Davis delivers at Guntersville

Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., wins the EverStart Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville with a whopping 81 pounds, 12 ounces.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - In October of 2011, young Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., was set to make his pro debut in the FLW Tour Open on his home lake in a big way. Davis, also know as The Spinnerbait Kid for his love of spinnerbaits and his guide service of the same name, is a Guntersville expert and fishing conditions were perfect for him to strike in October: super tough. Ultra tough fishing often gives locals the advantage, especially in the fall, due to their intensive knowledge of a fishery. Hence, the stage was set up perfectly for Davis. Then the unthinkable happen: The Alabama Rig bomb dropped. Paul Elias and a handful of other pros dominated the event with what has arguably become the most productive fishing contraption in the history of fishing. Despite not having an Alabama Rig in October, Davis still managed to finish 10th - a small consolation for what could have been. But instead of lashing out at a technique that very well could have cost him a $100,000 win, Davis went right to work learning everything possible about the new way of catching bass on TVA impoundments. And this week, Davis' willingness to embrace and understand the Alabama Rig - or castable umbrella rig - paid off handsomely with his first EverStart Series win worth $35,000 plus a new Ranger Boat. "What an amazing day," said Davis after his win. "I probably culled through 75 pounds of bass to get to my weight today. The number of 4.60 and 4.70 bass I threw back was just unreal." Speaking of weight, Davis' daily totals included, 24-9, 30-2 and 27-7 for a three-day total of 81 pounds, 12 ounces. Needless to say, the quality of bass that Guntersville is pumping out right now is just mind boggling. Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., shows off a winning kicker. Consider that out of the top 10 who fished for three days, 27 of the 30 limits were over 20 pounds. Still not impressed? Okay, how about 13 of the 30 limits being 25 pounds or better? Most of those big bags came from the lower end of the lake in Guntersville's deepest water - from 20 to 40 feet. "The average depth of my fish was about 29 feet," Davis revealed. "I did fish shallow some this week, but without a doubt all my big fish came deep, primarily from two spots. One was a creek channel ledge that drops to 30 feet and the other was stumpy ledge on the main river." Davis's primary arsenal included various homemade Alabama rigs. He used three different models that graduated in size from small, medium to large. He used all Strike King Shadalicious bodies and Buckeye JWill jigheads. "The night after the FLW Tour Open in October I stayed up all night making Alabama rigs. And from that point in time until now, I have schooled myself on it. This winter I saw things with that rig that would blow your mind - 50 fish days of fish over 4 pounds." The Spinnerbait Kid turned Alabama Rig Kid: Alex Davis shows off his winning lures. "They said it would be the miracle cure that would allow anyone and everyone to win tournaments and I'm here to tell you that's not the case. Guntersville is where the Alabama rig started and look at who has won the BFL's and big tournaments here for the last eight months. Look at who did well in this tournament. It's the same names that always do well here. My point is you still have to know when and where to throw it. The same guys are still going to catch them, they just have a different tool to work with now." As for Davis' future in professional fishing, look for him to possibly fish the FLW Tour next year. "I really owe this win to my mom and dad," Davis added. "They moved the family down here seven years ago just so I could fish, start a guide service and try to fish professionally. And this win couldn't have come at a better time. I've been saving my money with plans of fishing the FLW Tour next year, so this is really going to help." Lucas second On day one of the EverStart Series Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., brought what he called "donkeys" to the stage with 29-6 to take the early lead and said he had experienced the best day of fishing in his life. Little did he know that two days later he would actually trump that with another "best day ever" with an astounding weight of 31-10, the biggest bag of the tournament, which landed him in second place with a three-day total of 78 pounds, 8 ounces.More Donkeys! Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., saved the best for last, weighing in the biggest limit of the tournament on day three -- 31-10 -- to finish second. And despite the monstrous two days, it was day two, when he brought just 17-8 to the scales, that Lucas could not help but lamenting about. "Day two killed me," the National Guard pro said with a degree of frustration. "Don't get me wrong, I had two days of a lifetime here that I will never, ever forget, but the 17 pounds on day two cost me the win." Lucas fished one spot with one bait all week. "I had one ledge at the mouth of a creek channel that dropped from 15 to 25 feet that was just insane with big fish," Lucas said. "I was boat number 133 the first day and when I got there I could not believe no one else had stopped on it; I had it to myself. I camped there all week." Lucas' bait of choice was a hitch-colored 5-1/2 inch Berkley Hollow Belly (single, no Alabama rig) tied to Berkley 17-pound test fluorocarbon on a 7-1/2 foot Powell rod. "I'd cast it out there, let it go to the bottom and then swim it through the suspended fish out there in the channel," Lucas described. "They'd just crush it, man!" "The first and third days they ran no current and on day two they ran some current and I think that's what hurt me," he added. "When there was no current and those fish were suspended, I had them dialed. But when they ran current on day two, the fish repositioned and I just did not adjust fast enough." Cotton third Rick Cotten of Guntersville, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 76-3. Rick Cotten of Guntersville, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 76 pounds, 3 ounces. Cotton took the unofficial award for most number of lures that caught fish during the week including: a crankbait, a jig, an Alabama rig, a single swimbait, a worm and a spoon. "You name it and I probably caught a fish on it this week," laughed Cotton. "When it comes to the lures, I call it junk fishing. But when it comes to the spots, they were very specific: river ledges that stair-stepped down into the main channel." "The shallowest spot shelved up to about 13 feet," Cotton continued. "And my deepest spot shelved-up to 21 feet and stair-stepped down to 40 feet into the main river." Deakins fourth Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn., finished fourth with a three-day total of 75 pounds, 5 ounces. Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn., finished fourth with a three-day total of 75-5. "The first day I tried to do my grass flipping deal up the river, but once I saw all those weights, I realized that wasn't going to cut it, so I headed out deep with an Alabama rig," Deakins said. "I was staying with Alex and he kind of clued me in on those deeper fish so that's what I did the next two days." Deakins said his Alabama rig is a homemade version made locally and he adorns them with an unnamed swimbait body that is, in his words, "really big." Martin fifth Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total 73 pounds, 9 ounces. Martin also fished deep during the week relying on two versions of the Picasso School E Rig and an Omega football jig. Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 73-9. "One Picasso was the finesse version of the School-E-Rig," Martin said. "I used Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper swimbaits on that one and the other was the regular School-E-Rig and I ran 6-inch BassTrix Swimbaits on it. Once I got the fish fired up I could catch them on the big rig, but if things slowed down, I'd go to the smaller finesse version." Rest of the best 6th: Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., three-day total of 73-1 7th: Mark Rose of West Marion, Ark., three-day total of 70-15 8th: Gary Fleming of Russellville, Ala., three-day total of 69-9 9th: Derek Hicks of Rock Face, Ga., three-day total of 60-9 10th: JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., three-day total of 58-14 Angler of the Year Kent Ware of Wadmalaw Island, S.C., won the Strike King Angler of the Year in the Southeast Division with a total of 731 points. His finishes for the year included a sixth at Okeechobee, a 19th at Seminole, a second at Santee Cooper and 46th at Guntersville.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-day-1-patterns-from-the-college-open

Day 1 Patterns from the College Open

The Northwest Missouri State University team of Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almontadi took the day-one lead in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. While their pattern seems to be effectively refined – they were using only one lure and had no others out on the deck – Nordbye and Almontadi don’t have this one sewed up yet. The rest of the top five is just a few pounds behind the leaders. Here’s how they made it into contention going into the final day. READ MORE »