Berlo in command at All-American

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - BFL All-American anglers had trouble pinpointing exactly what stage of the spawn bass were in on Lake Hamilton Thursday. Some caught them deep, some caught them shallow, and some caught them in between. In that in between category is Shayne Berlo of Vienna, Va., who leads the 2004 All-American with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce - a mere 3 ounces ahead of second place. Berlo skipped docks on Lake Hamilton today and caught nine keepers. "The wind really hurt me today," said Berlo. "I'm skipping a 1/2-ounce jig under docks, and, when the wind blows, it causes little waves on the surface, which makes skipping back under the docks much more difficult." Berlo says he saved a good bit of his water for tomorrow. "I've still got a few areas I haven't fished yet, and, if the wind lays just a little, I should be able to get to them tomorrow," he added. Boater Mark Schafer of Williamstown, N.J., is in second with 11 pounds, 14 ounces.Schafer in second Also fishing a dock pattern is Mark Schafer of Williamstown, N.J., who is in second with five fish weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces. "I'm fishing a stretch of deeper docks that no one else is fishing," said Schafer. "There are a lot of fish in this area; between my partner and I, we probably caught 25 to 30 keepers. I don't want to say what we caught them on just yet, but I think the bait is a big key, too." Lefebre in third Fresh off an FLW Tour win at Old Hickory, Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., holds down third with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces. Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., is in third 11 pounds, 2 ounces.Lefebre represents the shallow end of the spectrum as he is sight-fishing for visible bass with a Kinami Norie's Bug. "I had about 35 beds marked that I found yesterday, and I caught about 10 of those today," said Lefebre. "I've got some fish left, and I still have several places I didn't go to today." Lefebre feels confident he can catch more tomorrow. "I had some that I missed, and I think they will bite again tomorrow," he said. "Plus, I think more fish are moving up. I watched some come in and start scratching out little places in the sand that will probably be beds tomorrow." Wright in fourth On the deep end of things is renowned crankbait expert David Wright of Lexington, N.C. He weighed in five bass for 10 pounds, 10 ounces to take fourth place. Boater David Wright of Lexington, N.C., is in fourth with 10 pounds, 10 ounces."I jumped off a good one today that might haunt me," said Wright. "But that's the way crankbait fishing is: Sometimes they come unbuttoned." Wright is fishing deep-water brush piles with a crankbait and throwing a Texas-rigged Zoom Mag II worm. "There are not a whole a lot of fish offshore," he said. "I only caught eight keepers today. But apparently they're not catching big ones off the bank like I thought they would. So that gives me a little more confidence in what I'm doing." Boater Donald Hinson of Lugoff, S.C., is in fifth with 10 pounds, 9 ounces.Hinson in fifth Donald Hinson of Lugoff, S.C., holds down the fifth spot with 10 pounds, 9 ounces. With just a pound and a half separating the top five places, this race promises to get tighter tomorrow. Rest of the best After day one the top-10 cut is 9 pounds, 6 ounces. Those inside that precarious mark are Tony Wilson of Barbourville, Ky., in sixth with 10 pounds, 6 ounces; Mike Cooper of Branson, Mo., in seventh with 10 pounds, 1 ounce; John Devere of Berea, Ky., in eighth with 9 pounds, 15 ounces; Charles Cummings of Leeds, Ala., in ninth with 9 pounds, 7 ounces; and Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo., in 10th with 9 pounds, 6 ounces. Boatright leads co-anglers Scott Boatright of Sheridan, Ark., leads the Co-angler Division in the 2004 BFL All-American with five fish weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces. Boatright fished with boater Mark Schafer (in second) today and used the same undisclosed dock-fishing technique as Schafer to catch his bass. Scott Boatright of Sheridan, Ark., leads the Co-angler Division of the 2004 BFL All-American with 10 pounds, 6 ounces."I probably caught about 10 keepers," said Boatright. "I feel really good about the technique I'm using, and my partner tomorrow is going to fish the same way Mark was fishing today, so I feel pretty good about it." Unlike the Pro Division, where 3 ounces separates first and second, Boatright enjoys a pound and a half margin over second in the Co-angler Division. The co-anglers fish only one more day, so if Boatright can hold off any hard charges from his competitors tomorrow, he just might take home the $50,000 co-angler top prize. Rest of the best Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Aaron McManaway of Altamont, Ill., in second with 8 pounds, 15 ounces; Bill Schroeder of Jonesville, Mich., in third with 6 pounds, 13 ounces; Bo Price of Seneca, S.C., in fourth place with 5 pounds, 3 ounces; and Brent Sain of Manchester, Tenn., in fifth with 5 pounds even. 2004 BFL All-American action resumes tomorrow at the Fish Hatchery ramp at 7 a.m. CT.

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Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »


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 »


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 »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »