UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

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: brett-carlson  headline-story  2013-07-25-detroit-river 

/news/2016-07-28-early-reports-from-wheeler

Early Reports from Wheeler

Starting this Sunday, the 50 Forrest Wood Cup competitors will hit Wheeler Lake bright and early for the first of three days of official practice. It’ll be the first time the anglers have been allowed on the Tennessee River reservoir since the pre-practice cut off date of July 17. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-celebs-seminars-on-deck-for-the-cup

Celebs, Seminars on Deck for the Cup

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 4-7 will be crawling with some of the best bass anglers in the industry – both active pros and bassin’ legends. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to personally wish their favorite anglers good luck before takeoff, snag a picture and an autograph from an industry superstar, or sit in on a seminar. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bass-and-bbq-festival-set-for-forrest-wood-cup-expo

Bass and BBQ Festival set for Forrest Wood Cup Expo

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – FLW is adding some Alabama flavor to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, August 6 and 7. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bk-s-year-as-the-champ

BK’s Year as the Champ

Brad Knight plans on getting a good night’s sleep before this year’s Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake begins on Aug. 4. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there have been times during the past 12 months when dozing off wasn’t so easy for the defending Cup champion. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-1000-islands

Top 10 Patterns from the 1000 Islands

High wind and fluctuating water temperatures made things a little difficult for the anglers, but the top-10 pros adapted and utilized the whole playing field to exploit everything from deep smallmouth to shallow largemouth. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-canterbury-s-next-challenge-

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »