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/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-day-1-patterns-from-the-college-open

Day 1 Patterns from the College Open

The Northwest Missouri State University team of Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almontadi took the day-one lead in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. While their pattern seems to be effectively refined – they were using only one lure and had no others out on the deck – Nordbye and Almontadi don’t have this one sewed up yet. The rest of the top five is just a few pounds behind the leaders. Here’s how they made it into contention going into the final day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-gautney-under-pressure

Gautney Under Pressure

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Guntersville is just as misty and nasty as the first. Lucky for us, the first day of the Mercury-presented event featured huge catches throughout the field. READ MORE »