UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Old Hickory stick

Kellogg’s pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., collected $100,000 cash Saturday as winner of the four-day, $500,000 Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Old Hickory Lake.

GALLATIN, Tenn. - It was certainly no surprise that Dave Lefebre won $100,000 on the final day of Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition at Old Hickory Lake. What was extraordinary was how he ran away with it over the last two days. The 33-year-old pro from Erie, Pa., caught another five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday and won his first FLW Pro Division title with a final-round total weight of 27-7. To put his win in perspective, second-place Dion Hibdon caught almost 9 pounds fewer than Lefebre in the overall finals. It was one of the biggest margins of victory seen on the FLW Tour. "The key is confidence and just being in control of what I'm doing," the champion said. "I just feel so good here; it's similar to stuff I fish back home. I can't explain it; it's just prespawn fish and shallow fish, which is what I like." Old Hickory was tough on a lot of anglers this week; not a single pro or co-angler out of the 400 competitors who entered the tournament was able to catch a limit all four days. Lefebre came the closest, catching three days worth of limits and coming in one day, day two, with four bass. He caught the limits when it counted, however, on the final two days, and that's all that mattered. "This is so unbelievable," he said. "You can't put it into words. I was talking to Ray Scheide (pro winner at FLW Lake Okeechobee in January) to see what it felt like to win one of these things, and he said you just can't explain it. He was right." Dave Lefebre caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces despite facing tough conditions on the Tennessee fishery.With words or without, it was Lefebre's flipping stick and his crankbait that did all the talking this week. He all but turned the outcome of this event into a foregone conclusion Friday when he crankbaited his way into the only limit of the day and leapt in front of the field by more than 6 pounds. While he again landed one of just two limits caught by the pros Saturday - Hibdon caught the other one - Lefebre said it was a challenging day despite his huge lead. "That's one bite at this place," he said about his 6-pound lead heading into Saturday. "I had a horrible day today, too. I lost a 5-pounder and one that was probably 3 1/2 pounds. I lost a ton of fish, probably close to 15 of them. I missed four fish in a row on one crankbait." To lose that many bass on the last day and still win is a testament to Lefebre's fruitful fishing spot as well as his pattern. Fishing a creek about 15 miles upriver from Bull Creek Ramp, he flipped "a little bit" Saturday, but mainly threw his crankbait in shallow water. Frustrated after breaking off so many fish, he upsized the treble hook on the back of his crankbait and was able to get a few bass into the boat and scratch out his limit. "People label me as a jig-fisherman, but I like to do it all," he said. "But I am really nervous about catching them on treble hooks in a tournament. The weird thing was the area that I ended up winning the tournament in was not the creek that I thought I'd do well in." And Lefebre, if anyone, seems to know how to excel at fickle Old Hickory Lake. This was just his second time fishing on the Tennessee lake, and both visits met with undeniable success. His first trip here was last October at the EverStart Series Championship, a tournament where he finished in third place. Dave Lefebre celebrates with his wife, Anne, and their son, Mitchell."I feel like I can almost call my shots where I'm going to get bit," he said. "It's like I've been fishing here all my life." One of the hottest pros on the FLW Tour at the moment, Lefebre had three top-five finishes coming into Old Hickory this week. Coming out of the EverStart Northern Division, he only started fishing FLWs last year and made a big splash when he finished third in just his second event. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could win," he said. "I just really had a lot of confidence at this lake. It's great to win. I mean, some of the best fishermen in the world fish their whole careers and haven't won one of these tournaments. (My wife and I) are still new at this, and we've got a long road ahead of us." Dion Hibdon caught a total of 18 pounds, 8 ounces in the finals and finished in second place.Hibdon tops rest While he didn't win, Hibdon took solace in leading the other nine pros who seemed to be fishing a different lake than Lefebre in the finals. Hibdon's second-place finish earned him $35,000 and will help him gain points toward the year-end championship in Birmingham, Ala. "I needed this," said Hibdon, who caught a total of 18 pounds, 8 ounces in the finals using mainly a crankbait and a Gambler jig. "I've been to Birmingham before and won a championship once. I'd like to get back there." Shimizu claims second big Japanese win of the week Morizo Shimizu of Osaka, Japan, caught three nice bass weighing a total of 13 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday and vaulted into a $20,000, third-place finish with a final-round total of 15-12. Fishing in roughly the same creeks as Lefebre and Rick Clunn, he threw a blue-and-chartreuse Modo Wild Hunch crankbait in shallow water to hook into his big, prespawning bass. "My area had many big fish," he said. "The water warmed up and we had a very good wind. Yes, I'm happy." Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La.,  made another rebound of sorts Saturday with his four-bass catch weighing 11 pounds 1 ounce. He finished in fourth place with a final-round total of 12-14.Hackney bounces back again Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La. - who won the Energizer Keeps On Going award for his 26-pound, 116-place comeback on day two - made another rebound of sorts Saturday with his four-bass catch weighing 11 pounds 1 ounce. He started the day in 10th place after a 1-13 performance Friday but finished in fourth place with a final-round total of 12-14 and collected $16,000 "Going out this morning in 10th was actually a good position," he said. "You know, I'm laid back. From there, you don't have anywhere to go but up." Veenstra fifth Day-one leader Marcel Veenstra of Brighton, Mich., finished in fifth place and collected $14,000 with a final weight of 11 pounds, 1 ounce. Veenstra tipped his cap to Lefebre, whom he has battled before. In 2002, he edged out Lefebre for the EverStart Northern Division points title in the last tournament of the year. "That's the way it goes," Veenstra said. "He puts a lot of effort into it and he deserves it." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at FLW Old Hickory Lake are Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo., with a final-round total weight of 10 pounds, 14 ounces (6th place, $11,000); Mickey Bruce of Buford, Ga., with 10-4 (7th, $10,000); John Murray of Phoenix with 10-0 (8th, $9,000); Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., with 8-14 (9th, $8,000); and Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., with 8-7 (10th, $7,000). With the win, Lefebre moved up into a tie for third place in the yearly standings with 536 points. Browne nearly took the lead with 559 points after his third good tournament of the year, but he sits in second place behind Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas, who clings to first place in the standings with 560 points. The fourth FLW Tour stop of the season is the Wal-Mart Open scheduled for Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., March 31-April 3.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-clothing-and-sunglasses-at-icast-2015

New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-three-new-finesse-worms

Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »