The legend takes the lake

Lake Michigan champ David Gliebe shows the world his trophy.

ESCANABA, Mich. - When David Gliebe brought in the tournament's heaviest stringer Friday at 22 pounds, 4 ounces, he established a 2-pound, 14-ounce lead and made it seemingly impossible for anyone to catch him. But as it always is in professional bass fishing, no lead is safe, and troubling Gliebe's mind was the fact that he was having a tough time getting a limit in the boat. He knew his area was teeming with bass, but what he didn't know was whether he could get five to bite. And even if he did, the light line he was forced to use might not be strong enough to actually get them in the boat. In the end, though, the veteran Gliebe prevailed, bringing in another limit of bass on day four, this time weighing in at 20 pounds, 10 ounces, to bring his two-day total to an astounding 42 pounds, 14 ounces and earning him $8,200 cash plus a Ranger boat - the 49th boat he has won over the course of his illustrious career. Winner David Gliebe triumphantly hoists one of the biggest bass of his 20-10 limit.Though it was never a sure thing, it seemed only natural that Gliebe would take home the trophy, as the Benton, Ky., pro formerly of Stockton, Calif., has quite a resume, including the fact that he can lay claim to co-inventing the pitching and flipping techniques in addition to scoring legions of tournament wins. He earned his first EverStart victory on a spot he found in practice, and even his practice time was punctuated with a typical West Coast laid-back attitude. "I played golf two of the days I was here to prefish," he said. "It was so windy, I didn't want to beat myself up." It didn't matter. In eight days of largely unproductive prefishing, Gliebe stumbled upon an underwater point he described as the length of a football field. That spot held enough fish to last Gliebe for four days, and a productive four days they were. On day one, he boated only four bass, but those four weighed 16 pounds, 12 ounces and put him in ninth place heading into day two, when he caught four more worth 14 pounds, 14 ounces to end the opening round in fifth place with 31-10. The limits started coming on day three, when his 22-pound, 4-ounce catch set the mark to beat on the pro side. "We stuck a total of 57 fish on the island, but we didn't land them all," he said of his and his co-anglers' success on the sweet spot. "The island's the size of this parking lot, and I only fished a tenth of it." The prolific island was located about 20 miles south of the launch site at Escanaba Harbor, and he said the fish were on the protected side of the wind in a 300-yard stretch. "The fish kept moving in and out, so it was a matter of going in and out, back and forth," he said. "The river channel swept across one part of it, so they had deep-water access." That deep water, Gliebe said, was the reason why the fish in his hole averaged at about 4 pounds each, as opposed to the more prevalent 3-pound average. But figuring them out was no easy task, which explains why his final-round numbers were better than his opening-round figures. "The first two days I didn't quite understand what I was fishing," he said. "They were nitpicky. Did they move in? Did they move out? I had to chase them down the island." Many pros milked Washington Island for fat sacks of bass this week, and Gliebe's area was close by, situated across from Washington. He caught his bass on a flipping stick with 12-pound-test line the first three days. "Today I dropped 8-pound-test to make sure I got five bites," he said. "I culled two fish today, which is the best I've done. I've done a little better each day." Like the vast majority of the final 10 pros, Gliebe caught his bass using green-pumpkin tubes. His were rigged on 3/8-ounce or 1/4-ounce jigheads. This was his first EverStart Series victory. Lowitzki remains in second Richard Lowitzki caught 17-15 today but came up short, finishing second but still earning his highest career EverStart finish.The first three slots of the leaderboard remained unchanged from days three to four, and St. Charles, Ill., pro Richard Lowitzki kept his second-place spot with five bass today weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces that brought his two-day total to 37 pounds, 5 ounces. He earned $8,200 for his runner-up finish. "Dave, I had no idea you were such a celebrity," Lowitzki said on stage to Gliebe. "Hopefully I'll be successful like Dave one day." Lowitzki has already experienced quite a bit of success, particulary as a co-angler on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. He caught the tour's heaviest bass of the season in 2005, but this week marked his first appearance on the EverStart top-10 list. "The first two days I really struggled," Lowitzki said. "I lost a lot of good, quality fish, and I didn't execute. Yesterday I made an adjustment, and you saw what happened." Indeed, Lowitzki's day-three limit weighing 19-6 was his tournament best, but he stopped fishing at noon that day to allow his co-angler and his friend Robert Sherry access to the hot spot - a decision that could have cost him a victory. "If I'd have not quit yesterday, I could have won, but I thought I was managing my fish," he said. "I just went out and did everything I could. I fished really, really hard; I just didn't get the big bites." Lowitzki fished Washington Island, dragging and hopping a green-pumpkin tube on 10-pound-test fluorocarbon to land his bass. Taylor takes third, moves up to second in points Michigan pro Rick Taylor came in third and bumped himself up a few notches in Northern Division points standings, where heRick Taylor of Holland, Mich., caught a two-day total of 32 pounds, 3 ounces to earn third place and $7,800, and he also put himself in contention for an Angler of the Year title by moving up to second place in the Northern Division points standings. "I got to my first spot this morning, and there was no water on it," Taylor said. "A strong wind blew the water out of the bay. I went four hours and had only two fish, and I caught a 3 1/2-pounder in the last two minutes." Taylor's bait of choice this week was a chartreuse Bumper Stumper spinnerbait rigged with 3/8- and 1/4-ounce weights. He relied on sunshine to catch his fish and as such had trouble with this morning's rainy, overcast skies. "This morning when it was dark, they wouldn't touch (the spinnerbait)," he said. "The sun came out, and they started chasing it." Taylor made a 38-mile run to shallow rock shoals to find his bass. Sherry, Dobson round out top five Finishing fourth and earning $7,300 was Robert Sherry of St. Charles, Ill., who caught five bass on day four weighing 16-5 for a two-day total of 28 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught his bass in clear water on rock piles with tube baits, using 8- to 10-pound-test line. Scott Dobson caught 28-12 during the final rounds to claim fifth place on Lake Michigan.Clarkston, Mich., pro Scott Dobson took fifth place and $6,800 with a two-day total of nine bass that weighed 28 pounds, 12 ounces, including his day-four catch of five bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught the majority of his bass on a hard jerkbait. Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Michigan: 6th: Mark Peiser of Indianapolis, eight bass, 21-1, $5,800 7th: Gary Adkins of Green Bay, Wis., five bass, 17-6, $4,800 8th: Fred Roumbanis of Auburn, Calif., six bass, 17-5, $4,300 9th: Mike Webber of Holly, Mich., five bass, 13-12, $3,800 10th: Derick Buchbinder of Rapid River, Mich., two bass, 5-2, $3,300 Coming up The next EverStart Series event is a Northeast Division contest on Lake Champlain near Plattsburgh, N.Y., Sept. 14-17. The next Northern Division tournament will be the fourth and final event of the regular season, held on the Detroit River near Trenton, Mich., Sept. 21-24.

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/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

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Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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