UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Rollin’ Martin

Pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., won the $200,000 first-place award in the 2004 Forrest Wood Open on Lake Champlain.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - He said it would take a 17- or 18-pound sack to win it, and that's just what Scott Martin caught Saturday. Emerging from the pack with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces, the Clewiston, Fla., pro won the Wal-Mart FLW Tour regular-season closer at Lake Champlain, claimed $200,000 and upended Aaron Martens' bid to repeat as Forrest Wood Open champion. "I'm so proud to win this one because Forrest has been a part of my life since I was born," Martin said about Ranger Boats founder Forrest Wood. Martin is the son of TV fishing legend Roland Martin, and you've probably seen him fishing on camera since the time he could first hold a rod. Incidentally, with this win Scott Martin picked up right where his father left off. The last time Roland Martin won a tour-level bass event was in a 1997 BASS tournament at Lake Champlain. But with his second FLW Tour win as a pro (his first was at the Pascagoula River in 2000) and over a half-million dollars in FLW Outdoors career earnings, the younger Martin is making his own mark these days. Plus, this bass-packed fishery on the New York-Vermont border seems tailor-made to his strengths. For most of the anglers here, this event was about finding spawning fish and keeping track of them throughout the week. Martin makes no bones about his reliance on GPS technology during tournaments. Two years ago, he worked his Garmin waypoints into a fourth-place finish in FLW competition here. This year, he figured out how to take it to the next step. "(Three-time FLW champ) Clark Wendlandt once said, `You can never win these four-day tournaments if you fish in the same spot twice,'" said Martin, who had some 500 waypoints marking smallmouth spawning beds in his Garmin by the tournament's start. "I wouldn't have been able to keep my weights up consistently if I fished the same areas each day." Scott Martin carries his last bass to the scale for victory at the Forrest Wood Open.The winner fished the Burlington area of Lake Champlain the first two days and kept his focus strictly on smallies. By days three and four, he moved to the northeast portion of the lake and fished the Inland Sea area. Anglers hit many of the shallow smallmouth areas pretty hard the first two days, but by catching a limit early Wednesday and Thursday, Martin was able to use his time scouting a few key spots he could use Friday and Saturday. "I saw a lot of areas that hadn't been picked through yet," said Martin, who said he saved his heavier fish until today. "I caught four of my biggest fish today within a hundred yards of each other. Yesterday, I knew that I needed a big bag, so I had been kind of saving this one spot. I really spent a lot of time GPSing things and concentrating on areas that were otherwise too windy or too rough for people to fish earlier in the week." By throwing jerkbaits as well as sight-fishing with tubes in Saturday's calm, slick water and sunny weather, he caught two bass that were each in the crucial 4-pound range and two more around 3 pounds. His winning two-day weight in the finals - 10 smallmouth bass worth 32 pounds, 8 ounces - topped Martens by over 2 pounds. "It's hard to win a tournament with only smallmouths," he said. "But I enjoy catching these smallmouths so much, I don't want to catch largemouths." Aaron Martens of Castaic, Calif., caught a two-day weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces and finished in second place at Lake Champlain, just missing a repeat victory in the Forrest Wood Open. He still claimed $100,000.Martens makes bank again at Open While he couldn't come up with a repeat performance of his 2003 Forrest Wood Open title at Pickwick Lake, Aaron Martens didn't feel defeated Saturday. He has cleared $300,000 in just this tournament alone the last two years and has also now eclipsed the half-million-dollar mark in FLW career earnings. "$100,000, that's still pretty good money," said the pro from Castaic, Calif., whose two-day weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces earned him second place at Lake Champlain. For Martens, who donned a wide-brimmed hat to keep out the sun and also went sight-fishing, Saturday was about finding occupied spawning beds. "I think about 90 percent of the fish in this lake are on beds right now," he said. "Today, I saw a lot them that had been picked clean." Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., finished third with a final-round weight of 30 pounds 3 ounces and collected $50,000.Rookie Newton rises to third Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., caught 1 ounce less than Martens and finished third with a final-round weight of 30 pounds 3 ounces. A two-time EverStart Series champion but FLW rookie, he won $50,000 in just his third FLW tournament fished. "It's been a great week. If it hadn't been for Andy Morgan talking me into coming, I wouldn't even have been here," Newton said, saying that making the trek to upstate New York from Alabama to fish had been a last-minute decision. Newton caught his limits in the finals by sight-fishing flats. Blaukat fourth Day-three leader Randy Blaukat of Lamar, Mo., finished fourth and collected $40,000 with a final-round weight of 29 pounds, 7 ounces. "These are the first bedding fish that I've caught in, like, eight years," he said. "I just don't like to do it, but I had to this week. Right at the end of the day I caught my biggest one." Walker fifth Day-one leader David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., made his long run south to his largemouth area Saturday, but came up short. He caught 29 pounds even in the finals, finished fifth and collected $30,000. "I feel as good as you can, and I'm mad as (heck) at the same time," he said. "I did everything right and caught everything that bit, but the big ones just weren't there for me." Walker estimated that he ran approximately 560 miles throughout the week. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at Lake Champlain's Forrest Wood Open are opening-round leader Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Ark., with a final-round total weight of 27 pounds, 1 ounce (6th place, $28,000); Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., with 26-11 (7th, $26,000); Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., with 26-8 (8th, $24,000); Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Okla., with 26-8 (9th, $22,000); and Jason Kilpatrick of Satsuma, Ala., with 16-12 (10th, $20,000). All of the pros caught limits both days of the final round except Kilpatrick, who weighed in four bass Saturday. Coming up The next FLW Tour stop is the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, scheduled for Lake Logan Martin near Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 11-14.

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-21-ramie-races-into-the-lead

Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-21-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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

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Elkins Looked Deep on Erie

Matt Elkins of Spencerville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. For his victory, Elkins earned $5,337. READ MORE »

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Manson Targets Shad

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 8 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Manson earned $5,205. READ MORE »