UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Aaron leaves field ‘in the wind’ at Wheeler

Chad Aaron of Ethridge, Tenn., leaves the competition in the wind after day one at Wheeler Lake with a whopping 21-12.

DECATUR, Ala. - With a 20- to 25-mph northwest wind howling straight down the front stretch of Wheeler Lake and a strong current pushing against it, the sight from Ingalls Marina in Decatur looked more like Lake Champlain this afternoon.

As the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational weigh-in got rolling, it was evident the wind had taken its toll on the catches. Pros who toted five-bass limits to the bank felt like they had won the battle against Wheeler. For a long while it looked as if the 13-pound range would be the mark to beat on such a blustery day.

Then Chad Aaron of Ethridge, Tenn., dropped an astounding 21 pounds, 12 ounces into the scales, and for a brief moment even the wind seemed to lie down in awe of such a feat.

"A little redemption, finally!" exclaimed Aaron, who qualified for the event through the Southeast Division of the AFS. "This was my first season fishing these, and my performance has been terrible. And this week things got even worse."

Aaron is referring to an auto accident he was in Tuesday afternoon when his boat was completely knocked off the trailer by another vehicle.The wind had Wheeler Lake whipped up into a mini Lake Champlain today.

"I've had to borrow a boat; then this horrible cold front came in - the whole nine yards. So to finally catch a big bag of fish makes me feel a little better anyway."

Aaron now has a 7-pound lead going into day two.

Naturally, Aaron was hesitant to give up many details of his catch, but it's obvious he is on some tremendous fish as he took pro Big Bass honors with a 5-pound, 10-ounce largemouth, and his co-angler also took Big Bass honors in his division with a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass.

"I have one primary area, and I've got six little sweet spots within it," Aaron said. "I left that primary area about 9:30 this morning with a pretty decent limit and still managed to upgrade a couple of times while checking a couple of other backup spots."

In terms of his technique, all Aaron would let on is this: "It's my absolute favorite way to fish; I have the utmost confidence fishing this way - there's nothing else I'd rather be doing than the way I'm fishing here right now."

Snider second
Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky., is in second place after day one with five-bass weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces.
Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky., is in second place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces.

Believe it or not, despite the high winds, Snider held his place on offshore ledges to catch his fish today.

"I fought 3-footers coming over the bow all day," Snider said. "Ironically, the thing that really helped me was the fact that they were pulling the current so hard and it was going the opposite direction of the wind, so I could hold my position a little better.

"I'm just dragging a ¾-ounce jig out there," Snider continued. "The thing that helps the most is going to light line - 12-pound-test fluorocarbon - because it does not catch the wind and current near as bad as a 15- or 17-pound-test. I probably went through three limits of fish today on 12-pound-test."

When asked if he would like to see the wind calm down, Snider actually said no.

"That wind is keeping everyone off the ledges, and I'd just prefer to keep it that way," Snider said. "I'll endure 3-footers as long as I can have those ledges to myself."

Golden third
Pat Golden of High Point, N.C., is in third place after day one with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces.
Pat Golden of High Point, N.C., is in third place with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces.

Golden started the day on schooling fish, which are chasing shad. But once the shad left, so did his fish.

"Once the sun got up high, I could literally watch the shad schools leave the little cove I was fishing and head for deeper water," Golden said. "And after the shad left, all we could catch was catfish and drum."

Golden is also fishing a backup pattern in extremely shallow water. He noted if the water falls any more, his backup pattern could be in jeopardy.

Voyles fourth
John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., grabbed the fourth place spot after day one with five-bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces.
John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., grabbed the fourth-place spot after day one with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces.

Voyles is running about 16 to 18 spots that are somewhat protected and out of the wind.

"Most of the places are fairly shallow," Voyles said. "I'll spend 5 to 15 minutes per spot and then keep moving. I did repeat on a couple of banks. At one point I started covering some new water and my co-angler caught a couple of 3-pounders, so I'll probably take a closer look at some of those places tomorrow.

"But the best part is I never saw any boats on any of my spots today," Voyles continued. "So I'm pretty excited to get out there tomorrow and fish again."

Boyd fifth
Rounding out the top five is Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., with a five-bass limit weighing 13-1
Rounding out the top five is Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., with a five-bass limit weighing 13-1

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational after day one:

6th: Jade Keeton of Florence, Ala., five-bass, 13-1
7th: Ryan Chandler of Hobart, Ind., five-bass, 12-8
8th: Donny Bass of Naples, Fla., five-bass, 12-6
9th: Mike Cox of Huntsville, Ala., five-bass, 12-1
10th: Don Dreiling of Garden City, Kan., five-bass, 11-13

Luxon leads co-anglers

Andrew Luxon of Richmond, Ky., sacked up 13 pounds, 6 ounces to take the lead in the Co-angler Division at Lake Wheeler. Andrew Luxon of Richmond, Ky., sacked up 13 pounds, 6 ounces to take the lead in the Co-angler Division at Wheeler Lake.

Luxon fished with pro Stephen Johnston and used a 1/2-ounce Cumberland Pro jig to do his damage.

"Jig fishing is what I love," Luxon said. "Whenever there's an opportunity to drag a jig, that's what I do. I finished second on it at Kentucky Lake this year, and it's working here, too."

Gregg second

Steve Gregg of Florissant, Mo., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces.

Gregg fished with pro John Voyles today and dragged a jig behind him for his catch.

"I have to thank John today," Gregg said. "He did all the work, holding the boat in the wind so I could fish."Steve Gregg of Florissant. Mo., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rest of the best

Co-angler Anthony Goggins of Auburn, Ala., is in third place with a five-bass limit weighing 10-15.

Antoni of Bicy of Lansing, Mich., is in fourth place with a five-bass limit weighing 9-14.

Greg Sorrell of New Hope, Ala., is in fifth place with a five-bass limit weighing 8-15.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational:

6th: Bill Kisiah of Muscle Shoals, Ala., five-bass, 8-13
7th: Donald Jason of Medina, Ohio., five-bass, 8-11
8th: Blase Frick of St. Louis, Mo., five-bass, 8-9
9th: Chris Weaver of Lawton, Okla., five-bass, 8-3
10th: Ed Dixon of Lake Placid, Fla., five-bass, 8-0

Day two of the American Fishing Series Invitational will continue Friday at 7:15 a.m. from Ingalls Harbor in Decatur, Ala.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2010-11-04-wheeler-lake 

/news/2016-02-09-lake-shasta-set-to-host-costa-flw-series-opener-presented-by-minn-kota

Lake Shasta Set to Host Costa FLW Series Opener Presented by Minn Kota

REDDING, Calif. – The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 18-20 for a tournament presented by Minn Kota when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Western Division. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-montgomery-targets-prespawn-bass-for-win

Montgomery Targets Prespawn Bass for Win

Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-top-10-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee

Oklahoma’s Bradley Hallman sewed up his first Walmart FLW Tour victory at the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats by pitching and punching reed heads in the South Bay area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Hallman stuck with his program despite up-and-down air temperatures, high winds and all the curveballs Mother Nature could throw at him. Here's how the rest of the top 10 got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-hallman-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Wins Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought just two bass to the scale Sunday totaling 6 pounds, 8 ounces, but it was still enough to earn the win at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s four-day cumulative total of 16 bass weighing 71 pounds, 2 ounces earned him the win by an impressive 14-pound, 14-ounce margin over second-place pro Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, and $100,000 in the tournament that featured 169 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing in the first FLW Tour event of the regular season. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-big-hall-man-on-okeechobee

Big (Hall)Man on Okeechobee

It was the Bradley Hallman show all week long at Lake Okeechobee at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. Though, the Norman, Okla., pro struggled on day four and brought in only two fish for 6 pounds, 8 ounces, he pulled off the wire-to-wire victory in his first event on Tour. The 13-pound, 9-ounce lead that Hallman built up through the first three days of competition was enough that he didn't actually have to weigh his fish today. Hallman's tournament total of 71 pounds, 2 ounces far exceeded the 56-04 caught by runner-up Alex Davis. For the win, Hallman earned $100,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-lake-okeechobee-day-4-coverage

Lake Okeechobee Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-montgomery-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-bulldog-division-opener-on-lake-eufaula

Montgomery Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-top-5-patterns-from-the-okeechobee-tour-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Okeechobee Tour Day 1

The Walmart FLW Tour has been coming to Lake Okeechobee for the better part of 20 years. And for a vast majority of those years, the north end of the lake has been the business end – where the business of fish catching is done. Today, that tradition was derailed in the first round of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Hendry County Tourism Development Council. Though some boats did sample the Harney Pond area up north, many of the normal fish-producing haunts such as the Monkey Box, Dyess Ditch and Fisheating Bay were complete ghost towns. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-leads-day-one-of-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Leads Day One Of Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Oklahoma pro Bradley Hallman, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 25 pounds even Thursday to grab the early lead after day one of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Right behind him in second place is renowned Okeechobee angler Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, who weighed in five bass totaling 22-8. Hallman now brings a 2½-pound lead into day two of the four-day READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-takes-the-lead-with-25

Hallman Takes the Lead with 25

The old saying is that the third time is the charm, but for Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla., it’s more like the first time is the charm. Hallman is fishing his first Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee. It’s the first day of the first Tour event of 2016, and Hallman sits in first place with 25 pounds even. Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman sacked up an impressive 25-pound limit of bass to take the lead on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour opener on Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »