Shaw me the money

The third time was the charm for veteran pro Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., as he won the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Wheeler Lake Saturday during his third consecutive top-10 appearance of 2005.

DECATUR, Ala. - Since the Wal-Mart FLW Tour began in 1996, Alvin Shaw has been widely known as one of the most consistent anglers on tour without a victory. He changed all that Saturday by catching the only five-bass limit of the day and coming from behind to win $100,000 at Wheeler Lake. "It really gets to eating at you," Shaw said. "You try to go out and perform each and every tournament, and you keep telling yourself that it's going to come sooner or later." Given his propensity for making cuts, this one came perhaps a little later than most for the pro from State Road, N.C. He has finished in the FLW top 10 no fewer than eight times over his career, including three in a row this season over the last three tournaments. But more impressive in terms of his consistency, Shaw has qualified for the FLW Championship every year since the tour began in 1996 except 2001. "Man, I've been up there so many times without winning," he said. "I've had a lot of close finishes." That includes this one in Decatur. Shaw began the day in fourth place, 4 1/2 pounds off the leader, Kelly Jordon. Despite a shorter fishing day Saturday, all of the top contenders made the long run and lock back up to Guntersville Lake to go sight-fishing. However, Mother Nature, who had graced this tournament with sunny skies and calm winds the first three days, had different ideas for day four. When a storm front passed through later in the morning, the wind kicked up and blew almost everybody off their sight fish. "Today the wind blew about 20 mph," said Chad Grigsby, who was in third place but dropped to seventh after posting a zero Saturday. "Yesterday we had about five and a half hours to fish. Today we only had about three and a half hours. I was finding fish every day, but today I couldn't find them because I just couldn't see." Alvin Shaw landed the win with a two-day, final-round total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 8 ounces. He was the only pro to catch a five-bass limit Saturday.Fishing in Goose Pond on Guntersville, neither could Shaw, but the inability to see wasn't as big an obstacle for him because he had been blind-fishing for bedding bass all week. "I was doing something a little different than the rest of the guys," Shaw said. "I wasn't really looking at them, and I think that really helped me out." Indeed. Shaw wasn't fishing visually marked, individual bass on beds as much as he was fishing discernible, individual beds in the grass. "A lot of times the grass was so thick that I wasn't using my depth finder. It was just showing the top of the grass, so I would dip my rod in the water to check my depth," he said. "I was looking for holes in the milfoil, and it had to be a clean bottom." So, with his visibility minimized by the wind and his depth finder giving false readings, Shaw went bed-fishing for $100,000. During the abridged fishing period, he caught all of his fish, except one, on a green-pumpkin Zoom brush hog with a 5/16-ounce bullet weight. The other he caught on a spinnerbait. He hooked and landed just five bass Saturday, and even though he brought in the only limit of the day - weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces - it turned out that he needed every single fish. Shaw's winning weight in the final round was 24-8, just 4 ounces ahead of second place and within 2 pounds of the top four finishers. Taking second place was 21-year-old FLW Tour rookie Michael Bennett of Roseville, Calif. He caught three bass Saturday - weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce - and finished with a final weight of 24 pounds, 4 ounces.Rookie Bennett grabs second Taking second place and collecting $36,000 was 21-year-old FLW Tour rookie Michael Bennett of Roseville, Calif. He caught three bass Saturday - weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce - and finished with a final weight of 24 pounds, 4 ounces. "I was hoping that, if I was going to lose, it was going to be by a lot," Bennett said about his first experience in the FLW finals. "It took me about an hour to catch my first fish, but I caught every fish I had a shot at." Bennett managed to catch two bedding bass, but also used some West Coast savvy to combat the wind and land his third fish. "I caught one on a swimbait," he said. Jordon blown out, takes third Day-three leader Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas, tallied a final-round weight of 23 pounds, 3 ounces and finished in third place.When Jordon - the pro from Mineola, Texas, who led days two and three - hoisted a 5 1/2-pound bass to the scale as his first fish, it looked like it was going to be a rout. He already had a 3 1/2-pound lead on the field and had been talking about the big bedding fish he was saving all week. But this time it was not to be for Jordon, who had already won an FLW Tour event earlier this season at Lake Okeechobee. "Yeah, the wind got me," he said. "And I had them lined up to win this tournament today. Without the wind, I could have easily had 19 or 20 pounds." Jordon's fishing area consisted of bass beds on Guntersville's main-lake flats. The stiff wind did his sight-fishing absolutely no favors, though, and that 5-pound, 8-ounce fish he weighed in turned out to be the only one he caught. "The key to this tournament was main-lake flats," he said. "It was like Texas Hold `Em; I was all-in on that one spot. But out in the open like that there were whitecaps, and I was doing all I could to keep the boat in one place. I couldn't ever see the fish today." Jordon ultimately tallied a final-round weight of 23 pounds, 3 ounces and finished in third place. He collected $25,000. Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., managed to land three keepers Saturday and took home fourth place with a final weight of 22 pounds, 8 ounces.Hack Attack's back, finishes fourth Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., managed to land three keepers Saturday on Guntersville and took home his best FLW finish of the year, fourth place, with a final weight of 22 pounds, 8 ounces. He earned $20,000. "I fished pretty good today," Hackney said. "I just couldn't see them today. It was like some of them were gone." And don't look now, but Hackney - last year's second-ranked pro - is back in the Angler of the Year business again. Despite this being the first FLW cut he's made all season, he's pieced together some decent finishes and has moved up to third in points with one tournament to go. Namiki fifth Toshinari Namiki of Tokyo, Japan, the winner of the Ouachita River FLW event, posted a final-round weight of 18 pounds, 9 ounce. He finished fifth at Wheeler and collected $18,000. Namiki, too, has increased his points standing. He's in fourth place, right behind Hackney. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros finishers at FLW Wheeler Lake: 6th: Scot Suggs, Bryant, Ark., 13-15, $17,000 7th: Grigsby, Colon, Mich., 13-13, $16,000 8th: Lendell Martin Jr., Nacogdoches, Texas, 13-3, $15,000 9th: Chip Harrison, Bremen, Ind., 10-3, $14,000 10th: Mike Hawkes, Sabinal, Texas, 7-12, $13,000 AOY standings update With just one tournament left, this event shook up the Angler of the Year standings. J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., is still on top, but not by much. He has 846 points, but Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., has moved up right behind him in second place with 844 points. Third-place Hackney has 830 points, and fourth-place Namiki has 823. Trussville, Alabama's Matt Herren (794 points) and Lakeland, Florida's Bobby Lane (793 points) fell to fifth and sixth place, respectively. Coming up The next Wal-Mart FLW Tour event, the fifth of the season, is scheduled for the Potomac River near La Plata, Md., June 22-25. Editor's note: Jennifer Simmons contributed to this report.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »