UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Merriman moves out front at Wheeler

Brian Merriman of Falkville, Ala., leads the EverStart event on Wheeler Lake with 22-5.

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. - If Wheeler Lake was an electric cord it would be a high voltage wire given the amount of current running through it right now. And current was the name of the game on Wheeler today. All but one of the top five pros fishing the EverStart Series Southeast event on Wheeler played the current card today for their catches. Whether it was main points breaking the current down the lake, or small current craters along the main Tennessee River above Decatur, eddies and backwashes were the prime real estate on a sunny and warm day one. Leading the event is Brian Merriman of Falkville, Ala., who focused his efforts on main-lake points to accrue a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 5 ounces. "When the water is running like this it builds eddies up somewhere around those points," Merriman said. "It pushes the fish up on those flats around the points. And as long as the water is muddy like this, they usually stay there. If the water was clearer, they could wander around and scatter out more, but with high, muddy water like this it tends to compact the fish into small areas." Merriman said he fished about eight places total today and he believes a majority of his fish are post-spawners trying to get back out to the main river. "The key to getting the bigger bites is throwing a really big bait," he added. "I can catch a ton of fish on other baits, but they're all small. So I went to a big bait today and that helped bring the better quality." Davis second Local TVA pro William Davis of Sheffield, Ala., shares the second place spot with five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces. Local TVA pro William Davis of Sheffield, Ala., shares the second place spot with five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces. Davis is picking his way down the banks of the ripping Tennessee River keying on specific current breaks and estimates he caught about 20 fish on the day. "That current and water color position the fish in the right places," Davis said. "I don't necessarily catch multiple fish in the breaks, it's more of a one-at-a-time thing." "I've got a couple of key stretches I might revisit tomorrow, but for the most part I'm going to fish new water," he added. "I know the exact kind of break I'm looking for and when I see it, I just pull over and fish it." Taylor tied for second Rick Taylor of West Olive, Mich., captured five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces to tie for second place after day one. Rick Taylor of West Olive, Mich., captured five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces to tie for second place after day one. Taylor is also playing the current for his catches. "I found these fish in current about 5 days ago," Taylor said. "Back then the water was clear and I was catching them a certain way. Today I got up there and it was mud, I mean as muddy as it could be. I knew the fish could not have gone anywhere so I spent about an hour trying all kinds of things and then finally figured out how they had repositioned in that dirtier water." Taylor figures he caught about 15 fish on the day. Fitts fourthJeff Fitts of Keystone Heights, Fla., holds down the fourth place spot on day one with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces. Jeff Fitts of Keystone Heights, Fla., holds down the fourth place spot with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitts is the only one in the top five not playing current seams for his catches. Instead Fitts is on a shallow bush-flipping program where he believes the bass are spawning. "I'm way back on the flats and in the pockets where they are spawning," Fitts said. "It's a dicey situation though. There's just enough water in the bushes right now. I mean, if the water drops just five or six inches, it's over. If it stays the same or maybe even comes up, I should be okay - maybe more will move in." Aaron fifth Former EverStart Series Championship winner Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., is in fifth place with a five-bass limit for 19 pounds, 9 ounces. Former EverStart Series Championship winner Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., is in fifth place with a five-bass limit for 19 pounds, 9 ounces. "I'm a little discouraged with my catch today," Aaron said. "I had nine or ten little places where I could catch multiple fish - little post-spawn spots they flock to when they head back out to the river - but today I only caught fish off of four of those spots and that really worried me. I don't know what happened to the other places - they should be on those, too." Aaron thinks clouds and rain are going to make fishing much better tomorrow. "The only thing I can figure is the weather kind of hurt a few of my spots," he added. "We are supposed to get some wind and rain tomorrow and that really fires these TVA fish up. I wouldn't be surprised to see some bigger bags caught tomorrow if the weather gets bad." Big bass Nicholas Reeves of Moulton, Ala., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake after day one: 6th: JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 19-2 7th: Thomas Helton of Charleston, Tenn., five bass, 18-5 8th: Lionel Botha of Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 18-0 8th: Eddie Jewell of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 18-0 10th: Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 17-15 Cox leads co-anglers Ethan Cox of West End, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake with a five-bass limit for 18 pounds, 9 ounces. Ethan Cox of West End, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake with a five-bass limit for 18 pounds, 9 ounces. Cox spent the day fishing with pro William Davis (2nd) and was able to capitalize on swift current. "The way he is fishing in that current, he can't really hit everything and he left me plenty of room to fish," Cox said. "I'd pay close attention to where he pitched and I'd try to hit the places in between his pitches." Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with a five-bass limit for 18 pounds, 6 ounces. Michael Stewart of Pell City, Ala., is in third place with five bass for 17 pounds, 10 ounces. Lee Frye of Brooksville, Fla., holds down fourth place with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces. Nick Thliveros of St. Augustine, Fla., the son of well-known pro Peter T, rounds out the top-five co-anglers with a five-bass limit for 16 pounds, 5 ounces. Big bass Curtis Merriman II of Cullman, Ala., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake after day one: 6th: Tony Prince of Pulaski, Tenn., five bass, 15-15 7th: Eric Cabrera of Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 15-1 8th: McHolley Stokes of Pensacola, Fla., five bass, 14-12 9th: Byron Botdorf of Albany, Ga., five bass, 14-11 10th: Curtis Merriman II of Cullman, Ala., five bass, 14-7

Tags: headline-story 

/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 »

/news/2015-08-17-elkins-looked-deep-on-erie

Elkins Looked Deep on Erie

Matt Elkins of Spencerville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. For his victory, Elkins earned $5,337. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-17-manson-targets-shad

Manson Targets Shad

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 8 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Manson earned $5,205. READ MORE »