Great Scott

DECATUR, Ala. - Those pros hoping for a drop in water level on day three of the Stren Series Championship got what they wanted - and then some. Some pros estimated that Wheeler's water levels dropped as much as 2 feet overnight in some areas, leaving some of the top 10 finalists' primary areas high and dry Friday. As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you just may get it. Ricky D. Scott of Van Buren, Ark., went to his best bank this morning only to find many of the lay-downs and stumps he had been fishing all week on dry ground. As with other anglers, the water level sent Scott scrambling, and he adapted nicely with a dominating 16-pound, 2-ounce catch to take a nearly 6-pound lead in the Stren Series Championship. "I've had to fish new water every day to adapt to these conditions," Scott said. "First it was the rain, then the wind and now the bottom has fallen out of the place. It's crazy." But one pattern Scott has put to use all over the lake this week is fishing mud lines with a white-bladed spinnerbait. Yesterday he discovered one productive mud line pouring out of a creek where his spinnerbait scored several keepers. But when he returned there this morning, the creek had cleared up and there was no more mud line. "My first place was bone dry, my second place, the mud line, had cleared up, so I went searching again," he said. Late this afternoon, Scott noticed another mud line formed by boat traffic, and when he began rolling his gaudy spinnerbait through the clouds of off-colored water he got a couple of surprises: two bass in the 4- to 5-pound class, which anchored his large limit. "I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow," he said. "Several big yachts created the mud line with their wake - I sure hope they come back by tomorrow." Kenney grinds for second J.T. Kenney of Daytona Beach, Fla., has been grinding out respectable limits the last three days by finesse fishing Shaky Worms in the mouths of small creeks and cuts along the main river. Today he brought in five bass for an even 10 pounds to take second place. Kenney reported catching lots of fish each day, but many are small and he's itching to "swing on some big ones." "I'm not going to those flats until they get right," Kenney said. "As long as it's windy, I'm going to keep grinding with the finesse stuff up in the river. But if it gets calm tomorrow, as soon as my fifth keeper hits the well, I'm headed to those mats with the big stick." Lefebre third Dave Lefebre refuses to leave the top 5. Today he sacked 7 pounds, 14 ounces for third.Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., refuses to leave the top five at the Championship. Today he again held his ground in third with a 7-pound, 14-ounce limit. "I'm still in survival mode," Lefebre said. "The water dropping so fast like that killed me. Most of the time falling water helps concentrate the fish. But this week, rising water helped concentrate my fish. The first day, I caught that big bag by fishing little flooded mats with about a foot of water under them. Now those mats are on dry ground, and the big fish have not dropped back where I thought they would." Lefebre has been making do with a Kinami Nories Bug and 8-pound-test Gamma fluorocarbon. "That's my survival kit," he said. "When things get tough like they have been, I go to that Nories bug on light line, and it works." Le moves to fourth Moving into his best position of the week, Thanh Le of Las Vegas caught five Thanh Le is currently the best of the five Southeast Division finalists, ending day three in fourth with a limit weighing 7-13.bass for 7 pounds, 13 ounces to move into fourth place. Le has spent the week Carolina rigging baby brush hogs along main-river ledges in the Decatur Flats area. "I'm not really fishing up on the flats," he clarified. "I'm out on the main channel with my boat in about 12 feet of water, casting up into 4 or 5 feet and dragging down those ledges." Defoe fifth Despite losing his best area to falling water, Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., forged ahead to fifth place with five bass for 6-11.Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., was another angler who was displaced from his best fishing area by falling water today, and he had to scramble to scratch up five bass for 6 pounds, 11 ounces for fifth place. "I could still get back into my best spot - barely," Defoe said. "But the main problem was most of the wood targets were on dry land, and the water was so clear in there I could see the fish. They get real spooky when it gets like that, and they're almost impossible to catch. Plus, I started to worry about getting stuck back there, so I came back up towards the ramp to finish out my limit." The final day of the Stren Series Championship begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at Ingalls Marina on Wheeler Lake.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »