UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Clouse takes it to the house

PEORIA, Ariz. - Marcus Clouse knew it was going to be a good day of fishing the second he stepped outside this overcast Saturday morning. "When I woke up this morning and saw that the clouds were out, I said, `This is it. This is going to be my day,'" he said. Indeed it was. The 30-year-old general contractor from Henderson, Nev., capitalized on an unusually fruitful fishing hole to win the Pro Division of the EverStart Series Western Division season opener at Arizona's Lake Pleasant. Clouse caught the second-heaviest limit of the entire tournament in the finals - 12 pounds, 1 ounce - and walked away with $9,000 and a new Ranger boat for the victory. "I'm excited," he said. "I'm just glad it's over. And I'm glad the clouds came out." For Clouse, it was all about the cloud cover this week - and an absolute honey hole he stumbled upon in practice. In four days of pre-fishing before the event, he caught just one bass. Not really knowing what to do when the tournament started, he returned to the spot on the north end of Lake Pleasant where he caught his one fish and found that it held a whole lot more. "When I got out there the first day, I caught my limit in a half an hour," he said. "I must have shaken off 30 fish that day." Weather conditions in the finals were very similar to what they were on day one: cloudy and cool. After placing second in the opening round and slogging through some sunshine Friday to make the final cut, Clouse opened the window Saturday morning, saw the gray skies and smelled the green. Marcus Clouse of Henderson, Nev., capitalized on an unusually fruitful fishing hole to win the Pro Division of the EverStart Series Western Division season opener at Arizona's Lake Pleasant."I was fishing in about a 10-foot circle along a bluff at about 50 feet deep," he said. "Today, I actually found out how many fish are there. Between my partner (co-angler Gary Collins) and me, we probably caught 60 fish today. Oh my God, it was a phenomenal day." Clouse said the cloud cover prompted the bass in his little hole to come to the surface to feed. For about a half-hour stretch, he and Collins feasted on the frenzy. Clouse caught the bulk of his winning fish on a drop-shot armed with blue-magic- and bold-bluegill-colored RPM minnows, but he also landed several on a spinnerbait, which has been rarely used by anglers at Pleasant throughout the week. He had his limit by 9:30 a.m. After culling his five fish out to 12 pounds, 1 ounce, Clouse pushed his two-day, final-round total to 19-7, jumping up from fourth place Friday to victory Saturday. "I can't even explain it," he said. "I don't know what to say. This was really a lot of fun." Berry second again Last year, Art Berry of Ramona, Calif., led the first three days of the EverStart Lake Pleasant tournament only to be edged out of first place in the final round by Brett Hite of Phoenix. This year, Berry repeated as runner-up at Pleasant with a final-round weight total of 14 pounds, 7 ounces. He collected $8,500 for second place. He also officially caught the biggest bass of the tournament with a 4-pound, 11-ounce largemouth on day one. Pro Art Berry of Ramona, Calif., repeated as runner-up at Lake Pleasant with a final-round weight total of 14 pounds, 7 ounces. He collected $8,500."I'm telling you, things like this are what make you better," said Berry, who caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 7 pounds using a slow-action drop-shot in shallow water along a road bed. "Last year, it felt a whole lot worse because it was so close. (He lost to Hite by 7 ounces.) This year I feel good about it because I caught 7 pounds of fish every day and I caught my limit the last three days. I made no mistakes and I executed well. I just never had an opportunity to win. I went out and fished as hard as I could, and that's all you can do." Berry, while still yearning for a win, is drooling over the next three tournament sites in the Western Division: Lake Havasu, Clear Lake and the California Delta. "My goal right now is to win Angler of the Year," he said. "Those three lakes are my home lakes. I've already won some tournaments on those lakes, so I'm very excited about having the next three tournaments there." Pro Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., weighs in one of his smaller bass as Marcus Clouse looks on. Lyon finished with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 4 ounces and fell to third place, worth $7,500.Lyon tamed, finishes third While he held a slight lead heading into the finals and managed to land 12 bass out of his "bait ball" hole Saturday, pro Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., literally came up short. Only three of his fish were keepers and they weighed in at a light 3 pounds, 15 ounces. He finished with a two-day total of 12-4 and fell to third place, worth $7,500. "Actually, I've had a wonderful week here," he said. "Every time I come here, I catch a lot of fish. There's something magical about this state." Bennett fourth, Folkestad fifth Nineteen-year-old pro Michael Bennett of Roseville, Calif., who at age 17 two years ago was the youngest angler ever to compete in the BFL All-American, climbed up to a fourth-place finish after a ninth-place performance Friday. He caught a limit weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday, pushing his final-round total to 11-10 and earning him $6,500. "I had a great week," he said at weigh-in. "Yesterday, unfortunately, I only caught three fish, so that's going to hurt me." Western pro standout Mike Folkestad of Yorba Linda, Calif., also managed to catch a limit Saturday - worth 6 pounds, 10 ounces - but he, too, was hurt by a light sack Friday. He finished the week in fifth place with a two-day total of 11 pounds, 2 ounces and collected $6,000. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers in EverStart Western competition at Lake Pleasant are Don Payne of Modesto, Calif., with a final-round weight of 10 pounds, 15 ounces (6th place, $5,450); Kevin Martin of El Cajon, Calif., with 10-4 (7th, $4,800); Dub LaShot of Walterville, Ore., with 8-10 (8th, $4,300); Derek Yamamoto of Mesa, Ariz., with 6-8 (9th, $3,700); and Mike Bush of West Hills, Calif., with 6-3 (10th, $3,200). Coming up The next EverStart Series event is a Central Division contest at Sam Rayburn Reservoir near Jasper, Texas, Feb. 25-28. The next Western Division tournament will be held at Lake Havasu near Lake Havasu City, Ariz., March 17-20.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/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 »

/news/2015-08-22-forrest-wood-cup-day-3-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-21-ramie-races-into-the-lead

Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-21-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-21-forrest-wood-cup-day-2-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-20-wheeler-hunting-history

Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-forrest-wood-cup-day-1-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-17-elkins-looked-deep-on-erie

Elkins Looked Deep on Erie

Matt Elkins of Spencerville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. For his victory, Elkins earned $5,337. READ MORE »