UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Cool weather, hot bite on St. Clair, Erie

A group of boats point west towards Lake St. Clair Thursday morning.

TRENTON, Mich. - Late July is supposed to mark the dog days of summer, complete with uncomfortable heat and humidity, even in the Upper Midwest. But it feels more like late September this week in the Detroit area with highs only reaching the mid 70s. And unlike Florida largemouths, northern smallmouths still bite (and bite ferociously) during cold fronts - providing the perfect venue to close the EverStart Series Central Division season. When FLW visits Motown, all four fisheries are in play - Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and Lake Erie. History suggests that Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie provide the best opportunity to catch tournament-winning stringers - with Erie possessing fewer, but bigger bass while St. Clair is a safer option stuffed full of 3-pounders. At last year's FLW Tour Open, five of the top six finishers opted for St. Clair and fished within sight of one another. But with a forecast calling for light and variable winds during the opening round, Erie looks primed to take back smallmouth superiority. Leading the points race in the Central Division is veteran pro Dan Morehead. While Morehead calls Kentucky Lake home, he's spent enough time in Detroit to know the pros and cons of the two major fisheries. Given his experience and the current conditions, he plans to point his Ranger/Evinrude east to Erie today. Clear skies awaited EverStart anglers Thursday morning."I spent four days practicing on St. Clair and I could catch 14 or 15 pounds, pretty conservatively, and quite honestly that should be enough to accomplish my goal of winning Strike King Angler of the Year," said Morehead, who carries a 33-point lead into the final event. "But after the practice I had today, catching two 5-pounders, two 4-pounders and a 3-pounder, my goal is to catch 20-plus today and win this tournament. I remember fishing an FLW Tour event years ago and there were some huge rollers on Erie and I vowed never to go back. But here I am going back again." Morehead said he realizes St. Clair is the conservative approach. But he simply can't ignore what he saw in practice. "I'm not a smallmouth expert or anything; I'm a flat-land country boy. To me, St. Clair is always more predictable and you just weed through a bunch of keepers. The problem was that I only saw one 4-poudner the whole time I was there and not as many 3-pounders as I'm used to seeing. On Erie, just about every time I got a bite it was a 3-pound plus fish." If Morehead can clinch AOY, he'll punch his ticket to the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup a year in advance, a luxury rarely afforded to a tour-level pro. "I've won AOY before in both the EverStart and on the Tour and I can tell you I put the award on the highest pedestal. It's a big deal to me. It looks good on a resume and it's a minimum $10,000 from the 2014 Cup. I figure if I catch 15 pounds a day, they can't touch me. But I'm not going to stop fishing at 15, believe me. I'm truly blessed to have fished as well as I have this year with some of the problems I've Casey Martinhad with my shoulder." Casey Martin, the star of the Youtube reality series "Circuit Breaker" is also competing this week. Fresh off a breakthrough FLW Tour victory on Lake Chickamauga, the La Salle, Ontario, native recently returned home to relax, see family and friends and escape Alabama's suffocating July heat. While he's here, he figured he'd throw his hat in the smallmouth ring, although he was mainly a walleye fisherman back when he lived in the area. "To me, it's standard northern smallmouth fishing - lots of tubes, drop-shots and some crankbaits," said the FLW Tour rookie, who will return to the south in a few weeks for the Forrest Wood Cup. "There's a little bit of a topwater bite going on; I've caught some of my bigger fish on a Boing G2 in between dragging and dropping. But I'm just hoping for two or three good bites today." Martin echoed Morehead's sentiment about St. Clair, but still plans to fish there, simply because he's more comfortable with it. "Some of the St. Clair guys are crying the blues and I will say a 4-pounder is pretty hard to come by. If I was a betting man, I would bet on Erie this week. If the wind lays down like they say it's supposed to, guys can move around and hit a bunch of rock piles. I think 20 pounds a day might win and it could take even less than that. But with 20 a day, you'll at least be right there." Logistics Anglers will take off from Elizabeth Park Marina located at 202 Grosse Ile Parkway in Trenton, Mich., at The sun begins to rise over Elizabeth Park Marina Thursday morning. 6 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart store located at 23800 Allen Road in Woodhaven, Mich., beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. On the Web For those who can't catch the weigh-in action in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live, an online application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results, streaming video and audio. Thursday's conditions Sunrise: 6:19 a.m. Temperature at takeoff: 55 degrees Expected high temperature: 75 degrees Water temperature: 72-76 degrees Wind: E at 6 mph Maximum humidity: 64 percent Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: morning-story 


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Hunting Erie’s Brown Fish

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2015 Forrest Wood Cup Off and Running

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Up and Down on Dardanelle

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North or South on Champlain?

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A Capital Challenge

Rivers can be rollercoasters, and the Potomac River might be about to give the anglers fishing the Walmart FLW Tour finale a tough ride. Two nasty storm systems have blown through in the last few days. According to FLW Tour pro and local Michael Hall, those could have been the two worst things to happen leading up to the tournament. “After 30 years of fishing here, I know storms impact the bass on this river,” says Hall. “Those storms have certainly done that. The wind alone would have done it this week.” READ MORE »


The Sun Rises on the 2015 All-American

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Deep or Shallow at Chickamauga?

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Northern Rayovacs Kick Off on the James

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Seminole Summer

Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division. Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river. READ MORE »


Shallow, Deep and in Between at Eufaula

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Anything Goes at the Cal Delta

There are 127 pros entered in the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Ranger at the California Delta this week. If you asked them all what their baits or tactics are for the first day of competition today, you might get 127 different answers. At some fisheries that FLW’s tournament circuits visit, such varied and often vague responses from pros when they’re prompted for fishing info are the result of them attempting to stealthily hide their fishing patterns. That’s not exactly the case at this tournament. The fact is, the California Delta is one of the most vast and varied fisheries that hosts FLW events. It’s a collection of unique mini-fisheries all rolled into one, with dirty water, clean water, tons of vegetation and other factors tossed into the mix. It’s a tidal fishery, so the water levels and currents fluctuate throughout each day. And, of course, it’s spring in California, and because of the vastness of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and the delta system they feed, with its 1,000 miles of waterways, there are populations of bass in all stages of the spawn in their own little geographic areas. READ MORE »


In or Out on Kentucky Lake



Texoma Tough, but Stabilizing

As of press time, we were unable to confirm whether or not Troy Broussard has ever suffered a barnyard assault by any beast of burden. Nevertheless, his colorful metaphor bespeaks a challenging scenario facing the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division field on Lake Texoma for this week’s finale, which is presented by Evinrude. From Broussard’s facebook page: “Well, after three full days [of practice] on Lake Texoma, I can honestly say that I compare this to getting kicked in the face by a mule. It’s brutal.” Allusions aside, the big Ouachita River reservoir straddling the Texas-Oklahoma border has indeed shown its persnickety side of late. Blame Mother Nature for that. READ MORE »


Tricky Transition at Beaver

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Fog Delays Grand Lake Start

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Weather Woes Greet College Anglers

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Swollen Rayburn Challenges Anglers

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Front and Center

There is little doubt it’s coming. The uncertainty lies in what will happen because of it. If the forecast holds true, at some point this evening the severe weather system that dropped tornados across the central plains Wednesday will arrive at Lewis Smith Lake. Along with the rain and thunder, the front promises to bring with it a significant drop in temperature, with lows projected in the low 30s by the weekend. It’s a storm that looms over the 154 pros and co-anglers set to fish the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude and hosted by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce. And while they, the anglers, should stay dry, the weather might be the key question mark for a tournament already overflowing with them. READ MORE »