Evans: from 20th to first

HENDERSON, N.C. - When Larry Evans of Southpoint, Ohio, qualified for the 20th and last spot in the Stren Series Northeast Division semifinals Thursday afternoon, many folks hardly took notice. Evans, however, got their attention Saturday afternoon as he took home the Stren Series victory on Kerr Lake, winning a fully rigged Ranger boat and $10,000 cash. "Have you ever heard of heaven on Earth?" Evans asked Chris Jones after being declared the winner. "Well, I'm there right now; this is heaven on Earth." After the weights were cleared Friday morning, Evans got mired in a three-way tie for the lead that occurred during Friday's semifinal round, when three pros caught identical weights of 15 pounds, 10 ounces. Today, he separated himself from the pack with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces to win with a two-day total of 29-6. Evans attributed the win to the good fortune of having a large school of 4-pound bass swim into his area both Friday and Saturday. "I was fishing along yesterday, looked up and saw this large school of 4-poundersLarry Evans' winning jig: a 3/4-ounce Stacey King casting jig with a Paca Craw trailer. just swimming down the bank," he recounted. "It was as if God said, `There they are, Larry; all you have to do is throw out there and catch them.' And that's exactly what I did." He experienced the same phenomenon today when another school swam by him, and he made hay while the sun was shining. Evans was fishing around the biggest island in the mouth of Nutbush Creek when the bass windfall occurred. "I was flipping stump rows down there with a 3/4-ounce Stacey King casting jig, teamed with a Net Bait Paca Craw," Evans reported. "Once the schools showed up, the fish positioned themselves on the stumps, and I could catch them with ease." This marked Evans' first victory in an FLW Outdoors event. Tindall finishes second Curt Tindall of Brandon, Vt., finished second with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 8 ounces.Finishing just 14 ounces behind Evans was Vermont's Curt Tindall with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 8 ounces, worth $10,000. Tindall used the "stay close and just fish" approach this week. "I probably didn't burn 20 gallons all week," he said. "I stayed right here in Nutbush. I'd just put my trolling down and fish. Sometimes I'd fish a couple of miles before I made a move with the big motor." Tindall concentrated his fishing efforts on visible stumps at the ends of main-lake points. He used his trolling motor to follow along the primary breaklines, looking for any dark shadows or stumps beneath the water. He pitched a 1/4-ounce Booyah jig, teamed with a 5-inch Yamamoto twin-tail trailer, and a Bass Pro Shops green-pumpkin tube, teamed with a 1/4-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight, to the stumps. Auten powers his way to third Finishing third with a two-day total of 27 pounds, 5 ounces was Todd Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., finished third with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 5 ounces.Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., who earned $8,950. Auten stayed in the Nutbush area all week, fishing a buzzbait, a Splash-it popper and a 1/2-ounce Outlaw jig, teamed with a Zoom Ultravibe trailer. "I was mostly fishing docks with the jig," he said. "But in between the docks, I'd throw the buzzbait and popper to cover water, and that produced a few of my keepers as well." Montgomery takes fourth Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., finished fourth with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 4 ounces.Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., finished fourth with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 4 ounces, taking home $7,950. Montgomery also power-fished shallow along small creeks and cuts between Butcher's Creek and Nutbush Creek. In the mornings, he would swim a white 3/8-ounce Outlaw jig with a white Zoom Superchunk along stumps and docks. In the afternoons he switched to a brown 1/2-ounce Outlaw jig, teamed with a Zoom Salty Chunk. "I had mostly been fishing docks and stumps this week," he said. "But today I picked up on a pattern on pontoon boats and started skipping a jig around those." Park takes fifth Ryan Park of Elizabeth Town, Pa., used a finesse worm on an 1/8-ounceRyan Park of Elizabeth Town, Pa., finished fifth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 5 ounces. jighead to finish fifth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 5 ounces for $7,450. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Northeast event on Kerr Lake: 6th: Tim McDonald of Hagerhill, Ky., with a two-day total of 24-2, $6,450 7th: Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., with a two-day total of 23-8, $5,450 8th: Ray Griffin of Henderson, N.C., with a two-day total of 22-7, $4,950 9th: Cavin Young of Prince George, Va., with a two-day total of 19-0, $4,450 10th: Keith Monson of Burgin, Ky., with a two-day total of 14-12, $3,950

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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 »


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 »


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 »


Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


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 »


Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

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


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 »


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 »


Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree



Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win



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 »


Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville



Lanter Wins on Rend Lake



Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »


Gamecocks Win College Title



Gamecocks Win National Title

As any good Palmetto State bass fisherman will tell you, home lake advantage only works if you’re consistent in your catches from day to day. Anthony Gagliardi proved it here on Lake Murray last summer in the Forrest Wood Cup, and the University of South Carolina proved it again in the FLW College Fishing National Championship that concluded Saturday. READ MORE »


Hallman Prevails On Grand



Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3