UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Aaron on top at Guntersville

Chad Aaron takes the day-one lead in the EverStart Series event on Lake Guntersville with 30 pounds, 6 ounces.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Amazing. Mind-boggling. Incredible. Unreal. Surreal. Use any adjective you want to describe bass fishing at Lake Guntersville in Alabama and it still does not come close to emphasizing what this fishery produces day in and day out. Despite air temperatures that hovered in the upper 30s, despite northwest winds to 20 mph producing wind chills in the upper 20s, despite water temperatures in the 40s, big Lake Guntersville bass were still more than willing to play catch at the EverStart Series event today. In all, 39 limits broke the 20-pound mark with seven of those limits going over 25 pounds. And, no, it's not all due to the Alabama Rig. Indeed it played a large role in the catches today, but four of the top 10 are not throwing an umbrella, including tournament leader Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., who took day-one top honors with a limit weighing 30 pounds, 6 ounces. Aaron is a TVA ace who knows his way around the Tennessee River pretty well. He won the EverStart Championship on Wheeler Lake in 2010. Though Aaron would not say exactly what he was using, he made it clear an Alabama Rig was not part of his day-one arsenal. "It's not really my deal," Aaron said of the A-rig. "I mean I have one in the boat and I threw one in practice, but it's just not my style of fishing. I fished around guys who were throwing it today, but I was using other stuff." Aaron has found that the Alabama Rig craze on Guntersville has put a lot of competitors in similar waters and, in turn, has pulled a lot of fishing pressure off of traditional areas where more conventional methods work. In a way, Aaron is fishing in the shadows of the A-rig's spotlight. "I really had no idea I would catch that kind of weight today," he said. "I was thinking maybe 20 pounds would be a good catch for me, not 30." Aaron said he visited numerous spots and culled seven or eight times. "I'm running around fishing a lot of spots," he added. "And some of those places have guys throwing Alabama rigs. But I also have a few places where there is not another boat for a half a mile. And some of those places would normally be pretty crowded before the Alabama Rig came along." McMullen second James McMullen of Quakertown, Penn., is in second place after day one with 28-4. James McMullen is a long way from his home in Quakertown, Penn., but he got to experience some of his hometown weather today. "I thought I'd come down here and get away from it," McMullen laughed as a stray snowflake or two fell from the sky. "You see how that worked out. I think it's following me." Despite the weather, McMullen sacked up 28 pounds, 4 ounces for second place. McMullen did confirm that he is throwing an Alabama rig. "I fished one area all day, back and forth," he said. "I probably caught 25 keepers. And what's wild is they will bite in flurries. I would catch maybe three or four quick and then it would be dead for an hour, then they would fire back up for 10 minutes and go dead again." Giddens third Marty Giddens of Alpine, Ala., is in third place after day one with 28-1. Marty Giddens of Alpine, Ala., holds down the third place spot after day one with five bass weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce. Giddens said he did use an umbrella rig during the day but that he also caught some weigh fish on other lures. "I'm throwing it some, but I'm not committed to it," Giddens said of the umbrella rig. "I think the key for me today was being able to fish late. I caught my two best fish in the last hour of the day." Canterbury fourth Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., is in fourth place after day one with 26-14. Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., is in fourth place after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 26 pounds, 14 ounces. Canterbury said he posted 9 or 10 keepers for the day and some came from an umbrella rig and some from a Chatterbait. "Of the ones I weighed, three came from the rig and two were shallow on the Chatterbait," Canterbury said. "If the water was clearer, they might have all come on a rig but with the muddier, stained water, the Chatterbait became more of a player for me." Baker fifth Shaye Baker of Tallassee, Ala., grabbed the fifth place spot with five bass for 26 pounds, 6 ounces. Baker is one of the top pros in the standings who caught his bass without an umbrella rig today. Shaye Baker of Tallassee, Ala., is in fifth place after day one with 26-6. "I caught them the way I like to fish," Baker said. "I only had five bites today. Four were from 25 feet deep and one was in a foot of water. I'm hitting a lot of spots, but I have two primary lures I'm using." "I have to thank fellow pro Casey Martin and the guys at the Mercury trailer today," he added. "I spun a hub and they helped get another prop out to me to get me going again - those guys are awesome." Baker, who has become the GoPro Guru on the pro circuits, covering pro fishing events with the unique perspective of GoPro technology, said he captured his fish catches on a GoPro camera today and they will be available for viewing on his channel at fishflics.com or search keywords Shaye Baker Guntersville after the event. Big bass Jerry Gore of St. Cloud, Fla., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Lake Guntersville after day one: 6th: Ricky Williams of Decatur, Ala., five-bass, 25-8 7th: Michael Stevens of Fayetteville, Tenn., five-bass, 25-1 8th: Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., five-bass, 24-13 9th: Lonnie O'Neal of Valdosta, Ga., five-bass, 24-9 10th: Craig Chambers of Charlotte, N.C., five-bass, 24-7 Cupps leads co-anglers Nick Cupps of Decatur, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division with a five bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 13 ounces. Nick Cupps of Decatur, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division after day one with a limit for 25-13 Cupps fished with Walmart pro Wesley Strader today and received a special bonus on his Alabama Rig: two five-pounders at one time. "When it's your time, it's your time I guess," Cupps said. "I caught all of those in the first hour and two of the biggest ones came on one cast. It was unreal. When fighting them in, Wesley actually though I had three on at one time, but it ended up being two big ones." Randy Gardner of Wetumpka, Ala., is in second place with five bass weighing 25 pounds, 11 ounces. Deandrae Kimbrough of Tuscaloosa, Ala., only caught three bass today, but they were all big ones weighing in at 18 pounds, 14 ounces. Jason Smith of Killen, Ala., is in fourth place with five bass for 18 pounds, 2 ounces. Brian Fuller of Prattville, Ala., rounds out the top five with a limit weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces. Big bass Rodney Treadaway of Decatur, Ala., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Lake Guntersville after day one: 6th: Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 15-15 7th: Jim Austin of Lithonia, Ga., four bass, 15-1 8th: Leon Brewington of Moulton, Ala., five bass, 13-8 9th: Scott Ostmann of Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 13-6 10th: Lee Black of Danville, Ala., four bass, 13-5 Day two of the EverStart Series Southeastern on Lake Guntersville will begin at 7 a.m. at Lake Guntersville State Park.

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/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 »

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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 »

/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 »