UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Hackney holds the line on first place

Day-one leader Greg Hackney of Oak Ridge, La., used a two-day catch of 21 pounds, 14 ounces to maintain the overall lead at the 2002 FLW Championship.

Wendlandt, Elias, Klein, Rojas, Blaukat and Guido Hibdon just some of big names bounced from 2002 FLW Championship

SHREVEPORT, La. - Day-one leader Greg Hackney picked up right where he left off. On the strength of a 6-pound, 1-ounce catch in today's competition, Hackney compiled a two-day total of 21 pounds, 14 ounces to solidify his overall lead at the 2002 FLW Championship and put himself in prime position to make a run at the $260,000 title.

Hackney, a resident of Oak Ridge, La., said he was more than happy with his performance to date.

"I really didn't think I'd still be in the lead after today. I thought I'd still be in the top three, but to be leading after day two is really amazing," said Hackney. "It sure makes me feel pretty good."

However, unlike yesterday's competition, Hackney had to work overtime just to land three keeper fish.

"I had to work really hard for all of my fish today," he said. "Because of the slot limit, I had to throw back four pretty nice fish. I did exactly the same thing as yesterday, but I just wasn't able to catch as many big fish."

However, despite his struggles, Hackney's performance afforded him a nice cushion heading into tomorrow's round of competition as he maintained an overall lead of 3 pounds, 4 ounces over his nearest competitor. But as Hackney is well aware, his overall weight will be meaningless unless he can knock off tomorrow's powerful rival, Brent Chapman.

"Brent Chapman is going to be tough," he said. "I'm just going to approach tomorrow as if the first two days didn't even matter. I have a couple of good spots. And I have a lot of confidence. But I'm going to need some big bites if I want to advance to the finals."

Fisher makes his move

After turning in a fourth-place performance in yesterday's competition, Pat Fisher of Stone Mountain, Ga., said he wanted to turn up the pressure on his opponents during today's action. And that's exactly what happened. Bolstered by another strong outing, Fisher produced a two-day total of 18 pounds, 10 ounces to grab second place overall heading into tomorrow's semifinal round of competition.

"I really tried to get my weight up there today and it pretty much worked out," said Fisher, who has now qualified for the FLW Championship two years in a row despite the fact that he only started fishing the FLW Tour in 2001. "So far, I haven't really felt any pressure and I think that's helped me. I had a pretty good day yesterday and I had a limit by 2 p.m. today. It's been awesome so far."

Fisher, who is targeting largemouth bass near boat docks with a red and black Zoom tube bait, said that he has landed most of his catch in extremely shallow water.

"I caught two of my keepers today in 4 inches of water," he said. "And the rest of my fish were caught in about 1 foot of water. They're very shallow."

Although Fisher is fishing as well as anyone in the tournament, he said that he had a bad feeling heading into the championship.

"I felt horrible coming in here. I had a terrible practice and I really couldn't figure anything out," he said. "But the first day of the tournament, I finally figured out what the fish were doing. Of course with a slot limit in place there is a lot of luck involved. But I'm really feeling confident right now."

In fact, Fisher is only afraid of one thing during tomorrow's competition.

"The only thing that worries me is that I'm fishing against Alton Jones," he said.

Bracket of death

Perhaps the biggest hard-luck story of the entire tournament falls to Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn. Despite landing 15 pounds of fish over the first two days of the tournament, Powers is going home solely because he was pitted against Alton Jones, who turned in an impressive two-day catch of 16 pounds, 9 ounces. Despite the fact that Powers had more weight than 19 of the 24 anglers who advanced to the next round, Powers couldn't produce enough weight to knock off Jones.

However, the news was not all that great for Jones either. Due to the quirky nature of the head-to-head bracket format, Jones' next opponent is Fisher - the angler with the second most weight in the tournament to date.

Bracket of death II

However, if the Jones/Powers/Fisher matchups were tough, consider Brent Chapman's bracket. Not only did he have to knock off Wesley Strader, one of the hottest pros on the FLW Tour this year, but now he's faced with the prospect of battling Hackney, the tournament's overall leader, in a head-to-head matchup tomorrow. That's the thanks he gets for turning in the third-largest two-day stringer of the entire tournament.

"Tomorrow is definitely going to be one of the biggest days of the tournament," he said. "And as luck would have it, I have to fish against Greg tomorrow. And he's definitely not going to make it easy for me."

However, after landing a combined weight of 17 pounds, 5 ounces over the first two days, Chapman said he is happy to have made it this far.

"This is one tough lake and one tough slot limit," said the resident of Shawnee, Kansas. "So I'm tickled to death just to be here. It's gone well so far, but if I want to advance, I'm definitely going to have to have another great day."

Notable departures

Although a few big names were expected to be upset during today's competition, the list of household names who didn't advance was a bit longer than expected. Heading that list was third-seeded Dean Rojas, who only managed one 14-ounce fish in today's competition. Rojas' defeat was only slightly more surprising than Clark Wendlandt's early exit. Wendlandt, seeded fourth overall, failed to land a keeper fish in today's competition. Other big names who failed to advance included Gary Klein, Paul Elias, Guido Hibdon, David Dudley and Randy Blaukat.

Rebounds and close calls

Although Kevin VanDam turned in a sub-par performance in yesterday's competition, the world's top pro overcame a 2-ounce deficit to turn in an impressive two-day total of 14 pounds, 14 ounces to knock off Marty Stone. Aaron Martens also stepped it up a notch during today's competition, turning in an 11-pound, 12-ounce performance to easily defeat Rob Kilby. Mike Wurm used a dominating 12-pound, 6-ounce catch to turn things around and defeat Randy Blaukat in the process. Going into today's competition, Wurm had only managed a 2-pound, 6-ounce stringer.

Larry Nixon led the pack in the "close-call" department. Although he failed to record one keeper fish in today's competition, his opponent, Tom Mann Jr., failed even to show up at the weigh-in podium. Consequently, Nixon advanced with a slim two-day total of 5 pounds, 14 ounces.

2002 FLW Angler of the Year Jay Yelas also had a little help from his opponent. Despite only managing a two-day total of 6 pounds, 11 ounces, Yelas was able to advance when Harmon Davis turned in a two-day performance of 2 pounds, 14 ounces.

Strand makes a giant stand in Co-angler Division

With the majority of the field struggling throughout the first two days of competition, day-one leader Danny Strand of Champaign, Ill., made it look easy once again. On the strength of a two-day weight of 13 pounds, 5 ounces, Strand easily maintained his overall lead in the Co-angler Division.

Alex Ormand of Bessemer City took over second place in the overall standings with a two-day catch of 10 pounds, 5 ounces.

Languishing in 23rd place after the first day of competition, Frank Divis, Sr., of Fayetteville, Ark., made one of the biggest moves in the entire tournament when he produced a 7-pound, 4-ounce largemouth bass during today's weigh-in. Although he only caught one fish during today's competition, it was enough total weight - 8 pounds, 7 ounces - to grab third place overall in the Co-angler Division.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Jim Blake (fourth) of Lincoln, Neb., with a total catch of 6 pounds, 9 ounces; and Charlie Cawthon (fifth) of Rome, Ga., with a total catch of 6 pounds, 1 ounces.

Friday's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at the American Legion, located at 5315 Southlake Shore Drive in Shreveport.

Related links:

Photos
FLW Championship bracket
Results
Results of day-two pairings
Day-three pairings
Cross Lake Connection: FLW Tour Championship, day two
Press release

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2002-09-11-championship 

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »