It’s all McCall at Sam Rayburn

JASPER, Texas - Ten years of waiting for a win in FLW Outdoors competition erupted into a leap of joy when local Jasper, Texas, pro Chris McCall was officially determined the winner of the Stren Series Central event on Sam Rayburn. Relatively stoic all week long, even as he led the first two days of the four-day competition, McCall's excitement was on full display as the event concluded Saturday in front of a hometown crowd. "I'd like to say it hasn't sunk in yet, but it has," McCall said immediately after the weigh-in. "I've wanted to win one for so long - the FLW Tour, Stren Series, BFL - I've had so many seconds. And to win it today, when I really didn't think I was going to, that's just icing on the cake." McCall knew he needed at least 11 pounds, 12 ounces to unseat pro David Cochran of Royal, Ark., who had already weighed in his limit near the end of the shootout-style weigh-in. McCall managed to surpass Cochran by just more than a pound with his 12-11 limit that gave him a two-day, final-round total of 26-3. After final contender Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas, couldn't match the leading weight, the win was all McCall's. "I didn't think they weighed that much, so I'm just ecstatic," McCall said of his fish after his victory jump. Fishing over hydrilla beds in several locations in the midlake area of Sam Rayburn all week, McCall said he had relied upon a trio of Rat-L-Traps for his bites over the first three days and throughout most of the morning today. Perhaps it was the cold front moving out to be replaced by warmer temperatures and clear calm Saturday, but the bass just weren't buying what McCall was selling. "I'm hard-headed, so I stuck with (the Rat-L-Traps) until after 1 o'clock," he said, by which time he only had two keepers. That's when he decided to try his secondary bait, a green-pumpkin and red-flake Gambler Sweebo Worm rigged wacky style. McCall"That's what pulled it out today," he said of the 11th-hour decision, including a move to an area between the hydrilla beds and shoreline bushes. "I found these little sand points that came out with bright spots, where the fish were bedding." The change in game plan immediately led to boating a 4 1/2-pounder, and McCall said he just kept reeling them in with his baitcaster reel and 15-pound Berkley Big Game line after that. "I got them in like 15 minutes; it was just amazing," he said, adding that about half a dozen boats from another tournament were moving in on him after witnessing his success. "I'd catch one and throw it in the livewell, and catch another and throw it in the livewell while trying to keep those boats off me." Despite 10 top-10 finishes and almost $170,000 in earnings across the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Stren Series, Wal-Mart TTT and Wal-Mart BFL since 1996, a win had eluded McCall until today. To his career earnings, he can now add a 519VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude outboard and equipped with Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and EverStart batteries plus $10,000 cash. He also earned a $10,000 contingency bonus from Ranger plus $3,000 for the Ranger Cup award for a total value of $63,000. Pro David Cochran of Royal, Ark., placed second in the Stren Central event on Sam Rayburn with eight bass weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces worth $10,000.Cochran catches second place Royal, Ark., pro David Cochran said he managed to find a hot spot today that he hadn't fished since practice that he and his co-angler had all to themselves, despite about 300 boats from other tournaments being out on the reservoir. The honeyhole, which lit up for him today due to the change in weather, produced a limit that weighed 16 pounds, 7 ounces for a two-day total of 25-4. When asked about saving his best single-day weight for the finals, Cochran replied, "I didn't do it on purpose, that's for sure. Today I could see all the stuff I needed to see to throw at." Cochran, son of 2005 FLW Tour Championship winner George Cochran, was tossing Senkos and a Wacky Worm for his fish today. He earned $10,000 for his efforts. Pro Randy Millender of Teague, Texas, placed third in the Stren Central event on Sam Rayburn with 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 14 ounces worth $8,950.Millender third Pro Randy Millender of Teague, Texas, flipped a tube all week in creeks along Sam Rayburn to make it into the finals. He said he noticed the bass moving out today, so he followed them and fished with a Berkley Power Worm to get his five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces for a two-day total of 24-14 worth $8,950. "The first thing I've got to do is thank the service guys," said Millender, who had multiple maintenance problems this week, of the Ranger technicians on site. "I know those guys were sick of seeing me. I wouldn't be fishing today if it weren't for them." Newberry nails down fourth place Pro Dicky Newberry of Houston said he made a 40-mile run today to find his five bass weighing 15 pounds even. "They bit good; I caught at least two limits," he said. "They were postspawn, so they should've weighed 18, but they just didn't." Newberry's two-day total of 24-7 earned him $7,950. Hoernke holds down fifth Pro Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, brought in a limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces for a two-day total of 22-15 worth $7,450. "The thing that's great about these cut tournaments is you don't have much to lose (after weights are zeroed)," he said, adding that he and his partner covered a lot of water today in search of the big bites. "You can gamble." Hoernke's bet on exploration almost paid off. He said he missed a couple opportunities Saturday to hook big bass that would have helped his final standing. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists in the Stren Central event on Sam Rayburn: 6th: Trent Huckaby of Fort Stockton, Texas, final-round total of 22-11, $6,450 7th: Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas, 22-10, $5,450 8th: Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, 20-0, $4,950 9th: Art Garza of Buna, Texas, 18-3, $4,450 10th: Jason Reyes of Humble, Texas, 17-15, $3,950 Stren Central action resumes April 26-29 when the series visits Lake Texoma at Denison, Texas.

Tags: headline-story  patrick-baker 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »