UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Steil’s stunner

Flanked by his wife and kids, Scott Steil celebrates his 2009 FLW Walleye Tour Championship victory.

BISMARCK, N.D. - When his friend and travel partner Tony Renner weighed in an astonishing 24-pound, 8-ounce bag on day three, Scott Steil knew he would have his work cut out for him on the final day of the FLW Walleye Tour Championship. But even with an 8-pound hill to climb, he refused to believe he was fishing for second. And as it turned out, he was right. Steil and Renner were both working the same area, a 400-yard stretch of the Missouri River known as Eckroth Corner, and they were both running the same program. They found the spot, which was located five miles north of the Hazelton Launch Ramp, together during practice. "That place held the right fish," Steil said. "The idea was to have a few spots within a few miles from Scott Steileach other so that, if they weren't there one day, we could easily adjust." Although they occasionally fished near Fort Rice, Eckroth was their bread and butter. On day three Renner got the big bites, and on day four it was Steil's turn. With only two baits in the water in a no-cull tournament, the Richmond, Minn., pro caught an unthinkable 21-pound, 4-ounce stringer. To catch his fish, Steil trolled crankbaits on leadcore line. At the end of his leadcore was a 10-foot leader of 14-pound Berkley Fireline Crystal. During the opening round, he used both Flicker Shads and Shad Raps, but during the final round, one particular crankbait stood out: a No. 5 Shad Rap in Orange Hot Tiger. Steil would present these baits in 13 to 15 feet of water over the top of a channel edge at 1.6 to 2.2 mph, depending on the current. While most anglers were fishing near the base of the water column, Steil purposely trolled 2 or 3 feet above the bottom. "What I did different was pull my crankbaits higher," explained the pro winner. "The fish were actually feeding on a school of crappies. I didn't even know there were crappies in the system. But that's how I got my big bites. As long as I kept my baits up, I wouldn't get any of the smaller fish." For winning the 2009 FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Missouri River, Scott Steil earned $105,000.Earlier in the tournament, he was fishing deeper and trolling on the bottom. But between days two and three, the wind switched. "When the wind changed, it blew all the water out of the system. When that happened the fish moved out of the deep troughs. That was the biggest thing for us - not getting stuck in the same rut of what you did the day before." Combined with his 16-pound, 8-ounce limit from day three, Steil finished with a final-round total of 37 pounds, 12 ounces. Consider that when Tommy Skarlis won the championship last year on the Missouri River he tallied 29 pounds, 7 ounces. "Today the fish came in the right order, and obviously I kept the first five I caught. I was done at noon." For winning the FLW Walleye Tour Championship, his second Walleye Tour win, the 36-year-old claimed $105,000 - the largest payday in the sport of tournament walleye fishing. That payday pushed his career earnings with FLW Outdoors to just over $300,000. "My first win was really sweet, but this is the big one, the championship. For Tony and I to go one-two is really special. I couldn't be happier." Renner proud of second Hutchinson, Minn., pro Tony Renner finished the 2009 FLW Walleye Tour Championship in second place. While Renner was the recipient of some great luck yesterday, his luck all but ran dry today. Fishing the same spot and using the same technique, the Hutchinson, Minn., pro managed only four fish weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces. Renner took the disappointment in stride and for great reason. Along with Steil, he put together the pieces of the winning puzzle. "We were on the program; we were on the best fish," said Renner. "I'm pretty proud of myself, proud of us; we figured it out. I just needed one more bite." Renner finished with 34 pound, 11 ounces and earned $39,000 for his second-place finish. That's his biggest check in five full years on the Walleye Tour. Andersen third Third-place pro David Andersen holds up a nice Missouri River walleye. Dave Andersen was also fishing Eckroth Corner, which he parlayed into a two-day total of 30 pounds, 7 ounces and a third-place check worth $14,000. The Amery, Wis., pro had an incredibly consistent week - catching limits of 12-11, 15-13, 14-8 and 15-5. During prefishing, he had several Steil- and Renner-like days where he caught over 20 pounds. "Today there was a strong bite," said the former PWT Championship winner. "I was done at 10 this morning. I kept a 17-incher I wish I wouldn't have, but that's the way it goes. I caught him at the end of my second pass, and then things happened way too fast. It was my choice, so here we are." Andersen trolled in 14 to 16 feet of water with No. 5 and No. 7 Shad Raps. His two best colors were Glass Citrus and Hot Tiger. "I had two goals (to make the cutoff and to win the tournament), and I achieved one of them. I'm satisfied with how I did. This is just a super place to fish. That's why the championships keep coming back." Adams fourth Fourth-place pro Carl Adams Jr. caught a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 29 pounds, 8 ounces. Completing a great rookie season, Carl Adams Jr. finished the tournament in fourth place with a total weight of 29 pounds, 8 ounces. His five-walleye limit on day four weighed 15 pounds, 1 ounce. Adams also fished Eckroth Corner, but he had some slight subtleties in his program. "I was trying to run slower than everyone else," said the Blackduck, Minn., native. "I was averaging fewer bites, but I was getting bigger fish." Adams also used different crankbaits. Instead of Flicker Shads or Shad Raps, he trolled Reef Runners. On three of his four lines, he would use dark colors. Overall, he said his best crankbait was a Pure Black Reef Runner. When he took off this morning, he promised himself he would box the first five legal walleyes he caught. "I was hoping that no little ones would bite, but they did. My biggest regret is keeping those two. I was done today at 1 p.m. Yesterday I had only one fish in the box at 1 p.m." Thanks to nearly $10,000 in contingencies, Adams earned $17, 800. Riley fifth Amery, Wis., pro Todd Riley finished the 2009 FLW Walleye Tour Championship in fifth place.Completing an incredible 2008 season, Todd Riley earned $14,050 and finished in fifth place with a final-round weight of 28 pounds, 14 ounces. Before heading to Bismarck, Riley won the inaugural AIM Championship held on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. Like the rest of the top five, Riley stayed close to the launch. Throughout the tournament he contemplated making the long run to the North Dakota-South Dakota border, but he never attempted it. After struggling yesterday, he had his limit and was done fishing today by 10 a.m. "I pulled a lot of Flicker Shads and trolled some shallower sand bars in like 5 to 6 feet of water," he said. "Other than that, it was the same as everyone else." On day one, the Amery, Wis., pro caught 24 pounds, 3 ounces, the second-heaviest limit of the entire championship. Last year he caught a similar bag, but it came from Upper Oahe. "When I came here, I had a plan. I wanted two good days - a good first day and a good last day. I had two good days, maybe I should've hoped for three good days." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists at the FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Missouri River: 6th: Tommy Skarlis of Waukon, Iowa, 27-7, $9,800 7th: Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash., 27-5, $9,100 8th: Ron Seelhoff of Burlington, Colo., 24-4, $4,200 9th: Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn., 16-12, $7,700 10th: Nicolas Schertz of Tomahawk, Wis., 13-5, $4,900

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 

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Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

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Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

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Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

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Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

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Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-21-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »