UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Nixon, Fisher grab share of lead at $1 million Forrest Wood Open

Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., shows off part of his two-day catch of 32 pounds, 13 ounces. Nixon's performance was good enough to give him a share of first place in the Pro Division heading into the semifinal round.

VanDam captures Angler of the Year title, co-angler Shockey vaults into first place

DETROIT - Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., and Pat Fisher of Stone Mountain, Ga., turned in identical two-day catches of 32 pounds, 13 ounces to climb atop the leaderboard at the $1 million FLW tour event on Lake St. Clair. With an extraordinarily competitive field and huge stringers abound, both Nixon and Fisher demonstrated tremendous determination, consistency and technique to advance to the all-important semifinal round of competition.

Not surprisingly, Nixon and Fisher were pleased with their respective performances.

"It feels real good. I like this lake, it's always been good to me," said Nixon, who finished in fifth place at the FLW tour event on Lake St. Clair in 1999. "I think I have a knack for fishing this lake. I always seem to be hanging around at the end."

Nixon, who has been fishing primarily with tube baits in relatively shallow water, says that his confidence has been growing throughout the tournament.

"It took me awhile to adapt to the conditions, but I think I finally figured it out," he said. "I think I have a good chance to make the top five tomorrow. I should be able to catch between 15 and 17 pounds and that should be enough to qualify for the finals."

Fisher said he was equally happy with the way things have turned out so far.

"I'm on cloud nine. This is the best fishing I've had all year, it's just unreal," he said. "I set three goals this season. My first goal was to qualify for the FLW Championship. My second goal was to make the top 10 at St. Clair. And my third goal was to win this tournament. So far, I'm accomplished two out of three. And with a little luck, I can accomplish them all."

Fisher, who caught a limit this morning by 8:30 a.m., said that he has honed in on a few very productive spots that could easily carry him into the finals.

"I've narrowed down my fishing to two spots and they've both turned out to be very good areas," said Fisher, who is fishing with spinnerbaits and tube baits in 2 to 6 feet of water. "I'm not worried about those areas holding up either because every day more and more fish seem to come there. I know the fish are out there, I'm just going to have to adapt to the weather condititions.

The best of the rest

Terry Baksay of Monroe, Conn., was in third place heading into the semifinal round after netting a two-day catch weighing 31 pounds, 15 ounces. Koby Krieger of Osceola, Ind., took the fourth spot after registering a total catch of 31 pounds, 8 ounces. Steve Daniel of Clewiston, Fla., finished in fifth place with a two-day catch weighing 31 pounds, 7 ounces.

Rounding out the top-10 semifinalists were Scott Dobson (sixth) of Waterford, Mich., with a two-day catch of 30 pounds, 7 ounces; David Dudley (seventh) of Manteo, N.C., with a catch of 30 pounds, 2 ounces; Mickey Bruce (eighth) of Buford, Ga., with a catch of 30 pounds, 1 ounce; Sean Stickler (ninth) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a catch of 29 pounds, 8 ounces; and Jimmy Millsaps (tenth) of Canton, Ga., with a catch of 29 pounds, 6 ounces.

Chris Daniels of Clayton, N.C. took home a check for $1,250 after winning the day's Big Bass award in the Pro Division. Daniels, who ultimately finished in 15th place, used a 4-pound, 8-ounce smallmouth to grab the award.

As expected, VanDam wins angler-of-the-year title

After yesterday's performance, it would have taken a near miracle for anyone other than Kevin VanDam to walk away with the 2001 Land O' Lakes Angler of the Year award. Fortunately for the native of Kalamazoo, Mich., there would be no divine intervention today. Bolstered by a two-day catch of 25 pounds, 10 ounces, VanDam cruised to one of the most prestigious victories in all of tournament bass fishing.

Although VanDam fell a little short of his goal of making the top 10 at Lake St. Clair, he said the angler of the year award greatly softened the blow.

"I made a couple of bad mistakes today. And on a lake this good, you can't make many mistakes," said VanDam, who missed the cut by less than 4 pounds. "But it's definitely pretty exciting to win Angler of the Year. I've kind of been looking forward to (the title) all year long. It's a really neat deal."

As Land O' Lakes Angler of the Year, VanDam is recognized as the best, most consistent professional bass angler in the world. His picture will soon be featured on special collector's edition of Kellogg's cereal boxes and he will receive a $25,000 bonus plus a brand new Ranger 518 VX bass boat for his accomplishment.

Shockey-ing for position

James Shockey of Wellington, Fla., used the largest stringer of the day in any division - an 18-pound, 2-ounce catch - to vault from 37th place to first in the Co-Angler Division heading into tomorrow's final round of amateur competition. Shockey, who has had a difficult year by his own admission, said he was ecstatic with tournament results so far.

"I've never had so much fun in my life. I'm loving every minute of this," he said. "I just had one of those days where no matter what I did, everything just worked out. I was kind of in a zone."

Shockey said today's performance has given him a much needed boost in confidence heading into the finals.

"It's been a really tough year for me until this tournament," he said. "But this week, everything has started to go right. I thought the fish would be biting on jerkbaits and that's the type of bait I like to fish. I knew if I came in here and got around some fish, I would catch them. And that's pretty much what has happened so far."

Shockey said that Lake St. Clair continues to be one of his favorite lakes on the FLW Tour.

"The fishing here is just insane," he said. "It's the only place I know of where you can go out, park your boat in 4 feet of water and catch fish anywhere on the lake."

John Jacobs of Birmingham, Ala., grabbed second place in the Co-Angler Division after landing a two-day catch of 26 pounds, 10 ounces. Jacobs also won $750 for winning the day's Big Bass award in the Co-Angler Division after netting a 4-pound, 15-ounce smallmouth.

In third place was Tommy Gaffney of Little Switzerland, N.C. Gaffney turned in a two-day catch weighing 26 pounds, 8 ounces.

Wesley Burnett of Hot Springs, Ark., used a two-day catch of 26 pounds to grab fourth place heading into tomorrow's finals. However, that wasn't his only accomplishment of the day. Burnett's strong showing during today's competition also allowed him to wrap up the Co-Angler of the Year award.

"It feels really good," said Burnett of his new title. "I knew I only had to finish in 21st place or higher to get it. I'm glad I was able to concentrate and accomplish my goal."

Kelly Greer of Green Forest, Ark., took the fifth qualifying spot with a two-day catch of 25 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rounding out the top-10 finalists were James Green of Lincoln, Ala., with a catch of 25 pounds, 3 ounces; George Polosky of Alliance, Ohio, with a catch of 24 pounds, 14 ounces; day-one leader Rick Parnell of Casselberry, Fla., with a catch of 23 pounds, 11 ounces; Armil Morgan of Mineral Springs, Ark., with a catch of 23 pounds, 9 ounces; and Michael Brown of Chatsworth, Ga., with a catch of 22 pounds, 14 ounces.

Competition continues at 8 a.m. Friday at Metro Beach Metropark in Mt. Clemens, Mich., followed by a 5 p.m. weigh-in at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at the intersection of 12-mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue in Warren, Mich.

Related links:

Day-two pairings
Press release
Quick Bites, Day 2

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »