Poirier maintains pole position

Pro Frank Poirier of Hopewell, Va., maintained the overall lead at the EverStart Series competition on the Chesapeake Bay for the second consecutive day.

NORTH EAST, Md. - During Friday's EverStart Series competition on the Chesapeake Bay, the sun finally appeared, the wind picked up and the fishing was notably improved over Thursday's opening round of tournament action. In fact, it was difficult to find many similarities between the first two days of Northern Division competition - with one major exception. And that exception was Frank Poirier. For the second day in a row, the Virginia pro held onto the top spot in the overall standings, posting a two-day total of 33 pounds, 10 ounces to increase his lead from 5 ounces to nearly 21/2 pounds heading into Saturday's finals. "I feel good about where I'm at," said Poirier, the only angler to produce 16-plus-pound sacks on consecutive days. "Anytime you're in the lead, you have to feel good. But there's still another day of fishing left." Although Poirier has made it look easy, despite the changing conditions and relatively difficult bass bite that has plagued most anglers throughout the competition, the Virginia pro said he definitely had his ups and downs during today's competition. "I'm really having to scramble around out there and find new fish each day," said Poirier. "I definitely worked a little harder to catch what I caught today compared to yesterday. The wind and mud kind of took over a few of my spots today but hopefully that will change tomorrow. I also had a lot more boat traffic today - but luckily I still managed to catch some fish. I'm not catching a lot of fish, but the bites I'm getting are quality bites." Like yesterday, Poirier said he targeted "area-specific patterns." "I'm not fishing a one-bait pattern or one area," he said. "I'm looking for a specific kind of area where three to four things have to be present for everything to come together. We might have to fish it for an hour, but if those (elements) are there you can usually catch a fish there." Poirier said he's mixing up his arsenal depending upon the situation, rotating between crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Poirier also noted that he took some of the day to scout out new locations just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse in the all-important final day of competition. "I'm doing a little bit of everything depending on the type of cover," he said. "I also found some new spots today, so that helps. I just wanted to make sure I did a little prospecting near the (marina) in case the wind blows tomorrow." As far as tomorrow is concerned, the Virginia pro said he's pretty much going to stick to the same gameplan barring any drastic changes in the weather. "I'm doing the same thing tomorrow," he said. "At this point, there's nothing else I can do." Stasiak climbs into second Pro Matt Stasiak of Pittsburgh, Pa., finished day two in second place overall at the EverStart Series Chesapeake Bay event.Despite fighting off the lingering effects of a major sinus infection, Matt Stasiak of Pittsburgh, Pa., couldn't be having a better tournament. Bolstered by a 15-pound, 4-ounce catch in today's competition, Stasiak moved up from third place to second after today's second round of action with a total catch of 31 pounds, 6 ounces. "I feel blessed. I'm speechless right now," said Stasiak, who is arguably having one of the best tournament runs of his career. "I've never been in this position before. It's my first top 10 at the end of a long season so it feels really good. " Like yesterday, Stasiak said his goal was to cover as much water as possible. But unlike Thursday, he had to sidestep myriad hurdles. "I caught a good keeper in my starting area and then I lost three fish right after that. It was heartbreaking. I just figured this was how my day was going to go," he said. "Then I went to a couple of my other spots and there wasn't enough water because the tide had left. At that point I had nothing but the knowledge from my practice to go on. So I just decided to fish the only areas I had left. For the rest of the day I was able to catch one here and catch one there, but it was a grind. There was a lot of time between bites, sometimes 45 minutes to an hour. I knew I just had to keep on chucking and winding and it worked out in the end." Stasiak said he mostly targeted bass with swim jigs and ChatterBaits. However, with an incoming tide, Stasiak would break out a flipping stick equipped with a Zoom Baby Brush Hog to fish boat docks. With his first trip to the finals under his belt for the 2013 season, Stasiak said he can't wait for the final day of competition to arrive. "I'm just going to go out there and go fishing," he said. "And I'm going to keep on smiling like I always do." Moran surges up leaderboard Pro Mike Moran of Ruffs Dale, Pa., qualified for the EverStart finals on the Chesapeake Bay in third place overall.Although Mike Moran of Ruffs Dale, Pa., found himself in 15th place after yesterday's competition, he did everything he could today to ensure that he didn't stay there for too long. Bolstered by a 17-pound, 13-ounce catch, the largest stringer of the tournament to date, Morgan shot up the standings, finding himself in third place overall by the time the top-10 cut was announced. "I was tickled to have had what I brought in today," said Moran. "Overall, it's not too shabby. After 11 a.m., I didn't even pick up my rod because I want to save as many fish as I could for the finals. And I think I can get 15 pounds or more again tomorrow." Moran said that he's been fishing a variety of "moving" baits, spinnerbaits and employing flipping techniques to land the majority of his catch. "I couldn't get the grass bite to work for me so I've been pitching to wood," he said. "It seems like the low tide is working out the best for me - although low tide has been getting later each day. As far as the area I'm fishing, it's basically a special stretch a couple of thousand yards long. Another good thing is that I have my area kind of all to myself right now. So that helps." With a total, two-day catch of 31 pounds, 3 ounces, Moran needs to make up a little more than 2 pounds in the finals to snare the tournament title. "I figured it would take about a 15-pound average a day to win this so I think I'm in pretty good shape," he said. "We'll just have to see how it goes tomorrow." Schmitt falls to fourth Pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., finished in fourth place after day two of competition on the Chesapeake Bay.Although Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., had the exact same two-day weight as Moran, the Marlyand pro technically found himself in fourth place overall due to tie-breaker rules. However, Schmitt was undoubtedly far more concerned with how he's fishing than tie-breaking procedures at this point. "My Plan A, B and C didn't work today so I had to resort to Plan D," said Schmitt. "I only caught six fish today but I feel like I figured out something again by the end of the day. And that should help me tomorrow. I also feel pretty good because I know what this place has (to offer). There are some really big fish here and I think anybody in the top five has a decent shot to win this." Schmitt, who was fishing grass flats "exclusively" today, said he was targeting bass with a combination of swimbaits, Senkos and jigs. "I was pretty much doing the same thing as yesterday," he said. Rodriguez snags fifth Pro Dan Rodriguez of Monkton, Md., qualified for the finals in fifth place after day two of EverStart competition on the Chesapeake Bay.Using a total catch of 30 pounds, 5 ounces, Dan Rodriguez of Monkton, Md., found himself in the fifth qualifier spot heading into the finals. "Making the top-10 on my home water is always a nice accomplishment," said Rodriguez, who boasts nearly four decades of fishing experience on the Chesapeake Bay. "So I'm feeling pretty good right now." However, that doesn't mean that he doesn't have his work cut out for him tomorrow. "I went to the same area today but I didn't have nearly as many bites as yesterday," he said. "So I really think I'm going to have to change things up tomorrow." While Rodriguez is already making a long run - he had a 40-minute one-way trip in today's competition - he said he just might log some extra miles in the finals. "I'm not going to start where I caught them the first two days," he said. "I think I'm going to start a little further south. It's going to take me 10 to 15 minutes longer to get there and if I don't catch them, I'll probably head back to the same place I fished today. But I'm not really sure at this point." Like yesterday, Rodriguez said he targeted bass fishing a customized homemade jig, keying on mud banks, grass and wood. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro finalists: 6th: Charles Harvey of North East, Md. - 29 pounds, 11 ounces. 7th: Jay Pirollo of Warwick, Md. - 29 pounds, 10 ounces. 8th: Jerrod Lloyd of Millville, N.J. - 29 pounds, 2 ounces. 9th: Michael A. Sentore of Gloucester City, N.J. - 27 pounds, 1 ounce. 10th: Joseph Wood of Westport, Mass. - 27-pounds, 1 ounce. Wood all but wraps up AOY title 2013 EverStart Northern Division points winner Joseph Wood of Westport, Mass., qualified for the finals on the Chesapeake Bay in 10th place overall. Although it's technically an unofficial result, Joseph Wood of Westport, Mass., managed to sew up the EverStart Series Northern Division points title with his tenth-place finish on the Chesapeake Bay. "I haven't slept in a week so it's definitely been nerve wracking," he said. "But it's been awesome. When you fish at this level, you're competing against the best local guys at every single lake so it's pretty cool to win an award like this. I really fished my butt off so it means a lot to me." For winning the season-long points' race, Wood receives an automatic invite to the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup which comes with a guaranteed pay day of at least $10,000. Richard Damianos of Cortland, N.Y., landed the day's big bass award in the Pro Division after netting a 5-pound, 12-ounce largemouth. The fish ultimately earned Damianos a check for $152. For a complete list of pro results, click here Reese nets co-angler lead Marvin Reese of Gwynn Oak, Md., took over the top spot in the Co-angler Division after the second day of EverStart Series competition on the Chesapeake Bay with a catch of 23 pounds, 2 ounces.Marvin Reese of Gwynn Oak, Md., took over the top qualifying spot in the Co-angler Division heading into Saturday's finals with a total catch of 23 pounds, 2 ounces. "It's always good to be in the lead and have people chase you instead of you chasing them," said Reese. "But tomorrow is what really counts." Reese, who didn't pre-fish at all, said that he's just been trying to adjust on a daily basis while relying on his instincts. "I didn't pre-fish and haven't been here in like three years so I'm just trying to go out there and read the water each day," he said. "I'm just going with the flow. That's the key to it." Reese said his two pro partners have targeted quite different areas so he's had to adjust accordingly. "Yesterday I fished jigs and creature baits and today I fished spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits," he said. "I've fished grass and I've fished hard cover. So it just depends. But that's why you really have to be versatile. Tomorrow, once I get out there, I'll see what I have to do. But if I can keep that 2-pound lead, I do know that's one less fish that I'll have to catch tomorrow." Bavaro surges into second Co-angler Thomas Bavaro III of Joppa, Md., leapfrogged from 18th place to second on the strength of a two-day 21-pound, 4-ounce catch.Thomas Bavaro III of Joppa, Md., leapfrogged from 18th place to second on the strength of a two-day 21-pound, 4-ounce catch. "I'm feeling pretty good, but it's not over yet," he said. Bavaro said that he pretty much earned every ounce during today's competition after going on a wild ride with his pro partner. "It was a rough ride today with that wind," he said. "We really ran a good bit." When the ride ended, Bavaro said he targeted submerged timber, alternating his presentations depending on the tide. "For me, the tide makes a big difference," he said. "During the higher tides, I'd go power fishing. And during the low tides, I'd do more finesse fishing." Best of the rest Co-angler Ryan Bauman of Fleetwood, Pa., qualified for the finals in third place with a total catch of 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Bauman also landed the day's big-bass award in the Co-angler Division after netting a 4-pound, 14-ounce largemouth.Ryan Bauman of Fleetwood, Pa., qualified for the finals in third place with a total catch of 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Bauman also landed the day's big-bass award in the Co-angler Division after netting a 4-pound, 14-ounce largemouth. Jerry Pyles of Middletown, Md., finished the day in fourth place with a catch of 19 pounds, 13 ounces. Dick Gum of Woodbridge, Va., grabbed the fifth qualifying spot with a catch of 18 pounds, 8 ounces. Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finalists: 6th: Andy Dick of Wilmington, Del. -16 pounds, 10 ounces. 7th: Manuel Cruz of Clifton, N.J. - 16 pounds, 0 ounces. 8th: Lenny Baird of Stafford, Va. - 14 pounds, 15 ounces. 9th: Chris Land of Joppa, Md. - 14 pounds, 15 ounces. 10th: James Goins of Baltimore, Md. - 14 pounds, 10 ounces. In addition to his top-10 finish, Manuel Cruz also walked away with the EverStart Series Northern Division Angler of the Year award. The award is expected to be officially presented during Saturday's weigh-in. For a complete list of co-angler results, click here. EverStart Series action resumes during Saturday's final takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at Anchor Marina, located at 36 Iroquois Drive in North East, Md. Bass-fishing fans can also tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com at 4 p.m. Eastern time to watch live streaming video and audio of Saturday's day-two weigh in. As a proud sponsor of FLW, Walmart offers one of the most comprehensive selections of fishing tackle and equipment in the industry. To find great deals on Walmart's entire collection of rods, reels, baits and electronics, click here.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »