Pack-man fever

FLORENCE, Ala. - As expected, the EverStart finals in the Pro Division came down to two FLW heavyweights. With Mark Pack of Mineola, Texas, and 2003 FLW Tour Angler of the Year Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., battling it out on a daily basis, bass-fishing enthusiasts knew they were in for a treat heading into the final weigh-in. However, in the end, Pack outgunned and outfished Morehead - pulling away on the final day of competition by nearly 10 pounds to grab first place on Pickwick Lake. Although the finals ultimately proved to be somewhat anticlimactic, that was just fine with Pack. "It feels good to finally win one," said Pack, who owned multiple top-10 performances over the years in the EverStart Series, but had never won a title until today. "I knew it'd come sooner or later." Not only did it come sooner, but it came a lot easier than expected. Heading into the finals, Pack held a precarious 3-pound, 15-ounce lead over Morehead. However, although there were some early morning jitters, Pack managed to calm his nerves and return with a triumphant 15-pound, 15-ounce stringer in the finals, bringing his two-day total to an unassailable 32 pounds, 13 ounces. Pack ultimately won $10,000 in cash and a new, fully rigged Ranger boat valued at approximately $40,000. Mark Pack of Mineola, Texas, used a total catch of 32 pounds, 13 ounces to win the EverStart tournament title on Pickwick Lake."I knew (Morehead) was going to need about 20 pounds to beat me, and I knew it was probably going to be tough for him to do," said Pack. "I struggled a little bit at the beginning of the day. I caught one fish about 8:30 a.m. and then I didn't catch another fish for a while. But I stayed relaxed and focused because I knew a lot of my fish turned on between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. And that's pretty much what happened. My area also gave me a lot of confidence. It was a big (half-mile) area that had everything you need to catch fish this time of year. My guiding experience also helped me a lot today." Pack said that he really didn't deviate from his primary bait of choice all week - a Lake Fork Tackle Creature bait. "I used a Carolina rig in about 3 to 8 feet of water," said Pack, who led the tournament for three straight days. "I targeted scattered shells and mussel beds. The funny thing is that I found this area very late on the last day of practice. But the key for me was making really long casts. These smallmouth bass got real spooky if you got too close." In the end, Pack successfully kept his distance from his smallmouth bass. But more importantly, he kept his distance from the rest of the pro field when it mattered most. Morehead nets second place Although his two-day catch of 23 pounds, 9 ounces came up short, Morehead still managed to be more than happy with his performance this week. "I really can't complain. It's been a good tournament. I'm happy with what I did," said Morehead. "(Pack) had a solid pattern and he was on fish all week. I really didn't have a pattern. My motto was, `Just keep (the bait) wet.'" Pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., used a two-day catch of 23 pounds, 9 ounces to finish the Pickwick Lake event in second place.Morehead, who took home a check for $10,000, said he flipped a small-profile FLW jig tipped with a crawdad trailer all week. "I'm so tired of flipping a jig right now," Morehead joked. "That's what I did all four days. Like I said, I didn't have a pattern. I stayed pretty close by on Wilson Lake, targeting boat docks and the back bays. I probably didn't burn 15 gallons of gas all week." While Morehead acknowledged that he struggled in the first two FLW tournaments of the year, his last two EverStarts - a 23rd-place finish at Sam Rayburn and a second-place finish at Pickwick - have given him some added confidence heading into the Wal-Mart Open scheduled for next week. "I'm happy with my finish," said Pack. "It's great timing too. Now I feel like I'm back." Consider the rest of the FLW Tour field forewarned. Sisk snares third place Using a two-day catch of 16 pounds, 3 ounces, pro Larry Sisk of Evansville, Ind., grabbed third place overall as well as a check for $9,000.Using a two-day catch of 16 pounds, 3 ounces, Larry Sisk of Evansville, Ind., grabbed third place overall as well as a check for $9,000. "I wasn't sure what was going on today," said Sisk, on his difficulty of landing a huge stringer in the finals. "I'm just an old junk fisherman from the Ohio River. Overall though, I had a good tournament." Best of the rest Joe Bennett of Independence, Mo., took advantage of a two-day catch of 14 pounds, 12 ounces to grab fourth place overall. However, Bennett admitted that the rising water levels really hurt his chances of making a significant move in the finals. "They raised Wheeler Lake about a foot today," said Bennett, who ultimately took home a check for $8,000. "All of my stumps were underwater and I couldn't see any of them. It just didn't work out today." Fifth place at the Pickwick Lake event belonged to Dewey Allen of Connersville, Ind. Allen, who recorded a catch of 11 pounds, 13 ounces, won $7,500 for his efforts.Fifth place belonged to Dewey Allen of Connersville, Ind. Allen, who recorded a catch of 11 pounds, 13 ounces, won $7,500 for his efforts. Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers were Mark Richards (sixth) of Houston with a catch of 9 pounds, 3 ounces; Dick Shaffer (seventh) of Rockford, Ohio, with a catch of 8 pounds, 12 ounces; Allen Powell (eighth) of Clarksdale, Miss., with a catch of 8 pounds, 12 ounces; Rusty Smith (ninth) of Somerset, Ky., with a catch of 8 pounds, 12 ounces; and Robert Robinson (10th) of Mobile, Ala., with a catch of 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Tie-breakers were settled by angler results over the first two days of the tournament. EverStart action continues April 28-May 1 on the Red River at Natchitoches, La.

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/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 »

/news/2015-03-20-college-open-day-1-midday-update

College Open Day 1 Midday Update

“You should have been here yesterday” might have been the motto for the first day of fishing in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. Though many of the 194 teams entered in the two-day event out of Moor’s Resort & Marina reported good to excellent practices, many of the same anglers were complaining about a lack of fish on opening morning of the competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-gautney-cranks-up-the-lead

Gautney Cranks Up The Lead

Gautney says he keyed on staging fish in several very specific locations and one specific depth. He and co-angler Antoni Bicy caught 59 pounds, 8 ounces off of his spots, and he seems confident about his ability to keep catching them the rest of the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Guntersville was a welcome departure from the grumblings of practice. Though fans weren’t treated to multiple 30-pound limits on the pro side, like at the Walmart Bass Fishing League event at Guntersville a couple of weekends ago, it still took more than 25 pounds to get into the top five on day one of this Mercury-presented tournament. READ MORE »