UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

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 


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »


Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »


Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »