Pugh’s groove

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - He's been second. He's been third. He's been fourth. In fact, looking at Greg Pugh's Stren Series record for the last eight years, the Cullman, Ala., pro has finished in just about every position in the top 10 except for one: first. That all changed today as Pugh won his first Stren Series event on Lake Seminole. And the win could not have come at a better time for the Pedigree pro. "I've been through a drought over the last 12 months," said Pugh, who only collected four checks out of 15 FLW Outdoors events last year. "When you're in one of those dry spells, it really works on you. You start to wonder if you're doing things right. You start to question your fishing and your decisions. "Yesterday, when I caught the 26-10, it was like I broke free of all that doubt. I haven't caught them like that in quite a while, and to do that made me feel like my old self again. So this win not only helps financially, it helps mentally as well." Pugh went into Saturday's finals with over a 9-pound lead and caught five fish Greg Pugh's winning lures.for 11 pounds, 10 ounces to fend off a hard 16-pound, 9-ounce charge from fellow Alabamian Greg Vinson. Pugh ended the event with a four-day total of 53 pounds, 9 ounces. Pugh committed himself to backwaters off the Chattahoochee River, where he worked the bass with a flipping stick. He targeted matted hyacinths with three key baits: a Gambler Ugly Otter, a Little Otter and a Net Bait Baby Paca Craw. All plastics were topped with a 3/4-ounce tungsten weight and pitched on 60-pound-test Stealth braided line. In all, Pugh won $25,000 cash and a fully loaded Ranger boat for his win. Vinson finishes runner-up Pro Greg Vinson finished second with a four-day total of 48 pounds, 15 ounces worth $9,832.Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., came after Pugh with guns blazing today, turning in the best catch of the day - 16 pounds, 9 ounces - but it was not enough to overtake him. Vinson finished second with a four-day total of 48 pounds, 15 ounces worth $9,832. Vinson spent his week in the lower end of the Chattahoochee River around the Man-made Island area throwing rattling, lipless crankbaits to clumps of grass along the river channel. "I was using a 1/2-ounce Rat-L-Trap in copper and a 5/8-ounce Yozuri Rattlin' Vibe in red," Vinson said. "I switched to 15-pound-test fluorocarbon today to help the bait get down in the grass better. "The main thing for me was to keep covering water," he said. "Making long casts and ripping the trap up out of the grass was the key." Davis third Tony Davis of Williston, Fla., finished third with a four-day total of 35 pounds, Pro Tony Davis of Williston, Fla., finished third with a four-day total of 35 pounds, 10 ounces worth $8,849.10 ounces worth $8,849. Davis spent his week Carolina rigging 10 to 12 feet of water in the lower end of Spring Creek. His primary plastics were a Zoom lizard and Trick Worm in watermelon color. "These were just classic staging breaks in front of spawning bays," Davis said of his best areas. "It was never really fast and furious, just a slow and steady bite." Cox fourth Pro Mike Cox of Huntsville, Ala., finished fourth with a four-day total of 35 pounds, 6 ounces worth $7,866.Mike Cox of Huntsville, Ala., finished fourth with a four-day total of 35 pounds, 6 ounces worth $7,866. Cox fished in the Paramore Landing area of the Chattahoochee River during the first three days, pitching a 4-inch Yum Megatube in green-pumpkin with a 1/2-ounce tungsten Penetrator weight to reed lines. Today his pitching water muddied up so he adapted by fishing grass flats in the lower Chattahoochee with a 1/2-ounce Rat-L-Trap in a firetiger color. Oneal fifth Lonnie Oneal of Valdosta, Ga., finished fifth with a four-day total of 33 pounds,Pro Lonnie Oneal of Valdosta, Ga., finished fifth with a four-day total of 33 pounds, 9 ounces worth $6,883. 9 ounces worth $6,883. Oneal spent most of the week fishing backwaters off the Chattahoochee River. He pitched a Stanley jig teamed with a Zoom Speed Craw to matted duckweed for a majority of his early-round catches. Today, the water dropped in his primary area, and he was concerned about not being able to get out of his area. "From there, I ran down to the main lake and started fishing a Rat-L-Trap around grass points," he added. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Stren Series Southeast Division event at Lake Seminole: 6th: David Lowery of Milledgeville, Ga., four-day total of 32-4, $5,899 7th: Clark Smith of Pell City, Ala., 32-3, $5,408 8th: Craig Dowling of Madison, Ala., 30-14, $4,916 9th: Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., 27-12, $4,424 10th: Jerry Kelley of Wewahitchka, Fla., 25-12, $3,933 The next Stren Series event will take place Feb. 7-10 and kick off the Texas Division season. The next Stren Series Southeast Division event will be held on Lake Eufaula March 7-10.

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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 »

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Gamecocks Win College Title

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Gamecocks Win National Title

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Hallman Prevails On Grand

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Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3

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Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2

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College Championship Race Tightens

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Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »

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Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-liberty-leads-college-championship

Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-castledine-stands-tall-on-grand

Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-lake-murray-midday-update-day-1

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hanselman-wins-back-to-back

Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-white-takes-bragging-rights-on-kentucky-lake-

White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »

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Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-chenoweth-wins-on-kerr

Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-rayburn-day-3-midday-update

Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hansen-holds-lake-of-the-ozarks-title

Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-frog-carries-lowery-to-victory

Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »