Home sweet home

BENTON, Ky. - After 13 years of tournament fishing without a major win, Terry Bolton didn't have a monkey on his back. He had a full-blown gorilla. Appropriately, Bolton's first victory came on the waters he grew up on - Kentucky Lake, site of the season-ending tournament of the EverStart Series Central Division, which Bolton has fished since its inception in 1998. Since 1995, Bolton has racked up 29 top-10 finishes in various FLW Outdoors tournament trails, but until today, victory has remained elusive. "I'm kind of like a Volkswagen," Bolton joked after the weigh-in. "I'm pretty good around the house, but I'm not worth a darn on the road."Terry Bolton Indeed, Bolton's Kentucky Lake record is stellar, with 20-plus of his 29 top-10s on either Kentucky Lake or its neighbor Barkley. He caught 16 pounds, 4 ounces on day three to enter the final day in third place, and he knocked it out of the park on day four with a jaw-dropping limit that weighed 21 pounds, 5 ounces. That sack included a 5-pounder and a crowd-pleasing 8-pounder that brought his two-day total to 37 pounds, 9 ounces. Although Bolton may have a history with Kentucky Lake, his victory this week came after intense practice following the recent FLW Tour event on Wheeler Lake. "Ever since I got home from the Wheeler Lake FLW event, I've fished a whole lot - four or five times a week," Bolton said. "I've been keeping up with the bass and staying in tune with the movements of the fish." Even though Bolton stayed in the top 10 the duration of the tournament, he started to get worried on day two, when he slipped into the finals in eighth. "After the second day, I really thought I was in trouble," he said. "I decided to do things differently this year, knowing that the ledges in the river channel were holding bigger fish. They just happened to show up on one I know really well." Bolton said the lake had been subjected to a lot of pressure, causing the fish to move on those ledges. Bolton picked up on that, noticing that the fish had moved off the bottom on the final day. "I just hopped the jig in front of them, and they bit," he said. Bolton caught his tournament-winning bass on a 10 1/2-inch Zoom Ole Monster worm and a 5/8-ounce homemade jig without a weed guard. Pro winner Terry Bolton is calm before the day-four weigh-in, knowing his stringer included an 8-pound bass.Bolton realizes that with his Kentucky Lake background, deep-water fishing is his speciality, and the deep-water fishing on Kentucky Lake is at a peak in June. The fish are invariably found on the ledges, but the key for Bolton was knowing how to adjust. "I spend a lot of time ledge-fishing," he said. "It's something you become accustomed to - realizing how the fish adjust, reading the screen on your depth finder. It's getting harder to fool (the fish), the more people who are out there." Bolton says that even though the win was a long time coming, he always knew it would eventually be his turn. As for this week, once the first two days were under his belt and he was in the finals, he says he felt a calm come over him, and he knew he had a chance. "I've always heard that once you learn how to win, it's contagious," he said. "I always knew I had the ability." Bolton also finished the season ranked fifth in Central Division points standings, earning a trip to the 2005 EverStart Series Championship. McGuire earns best-ever finish Curt McGuire took second place with a two-day total weighing 33-2.Curt McGuire of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., finished in the No. 2 spot with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 2 ounces that earned him $10,000. McGuire led day three with an 18-8 limit and brought in 14-10 today - a lower weight, but still the second-heaviest pro limit brought in on day four. Like most everybody else, McGuire fished ledges all week with a jig. "I was fishing really slowly, working a jig with slow hops," he said. "If you could find one rock or small brush pile, the fish would be stacked in it." McGuire said the ledges were huge but the spots he was fishing were relatively small, and he was making one cast to each ledge. He said that even though he registered his heaviest weight on day three, that was actually his toughest day. It continued to be a challenge on day four, with the fish changing positions on the ledges, and he credits his co-angler partner Chuck Rounds with showing him how to catch them. "They moved up off the bottom, and I couldn't figure out how to catch them," he said. "This morning I thought, `Something is bad wrong.' It frazzled me - got me off my game. Chuck is how I figured out they were on top." McGuire used a green pumpkin football-head jig to catch most of his bass, though he did find some success on a crankbait and 10-inch ribbontail worm. McGuire ranked 30th in year-end points standings, also earning an EverStart championship berth. Frasier battles wind for third No. 3 pro Larry Frasier blamed a heavier wind and lots of fishing pressure for his lower weight on day four.Larry Frasier of Owensboro brought in 17-12 on day three but only 11-6 on day four, winding up third with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 2 ounces that earned him $8,950. He described the waves in his area as wind-induced 4-foot rollers, and as such he experienced some equipment problems that hindered his final-day performance. "It affected my ability to fish," he said. "The boat trouble and the locals killed me." Frasier was the only final-round pro to fish Barkley Lake this week, and the Kentucky-Barkley regular says he prefers it that way. "I fish Barkley," he said. "Shawn (Penn) and Terry (Bolton) are Kentucky Lake fishermen. I like the shallower, stained water." Though he was fishing a different lake, Frasier too was targeting ledges, looking for a boat-sized area holding fish. "Every ledge, there's always one sweet spot," he said. "When you get on it, you know it. One of my ledges was inside a bay, and I caught two 5-pounders on it." This was Frasier's second EverStart top-10. Penn takes fourth place No. 4 pro Shawn Penn puts one on the scales.Eddyville pro Shawn Penn brought in a two-day total of 28 pounds, 6 ounces to take fourth place and $7,950. Penn is a BFL LBL Division heavyweight who has fished upper-level tournament trails regularly in the past but chose to keep it close to home in recent years in support of his family. As such, Penn typically fishes only one EverStart event a year - the Kentucky-Barkley one - and he is often among the final-round anglers. "I want to watch my kids grow up," he said. Penn has scored 22 top-10 finishes on Kentucky-Barkley in the BFL and EverStart Series. Davis earns another top-10 William Davis finished the tournament in the No. 5 spot.In 2005, William Davis of Russellville, Ala., has scored five top-10 finishes on three different tournament trails, and he earned his second EverStart top-10 this week with a fifth-place finish on Kentucky Lake. Davis led days one and two but struggled a bit on days three and four compared to his opening-round performance. His two-day total weight of 28 pounds earned him $7,450. "Wednesday I probably caught 30 keepers, catching them on every cast," Davis said. "It slowed way down and totally changed, but the key to being successful is being open-minded." Davis ended the season ranked sixth in Central Division points and will also compete in the EverStart championship, which will be held in his neck of the woods on Pickwick Lake. Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pros on Kentucky Lake: 6th: Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., 27-8, $6,450 7th: Rodney Tidwell of Murray, 27-4, $5,450 8th: David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, 23-13, $4,950 9th: Billy Schroeder of Paducah, 22-10, $4,450 10th: Kelly Albert of Goodlettsville, Tenn., 16-1, $3,950 Curtis wins points race Pro David Curtis ranked No. 1 in both the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail and EverStart Series Central Division points standings.No. 8 Kentucky Lake finisher David Curtis capped off an awesome year with the 2005 Central Division points crown. Curtis earned 756 points over the course of four events in which he finished in the top 10 three times. He's also the 2005 Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail points champion. Coming up The top 40 pros in the year-end EverStart Central Division points standings will receive an automatic invite to the 2005 EverStart Series Championship, slated to take place on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., Nov. 2-5. The total purse for that event is $1 million.

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 »