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/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Wendlandt suffered a mechanical failure with his rig just a couple of hours into competition that prevented him from running his big motor on plane. He was stuck, more or less, and planned to fish with the trolling motor as best he could before being towed back to the ramp early. If it’d played out as planned, Wendlandt would have lost significant fishing time and probably wouldn’t have weighed in a limit. Fukae would let nothing of the sort happen when he came across Wendlandt on the water and heard what had happened. In 16th place and fishless at the time, Fukae insisted that Wendlandt trade boats, effectively ending his tournament and giving Wendlandt the chance to catch 14 1/2 pounds and maintain his lead with a three-day total of 47-02. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »