UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Gagliardi bags first win, $100,000

Pro Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., claimed his first career Wal-Mart FLW Tour win and $100,000 cash Saturday on Kentucky Lake.

BENTON, Ky. - Everyone knew it was going to be close Saturday, but nobody figured it would be decided by an 8-ounce penalty. Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., emerged from the pack and edged past Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., to win the Pro Division in Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition at Kentucky Lake. Gagliardi caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 8 ounces and collected $100,000 for his first FLW victory. "It feels great. This is incredible," said the 26-year-old Gagliardi, who became the fifth first-time winner in five FLW tournaments this season. "It feels like it's been a long time coming. I haven't fished that long, but you wonder if it's ever going to happen, if you're ever even going to come close. This is my first top 10 in two years and to win it is just amazing." This one was a tight finish. Gagliardi caught a five-bass limit Friday that weighed 14 pounds, 11 ounces, which was only good enough for sixth place coming into Saturday. The reason: The top seven pros each caught similar weights Friday and were all within 2 pounds of each other. Saturday, eight out of the 10 pro finalists again caught limits, but it was Gagliardi and Hackney who brought in the heavy artillery. Pro Anthony Gagliardi hauled in a two-day catch of 10 bass that weighed 29 pounds, 8 ounces for the win on Kentucky Lake.With a 14-pound, 13-ounce limit Saturday, Gagliardi landed almost a carbon copy of his catch on Friday. Hackney, with 15-5 Friday, had a slight lead on Gagliardi but came in with 13-14 Saturday and totaled 29-3 for the final round. The result: Gagliardi wins by just 5 ounces. Here's the kicker: Hackney actually caught more weight than the winner, but suffered an 8-ounce, deceased-fish penalty Friday. His was the only lost fish brought in by the pros in the entire final round. Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., with 15-5 Friday, had a slight lead on Gagliardi but came in with 13-14 Saturday and totaled 29-3 for the final round. He finished second."I won it, weight-wise, but that fish died," said Hackney, who is arguably the best pro not to have a tour-level win yet. "But I was fishing perfectly, so I don't have any complaints." In a tournament this close, perfect execution was crucial. Gagliardi said he didn't lose any keepers that counted the entire week. He came into the tournament determined to throw a crankbait, and that's just what he did. Fishing main-lake ledges in about 12 to 14 feet of water exclusively in Kentucky Lake, he cranked a Lucky Craft deep diver until the cows came home. He caught 18 of the 20 bass he weighed in this week - which were mainly largemouths but also included one good smallmouth each day - on crankbaits. "My arm is really killing me after four days of pulling it," he said. "From the first day of the tournament, I never put another bait in my boat. I was dedicated to doing it whether I caught them or not. It's not really my favorite technique, but if I get around them, I feel like I can catch them as good as anybody." Anthony Gagliardi accepts his winnerToday, he caught a small limit right off the bat at his main fishing area, then the bite dropped off and he moved to another couple locations. After about a three-hour dry spell, he returned to his first location and culled out his limit to its winning weight. "I really didn't think it was going to be enough," he said. Hackney flips Hackney was on the other end of the technique spectrum. He caught "about 98 percent" of his fish this week by flipping in shallow water on Lake Barkley. He had reason to be disappointed with second place, especially considering his penalty. But Hackney, who has had a standout season and is now ranked second in both the FLW and BASS standings, is a glass-half-full kind of guy. "The only thing that would top it off would be a great, big, ol' win," he said. "But if I had to trade one win for maintaining consistency, I wouldn't do it. I'd definitely choose consistency. The main thing is that I just made $37,000 - and that's pretty good for a week's work." David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., caught 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 15 ounces in the final round at Kentucky Lake and finished in third place.Dudley adds another $25,000 to the kitty Pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., the reigning 2003 FLW Championship winner, added another $25,000 to his more than $1.6 million in FLW Outdoors career earnings Saturday. He caught 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 15 ounces in the final round at Kentucky Lake and finished in third place. "I just didn't get any good bites today," said Dudley, who fished a variety of techniques this week. "But I don't second-guess anything that I did." Fritts falters on day four David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., couldn't complete the four-day sweep and finished in fourth place with a 10-bass weight of 26 pounds, 14 ounces in the final round. He earned $20,000. After the crankbait king led the first three days, he said that he had trouble getting a feel for the bite the last two days when the weather turned south. "I had some big bites, but today just wasn't my day," he said. "Yesterday, I had a chance for a really big bag, but when you can't feel your bait because of the wind, all you catch are those suicide fish that don't know any better." Shinichi Fukae of Osaka, Japan, ended up in fifth place with a 10-bass weight of 26 pounds, 11 ounces.Shin fifth, leads AOY race Shinichi Fukae, the fishing sensation from Osaka, Japan, ended up in fifth place and collected $18,000 with a 10-bass weight of 26 pounds, 11 ounces. He, too, caught the bulk of his bass on a deep-diving crankbait Saturday. "This lake, I like it," he said. He must like more lakes than this one, considering this was his third top-six and fourth top-11 finish in just five FLW tournaments. Fishing his first season on tour, Fukae has already collected $75,300 in FLW career earnings and has taken a decisive lead in the standings with just one tournament left. He has 908 points and the next closest pro, Hackney, has 875. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at FLW Kentucky Lake are Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., with a final-round total weight of 24 pounds, 9 ounces (6th place, $17,000); Brennan Bosley of Benton, Ark., with 23-5 (7th, $16,000); Morizo Shimizu of Osaka, Japan, with 22-8 (8th, $15,000); Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, with 20-8 (9th, $14,000); and Terry Segraves of Kissimmee, Fla., with 4-5 (10th, $13,000). Coming up The next FLW Tour stop is the sixth and final regular-season event of the year. The Forrest Wood Open is scheduled for Lake Champlain near Plattsburgh, N.Y., June 23-26.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »