Lampman lands three lunkers, wins Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship

MOLINE, Ill. - A relatively monotonous 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship did a complete turnabout on day four, courtesy of some big-fish drama from pros Shannon Kehl and Robert Lampman. After riveting the Quad Cities crowd with two giant walleyes, Kehl reached into his bag once more, but this time it was empty. In winning the FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River, Lampman not only claimed his first Walleye Tour victory, he also walked away with a check for a cool $125,000. The multitasker from De Soto, Wis., savored his championship triumph. Robert Lampman holds up his trophy after winning the 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River."I can't find the words to describe it," Lampman said. "It's the greatest thing that has ever happened to me." Lampan's steady pattern of bringing two fish each day ended on day four. "I started out two fish, two fish, two fish; well now, at least I have three fish." Lampman said. "I thought I had enough weight to be in the top three. These guys were bringing in consistent weights. I went to one spot this morning and worked it, worked it and worked it, but only caught one small fish by 10:30. Robert Lampman"I thought, `man, this isn't going to work,' so I decided to go to a trolling bite. When I got there, the weeds were so bad I knew it wouldn't work. I decided to go back to what got me here, and in 15 minutes, I put two nice fish in the boat." Lampman finished the final round with a two-day weight of 21 pounds, 6 ounces and said he caught his fish on Pool 14 by dragging willow cats over the tops of wing dams. Kehl blames weeds, finishes second Pro Shannon Kehl pumps his fist as he weighs in his final fish, temporarily giving him the lead in the 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship. Shannon Kehl looked like the man to beat heading into the final day. He and his Pool 14 partner, Rick Olson, had consistently pulled big fish out of their spot all week. On day four the big fish bit, just not enough of them, as Kehl's come-from-behind bid ended a few pounds short. "I couldn't get bit up there today," said Kehl. "The weeds were really bad; you could hardly even troll." Kehl then reflected on his performance and said, "I've never really done that well on the Mississippi River. These willow-cat guys are tough, especially him. I just needed one more good bite." The Menoken, N.D., native's final-round weight was 17 pounds, 12 ounces, which earned him a check for $55,000. Goligowski zeroes, remains third Kevin Goligowski ended the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship disappointingly, failing to boat a walleye on day four.Kevin Goligowski was the beneficiary of a tough bite for the remaining eight anglers. Despite failing to boat a walleye, the Maplewood, Minn., pro remained in third place with 6 pounds, 13 ounces and cashed a check for $20,000. "I was casting crankbaits upstream, which was a little different than everyone else," said Goligowski. "I pulled a 28-incher in practice." Fluekiger boats two, takes fourth Finishing in fourth place was Jarrad Fluekiger of Alma, Wis. Fluekiger caught two walleyes Saturday, bringing his final-round total to 6 pounds, 1 ounce. Pro Jarrad Fluekiger caught two walleyes on day four and finished the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship in fourth place."I had a great year and a great tournament," he said. "I had the bites the last two days, I just dropped them. I was sweeping the wing dams with willow cats, just like I do back home. The walleyes use the wing dams to ambush baitfish." Fluekiger's fourth-place finish earned him $17,500. Grunwaldt fifth Carl Grunwaldt of Green Bay, Wis., earned $20,000 and finished in fifth place with a final-round weight of 4 pounds, 11 ounces. "Anytime you've made it to Wal-Mart, you've had a good tournament," he said. "A few more degrees and these fish would have put the feeding bag on." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists at the FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River: 6th: Rick Olson of Mina, S.D., two walleyes, 4-1 7th: Aaron McQuoid of Isle, Minn., one walleye, 2-2 8th: Dan Stier of Pierre, S.D., one walleye, 1-15 9th: Ross Grothe of Northfield, Minn., one walleye, 1-3 10th: Jeff Ryan of Lake View, Iowa, zero walleyes, 0-0

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Lefebre Lands on Top

Nobody saw it coming. Nobody but Dave Lefebre, that is. The Erie, Pa., pro came into the final day on Lewis Smith Lake 8 pounds, 8 ounces off the lead set by Oklahoman Zack Birge. Lefebre was in seventh place. He was chasing a rookie pro who appeared to be on a rock-solid pattern. But at takeoff ceremonies before the final day began, Lefebre hinted that he had found something special. He was confident he could catch a huge bag of fish. He suspected that Birge might struggle. And he was right on all accounts. In front of a jam-packed crowd in Jasper, Ala., Lefebre won the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude with the second-best five-bass limit of the tournament – 19 pounds, 5 ounces – in shocking come-from-behind fashion when Birge brought in only four bass that weighed 5-2. Lefebre’s four-day total of 65-5 earned him the $125,000 payday. READ MORE »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

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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 »


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 »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »


Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »


Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »