A good win

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - The confidence exuded by Mike Goodwin throughout the week at Lake Havasu paid off for him Saturday as he won the second EverStart Series Western Division tournament of the year. The local pro from Lake Havasu City weighed in his fourth five-bass limit of the week, totaled 27 pounds, 13 ounces in the final round and won the Pro Division by just 4 ounces. "This is unbelievable, I'm telling you," said Goodwin, who collected $8,500 and a new Ranger boat for the victory. "How much excitement can you handle?" "Excitement" might be the operative word for the Lake Havasu event. In addition to the festive atmosphere on the water provided by the college spring breakers gathered here this week, the bass were in full spawn throughout the tournament and the bite just seemed to get better with each passing day. Goodwin - who led on days one and three, and placed second on day two - never strayed from his game plan Saturday. Every morning he started by sight-fishing a stretch of bank just a mile and a half upriver from the takeoff site at Windsor Beach park. He'd stay there for about a half-hour, then he would move out and roam the lake to fish underwater wood structure that he's found over the years to hold a lot of bass. "I probably know as many trees and logs as anybody on this lake. I don't mean to sound cocky, but I just know the good wood and where the bass relate to the wood," he said. "On several of those key spots, the fish replenished every day. Today, I saw more smallmouths than I have seen in two weeks of practice." Pro Mike Goodwin of Lake Havasu City collected $8,500 and a new Ranger for his victory in the $214,525 EverStart Series Western Division event on Lake Havasu.Goodwin said that he didn't get any reaction bites all week, instead focusing on his trusty combination of a brown jig and purple Uncle Josh pork frog, as well as a Roboworm. Saturday, he culled "three or four" bass en route to his limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces. "The key to my tournament was being pretty versatile," he said. "This lake is all about timing, and I pretty much know when and where I need to go and how much time to spend there. You know, I fished so hard, and I just got the key bites when I needed them." Needless to say, today's close victory was highly rewarding for the 49-year-old contractor, who has one BFL Colorado Division victory and a 1995 All-American appearance under his belt, as well. "This is by far the highlight of my career," he said. "I'm just tickled to death." Pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., landed the heaviest limit of the day - 14 pounds, 8 ounces - finished the final round with a 27-9 total and earned $8,000 for second place in the Pro Division.Ehrler lands sack of the day The tickling sensation that Goodwin felt might also have been attributed to Brent Ehrler, who made a mighty push Saturday that fell just 4 ounces short of victory. In fourth place coming into the day, the pro from Redlands, Calif., landed the heaviest limit of the day - 14 pounds, 8 ounces - finished the final round with a 27-9 total and earned $8,000 for second place in the Pro Division. "Oh man, that's huge. I had no idea I had that much," said Ehrler, whose personal scale broke Saturday. "Man, it was just a fun day." Ehrler is a Western Division force to be reckoned with. He scored three third-place finishes - at lakes Pleasant, Mead and Clear - and won the points title in 2003. Apparently, he can add Lake Havasu to his repertoire of tournament prowess. "Two days ago, these fish just really started pulling up on some beds," he said. Justin Kerr, the 22-year-old rookie pro from Simi Valley, Calif., finished third and collecting $7,000 with a final-round weight of 24 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught a limit Saturday that weighed 11-9.Young Kerr finishes third Justin Kerr, the 22-year-old rookie pro from Simi Valley, Calif., added a solid notch to his fishing resume Saturday by finishing third and collecting $7,000 with a final-round weight of 24 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught a limit Saturday that weighed 11-9. "The first three days, I started by throwing spinnerbaits with the wind. Then I'd switch to tubes and a drop-shot," Kerr said. "Today, I went for sight-fish." Suzow fourth, Strelic fifth Pro John Suzow of Newbury Park, Calif., finished in fourth place by virtue of a tiebreaker and collected $6,000. He also caught a final-round weight of 24 pounds, 13 ounces. "Lake Havasu is a really great lake," he said. "This is a little bit early for the bed fish that I like to fish, so I stayed deep and fished the bass habitat out on the lake. The fish are moving around all over." Jon Strelic of Alpine, Calif., finished fifth in the Pro Division and collected $5,500 for a final-round total of 24 pounds, 2 ounces. "I had a great day," he said. "I pretty much went sight-fishing all week. I ran out of water two days ago, and I just kept searching for more and more." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers in EverStart Western competition at Lake Havasu are Bobby Lanham of Scottsdale, Ariz., with a final-round weight of 23 pounds, 7 ounces (6th place, $5,000); Todd Woods of Murrieta, Calif., with 21-1 (7th, $4,500); Shane Shafer of Ogden, Utah, with 21-0 (8th, $4,000); Art Berry of Ramona, Calif., with 21-0 (9th, $3,500); and Al Robinson of Boulder City, Nev., with 19-13 (10th, $3,000). Coming up The next EverStart Series event is a Central Division contest at Pickwick Lake near Florence, Ala., March 24-27. The next Western Division tournament will be held at Clear Lake near Clearlake, Calif., April 14-17. Link: Caporuscio claims co-angler crown at Havasu

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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