UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

No Swett

Sam Swett of Covington, La., edged out La Crosse, Wisconsin’s Tom Monsoor by 10 ounces Saturday to win the Pro Division of the second stop of the 2004 Wal-Mart FLW Tour at the Atchafalaya Basin.

MORGAN CITY, La. - It came down to the very last bass. The players: hometown favorite Sam Swett versus Wisconsin dominator Tom Monsoor. The stakes: $100,000 and the pride of Louisiana anglers everywhere. The outcome: With his last fish, Swett clinched a close victory and brought the trophy home on the bayou. Needless to say, the capacity crowd approved. Swett, who hails from Covington, La., edged out La Crosse, Wisconsin's Tom Monsoor by 10 ounces Saturday to win the Pro Division of the second stop of the 2004 Wal-Mart FLW Tour at the Atchafalaya Basin. "I love you, Louisiana," Swett told the packed house at weigh-in. "I'm proud to call you home." A good bet is that he was happy to be fishing near home, too, this week. While Swett admitted that he has only fished the basin twice in his career, he took advantage of the tidal water throughout the week. All four days, he made a long run down toward the Gulf of Mexico to a little unnamed area of natural bayous near the Intracoastal Waterway and worked an area where the tide - and the week's dismal weather - was crucial. "The saltwater doesn't intimidate me," he said. "It tends to push the bass up against the bank when the tide comes in. I knew that the northwest wind could blow that clear water off the bayou, and I had to worry about the muddy water coming in. The key for me was clear water and patience." Sam Swett caught 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces in the final round of competition on the Atchafalaya Basin.Given a week's worth of fishing under cold, rainy, muddy-water conditions, patience was indeed a virtue at Atchafalaya. Swett didn't catch them fast Saturday, nor did he catch very many. But, by calmly working his 1/2-ounce white spinnerbait with gold and silver Colorado blades through the cleanest, tide-driven water he could find, he landed a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces. His two-day, final-round total of 23 pounds, 9 ounces beat Monsoor's final tally of 22-15. "I just went searching for what I needed to do," Swett said. "Today, it was do-or-die for me. You just don't have time to second-guess your decisions." There was definitely no second-guessing anything for Swett Saturday. Having fished the tour since 2001, the Team Fujifilm pro's $100,000 victory was his first FLW win, and it came in just his first visit to the top-10 final round. "It hasn't hit me yet," he said. "It was definitely special to win in front of the hometown crowd with all my friends and family here." Tom Monsoor weighs in his fifth fish and briefly takes the lead. He finished second with a final-round weight of 22-15 and collected $37,000.Bayou voodoo derails Monsoor Monsoor, who crushed the field in the opening round with a weight over 32 pounds, had been hooking up - and landing - the moneymaking bass all week. His luck changed Saturday, however, when it counted most. "I lost five of them," he said. "And they were all good ones, too. Any one of them would have won it. I haven't lost a fish in three weeks." Despite the lost fish, Monsoor still cobbled together a limit weighing 10 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday. His final weight of 22-15 earned him $37,000 for second place. Monsoor is a standout pro from the North with a long, successful track record in the BFL Great Lakes Division. He's also a heavyweight in the EverStart Series Northern Division, with a number of top-10s and a victory to his name. Last year, when he moved up to fish the FLW full time, his impact was felt almost immediately when he finished third at Kentucky Lake. While he was happy enough to finish in the runner-up spot at this week's tough-fishing tournament, he wondered if maybe he fell prey to a little Louisiana destiny. "Maybe it was meant to be for Sam to win, but I should have won it," he said with a nod to his lost fish. "My day is coming. I've never fished a circuit where I haven't won a tournament. Three, two, one (a reference to the possible progression of his FLW top-10 finishes): That's my motto now." Bird's biggest bag Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, found some fish again Saturday and caught the biggest sack of the day, a limit weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces. But his 5-7 weight from Friday meant he would only rise to finish in third place with a two-day weight of 18-12. He collected $25,000. "The day started out with that really good (bass) and I thought, `Here we go,'" he said. "But I only caught five keepers." Baumgardner drops to fourth Day-three leader Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., couldn't capitalize on his slight head start in the first half of the final round. He caught just two bass weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday and ended with a two-day total of 17-9. He collected $20,000 for fourth place. "I don't know what it was," he said. "The current slowed down and the water got cold. I just couldn't get them to bite." Steve Tosh of Waterford, Calif., combined for a two-day total of 16-2 and ended up in fifth place.Tosh fifth Steve Tosh of Waterford, Calif., a newcomer to the FLW Tour, had the best finish of his career at Atchafalaya. He caught three bass weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday, combined for a two-day total of 16-2 and ended up in fifth place. He collected $18,000. "I'll tell you what, I've had the best time of my life. This is it. It doesn't get any better than this," he said. Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas, fishes during the finals of the FLW Tour event at the Atchafalaya Basin. After the tournament, Rojas was ranked No. 1 overall among pros on the tour based on points standings.Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at FLW Atchafalaya Basin are Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas, with a final-round total weight of 11 pounds, 2 ounces (6th place, $17,000); Randy Blaukat of Lamar, Mo., with a weight of 9-9 (7th, $16,000); Mike Surman of Boca Raton, Fla., with a weight of 9-2 (8th, $15,000); Bill McDonald of Indianapolis with a weight of 4-0 (9th, $14,000); and Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., with a weight of 1-11 (10th, $13,000). With two top-10 finishes in the first two tournaments of the season, Rojas has also taken the lead in the FLW standings by a narrow two points over Osaka, Japan's Shinichi Fukae. The third FLW Tour stop of the season is scheduled for Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn., March 10-13.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/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-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 »

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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 »