Every ounce counts

HENDERSON, Nev. - Thanh Le has a lot of people to thank for his first EverStart Series victory. The personable pro won this week's Western Division event on Lake Mead by a scant 1-ounce margin over opening-round leader Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nev., who caught 19 pounds, 1 ounce to Le's 19-2. Over the course of three seasons in the EverStart Series, Le has had boat trouble - many, many times. This week was no exception, and luckily for Le, part of his prize package included an Evinrude-powered Ranger boat.Thanh Le is congratulated for his victory while runner-up Tim Klinger looks on. "My boat broke down this time after the second day," he said. The list of people who have loaned him boats includes Jim Wickham, the 2003 co-angler points champion. Wickham won a fully rigged Ranger as the '03 EverStart/Evinrude Co-angler Champion, and Le took that very boat out on the rough waters of Lake Mead this week to claim his second top-10 finish and his first win. After the final weigh-in, Le had only one request: to give props to the long list of folks kind enough to let him borrow a rig during all the times his boat has failed him over the last couple of years. Including Wickham, those people are Dan Unten, Jeff Wilkie, Richard Davies, Steve Brecko and Justin Hanold. As for Wickham, "I helped him win that boat," Le said. "He won the '03 Clear Lake tournament out of the back of my boat, so it's payback." Short run pays off Le began the tournament Wednesday in the top 10 and never fell out of it, ending day one in sixth place and earning a trip to the final round by finishing fifth on day two. He was fourth after day three with a 7-pound, 7-ounce catch that lagged behind leader Gabe Bolivar by a seemingly insurmountable 4 pounds, 9 ounces. But Bolivar brought in only 6 pounds, 11 ounces on the final day, while Le improved his catch by more than 4 pounds. Le's final tally on day four was 11 pounds, 11 ounces, which earned him $8,400 plus the Ranger.Thanh Le poses with his trophy. "I was basically targeting cuts in the back of bays and coves," he said. "The first three days I fished the Echo area, which is about 30 or 40 miles (away)." For the final day, Le moved to one of his favorite Lake Mead hot spots, the Finger Cove area located not far from the launch site at Callville Bay Marina. "Today I went less than a minute, to the next cove," he said. "Late yesterday around 2 p.m. I went there - it's an area I fish every year this time of year." Le said he declined to fish the Finger Cove area the first two days due to excessive boat traffic, and he did not wet a line there yesterday either, merely checking the area out to gauge its quality for day four. "Yesterday I kept looking at it, but I had fish," he said. "After struggling today, I came back there. Yesterday I had spotted 30-something fish on the bank. Some were on beds, and some were cruising along the bank." Le entered the area this morning, hoping against hope that he'd have it to himself. Luckily for him, there was no one there except for two pleasure boats. "I had the place to myself all day long," he said. Le undeterred by mighty winds Le reported that this week's ever-changing weather conditions did not change the way he fished. This week's tournament has seen hot sun that later cooled off as much as 20 degrees over two days. The winds have also gone from calm to what felt close to gale-force, whipping around at upwards of 30 mph. Finally, the anglers also dealt with rain on the last day, although not for very long. "It's common knowledge that the fish get more active in the wind and clouds on this lake," Le said. "They get more aggressive." For that reason, Le counted himself among the anglers who welcomed the wind. Some wanted it while others, like runner-up Klinger, wished it would go away. Lessons learned Overall, Le prefished the area for nine and a half days, coupling that knowledge with a few things he learned in the past to catch his winning fish.A look at Thanh Le "Two years ago I fished a WON bass tournament here," he said. "I fished with a local who came out with a tube in his hand. He put two (bass) in the boat and taught me a lesson." Le caught his tournament-winning bass throwing a 3 3/4-inch green pumpkin tube. He's also the new Pro Division points leader, taking the position away from Scott Mascadri, who finished the tournament in sixth. Klinger's near-miss After leading the two-day opening round with a combined catch of 27 pounds, 9 ounces, local pro Tim Klinger slipped to second place on day three with a limit of bass that weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Although he - along with everyone else - had a lot of ground to make up with Gabe Bolivar's commanding 12-pound catch, Klinger was certainly never out of the hunt. Klinger fished with eventual co-angler winner Lewis Milligan on day four and handed him the bait that earned him the title. With Klinger's bait tied on, Milligan brought in four fish that gave him the co-angler win by 8 ounces.Tim Klinger led the opening round on Lake Mead and ultimately finished the tournament in second place. All week, Klinger has utilized a reaction-bait pattern that located the fish, switching to a soft bait once the bass began following the reaction bait. This sight-fishing pattern blew away in the wind, although Klinger managed to adjust well enough to come within an ounce of victory. "Today I switched up and left my primary area," he said. "I caught seven or eight fish - missed a few, broke some off." Klinger caught his bass today on a 3/4-ounce brown/red Yamamoto jig mixed with purple and admitted that the gusty winds affected his performance. "With the wind blowing, I couldn't fish the way I did the first couple of days," he said. Klinger's performance this week on Lake Mead helped him secure a fourth-place ranking heading into the Western Division's final event on the California Delta. Kolender takes third place Add Dennis Kolender to the list of anglers earning their personal-best EverStart finish this week on Lake Mead. The Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League veteran took third place with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 11 ounces that earned him $8,000. Kolender tied for second on day one and was third after day two with an accumulated weight of 23 pounds, 1 ounce. He remained in third on day three with 9 pounds, 2 ounces and held on to that position on the final day with another 9 pounds, 9 ounces. Dennis Kolender took third place on Lake Mead. "I made a big run today," he said. "I hadn't been there in over a year." Kolender had been fishing past the Virgin Basin earlier in the week, but moved today to Gregg's Basin to catch his bass. Several anglers had trouble with losing fish this week, and today, Kolender was no exception. "I broke off two fish, and that probably hurt me," he said. "I had a shallow pattern, throwing a Fluke and a brown jig and drop-shotting a Tiki-Drop." Bolivar moves down, Meyer moves up No. 4 pro Gabe Bolivar shocked the crowd when he brought in only three fish today after building up a solid lead after day three. His three bass today weighed more than 5 pounds less than his day-three catch, but his two-day weight of 18 pounds, 11 ounces was enough to earn him $7,350. (Kolender, who also caught 18-11, earned the better standing due to the day-two-standings tiebreaker. He finished third after day two, while Bolivar finished fourth.) Clayton Meyer, who won the season opener on Lake Havasu, moved up from ninth to fifth on the strength of the day's heaviest catch. Meyer caught only 1 pound, 15 ounces on day three, but brought in 11 pounds, 12 ounces on day four to take fifth place and $6,850 with a two-day total of 13-11. Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Mead: 6th: Scott Mascadri of Sacramento, Calif., nine bass, 12-13, $5,850 7th: Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., seven bass, 11-8, $4,850 8th: Shane Meisel of Alta Loma, Calif., seven bass, 10-15, $4,350 9th: Sean Andrachick of Marion, Mont., three bass, 5-2, $3,850 10th: Johnny Parks of Aztec, N.M., one bass, 1-13, $3,350 What's next Coming up next on the EverStart trail is a Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks April 20-23. The Western Division will wrap up the regular season May 4-7 with an event on the California Delta.

Tags: headline-story  jennifer-simmons 

/news/2015-05-02-hanselman-trifecta-tops-texoma

Hanselman Trifecta Tops Texoma

Del Rio, Texas pro Ray Hanselman made history on Lake Texoma with a victory that completed his sweep of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division. With victories in the previous two divisional events on Lake Amistad and Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Hanselman caught a 5-bass limit that weighed 18 pounds, 9 ounces today and finished with a tournament total of 58-13 and a 12-pound winning margin. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-02-hanselmania-closing-in-on-texoma-title

Hanselmania Closing in on Texoma Title

It aint’ over ’til it’s over. The fat lady has yet to sing. All the cliches still apply, so in fairness to nine other talented pros, we’ll make no predictions or insinuations about day-two leader Ray Hanselman and possible outcome of the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-01-big-bag-pushes-hanselman-ahead

Big Bag Pushes Hanselman Ahead

It’s the question of the day, the question of the week; indeed, it’s the question of the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division season: Will we see the trifecta from Ray Hanselman? With the Del Rio, Texas pro leading the final division event on Lake Texoma with 40 pounds, 4 ounces, it appears that the stage is set for a third installment of Hanselmania. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-01-top-5-patterns-from-lake-texoma-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Texoma Day 2

Del Rio, Texas pro Ray Hanselman stormed into the lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Texoma by adding 23 pounds, 2 ounces to the 17-2 he weighed on day one for a total of 40-4. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-01-texoma-midday-report

Texoma Midday Report

Lake Texoma is showing its stingy side as Rayovac FLW Series anglers ply this Ouachita River reservoir for day two of the final Texas Division event. The weather is nice, with sunny skies and moderate wind, but the first half of the day was painfully slow for the handful of boats we followed. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-setina-takes-day-1-lead

Setina Takes Day 1 Lead

Joe Don Setina, of Pittsburg, Texas leads day one of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Lake Texoma with a limit catch weighing 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Setina caught his fish by flipping flooded brush. Ryan Lejeune, of Eunice, La. leads the co-anglers with 12-4. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-top-5-patterns-from-lake-texoma-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Texoma Day 1

Pittsburg, Texas pro Joe Don Setina took the day-one lead in Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Lake Texoma with 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Setina was targeting spawning fish in flooded brush. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-buzzbait-brings-reitzell-some-hardware

Buzzbait Brings Reitzell Some Hardware

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-natural-colors-key-for-stegall

Natural Colors Key for Stegall

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-ledford-wallen-tie-for-title

Ledford, Wallen Tie for Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-kicker-carries-anders-to-top-spot

Kicker Carries Anders to Top Spot

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-poteat-fishes-conditions-to-net-title

Poteat Fishes Conditions to Net Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-hensley-targets-bank-for-active-fish

Hensley Targets Bank For Active Fish

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-lake-texoma-midday-report-day-1

Lake Texoma Midday Report Day 1

Early goings on Lake Texoma seem to be pretty tough for the Rayovac FLW Series field. From the water, FLW Website Content Manager Jesse Schultz reported seeing several anglers bed-fishing in the GrandPappy Point Resort & Marina area. Most were putting in a lot of time on each fish, which means the bass weren’t exactly snapping. Today’s calm, sunny, post-cold front conditions are, no doubt, helping anglers see their targets clearly, but the visibility works both ways. Someone’s going to find the right bank with just enough water tint to relax the fish and deliver a nice sack, but it’s likely that many will struggle through a tough day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/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-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-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-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 »