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/2015-06-29-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. Wendlandt suffered a mechanical failure with his rig just a couple of hours into competition that prevented him from running his big motor on plane. He was stuck, more or less, and planned to fish with the trolling motor as best he could before being towed back to the ramp early. If it’d played out as planned, Wendlandt would have lost significant fishing time and probably wouldn’t have weighed in a limit. Fukae would let nothing of the sort happen when he came across Wendlandt on the water and heard what had happened. In 16th place and fishless at the time, Fukae insisted that Wendlandt trade boats, effectively ending his tournament and giving Wendlandt the chance to catch 14 1/2 pounds and maintain his lead with a three-day total of 47-02. 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 »