Sweet Pete

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Pete Gluszek has toiled and contended for a number of years in Northern Stren Series competition, but he had yet to win one - until today. Saturday the pro from Franklinville, N.J., iced his first FLW Outdoors victory by catching a hefty 17-pound, 6-ounce limit of largemouth bass at Lake Champlain, winning the Northeast Division season closer with a two-day, final-round weight of 33-0. "This is so special. This year I made a decision to come over here and compete exclusively with FLW Outdoors," he said. "I'm just so happy to be here. It's so exciting to win after making that decision." Gluszek cleared some $20,000 in winnings and Ranger contingency money for the victory, plus a new boat, all of which he says will come in handy this fall. "I'm getting married, so I've got a big wedding coming up, plus a new house," he said. "This comes at a really good time for me." Pete GluszekGluszek certainly earned his keep at Champlain this week. With nasty winds and canceled competition dominating the first two days, plus an extremely tight limit-fest on Friday, it would have been easy to lose concentration. But the winner stuck to a game plan he formulated in practice, relying Saturday on a cache of largemouths in the New York Arm area that he found last week. "I found these fish the first day of practice. The first day, with that monster south wind, it would have been tough to fish that area with any success at all, so I found some other, more protected fish that helped me make the cut," he said. "Today, the wind was perfect. It wasn't blowing hard. We passed over the area and I caught a 4 1/2-pounder on the first pass. It was one 3- and 4-pounder after that. We were culling out 3-pounders all day, and it's a beautiful thing when that happens." Pete Gluszek hoists his first Stren Series winnerGluszek fished a variety of cover Saturday - rocks, trees, pilings, blowdowns - and caught the bulk of his fish on two baits: a Vertical Lures Jig X and a Net Bait Paca Craw. The air temperature never really climbed above 55 degrees all day, and that played right into his largemouth strategy. "Today I fished deeper, about 10 to 15 feet. The weather really affected my decision-making," he said. "On cold mornings like this, those fish get blasted right off the flats." Gluszek said he caught some 15 good keepers Saturday, but he wasn't the only one in his boat whacking them. His co-angler partner, Tim George, actually outfished him by 2 ounces and won the Co-angler Division. Said Gluszek, "At about noon I looked at him and said, `Do you think you won your division? I think I won mine." Pro Aaron Wessels of Watervliet, N.Y., mustered a five-largemouth limit weighing 15 pounds even Saturday but finished second with a total of 31-10.Wessels second Friday's pro leader, Aaron Wessels of Watervliet, N.Y., went south and mustered a five-largemouth limit weighing 15 pounds even Saturday but finished second with a total of 31-10. He earned $10,000. "Today I pretty much boated everything I caught, but I feel I might have left just a little early down there. I just wanted to be sure to make it back on time. You never know on Champlain," he said. Wessels caught his fish on the Ticonderoga, N.Y., end of the lake, mainly pulling Texas-rigged Senkos through milfoil. Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., finished third for the pros with a final weight of 31 pounds even. He caught a limit of smallmouths weighing 15-10 Saturday.Smallie-happy Powroznik third Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., finished third for the pros and collected $8,900 with a final weight of 31 pounds even. He caught a limit of smallmouths weighing 15-10 Saturday. "We fish for largemouths from January through August on the tour," said Powroznik, who targeted exclusively smallmouths with a drop-shot this week. "When I come up here, I make a conscious decision not to have one (largemouth) in my livewell. I'm just up here to have fun with these smallmouths." Pro Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Ohio, finished fourth with a final weight of 30 pounds, 6 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 15-11 Saturday.Hartley fourth Pro Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Ohio, finished fourth and collected $7,900 with a final weight of 30 pounds, 6 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 15-11 Saturday. He, too, echoed his appreciation for the smallmouths of Lake Champlain. He fished deep water with a Venom green-pumpkin-copper tube for most of the week. "They're the prettiest fish in the world," he said. "I'm a smallmouth-bass junkie. I probably caught 50 fish today." Kevin Kartesz of Jamestown, N.Y., rounded out the top five pros with a final weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 15-11 Saturday.Kartesz fifth Kevin Kartesz of Jamestown, N.Y., rounded out the top five pros and collected $7,400 with a final weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 15-11 Saturday. "It was a long way down there, But the smallies I was catching in practice just weren't big enough," said Kartesz, who caught the bulk of his fish Saturday, all largemouths, in the Ticonderoga area on a white rat bait. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at Lake Champlain: 6th: Gregg Seal of Eldred, Pa., 10 bass, 29-10, $6,400 7th: David Reault of Livonia, Mich., 10 bass, 26-5, $5,400 8th: Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., 10 bass, 25-6, $4,900 9th: Kevin Bishop of Hilton, N.Y., seven bass, 19-7, $4,400 10th: Scot Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 15-5, $3,900 Lefebre wins Northeast standings title With the close of the 2006 season, Lefebre officially claimed the pro standings title in the Northeast Division. He finished with 750 points. Bishop chased him until the final two days, but he ended up second with 739 points. Powroznik came in third with 685 points. Lefebre's 2006 Northeast Division results: Kerr Lake - 41st, Lake Erie - 4th, Potomac River - 1st, Lake Champlain - 8th. 2006 Stren season done, championship next This was the final regular-season event of the 2006 Stren Series. The next event will be the Stren Series Championship, to be held at Wheeler Lake near Decatur, Ala., Nov. 1-4.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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/news/2015-04-20-lanter-wins-on-rend-lake

Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

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/news/2015-04-19-top-10-patterns-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-college-title

Gamecocks Win College Title

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/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-national-title

Gamecocks Win National Title

As any good Palmetto State bass fisherman will tell you, home lake advantage only works if you’re consistent in your catches from day to day. Anthony Gagliardi proved it here on Lake Murray last summer in the Forrest Wood Cup, and the University of South Carolina proved it again in the FLW College Fishing National Championship that concluded Saturday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-hallman-prevails-on-grand

Hallman Prevails On Grand

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/news/2015-04-18-lake-murray-midday-update-day-3

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3

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