Indiana University wins Central Regional Championship

Indiana University netted the Central Regional Championship win with a total catch weight of 29 pounds, 14 ounces.

MURRAY, Ky. - Dustin Vaal and Jesse Schultz crossed the stage on day one of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship with just over 4 pounds - enough to be in the hunt, but definitely not in the spotlight heading into day two. Like two seasoned pros, however, the teammates, from Indiana University, knew they needed a change of plan to be contenders. They adjusted accordingly and increased their weight each day before winning the event with a total of 29 pounds, 14 ounces. They'd been chasing schooling fish, likely the most common pattern at this time of year on Kentucky Lake, but as they learned, schoolers can be feast or famine. Indeed, Ohio State, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky University were all burned to a degree by big schools of bass that would bust the surface in tantalizing fashion, but then refuse to bite. Vaal of St. Meinrad, Ind., and Schultz of New Albany, Ind., made a big change on day two when they ran to a riprap bank that surrounds a neck-down that opens up into a large bay. With the near record rainfall last week and water being constantly released at Kentucky Dam, heavy current was funneling through that neck-down, creating a classic ambush point for hungry fall bass. Schultz and Vaal began fishing that area yesterday and spent the entire day there today. Indiana University caught their best bag of the tournament on the final day. Their six bass weighed 13 pounds, 2 ounces. "It was just a magic spot," Vaal said. "We caught 50 fish in there today, and 47 of them came on one lure. We had our limit by 9 a.m. and just kept catching them, trying to upgrade." Slow-moving baits like tubes and jigs were the ticket Sunday, but today was a fast-paced chunk-and-wind bite. "Our 47 fish came on a Team Supreme 50/50 spinnerbait," Vaal continued. "We were throwing a 3/8-ounce citrus-shad color with double willow-leaf blades. One blade was silver; one was gold. When I'd get the boat positioned just right in the current, where we could throw parallel to the bank, it was a fish almost every time." Schultz and Vaal earned a $25,000 check for Indiana University as well as a new Ranger boat. EKU slips to second Richard Cobb V of Richmond, Ky., and Tyler Moberly of Berea, Ky., fishing for Eastern Kentucky University, were in the lead this morning. Calm winds kept schooling bass off the banks the final day, and that hurt EKUThey've been on schooling fish in the back of Blood River this week, but have been catching them in a subtle fashion by tossing a shaky head toward the shad schools and enticing bites as they pulled it across bottom. That bite didn't hold up Monday. They finished the event in second place with 25-12. "We really needed wind today, and we didn't have it," Cobb said. "Our fish weren't boiling like they had been; they seemed to be more suspended out off the banks. The one keeper we caught came from flipping a lay-down. But we're just happy to have qualified for the National Championship." Cobb had one more thing to add, hoping to stoke the competitive fires for the National Championship, which takes place in April 2010 in Knoxville, Tenn, "Be sure and tell those West Coast boys they're going to be lost when they get over here to Tennessee." Ohio State in third Ohio State's Casey Hammann and Kevin Moeller, both from Cincinnati, caught the heaviest bag of the tournament at 16 pounds, 14 ounces on day one, but weren't able to return to the same area the rest of the event because it is a waterfowl sanctuary and became off limits to fishing effective Nov. 1. Ohio StateThe two anglers, both members of the National Guard, stuck to a pattern of chasing schooling fish, but just weren't able to repeat that day-one success. They ended in third with a three-day catch of 22 pounds, 11 ounces. "You could see fish busting everywhere out there," Hammann said onstage. "But it was just tough to get them to bite." SIU's magic crankbait nets fourth place Travis Gould of Vandalia, Ill., and Richard Dunham of Carbondale, Ill., fishing for Southern Illinois University, have maintained a fair level of consistency during this event, much of it due to a lipless crankbait they snagged on the first day of competition. Travis Gould weighs one of SIUThey later tied that lure on, and it clued them in to a productive pattern. Gould and Dunham caught 6-7 on day one; 10-3 yesterday; and 3-9 today for a total three-day weight of 20 pounds, 3 ounces and fourth place. Hometown takes fifth Though Steve Miller and Kalem Tippett, representing Murray State, the host university, seemed a little disappointed as they crossed the stage the final day, you wouldn't know it by the crowd. Murray State finished the Central Regional Championship in fifth place with 17 pounds. Miller and Tippett finished day one in second place with a 13-pound, 9-ounce bag, but have since struggled. They caught one keeper yesterday and another today to finish up fifth with a final weight of 17 pounds. Miller and Tippett knew they had a hurdle to jump going out this morning, and having already qualified for the National Championship, they decided to go for broke and fish some grass beds for big fish. "The water is really rising, and we only saw one little school of fish today," Tippett said. "They seemed to be out of the grass and up on the newly flooded flats for the most part. We've done a lot of running over the last three days. We've covered all the boundaries north and south."

Tags: headline-story  will-brantley 

/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. 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 »