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

Pouring it on

Emery catches over 23 pounds of bass, wins Pro Division at Lake Erie in convincing fashion

DETROIT - Three years ago Scott Emery found a set of ridges and underwater rock piles about 10 miles east of the mouth of the Detroit River in Lake Erie that held a wealth of smallmouth bass. He did not know back then that the hot spot would one day lead him to his first $15,000 EverStart Series victory, but somehow he knew it was a special fishing hole.

"The fish there are a lot bigger now," Emery said. "That was the plan: just to go out there and pour it on today."

Pour it on he did. Emery, who hails from the Detroit suburb of Livonia, landed the second-heaviest five-bass stringer of the tournament - 23 pounds, 2 ounces - and captured the Pro Division title by more than two pounds over runner-up Barry Bucciarelli of Romulus, Mich. In addition to the hefty cash prize, Emery walked away with a brand new Ranger boat for first place.

"This is fantastic," he said. "I've been waiting for this for a long time. I've envisioned it many times, but I've never been able to execute it."

Emery, 38, enacted a bit of a Cinderella story this week in Detroit. A longtime competitor on the Wal-Mart BFL circuit, he only began fishing the EverStart Series the last couple of years. He found he could stay in contention at this level, but he had yet to reach the brass ring.

"I tend to be in the top 10 percent, but I've never been able to get that lucky break," he said.

His lucky break came when the fishing hole he found three years ago, an area not more than 10 feet wide and 100 feet long along Lake Erie's north shore, began to produce some quality smallmouth in practice before this event. While many competitors caught their quarry by dragging a tube lure, he found that his fish were reacting to a slow-rolled spinnerbait technique.

"Two weeks ago, I caught some very high-quality fish doing it," he said.

Emery, who fished Lake St. Clair the first few days, saved his secret hole on Lake Erie until today's final round knowing he would need a big kick to contend for the title. Using a big ¾-ounce spinnerbait, Emery targeted larger fish, catching his limit by 8:20 a.m. and culling his five bass to 23 pounds by 12:30. On his first cast of the day he landed a 4 1/2-pound smallmouth. He caught roughly 15 keeper bass today.

"I was very confident I could get 20 pounds," he said. "This week everything went perfectly. Every decision I made was the correct decision. I only lost three fish all week, and obviously that didn't hurt me much."

Emery hopes today's win could lead to bigger things on the pro tour. While he has competed in one Wal-Mart FLW Tour event, in Detroit in 1999, he found he still has a few things to learn before hitting the big time. He has given himself a three-year timeline to make it and do well at the FLW level, but if he doesn't he has his day job as a business owner to fall back on.

"It's a dream for me, but the reality is that work comes first," he said. "I know my wife will be happy about the win."

How the rest of the finalists fared

Bucciarelli made a valiant run at the title but he, along with everybody else, was clearly outmatched by Emery's 23-pound sack. Bucciarelli, who led Friday's semifinals, caught five fish weighing 20 pounds, 14 ounces and took home $10,000 for second place.

"I thought the bag would weigh more than that," he said. "Today I was catching them one cast after another."

Mike Trombly of Perrysburg, Ohio, seemed rooted right around the third-place mark the entire week. He placed third on Wednesday, fourth on Friday, and finished in third place Saturday after weighing in five bass at 19 pounds, 2 ounces. He gathered a check for $9,000.

Following Trombly was 26-year-old Al Gagliarducci of Agawam, Mass., who had an outstanding week considering he only had one day of practice due to scheduling conflicts. He relied on coordinates he recorded during last month's EverStart competition at Sandusky Bay to find fish for this tournament. He caught five bass weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces to place fourth and earned $8,000.

"Pretty much the first two days, I burned out everything I had, which wasn't much," he said. "I had about three spots on the GPS from Sandusky to go by."

Fifth place and $7,500 went to Jim Liechty of Fort Wayne, Ind., for five bass weighing 18 pounds. Lima, Ohio's Steve Clapper captured seventh place and $6,500. He caught five bass weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces despite not catching a fish until 11 o'clock.

"Fifteen pounds for a couple of hours of fishing isn't that bad," Clapper said.

Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., and his close-to-home fishing hole earned him seventh place and $5,500 for a five-fish weight of 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Kreiger, the opening-round leader who was fishing directly outside of the takeoff and weigh-in point at Elizabeth Park Marina on the Detroit River, said he would have had trouble catching 23 pounds even if he had executed perfectly.

"The biggest problem was that all the anglers who caught 17 and 18 pounds the first day didn't weigh in any fish the second day," he joked. "They didn't restock my fishing hole very well, so I'm kind of mad at them."

After Kreiger was Jon Jezierski of Troy, Mich., with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces. While he caught the largest stringer of the tournament of day two - 23 pounds, 3 ounces - he collected $5,000 for his eighth-place finish.

Rounding out the finalists were Randy Ramsey (9th place, $4,500) of Battle Creek, Mich., with two bass weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces and Roger Miller (10th, $4,000) of Ottawa Lake, Mich., with two bass weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces.

Next up: EverStart Series Championship

The next EverStart Series event is the tour championship, which will be held Nov. 7-10 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Tournament winners and the top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers from each division will earn a spot in the event. There, the winning pro will receive a Mercury- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat with GARMIN electronics, Minn Kota trolling motor and EverStart batteries plus $25,000 cash. The winning co-angler will receive a Ranger boat and $10,000 cash.

Top EverStart competitors may also qualify for the Ranger M1 tournament in Mobile, Ala., Feb. 27-March 2, 2002, where they can win up to $1 million in the world's richest freshwater tournament.

Day-four related links:

Press release
Luck of the draw

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 


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 »