For Pete’s sake

CATSKILL, N.Y. - The Hudson River was supposed to be an extremely tough-bite tournament, but don't tell that to Pete Gluszek. He caught fish this week like it was nearby Lake Champlain. The pro from Franklinville, N.J., astonished Stren Series Northern Division fans in Catskill on Saturday afternoon by catching yet another five-bass limit in double digits and trouncing the final-round field of 10 in a surprisingly action-packed weigh-in. While the other finalists struggled just to catch five keepers, Gluszek managed to shovel up a limit weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday - his second catch over 10 pounds for the week - and won the Pro Division with an amazing four-day weight of 45-8. To put that in perspective, when all was said and done, Gluszek's closest challenger was Thomas LaVictoire, who finished 17 pounds, 13 ounces behind the winner. "When the fishing conditions are as tough as they are and to have a limit of that capacity, I mean, it even blew me away today," Gluszek said. "It's just an amazing feeling because it's such a special thing to win one of these tournaments. Everything has to come together just right. I've had a 10-year career, and I've only had three wins. Now that I've done it two years in a row, it feels absolutely wonderful." Last year, Gluszek won his first FLW Outdoors tournament at the Northern Division event on Lake Champlain. As usual at that bass factory, that event was a catchfest. This year on the tough-fishing Hudson River, it seemed like Gluszek didn't even know that he'd left Champlain. Of course, it was more complicated than that. In fact, Gluszek's huge win this week probably stemmed from the fact that he - likely more than anybody else - realized that this fishery is not Lake Champlain. For starters, the Hudson is a tidal river, and it's a relatively narrow one up here around the Catskills. So it tends to fish pretty small for a 107-boat field. Add to that a 15-inch minimum size limit on the fish and schizophrenic weather conditions that would give Al Roker a coronary, and you have the ingredients for one tough tournament. And that was true, for everyone except Gluszek. Even so, it was true for him a little bit, too. Gluszek actually started slowly, catching just 4 pounds, 12 ounces on day one. Then he caught the limit of the week on day two, 16 pounds, and never looked back. He stretched his lead to more than 8 pounds on day three by catching nearly 10 pounds. By day four, the final round, he was just piling it on with his 14-15 limit. How did he do it? In short, he leaned on an old tournament pro's mantra: adapt, adapt, adapt. He made the finals - including catching his big 16-pound sack on day two - by using the same run-and-gun technique that many of the top pros were doing. He followed the low tide up and down the river, flipping jigs and finesse worms into the nasty vegetation known here as "chestnuts." Maybe he also snagged a few fish on a spinnerbait at high tide later in the day if the area looked right. That worked fine the first couple days when the sun was out, but when Thursday morning's fog ushered in a front that brought fits of rain and especially wind the last couple days, Gluszek changed up. He still ran south, chasing low tide, but he stayed away from the chestnuts Saturday and instead turned his attention to main-river points. "I caught almost all of my fish today on a Bagley Killer B crankbait," he said. "The wind was harsh today, and the chestnuts are very unproductive when you get wave action. So I stuck almost exclusively to points today. This is actually a great crankbait river; there's no doubt that they chomp them here. With the vicious winds that we had today, I went to a wide-wobbling, loud-looking chartreuse power bait." For his victory, Pete Gluszek earned $25,000 cash and a $40,000 519VX Ranger boat powered by Yamaha. He also earned $4,500 in Ranger Cup and Powered by Evinrude bonuses for a total of $69,500 in winnings.Obviously, it worked to a T. Gluszek caught two quick fish - a 4- and a 2-pounder - at his first stop this morning and, given his 8-pound lead, thought he probably had the win in the bag. He kept running, though, and caught two more fish on his crankbait. Late in the day at high tide, he made one last stop at a honeyhole near Esopus Creek. "I've already had four bass for about 10 pounds, so I figured I had enough," he said. "But we stopped there at high tide, which is normally one of my best places at low tide, and the big one hit. I had literally just told my co-angler (Charlie Reed, who also won), `Last cast.'" That kicker largemouth weighed around 4 1/2 pounds and really just served as icing on the cake. Other finalists compete, but for second place When the 10 finalists' boats took off from Catskill Point Saturday morning, it was cold, dark, rainy, windy and just generally miserable. Given the previous days' overall dismal results in terms of fish catches, the outlook appeared bleak for a big final-round showdown. But the Hudson River - actually, the anglers - had a few surprises in store today. With only 10 tournament boats on the water, the pros were able to spread out and fish areas that had been crowded the first three days. Plus, some of them abandoned the tougher largemouth patterns and leaned on easier smallmouths to fill their livewells. Consequently, one by one the pros hauled fish to the scale, demolishing the notion that this fishery is all that tough. Only two pros failed to catch at least one keeper Saturday. And with the Stren's king-of-the-hill weigh-in format for the final round, some even threatened to knock Gluszek off his pedestal. Pro Thomas LaVictoire caught three bass Saturday weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces and finished second with a four-day total of 27-11.Like the first two days, LaVictoire again caught some good, solid bass, but just not enough of them. His three bass Saturday weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and he finished second with a four-day total of 27-11. Brian Hensley caught four weighing 8-9, and he ended up third with 27-11. Chris Baumgardner popped a limit of smallies for 9-3, and he climbed to fifth with 26-4. Day-one leader Ed Cowan also leaned on the smallies, catching four worth 7-9. He finished fifth with a 24-1 total. Pro David Butenewicz Jr. caught the biggest bass of the week, this 5 1/2-pound largemouth, and took sixth with 23-15 total.And David Butenewicz Jr. caught the biggest bass of the week, a 5 1/2-pound largemouth, and took sixth with 23-15 total. But that was all before the winner weighed in. Even without his catch Saturday, Gluszek won the tournament. But when he hoisted his limit of fish into the water scale, he was just showing off. And deservedly so. He even mixed in a rare smallmouth - he fished almost exclusively for largemouths this week - at which point ninth-place pro Sparky Petersen shouted, "You're just rubbing it in!" "You've got to hand it to Pete," LaVictoire said. "He made all the right moves this week. I don't know how he did it, but you've got to give him credit." Click here for final results and payouts. Coming up The next Northern Division event, the fourth and final of the year, is scheduled for Lake Gaston at Bracey, Va., Oct. 3-6. This event was originally scheduled for Kerr Lake in North Carolina, but due to that lake's low water levels, it has been moved to Gaston. The dates remain the same.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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