UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Home-lake Hawk leads Lanier

Pro Kevin Hawk of Ramona, Calif., shows off his first-place catch of 14 pounds, 12 ounces during the opening round of 2010 Forrest Wood Cup competition.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - For 78 of the best bass pros in the world, day one of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup felt like an oven. Temperatures soared into the mid-90s, and the bite, which was OK during practice, took a turn for the worse. But a few anglers dialed in on Lanier's nomadic spotted bass. And not surprisingly, the leader after day one was a local. But unexpectedly, he doesn't have the surname Mann or Meninger.

Lake Lanier transplant Kevin Hawk qualified for the Cup via the 2009 FLW Series Western Division. With berth in hand, he moved east and fished the 2010 FLW Tour as a co-angler. When he wasn't away on Tour, he was spending all his free time on Lanier learning how to catch its magnum spots. On day one, it paid off to the tune of a 14-pound, 12-ounce stringer.

"I hit my best big-fish spots today," said Hawk, who is originally from Ramona, Calif., and practices with National Guard pro Brent Ehrler. "I know these places are going to get beat up pretty good, so I wanted to go and capitalize early."

Pro leader Kevin Hawk speaks with the media shortly after the day-one weigh-in.Hawk said he sampled 35 to 40 areas today. Depending on the spot, he'd make approximately five to 10 casts and then move on. He's targeting brush and timber in the middle and bottom of the water column. He described his strategy as running hard and fishing slow.

"It's a matter of fishing enough spots to come across a few better fish. Some are positioned on the top (of the structure), some on the sides and some on the bottom. It seems like in the morning they're higher up."

Hawk caught 12 keepers on the day, all of which came on a white, 1/2-ounce Fish Head Spin. He had his limit by 10:30 a.m. and all of his weigh fish by noon. If not for an 8-ounce dead fish penalty, his lead would be even greater.

"Fishing this lake as much as I do, I had a good understanding of what was going on. But I was shaking off a lot of fish, so I didn't exactly know what to expect weightwise. I thought maybe I was on about 12 pounds. I just knew I wanted to catch as much as I could today."

With his year-long journey finally coming to fruition, the 31-year-old Hawk momentarily reflected.

"I'm pretty pumped right now, but I realize it's only day one."

Christie stunned with second-place sack

After catching a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces, pro Jason Christie sits in second place.In second place is Park Hill, Okla., pro Jason Christie, who caught a limit of spots worth 14 pounds, 8 ounces. A noted shallow-water fisherman, Christie was pleasantly surprised with his day-one performance.

"I was averaging probably 9 or 10 pounds a day in practice, and those are 15-hour days," he said. "But I caught a 2 1/2-pounder right off the bat, and that gave me some momentum. From there I just about caught one everywhere I stopped; I think I finished with nine or 10 keepers. But as good as it was today, I'll tell you right now that I could not get a bite tomorrow and it wouldn't surprise me."

To see Christie fishing in 35 feet of water with finesse tackle is a rare sight. In fact, today was the first tournament limit he ever caught on a spinning rod. His bait of choice was a 4-inch Yum Dinger, which he fished wacky style with a nail weight pushed in the side.

"I'd drop it down, and as soon as I'd pick it up they'd be there. I think these are reaction bites, because if I don't catch them right away, that's it.

"For some reason I think they moved deeper today. They say the thermocline is right around 30 feet, but these were just below that. I don't even know how they get oxygen down there."

Since winning the American Fishing Series event on Lake of the Ozarks back in 2007, Christie has successfully established himself as a top-end Tour pro.

"It's a mind-set. I now really believe that I can compete with these guys. I've led - that's a three-letter word - several times, but I want to win at this level. And the Cup would be a good one to win."

Kenney third

Third-place pro JT Kenney holds up two nice spotted bass.JT Kenney may be best known for his flipping prowess on Lake Okeechobee, but he's making a statement this week that he's a well-rounded angler. With an eye on his electronics and drop-shot in hand, he's making even the best finesse fishermen blush.

"I got this nickname, the Flipping King, so everybody thinks I only fish shallow," said Kenney. "But I like fishing deep; I like using a drop-shot and looking down at my graph. And I've made three or four cuts fishing that way.

"Today actually went according to plan for a change," he added. "I started on some shallow fish, and then I moved down the lake and fished deeper stuff."

Kenney weighed all spotted bass, but his first spot in the back of a cove was supposed to be a largemouth area.

"In practice they were largemouths, but today they were spots. Believe me, I was largemouth fishing."

Of the five Kenney weighed, two came from shallow water. In total, he culled five or six times. When he's probing deep water, the Palm Bay, Fla., pro is drop-shotting with either a Gambler Stud or a Berkley hand-poured finesse worm. The baits are working fine, but the key to his deep-water pattern is closely monitoring his graph.

"I think I know what it looks like when the fish are feeding."

Cody Meyer brought some of his western spot-catching know how to Lanier to catch 14-3 for fourth place on day one.Meyer fourth, Defoe fifth

After finishing third at last year's Forrest Wood Cup, pro Cody Meyer is once again in contention. Using his vast spotted bass experience on Western lakes like Shasta and Oroville, Meyer caught a limit worth 14 pounds, 3 ounces. With one perished fish, his raw weight was 14 pounds, 11 ounces.

"Lanier is very similar to Shasta and Oroville," said the Grass Valley, Calif., native. "The fish are suspending in 20 to 25 feet over water 50 to 70 feet deep."

Meyer is alternating between a swimbait and a drop-shot with a Jackall Cross Tail Shad. Between the two, he managed a total of 10 keepers - the biggest weighing 3 1/2 pounds. Like Hawk, he shook off so many fish during practice, he wasn't sure what kind of quality he was around. Interestingly, his practice partner, JR Wright, is leading the Co-angler Division with 12-5.

"I bounced around a lot today, but I have two spots that produced the best."

Meyer is using last year's Cup as motivation in the humid, 95-degree heat.

Ott Defoe ran his tunnel-hull aluminum far up into the rocks of the Chattahoochee River to catch 13-10 on day one for fifth place"I was so close; I think about that tournament every day."

While Meyer fished deep main-lake structure, fifth-place pro Ott Defoe ran 25 miles up the Chattahoochee River and fished in ankle-deep water. Certain stretches of the river are loaded with treacherous rock, so Defoe has had to switch out his normal tournament boat for an 18-foot tunnel-hull aluminum.

"I was very fortunate today," said the Knoxville, Tenn., pro. "I caught a 3 1/2-pounder on my fifth cast. I didn't catch another one until 11, but it was a 3-pounder too."

Despite catching several shoal bass, Defoe weighed only spots. He said even the spots position themselves like normal river fish on current breaks.

"The nice thing is that I have the area all to myself, and I don't have to finesse-fish."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Forrest Wood Cup after day one:

6th: Jason Meninger of Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 13-3
7th: Brian Travis of Conover, N.C., five bass, 13-2
8th: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., five bass, 12-10
9th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., five bass, 12-9
10th: David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 11-14

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. Eastern time from Laurel Park, located at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway in Gainesville, Ga.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2010-08-05-forrest-wood-cup 

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-profile-jeremy-lawyer

Profile: Jeremy Lawyer

A year ago, Jeremy Lawyer endured a harsh reality as the door to a Forrest Wood Cup berth slammed shut on his runner-up finish at the BFL All-American on Kentucky/Barkley lakes. Flash-forward to June 11 and the boater from Sarcoxie, Mo., saw life come full circle with his All-American win on Barkley. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-poffenberger-found-the-right-four

Poffenberger Found the Right Four

Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned $4,684. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-ohio-s-poffenberger-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-buckeye-division-event-on-ohio-river

Ohio’s Poffenberger Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Event on Ohio River

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (July 18, 2016) – Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned... READ MORE »