Major payday for Hayes

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The last few minutes of the 2004 BFL All-American were some of the tensest moments in the championship's 20-year history. No one in the weigh-in crowd at the Summit Arena was quite prepared for the ounce-by-ounce battle that ensued between the top four anglers during the last 10 minutes. When the nail-biting king-of-the-hill style weigh-in was finally over, the crowd exhaled as Allen Hayes of Moody, Ala., claimed the $100,000 check for winning by a mere 2 ounces. Hayes started the day in third place, 3 pounds, 6 ounces off the lead, knowing that his chances of making up ground on Lake Hamilton were slim. Still, he mounted a charge with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces to take over the lead from Dave Lefebre by just a bass tail with a three-day total of 31 pounds even. Allen Hayes of Moody, Ala., claimed the $100,000 check, handed to him by Ranger Boats founder Forrest L. Wood, for winning by a mere 2 ounces."I just can't believe it," said Hayes after accepting his $100,000 check from legendary Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood. "I had no idea that I even had a shot until about three minutes ago." Hayes worked a combination of patterns during the week that included Carolina rigs, jerkbaits, top-waters and spinnerbaits. But it was the spinnerbait bite that delivered the win. Yesterday, Hayes discovered that Lake Hamilton's bigger fish seemed to have an appetite for a spinnerbait when he weighed in an impressive 12 pounds, 3 ounces. "I wasn't getting near as many bites on the spinnerbait as I was with other baits, but they were definitely bigger fish," he said. "I started today Carolina rigging and I finally said to myself, `If I'm going to win this thing, I need to stay with the spinnerbait.'" "I only had six bites, but they were probably a little better than I would have caught if I had kept on rigging," he added. And he needed every ounce of "little better" that he could get. Hayes fished a 1/2-ounce X-Wire spinnerbait shallow to catch three bass early. Then he went to his Carolina rig spot and slow-rolled a 5/8-ounce firetiger colored spinnerbait in 10 to 12 feet of water to finish his limit. Hayes fished close to the takeoff at the Hatchery ramp in the back of a spawning bay in White Oak Creek. His primary ledge, a 10-foot drop leading into the bay, produced the better fish. "I'm still speechless," said the 44-year-old corporate account manager for a beverage company. "In terms of fishing the big leagues on the FLW Tour, I'm going to have to talk that over with my wife and my boss to see what I'm going to do." Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., finished by second by just 2 ounces.Lefebre sight-fishes for second Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., finished second with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. He sight-fished most of the week with a Kinami Norie's Bug and Zoom 4-inch lizard. "In the mornings, before the sun got up, I'd blind-cast a Kinami Flash and Zoom Fluke to beds," he said. "I caught a few that way, but I caught most of the fish off the bed." In an extreme effort to get finicky Lake Hamilton bass to bite, Lefebre backed down to 6-pound-test Triple Fish fluorocarbon when sight-fishing. "To miss winning by 2 ounces kind of hurts because I passed up several pound-and-a-half fish today that would have culled me up a few ounces," he said. "I was convinced I was going to need a big one to win, and I kept hunting her instead of just fishing for ones I could catch. I just had no idea it was going to be this close." Mark Schafer of Williamstown, N.J., finished third by just 4 ouncesSchafer settles for third Finishing just 2 ounces behind Lefebre was Mark Schafer of Williamstown, N.J., with a three-day total of 30 pounds, 12 ounces. For Schafer, it was an up and down week. On day one he had an 8-ounce penalty for a dead fish. But on day two he took a commanding lead by 2 pounds, 5 ounces. Today he brought in just 5 pounds, 14 ounces and missed winning by 5 ounces. "I had a great week," he said. "But now I can't stop thinking about that 8-ounce penalty the first day and a 2-pounder that I lost today." Schafer spent the week fishing a watermelon Zoom Trick Worm rigged wacky style. He fished the worm around docks and piers. "The wooden docks were better, especially where the catwalk met the actual dock," he added. John Devere of Berea, Ky., finished fourth.Devere finishes fourth The last man to take a shot at Hayes at the final weigh-in was John Devere of Berea, Ky. Devere had weighed in four bass and needed just one more keeper to take the $100,000 from Hayes. But when Devere returned to his boat to get his fifth keeper, he didn't have one. He ended up fourth with a three-day total of 30 pounds, 7 ounces, just 9 ounces short of victory. "I lost the same 3-pounder twice today" said a heartbroken Devere. "It was on bed and I had it on once, lost it, came back about an hour later, had it on again, and it came off." Devere cast a 3/8-ounce brown jig on 12-pound-test line around brush piles in front of docks and flipped a 1/2-ounce black and blue jig to the docks themselves. He used the two-jig combination all week in the upriver portion of Lake Hamilton. Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo., finished fifth.Endicott ends up in fifth Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo., spent the first two days of the All-American mired in the 10th-place spot. But today he charged up through the field with a 10-pound, 4-ounce catch to claim fifth place with a three-day total of 28 pounds, 5 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 in the 2004 BFL All-American on Lake Hamilton were Dennis Berhorst of Holt Summit, Mo., with a three-day total of 26 pounds, 11 ounces (6th); Charles Cummings of Leeds, Ala., with a three-day total of 26 pounds, 10 ounces (7th); Donald Hinson of Lugoff, S.C., with a three-day total of 26 pounds, 7 ounces(8th); Miles Johnson of Beaver Creek, Ohio, with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 3 ounces (9th); and David Gnewikow of Antioch, Tenn., with a three-day total of 22 pounds, 9 ounces (10th).

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-05-26-top-10-patterns-from-lake-seminole

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Seminole

Clint Brown won the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole by targeting late spawners and obscure stretches of bank that received little pressure during the week. Here is a look at how the rest of the top 10 competitors fared. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-seminole-summer

Seminole Summer

Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division. Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-18-top-10-patterns-from-lake-eufaula

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Eufaula

Bryan Thrift won the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula by keying on isolated pieces of cover – brush piles, stumps, logs, rocks, etc. – for four days and hitting as many spots as possible during competition hours. Others in the top 10 fished a very similar program, but there were a few wild cards. Here’s the rundown of Eufaula’s top finishers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »