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/2015-03-30-top-10-patterns-from-lewis-smith

Top 10 Patterns from Lewis Smith

The Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Lewis Smith Lake featured a mishmash of springtime patterns that ranged from targeting bass feeding on blueback herring to catching spawning fish to dropping in on deep schools of spotted bass. Here’s a breakdown of the patterns of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-millsaps-wins-on-lake-sinclair

Millsaps Wins on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – David Millsaps of Ranger, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Millsaps earned $6,009. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-walters-nets-third-victory-on-wylie

Walters Nets Third Victory on Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, N.C. – Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Walters earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-mosley-on-top-at-arkansas-river

Mosley on Top at Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 the Arkansas River. For his victory, Mosley earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »