UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Turner tops at Amistad

DEL RIO, Texas - Rick Turner picked a fine way to follow up his day-three, record-setting, 14-pound, 8-ounce bass by rallying from third place today to win the Stren Series Texas Division event on mighty Lake Amistad. Turner's four-day, 90-pound, 9-ounce catch bested Dan Schoonveld by 1 pound, 2 ounces. With his tournament win, spectacular day three and 14-8 monster bass, Turner paints a picture for the way this whole tournament shook out. Overall, 13,193 pounds and 9 ounces of bass were caught out of Lake Amistad over the past four days, a new Stren Series record for heaviest total tournament catch. The tournament seemed to be a two-way race between Schoonveld and Bob Coleman, yesterday's leader. But both of them suffered surprising stumbles today, Coleman in particular, opening the door for Turner to claim a win that relied heavily on his massive day-three weight of 33 pounds, 3 ounces, which he followed up today with a limit weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. "Last year I weighed in the biggest sack of my life here, and I thought I would never, ever weigh in a sack that big again," Turner said. "But yesterday I had 33 pounds, and that's a fisherman's dream." Rick Turner displays his hard-won trophy from Lake Amistad.So is winning a Stren Series tournament, and though Turner has Wal-Mart FLW Tour and Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail victories to his credit, this is his first Stren Series crown, and no one was more surprised than he. "I don't believe it!" he said. "I got out there, and my fish weren't biting well - I didn't think I had a chance of winning. I thought I'd need 20 to 22 pounds. Third is what I was hoping for - this tops it all off." Turner's own 16-7 day-four limit wasn't the heaviest of the day by any means, so his third-place standing after day three was definitely a factor in his climb to the top. "I thought it would take more weight than that," he said. "I expected (the leaders) to do the same, so I didn't think I'd have enough." Making Turner's outlook even bleaker was that his go-to spot wasn't working out for him like he had hoped, so he left it and went looking for fish - a dead-end road. "The spot I had fished the first three days, I got bit in pretty early," he said. "But the bite was a lot slower - it wasn't the same. So I left, but I didn't get bit there either, so I went back to the spot and caught seven keepers and culled up. It was steady all day, just a long time between bites." Turner caught them on main-lake points with hydrilla and trees, a staging area for prespawn bass and a pit stop on the way back home for fish that had already spawned. "The fish were on their way in to spawn, and when they got through spawning, they'd go back there and kind of recoup," he said. Turner caught a few on a Carolina-rigged Brush Hog, but said the majority of his bass came on the lure that brought him the 14-8 - a prototype football-head jig made by Buckeye Lures, though he says he couldn't use it today because he had broken all of them off in the previous three days. For the win, Turner claimed $25,000 in cash plus a fully rigged Ranger boat. As for his mega-bass from day three, it has been donated to the Texas Share Lunker program, where Turner reports it is doing beautifully. Two-day leader Schoonveld takes second Dan Schoonveld ended the tournament in second place, just 1 pound, 2 ounces behind the leader.Dan Schoonveld of Mansura, La., spent the first two days of this event perched at the top of the leaderboard thanks to catches like his record-breaking day-one limit of 34 pounds, 12 ounces. Today proved to be a bit of a doozy, though, as he managed only 13 pounds, 3 ounces to bring his total weight to 89 pounds, 7 ounces, good for second place. "What I caught the first day, I couldn't believe it myself," he said. "It was one of those days where I couldn't go wrong. I was waiting for the fish to come in, and they didn't come in today." Schoonveld was fishing drains in creeks as well as what he describes as the sharpest points in the biggest spawning flats. He was using an Ezee Jig of his own design on a drop-shot. As for the spawning flats, Schoonveld said, "That's where the big fish were moving up, except today. The difference today was the fish went ahead and moved up, and I did not adjust." Wind played a major factor in this week's event, with wind speeds as high as 30 mph that would frustrate even the most disciplined angler. To combat that, Schoonveld relied on Kistler rods. "I think my Kistler rods were my No. 1 key," he said. "They're so light and sensitive that I could throw a 1/4-ounce weight and feel everything." For his second-place finish, Schoonveld earned $9,832 plus a $5,000 Ranger bonus. Elbow costs Coleman a victory Good sport Bob Coleman had a tough day four and ended up third with 89-5 over four days.In third place is yesterday's leader, Bob Coleman of Washington, Mo., with a three-day total of 89 pounds, 5 ounces. Coleman was very consistent the first three days of competition, bringing in 25-12, 26-5 and 24-15, respectively, but struggled today, weighing in only 11 pounds, 11 ounces. "I actually had more bites today," Coleman said. "But I've got a bad elbow. I set the hook and couldn't hold them. They just got off." Coleman did help deliver a decisive victory to his co-angler partner, Jimmy Ballard, who won that division by an unbelievable 24-pound, 3-ounce margin. "We had a great day," Coleman said. "I had the bites, and I had the opportunities; I just couldn't get it done." Coleman was Texas rigging Senkos with heavy weights, catching all prespawn fish in about 20 feet of water. For his third-place finish, he earned $8,849 plus a $5,000 Ranger bonus. Reneau fourth - again In fourth place for the third consecutive day is Tim Reneau of Seguin, Texas, with a four-day total of 88 pounds, 15 ounces. Reneau caught the day's heaviest pro limit, weighing in 23 pounds of Amistad bass. "I started out in practice fishing up the lake, fishing deep ridges, but the wind blew me off them," Reneau said. "I drove around every day looking for fish, and this is it." Reneau caught his bass on a 3/4-ounce green-pumpkin jig and a Senko. Repeat performer Johnston lands in fifth Current points leader and fifth-place finisher Stephen Johnston displays the 9-pounder he caught on day four.Sam Rayburn winner Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, took fifth place with a four-day catch of 83 pounds, 5 ounces. Johnston, too, had one of the better pro days, bringing in a limit today worth 21 pounds, 11 ounces. "I caught a 10-6 on Tuesday and came back and caught a 9-pounder today - it just doesn't get any better than Del Rio," Johnston said. Interestingly, Johnston's father, Wayne, made the co-angler top-10, and like his son, finished in fifth place in his division. The younger Johnston is also the Texas Division points leader, a trend likely to continue given that the next Texas event is on his home waters of Toledo Bend. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Amistad: Barry Smith is the sixth-place pro with 79 pounds, 13 ounces over four days.6th: Barry Smith, Palo Pinto, Texas, 20 bass, 79-13, $5,899 7th: Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 20 bass, 77-14, $5,408 8th: Robert Robinson, Mobile, Ala., 20 bass, 73-6, $4,916 9th: David Curtis, Trinity, Texas, 19 bass, 72-7, $4,424 10th: Ronnie Eschete Jr., Thibodaux, La., 15 bass, 65-3, $3,933 Coming up The next Stren Series event is a Southeast Division contest at the Santee Cooper lakes near Manning, S.C., April 11-14. The next Texas Division tournament is the third event of the season. It will be held at Toledo Bend near Hemphill June 20-23.

Tags: headline-story  jennifer-simmons 

/news/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

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 »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

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 »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

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 »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

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 »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

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 »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

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 »