Peek performance

EUFAULA, Ala. - They dodged rain. They dodged lightning. They dodged heavy winds. But none of the other nine pros in the EverStart Eastern on Lake Eufaula could dodge Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga., today. Peek once again brought in the heaviest five-fish limit of the day, 20 pounds, 3 ounces, to prove that he discovered the largest concentration of big bass on Eufaula this week. He won the EverStart Series event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 6 ounces. And all total, Peek brought in nearly 80 pounds of bass over the four-day Eastern Division tournament. "This is incredible," Peek said, "Normally a place like that doesn't hold up for four days in a row. But this place just kept producing quality fish day after day. I'm worn out, both physically and mentally, from worrying if they would still be there each day." Peek's primary spot was just minutes from the Lakepoint takeoff where Cowikee Creek meets the main river. His key feature was a 250-yard stretch of submerged hydrilla that was teeming with shad. "My boat was sitting out in about 7 or 8 feet of water, and I was casting spinnerbaits up into hydrilla that was about 3 feet deep." Peek located the area last fall when the hydrilla had topped out, giving him a good idea of how the grass laid out in the area. His primary baits were 1/2-ounce Rabbit Dog spinnerbaits in white with double willow blades. "I also caught a few during the event on a Lunker Lure buzzbait (black) and swimming a white jig," he added. Peek qualified for all the incentives and collected nearly $65,000 for his win: $10,000 and a Ranger boat for the top prize; another $10,000 for being an original Ranger owner; $3,000 for being Ranger Cup qualified; $1,500 for being Yamaha powered; and $1000 from Garmin for using Garmin products. Pierce moves to second Yesterday Patrick Pierce of Jacksonville, Fla., wanted rain because he felt rainyPro Patrick Pierce of Jacksonville, Fla., finished second with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 5 ounces. conditions would bring his fish back up shallow. He was right. During the storms today, Pierce had his best day of the tournament, bringing in 18 pounds, 12 ounces to move to second with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 5 ounces. "They really bit for me today," Pierce said. "This weather made them go crazy down there; I probably caught 15 keepers." Pierce was fishing down below White Oak Creek in shallow grass beds that contained spawning shad. On days two and three, however, dropping water levels and bright sunshine caused his shallow grass to evaporate. "That's when I had to start fishing deep blowdowns to survive," he said. "I would slow-roll a spinnerbait through the trees, where the fish were suspended in 5 to 6 feet of water." Pierce's key bait was a homemade 1/2-ounce spinnerbait (chartreuse and white) with gold willow-leaf blades and a Zoom Tab-tail grub trailer tied to 20-pound-test Suffix line. Fisher makes a last-minute charge for third Snickers pro Pat Fisher of Danielsville, Ga., finished third with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 4 ounces.Pro Pat Fisher of Danielsville, Ga., brought in 19 pounds, 7 ounces today to move from sixth to third place with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 4 ounces. Fisher's vast improvement came from a change in fishing locations. "I had been fishing down at the dam the last few days, and today I just stayed up here around Lakepoint," he said. "I flipped up one of my big fish on a Zoom Critter Craw, but that was it for the flipping bite. I switched to a Zoom Horny Toad and started catching a lot of keepers. Then late in the day, I caught a 6-pounder on the toad." Kreiger fourth Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., ended up fourth with a two-day total of 26 pounds,Pro Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., finished fourth with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 5 ounces. 5 ounces. Kreiger worked two patterns during the week: a shad-spawn pattern and a sight-fishing pattern. "Each morning I'd run around and throw a CP Ripper homemade crankbait on places where the shad were spawning to get a big bite and then finish my limit by sight-fishing and catching fish guarding fry," Kreiger said. "Today, because of the weather, I spent most of the day fishing the shad-spawn pattern on riprap." When sight-fishing, Kreiger relied on a Zoom 8-inch lizard and a Zoom Centipede. Murray finishes fifth Pro Jim Murray, Jr., of Arabi, Ga., finished fifth with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 2 ounces.Jim Murray Jr. of Arabi, Ga., finished fifth with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Murray's main pattern all week was a homemade 3/4-ounce spinnerbait with large, double willow blades (No. 5 and No. 6) fished in places where shad were spawning. "I fished dozens of places up and down the lake," Murray said. "I like that big bait because it resembles the big shad that were spawning on those places. It also discourages other species like hybrids from messing with the bait." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the EverStart Series Eastern Division event: 6th: Richard Szczerbala of New Hill, N.C., with a two-day total of 24-5 7th: Harry Barton of Harpersville, Ala., with a two-day total of 23-8 8th: Ricky Shumpert of Lexington, S.C., with a two-day total of 16-10 9th: J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., with a two-day total of 15-14 10th: George Brown of Martinsville, Ind., with a two-day total of 9-4

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/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-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-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-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 »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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