Charles Johnson: Lying, new line and an up-and-comer, this bass tournament had it all
May 17, 2009 | 1138 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PELL CITY — A majority of bass tournaments are governed by numerous rules.

And rightly so — without certain rules and guidelines, the events could get of hand. So, how about a tournament with no entry fee, only about eight boats and the rules can be counted on one hand?

Welcome to Vicious Fishing Writer's Conference tournament near Pell City.

This past week, Vicious Fishing, which is headquartered in Pell City with a line spooling plant near Dora, brought in pro anglers and invited outdoor writers from around the country to a private lake with a grand lodge for some fishing, photo shoots and tall tales.

It wast the second year for the event, and Vicious CEO Jeff Martin said they plan on doing it again.

Vicious pros from Alabama included Gerald Swindle of Warrior and Jimmy Mason of Rogersville. Marty Stone of North Carolina, Jeff Reynolds of Oklahoma, Kevin Short of Arkansas Pete Ponds of Mississippi and Peter Savoia from Ontario, Canada joined in the fun.

With pros and writers paired together, the rules were simple: no culling allowed and there was a $100 prize for the smallest fish brought to the scales. Of course there was the usual grand prize for the team with the highest weight total.

Oh, and Vicious' 6-pound test Vicious line was the maximum size allowed.

Hole sharing, or better known as "hole jumping," was somewhat common — especially toward the end of the event.

The laid-back day of fishing gave the opportunity to fill up the old notebook.

Here's some nuggets ...

* * *


Swindle was paired with James Hall, editor for Bassmaster Magazine. These two anglers fished the muddy waters left by the purposely created wave action from certain other competitors' boats. While the actions did draw some fierce comments from Swindle, there were no grounds for protest. Swindle and Hall did end winning the overall weight category with 14.25 pounds.

"I think the muddy water along the bank helped us out," said Swindle jokingly, after the final results were tallied.

Some of the other anglers complained that Swindle and Hall were scaring their fish since the pair removed their shirts during competition. Apparently suntan oil was not a priority for these two.

"I don't see how they caught any fish," said Stone.

* * *


One of the newest members to Vicious Fishing is Zeke Gossett of Pell City. Gossett is only 12 years old, but is on his way to becoming a pro angler. Last year he won the BASS Alabama State Youth Championship for his age group on Logan Martin.

By winning the state title last year, Gossett qualified for the Junior Bassmaster Southeast Championship on Lake Gaston in North Carolina. He competed against other youth championship anglers from around the Southeast. Gossett finished second overall and was only 5 ounces out of first place, as he helped his team win a new Skeeter bass boat.

Back in April, Gossett took top honors at the FLW Alabama State Youth Championship on Lake Mitchell. He topped everyone in the 11-14 age group by more than 5 pounds, which also out paced the 15-18 age group.

Gossett now holds the state title for both tours.

"I have been fishing since I could walk," Gossett said. "I plan to go to Auburn (University) and join the fishing team there."

Gossett said it felt good to have Vicious as a sponsor, and he is making plans to become a pro angler. Strike King Lure Company is also helping to sponsor Gossett.

With his win in the FLW state tournament, Gossett has qualified for the FLW National Guard Junior World Championship. He will travel to Pittsburg to compete against other youth anglers in his age group on the Allegheny River.

If you're not too proud to learn something from a 12-year-old, Gossett's favorite fishing technique is slow rolling a spinnerbait. He fishes all the time when he can, but also helps out with the kids at New Life Assembly of God Church, where he is a member.

* * *


Vicious has introduced a new braided line along with a special panfish line this year. The panfish line is a fluorescent yellow, which makes it easy for crappie and bream anglers to detect a strike. The braided line is made from a different process, which keeps it from soaking up water.

"The braid is made of several strands of Spectra," said Glen Cunningham, Sales Director for Vicious. "The line is run through rollers and impregnated with urethane."

Cunningham said the urethane is not a coating and does not rub or flake off like some of the other braids. The roller process helps the line stay round and therefore will not cut into the line spooled on a reel. Also, it makes for stronger knots since the line won't cut against itself.

"Whatever type of line you fish with, always wet the line before tying a knot," Cunningham said. "This will increase the knot strength."
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