UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Welcome to victory, Lane

LA PLATA, Md. - It took him 20 tries and a whole mess of Potomac River largemouth bass this week, but Bobby Lane finally won an FLW Outdoors tournament. Lane sealed the deal at the Stren Series Northern Division opener by catching a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces in Saturday's finals and finishing the tournament with a winning four-day weight total of 65-14. It was the smallest limit of the week for the pro out of Lakeland, Fla., but the 7 1/2-pound lead he carried into the day was enough to fend off a surge from runner-up Ryan Park, who finished with 60-1 for the tournament. "This is what it comes down to. You just try to keep it exciting, I guess. They sure were bigger earlier in the week," Lane said. "It did get tougher as the week went on, but things just kept going my way. I missed some great opportunities today, and I thought it was going to kill me." Lane won this event on the merits of his first three days of fishing. Every day, he started flipping grass mats in Chicamuxen Creek and then would move later in the day to a little grassy spot he found near Smallwood State Park to try to cull some bigger fish. Doing that the first three days, he pounded out more than 15 pounds of bass each day, including the week's heaviest stringer on Thursday, a 23-3. He used the same approach Saturday, but fishing pressure and some lost fish left him with just over 9 pounds at the end of the day. "I didn't think they weighed 9 pounds, to be honest. I only had eight bites, and I lost two of them," he said. "But I didn't do anything crazy today; I didn't go blind-fishing or anything. I just flipped and flipped and flipped the same areas I have all week." The flipping phenom from the shores of Lake Okeechobee found the Potomac to be very receptive to his grass-fishing mastery, not just this week, but also last month in FLW Tour competition, as well. He finished third in that big-money event. For his victory, Bobby Lane earned $25,000 cash and a $40,000 519VX Ranger boat powered by Yamaha.This week, he flipped a 1 1/3- to 1 1/2-ounce weight with a Berkley Chigger Craw on 50-pound Spiderwire line. He started the morning throwing green-pumpkin baits, and then switched over to watermelon-candy as the day wore on and the sun came out. Another trick he used is that he "shined" his Tru Tungsten weights, sanding them a touch to give them a little extra sheen. "Yeah, the Potomac's been good to me this summer," he said. "Switching to watermelon-candy in the afternoon was the ticket, though. It looks more like the baitfish they feed on here during the day punching through that mat instead of that brown stuff they eat in the morning." It's been a good month all around for Lane, who had 19 prior FLW Outdoors top-10 finishes throughout the Wal-Mart BFL, Stren Series and FLW Tour ranks and more than $275,000 in career earnings. He finally closed the deal in his 20th visit to the final round, and with the win he added another $25,000 in cash and a new Ranger to his trophy chest, plus all the boat, motor and Ranger Cup contingency money. His total haul topped $75,000 this week, which will come in handy considering the birth of his son, Robert Jr., some two weeks ago. "It feels really good to say you won one finally," he said. "You join a pretty small group of guys who can say they've done it." Pro Ryan Park of Mount Joy, Pa., caught a relatively good limit Saturday - 11 pounds, 1 ounce - and finished second with 60-1.Park settles for second Park, who hails from Mount Joy, Pa., caught a relatively good limit Saturday - 11 pounds, 1 ounce - but he knew he'd need the catch of a lifetime to overtake Lane, who had a 7 1/2-pound lead on him coming into the day. "I figured coming into today that, realistically, the only way I could win was if I caught them really good and (Lane's) Spiderwire got caught in a crab pot and pulled his flipping stick into the river," Park said. "I won't say that I `fished chicken' today, but I went out to make sure I got a limit today. I was just worried about maintaining No. 2. But maybe next time I won't do the same thing." Park said he avoided fishing his main area of grass mats early Saturday, opting instead to grab a quick limit in Mattawoman Creek before going hog-hunting. But even that wasn't easy. "With the wind yesterday, the grass mat on my best spot broke into three pieces and blew into the bank, so there wasn't even really that much to fish," he said. "I caught four or five fish after Mattawoman Creek, though, so I'm satisfied. I don't think I played it too safe." Park said he caught about 75 percent of his fish this week flipping a Sweet Beaver with a 1 1/2-ounce weight. He earned $8,917 for second place in the Pro Division. Coming in with the heaviest catch in the finals was Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn., a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit. He finished third for the pros with 57-14.Caraballo lands biggest sack, climbs to third Coming in with the heaviest catch in the finals was Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn. His 16-pound, 4-ounce limit outweighed the next-heaviest bag by 5 pounds and launched him up the pro ranks into a third-place finish with a four-day total weight of 57-14. He earned $8,026. "I was fishing right next to Bobby (Lane). We talked all day long just back and forth about what we were catching. In the morning I'd fish Chicamuxen Creek, and then I'd go up to Mattawoman," Caraballo said. "Yesterday, he kind of got lucky because I made a mistake not staying with my fish. After I left, another guy went in there, and he told me he lost a 6-pounder in there. So I went back there today." While he finished third, Caraballo wasn't unhappy with his results this week. He usually fishes FLW Outdoors events as a co-angler, but he has fished the Stren Northern Division as a pro the last three years. And his results at the Potomac River have only gotten better each year: He's gone from a complete zero the first year to 109th the second year to third place this year. Plus, he won the Co-angler of the Year title on the FLW Tour this season, and he saw a certain symmetry to his finish this week. "It's only right that I came in third," he said. "At the first FLW Series this year at Okeechobee, I came in third. At the first FLW Tour at Lake Travis, I was third. And here (the first Stren Northern event), I'm third. It makes sense." Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C., finished fourth for the pros with a four-day total of 54 pounds, 15 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 11-4 Saturday.Gainey fourth Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C., finished fourth for the pros and earned $7,134 with a four-day total of 54 pounds, 15 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 11-4 Saturday. "Today was my worst day. I had a limit by 7:30 and I culled two or three times, but than that was it. I didn't get that 5-pounder, which you need here," he said. "But I feel like I got a little revenge on the Potomac River. Last year in August here, I finished dead last. So this is a little payback." Gainey said he caught his fish flipping a jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer. Pro James Kemper of Frankfort, Ky., tallied 54 pounds, 1 ounce for the tournament and finished in fifth place. He caught a limit weighing 10-13 Saturday.Kemper fifth Pro James Kemper of Frankfort, Ky., tallied 54 pounds, 1 ounce for the tournament and earned $6,242 for fifth place. He caught a limit weighing 10-13 Saturday. "I did a lot of just junk-fishing this week," he said. "I could go out and limit with a finesse worm. Then I'd leave that and catch them on a Strike King jig. I had one grass mat about as big as that (weigh) table where I caught five good, solid fish." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at the Potomac River: 6th: Terry Olinger of The Plains, Va., 52-12, $5,350 7th: Thomas Wooten of Huddleston, Va., 51-14, $4,905 8th: George Acord Jr. of Lancaster, Pa., 50-7, $4,459 9th: Michael Hall of Annandale, Va., 50-6, $4,012 10th: Sparky Petersen of Laytonsville, Md., 48-5, $3,568 Coming up The next Northern Division event, the second of the year, is scheduled for the Detroit River at Trenton, Mich., Aug. 15-18.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »