UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Bennett leads junk-fishing battle on Lake Murray

Duracell pro Michael Bennett leads a junk-fishing battle at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray after day two with 27-4

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray is quickly turning into professional bass fishing's version of Junkyard Wars. All afternoon the words "junk-fishing" have been the primary vernacular to describe the type of fishing that seems to be allowing pros to climb to the top of the leader board. Essentially, junk-fishing is not so much of a pattern as it is a lack of a pattern. It's almost as if the idea is to avoid attaching too much significance to any fish caught during the day because doing so might just lead an angler astray. The terms "covering new water" and "keeping an open mind" have been uttered a lot as well. Leading the Forrest Wood Cup after day two is Duracell pro Michael Bennett of Lincoln, Calif. Bennett sacked up 15 pounds, 5 ounces today to add to his 11 pounds, 15 ounces yesterday to lead with a two-day total of 27 pounds, 4 ounces. And as you might have already guessed, Bennett is referring to his fishing as junk-fishing. "I started the day by fishing some of the stuff I fished yesterday and it didn't work out so at about 9 o'clock I gave up everything I was doing and just completely started over," Bennett said. "I hit one little stretch, put three decent fish in the boat and finished out a limit by noon. From there I just drove around the lake looking for new stuff to fish." The only common denominator Bennett can seem to find is not to stay in an area too long after he has caught fish there. Common logic would dictate staying in areas where fish have been caught, but not for Bennett. "Every time I catch a fish or two off a spot, it's done," Bennett continued. "I'm slowly learning that there is no reason to return to places where I have caught fish. I can find consistency in fishing new water, so that's what I'm going to continue to do. "The patterns seem to change every day and the only way I can adapt to that is to fish each hour with an open mind, even if that means completely starting over every couple of hours." Rose second After sacking up 20 pounds, 2 ounces yesterday, Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., Day-one leader Mark Rose punted and finished the opening round in second place.returned to his honey hole today and struggled just to get two bites. He eventually ended the day with four bass weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces which gives him a two-day total of 26 pounds, 6 ounces for second place. "I went to the spot that produced the big bass yesterday, fished for two hours and only caught two keepers," Rose said. "From there I ran way up the river and caught two more." Rose, too, is on a junk-fishing war path, fishing anything that gets in his way. "I'm going to return to my best spot tomorrow and camp," he added. "I know there are some big fish in there and all I want is just three bites from that place." As for why he likes the area, Rose noted that it features deeper bank grass than he has found in other parts of the lake. Ehrler third National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., coaxed five bass from Lake Murray today weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces to move into third with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 1 ounce.National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., coaxed five bass from Lake Murray today weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces to move into third with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. Ehrler is a previous Forrest Wood Cup winner and he seems to only get calmer and more focused with each passing minute of mounting pressure. And here's the shocker: Ehrler is - you guessed it - junk fishing. "I caught 7 or 8 keepers today," Ehrler said. "I'm fishing both shallow and deep, but the better fish seem to be coming shallow. I've had a 4-pounder each day, which is why I'm in the top 10." "I'm probably hitting about 10 to 30 spots per day," he continued. "Some of the stretches I've caught fish off of before; others are just random new places I'm not familiar with. "I came here in pre-practice, fished four days of practice and I still have nothing solid to key in on. I honestly have no idea when or where my next bite is going to happen." Bolton fourth Terry Bolton of Jonesboro, Ark., brought in the biggest limit of day two weighing Terry Bolton of Jonesboro, Ark., brought in the biggest limit of day two weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces to put him in fourth place with 25 pounds, 10 ounces.15 pounds, 12 ounces to put him in fourth place with 25 pounds, 10 ounces. Instead of calling it junk-fishing, Bolton refers to his fishing as "still practicing." "I fished deep for 90 percent of practice and it was terrible," Bolton explained. "So when the tournament started yesterday, I just went shallow and treated it like another day of practice. And the way I look at it, I'm still practicing - just fishing whatever looks good." Bolton did reveal that he spent most of day two with a topwater in his hand. "I'm burning a lot of gas and covering a lot of water," he continued. "So far the only key for me has been to fish new water. Now that I've caught a few fish off some spots, those little gremlins in my head are starting to tell me to go back to those places. But I'm not so sure that I would not be better off to keep fishing all new stuff because that's been the best." Travis fifth TBF Champion Brian Travis of Conover, N.C., grabbed the fifth position on day two with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 1 ounce. Travis has fished Murray before, but noted that his experience on Lakes Norman and Wylie near his home is coming into play now. "There's not much consistency to what I'm doing," Travis said. "It's like the patterns change drastically from day to day. I could not catch a fish the way I caught them yesterday so I changed up to a topwater and just went fishing." "I did key in on a special kind of grass today," remarked. "It's that same kind of bank grass that's all over the lake, but what I'm looking for has to do with where the grass is positioned along a bank. The only problem is I have only found that unique combination in a couple of very select areas so duplicating it is tough." "But who knows?" Travis added. "The way this lake is fishing, I'll be doing something completely different tomorrow." Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray after day two: 6th: Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., two-day total of 23-0 7th: Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., two-day total of 23-0 8th: Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., two-day total of 22-12 9th: Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., two-day total of 22-11 10th: Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., two-day total of 22-1 Day three of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. from Lake Murray Marina and Yacht Club located at 1600 Marina Road in Irmo, S.C.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-clothing-and-sunglasses-at-icast-2015

New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-three-new-finesse-worms

Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-14-dance-detweiler-and-east-win-icast-cup

Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »