UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Tharp takes first Stren Series win at Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. - Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., came from fourth place to first place on day four of the Stren Series Southeast Division event on Lake Eufaula to win the event with a four-day total of 64 pounds, 3 ounces. For his win, Tharp took home $25,000 and a fully rigged Ranger boat. On a gusty day four, with winds in excess of 20 mph most of the day, Tharp surpassed his competition with the biggest limit of the day weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces. "I can't describe how this feels," said Tharp. "I've won a couple of BFLs back home, but these Stren events are so much harder to win because you have to find enough fish for four days instead of just one. Plus, you have to make the right decisions for four days instead of just eight hours." Tharp attributed his win to sound decision making during the week. On the first two days he sight-fished bedding bass down near the dam for catches of 13-8 and 15-10, respectively. He enticed the bedders with a green-pumpkin Zoom Critter Craw and a watermelon lizard. But at the end of day two, things started to change. Tharp noted that fishing pressure was beginning to take its toll on his primary bedding area, and no new fish were moving up. With higher winds forecasted on day three, Tharp made the tournament-winning decision. "I scrapped my whole sight-fishing plan and went up the river to some fish I Randall Tharp's winning luresfound in shallow grass," he said. "That's what won the event for me - that move right there." His upriver move produced 17 pounds, 10 ounces on day three, and he returned there today. "I was fishing a 3/8-ounce Hawg Caller spinnerbait and a homemade white swimming jig with a white Zoom twin-tail trailer in grass beds in creeks up the river," he said. "I tied both to 50-pound-test braided line. "I caught fish all over the lake in practice, doing all kinds of things," he added. "But the key to me winning this event was making the right decisions and fishing the conditions we were dealt in the tournament." Ingram second Local pro Ryan Ingram of Phenix City, Ala., shows off his key lure: a Strike Zone Master Blaster spinnerbait.Local pro Ryan Ingram of Phenix City, Ala., almost pulled off his second career Eufaula win today with a four-day total of 62 pounds, 5 ounces. Instead he finished runner-up and collected $9,299 for his efforts. Ingram fished the entire tournament with one lure on his rod: a ¾-ounce Strike Zone Master Blaster spinnerbait. "It's got a smaller profile for crawling through the grass better, and the blades are serrated, which provides a lot more flash," Ingram said. "Whether I was fishing in 18 feet of water or 2 feet of water, that's the lure I used this week." Ingram caught his fish earlier in the week out deeper, but with the high winds today, he was forced to go shallow near Tobanee Creek to fish grass. Beaver rallies to third Another well-known Eufaula expert, Rodger Beaver of Dawson, Ga., climbed to his best Another well-known Eufaula expert, Rodger Beaver of Dawson, Ga., climbed to his best spot of the week on day four - third - with a 15-pound, 15-ounce catch for a four-day total of 59 pounds, 9 ounces.spot of the week - third - with a 15-pound, 15-ounce catch today for a four-day total of 59 pounds, 9 ounces. Beaver took home $8,370 for his finish. Like Ingram, Beaver made a living off Strike Zone spinnerbaits this week. One was a ¾-ounce LedgeBuster, and the other was a 1/2-ounce Master Blaster, both tied to 20-pound-test Suffix line. "I mostly fished grass in the midlake region," Beaver said. "I did catch a few off beds, but a majority of my fish came on the spinnerbaits." Browne fourth Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., finished fourth with a four-day total of 58 pounds, 11 ounces worth $7,439.Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., finished fourth with a four-day total of 58 pounds, 11 ounces worth $7,439. Browne fished south at the beginning of the week, but stayed relatively close today around the Cowikee Creek and the Witch's Ditch area. His primary lures included a custom ¾-ounce jig made by pro Rick Couch in Ocala, Fla., teamed with a Berkley Power Chunk and a 3/8-ounce ChatterBait. "I was pitching the jig along any grass edge that had just a little bit more depth to it," Browne said. "Six inches to a foot more water along a grass edge made a tremendous difference in getting bites." Jordan fifth Day-one leader Frank Jordan of Bainbridge, Ga., ended up in fifth place with a Day-one leader Frank Jordan of Bainbridge, Ga., ended up in fifth place with a four-day total of 55 pounds, 4 ounces worth $6,509.four-day total of 55 pounds, 4 ounces worth $6,509. Jordan relied on a Strike King Red-Eye Shad lipless crankbait and 3/8-ounce ChatterBait tied to 15-pound-test Trilene Big Game line for his catches this week. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Southeast event on Lake Eufaula: 6th: Clint Brownlee of Tifton, Ga., four-day total of 53-12, $5,579 7th: Tony Davis of Williston, Fla., four-day total of 53-0, $5,115 8th: Adam Postelle of Rocky Face, Ga., four-day total of 52-14, $4,650 9th: Travis Adams of Danielsville, Ga., four-day total of 52-9, $4,184 10th: Lee McCracken of Ocala, Fla., four-day total of 48-13, $3,720 Coming up The next Stren Series event in the Southeast Division will be held at Santee Cooper lakes, April 16-19.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/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 »

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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 »

/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 »

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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 »

/news/2015-08-21-ramie-races-into-the-lead

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-wheeler-hunting-history

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 »