Boyd bounces back for victory

Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., claims victory in the EverStart Series on Lake Guntersville.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - When it comes to fishing early spring tournaments on Lake Guntersville, there are two schools of thought: either sit still and let the fish come to you or run and gun multiple spots, plucking off fish along the way. At the FLW EverStart Southeast event this week, there were representatives from both camps. On day one, Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., sacked up a massive limit weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces and took the lead by playing the waiting game on a well-known spot in North Sauty Creek. On day two, high north winds blew Boyd off his spot and he had to scramble, scrape and scratch up 14 pounds to keep him in the hunt. Meanwhile, pro Casey Martin of Huntsville, Ala., played the run and gun perfectly to take the lead away from Boyd. Going into the final day, Martin held nearly a 6-pound lead over Boyd. But at this morning's take-off, Boyd could only smile and say, "If I can get back on that spot, I've got a little something for them." That "little something" was a 6-inch BassTrix swimbait that Boyd planned to sliver over the most well-known community hole on Lake Guntersville. Boyd's plan worked and 22 pounds, 11 ounces later he was named the EverStart champion with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 3 ounces worth $35,000. "It feels good to finally win one at this level," said Boyd who has won BFL events on Guntersville before and has made several top-10 cuts in EverStart events in the past.Robert Boyd shows off his kicker bass en route to his first EverStart win. Much of Boyd's hole-camping game plan resulted from shoulder and wrist injuries that prevent him from winding and grinding a rattle bait all day. "I had some other good fish going in other areas," Boyd said. "But when my shoulder went to really hurting on Wednesday afternoon, I figured it would be best for me to see if I could get on that spot and just stay." That spot just happens to be where well-known pro David Fritts won a FLW event several years ago. It sits at the bridge over the mouth of North Sauty Creek and features a "magical rock" in 14 feet of water that hundreds of Guntersville bass use to stage on every spring. The only problem is everyone who fishes Guntersville regularly knows where it is and has beat it to a pulp with every lure in the tacklebox - except, perhaps, for a 6-inch BassTrix swimbait. "The first day I used a DD-22 and ¾-ounce jig to catch the 29 pounds," Boyd said. "And all along I kept thinking, if I can get on this place the last day, I'm going to slide that swimbait down around that rock for a while and see how they like it - well, they liked it - every keeper I caught today came on that swimbait." Davis rocks his way to second Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., finished second with a three-day total of 63-12. Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., made a run at victory lane with a 21 pound, 12 ounce catch on the final day that bolstered him to second place with a three-day total of 63 pounds, 12 ounces worth $12,000. Davis spent the week fishing rip rap with Lucky Craft RC 1.5 and 2.5 crankbaits tied to 15-pound Berkley fluorocarbon on Powell cranking rods. He fished rip rap all over the lake, but one stretch in particular featured three key rocks that kept producing bigger fish during the event. Davis noted that keeping the boat as tight as possible to the rip rap and paralleling it with casts was critical. "I had to hold the boat so close to the rip rap that the back end of my boat is scratched up from blowing up against the rocks," Davis said. "But that's the way they wanted the bait - perfectly parallel - and deflected off the boulders." Martin thirdCasey Martin of Huntsville, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 63 pounds, 12 ounces worth $10,000. Day-two leader Casey Martin of Huntsville, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 63 pounds, 12 ounces worth $10,000. Martin ran the run and gun game on Guntersville, fishing waters from 18 feet to less than a foot. "I basically broke it down into three types of areas to match the conditions," Martin said. "For the cold weather, I fished deep wintering areas long rock bluffs and rip rap with a MegaBass Ito 110 and a Spro McStick. I also fished a few grass flats with a Rat-L-Trap and an Excalibur Xr-50. And when it warmed up in the afternoons, I'd go to the back of some shallow pockets and throw a 3/8-ounce Omega swim jig, which produced my bigger fish. Smith fourth Clark Smith, Jr., of Pell City, Ala., finished fourth with three-day total of 57 pounds, 4 ounces worth $9,300. Clark Smith, Jr., of Pell City, Ala., finished fourth with three-day total of 57 pounds, 4 ounces worth $9,300. Smith joined the lipless rattle bait crowd in the creeks with a little different strategy. Instead of rattling the grass with hard baits like the others, he fished behind them with a 1/2-ounce ChatterBait, white and chartreuse in color, tied to 65-pound test braided line. Giddens fifth Marty Giddens of Alpine, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 5 ounces worth $8,000. During the week, Giddens caught most of his fish on a gold Smithwick Rattlin' Rogue.Marty Giddens of Alpine, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 5 ounces worth $8,000. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Lake Guntersville: 6th: Yancy Windham of Reform, Ala., three-day total of 53-9, $7000 7th: Chad Prough of Chipley, Fla., three-day total of 53-5, $6,000 8th: Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., three-day total of 50-12, $5,000 9th: Arnie Lane of Lakeland, Fla., three-day total of 49-11, $4,000 10th: Rick Williams of Decatur, Ala., three-day total of 46-12, $3000 The next FLW EverStart Southeast event will be held April 28-30 at Lake Eufaula in Alabama.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

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 »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/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 »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/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 »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

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 »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-lanter-wins-on-rend-lake

Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

READ MORE »

/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 »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-college-title

Gamecocks Win College Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-national-title

Gamecocks Win National Title

As any good Palmetto State bass fisherman will tell you, home lake advantage only works if you’re consistent in your catches from day to day. Anthony Gagliardi proved it here on Lake Murray last summer in the Forrest Wood Cup, and the University of South Carolina proved it again in the FLW College Fishing National Championship that concluded Saturday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-hallman-prevails-on-grand

Hallman Prevails On Grand

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-lake-murray-midday-update-day-3

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »