Ferguson widens lead on Lake of the Pines

Texas pro Ritter Ferguson maintained the lead on Lake of the Pines for a second day.

LONGVIEW, Texas. - Weather changes have a way of tanking opportunity, so with a cold front heading for Lake of the Pines tomorrow, it was critically important for finalists in the EverStart Series Texas Division tournament to secure as much weight as possible today. Ritter Ferguson did just that by extending his lead on this East Texas impoundment. After taking the top spot on day one with the event's heaviest bag - 19-10 - Ferguson added 13-11 on day two and stretched his lead to 3-2 with a combined weight of 33-5. Today, Ferguson started off at the same upper-lake spot that produced his day-one catch, but as the fishing thinned, he moved around and picked up what he needed elsewhere. "I had three keepers off the spot I fished yesterday but then we left and went to another spot and I  Ritter Ferguson caught several of his keepers off the same spot he fished on day one.ended up catching another one," he said. "We went back to (my original spot) and (completing) a limit. Later, we went to another spot and I culled one of my smaller fish." Ferguson's main area is a sweet spot within the vast expanses of timber and stumps in the lake's north end. Here, he caught his fish in 6-8 feet on Texas-rigged soft plastics. When he fished elsewhere, he was looking for schools of bass working the shad. In this scenario, a Carolina rig did the trick. "They weren't schooling on top, there are just areas holding a lot of fish that are feeding on schools of shad down on the bottom," Ferguson said. "I knew where they were because I had already located them. It was a drop-off on the main lake." Ritter FergusonSafely navigating the minefield of timber and stumps and making efficient presentations to specific targets is pretty straightforward in calm conditions. But when a big blow has the lake rocking - not so easy. Ferguson said he would like to return to his primary spot in the final round, but with wet, windy weather common to the leading side of an approaching cold front may complicate that objective. "Tomorrow's going to be a whole different story," he said. "This front's going to come through, the wind's going to be blowing out of the north and that spot may be unfishable. I'm going to try to start there, but if I can't, I'm just going to try to eke out a limit on some schooling fish and places I can get out of the wind, so maybe it will happen." Setina's adjustment moves him up to second When the bass wouldn't take his frog, second-place pro Joe Don Setina switched to a Texas-riggedSecond-place pro Joe Don Setina gets some stage support from Little Joe. Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper in California 420 color and sacked up a limit catch of 16-2. Pairing this with his 14-1 from the first day earned the Pittsburg, Texas pro a final-round berth with a total weight of 30-3. "I started out doing the frog thing like I did yesterday; I had six good ones come up and just knock the fire out of it but I think they hit it with their mouth closed so I gave up on that and went fishing little sloughs off the river channel pitching that Skinny Dipper around stumps and caught them pretty good." Setina said he caught about 10 fish on the slender swimming bait. The key was a small bullet weight to keep the nose down in the water. "They didn't want to come up to the surface and feed today, so I gave them something under the surface," Setina said. "I just tried to give them something different. It seems like everyone around was throwing jigs and stuff like that, so I gave them something different to look at." Clark cranks up to third A squarebill crankbait was the hot bait for third-place pro  Brian Clark. Brian Clark, of Haltom City, Texas, has had two remarkably consistent days with 14-9 on day one and 14-10 today. After placing 10th in the opening round, he rose to third on day two with a total weight of 29-3. Clark caught his fish on a prototype Excite squarebill in a sexy shad pattern with a little extra copper tint for optimal attraction in dirty water. Also, a single deep pitch knocker makes an enticing sound that further attracts the fish." "Where I'm fishing is just a bunch of shallow wood - nothing deeper than two feet and dirty water," he said. "That's the perfect scenario for a squarebill. A lot of the guys (in the area) were flipping and with all that pressure, I think the reaction bite is the key to it. "I'm around a lot of fish and I probably caught 20 keepers each day. I'd leave my good area and just go fishing and keep catching them. It's kind of a deal where you have to get that big bite. My co-angler caught a 6-10 there, so there are some big ones there. You just have to go down and get that big bite." Wilson's holds steady at fourth Kris Wilson, of Montgomery, Texas again stuck to a two-part game plan and sacked up another limit,Holding steady at fourth,  Kris Wilson used a mix of cranking and flipping to catch his limit. which kept him in the fourth-place spot he claimed on day one. Wilson caught 16-9 on day one and added 11-11 for a total weight of 28-4. "It was a lot harder today," Wilson said. "I only had three early and I didn't have my fifth one until about 10 minutes to go." Like he did on day one, Wilson fished a Strike King 5XD in sexy shad and a black/blue jig with black/blue Paca Craw trailer. With the pre-front wind starting by midday, he had to upsize his jig from 1/2-ounce to ¾. "When I started flipping, I had to go to a heavier jig because the wind blew and it was a lot tougher bite," he said. I tried throwing a squarebill and a spinnerbait and just couldn't get anything going, so I just went back to flipping and went to that bigger jig." Froggin' lifts Terry to fifth Enhancing his frog with a rattle was important for fifth-place pro  Austin Terry.Austin Terry, of San Angelo, Texas, placed ninth on day one with 15-0 and improved four spots today with a 12-14 limit that boosted him to a fifth-place total of 27-14. "My weight dropped down today, but I had more consistent fish today - I didn't get that big bite like I had yesterday," Terry said. "I think a lot of people didn't get that 4- to 6-pound bite today. I think the wind definitely made a big difference, but I also think that a lot of people are crowded in the same areas. This lake has a lot of fish and some areas will replenish good, but I think a lot of people's areas aren't replenishing well." Terry caught one keeper while flipping but the other four ate a white Spro Bronzeye Frog. He added a rattle and that seemed to entice more bites. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Lake of the Pines event: Larry Byrd had the Big Bass on the pro side, a 5-10. 6th: Russell Cecil, of Willis, Texas, 27-13 7th: Harold Allen, of Shelbyville, Texas, 26-8 8th: John Tanner, of Quitman, Texas, 25-6 9th: Stewart Herndon, of Graham, Texas, 25-2 10th: Bert Thompson, of Benton, La., 24-15 Honeycutt swims to co-angler lead Looking only at the stats, it may appear that Keith Honeycutt bombed on day two, but that's not the case. The co-angler from Temple, Texas led his division with 17-5 on day one, but day-two brought major disappointment when his pro experienced engine and trolling motor problems. Fortunately for Although his second day was cut short by boat problems, Keith Honeycutt maintained his lead from day one.Honeycutt, his day-one weight, plus a lone keeper of 1-13 today was sufficient to hold him in the top spot with 19-2. "At this level, you try to catch all that you're allowed to catch as a co-angler and hope it all works out," Honeycutt said. "I didn't have a good day today. I was really disappointed, but I was able to scratch out one small keeper while running the banks." Honeycutt said his pro's outboard broke down about 10 minutes into the day and then the trolling motor failed two hours later. When they realized that running was not an option, they trolled to the windward bank and did what they could. Honeycutt caught his fish on a 3/8-ounce jig in about four feet. "Color doesn't really matter," he said. "These fish are relating to wood and you just have to make a lot of cast and a lot of flips." David Underwood, of Waco, Texas placed second with 17-3, while Dan Wilson, of Pilot Point, Texas took third with 17-0. In fourth place, Andrew Crain, of Grapevine, Texas had 16-12. Fifth place went to Darrell Denton, of Georgetown, Texas, whose 15-2 was anchored by the tournament's biggest bass - an 8-11. Notably, Denton blanked on day one, so his was a huge comeback. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Lake of the Pines event: 6th: Marc Logan, of Lawton, Ok., 15-2 7th: Kevin Carter, Spring, Texas, 14-13 8th: Chuck Nelson, of Elmore City, Ok., 14-12 9th: Anthony Ferdinando, of Spicewood, Texas, 14-10 10th: Elton Brock, of Denton, Texas, 14-4 Day three of the EverStart Series Texas Division tournament on Lake of the Pines continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Central) at Lakeside Area Recreation Area located at 2669 FM 726 in Jefferson, Texas.

Tags: headline-story  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/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-millsaps-wins-on-lake-sinclair

Millsaps Wins on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – David Millsaps of Ranger, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Millsaps earned $6,009. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-walters-nets-third-victory-on-wylie

Walters Nets Third Victory on Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, N.C. – Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Walters earned $4,350. 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/2015-03-28-mosley-on-top-at-arkansas-river

Mosley on Top at Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 the Arkansas River. For his victory, Mosley earned $5,349. 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 »