UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

A-dults on the A-rig

Pro leader Paul Elias holds up his two biggest bass from day two on Lake Guntersville.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When fishing on Alabama's Lake Guntersville, use the Alabama rig. That's what three of the top five pros are throwing this week at the final Walmart FLW Tour event of the season, including pro leader Paul Elias. Elias isn't just leading the season-ending tournament, he's completely dominating it. Coming into the week, most pros felt roughly 60 pounds would be the winning weight after four days. Elias has nearly reached that benchmark in half the time. After weighing in his 29-pound, 3-ounce catch, the veteran pro was nearly at a loss. The Alabama Rig: Like a school of shad on the end of your line for Paul Elias "I'm having one of those tournaments where you just say, `Thank you, Lord,'" Elias explained. Early in practice, the Laurel, Miss., native was struggling to catch anything shallow. "I said to myself, `They're either dead or they're deeper.' So I went deeper." Mixed in with his offshore domination is the fascinating revelation that Elias is introducing a new presentation - the Alabama rig, which consists of five baits placed on five separate wires that connect like an umbrella. The baits fan out and mimic a school of baitfish. Although Elias admitted to using the Alabama rig, he wouldn't specifically name the baits he puts on the back. "I guess the word is out on what I'm doing," Elias said. "I'm throwing an Alabama rig. It's a new-type rig that some guy from near Pickwick came up with. It's just an amazing deal and I think the main reason it's so effective is that they haven't seen it before. It's kind of like a crankbait sometimes. You can't always catch them on it unless you're doing it just right." Elias said he fished the same three areas he did on the first day and didn't receive as many bites. But the ones he caught he described as "a-dults," which drew raucous laughter from the weigh-in crowd. The Alabama Rig snares another good one for Paul EliasAlthough the wind didn't blow Friday, Elias said the bite was strong thanks to the presence of current. "I've been very fortunate this week. When I got on that pattern I just stayed on it and found as many places to fish it that I could find. I feel like if I don't get too crowded out there I can catch them." Although continually casting the A-rig is physically exhausting, Elias has no thoughts of slowing down. With a 14-pound lead he can almost taste his first victory on Guntersville, long one of his favorite lakes. "I'm just going to keep going. I'm going to be chunking and winding for two more days. I've thrown that (rig) since about noon Sunday and my 60-year-old butt is worn out." Behrle second Pro Robert Behrle holds up part of his 21-pound, 10-ounce stringer.Just like Elias, second-place pro Bob Behrle is also using the Alabama rig. But Behrle isn't just using it deep. "I started on a shallow, windy bank and I caught that 7-pounder on my fifth cast," said the Hoover, Ala., pro. "Then after a while I went to my best offshore spot and I caught a 4 1/2-pounder at around 8 a.m. But I didn't catch another keeper until 1:45 p.m." Behrle kept the faith, stopped on a few grass spots and caught a keeper. He then returned to his best deep spot and caught three more keepers, which allowed him a late cull. "I'm still trying to figure out the A-rig. There's definitely a learning curve. I'm using an altered bait and that seems to be working." Although the tournament is only halfway complete, Behrle appeared resigned to the notion that Elias has already won. "Paul is just too far ahead. We're all fishing for second, unless something crazy happens." Behrle's day-two limit weighed 21 pounds, 10 ounces and pushed his total weight to 40 pounds, 12 ounces. Morrow rises to third Like Elias and Behrle, pro Troy Morrow is spending considerable time offshore. But he's not using the A-rig, instead opting for traditional ledge fare such as crankbaits and spoons. And he still caught 23 Third-place pro Troy Morrow holds up his two biggest bass from day two on Lake Guntersville. pounds, 14 ounces of Guntersville bass - including a 6-pound, 6-ounce kicker. "In general, I don't like fishing the grass so I'm avoiding it here and keying on bait," explained Morrow. "I found a good school in prepractice, but they were gone during the actual practice. I stopped on it late yesterday and caught a few of my big ones." Today Morrow spent more time there and it clearly worked out. He does have one shallow-water spot, but he's concentrating mostly out deep. It's a strategy that has worked well for him over the years. "I won a BFL Regional on Lake Seminole last year doing the same thing at about the same time of the year. There's fewer fish out on the ledges this late, but they're quality ones. "These Guntersville fish are just not positioned like they need to be, but they're there. If they pull up and get right, it could be lights out." Morrow's total weight sits at 39 pounds, 14 ounces. Deakins fourth Local ace Marshall Deakins caught a 14-pound, 6-ounce limit Friday and slipped from second to fourth. Deakins' combined weight is 35 pounds, 9 ounces. "I caught them today on a frog," said the Dunlap, Tenn., pro. "I probably got the same amount of bites as yesterday, but they were smaller." Deakins explained that the frog bite is improving, but won't peak for several weeks. "There is too much grass out there. Later in the year when there are smaller patches it really gets good. They just need to get thinner." Deakins also said he's considering throwing a swimbait tomorrow in an attempt to coax bigger fish. Powroznik up to fifth Fifth-place pro Jacob Powroznik has a two-day total of 34 pounds. Jacob Powroznik caught a 19-pound, 14-ounce stringer Friday and rose to fifth place with a total weight of 34 pounds even. Powroznik too is employing the Alabama rig. "The fish are feeding on shad right now and that rig does a great job of mimicking a school of shad," he said. "They've just got to eat it." Powroznik is using the A-rig on little drops inside pockets where the shad are funneling in. He works the rig in 4 to 10 feet of water. "I had been catching them a little bit on a Rat-L-Trap in practice. But then I went down the same bank with the Alabama rig and it was unbelievable." The Virginia native puts a 5-inch Hollow Belly swimbait on the middle wire and 3 1/2-inch swimbaits on the four outside wires. He also mixes and matches with colors. "For some reason, they always hit the odd-colored one. Overall it was just crazy. I bet I caught 40 fish on it today. This is just a bait that they haven't seen." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros on day two at Lake Guntersville: 6th: Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., 33-9 7th: Christopher Brasher of Spring, Texas, 33-9 8th: Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz., 32-14 9th: Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., 32-9 10th: Blake Nick of Adger, Ala., 32-1 Martin makes his move Fresh off a win at the FLW Tour Open on Lake Champlain, co-angler Casey Martin will be looking to go back-to back tomorrow on Lake Guntersville. And although his first win a month ago was special, he Casey Martin moved into the lead in the Co-angler Division after catching 15 pounds, 14 ounces.wants this one even more. "Guntersville is home," he explained. "I'd really like to win this one because this lake always does me bad on the final day." Earlier this year, Martin was leading the Guntersville EverStart Series event as a pro only to fall to third. And two years prior to that, Martin led the EverStart event as a co-angler only to slip to second. So the motivation is there, but the New Market, Ala., fisherman will have to adjust his presentation. "Today I caught almost all of them flipping and I only got six keeper bites," he explained. "I would say I've weighed 80 percent of my fish flipping this week. The other ones have come swimming a 3/8-ounce Omega jig with a Basstrix swimbait as a trailer." Despite this, Martin said he would rather fish deep, which is exactly how Elias, his pro partner, plans to fish tomorrow. "I really like deep ledge fishing. Hopefully I can catch them behind him, unless it's an exact spot thing, then I'll be in real trouble." Martin's day-two stringer weighed 15 pounds, 14 ounces, giving him a total weight of 26-13 and a 5-pound lead. Rest of the best Rising to second place for the co-anglers was Castalia, N.C., native Corey Leonard. Leonard caught a limit today worth 16 pounds, 9 ounces, bringing his two-day total to 21 pounds, 12 ounces. Third-place co-angler Chad Billiot caught a 21-pound, 7-ounce stringer on day two after taking a zero on day one. In third was Chad Billiot of Raceland, La., with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Billiot is a true zero to hero story as he failed to register a single keeper on day one. Today Powroznik set him up with an Alabama Rig, and the rest was history. Anchoring that 21-7 limit was an 8-pound, 12-ounce giant, the Snickers Big Bass of the day in the Co-angler Division. Slipping to fourth was Thomas Rizzo of Rochester, Pa. After catching 13-1 yesterday, Rizzo managed three keepers for 8-2 today. Day-one leader Mark Horton also slipped. Horton came in Friday with two keepers weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce. With a two-day total of 20 pounds, Horton finished the opening round in fifth place. Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers on day two at Lake Guntersville: 6th: Tripp Pittman of Holy Springs, Miss., 18-4 7th: Skip Bennett of Mount Vernon, Ill., 16-0 8th: Dan Clark of Cleveland, Tenn., 15-12 9th: Brandon Ledford of Rome, Ga., 15-9 10th: Jesse Schultz of New Albany, Ind., 15-4 Day three of the FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park located at 7966 Alabama Hwy. 227 in Guntersville, Ala.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-07-31-champlain-midday-update-day-2

Champlain Midday Update Day 2

While day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was wracked by high winds and rain in the morning, day two has been almost as good as Champlain can be. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-cioppa-leads-on-champlain

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »