UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

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: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2004-05-12-kentucky-lake 

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »