Long learns the ledge game

Pro leader Brent Long has a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 51 pounds, 3 ounces.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Coming into the FLW Tour finale on Lake Guntersville, pro Brent Long had had a difficult 2010 season. In fact, his highest finish to date was an 80th-place showing on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes. But with each Guntersville brute he boats, he slowly erases those bad memories. And in the process, he's learning to love deep ledge fishing. Admittedly a shallow-water angler, Long arrived in northern Alabama knowing that he at least needed to try fishing deep. After all, that's where summertime tournaments are traditionally won. After averaging approximately 20 pounds per day in practice, Long was steadily gathering confidence. He whacked 25 pounds, 11 ounces on day one and followed that performance up with another 25-8 today. Pro leader Brent Long waits to weigh his fish Thursday."I didn't get nearly as many bites, but the big ones were still there," said the pro leader. Long had some unexpected company on his best spot this morning. After catching quick a limit on an underwater point, he runs to a specific hump for upgrades. But today he couldn't get on it right away. He anxiously lingered nearby and in a few hours it was his turn. "I get a limit every morning worm (Zoom Ole Monster) fishing. Yesterday I had that limit in 6 casts; today it took me an hour. And even when I got to fish my best stuff it wasn't fast and furious. I only caught eight keepers there for a total of 13 on the day." This hump Long fishes is located at the mouth of a creek. It's horseshoe-shaped and approximately 100 yards long. If possible, he prefers to work the deep side of it. "It's next to a river ledge and it's loaded with big fish. Tomorrow I'm boat No. 2 so I'm going straight there and I plan to fish it all day. I know that if I leave it, someone else will get on it." Like yesterday, all of his five worm fish were eventually culled. One of his weigh fish came on a Norman DD22 crankbait, one on a hand-tied (Ernest Langley) 3/4-ounce football head jig with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin-Tail grub and the rest on a Strike King Shadalicious swimbait. Second-place pro Mark Rose holds up one of his five keepers from day two on Lake Guntersville.Rose also runs into traffic Just like Long, pro Mark Rose wasn't able to get on his best deep-water spot. But he was able to scramble around and cobble together another hefty limit (24-8). "It was just kind of a fish or two here and there," said Rose, who has a two-day total of 49-15. The Marion, Ark., pro said he sampled 12 different areas altogether, but only three of them have real quality. He described his pattern as "basic old ledge fishing." But in reality it's anything but. Over the past five years Rose has become infatuated with the deep ledge bite - analyzing every piece of shell and rock he can find. This week on Guntersville, he's trying to make precise casts to the deepest sides of the ledge corners. He starts with a Strike King 6XD rattling crankbait and he follows up with the same 6XD only in the Silent model. He says the two baits are great for quality, but not so much for quantity. "My partners are catching way more fish than I am. And that's frustrating because I like catching fish as much as the next guy. But this bait is absolutely the key to getting the bigger bites so I'm going to continue to take my chances with it." Moynagh rises to third Third-place pro Jim Moynagh celebrates after weighing in a 21-pound, 3-ounce limit.Like Rose, pro Jim Moynagh has become obsessed with the ledge game. Despite living in the Twin Cities, Moynagh has a TVA track record that will make even a Tennessee River rat blush. Although he's never been to Guntersville in the summer, he's quickly learning that its ledges aren't all that different than Kentucky's or Pickwick's. After catching 23-3 yesterday, he brought in 21-3 today for a total of 44 pounds, 6 ounces. "I fished the exact same way I did yesterday," Moynagh said. "I used a 3/4-ounce All-Terrain Tackle jig all day. The only difference was that some of the places that weren't firing yesterday produced better today. And some of the better ones yesterday didn't produce today. To fish these ledges effectively, you have to have quality electronics and my Vexilar Edge 3 is top notch." Moynagh fishes his jig close to the break if not on it. He usually casts to the shelf and drags down. But if it's a certain stretch he has a lot of confidence in, he'll reverse that and fish it deep to shallow. "We're halfway in, so my chances are way better than they were two days ago. But I don't feel like I'm in a great position because I don't have that many spots. What do I do if they're all taken up?" Combs fourth Keith Combs never got what he calls a "big bite" but he still managed to bring in a 21-pound, 12-ounce lKeith Combs of Del Rio, Texas, is in fourth place after day two with 44-1.imit Thursday. Combs' five keepers were all book-end 4 1/2 pounders. At the halfway point in the tournament, his total weight sits at 44 pounds, 1 ounce. "It was slow this morning; in fact it was pretty much just one here and one there all day," said the Del Rio, Texas, native. Combs is fishing points and ledges with a variety of lures. He positions his boat in approximately 25 feet of water and casts to about 10. Each area he hits has a few sweet spots and if you can hit them just right, they are almost guaranteed to produce. "These places have shells and hard bottoms. But there is something key down there. I don't know if it's a stump or a rock, but when you hit it hold on because you're about to get a bite." Combs cranks a Strike King 6XD Silent Stalker when he first arrives on an area. Then he cleans up with a 3/4-ounce Oldham's jig. He also mixes in a new prototype bait from Power Tackle called a Lateral Perch. Combs didn't want to go into detail about this new bait, but he did say it fishes like a jig. "I've got a short day tomorrow and that worries me because I haven't had any good mornings. It would be awesome to make the finals and fish with just five boats." AOY all but Thrift's After catching a 21-pound, 2-ounce limit Thursday, pro Bryan Thrift has Angler of the Year all but sewn up. With a 21-point lead, Bryan Thrift was in good position to win Angler of the Year heading into the Lake Guntersville event. He was in even better position after catching 22 pounds, 1 ounce on day one. After catching 21-2 on day two, Angler of the Year appears to be nothing more than a formality. So much for the drama we experienced each of the past two years. While many of the pros are jockeying for position on main-river ledges, Thrift is fishing the bend of a creek-channel ledge. And so far, he hasn't seen another competitor come anywhere close to him. "I started the day cranking, then I backed off and threw a jig," said the Damiki pro. "Later in the day I caught some on a frog and some on a new Damiki Mega Miki worm." Thrift claims he hasn't shifted his mindset from AOY to winning the tournament. In fact, he's not thinking about either. "I don't really think about stuff like that. I just want to catch five of the biggest ones I can tomorrow. If that gets me AOY great. If that's enough to make the cut than even better." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros on day two at Lake Guntersville: 6th: Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, 41-9 7th: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., 41-8 8th: Luke Clausen of Gainesville, Ga., 41-5 9th: Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., 41-2 10th: Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., 40-15 Co-angler leader John Jacobs has a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 39 pounds, 9 ounces. Jacobs worms his way to co-angler lead Co-angler John Jacobs has never won an FLW Tour event and he's entered plenty of them over the years. But after catching limits of 20-5 and 19-4, he's in the driver's seat with only one day left and a 3-pound, 9-ounce lead. The Birmingham, Ala., native fished river ledges with Mark Rose yesterday and flats with Mark Hardin today. The bite started slowly this morning but got better as it went on. With 20 minutes left, he caught a hefty 5-pounder, his biggest bass of the day. Jacobs said most of his fish are coming on big worms. "I'm almost 73 years old, so you better believe I want to win one," he said. "Not just for the money but for the prestige of it all. That being said, I'm just going to relax and fish. When you think about it too much you lose your focus and miss bites." Also in Jacobs' favor is the fact that his partner tomorrow is Thrift, the hottest pro on the planet. Mike Devere is second in the Co-angler Division with 36 pounds even. Rest of the best Rising to second place for the co-anglers was Berea, Ky., native Mike Devere, brother of FLW Tour pro John Devere. Mike caught a limit today worth 20 pounds, 3 ounces, bringing his two-day total to 36 pounds even. "I'm a jig fisherman and I caught all of them today on a 1/2-ounce Cumberland Pro football-head. For a trailer, I used a Zoom Big Salty Chunk." Devere had no fish at 11 a.m. He then changed areas and within an hour he had his limit. From noon to check-in, he culled and handful of times. In third was Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., with 34 pounds, 9 ounces. Bae registered 21-5 Thursday, the heaviest stringer of the tournament thus far among the co-anglers. Moo Bae is third in the Co-angler Division with 34 pounds, 9 ounces."I caught more yesterday than today, but they weren't the right size," said Bae. "Today I got the right bites." Bae employed jigs and worms and said the bigger they were, the better they worked. Slipping one spot to fourth was Chad Hillis of McMinnville, Tenn. After catching 19-4 yesterday, Hillis managed 15 even today. With a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces, Chuck Bellerby III finished the day in fifth place. Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers on day two at Lake Guntersville: 6th: Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, 33-2 7th: Van Roy Foster Jr. of Dalton, Ga., 32-0 8th: Adam Lock of Metropolis, Ill., 31-15 9th: Eric Schultz of Minnetonka, Minn., 31-9 10th: Billy Brindle of Calhoun, Ga., 31-9 Day three of the FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville will begin Friday at 6 a.m. at the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park located at 7966 Alabama Hwy. 227 in Guntersville, Ala. The first flight checks in at 1:30 p.m., but because of the hot weather, anglers can weigh their fish as early as noon.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-day-1-patterns-from-the-college-open

Day 1 Patterns from the College Open

The Northwest Missouri State University team of Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almontadi took the day-one lead in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. While their pattern seems to be effectively refined – they were using only one lure and had no others out on the deck – Nordbye and Almontadi don’t have this one sewed up yet. The rest of the top five is just a few pounds behind the leaders. Here’s how they made it into contention going into the final day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-gautney-under-pressure

Gautney Under Pressure

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Guntersville is just as misty and nasty as the first. Lucky for us, the first day of the Mercury-presented event featured huge catches throughout the field. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-college-open-day-1-midday-update

College Open Day 1 Midday Update

“You should have been here yesterday” might have been the motto for the first day of fishing in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. Though many of the 194 teams entered in the two-day event out of Moor’s Resort & Marina reported good to excellent practices, many of the same anglers were complaining about a lack of fish on opening morning of the competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-gautney-cranks-up-the-lead

Gautney Cranks Up The Lead

Gautney says he keyed on staging fish in several very specific locations and one specific depth. He and co-angler Antoni Bicy caught 59 pounds, 8 ounces off of his spots, and he seems confident about his ability to keep catching them the rest of the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Guntersville was a welcome departure from the grumblings of practice. Though fans weren’t treated to multiple 30-pound limits on the pro side, like at the Walmart Bass Fishing League event at Guntersville a couple of weekends ago, it still took more than 25 pounds to get into the top five on day one of this Mercury-presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-morrison-wins-on-dale-hollow

Morrison Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Charles Morrison of Georgetown, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Morrison earned $3,926. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-hughan-claims-arkie-division-title-on-greers-ferry

Hughan Claims Arkie Division Title on Greers Ferry

GREERS FERRY, Ark. – William Hughan of Little Rock, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Greers Ferry Lake. For his victory, Hughan earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-bridwell-takes-opener-on-cherokee

Bridwell Takes Opener on Cherokee

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – Jason Bridwell of Gray, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division tournament of 2015 on Cherokee Lake. For his victory, Bridwell earned $5,127. READ MORE »