UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Shaw wins Chevy Open shootout

Kellogg’s pro Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., wins the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Chevy Open by 3 ounces.

DETROIT - Professional angler Alvin Shaw is not a flashy or brash kind of guy. In a room full of people, he's likely one of the last ones you would notice.

Like a character out of a classic western, he keeps a calm, cool demeanor under a how-ya-doin' smile. And just about the time you turn your back on him, that's when the veteran rod slinger makes his move.

So when Shaw entered the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Chevy Open on the Detroit River with a State Road, N.C., address, many never gave him a second thought as a potential winner.

After all, this is Great Lakes country, home to a slew of talented anglers who know how to probe the glacier-blue waters of Erie and St. Clair to catch big smallmouth.

Even after Shaw qualified for the top 10 on Friday afternoon, he hid in the shadows of much more heralded smallmouth experts from Michigan and Ohio.

And when the top-10 pros were asked to turn their backs, make their paces and draw their weapons, the classic rod slinger from the Carolinas emerged victorious in a vicious For four days, Alvin Shaw caught smallmouth like this to win.ounce-by-ounce shootout in the Chevy Open.

On the final day, Shaw brought in 18 pounds, 13 ounces of smallmouth to defend his day-three lead with a tournament winning total of 39 pounds, 11 ounces - just three ounces over runner-up Vic Vatalaro.

"This feels great," Shaw said after collecting $200,000 for his win. "You know, I led after day two at the Wal-Mart Open a couple of months ago and shot myself in the foot during the finals with some bad decisions and ended up ninth. I haven't forgotten about that since - it's the kind of thing that haunts you, but it also motivates you. So it feels good to kind of redeem myself here after dropping the ball at Beaver."

Shaw reeled in his tournament win from the "Miles Road" area of Lake St. Clair in about 15 feet of water. He found his most productive spots on the calmest days in practice when his depthfinder would reveal the most detail about the bottom.

"This lake is so flat that just the tiniest change in the bottom can hold a ton of fish," he said. "But the problem is the lake almost always has a two-foot or more chop on it. And when you're running your boat in that kind of chop, the electronics can't detect those subtle places near was well. But if you get a rare calm day, the electronics read the bottom so much better and you can see every little detail on the bottom."

"So during those slick days, I spent all my time running around and graphing as much as I could. Then on the windier days I spent my time fishing the bottom irregularities that I had graphed. The best places were mixtures of rock and grass."

Instead of dragging a tube on a spinning rod - the traditional method for fishing on St. Clair - Shaw opted to pitch his tube on casting tackle to clumps of grass out in front of the boat.

When he felt a piece of grass, he purposely bound the tube in the grass, shook it to garner attention from any nearby bass and then snapped the tube hard out of the grass.

"Nearly every one of my big bites came when I snatched that tube hard - it was like clockwork," he revealed. "There was something about dangling the tube in the grass and then snatching it out that drove those fish nuts."

Shaw opted for a casting rod (G-Loomis 842 GLS) because it was much stiffer than a spinning rod and would snatch the tube out of the grass "cleaner" than a spinning rod would.

Shaw's tubing equipment consisted of Maumee tubes (green pumpkin with big gold flake) 5/16- and 1/2-ounce heads and 8-pound test Gamma fluorocarbon.

He also caught a few key fish on a Berkley Gulp! Leech on a drop shot rig.

With this win, Shaw has also qualified for his 11th Forrest Wood Cup.

"That's something I'm pretty proud of, too," the Chevy Open Champion added. "Winning is certainly fantastic, but at the end of the day I think proving your consistency in fishing is critical in keeping sponsors and surviving in this sport."

Gut-wrenching runner-up

Despite a 19-pound, 7-ounce limit on day four, Pringles pro Vic Vatalaro finished second by a scant 3 ounces."What can you do? What can you do? What can you do?"

It's the line Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio kept mumbling to himself after enduring a painfully close defeat at the Chevy Open.

Despite a 19-pound, 7-ounce limit today, the Pringles pro finished second by a scant 3 ounces with a two-day total of 39 pounds, 8 ounces to collect $50,000.

"Three ounces!" he exclaimed in a whisper. "Man! It kills me! It just makes me think about what I could have done different and the answer is really nothing. I only lost one fish in the last two days. I did come in about 30 minutes too early yesterday because I wanted to make sure I made it back in time. Maybe I could have culled one more time out there yesterday, who knows. But what can you do? I fished my best."

Vatalaro was fishing deeper than most. He chose to fish "dead in the center" of St. Clair in 18 feet of water.

His main pattern was pitching Mizmo tubes (green pumpkin watermelon) on 5/16-ounce heads to holes in the grass. He also drop-shotted a Mizmo Slim Jim as well.

Modrak rises to third

St. Clair expert Mark Modrak of China Township, Mich., rallied to third place today St. Clair expert Mark Modrak of China Township, Mich., rallied to third place on day four with an 18-pound, 11-ounce limit.with an 18-pound, 11-ounce limit for a two-day total of 31 pounds, 4 ounces worth $40,000.

Modrak focused his fishing effort on the mouths of the rivers leading into St. Clair. The first two days he fished out deep, but when that pattern dwindled he relied on his local knowledge and fished shallow flats in the rivers.

His two main baits were a tube (watermelon with purple/black flake) on a ¼-ounce head and a Berkley Gulp! Alive Emerald Shiner on a drop-shot.

Sticker fourth

Chevy pro Kim Stricker of Howell, Mich., another St. Clair ace, finished fourth with a two-day of 26 pounds, 4 ounces.Chevy pro Kim Stricker of Howell, Mich., another St. Clair ace, finished fourth with a two-day of 26 pounds, 4 ounces worth $35,000.

Sticker relied on a weightless soft plastic jerkbait in the St. Clair River system to catch his fish.

"The sunshine really helped my bite and we just didn't get much of that yesterday," Sticker said. "Today the sun came out and they bit that soft jerkbait much better."

Kenney fifth

BP pro JT Kenney of Port Charlotte, Fla., finished fifth with a two-day total of BP pro JT Kenney of Port Charlotte, Fla., finished fifth with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 1 ounce worth $30,000.25 pounds, 1 ounce worth $30,000.

Despite the wind, Kenney ran out into Erie today, but he didn't stay long.

"I started fishing in the river this morning, but by 8:30 it didn't look like it was blowing that bad," Kenney said. "So I peeked out into the lake and the wave troughs were lined up perfect to my waypoint. So I decided to go for it. Boy, was that dumb."

Kenney managed to catch two keepers before the wind became too much for him to handle.

"As I was reeling in my second fish, a wave knocked me off the bow. That's when I decided it was time to go back. I left the lake at 11:30 and by the time I got back, I only had fifteen minutes to fish."

Kenney spent the week drop-shotting a Berkley Gulp! Saltwater Jerkshad to catch his fish.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Chevy Open on the Detroit River:

6th: David Reault of Livonia, Mich., two-day total of 21-14, $28,000
7th: Michael Bennett of Lincoln, Calif., two-day total of 21-8, $26,000
8th: Keith Monson of Burgin, Ky., two-day total of 18-11, $24,000
9th: Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas., two-day total of 16-13, $22,000
10th: David McCrone of Minnetonka, Minn., two-day total of 6-15, $20,000

Coming up

The next FLW Tour event will be the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C. August 14-17.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-07-10-detroit-river 

/news/2016-02-10-dudley-links-up-with-livingston-lures

Dudley Links Up with Livingston Lures

Livingston Lures has added three-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year David Dudley to its pro-staff. The Virginia pro joins two-time FLW AOY Andy Morgan and former FLW Rookie of the Year Stetson Blaylock on the Team Livingston roster. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-power-pole-extends-partnership-with-flw

Power-Pole Extends Partnership with FLW

FLW announced yesterday that JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems, has signed a sponsorship extension for the 2016 season. This will be the sixth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-flw-college-fishing-western-conference-opens-season-on-shasta-lake

FLW College Fishing Western Conference Opens Season on Shasta Lake

REDDING, Calif. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 20 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Western Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-lake-shasta-set-to-host-costa-flw-series-opener-presented-by-minn-kota

Lake Shasta Set to Host Costa FLW Series Opener Presented by Minn Kota

REDDING, Calif. – The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 18-20 for a tournament presented by Minn Kota when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Western Division. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-montgomery-targets-prespawn-bass-for-win

Montgomery Targets Prespawn Bass for Win

Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-top-10-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee

Oklahoma’s Bradley Hallman sewed up his first Walmart FLW Tour victory at the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats by pitching and punching reed heads in the South Bay area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Hallman stuck with his program despite up-and-down air temperatures, high winds and all the curveballs Mother Nature could throw at him. Here's how the rest of the top 10 got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-hallman-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Wins Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought just two bass to the scale Sunday totaling 6 pounds, 8 ounces, but it was still enough to earn the win at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s four-day cumulative total of 16 bass weighing 71 pounds, 2 ounces earned him the win by an impressive 14-pound, 14-ounce margin over second-place pro Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, and $100,000 in the tournament that featured 169 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing in the first FLW Tour event of the regular season. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-big-hall-man-on-okeechobee

Big (Hall)Man on Okeechobee

It was the Bradley Hallman show all week long at Lake Okeechobee at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. Though, the Norman, Okla., pro struggled on day four and brought in only two fish for 6 pounds, 8 ounces, he pulled off the wire-to-wire victory in his first event on Tour. The 13-pound, 9-ounce lead that Hallman built up through the first three days of competition was enough that he didn't actually have to weigh his fish today. Hallman's tournament total of 71 pounds, 2 ounces far exceeded the 56-04 caught by runner-up Alex Davis. For the win, Hallman earned $100,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-lake-okeechobee-day-4-coverage

Lake Okeechobee Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-montgomery-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-bulldog-division-opener-on-lake-eufaula

Montgomery Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »