Schultz tops low Amistad

Pro leader Dusty Schultz said he had to move around a lot to find his fish.

DEL RIO, Texas - Realistically, Lake Amistad's bass aren't going to run out of water anytime soon. However, the continued decline in water level - a function of downstream agricultural needs - took its toll on the leaderboard one day one of the EverStart Series Texas Division opener. Amistad gave up several quality fish of 7-plus pounds, including co-angler Kevin Gressett's 9-pound, 15-ounce mule. Largely, though, anglers reported struggling to find consistency in otherwise promising conditions. Warm days, an approaching full moon and rising water temperatures should have the fish in predictable prespawn mode, but yanking several inches of water a day from their world has a way of rattling a largemouth bass. Day one began calm and mildly chilly. Within an hour of takeoff, a dense fog had settled over Amistad. Visibility declined to the point that several competitors like sixth-place pro Stephen Johnston reported camping out in areas longer than they would have liked. "I spent an hour and a half in this one area because I couldn't see to run," Johnston said. "Visibility got so low that you couldn't see the end of your cast." By midday, the fog had lifted and anglers were safe to run where they pleased. Topping the pro Reaction baits were the ticket for top pro Dusty Schultz on Lake Amistad.division, Dusty Schultz, of Willis, Texas, sacked up a limit catch of 23-2. Given his experience in past Amistad tournaments, he came into the event thinking that he'd be fishing offshore winter patterns, but he said his success hinged on flexibility. "I moved around a lot and just mixed it up," he said. "I fished the mid-range and caught a couple of fish deep." Schultz said he caught his fish on various reaction baits and swimbaits. Targeting creek arms near deep water was his strategy. "The fish are coming out of deep water and then they're just hanging around the first (structure points) they come across," Schultz said. One thing working in the anglers' favor is the abundance of hydrilla throughout Amistad. Schultz reported catching some of his fish around hydrilla and other competitors pointed to this subaquatic growth as essential to their game. Byrd flies into second Utah pro Benjamin Byrd said he hit approximately 30 spots on day one.Benjamin Byrd was doubly happy to be fishing Lake Amistad today. First, his hometown of Moab, Utah, hadn't seen daytime highs above 20 degrees in a couple of weeks. Complementing the pleasantly warm local weather, Amistad delivered a second-place limit weighing 21-10. "I just played the weather; I knew it was going to be warming up this week so I avoided the offshore stuff and focused on some areas where I knew the fish would be going and it panned out," he said. Byrd said he targeted main-lake structure in the mid-depth range. He fished reaction baits and caught bass throughout the day. "It was just hitting a bunch of spots - I'm not hitting any one area," Byrd said. "I bet I fished 30 different spots." Reneau rides vertical walls to third Local favorite Tim Reneau of Del Rio, Texas, also resisted the deep game and, instead, opted to stay closeLocal pro  Tim Reneau found his best bites on vertical walls. to shore and work a pattern he had identified in practice. The plan worked, and Reneau sacked up the third-place limit of 21-1. "The fish (I found) are on vertical walls, so you have to fish slowly with a light jig," Reneau said. "It takes a lot of patience and a lot of time. You could come in with none or you could ignite a couple of schools like we did today. I hit probably 25 spots and the fish were on two. "We got into two flurries. We messed one of them up - I jumped off a couple of 4-pounders. In the other flurry, we got two 3-pounders, a 5- and an 8." Reneau fished his walls with a 3/4-ounce Strike King jig and a green pumpkin Rage Craw trailer. A glacial presentation, he said, was essential. "You want to try to pull (the jig) off the shelf and let it sink vertically, right beside the vertical wall," he said. Addison rips into fourth A Strike King Redeye Shad lipless crankbait let  Phil Addison to a fourth-place bag.In fourth place, Phil Addison of Baytown, Texas, trails Reneau by 3 ounces, with 20-14. For him, catching a good limit was simply a matter of turning the numbers. "I was covering a lot of water, making a lot of casts and catching a few fish here and there," he said. "It was tougher today than it has been all week. (In practice), I was catching 20 keepers a day; today I think I only caught 12." Addison caught his fish on Strike King Redeye Shads. He fished his baits around hydrilla, where the ripping technique produced best. "I was letting the bait go down 5 to 7 feet and ripping it out of the grass," he said. "I've been catching them that way all week." Fifth-place Craft keeps busy Buz Craft of Vidalia, La., caught a limit that weighed 20-8 and landed in the fifth-place spot. Day oneFifth-place pro  Buz Craft employed a mix of crankbaits and wacky-rigged worms on day one. delivered plenty of action on a variety of baits. "We caught a lot of fish and caught them a lot of different ways," Craft said. "We caught them trapping, on a DD22, wacky worming. I'll bet (my co-angler and I) caught 30-plus good fish. Tomorrow's another day and hopefully there's some more moving up. There's a lot of fish moving around and if they weren't pulling water so strong, it would be phenomenal." Seventh-place pro  Austin Terry took Big Bass honors with an 8-12.Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Amistad event: 6th: Stephen Johnston, of Hemphill, Texas, 20-6 7th: Austin Terry, of San Angelo, Texas, 19-5 8th: Phil Marks, of Dallas, Texas, 19-2 9th: Mark Rouse, of League City, Texas, 18-10 10th: Kris Wilson, of Montgomery, Texas, 18-5 Terry took Big Bass honors with his 8-pound, 12-ounce largemouth. Early kicker buoys Scott's co-angler lead Fort Worth, Texas co-angler Daren Scott took the lead in his division by sacking up a limit catch of 18-11. His catch included an estimated 8-pounder that ate a 3/4-ounce Strike King jig. "Actually, I think I caught each one of my fish on a different lure," he said. "It was just here and there. I Darren Scott leads the co-angler field with 18-11. caught that big one early and then followed up with a couple of jerkbait fish, finished off my limit with a drop-shot and then upgraded twice with a swim jig. It was a grind. It turned on a little bit after the sun came out and that's when I culled." Kevin Gressett of Tioga, Texas, placed second with 17-0. His big fish was the largest of both divisions. Justin Lampier of San Angelo, Texas, sits in third place with 16-3, while Van Shipp of Commerce, Texas, placed fourth with 16-2. In fifth, Justin Cogburn of Eastland, Texas, had 15-15. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Amistad event: 6th: Doron Pardo, of Monroe, La., 15-10 7th: David Kayda, of Huffman, Texas, 15-1 8th: Jason Gates, of Kountze, Texas, 14-9 9th: Mike Huckman, of Hemphill, Texas, 13-14 10th: David Wharton, of Del Rio, Texas, 13-6 Day two of EverStart Series Texas Division action on Lake Amistad continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. (Central) at the Diablo East Boat Launch in Del Rio, Texas.

Tags: headline-story 

/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 »