UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Newberry gets long-awaited Stren win

JASPER, Texas - Houston pro Dicky Newberry has a lake house on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, so he knows this fishery as well as about anyone. But the veteran tournament fisherman said that knowledge has been a stumbling block to pulling off a big victory here in the past. He demolished his home-lake curse Saturday, changing his game plan to land one of the biggest sacks of the Stren Series Texas event and an even bigger payday, winning in dramatic fashion. Newberry fished a 1/2-ounce Rayburn red Rat-L-Trap on the outside edges of grass breaks, paralleling the drop near hydrilla, to catch staging bass in 5 to 10 feet of water over the first three days of the tournament for a total of 50 pounds, 2 ounces. He threw the Rat-L-Trap with an American Rodsmiths 7-foot, 2-inch flipping stick. "I caught about 15 to 20 fish a day, but I just didn't get a big bite all week long," he said of the first three days. Newberry had been alternating that pattern between Buck Bay and Veach Basin, but gave up on it early this morning after a high-pressure system moved in and it left him empty handed. So he moved to a staging area at Harvey Creek, tied on a football-head jig and let the fun begin. "On my first cast with a football-head jig ... I caught that big one, probably a 9-pounder," he said. "When I caught that big one at about 8 a.m., I said, `Man, this might be my turn.' It was really exciting. I just kept telling myself, `I got to catch another big one.'" Pro Dicky Newberry anchored his winning weight with this 9-pounder on the final day at Sam Rayburn.Newberry proceeded to pull in several more good fish from the break at about 10 feet deep that fell to 25, rounding out his limit on the black-and-blue ¾-ounce Talon jig with bass "starting to hit it right when it broke" at about 12 feet. Then he decided to start shaking things up again to try to entice another big bite. He scanned the edge of the creek and a log caught his eye that reminded him of a fishing experience from his childhood. For whatever reason, he said he decided to tie on a Zoom fluke and throw to the area. "I threw a fluke up there, and I caught a 7-pounder." The fluke fish essentially sealed the deal for Newberry, who had put together an incredible 23-15 limit on the final day for a four-day total of 74-1. For the victory, Newberry earned $25,000 cash and a $40,000 fully rigged Ranger boat package. "Being a local really played against me before, because I'd run and gun too much," he said. "This year I stuck to my guns more and kept with my pattern." Dicky Newberry used this black-and-blue ¾-ounce Talon jig to sack most of his winning bass on the final day.But after exhausting his initial rattling-crankbait pattern, it was knowing when to quit and move on - a type of knowledge honed by years of fishing under tournament pressure - that made all the difference. Newberry said he was especially glad that his wife drove up to see him stake claim to one of his biggest victories yet in a vaunted career. Newberry owns a business in Houston that requires his attention, so he doesn't have plans to move up to the tour and fish full time, though a victory like this suggests he'd have little trouble making a living on the angling trail either. He has notched 28 top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors circuits. For now, however, he said he is just happy to have finally won a Stren Series event on his home lake. Cecil second Willis, Texas, pro Russell Cecil held a solid lead Friday, and said then that he thought his chances were pretty good to put together a win. Pulling in a 19-pound, 10-ounce five-bass limit today made him feel even better - until he caught a glimpse of Newberry's bounty. "If someone would have told me I could be leading this thing and then catch 19-10 on the final day and still not win, I don't think I would have believed them," he said. "I've been looking uphill at Dicky a lot. I'd like to beat him just once." Pro Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, was runner-up at the Stren Texas Sam Rayburn event with a total of 19 bass weighing 72-5 to win $8,917 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus.But today was not that day, and Cecil was gracious in defeat, happily shaking Newberry's hand when the final weight was tallied, acknowledging that he's a Texas legend of bass fishing. "I didn't lose this thing; I got beat," Cecil said. "I just didn't catch the big one, and I left the door open. I had a bad day on the second day, and you can't do that when you're fishing against the likes of Dicky Newberry ... or any of these guys really." Indeed, Cecil fished a fine tournament with a total weight of 72-5 worth $8,917 plus a $5,000 Ranger bonus. He fished grass in several different midlake pockets with a chartreuse Academy H2O crankbait. Pro Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas placed third with a 66-15 total worth $8,026 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus.Johnston takes third Pro Stephen Johnston couldn't repeat his Stren Series Sam Rayburn win from last year, but he still managed to take third with a four-day total of 66 pounds, 15 ounces worth $8,026 plus a $5,000 Ranger bonus. Today he reeled in an 18-1 limit, his second best of the tournament. "I said when I cam across the stage yesterday that I had already packed it in for Toho," said the Hemphill, Texas, native, who will make his Wal-Mart FLW Tour debut as a pro next week. "These are the studs of studs here for Texas. I only made (the cut) by 10 ounces ... it doesn't get any closer than that." Though Johnston fished pretty consistently all week - using a Sebile square-billed rattling crankbait, red and gold in color, and a white Falcon Lures swimbait on a Carolina rig - he said he just never felt he was on fish the same way he was when he won the event in 2007. Pro James Stricklin Jr. of Jasper, Texas, placed fourth with a 65-15 total worth $7,134.Fourth goes to local Jasper, Texas, pro James Stricklin Jr. fished his way to fourth place and a $7,134 payday on the back of a total weight of 65 pounds, 15 ounces. "I slipped up a bit yesterday, but kind of makde up for it today," he said. Stricklin secured a 17-4 limit on the final day the same way he had all week, a pattern that dominated a majority of the field. "They bit on a lipless crankbait four days in a row," he said. Stricklin fished one made by Yozuri, but deviated from the pack slightly by opting for a shad color instead of red. He also fished a Jackal TN70 and used fluorocarbon 100% Trilene line. Hartsell ends up in fifth Livingston, Texas, pro Toby Hartsell caught a 13-pound, 5-ounce limit Saturday to bring his total weight to 65-3, good enough for fifth place and a check for $6,242. Pro Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas, placed fifth with a 65-3 total worth $6,242."I learned to do something this week that I never have really liked to do - and that's throw a (lipless rattling crankbait) and pulling a crankbait over grass," he said. "I think I figured it out OK." He was pulling a red crankbait this week, for which he didn't know the brand, as well as a Daiwa lipless rattling crank. Hartsell is no stranger to success in Texas fishing tournaments. With the knowledge he gained this week, he'll be even more deadly in the Stren Series and other circuits. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Stren Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir: 6th: Darrell Lyons, Hemphill, Texas, 64-6, $5,350 7th: Cory Rambo, Orange, Texas, 62-9, $4,905 8th: Greg Gleason, Houma, La., 60-13, $4,459 9th: Gary Vining, Morgan City, La., 60-12, $4,012 10th: Shonn Goodwin, Moore, Okla., 54-3, $3,568 15 bass, 48-4 The next Stren Series Texas Division event will take place on Lake Texoma in Denison, Texas, May 7-10. The next Stren Series event is a Central Division event on Norfork Lake in Mountain Home, Ark., March 5-8.

Tags: headline-story  patrick-baker 

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

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

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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