Nixon triumphs

Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., shows off his trophy after winning the Forrest Wood Open on Lake St. Clair. Nixon won the top prize of $200,000 for his efforts.

Arkansas native adds another chapter to his legendary status

DETROIT - Believe it or not, for all his great accomplishments in the sport of professional bass fishing, Larry Nixon had never won an FLW title. That is, until today. Bolstered by a sensational catch of 18 pounds, 2 ounces, Nixon used some veteran angling experience and a determined effort to capture first place in the Forrest Wood Open on Lake St. Clair. Not only did his achievement land him the first FLW win of his career, but he also walked away with a $200,000 check and some rousing applause from the fans who packed the arena to cheer him on.

Standing at the winner's podium with trophy in hand, Nixon could hardly contain his joy after completing the one goal that had eluded him for years.

"This is one of the most amazing days of fishing I've ever had," said Nixon, who avenged his 1999 fifth-place finish on Lake St. Clair. "It's just been an awesome day. I lost a good friend last week and I feel like this if for him. This feels just incredible."

Nixon said that while he had "struggled" during the first few days of the tournament, everything worked out perfectly today.

"I just made all the right moves today," said Nixon, who lead or owned a share of the lead over the last three days of the tournament. "I knew where the fish were and I knew what to do. I thought I had a good chance to win this tournament if everything worked out right. And that's exactly what happened."

Nixon said that after leaving the marina early this morning, he went straight to his prime fishing location. However, after landing three smallmouth bass on topwater lures, Nixon's suddenly found that the fish were no longer biting. Without hesitation, Nixon decided to shift strategies. It was a crucial decision that ultimately won him the tournament.

"After I caught those three fish, it sort of dried up on me," said Nixon. "But I thought I knew what to do. So I grabbed some soft plastics and a few minutes later, I caught another fish. A few minutes after that, I caught a 3-pound bass. And wouldn't you know it, I caught another one that was even bigger than the first a few minutes later. It was just one of those days where everything seemed to work out."

With 17 pounds of fish in the boat by 10:30 a.m., Nixon started to realize that the tournament was his to win or lose.

"When it's your turn to win, it's your turn to win," said Nixon. "But I had been close to winning before so I knew I had to keep on going. In fact, I should have won FLW tournaments at least two other times. But Mother Nature always seemed to kill me on the last day. I'd catch 15 pounds and still everyone would beat me. Thankfully, that didn't happen today."

No. Nixon made sure of that.

"This has just been one of the greatest weeks of my career," he said. "This is the biggest payday I have ever had. It's just an incredible feeling."

Dudley cast in role as runner-up

Despite a large and cumbersome leg cast that greatly limited his mobility, David Dudley of Manteo, N.C., still managed to pull off a dramatic second-place finish. Fishing in the third finals of his career on the FLW Tour, Dudley said he was pleased with his accomplishment even though he missed out on the big prize once again.

"I got off to a great start today. I had a limit by 6:23 a.m.," said Dudley, who registered a 17-pound catch that was nearly good enough to steal the title away from Nixon. "I caught a ton of fish today. I culled a lot of fish. So I'm just tickled to death right now."

For his efforts, Dudley won a check for $100,000.

Jimmy Millsaps of Canton, Ga., was equally pleased with his performance. Using a 16-pound, 15-ounce catch, Millsaps battled his way to third place, taking home a check for $50,000.

"I've had a great week," said Millsaps. "This is one of the best lakes I've ever fished. I had a great time and I'm really looking forward to coming back."

Fellow Georgia native Mickey Bruce landed in fourth place after registering a total catch of 16 pounds, 3 ounces. And like Millsaps, Bruce said he wouldn't trade his experience on Lake St. Clair for anything.

"I'll tell you what, this has just been a great week for me," said Bruce, who took home a check for $35,000 as well as a second-place finish in the Angler of the Year contest. "I think that I performed at my maximum level and made a bunch of smart decisions all week. I'm happy."

Of all of the anglers in the finals, it's hard to argue that Steve Daniel didn't have the best time of all.

"I believe this is the most fun I've ever had in a bass fishing tournament," said the native of Clewiston, Fla. "These tournaments are so hard to win, everything has to go just right. But I'll be back again and I promise you, I'll have as much fun as I did this time."

Daniel, who used a catch of 10 pounds, 12 ounces, ultimately finished in fifth place and took home a check for $30,000.

The next and final event of the FLW season will be the 2001 FLW Championship on Lake Champlain in Plattsburg, N.Y., scheduled to take place Sept. 12-15.

Related links:

Photos
Results
Press release
Quick Bites: Day 4

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »