Tied up on the river

ONALASKA, Wis. - After a steamy-hot final weigh-in with temperatures soaring over a hundred degrees in Onalaska, pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., emerged from the pressure-cooker of a tie competition and won the Stren Series Midwest Division event on the Mississippi River. The veteran from Paducah, Ky., notched the fifth pro-level tournament victory of his FLW Outdoors career, including his third Stren Series win, and took home $10,000 plus a new Ranger boat yet again. But he had to work for it. Not only did temperatures reach near-record highs on the river Saturday, Morehead had to endure the agony of dealing with a tie - yes, a tie - when all the fish had been counted and weighed. Morehead's winning two-day weight was 29 pounds, 10 ounces. Friday's leader, Stacey King, who weighed in last on Saturday, tallied up exactly the same amount. Morehead, however, won the tiebreaker, which is decided by heaviest opening-round weight. Morehead had 29 pounds, 15 ounces the first two days and King had 27-15. "Can you believe that?" Morehead said. "A win's a win's a win, you know?" The pro winner - who also helped his co-angler partner Saturday, Mark Myers, win his second Stren event in less than a year - changed his strategy in the final round to land his winning five-bass limits, which weighed in at 15 pounds Friday and 14-10 Saturday. Dan Morehead"I had been going down to Pool 9 and throwing a heavy Mann's frog, but that didn't really work out today," Morehead said. "Today, I was just flipping a 4-inch black-and-red-flake tube on Pool 8, and we just had a great day. I culled so many times today that my hands are so sore and raw that I'd actually like a couple of days off to rest." Morehead eschewed any notion of catching smallmouth bass, instead focusing exclusively on largemouths in shallow water. He had been mining the productive waters downriver in Pool 9 the first three days but found a new hot spot when he locked back up to Pool 8 Friday afternoon. "My (Friday) partner, (Bob Bott), caught like four nice fish there in seconds, and I'm like, `I'm starting here tomorrow,'" Morehead said. "It's just a place where fish are coming out of a backwater area. They're just postspawn, staging fish where there's a current with a lot of rock, wood and structure." At one point, fishing the tube, Morehead said he pulled four good fish off the same laydown. He estimated that he caught about 40 largemouth bass on the final day. Dan Morehead's winning two-day weight was 29 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught SaturdayAfter all was weighed and checks handed out, Morehead's pal and fellow pro finalist from Paducah, Terry Bolton, came up and started calling him "50-50" - a reference to Morehead's track record in tournament ties. Unbelievably, this was not Morehead's first tie at the top to end a Stren tournament. In 2004, he lost a tiebreaker to Scott Rook in Central Division competition at Louisiana's Red River and finished second - an agonizing outcome considering the circumstances. "When I lost that tiebreaker at the Red River, I went back to my boat and saw that I had three shad laying in my livewell," he explained, noting how they would have easily put him over the top if his fish hadn't spit them up. "I've never gotten over it, either, but this certainly helps ease the pain." King just happy to be here King, who led Morehead by 7 ounces Friday, obviously caught 7 ounces fewer than Morehead Saturday - a limit worth 14-3 - and finished second, collecting $10,000. "I fished hard and enjoyed every minute of it. I was just fortunate to come in here and make a top 10 at a place I've never fished before," the veteran out of Reeds Spring, Mo., said. "Second's not too bad; I'm not unhappy with that at all." Aided by his kids, Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo., weighs in 13 pounds, 9 ounces, and tallies a final weight of 27-14 to finish third for the pros. Eakins third Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo., caught 13 pounds, 9 ounces, tallied a final weight of 27-14 and finished third for the pros. He earned $9,000. "I caught them on a black Eakins jig," he said. "Most of my fish came out of laydowns." Robert Heilman, a pro from Dakota, Minn., caught a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit Saturday. He finished in fourth place with a final weight of 27-1.Local Heilman breaks down, still takes fourth Robert Heilman, a local pro from across the river at Dakota, Minn., endured a boat breakdown and subsequently short day of fishing but still managed to catch a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit Saturday. He finished in fourth place with a final weight of 27-1 and collected $8,000. "We got about a three-hour late start," Heilman said. "We borrowed a boat for the second half of the day." Pro Chris Cox closed out this week's tournament on the river in fifth place. He caught a limit weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday and totaled 25-14 for the finals.Cox fifth Pro Chris Cox, who finished third here last year, posted more good numbers and closed out this week's tournament on the river in fifth place. He caught a limit weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday, totaled 25-14 for the finals and collected $7,500. "What I did mostly was fish the deeper sloughs and offshore wood with a blue Strike King tube," he said. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at the Mississippi River: 6th: John Bomkamp of Muscoda, Wis., 25-13, $6,500 7th: Douglas Stanton of Winona, Minn., 25-4, $5,500 8th: William Davis of Russellville, Ala., 24-12, $5,000 9th: Jim Jones of Big Bend, Wis., 24-9, $4,500 10th: Rick Byrnes of Tamaroa, Ill., 24-9, $4,000 Each of the pro finalists caught limits both days of the opening round. Coming up The next Stren Series event is a Northeast Division contest at Lake Erie near Cleveland July 19-22. The next Midwest Division event is scheduled for the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa, Aug. 9-12.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 


Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2



College Championship Race Tightens



Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »


Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »


Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »


Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »


Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »


Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »


White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »


Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »


Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »


Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »


Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »


Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »


Gordon Grabs Title on Dardanelle

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Gordon earned $7,244. READ MORE »


Hanselmania Returns

He’s back at it again. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, won the season-opening Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad, and today he weighed in 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the second day of competition at stop No. 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman vaulted into the tournament lead with a two-day total of 43-14. “Hanselmania” leads by 5 pounds, 6 ounces over Denny Brauer, also of Del Rio, who is in second place for the second consecutive day. The leader’s stringer is even more impressive considering that Hanselman lost three 5-pounders this morning and caught 23-5 on a day when only one other pro weighed more than 20 pounds, and only three others weighed more than 18 pounds. Day-one leader Joe Don Setina weighed in only four keepers for 11 pounds today. READ MORE »


Rayburn Day 2 Midday Update

With only one fish in the livewell at 10:30, Joe Don Setina was probably hoping for a repeat of day one – at least the part where he sacks ’em up in the second half. We found the leading pro fishing the Black Forrest area that he worked the first day, and he’s sticking with the same routine of flipping heavy cover. READ MORE »


Setina Overcomes Slow Start

Pittsburg, Texas, pro Joe Don Setina is off to a hot start in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division this season. After a top-10 finish at the opener on Lake Amistad, Setina jumped out to the day-one lead on Sam Rayburn today. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Setina, however. He says nothing went right for him this morning, when he lost fish, snagged trees and finally had to sit down and collect himself before continuing on. After refocusing, Setina caught his first keeper at about 11 a.m. and proceeded to sack up 23 pounds, 6 ounces for a slim 8-ounce lead over second-place pro Denny Brauer, who also finished in the top 10 at the Amistad opener. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 1

Overcoming a tough start, Joe Don Setina rallied to take the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He’s fishing flooded trees and bushes like most of the field and weighed in 23 pounds, 6 ounces. With the lake at a 15-year high thanks to recent rains, Rayburn’s bass are scattered, often in areas that are difficult to reach. Some pros are muscling their way through the thick stuff to search for bedding fish, while others opt for working the perimeter of the flooded zone for postspawn bass. READ MORE »