Got Bass

DECATUR, Ala. - Other competitors might think it's a little unfair, but when Sam Bass of Section, Ala., weighs in at FLW Outdoors events, he is allowed to come to the stage with six bass - a five-bass limit plus himself. Today, when Bass weighed in, he brought up five bass for 19 pounds, 4 ounces to take the day-one lead in the Stren Series Championship on Wheeler Lake. And if that's just way too much bass for you, there's more: Bass now maintains a 3-pound lead over second place. While Bass could be considered a local on Wheeler, he contends he does not fish the lake very often. "I live near Guntersville. Why would I come here?" he joked. Kidding aside, Bass did say that he caught his leading weight in a way similar to how he fishes on Guntersville. "The common denominator is grass," he said. "These fish relate to the vegetation on Wheeler in much the same way as they do on Guntersville." Bass fished the Decatur Flats area with topwaters to catch eight keepers. "I found these fish on Tuesday with topwaters," he said. "The water has come up since then, but they were not too far from where I found them. They simply moved up into some scattered vegetation on a nearby flat. I fished one little area and never moved the boat all day. "Even though the water has come up, the fish don't move far from the ditches and deeper edges that they call home. When they start sucking the bottom out of the lake at the dam, the fish want to be able to get right back into a comfort zone." Looking ahead to tomorrow, Bass is a little worried about his primary area. "They bit so good in there today because the water had finally cleared up a little bit," he added. "But the wind is supposed to blow tomorrow and that will mess the place up. Once the waves start rolling in there, it gets muddy and the bite turns off." Lane Second Also fishing in the shallow slop is Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., who sacked Pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., is in second place with 16-4.five bass weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces for second today. "I should have had a real big bag today," Lane lamented. "I lost so many big ones; it makes me sick to think about it." Lane fished one ditch in the Decatur Flats area most of the day. "I started out flipping the matted stuff, like we do back home in Florida," he said. "I caught a few that way, but then I noticed they were pulling water, and as they pulled it, it was clearing up. So I made a bait change, and at about 1 o'clock, they started chewing - it was unreal. At one point my partner and I doubled up on two good fish. But the ones I lost are going to haunt me." Lefebre third Pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., is in third place with 15-10.Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., parked himself in third place with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 10 ounces. Lefebre had located a nice bunch of fish in practice along a ditch edge, but when he returned to it this morning, he did not get a bite on his first few key casts. "The fish had vanished, and I immediately knew something was wrong," Lefebre said. "Then I noticed how much the water came up overnight. It's been rising every day, and just from yesterday, it's probably come up another half a foot. I moved about 30 yards up onto a nearby flat, and I found the fish again. I really believe those fish from the ditch repositioned up there with the rising water." Shepard tied for fourth In the fourth-place position is Mark Shepard of Labelle, Fla., with a five-bass limit Pro Mark Shepard of Labelle, Fla., is tied for fourth with 14-5.weighing 14 pounds, 5 ounces. Like Lane, Shepard relied on his Florida flipping roots to point him in the direction of some grassy bass. "I'm catching some out of grass close to here (Decatur), but I'm also catching some off wood way upriver," Shepard said. "I caught about 12 keepers today, half down here and half up there. The problem is my two best spots are miles apart, and I spent a lot of time running today." Scott also tied for fourth Pro Ricky Scott of Van Buren, Ark., is tied for fourth with 14-5.Ricky Scott of Van Buren, Ark., is tied with Shepard for fourth place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 5 ounces. Scott noted that three of his biggest fish came from one small 20-yard stretch. "I'm fishing close to here in Decatur, and I'm fishing pretty shallow," he said. "I could get out of the boat and walk to the bank and not get very wet if I had to. But I need the clouds and wind like we had today to fish the way I am. If it gets sunny and calm, I could be in trouble." Big bass David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Maine, weighed in a 7-pound largemouth to take the day-one big-bass award of $750. Szwankowski leads co-anglersThomas Szwankowski of Hope, Ark., leads the Co-Angler Division of the Stren Series Championship with 12-7. Thomas Szwankowski of Hope, Ark., boated five bass for 12 pounds, 7 ounces to take the day-one lead in the Co-angler Division of the Stren Series Championship. Szwankowski spent the day fishing with pro Justin Kerr of California. "I caught a few on a Carolina rig out deep, but my best fish came on a Horny Toad around a grass mat," Szwankowski said. "My goal tomorrow is to catch a limit. I feel like I need to catch a limit just to hold me in the top 10." Gift second Central Division Co-angler of the Year Bill Gift ended day one in the second position at the Stren Series Championship.Bill Gift of Alix, Ark., fished with Lane today to sack five keepers weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce for second place. "It was just a great day of fishing," Gift said. "Like Bobby, I missed some key fish today, but I ended up with five good ones, so I can't complain." Gift reported catching his fish on a mixture of flipping and topwaters. Knight frogs for third Monte Knight of Quitman, Miss., fished with pro Jess Caraballo to catch four bass weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces for third in the Co-angler Division. "I threw a topwater toad all day," Knight said. "I missed some good bites with it, but that's frog fishing for you - some are going to come off from time to time. It seemed the key was to keep cranking it steady over the grass without stopping it." Orr, Billmaier round out top five Sammy Orr of Maryville, Tenn., is in fourth place in the Co-angler Division with five bass for 10 pounds, 13 ounces. And Jason Billmaier of Las Vegas is in fifth place with five bass for 10 pounds, 12 ounces. Co-angler big bass The day-one big-bass award of $375 went to red-hot co-angler Bud Strader of Rockwood, Tenn., for his 5-pound, 5-ounce lunker. The cash just keeps piling up for Strader as he also won the last Wal-Mart FLW Series event at Lake of the Ozarks.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »