Dodson pulls ahead on Bull Shoals

Despite having to change up his delivery, Robbie Dodson still managed to pull into the lead on Bull Shoals.

BULL SHOALS, Ark. - Robbie Dodson trailed the day-one top spot by 12 ounces, but today he finds himself on the other side of the narrow margin, with a 14-ounce lead going into the final round of FLW EverStart Series Central Division action on Bull Shoals Lake. Amassing a two-day total of 29 pounds, 4 ounces, the Harrison, Ark. pro flipped green pumpkin beaver style baits on day one, but he had to change things up today due to weather and water level. The mostly sunny conditions of a day prior gave way to cloudy skies that threatened rain throughout day two. Without the bright sunlight, fish weren't grouping as tightly to cover as they had been. Also, the reservoir's water level for the second day in a row, so all of the fish that had recently moved up to spawn were ushered back a little. "It was totally different today," Dodson said. "Yesterday, I was catching them by flipping the bushes, butRobbie Dodson they dropped the lake what looked like 6 inches to a foot last night and I couldn't get bit by flipping. I went two or three hours without a bite, so finally I went to a 2 1/2-inch Luck "E" Strike Fighting Craw on a 5/16-ounce finesse flipping jig and just started going down the bank casting." Noting that the fish still seemed as skittish as they were on day one, Dodson removed the jig's skirt for a smaller profile. Dodson also enhanced his green pumpkin bait's appearance by dyeing the claws red. "They didn't seem like they wanted to move as much as they did yesterday," he said. "Yesterday, I saw several fish moving around. You'd be going down the bank and they'd be boiling into the bank chasing shad. Today, it wasn't anything like that. "It seemed like they vacated the bank, so I just backed off a little bit and it seemed to work today. Every Declining water level pushed the Bull Shoals spawners further down the banks.day's a new day on this lake with them dropping this lake. I may go out tomorrow and not have a bite if I don't figure out the right little thing." Same as yesterday, Dodson fished the Lead Hill area. His productivity, however, was less than half of what he had on day one. "Once I changed baits, I caught one here, one there," he said. "Yesterday, I'd get in and area and if I caught one, I'd catch three or four. Today, if I caught one, I'd slow down and really fish it, but I'd only catch one. "Yesterday, I probably caught 25 keepers; today, I probably caught 10." Meredith moves up to second Ray Meredith, of Smiths Grove, Ky., added 14-10 to his day-one catch of 13-12 and moved up fiveDeclining water level pushed the Bull Shoals spawners further down the banks. spots from seventh to second with a total weight of 28-6. Targeting classic spawning scenarios of open areas with gravel banks, Meredith fished jigs and Texas-rigged plastics and found a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass in his limit. "That's the biggest fish I've caught all week," he said. "I've caught a lot of fish, I just can't find the big fish. I don't know if they're prespawn; I've only caught one with a bloody tail (a sign of nest clearing)." Meredith said he caught approximately 30 fish and stayed busy throughout the day. King holds at third Arkansas pro Zach King held on to his third-place position.On day one, Clarksville, Ark. pro Zach King found himself in a three-way tie for third place at 14-6. Today, he remained in the No. 3 spot, but shed the company. King's day-two score of 13-8 secured his final-round berth with a total weight of 27-14. King stuck with the same one-two combo of Texas-rigged green pumpkin Zoom trick worms and Zoom speed craws that he used on day one. Yesterday, he found fish on the smaller brush between the shoreline and the larger outside brush. Today's lower water level bumped the fish to those outer bushes. "I was just fishing bush-to-bush," King said. "Today, you couldn't see anything because of the wind and the clouds so I just stayed on the trolling motor." Crisenbery drops to fourth After leading the pro division on day one, Dave Crisenberry, of Flippin, Ark. had a tough go of it today Day-one leader DaveCrisenbery slipped to fourth after a tough day two.and slipped to fourth place. He caught a limit of 11-11 and tallied 27-2 in total weight. Crisenberry again used the same baits as he did on day one: a Gitzit tube, a 3/16-ounce shaky head with a green pumpkin worm and Alabama-rigged Berkley swimbaits. "I really struggled today," Crisenberry said. "I had three fish at 1 o'clock. I finally caught two more fish and culled a couple late this afternoon, but I just couldn't catch a big fish today." Dalbey makes big jump to fifth Rich Dalbey came into day two in 19th place with 12 pounds, but the Greenville, Texas pro make a big Rich Dalbey made a big move up to fifth place on day two.run all the way up to fifth place on the strength of his 14-pound, 13-ounce sack, which increased his total to 26-13. Dalbey said he stuck with the same dark colored wacky-rigged worms he fished yesterday. He targeted buck brush along the shorelines and had to work hard to assemble his limit. Throughout the day, he found that the slow, methodical presentations worked best. "This morning I went to a spot I hadn't fished yesterday, but on Tuesday (practice day) I had a limit by 8:30 a.m.," he said. "I just kept grinding it out and going to different spots. I had to fish really slowly. It seemed like they were all on the outside edges of the bushes. "If I moved the bait too fast, I couldn't get bit. I just had to keep at a steady pace and let that worm flutter down there. A lot of times, they'd hit it when it was on the bottom."Arkansas pro Keith Williams took Snickers Big Bass honors with his 5-13. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Bull Shoals event: 6th: Shane Long, of Springfield, Mo., 25-15 7th: Robert Dodson, of Harrison, Ark., 25-13 8th: Justin Lucas, of Guntersville, Ala., 25-9 9th: Lance Williams, of Billings, Mo., 25-4 10th: Frank Clark, of Benton, Ill., 24-9 Keith Williams, of Billings, Mo. caught the biggest sack of the tournament (19-15) and earned Snickers Big Bass honors for his 5-pound, 13-ounce bass. Plastics put Gillham atop co-angler field David Gillham, of Heath, Texas began, day two in sixth place with 9-14 but after adding an even 12 Co-angler leader David Gillham used a combination of plastic baits on day two.pounds today, he climbed five spots to the co-angler lead with 21-14. Today he flipped a Zoom brush hog and fished 5-inch Senkos on wacky and Texas rigs. "If a bank was a little bit steeper and the brush was a little bit deeper, I'd through the Texas -rigged brush hog," Gillham said. "I'd throw the Senkos on the shallower banks. They'd pretty much hit the baits on the fall." Steve Gregg, of Florissant, Mo. added 10-14 to the 10-13 he weighed on day one and clenched his final-round spot with a second-place total of 21-11. Gregg, who also placed second on day one, trails the lead by just 3 ounces. Jeff Johnson, of Ash Flat, Ark. placed third with 20-1, Ben Due, of Mauston, Wisc. was fourth at 17-8 and day-one leader Randy Rose, of Gainesville, Mo. took fifth with 16-14. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Bull Shoals event:This 4-pound, 5-ouncer earned the Snickers Big Bass award for Tommy Lowery. 6th: Tony Spinks, of Springfield, Mo., 16-14 7th: Jon Paulovich, Bryant, Ark., 16-9 8th: Thomas Loeffelman Jr., of Valles Mines, Mo., 16-6 9th: Mark Howard, of Mesquite, Texas, 15-9 10th: Steve Kumke, of Belleville, Ill., 14-10 Tommy Lowery, of Ofallon, Mo. took the Snickers Big Bass award on the co-angler side with his 4-pound, 5-ounce fish. Day three of EverStart Series Central Division action on Bull Shoals Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Central) at the Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock located on Eastwold Cove in Bull Shoals, Ark.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

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

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

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

/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 »