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

Hanselman out front on tough Sam Rayburn

Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, took the day-one lead of the Texas Division Rayovac FLW Series on Sam Rayburn with 21-5.

JASPER, Texas - As the field returned to the Umphrey Family Pavilion to weigh their fish, many had a look of defeat. After battling wind, rain and dropping temperatures Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, claimed the top spot with a 21-pound, 5-ounce limit in the opening round of the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division on Sam Rayburn. Out of the 112 pros that started the day, only 27 of them managed to find a limit. This only reinforced much of the dock talk that Rayburn was not in the giving mood. One guy who did get to sample the good side of Rayburn was Hanselman. He had a spectacular day considering the conditions and is reliving the Rayovac FLW Series event that was held here last October. "I was leading after day one last year at this event," said Hanselman who went on to take third in that tournament. "I know how this goes and the pressure there is to catch them for several days. "I had probably 30 bites today and caught 25 of them. I made about a 20 mile run and fished one big area the entire day - it's about the size of a football field. The area is a staging flat for these fish before they spawn. It has a bunch of grass with a channel swing nearby and is loaded with bass." When Hanselman found these fish in practice they were chomping a trap but today he could only coax one to eat it. "I caught one fish on a trap this morning but otherwise the rest all came by slow rolling a swimbait," Hanselman explained. "I fish a lot of swimbaits on Lake Amistad and caught a lot of fish in practice with it here. My co-angler actually started out throwing one and it was the only color those fish wanted. After a little bit he loaned me one and we caught them all day." Hanselman has two spots similar to the one he fished today and never even touched them. These staging areas are loaded with 3 1/2- to 5-pounders. The other thing he has going is that his primary spot doesn't have many other boats nearby for competition. "The nice thing about fish that live in the grass is that they don't leave. With all of the weather they may shut down, but they won't leave. There is still a lot of fishing left but I feel pretty confident with the pattern I am doing." Yelas second In what could be considered a homecoming of sorts for Chevy pro Jay Yelas, it seems only fitting that he would haul in the second largest bag of the day on his favorite lake to fish. His weight of 18-8 is impressive considering he received 1/6 the bites of the leader. "The fishing was really off," said Yelas. "I have seen days out here that were just like this and the fish went nuts. I thought it would be way better. I only had five bites the whole day and I was very happy to get those." Like Hanselman, Yelas is also targeting grass in 5 to 10 feet of water. He alternated a variety of baits and meticulously combed through one area. "It's just a grind fishing through the same water all day," said the Corvallis, Ore., resident. "It makes it even tougher with this weather. I have been doing this a long time and I think this was one of the toughest days of fishing weather wise that I have been a part of. Between the wind and driving rain it makes it so tough to function. "I know there are a lot more fish there from what I saw in practice and because I can see them on my Humminbird electronics. They just don't want to eat." Yelas' bag consisted of two solid fish - a 5-pounder and 4-pounder - but it was his co-angler Ted Robbins who really opened his eyes to the spots true potential. Robbins hooked up with a monster early in the morning on a spinnerbait. That fished tipped the scales at 10-13, taking big bass honors for the co-anglers. Yelas is hopeful there are more like that one waiting for him. "I plan to go fish that same area tomorrow. That fish Ted caught was so beautiful and I'm excited to get back out there. That is the beautiful thing about Rayburn - you never know when you might hook a double-digit fish." Branum in third Brian Branum of Sam Rayburn, Texas, sits in third after day one with 16-13.Brian Branum of Sam Rayburn, Texas, settles in third place after day one with a limit that weighed 16 pounds, 13 ounces. Branum has four career top-10 finishes in Rayovac FLW Series competition including a seventh-place showing on Sam Rayburn back in 2007. "It was pretty tough out there today," said Branum. "I only got nine bites throughout the day." Stricklin Jr., Case round out top five James Stricklin Jr. of Texarkana, Texas, claims the fourth position after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 15-15. Rounding out the top five would be Robert Case of Point, Texas, with a limit weighing 15-5. Big bass Cory Rambo took the big bass honors after day one with a 9 pound, 4 ounce beast.The big bass award on the pro side for day one goes to Cory Rambo of Orange, Texas. His fish weighed 9-4 and earned him a check worth $224. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 pros after day one in the Rayovac FLW Series event: 6th: Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, five bass, 15-1 7th: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., five bass, 14-7 8th: Chris McCall of Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 14-5 9th: Jim Phillips of Greenwood, Miss., four bass, 14-3 10th: Albert Collins of Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 13-6 Gates leads co-anglers Leading the event after day one for the co-anglers is Jason Gates of Kountze, Texas, with a rare limit that weighed 15 pounds. Gates has just one top 10 to his credit which came last year in the Rayovac FLW Series on Toledo Bend. He carries a mere 3-ounce lead into day two. Farris second Clint Farris of Joshua, Texas, only managed to catch four bass today, but they were the right ones. His total after day one is an impressive 14-13 which should easily keep him in contention. Honeycutt third Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, is as decorated of a co-angler as they come. He boasts four wins from the back of the boat - three of which are from Rayovac FLW Series competition the other came last year on the Walmart FLW Tour Grand Lake stop. He sits in third place thanks to a limit weighing 14-12. Harris, Wilson round it out Andrew Harris of Jackson, Miss., sits in fourth place with a day-one limit that weighed 14-1. Dan Wilson of Pilot Point, Texas, round out the top five with four bass weighing 13 pounds. Big bass Co-angler Ted Robbins of Longview, Texas, won the big bass award after catching a 10 pound, 13 ounce Sam Rayburn gorilla.Capturing the big bass honors for the co-anglers is Ted Robbins of Longview, Texas, who caught a 10-13 Sam Rayburn stud. Robbins earned $149.50 thanks to his catch. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event after day one: 6th: Robert Peduto of Kimberling City, Mo., three bass, 11-15 7th: Larry Regina of South Bend, Ind., four bass, 10-14 8th: Ted Robbins of Longview, Texas, one bass, 10-13 9th: Neil Herline of Silsbee, Texas, three bass, 8-8 10th: James Callaghan of De Berry, Texas, three bass, 8-3 Anglers will take off from the Umphrey Family Pavilion located at 5438 RR 255 W. in Brookeland, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 800 W. Gibson St. in Jasper, Texas, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. With a winter weather advisory for the area starting this evening and running through the morning, Rayovac FLW Series officials will determine if conditions will be safe for day two early tomorrow. Anglers will receive a text at 6 a.m. from the tournament officials with information regarding the status of the day.

Tags: headline-story 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »