Coates takes Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio, finally got it done. After breaking his day-three EverStart Series jinx Friday with 19 pounds, 12 ounces, he never broke stride today and brought in 19 pounds, 6 ounces to win the EverStart Northeastern with a two-day total of 39 pounds, 2 ounces. For his win, Coates collected a fully rigged Ranger boat, $9,200 cash, another $10,000 cash for being a Ranger owner, plus $4,500 in Ranger Cup and Yamaha incentive bonus money. His final earnings landed in the $65,000 range. "This feels great," said Coates. "I've been fishing these waters for about eight years, and itBryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio, lets out a winning yell as he pulls out his last fish. finally paid off." Coates stayed around the Lorain area all four days of the tournament. He fished Phoenix tubes in watermelon on 3/8-ounce hand-poured jigheads in 26 to 32 feet of water. He tied the tube to 8-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon, which was spooled onto spinning gear. "The key for me was staying in one general area without running around a whole lot," he said. "I had six or seven sweet spots within one little area, and I just kept rotating those spots." Coates pointed to his rough-water boat-handling skills as another reason for his win. "Surviving that ordeal on Wednesday was the whole key to getting here," he said. "A lot of people didn't go to their primary water the first day or didn't make it back to weigh-in on time. Knowing how to navigate that kind of water is critical to being consistent on these waters." Hard work pays for Hastings Pro Aaron Hastings of Middletown, Md., finished second with a two-day total of 36 pounds, 10 ounces.Finishing second was Aaron Hastings of Middletown, Md., with a two-day total of 36 pounds, 10 ounces. Hastings attributed his successful week to hard work. "When I came up here, I didn't have any local help," he said. "I got out there with my electronics and combed the bottom of Lake Erie from Avon Point to Lorain for eight days of practice and found my own stuff." Hastings caught all of his fish on a 4-inch Kinami Flash and Poor Boy's Goby drop-shot rig with 3/8- and 1/2-ounce weights tied to 10-pound-test line. "Every day I had to move about 100 feet to keep up with the fish," he said. "I never caught them off the same exact spot two days in a row. The memory of that 20-pound bag really haunted me - I wanted to go back there - but I learned to trust my instincts and move around within my area to stay with the fish." Clapper misses again Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, swung for the fences today. He ran to Canadian water toPro Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, finished third with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 6 ounces. some of his choice spots that have produced huge bags for him in the past. When his best places didn't pan out, he retreated back to the Ohio side and scraped up 15 pounds, 15 ounces to finish third with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 6 ounces. "Sometimes knowing too many places like I do can actually hurt you," he said. "That was the case today. I know of too many places where I've caught 23- to 24-pound bags, and I wanted to hit them all, because I knew it would take at least that to win." Clapper relied on the Poor Boy's Drop-Shot Goby in Balog's Choice tied to 1/2-ounce weights most of the week. Although the well-known Erie veteran missed winning another EverStart event, he sent out a heartfelt thanks to his wife, who has supported his fishing endeavors to the fullest. Balog to fourth Pro Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich., finished fourth with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 10 ounces.Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich., kept moving up the leader board all week, but he ran out time. "Maybe if we made another cut now and fished another two days I might be able to get it right," joked Balog who rallied with 18 pounds, 13 ounces today to finish fourth with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 10 ounces. Balog fished the Avon Point area of Erie and probed waters anywhere from 28 to 38 feet to catch his fish. He used a Poor Boy's Drop-Shot Goby and an ISG Dream Tube with a 3/8-ounce "aspirin head" jighead. "Steve Clapper taught me a long time ago not to be afraid of moving around," Balog said. "I got reminded of that today; instead of locking into one place, I started moving around a lot more, and it worked. "I wasn't moving around with the big engine, but rather trolling on high speed from spot to spot within one general area." Lefebre fifth Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., finished off the week with a 16-pound, 2-Can I weigh in my son? Pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., on stage with his son, Mitchell. Lefebre finished fifth with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 3 ounces.ounce catch, which put him in fifth place with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 3 ounces. Lefebre pointed to his wise move of dropping back and punting during Wednesday's rough conditions to get him into the top 10. "On the first day, I headed out for my best smallmouth spot located about 20 mile west of Cleveland," he said. "Just as I was about to get there, I decided it was too rough to fish it, so I turned around and went back the other way - about 25 miles east of Cleveland - to some largemouth I had found in practice. I caught a small limit of largemouth, but it held me in there, and I was able to come back the next day with a big bag of smallies to make the top-10." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the EverStart Series Northeastern Division even on Erie: 6th: David Smith of Del City, Okla., 23-14 7th: Christopher King of South Amherst, Ohio, 22-5 8th: Warren Wyman of Calera, Ala., 17-3 9th: Jason Carleton of Rochester, N.Y., 11-9 10th: Jack Dalzell of Amherst, Ohio, 9-5

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-seminole-summer

Seminole Summer

Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division. Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-18-top-10-patterns-from-lake-eufaula

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Eufaula

Bryan Thrift won the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula by keying on isolated pieces of cover – brush piles, stumps, logs, rocks, etc. – for four days and hitting as many spots as possible during competition hours. Others in the top 10 fished a very similar program, but there were a few wild cards. Here’s the rundown of Eufaula’s top finishers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »