Wire to wire

LAKEPORT, Calif. - Was it ever really in doubt? After clobbering the pro field on Clear Lake for three consecutive days, Sieg Taylor decided, "Why not make it a fourth?" Using a whopping two-day total of 45 pounds, 3 ounces over the final two days of competition, Taylor overcame a spirited comeback by pro Jimmy Walker of Alpine, Calif., to capture the prestigious EverStart Series Western Division crown on Clear Lake. In the end, Taylor walked away with $51,000 in cash and prizes - including a brand-new, fully rigged Ranger boat - as well as his first major tournament win and a mind-numbing four-day total of largemouth bass weighing 94 pounds, 11 ounces. "Every day went almost perfectly," said Taylor, who broke down in tears after being overcome by emotion immediately after being declared the winner. "I'm almost speechless right now. When people talk about being in a zone, I now know how they feel. After I caught my first big fish on day one, my confidence level soared. I was in a zone pretty much all week." Ironically, during practice, Taylor said he couldn't have felt worse about his chances. Pro Sieg Taylor proudly displays part of his winning catch en route to his first-ever EverStart tournament title."I really had to overcome some adversity this week, and that's what makes this win so enjoyable," he said. "My boat broke down and then I had to put my truck in the shop. And that only gave me two days of practice, where I was only able to catch four fish total. If you had told me last week that I was going to win this tournament, I would have told you that you were crazy." Taylor said that he used a LV 500 Lucky Craft Rat-L-Trap in a ghost-minnow color to land the majority of his catch. The Clearlake, Calif., native said that the key was targeting staging bass on deep ledges in about 4 to 8 feet of water. "I pretty much did the same thing all week," said Taylor, who had his limit by 8:30 this morning. "I had a really productive area, and I had success there every day." Overall, Taylor said he couldn't have been happier with the way the tournament finished. "I had a fantastic week. I had some great co-anglers, and I learned a lot from them," he said. "This is my first major tournament win from the front of the boat, so I couldn't be happier right now." Walker nets a hard-fought second place Pro Jimmy Walker of Alpine, Calif., used a two-day catch of 40 pounds, 13 ounces to finish the Clear Lake event in second place.Jimmy Walker knew coming into the finals that he'd have to make a big move if he were to have any chance of winning the title. With only 14 pounds, 8 ounces heading into the final day of competition, Walker was a full 10 pounds behind the leaderboard. However, today he rallied, producing the biggest stringer of the afternoon for a two-day total of 40 pounds, 13 ounces. Unfortunately for Walker, it wasn't enough to overcome the juggernaut known as Sieg Taylor. "If I was going to finish in second place, I couldn't have lost out to a nicer guy," said Williams, who brought a whopping 26 pounds, 5 ounces to the scales in the finals. "It was just incredible out there today. I didn't catch as many fish as the first day, but boy I got some big bites." In addition to winning $9,800 in prize money, Williams - a homicide detective from Alpine, Calif., - had something else very important to celebrate. "This is my 16th wedding anniversary today, and my wife came all the way here to watch me in the finals," said Williams. "It's just been a great week." Williams also said that he won't be forgetting his experience on Clear Lake any time soon. "We have big fish lakes in San Diego," he said. "But you just don't have the numbers that they have here. This is definitely one of the best lakes in the country." Rex finishes the day in third place Fred Rex of San Jose, Calif., used a two-day catch of 36 pounds, 7 ounces to grab third place overall in the Pro Division and walk away with $8,700 in prize money. "I think I was the only guy out there flipping all week," he said. "For the first three days, my spot held up. But today, the fish just died on me. But overall, I had a lot of fun." Reese reels in fourth On the strength of a two-day catch of 33 pounds, 2 ounces, pro Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., finished the tournament in fourth place, winning a check for $7,700 in the process.On the strength of a two-day catch of 33 pounds, 2 ounces, Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., finished the tournament in fourth place, winning a check for $7,700 in the process. "I had a great week," said Reese. "I probably caught about 100 fish this week on swim baits. This is just a fantastic fishery. But the best part of it is that the old Jimmy Reese is back." Ballesteros grabs fifth place Pro Jerry Ballesteros of Burbank, Calif., used a two-day catch of 31 pounds to capture fifth place and walk away with $7,200 in prize money.Jerry Ballesteros of Burbank, Calif., used a two-day catch of 31 pounds to capture fifth place and walk away with $7,200 in prize money. "I love clear lake," said Ballesteros, who works full-time for the L.A.P.D. when he's not fishing. "I've struggled in tournaments before, but I was finally able to put four good days of fishing together in a row. This is such a great fishery. I live in southern California, and we have good lakes there. But I'd drive eight hours just to come up here and fish again." Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists at the EverStart Clear Lake event: 6th: Brent Lyon of Reno, Nev., 28-6 7th: Bernie Gaunt of West Sacramento, Calif., 28-5 8th: Tom Kilduff of Dewey, Ariz., 26-8 9th: Jon Strelic of Alpine, Calif., 26-3 10th: Rus Snyders of San Mateo, Calif., 22-9 EverStart Western Division action resumes April 6-9 at Lake Mead, located in Henderson, Nev.

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-millsaps-wins-on-lake-sinclair

Millsaps Wins on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – David Millsaps of Ranger, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Millsaps earned $6,009. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-walters-nets-third-victory-on-wylie

Walters Nets Third Victory on Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, N.C. – Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Walters earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-mosley-on-top-at-arkansas-river

Mosley on Top at Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 the Arkansas River. For his victory, Mosley earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »