All-American champion lined it up

Boater Troy Morrow of Toccoa, Ga., caught a three-day total of 38 pounds, 13 ounces of bass to win the 2010 BFL All-American on DeGray Lake and $120,000.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Sometimes practice really does make perfect. Just ask boater Troy Morrow, who ran away with the 2010 All-American title with more than 8 pounds to spare by sticking to the successful patterns he found before the BFL championship began this week on DeGray Lake. Morrow left his home in Toccoa, Ga., in time to allow himself seven practice days on central Arkansas' DeGray Lake leading up to May 17, the start of the off-limits period ahead of the All-American. After just four and a half days, he had 92 waypoints plugged into his Lowrance GPS unit and enough confidence in both the shallow and deep patterns he had developed that he decided to go home. "This lake fit me to a T," he said. "Early in my practice, I could go down the shorelines and get 20 pounds easy - almost for the fun of it." Morrow said he loves fishing jigs, but figured by the time the tournament kicked off May 27, it would be a contest won deep. He quickly switched it up and started honing in on a pattern that he applies on his home water of Lake Hartwell, another fishery with blueback herring as a primary baitfish. "I practiced ahead of what the fish were doing," he said. "I fished out deeper to find a different pattern." What he found was myriad locations with brush piles submerged in anywhere from 18 to 25 feet of Troy Morrow caught five-bass limits over the first two days and finished up Saturday with four bass for 8-11.water in the midlake area of DeGray. That way he could catch them with a fluke-style topwater bait over the brush in the mornings, and then transition to deeper fishing with crankbaits (Spro Little John DD), which landed most of his kicker fish, or plastic worms (NetBait T-MAC). "I like to fish jigs, but I could never get them to bite," he said. "But I love to fish deep, so it all worked out." Morrow proved these methods Wednesday during the official practice day and went to work from there. He caught five-bass limits over the first two days of the tournament for 13 pounds, 12 ounces and then 16-6, and he finished up the event Saturday with four bass for 8-11, giving him a three-day total of 38-13, worth the first-place prize of $100,000 plus a $20,000 Ranger bonus. Morrow - who said he works in construction, tree removal "or whatever it takes to get me to the next tournament" - doesn't lack confidence, a trait that served him well at the 2010 All-American and his him looking ahead. "Needless to say, I won't be working for a while ... I just happen to live 35 miles from Lake Lanier (site of the Aug. 5-8 Forrest Wood Cup, for which he qualified via his All-American win)," he said, revealing the widest smile he'd shown onstage all week. Watkins winds up second Despite being a veteran bass angler, boater Tee Watkins of East Point, Ky., was fishing in his first All-American this week and placed second with a three-day total weight of 30 pounds, 12 ounces.As the end of the weigh-in approached, the only boater left among the top 10 who had a chance of catching Morrow was veteran bass pro Tee Watkins of East Point, Ky. But after a second-day surge, he couldn't repeat his success Saturday, weighing only three fish for 5-6, giving him a three-day total of 30-12 and a runner-up check for $20,000 plus a $10,000 Ranger bonus. "I stayed shallow and managed to get a good bite some of the days," he said, adding that he fell victim to the fickle nature of the bass he'd patterned today. "I had the fish to win it, and I just missed a few - especially that big one on day one." Watkins' primary pattern was swimming a 3/8-ounce black/blue Pro Cast jig made by Cumberland Pro Lures with a black/blue Berkley Critter Chunk on points along a six-mile stretch in the midlake area. Boater Keith Green of Arkadelphia, Ark., finished third with 13 bass over three days for 30-8 and $16,000. Green climbs to third Keith Green of Arkadelphia, Ark., is a DeGray Lake veteran, and he used his local knowledge to put four bass in the boat today for 9-4, giving him a three-day total of 30 1/2 pounds worth $16,000. Like many anglers this week, Green had trouble keeping his bass buttoned. "I did have the opportunity, but they rolled on my bait today," said Green, who pushed his FLW Outdoors career earnings to over $180,000 today. "I was fishing a topwater most of the week, but that's what happens - it's fishing." Darby improves to fourth Boater Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark., placed fourth with 12 bass, 29-6, for $21,000. Another local favorite with a strong cheering section, boater Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark., add three bass to his tourney tally Saturday for a three-day total weight of 29-6 worth $14,000 plus $7,000 in Ranger Cup earnings. Darby told a familiar tale: "I had two big ones pull off. I was fishing a (Carolina) rig, and the bite was so alive, they just came off." (Seventh-place boater Brandon Palaniuk would later describe DeGray's bass as a combination of Evel Knievel and Harry Houdini because "they are daring enough to bite anything, but somehow they all get loose magically.") Threadgill sews up fifth place Fifth place and $13,000 went to Jason Threadgill of Norwood, N.C., the only boater to manage a five-bass limit on the final day that bolstered his three-day weight of 29 pounds. "I made a few bad decisions, but all in all is was a great week," he said. "The first two days were kind Jason Threadgill of Norwood, N.C., placed fifth in the Boater Division with 14 bass, 29 pounds, $13,000.of stressful, but today I just went out and fished. I got five; I couldn't ask for more. "I had some deep fish (that he caught on brush piles), and when that bite died out, I'd go to the bank and flip bushes." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 boaters to finish the All-American presented by Chevy on DeGray Lake: 6th: Richie Eaves of Nauvoo, Ill., 13 bass, 27-1, $17,000* 7th: Brandon Palaniuk, Rathdrum, Idaho, 10 bass, 23-11, $15,500* 8th: Shonn Goodwin, Moore, Okla., 12 bass, 20-15, $10,000 9th: Ty Garrett, Pulaski, Tenn., nine bass, 20-13, $9,000 10th Jason Grape, Southside, Ala., six bass, 19-4, $11,000* *includes Ranger Cup bonus

Tags: headline-story 

/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 »