UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Down to 24 at Lake Hamilton

Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., brought in the heaviest two-day catch - 23 pounds, 5 ounces - during the first round of competition at the Forrest L. Wood Championship on Lake Hamilton.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Tracy Adams caught 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces and led all pros in the opening round of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour's Forrest L. Wood Championship by a decisive margin. However, the happiest pro to come off of Lake Hamilton Thursday was probably Zell Rowland, who caught just five bass weighing a collective 5-9 over the first two days of competition.

The bracket format lived up to its billing Thursday. Where Rowland advanced to the second round, several others with sizable weights came up empty. Bobby Lane caught limits two days in a row and weighed in a total of 15 pounds, 5 ounces, but he was on the receiving end of Larry Nixon's 17-pound, 8-ounce blow and was eliminated. Alvin Shaw caught 12-6 but lost to Alton Jones' 13-6.

Perhaps the bitterest pill was swallowed by Todd Ary, however. He caught 13 pounds, 2 ounces but lost by a single ounce to a resurgent Scott Suggs, who rebounded with a better catch Thursday and totaled 13-3. Last year, Ary was eliminated in the first round of the championship brackets by virtue of a tiebreaker, of all things, with Greg Hackney.

Such is the way of things on day two of the FLW Championship.

Adams dominating tough conditions, not sure about tomorrow

The sultry conditions seen Wednesday continued at Lake Hamilton Thursday, but some cloud cover moved into the area early. That seemed to work in favor of the shallow-water fishermen somewhat, which only helped out guys like Adams, who advanced by defeating Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., (10 pounds, 1 ounce) in the first round.

"The fishing was good this morning, but after about 11 o'clock, it went downhill," said Adams, who hails from Wilkesboro, N.C. "So I really don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

North Carolina pro Tracy Adams boats a bass on day one of the Forrest L. Wood Championship.Adams - who beat everybody else's weight by more than 5 pounds over the first two days - said that he's fishing shallow, catching bass on a jig. The first day, he landed eight keepers and posted a 12-12 limit, which was hefty for the tough conditions. On day two, he caught six keepers and weighed in a limit worth 10-9, but he also broke off a solid keeper.

"I think I could have caught more yesterday than I did, but today I couldn't have caught any more," he said. "I really don't know what I can do. It seems like you can go back to the ones you missed and catch them, but I don't have any more that I missed. I definitely wore out the area that I'm fishing."

Adams will face off against Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., in the second bracket round. Strader notched a solid 15 pounds, 3 ounces and advanced over Art Berry of Hemet, Calif., (10-1) in an entertaining bracket showdown.

"I'm just covering lots of water, trying to make as many casts as I can and catch the biggest fish that I can," said Strader, who said he mainly caught fish on a topwater bait Thursday. "You never know with this place. Every day it's an adjustment."

Larry Nixon hauled in a two-day total weight of 17 pounds, 8 ounces and defeated Bobby Lane in a heavyweight bracket.Nixon, Lane both winners

Arkansas favorite Nixon topped rookie phenom Lane, but in truth they both deserve a shot at the half-million dollars this week.

Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., had a solid 9 1/2-pound weight on day one, but seemed less than thrilled with the tough fishing. Lane sat over 3 pounds behind Nixon heading into day two, but responded with a 9 1/2-pound limit of his own. Unfortunately for Lane, Nixon also came back with another 8 1/2 pounds, despite the stingy fishery, and grabbed the third-heaviest weight total of the first round.

"I caught my big fish on a buzzbait against a seawall, and that made my day," said Lane, who hails from Lakeland, Fla. "I was down 3 1/2 pounds to Larry, and I think that fish weighed about 3 1/2 pounds."

Then Lane addressed the triumphant Nixon directly: "Larry, it was an honor competing against you. You are one of my heroes."

Nixon will face Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year Hackney, who advanced over Sam Newby, in what will be a marquee bracket matchup Friday.

Danny Correia of  Marlborough, Mass., unhooks his third keeper of the day.Correia on hot spot

In another tough, heavyweight bracket, Danny Correia of Marlborough, Mass., beat Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, by amassing 18 pounds, 1 ounce in the opening round. Bird fished valiantly and landed 12-7, but he couldn't compete with Correia's weight, which was the second-heaviest of the opening round.

"I've been fishing the same group of fish about four or five hours a day," said Correia, who is fishing deep, from 15 to 25 feet, with light line and a finesse worm. "The quality's there, and there are plenty of them. When the schooling stops, that's when I go to catch them. One thing about it, too, is that I've got the place to myself."

Dean Rojas caught a good stringer Thursday and advanced past Todd Faircloth.Rojas out for redemption

With 15 pounds, 7 ounces, Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas, dominated his bracket over Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, who caught just 3-2. He will face off against Correia in the second round.

The bulk of Rojas' weight came Thursday with an 8-pound, 14-ounce limit. He caught the fourth-heaviest limit of the day, but said he has some fish saved for the rest of the week, as well.

"I played this game last year (at the championship)," he said. "I caught them really good in the semifinal round, but got beat in the finals."

Second round Friday

FLW Championship action continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. Central time at Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery ramp on Lake Hamilton.

The Pro Division has been cut in half to 24 competitors, and weights have been reset to zero. They will each face off in one-day, head-to-head competition within their brackets to determine the top 12 advancing to Saturday's final round.

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 »