Hanselman handles early lead at Rayburn

Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas leads day one of the Texas Division EverStart with 26-4.

JASPER, Texas - After day one of the EverStart Series event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir it is apparent that the grass bite is a solid game plan, but to catch the quality fish bunched up, mining the deeper haunts is the way to go. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, tapped just such a green goldmine first thing Thursday morning to catch 26 pounds, 4 ounces of bass, including an 8-pound, 4-ounce brute, to take the day-one lead. "It was an easy day at the office," Hanselman said. "I caught what I weighed in by 9:30 and then backed off the sweet spot to kind of guard it. I let my co-angler catch a few out of there too, and he caught a big one that tied for big bass on the co-angler side. So I think there is a pretty good group of fish in there." Hanselman found the wad of big fish almost by happenstance. He fished the FLW Tour event last year at this time of year and finished 10th on a pretty generous deep spot. When he returned to check it this year, good fortune smiled upon him. "I pulled up to check the spot from last year and my father-in-law, who was practicing with me, fired a Carolina rig completely out the other way and caught a 5-pounder," Hanselman recounted. "Well, I eased over there to where he threw and I caught a 5-pounder, too. As it turns out, there is a bunch of big fish there. And the crazy part is, there is nothing on the GPS mapping where these fish are. The good looking stuff is over there where my original spot from last year is - not out there where they are now. It really makes no sense, but that's fishing for you." Hanselman says he has no idea what to expect tomorrow. "There could be a lot more like that there, I just don't know because I backed off and fished some other stuff in the area," he added. "But we're going to find out tomorrow." Hudgens secondWade Hudgens of Longview, Texas, is in second place with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. Wade Hudgens of Longview, Texas, is in second place with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. Hudgens made the grass bite work for him, catching all his fish from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from the green stuff. "I went to back to an area where I caught a bunch small ones in practice and the big ones showed up today," Hudgens said. "I don't know what the difference was. It did seem like there was more bait moving around in there today than the other day - almost like the bait is moving into the pockets." Hudgens said he did not save anything and was fishing for all he could get. "On this lake you have to catch them while you can," he added. "Trying to save fish for another day, especially in the grass, is a mistake. So I kept it to the floor and hit the area as hard as I could." Grice Third Dustin Grice of Hewitt, Texas, cracked the 20-pound mark today for third place with 20 pounds, 10 ounces. Dustin Grice of Hewitt, Texas, cracked the 20-pound mark today for third place with 20 pounds, 10 ounces. Grice worked a one-two punch combination, fishing shallow grass early and then moving out deep for quality. "I probably caught a 13-pound limit from the grass early," Grice said. "Once I got to 13 pounds, I felt comfortable enough to go gamble on some of the deeper stuff and it paid off with two big bass that culled me way up." "That was my plan going in today," Grice said. "Get a decent limit in the livewell shallow, then commit to the deep bite for upgrades and it worked out perfectly. Having a solid limit helps commit to that deep bite. So I'll go with the same plan tomorrow. Crelia fourth Philip Crelia of Center, Texas, is in fourth place with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces. Philip Crelia of Center, Texas, is in fourth place with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces. Crelia did his damage early fishing out deep then went practicing shallow. "I had what I weighed in by 9:30 or 10 o' clock," Crelia said. "Most of them came off basically two deep spots. I didn't get to practice much here this week so I spent the rest of the day fishing shallow, looking for something else but didn't find anything that would help me. So I'll probably be back to the deeper stuff tomorrow." Wells fifth Jason Wells of Center, Texas, rounds out the top five with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces. Jason Wells of Center, Texas, rounds out the top five with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir after day one: 6th: Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas, five bass, 18-9 7th: Randy Sitz of Prosper, Texas, five bass, 18-7. Sitz also landed the big bass of the day in the Pro Division weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces. 8th: Jerrel Pringle of Hemphill, Texas, five bass, 17-5 9th: Chris McCall of Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 17-4 10th: Austin Terry of San Angelo, Texas, five bass, 16-13 Knight leads co-anglers Ron Knight of San Angelo, Texas, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces.Ron Knight of San Angelo, Texas, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces. Things did not start out so great for Knight initially. In fact, he did not catch a keeper until 1:30 p.m. "I didn't catch my first fish until 1:30 and then I caught my last fish on the very last cast of the day," he said. "I got off to a late start, but it turned out for the best." Ralph Logan, Sr., of Magnolia, Texas, is in second place with four bass weighing 11 pounds, 10 ounces. Jack Knox of Seymour, Texas, holds down the third place spot with three bass for 11 pounds, 9 ounces, but one of those bass tied for big bass of the day in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Shawn Simon of Jennings, La., is in fourth place among co-anglers with a five-bass limit for 11 pounds, 2 ounces. Mike Power of Conroe, Texas, rounds out the top-five co-anglers with four bass for 10 pounds, 5 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir after day one: 6th: Joe Garcia of Hobson, Texas, five bass, 9-13 7th: Brent Cutrer of Natchez, Miss., three bass, 9-11, including a tie for big bass in the Co-angler Division at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. 8th: Bill Fussell of Thibodaux, La., five bass, 9-8 9th: Michael Bass of Austin, Texas, four bass, 8-2 10th: Randall Vaughan of Blanco, Texas, five bass, 7-14

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/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 »

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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 »

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Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

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Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

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/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

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