UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

How sweet it is

Terry Tucker of Gadsden, Ala., wins his first Stren Series event on West Point Lake with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 12 ounces.

LAGRANGE, Ga. - Coming into the Stren Series Southeast Division event at West Point Lake, Terry Tucker's enthusiasm level for tournament bass fishing was beginning to wane.

The veteran tournament angler from Gadsden, Ala., has been hard at it for two decades without a major-league win, and he was beginning to wonder if such a victory was even in his future.

That all changed today when Tucker brought in a day-four catch of 10 pounds, 13 ounces to finally clench a Stren Series victory - and in dominating fashion to boot. As it turned out, Tucker's two-day total of 25 pounds, 12 ounces gave him more than 10 pounds to spare over second place.

"I needed this, I really needed this," he said after the win. "Seriously, the last few months I'd been having some serious thoughts about hanging this fishing gig up for a while, mainly because it just wasn't fun anymore - it had lost its zip."

Indeed, Tucker filled his tank full of zip today after putting a win on his resume and collecting $64,000 in cash and prizes, including a fully rigged Ranger boat.

"I'm ready to go to Pickwick now (on the FLW Tour)," a smiling Tucker said. "This puts me back in the saddle, and I'm ready to ride again."

All week Tucker fished a big area located in Yellow Jacket Creek. The area consisted of a large, shallow flat that had a small 1- to 3-foot ditch meandering through it. The edge of the ditch was sweetened with stumps, stickups and other scattered pieces of cover.

"They are basically residential fish that live back there all year long," Tucker said.Terry Tucker's winning baits: a Davis flat-sided crankbait, a 1/2-ounce Bite-A-Bait spinnerbait and a homemade jig featuring a Prowler pro-chunk trailer. "When the water is low and cold like this, they are forced to relate to that ditch."

Tucker relied on a Davis flat-sided crankbait, a 1/2-ounce Bite-A-Bait spinnerbait and a homemade jig featuring a Prowler Pro chunk trailer to fish the isolated objects along the ditch's edge.

He fished the crankbait on 14-pound-test line with a 7-foot Kistler crankbait rod. The jig was tied to 20-pound-test line on a 7-foot, 6-inch Kistler extra-heavy-action flipping stick.

Tucker alternated between the crankbait, jig and spinnerbait as he fished through the flat.

Now that he has won on West Point Lake, the champion has suddenly grown fond of the lake.

"I used to hate West Point - now I love this place," he added.

Defoe runner-up

Pro Ott Defoe of Dandridge, Tenn., finished second with a two-day total of 15 pounds, 1 ounce.Ott Defoe of Dandridge, Tenn., rallied into second place today with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces for a two-day total of 15 pounds, 1 ounce worth $10,000.

Defoe stumbled across a mother lode of bass in Yellow Jacket Creek on day two of the tournament when he caught 21 pounds on a Rat-L-Trap.

"I caught those fish on Thursday in about a 300-yard stretch that featured three flat, shallow points," he said. "That's where I spent the rest of the tournament, but the fish seemed to have moved out a little deeper today and I had to go to a No. 7 Shad Rap to catch them."

Hailstones third

Patrick Hailstones of Cincinnati finished third with a two-day total 14 pounds, 10Pro Patrick Hailstones of Cincinnati, Ohio, finished third with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 10 ounces. ounces and collected $9,000.

He fished most of the week in the middle portion of the lake throwing Shad Raps, Rat-L-Traps and square-billed crankbaits in 3 to 5 feet of water.

Today he gambled on one place up the river that paid off, allowing him to weigh in one of only three limits posted in the Pro Division.

"I feel really good about how I fished this week," Hailstones said. "I had a good area, I made good decisions, and I caught everything that bit me - no sob stories here. I made the best of what I had."

Stowers fourth

Pro Kevin Stowers of Gainesville, Ga., shows off his 7-pounder which helped him finish fourth with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 12 ounces.Kevin Stowers of Gainesville, Ga., rallied to fourth place today with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 12 ounces thanks in large part to a 7-pound kicker.

Stowers was one of the few anglers that figured out a deep bite on West Point this week and made it work.

"I had one place in about 30 feet of water that produced a lot of my fish," Stowers said. "It was too windy to stay on it today, but that's where my big one came from."

Stowers reported catching his fish on a 1/4-ounce Swarming Hornet finesse jig.

Stowers' finish was worth $8,000.

Phillips fifth

Artie Phillips of Monroe, N.C., finished fifth with a two-day total of 12 Pro Artie Phillips of Monroe, N.C., finished fifth with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 12 ounces.pounds, 12 ounces worth $7,500.

Phillips caught most of his fish this week on a Lucky Craft Pointer jerkbait.

"I was fishing red clay points with rocks," he said. "I had to have wind; no wind meant no fish. I was fishing the jerkabit extremely slow, almost like a worm.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Southeast event on West Point Lake:

6th: Charles Pearson of Auburn, Ala., with a two-day total of 11-9, $6,500
7th: Timothy Little of Acworth, Ga., with a two-day total of 11-2, $5,500
8th: Barry Isbell of Trussville, Ala., with a two-day total of 10-10, $5,000
9th: Greg Barwick of East Dublin, Ga., with a two-day total of 6-14, $4,500
10th: Jason Knapp of Uniontown, Pa., with a two-day total of 6-11, $4,000

Coming up

The next Stren Southeast event takes place March 15-18 on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala., while the next event to take place in the Stren Series overall will be Feb. 22-25 when the Central Division visits Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2006-02-15-west-point-lake 

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-hallman-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Wins Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought just two bass to the scale Sunday totaling 6 pounds, 8 ounces, but it was still enough to earn the win at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s four-day cumulative total of 16 bass weighing 71 pounds, 2 ounces earned him the win by an impressive 14-pound, 14-ounce margin over second-place pro Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, and $100,000 in the tournament that featured 169 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing in the first FLW Tour event of the regular season. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-big-hall-man-on-okeechobee

Big (Hall)Man on Okeechobee

It was the Bradley Hallman show all week long at Lake Okeechobee at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. Though, the Norman, Okla., pro struggled on day four and brought in only two fish for 6 pounds, 8 ounces, he pulled off the wire-to-wire victory in his first event on Tour. The 13-pound, 9-ounce lead that Hallman built up through the first three days of competition was enough that he didn't actually have to weigh his fish today. Hallman's tournament total of 71 pounds, 2 ounces far exceeded the 56-04 caught by runner-up Alex Davis. For the win, Hallman earned $100,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-lake-okeechobee-day-4-coverage

Lake Okeechobee Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-top-5-patterns-from-the-okeechobee-tour-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Okeechobee Tour Day 1

The Walmart FLW Tour has been coming to Lake Okeechobee for the better part of 20 years. And for a vast majority of those years, the north end of the lake has been the business end – where the business of fish catching is done. Today, that tradition was derailed in the first round of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Hendry County Tourism Development Council. Though some boats did sample the Harney Pond area up north, many of the normal fish-producing haunts such as the Monkey Box, Dyess Ditch and Fisheating Bay were complete ghost towns. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-leads-day-one-of-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Leads Day One Of Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Oklahoma pro Bradley Hallman, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 25 pounds even Thursday to grab the early lead after day one of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Right behind him in second place is renowned Okeechobee angler Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, who weighed in five bass totaling 22-8. Hallman now brings a 2½-pound lead into day two of the four-day READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-takes-the-lead-with-25

Hallman Takes the Lead with 25

The old saying is that the third time is the charm, but for Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla., it’s more like the first time is the charm. Hallman is fishing his first Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee. It’s the first day of the first Tour event of 2016, and Hallman sits in first place with 25 pounds even. Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman sacked up an impressive 25-pound limit of bass to take the lead on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour opener on Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-okeechobee-day-1-coverage

Okeechobee Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-03-5-key-areas-on-okeechobee

5 Key Areas on Okeechobee

There are many well-known areas on Lake Okeechobee that are commonly talked about around the docks before and after each event, but five key spots in particular will certainly play a role in this week’s Walmart FLW Tour opener. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-03-5-to-watch-on-okeechobee

5 to Watch on Okeechobee

This year, the Big O is giving the 169-boat field a different look than they’ve seen in past years in the form of high, dirty water. The odds could favor the locals more than in years past, though the caliber of skill among the entire field is over the top. Really, it could be anyone’s tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-02-scouting-the-big-o-with-wesley-strader

Scouting the Big O with Wesley Strader

Wesley Strader is known and admired for his unique wit and constant cheer, but his consistency is what has been the true hallmark of his successful fishing career. Last week, that consistency paid off with the first big win he’s had since 2002 at the B.A.S.S. Open on the Kissimmee Chain in central Florida. Now he’s got his eye on starting the Walmart FLW Tour season on the right foot a few hours south at Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »