Delta Double Lifts Hawk to Lead

Arizona pro Roy Hawk landed a pair of toads and led day one on the Cal Delta.

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. - When your limit includes a 10-pounder, you can expect a good weigh-in performance. Add another kicker nearly as big and you can replace "good" with "dominant." Such was the case for Roy Hawk - day-one leader at the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event on the California Delta. Fishing a mix of bedding bass and post-spawners, Hawk sacked up a whopping 29 pounds, 11 ounces and took the lead by a 4-4 margin. Thank goodness for the quality, he said, because the Delta was pretty stingy with the quantity. "Overall, the fishing was pretty slow," he said. "The weight wouldn't show that, but my two big ones were ¾ of my weight. The other three weren't that big; they were just standard fish. I caught maybe a dozen to 15 fish, including a lot of little ones, which is not a lot. "Usually in May, you can find a good reaction bite with a cranking or topwater but it's a struggle right A 10-pound, 1-ounce bass was Roy Hawknow. You can catch some nice ones, but you don't catch 10 in one spot. Usually, they start ganging up and you can catch them like bam-bam-bam when you get on `em. But with this deal, it's just one here, one there." Like many of his competitors, Hawk noted that the week's full moon, the recent heavy winds and hot, still conditions made for a tough day on the Delta. Also challenging was the day's tide schedule - a big high around daybreak and then a hard outgoing cycle later in the day. Hawk caught his two biggest fish on beds, where flipping a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits Flappin' Hog did the trick. His bed fish were about two miles apart and both bit within about 5 minutes of Hawk's arrival. The rest of his fish came on crankbaits and topwaters. Hawk said he had to hit about a dozen spots on day one. "I only practiced for a couple of days, so I kind of rolled the dice and tried to figure out a general area as best I could," Hawk said. "I've done well in the past in this general region." Sight fishing yielded Roy HawkHawk said that with Delta conditions a lot tougher than normal, jumping out to an early lead is gives him a greater sense of comfort going into the second round. Nevertheless, he's making no assumptions. "You know, glory be to God, for sure," Hawk said of his day-one performance. "You get an opportunity and everything goes right and you land them. It doesn't go like that every day so I'm very, very grateful and I look forward to using that momentum to try and get into day three." Hawk said that he will not stake his tournament on bed fishing. With high tide moving progressively later in the day, he knows that he'll face longer periods of high water, so traditional sight-fishing tactics will be more difficult. "It's going to be a grind tomorrow," Hawk said. "I don't if I can duplicate this. It just depends on what the conditions do tomorrow. I have a couple of good bed fish that I couldn't catch today, so maybe I can catch them tomorrow." Dobyns does second California pro Richard Dobyns said he would have liked to have caught his fish earlier in the day - at Targeting post-spawners put Richard Dobyns in second place.least for his nerves - but he's not arguing about the limit of 25-7 that put him in second place. "Coming into the tournament, I was really scared of low water because (that stage) was really tough in practice," Dobyns said. "I struggled all morning and didn't start catching fish until about 10 o'clock and I didn't catch any of the fish I weighed until 11." Dobyns said he caught his fish on a variety of baits. "I think there were nine rods on my deck - it was complete junk fishing," he said. "It was mostly reaction baits, a couple of Senko fish, but everything else was topwaters, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits." He decided to forgo the bed-fishing routine, as he didn't think he could find enough consistency to merit the investment. "I was targeting all post-spawners," Dobyns said. "I was fishing current areas, main rivers - the depths were the fish that have spawned would move back out to. "A lot of the fish have already spawned and there's a very good number of post-spawners. They're not as big and fat as the spawners, obviously, but they're more aggressive. Rather than chasing bed fish, I was going for feeding fish." Au(some) at third Arizona pro Vu Au caught the dayTrailing Dobyns by just 4 ounces, Vu Au, of Tucson, Ariz., caught a limit that weighed 25-3 and placed third in the opening round. "I caught a limit by 10 o'clock and throughout the day, I had to go try new things," he said. "I had two big bites toward the end of the low tide. I wasn't on anything good; I just got lucky and stumbled across two good fish and that can happen here in the Delta. "I caught those big ones at 12 and 1 o'clock. It was just back-to-back." Au said he, too, avoided sight fishing and instead just targeted spawning areas with reaction baits. "I was fishing wind-blown points and current areas," he said. "A spot had to have current and if it didn't have current, it had to have wind. If it didn't have any of that, good luck catching them." Persistent Raftery takes fourth Fourth-place pro Joe Raftery just wasn't going to take no for an answer. A key bed fish gave him fits, Fourth-place pro Joe Raftery shows off his two best fish.but staying after this day-making opportunity rewarded him with this big catch and a limit of 23-5. "I had this big fish on a bed and I went in with 17-pound fluorocarbon, she bit, I set the hook and the line broke," he recalled. "I retied with braid and flipped back in there. It took her a little bit, but she ate it again. I set the hook and the line broke - 65-braid broke. "I sat down, relaxed and retied again with braid and I got her." The bed fishing came later in the day when the lower water stage was more conducive to this pursuit. Prior to that, he focused on outside weed lines. Raftery caught his fish on swimbaits, jigs and Roboworms. Lunker puts Martin in fifth With a 10-pound, 10-ounce bass anchoring his sack, Chad Martin placed fifth on day one.The day's combination of high morning water levels and afternoon wind kept fifth-place pro Chad Martin off his sight-fishing game plan, but he adjusted and caught a 22-pound, 7-ounce limit anchored by a 10-pound, 10-ounce fish. "With the high tide, I couldn't see the fish in the morning and by the time you could see them, the wind started blowing," he said. "Some of the females I was seeing in practice weren't up in the holes, so I had to just go fishing today." Frogs, Senko and a big swimbait produced Martin's weight fish. His big bass bit around 2:15. "I ran all over the Delta today, just chasing the tide," he said. "About halfway into the low was when I started catching them." Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Cal Delta event:Placing 16th on day one, California pro Marco Valdez nabbed the day 6th: Nick Nourot, of Benecia, Calif., 21-14 7th: Greg Gutierrez, of Red Bluff, Calif., 19-11 8th: Tai Au, of Glendale, Ariz., 19-9 9th: Jiggs Benn, of Myrtle Creek, Or., 19-8 10th: Wade Curtiss, of Meadow Vista, Calif., 19-7. Marco Valdez took Big Bass honors with his 11 -pound, 7-ounce largemouth. Stokes leads co-angler division He had to endure a slow start, but co-angler leader Troy Stokes found the latter end of the outgoing tide more to his liking. Catching a limit of 17-8 gave him the lead by a slim margin of 5 ounces over second-place Matthew Bynum (17-3). "My boater was catching them when the tide was up, but I caught them when the tide was low," Stokes said. "I caught the majority of my fish on Senkos, jigs and swimbaits. When the tide was low, it was making some of the weeds visible that were a little deeper. I started throw the swimbait in there because I figured the fish were going to pull out and sit out in those weeds." This 7-pounder gave Darren Vieira the Big Bass honors on the co-angler side."I caught them all throughout the day. I struggled at the beginning of the day, but once the low tide came, I just slowed down and started fishing. I just started covering water." In third place, Andrew Janke, of Warren, Or., had 16-12. Chris Shrader, of Mountain Home AFB, ID placed fourth with 16-0 and Doug Delgado, of Westlake Village, Calif. was fifth with 15-3. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Cal Delta event: 6th: Ryan Diatte, of Gilroy, Calif., 14-12 7th: Stuart Hein II, of Orange, Calif., 14-4 7th: Rob Larrabee, of Livermore, Calif., 14-4 9th: Darren Vieira, of Martinez, Calif., 14-3 10th: Sunny Hawk, of Salt Lake City, Utah, 14-0 Vieira earned Big Bass honors with his 7-pound largemouth. Day two of Rayovac FLW Series Western Division action on the Cal Delta continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:00 a.m. (Pacific) at Russo's Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-make-way-for-morgan

Make Way for Morgan

“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look. On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 2

At halftime of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five reads like a who’s who of Beaver Lake. Leader Andy Morgan is a former Beaver Lake champion. Behind him, Darrel Robertson has been very close to winning here with a runner-up finish in 2005. In third is 2014 Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey. Bryan Thrift, in fourth, has never won on Beaver Lake, but has led here before. And finally, fifth-place pro Stetson Blaylock knows his way around this lake pretty well, too, with a couple of top 10s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-heckman-heads-up-tbf-championship-field

Heckman Heads up TBF Championship Field

Some bass are still spawning in Grand Lake, and others are yet to make their way up to the shallows, but none of that interests Sam Heckman. Diligent commitment to his postspawn plan here Friday landed Heckman atop the boater field with 34 pounds, 3 ounces and locked up his Southwest Division win at the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship. Saturday, the top boater from each of seven TBF divisions will vie for the TBF National Championship and the “Living the Dream” package that goes with it. The package includes paid entry in the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour as a pro, a Forrest Wood Cup berth and use of a custom-wrapped truck and Ranger boat on Tour for the year, as well as a travel stipend for each event. Seven non-boaters – one from each TBF division – also will fish in tomorrow’s final round for a chance at paid entry into a Rayovac FLW Series division of choice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-beaver-lake-day-2-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-wheeler-with-a-slim-lead

Wheeler with a Slim Lead

Jacob Wheeler has a plan to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake this week. That plan involves primarily the largemouth species, a target weight of 14 pounds per day and a lot of fish management. Today, Wheeler surpassed his target by nearly 2 pounds with a 15-pound, 14-ounce catch that puts him in the driver’s seat at Beaver Lake, in the lead by just a scant 5 ounces over second-place pro Bryan Thrift. “Largemouths are the way to win here at Beaver Lake,” Wheeler says. “They are the fish to go the distance here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little. Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one. For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-griffith-grabs-tbf-lead-

Griffith Grabs TBF Lead

By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit. Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-beaver-lake-day-1-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-23-tbf-championship-tips-off

TBF Championship Tips Off

The spawn is on at Grand Lake, but that’s not the only game in town. As the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship plays out for the next three days, anglers will find this northern Oklahoma impoundment abounding with lots of fishing options. Brian Maloney, the 2012 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, says he was impressed with what he found in practice. “The quality of fish on Grand is just amazing,” notes the Missouri angler. “This lake continues to put out 3- and 4-pounders, and right now there’s a variety of things we can do. “There are guys sight-fishing for spawning fish, and we’re probably looking at another wave or two of fish coming in soon. I’m sure the full moon coming up in another week or so will move them in.” Adding that the lake currently has fish in all prespawn, spawning and postspawn stages, Maloney thinks that TBF contenders will be greeted by a mix of water conditions typical for Grand this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-top-10-baits-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Baits from Lake Murray

Competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship mostly targeted bass feeding on spawning blueback herring on shallow points and main-lake pockets. Across the board, herring-imitating baits such as soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, wake baits and umbrella rigs dominated the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-jig-bite-carries-holmes-on-wateree

Jig Bite Carries Holmes on Wateree

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-bryan-slows-down-for-chickamauga-win

Bryan Slows Down for Chickamauga Win

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-morfis-dominates-with-34-pound-limit

Morfis Dominates With 34-Pound Limit

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Joshua Morfis of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 34 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Morfis earned $6,336. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-20-salzman-cracks-31-pounds-on-guntersville

Salzman Cracks 31 Pounds on Guntersville

READ MORE »