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/2015-06-29-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 »