UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart FLW Tour - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Stonewalled

Michael Tuck (right) reacts in disbelief as Jared Stone (left) beats him by 4 ounces: 99-14 to 99-10.

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.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2007-04-25-clear-lake 

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

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

/news/2016-02-04-top-5-patterns-from-the-okeechobee-tour-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Okeechobee Tour Day 1

The Walmart FLW Tour has been coming to Lake Okeechobee for the better part of 20 years. And for a vast majority of those years, the north end of the lake has been the business end – where the business of fish catching is done. Today, that tradition was derailed in the first round of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Hendry County Tourism Development Council. Though some boats did sample the Harney Pond area up north, many of the normal fish-producing haunts such as the Monkey Box, Dyess Ditch and Fisheating Bay were complete ghost towns. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-leads-day-one-of-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Leads Day One Of Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Oklahoma pro Bradley Hallman, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 25 pounds even Thursday to grab the early lead after day one of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Right behind him in second place is renowned Okeechobee angler Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, who weighed in five bass totaling 22-8. Hallman now brings a 2½-pound lead into day two of the four-day READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-takes-the-lead-with-25

Hallman Takes the Lead with 25

The old saying is that the third time is the charm, but for Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla., it’s more like the first time is the charm. Hallman is fishing his first Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee. It’s the first day of the first Tour event of 2016, and Hallman sits in first place with 25 pounds even. Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman sacked up an impressive 25-pound limit of bass to take the lead on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour opener on Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-okeechobee-day-1-coverage

Okeechobee Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2016-02-03-5-key-areas-on-okeechobee

5 Key Areas on Okeechobee

There are many well-known areas on Lake Okeechobee that are commonly talked about around the docks before and after each event, but five key spots in particular will certainly play a role in this week’s Walmart FLW Tour opener. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-03-5-to-watch-on-okeechobee

5 to Watch on Okeechobee

This year, the Big O is giving the 169-boat field a different look than they’ve seen in past years in the form of high, dirty water. The odds could favor the locals more than in years past, though the caliber of skill among the entire field is over the top. Really, it could be anyone’s tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-02-scouting-the-big-o-with-wesley-strader

Scouting the Big O with Wesley Strader

Wesley Strader is known and admired for his unique wit and constant cheer, but his consistency is what has been the true hallmark of his successful fishing career. Last week, that consistency paid off with the first big win he’s had since 2002 at the B.A.S.S. Open on the Kissimmee Chain in central Florida. Now he’s got his eye on starting the Walmart FLW Tour season on the right foot a few hours south at Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-okeechobee-practice-with-scott-martin

Okeechobee Practice with Scott Martin

Scott Martin is heading into the first Walmart FLW Tour event of the season with a full head of steam. After earning what might be the first of many Angler of the Year titles in 2015, he gets to kick off the year sleeping in his own bed and fishing Lake Okeechobee, the place where he grew up and where he has caught more than 50 bass weighing more than 10 pounds. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-childers-targeted-rocks-for-victory

Childers Targeted Rocks for Victory

Randy Childers of Anderson, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Keowee presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Childers earned $4,271. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-childers-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-savannah-river-division-opener-on-lake-keowee-presented-by-power-pole

Childers Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division Opener on Lake Keowee Presented by Power-Pole

SENECA, S.C. – Randy Childers of Anderson, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Keowee presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Childers earned $4,271. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-bfl-angler-poche-stabbed-to-death

BFL Angler Poche Stabbed to Death

Louisiana angler Dylan Poche, who was just beginning his career as a professional bass fisherman, was stabbed to death late Saturday night after participating in an FLW Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division tournament. Police say they have a suspect in custody. READ MORE »

/news/2016-01-30-ucf-earns-title-on-crescent

UCF Earns Title on Crescent

The University of Central Florida team of Hunter McKamey of Geneva, Tennessee, and Kyle Oliver of Winter Garden, Florida, won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference opener on Crescent Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-01-30-university-of-central-florida-wins-flw-college-fishing-southeastern-conference-opener-on-crescent-lake

University of Central Florida Wins FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference Opener on Crescent Lake

BUNNELL, Fla. – The University of Central Florida team of Hunter McKamey of Geneva, Tennessee, and Kyle Oliver of Winter Garden, Florida, won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference opener on Crescent Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-01-29-okeechobee-heating-up

Okeechobee Heating Up

The weather over the last few weeks in Florida has been, well, not so Florida-like. Wave after wave of cold front has riddled the Sunshine State, leaving the bass in lockdown mode. Hope is on the horizon, though, for the entire field of the Walmart FLW Tour with a forecast calling for warmer weather in the days leading up to the start of the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee Feb. 4-7. READ MORE »

/news/2016-01-28-costa-announces-contingency-program

Costa Announces Contingency Program

Costa Del Mar, the new title sponsor of the FLW Series, recently launched its Costa FLW Rewards contingency program for all Walmart FLW Tour, Costa FLW Series and FLW Bass Fishing League events. The program is effective immediately. READ MORE »