm, and an 8" Maverick Shaker.  The colors were Oxblood and Folkestad Special.  1/8 to 1/4 oz weights varied with depth and wind, using a Team Daiwa TDX drop shot rod.  I also used a Carolina GYM grub.

I averaged about 10 keepers a day, which was good enough for 28.13 lbs winning the tournament by over 5 lbs.

BTW - a series of drop shot videos are coming soon on TC Sports Report, where I discuss the ins and outs of drop shotting in full. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How To Obtain Sponsors

By Mike Folkestad

A sponsorship is a win-win situation. Both parties have to get something out of the deal. You will be dealing with businesses, which ultimately are in business to make money. It is very critical that you are able to give back to your sponsors helping them achieve their goals.

There are several contributing factors to obtaining endorsement sponsors. It isn't as easy as sending a letter or talking to someone on the phone. Ideally, it starts within you.

Appearance contributes to your marketability. You need to maintain a good appearance in the public's eye, such as no smoking, no drinking, no cussing, and be clean and neat. Choose wisely when, where, and how you act. Remember, people want to believe they know you well, from what they see. If someone perceives you as something different than you are, that is who you become to them, and that "perceived person" is the one that is representing the sponsors.

Are you marketable? What makes you unique? Large/small structure, old, young, female, race, hair color, voice, tattoos, and the list goes on! Everyone is unique in their own way. Looks are not the only thing to consider with marketability. You need to have people skills, and be able to control yourself in situations. Ask yourself these questions and find what makes you marketable. This is your selling point.

Now you are ready to tackle the industry.

I feel that there is so much opportunity with companies that aren’t related to fishing, and even more so since the economy is tough and companies are forced to stretch their advertising dollars more than ever. As far as sponsoring an angler it can make a lot of sense. More often than not companies haven’t been introduced to this type of advertising before.

Writing down on a piece of paper, the companies, that I believe in, I ask myself, what products do I use, what do I like, what am I familiar with, what do I need, and can the company benefit from sales in the areas I fish?

For each company write down what you can do for them to help them to increase sales. Ideas could include: TV coverage, radio, logos on your vehicle, articles you may write on the internet and in print, logo on jerseys, events, personal website, speaking engagements, public appearances, having a good and working relationship with media and outdoor writers, fishing tournaments that will give you good visibility when you do well, etc. Won Bass, US Open tournament, FLW, Bassmasters, to name a few.

A good place to start is with the reps of the products, most of them have a pro staff. That staff is generally just product; but this is a good place to start. As your sponsorship relationship grows, you may have to the opportunity to work with the marketing and promotions manager to obtain a sponsorship with monetary value. Most companies have a budget each year for marketing and promotions. Your odds go way down by sending out a resume to companies, they probably receive thousands. My suggestion for businesses in and out of the fishing industry, is to get to know the marketing and promotions managers.

This is all a starting point to getting on the pro staff. "How to retain and keep sponsors" will be coming up within the next 30 days. Check back soon, it will include research stats on mobile billboards and outdoor advertising.

How To Retain And Keep Sponsors

By Mike Folkestad

Once you have a sponsor, make sure your public image stays clean. Be sure to display sponsor's logos on vehicle, boat, business card, tournament jersey, and where ever you think it might be appropriate. Be aware of all photography photos, being conscious of logo positions and visibility in pictures. Try to include your endorsement sponsors in all media, radio, articles, and so forth. Always try to be available for any TV, radio, and media, even if inconvenient. Wear your tournament jersey at all sport's shows, weigh-ins, pre tournament meeting, and so forth. Another thing to consider is getting a website. Display logos and a link to their websites. The main thing is to be conscious at all times. One way or another they want to see and hear their name out there.

Logos on a vehicle and boat can produce some impressive results. Here are some interesting stats  passed on to me, found on the internet by angler Tami Curtis.

* Mobile advertising generates 2.5 times more attention than a static billboard
- Perception Research
* Outdoor Advertising delivers immediate results for advertisers
29% say outdoor advertising caused them to visit a retail store within a week. The more time spent in the car, the more likely that outdoor advertising motivates consumers to visit a retail store.
* The fastest growing sector...that is reporting the highest return on investment for the advertiser is Mobile Billboard Truck Advertising. - Outdoor Advertising Association of America
* Mobile billboards resulted in an increase in sales of 107% vs. a 54% increase for static billboards. - Product Acceptance and Research, Inc. - Washington, D.C.

WON Bass at Lake Shasta

March 2010

Great spotted bass fishing. Fish were in 10-35'. Dropshotting Robos, Mavericks, and nail rig Senko 5". Weighed 7 1/2 lbs and 8 1/2 lbs. No big bites. I came in 21st place.

West Coast Bass at California Delta

March 2010

Day 1: 26 lbs. Caught on MM3 Zipper and nail rig Senko green pumpkin.
Day 2: Used the same baits but just couldn't get the big bites. Weighed 12 lbs.

Good enough for 5th place.

WON Bass Lake Havasu

March 2010

Check out the TC Sports Report video footage of this tournament.

West Coast Bass at Clear Lake, CA

Feb 2010

The weather was very unstable, the barometer was falling and rising. Water temperature started at 49 in the mornings to 52 degrees during the day.

The 1st day of the tournament, the storm was on it's way out. In the afternoon the fish started biting pretty good. We caught about 15 keepers, drop shot with an 8" Maverick and 7" Roboworms, shakey head, and a swim bait. I had almost 19 lbs.

Day 2 there was a rising barometer. Mid-day the fish started eating, we caught about 15 fish again, culling out to 22 1/2 lbs.

WON Bass tournament update at the California Delta

Feb 2010

I used a GYM Senko in areas that had slow current and dead end sloughs. We had a warming trend, the water went from about 48 degree to about 52. That's where I went wrong. I was fishing the steeper banks and I should have fished the more shallow banks or further back in the dead end sloughs. I would up in 51st place, hind sight I should have changed but I stuck with what I did in practice....BIG MISTAKE!

FLW Stren Championships - Pickwick Lake in Florence AL

November 2009

During pre fish I kept my drop shot rod in the locker and fished mostly reaction, spinner baits, swim baits, and jerk baits. I managed to find a good reaction pattern where I felt I could catch 12 lbs a day, maybe if I'm lucky 15 lbs.

When the tournament started my reaction pattern seemed to go slowly south, I wasn't feeling it. My Co-angler Larry Church had me down 7 to 0 fishing behind me. I finally said "Okay, that's it!" I sat down and rigged a senko proceeding to catch 6 keepers in a row. In the afternoon I caught a couple spinner bait fish weighing in a total of 10 lbs 12 oz.

Day two, I started off fishing the senko and wound up catching two fish by 1:30. It just wasn't happening. I tried some reaction and it wasn't happening either. So what do you know, I had to pull out my drop shot rod and proceeded to catch 10 keepers. I ended up weighing in a total of 10 lbs 4 oz. barely squeaking out a check for 49th place and going home with a check for $2500. Once again drop shot saved me.

Fishing Report of the FLW National Guard - Delta, CA

Sept 2009

I haven't been to the Delta since May, and to my surprise it is loaded with grass. In Franks Track the grass makes it look beautiful but it is like a mortuary - there is hardly any fish. So I ventured out practicing as far south as Bullfrog and as far north as the San Joaquin. For three days I had a tough time locating any fish over 1.5 lbs. On the fourth day, I located a bank about 1,000 yards, stretch that had 4-5 lb fish that were adjacent to deep water. I was catching them on Senkos and big worms. (see "How did I catch 'm" page).

When the tournament started I went to the 1,000 yard stretch twice a day, at different tides, for 3 days never getting a bite. How discouraging! Consequently I had to bounce around and scratch out a limit the next two days.

On the 3rd day of the tournament, I found another area of tules with deep water and wound up with a decent limit weighing 17.7 lbs. That moved me up to 32nd place and within 1.5 lbs of a$8,000 check. So I left with my tail between my legs, licking my wounds, wondering what I could have done to catch 1.5 lbs more. It always seems to be just 1 fish short.

Congratulations to Rusty Salewske, and JR Wright on your wins!

Also congratulations to my 3rd day Co-angler, Mike Iloski.

Great job guys!

US Open - Lake Mead, NV - WON Bass

August 2009

I was 102nd boat out on Day 1. Fishing top water in areas where I had located fish in practice, I had no bites, the fish weren't up. Fishing the rest of the day I used plastics to scratch out 5 keeper bites.

With the 5th keeper hooked - I made a stupid mistake. I got lazy and decided to lift it into the boat and he came off. I looked at the worm and only the point was sticking out of it. The fish wasn't even hooked. Consequently, it reminds me to never get lazy and lift the fish during a tourney.

The morning of day 2 was the same with nothing coming up on top. I decided to crank which produced two better than average keepers. After the sun got high, I went to plastics catching 3 more keepers.

Day 3 morning produced no fish on top water or cranking. When the sun got high, I went to plastics and could only get 3 bites.

Consequently the results were a very disappointing tournament.

During pre fish I had located good fish in several areas, which produced nothing in the tournament what so ever. I had to move around to fish new areas to catch what few fish I weighed in.

The best thing that happened was drawing my good friend Rich Halliwill who was in 1st place (AAA) going into the last day. Now I have to tell everyone that Rich talked all day long! You know though, Rich told me that the only person that talks more than him is Gary Dobyns, whom he fished with the day before, and was leading the tournament.

During our day he lost 2 fish and I lost 2 fish, which any of those 2 would have given him 1st place. At the end of the day as I prepared to leave our last spot, I had the trolling motor stowed and strapped down. Rich mentioned he that he has one on. As he's reeling it in the line knotted up around his pole. He had to hand line the keeper fish in, he gets it to the boat, and the fish turned and swam away and jumped right out of the net's reach and threw the bait! Talk about bad luck. I guess this isn't his time to win.

I felt bad that I could not make it happen for him; however he did wind up in 4th place with a nice check.

Congratulations to Gary Dobyns, he has been working hard to win this for several years, and is very deserving of this prestigious title.

Bass fishing vacation at Falcon Lake in Zapata Texas ROCKS!

Not only does Falcon Lake offer one of the best fisheries in the U.S. but in rough economical times it is even better!

 You can drive your boat, car, ATV, or motor home for $2.35 per gallon.

Chris Ricci's Cour don Blue meal $7.00 at The Steak House. The food and service was wonderful. Can you believe, a (tender) ribeye steak and potatoes dinner cost $10.99, and tastes great!

Owner's Tom and James treated us like old friends, and we had just met them.
James even cooked us Brisket one night!


The Holiday Inn Express was an incredible place to stay. The rooms and beds were very comfortable, they offered a (free) bacon and egg, or other choices for breakfast before going fishing.

There were up-to-date laundry facilities, and weight/exercise machines, and free wireless Internet service.  Not only was it EXTREMELY CLEAN, comfortable beds, but the staff LITERALLY treated us like ROYALTY...and that's no exaggeration.

A vacation to remember fishing Falcon Lake and experiencing the kind people of Zapata, TX.
Holiday Inn EXPRESS
167 South HWY 83
Zapata, TX 78076
phone: 956-765-1333

Falcon Lake is considered one of the TOP RATED BASS FISHING LAKES IN THE USA and TEXAS!

If you google it...these are just some of the links that you can visit:

Bass fishing: 25 of the the Best Locations in the US

Texas' Top Bass Lakes

Columbia River, OR - FLW National Guard

June 2009

We had four days of pre fish. We had wind three of the days and one nice day. Our pre fish consequently was really poor, we only located a few areas that were holding fish.

Pre fish partner and good friend Chris Ricci.
Columbia River in June!

Day One I was 21st boat out and drew a very accomplished angler, JR Wright from Truckee, CA. I used an RC 1.5 chartreuse crank bait, a Jackall MR60, and carolina rigged a 4" green pumpkin Senko. JR did the same, and we ended up with about 25 keepers between us. I was able to cull up 10 lb 15 oz.

Day Two I drew Debbie Carnahan. We had heavy windy conditions, which made it real hard to fish, especially for the co-angler. I wound up catching about 10 keepers using the same baits as day one, culling up to 6 lbs 11 oz.

Day Three the weather settled down and we had a nice day. I drew Gayle Janes. This is the third time we drew each other. The 1st two times Gayle never caught a fish behind me. He told me he needed 5 lbs to cash a check, and I guaranteed him he would catch that or more. We were bound and determined to break the slump. Also Gayle informed me that he was wearing his lucky shirt, Oregon State. Anyone in a slump should contact Gayle; he might let you borrow his lucky shirt. He ended up catching 6 lbs 6 oz. good enough for 15th place and cashing a check. Good Job!

I wound up the day culling up to 6 lbs 8 oz catching about 20 keepers. When the water got dead still and I could no longer get bit on a crank or spinner bait, that is when I switched to a 1/4 oz dart head with a 5" cinnamon black flake Yamamoto Grub. This produced about 10 keepers.

I ended up finishing the tournament in 28th place cashing a check.

Delta, CA - FLW Stren

May 2009

The pre-fish was very uneventful for quality fish. It was hard to catch them over 2 lbs. We saw fry in most every area we went to. It was very unusual because there didn't seem to be as many bucks guarding the fry. It was also hard to catch the females in the spawing areas and the areas adjacent. It gave me the feeling that the bass population may have dwindle. Between the Chris, Tami, and I, the numbers were down and only a few fish per day over 3 lbs. We fished top water, cranking, carolina rigs, jigs, Roboworms, Maverick Worms, senkos, tubes, and drop shot.

At the end of 6 days we concluded that the fish seems to respond more to Robo MM3, Maverick's Magic Blend, and Open Waters Oxblood, fishing them dropshotting, carolina, and shaking a texas rig. We also noticed that fish responded to 5" and 6" senko's wacky rigged, in black and blue, cinnemon purple flake, and watermelon red. The frog produced numbers but never a fish over 2 lbs during our pre-fish. The fish seemed to like black or white. A chatterbait produced numbers and a few larger fish. We elimiinated jigs, topwater, cranking, traps, tubes, and swimbaits, for the tournament.

Thanks to my friend Rich Theil for turning me on to a light shake bite.

Day 1 of the tournament drawing out 159th, I had to adjust my game plan according to the tides, so I could take advantage of the late weigh-in at 4;00. This allowed me to fish the last part of the outgoing tide, which is my favorite for larger fish.

I started in the morning following the cresting of the high tide. I had my limit by 9:00 which weighed about 10 lbs. I caught the fish dropshotting Roboworms and Senkos. During the slack high tide and the beginning of the falling tide, the numbers of fish became fewer and smaller. I hadn't been bit for a couple hours, as I waited for the bottoming out of the low tide. I moved into areas where I located fish over 2 lbs in practice and was able to cull 3 fish which raised my limit up to 15 lbs. That was good enough for 19th place for that day. Also my Co-angler Rodney Brown was able to fill his limit and wound up with 12 lbs 8 ozs. He was a very experienced Delta fisherman. I wanted to thank Rodney for figuring out that the fish wanted a real heavy shake.

Day 2 being 3rd boat out, I followed the same game plan, because the tide difference between day one and two is only about an hour. The only problem I had is that I don't get to fish the last part of the falling tide because of the early weigh-in. My day 2 partner was Dan Cranston, also a good fisherman, weighing in 3 fish.

I had my limit by 8:00 which weighed about 9 lbs. Fishing was very slow for me throughout the day fishing a high tide. Just before weigh in I was able to cull a fish bringing my total to 10 lbs 5 ozs. This put me in 37th place winning $1,080. My fish were caught on senkos and MM3 Roboworms.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

FLW Stren - Lake Oroville, CA

May 2009

To read details about my prefish with Chris Ricci and Tami Curtis go to

As far as the tournament goes, I drew Eric Norlin of Norco, CA.  He was a good co-angler.  We were 70th boat out.  When we arrived at my starting area, I caught 2 fish that were 1 lb and 3/4 oz..  We continued to bounce around from area to area, catching the same size fish from 1 lb and 1/4 to 1 lb and 1/2 ending up with a total weight of 8 lb 12 oz.  Eric wound up with a total of 7 lbs, 

We used drop shot, robo worms, Senko, Flick Shake, and darterhead GYM grub.

The second day my co-angler was Ron Rodgers of Willows, CA.   Ron and I have fished together before.  We are good friends, and he always gives me a $10 discount at BlackBear Diner, which I always look forward to eating there.

Also Ron is a great co-angler, he knows the northern lakes well.  We worked together moving from area to area trying to upgrade our limits.  We decided to run north and fish the west and north branch.  We wound up upgrading our limits.  On our way back to the weigh-in, we had 5 minutes left and stopped at the meat wall.  I caught one 13" and Ron caught a 1 lb and 3/4, he was able to cull up. 

Our fish were caught on GYM senkos, drop shot Roboworms, and darterhead grubs, fishing steep walls and lay downs.  We both wound up with 8 lbs even.  Ron finished in 22nd place taking home a paycheck.  I fell to 38th.

The next day I took out Steve and Ken of Davis UC, to fish the college tournament.   They caught about 30 keepers, they took their best 6 to the scales weighing a total of 9 lbs 7 oz good enough for 4th place.  Their fish were caught on darthead GYM grubs and dropshot crosstail shad.

Congratulations to Steve and Ken.  See you at the Delta.