Andre the giant killer

Pro Andre Moore of Scottsdale, Ariz., shows off his first-place trophy after winning the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake.

Andre Moore defeats bass-fishing powerhouses Clark Wendlandt, Dean Rojas and Darrel Robertson to capture FLW title on Beaver Lake

ROGERS, Ark. - Fishing in only the fifth FLW Tour event of his career, Andre Moore of Scottsdale, Ariz., used a five-fish catch weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces to upset a highly competitive pro field en route to capturing the Wal-Mart Open title on Beaver Lake as well as the grand-prize check of $210,000.

Not surprisingly, Moore was overwhelmed with the day's events after netting the "biggest win by far" of his young bass-fishing career.

"I'm ecstatic right now; I'm just blown away," said the 29-year-old Moore, barely able to contain his emotions. "I just had an awesome day today. Everything just went my way. It's just hard for me to believe. I'm usually the king of bad luck."

Although Moore did manage to let two fish get away during today's contest, his day could hardly be characterized as a textbook case of bad luck. However, his victory did not come easily either. With some of the biggest names in professional bass fishing qualifying for the finals - not to mention two-time FLW Beaver Lake champion Clark Wendlandt - and the pressure mounting by the hour, Moore was forced to survive a tense, two-hour fog delay at takeoff.

"I was really nervous during that delay," he said. "Because we lost so much time, I decided to give up on one of my big fish because I didn't want to waste half the day trying to catch it."

However, Moore's luck would soon turn around. As a sight-fishing specialist, Moore had been waiting all week for the fish to move up onto the beds in significant numbers. And sure enough, once he finally hit the water, he found out that his fish had come home to roost - by the dozens.

"I knew if the fish were on the beds today, I had a chance to win," said Moore.

Using a hodge-podge collection of homemade tube baits, jigs and split-tail grubs, Moore turned in his best outings of the entire tournament.

"A lot of the fish that I wound up catching today, I had been trying to catch all week," said Moore. "And once I had those five fish in the boat, I said to myself that if I don't win this tournament, it's not because of anything I did. It's because someone else beat me."

Fortunately for the king of bad luck, no one did.

Hutson steady as a rock

Randall Hutson of Washburn, Mo., saved his best performance for last. After failing to catch a limit all week, Hutson finally managed to get five fish in the boat when it mattered most - in the finals.

"I'm as happy as a lark right now," said Hutson, whose 9-pound, 13-ounce catch was good enough for second place and a check for $105,000. "I would have liked to have won this tournament, but I'm very happy with where I finished. This is the first day all week that I was able to catch a fish-fish limit, so I'm very happy."

Hutson, who targeted bedding fish with a black-and-white Lucky Strike flipping tube, said he had a pretty good idea that he didn't have enough fish to claim the top prize upon returning to the weigh-in.

"I really didn't think I had the tournament won, but I had a pretty good idea that I had enough for second or third place," he said. "Overall, this tournament was a big confidence boost for me. But then again, anytime you get a big check it's a confidence boost."

Harty nabs third place

With only two years of FLW experience under his belt, Rob Harty of Sachse, Texas, used a 9-pound catch to grab third place in the finals and walk away with $54,500 in prize money.

"It was just a great week," said Harty, one of the few finalists not to employ a variation of a sight-fishing technique during the four-day event. "I worked really hard today. But it was a lot of fun."

Harty, who fished a Norman crankbait near roadbeds to land his catch, said he couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome.

"This is the biggest win of my career," said Harty. "I'm extremely happy."

Wendlandt comes up short in bid for third Beaver Lake title

After winning the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake in 2001 and 1999, Clark Wendlandt of Cedar Park, Texas, was gunning for a piece of history in today's final. Despite all of the tremendous anglers on the FLW Tour, none had ever captured three tour titles on one lake. Unfortunately for Wendlandt, today's 8-pound, 11-ounce catch was not good enough to add his name to the record books. However, it was more than sufficient for a fourth-place finish and a check for $39,000.

"I knew I needed one more fish to win and I found it with 15 minutes left in the tournament," said Wendlandt. "Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to bite. But that's just the way it goes."

However, with 16 FLW semifinal appearances to his credit and four consecutive top-10 FLW finishes on Beaver Lake, Wendlandt was able to take the outcome of today's final day of competition in stride.

"I executed perfectly today, so I really can't complain," said Wendlandt. "Overall, I had a great week. This is one of my favorite places to fish. I'll be back next year."

Rojas sight-fishes his way into fifth place

Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., used an 8-pound, 2-ounce catch to grab fifth place and a check for $33,500.

"Man, I love this lake," said Rojas. "It reminds me a lot of home. I can't wait to come back to this place next year. It's awesome."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 finalists were Mark Pack (sixth) of Mineola, Texas, with a catch of 6 pounds, 1 ounce; Tracy Adams (seventh) of Wilkesboro, N.C., with a catch of 5 pounds, 7 ounces; Bernie Schultz (eighth) of Gainesville, Fla., with a catch of 3 pounds, 12 ounces; Darrel Robertson (ninth) of Jay, Okla., with a catch of 1 pound, 14 ounces; and Jeffrey Thomas (tenth) of Broadway, N.C., with a catch of 0 pounds.

FLW action resumes May 15-18 at Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin, Tenn.

Related links:

Quick Bites: Wal-Mart Open, Day 4
Photos
Results
Press release

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-millsaps-wins-on-lake-sinclair

Millsaps Wins on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – David Millsaps of Ranger, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Millsaps earned $6,009. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-walters-nets-third-victory-on-wylie

Walters Nets Third Victory on Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, N.C. – Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Walters earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-mosley-on-top-at-arkansas-river

Mosley on Top at Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 the Arkansas River. For his victory, Mosley earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »