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.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-millsaps-wins-on-lake-sinclair

Millsaps Wins on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – David Millsaps of Ranger, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Millsaps earned $6,009. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-walters-nets-third-victory-on-wylie

Walters Nets Third Victory on Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, N.C. – Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Walters earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-mosley-on-top-at-arkansas-river

Mosley on Top at Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 the Arkansas River. For his victory, Mosley earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »