Cecil Seizes Toledo Bend Lead

The biggest sack of the event pushed Russell Cecil into the lead at Toledo Bend.

MANY, La. - Now this is what the spawning season is supposed to look like. Sight-fishing specialist Russell Cecil hauled a massive stringer of bass weighing 29 pounds, 2 ounces to the scales and took over the lead on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Toledo Bend. The Willis, Texas pro, who made a big move up from 13th on day one, tallied a 2-day total of 45-15. Cecil said he worked new water today. "It seems to me like you have to find new ones every day," Cecil said. "It's not a tournament where you can pick out a few big ones to run to. I actually like this better because you don't end up with a bunch of boat races and people on top of one another so it's been a really enjoyable way to fish. "The other part is that this lake is so big, it is so much fun to fish here. It's one of the best tournamentRussell Cecil caught all of his fish by sight fishing. lakes in the country. At least the best in Texas, in my opinion, because of the fact that (the field) can get so spread out. You can win this thing from the dam, 80 miles up." Fishing toward the lake's lower end, Cecil said he's targeting new arrivals to the bedding scene. Here, the abundant grass keeps the water relatively cleaner - a distinct benefit to the way he's fishing. "The clearer water allows me to see a little deeper and those big ones tend to be deep," he said. Cecil caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Big Bite Warmouth - a soft plastic imitation of the small panfish that terrorize spawning bass by attempting to eat their newly-laid eggs. Naturally, impersonating these little nest raiders plays upon the largemouth's protective instincts. (The bluegill color pattern helps sell the deal.) "It seems to be getting those females aggressive," Cecil said. "Today, I had one male and four females. I had two in the 6- to 7-pound range and then a 9 1/2 (the day's Big Bass winner). Day-two leader Russell Cecil loads his fish back into his bag after taking over the pro division."My whole theory is that I want to throw something in there that will make them territorial and aggressive." Unlike hardbaits, jigs or any other lure with exposed hooks, the Big Bite Warmouth allowed Cecil to fish a realistic baitfish profile without snagging worries. "You're able to fish this bait as light as you want and then it's Texas-rigged so there's no exposed hook," he said. "It won't get hung on a stump or grass or anything." Cecil said he did a lot of pocket-hopping - moving from one spawning area to another throughout the day. His bites increased later in the day. "I think right now the afternoons are a little better because the water has not been warm and the afternoon sun is helping. By the afternoon, more of those fish are moving in and they're getting more aggressive because the water's heating up." A flurry of activity from about 1-3 p.m. kept Cecil busy. This period also produced his biggest bass. Castledine goes to second After leading day one with 24-4 - the second-heaviest bag of the tournament - Todd Castledine addedDay-one leader Todd Castledine slipped to second place on the second day of Toledo Bend action. 19-14 today and dropped a notch to second with 44-2. As he did on day one, Castledine spent his time looking for bed fish, but his day-two bite commenced a little earlier. "I went looking in totally different places," the pro from Nacogdoches, Texas said. "This morning, I went to a couple of the males I found yesterday and caught them and I had a limit before I had one yesterday. I wanted to make sure I had that so I could spend some time on a big one. "I found one or two (big bass) but I don't think I've come across an easy one yet. I've had to catch males and then wait for the (larger) females to move in. It's been alright; it's just a normal day of sight fishing, but I haven't had one of those where you just roll up and catch them." Castledine caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Kicker Fish Kicker Craw. He occasionally varied his presentations between the larger version and the smaller. With Saturday's forecast calling for cloudy conditions, the sunlight needed for sight-fishing may be dimmed considerably. If that's the case, Castledine said he'll likely throw a frog. Reehm steady at third A late-day catch helped  Clark Reehm hold on to his third-place spot.Texas pro Clark Reehm caught a limit of 18-10 today and held on to the third-place spot he secured on day one with a total weight of 40-2. With only six fish today, Reehm had slim opportunity, but he made the most of what came his way. "I actually caught one right off the bat that helped out," he recalled. "At 2:30, I only had four fish in the box and at 2:40 I caught my fifth one. It was one of those that I was hoping would squeak by, but I decided to go check one little area, so I ran through there and at 2:55, I caught my last one." That final fish, Reehm said, took him to the absolute end of his fishing time. "I knew how long it took to get back and the wind started blowing and I said, `Alright, at 2:50, we have to go.' And that fish started nipping (my bait) and I said, `At 2:55, we have to go.' At 2:55, I stuck that fish and we ran back." Reehm said he saw lots of fish actively engaged in spawning activity. Rolling and twisting, the fish are easily spotted from a distance as their shifting positions tend to reflect sunlight more than fish sitting upright in the water. Wagner slips to fourth Ronnie Wagner, of Houston, Texas, got off to a strong start with a second-place bag of 22 pounds onFourth-place pro  Ronnie Wagner complemented his sight fishing with some moving baits. day one. Today, he added 17-4 and slipped to fourth with 39-4. Wagner said he mostly sight fished again on day two, but he also started throwing some moving baits around secondary points and channel bends for prespawn fish. This, he said, was as much about day-three preparation as it was day-two productivity. "I feel like the fish are really starting to move in, but with the front we have coming tomorrow and all the wind and (possibly) rain), it's going to make sight fishing a lot harder. Tomorrow, I'm probably going to change it up and throw more moving baits. "I caught 90 percent of my fish today sight fishing. But I needed to get on something for tomorrow because I think the game is going to change tomorrow. But it may not. All the conditions are right for (spawning), so we'll see what happens." Upshaw improves to fifth Fifth-place pro Andrew Upshaw ended his day with a big fish that crushed a topwater bait.Andrew Upshaw, of Tulsa, Ok., improved from eighth to fifth on the strength of a 19-pound, 7-ounce bag that raised his total to 37-10. He spent most of his day bed fishing, but decided to shift gears toward the end of his fishing time in an effort to upgrade his limit. "I was really fortunate to catch that fish and it was probably one of the biggest topwater blow-ups I've ever had in my life," he said. "I needed a big change, so I was running something I used to catch them on a long time ago. It was a pattern and I ran it right at the end of the day. I caught that big one and another one that culled. "I knew I had to make an adjustment from bed fishing because I just wasn't seeing a giant. I needed a giant and I didn't have a whole lot of time - I had about an hour left. So I said `This is what I have to do,' and I went and did it." Of his sight-fishing program, Upshaw said he's confident that his areas have new fish pulling in daily. Nevertheless, he'll start day three by running the pattern that produced the day-two afternoon drama. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Toledo Bend event: 6th: Ricky Guy, of Humble, Texas, 37-7 7th: Troy Broussard, of Beaumont, Texas, 35-14 8th: Lendell Martin Jr., of Nacogdoches, Texas, 35-11 9th: Jim Tutt, of Longview, Texas, 35-1 10th: Nick Lebrun, of Tyler, Texas, 34-12 Adjustments key to Kitchens' co-angler lead Jeff Kitchens, of Henderson, Texas earned his final-round berth by shooting up the standings from Jeff Kitchens took over the co-angler lead with the largest sack of this division. 10th to first. Adding 17-12 to his day-one weight of 10-4 gave him a total of 28-0. Fishing the mid-lake area, Kitchens and his pro partner found fish in the mornings, but making an afternoon move is what really delivered the opportunities. "We made a move later in the day that really paid off," Kitchens said. "The area that we were fishing is really obscure and there aren't a whole lot of people in there. We had quite a few fish that are moving up - they're staging fish. They're really thick right now." In addition to a location change, Kitchens said that adjusting his technique also proved beneficial. Slowing down his soft plastic presentations was the key. Day-one co-angler leader Kerry Barnett, of Waldron, Ark., dropped to second with 25-3, while Ronnie Ray Jr., of McKinney, Texas took third with 22-15. In fourth place, John Martin, of Buna, Texas, had 21-12 and Mike Power, of Conroe, Texas, took fifth with 21-3. Best of the rest  Mack McCoy took Big Bass honors in the co-angler division with this 8-pound, 7-ounce fish.Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Toledo Bend event: 6th: Dan Wilson, of Pilot Point, Texas, 20-6 7th: Ryan Bailey, of Humble, Texas, 19-5 8th: Clint Lipham, of Conroe, Texas, 18-6 9th: Neil Herline, of Silsbee, Texas, 18-6 10th: Travis Kelehan, of Broussard, La., 18-5 Mack McCoy earned Big Bass honors for his 8-7. Day three of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Toledo Bend Reservoir continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Central) at Cypress Bend Park in Many, La.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »