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

Lady(bug) luck

Having won the Stren event at Clear Lake in March, Roy Hawk is the first angler to score back-to-back Western division victories.

PAYSON, Ariz. - Ladybugs are bad news for aphids, but good news for bass anglers. There may be little scientific evidence for the latter premise, but it seemed plausible for Salt Lake City, Utah, pro Roy Hawk in his commanding victory at the Stren Series Western Division tournament on Lake Roosevelt. Like a savvy gardener, who appreciates the pest-controlling appetites of the red shelled flying insects, Hawk smiled when he saw one of those aphid eaters in the weigh-in tank. Standing next to CliffordJoined by his son Sonny and girlfriend Chariti Wilkins, Roy Hawk shows off one of his winning bass. Pirch, the local pro who had taken the lead with 38-3, Hawk said: "I hate to tell you this Clifford, but there's a ladybug in my (tank). Maybe that's good luck." Notably, Hawk and Pirch both caught the same weight (13-14) on day three. However, Hawk's heavier bags on days one and two (14-12, 13-12) gave him the edge going into the final round. Placing third on day one, he took over the lead on day two and finished with 42 pounds, 6 ounces - a winning margin of 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Throughout the tournament, Hawk caught most of his fish by slow-rolling an ounce spinnerbait along deep ledges in 10 to 16 feet with sparse brush at the mouth of the Tonto River. Since he helped design A signature series spinnerbait and a half-ounce jig were Roy Hawkthe bait for Pepper Custom Baits, it's only fitting that the color is named "Hawk's Secret." He also caught fish on a Pepper jig with a green-pumpkin Yamamoto trailer. Hawk, who won the Stren Series Western Division event on Clear Lake in Kelseyville, Calif., in March, became the first angler to win back-to-back tournaments in this division. He's also leading the division's Angler of the Year points race. For his victory, Hawk earned $20,423 cash and a fully rigged Ranger boat. Hawk said his personal faith plays a significant role in his success: "Glory be to God. He gives me the peace and comfort to not worry about the small issues so I can just go out there and go fishing. I'm not worried about the money; I'm not worried about the pressure. I don't care if I blank. This is a dream come true to be able to stand up here and do this." Pirch finishes strong, moves to second Despite his inherent advantage of local knowledge, Pirch admitted that he had a tough tournament for the same reason as everyone else. The cold front that pushed into the area a day before the tournament torched many of the plans established during practice. "I really had to scratch around," he said. "That cold front changed things for me. I expected to be able toNational Guard pro Clifford Pirch caught his biggest bag of the event on day three and advanced to second place. sight-fish all week. I was looking at some big fish (in practice), but it just never happened." Pirch said he got most of his fish on weightless, wacky and Texas-rigged Berkley Power Worms fished around flooded brush. Exemplifying the "never give up" mentality essential to competitive fishing, Pirch recalled a moment of last-cast heroics. "At the end of the day, I had about a minute and a half left before I had to leave for the weigh-in," he said. "I had run out of targets, and I had one about 100 yards ahead, but it would have taken all of my time to trolling motor to it. I pulled my trolling motor up, threw my vest on and idled up to the spot. "This was the last target on the whole bank, so I said a prayer: `Lord, I have to get one more good fish.' I threw out toward this log and let it go down about 5 feet. I was just about to pull up the trolling motor when my line (came tight). I set the hook and got my last fish over the slot limit." Pirch earned $8,169. Meyer maintains third place California pro Cody Meyer endured mechanical problems and a painful scorpion sting on his way to third place.You wouldn't know that Redding, Calif., pro Cody Meyer was new to Lake Roosevelt by his solid performance. Combining a 10-pound, 12-ounce effort on day one with a big day-two bag of 15-7 and a final-round limit weighing 7-14, Meyer finished with 34-1 worth $6,536. Meyer said he'd hoped to replicate the topwater action he enjoyed on day two, but that never materialized, so he switched to soft plastics. The fish that did rise on his surface baits only looked at the plug without striking. Adversity plagued Meyer throughout the tournament in the form of navigational issues, trolling motor malfunctions on two consecutive days, and a scorpion that snuck into his sleeping bag and delivered a nonvenomous, albeit painful, sting. "I'm just happy to have made the top 10," Meyer lamented. Stachowski steps up to fourth Gaining a notch from day two, David Stachowski of Tucson, Ariz., caught a limit weighing 10-13 to Despite breaking a rod on a large fish, David Stachowski still managed to find a nice limit that moved him into fourth place.finish with 33-12 worth $5,719. Stachowski fished a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin brush hog and surmised that the cold front actually helped his cause by positioning fish tighter to cover. On his first spot, Stachowski flipped his bait next to a tree and came tight on what felt like the bass of a lifetime. The fish wrapped up deep and Stachowski ended up losing the giant and breaking his flipping rod in the process. Demoralized, Stachowski recomposed himself and went back to work. On his next cast to the same spot, his rod doubled with another huge fish. This time the angler prevailed, but when the fish rolled topside, the sight of its whiskers helped Stachowski get past the previous loss. "That made me feel better knowing that the first fish was probably a big catfish also," he said. "That helped me calm down and get back to fishing." Kerr chatters into fifth Using a chatterbait and a drop shot, Justin Kerr moved up two spots to fifth place.Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., caught a limit weighing 10 pounds 10 ounces in the final round to finish with 33-4 worth $4,902. In the first two rounds, he posted weights of 11-3 and 11-7. Kerr said he used a ChatterBait to cover water and locate fish, after which he'd work a drop-shot. This strategy yielded 30 to 50 fish each day. Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at the Stren Series Lake Roosevelt event: 6th: Duane Dunstone of Reno, Nev., 33-0 7th: Michael Wright of Grass Valley, Calif., 32-14 8th: John Fuqua of Port Hueneme, Calif., 32-9 9th: Jimmy Savoini of Prescott, Ariz., 29-4 10th: Matt Shura of Gilbert, Ariz., 27-13

Tags: headline-story  david-a-brown 


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 »


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 »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »