UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

How sweet it is

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: headline-story  rob-newell 


Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »


Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »


Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »


Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »


Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »


New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »


New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »


FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »


6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »


6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »


ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »


10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »


7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »


Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »


New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »


ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »


Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »


New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »


Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »


Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »