Martin digs deep for Ouachita win

Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin holds up his two biggest bass from day four on Lake Ouachita.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Despite having three Walmart FLW Tour wins, it was easy to recognize Scott Martin as the son of legendary angler Roland Martin. But after claiming the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, it's clear Martin has stepped out of his father's shadow and is carving his own remarkable career. With his fourth victory in hand, Martin trails only David Fritts in terms of FLW Tour wins. Even more impressive is that the Clewiston, Fla., native has won on a natural lake (Champlain twice), a river (Pascagoula) and an impoundment (Ouachita). After cashing a $600,000 check, his career earnings of nearly $2 million rank second only to David Dudley in FLW Outdoors history. The accolades are striking, but Martin had to work for his Ouachita win. After alternating between shallow and deep during practice, Martin became convinced he could catch quality largemouths offshore. When it became obvious most of the field was fishing shallow, it only cemented his decision to stay off the bank. Pro winner Scott Martin While he had several areas, one 150-yard stretch northwest of Bird Island proved to be the most productive. The key to the area, Martin said, was the presence of large shad, which were pushed in Scott Martineach day by the wind. He followed these balls of shad in 23 to 27 feet of water by looking at his graph. When he'd see a bass, he'd immediately release a drop-shot and Roboworm to the bottom of the lake. But most of his big bites this week came on a 1/2-ounce Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin, which he tipped with a Yamamoto swimbait body. He also mixed in a 10-inch Texas-rigged ribbontail worm (plum color), which accounted for most of his final-day fish. All three baits were tied to Segaur Invizx fluorocarbon line - 10-pound-test for the drop-shot and Fish Head Spin, 12-pound for the worm. "Right off the bat the first morning, I caught three good ones, and I told my partner, `I can win the tournament in this spot,'" Martin recalled. "Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. It didn't look like much on the graph, but it kept on reloading because of the bait." Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin poses for photos with Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats. The National Guard pro started fast out of the gate with a 19-pound, 2-ounce limit as the largemouths roamed and ambushed the shad. But on the second day, he struggled with only 11-9 while his co-angler partner sacked 17-11. Expecting adversity during the course of the week, Martin bounced back with a resilient 16-pound, 1-ounce limit Saturday. On the final day, he discovered that the fish were holding tighter to the brush in the clear conditions. Once he put down the swimbait and switched to the worm, he started getting bit and eventually finished with 14-5. "The key today was I dropped markers down on specific brush piles so I could pick them apart thoroughly. I suspect that's what happened the second day too. Looking back, what happened that day was unfortunate, but at least I learned something from it." For winning the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, Florida pro Scott Martin earned $600,000.If there was any question about this being Martin's tournament, it was answered when he moved shallow for the first time all week and immediately caught a keeper off a bream bed. Then on his very last cast of the day, he caught another keeper out deep. Neither fish likely mattered in the outcome, but they were indicative of Martin's mojo. For a three-day total of 61 pounds, 1 ounce, he earned $600,000. "I remember as a kid going to all the championships and wishing that someday I'd win one. I've dreamed of this all my life. For my family and everyone that supports me, this is special." Tharp's shallow pattern comes up short Despite catching 16 pounds on day one, Randall Tharp was visibly upset after missing several big fish. He repeatedly mentioned that to win the Forrest Wood Cup, he'd need to capitalize on all of his big bites. And as it turned out, he was right. "I dumped a 20-pound stringer the first day, and I dumped a 5-pounder today," he said. "But you're going to lose them fishing that way; that's part of it." The Gardendale, Ala., pro fished wolfpack bass over shallow bluegill beds all week. The bluegills would spawn both on the sides of points and in the timber-laden pockets. He had four productive areas EverStart pro Randall Tharp finished second with a four-day total of 56 pounds, 7 ounces.located in the Crystal Springs area of the lake, which he'd rotate through two or three times per day. Tharp's main bait this week was a Brian's Bees Prop 3, which he threw under calm conditions. When there was a chop on the lake, he'd opt for a Lucky Craft Sammy or Gunfish. But the Prop 3 accounted for the lion's share of his fish. He'd throw these baits with 30-pound braided line and a 6-pound monofilament leader. "I was making long casts, because if they saw you, you wouldn't catch them." Toward the end of the week, Tharp was becoming proficient at popping the bait and making a loud noise without moving it much from the precise strike zones. "I gave it 100 percent every day, and I have no regrets. But it's not every day you have a chance to win the world championship of bass fishing." Tharp now has two second-place finishes in 2011. Ironically, he finished runner-up to two Lake Okeechobee locals in Martin (this week) and Brandon McMillan (at the Big O in February). His consolation prize at the Cup is a $100,000 check. Rose finishes third Third-place pro Mark Rose holds up his biggest bass from day four on Lake Ouachita.Mark Rose tried to win an endurance race this week at Lake Ouachita, but the cool, cloudy weather experienced on days one and three put him behind the 8-ball. Although he steadily climbed the leaderboard each day, Rose ultimately finished third with a total weight of 50 pounds, 15 ounces. The Marion, Ark., pro's final-day stringer weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Rose fished offshore points and channel swings near the intersection of the main lake and the river and said most of his fish came from about 17 feet. Like Martin, the presence of big shad was key for the National Guard pro. While Martin caught several 4- and 5-pounders, getting big bites was tougher for Rose. In fact, his biggest bass Sunday came from shallow water and fell prey to a Strike King Pro Model buzzbait. When he was offshore, the Pickwick Lake champion employed a variety of offshore lures including crankbaits, spoons, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and drop-shots. He said his key to the bigger fish was the Strike King Shadalicious swimbait, which he rigged with a 1/2-ounce jighead. "I was fishing my strengths, so I'm content," he said. "If we would have had different conditions, it might have made a difference." Rose claimed $60,000 for third and finished the year with four consecutive top-10s. "Momentum is everything in this sport, and I'm just comfortable and confident out there right now." Clausen falls to fourth Chevy pro Luke Clausen threw topwaters en route to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.Chevy pro Luke Clausen had the opportunity today to become the first pro to claim two Forrest Wood Cup titles. Ultimately, he finished fourth with a total weight of 48 pounds, 10 ounces, earning $55,000. Clausen caught only three bass Sunday, which weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces after a dead-fish penalty. "I'm disappointed with the day I had, but I wouldn't have done anything different," he said. "The topwater bite was OK early, but went downhill quickly." Clausen fished bluegill beds on flat drains located in the midlake region. He had one particular 300-yard stretch of water he would revisit multiple times with the hopes of reconnecting with the wolfpacks. When it was choppy, the 2004 Forrest Wood Cup champion would throw a Megabass Giant Dog-X. When it was raining and still, he'd opt for the Brian's Bees Prop 2. He would also occasionally mix in a Reactions Innovations Vixen. "I still saw tons of 3- and 4-pounders out there today. I didn't lose that many; they just wouldn't bite." Morgan rises to fifth Fifth-place pro Andy Morgan holds up his biggest bass from day four on Lake Ouachita.Andy Morgan caught a limit worth 10-2 on day four and unexpectedly rose from 10th to fifth. The Dayton, Tenn., native finished the tournament with a four-day cumulative weight of 47 pounds, 5 ounces worth $50,000. "I wasn't as dialed in on the bluegill pattern as most of the guys, so I had to fish faster and cover more water," he said. Morgan's performance is impressive considering he spent only four hours practicing shallow, instead opting to work the deep grass. Once the tournament commenced, he fished the Crystal Springs area with a Reaction Innovations Vixen. By the end of the week, nearly all the paint had worn off it from innumerable blow-ups. "It has been an absolute grind. But for a highland impoundment in August, the bite has been exceptional." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita: 6th: Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., 46-2, $45,000 7th: Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., 44-7, $40,000 8th: Andy Montgomery of Grover, N.C., 42-11, $35,000 9th: David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., 42-7, $30,000 10th: Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., 42-3, $25,000

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

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

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »