It’s Lamar by far

Leading the Texas Regional from day one, Lamar University's Danny Iles and Matt Morrison won by a landslide on Sam Rayburn.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Quality and quantity - that's often an either-or deal for tournament fishermen, but Lamar University's Danny Iles and Matt Morrison got plenty of both en route to a dominant wire-to-wire victory at the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Texas Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn Lake. The duo began their campaign with a day one weight of 17-14 and a 12-ounce lead over their closest competitor. On day two, they added the event's biggest catch - 21-0 - and extended their lead to 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Catching the only full limit of the final round, Iles and Morrison, sacked up 12 pounds, 6 ounces for a three day total weight of 51-4. Prevailing by a margin of 8-15, the Lamar anglers won $25,000 for their college and a Ranger 177TR and engine for their bass club. "Our goal coming in was to win it and we managed to accomplish that," Iles said. Despite the big lead they carried into day three, plus their limit catch in the final round, Morrison said heA midday adjustment delivered big results for the Lamar University anglers. wasn't ready to celebrate until he got the official word. "I didn't know what anybody else had, so I was sweating it the whole time," he said. "Yesterday, we got our limit fairly quickly, but today we didn't get out full 6-fish limit until about an hour before check-in time." With a cold front arriving on the event's opening day, anglers faced strong north winds that limited where and how they could fish. Day two brought classic post-frontal conditions - high pressure, clear bright skies and less wind. That should have been the worst day of fishing, but it actually saw the greatest productivity across the board and the Lamar team got a big chunk of that action. Matt Morrison loads one of Lamar UniversityOvernight temperatures dipped into the upper 30s and the final day saw the wind switch to the south. That change threw the proverbial monkey wrench into many game plans, but Iles and Morrison played the hand they were dealt, determined a necessary adjustment and ended up as the only team to catch their full limits each day. "We really struggled today, but about 12:30, we figured something out and we caught what we needed to catch," Iles said. "During practice, we caught them on a (weightless, Texas-rigged) Strike King Ocho (stick worm). Today, they didn't really bite the Ocho, but we caught them on a Strike King Caffeine Shad. "The fish had pulled out from the grass and they were hanging out around the stumps in the shade. We'd throw next to a stump and catch one. We caught some little ones and then we caught our keepers doing that." The Lamar anglers caught four of their keepers on the Caffeine Shad, one on a spinnerbait and one on a Texas-rigged Zoom Ol' Monster worm in redbug. "We made a big run today - we burned a tank of gas," Iles said. "We picked a lot of different places and hit them." Texas A&M rises to second Andrew Shafer and Paul Manley, the Texas A&M anglers who won the 2009 Western Regional, made aPaul Manley and Andrew Shafer moved Texas A&M up two notches to finish second. strong run at the repeat, but come up short with a second place total of 42-5. Nevertheless, starting day three in fourth place with 28-2 - compared to Lamar's 38-14 - the A&M anglers put together an impressive performance with the largest catch of day three - 14 pounds, 3 ounces. "Especially being 10 pounds behind going into day three, and to be in 12th place after day one and then climbing all the way to second - it was a good comeback." Manley started out throwing a swim jig early and then switched to a Ribbit and a Horny Toad. Shafer worked the same chatterbait he's thrown all week, and upgraded later with a Spro Frog. "The lack of wind hurt our bite some," Manley said. "We never got a morning bite at all. I wasn't able to catch a fish until 12:30. It picked up in the afternoon, but we made a move about an hour too late." University of Texas-Tyler slips to third Matthew McClellan and Tyler Fisher moved the University of Texas-Tyler into the second place position A lack of big bites dropped Tyler Fisher and his University of Texas-Tyler partner Matt McClelland to third place.on day two, but gave up one spot on the third day. Their tournament total was 42-2. McClellan and Fisher found big fish on the first two days and caught the tournament's second heaviest bag (20-12) on day two. The final day saw them coming up one fish shy of a full limit and with five fish weighing 9-6, the big bites clearly did not happen for them. "The first day, we had a 5-pounder and the second day we had a 5-pounder and a 6-pounder," Fisher said. "Today, we just never got that bite. We never got a chance at it. "I think the big difference was that the first two days we had winds out of the north and that positioned the big fish. Today, the wind was out of the south and that didn't put the fish in the classic spots where it was easier to catch them." The anglers started their day fishing Rat-L-Traps over points and then switched to throwing Spro frogs over lily pads for big bites. Unlike the first two days, the pads yielded nothing today, so they weighed only the smaller fish that they caught on Traps. LSU Shreveport improves to fourth LSU Shreveport's Zach Caudle and Joe Landry placed 14th on day one with a four fish bag weighing 9-13. A day later, they stormed back with a full limit of 17-3 that pushed them into the top five. AnchoringLSU Shreveport barely squeaked into the finale, but Joe Landry and Zach Caudle brought in another big bass that weighed nearly 6 pounds.

that catch was Caudle's late-day bomb - an 8-pounder that hit a Strike King Redeye Shad. On day three, Caudle again struck pay dirt, this time with one that went close to 6 pounds. Caudle caught the big fish on a Texas-rigged 10-inch worm in standing timber. "I'm a good guide," Landry joked. "I told him to cast there. We were heading to an area of shoreline grass, but we had to pass through this timber to get to it, so I told Zach to cast in there and he caught that big fish." LSU Shreveport ended up catching two more keepers in the standing timber. Their 3-fish bag of 10-7 gave them a fourth place total of 37-7. Stephen F. Austin settles in fifth Ryan Watkins and Blaze Platt of Stephen F. Austin struggled on the third day and caught just three Blaze Platt and his Stephen F. Austin partner Ryan Watkins had the big bites, but they lost several big fish in the lily pads.  keepers. With a total tournament weight of 36-15 they yielded two spots and ended with a fifth place finish. Representing the hometown school with class and determination all week, the anglers started the day 8 pounds off the lead. Their plan was to devote their entire day to throwing Spro frogs for big fish in lily pads. On day two, they had found fish super shallow, so day three saw Watkins push poling the boat in as far as possible. They got their shots at pad giants, but unfortunately, most came unbuttoned. "We were in a position where we had to go big or go home," Watkins said. "The opportunity was there. We had them on. That's just the way it works out, but we're happy to be where we're at so we can't hang our heads about that." Platt said it was tough watching their chance slip away, but knowing that they put themselves in position to score big brings some consolation. "I broke off an 8-pounder, but we'd rather have the opportunity to win and lose it than to have never had the opportunity."

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/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 »