UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Rayls leads TBF Western on day one

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - Calm conditions prevailed for The Bass Federation's Western Divisional contenders on the first day of competition on Arizona's Lake Havasu, with the host state's own Jason Rayls taking the overall lead with 15 pounds, 11 ounces. Rayls is followed closely by Washington's Chris Lambert, who caught a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces to finish the day in second on the overall weight list. Competitors from Arizona, Washington, California, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana descended upon Lake Havasu this week in search of coveted slots in the 2009 TBF National Championship. Each state team is made up of 12 anglers, and the top-finishing angler from each team will advance as a boater to the 2009 TBF National Championship presented by the National Guard. The No. 2 competitor from each state team will advance to the National Championship as a co-angler. Half of the state's 12 contenders are competing as boaters, with the other half competing as nonboaters. The top three state teams will be awarded trophies and cash prizes. The angler with the heaviest three-day weight will also earn a $500 Wal-Mart gift card as the Castrol Maximum Performer. Currently, Rayls leads the third-place Arizona squad by a 2-pound, 14-ounce margin and sits atop the overall weight list with a 7-ounce lead. "It started out kind of slow," said Rayls, who is competing this week on the boater side. "We didn't get many fish really early. When we got into them, things started coming together, and it got better as the day went on." A look at Lake Havasu Marina, takeoff and weigh-in site for the 2008 TBF Western Divisional.With two days of competition remaining, Rayls remained tight-lipped about his methods, saying only that he was finesse fishing. According to Rayls, the key to fishing Havasu this week is being patient. "I feel great about tomorrow," he said. "I like my chances. It'll get tough if it's windy, but it's going to be tough for everybody if it's windy. I don't think it's going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt everybody else." Lambert makes it a family affair In second on the overall list is Chris Lambert of Olympia, Wash., with a day-one weight of 15 pounds, 4 ounces. That limit leads the Washington team, which in turn led all teams in total weight caught on day one, with 12 team members catching a day-high weight of 134 pounds, 5 ounces to edge past the California team's 125-12. Like Rayls, Lambert said finesse fishing brought him his day-one success, and Lambert reported catching largemouths and smallmouths in all stages. Unlike Rayls, who hails from the host state, Lambert and his wife, Wendy, and their 3-year-old and 3-month-old made a three-day drive to Lake Havasu in preparation for this event. "She sacrificed big-time to get me out here," Lambert said. "There is no way I would have even fished this tournament because I didn't want to leave her home alone, and she said, `Let's make a road trip out of it.'" So far, so good for the Lamberts, as the changes he noted in practice helped him fish strongly on day one. "I've been here for a week, and the fish are changing," Lambert said. "I've been here for so long that I've seen a couple changes now, and that's one thing that really worries me, is keeping up with how they're changing. I still need to figure that out." Lambert, who is competing this week as a boater, seemed unsure about his chances tomorrow. "It could go either way," he said. "I found a really big group of fish in practice, and I only caught one of them today. It could go great or it could fall to pieces; it's hard to say. I'm on the fish to do it again, but whether or not that'll happen is out of my hands." Leading the California team on day one of the TBF Western Divisional on Lake Havasu is Troy Lindner with 13-11.Rest of the best Leading the California team with a day-one weight of 13 pounds, 11 ounces is Troy Lindner of Los Angeles. On top in Idaho is Justin Soppe of Middleton with a limit weighing 12-8. Don Allphin leads the Utah team with his Wednesday weight of 13-2, and Joe Conway of Colorado Springs sits atop the Colorado squad with an opening-day catch of 12-4. Kevin Brazell of Teton Village, Wyo., leads his state team with five weighing 12-5, and Sean Andrachick heads up the Montana team with 12-11. Competition continues tomorrow TBF Western Divisional qualifiers will head out again tomorrow on Lake Havasu with a 6 a.m. takeoff from Lake Havasu Marina, located at 1100 McCulloch Blvd. in Lake Havasu City. Tomorrow's weigh-in will also be held there beginning at 3 p.m.

Tags: headline-story  jennifer-simmons 

/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 »

/news/2015-08-22-forrest-wood-cup-day-3-coverage

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 »

/news/2015-08-21-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-2

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 »

/news/2015-08-21-forrest-wood-cup-day-2-coverage

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-forrest-wood-cup-day-1-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-17-elkins-looked-deep-on-erie

Elkins Looked Deep on Erie

Matt Elkins of Spencerville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. For his victory, Elkins earned $5,337. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-17-manson-targets-shad

Manson Targets Shad

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 8 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Manson earned $5,205. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-lieblong-dominates-dardanelle-rayovac

Lieblong Dominates Dardanelle Rayovac

Having lead the event for two days, the pro from Conway, Ark., carried a 14-ounce lead into the final round. After weighing a limit of 12 pounds, 2 ounces on day three, Lieblong closed the door with a tournament total of 46-3 and a 2-pound, 2-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-smith-takes-co-angler-title-at-dardanelle

Smith Takes Co-Angler Title At Dardanelle

READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-dardanelle-midday-update-day-3

Dardanelle Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-14-lieblong-holds-on-to-lead-at-dardanelle

Lieblong Holds On To Lead At Dardanelle

Current events proved perplexing for Jason Lieblong, even though he retained his lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event on Lake Dardanelle. The pro from Conway, Ark., topped the day-one leaderboard with 19 pounds, 10 ounces, but saw his second day’s productivity slip to 14-7 for a total weight of 34-1 and a 14-ounce lead going into the final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-14-top-5-patterns-from-lake-dardanelle-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Dardanelle Day 2

Arkansas pro Jason Lieblong held on to the top spot in Rayovac FLW Series Central Division action on Lake Dardanelle with 34 pounds, 1 ounce. Flipping plastics and a jig produced all of his fish. READ MORE »