UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Pack comeback

Mark Pack of Mineola, Texas, posted a 14-pound, 5-ounce catch on the final day to win the Wal-Mart Open.

ROGERS, Ark. - On day one of the Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake, Mark Pack of Mineola, Texas, made a prophetic remark: "We're on the winning pattern, there's no doubt about that; it's just a matter of who is going to get the better bites off those places." Pack made that statement after taking the lead on day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event. The allusion was to the fact that he and several other competitors were dialed in to the same pattern and same places on a high and muddy Beaver Lake. Over the next two days, Pack took a trip backward in the standings. He drifted to third on day two and then back to sixth on day three. But even then he still maintained his belief: "It may not be me, but someone is going to win the tournament fishing this pattern ... there are several guys doing it." Today, Pack proved he was right by bringing in 14 pounds, 5 ounces of Beaver Lake bass to the scales to win the Wal-Mart Open and $200,000 with a two-day total of 21 pounds, 10 ounces. Pack's big limit rocketed him from sixth place to first and gave him an untouchable 3-pound, 7-ounce margin of victory. "It's great to win a major league tournament like this," said Pack, who has fished the FLW Tour for nine years without a win. "It's been a dream of mine since I was young." Pack's journey to his Wal-Mart Open victory actually began several years ago when he fished this event in high water. During that event he scored a top-10 by fishing road beds and long rock points that stuck way out in the main river. The series of bars, points and road beds were located within five miles of the Highway Mark Pack shows off his tournament winning kicker to the crowd.12 Bridge. This week he fished those exact same places for the win. "Each of these places had some kind of hard structure up on top - rock, asphalt, concrete, even old submerged boat ramps - and the fish were relating to those hard places," he said. "The reason why they bit so much better today was because of the current. Yesterday there was no current, and the lake was backing up; it had the fish really scattered. But today the current was running, and it had the fish congregated. I had a limit by 7:30 this morning and probably caught 35 keepers all day." Pack, who is the owner of Lake Fork Trophy Tackle, used some of his own creations to catch his fish. He used a homemade 3/16-ounce jig teamed with one of his new Hyper Worms, which features a big paddle tail on a segmented body. He also credited a Lucky Craft RC 2.5 crankbait for producing his big fish today, which weighed about 5 pounds. When he did occasionally flip, he used a jig teamed with a Lake Fork Hyper-Freak trailer. "Most of the fish came on the 3/16-ounce jig with the Hyper Worm," he said. "I was kind of swimming the jig over the bottom in 3 feet of water. With the water being so muddy, that paddle tail on the worm helped the fish find the bait." Cochran second Wal-Mart pro George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark., finished runner-up with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 3 ounces.Wal-Mart pro George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark., finished runner-up with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 3 ounces. Cochran, who made the top 10 by virtue of Joel Richardson's (Kernersville, N.C.) disqualification, collected $50,000 for his finish. "I do feel sorry for Joel," Cochran said. "He just made an honest mistake that cost him his top-10 qualification. But at the same time, I was excited to represent two of my best sponsors - Wal-Mart and Ranger Boats - right here on their home grounds." Cochran spent the entire tournament doing what he loves: fishing a spinnerbait. "I pretty much used one lure all week: a 3/16-ounce Strike King Little Mr. Money spinnerbait that I designed," he said. "It's a smaller-profile, tandem spinnerbait with a Colorado blade in the front and an Indiana blade on the back. My favorite color is called emerald shad, and that's what I used all week." Cochran primarily fished the spinnerbait around floating boat docks on 15-pound P-Line. "Throwing it down the shady sides of the dock was definitely the key," Cochran added. Bohannan third Local pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., finished third with a two-day total of Even though he finished third, Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., was defintely number one in the crowd's favorite department.17 pounds, 14 ounces worth $40,000. And while Bohannan may have finished third, he certainly received the loudest roar from his hometown crowd in the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, Ark. Bohannan was one of the other competitors that Pack referred to who was working the "winning pattern." "Mark and I were fishing the exact same way and in some of the same places," Bohannan said. "I don't know why, but when the water gets high and dingy here, those fish get on those long pea-gravel points. I knew where about 15 of those type places were, but these guys out here are good and several of them found those spots this week." Like Pack, Bohannan said the fish were relating to old foundations or bigger groups of rock on the points in 2 to 7 feet of water, and the current helped his bite today. "I really have to credit my (fish finder) for helping me relocate some of those places," he added. "I'd idle alongside those long points, scanning the bottom until I'd find the exact sweet spot along the point that I was looking for." Bohannan's key baits included a 1/2-ounce War Eagle football jig teamed with a Berkley Chigger Craw trailer, a Berkley Flicker Shad crankbait and a Norman Deep Little N crankbait. Both of the crankbaits were in a red color. "The jig and Chigger Craw combo produced most of my fish," he added. "I'd just kind of swim it along the bottom, contacting the rocks." Hawkes fourth Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, finished fourth with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 10 ounces worth $35,000.Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, finished fourth with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 10 ounces worth $35,000. For much of the week, Hawkes relied on a 3/8-ounce Oldham's jig and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver in a Big Texan color to catch his fish. "The biggest key for me this week was to swim those two baits through the flooded bushes and limbs," Hawkes said. "If I just pitched it in there and let it go to the bottom, I rarely got a bite. Most of my bites came when I was swimming it through the cover." Arey fifth Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., finished fifth with a two-day total of 16 pounds, Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., finished fifth with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 2 ounces worth $30,000.2 ounces worth $30,000. Arey, too, was working patterns and areas similar to Pack and Bohannan. Several of Arey's better areas included flooded lawns where shad and minnow were up feeding on the nutrient-rich lawn grass. "Any rocky flats out in front of those flooded yards were the key for me," Arey said. "It was like the bass didn't want to get too far from all that bait. If there was a big flooded field or yard with baitfish up in it, there was a pack of bass somewhere nearby." Arey's lure lineup included white ChatterBaits (in 3/8- and 1/2-ounce sizes) and a selection of Bandit 200 crankbaits in various hues of chartreuse. When he flipped, he used a Gambler Little Otter and Flappin' Daddy. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake: 6th: Kyle Mabrey of McCalla, Ala., two-day total of 15-1, $28,000 7th: Sam Newby of Pocola, Okla., two-day total of 14-13, $26,000 8th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., two-day total of 14-7, $24,000 9th: Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., two-day total of 6-14, $22,000 10th: Richard Strother of Tyler, Texas, two-day total of 6-13, $20,000 Coming up The next event on the FLW Tour will be held on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes near Knoxville, Tenn., June 19-22.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from the Ohio River

Here is a closer look at how the rest of the top 10 fished in the Championship, which was hosted by the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Paducah Oct. 28-31. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »