New day, new ‘do, new leaders

Will White and Jeff Bumgarner of NC State sacked up the heaviest catch of the tourney - a whopping 22 pounds, 4 ounces to take over the lead.

RALEIGH, N.C. - When NC State's Jeff Bumgarner and Will White came to the stage for day two of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Northern Regional Championship on Lake Jordan, they brought a little less and a lot more. Apparently, both changes helped them take the lead by a huge margin. Okay, first the obvious stuff. After placing fourth on day one with 9-13, Bumgarner and White more than doubled their productivity by sacking up the event's heaviest catch - a team limit that weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces. Anchored by Bumgarner's pair of 6-plus-pounders, the massive bag gave NC State 32-1 and a lead of 7-8 over day one leaders Joe Kinchen and Tyler Teer of UNC Charlotte. Now, the less obvious. When asked about what his team changed for day two, White shared this little gem: "We made one big change and it was last night. I was lying in bed and I decided to call brother and IJeff Bumgarner loads one of his two 6-pounders for NC State. said `You want to give me a Mohawk?' He said `Absolutely.' So he came downstairs and gave me a Mohawk." Lifting his hat, White showed off his new `do. Whatever it takes. FLWOutdoors host Jason Harper inquired about the aerodynamic benefits of White's hair style. The response was perfect: "I'm not sure what it does but it obviously attracts 6-pounders." White said he and Bumgarner caught most of their day one fish on plastics but they switched gears and caught their day two bass on reaction baits. Both days, the anglers fished what they called "unnatural rock" - rip rap, shoreline rubble and anything other than the lake's natural bedrock. The presence of baitfish indicated a promising area. "Today they were still on rock; just a little shallower than yesterday," White said. "We were marking a lot of NC Statebait but there was not a lot of surface activity because it was so windy. I don't think this is what most people typically think of when they think of fall, but for me, this is definitely a fall pattern to find what we were fishing." NC State impressive day was even more impressive given that mechanical problems forced them to come to the dock for a midday repair. Even with this disruption, they managed to keep the fires stoked. "We caught them pretty much all morning but we had to come in around noon to get a trolling motor changed out," Bumgarner said. "After that we just said `We're going to go back out and have some fun.' We knew we had a good weight in the boat but we went back out and I caught another 6-pounder and then we came in about 30 minutes early. We caught seven fish and culled one. It was just one of those days when every bite counted." Looking ahead to Saturday's final round, White said he's confident that his team has plenty of options remaining: "We didn't fish any of our day one spots today, so if (our day two) fish stop biting, we have a backup pattern. But I think this pattern will hold up so we should be okay." UNC Charlotte slips to second They took the top spot on day one with a solid limit of 15-3, but day two was less generous for Kinchen andDay one leaders Tyler Teer and Joe Kinchen of UNC Charlotte slipped to second on day two. Teer. In the second round of competition, the UNC Charlotte anglers caught five for 9-6 and moved to second place with 24-9. "We had a tough time today," Kinchen said. "Everywhere we caught fish yesterday we couldn't catch them today, so we just had to adjust on the water. We actually had a very similar pattern as yesterday. We just adjusted by going to different spots. We didn't catch any keepers off our primary spots. "I think it was the fishing pressure. A lot of teams that knew we were in first place we actually saw them stacked up in some of our spots. So right off the bat, all of our good spots were already being hit." Kinchen and Teer held their cards low when discussing the types of spots they fished. Generally, they noted that a specific combination of factors has determined where they've been fishing. Kinchen said they fished moving baits and they also fished targeted presentations. "We were using multiple lures, but the pattern is more about what they're on," Kinchen said. Holding steady at third place, Christopher NewportTeer said he and Kinchen have some spots identified, but they're also actively looking for that ideal scenario that has delivered for them thus far. "We're just going down the lake and whatever we think is going to be good is what we fish." Kinchen summarized it this way: "It's junk fishing with a pattern." Christopher Newport remains at third Statistically, Christopher Newport's Ryan Ingalls and Joe Wilkerson have been the tournament's most consistent team. They have bagged their 6-fish limits both days, they've had the smallest difference between their day one weight (11-8) and day two weight (10-5) and they've held the third place spot both days. Their two day tally is 21-13. Wilkerson said he and Ingalls used finesse baits early and switched to moving baits later in the day. Things got off to an agonizingly slow start, but once the day's bright conditions influenced the lake, the game took a turn for the better. "We got two 12-inchers on finesse baits by 12 o'clock," Wilkerson said. "Then about 12:30 or 1 o'clock, the bite turned on with the moving baits and that's when we caught the other four fish. I think once the sun got up the afternoon bite turned on." Ingalls said that perseverance was critical. "I think the key was not giving up when we only had two 12-inchNC State fish at 12:30. I was really, really mad. But then we caught one and then moved back to the area where we caught most of our fish yesterday and it all came together." NC State'sDziwulski and Beverly fall to fourth Giving the hometown school double representation in the final round, NC State's Ben Dziwulski and Kevin Beverley saw their productivity drop off for day two. After catching five fish for 11-11 on day one, they bagged just four fish for 9-12 today and fell two notches to fourth with 21-7. "It was slow, but it really wasn't any slower than it was yesterday," Dziwulski said. "We missed a couple of key opportunities in the morning. Kevin fought a fish all the way to the boat and the hook broke. If we had capitalized on a couple of those missed opportunities, we would have had just as much or more than yesterday." However, Dziwulski said he and Beverley remain optimistic about their chances of repeating their 2009 Northern Regional victory. Noting that the finicky Lake Jordan bass are probably still a little out of sorts with the recent cold snap, he's confident that day three will find them more cooperative. "The fish are there - they haven't gone anywhere," he said. "The shad is still there so their food source is there and it's just a matter of if we put them in the boat and everything comes together. Virginia Tech"As ridiculous as it sounds, the potential for 25-30 pounds is there. During practice, I was going out there and catching 15 pounds on my three fish and then catching 17 pounds the next day. That was hitting spots and leaving - that wasn't milking them. Tomorrow could be a fun day." Dziwulski and Beverley have been catching their fish on moving baits. Virginia Tech holds on to fifth place spot Remaining in the fifth place position that they claimed on day one with 9-9 Carson Rejzer and Jody White of Virginia Tech added 11-8 today and secured their final round berth with 21-1. "It was pretty scattered," White said of the day's sporadic action. "We got a couple in the morning but the afternoon was better for us. We didn't catch a lot of fish today, but we got the right bites."Six-year-old Morgan Eberly gave an amazing performance of the national anthem. Morgan Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 leaders at the Western College Regional Championship: 6th: John Reading and Adrian Avena of Chestnut Hill College, 18-13. 7th: Wyatt Blevins and Michael Freas of Virginia Tech, 13-15 8th: Matthew Conners and Tyler Vaughn of Radford University, 13-8 9th: Corey Straight and Corey Hill of West Virginia University, 11-12 10th: Tyler Beam and Eric Self of UNC Charlotte, 11-8 Day three of FLW National Guard College Fishing Series action continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) at Ebenezer Boat Ramp located at 2882 Beaver Creek Road in Apex, N.C.

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/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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

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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 »

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Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

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/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 »

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Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

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/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 »

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Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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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 »

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Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

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/news/2015-04-19-top-10-patterns-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »