Shuffield realistic about comeback chances

Second-place pro Ron Shuffield is realistic about his chances of catching pro leader Brent Ehrler.

BRANSON, Mo. - For Ron Shuffield, the good news is that he's in second place. If he caught zero fish today, the worst he could finish would be fifth. The bad news is that if he wants to win his first FLW Tour event on Table Rock, he's got a seriously steep hill to climb. The no-nonsense veteran pro that he is, Shuffield was realistic about his chances of overcoming Brent Ehrler and taking home the title. "As a general rule, we all realize we're probably fishing for second," he said. "Brent has had a great tournament and it's his to win or lose. I'm happy for him; I am really am. He's an incredible fisherman. In Pro leader Brent Ehrler readies his tackle for the final day of competition on Table Rock Lake.my opinion he's one of the top two or three anglers in the world." But crazier things have happened. "I will say that I feel like the fish are coming to me. And I've felt that way since the first day of the tournament. I really haven't saved any water specifically for today, but there's so much water that's been unfished." Shuffield is working a jerkbait up the James River. He's fishing a bunch of structure - all of it off the bank in water 15 to 35 feet deep. "The fish position differently on each type of structure. The more time I spend up there, the more familiar I'm becoming." While Shuffield has been consistent this week, he hasn't seen many kicker largemouths. His area has more of a mix of all three Table Rock species. That bodes well for retaining second, but he'll need at Third-place pro Bryan Thrift shows off one of the finesse presentations he plans to use on day four.least a couple kickers to catch Ehrler. One ounce behind Shuffield is Bryan Thrift. He too has grudgingly accepted his fate. "My plan is to fish for second and there's not many tournaments I fish for second," said the Shelby, N.C., pro. "If I could get maybe 25 pounds than I'd have a slim chance. But Brent would still have to stumble." Logistics Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Branson Convention Center located at 200 W. Main St. in Branson beginning at 4 p.m. Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo at the Branson Convention Center prior to the final weigh-in from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a drawing for a Can-Am ATV, and rod-and-reel combos will be given to the first 300 kids under 14 in attendance on Saturday. The pro winner, who will earn $125,000, is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days. 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 Table Rock event. Simply click on the "On the Water Coverage" banner from any of the FLW Outdoors, Bass and FLW Tour home pages. Saturday's conditions Sunrise: 6:37 a.m. Temperature at takeoff: 37 degrees Expected high temperature: 63 degrees Water temperature: 42-48 degrees Wind: SSE at 10 mph Maximum humidity: 46 percent Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: morning-story  brett-carlson 

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Tricky Transition at Beaver

Though Beaver Lake is an annual stop for the Walmart FLW Tour, that doesn’t mean it is an easy lake to decipher. This year’s event, which is presented by Rayovac, is later into the spring than usual and is causing some major head scratching among the 154 pros in the field. There’s no doubt that some fish can be found on beds, however, they are mostly small. The consensus is that a lot of fish are stuck in limbo between the spawn and prespawn phase on this White River impoundment. READ MORE »

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Fog Delays Grand Lake Start

It’s no secret that the first Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event of the year on Grand Lake has collided perfectly with the spawn. Nearly every shallow pocket on the lake holds dozens upon dozens of bass that are eager to do their deed. The 197 pros making up a record-setting Central Division field could hardly contain themselves to get on the water this morning. The only issue was fog – and lots of it. With a 7 a.m. CT takeoff planned, a heavy blanket of fog delayed the start of the tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, until 8:30, when the fog lifted enough for safe travel but was still hanging around just enough to be a hindrance to those looking to sight-fish. READ MORE »

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Weather Woes Greet College Anglers

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Swollen Rayburn Challenges Anglers

High water, high winds and high hopes – that’s the forecast for the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, which kicked off today at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. Torrential rains of recent weeks have swollen this Angelina River impoundment, and a huge downpour last weekend has all but stymied efforts to lower the water level. Currently, the lake sits about 5 feet above normal – a level not seen here in more than 15 years. Realistically, anglers aren’t looking for much, if any, decline this week – particularly given the approaching storm system. READ MORE »

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Front and Center

There is little doubt it’s coming. The uncertainty lies in what will happen because of it. If the forecast holds true, at some point this evening the severe weather system that dropped tornados across the central plains Wednesday will arrive at Lewis Smith Lake. Along with the rain and thunder, the front promises to bring with it a significant drop in temperature, with lows projected in the low 30s by the weekend. It’s a storm that looms over the 154 pros and co-anglers set to fish the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude and hosted by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce. And while they, the anglers, should stay dry, the weather might be the key question mark for a tournament already overflowing with them. READ MORE »

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Record Catch for Record College Field?

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Panama City, beach parties, Florida sunshine, bikini weather – big deal. Who needs Spring Break when you’ve got Kentucky Lake in March? OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but how else to explain why a record-setting number of teams showed up for the FLW College Fishing Open tournament here? The official tally of bass fishing teams is 201, according to College Fishing Tournament Director Kevin Hunt, making this the largest collegiate fishing event ever. Teams from every corner of the country are represented here, with squads from as far away as Eastern Washington University competing the next two days. A flotilla left Moor’s Resort & Marina this morning, with individual boats scattering in all directions. READ MORE »

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Guntersville Grab Bag

Lake Guntersville will always have a place in bass-fishing history – most recently because of Paul Elias and the umbrella rig ­– but it represents so much more. With boat ramps seemingly on every street corner, and a town and community that caters to anglers like no other, the legendary lake is always a popular stop. READ MORE »

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Toho Midday Report Day 2

If you’ve been following the FLW On The Water feed, you might have seen a slight uptick in the reports in the last hour or so. A crisp north wind, which was cold enough to force many anglers into their rain gear this morning, seems to have tapered off to a breeze. Down south on Kissimmee the sun is shining. And as the weather has improved, so too has the bite – as evidenced by the sudden surge in fish-catching reports. The increase in action is good news for many anglers who experienced slower fishing this morning than yesterday. Stacey King, who came into today in second place, is among that group. Unfortunately for day-one leader JT Kenney, “slow” for King is still pretty good. He’s got a limit, including a pair of 4-pounders, and has already culled. That makes King our unofficial leader right now. READ MORE »

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Boom or Bust at Toho

To varying degrees of success, tournament anglers are used to figuring out lakes that seemingly are a bundle of contradictions. Be that as it may, Lake Toho threatens to boggle their collective minds as the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour kickoff event presented by Mercury gets underway this morning. READ MORE »

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Mighty Amistad Issues a Challenge

Legendary south Texas reservoir Lake Amistad has hosted some of FLW’s most infamous smash-fests – the kind of tournaments where anglers weren’t challenged to catch fish, but were pushed to keep up with the competition when 20- and even 30-pound stringers were being hauled across the stage. READ MORE »

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Heating Up on Havasu

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Warming weather could provide the spark that is needed to ignite a big-time bite on Lake Havasu this week for the first event of the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Western Division, which is presented by Mercury. Past FLW events on Havasu have been plagued by lower temperatures and strong winds that slowed the bite – fishing was good, but the anglers didn’t experience the lake’s full potential. The last few days on the Colorado River impoundment, however, have seen temperatures near 80 degrees with nearly no wind. As it stands now, the forecast for competition days is calling for more of the same, and many of the 152 pros in this tournament feel like that could open things up. READ MORE »

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Here They Come

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Grinding Wheel-er

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – The story was much the same among the 141 pro and co-anglers that launched out of Joe Wheeler State Park this morning for the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake. Fishing on the Tennessee River in the fall can be hit or miss and right now anglers are experiencing the latter. READ MORE »

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A Clear Challenge

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Rayburn Returns

ZAVALLA, Texas – If Sam Rayburn Reservoir were a stock on Wall Street, now would be the time to buy. READ MORE »

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The Mississippi Mix-Up

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Things are much different since the last time the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division launched from the Clinton Street Landing back in 2012. Cooler temperatures, higher water levels and scattered fish will make things interesting for the 119 pros and co-anglers this week on the Mississippi River. READ MORE »

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James River Jam

RICHMOND, Va. – On tidal fisheries like the James River, optimism and opportunity are inextricably linked to water level. For anglers competing in the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division, today’s tide schedule will present a brief period of opportunity, followed by a long grind the rest of the day. READ MORE »

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Hopes High on Champlain

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Kentucky Lake: The pressure is palpable

PARIS LANDING, Tenn. – If the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude needed a theme song, David Bowie’s rendition of “Under Pressure” would be as good as it gets. The entire field will be under more pressure than usual as the four-day competition opens this morning. There’s the pressure to win or at least take advantage of a final opportunity to take home a good check this season, the pressure to pull out all the stops and make up ground in the Angler of the Year standings and gain entry into the Forrest Wood Cup, the pressure to not take chances and lose a shot at the Cup – and so it goes. READ MORE »

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The Task of Timing

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