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Paul in the News


By Dave Landahl - Photo by Phoenix Moore - It was 1980-something. The Who was on their first farewell tour, Ronald Reagan was the President of the USA, Cheers was a smash hit on television, and Paul Elias was on top of the bass fishing world. 

The Mississippi pro was not only one of the first public figures since Abraham Lincoln to rock a full, bushy hipster beard, he had also staked a claim to the top of the bass-fishing world with a victory in the 1982 Bassmaster Classic on the Arkansas River. For the foreseeable future, Paul Elias was positioned to be the king of the hill in professional bass fishing.

And then it all came crashing down.

Dear Paul: Get your priorities straight, trust your gut

Chatting with a writer from his home in the small southern Mississippi town of Luarel, Elias speaks frankly about that era of his life – painfully frankly sometimes – and without an abundance of joy. He’s rightfully proud of his tournament-fishing accomplishments: in addition to his Classic win, he accumulated 12 Top 10s in a four-year period in the early 1980s. 

But decisions Elias made during that time in his life and the turmoil that followed shook him to his core; so much so that the 67-year-old legend admits that he’s still recovering.

“When I look back at my early career, I realize I made a lot of mistakes,” Elias admits. “If I could send a letter to myself back then, I’d let myself know that I did a good job sticking to my style of fishing, and that it would pay off with wins and a Bassmaster Classic championship. But, I’d also tell myself to change my personal life around. I was all about my career back then. I should’ve put God and my family first, but instead I put my fishing career above everything.”


Complete Story


Major League Fishing announced the groupings for the first two days of fishing in their first ever Bass Pro Tour event on Lake Toho next week. The competition starts Jan. 29, 2019 and group A will fish then. While Group B will fish on the Jan. 30 2019. Here is who will be competiting in each group. For more details visit  

Bass Pro Anglers
Group A

Mark Daniels
Gary Klein
Casey Ashley
Brandon Coulter
Andy Montgomery
Dave Lefebre
Randy Howell
Randall Tharp
Mark Davis
Ish Monroe
Kelly Jordon
Jared Lintner
Gerald Spohrer
Fred Roumbanis
Edwin Evers
Brett Hite
Chris Lane
Michael Neal
Justin Lucas
David Walker
Zack Birge
Jason Lambert
Mike McClelland
Tommy Biffle
Russ Lane
Matt Lee
Stephen Browning
Andy Morgan
Ott DeFoe
Roy Hawk
Jacob Wheeler
Greg Vinson
Keith Poche
Takahiro Omori
James Watson
Jordan Lee
Tim Horton
James Elam
Cody Meyer
Shin Fukae

 Group B

Aaron Martens
Adrian Avena
Bradley Roy
Jeff Kriet
Jeff Sprague
Skeet Reese
Terry Scroggins
Dustin Connell
John Murray
Shaw Grigsby
Alton Jones
Brent Chapman
Britt Myers
Jacob Powroznik
Luke Clausen
Boyd Duckett
Gerald Swindle
Jason Christie
Josh Bertrand
Todd Faircloth
Greg Hackney
Scott Suggs
Jesse Wiggins
Wesley Strader
Cliff Pace
Paul Elias
Cliff Crochet
Johnathon VanDam
Brent Ehrler
Anthony Gagliardi,
Justin Atkins
Kevin VanDam
Bobby Lane
Alton Jones Jr.
Mike Iaconelli
Fletcher Shryock
Mark Rose
Brandon Palaniuk
Marty Robinson
Dean Rojas


By John Johnson - BassFan Senior Editor At 67, Paul Elias will be far and away the oldest competitor fishing the Bass Pro Tour in its inaugural season. Heck, a hefty percentage of his fellow BPT anglers weren't even born when he won the Bassmaster Classic in 1982.

Obviously, the grizzled Mississippian isn't on the roster due to his recent Elite Series results. He's qualified for only two of the past 13 Classics (the most recent was in 2015) and he had a particularly rough go this year, finishing 55th or lower (outside the money cut) in all eight events and landing at No. 105 on the points list.

MLF officials have proclaimed all along, though, that with taking the sport to a larger audience the primary goal of the BPT, criteria other than recent performance was factored into the angler selection process. Elias' past achievements (the Classic win, the B.A.S.S. four-day weight record of 132-08 set at Falcon Lake in 2008, etc.), combined with him being an all-around good guy and someone who looks at the sport from a much broader perspective than just what will benefit him personally, was sufficient to garner him the invitation.

"He's got some serious credentials and a ton of veteran knowledge, but on top of that, he's always been a great spokesman for the sport," said MLF co-founder Boyd Duckett. "He's got a great personality, he comes across well on TV and he wants to be part of making a difference in the sport and leaving a legacy for the future.

"He fit a lot of our criteria and we're really proud to have him."

Happy to Be There

Elias said he wasn't exactly shocked to receive a BPT invitation, but "I wouldn't have felt wronged if I hadn't." He remained on the Elite Series the last two years only via the Legends exemption that awards points for Classic victories and Angler of the Year titles.

He thinks he stands a chance to fare pretty well under the MLF format of counting every legal fish caught during a competition day.

"Naturally, the guys who've done the MLF thing for years are going to have an advantage and I think there's quite a few anglers who are going to have to make some changes to their styles, but I think it's going to complement my style to a certain extent," he said. "Some of that will depend on how much time we're going to have to fish during the day, and we haven't been told that yet, but it could open the door to a lot more offshore stuff.

"A guy who goes out and finds a school of pound-and-a-half to 3-pound fish can excel in that format vs. a guy who goes out and gets seven or eight bites."

He used the St. Lawrence River, a frequent venue for the Elite Series, to expand upon his point.

"Say you go there and you know it's going to take well over a 3-pound average of smallmouth (under the five-fish limit format) to get a check. Now say I went out and caught 30 smallmouth and brought in five that weighed 16 pounds. If it took a 3 1/2-pound average, then I'm a pound and a half off at the end of the day and probably in 80-something place.

"But maybe I caught 20 more fish than some of the guys averaging 3 1/2 pounds. That would really come into play."

Time had Come

Elias was heavily involved in the now-defunct Professional Anglers Association (PAA) when it was founded in the mid 2000s and had hoped that it would evolve into an effective angler advocacy organization, but that never transpired. Eventually, it's No. 1 function was to offer members an additional series of tournaments, but it ran into all kinds of hurdles, many of them involving sponsorship conflicts.

"I was totally against holding our own tournaments and as soon as that started I could see the writing on the wall," he said. "After that, I just kind of backed off and left things alone. All the while I was listening to a lot of the anglers, most of the younger ones, complaining about the entry fees and the payouts (on the Elite Series and FLW Tour) and they just didn't understand how much power they had. It took something like the BPT to come along for them to see the light.

"It took a big thing like a 70-percent exodus (from the Elite Series to the BPT) to wake everybody up. If that didn't happen and everybody just continued going along with it, then why would anything change? It would've been the same old thing it's been all along."

Now he's interested to see the specifics of how the MLF folks go about presenting BPT tournaments to fans without a weigh-in at the end of each day as the centerpiece. And at this point, he's not giving a lot of thought to when his long career will reach its conclusion.

"I'll do this three-year deal for sure (BPT anglers have received a guarantee for that duration) and then we'll see where we're at. They'll either kick me out or I'll have to decide whether I'm going to stay or not."


> Elias recently had surgery on his left (non-casting) rotator cuff and hopes his shoulder will be completely rehabilitated by the time the BPT season kicks off in late January. "It'd bothered me bad for about a year and a half – I had two tears and some bone spurs in there and it got to the point where I knew I had to do something. The biggest handicap had been landing fish. I'm just so accustomed to landing them with my left hand and I lost a few when I couldn't get a grip; I'd get stretched out and it just hurt too much."

Read more:

ICAST_award.jpgOLATHE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), today announced it earned the coveted “Best of Show” award for its new Panoptix LiveScope™ at the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), presented by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and held last week in Orlando, Fla. Prior to being selected as the Best of Show, Panoptix LiveScope was first voted by media and buyers in attendance as the “Best Electronics” in the ICAST New Product Showcase where 974 products were entered by 331 companies, all vying for the ICAST 2018 Best of Show award.

“To not only win the ICAST Best Electronics award, but the Best of Show award, too – it’s an honor we’re incredibly proud of,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Panoptix LiveScope delivers the best of both scanning and live sonar technologies and there’s nothing out there even close to it. These awards solidify our commitment to giving anglers and mariners the most innovative technology on the water, and they further strengthen our desire to be the top marine electronics brand in the world.”

Panoptix LiveScope is a live scanning sonar that gives anglers higher resolution and easier-to-interpret images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat than ever before. Garmin’s revolutionary Panoptix™ all-seeing sonar technology was the first to deliver live sonar images in real-time – forwards, backwards, sideways and below the boat – even while stationary. Now, thanks to the active scanning capabilities of Panoptix LiveScope, anglers can see images and movement so clear and precise that it’s even possible to distinguish between species of fish. See Panoptix LiveScope in action here.

“Panoptix changed the electronics game a couple of years ago,” said Jason Christie, Bassmaster Elite Series and Garmin pro. “Now, LiveScope is even taking it to the next level. The cool thing about it is the simplicity of it. What you see is what is there. The only picture that could be better is if you dive into the water with goggles, and I’m not sure that’s really even better.” Full Story


Pickwick Lake is a great ledge lake. Although you primarily will be fishing for and catching largemouths there in June, when you get a strike, you don’t know what you’ll reel in, because all types of fish and baitfish will be running those ledges. All of the Tennessee River lakes are extremely fertile and home to an abundance of baitfish. During June, the ledges are the structure you can bet on to find and catch bass.

We’ll fish these Pickwick secondary ledges — not the river ledges — many different ways. In June, bass will be holding on the first ledges you come to between the river-channel ledge toward the bank. The weather is warming, but it’s not quite enough to move bass out to the deep-water river ledges just yet. 

We’ll also fish secondary points and bars. This time of the year, I’ve found the best Pickwick bassing to be between Second Creek and the Natchez Trace. This area has many ledges and bars with underwater creeks cutting through them. Generally, you’ll see some grass starting to grow on some of these bars in June. My favorite two June places to fish at Pickwick are mussel-shell bars on these secondary ledges and the ends of those bars. 

Crank ‘em up

I’ll start off with Mann’s 15+ and 20+ crankbaits in gray ghost or brown back/chartreuse colors. Read Full Story

p1525295675.jpgMaynor Creek, a 500-acre lake near Waynesboro, is a Pat Harrison Waterway District lake. One of the older lakes in that group, Maynor Creek had issues with its dam almost 10 years ago. The state pulled the water level down to repair the dam. 

While the water was down, a tremendous amount of grass and brush grew up from the bottom of the lake. Once the lake level rose back to a normal level, that growth provided extra cover for spawning bass and young bass. Maynor Creek is in very good condition and is producing some 3- to 5-pound bass, as well as crappie and bluegills. You may catch a postspawn bass at Maynor Creek that weighs 7 pounds or more. 

Early morning

From just at daylight until about an hour after, I’ll be fishing the lake’s causeway. A small bridge there is at a place where the lake necks down, and the bass have to pass through that area to reach the northern end of the lake. The causeway and the bridge create a funnel for baitfish and bass to move back and forth from one end of the lake to the other. At daylight, you’ll usually see plenty of bass action in that area, and perhaps even schooling bass. 

I’ll be fishing this region with a white, ¼-ounce buzzbait and a shad-colored Zara Spook. To fish the buzzbait, I’ll use a 7-foot-2, medium-heavy Shimano Expride rod and a Curado 200 XG reel with 23-pound test White Peacock fluorocarbon. I’ll use a 6-foot-10 medium-heavy Expride rod with the same reel with 30-pound bass braid and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to fish the Spook. I’ll cast both lures from the points of the causeway bridge down the road embankment to about 50 yards on either side of the bridge and on both ends. Read Full Story


April is a post-spawn bass month at Bogue Homa. The females will be coming off the bed, and they’ll want to feed up to help recover from the spawn. But they will still will be holding fairly close to the spawning area in shallow water.

Ever since the restructuring of Bogue Homa 10 years ago, the lake has held numbers of big, healthy bass. To successfully fish at Bogue Homa, remember that weekend anglers know the big-bass potential of this lake. So your best opportunity to catch bass there is to fish during the week. 

Early morning

• Two topwater baits. In April, I like to start off fishing topwater baits early in the morning around the big, underwater, cypress stumps that line the ditches running through the flats on Bogue Homa. My favorites in April are the Zara Spook and the Whopper Plopper. The stumps will be about 1 to 1½ feet under the surface and can be hard to see at first light. I have a number of them marked on my Garmin GPS, but the electronics tool I’ll primarily be using is my Garmin Panoptix. Read Full Story

p1519257161.jpgI enjoy fishing Bay Springs Lake  in March, because I like catching largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass on the same lake, often in the same places and sometimes on the same lure. 

With bass in a prespawn mode and moving shallow, I depend heavily on my Garmin Panoptix depth finder to actually see the bass and learn whether they’re suspended or moving. I can spot schools of baitfish 60 to 80 feet off the bank and any bass related to those schools. 

Two tactics work best this month for bass. Early in March, we’ll be fishing a suspended jerkbait, since the water is still cold, and the bass will be schooled up, lethargic and moving toward spawning areas. From mid-March until the end of the month, I’ll be fishing a Carolina rig and a Mann’s C4 square-bill crankbait.

Early March tips 

I’ve found a bait like a Suspending Rogue in the Saturday Night Special color — a clear body with some purple and chartreuse on its back — to be productive in 42- to 48-degree water. I’ve always been able to catch fish on one in places and times when bass needed a suspending bait. Full Story Here

p1516920485.jpgI think February is the best month of the year to fish Ross Barnett Reservoir for bass, which are in the prespawn mode and moving shallow. In many sections of the country — and Mississippi — you will often be fishing for bass in deep water in February, but on Ross Barnett, you’ll catch most of your fish in water 3 feet deep or less.

This time of the year also is when bass like to get into the lily pad stems, unless a severe cold front arrives. But on those very cold February days, I’ll be fishing the rocks. Basically those are the two February patterns for Ross Barnett.

Pad stems, reeds 

First, fish the lily pad stems and the reeds with a black/chartreuse or a crayfish color Baby 1-Minus crankbait on a medium-heavy Shimano Zodias baitcasting rod, alternating casts between the two colors. I’ll be fishing a Shimano Curado 200, a 6.2-to-1 retrieve-ratio reel, spooled with 23-pound White Peacock fluorocarbon. I’ll run that Baby 1-Minus with a fairly fast retrieve into the lily pad stems and on top of the scattered patches of coontail moss that comes up from the bottom but doesn’t reach the surface in the stems. Generally, I get my bites when the lure hits the stems and bounces off.

The most-productive part of the lake to fish for bass is from the Highway 43 bridge south on the east side of the lake. Even in February’s shallow water, you can catch several bass weighing from 4 to 7 pounds each, since the females are full of roe. Read Full Story

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Jake Lands 7.7 Largemouth Fishing with Paul


Paul, Wanted to drop you a line and again thank you for the great time Lance and I had. The time spent with you on the electronics was amazing,but the real deal was when we put that knowledge and applied it out on the water on Friday.We guessed our best 5 would of been in the 42 lb range, with both of us catching our personal best fish of our lifes.We had 2 over 10 and 1 around 9 from your lake. We are getting ready to start into the Everstart series this year and your class will definitely help us out.

Thanks again, Frank

In Depth Fishing Lessons Click Here

Just a quick email to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Pachuta. As an avid angler I found In-Depth Fishing to be a master's level course in the sport of bass fishing.  I learned a great deal and it was fun to apply the lessons while catching lunker bass (see photos).  Lake Eddins is an extraordinary fishery! Click Here

David McLarnon
Natick, MA

Fisherman – What a remarkable opportunity to fish and learn from a legend in bass fishing! Fellow bass fishing enthusiasts my name is Robert Chandler who works as an engineer day to day down in southwest Louisiana and I am just your average weekend angler aspiring to locate and put more fish in the livewell more consistently. Recently, I read an article in the Bassmaster magazine that Paul Elias who when I was a teenager had just started his fishing career Click Here