Deka’s domain

CLEWISTON, Fla. - Daryl Deka, a 33-year-old landscape contractor from Wellington, Fla., won the first EverStart Series event of 2005 on Lake Okeechobee Saturday with a two-day final total of 32 pounds, 6 ounces. Deka left the dock this morning in seventh place after bringing in 10 pounds, 10 ounces Friday. When he returned this afternoon, he rocked the weigh-in crowd at the Wal-Mart parking lot with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces. "This feels good," Deka said after collecting a certificate for a fully rigged Ranger Boat and $10,000 cash. "Winning is the high we're all out here for." Deka, who has fished Okeechobee regularly for the last 10 years, had a carefully crafted strategy for fishing the Big O this week. The foundation of the plan was to see if he could make the cut fishing reeds in the north end during the first two days. If he made the top-10 cut, he would switch ends of the lake and fish down south on Friday. But the kingpin of his scheme was an isolated stretch of matted hydrilla on the east side of the Monkey Box that he would not touch until the final day. The first two days, everything went according to plan. Deka caught 24 pounds, 15 ounces and 11-8 on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Those fish came on a 10-inch Gambler worm in a black-grape/green-flake color. But on Friday his plan began to crumble a bit when his run to South Bay didn't pay off with a big bag. "The south end has been muddier than I've ever seen it," he said. "I think the hurricanes this year really hurt it down there." Deka's only saving grace was the lone stretch of matted hydrilla in the Monkey Box that he had stayed away from during competition. Pro Daryl Deka of Wellington, Fla., holds up the kicker bass of his 21-pound, 12-ounce winning string."I know there were a lot of people in the Monkey Box, but for some reason everybody was fishing the west side," he said. "In fact, what probably helped me most was all those fish being caught over there (on the west side) the first day; that made people migrate that way even more." When Deka arrived to his hydrilla mats Saturday morning, he had them all to himself. He went to work flipping a Gambler Crawdaddy - Bowen Blue and Shadow Blue - with a 1-ounce tungsten weight tied to 25-pound-test Big Game line. "A lot of guys use those big 1 1/2-ounce tungstens, but I like the smaller 1-ounce (ones), because I'm looking for creases in the hydrilla, places where the bait can slip through easily - those are the caverns where the fish are sitting. I'm not interested in penetrating thick clumps that are attached to the bottom." He caught 10 keepers Saturday. Three were in the 6-pound class, which enabled him to win. Pro J T Kenney of Frostburg, Md., finished second with a two-day total of 30 pounds, 12 ounces.Kenney comes up short After breaking two EverStart records this week, J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., came 3 pounds, 2 ounces short of winning the whole kit and caboodle. Despite a 17-pound, 12-ounce rally today, he finished second with a two-day total of 30 pounds, 12 ounces. "I really lost this tournament yesterday when I lost several big fish," Kenney said of his runner-up position. "I had a much better day today. I didn't lose any, but I let this one slip away yesterday." Kenney spent the entire tournament in the Monkey Box. He was committed to the area from day one. "Once I got in there, I never cranked my outboard," he said. "I did that for four days in a row." Except for two keepers caught on a 1/2-ounce Lil' Hustler spinnerbait [golden shiner], Kenney caught everything else on a Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver with 1 1/2-ounce tungsten weight tied to 25-pound-test Big Game line. "It was different every day," he said. "And I had to fish around in there awhile to figure out what was going on. Like today, I was pitching as far back into the mat as possible - sometimes 20 to 30 feet back into the thickest stuff I could find. Then I would just bump the bottom of the mat with the bait to get a bite." Pro Edward Guice of Decatur, Ala., finished third with a two-day total of 27 pounds, 11 ounces.Guice stumbles Edward Guice of Decatur, Ala., got the unofficial award for the most unique pattern in the top 10. He caught a two-day total of 27 pounds, 11 ounces to finish third by cranking and Carolina rigging grass-lined ledges in main-lake canals. "I was keying on staging fish that were bunched up on breaks in the canals," Guice said. "I would crank a crankbait down the sides, trying to hit grass in 2 to 8 feet of water." He caught 20 pounds, 7 ounces on the pattern yesterday, but only brought in 7 pounds, 4 ounces today. "There is not a whole lot of that kind of water on this lake," he added. "I only had a few places like that, and I think a lot of my fish moved up the bank to spawn." Pro Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., finished fourth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 15 ounces.Kennedy fourth Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., finished fourth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 15 ounces. "I've had a great week," said Kennedy. "This week I've caught the biggest stringer of my life [27-5 on Wednesday] and the biggest fish of my life [8-12 on Thursday]. This place is awesome." Kennedy reported catching a majority of his fish in South Bay by flipping a Gambler Craw on a 1 1/2-ounce weight tied to 65-pound-test braid. Lane fifth Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., finished fifth with a two-day total 23 pounds, 15 ounces. He also spent the entire tournament in the Monkey Box fishing a spinnerbait and flipping. "I started each day fishing a ¼-ounce Terminator spinnerbait with double willow blades," he said. "Then I'd pick up a 1 1/2-ounce tungsten weight with a Beaver or Gambler Cricket [shadow blue] and begin flipping the thick matted stuff." Today he caught a couple of keepers on a Senko. "It's been getting warmer each day, and I think they started to get on beds more today, so I switched to a Senko for a while," he added. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers were Sandy Melvin of Boca Raton, Fla., in sixth place with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 1 ounce; Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., in seventh place with a two-day total of 21 pounds, 15 ounces; David Williams of Maiden, N.C., in eighth place with a two-day total of 20 pounds, 12 ounces; Flash Butts of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., in ninth place with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 13 ounces; and Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., in 10th place with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 3 ounces. Coming up The next Southeast Division tourney is scheduled for Santee Cooper lakes near Manning, S.C., March 2-5. The next EverStart Series event is the Western Division opener at Lake Havasu near Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Jan. 26-29.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »


Gamecocks Win College Title



Gamecocks Win National Title



Hallman Prevails On Grand



Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3



Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2



College Championship Race Tightens



Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »


Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »


Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »


Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »


Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »


Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »


White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »


Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »


Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »


Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »


Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »


Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »