UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Ramsey’s rampage

Wade Ramsey holds up an All-American-winning fish.

PADUCAH, Ky. - When Candace Ramsey got married just three weeks ago, she never dreamed her new husband could produce a wedding gift this big. Her groom, Wade Ramsey of Midwest City, Okla., walked away with $100,000 Saturday as winner of the 2005 BFL All-American - a pretty good paycheck when you're a policeman by day.Wade Ramsey poses with his wife of three weeks, Candace.

On stage, Ramsey said he thought it would be close, but his performance was nothing short of dominating. His three-day, 33-pound, 3-ounce catch bested the runner-up by more than 4 pounds, and he did it all by hunting for the big bite.

In a tournament where nearly everybody else was fishing for smallmouths with finesse rigs, Ramsey bucked the system, going for largemouths with bigger tackle.

"I'm not a finesse fisherman," he said. "I started looking for other options. These weren't the best conditions to do what I've been doing. I went fishing for a bigger bite, and it's been a struggle."

Ramsey's worst day, performance-wise, was on day one, when he landed in the No. 12 spot with a limit weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces. He kicked it into high gear, though, on day two, leading the field by more than 3 pounds and improving his catch by almost that much.

Wade Ramsey holds up his $100,000 check for winning the All-American.Though several anglers - including runner-up Adam Wagner, who weighed in one of the tournament's heaviest bass - had him nervous, the tournament was Ramsey's all the way. As if the final weigh-in was not nerve-racking enough, Ramsey said he never finished out his limit until the end of the day, all three days.

"I decided to gamble with the largemouths," he said. "Each day I had five keeper bites. It's been stressful dealing with not having a limit until the end of the day every day."

His final keeper today came at 1:15, when he had about 10 minutes of fishing time remaining in the day. He decided early this morning to gamble again and use a buzzbait, and again, his gamble paid off.

"I decided to throw a black Red River buzzbait," he said. "The first place I went to, I caught a 3-pounder. Then I had a long dry spell. I started to get worried, so I went back to that first spot."

That spot has proven to be plentiful and lucrative for Ramsey this week, to say the least. He says he caught 11 out of 15 keepers out of a rock ledge on the Tennessee River.

"It was a small pocket that had current flowing over it," he said, adding that he caught most of his bass Carolina-rigging a green-pumpkin Zoom Baby Brush Hog. "I was throwing a rig over it - it was jagged and tough to fish. This spot was ideal for fish, though. They could stay out of current, but it had enough current to wash baitfish over it."

Ramsey said he caught his heaviest fish during practice out of that very spot, including two back-to-back largemouths that prompted him to leave the area and not come back until the first day of competition. On day one, he said, another competitor beat him to the area, and after he left, Ramsey went in and caught three keepers. On the second day, Ramsey had the benefit of an earlier flight number and got to the hot spot first.Wade Ramsey reacts to being named the All-American champion.

"This spot was ideal for fish," he said. "I think a lot of people probably fish there, but I think I fished it differently than other people."

Although Ramsey said he never caught fish as big as he did in practice during the tournament days, he said the spot replenished itself daily, offering plenty of largemouths for Ramsey to take to the scales.

"That helped me win this tournament," he said. "I knew I had a shot. I practiced hard to come and do the best I could, but with the competition here, I wasn't sure. Yesterday, I led it by 3 pounds, and that blew my mind."

Ramsey said he and his new bride had hoped to build a house this coming winter, but thanks to his All-American winnings, they can start that sooner than they had planned.

"I'm trying to keep a level head about it," he said. "I'm thrilled."

Ramsey has competed in the Wal-Mart BFL Okie Division for three full seasons and ranked 11th in 2004 to advance to the Toledo Bend regional, where he finished fourth to earn a trip to the All-American.

Wagner claims No. 2 spot

No. 2 Adam Wagner holds up one of the heaviest bass of the tournament.Yesterday, Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tenn., weighed in 6 pounds, 12 ounces and didn't think his two-day total would even be enough for a top-10 finish. It turns out it was, and he turned up the heat on the final day, catching the day's heaviest limit at 13 pounds, 10 ounces and hauling in one of the tournament's heaviest bass. His three-day total weight of 29 pounds, 1 ounce earned him $25,000 as the second-place boater.

Green pumpkin was the order of the day for most anglers, including Wagner, who said he caught his bass with a 3 1/2-inch tube and a 5-inch finesse worm using a 3/16-ounce leadhead featuring a 4/0 hook.

"I was fishing rock piles around Barkley Dam, drifting with the current and letting the bait drift down over the rocks," he said. "I had a 4-6 on Thursday, and I caught the biggest one today on the same rod."

Wagner, the current Music City Division points leader, advanced to the All-American by ranking 21st in the 2004 Music City points standings and then finishing first at the Columbus Pool regional.

Richards jumps to third

Mark Richards managed a third-place finish despite having to forego his pattern on the final day.Houston, Texas, angler Mark Richards caught 24 pounds, 2 ounces over three days to take home $12,000 as the No. 3 boater. He entered the final day in the No. 6 position and advanced despite losing his game plan early in the day.

"My main pattern was fishing a spot with running water in the Tennessee River," Richards said. "There were baitfish there, and there were big fish there. Whatever that water was, they shut it off today. It wasn't running."

Richards fished the area for about an hour before he gave up and began a hunt for new spots.

"I just ran a bunch of spots I'd never fished before, and I was happy to catch four today," he said. "If they were running water, I'd be sorry I didn't win it."

Richards, a Northeasterner by birth, finished 20th in the Cowboy Division in 2004 and finished sixth at the Columbus Pool regional to claim an All-American slot.

Crow, Deal round out top five

Day-one leader Brent Crow ended the tournament in fourth place.Day-one leader Brent Crow of Hartselle, Ala., ended the tournament in fourth with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him $9,000.

"It was a tough day again today," he said. "The last two days have gotten slower and slower. I didn't lose any today; I just didn't get enough bites."

Haubstadt, Ind., boater Ryan Deal landed in the fifth spot with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 7 ounces and took home $7,000.

"I'm pretty fortunate to be in the top 10," Deal said. "I didn't execute this week at all. Maybe next year - I'll be back."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 All-American boaters:

6th: Robert Beatty of Clermont, Fla., 20-10, $6,500
7th: Michael Bryson of LaFayette, Ga., 20-0, $6,000
8th: Jeff Wooldridge of LaFayette, La., 18-13, $5,500
9th: John Pearson of Perry, Ga., 18-5, $5,000
10th: Rick Byrnes of Tamaroa, Ill., 17-15, $4,500

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2005-06-09-bfl-all-american 

/news/2016-02-10-dudley-links-up-with-livingston-lures

Dudley Links Up with Livingston Lures

Livingston Lures has added three-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year David Dudley to its pro-staff. The Virginia pro joins two-time FLW AOY Andy Morgan and former FLW Rookie of the Year Stetson Blaylock on the Team Livingston roster. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-power-pole-extends-partnership-with-flw

Power-Pole Extends Partnership with FLW

FLW announced yesterday that JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems, has signed a sponsorship extension for the 2016 season. This will be the sixth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-flw-college-fishing-western-conference-opens-season-on-shasta-lake

FLW College Fishing Western Conference Opens Season on Shasta Lake

REDDING, Calif. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 20 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Western Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-lake-shasta-set-to-host-costa-flw-series-opener-presented-by-minn-kota

Lake Shasta Set to Host Costa FLW Series Opener Presented by Minn Kota

REDDING, Calif. – The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 18-20 for a tournament presented by Minn Kota when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Western Division. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-montgomery-targets-prespawn-bass-for-win

Montgomery Targets Prespawn Bass for Win

Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-top-10-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee

Oklahoma’s Bradley Hallman sewed up his first Walmart FLW Tour victory at the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats by pitching and punching reed heads in the South Bay area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Hallman stuck with his program despite up-and-down air temperatures, high winds and all the curveballs Mother Nature could throw at him. Here's how the rest of the top 10 got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-hallman-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Wins Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought just two bass to the scale Sunday totaling 6 pounds, 8 ounces, but it was still enough to earn the win at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s four-day cumulative total of 16 bass weighing 71 pounds, 2 ounces earned him the win by an impressive 14-pound, 14-ounce margin over second-place pro Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, and $100,000 in the tournament that featured 169 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing in the first FLW Tour event of the regular season. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-big-hall-man-on-okeechobee

Big (Hall)Man on Okeechobee

It was the Bradley Hallman show all week long at Lake Okeechobee at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. Though, the Norman, Okla., pro struggled on day four and brought in only two fish for 6 pounds, 8 ounces, he pulled off the wire-to-wire victory in his first event on Tour. The 13-pound, 9-ounce lead that Hallman built up through the first three days of competition was enough that he didn't actually have to weigh his fish today. Hallman's tournament total of 71 pounds, 2 ounces far exceeded the 56-04 caught by runner-up Alex Davis. For the win, Hallman earned $100,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-lake-okeechobee-day-4-coverage

Lake Okeechobee Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-montgomery-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-bulldog-division-opener-on-lake-eufaula

Montgomery Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

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