UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Kerr Lake

Armstrong flexes muscle on Lake Roosevelt

Local pro Levi Armstrong of Payson, Ariz., grabbed first place overall with a 15-pound, 7-ounce sack – by far the largest stringer caught all day.

ROOSEVELT, Ariz. - As widely predicted, Thursday's EverStart Series competition on Lake Roosevelt was nothing short of a grind. With only 20 total limits caught in the Pro Division and a scant 10 total in the Co-angler Division, it was more than obvious that the near-freezing temps, low water levels and fickle bass bite had taken a heavy toll on the field. Throw in the fact that 135 anglers couldn't even break the 6-pound mark and it was clear that fishing Lake Roosevelt this week will not be for the faint hearted. That being said, there were a few surprising standout efforts. Leading the pack in that department was local pro Levi Armstrong of Payson, Ariz. Despite the difficult conditions, Armstrong managed to bring in a relatively eye-popping limit weighing in at 15 pounds, 7 ounces - by far the largest stringer caught all day. However, the most amazing thing about Armstrong's day was that it apparently could have been a whole lot better. "I lost some fish this morning, including my first one which probably would have weighed in at 3 or 4 pounds," said Armstrong. "I really think I could have weighed 20 pounds today, but I decided to leave my fish alone in my (prime fishing) area." Given his local knowledge, Armstrong is no stranger to Lake Roosevelt - and today that proved to be the deciding factor. "I've fished this lake for 12 to 14 years now and that obviously helped," he said. "But I had the worst practice I think I've ever had so I wasn't very confident coming into today. But then I started looking back at some of the past tournament I won here and that helped me to get focused. I wound up fishing an area that I've fished many times before and doing the exact same thing that won me a tournament here last year." According to Armstrong, that "same thing" was flipping trees and bushes in 3 feet of water with a lure he didn't feel comfortable divulging at this time. "I went to this area in practice and caught a few fish, but they were pretty scattered. Today they all seemed to bunch up and that made it easier," said Armstrong. "I saw a couple of guys fishing in the same area but they were running through it doing something a little different than what I was doing. I really think my (bait of choice) made all of the difference today. That was key." Armstrong said he caught a total of seven fish, all in a two-hour period. "I had a limit by 10 a.m.," he said. "I didn't catch a lot of keepers today but I was really going after the bigger bites. And it really paid off. I'm excited. I just hope everything works out tomorrow." Caporuscio nets runner-up position Pro Joseph Caporuscio of Coto De Caza, Calif., recorded a total catch of 13 pounds, 3 ounces to grab second place at Lake Roosevelt. Despite only boating three fish in today's competition, Joseph Caporuscio of Coto De Caza, Calif., had more than enough weight to make some real noise during the first day of tournament action, recording a total catch of 13 pounds, 3 ounces to grab second place overall in the Pro Division. "I knew that the bite was going to be tough today and I actually told my co-angler partner that I would be happy with three keepers. And what did I wind up catching? Yup, three keepers. So that was pretty dumb. I really wish I hadn't said that now," joked Caporuscio. Although Caporuscio said he will spend the rest of the day thinking what could have been with a five-fish limit, he also said he was more than happy with his total weight heading into Friday's crucial day of competition. "I'm still very blessed," he said. "I really didn't have a lot of time to practice and the fishing was really tough today. So, overall, I can't complain." Caporuscio said the key to his success today was his ability to cover a lot of water. "I probably went to about 20 different spots today so I really covered a lot of water," he said. "I really bounced around a lot. I was also fishing really fast." For Caporuscio, reaction baits were seemingly the key to his success. "I was throwing ChatterBaits, Rat-L-traps and spinnerbaits and (targeting) fish in shallow water anywhere from zero to 10 feet," he said. "I was mainly keying on banks with structure and rock." As for tomorrow? "I think the weather might change a bit," he said. "I think the skies are going to clear up and wind might calm down. And if that happens, I think I might have to change things up as well. I'll probably have to slow way down. But we'll just have to see how it goes." Caporuscio also landed the day's big-bass award after netting a 6-pound, 1-ounce largemouth. That catch alone was worth $186. Brennan claims third Pro Sean Brennan of Prescott Valley, Ariz., parlayed a total catch of 12 pounds, 10 ounces into a third-place finish on day one at Lake Roosevelt.Sean Brennan of Prescott Valley, Ariz., parlayed a total catch of 12 pounds, 10 ounces into third-place overall in the standings. However, like most of the field, he said the fishing conditions today were far from ideal. "We worked really hard out there today," he said. "But overall it was a pretty good day especially since I had such a horrible practice. In fact, I didn't catch any bass in practice - so on Wednesday, I decided to come up with a new game plan. And it really paid off." Brennan said that he ultimately wound up targeting steep ledges with a combination of crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs. "We found some steep ledges and that's where we had our best luck," he said. "I was basically throwing my bait shallow and dragging it down into deeper water while keeping in contact with the bottom of the lake as much as possible." As for the rest of the tournament, Brennan plans to stick with a similar strategy going forward. "I'll probably go with the same game plan tomorrow and hopefully (my areas) will hold up," he said. "I love to fish when it's overcast like it was today and tomorrow it might clear up - so who knows? But no matter what, at least after today I gave myself a chance." Best of the rest John Fuqua of Oxnard, Calif., grabbed fourth place overall with a total catch of 12 pounds, 9 ounces. Pro Josh Bertrand of Gilbert, Ariz.,netted a total catch of 12 pounds, 8 ounces to finish the opening day of EverStart competition on Lake Roosevelt in fifth place.Rounding out the top-five anglers in the Pro Division was Josh Bertrand of Gilbert, Ariz., who netted a total catch of 12 pounds, 8 ounces. "I honestly thought the day was going to be a lot worse," said Bertrand. "The water was a lot colder than I had expected and I only got five bites total - but they were good ones. And that really helped. But it was a major grind out there to be sure." Bertrand said that he his practice time didn't help him much either. "I really didn't have a great practice," he said. "So today I just approached this like just another practice day and went pre-fishing. Luckily for me, everything worked out. I wound up doing a little bit of everything - junk fishing basically. But when it gets tough that's not a bad strategy." Using a combination of spinnerbaits and jigs, Bertrand said that he covered plenty of water, targeting rock and brush in anywhere from zero to 20 feet of water. But while making the top five is nice, Bertrand said he realizes it's still very early. "It was a great surprise to catch what I caught today," he said. "But I know there is still a lot of time left in this tournament. And it's going to be real tough fishing again tomorrow. But if I can land five good keepers again, I should be in pretty good shape." For a complete list of pro results, click here. Avina grabs co-angler lead David Avina of Sun City, Calif., grabbed first place overall in the Co-angler Division after landing a day-one catch of 11 pounds, 15 ounces at Lake Roosevelt.David Avina of Sun City, Calif., appears to be picking up right where he left off. After taking an almost five-year hiatus from tournament fishing, Avina entered the first EverStart Series event of the season at Lake Oroville this January and wound up placing fourth. Now, with one day under his belt at Lake Roosevelt, the California native sits in the driver's seat in only his second event of the season, grabbing first place overall with a total catch of 11 pounds, 15 ounces. Not bad for somebody who is still trying to get his feet wet. "I couldn't have possibly asked for anything better today," he said. "The fishing was definitely tough. But I really like tough tournaments." Avina credited his uncle's homemade, hand-poured worms for his success. "I caught six keepers today and I wouldn't have gotten my limit without those special hand-poured worms," he said. "The key was the color of those worms. With all of the stained water, it was important to find a color the fish could see. I tried a lot of reaction baits in practice but I couldn't get anything to bite. So I went with the worms and I got 11 pounds. Like I said, I couldn't be happier." Avina said he didn't target anything specifically. Instead, he just tried to take advantage of every opportunity that arose. "I was basically throwing my bait everywhere, mostly in 2 to 20 feet of water on a drop-shot," he said. "I expected it to be tough out there and it was. And that's when you really have to stay focused. I only had three fish in the boat at 1 p.m., so to catch three more keepers throughout the rest of the day was great." Avina also won the day's big-bass award in the Co-angler Division after landing a 6-pound largemouth. His catch won him an additional $124. Trumbell scores second-place finish Bolstered by a total catch of 11 pounds, 4 ounces, Chris Trumbull of Oakley, Calif., grabbed second place overall in the Co-angler Division at Lake Roosevelt.Bolstered by a total catch of 11 pounds, 4 ounces, Chris Trumbull of Oakley, Calif., grabbed second place overall in the Co-angler Division. "For me, the fishing was actually a lot better than yesterday," he said. "I was basically dragging a jig, bouncing my bait off rocks in anywhere from 7 to 20 feet of water. The fish were kind of scattered and they were tough to pin down. But I was able to catch a limit so I was pretty happy." Zanotelli nets third Co-angler Tony Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., parlayed a total catch of 10 pounds, 11 ounces into a third-place finish in today's EverStart competition on Lake Roosevelt.Tony Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., parlayed a total catch of 10 pounds, 11 ounces into a third-place finish in today's competition. But like most of the field, Zanotelli said the fishing was tough. "It's been a horrible bite all week and it was tough out there today - although it was a little better than it had been," he said. "I actually blanked one day in practice so I was just hoping to catch a limit that weighed 6 or 7 pounds today. So I'm pretty happy right now. I'm pretty excited." Zanotelli said that he threw a combination of drop-shots and jigs in deeper water and threw crankbaits to tapered banks when his pro went shallow. Overall, Zanotelli said he wound up fishing anywhere from zero to 25 feet of water. "Today I wound up with eight or nine bites so I feel pretty fortunate," he said. "It's the most bites I caught all week. Going forward, I really think if you can just get five bites and get them in the boat, you should be alright." Best of the rest Christopher Dixon of Granada Hills, Calif., finished the day in fourth place overall after landing a 9-pound, 12-ounce catch. Rounding out the top-five co-anglers was John Stewart, Jr., of Glendale, Ariz., who recorded a total catch of 9 pounds, 2 ounces. For a complete list of co-angler results, click here. EverStart Series action continues 7 a.m. Friday morning at takeoff at Cholla Recreation site in Roosevelt, Ariz.. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. Bass-fishing fans take note A good crowd was on hand to witness opening-round weigh-in at Lake Roosevelt.To view Friday's weigh-in online, head to FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com at approximately 2:30 p.m. Mountain time (4:30 p.m. Eastern time). FLW Live offers live streaming video and audio of each day's weigh-in at Lake Roosevelt.

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

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 »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

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 »

/news/2015-08-22-forrest-wood-cup-day-3-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-21-ramie-races-into-the-lead

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 »

/news/2015-08-21-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-2

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 »

/news/2015-08-21-forrest-wood-cup-day-2-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-wheeler-hunting-history

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-forrest-wood-cup-day-1-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »