UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

One-spot Long shot

For winning the FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville, North Carolina pro Brent Long earned $125,000.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - The pros said it time and time again - on the new Lake Guntersville you can't spot sit for an entire tournament. Those days are long gone - too much pressure, both from tournament fishermen and recreational anglers. But Brent Long didn't listen. He fished one little U-shaped ledge all four days of the 2010 FLW Tour finale and walked away with a first-place check of $125,000. Of the 20 fish Long weighed this week, 17 came from this one particular ledge, located at the intersection of Siebold Creek and the main-river channel. Each of the first three days he whacked 25-pound-plus stringers from the area, but day four was much different. "It's amazing; you never see a tournament like this won on such a small area," Long said. "But you could tell today that I had really pounded on them. I feel like I caught just about every fish down there. Brent Long holds up one of the last-minute fish that brought him victory at Lake Guntersville.And the ones I didn't catch are now well educated." During the first two days of the tournament, Long did not start on Siebold. Instead he fished a little ditch in the marina by the 431 Bridge. He'd assemble a quick limit worm fishing and then run over to his big-fish spot. But he was boat No. 2 on Friday and with the intense traffic, he didn't want to take any chances. After driving straight to Siebold, he never left - alternating between guarding and fishing. On Saturday, he took the same approach, but ended up resorting to his worm spot late in the afternoon. "At 12:15 I had three average keepers and I decided I had to take a risk and leave. I went and fished another area for 20 minutes without a bite. But then I kept thinking back to how it easy it was to get a limit in the marina. So at around 1 p.m. I ran in there and got five quality bites. I lost two, but it felt so good to go in and catch a few. In that last hour or so, I went from hero to zero and then back from zero to hero." Long's ledge arsenal was pretty standard fare. His two main baits were a Norman DD22 and a hand-tied Ernest Langley 3/4-ounce football head jig with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin-Tail grub. Unlike most competitors, Long burned the crankbait as fast as possible to generate reaction strikes from suspended fish. When the bass were schooling and chasing bait, he'd throw a Strike King Shadalicious swimbait. At his marina spot, he opted for a 10-inch Zoom Ole Monster in red plum. "The top of the ledge was 13 feet deep and the bottom was about 24," Long explained. "The bottom had baseball-sized rock, but the sweet spot was clean. In the morning, they were busting the surface. But Lake Guntersville champion Brent Long holds up his trophy.those usually weren't the biggest ones and eventually they settled back down. During the day, they kind of hung out and suspended on the sides. That's when I picked up the crankbait. When they weren't suspending I would slowly drag the jig." For Long, it was a great ending to what was, until recently, a disappointing season. Coming into Guntersville the pro winner had not accumulated so much as a penny in FLW Tour earnings. Even worse, he had a disappointing Bassmaster Classic and a lackluster BFL All-American. But in a matter of four days, those bad memories have been erased by Guntersville giants. "I came here with the sole intention of cashing a check. I wasn't fishing for points. I got exactly what I was after." For a total weight of 95 pounds, 7 ounces, Long earned $100,000. He also earned $25,000 from the Ranger Cup program. To add to the moment, his wife and two daughters drove from North Carolina to be in attendance. And his parents were tuning in intently via FLW Live. "I called my dad last Sunday and wished him a happy Father's Day and he said, `Thank you, but are you catching any fish?' And I said, `Yeah.' And he said, `Well, that's what I want for Father's Day.' I can only imagine what him and my mom are doing right now. She's probably laying on the floor fainted right now." Rose retains second On the strength of a 7-pound kicker, Mark Rose brought a 19-pound, 9-ounce limit to the scale Saturday Mark Rose holds up his kicker bass en route to finishing second at Lake Guntersville.to push his total weight to 87 pounds, 4 ounces. Over the past few years, Rose has become an excellent TVA ledge fisherman. He did his homework for Guntersville by spending several days of prepractice scouring ledges with his ridiculously large Lowrance units. That extra effort resulted in a stable of 15 different areas, located from the mid-lake region down to the dam, three of which Rose described as big-fish spots. "When we used to fish deep, we'd look for stumps and shells on our graphs. Now the technology is so good I look for schools of fish instead of just structure." Rose too used a variety of baits but his best was the Strike King 6XD (sexy herring color). He'd take a rattling 6XD and make precise casts to the deepest sides of the ledge corner. He'd then follow up with the same 6XD only in the Silent Stalker model. The baits were great for quality, but not for quantity. "My partners caught more than me all week, but I knew if I stuck with the crankbait I'd get a few bigger bites each day." And that theory proved accurate. Unfortunately, he lost his two big bites on day three, which could have been the difference in contending for the win. His second-place finish earned him $36,077. "I just try to work as hard as I can to be a student of the game." Fritts rises to third David Fritts caught a 21-pound, 3-ounce bag Saturday and moved up one spot to third. After catching a 28-pound stringer on day three, Lexington, N.C., pro David Fritts came back to reality Saturday with a 21-pound, 3-ounce catch. He finished the tournament with a total weight of 87 pounds, 2 ounces. His final-day limit came on a Rapala DT20 in Pearl Gray Shiner. "That bait is just phenomenal," Fritts said. "We worked on it for a long time and now it just catches huge fish. DT stands for David T. Fritts as well as Dives-To." Fritts' day-three stringer was caught Carolina rigging a Zoom Brush Hog in water 30 to 35 feet deep. The defending Lake Guntersville champion used a green pumpkin Hog, but dipped the tails in chartreuse so it mimicked a bluegill. "I have never had a piece of plastic get bit so hard in all my life.' Fritts fished from the lower end of the lake to above Waterfront (Tackle). For third place, he earned $27,010. Walker fourth Rising one place to fourth was Sevierville, Tenn., pro David Walker, perhaps the most consistent angler of the week. After sacking limits of 20-4, 21-4 and 21-12, Walker managed another five bass Saturday that weighed 20 pounds, 12 ounces to finish with 84 even. Walker employed a two-pronged approach on Guntersville. In addition to fishing ledges, he also flipped the outside grass line in water 5 to 8 feet deep. "Of the 20 I weighed, 13 came from offshore stuff and seven came from the grass," Walker said. "I didn't have that many ledges so I just hopped back and forth (between shallow and deep)." Both his ledges and grass were located in the Alred Islands area. He started every morning out deep, then would come up to the skinny water around 9 a.m. With enough light, he could see through the little pockets of grass. In the afternoons, he'd switch back to the ledges. "When I flipped, I used a 1-ounce jig with either a Chigger Craw or a Paca Chunk on 65-pound braid. I wanted a trailer with an erratic motion because 90 percent of bites came on the fall. "That grass grew a lot from two weeks ago during prepractice. In a few areas, it's really starting to top out." When ledge fishing, he used a big 12-inch worm and a crankbait. Today the crank accounted for a few key fish including two on back-to-back casts. His best spot was covered up early with boats so he adjusted and ended up working the 431 Bridge area. Del Rio, Texas, pro Keith Combs fell to fifth after catching a limit Saturday worth 15 pounds, 6 ounces.Combs falls to fifth South Texas expert Keith Combs brought his lightest stringer to the scale on day four. His five best weighed 15 pounds, 6 ounces - pushing his total weight to 82 pounds, 2 ounces. For fifth place, he earned $16,130. Combs fished a handful of spots near the mouth of Spring Creek. On his better ones, he positioned the boat in approximately 26 feet of water and threw up to about 12. His key baits were a Strike King 6XD Silent Stalker (chartreuse blueback), a 3/4-ounce Oldham's jig and a new bait from Power Tackle called a Lateral Perch. Saturday, the 6XD crankbait accounted for four keepers. He burned it extremely fast like Long and Rose. "The Silent Stalker gets down there quick and just eats the bottom up. If you were really grinding it hard and getting that deflection, you'd get a big bite." The final FLW Tour event is the Forrest Wood Cup, slated for Lake Lanier in Duluth, Ga., Aug.5-8.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-07-30-cioppa-leads-on-champlain

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »