Record falls to Falcon, Guidry

ZAPATA, Texas - When he reached the Zapata County Community Center for the final weigh-in of the Stren Series Texas Division season opener on Falcon Lake, pro Jeremy Guidry thought he had 22 or 23 pounds in his bag. As it turns out, he greatly underestimated his catch due to grappling with 9- and 10-pound bass all week. After catching 27 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday, Guidry finished the event with 110 pounds, 2 ounces. That's the heaviest four-day cumulative tournament weight in the history of both the Stren Series and FLW Outdoors as a whole. Guidry's catch shattered the previous record of 105 pounds, 8 ounces set by David Mauldin of Tomball, Texas, during the 2006 Stren Series tournament on Lake Amistad. In fact, the top three finishers on Falcon all surpassed the previous record. A look at Jeremy Guidry The cat is officially out of the bag: Falcon Lake is the hottest bass fishery in the country. "I keep waiting for someone to pinch me," said the pro winner. "Yesterday at noon I didn't even know if I was going to stay in the top 10. I just fished hard and got it done." Guidry started each day by throwing a ChatterBait, a lure that built its reputation as a grass bait, around huisache trees. He tipped the ChatterBait with a Lake Fork Live Magic Shad swimbait. Guidry said the lure had the versatility of a spinnerbait but did a better job of mimicking tilapia, the primary bass forage in Falcon. Later in the day, he would switch to flipping a V&M Super High Tail creature bait. He rigged the creature bait with 65-pound braid and the ChatterBait with 20-pound monofilament. "Using mono around trees, especially with these mean fish, was nerve-wracking. I caught more fish on the V&M bait, but the bigger fish came on the ChatterBait." Opelousas, La., pro Jeremy Guidry celebrates his first Stren Series victory.Guidry fished two locations. His primary spot was in a small creek on the Mexico side of the lake, approximately four miles south of the Beacon Lodge. His secondary area was in a larger creek on the Mexico side, due west of the marina. During the final day of competition, the Opelousas, La., native caught 25 keepers. His first five fish weighed only 12 pounds, but he continued to upgrade throughout the day. "I guess I culled my last keeper at 2 p.m. My limit was pretty much all 5- and 6-pounders." Guidry's record weight earned him a $25,000 cash purse and a fully loaded Ranger boat. The total value of his first victory was $69,500. Heaviest day-four catch not enough for Reneau While Guidry caught the heaviest four-day total weight in company history, pro Tim Reneau caught the heaviest day-four weight in both Stren Series and FLW Outdoors history. Reneau fished for the win throughout the tournament and nearly attained his lofty goal. Starting the day in fifth place, the Del Rio, Texas, angler caught a five-bass limit on day four that weighed 33 pounds. His fish were so large they wouldn't all fit in the underwater aquarium. Instead, his 9-pound, 8-ounce kicker had to be weighed separately. Pro Tim Reneau caught a 33-pound limit on day four, but it still wasn"Wow is right," exclaimed Reneau. "I had found a whole bunch of fish deep in practice. I was averaging around 30 pounds a day. I lost two big fish the first two days, and that really hurt me. The first day I should have had 35 pounds. But in those deep trees, you're going to lose some. There's a lot of brush down there and a lot of mean fish." Reneau's total weight of 107 pounds, 12 ounces is even more impressive considering he failed to catch a fifth keeper on the second day. "I was only averaging seven or eight bites a day. I was going for the quality bites, trying to win. I'm just happy to fish flawlessly the last two days and give myself a chance." The Amistad expert used a 3/4-ounce Oldham jig with a Strike King Rage craw trailer on 80-pound braid. Reneau fished channel edges in 10 feet of water, and his primary area was located on the U.S. side in Big Tiger Creek. For finishing runner-up, he earned $13,082. McNeely third Fishing in the first pro event of his career, Nicky McNeely lost his grip on the lead after catching only 20 pounds, 11 ounces on day four. Pro Nicky McNeely is fourth with a two-day total of 54 pounds, 9 ounces."I've been sightfishing all week, but today they wouldn't eat," said the 2007 Louisiana TBF champion. "The water was slick as glass and they wouldn't budge." McNeely was seemingly the only pro who was actually looking at spawning bass. For most competitors the water was too dark. His key baits this week were a double-wide Reactions Innovations Sweet Beaver, a Yum Sooie and a V&M Magnum lizard. He fished two banks near Old Guerrero, located on the Mexico side of the lake, 12 miles southwest of the takeoff site. With $70,000 on the line today, he had two 8-pound fish pull off his hook. "I'm just thrilled to come out here and make the top 10. It's a dream come true to do this in my first tournament." With a four-day weight of 105 pounds, 9 ounces, the father of five young children will bring home $12,274. Haralson fourth Local hero Charles Haralson of Laredo, Texas, finished fourth with a four-day total of 102 pounds, 12 ounces worth $6,466. Haralson guides on the lake, has won numerous local events and was among a Local pro Charles Haralson took fourth at the Stren Series event on Falcon Lake.handful of favorites coming into the tournament. On day four, he caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 3 ounces. His lure of choice was a 3/4-ounce Jo Charles spinnerbait in white and chartreuse color. Occasionally, he would flip and when he did he would opt for a 3/4-ounce Oldham jig with a Strike King Rage craw trailer. "Most of them came on the blade, but today I caught them all flipping," Haralson said. He fished near Marker 8 on the U.S. side of the lake, five miles south of the Beacon Lodge. Despite knowing the lake better than anyone, Haralson never caught a bass heavier than 7 pounds - which makes his total weight all the more impressive. "It's been a little disappointing, but it's been fun. I really expected to do better and had the opportunity to do better. Sometimes the home-lake advantage can actually hurt you. I knew some good spots that I never checked." Truax fifth Stren Series veteran David Truax of Beaumont, Texas, finished fifth with a combined total of 98 Pro David Truax won $5,657 for his fifth-place finish on Falcon Lake.pounds, 1 ounce, earning him $5,657. Truax caught the third-heaviest limit of the day on day four. That limit, which weighed 25 pounds, 7 ounces, moved him up one spot. "The stories are true," he said. "You've got to be on 30 pounds to win here." Truax, who caught a limit on day three that weighed 32 pounds, 8 ounces, used a 1-ounce Santone spinnerbait and a Zoom Brush Hog. His line of choice was 80-pound Stren Superbraid. "It's the smoothest braid I've ever used." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Stren Series Texas Division event on Falcon Lake: 6th: Andy Gaia of Tomball, Texas, four-day total of 95-5, $4,849 7th: Peter Daniels of Shreveport, La., 90-14, $4,446 8th: Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, 90-13, $4,041 9th: Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas, 88-1, $3,637 10th: Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, 87-3, $3,234 The next Stren Series event will take place Jan 30-Feb. 2. on Lake Seminole, the season-opening qualifier in the Southeast Division. The next Texas Division event is slated for Feb. 20-23 on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas.

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

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Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

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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 »

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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 »

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Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

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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 »

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Hall Holds Steady For Lead

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »