UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Still gunning

Anthony Gagliardi, surprising no one, busts the biggest sack of day one to step out in front of bracketmate Ishama Monroe by more than 13 pounds.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Competition was hot in both senses of the word on day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship at Logan Martin Lake: Anglers fished all day under still, muggy conditions with temperatures soaring into the 90s, and when they came in - most of them with five-bass limits - the majority of pros found themselves locked up in the tightest of bracket battles. Some were separated by a pound or less, and some even tied. When all was said and done, it was the hottest pro on tour this year, Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year Anthony Gagliardi, who landed the day's heaviest catch.

Gagliardi still not satisfied, opens up on Monroe

Despite winning the 2006 AOY award and even after winning his second $100,000 FLW tournament check at Lake Murray this year, Gagliardi sent a message Wednesday that he's certainly not content to rest on his laurels. The pro from Prosperity, S.C., caught a limit weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces and opened up the largest lead of the day over bracket opponent Ishama Monroe of Hughson, Calif., who caught just 2 pounds, 7 ounces.

"Everybody's talking about what a great year I've had - and I have - but I've got to remind myself that it's not over yet," said Gagliardi, who is widely known as one of the tour's "young guns." "I had a lot of confidence coming into this week because I had some spots from two years ago where I know I can catch some pretty good fish."

Two years ago, Gagliardi finished third at the FLW Tour Championship here at Logan Martin, and he capitalized on that experience to gain the upper hand Wednesday. While many predicted the shallow-water bite would prevail as it did for Luke Clausen that year, many of the top pros like Gagliardi instead focused their efforts on deeper quarry.

"I have two spots that had a lot of fish on them," he said. "I'm fishing humps and points pretty much exactly as I did two years ago. The first spot, I never made a cast on it in practice, but on my second cast there today, I caught that big one. I had a limit pretty early, just fishing isolated, deep structure. I actually caught them better than I thought I would."

Gagliardi said he caught the majority of his bass Wednesday on a drop-shot, but he caught his biggest bass - a kicker in the 5-pound range - on a deep-diving crankbait. While conditions were steamy-hot on the water, he said the recent lack of rainfall in the area has helped him.

"The thing that seems to be playing into my hands is the water falling because it moves the fish down onto these humps," he said. "Fifteen-twelve, that is big weight on this lake, especially this time of year."

As for Monroe - who qualified for the championship ranked last in 48th place and caught the lowest weight of the day against the heaviest weight - he actually fished the same area as Gagliardi Wednesday.

"To add insult to injury, I watched Anthony catch three or four fish; it's just that I was fishing the other side of the hump," Monroe laughed. "When he netted that big one, I asked him how big it was. He said, `Five or 6 pounds,' and I just shook my head. That's why he's the angler of the year."

Scheide makes a milk run for 15-1

Ray Scheide of Russellville, Ark., caught the second-heaviest limit of the day with 15 pounds, 1 ounce, opening more than a 6-pound lead over Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., who caught a limit weighing 9-0.

Ray Scheide proved he too is on some serious Logan Martin bass, bringing in 15-1 today to top Wesley Strader by more than 6 pounds."I really didn't catch too many off of just one spot," Scheide said. "I kind of had a milk run going with about eight different spots. I had what I weighed in by about 10:30 this morning, and I think I've got enough going where I can save my best spot enough so it will replenish for day three."

Scheide said he fished both deep and shallow Wednesday, throwing Berkley Power worms shallow and action baits deep in the current. While not unusual in terms of covering lots of water, Scheide took an inverted approach to the shallow-deep pattern that many pros were using. While many anglers fished shallow in the cooler hours of the morning and then went deep as it heated up in the afternoon, Scheide did the opposite.

"I'm not fishing shallow, which is actually about 4 feet of water, until the middle of the day," he said. "It just worked out that I was on my best spotted-bass places when they started drawing current in the afternoon, and I had an exceptional day."

Alvin Shaw whacked them today to the tune of 13 pounds, 2 ounces to outpace Brennan Bosley by more than 5 pounds.Shaw tops Bosley with last-minute decision

Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., also had both shallow and deep patterns ready for action this week, but he chose to stick to the deeper pattern Wednesday. It paid off; he caught the third-heaviest limit of the day with 13 pounds, 2 ounces, establishing more than a 5 1/2-pound lead over Brennan Bosley of Benton, Ark.

"I'm catching them in a way that I don't normally catch them, which is offshore in about 13 to 15 feet of water," Shaw said. "I really hadn't made up my mind where I was going to fish until this morning because I'm trying to let the tournament come to me instead of forcing it. When I looked at the water level, I decided to go deep."

Shaw caught his limit early, mainly on football jigs and Shaky Heads.

"I'm basically looking for high places near deeper water where fish will come up to feed," he said. "There seems to be a key combination of current and baitfish that will attract the fish."

Jay Yelas proves why heYelas misses target, still tops Hawkes

Coming in with the fourth-heaviest limit was Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas. His 13-pound, 1-ounce limit opened up a good lead over Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, who caught a limit weighing 8-11.

"It was a great day of fishing. Even though my target weight was 15 pounds, I'm just thankful for a good day," said Yelas, who added that he caught his fish on Berkley Power Bait soft plastics in water anywhere from 3 to 20 feet deep. "It was steady all day, but I caught my 5-pound spotted bass around noon. I like my chances for tomorrow because I still have a lot of places that I didn't hit today."

Andy Morgan caught 12-15 today to lead good friend Dan Morehead by nearly 6 pounds.Morgan overcomes faulty motor, leads Morehead

Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., caught the fifth-heaviest limit - 12 pounds, 15 ounces - and topped his buddy Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., by almost 8 pounds. Morehead caught five fish weighing 7 even.

"The early bite has been good, but it really slowed down in the afternoon, which is good because I had a breaker go out on my trolling motor at about noon," Morgan said. "Without that trolling motor, we were hurting. You've really got to bob and weave to catch them here in the afternoon. It's just hard to do it with a paddle, you know?"

Morgan said he caught his bass, primarily largemouths but also a few spots, in shallow water on worms, jigs and a Super Hog.

Luke Clausen won the championship on Logan Martin in 2004 and currently leads his bracket by 1 pound, 11 ounces.Notable brackets

A total of 44 out of 48 pros caught limits Wednesday, which led to scores of bracket matchups that ended the day within just a few pounds of each other.

Four bracket matchups ended the day with competitors sitting within a single pound of each other: Jason Knapp (11 pounds, 2 ounces) vs. Danny Correia (10-5), Kim Stricker (10-15) vs. Jim Moynagh (10-7), Dean Rojas (8-12) vs. Terry Bolton (8-4), and Tim Klinger (8-0) vs. Steve Kennedy (7-6). One bracket matchup, Shinichi Fukae vs. Alton Jones, ended up in a tie, each with 11-10.

In the clash of the titans, defending FLW Tour champion George Cochran (Lake Hamilton, 2005) leads Larry Nixon by 2 pounds. Cochran caught a limit weighing 9-4 while Nixon caught just three bass weighing 7-4.

With all eyes upon him, the defending FLW Tour champion from Logan Martin Lake in 2004, Luke Clausen, didn't disappoint. He caught a limit weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces and leads his bracket over Tom Monsoor, who caught a limit weighing 10-12. Clausen said he was "very happy with his day."

First cut Thursday

The second half of the opening round in bracket competition begins Thursday as all 48 pros take off from Lakeside Park in Pell City, Ala., at 7 a.m. Central time. Following tomorrow's fishing, the field will be cut in half. The 24 pros who win their respective head-to-head matchups, based on two-day weight, will advance to Friday's semifinal round.

Links:

Videos of today's action
Brackets
Schedule of events

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2006-08-02-flw-tour-championship 

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »