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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Morgan Maintains His Lead

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Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

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Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

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Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

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Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

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Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

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Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

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Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

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Lanter Wins on Rend Lake

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Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »