UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Elias on his way

Paul Elias' Alabama Rig scores again.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - While the cat is out of the bag on the Alabama rig, nobody is fishing it more effectively than Paul Elias. In what was widely considered a tough bite coming in, Elias has shocked the world with 15 giant Lake Guntersville bass and is one day away from clinching his second Walmart FLW Tour win.

After putting the pieces together late in practice, Elias' biggest concern was that other fishermen would crowd him out. And after an hour and a half fog delay Saturday morning, Elias' fears grew. But he had Another look at Paul Eliasno problems getting on his spot and has received the utmost respect. While his areas were crowded, most just wanted to witness the offshore master and his newfangled bait in action.

"This Alabama rig I'm throwing is crazy," Elias said. "A lot more guys were throwing it today than were the first two days. It's obvious by the weights. A bait comes along every now and then that makes a lot of sense that the fish haven't seen. That's what is happening here and it's incredible."

The Alabama rig consists of a hard-bait body that trails five wires that have a swivel attached to the end of each wire. Elias is using swimbaits on the five wires, which fan out and mimic a school of baitfish. The Laurel, Miss., pro uses the rig at three different spots, all of which are similar in terms of depth and structure. The fish he's been targeting are suspending off the bottom.

"Most of the schools are 4 to 5 feet off. They will not bite it on the bottom. I think the majority of the fish in this lake are suspending; that's why most everyone struggled early on."

Elias said the key is counting he rig down with a precise cadence. Pro leader Paul Elias continues to catch huge bass out deep with an Alabama rig.

"I've tried other stuff, but it just wasn't working. I've been a structure fisherman my whole career and I've always struggled when they suspend, until now."'

With a 15-pound lead, it's conceivable that Elias could sleep in tomorrow and still walk away with victory. Conversely, he also has a shot to break Brandon McMillan's FLW Tour weight record.

"This is fishing so you never know. But I feel good about it. I feel like I can catch a good bag again tomorrow.

"This is one awesome lake. I've had some great Octobers on this lake and I've been wanting a win on it for a very long time."

Behrle second

Second-place pro Robert Behrle caught a 24-pound, 3-ounce limit Saturday.Second-place pro Bob Behrle has improved his weight each day of the tournament. Today he sacked an amazing 24-pound, 3-ounce limit. But somehow he continues to lose ground on Elias.

"That's probably as good as I can do," Behrle said after weighing in his catch. "I caught that 7-pounder on my very last cast of the day."

Behrle was really worried the fog delay would hurt him because he's been averaging only eight bites per day.

While he's been sampling a shallow bank, he's mostly fishing offshore. But he only has one offshore spot - a flat off a ledge in approximately 15 to 25 feet of water that's close to the state park.

"There's definitely a sweet spot on the flat. There's some stumps on a hump and I caught my two biggest fish off it today."

The Hoover, Ala., pro continues to use the Alabama rig with homemade baits. His total weight for three days is 64 pounds, 15 ounces.

"I'm afraid Mr. Elias has got them and he's going to continue to get them tomorrow. My battle is for second and I was able to improve that by 4 or 5 pounds."

Morrow retains third

Third-place pro Troy Morrow holds up part of his day-three catch.For two days, Troy Morrow had been the one pro to have success offshore with traditional ledge fare like crankbaits and spoons. But today at about 1 p.m., he caved and tried the Alabama rig.

"On my third cast I had a double and I was able to finish my limit with it," he said.

Overall, Morrow described the bite as slow and said that his primary offshore spot let him down. He'll start the final day with his tried and true baits, but won't hesitate to switch to the A-rig. Either way, he'll continue to avoid the grass and instead focus on bait.

"I was just happy to temporarily knock Paul out of the lead, even if it was just for a few minutes."

Morrow's day-three stringer weighed 19 pounds, 6 ounces, brining his combined weight to 59 pounds, 4 ounces.

Powroznik fourth

Jacob PowroznikFourth-place pro Jacob Powroznik claims he was one of the first to discover the effectiveness of the Alabama rig this week. Today he used it to catch a 17-pound, 10-ounce limit.

"It all started when I told Koby (Kreiger) to come over to my Rat-L-Trap spot," Powroznik explained. "He caught a 3-pounder right away with it on his first cast and then a limit in about 15 minutes. After that, we told Gags (Anthony Gagliardi), Luke (Clausen), and (Bryan) Thrift."

Not coincidentally, four of the five made the final cut. Powroznik is fishing his A-rig on little drops inside pockets where the shad are funneling in. He works the rig in 4 to 10 feet of water.

"The fish are feeding on shad right now and that rig does a great job of mimicking a school of shad."

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. The odd-colored swimbait is usually the one they eat for whatever reason.

"I don't really care if I catch another bass tomorrow. The last three days I've had the time of my life. My hands hurt and they're all torn up. It's unbelievable."

Yelas up to fifth

Jay Yelas shows off his 21-8 catch that put him in fifth place on day three.Jay Yelas had tickets to attend the Alabama-Tennessee football game Saturday night with friend and fellow pro Scott Canterbury. But after making the top-10 cutoff, he had to decline and prep tackle for the final day.

Yelas was late to the A-rig party, but he's a big believer now. After catching 11 pounds in his best area with traditional baits, he came back to it today with the A-rig and caught 21 pounds, 8 ounces.

"It's so rare that something new like this comes along and makes such an impact. It's been like magic this week. You never know what other innovations might come off of this. You're throwing five baits at a time, but who is to say it couldn't be more. This thing will be a staple in the tackle box before too long."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on day three at Lake Guntersville:

6th: Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., 50-15
7th: Russell Lane of Prattville, Ala., 49-15
8th: Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 49-8
9th: Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., 47-5
10th: Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., 44-7

The final day of the FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville will begin Sunday at 7 a.m. at the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park located at 7966 Alabama Hwy. 227 in Guntersville, Ala. The final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 11697 Hwy. 431 S. in Guntersville beginning at 4 p.m., with the FLW Outdoors Expo opening at noon.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2011-10-20-lake-guntersville 

/news/2016-02-12-top-10-photos-from-lake-okeechobee-

Top 10 Photos from Lake Okeechobee

FLW’s coverage crew was all over the place during the Walmart FLW Tour kickoff presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. The following photos are some of the best taken during a week of wild weather swings and big bass. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-dudley-links-up-with-livingston-lures

Dudley Links Up with Livingston Lures

Livingston Lures has added three-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year David Dudley to its pro-staff. The Virginia pro joins two-time FLW AOY Andy Morgan and former FLW Rookie of the Year Stetson Blaylock on the Team Livingston roster. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-power-pole-extends-partnership-with-flw

Power-Pole Extends Partnership with FLW

FLW announced yesterday that JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems, has signed a sponsorship extension for the 2016 season. This will be the sixth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-flw-college-fishing-western-conference-opens-season-on-shasta-lake

FLW College Fishing Western Conference Opens Season on Shasta Lake

REDDING, Calif. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 20 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Western Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-lake-shasta-set-to-host-costa-flw-series-opener-presented-by-minn-kota

Lake Shasta Set to Host Costa FLW Series Opener Presented by Minn Kota

REDDING, Calif. – The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 18-20 for a tournament presented by Minn Kota when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Western Division. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-montgomery-targets-prespawn-bass-for-win

Montgomery Targets Prespawn Bass for Win

Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-top-10-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee

Oklahoma’s Bradley Hallman sewed up his first Walmart FLW Tour victory at the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats by pitching and punching reed heads in the South Bay area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Hallman stuck with his program despite up-and-down air temperatures, high winds and all the curveballs Mother Nature could throw at him. Here's how the rest of the top 10 got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/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-montgomery-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-bulldog-division-opener-on-lake-eufaula

Montgomery Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. 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 »