UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Wilson wins on Sam Rayburn

Pro Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas, picked up his first EverStart Series win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He earned $29,409 plus a Ranger boat, motor and trailer.

JASPER, Texas - The third time really is a charm, at least for pro angler Kris Wilson, who won the EverStart Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir today with a two-day weight of 34 pounds, 9 ounces. The Montgomery, Texas, pro has entered this event three years running, and Saturday he rocketed from 13th place to the top of the leaderboard for the victory.

Wilson, a pipeline controller, has only fished in three FLW Outdoors tournaments in his angling career. In 2009, he fished the EverStart Texas event on Sam Rayburn and placed 26th; the following season, he fished the event again and placed 21st. On his third try in 2011, he sealed the deal.

Strong, consistent bass fishing is really what brought Wilson his win, but if he had a charm, it was his EverStart Series pro Kris Wilson used this 7-11 largemouth to help propel him to a win on Sam Rayburn and pick up the Big Bass award worth $230.green-pumpkin Big Bite creature baits.

"I caught every single fish this tournament on a Big Bite creature bait," he said, adding that he fished it on a Carolina rig.

Yesterday Wilson caught a five-bass limit weighing 15-5 to add to his 19-4 limit today, which was anchored by a 7-11 kicker that earned him the day's Big Bass award and an additional $230 to add to the $29,409 plus a Ranger boat package including motor and trailer that he earned for the win.

"Yesterday I struggled; I only caught about seven (bass)," he said. "Today I caught a bunch - 15.

"I started in the spot I caught `em best yesterday ... and caught the big one on the outside edge of the grass in about 7 feet of water at about 9 a.m."

Wilson said he was running to about 20 spots across "the entire lake," focusing mostly on grass points and some pockets. He burned about 30 gallons of fuel each day. He fished a Bass-N-Bucks tournament on Sam Rayburn last weekend and then practiced every day this week up until the start of the tournament (the only day he didn't fish was the opening day of the tournament Thursday, which was canceled due to dangerous conditions that accompanied a frigid cold front).

"I feel great," he said of his first FLW Outdoors win.

Johnston runner-up

Pro Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, placed second on Sam Rayburn with 10 bass, 32-8, $10,083.Sam Rayburn stick Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, added another EverStart Series trophy to his collection today with a runner-up finish worth $10,083. In EverStart Series competition alone on Sam Rayburn, he has notched five top-10 finishes including a win in 2007.

"I just really slowed down today," he said. "I didn't have a bite until about 10 a.m."

Johnston caught a 16-2 limit Thursday and a 16-6 limit today for a two-day total of 32 1/2 pounds.

"We really fished about six different places from the south end all the way up to the 147 Bridge," he said, adding that he targeted scattered grass in about 6 to 8 feet of water.

Johnston alternated between a Cyclone jig with a Venom pork chunk and a Strike King Series 5 XD crankbait, a new bait, to catch his bass this week. He said he ripped the crankbait through scattered grass and occasionally caught some staging on the outside edge of the grass.

Erwin earns third place

Pro Joe Erwin of Claremore, Texas, placed third with 10 bass, 31-11, $8,403.Third place in the Pro Division and $8,403 went to Joe Erwin of Claremore, Okla., for a two-day total weight of 31-11. He weighed 14-9 the first day and 17-2 today, both limits.

"I caught every one of my fish on a Kinami (lipless rattling crankbait colored red and yellow)," he said.

Erwin prefished with his oldest son and found one good spot on a flat in the midlake area where he fished "in between grass patches" in 2 1/2 to 5 feet of water.

"It was the only place I got a bite," he said.

Erwin is a Walmart BFL Okie Division stalwart with seven top-10 finishes including a win. This week marks his first EverStart Series top-10.

Bebber breaks top 10 in three consecutive seasons

Pro Charles Bebber of Willis, Texas, placed fourth with 10 bass, 30-10, $7,562.Willis, Texas, pro Charles Bebber scored his third-consecutive EverStart Series top-10 finish on Sam Rayburn, a routine that began in the Texas Division in 2009. He also made the top 10 last month at Choke Canyon, putting him in second place in for the race for the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Texas Division.

Bebber targeted grass in drains in 3 to 5 feet of water to sack a 17-1 limit Thursday and a 13-9 limit today, giving him a total weight of 30-10. He earned $7,562 for fourth place. A power-fisherman at heart, he slowed down his presentation to find success alternating between a Carolina rig (2-foot leader) with soft plastics from Big Bite Baits and a Lucky Craft LVR D-7.

"It ended up being a power kind of deal," he said of fishing the Carolina rig shallow to catch most of his fish. "I was moving I pretty good."

Bebber wouldn't divulge his hot spots on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which he considers his home water, but said his Power-Pole shallow-water anchor was invaluable to access his areas.

Eschete falls a place to fifth

Coming in fifth was pro Ronnie Eschete Jr. of Thibodaux, La., with a two-day total of 30-9 (18-3 limit Pro Ronnie Eschete Jr. of Thibodaux, La., placed fifth with 10 bass, 30-9, $6,722.Thursday, 12-6 limit today). He earned $6,722.

Eschete fished the Jackson Hill area on the north side of the lake this week and found his best success in a spot approximately 200 yards long. He fished an XCalibur rattle bait in water anywhere from to 2 to 8 feet deep, keying on grass.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros to finish the EverStart Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir:

6th: Bert Thompson of Benton, La., six bass, 29-14, $5,882
7th: Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, eight bass, 29-12, $5,042
8th: Claude Rabb, Vidalia, Texas, nine bass, 29-2, $4,201
9th: Michael Yoder, Texarkana, Ark., 10 bass, 29-0, $3,361
10th: Kevin Lasyone, Dry Prong, La., nine bass, 26-5, $2,521

Coming up

The next EverStart Series Texas Division event will take place March 17-19 on Toledo Bend at Hemphill, Texas.

Tags: patrick-baker  headline-story  2011-02-10-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

/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-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 »

/news/2016-02-04-okeechobee-day-1-coverage

Okeechobee Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2016-02-03-5-key-areas-on-okeechobee

5 Key Areas on Okeechobee

There are many well-known areas on Lake Okeechobee that are commonly talked about around the docks before and after each event, but five key spots in particular will certainly play a role in this week’s Walmart FLW Tour opener. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-03-5-to-watch-on-okeechobee

5 to Watch on Okeechobee

This year, the Big O is giving the 169-boat field a different look than they’ve seen in past years in the form of high, dirty water. The odds could favor the locals more than in years past, though the caliber of skill among the entire field is over the top. Really, it could be anyone’s tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-02-scouting-the-big-o-with-wesley-strader

Scouting the Big O with Wesley Strader

Wesley Strader is known and admired for his unique wit and constant cheer, but his consistency is what has been the true hallmark of his successful fishing career. Last week, that consistency paid off with the first big win he’s had since 2002 at the B.A.S.S. Open on the Kissimmee Chain in central Florida. Now he’s got his eye on starting the Walmart FLW Tour season on the right foot a few hours south at Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-okeechobee-practice-with-scott-martin

Okeechobee Practice with Scott Martin

Scott Martin is heading into the first Walmart FLW Tour event of the season with a full head of steam. After earning what might be the first of many Angler of the Year titles in 2015, he gets to kick off the year sleeping in his own bed and fishing Lake Okeechobee, the place where he grew up and where he has caught more than 50 bass weighing more than 10 pounds. READ MORE »