UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Kerr Lake

Jones sweeps AFS Central event on Ouachita

Missouri pro Matt Jones secured his wire-to-wire victory with another limit on Day Three.

MOUNT IDA, Ark. - Desperate times call for ... don't get ahead of me - it's not always "desperate measures." For Matt Jones, securing a wire-to-wire victory at the FLW American Fishing Series Central Division event on Lake Ouachita meant overcoming desperate times with creative measures. Here's the picture: At 1 p.m. on the final day, Jones holds five fish in his livewell. He's happy to have a limit, but he knows he needs to cull out one small bass. Time to get creative. "The key fish that put me over the top, I had fished for it for three days," Jones said. "I told my co-angler, `If I'm going to win this, I have to go catch that fish.' The fish was really spooky - it wouldn't stayMatt Jones was the only angler to weigh a 20-pound bag. around the bed, so I rigged a drop-shot with a Roboworm on a 4/0 hook and an ounce and a half tungsten weight on 20-pound line and a 7-foot heavy-action rod. I dropped the rig right in the bed, backed my boat off 60 to 70 yards, and she bit." For all of his other tournament fish, the Spokane, Mo., pro used a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Zoom Critter Craw with a 5/16-ounce tungsten weight. Jones bagged limits each day, and his day one score of 20-4 was the event's only 20-pound bag. Adding this to his 17-14 on day two and his final-round weight of 15-3 produced a winning total of 53-5. Stetson Blaylock made a strong run at the top spot, but ended in second place.Sunny skies on the first two tournament days offered ideal sight-fishing conditions, and Jones took full advantage of the opportunities. The day-three forecast called for cloudy conditions and rain by midday, but the weatherman got that one wrong. Anglers launched into windy, slightly cooler conditions with the sunrise muted by dense cloud banks. But as the day progressed, the clouds thinned and the sun occasionally peaked through. Overall light levels remained high enough for sight-fishing throughout the day. Jones said the unexpected visibility of day three played out well for him. He had backup tactics in mind, but he had committed much of his efforts to the bed-fish game. Getting one more good crack at the shoreline fish was just what he needed. "I found a lot of fish (in practice), but after the first day of the tournament, other people found them and they were gone," Jones said. "Every day I put the trolling motor on high with my Pro Guide batteries, and I just covered as much water as I could. I found a couple of good fish today that really helped me." Jones said his first event on Ouachita left him impressed with the fishery. "There are 1 1/2- to 3-pound fish everywhere. I really enjoyed it." For his victory, Jones earned $20,726 and a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard motor. Blaylock improves to second After two days in third place, Stetson Blalock of Benton, Ark., gained one spot to finish second with 49-Although he lost a big fish at the boat, third place pro Cary Bever hauled in a huge kicker.6 and a check for $7,047. Flipping beds had produced well for him all week, and while his 14-7 was a solid effort, he reported struggling throughout the day. "I thought I could do better today, but it just got tough on me," he said. "I stayed in one area where I thought big fish would keep coming up, but today they just didn't." Days one and two saw Blaylock enter limits weighing 19-10 and 15-5. He caught all of his bass sight-fishing with a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Berkley Chigger Craw. "The fish don't like anything in their beds, but when it has (Berkley) Powerbait in it, it's pretty good." Notably, Blaylock's younger brother Keeton won the Co-angler Division. Bever winds his way into third Coming form 25th place on day one, Shane Long pushed his way up to a fourth place finish.Cary Bever of Rhinelander, Wis., moved up three spots from sixth place on day two and finished third overall with 47-13 and $4,974. On the weigh-in stage, Bever was very vocal about the pain of pondering how heavy his sack could have been. "With 15 minutes left, I lost one that was 6 pounds right at the boat, and I just ran out of time," he said. If fate offers any consolation, Bever's limit included another 6-pounder-plus that did not pull the slip. This and most of his other fish fell for a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 jerkbait in the Ghost Pearl Ayu color. Long lands in fourth In fourth place, Shane Long of Sarcoxie, Mo., had 47-11 and earned a check for $4,145. Long caught his fish by flipping beds with a Lucky Strike USA Guido Bug and a Lucky Strike USA Fighting Craw. Long said he caught about eight keepers today - one of which rewarded his diligence. "The first fish I hooked this morning was hooked on the outside of the mouth, and I lost him," Long said. "Luckily, Lord willing, I came back to that spot this afternoon with about 45 minutes left, and IFlipping a Sweet Beaver all week led Keith Green to a fifth place finish. caught that same fish in about five minutes." Best of the rest Keith Green of Arkadelphia, Ark. finished fifth with 45-5 for $3,731. Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the FLW American Fishing Series Central Division event on Lake Ouachita: 6th: Cody Bird of Gransbury, Texas, 45-2 7th: Roy Hawk of Salt Lake City, Utah, 44-2 8th: Brandon Rhoden of Grapevine, Ark., 43-15 9th: Dennis Bean of Hot Springs, Ark., 42-11 10th: Roger Harp of Huntsville, Ark., 40-7

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/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

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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Hicks Tops Co-angler Field on Erie

At 8:30 a.m., Justin Hicks turned to the camera boat following him and Jared Rhode – who split the day-two lead with Dave Lefebre – and said: “I sure would like to win this.” Eight hours later, the young man from Roanoke, Va., lifted the first place trophy at the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. 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 »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

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 »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

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 »

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Hunting Erie’s Brown Fish

It’s going to be an Easter egg hunt on Lake Erie, but at least the great lake will behave a little better during the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event than it did during practice. READ MORE »

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Smallmouth Slugfest on Tap at Erie

Florida pro Glenn Browne leads the race with 492 points, largely due to his win at the previous divisional event on Lake Champlain. Following well within striking distance are Canadian pro Cory Johnston (484 points) and Louisianan Gerald Spohrer (483), who found his way into the Northern Division quite incidentally. 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 »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

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

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

/news/2015-08-21-ramie-races-into-the-lead

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 »

/news/2015-08-21-forrest-wood-cup-day-2-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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