San Jose State nets FLW College Fishing Western Regional title

Glen Wyatt and Eric Andersen completed a three-day sweep with a convincing win on the California Delta.

STOCKTON, Calif. - Talk about sandbagging. San Jose State's Eric Andersen executed a highlight-reel "gotcha" at weigh-in en route to sealing the wire-to-wire victory along with partner Glen Wyatt in the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Regional Championship on the California Delta. Here's the scene: Sacramento State's Christopher Wong and Alec Brassington, who trailed the lead by about a pound going into day three, sat in the hot seat with a leading weight of 34-7. Wyatt had dropped three keepers into the tank and Andersen followed with a pair of his own. A few moments of dramatic commentary ensued, but just before San Jose State's weight was officially locked in, Andersen indicated that he had a surprise. A 5-pound surprise with a mossy-green back and a big mouth. With that fish, San Jose State surged ahead to seal the deal with a day-three catch of 11 pounds, 9Eric Andersen saved the best for last when he pulled out a chunky kicker fish that secured his team ounces and a tournament total of 37-10. Topping the field by a 3-pound, 3-ounce margin, Andersen of San Jose, Calif., and Wyatt of Vallejo, Calif., completed their three-day ride atop the standings. For their efforts, they earned $25,000 for their university and a 177TR Ranger boat wrapped in their school colors and powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard engine. Asked if the pressure of leading the event since day one affected his team's performance, Wyatt said: "No pressure - you just relax and go fishing. It's just another day on the job." Here's how they got the job done. On day one, the anglers fished in partly cloudy conditions, caught plenty of fish and grabbed their early lead with a six-fish limit weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces. The next day, clear skies and hotter conditions made for a tough bite, and they bagged five bass for 11-4. A mix of topwater plugs, finesse worms and ChatterbBait-type lures delivered on the first two days. Finesse worms were the hot bait for Eric Andersen and his San Jose State teammate.Wyatt described day three as "a carbon copy of day two, but a little more dramatic, I might say." After Zara Spooks and ChatterBaits failed to produce, both anglers fished wacky-rigged finesse worms under bridges and in other shady areas all day. "When the big-fish patterns weren't working out, we just went back to the basics," Wyatt said. "We have a saying: `You dance with the girl that brought you to the dance.'" Andersen noted: "The key was fishing it really slow. I wasn't even moving the worm (when the big fish bit). I cast out, actually set my rod down for a second, pick it back up and shake it and boom - fish on." Andersen's show-stopper came around 1:30 on the last spot they fished. "We decided that we were going to live or die there. We had a small limit; actually I had two that just made the (12-inch minimum). Glen had one nice fish, and I had one decent one, but looking back, we wouldn't have won without that fish. "I had a feeling we were in a good spot (with that fish), but I didn't know for sure. I know the other guys fish well, and I figured everyone else would have a limit. It would just come down to who got that kicker." Brassington and Wong hold on to second It's been said that time and tides wait for no one. Well, both forces seemed bent on ruining the day for Brassington and Wong, who ended up maintaining the second-place spot that they established on daySacramento State two. In a nutshell, the anglers had found dependable patterns for high-incoming and low-incoming water. This morning's high topped off around 9 a.m., with a falling tide lasting most of the fishing day. The next incoming cycle would start moving less than an hour before Brassington and Wong had to leave for the afternoon check-in. "First thing this morning, we tried (flipping) Senkos, and just like I predicted, the bite was on," Wong said. "The first five minutes, we got three fish. They were so aggressive they were hitting it on the surface. But after five minutes, it was dead. We needed another hour in the morning. If we were there an hour earlier, we would have killed them." When the Senko bite died, the Sac State anglers fished Zara Spooks and lipless crankbaits. The latter met with great response - just not the fish they wanted. "We caught tons of fish all day cranking - all 8- to 10-inchers." Brassington and Wong spent the rest of their day flipping Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hogs and Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers in heavy cover. "We got our last three fish in the last half-hour," Wong said. "If we had had another hour and a half, I think we could have loaded the boat and maybe even culled some." Fortunately, the anglers managed four good fish that went 9 pounds, 7 ounces. Combined with their 12-6 and 12-10 from days one and two, their final-round score gave them a tournament total of 34-7 and earned a $25,000 prize, split evenly between their school and their bass club. Fresno State improves to third Another big catch late in the day gave Kong Moua and Sark Davidian enough weight to move into third place.After making a big move from 12th place to fourth on day two, Kong Moua and Sark Davidian of Fresno State gained another spot in the final round to finish in third with 32 pounds, 6 ounces. Apparently, Davidian hadn't had enough of the late-day stress, because he once again pulled out a big one right at the buzzer. Yesterday, Davidian nailed a 5-pounder with about 15 minutes left to fish. Today, he repeated the drama with one that went about 3 1/2. Notably, he caught his kicker on the same type of bait and in the same scenario as his big fish from day two. Both days, he caught his last-minute kicker under floating hyacinth near a bridge, and both days he used a drop-shots with Roboworms. On day two, he used a Baby Bass worm and he went with a "Margarita Mutilator" color on day three. "We were cutting it close today," Davidian noted. "We had five fish in the boat with about 15 minutes until we had to head back. The tension on that boat couldn't have been any higher. With the pressure I was putting on myself, I didn't want to let my teammate down, and I didn't want to let Fresno State down. Fate nearly rained on the team's parade when a tackle tray with all of Davidian's worms flew out of the boat during the ride home yesterday. Fortunately, Moua had enough baits to supply his partner. The Fresno State team caught 8 pounds, 8 ounces on day one and had the event's second-heaviest bag - 13-15 - on day two. Their final-round limit weighed 9-15. Richards and Frazier move the Big O into fourth Ross Richards and Reed Frazier of the University of Oregon fished boat docks in Discovery Bay andFishing dropshots under docks was the productive pattern for University of Oregon caught their six-fish limit. With a day-three weight of 10 pounds, 3 ounces added to their 11-14 from day one and 9-3 from day two, the Big O teammates moved up one notch to fourth with 31-4. Fishing drop-shots with Roboworms, the anglers targeted the shade pockets at the backs of docks and secured their limits by 9 a.m. Twelve-pound fluorocarbon line helped them handle fish around the abrasive dock environment. "We lost some yesterday, but not today - we got them all in," Richards said. As Frazier explained, the day's tide schedule benefited his team's performance. "The tide was high around 9 a.m., and then it started going out. Those fish were way back in behind the docks in 3 to 5 feet of water when the tide is high, so we knew exactly where they were all morning. When the tide went out, they moved out to about 10 feet of water." Arizona State's Jarrell and Walker stumble, take fifth A tough day dropped Arizona StateHaving made the top-five cut in third place, Arizona State's Mark Walker and Joseph Jarrell dropped to fifth in the final round. Walker got a limit that weighed 6-15, but Jarrell couldn't find a keeper. With 13-11 on day one and 9 pounds on day two, they tallied 29-10 for the event. Targeting bridges, Walker caught his fish on drop-shots with Roboworms in the "Margarita Mutilator" color. The anglers fished bridges in 7 to 10 feet of water and found water temperatures ranging from 76 to 80 degrees. "The bigger fish were in the warmer water," Walker said. "I wish we would have known that earlier."

Tags: headline-story  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-spawn-looming-at-beaver-lake

Spawn Looming at Beaver Lake

As the pros who fish the Walmart FLW Tour begin practice on Beaver Lake, this jewel of northwestern Arkansas could be setting up for another spring spawn showdown. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »