UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Namiki nets tournament title

Tokyo’s Toshinari Namiki took home a $100,000 win in Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition at the Ouachita River.

MONROE, La. - Jigs and spinnerbaits were the order of the week on the swamps and bayous of the Ouachita River, but it was Japan's Toshinari Namiki and his "secret bait" that took the $100,000 top prize in the end of the third Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop of the season. Despite a five-bass push by Trussville, Alabama's Matt Herren Saturday, Namiki caught three good keepers weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces and held on for the title. He totaled 30-14 in the two-day final round and edged past Herren by more than 3 pounds. "I cannot believe it. Maybe tomorrow morning I will know I won," Namiki said. "Thank you very much, Matt, Jason, Mike and all the other great contenders." Herren's limit Saturday weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces. He finished second with a 27-12 final total. Jason Kilpatrick of Satsuma, Ala., moved up and finished third with 23 pounds, 9 ounces. His four bass Saturday weighed 8-9. Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, finished fifth with 22 pounds, 15 ounces. He caught just two bass weighing 6-13 on the final day. Sandwiched in between in fourth place was Mickey Bruce of Buford, Ga., who tied for the day's heaviest sack - four bass, 13 pounds, 8 ounces - and finished with a final weight of 23-6. Sixth-place Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., caught the other leading, 13-pound, 8-ounce stringer - a five-bass limit - and finished with 22-10. Saturday Toshinari Namiki held on for the win with three bass weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces. His winning two-day total was eight bass weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces.Namiki's secret revealed When Namiki came in Friday with a leading 20-pound-plus limit after edging into the finals in 10th place, he gave most of the credit to a "secret bait." The Tokyo pro revealed Saturday that the secret was nothing more than a Texas-rigged black tube, which he flipped at cypress trees and buck brush in Arkansas' Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge. "I caught 90 percent of them on the tube, but also some on a spinnerbait," he said. "Because the water was so dirty, I used a dark color. But even in clear water, I kept using it. I would just pitch it, let it sink and bam!" Kilpatrick, who'd had a bit of a good-natured verbal sparring match with Namiki over the last two days, said: "Today, after I caught that big one on the third cast, I thought, `Magic lure? I don't need no magic lure. It's great anglers who catch the fish.' Then when I was struggling later in the day, I was kind of hoping I'd run into Namiki so I could ask him if maybe I could borrow one of those baits of his." As it turned out, that probably wouldn't have helped him today. Kilpatrick had a secret weapon of his own going this week, only it was the same secret as Namiki's. Defying this week's conventional wisdom, he said that he caught all of his bigger bass on a tube. "Like everyone, I found fish in practice on a spinnerbait and jig," said Kilpatrick, who ran to the Felsenthal pool with the rest of the field Saturday. "There's a lot of water there, but the area was receiving so much pressure from our guys. I moved out to deeper trees and targeted wood that most of the other guys were just passing by. Then I switched baits to a tube, which looks more like a crawfish than a jig does, anyway. It's so funny when you get to the end of the tournament and hear what everybody's secret weapons are. They generally turn out to be the same thing. Every giant that I caught since I showed up in Louisiana a week ago has been on a Mizmo tube." Matt Herren finished in the runner-up position with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 12 ounces.Herren's pattern dries up Herren collected $36,000 for second place, but said he might have had a shot at the hundred grand if he had made a change earlier in the day. His jig pattern stopped producing for him Saturday. "I just didn't get bit. I think it was running out on me," he said about his pattern. "I practiced some on the other side of the river. Today I went over there later in the day to check two trees, and I caught a 2 1/2- and a 4-pounder. My only regret is that I didn't go there sooner. "But this is great. I've worked so hard to get here. Believe it or not, I've been really calm all week, and I executed on all the bites I got." Jason Kilpatrick moved up and finished third with 23 pounds, 9 ounces. His four bass Saturday weighed 8-9.Kilpatrick misses a big one Kilpatrick won $25,000 for third place and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Herren bring his 4-pound kicker to the scale. "I was relieved to see Matt pull out that 4-pounder in the end," said Kilpatrick, who lost a 5- or 6-pound kicker on the water. "The one I lost wouldn't have made a difference. I just ran out of fish." Bruce banks fourth With his bigger bag, Bruce took home $20,000 for fourth place. He, too, lost a 6-pounder, but the tournament veteran - this was his seventh appearance in an FLW top 10 - said there's no looking back in this sport. Mickey Bruce tied for the day's heaviest sack - four bass, 13 pounds, 8 ounces - and finished fourth with a final weight of 23-6."I can't complain," he said. "I had an opportunity for a really big sack, but that's fishing, you know." Hawkes drops to fifth After a catching a contending limit Friday, Hawkes also fell prey to the lost-fish syndrome Saturday. He caught two keepers and cashed in $18,000 for fifth place, but it was the three he didn't put in the boat that haunted him. "Yes sir, the wheels came off today," he said. "I didn't do a very good job of executing on what was offered to me by the lake. I broke one off, lost one in a tree and missed another one." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros finishers at FLW Ouachita River: 6th: Shaw, 22-10, $17,000 7th: Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla., 21-6, $16,000 8th: William Davis of Russellville, Ala., 17-0, $15,000 9th: Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., 16-2, $14,000 10th: Jeremiah Kindy of Benton, Ark., 13-1, $13,000 AOY standings update The rookie Lane stretched out his lead in the points race for Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year. In first place coming into the Ouachita tournament, he now has 584 points heading into next month's event at Beaver Lake. J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., is his closest competitor with 533 points. Herren moved up into third place in the standings with 517 points. This was Lane's third top-10 finish in just three FLW Tour career starts. Coming up The next Wal-Mart FLW Tour event is the annual Wal-Mart Open, scheduled for Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., April 13-16. - FLW Outdoors Communications Director Dave Washburn contributed to this story.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-07-30-cioppa-leads-on-champlain

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »