UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Old Hickory Lake

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/2015-08-31-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 »