Michels wins wire to wire

Pro Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., took home the EverStart Series tournament title on Lake Shasta.

REDDING, Calif. - Just how dominant was Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., this week on Lake Shasta? So dominant that the California pro need not have weighed in today to capture the EverStart Series tournament title. When all was said and done, Michels turned in an incredible three-day catch of 36 pounds, snatching victory with more than 8 pounds to spare. Needless to say, Michels was more than happy with his incredible performance - one not seen on Lake Shasta in quite some time. "Believe it or not, I did break a sweat today," joked Michels shortly after securing his anticlimactic victory. "I only caught 6 pounds today and coming back to weigh-in I started doing the math in my head. I was really worried about (second-place qualifier) Rob Bass because I knew where he was fishing and I know that his area was definitely capable of producing 14 pounds. But it was great to get a win. Although this is my second EverStart title (Michels also won the title on Lake Mead in 2007), this one is sweeter because it was in front of my hometown, friends and family." While the pre-tournament conventional wisdom suggested that it was going to be extremely difficult to catch bass in the 3- and 4-pound range, Michels stunned the crowd time and time again by bringing three monsters to the scales over the course of the event weighing anywhere from 5 pounds, 15 ounces to 7 pounds, 3 ounces. And obviously anytime an angler can routinely net fish of that size on Lake Shasta it's going to be noteworthy. "I got real fortunate this week," said Michels. "Out of the 30 pounds of fish I caught the first two days, 18 of those pounds came on three fish. Getting those three big bites really helped me." Pro Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif.,used an incredible three-day catch of 36 pounds to win the EverStart tournament title on Lake Shasta.Michels said that he targeted spotted bass on points and steep rock walls with a combination of 6-inch Mother's Finest worms, Dry Creek tubes and Yamamoto Senkos throughout the week. "Basically I targeted points for my big fish pattern and rock walls to get my smaller limits," he said. When all was said and done, Michels said he couldn't have been happier with the way the week went. "It just feels great," he said. "It's nice to get a victory and it's a heck of a payday as well." For his efforts, Michels won $35,000 in cash plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard valued at $25,000. Dobyns grabs second place Pro Richard Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., finished in second place overall at the EverStart event on Lake Shasta.Although Richard Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., finished in second place overall, the California pro was seemingly as surprised as anyone over his good fortune. Although Dobyns had a phenomenal opening round of competition - netting a 13-pound, 6-ounce catch on the first day of the tournament - his bite really tailed off over the next two days. As such, heading back to the weigh-in scales today, Dobyns was resigned to a top-five finish. But what Dobyns didn't count on was the fact that the entire top-10 would struggle mightily as well on the day that mattered most. "I'm still humbled, still frustrated and still stressed out," said Dobyns, who turned in a total catch of 27 pounds, 15 ounces to grab the runner-up spot. "It's been a brutal last couple of days. Today, I only had one fish in the boat at 1 p.m. and my co-angler partner had already culled about 10 times. But I managed to run up river and scratch out a limit. Coming back, I was just hoping to finish in the top five. But to finish in second place, that's unbelievable. I'll take it." Dobyns said that used a Yamamoto Senko and 6-inch green pumpkin Robo worm to land the majority of his catch. Although Dobyns initially targeted spotted bass hanging out on flats, rocks and deeper cuts in the 40- to 50-foot range, he was forced to abandon that strategy in the finals and run up the Sacramento River in an effort to just get a limit. But whether it was by design or a little bit of luck, Dobyns eked out a second-place finish during crush time. "It was humbling but I had a great week considering everything that happened," said Dobyns. "It was a great tournament overall and I had a lot of fun." For his efforts, Dobyns walked away with $12,000 in prize money. Milligan snares third place Local stick Jason Milligan of Shasta Lake, Calif., ultimately parlayed a 27-pound, 1-ounce catch into a third-place finish worth $10,000 at the EverStart Lake Shasta event.Local stick Jason Milligan of Shasta Lake, Calif., ultimately parlayed a 27-pound, 1-ounce catch into a third-place finish worth $10,000. "I fished my very first bass tournament on Lake Shasta when I was 8 years old and have been hooked ever since," remarked Milligan on how far he's come over the years as a bass angler. "I was around a lot of quality fish this week, but I had a hard time getting those big bites. I really had to grind it out. But overall, I'm pretty happy." Milligan said that he used a combination of wacky-rigged Senkos and a "light" Carolina rig equipped with a Damiki Air-Pocket worm to land the majority of his catch. "I basically targeted flats with isolated rock piles throughout the week," he said. "That's where I had most of my success. But you really had to be patient." In the end, Milligan said he was more than pleased with the final outcome. "Like I said, overall, it was a good tournament," he said. "It feels really good to finish in third place against 150 of the best anglers in the West." Meyer moves up the ladder to claim fourth Pro Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., leapfrogged five spots in the finals to finish the EverStart Series event on Lake Shasta in fourth place.After squeaking into the top-10 cut by a mere 9 ounces, EverStart Series pro Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., had nothing really to lose. And, to his credit, he made the most of the opportunity - leapfrogging five spots on the leaderboard to finish the tournament in fourth place. "I had a great time," said Meyer, who ultimately recorded a 26-pound, 5-ounce catch. "Trying to come back from a 13-pound deficit was a big hill to climb but I was pretty happy with my performance. I just came out here to catch a lot of fish and I had a great experience overall." Meyer said that he targeted spotted bass gravitating to rock piles in 15 to 25 feet of water. He also said that he threw a combination of Phenix jigs and jackal flick worms to land the majority of his catch. "I'm pretty excited about finishing in fourth place," he said. "I'm still kind of amazed." In the end, Meyer netted $9,000 in winnings for his efforts. Almassey grabs fifth place On the strength of a three-day catch of 25 pounds, 8 ounces, pro Charley Almassey of Oakley, Calif., managed a fifth-place finish at the EverStart Lake Shasta event.On the strength of a three-day catch of 25 pounds, 8 ounces, Charley Almassey of Oakley, Calif., managed a fifth-place finish. "I love this lake, especially this time of year," said Almassey. "During this tournament I wound up doing a little bit of everything. I started off each day fishing shallow with Senkos and then I'd switch up later in the morning and go deep. Then the fish would start moving shallow again, and I'd move back with them. It was a fun tournament." For his efforts, Almassey netted a check for $8,000. Best of the rest Pro Young Yang of Los Angeles, Calif., finished the EverStart Lake Shasta event in sixth place.Rounding out the top-10 pro finalists: 6th: Young Yang of Los Angeles, Calif., 24-10 7th: Howard Hughes of Redding, Calif., 23-15 8th: Rob Bass of Redding, Calif., 23-1 9th: Ken Phillips of Antioch, Calif., 22-6 10th: Jim Hawkes of Apache Junction, Ariz., 18-3 EverStart Series Western Division action resumes Feb. 17-19 on Lake Roosevelt in Payson, Ariz.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/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 »