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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Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

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Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

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Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

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Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

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White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

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Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

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Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

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Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

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Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

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Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

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Gordon Grabs Title on Dardanelle

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Hanselmania Returns

He’s back at it again. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, won the season-opening Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad, and today he weighed in 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the second day of competition at stop No. 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman vaulted into the tournament lead with a two-day total of 43-14. “Hanselmania” leads by 5 pounds, 6 ounces over Denny Brauer, also of Del Rio, who is in second place for the second consecutive day. The leader’s stringer is even more impressive considering that Hanselman lost three 5-pounders this morning and caught 23-5 on a day when only one other pro weighed more than 20 pounds, and only three others weighed more than 18 pounds. Day-one leader Joe Don Setina weighed in only four keepers for 11 pounds today. READ MORE »

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Rayburn Day 2 Midday Update

With only one fish in the livewell at 10:30, Joe Don Setina was probably hoping for a repeat of day one – at least the part where he sacks ’em up in the second half. We found the leading pro fishing the Black Forrest area that he worked the first day, and he’s sticking with the same routine of flipping heavy cover. READ MORE »

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Setina Overcomes Slow Start

Pittsburg, Texas, pro Joe Don Setina is off to a hot start in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division this season. After a top-10 finish at the opener on Lake Amistad, Setina jumped out to the day-one lead on Sam Rayburn today. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Setina, however. He says nothing went right for him this morning, when he lost fish, snagged trees and finally had to sit down and collect himself before continuing on. After refocusing, Setina caught his first keeper at about 11 a.m. and proceeded to sack up 23 pounds, 6 ounces for a slim 8-ounce lead over second-place pro Denny Brauer, who also finished in the top 10 at the Amistad opener. READ MORE »