UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Up for the Cup

At the final takeoff, half of the field ran up the Allegheny River, while the rest headed to the Ohio River.

PITTSBURGH - Ten of the world's top bass fishermen are hoping they CAN see the Forrest for the trees. And that is Forrest - with two R's, as in Forrest Wood, the Ranger Boats founder for whom the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup is named. The "trees" are actually the leaves, bark, branches and twigs floating down Pittsburgh's acclaimed Three Rivers - the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. Several days this week saw rain of varying intensity and when water drains into rivers it likes to pick up hitch hikers. Debris and mud have affected visibility, while rising rivers and the intuitive current have created their own challenges, in terms of where and how fish will position. Leading the field is Alpine, Calif. pro Rusty Salewske whose performance has been consistent with Top pro Rusty Salewske discusses his strategy with FLWlimits on each of the previous three days. He reached the top-10 by sacking 6 pounds, 4 ounces on day one and following with 5-3 on day two. Salewske jumped into the top spot on day three with 6-6, but he holds just a 15-ounce margin over second place pro, David Curtis of Trinity, Texas. That's not much breathing room, but Salewske said he intends to hold the high ground with a conservative game plan. "What it comes down to is that if I catch five, then (the rest of the field) has to catch them good," he said. "So that's what I'm going to concentrate on - just one at a time and hopefully get the five. It's a mental thing. When you start thinking `I have to catch five,' you start getting in a hurry, you start freaking out, backlashing. "You have to tell yourself, `It's okay to blank, I'm already leading, so let's just catch them one at a time'." Salewske has been fishing far up the Allegheny and he'll return there today. "What I like about (my spot) is the bait was big and there's a lot of it. Also, I saw a lot of keeper fish swimming around." He'll start off with a topwater plug and then spend some throwing a spinnerbait and a crankbait. He'll also keep a jig handy for probing any prominent rock or stickup he encounters. The recent mayfly hatch kept the topwater bite active throughout the day. Recent rains have washed much debris into area waters, so anglers must adjust to the visibility challenges."Several of my better fish, I watched them come up and eat a mayfly, eat a mayfly and when I threw the topwater in front of them, they ate it." Texas pro David Curtis started out strong, placing second on day one - just an ounce off the lead set by Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre (currently in seventh). With smallies slurping mayflies, he was basically sightcasting with a spinnerbait. A rainy day two squashed that deal and he dropped to fifth after a day of junk fishing. Curtis regained some consistency on day three by bouncing a Texas-rigged tube over rocks with good current. He also culled a fish on a crankbait. Curtis located a sweet spot in the Ohio River where he bagged four keepers in close proximity. Prior to takeoff, he was chomping at the bit, eager to give his water another shot. "I'm really hoping that spot will produce some more fish for me. Whether it will or won't, we'll just have to see. But catching that many keepers on one small stretch was very encouraging. It lifted my spirits and I'm excited to get back down there and try it again." In third, California pro Cody Meyer bagged limits on each of the previous three days. His heaviest Texas pro David Curtis sits less than a pound out of the lead.catch - 7 pounds, 7 ounces on day two - came under conditions similar to those of today. "On day two when it was cloudy and rainy, I had my best bag (on day two) when it was cloudy and rainy, so I'm hoping they bite a little more today. The only thing I've been lacking all week is a big one so I have to figure out how to get a big one." Meyer will fish mostly with a white, curl tail grub... "The key for me will be to fish slow and cover a lot of water. I've been fishing different water every single day. I'll fish a variety of different structures (such as) bridges, water discharges and rocky banks with mayfly hatches in the trees. The mayflies were a big factor this week. You could see them fall out of the trees and the bass would get really active." New Jersey pro Mike Iaconelli sits in fourth with 4-12. He missed his day three limit by one fish, while A small white grub will be the go-to bait for California pro Cody Meyer.his partner, Brad Roberts won the co-angler title with five fish weighing 6-4. Clearly, one more keeper would have greatly affected Ike's final round position, but he's confident that he's still in the hunt. Today he'll return to the Ohio River and remain flexible in what has proven to be a dynamic fishery. "I'm going to go back to the same pool I fished yesterday because I know the winning fish are swimming around there," Iaconelli said. "This is a game of constant adjustment. That's the one theme you're going to here when this thing's over - the guy that won was able to adjust each day with the fish. "Everyday has been different for me - I've been constantly changing. Yesterday, the fish really switched. My co-angler and I kind of figured it out about noon, which was a little too late. But if the fish start on that pattern, doing the same kind of thing in the same kind of area, I think I'm going to have a really good day. If they change again, it might take me a while to figure it out." Having junk fished most of the previous three days, Iaconelli found that yesterday's murky waters andAdjusting to the day accelerated current nullified several of his options. He ultimately settled on an unnamed bait with a large profile and lots of vibration - key traits for fishing in low visibility. Iaconelli will employ this bait again today with hopes of closing the gap. "My number one goal today is to catch a limit," he said. "If I do that, I'll put myself in contention. There are only three guys ahead of me, so if one of them slips up and I catch a big fish, things could change." Following Iaconelli by 6 ounces, 2007 Forrest Wood Cup champion and bass fishing's first instant millionaire Scott Suggs will start with a Texas-rigged green pumpkin tube. To bolster his bait's attraction in the turbid water, Suggs will spray his plastics with Gulp! Alive scent attractant. "It makes me feel good just being here," Suggs said. "To be back in this position two years after I won is Hoping to increase his baita pretty amazing thing. The ($1 million top prize) is a lot and it was a lot before, but winning again at this level would just be unbelievable." Although the vast majority of fish weighed this week have been small by most standards, the big Easter egg hunt that is the Three Rivers holds a few well hidden prize eggs upon which fortunes could change on a single cast. Lefebre's entire third day weight came from one studly smallie scaling 3 pounds, 15 ounces. A day earlier, Florida pro Scott Martin found a solid 4-pounder. No doubt, the big ones are very hard to come by, but they do exist. Logistics Final weigh-ins will be held at Mellon Arena at 66 Mario Lemieux Place in Pittsburgh beginning at 5 p.m. In conjunction with the weigh-ins, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at Fans packed the seawall as the top-10 pros readied for a final day of competition.the David L. Lawrence Convention Center located at 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd. in Pittsburgh. The Family Fun Zone will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Family Fun Zone offers fans a chance to meet their Fantasy Fishing team anglers face-to-face and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors while children are treated to giveaways, fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo while supplies last. One lucky member of the audience will even win a new special edition Three Rivers Ranger Z20 boat powered by Evinrude during the final 5 p.m. weigh-in Sunday, Aug. 2, courtesy of Froggy Radio. Admission is free, and you must be present to win. The total purse for the Pittsburgh Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol is $2 million, including $10,000 through 40th place in the Pro Division. Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol, hosted by VisitPittsburgh, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated "FLW Outdoors," will air Nov. 8 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. On the web For those who can't catch the weigh-in action in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live, an online application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results, streaming video and audio. In addition to FLW Live, FLWOutdoors.com is offering real-time updates from the water throughout each day of the Forrest Wood Cup. Simply click on the "On the Water Coverage" banner from any of the FLW Outdoors, Bass and FLW Tour home pages. Sunday's conditions Sunrise: 6:18 a.m. Temperature at takeoff: 67 degrees Expected high temperature: 75 degrees Water temperature: 74-77 degrees Wind: SW at 6-8 mph Maximum humidity: 84 percent

Tags: morning-story  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-07-30-north-or-south-on-champlain-

North or South on Champlain?

With waves 1 to 3 feet and thunderstorms in the offing as day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano gets under way on Lake Champlain, the anglers will have a tall task no matter which direction they run. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-a-capital-challenge

A Capital Challenge

Rivers can be rollercoasters, and the Potomac River might be about to give the anglers fishing the Walmart FLW Tour finale a tough ride. Two nasty storm systems have blown through in the last few days. According to FLW Tour pro and local Michael Hall, those could have been the two worst things to happen leading up to the tournament. “After 30 years of fishing here, I know storms impact the bass on this river,” says Hall. “Those storms have certainly done that. The wind alone would have done it this week.” READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-22-thrift-flirting-with-second-aoy-title

Thrift Flirting with Second AOY Title

Bryan Thrift can’t say for certain what baits will sit on his front deck during the final Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015 on the Potomac River, which is set to kick off this Thursday, but he’s quick to say what will not join him – the memory of his 2010 Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-18-the-sun-rises-on-the-2015-all-american

The Sun Rises on the 2015 All-American

Practice day Wednesday saw temperatures in the high 80s, with more sultry weather on tap for today. Like many others, Schroeder spent most of the day riding around and checking spots with his electronics. Though undoubtedly fish will be caught from the miles of weedbeds in the lower end of the lake below Paris Landing, he figures it will be a ledge bite that wins. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-11-deep-or-shallow-at-chickamauga-

Deep or Shallow at Chickamauga?

There was no sentimentality attached to the smartphone photos anglers were showing off to each other prior to the Wednesday afternoon rules meeting of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga. The photos weren’t of loved ones back home; rather, they were shots of big largemouth bass the fishermen had caught and released during practice earlier this week. In fact, there was a surprising number of such photos making the rounds, which suggests that the kind of hefty bass that can make or break a tournament for an angler are there ready and waiting as the four-day event presented by Igloo Coolers got underway this morning out of Dayton Boat Dock. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-09-starting-strong

Starting Strong

Zack Birge likes to play the numbers, and right now the math is looking pretty sweet for him. With two events remaining on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, the Blanchard, Okla., pro has essentially sewn up Rookie of the Year honors, and he’s currently sitting in fourth place in the Angler of the Year standings. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-08-top-10-patterns-from-the-james-river

Top 10 Patterns from the James River

Flipping isolated clumps of spatterdock produced the winning fish for Canadian pro Cory Johnston at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the James River. Adapting to the week’s extreme high water was critical to bagging the winning total of 46 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-06-johnston-rises-from-sixth-for-the-win

Johnston Rises From Sixth for the Win

Cory Johnston’s bucket list just shrank. After a couple of close finishes, the pro from Peterborough, Ont., finally bagged his first Rayovac FLW Series victory with a winning total of 46 pounds, 14 ounces at the Northern Division opener on the James River Saturday. “I’ve always wanted to win one of these,” Johnston says of his accomplished Rayovac career, which hadn’t included a first-place finish until now. “I’ve won some other tournaments; I’ve been second (in Rayovacs) two times and my brother (Chris) has been second two or three times. So to win this really feels good.” Fishing the Chickahominy River — a major James River tributary — Johnston got off to a lukewarm start, as a 10-pound, 9-ounce effort left him with a 27th-place showing on day one. Regrouping for day two, he formed a new game plan borne of a revelation that came early on day two. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-06-co-angler-honeycutt-triumphs-in-james-river-debut

Co-angler Honeycutt triumphs in James River debut

READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-06-james-river-day-3-midday-update

James River Day 3 Midday Update

Pro leader Kelly Pratt had a good morning and was culling by about 9:30. He returned to the shallow creeks and coves inside the Chickahominy River where he’s been targeting spawning fish all week. With a limit of about 13 pounds by 10, Pratt was still looking for his big fish to turn on later in the day. He’s throwing at gaps and drains in the spatterdock, along with various structure from laydowns to duck blinds. Pratt’s using reaction baits for his primary presentation and following up any missed bites with a finesse worm. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-05-pratt-stays-close-to-take-lead

Pratt Stays Close To Take Lead

High water on the James River has created a challenging scenario for much of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division field. For top pro Kelly Pratt, however, it has brought a bounty of opportunity reflected by his tournament-leading weight of 33 pounds, 4 ounces. Michael Crocker, the leader on day one with 16-10, slipped to 22nd in the second round as he could only muster three fish for 5-09. Georgia pro Troy Morrow shadows Pratt with 31-0. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-05-top-5-patterns-from-day-2-on-the-james

Top 5 Patterns From Day 2 On The James

Gaining two spots today, the FLW Tour pro from Eastanolee, Ga., again committed his day to the Chickahominy — a major James River tributary known for the quantity and quality Morrow sought. Today’s limit added 15-14 to Morrow’s total. “I caught them all day again, but still no size early,” he says. “Every once in a while I’d pick off a big one. Morrow says he’s been catching fish on several types of shallow habitat from wood to vegetation, but one particular bait has produced all of his weight. He wouldn’t divulge the particulars, but he did say it was a bait “that moves a little.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-05-james-river-day-2-midday-update

James River Day 2 Midday Update

Most anglers seemed to have been struggling for most of the morning on the James River in round two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division opener, including day-one leader Michael Crocker. The Maryland pro started his day by running up to the Chickahominy River where he fished a variety of habitat ranging from pads and cypress trees to stumps and docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-04-crocker-takes-james-river-lead

Crocker Takes James River Lead

Michael Crocker stepped to the front of the boat and fished his way to the front of the pro field in the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division opener on the James River. Crocker won this event’s co-angler division in 2014 and now the Pasadena, Md., pro has positioned himself well at the other end of the boat with a limit catch of 16 pounds, 10 ounces. The morning delivered an early round of action, albeit short-lived. “I got a couple of bites and then it just died on me,” Crocker recalls. “Then, about halfway through the day, I made a change and nailed two really fast. I made another move and nailed another one really quick and that’s all I caught. I caught five fish today.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-04-top-5-patterns-in-the-james-river-rayovac

Top 5 Patterns in the James River Rayovac

Hailing from Williamsburg, Va., Pratt says he fared well in conditions that challenged many of his competitors. Essentially, the week’s full-moon cycle brought extremely high tides to a river already swollen by recent heavy rains. This contrasted the period of extreme low tides leading up to tournament week. High water allows fish to push farther into cover, but Pratt said he didn’t allow that to hinder him. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-04-northern-rayovacs-kick-off-on-the-james

Northern Rayovacs Kick Off on the James

Ostensibly, the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division tournament presented by Mercury that began this morning is taking place on the James River, but much of the fishing focus will be centered on the Chickahominy River – or Chick, as it’s affectionately known locally. “This tournament is typically won out of the Chick,” says North Carolina pro Jamey Caldwell of the James River tributary. “There are some great bags coming out of the [James] river right now, but I just feel that those big fish are a little more sporadic. I’m going to hang out in the Chick and hope for the best.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-04-james-river-midday-report

JAMES RIVER MIDDAY REPORT

A damp, drizzly morning turned into a soggy day for anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division tournament on the James River. A light mist became a steady shower, which gave way to sporadic downpours of moderate intensity. The remainder of day one will see little change, according to weather reports. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-seminole-summer

Seminole Summer

Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division. Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-14-shallow-deep-and-in-between-at-eufaula

Shallow, Deep and in Between at Eufaula

A couple of weeks ago Eufaula was high and off-color, and the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State that begins this morning was shaping up to be a shallow-water showdown. The lake has fallen by a couple of inches since then, however, and now the odds are even that both inshore and offshore patterns will be in play. In fact, one Eufaula expert who isn’t fishing the tournament expects it will take a mixture of patterns to make it to Sunday’s championship round and claim the $100,000 that goes to the winner. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-07-anything-goes-at-the-cal-delta

Anything Goes at the Cal Delta

There are 127 pros entered in the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Ranger at the California Delta this week. If you asked them all what their baits or tactics are for the first day of competition today, you might get 127 different answers. At some fisheries that FLW’s tournament circuits visit, such varied and often vague responses from pros when they’re prompted for fishing info are the result of them attempting to stealthily hide their fishing patterns. That’s not exactly the case at this tournament. The fact is, the California Delta is one of the most vast and varied fisheries that hosts FLW events. It’s a collection of unique mini-fisheries all rolled into one, with dirty water, clean water, tons of vegetation and other factors tossed into the mix. It’s a tidal fishery, so the water levels and currents fluctuate throughout each day. And, of course, it’s spring in California, and because of the vastness of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and the delta system they feed, with its 1,000 miles of waterways, there are populations of bass in all stages of the spawn in their own little geographic areas. READ MORE »