Meyer moves ahead, Nixon lurking

Pro leader Cody Meyer holds up two nice spotted he caught Friday on Lake Lanier.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A quick look through the FLW Outdoors history book reveals an interesting pattern. Every other year, a young Western pro claims the Forrest Wood Cup - the richest championship in bass fishing. And at the halfway point in the 2010 Cup, pro Cody Meyer is doing his best to continue that trend. Despite the impressive results, Meyer said day two on Lake Lanier was much more difficult. On day one, he was mostly targeting suspended fish. But on day two, he returned to some of his better areas and saw a blank screen on his graph. "They kind of vanished," Meyer said. "It was weird, I didn't catch a single fish the way I did yesterday. It was the same type of stuff but they weren't up (in the water column). I had to fish mostly new areas and all of it was on the bottom around brush. I only had seven bites and I missed two. Thank God the five that I got in were all keepers. It was brutal at times." Meyer finished the day with a weight of 13 pounds, 3 ounces, bringing his two-day total to 27-6. Like most in the field, the Grass Valley, Calif., native is working a drop shot on the lake's lower end. He is using a 1/4-ounce dropper weight, an 18-inch leader and his bait of choice is a Jackall Cross Tail Shad in baby bass color. He hooks the Shad with a No. 2 Roboworm Rebarb hook so he can fish the bait weedless through the brush. Meyer took third at last year's Forrest Wood Cup and felt that he let the title slip through his fingers. Numerous times this week he's mentioned that he still thinks about that tournament every day. Clearly it's motivating him and when you pair motivation with talent, good things are bound to happen. "I'm stoked big time to be leading but we've got two more days. And I don't really have anything saved. Second-place pro Larry Nixon holds up a Lanier spot that weighed nearly 5 pounds.If I can put myself back in position it would be awesome." Nixon also seeking revenge Just like Meyer, Chevy pro Larry Nixon felt he had a legitimate shot to win last year's Cup on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa. And like Meyer, Nixon has wasted no time getting back in contention. After catching a 12-10 limit on day one, Nixon caught 13-8 on day two, the heaviest stringer of the day. He finished the opening round with 26 pounds, 2 ounces. "Today I had perfect conditions," said the General. "We had lower light until 11 and that made a difference. They stayed shallow and they bit this morning. My goal was 12 pounds a day and I'm above that so I'm pleased." Nixon is being tight-lipped about the details of his presentation. He told the media this afternoon that he would reveal more at the conclusion of Saturday's weigh-in. But every so often, he'll make a reference to being comfortable reading his electronics and dangling a drop shot. That sounds like what everyone else is doing but Nixon curiously prefers cloud cover. If he was fishing brush, it would make more sense to want bluebird skies. Nixon also said he had an unbelievable practice - catching quality bass at will on a Texas-rigged worm. At times it was so good that he could call his shot. And that was when the jet skis and recreational boats were out in full force on Saturday and Sunday. "I'm just dying to win this tournament. I've always wanted to win the Forrest Wood Cup and I've been close two times, but it always alludes me. I want that trophy before I retire. It's about the only one in bass fishing that I don't have." Pro Jason Christie sits in third place with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 1 ounce.Christie third After a surprisingly good opening day, Oklahoma pro Jason Christie fell back a bit Friday. After catching 14-8 on day one, he came in with 10-9 today. "I only had five keeper bites," Christie said. "The fish just didn't set up like they did yesterday." What Christie saw yesterday on his graph was a dome-like image of spots and baitfish surrounding a brush pile. When he comes across this scenario, the fishing has always been fantastic. But he only found one spot like that today. And it wasn't a spot that produced any fish yesterday. At 10 a.m., he didn't have a keeper in the livewell. Then he found the golden dome and had a limit by 11:30. Once he left that area, he never got another bite the rest of the day. "I probably hit 25 waypoints and fished 15 real hard. But if I hadn't hit that one spot, I wouldn't be standing here interviewing with you all. "It's weird; this is kind of like Guntersville where you look around to see where everybody else is fishing. Because you don't want to go to a spot that has just been hammered. It's all about finding spots that are rested and have been left alone." Christie is also employing a drop shot. But he's added a little bit of power fishing to this tried-and-true finesse presentation. In other words, he's Okie'd it. "I use a big 1-ounce weight because as soon as I see a fish on the graph I drop it down immediately. I want it to be a reaction strike." Christie is adding a 4-inch Yum Dinger (watermelon) on his drop shot. If he's around brush, he rigs it Texas style. If he's not, he'll rig it wacky. Jason Meninger boats his first fish of day two.Meninger fourth Local Gainesville, Ga., pro Jason Meninger rose from sixth to fourth on the strength of an 11-pound, 14-ounce limit. Amazingly, that sack came from only five keeper bites. "It was a real grind, I probably caught a keeper every two hours or so. That was basically the deal. I'm happy to have a limit but I had one squeaker that I couldn't get rid of. If that would have been a 4-pounder, I would have been right where I wanted." Meninger said he's been fishing from the Chestatee River down to the dam. On day two, he spent more time in the dam area. He still visited 40 to 50 spots. "I fished pretty much all new stuff. And I caught all my fish today on the bottom in 25 to 42 feet." Meninger said the key to his success is stopping on the right places at the right times and making subtle adjustments in his drop shot setup. His bait, a Jackall Flick Shake 4.8, usually stays the same. But just about everything else changes. "I change my leader lengths, my colors, my weights - everything based on the conditions. That's the thing about Lanier, the conditions constantly reposition and change the mood of the fish." From the day Lake Lanier was announced as the site of the 2010 Cup, Meninger has been focusing on first making and then succeeding on his home fishery. "I'm in contention and that's all you can ask. I'll be real excited if I get to fish Sunday." Kevin Hawk fights his fifth keeper to the boat.Hawk limits, falls to fifth Falling from first to fifth was Buford, Ga., transplant Kevin Hawk. The former California resident managed10-3 today after whacking 14-12 yesterday. "I started out in the same creek and gave it about an hour but I just saw vacant brush piles (on his graph)," Hawk said. "I moved to some other fresh spots and found some fish, but it was mainly a struggle. I thought the bite would keep improving as the afternoon wore on but that wasn't the case." Yesterday Hawk mainly used a Fish Head Spin but today all seven of his keepers came on a drop shot and a 6-inch Roboworm. Hawk said some were suspending but when he'd drop his bait down they'd follow it to the bottom. "Today concerns me. After yesterday I was 100 percent confident, but now I'm shaking; I'm worried. I'm going to have to fish fresh water tomorrow for sure." When Hawk reaches one of his GPS points, he'll line himself up and then intently stare at his electronics. "If I don't see any fish, I'll make one drop right in the middle of the brush and then leave. If I see fish, then I'll make four or five drops and work around the brush." Today he visited 45 to 50 areas whereas yesterday he reached 35 to 40. "I thought running more spots would be better, but I'm kind of second guessing that right now." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Forrest Wood Cup: 6th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., 24-5 7th: Ronald Hobbs Jr. of Orting, Wash., 24-3 8th: David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., 22-9 9th: Brian Travis of Conover, N.C., 22-6 10th: Troy Morrow of Toccoa, Ga., 22-6 Day three of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. Eastern time from Laurel Park, located at 3100 Old Cleveland Hwy. in Gainesville, Ga.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-lanter-wins-on-rend-lake

Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

READ MORE »