UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Kerr Lake

Stonewalled

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - Stren Series Western Division anglers caught more than 8 1/2 tons of bass at Clear Lake this week, but when all was said and done, the exhilarating outcome was decided by a measly 4 ounces. Western Division pro points leader Michael Tuck wowed fishing fans Saturday by catching his second 30-pound-plus limit of the week in the final round, but Jared Stone upended his first victory bid by snagging just enough weight to hold on to first place. The final tally? Stone: 99 pounds, 14 ounces, Tuck: 99-10. While all 20 pros and co-anglers caught five-bass limits Saturday at this phenomenal fishery, it was Tuck who owned the final round. His limit weighed in at exactly 30 pounds, 15 ounces - the 22nd-heaviest limit in FLW Outdoors history and his second top-25 record weight of the week - and was anchored by a massive, 10-12 kicker largemouth that ranked as the second-heaviest fish caught at this monster tournament. Only three pros failed to catch more than 20 pounds Saturday, and one of those, compellingly, was day-three leader Stone. He laid up on day four with 18-15 - the second-lightest pro weight in the finals - but it was ultimately just barely enough. Even Stone had a hard time soaking it all in. "I feel bad for him. He's an outstanding angler and deserves all the success he's had," Stone said of Tuck, in disbelief. "But man, to come in with 30 pounds and not win - that's unbelievable." Unbelievable? Yes, but that was just par for the course at the freak show otherwise known as the 2007 Clear Lake Stren Series. Stren rookie Jared Stone of Lakeport, Calif., cleared $25,000 and a new Ranger boat at Clear Lake for winning the third Western Division event of the year.Rookie - but local - Stone capitalizes on prime opportunity Stone, who hails from Lakeport, Calif., on the north end of Clear Lake, has never fished an FLW Outdoors event before this week. In fact, he said, "I signed up for this tournament Monday morning. I'd been on some good fish for about three weeks, and the FLW's the biggest thing to come to Clear Lake, so I figured I'd better get in on it." Wise decision. Not only did he clear $25,000 and a new Ranger boat for winning the third Western Division event of the year, he etched his name into the record books. His 99-pound, 14-ounce total is now the fourth-heaviest total tournament weight in FLW Outdoors history, and the 31-15 limit he caught Friday ranks 15th of all time. And really, it was that 15th-ranked weight that won this thing for Stone. By catching that 31-15 Friday - the heaviest limit of the tournament - he knocked Tuck's first big weight of the week, 31-11 on Thursday, down a peg to 16th place of all time. Notice the difference between those two epic stringers: 4 ounces. This was a week about numbers, and by his own admission, Stone's were bad on Saturday. "I had a horrible day today," he said. "My fish were changing, and I didn't make the proper adjustments. I probably lost five fish today, including two really good ones. Probably three of them would have helped me out even more." The first three days, Stone said he caught all of his fish on a 7-inch Osprey swimbait, targeting deeper water around docks where bass were relating to spawning areas. He didn't focus on a single area, saying that he "moved all around the lake." However, as the weather warmed up each day and turned downright summery by the end of the week - it was 87 degrees and sunny Saturday afternoon - the big mothers moved up shallow, and things got tougher for Stone. Pro Jared Stone caught an 18-pound, 15-ounce limit in the finals and etched his name into the record books with a 99-pound, 14-ounce four-day total weight, which ranks fourth all-time."Like I said yesterday, it's been getting tougher and tougher on me every day," he said. "Today I started with the swimbait and fished it for about four hours. I didn't have a limit until about 11 o'clock, and my co-angler (Kyle Clement) was drop-shotting and catching all kinds of fish behind me. So I had to go sight-fishing, and they just didn't bite as well. I just didn't have a big bite today, but if I would have kept throwing the swimbait, I wouldn't even have had 18 pounds." Stone sight-fished using a drop-shot with a 6-inch warmouth-colored Roboworm on 8-pound-test to squeak out his (small!) 18-pound, 15-ounce limit, but said dirty water hampered his bed-fishing. His biggest keeper Saturday weighed about 4 ¾ pounds, but he took it any way he could. "They say, `When it's meant to happen, it's meant to happen,'" he said. "I gave it everything I had, and I guess it paid off. It is incredible. I can't believe it." Tuck zinged again This is the second time in as many years that Tuck has played the bridesmaid at the Clear Lake Stren Series. Last year he was upstaged by some last-minute heroics from eventual winner Jimmy Reese. This year, Stone had his number. "It burns," he said, obviously disappointed. "Man, what do I have to do?" By catching two sacks over 30 pounds in four days, including his 10-12 kicker in the finals - his second-heaviest career tournament fish - he did just about everything he could do. If not for his slow start, a 16-7 limit Wednesday, Tuck would have won in a romp. Tuck took more away from this event, however, than just learning how to swallow a bitter pill - again. First, he discovered the Huddleston swimbait, which, he said, fellow pro Jason Borofka tipped him off to prior to the tournament. He waited until Saturday's sunshine rolled around to put down the swimbait and light up the sight beds with a 6-inch Roboworm on a drop-shot. That's how he caught his big fish. "The first three days, I was throwing a Huddleston swimbait, and I've never caught a fish on it until three days ago," Tuck said. "Man, that thing is awesome." Second, with an all-time record of 17,234 pounds, 11 ounces of fish weighed in this tournament by the entire field - which broke the Lake Amistad Stren mark by more than 4,000 pounds - not to mention his own two big limits, Tuck recognized the significance of this week and this bass fishery. "I love this lake. It's the best lake in the world, bar none," he said. "I hear that Amistad's good, but you guys can have it." Third, and perhaps most importantly, the pro from Antelope, Calif., took one step closer to clinching his first points title. Tuck has been dominant three tournaments into the Western Division season - two top-five finishes and a 12th - and now leads Gene Gray 586 points to 571. "What a beautiful day and a wonderful setting," he said. "I'm just honored to be here." Tuck earned $9,481 for second place. Pro Jim Davis of San Jose, Calif., caught a 26-5 limit Saturday and earned third place with a four-day weight of 94-14.Davis no slouch himself, takes third in tournament, points Perhaps the most consistent pro this week was Jim Davis of San Jose, Calif., who caught limits between 21 and 26 pounds all four days. His 26-5 limit Saturday was his heaviest of the week, and he earned $8,534 for third place with a four-day weight of 94-14. "This fishery's just on fire right now," he said. "I threw a lot of swimbaits, a lot of reaction baits. If they didn't bite on the swimbait, I'd back off and go back to get them with finesse baits." Davis moved into a tie with Reese for third place in the Western Division pro standings with 555 points. Pro Wayne Breazeale of Kelseyville, Calif., amassed 27 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday and finished fourth with a four-day total of 94-0.Breazeale pounds 27-2, takes fourth Wayne Breazeale of Kelseyville, Calif., amassed his second heavy stringer in a row - 27 pounds, 2 ounces - and finished fourth with a four-day total of 94-0. He earned $7,585. "I love this lake," said the local pro. "I ripped my fish most of the week, and I caught that 9(-pounder) yesterday at about 2 o'clock. That's what got me here. Today, I threw this (chartreuse) Roboworm crawdad thing. I don't know what it's called, but it works." Pro Jason Borofka, here showing off his Osprey swimbait, finished fifth with 93-4.Borofka slides to fifth In second place heading into the day, Salinas, California's Borofka caught 20 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday and finished fifth with a four-day weight of 93-4. He took home $6,637. "I was throwing a 9-inch Osprey swimbait," he said. "I only caught three big fish on it in the tournament, but it was awesome. You could go up to some docks and have 30 fish over 5 pounds come up to it." Seventh-place pro Cody Meyer caught a big kicker Saturday. This 10-pound, 10-ounce largemouth was his personal best tournament fish and tied for third-heaviest of the tournament.Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at Clear Lake, based on four-day combined weight: 6th: Brian Nollar of Homer, Alaska, 92-12, $5,688 7th: Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., 91-11, $5,215 8th: Jeff Billings of Clearlake, Calif., 90-15, $4,741 9th: Gino Campiotti of Manteca, Calif., 89-4, $4,266 (day-two leader) 10th: Roy Hawk of Salt Lake City, 84-9, $3,793 Meyer also caught a big kicker Saturday. His 10-pound, 10-ounce largemouth was his personal best tournament fish and tied for third-heaviest of this tournament. For the record In addition to all the one-day and total tournament weight records set this week at Clear Lake, four of the top five pro finishers caught four-day weights that rank in the FLW Outdoors top 10 of all time: Stone (99-14, fourth), Tuck (99-10, fifth), Davis (94-14, sixth) and Breazeale (94-0, eighth). Three more Clear Lake finalists made the top 15: Borofka (93-4, 11th), Nollar (92-12, 12th) and Meyer (91-11, 13th). Coming up The next Stren Series event is a Central Division contest at Kentucky Lake near Benton, Ky., May 2-5. The next Western Division tournament is the fourth and final event of the season. It will be held at the California Delta near Oakley, Calif., May 16-19.

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Matual Masters Erie

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Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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