UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Young gun!

Using a catch of 20 pounds, 15 ounces, David Young of Mayfield, Ky., blistered the rest of the pro field, which included many top FLW Tour pros, and walked away with the first EverStart title of his career.

David Young takes tournament title on Kentucky Lake, nets $61,000 in cash and prizes

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. - David Young of Mayfield, Ky., had a lot on his mind heading into the finals. Not only had he lost his son to a car accident eight weeks earlier, but he was also fishing against one of the most difficult EverStart fields in recent memory. However, none of that - not even the terrible weather that dominated the fishing conditions throughout the week - seemed to throw him off his game. Using a catch of 20 pounds, 15 ounces, Young blistered the field, which included many top FLW Tour pros, and walked away with the first EverStart title of his career.

"It's wonderful. This is probably the best victory of my life," said Young, who nearly broke into tears on numerous occasions while accepted his first-place trophy. "I lost my son not too long ago and I dedicated this tournament to him. I've just had a phenomenal four days of fishing."

Although Young was a relative novice compared to the majority of the anglers in the field, the Kentucky native demonstrated a level of fishing savvy that would have made even the most seasoned pros a bit envious. While most of the other anglers were content to fish shallow, Young headed for deeper waters. In short, while the other pros zigged, Young zagged.

"I believe every one of the finalists were fishing shallow," said Young. "But I targeted deeper water. I moved around a lot. I fished main-lake ledges, the bays and the mouths of bays in about 12 to 15 feet with a chartreuse and white DD-22 crankbait. I also backed off my fish over the last few days to save enough good fish for the finals. And that's what won it for me."

According to Young, his confidence really started to grow once he reached the semifinals.

"I really thought after the second day I could win this tournament," he said. "Yesterday, I got my limit and went practicing at about 11 a.m. I found some good spots that helped me in the finals. But honestly, I thought I cut it too close. I wasn't even sure I'd make the (top-10) cut."

Although he did squeak into the finals, Young never looked back from there.

"I had a good day of fishing today, but I lost two or three fish early on that I thought would cost me," he said. "Luckily, everything worked out."

As the owner of a plumbing business, Young said he would love nothing more than to quit and be able to go fishing professionally full-time.

"I had always hoped that one day I could win one of these things and possible put myself in a position to fish full-time," he said. "But I'm going to need to get some sponsors. If it happens, it happens. But if not, I'm just going to enjoy this victory."

Strader comes up short ... again

Wesley Strader just can't seem to get a break when it comes to winning an EverStart tournament. Coming into the Kentucky Lake event, the resident of Spring City, Tenn., boasted seven trips to the EverStart finals, including second-place finishes at Sam Rayburn in 2001 and Guntersville Lake in 2002. However, after today's weigh-in, Strader can add a third runner-up trophy to his mantel.

"Somehow I knew I was going to wind up in second place again," joked Strader, who netted a total catch of 17 pounds, 11 ounces in the finals. "I really wanted to win this time and I had the fish to blow this tournament wide open. But I lost a 4-pounder and two fish over 3 pounds. I should have weighed in over 20 pounds today. But I guess that's how it goes."

Strader, who was fishing a Lake Fork Jig and Trophy Tackle creature bait in shallow water, said that in the end, he didn't have too many complaints.

"I basically came here to practice for the upcoming FLW tournament. And I think I figured a few things out while I was here," said Strader, who took home $10,000 in prize money. "So, overall, I'm pretty happy. Plus, I'm building a new house and I really need the money. I'm just going to look at this like I now have enough money to pay for my new roof."

Powers' co-angler is a little too good

Had it not been for Craig Powers' co-angler partner, Larry Regina, things just might have turned out a little bit differently in today's weigh-in. Although Powers turned in a banner performance, netting a total catch of 17 pounds, his partner had an equally stellar day with a catch of 12 pounds, 9 ounces. But while it was easy to dwell on what might have been, Powers said he was making no excuses.

"I knew going into today that I needed to catch two big fish," said Powers, of Rockwood, Tenn. "The day started off good. But my partner would up having a great day. And when he caught that big fish, right then, I knew I'd be behind the eight ball. But that's just how things work out sometimes. The longer I do this, the more I realize that things happen for a reason."

However, Powers said that he had such a good time on Kentucky Lake that it wasn't too difficult to stay positive.

"I've really had a great week here," he said. "I want to go back fishing right now. In fact, if anyone is interested, come see me over at the blue boat in the parking lot."

Powers won $9,000 for his efforts.

Best of the rest

Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo., finished the day in fourth place after netting a total catch of 16 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I had a great time," said Eakins, who netted an $8,000 payday. "I was just ticked to death to make the top 20."

Keith Lanier of Cabot, Ark., took fifth place with a catch of 16 pounds, 9 ounces. He also left the tournament with a newfound appreciation for co-anglers.

"It's been an awesome week," said Lanier, who won $7,500 in prize money. "My co-anglers were great all four days. Anytime I lost a fish, my co-anglers were always there to pump me up. I had a lot of fun."

Rounding out the top-10 pro finishers were: Jackie Davis (sixth) of Willard, Mo., with a catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces; Gary Paris (seventh) of Emory, Texas, with a catch of 12 pounds, 1 ounce; John Sappington (eighth) of Wyandotte, Okla., with a catch of 11 pounds, 15 ounces; Lendell Martin, Jr., (ninth) of Nacogdoches, Texas, with a catch of 10 pounds, 14 ounces; and Randy Millender (tenth) of Teague, Texas, with a catch of 0 pounds, 0 ounces.

EverStart Central Division action resumes June 25-28 on the Red River in Natchitoches, La.

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »