UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Biggs closes gap on leader

James Biggs

GROVE, Oklahoma-After bringing a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale on day one of The Bass Federation's 2014 National Championship at Grand Lake, John Talton of Georgetown, Tenn., managed just four fish weighing 9 pounds, 9 ounces on day two. Still, it was enough to maintain his lead in the Boater Division and secure a slot in the final showdown of the three-day event.
Talton holds a 4-ounce advantage over second-place boater James Biggs of Richland Hills, Texas, who vaulted from 17th place on day one into second on the wings of a 19-pound, 5-ounce limit.
John Talton

"It was tough," said Talton. "There was no wind today, and that hurt." Indeed, while a powerful south wind gusting to 35 mph fueled bass activity along points and other key structure on day one, calm conditions left the iconic impoundment's surface relatively listless for most of day two. "I had two fish by 1 o'clock today, then made a move and got two more keepers," he added. "Four bites, total."
On the positive side, Talton noted a warming trend that continues to push daytime air temperatures into the 80s has driven water temps higher as well. With prespawn bass poised to invade the shallows, this could trigger the mass migration many anglers believe might produce a flurry of 20-pound-plus baskets.
A decorated tournament competitor, Talton reflected on the differences between Grand Lake and his home waters in Tennessee and northern Alabama. "Chickamauga and Guntersville have a lot of grass and shallow flats," he said. "This lake seems to me like it's mainly bank fishing, without ledges or flats."
After struggling in practice-boating just four fish in three days-Talton came out swinging on day one. And while day two was a bit more challenging, he believes his patterns will produce again Saturday. As the dust settled after the day two weigh-in, however, he took a moment to savor the feeling of topping the leaderboard two days straight. "It's awesome," he grinned before heading down the dock to begin the process of gearing up for the final leg of the competition.
For his part, Biggs has twice gambled on getting the big bite, tapping the far end of a 30-mile milk run for a shot at game-changing bass. "On day one, it didn't happen," he said. Still, his 10-pound, 1-ounce basket left him just 2 pounds, 11 ounces out of first place in the Central Region standings. After putting a pair of keepers in the livewell on day two, he made the decision to swing for the fences once again. "Today it paid off," he said.
Don Muir
While many anglers cursed the lack of wind, Biggs welcomed the calm weather. "It made for a better boat ride and more enjoyable day of fishing," he said. As for his plans to topple Talton on day three, he's keeping it simple. "I'm going to say my prayers tonight, fish clean tomorrow and let what happens happen," he said.

While Biggs blossomed, many anglers shared Talton's frustrations in finding bass harder to come by on day two. Don Muir of Perryhall, Md., also struggled. After sacking day one's biggest basket-a 20-pound, 2-ounce limit-to take the overall lead in the Non-Boater Division, he added just three bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces to his total on day two. It was enough to build a 5-pound, 15-ounce cushion between his nearest competitor, but less than he'd hoped to bring to the scale.

Both days, Muir relied on a tactic with which he as little experience but growing confidence. "Once again I threw an Alabama rig all day," he said. "But today was definitely a lot tougher. I had just five bites and three keepers." Meanwhile, non-boater Nickolas Marsh of Commerce Twp., Mich., moved up from third place on day one into the number two spot with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces.
Running April 10-12, the TBF championship pits the top 94 anglers from the federation's seven regions against one another for more than $200,000 in cash and prizes. Divided equally into boater and non-boater divisions, all anglers competed the first two days of the event. The top boater and non-boater from each region move on to the final day. Regardless of their day three finish, each regional winner receives a paid entry into the prestigious BFL All-American Tournament.
By region, top boaters who are headed into the final round are:
Central: James Biggs, Richland Hills, Texas, eight bass, 29-6
Eastern: Dino Moutogiannis, Newington, Conn., 10 bass, 28-12
Mid-Atlantic: Steve Dinkler, Daniels, W.Va., nine bass, 26-13
Northern: Dave Cermak, Hebron, Ind., six bass, 17-10
Northwest: Nicholas Fitzsimmons, Lyle, Wash., five bass, 19-3
Southern: John Talton, Georgetown, Tenn., nine bass, 29-10
Southwest: Jon Griffith, Mesa, Ariz., eight bass, 16-0

By region, top non-boaters headed into the day-three finals are:
Central: Brian Maloney, Osage Beach, Mo., nine bass, 23-11
Eastern: Keith Cleary, Bethel, Conn., six bass, 12-3
Mid-Atlantic: Don Muir, Perryhall, Md., eight bass, 31-7
Northern: Nickolas Marsh, Commerce Twp., Mich., 10 bass, 25-8
Northwest: David Simmons, Molalla, Ore., four bass, 13-7
Southern: Stephen Scoggin, Lebanon, Tenn., eight bass, 20-3
Southwest: Richard Vizcarra, Peoria, Ariz., eight bass, 19-12
Overall, boaters brought in 135 bass weighing 365 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch included 11 limits. Non-boaters brought 102 bass to the scale weighing 277 pounds, 5 ounces. Non-boaters recorded seven limits.
For a full list of results visit:
http://bassfederation.com/tournaments/results/federation-championship-results/
At the end of day three, the overall boater and non-boater champions will receive an invitation to fish the FLW Forrest Wood Cup, where all competitors are guaranteed a check, and the winner receives $500,000. The top boater and non-boater also win a coveted TBF Living The Dream Package. The boater's package includes paid entry fees to the FLW Tour as a touring pro, plus cash, the use of a custom-wrapped Chevy truck and Ranger boat for the year, and a travel stipend for each event. The top non-boater will receive fully paid entry fees into the Rayovac Series of choice.
With so much at stake, TBF national president Robert Cartlidge expects finalists to feel more than a little pressure on day three. "These 14 anglers are all on their way to the BFL All-American, and right now they're excited about that," he said. "But tonight it's going to sink in that tomorrow they're fishing for the Forrest Wood Cup and the chance to live their dreams on the FLW tour and Rayovac series. At some point in the morning, you're going to see the jitters and the nerves that one of them could be fishing for half a million dollars-and that's what the Living The Dream program is all about."
Additional cash and prizes include a new, fully-rigged Ranger Z 518c to the top Ranger Cup-qualified boater, and $5,000 to the top non-boater in the Ranger Cup Program. Plus, the Grand Lake Extravaganza offers the chance at catching a tagged fish worth $250,000.
All three days of the TBF National Championship are set for Grand Lake. Day three take-off is 6:45 a.m. at Wolf Creek Park. The 2014 TBF national champions will be crowned on the FLW stage at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, Arkansas. Held in conjunction with the FLW Tour's Beaver Lake tournament, the final day's festivities include the FLW Expo beginning at noon; TBF weigh-in at 3 p.m.; and FLW Tour weigh-in at 4 p.m. All activities are free and open to the public.
The TBF National Championship is produced by a partnership between The Bass Federation and FLW Outdoors. Sponsors include Chevy, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Cabela's, Solar Bat, Berkley, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Indigo Sky Casino, Grand Lake Association and Travel Oklahoma. For details, visit bassfederation.com, contact TBF National Headquarters at (580) 765-9031.

Tags: dan-johnson  headline-story  2014-04-10-grand-lake 

/news/2016-07-29-two-for-one

Two for One

The sibling partnership has done that with staggering ability. The two have a practice system in place that, while simple, has generated success north to south. That system, and the teamwork that makes it possible, is about to get its greatest test this week at Wheeler Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-28-early-reports-from-wheeler

Early Reports from Wheeler

Starting this Sunday, the 50 Forrest Wood Cup competitors will hit Wheeler Lake bright and early for the first of three days of official practice. It’ll be the first time the anglers have been allowed on the Tennessee River reservoir since the pre-practice cut off date of July 17. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-celebs-seminars-on-deck-for-the-cup

Celebs, Seminars on Deck for the Cup

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 4-7 will be crawling with some of the best bass anglers in the industry – both active pros and bassin’ legends. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to personally wish their favorite anglers good luck before takeoff, snag a picture and an autograph from an industry superstar, or sit in on a seminar. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bass-and-bbq-festival-set-for-forrest-wood-cup-expo

Bass and BBQ Festival set for Forrest Wood Cup Expo

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – FLW is adding some Alabama flavor to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, August 6 and 7. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bk-s-year-as-the-champ

BK’s Year as the Champ

Brad Knight plans on getting a good night’s sleep before this year’s Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake begins on Aug. 4. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there have been times during the past 12 months when dozing off wasn’t so easy for the defending Cup champion. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-1000-islands

Top 10 Patterns from the 1000 Islands

High wind and fluctuating water temperatures made things a little difficult for the anglers, but the top-10 pros adapted and utilized the whole playing field to exploit everything from deep smallmouth to shallow largemouth. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-canterbury-s-next-challenge-

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »