Wagner whacks 24 for EverStart lead

Pro leader Heath Wagner holds up part of his 24-pound Lake Erie limit.

TRENTON, Mich. - With calm winds and high temperatures only reaching the mid-70s, day one of the EverStart Series Central Division finale proved to be the perfect chance to wrestle with Lake Erie. Known for both huge rollers and huge smallmouth bass, Erie produced only the latter on opening day as each of the top five pros chose to fish the big lake. The heaviest Erie haul belonged to Heath Wagner, the winner of the recent Walmart BFL event. Heading right back to the winning spots from two weeks ago, Wagner caught a five-bass limit quickly. "I had a limit in 41 minutes; I always keep track," he said. "I probably had 18 or 19 pounds at that time. By 8:30 I had culled up to 22 or 22 1/2; that's when I stayed away from my best areas. After that I went shallower, just trying to get my co-angler a limit and I caught a 5-10 in about 10 feet of water." That 5-10 was the heaviest bass of the day among the pros and anchored Wagner's 24-pound stringer. The pro leader said he caught his fish over gravel in water as shallow as 10 feet and as deep as 30 feet. "I like them both," Wagner said of Erie and St. Clair. "But I'm an Erie guy. And I think I need to be on Erie to win this tournament. Last year you had to be on St. Clair to catch that bag, but Erie is starting to come back." Wagner elaborated on his pattern, saying he targeted precise spots with a Poor Boy's tube (smoke purple flash color) and a 3/8-ounce weight. He'd snap the tube to trigger his bites. "The stuff I'm catching them off now is typically fall stuff." Jancasz second despite mechanical problems Trevor Jancasz caught 22 pounds, 1 ounce on day one despite battling mechanical issues.Like Wagner, Trevor Jancasz spends most of his tournament hours over on Erie. But his opening day didn't go nearly as smoothly as Wagner's. "I went out to one of my spots and caught three good ones and two little ones," said Jancasz. "I fished for about four hours and then I left and experienced a bunch of mechanical issues. My livewell shut off, my electronics stopped working. I figured all my fish were going to die." Jancasz decided to head back and maybe sample the Detroit River on the way in for a quick upgrade or two. When he stopped along the North Shore, suddenly everything came back on. He knew he was near a waypoint, so he slid over and popped two 5-pounders. Not wanting to press his luck, this time he went straight to Elizabeth Park. "I only caught those seven smallmouths all day," said Jancasz, whose best five weighed 22 pounds, 1 ounce. "And I only fished two of my spots. Tomorrow I should have a good day if everything works." In terms of pattern, the White Pigeon, Mich., native said he stayed on the trolling motor and targeted isolated rock piles in 20 to 30 feet of water. "Smallmouth fishing is just my thing. Every time I'm in a tournament, Erie seems to be where I go." Vizachero third Jeff Vizachero sits in third place after day one with 21 pounds, 15 ounces.Jeff Vizachero took 13th at last year's FLW Tour Open - catching 20-12 on the tournament's first day and 20-10 on day two before falling back a bit on day three. He upped that opening-day catch to 21-15 today and is hoping for a stronger finish this year. "I'm an Erie guy," said Vizachero. "I live in Grosse Ile, Mich., so I've got to go to Erie." Vizachero described his bite as steady, noting that early was slightly better than late. "The area I'm fishing is not a numbers game. I only caught 10 keepers total, but these are big fish. I just want five bites." To that end, Vizachero blanked on his best spot first thing this morning. It took him about an hour to reconnect with the school, but he eventually did find them. "They tend to roam when it's flat calm; that's normal. I would have actually preferred it to be windier. I'm used to 3- and 4-footers." All of Vizachero's weigh fish were just over 4 pounds and came via a custom-made bait. "The way I look at it, 60 pounds will do it, so I'm on track." Taylor fourth Rick Taylor caught a 21-pound, 12-ounce limit for fourth place on day one.In fourth place is West Olive, Mich., pro Rick Taylor, who won the Wheeler Lake EverStart in May. Taylor's opening-day limit weighed 21 pounds, 12 ounces and consisted of all brown bass. "I practiced for five days and I found that school yesterday at 4:06 in the afternoon," said Taylor. "You just can't give up in this sport." Fishless after his first two stops, Taylor went back to that aforementioned area and discovered they were still biting. He caught a limit quickly and culled four times in the afternoon. "It's not a big area. I basically work my way up, and then go back down. I caught fish from 8 feet to 32 feet, but the vast majority came in 22 to 24." Taylor said he caught his fish on a bait given to him by his good friend and reigning Bassmaster Classic champion Cliff Pace. "He showed me the bait," Taylor explained. "But I'm fishing it totally differently. It works phenomenally though. I caught a glob of them today." While he fished Erie today, he's not deciding where to go tomorrow until he sees the flag pole firsthand in the morning. "I've got about 17 or 18 pounds in St. Clair; I had a good practice over there. I just think the Erie fish are generally fatter right now." Ryan Said is tied for fifth place after day one with 21 pounds, 9 ounces.Said, Greenwood tie for fifth Tied for fifth with 21 pounds, 9 ounce are Ryan Said of Wixom, Mich., and Gary Greenwood of Irwin, Pa. "I fun fish St. Clair in the spring," explained Said. "Come tournament time, I fish Lake Erie." Said reported that both he and his co-angler partner had limits within the first 45 minutes of the day. He started with a drop-shot but the fish wanted a Poor Boy's tube more (smoke purple flash) so he switched. "I've got one real specific area that I left today with about 19 pounds. Then I went up shallow and Gary Greenwood gets some assistance holding up his 5-pound, 2-ounce smallmouth bass.caught a giant that weighed probably 5 1/2 pounds and that really helped." Anchoring Greenwood's 21-9 sack was a 5-pound, 2-ounce smallmouth. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one: 7th: Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich., five bass, 20-7 8th: Jared Rhode of Port Clinton, Ohio, five bass, 20-5 9th: Skip Johnson of Goodells, Mich., five bass, 19-12 10th: John Devries of Fishers, Ind., five bass, 19-9 Rupe leads co-anglers Bryan Rupe took the co-angler lead Thursday after catching a 19-pound, 14-ounce limit. Rupe caught that weight from Lake St. Clair, the first limit of smallmouths in his life. Co-angler leader Bryan Rupe holds up part of his 19-pound, 14-ounce stringer."Every fish I caught, with the exception of one, was a big one," said the Mayfield, Ky., co-angler. "I probably caught eight or 10 fish today dragging a drop-shot with either a goby or a Roboworm through the grass. When it got hung, I'd rip it through the grass and a lot of times that's when I'd get my bites." Rupe said he lost a good one right at the boat as the fish jumped and spit the hook. He estimates it weighed nearly 5 pounds and would have culled out a 3-pounder. Without it, his big fish weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces. "I can't complain, I'm in the lead. This is now one of my favorite places to come fish. I want to thank Bottom Line Bait and Tackle in town here. They set me up with exactly what I needed to catch them and showed me what to do." Hippensteel second Second-place co-angler Jim Hippensteel holds up two nice smallmouth bass.In second place is co-angler Jim Hippensteel of Rochester, Ind. Hippensteel caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces. Raider, Gallion, Soulliere round out top five Derek Raider of Lexington, Ky., caught a 19-pound, 6-ounce limit for third place among the co-anglers. Marc Gallion of Lyons, Ill., caught a 19-5 limit for fourth. Derrick Soulliere of Windsor, Ontraio, rounds out the top five with 18 pounds, 8 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day one: 6th: Tony Goff of Fortville, Ind., five bass, 18-7 6th: Chad Wright of Clarklake, Mich., five bass, 18-7 8th: Donald Sibley of Strasburg, Ohio, five bass, 18-5 9th: John Terry of Lexington, Ohio, five bass, 18-4 10th: George Wagner of Ypsilanti, Mich., five bass, 18-2 Day two of the EverStart Series event will begin Friday at 6 a.m. from Elizabeth Park Marina located at 202 Grosse Ile Parkway in Trenton.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »