UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Old Hickory Lake

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/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-forrest-wood-cup-day-3-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »