UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

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/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

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 »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

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 »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

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 »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

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 »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

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 »