Stick Tracy

Pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., earned a hard-fought victory and $100,000 Saturday on Lake Champlain in the final FLW Tour qualifier of 2006.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - While many of the top pros at Lake Champlain this week were scouring the flats looking for spawning smallmouths to catch, Tracy Adams turned his eyes toward the bank and its quarry of big largemouths to win the $100,000 Pro Division title at the final regular-season stop of the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Trailing leader Dion Hibdon by just 2 ounces coming into Saturday, Adams caught the day's heaviest five-bass limit - 17 pounds, 11 ounces - and defeated runner-up Kevin Vida by just under a pound and a half. Adams totaled a winning 34-7 in the two-day final round and Vida 33-1. Hibdon, who caught the heaviest stringers each of the first three days, fell off his pace Saturday, caught a limit weighing just 14-5 and finished third with a final weight total of 31-3. Adams was part of the contingent of anglers who braved the hour-long run to the south end of Lake Champlain each day to fish for largemouth bass. All four days, while many pros stayed on the upper end of the lake sight-fishing for smallies, Tracy went down to Ticonderoga, N.Y., to fish grass and milfoil for summer-pattern largemouths. The plan worked, too, not just for Adams, but for fellow finalists Hibdon and Curt Lytle. However, weather conditions changed the final two days. The wind switched, coming out of the north, and that altered the feeding habits of the fish on the south end. The first two days, Adams had been able to work the grass mats and catch fish with ease on his main bait, a green-pumpkin Zoom brush hog, but Friday and Saturday the bite tended to taper off when the north wind picked up later in the morning. Pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., five largemouth bass weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday and won with a two-day total of 34-7."I was in the grass about 8 feet deep all week, and they quit biting about 9 o'clock every day," the pro from Wilkesboro, N.C., said. "I knew I had to do something if I was going to win, so after getting my limit in the grass early today, I picked up a jig and started flipping willow trees in about 2 feet of water." When he decided to go shallow, Adams had a limit in the livewell, but it weighed just 10 or 11 pounds - nothing close to a winning weight. Flipping his 3/8-ounce, black-and-blue Hotshot Lure jig with a sapphire-blue Zoom Super Chunk trailer, however, he was able pluck some good 3- and 4-pounders out of the flooded willows close to the bank. He caught some 15 keeper largemouths Saturday, including a kicker fish he estimated at around 4 pounds, 2 ounces, and culled up to his moneymaking weight. The veteran Adams utilized one of the lake variables this week that many pros talked about coming into the event. The water level on big Lake Champlain was much higher than the anglers had seen in tournaments past, about four or five feet, and that turned out to be the winner's salvation when that north wind picked up speed Saturday morning. Tracy Adams takes home his first FLW Tour trophy, at Lake Champlain, after 10 years on tour."Those willows wouldn't have been in the water if the lake hadn't been up," Adams said. "So that definitely helped." This was Adams' first victory on the FLW Tour, and it was a long time coming. He's fished the tour since its inception in 1996 and has four prior top-10 finishes to his name - including a runner-up - but victory had eluded him until his fifth trip to the finals this week. "Man, it feels pretty good. It just kind of feels like, finally, it happened," he said. "It just shows you how hard it is to win with 200 guys out there. I mean, the competition is just so strong." Pro Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., caught 17 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday, the second-heaviest limit of the day, and his second-place final total weight was 33-1.Vida strong on smallies, comes up short Vida caught a hefty sack of smallmouths that, fishing a green-pumpkin Mizmo tube, he picked off from spawning beds up north on the flats. His catch Saturday - 17 pounds, 4 ounces - was the second-heaviest of the day, and his second-place final total weight of 33-1 earned him $36,000. "I had a great day today. I couldn't do anything wrong. I had my limit within the first 25 minutes, and I just went up to the north end and caught them all day long," the pro from Clare, Mich., said. "This is, no doubt, the best all-around fishing lake in the country, and not just for bass. Everybody here is very lucky to have what you have, so please take care of it." Third-place pro Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., caught 10 bass weighing 31-3 in the finals. His limit Saturday weighed 14-5.Hibdon runs out of big ones, takes third Like Adams, Hibdon's largemouth efforts down at Ticonderoga fell off after the first two days. However, he didn't quite adjust as well as the winner, and Hibdon finished third, collecting $25,000. "I just never had a big one bite me today," said Hibdon, who stuck to pitching a Lucky Strike jig with a Guido's Bug trailer in the grass. "With that north wind, they just don't like it very good after 9 o'clock, so the last two days were pretty frustrating for me. But I had a great week, and I'm tickled to death." Fourth-place pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., caught 10 bass weighing 30-9 in the finals at Lake Champlain.Martin catches largemouths, takes fourth The defending FLW Tour Lake Champlain champion from 2004, Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., rallied with a 16-pound, 14-ounce limit Saturday but could only muster a fourth-place finish. His final-round weight was 30 pounds, 9 ounces, and he earned $20,000. "I went south today. I couldn't believe it. I found those fish, like, eight days ago, and I didn't think they'd be there with all the people that have been fishing out there this week," said Martin, who weighed in his first pair of largemouth bass of the week Saturday. "That's the first largemouth I've weighed in in three events here, but I told them I'd catch a largemouth today." Fifth-place pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, caught 10 bass weighing 30-3 in Lake ChamplainFukae finesses to fifth Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, finesse-fished his way into a 15-pound, 12-ounce limit Saturday and finished the finals in fifth place with a total weight of 30-3. He earned $18,000. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers in FLW Tour competition at Lake Champlain: 6th: Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., 29-8, $17,000 7th: Thomas Lavictoire of West Rutland, Vt., 28-0, $16,000 8th: Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., 24-12, $15,000 9th: Jerry Williams of Conway, Ark., 21-9, $14,000 10th: Curt Lytle of Zuni, Va., 13-2, $13,000 Flanked by his wife, Kristin, and his fellow pro anglers, Anthony Gagliardi accepts $25,000 from Land OFinal standings update With the FLW Tour regular season at a close, Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., officially won the pro standings and the 2006 Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year award with 1,025 points. Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., was second with 1,002 points and Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., third with 985. Onto the championship The next Wal-Mart FLW Tour event is the FLW Tour Championship, scheduled for Logan Martin Lake at Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 2-5. The top 48 pros and co-anglers in the year-end standings will compete for a $1.5 million purse. The pros are gunning for a half-million-dollar winner's payout at the championship.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »