UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Carter holds slim lead heading into final day of All-American

HARTFORD, Conn. - Though some believed today's bluebird skies wouldn't adversely affect the fishing, the results proved otherwise on day two of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American championship on the Connecticut River. Weights, numbers and limits were all down on day two, but Kip Carter of Oxford, Ga., managed to improve his weight and vault into the No. 1 spot with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 5 ounces. Carter caught 10 pounds, 12 ounces on day one to land in the fifth spot and caught another limit today weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces to put up a narrow 6-ounce lead over Robert Walser of Lexington, N.C. Talk is cheap, but after today's weigh-in, Walser definitely seemed confident. As for Carter, he said he caught the day's second-heaviest pro limit on a day that could best be described as slow. "I had seven bites," he said. "I lost several fish, but I was lucky enough to get a couple of good bites, so it didn't hurt me too bad." One of those good bites was a fish he estimated to be a 4-pounder, a fish that certainly helped him today given his frightfully slim lead. Also complicating matters for Carter is he's sharing his sweet spot - a backwater area off the main river - with another top-10 competitor. "I've been staying there all day," Carter said of his hot spot. "It's a pretty big area. If I can just put them in the boat, I can hang onto (the lead)." Regardless of Walser's confidence and disregarding the fact that his honey hole is crowded, Carter remains in the most enviable position here. He is the No. 1 angler heading into the final day of a tournament that pays the winning boater as much as $140,000. "I've dreamed about this since I was 8," Carter said. "I'm only 24, and it's been a long road, believe it or not. I'd love to win it to start a career with FLW." He's certainly got a head start on that, as he's currently fishing a solid season in the Stren Series Southeast Division, where he's presently ranked 48th as a pro. He fished his way to the All-American by ranking 22nd in 2005 Bulldog Division points, which earned him a trip to the Lake Toho regional, where he finished fifth. Walser adjusts, moves up to second No. 2 boater Robert Walser sits 6 ounces behind the leader heading into the final day with a combined catch of 22 pounds, 15 ounces.Exhibiting remarkable consistency, Walser improved his day-one catch by 7 ounces to move one spot up the leaderboard with a two-day total catch of 22 pounds, 15 ounces, good for second. Walser's day-one catch of 11 pounds, 4 ounces was followed up today with another 11 pounds, 11 ounces to put him just a few ounces behind the leader. To get there, though, Walser first had to make an adjustment. "My top-water bite did not exist," Walser said. "Other than that, I did exactly what I've been doing. I'm fishing the same places the same way." Like Carter, Walser dealt with boat traffic today, but unlike the leader, Walser's company did not advance to tomorrow's competition. "Today I had to wait for people to clear out of my area," he said. "That will be the plus tomorrow - I won't have anybody helping me." Walser admitted that today's weather change sounded the death knell for his top-water bite. The tournament kicked off yesterday beneath cloudy, rainy skies, but it was bluebird all the way for day two. "That's what affected the top-water bite - the high pressure and the clear skies," he said. "Plus, the water fell." However, it was on stage that Walser exuded confidence, saying, "It's going to get better." Walser is a seasoned veteran fishing his third consecutive All-American. He qualified this year via the North Carolina Division, where he was ranked third in 2005, and the Clarks Hill regional, where he finished fifth. McDonald jumps 10 spots to third Mike McDonald weighs in his day-two catch that moved him up to third place with a two-day weight of 22-7.Yesterday's No. 13 boater Mike McDonald of Randleman, N.C., caught 13 pounds, 1 ounce today to boost his two-day total to 22 pounds, 7 ounces, good for third. The difference between his day-one total of 9-6 and his better day-two weight was a matter of strategy. "I had saved a bunch of places for the second day," McDonald said. "I went in one area and I missed three fish, so I made a long run way down the river." There, McDonald's struggles continued until he figured out a key piece of the puzzle that ultimately put a limit in the boat. "I picked up a jig and caught a 3-pounder," he said. "I thought they might be relating to wood. I caught three limits today. It's a really solid pattern, and I think it'll work." McDonald finished last year ranked 19th in the Piedmont Division to advance to the Lake Cherokee regional, where he finished second to earn a trip to the All-American, his second in two years. Dorland, Steele round out fairly tight top five IChad Dorland weighs in his day-two limit that brought his two-day total to 20 pounds, good for fourth.n the fourth spot with a two-day total of 20 pounds is Chad Dorland of Dunnellon, Fla. He caught 9-14 on the first day and improved that just slightly today with a limit weighing 10-2. "I'm just going to go out and fish," Dorland said of his day-three plans. "I'll be glad if it's another 10 pounds." Behind him in fifth is Terry Steele of Sparta, Tenn., with a two-day catch of 19 pounds, 2 ounces. Steele caught 9 pounds, 1 ounce yesterday and improved that by exactly a pound today to move from 14th place to fifth. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 boaters after day two at the All-American: 6th: Mark Mauldin, Cleveland, Tenn., 10 bass, 18-11 7th: Dalton Bobo, Northport, Ala., seven bass, 18-6 8th: Robert Soley, North Brunswick, N.J., 10 bass, 17-7 9th: Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., nine bass, 17-1 10th: Richard Pankey, Blytheville, Ark., 10 bass, 16-14 The top 10 pros will begin their final day of competition tomorrow with a 7 a.m. takeoff from Charter Oak Landing in downtown Hartford. The 2006 All-American champion will be crowned at tomorrow's weigh-in, which begins at 4 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center. The winner is determined by the heaviest three-day weight.

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Matual Masters Erie

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Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

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Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

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Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

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Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

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Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

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Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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