Action Jackson

Stren Series rookie Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla., wins the Stren Series Championship by fishing downtown Mobile.

MOBILE, Ala. - Pros fishing the 2007 Stren Series Championship on the Mobile Delta ran far and wide this week to find fish in places that were several area codes away. Several pros who ended up in the top 10 were running 220 miles per day - almost 1,000 miles over the course of the week. Others were easily covering 80 to 120 miles per day to get away from the Delta and into the current flows of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. Which makes it all the more ironic that Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla., won the Stren Series Championship in downtown Mobile, Ala., almost within sight of the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center - the very place where he weighed in 18 pounds, 1 ounce of winning bass over the last two days to pocket $50,000 cash plus a fully rigged Ranger boat. And no one was more surprised than Jackson himself, a Stren Series rookie who qualified for the championship through the Southeast Division. "I'm speechless," Jackson said with a bewildered look as confetti fell around him in the victory ceremony. Each day of the event Jackson traveled no more than just a few minutes from the takeoff location near Battleship Park into the shipping channel along downtown Mobile and back into Three Mile Creek. Even more amazing is how Jackson found the spot. "I have a marine construction business on the St. Johns River," Jackson explained. "I build big docks and stuff, and I was actually riding around over there on the downtown Mobile water front, admiring all those big cranes and barges and stuff, when I noticed a tiny piece of water hyacinths floating in the water near this canal. "So I started following the canal back, went under a couple of bridges and started seeing all this floating trash in the water - bottles, cans, basketballs, volleyballs, you name it - just big mats of junk. But the trash had mats of hyacinths and vines trapped in it."Mike Jackson shows off one of his tournament winning bass. Jackson immediately pulled out a flipping rod and began punching the matted junk. "I caught 15 pounds of bass from under one mat in practice," Jackson iterated. "And the funny part is I didn't even bring any of my good flipping stuff over here - I left it at home because I didn't think I would be fishing that way." Jackson scoured his boat and truck and found a few 1 1/2-ounce tungsten flipping weights, a bag of Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers, a bag of Gambler 4-inch craws and a bag of Culprit craws in the far recesses of his boat, using up every bit of flipping tackle he had to win the tournament. He tied his mat-punching rig to 80-pound Spiderwire braid. "The water in there was real clear," he said. "But that matted junk was so thick, I don't think the line size mattered." Though Jackson caught his fish in a couple of other places during the week, he estimated that 90 percent of his fish came out of the small creek running through downtown Mobile. In addition, Jackson has also earned a berth into the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup for a shot at winning a possible $1 million top prize. (For more on the other Forrest Cup qualifiers from the Stren Series Championship, see the day-four Quick Bites.) Bohannan second Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., finished runner-up in the Championship with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 1 ounce worth $35,750Red-hot Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark. - who has had a remarkable 2007 season, which included a Stren Series win at the Columbus Pool and a Central Division Angler of the Year title - finished runner-up in the championship with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 1 ounce, worth $35,750. Bohannan's winning pattern centered on spotted bass, swift current and crankbaits. Each morning, he started his day with a 65-mile run up the Alabama River where he had located several deep river bends consisting only of slick clay banks. "I was looking for two things: fast water and bait," he said. "And I found those two items on the slick clay banks. I was not fishing wood or laydowns. The key features along those banks were small natural knobs or points on the bank. Shad would ball up in the small eddies formed by those knobs and points, and the spotted bass were onto it." Bohannan cranked the eddies with a Bandit 200 crankbait, custom painted by Fall Creek lures in Springfield, Mo. "I was paralleling the banks, trying to get my crankbait as close to the bank as possible to bump the points," he said. "The crankbait worked better when the current was really flowing well. When the current slacked off like it did today, I had to go to a War Eagle shaky head, which is what I caught three of my keepers on today." Curtis third David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, finished third with a two-day total of 16 pounds David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, finished third with a two-day total of 16 pounds worth $35, 750.worth $35,750. Curtis was one of the pros making the 110-mile run up the Alabama River where he was fishing an outlet pipe from a paper mill. "That pipe is constantly flushing out current, 24-7, so fish live around it all the time," he said. "And I was just throwing a green-pumpkin Zoom Trick on a Gigi-Head on 8-pound-test line." Robinson fourth Local stick Robert Robinson of Mobile, Ala, finished fourth with two-day total of 14 pounds, 14 ounces worth $20,780.Local stick Robert Robinson of Mobile, Ala., finished fourth with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 14 ounces, worth $20,780. Robinson spent his week up the Tombigbee River up to mile marker 54. "The key baits for me this week were a Bagley's Killer B III crankbait in a splatterback pattern and Zoom lizards in Junebug and redbug colors," Robinson said. "I was making short casts to big blowdowns and root balls on the main river that had current on them. That was the key for me, fishing the objects that had the most current flow." Vinson fifth Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., finished fifth with a two-day total of Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., finished fifth with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 9 ounces worth $16,620.14 pounds, 9 ounces, worth $16,620. Vinson was also making the long run up the Alabama River and fishing the same discharge pipe that Curtis was fishing. "I would start on that pipe each morning, catch a couple of keepers, and then move up and fish the dam as well as several isolated wood piles up there that were blocking current." Vinson's key bait all week was a Davis HBT Shaky Head teamed with a green-pumpkin candy shaky-head worm fished on 10-pound-test fluorocarbon. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Championship in Mobile: 6th: Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C., two-day total of 13-10, $14,960 7th: Mathew Saavedra of Redding, Calif., two-day total of 12-12, $9,130 8th: Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., two-day total of 12-10, $18,300 9th: Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., two-day total of 6-12, $7,470 10th: Doug Vahrenberg of Higginsville, Mo., two-day total of 5-1, $11,640

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-day-1-patterns-from-the-college-open

Day 1 Patterns from the College Open

The Northwest Missouri State University team of Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almontadi took the day-one lead in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. While their pattern seems to be effectively refined – they were using only one lure and had no others out on the deck – Nordbye and Almontadi don’t have this one sewed up yet. The rest of the top five is just a few pounds behind the leaders. Here’s how they made it into contention going into the final day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-gautney-under-pressure

Gautney Under Pressure

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Guntersville is just as misty and nasty as the first. Lucky for us, the first day of the Mercury-presented event featured huge catches throughout the field. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-college-open-day-1-midday-update

College Open Day 1 Midday Update

“You should have been here yesterday” might have been the motto for the first day of fishing in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. Though many of the 194 teams entered in the two-day event out of Moor’s Resort & Marina reported good to excellent practices, many of the same anglers were complaining about a lack of fish on opening morning of the competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-gautney-cranks-up-the-lead

Gautney Cranks Up The Lead

Gautney says he keyed on staging fish in several very specific locations and one specific depth. He and co-angler Antoni Bicy caught 59 pounds, 8 ounces off of his spots, and he seems confident about his ability to keep catching them the rest of the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Guntersville was a welcome departure from the grumblings of practice. Though fans weren’t treated to multiple 30-pound limits on the pro side, like at the Walmart Bass Fishing League event at Guntersville a couple of weekends ago, it still took more than 25 pounds to get into the top five on day one of this Mercury-presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-morrison-wins-on-dale-hollow

Morrison Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Charles Morrison of Georgetown, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Morrison earned $3,926. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-hughan-claims-arkie-division-title-on-greers-ferry

Hughan Claims Arkie Division Title on Greers Ferry

GREERS FERRY, Ark. – William Hughan of Little Rock, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Greers Ferry Lake. For his victory, Hughan earned $4,350. READ MORE »