UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Arlie on the rise

Arlie Napier and his son, John Daniel, of Middlesboro, Ky., enjoy the Pro Division winning trophy.

HENDERSON, N.C. - It wouldn't have been any fun, but everyone else could just as well have stayed home this week. After a so-so (for him) first day where Arlie Napier finished in fourth place, the Middlesboro, Ky., angler cranked it up, literally, to dominate the last three days of pro competition and win the final $185,000 EverStart Eastern Division tournament of the year.

Okay, that's not giving nearly enough credit to the other Pro Division anglers who fished their tails off this week at Kerr Lake, but Napier was eerily Tiger Woods-like in terms of his masterful four-day tournament performance.

On Wednesday, Napier was just less than 3 pounds off the lead, but he made it up Thursday and won the qualifying opening round by almost 4 pounds. Then he won the semifinal round Friday by 3 ounces and qualified for Saturday's finals.

Today he reeled in five bass weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces and won the tournament by nearly 2 pounds over runner-up Joel Richardson. Napier collected $15,000 and a new Ranger boat for his efforts.

For the 27-year-old Napier, the victory couldn't have been sweeter. Coming into this event, he already had three wins to his name, but they were all Red Man one-day tourneys. He also already had four top-10 finishes on the EverStart Series, including a second place at West Point, Ga., in 1999. He even had a runner-up finish on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour last year at Pickwick Lake, Ala.

But this was his first big-time win.

"I've been in every position in the top 10. From day one, this is what I've been going for," he said, though he admitted that the FLW second place was pretty sweet, too.

The difference between Napier and his competitors this week was mainly his technique. Many anglers arrived at Kerr Lake to find water levels up and lots of fish still hanging around in shallow water. The majority of competitors stuck to flipping jigs, lizards and tubes in and around the bushes along the bank. It worked, too. Many heavy sacks of fish were brought in because the angler went flipping.

But Napier knew it's also summertime in North Carolina, and that bass were likely to be found in deeper water as well. He came armed with his trusty crankbait, found a hole about 15 feet deep filled with good-size bass, and just kept plucking them out of there all week long.

"I don't care where I'm at, as long as it's hot weather, I can beat anybody," he said, admitting that the warm season probably had more to do with his success than anything else.

But dominance in a four-day fishing tournament like this one doesn't come without its share of luck. On day three, the one day that it rained and cooled off significantly, Napier was forced to go flipping in shallow water when his deepwater bass scattered. Even doing that, he managed to stumble upon a string of 3- and 4-pound bass that gave him the lead.

But today, he went back to his favorite crankbaits and he wasn't disappointed. However, he was worried before the weigh-in. Napier incurred an 8-ounce penalty (his total catch actually weighed 14 pounds, 15 ounces) because one of his fish became entangled in his co-angler partner's line and didn't make it through the weigh-in alive.

"When I came in, I was sick as a dog because I thought I blew this tournament," he said.

Asked how he was able to use the crankbait so well when other top pros couldn't this week, Napier responded simply, "By putting a crankbait in my hand for 12 hours a day every day."

Richardson battles rising water

No, you canRunner-up Richardson came into this tournament thinking he would win it. It wasn't immodesty on his part; it was just common sense. From Kernersville, N.C., Richardson had a slew of top-10 performances already on Kerr Lake, including a victory. Plus, this is his home lake. He makes his living here as a fishing guide.

"I had fish found before the tournament started," he said. "Before the water came up, I was just about sure I was going to win this thing. But when that water came up, I had to restart."

He restarted by finding shallow-water fish not far from Napier's prime area, within three miles.

"The difference was, I was flipping," Richardson said.

But he flipped successfully, catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday and collecting $10,000 for second place. He said the key this week was his bait. He used a June bug-colored Hawg Caller craw tube.

"It worked really well. I mean, I caught three or four good fish behind guys in the top 30 who were flipping (the same area)," he said. "I really believe it was the bait that had a lot to do with it."

Robert Walser of Lexington, N.C., said he had problems finding fish each day because of changing conditions. Still, he managed five bass weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces to capture third place and $9,000.

"It's been taking me until lunch to figure them out," he said. "(The fish) are switching the way they use the cover every day."

Fourth-place pro William Smith of Moncks Corner, S.C., found his big fish by way of a topwater lure. "On the second day, I stumbled onto a topwater bite," he said. "If they bit it, they were big ones." Smith weighed in five bass for 11 pounds, 3 ounces and collected $8,000.

David Wright of Lexington, N.C., also weighed in five fish for 11 pounds, 3 ounces, but placed fifth behind Smith by virtue of a tiebreaker because Smith placed higher in the opening round. Still, it was quite a run for Wright, who didn't even practice coming into the tourney because he was at school until the Monday before. He won $7,500.

Rogers takes points title

Had Frank Poirier of Hopewell, Va., finished in first or second place, he would have overtaken Mark Rogers of Naples, Fla., for the Eastern Division standings title. As it turned out, Poirier ended his bid for the title with a sixth-place finish in this tournament. He caught five bass weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces and collected $6,500.

Poirier, who ended the season with 755 points, fell just four points short of Rogers' mark of 759. Rogers led this tournament on day one and eventually finished in 13th place on Friday.

Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists were Wally Szuba (seventh place, $5,500) of Cary, N.C., with four bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces; Mark Inman (eighth, $5,000) of Henderson, N.C, with three bass weighing 5 pounds, 2 ounces; Sean Stickler (ninth, $4,500) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with two bass weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces; and Wayne Jeffcoat (10th, $4,000) with no bass.

Day-four related links:

Photos
Results
Press release
Sauls hauls in co-angler trophy


Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2001-05-30-kerr-lake 

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »