Shaffer maintains All-American Boater Division lead

Friday another tough day at Cross Lake

SHREVEPORT, La. - He didn't catch much fish, but Dick Shaffer of Celina, Ohio, maintained a firm grip on first place in the Boater Division at the 2002 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American Friday. Buoyed by his standout catch of 14 pounds, 2 ounces Thursday, Shaffer added just another three bass weighing 2-15 to his two-day total Friday and held onto first place by virtue of his commanding opening-round combined weight of 17-1.

The next closest boater was Ricky Smith of Collinsville, Miss., who notched a two-day total of 13 pounds, 6 ounces. Following Shaffer and Smith were: Greg Gutierrez of Red Bluff, Calif., in third place with a two-day total of 12-15; Terry Tucker of Gadsden, Ala., in fourth with 11-10; and Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., in fifth with 9-10.

"I caught three babies today," said Shaffer. "I also lost one good fish, but I know where he's at."

It was another one of those days at Cross Lake, where any fish - from baby size to behemoth - was welcome. The 14- to 17-inch "slot monster" kept a lot of bass out of anglers' livewells, even more so than Thursday, when only five five-bass limits came to the scale. On Friday only three anglers out of 100 managed to catch limits.

"The best part about today was listening to that aerator on that Ranger boat run," said Allan Cagle of Winter Haven, Fla., who recovered from a zero on day one with a two-bass catch weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces on day two.

Cagle was happy that he actually had to use the livewell today, as opposed to yesterday. The four-time All-American qualifier finished in 22nd place.

Shaffer, a concrete contractor by trade, is himself a repeat All-American. While he took pride in the idea that he led the opening round by a wide margin, he knows from experience that his work isn't over.

"It didn't matter to me if I was first, second or 10th - just as long as I made (the cut)," he said. "I've been in this position before."

Shaffer admitted that he laid off the bulk of his fish Friday and that he plans to return to his favorite spot tomorrow and try to repeat his day-one output. But - considering the lake's stingy slot limit, fellow finalists who made a valiant run with some bigger weights Friday and the pressure of fishing for $100,000 - he knows it won't be easy.

"I'm not even thinking about it," he said. "I'll just try to get fish to bite that are the right size. If I get five, I'll be tickled."

One of his biggest obstacles might be Smith, who seems to be reveling in this extremely tough-fishing tournament.

"I love to fish these tough-bite tournaments," he said. "It's not that I always catch them, but when the fish are easy there's a lot of luck involved and it seems anybody can win. I can go out there, focus and watch the line for nine hours straight. I seem to be lucky enough to catch the fish that bite."

Plus, Smith, a past third-place finisher at the All-American, is carrying some heavy experience into his second BFL championship final round.

"Absolutely. It's different this year. I know what to expect in terms of how the tournament is run and so on. I haven't had any other issues on my mind (besides fishing)," he said.

One of the bigger comeback stories of the day was Tucker, who caught Friday's biggest stringer of five bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. He sat in 14th place after Thursday with a weight of 4-14. While the 3-pound difference might not seem like much, it was huge here this week.

"I'm fishing this lake like I would a pond," he said about 8,600-acre Cross Lake. "Basically, I'm going after individual fish. I knew it was going to be a flipping lake, which is my kind of lake."

The biggest comeback, however, belonged to Erie, Pennsylvania's Dave Lefebre, who bounced all the way back from a 30th-place showing on day one to qualify for the finals in 10th place. He caught one of the other full five-bass stringers Friday, weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces, to make up for a 1-pound, 2-ounce performance Thursday. It was the second-heaviest catch of the day.

The third full stringer belonged to fifth-place Kennedy, whose five fish Friday weighed 4-12.

Robert Ewick of Indianapolis won the boater big-bass award and $1,000 with the 4-pound, 6-ounce largemouth that he caught Thursday.

Another boater of note was 13th-place Wes Campbell of Dayton, Ohio. He collected a $10,000 check from Yamaha for being the highest-placing regular-season BFL points champion at the All-American. In fact, Campbell was the only points champion in the Boater Division to qualify for this year's All-American. He won the Buckeye Division standings in 2001 with 1,089 points.

Competition resumes Saturday at 5:45 a.m. at the American Legion Boat Ramp as the final 10 boaters compete in a one-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000. The final weigh-in is at 2 p.m. at the L. Calhoun Allen Exposition Hall on Clyde Fant Parkway in Shreveport. Doors open to the public at noon. Admission is free, and fishing fans are invited to attend the weigh-in, which will be broadcast live as part of "FLW Outdoors" on PAX TV. There are also free children's games, sponsor giveaways and a free drawing for a fully rigged Ranger 216 B Cherokee bass boat.

Day-two links:

Ives crowned 2002 All-American co-angler champion
Photos
Full results
Press release

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-04-17-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-college-championship-race-tightens

College Championship Race Tightens

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-hallman-out-front

Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-lake-murray-midday-update-day-2

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-liberty-leads-college-championship

Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-castledine-stands-tall-on-grand

Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-lake-murray-midday-update-day-1

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hanselman-wins-back-to-back

Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-white-takes-bragging-rights-on-kentucky-lake-

White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-taylor-targets-bluebacks-for-hartwell-win

Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-chenoweth-wins-on-kerr

Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-rayburn-day-3-midday-update

Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hansen-holds-lake-of-the-ozarks-title

Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-frog-carries-lowery-to-victory

Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-gordon-grabs-title-on-dardanelle

Gordon Grabs Title on Dardanelle

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Gordon earned $7,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-10-hanselmania-returns

Hanselmania Returns

He’s back at it again. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, won the season-opening Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad, and today he weighed in 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the second day of competition at stop No. 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman vaulted into the tournament lead with a two-day total of 43-14. “Hanselmania” leads by 5 pounds, 6 ounces over Denny Brauer, also of Del Rio, who is in second place for the second consecutive day. The leader’s stringer is even more impressive considering that Hanselman lost three 5-pounders this morning and caught 23-5 on a day when only one other pro weighed more than 20 pounds, and only three others weighed more than 18 pounds. Day-one leader Joe Don Setina weighed in only four keepers for 11 pounds today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-10-rayburn-day-2-midday-update

Rayburn Day 2 Midday Update

With only one fish in the livewell at 10:30, Joe Don Setina was probably hoping for a repeat of day one – at least the part where he sacks ’em up in the second half. We found the leading pro fishing the Black Forrest area that he worked the first day, and he’s sticking with the same routine of flipping heavy cover. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-09-setina-overcomes-slow-start

Setina Overcomes Slow Start

Pittsburg, Texas, pro Joe Don Setina is off to a hot start in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division this season. After a top-10 finish at the opener on Lake Amistad, Setina jumped out to the day-one lead on Sam Rayburn today. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Setina, however. He says nothing went right for him this morning, when he lost fish, snagged trees and finally had to sit down and collect himself before continuing on. After refocusing, Setina caught his first keeper at about 11 a.m. and proceeded to sack up 23 pounds, 6 ounces for a slim 8-ounce lead over second-place pro Denny Brauer, who also finished in the top 10 at the Amistad opener. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-09-top-5-patterns-from-sam-rayburn-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 1

Overcoming a tough start, Joe Don Setina rallied to take the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He’s fishing flooded trees and bushes like most of the field and weighed in 23 pounds, 6 ounces. With the lake at a 15-year high thanks to recent rains, Rayburn’s bass are scattered, often in areas that are difficult to reach. Some pros are muscling their way through the thick stuff to search for bedding fish, while others opt for working the perimeter of the flooded zone for postspawn bass. READ MORE »