UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Tucker on top at Lake of the Ozarks

Mark Tucker holds up his two best fish from his 22-pound, 7-ounce sack on day one.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Things weren't all bad on Lake of the Ozarks today to start the EverStart Central Division season. Although only 16 limits of bass were caught out of the 122 pros who launched out of Grand Glaize Recreation Area this morning, there were still several limits that held the caliber fish more commonly seen on this lake. The angler that rose to the top after day one was local pro Mark Tucker of Kirkwood, Mo. Tucker jumped out to a 5-ounce lead by sacking up 22 pounds, 7 ounces worth of fish. Having local knowledge is often a curse in tournament fishing, but when the bite is tough it sure helps to know some other options. "I had a tough practice. I didn't even practice yesterday because I didn't want to get discouraged," said Tucker. "I fished a tournament out here last weekend and got second when the bite was still good, but once we got that rain it made the fishing really tough. "I have caught fish so many different ways this time of the year from dam to dam that it makes it tough to decide what to do. Luckily the thing I'm doing is a pattern and I would much rather run a pattern than (fish past) history." Clearly, the sun and wind were factors in aiding the better bite on the water. During practice, several anglers struggled to catch a keeper let alone a limit. "I probably caught two or three limits of fish today," Tucker went on to say. "They really come in spurts though. It was good early, and then it died off. It picked up again early afternoon - then died - and by the end of the day it picked up. You just need to be in the right place at the right time when they go to feeding." With tomorrow supposedly bringing even warmer weather it could move more fish up shallow and help the bite. "The fish are moving right now and you need to be able to adjust. That is why I am fishing in the moment and running my pattern. If the wind blows tomorrow, they'll bite again." Foree in second Local pro Mike Foree is close on the heels of the leader. His catch weighed 22 pounds, 2 ounces. Another local stick that sprinted to the front of the pack is Mike Foree of Osage Beach, Mo. He hauled a whopping 22 pounds, 2 ounces to the stage today to sit just out of the lead. Foree is another example of just how far local knowledge can carry you after a less than favorable practice. "My practice was absolutely terrible, just terrible," said Foree, who has five top-10 finishes in FLW competition on Lake of the Ozarks. "I knew I had five banks with keeper fish on them so that is what I ran today. I got my fish off of three of those banks - then I ran and checked some other places. I think I had my first fish within the first 30 minutes. It took a while after that though until I got my next bite. "I caught several 2 1/2- to 3-pound bass today. I'd say I had probably 10 or 11 keepers. I even culled a fish out towards the end of the day to give me an upgrade of a few ounces." Foree is catching the majority of his fish on a classic presentation for coldwater bass, a jerkbait. Sticking to his guns, Foree plans to run the same banks tomorrow hoping that it produce again - especially since he caught a 6-12 largemouth which took big bass honors for day one. "I'm going to burn about $100 worth of gas tomorrow running my same spots. Nobody is fishing any of my places, and I believe the bite is only going to get better. The fish live on those banks and I just need another 7-pound bite." Sykora third Keeping the local theme alive is current third-place angler Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Mo. Sykora is the proud owner of 11 top-10 finishes, including four FLW wins on Lake of the Ozarks. His catch of 20 pounds, 14 ounces will give the local pro a good start to the rest of the competition days. Kowal fourth Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo., broke the 20-pound mark with 20 pounds, 14 ounces on day one. Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo., was one of four anglers who brought in a limit over 20 pounds as his bag of fish went 20-3. Unlike much of the field, Kowal actually had a decent practice. "I was catching fish in practice," said Kowal. "I didn't sit on any place too long in practice so I wasn't sure what kinds of fish were on them, but I still managed two or three decent fish every day. "When I started on my best bank and didn't catch anything I got a little nervous. After that though I just ran water I knew. There is no real rhyme or rhythm to these fish. Some places have fish and some don't." Kowal relied on a jig, jerkabit and Alabama rig to produce his fish today. "Nothing changes tomorrow for me," said the pro who took second in the 2010 EverStart Lake of the Ozarks event. "I just hope the winds lays down to make the ride in my 18-foot boat a little better." Austin fifth Chuck Austin rounds out the top 5 on day one, his limit of bass went for 19 pounds, 9 ounces. One of the first anglers to weigh in today was Saint Peters, Mo., native Chuck Austin. With 19 pounds, 9 ounces, Austin managed to claim the lead for a while until he eventually slid down the leaderboard. "Practice was very brutal for me," said Austin. "I fish down here a lot and this week has been tougher than it has been this year. It's a grind and I'm just thankful to have what I have." Austin had a slow start to the morning as he did not boat a keeper until around 11:30 a.m. "I'm not getting a lot of bites," the local pro said. "I think I lost one fish today but I am just trying to cover water by hitting a lot of brushpiles. I'm running from Tan-Tar-A to Chimney Cove; that's a lot of water." As far as tomorrow is concerned, Austin thinks he may try to mix it up. The fact that he went so long without a bite in the morning makes him want to try some different things to put fish in the boat quicker. Rest of the Best Rounding out the top-10 pros after day one of the EverStart Series event on Lake of the Ozarks: 6th: Bob Richardson of Granite City, Ill., four bass, 17-14 7th: Dave Donham of Highlandville, Mo., five bass, 17-11 8th: Jim Young of House Springs, Mo., five bass, 17-8 9th: Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Mo., five bass, 17-7 10th: Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., five bass, 16-0 McClary leads co-angler divison Joe McClary of Richmond Heights, Mo., was the only co-angler on day one to catch a limit of bass. McClary caught a massive 18-pound, 9-ounce stringer to give him a 4-2 lead above the rest. McClary was paired with pro Bob Richardson who showed he was on the right fish when he produced 17-14 with only four bass. "I had an awesome day," said McClary. "I had a lot of fun with Bob (Richardson) but the bites were few and far between. Credit goes out to Bob, its guys like him that make this sport possible. It was an honor to fish with him." With only five bites the entire day, McClary made them count. He got to work early and had most of his limit before Richardson had any fish. "I was doing somethings different than Bob," McClary went on to say. "It was a grind all day but we knew we were around the right kind of fish." McClary feels like he may have learned a few things that could help him throughout this event. He even caught his first fish today on a jerkbait. Goen in second Co-angler Hank Goen of Harrisburg, Mo., weighed four bass that hit the scales at 14 pounds, 7 ounces. That was enough to earn second place on day one. Despite only having four fish, Hank Goen of Harrisburg, Mo., found some quality bites as he brought 14 pounds, 7 ounces to the stage. "The key for me was slow, slow, slow," said Goen. "The wind made it tough at times to fish that way. But knowing there were fish in the area made it better." Goen did receive a fifth bite, but was unable to put it in the boat. He says that the fish are lethargic and are not committed to eating the bait really well. When asked about only having four bass Goen replied, "Quality is better than quantity in this game." Swast third Co-angler Justin Swast of Pevely, Mo., shows off his two best from his 12-pound, 2-ounce catch which consisted of only four bass. Justin Swast of Pevely, Mo., managed four bass from a tough Lake of the Ozarks that weighed 12 pounds, 2 ounces. "I knew they were going to bite today," said Swast. "I didn't make a far run with my boater and I had my first fish by 8:05 a.m., which came on a jerkbait." Swast lost two fish over 4 pounds today on a jerkbait as well. The other three keepers he had all came on a Crock-O-Gator Swamp Bug (green pumpkin) with a Crock-O-Gator Shaker jig. Swast also said that a big help in fishing that jerkbait in the wind was his 6-foot, 10-inch St. Croix rod. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers after day one: 4th: Clint Long of Lees Summit, Mo., three bass, 9-12 5th: Nick Lofferman Jr. of Valles Mines, Mo., four bass, 9-0 6th: Mike Youngblood of St. Louis, Mo., two bass, 8-12 7th: Brian Somrek of Cunningham, Ky., two bass, 8-2 8th: Reggie Crabdree of Park Hills, Mo., two bass, 7-7 9th: Joshua Hubbard of Diamond, Ill., two bass, 6-14 10th: Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark., two bass, 6-13 Day two of the EverStart Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks will begin Friday at 7 a.m. from Grand Glaize Recreation Area.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/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-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. 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 »