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: headline-story 

/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 »