UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Day-three patterns of the top five

Andy Morgan showing off his day three catch. He held steady in second place.

North Carolina pro Matt Arey improved his limit for the second consecutive day on Saturday with the tournament's heaviest bag - 16 pounds, 4 ounces. His three-day total of 43 pounds, 10 ounces gives him a 2-pound, 8-ounce lead over Evinrude pro Andy Morgan. For Arey, it was all about dialing in a series of transitional areas where largemouths are setting up to spawn. You can read his full day-three story here. Here's a rundown of how the rest of the top five made it to Sunday. Andy Morgan showing off his day three catch. He held steady in second place. 2nd place - Andy Morgan - 41 pounds, 2 ounces Andy Morgan is known as a shallow-water, power-fishing expert, which suggests that Beaver Lake and its clear waters might not fit his strengths. However, this week, the reigning Kellogg's Angler of the Year is in his element. He's one of the best in the world at reacting to daily changes, and he's had plenty of them to deal with so far this week. Today, it took most of the competition period to really dial it in and put together a 13-pound, 3-ounce limit. "It was kind of one of those days that drug along," Morgan said. "But I got it done at the end of the day." Morgan is refining a pattern in the middle part of the lake, where the water is clearer than what he prefers to fish, though it's definitely not the clearest in the lake. "It [my pattern] is vague," he said. "I can't just run up to a spot and know that this is `the juice.'" He's made adjustments each day by working different depths in his primary areas and changing up presentations. On day one, when the wind screamed across Beaver at speeds up to 30 mph, Morgan cranked up his trolling motor and burned down the bank with reaction baits. Yesterday, he had to dial it back and really slow down with a jig and a worm, but the slowdown produced his best limit at 15 pounds, 4 ounces. Today, Morgan relied on a little of both the fast and the slow. Looking ahead, he seemed pleased with tomorrow's forecast: 90 percent chance of rain, winds south at 20 to 30 mph and chances for thunderstorms all day. "I was fishing slow periodically throughout the day today," Morgan said. "But if it gets stormy and nasty tomorrow, I'm going to burn it up." Travis Fox showing off his kicker largemouth for the hometown crowd. 3rd place - Travis Fox - 38 pounds, 9 ounces Travis Fox is an Ozark local who's weighed in his catch each day this week in front of a boisterous crowd of family and friends. In fact, each time FLW Host Jason Harper has called Fox onto the stage, Team Fox has erupted. Fortunately, they've had a lot to cheer about. Today, Fox brought in a day-three limit that weighed 14 pounds, 9 ounces to move to within 5 pounds, 1 ounce of the lead. Five pounds is a major deficit on Beaver Lake, but Fox is on a largemouth pattern that can produce some absolute chunks, including one he weighed in today that he estimated was almost 6 pounds. If Arey struggles and Fox gets his bites, the gap between first and third could close quickly. The key to finding largemouths for Fox has been to run to areas with dirty water. "Every year I go there [in practice], and I don't really catch them," he said of his area this week. "Then every year I watch the TV show and see somebody catch them on my spots, and it makes me sick." This year, Fox decided to stay away from the area in practice and instead search some similar water elsewhere to get a feel for the situation, then run the lake's clearer lower end to see if he could scrape up a deep bite. The deep bite never materialized, and on day one, Fox ran to the stain and started fishing water he hadn't touched in practice. "I was just hoping this warmer weather would bring them to me," Fox said. "I'm definitely seeing new fish." Fox is using a combination of fast- and slow-moving presentations and has miles of water that he could still fish tomorrow. His biggest hurdle is the number of bites he's getting. Fox caught six keepers on day one, five on day two and five today. He's got to have all five keepers tomorrow to make a run at Arey. David Dudley has won on Beaver Lake before and moved up five places on day three. 4th place - David Dudley - 38 pounds, 5 ounces Castrol pro David Dudley has tasted victory at Beaver Lake before. This year, his success hinges on his ability to straight up out-fish his peers with the same techniques many of them have been using. "If I'm in the wind, I'm throwing a crankbait," Dudley said. "If it's calm, I'm throwing a shaky head. It's no secret. Wiggle Wart, jerkbait and crankbait - ask 180 fishermen here, and they're all doing the same thing. "The key here is being able to adjust," he continued. "As long as you can do that, you can stay near the top." Dudley elected to stay in one area of the lake and target bass that are transitioning up to shallower areas. He's seen the water temperature rise 5 or 6 degrees since the start of competition. Today, the area produced a 12-pound, 11-ounce limit for Dudley. "They're just biting up there," he said. "They're feeding and getting ready to spawn. The promising thing is it seems like they're still moving up." On day three Micah Frazier made his second career FLW Tour top ten as a pro. 5th place - Micah Frazier - 38 pounds, 3 ounces Yesterday, Georgia pro Micah Frazier revealed that he's relied on one key lure to catch all his fish this week. Today, he stuck to his guns and caught an 11-pound, 14-ounce limit. "I caught every one on it," he said. "It's a finesse bait. It's something that's worked here in the past." Frazier has been targeting staging areas that are shallow but have deep water all around them. Today, however, he didn't catch his fish in the same area where he's been getting the bulk of his bag this week. The forced changeup has Frazier a bit uncertain about how he'll handle the final day of competition. "I'll start with the same rotation," he said. "I've got one really good place that has potential, and if they pull up, it should be pretty good."

Rest of the best 6th place - Cody Meyer - 38 pounds, 2 ounces 7th place - Scott Martin - 37 pounds, 8 ounces 8th place - Troy Morrow - 37 pounds, 5 ounces 9th place - Casey Ashley - 37 pounds, 2 ounces 10th place - Mark Rose - 36 pounds, 4 ounces Full Results For the full results, click here.

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

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

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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 »

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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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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

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Ramie Races into the Lead

On the back of a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit, which is the biggest of the tournament thus far, Ramie Colson Jr. jumped from seventh place to take over the lead at the halfway point of the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. Colson’s two-day total is 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which puts him almost 3 pounds ahead of Tennessee’s Brad Knight. The Forrest Wood Cup, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, moves into its top-20 round on Saturday. The top 10 pros after Saturday’s weigh-in advance to Sunday’s final round for a shot at the $500,000 top prize. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 2 Coverage

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Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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