UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Hamstrung at Hamilton

Matt Herren wowed the crowd on day one with a 12-pound, 15-ounce limit that was the heaviest stringer of the day.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Exactly half of the Pro Division field caught five-bass limits on opening day of the 2005 Forrest L. Wood Championship, but it was easy to tell that they weren't exactly the kinds of limits for which most of the anglers were hoping.

Trussville, Alabama's Matt Herren led all Wal-Mart FLW Tour competitors at Lake Hamilton Wednesday by catching a limit weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces. Following him closely were two more pros weighing in over the vaunted 12-pound line: Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., with 12-12 and John Murray of Phoenix with 12-10.

After that, however, things were downright stingy. Even though 24 of them caught limits, nobody else in the 48-angler field broke double digits in weight on day one.

Tom Monsoor would have dominated many brackets with his 8-pound limit but instead fell way behind his bracket-mate Matt Herren, who brought in the dayMonsoor strong, but Herren strongest

Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., impressed the Hot Springs crowd by posting the seventh-heaviest limit of bass today - 8 pounds even - but he has the misfortune of being paired against Herren's 12-15 in the opening-round brackets and now sits 4-15 behind the day's weight leader.

"That's the downside to the bracket format," said Herren, who was seeded fourth coming into the championship. "I had a really good day, but I hate to get into the bracket again that's having a shootout. It seems to follow me."

Two years ago at the FLW Championship on the James River, Herren got locked up in a heavyweight bracket battle with Shad Schenck. Even though he caught the ninth-heaviest weight in the opening round, Herren was edged out by Schenck and didn't advance.

"You hope to learn from it," Herren said. "At that one, I didn't execute as well as I should have on the second day. I just hope I can go out and do what needs to be done tomorrow. I have to because Tom caught 8 pounds."

Like much of the field, Herren caught the bulk of his bass Wednesday, which included two kickers in the 4- to 5-pound range, fishing brush piles. He said that his best fish bit between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"I don't really think there's any secret to fishing brush piles," he said. "You've just got to be the right guy in the right place, throwing the right bait in there when they're hungry. It will be interesting tomorrow. I've got some more (fishing areas) that I didn't go to today."

Tracy Adams was one of only three anglers to bring in more than 12 pounds on day one. He easily outfished bracket-mate Dave Lefebre, sprinting ahead by more than 8 pounds.Other heavyweights

Adams, seeded 44th for the championship, did some damage in his bracket Wednesday. His 12 pounds, 12 ounces topped fifth seed Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa. - who caught four bass weighing 4-8 - by more than 8 pounds.

"This is the best day I've had so far, no doubt about it," Adams said. "And I didn't know it would be, either."

Adams caught eight keepers on a shallow pattern and said he didn't run around a lot like some pros did.

"All of my fish were mostly the same size. It was just about just getting on a stretch and working it," he said. "I'm happy with it, but Dave Lefebre is one of the best fishermen out there. You just never know with a guy like Dave."

West Coast pro John Murray caught one of the dayIn another bracket shaping up to be a heavyweight showdown - as well as a Western shootout - is 31st seed Murray versus 18th seed Ken Wick of Star, Idaho. Murray's 12 pounds, 10 ounces leads Wick by almost 5 pounds, but with a limit weighing 7-11 - the 10th best catch of the day - Wick has shown that he's also on some decent fish of his own.

"I don't feel sorry for him at all," Murray laughed. "If I don't catch them tomorrow, he's going to pass me, and I know he won't feel sorry for me."

Murray landed nine keepers, including two kicker fish in the 3 1/2- to 4-pound range. He said that he caught a few fish flipping docks as well as on a topwater bait, but it was his Western strategy later in the day that really paid off.

"The biggest thing for me was the drop-shot in deep water, which I don't think a lot of guys are doing," he said. "All I do all summer long is throw that drop-shot, so this suits me. Any time you have a good stringer, you feel good about it, especially at the championship. It was one of those glory days where I couldn't do anything wrong. I wish it had happened on the last day, but I'll take it today."

Correia, Nixon reach 9 pounds

With a high, hot sun - temperatures reached well over 90 degrees - and calm, clear water, most of the anglers came in off of Hamilton with tales of woe. The bass catches were few and far between, and those they caught were relatively small.

That's why 14th seed Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, thought he had a decent day when he weighed in a limit worth 5 pounds, 1 ounce.

"I thought I was doing good. I actually culled one today," he said. "The best day I had in practice I only caught 9 pounds, so I don't know what I'm going to do to catch the bigger ones."

He'll need to figure it out fast because his bracket opponent, 35th seed Danny Correia of Marlborough, Mass., caught a limit of his own that weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce.

"I'm not on all that much, but I'm on some good fish," said Correia, who caught three keepers off his co-angler partner's spot, then moved to one of his own areas and proceeded to fill out his limit. "I'm fishing deep, and I'm really finessing them."

Arkansas resident Larry Nixon caught a 9-pound stringer to take a 3-pound, 6-ounce lead over Bobby Lane.Bee Branch, Arkansas' Larry Nixon, the 24th seed, pleased the hometown fans with a limit of his own that weighed 9 pounds even, and he took a decisive lead over 25th seed Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., who caught five bass weighing 5-10.

However, despite his lead, Nixon seemed frustrated by his own efforts on the miserly lake Wednesday.

"Shoot, on this lake, I don't feel good about anything," Nixon said. "I caught just the five keepers, and there's no guarantee that you're going to catch anything at all. It's so tough out there. I don't know what's going on. I just keep running around, going to places that I haven't been to yet, hoping that I can catch one."

Morgan, Shaw break 8 pounds

Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., caught a limit weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces and leads Gary Yamamoto of Mineola, Texas, (4-4) by over 4 pounds.

"I fished within three miles of the upper dam and two miles of the lower dam," Morgan said. "I'm just keeping my head down and fishing deep brush piles, rocks and shallow weeds. It's junk fishing."

Perennial FLW Championship qualifier Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., also reached 8 pounds exactly and leads Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, (6-13) in another tight bracket.

"It's my kind of game," Shaw said about fishing the championship for the ninth time in his career. "I like the format. I just like the championship because it gets you pumped up."

Arkansas pro Jeremiah Kindy puts local knowledge to work on day one of the 2005 Forrest L. Wood Championship.Locals lock up in tight matches

Many predicted the Arkansas locals would have a distinct advantage under the summer conditions here at Lake Hamilton. However, many of them didn't catch as much as they probably wanted to Wednesday and found themselves thrust into some pretty even matchups heading into day two.

Jeremiah Kindy of Benton, Ark., caught 6 pounds, 2 ounces and trails Chad Grigsby of Colon, Mich., (6-12) by 10 ounces.

Todd Ary of Birmingham, Ala., caught 6 pounds, 11 ounces and leads Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., (5-3) by a pound and a half.

Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, (5-11) grabbed a 9-ounce edge over Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., who caught 5-2.

A day-one cast: Pro Rob Kilby, a Hot Springs, Ark., native, will undoubtedly be a hometown favorite this week at the FLW Championship. Two locals who live on Lake Hamilton, George Cochran and Rob Kilby, both of Hot Springs, certainly fared worse than many expected. Kilby caught just one bass that weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces and trails Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas, by almost 5 pounds. Cochran landed three fish weighing 3-7, but he actually leads his bracket by 1 ounce over Sandy Melvin of Boca Raton, Fla., whose catch totalled 3-6.

In another tight matchup, Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., caught 6 pounds, 15 ounces and barely leads Art Berry of Hemet, Calif., who caught 6-2.

First cut Thursday

The second half of the opening round in bracket competition begins Thursday as all 48 pros take off from Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery ramp on Lake Hamilton at 7 a.m. Central time. Following tomorrow's fishing, the field will be cut in half. The 24 pros who win their respective head-to-head matchups, based on two-day weight, will advance to Friday's semifinal round.

Link:

Schedule of events

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2005-07-13-flw-championship-boat-outdoor-show 

/news/2016-02-12-top-10-photos-from-lake-okeechobee-

Top 10 Photos from Lake Okeechobee

FLW’s coverage crew was all over the place during the Walmart FLW Tour kickoff presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. The following photos are some of the best taken during a week of wild weather swings and big bass. READ MORE »

/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 »