UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Brauer takes lead on Toledo Bend

Strike King pro Denny Brauer had a rocky start on day two, but eventually caught 22-10 and took over the lead.

HEMPHILL, Texas - Toledo Bend has yet to show its full potential but a full day of competition, with conditions greatly improved over a dismal and fog-delayed day one, gave EverStart Series Texas Division anglers a pretty good glimpse of what lives on this Sabine River reservoir. A sunny morning gave way to hazy skies, which turned cloudy by mid-afternoon. The biggest difference, though was the wind. Day one saw nearly flat conditions, but today brought a blow of 15-20 mph and with Toledo Bend's relatively narrow figure, that made for rodeo-rough rides - especially for those that ran to the lake's north end. Nevertheless, with yesterday's high pressure dissipating, gradually warming temperatures and a little of that cloud cover arriving toward the end of the fishing day, anglers found the fish much more willing to participate in this little show-and-tell at Paradise Point Park. Pros caught 42 limits and co-anglers added 15, as compared to 22 and 2, respectively, from day one. Seven anglers broke 20 pounds on the event's second day and two anglers caught fish over 10 pounds - including a toad of 13-1 that sixth-place co-angler Casey Martin wrangled.Denny Brauer caught his fish by pitching his signature Strike King Premier Pro Model jig. Day two also presented a few dramatic comebacks, not the least of which was Martin's rebound from a day-one goose egg. No one, though, was happier to sack up a big limit than local pro Stephen Johnston, who endured brutal ribbing from friends and neighbors after "embarrassing the neighborhood" (his words) with a single fish of 3-9 on day one. Johnston, who made the day-three cut in ninth place caught the tournament's heaviest sack - 24 pounds, 7 ounces. Notably, his stepson Danny Isles also broke the 20 mark and placed 13th in the pro division. Strike King pro Denny Brauer gained two notches from his third-place performance on day one and took over the lead on the strength of his 22-pound, 10-ounce limit. Paired with a 16-14 bag on day one, the legendary angler from Del Rio, Texas tallied a two-day total of 39-8. Brauer started in the north end drains where he had caught his fish on day one, but the spot had not reloaded so he had to go looking. Pro leader Denny Brauer gets a shot of fresh water with Rejuvenade."I just decided to go run the pattern and run new water and it just worked out," he said. "I had about 12-15 for the day. I had three big bites and one big fish that hit really hard but didn't take the bait. Maybe I'll catch him tomorrow." Looking ahead to day three, the weather forecast may hinder Brauer's plan. "What I'm doing is so weather-specific. No wind and sun is better but it looks like I'm going to get more wind and clouds. I may have to totally switch patterns and do something else." Brauer fished his signature Strike King Premier Pro Model jig with a Strike King Rage Chunk trailer. He pitched the bait into grass clumps, but not just any grass clumps. "The placement of the cover in relation to the lake (is the key)," he said. "I'm starting to dial in a little more on what these fish are doing and how they're starting to set up. They're wanting to come up and spawn." Grice slips to second Day-one leader Dustin Grice saw his productivity decline from the 20 pounds, 2 ounces he weighed Day-one leader Dustin Grice had to adjust for windy conditions on day two.on day one, but he managed a solid performance with a day-two limit of 16-11 giving him a total weight of 36-13. Grice returned to the south end and fished grass beds, as he did on day one. The difference, however, was how he fished the cover. "The wind changed and repositioned the fish," he said. "They were on the opposite side of what I was fishing the day before." Grice fished the same swimbaits he threw on day one, but with turbulent conditions, he used a heavier leadhead to get the bait deeper. He experienced his strongest activity around 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. "There were two hot streaks in my day," Grice said. Slower day drops Owens to third Kelly Owens struggled to get five bites on day two and dropped a notch to third.The bite slowed down for Kelly Owens, of Crowley, La., who caught a limit of 12-6 and dropped one spot to third with 30-15. Owens returned to the north end and targeted the grassy drains he fished on day one. "It was the same type thing, just very few bites," Owens said. "I had five keepers and I was thankful to catch them. I don't know what it was. The fish are there; I just didn't get the bites." Owens said the afternoon hours were most productive for him. A brief flurry of activity yielded four of his bites in a short period of time. Upshaw improves to fourth Andrew Upshaw, of Hemphill, Texas made a big move on day two by climbing 22 spots to earn a Fishing slower than he did on a rushed day one allowed Andrew Upshaw to find enough weight to improve his position to fourth from 26th.final-round berth in the fourth-place position. After weighing just 9-7 on day one, the former College Fishing standout sacked up 21-3 for a total weight of 30-10. "I stayed in one primary area today," Upshaw said. "I caught one 4 1/2-pounder in there yesterday but I kind of rushed through it because I only had about three hours of fishing time (after the fog delay). Today, I was able to break down the water better. I didn't lose any and it was a pretty awesome day." Upshaw ran far north and targeted the grass-lined drains where lots of prespawners are staging. He caught his fish on a Strike Pro Big Bubba crankbait and a Strike Pro Flap Jack lipless crankbait. Combs climbs to fifth After starting shallow, Keith Combs moved offshore and added a few more good fish to his sack.Huntington, Texas pro Keith Combs caught 17-9 and improved 11 spots to fifth with an even 30 pounds. Day one saw Combs start on his deep pattern where he knew he could catch numbers quickly - a high priority after the lengthy fog delay. On day two, he started shallow where he felt more confident looking for bigger bites and got the ball rolling fairly quickly with a Strike King KVD 1.5 squarebill crankbait in a shad pattern and a Redeye Shad in a crawfish pattern. "I knocked out a limit quickly," he said. "There were three small ones and two nice ones. Then I went like two hours without a bite so I went to where I caught them yesterday with a Strike King 6XD crankbait and a Game Hog on a Carolina Rig. I caught a 4-pounder there, made two other culls and that was it. Shallow was better early for me and I think wind helped that deal." Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Amistad event:This 10-pound, 6-ounce whopper earned Big Bass honors on the pro side for Tommy Rascoe. 6th: Jeromy Francis, of Magnolia, Texas, 29-13 7th: Todd Castledine, of Nacogdoches, Texas, 29-12 8th: Bill Glascock, of Kingston, OK, 28-9 9th: Stephen Johnston, of Hemphill, Texas, 28-0 10th: Jim Tutt, of Longview, Texas, 27-14 Tommy Roscoe took Big Bass honors with his 10-pound, 6-ounce largemouth. Big sack moves Furr atop co-angler field Good thing this wasn't a one-day shootout, otherwise Hemphill co-angler Jim Furr would've left in 54th place with 2 pounds, 3 ounces. Instead, he took his second day on the water and turned in one Day two saw Jim Furr race up the standing from 54th to first in the co-angler division.of the event's biggest comebacks. Furr sacked up 20-14 - the co-angler division's only catch of 20-plus - for a 23-1 total. "We ran way up north, which is where I like to fish and it worked out great," Furr said. "My partner had 20 pounds and I had 20-14. You couldn't ask for anything more." Furr caught all of his fish on Rat-L-Traps. With the boat in 8 feet, he cast shoreward toward grassy drains. "We figured we'd be fishing (on day three), so we left about 12 o'clock so we really didn't catch much after that," Furr said. "With the weather the way it was, we came back early." Elton Brock, of Denton, Texas placed second with 21-9, while Kevin Burks, of Kountze, Texas took third with 21-1. In fourth place, Kevin Gressett, of Tioga, Texas had 20-8 and David Kayda, of Huffman, Texas went to fifth with 20-8. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Amistad event:Louisiana co-angler Casey Martin stole the show when he lifted this 13-pound, 1-ounce whopper. 6th: Casey Martin, of Anacoco, La., 20-2 7th: Ralph Logan, Sr., of Magnolia, Texas, 20-2 8th: Steve Hope, of Ovilla, Texas, 19-4 8th: Howard Hartley, of Berwick, La., 19-0 10th: Jason Gates, of Kountze, Texas, 16-12 Day three of EverStart Series Texas Division action on Toledo Bend Reservoir continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Central) at Paradise Point Park in Hemphill, Texas.

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Matual Masters Erie

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Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

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Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

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Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

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Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

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Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

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Wheeler Back in Front

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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