Bite by bite

The first and second-place boats take off as the final round of BFL All-American action started with sunny skies and light wind.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - A gaggle of Canada geese searched for breakfast in the dew-dampened grass on a hill overlooking Fish Hatchery Ramp. Feeding one bug at a time, their diligent foraging mirrored the task of boater and co-angler finalists fishing Lake Hamilton in the 25th annual Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy. After two days of thorough pickings by a full field, the finalists will have to look hard for productive Canada geese foraging on a hill overlooking the launch site mirrored the challenging task of rounding up a limit of bass.waters as weekend boat traffic guarantees plenty of company. For all competitors, success or failure will hinge on time management and bite optimization. Those who make the right decisions and catch everything they hook will fare well. Day three brings mostly sunny skies and light breezes; somewhat of a synthesis between the calm, overcast conditions of day one and the bright, windy weather of day two. A morning topwater bite could offer make-it-it-break-it potential, but once the sun hangs high and fish head for depth or cover, the real hunt begins. Leading the boater field since day one, Kim Carver of Milledgeville, Ga. caught the event's only double-digit stringer (11-6) on day one, but struggled on day two with just 5-7. Seeking his second BFL All-Top boater Kim Carver will give his topwater plug a good workout today.American win (his first: 1988 in La Crosse, Wis.), Carver said he'll start with a surface bait and work deeper as the day warms. "I have to go throw my topwater plug this morning and hope for one bite - two would be fantastic," he said. "I got one yesterday (on topwater), but it wasn't as big as I wanted. I could go over (to my spot) and catch another big one, which on this lake, a 2 1/2- to 3-pounder is a big fish. One fish like that would put me on the edge of locking in the victory." Carver's weight goal: "Eight pounds would be fantastic; seven and I'll probably win." Less than a pound back at 16-1, second-place boater Shayne Berlo of Vienna, Va. hopes he can makeIn the second place boat, Shayne Berlo and his co-angler partner Michael Roy bring a double shot of big bass potential to day three. it three consecutive days of finding the kicker fish. On day one, his 4-pound, 1-ounce fish took Snickers Big Bass honors and one nearly 3 pounds on day two helped move him up from fifth place. "My success has been predicated on finding one big fish per day," Berlo said. "I have to get another big fish today, or multiple big fish would be nice." Both of Berlo's big fish bit jigs, but as a self-described "junk fisherman," he'll try a variety of baits to try and identify consistent patterns. His big-fish jig will definitely get wet today. Berlo's co-angler partner Michael Roy of Ivy, Va. also found a nice kicker on day two. His 4-4 missed Co-angler Michael Roy will use a hybrid wacky worm rigged Texas style for weedless presentations.the Big Bass award by one ounce, but it anchored the day's heaviest stringer in both divisions - 9 pounds, 2 ounces - and moved Roy up 27 spots. Roy caught most of his fish on a wacky-rigged watermelon Zoom trick worm. He hooks the worm Texas style for a go-anywhere weedless presentation. Third place boater, Terry McWilliams of Greenfield, Ind. maintained his position from day one, despite a small limit. He caught 9-14 on day one and followed with 5-5. He'll rely mostly on his trademark "Stupid Tube" - a 1/8- or 3/16-ounce jig with the head positioned inside a green pumpkin tube. McWilliams said the day's bright conditions should favor his preferred bait. "When it's sunny, that pushes the fish back under docks and cover, and this bait works very well in (these scenarios)." Tournament logistics The BFL event, which runs May 29-30, assembles 108 anglers from 26 states and offers a top boater In the fourth-place boat, Ray Griffin, foreground, and his co-angler partner Robert Crosnoe strap on their PFDaward of $140,000 and a top co-angler award of $70,000. The boater and co-angler champions will also advance to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17, where the boater will compete with top anglers from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series and The Bass Federation for as much as $1 million - the sport's biggest award. The entire field competes Thursday and Friday for an accumulated two-day weight. The top-10 boaters and co-anglers advance to Saturday, and the winners are determined by the heaviest three-day weight. Action continues at today's final weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. (Central Time) at Summit Arena located at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs. Wednesday's conditions: Sunrise: 6:30 a.m. Temperature at takeoff: 72 degrees Expected high temperature: 88 degrees Water temperature: 72 degrees Wind: from the SW 8 mph Humidity: 44 percent Day's outlook: Sunny

Tags: morning-story  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-03-26-front-and-center

Front and Center

There is little doubt it’s coming. The uncertainty lies in what will happen because of it. If the forecast holds true, at some point this evening the severe weather system that dropped tornados across the central plains Wednesday will arrive at Lewis Smith Lake. Along with the rain and thunder, the front promises to bring with it a significant drop in temperature, with lows projected in the low 30s by the weekend. It’s a storm that looms over the 154 pros and co-anglers set to fish the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude and hosted by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce. And while they, the anglers, should stay dry, the weather might be the key question mark for a tournament already overflowing with them. READ MORE »

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Record Catch for Record College Field?

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Panama City, beach parties, Florida sunshine, bikini weather – big deal. Who needs Spring Break when you’ve got Kentucky Lake in March? OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but how else to explain why a record-setting number of teams showed up for the FLW College Fishing Open tournament here? The official tally of bass fishing teams is 201, according to College Fishing Tournament Director Kevin Hunt, making this the largest collegiate fishing event ever. Teams from every corner of the country are represented here, with squads from as far away as Eastern Washington University competing the next two days. A flotilla left Moor’s Resort & Marina this morning, with individual boats scattering in all directions. READ MORE »

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Guntersville Grab Bag

Lake Guntersville will always have a place in bass-fishing history – most recently because of Paul Elias and the umbrella rig ­– but it represents so much more. With boat ramps seemingly on every street corner, and a town and community that caters to anglers like no other, the legendary lake is always a popular stop. READ MORE »

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Toho Midday Report Day 2

If you’ve been following the FLW On The Water feed, you might have seen a slight uptick in the reports in the last hour or so. A crisp north wind, which was cold enough to force many anglers into their rain gear this morning, seems to have tapered off to a breeze. Down south on Kissimmee the sun is shining. And as the weather has improved, so too has the bite – as evidenced by the sudden surge in fish-catching reports. The increase in action is good news for many anglers who experienced slower fishing this morning than yesterday. Stacey King, who came into today in second place, is among that group. Unfortunately for day-one leader JT Kenney, “slow” for King is still pretty good. He’s got a limit, including a pair of 4-pounders, and has already culled. That makes King our unofficial leader right now. READ MORE »

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Boom or Bust at Toho

To varying degrees of success, tournament anglers are used to figuring out lakes that seemingly are a bundle of contradictions. Be that as it may, Lake Toho threatens to boggle their collective minds as the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour kickoff event presented by Mercury gets underway this morning. READ MORE »

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Tour Opener Timed Right for Florida Spawn Fireworks

It’s always nice to kick off a new season with the proverbial bang, but the Walmart FLW Tour might very well mark its 20th anniversary with a Boom. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-21-meyer-motivated-by-catch-of-a-lifetime

Meyer Motivated by “Catch” of a Lifetime

Cody Meyer had a tremendous Walmart FLW Tour season in 2014 – three top-10 finishes, his seventh consecutive Forrest Wood Cup qualification and a second-place finish in the Angler of the Year race. Suffice it to say, the seventh-year pro from Auburn, Calif., carries significant momentum into 2015, but that’s not all he’ll bring. Meyer’s recently intensified motivation comes from something you can’t find on stat sheets or in a tackle bag. Put it this way: Meyer has hoisted plenty of nice largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, but on Jan. 14, he lifted the most precious “catch” he’s ever held: Brooke Emily Meyer. READ MORE »

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Mighty Amistad Issues a Challenge

Legendary south Texas reservoir Lake Amistad has hosted some of FLW’s most infamous smash-fests – the kind of tournaments where anglers weren’t challenged to catch fish, but were pushed to keep up with the competition when 20- and even 30-pound stringers were being hauled across the stage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-05-heating-up-on-havasu

Heating Up on Havasu

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Warming weather could provide the spark that is needed to ignite a big-time bite on Lake Havasu this week for the first event of the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Western Division, which is presented by Mercury. Past FLW events on Havasu have been plagued by lower temperatures and strong winds that slowed the bite – fishing was good, but the anglers didn’t experience the lake’s full potential. The last few days on the Colorado River impoundment, however, have seen temperatures near 80 degrees with nearly no wind. As it stands now, the forecast for competition days is calling for more of the same, and many of the 152 pros in this tournament feel like that could open things up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-01-22-here-they-come

Here They Come

Big things are coming on Lake Okeechobee – big bass, big weights and the biggest tournament field in Rayovac FLW Series history. READ MORE »

/news/2014-11-04-top-3-patterns-bfl-wild-card

Top 3 Patterns – BFL Wild Card

When day one of the Walmart Bass Fishing League Chevy Wild Card on Kentucky Lake commenced, J.R. Henard got right to the point, sacking up a limit by 8:30 a.m. and never looking back. For two days, he kept his foot on the gas and hauled in a tournament-winning total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces – nearly 12 pounds better than second place – and a top prize of $4,478, plus entry into the 2015 BFL All-American. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-30-grinding-wheel-er

Grinding Wheel-er

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – The story was much the same among the 141 pro and co-anglers that launched out of Joe Wheeler State Park this morning for the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake. Fishing on the Tennessee River in the fall can be hit or miss and right now anglers are experiencing the latter. READ MORE »

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Top 3 Patterns – Kentucky Lake Regional

Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat – that’s a fitting summary of Hamilton, Ohio, boater Chris Martinkovic’s nail-biter win at the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Kentucky Lake Oct. 16-18. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-24-top-3-patterns-sam-rayburn-regional

Top 3 Patterns – Sam Rayburn Regional

Everyone likes a lush, green lawn, but Buzz Gallo was particularly impressed with some of the grass he found on Sam Rayburn Reservoir – the site of his BFL Regional victory Oct. 16-18. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-13-top-3-patterns-st-john-s-river-regional

Top 3 Patterns – St. John's River Regional

Poetic as it may sound, the death of water hyacinth literally breathed life into Robert Crosnoe’s efforts at the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on the St. Johns River Oct. 2-4. By targeting mats of dead hyacinth that were sprayed sometime between the cutoff period and the event’s official practice, the boater from Inverness, Fla., won the event with 47 pounds, 6 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-12-top-3-patterns-pickwick-lake-regional

Top 3 Patterns – Pickwick Lake Regional

Joshua Moore arrived at the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Pickwick Lake armed with a tip from Walmart FLW Tour pro Tom Monsoor to focus on ledges during the tournament. Heeding Monsoor’s advice, Moore explored a main-river spot outside of Bear Creek in practice, where he located a three-quarter-mile-long ditch that was about 300 yards wide. READ MORE »

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Top 3 Patterns – Lake Cherokee Regional

Consistency is great, but with the fall transition scattering fish all over Lake Cherokee at the Oct. 9-11 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional, Tim Smiley took a mix-it-up approach and sacked up a winning total of 34 pounds, 7 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-10-top-3-patterns-james-river-regional

Top 3 Patterns – James River Regional

Low tide on the James River during the BFL Regional Oct. 2-4 proved highly productive for Chris Daves, as the angler from Spring Grove, Va., topped a field of 40 boaters from the Northeast, Piedmont, Shenandoah and South Carolina divisions. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-09-a-clear-challenge

A Clear Challenge

Challenging conditions including low water, abundant baitfish and a late-season algae bloom set the stage for an epic bass battle among the 212 pros and co-anglers vying for top honors Oct. 9-11 in the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division Clear Lake tournament, which kicked off this morning at 7:30 a.m. PT. Presented by Evinrude, the three-day event promises plenty of drama. Anglers are competing for lucrative paybacks, including $32,448 in cash for first place on the pro side, plus a fully rigged Ranger Z518C with 200-hp Evinrude outboard if the winner is Ranger Cup compliant, for a total purse worth more than $80,000. On the co-angler side, the victor claims a fully rigged Ranger Z117 with 90-hp Evinrude, plus $5,000 in Ranger Cup cash if entered in that contingency program. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-02-rayburn-returns

Rayburn Returns

ZAVALLA, Texas – If Sam Rayburn Reservoir were a stock on Wall Street, now would be the time to buy. READ MORE »