UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

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

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Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

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Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

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Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

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Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

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Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Elkins Looked Deep on Erie

Matt Elkins of Spencerville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. For his victory, Elkins earned $5,337. READ MORE »

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Manson Targets Shad

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 8 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Manson earned $5,205. READ MORE »