Local domination

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - At the final weigh-in of the EverStart Eastern event on Guntersville Lake, Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., and Greg Coots of Fyffe, Ala., proved that being a local has its advantages. Both anglers are well-known local fishermen on Guntersville and both dominated the competition in their respective divisions Saturday. Gettys left no doubt about his knowledge of Guntersville when he turned in a 20-pound, 6-ounce sack of bass to distance himself from the competition by nearly 8 pounds with a two-day total of 44 pounds, 15 ounces. Coots crushed the co-angler field by bringing in 18 pounds, 11 ounces for a two-day total of 38 pounds - almost a 15-pound margin of victory (click for co-angler story). Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., demonstrates local pride with his final day's catch, which weighed 20 pounds, 6 ounces.Big win for Gettys Gettys is a full-time biology teacher and coach at a local school, but his part-time job could be considered winning tournaments on Guntersville Lake. This was his second EverStart Series victory on the lake. "It's been a great week," said Gettys, who won a total of $23,000 plus a fully rigged Ranger Boat. "I'd like to fish more of these events, but I don't want to give up coaching just yet - I've been coaching girls basketball and softball for 27 years." Gettys used a V&M 11-inch worm in red bug to catch most of his fish this week. He rigged the worm both Texas and Carolina style, depending on where he was fishing. "In the mornings, I'd Texas rig the worm with a 3/16-ounce weight and swim it in 4 to 5 feet of water in scattered grass," he said. "In the afternoons, I'd Carolina rig it out on deeper river ledges in about 10 feet of water." The local angler surmised that the fish moved deeper as the tournament progressed. "I had been catching a few shallow, but today that bite died and I caught most everything out deep," he added. Pro Mark Lamb of West Palm Beach, Fla., finished second with a two-day total of 37 pounds.Lamb climbed to second Mark Lamb of West Palm Beach, Fla., steadily climbed up through the field during the week and eventually finished second with a two-day total of 37 pounds. Lamb weighed in 20 pounds, 15 ounces today, the heaviest stringer of the day. His weights got better each day because he was fishing an area where a wave of new bass were moving up to spawn despite the 81-degree water temperature. "I've caught nearly 40 pounds of bass the last four days out of one little spawning area," Lamb said. "Each day it got a little better, and today the big ones moved up. There were hundreds of beds in there, and at times I watched groups of bass swimming into the area." Lamb pitched a Gambler Bacon Rind in watermelon with a 1/2-ounce Gambler screw-in rattling weight to holes in the grass that were beds. "I could see fish cruising everywhere, but I wasn't sight-fishing," he said. "I'd just pitch into a hole, shake that rattling weight and the line would tighten up." Lamb added that he was fishing 1 to 3 feet of water in Town Creek. Pro Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn., finished third with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 6 ounces.Deakins third Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn., finished third with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 6 ounces. "I was really lucky to catch what I caught this week," he said. "The fish weren't really stacked up on the types of places that I like to fish, so I just ran around fishing different spots that I know." Deakins caught his fish on a combination of Carolina-rigged Zoom Ol' Monster worms and a deep-diving shad-colored crankbait. Pro Pat Fisher of Dacula, Ga., finished fourth with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce.Fisher finishes fourth Snickers pro Pat Fisher of Dacula, Ga., finished fourth with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce. Each day Fisher started on a deep hump where he Carolina-rigged a Zoom Ol' Monster worm. Later in the day he would run up the river to a stretch of matted hydrilla where he pitched a 1 1/2-ounce tungsten weight on a Zoom Critter craw in black and blue. Pro Dwayne Horton of Knoxville, Tenn., finished fifth with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 15 ounces.Horton fifth Dwayne Horton of Knoxville, Tenn., finished fifth with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 15 ounces by fishing a jig in grass. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros were Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga., in sixth place with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 7 ounces; Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., seventh place with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 14 ounces; Micah Bennett of Summerville, S.C., eighth place with a two-day total of 23 pounds; Jason Graham of Sanford, Mich., ninth place with a two-day total of 19 pounds, 8 ounces; and Larry Inman of Greensboro, N.C., 10th place with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 2 ounces. 2004 EverStart Series Eastern Pro Division points leaders With this being the final event of the EverStart Series Eastern Division, special recognition goes out to Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., and Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., for tying in the points lead with 717 points apiece. The top 40 in the points race have now qualified for the EverStart Championship in November.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-lanter-wins-on-rend-lake

Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

READ MORE »