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

Christian blows away Lake Martin EverStart Series competition

Christian wins! Tony Christian holds up two bass that anchored his impressive 19-pound, 11-ounce stringer, which allowed him to sweep the EverStart Series event on Lake Martin.

Bass-fishing world take note: Tony Christian has arrived. Today Christian furthered his reputation as a big-bass expert when he laid a five-bass limit of 19 pounds, 11 ounces on the scales to win the EverStart event on Lake Martin.

Christian has been red hot on the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League circuits, and now he is taking the EverStart Series Eastern Division by storm. In 2002, Christian won five BFL events including the regional on Lake Gaston.

The EverStart rookie finished seventh at Lake Okeechobee in January, and now has claimed his first EverStart title in just his second tournament on the trail.

His secret: an uncanny ability to catch big bass.

Christian won the big-bass honors at Okeechobee with a 9-pound, 7-ounce bass.

At Martin he caught a 6-pound, 6-ounce bass on day one; a 4-pound bass on day two; and a 5-pound, 12-ounce fish on day three. Today, he brought in two Lake Martin giants in the 6-pound class.

Christian is from the small town of Hull, Ga., near Athens. He owns a construction business and started tournament fishing five years ago.

"I was a co-angler just a couple of years ago," said Christian. "I fished the BFL last year, and now I am fishing EverStarts. If things keep going good, I'd like to have a crack at the big boys on the FLW Tour. But I am not going to starve myself to death to do this. If things work out, great."

Christian attributes his success to forcing himself to learn fishing techniques, even ones he does not like. "I work hard at learning every technique," he said. "Even if I don't like it, I'll force myself to do it and catch fish with it, mainly because I want to understand what the fish like about that technique."

At Lake Martin, Christian fished a Rapala Shad Rap (#7) in a perch color and a 3/8-ounce jig teamed with a Zoom Swimming Chunk (black/blue) to catch his fish. The bigger fish came on the jig.

Christian fished in Britt Creek all week. He located some submerged laydowns and trees out in about 6 to 8 feet of water. "This stuff was completely under the water," he explained. "I think most of the shallow stuff up on the bank had been beat to a pulp and these trees were out deeper."

Including his $3,000 Ranger Cup bonus and his Garmin Grand Giveaway incentive, Christian took home $14,000 cash and a certificate for a Ranger Boat.

Local takes second

Wayne Waldrop of Alexander City, Ala., fished Martin's deep water for spotted bass all week to make his way into the finals and finish second with a catch of 12 pounds, 9 ounces.

Waldrop focused on deep water brushpiles and deep drops in 20 to 30 feet of water to catch his chunky spots. He used a Texas-rigged black grape Zoom finesse worm with 1/4-ounces weight on 12-pound-test line.

"I had a good limit by 9 a.m.," he said. "I probably should have tried to catch some big largemouth, but fishing deep for spots is my strength on this lake, so I stuck with it all day. Besides, I really wanted my co-angler to catch some."

Another local takes third

Ted Caldwell of Alexander City, Ala., rose to the occasion and came from 10th to finish third with four fish that weighed 11 pounds, 6 ounces. Caldwell used X-wire spinner baits and Davis jigs all week.

He estimates that he was fishing about 40 to 50 places per day. Most of the places were points, brushpiles and docks. "I would fish the points and docks with the jig and throw the spinner bait around the brush," Caldwell said. "I fished from Pleasure Point all the way down to Kowliga Creek."

Johnny Crase of Lexington, Ky., brought in another bag of spotted bass today that weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces to finish fourth. Crase said he drop-shotted all week on Martin's deeper waters to catch his spots."

David Dudley of Manteo, N.C., finished fifth with 9 pounds, 4 ounces.

Carpenter back on top

Tommy Carpenter of Senoia, Ga., won the Co-angler Division with the day's only co-angler limit of 8 pounds, 2 ounces.

Carpenter lead the event after the first two days, dropped to fourth yesterday and went out on top today. His back-deck secret this week was a green pumpkin Zoom Dead Ringer Texas-rigged with a 3/16-ounce sinker and 8-pound-test line.

Carpenter took home $5,000 for his co-angler win.

Rest of the best

Land O' Lakes co-angler Judy Israel worked a tube and an Awesome crankbait to finish second with 6 pounds, 5 ounces. "This was a satisfying finish because I caught my biggest fish, about a 3-pounder, by flipping, which is a technique I don't prefer to do," she said. "But I am getting better at it."

Bobby Scharber of Pulaski, Tenn., finished third with 5 pounds, 7 ounces.

David Holland of Loganville, Ga., took fourth with 4 pounds, 11 ounces.

Sean Stepp of Dumfries, Va., ended up fifth with 4 pounds, 2 ounces.

A different kind of pain

All anglers know the pain of losing a big fish. But today co-angler Donnie Simms of Talladega, Ala., experienced a different kind of pain - a kidney stone. He had a kidney stone "drop" at about 9 a.m. this morning and was writhing in pain.

Pro Ted Caldwell could not stand to see his co-angler in such agony and called tournament director Chris Jones and told him he was bringing Sims in. Jones arranged to have an observer go back out with Caldwell, and Sims later passed his stone.

Needless to say, Sims did not catch a fish today, but at least he had a good excuse.

Day-four links:

Press release

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 


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 »


Top 10 Patterns from the Ohio River

Here is a closer look at how the rest of the top 10 fished in the Championship, which was hosted by the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Paducah Oct. 28-31. 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 »