UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Browne leapfrogs Thrift as smallmouth bite suffers

Pro leader Glenn Browne holds up two nice Fort Loudoun largemouths he caught Friday.

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. - Glenn Browne has been fishing the FLW Tour with considerable success since 2004. He's notched several top 10s, but he's never quite sealed the deal at a tour-level event. Tomorrow he'll have a prime opportunity with the smallmouth bite on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes petering out. The Ocala, Fla., native is targeting largmouths in shallow, dirty water. If he's not flipping grass, this is Browne's preferred fishing style. He found one 5-acre bay in Fort Loudoun Lake that seems to be replenishing. Browne described it as a large flat that sits in 2 to 3 feet of water. "I just figure they're going in to spawn," he said. "I'm trying to catch them while they're coming in." Tournament leader Glenn Browne flips down one of his most productive banks. Browne isn't sight-fishing. Instead he's mainly flipping a 4-inch Gambler tube (black/neon) with a 5/16-ounce weight around downed pine trees. This morning he noticed some shad activity on a nearby riprap bank and stopped to explore. "The shad are starting to spawn. I actually caught my first two on a spinnerbait this morning. I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. I think I'll spend a little more time on that riprap." Browne is nervous in part because he caught only five keepers today. On day one he caught 10 keepers and yesterday he caught nearly 15. His five Friday weighed 13 pounds, 14 ounces and pushed his total weight to 47-13. "I think my area is running out. But it only takes a few good bites. I bet three of mine today accounted for over 11 pounds. If it gets cloudy they might get looser to the cover and it might help." Thrift second Bryan Thrift slipped to second after catching a 10-pound, 5-ounce limit Friday. Slipping one spot to second was Shelby, N.C., pro Bryan Thrift. Thrift was only able to catch one spawning smallmouth (on a Damiki Hydra) in Tellico today. He eventually switched it up and filled his limit with little largemouths before ultimately culling with a swimbait-tricked smallie. His limit weighed 10 pounds, 5 ounces - by far his lightest of the tournament. In his quest to go back to back, he'll start the final day 1 pound, 6 ounces behind Browne with 46-7. "I'm glad to make the top five," said the Lake Norman champion. "You can't win unless you're fishing all four days." Thrift foul-hooked a 3 1/2-pound smallmouth yesterday that he had to return to the lake. He was hoping to catch it again, but it was nowhere to be found. In fact, his entire smallmouth area was basically vacant of fish. "I don't think I have any left so I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow. I don't even know what lake I'm going to fish." Grigsby third Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby sits in third place with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 5 ounces.Much like Thrift, Grigsby had his primary smallmouth area run dry and had to switch up completely and fish for largemouths. But unlike Thrift, he worked backwards - starting on largemouths until the sun came up. "I had one smallmouth on bed," Grigsby said. "But I couldn't see it because the big cruisers churned up the water. Where I'm fishing the bank is clay and once these big boats come by the water turns to mud. You just can't see." All the fish Grigsby weighed were largemouths; they registered 11 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught them flipping everything from docks, to bluff walls to lay-downs. One came on a swimbait off a point. He lost a 4-pound-class largemouth on a shaky head, which he says would have changed his entire day. "I'd be really pumped if I had that fish. That would have changed everything. I would have fished for smallmouths the rest of the day - dirty water or not." Grigsby says blindcasting is an option, but you basically have to drag the bait across the middle of the bed for it to bite. He'll start tomorrow 3 pounds, 8 ounces off the lead with 44-5. Coulter fourth Knoxville, Tenn., pro Brandon Coulter finished the opening round in fourth place.Local Knoxville, Tenn., pro Brandon Coulter finished the day in fourth place after catching four bass worth 11 pounds, 12 ounces - bringing his total weight to 40 pounds, 5 ounces. Coulter is catching most of his fish on a Rebel P70 Pop-R. "These fish are so shallow if you throw anything in there they will spook off," Coulter explained. "So I'm doing my best to quietly place the Pop-R where everyone else would pitch a jig. "These fish are spooky because they want to go spawn but they can't because the water is so low. When they're in a foot of water they can't help but look up." Coulter never lost any hooked fish, but as is usually the case with a topwater, he had several come up and nip at it. While the Pop-R accounted for three of his four keepers, his biggest bass came on a Quake & Shake, a ChatterBait-style lure. "I caught that fish five minutes into the day. I thought it was going to really be good but it died in the afternoon." Like many others, Coulter sight-fished for smallmouths early in the tournament. Being a local he's comfortable taking whatever the lake gives him. "I welcome the weather tomorrow. It may throw some of these guys off their game." Baumgardner fifth Count Chris Baumgardner as yet another pro who played the smallmouth game early and has recently switched to targeting largemouths. After catching limits of 14-5 and 10-15 on days one and two, Baumagardner managed 12 pounds even today. "I had to change up," said the Gastonia, N.C., pro. "I wasn't sight-fishing but those ones I caught the first two days were spawners." Today Baumgardner flipped a tube, threw a topwater and swam a jig. "I found a little shad spawn this morning around rock and docks. I had a real big one blow up my topwater early. It was probably 5 or 6 pounds. If you get a couple of those, you can make a move." Day four of the FLW Tour event on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Tellico Recreational Area Ramp.

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

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-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 »

/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 »

/news/2015-08-22-forrest-wood-cup-day-3-coverage

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-wheeler-hunting-history

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-forrest-wood-cup-day-1-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-17-elkins-looked-deep-on-erie

Elkins Looked Deep on Erie

Matt Elkins of Spencerville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. For his victory, Elkins earned $5,337. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-17-manson-targets-shad

Manson Targets Shad

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 8 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Manson earned $5,205. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-lieblong-dominates-dardanelle-rayovac

Lieblong Dominates Dardanelle Rayovac

Having lead the event for two days, the pro from Conway, Ark., carried a 14-ounce lead into the final round. After weighing a limit of 12 pounds, 2 ounces on day three, Lieblong closed the door with a tournament total of 46-3 and a 2-pound, 2-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-smith-takes-co-angler-title-at-dardanelle

Smith Takes Co-Angler Title At Dardanelle

READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-dardanelle-midday-update-day-3

Dardanelle Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-14-lieblong-holds-on-to-lead-at-dardanelle

Lieblong Holds On To Lead At Dardanelle

Current events proved perplexing for Jason Lieblong, even though he retained his lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event on Lake Dardanelle. The pro from Conway, Ark., topped the day-one leaderboard with 19 pounds, 10 ounces, but saw his second day’s productivity slip to 14-7 for a total weight of 34-1 and a 14-ounce lead going into the final round. READ MORE »