UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

The Wright stuff

Jay Wright of Seal Beach, Calif., proudly displays his first-place trophy after winning the EverStart Series event on Clear Lake.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - Sitting in sixth place and facing off against a host of formidable western sticks atop the leaderboard heading into Saturday's final day of competition, Jay Wright of Seal Beach, Calif., knew that he would need a special day if he was to even have a chance at a tournament title. As it turned out, that's exactly what happened. Although the top-10 pros managed to bring in a whopping total of eight stringers over 19 pounds to the scales today, by far the most prolific day of the tournament to date, Wright turned in the performance of his career, boating a staggering 26-pound, 11-ounce catch in today's action to finally seal the deal.

Wright's grand, three-day total of 74 pounds, 5 ounces (which included back-to-back catches over 26 pounds on days two and three) was enough to give him a 2-pound-plus margin of victory - as well as a nice first-place check totaling over $26,000.

"This is just unbelievable," said Wright. "I didn't think I had a chance. I still can't believe I won. I've been fishing on the pro side for six years and have never come closer than third place. And to come into today, almost 6 pounds back, trying to catch somebody as good as (day-two pro leader) Jimmy Reese, and pull it off, I'm just elated. I still can't believe I beat Jimmy."

When the final weights were tabulated and Wright was declared the victor, he finally allowed his emotions to come through - after sweating out the final weigh-in for the better part of an hour.

"Yes!" Wright exclaimed. "Finally!"

EverStart Clear Lake event." border="1" align="right" />Not surprisingly, his win was far from easy. After catching the majority of his fish on a Robo worm in a Margarita Mutilator color, Wright began having success on the second day with an 8-inch Huddleston Deluxe Hitch swimbait.

"On the first day, I caught all of my fish on a worm," he said. "Then on the second day, I caught one on that worm (drop-shot) and four on the swimbait. I had heard that the swimbait worked best with sunny and windy conditions so when I saw the forecast today, I thought it would be the perfect bait the throw. So I decided to swing for the fences."

In the end, it worked out perfectly. Targeting rocky banks that morphed into coves, bays and sea walls, Wright was able to hone in on his huge quarry of pre-spawn bass.

"The key was making long casts with a slow wind," he said. "And today's conditions were just ideal. I only got six bites today, but they were big bites. But even heading back to the marina I didn't think I had a chance. I greatly underestimated my weight today. And even if I wasn't off, I still wouldn't have thought that I'd have enough to beat these guys. This is just the greatest victory of my career.

"I know I've always had the skill to compete at this level," continued Wright. "But I didn't have the mental makeup that you need to win until this year. So it feels great to get this win. It's still unbelievable."

Breazeale claims runner-up finish

Pro Wayne Breazeale of Kelseyville, Calif., finished the EverStart Clear Lake event in second place.After winning two local tournaments on Clear Lake over the past two weeks, Wayne Breazeale of Kelseyville, Calif., came up just 2 pounds short of his quest to record an improbable three victories in a row.

"The wind over the first two days really screwed up my plans," said Breazeale, who wound up hauling in a three-day catch of 73 pounds, 3 ounces. "My goal was just to stay as close to the leaders as I could until the wind died down. But unfortunately it didn't die down until about the last hour of today. I wound up culling up 4 pounds in the last half hour and if I just had 30 more minutes, I think I could have pulled it off."

While Breazeale had planned on sight-fishing almost exclusively, the high winds over the first two days of the tournament derailed those plans. As such, Breazeale had to settle on the drop-shot, employing a Robo worm in a Margarita Mutilator color to bide his time until the wind died down. When it did, he was finally able to throw his bait of choice, a Yamamoto twin-tail grub at bedding fish.

"I really wished the wind hadn't hampered me as much as it did," said Breazeale. "But all things considered, I had a pretty good week."

For his efforts, Breazeale walked away with over $9,000 in winnings.

Crutcher claims third

On the strength of a three-day catch weighing in at 72 pounds, 10 ounces, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., finished the EverStart Series Clear Lake event in third place.On the strength of a three-day catch weighing in at 72 pounds, 10 ounces, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., finished the EverStart Series Clear Lake event in third place.

"I just had a great time," said Crutcher. "I'm fortunate that I only live about 3 minutes from this lake. I was planning on sight-fishing the whole time but, amazingly enough, I think this wind really helped me out."

Early on in the tournament, Crutcher realized that he could use a 6-inch hybrid swimbait to effectively target bass in stained water.

"I put a 6-inch swimbait on the back of a Snakebite chatterbait in a green pumpkin color and started throwing it in muddy water," he said. "Basically, I realized that this (hybrid) bait matched the hatch almost perfectly. As a result, I was able to have a fabulous week despite the windy conditions."

For his efforts, Crutcher took home almost $7,500 in winnings.

Bailey makes a move

Pro Paul Bailey of Kelseyville, Calif., took home fourth place overall at the EverStart Clear Lake event.Heading into the final day of competition, Clear Lake specialist Paul Bailey of Kelseyville, Calif., was in ninth place and looking for that first banner day on the water. Well, today he got it. Posting the second-largest catch of the day, Bailey leapfrogged from ninth to fourth place on the final day of competition.

"This tournament has been awesome," said Bailey, who recorded a total weight of 70 pounds, 13 ounces. "Getting to the finals on my home lake, I can't say enough about that. Today, I just went out there and whacked them pretty good."

Unlike most of the finalists, Bailey didn't employ a drop-shot, throw worms at tules or go sight-fishing.

"Believe it or not, I caught all of my fish on a topwater - a double-bladed buzzbait," he said. "I know none of the other guys were really throwing it. And I definitely missed some fish. But I wound up getting some big bites on that bait."

In the end, Bailey's fourth-place finish was good enough to earn him a $6,700 pay day.

Reese falls to fifth

Day-two leader Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., finished the EverStart Clear Lake tournament in fifth place.After leading the tournament for the first two days of competition, Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., had to settle for a somewhat disappointing fifth-place finish. In short, he simply ran out of fish.

"Everything laid out perfectly for me the first two days," he said. "But I just wasn't able to find the right fish today. It is disheartening to come this close and not be able to pull it off. There aren't many times where you put yourself in position to win. And when you do you have to take advantage of it. But in a few days, I'll get over it - hopefully."

Reese spent the entire three days targeting bedding bass almost exclusively.

"I basically covered a lot of new water and tried to gamble today," he said. "And sometimes that pays off and sometimes it doesn't. And I think you know how that worked out for me today."

For his efforts, Reese walked away with nearly $6,000 in winnings for his three-day total catch of 70 pounds, 11 ounces.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro finalists:

Pro Troy Lindner of Los Angeles, Calif., took sixth place overall at Clear Lake.6th: Troy Lindner of Los Angeles, Calif., 68-13
7th: Tony Franceschi of Livermore, Calif., 68-4
8th: Mark Casey of Fairfield, Calif., 66-12
9th: Greg Gutierrez of Red Bluff, Calif., 66-8
10th: Charlie Weyer of West Hills, Calif., 63-1

For a list of complete results, click here.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2012-04-26-clear-lake 

/news/2016-07-28-early-reports-from-wheeler

Early Reports from Wheeler

Starting this Sunday, the 50 Forrest Wood Cup competitors will hit Wheeler Lake bright and early for the first of three days of official practice. It’ll be the first time the anglers have been allowed on the Tennessee River reservoir since the pre-practice cut off date of July 17. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-celebs-seminars-on-deck-for-the-cup

Celebs, Seminars on Deck for the Cup

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 4-7 will be crawling with some of the best bass anglers in the industry – both active pros and bassin’ legends. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to personally wish their favorite anglers good luck before takeoff, snag a picture and an autograph from an industry superstar, or sit in on a seminar. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bass-and-bbq-festival-set-for-forrest-wood-cup-expo

Bass and BBQ Festival set for Forrest Wood Cup Expo

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – FLW is adding some Alabama flavor to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, August 6 and 7. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bk-s-year-as-the-champ

BK’s Year as the Champ

Brad Knight plans on getting a good night’s sleep before this year’s Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake begins on Aug. 4. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there have been times during the past 12 months when dozing off wasn’t so easy for the defending Cup champion. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-1000-islands

Top 10 Patterns from the 1000 Islands

High wind and fluctuating water temperatures made things a little difficult for the anglers, but the top-10 pros adapted and utilized the whole playing field to exploit everything from deep smallmouth to shallow largemouth. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-canterbury-s-next-challenge-

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »