UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Old Hickory Lake

Hope, heartbreak in Alabama

A glimpse at the future? Anthony Gagliardi poses with part of his 12-pound, 13-ounce day-two catch next to the FLW Championship trophy.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Ishama Monroe had it easy; he ran into the freight train that is Anthony Gagliardi and never had a chance. The pros who felt the full effects of the day-two brackets at the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship were the ones who caught contending amounts of fish and still missed the cut. Alton Jones, Gabe Bolivar and Darrel Robertson all lost by just an ounce or two, and even Alvin Shaw, Tom Monsoor, Wesley Strader and Jim Moynagh were left shaking their heads after losing despite catching over 20 pounds of bass in the opening round at Logan Martin Lake. Gagliardi stumbles onto another good limit As the fishing stayed as hot as the weather in the second half of the opening round - 44 out of 48 pros caught five-bass limits Thursday - so did Gagliardi, the pro out of Prosperity, S.C., who caught the leading limit on day one. Gagliardi added another limit weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces to his Wednesday total of 15-12 and finished the first two days with a total weight of 28-9, outdistancing the rest of the field and pretty much demolishing his bracket competition, Ishama Monroe of Hughson, Calif. Monroe caught a limit Thursday, but finished the tournament with a weight of 8-11. Gagliardi admitted Wednesday that, with his lead, he wasn't planning on catching a whole lot of fish Thursday, but it didn't quite work out that way. His 12 pounds, 13 ounces was the fourth-heaviest limit of the day. "I caught a limit early, which was my goal in the morning. I didn't want to catch fish like that, but I didn't want to waste any time, either. So I went out practicing and ended up catching a few," Gagliardi said. "The thing is, I didn't fish any of the places where I caught them yesterday, so I don't feel bad about catching those fish." Gagliardi will face Danny Correia of Marlborough, Mass. - who totaled 17 pounds, 9 ounces - in the second round. Jay YelasYelas consistent, saves some for later Coming in with the second-heaviest two-day total and the third-heaviest limit of the day was Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas. His 13 pounds, 14 ounces Thursday combined with his Wednesday catch of 13-1 for a total of 26-15, which defeated Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas (19-7) by 7 1/2 pounds. "I did the same thing as I did yesterday. I fished a Berkley Power worm and a jig mostly around brushy boat docks," Yelas said. "I caught those fish fairly early, so I was able to save a lot of my water for the next two days." Yelas stressed the need to sandbag in this event where you never know what will happen with the brackets. He will face off against Thanh Le of Davie, Fla., (20 pounds, 13 ounces) in the second round. "You've got to save some fish for Friday and Saturday," Yelas said. "Thanh only had 8 pounds, (13 ounces) today, but I won't feel comfortable until I get close to 13 tomorrow. And that's hard to do when you fish all day and you just get 10 bites." Luke Clausen continues his Logan Martin tear, bringing in 26 pounds, 10 ounces in the opening round to unseat Tom Monsoor.Clausen threatening again, but faces Fukae The 2004 FLW Tour champion at Logan Martin Lake, Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., made another statement Thursday by catching the second-heaviest limit - 14 pounds, 3 ounces - and finishing the opening round with the third-heaviest two-day weight, 26-10. He advanced out of one of the tougher bracket matchups - against Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who caught a solid 20-1 over the first two days - and must now face off against an equally tough Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, in the second round. Clausen caught his fish Thursday by fishing docks, but said he's doing something a little differently than he did two years ago when he won. What that is exactly, he's not telling yet. "I've been trying to run a pattern that's a little different," he said. "It only works in one out of seven or eight places that I stop, but I had a great day. I went prefishing in pretty much all new water." Shinichi Fukae, the master of the facial expression, reacts to defeating Alton Jones by only 1 ounce.While Clausen clearly dominated this event at Logan Martin in 2004, leading it wire-to-wire, he's not thrilled about the bracket matchup he faces tomorrow. Fukae caught 23 pounds even in the opening round and edged out Jones by an ounce. Clausen knew he had to catch a bunch of fish Thursday because Monsoor was strong with over 20 pounds himself. With all four competitors catching more than 20 pounds, this is clearly the toughest bracket of the tournament. "I hate this bracket deal; it's so tough," Clausen said. "I'm going to have to go out and catch as much as I can, and I don't know how many fish are left. What I'm doing may not work, and I could go out tomorrow and not catch even 10 pounds." Fukae, too, admitted that he pretty much burned up all of his fish taking out Jones, and he all but handed tomorrow's bracket competition to Clausen. "I was fishing a jighead on docks and brush piles, same as at Beaver (Lake)," Fukae said. "Yeah, I used up my fish, so maybe he (Clausen) won. But I had fun." Brennan Bosley staged an incredible comeback on day two, hauling in the dayBosley pops 17-9, eliminates Shaw While Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., caught one of Wednesday's leading stringers, he couldn't respond to the bomb that Brennan Bosley of Benton, Ark., dropped on him Thursday. Bosley caught the day's heaviest limit - 17 pounds, 9 ounces - totaled 25 pounds even for the opening round and came back to eliminate Shaw, who totaled 21-7. "I really didn't do anything different today," Bosley said. "I kept my flipping stick in my hand, kept throwing a jig and got seven or eight bites. You saw my best five." Bosley said he threw a "little, homemade, brown, 5/16-ounce jig with a Paca Craw trailer" to catch his bass, adding that shad moving up into the backwater he fished Thursday probably attracted bigger and better fish. Still, he wasn't patting himself on the back just yet; he will face Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., in the second round. Hibdon won the Bassmaster Classic at Logan Martin Lake in 1997. "I feel good, but Dion's a pretty tough competitor, and he knows this lake probably better than anybody," Bosley said. "And he's won a big one here before." Though Wesley Strader mounted a comeback, Ray Scheide still won the bracket by nearly 4 pounds with his 23-pound, 15-ounce two-day weight.Scheide drops Strader in another tough matchup Ray Scheide of Russellville, Ark., caught the fifth-heaviest weight in the opening round - 23 pounds, 15 ounces - and he pretty much needed all of it in defeating Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., who caught 20-1. Scheide caught 15 pounds, 1 ounce the first day and led Strader by over 6 pounds, but Strader rebounded Thursday with 11-1 while Scheide caught just 8-14. "I didn't take Wesley lightly, but I did kind of manage my fish a little bit today," Scheide said. "And he almost pulled it off." Scheide said he caught his early largemouths on a Berkley Power worm in the shallows and didn't catch any keepers on his deep-water area in the current Thursday. That was mostly because there was no current when he went there. "At least I know for tomorrow that when the water's not moving, I'm not moving," he said. Scheide will face off against Chip Harrison (19-1) in the second round. The close ones Forget the matchups decided by a pound; there were several nailbiters decided by mere ounces, and the disbelief showed on the faces of those on the losing end. Gabe Bolivar is afflicted with the 1-ounce curse.In addition to Fukae beating Jones by a single ounce, Gary Yamamoto (17-5) also defeated Gabe Bolivar (17-4) by an ounce. It was the second time in the career of the young Bolivar, the Gain Rookie of the Year, that he lost out on a championship by an ounce. In 2005, he finished second in the Stren Series Championship by just a single ounce. "That 1 ounce plagues me," he said, staring at the weigh-in scale. "I guess I'm just good at coming up 1 ounce short." Other tight brackets included David Dudley (18-14) defeating Darrel Robertson (18-12) by 2 ounces, and Kim Stricker (20-4) topping Moynagh (20-0) by 4 ounces. Second round Friday FLW Championship action continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. Central time at Lakeside Park in Pell City, Ala. The Pro Division has been cut in half to 24 competitors, and weights have been reset to zero. They will each face off in one-day, head-to-head competition within their brackets to determine the top 12 advancing to Saturday's final round. Links: Videos of today's action Brackets Schedule of events

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Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

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Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

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Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

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Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

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Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

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Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

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Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

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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

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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

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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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 »