Rook wins by tiebreaker!

NATCHITOCHES, La. - No one could have scripted a better ending to the stormy EverStart Series Central Division event on the Red River. Neither the rain-soaked anglers nor the umbrella-donned fans at the final weigh-in were anticipating the tournament drama that ensued between pros Scott Rook of Little Rock, Ark., and Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky. In the final moments of the king-of-the-hill style weigh-in, EverStart Tournament Director Chris Jones announced that Morehead's final bass needed to be 3 pounds, 5 ounces to take the lead from Rook. Indeed, Morehead's bass weighed exactly 3 pounds, 5 ounces and, for a moment, it looked as if Morehead was the winner. A dejected Rook, who had lost a national tournament to Morehead years ago by ounces, conceded to Morehead, again, and congratulated him. A second later, Jones realized that Morehead needed 3 pounds, 5 ounces just to tie Rook, not beat him. Morehead really needed 3 pounds, 6 ounces to actually beat Rook. Rook was on the phone with his wife telling her of his 'defeat' when Morehead informed him that he had actually won.Unbeknownst to Rook, who had ducked off the stage to phone his wife and tell her the bad news, the Red River EverStart title was tied up. According to EverStart Series rules, final round ties are broken by how anglers qualified for the finals - in essence, the combined weight of days one and two. A quick check of the records revealed that Rook had qualified second and Morehead fourth, which gave Rook the official win. Rook was still on the phone when he was called back to the stage and announced the winner. "I'm speechless," gasped Rook in dismay when he reached the stage. "I think I just accidentally hung up on my wife; I hope she forgives me. I can't believe this is happening. "I've fished professionally for six years and this is my first national win. I`ve finished second so many times. So when it looked like Dan had won, I said, `Great, here we go again, another second place.' I still don't know what to say." For the record, Rook and Morehead both had a two-day total of 27 pounds. Rook weighed in 15 pounds, 3 ounces today and won $10,000 and a fully rigged Ranger for his win. Rook's winning lure: a black 3/8-ounce buzzbait.Rook was fishing a large backwater oxbow in Pool Three all week. In the earlier rounds, he fished a white square-billed shallow-diving crankbait in standing timber. "The water was about 8 to 10 feet deep, but the fish were suspended on limbs and forks in the timber in about 3 to 4 feet," he said. When the heavy rain moved in this morning, Rook switched to a 3/8-ounce black buzzbait to catch all of his winning fish. "Earlier in the week, when it was sunny, the fish were tight on the trees," he said. "With the clouds and rain the last two days, they scattered out more. Instead of fishing the trees, I fished a shallow ridge of grass in the same oxbow with the buzzbait." Morehead second After Morehead weighed in 13 pounds, 5 ounces and the tiebreaker was applied, he became runner-up. "Hey, rules are rules, and that's the way it goes," said Morehead who showed the grace of a true professional about his fleeting moment of victory. "If I was meant to win, I would have caught a bigger fish sometime in the last two days." Dan Morehead fished stumps and logs within submerged grass in Pool Four all week to finish second. Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., finished second after the tiebreaker with a two-day total of 27 pounds."The first two days I was mostly flipping a Mann's Dragon tube, watermelon candy with a chartreuse tail, to specific targets," he said. "When the clouds moved in yesterday, the flipping bite kind of went to pot, and I had to adapt with a Mann's top-water chugger." Driving rains destroyed Morehead's top-water pattern today and he had to adapt again. "About midmorning, I pulled out a 1/2-ounce Mann's Classic spinnerbait and started catching fish with that, so I stayed with it all day," he said. The spinnerbait was chartreuse and white with a Colorado blade in the front and a gold willow blade on the back. "The main thing for me this week was just adapting to each day's conditions," he added. Pro Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas, finished third with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 2 ounces.Hartsell third Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas, weighed in the biggest limit of the day, 15 pounds, 11 ounces, to move into third with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Hartsell fished a spinnerbait and Zara spook in Pool Four to amass his catch. "I caught a bunch of fish today, but the biggest ones all came on the spook," he said. Chapman fourth Pro Kenneth Chapman of Woodlawn, Tenn., finished fourth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 15 ounces.Kenneth Chapman of Woodlawn, Tenn., finished fourth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 15 ounces. Chapman also cashed in on the top-water bonanza happening on the Red River to catch 13 pounds today. Chapman fished several backwaters south of the launch ramp in Pool Three. Though he flipped soft plastics earlier in the week to make the finals, he switched to a white 1/4-ounce Lunker Lure buzzbait and a Lucky Craft popper today to catch his fish. Pro Slade Dearman of Sam Rayburn, Texas, finished fifth with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 8 ounces.Dearman fifth Slade Dearman of Sam Rayburn, Texas, finished fifth with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 8 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros were George Jeane of Evans, La., in sixth place with a two-day total of 21 pounds, 15 ounces; Kenneth Sheets of Pevely, Mo., in seventh place with a two-day total of 20 pounds, 8 ounces; Glenn Maxwell of Crossett, Ark., in eighth place with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 10 ounces; Danny Gulledge of Hamburg, Ark., in ninth place with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 5 ounces; and Marc Lowenthal of Prairieville, La., in 10th place with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 10 ounces.

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/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 »

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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 »

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Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

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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 »

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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

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/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

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/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 »

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Gautney Under Pressure

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