UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Kemp Starts Strong on Potomac

Catching a big fish not long into his day propelled William Kemp to the day-one lead.

MARBURY, Md. - Starting his day with a big fish gave William Kemp a ton of confidence and no doubt helped him relax en route to topping day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the Potomac River. Kemp, who caught a limit that weighed 19 pounds, 2 ounces, reported a rather lackluster morning bite. However, the bites he got were quality fish - including the 6-10 that bit at 8 a.m. and ended up earning Big Bass honors for the Scotland Neck, N.C. pro. "Overall, it was pretty slow this morning and the fish bit better this afternoon," Kemp said. "I just caught William Kemp caught this 6-pound, 10-ounce bass at 8 a.m.a couple of key big ones this morning. It was a slow bite, but I got the right bites." His big fish, he said, energized him and filled him with enthusiasm that was "through the roof." Kemp said that his morning fish bit Zoom Brush Hogs that he was flipping into grass. Later in the day, the fish seemed to become more interested in feeding. "It just seemed that the fish switched up when the tide got higher - they got a little more active and aggressive," he said. Flipping Brush Hogs produced William KempKemp fished within 15 miles of the takeoff site in Mattawoman Creek. He mostly targeted submerged grass. Success on day one was particularly rewarding for Kemp, given the challenging conditions he faced in the days preceding he tournament. "My practice was pretty slow," he said. "I only have a few places where I can get bit. It was just staying with them and beating them out. "This afternoon when the fish became more active, it became fun. But this morning it was just a grind." Kemp said the cloud cover that settled in by midday was a welcome respite from the brutally hot, still conditions he experienced in practice. "Those clouds came in and cooled it off a little bit," he said. "I think that did help the bite." Wilder winds up in second Second-place pro Gregory Wilder, of Brooklyn Park, Md. said his limit catch of 17-4 was no cake walk; in fact, it was a one-here, one-there kind of deal. Wilder noted that two key bites - one fish over 5 pounds, another over 4 - were the game-changers. "I feel blessed to catch what I had today," Wilder said. "My practice was terrible. I never really found the big fish in practice, so I'm just happy I was able to put together two good bites today." Wilder said he caught fish on both tide stages. On low water, he caught them on a buzzbait, while a Chatterbait worked best on high water. The day's alignment of tide stage and early cloud cover, Wilder said, lined up favorably for him. "I think the big thing was having low light and the low water in the morning," he said. "This draws fish to the outside edges." Shelton takes third Two things were impossible to miss when William Shelton III crossed the weigh-in stage - his Despite the discomfort of a catfish spine injury to his left foot, William Shelton III still managed to reach third on day one.beaming pride over a solid stringer of 16 pounds, 5 ounces that took third place, and the white bandage wrapped around his bare left foot. "Who said fishing isn't a contact sport," the Virginia pro joked. "I got stabbed by a catfish spine and spent last night in the emergency room. My foot was twice as swollen as it is now." He said he junk-fished through the day and took advantage of two windows of opportunity. He worked a variety of habitats, but noted that hard cover was a key element when the tide got high. "It was basically the last hour of the outgoing and the first hour of the incoming tide," Shelton said. "These periods were feeding frenzies and then the rest of the day was mostly reaction bites." Fourth for Grike Fouth-place pro Robert Grike, of Dumfries, Va. sacked up a limit that went 15-14. For him, the key was running the tide to stay on his ideal window - essentially, the latter end of the outgoing tide and then the beginning of the incoming. "I kind of worked the tides to my favor," he said. Grike caught his fish by targeting hard cover in the morning and grass in the afternoon on high water. He caught his fish on shaky heads on hard cover and, in the grass, he flipped a Texas-rigged plastic on a 1-ounce weight into milfoil. He also fish a flick shake worm around the milfoil. Baumgardner places fifth North Carolina pro Chris Baumgardner caught keepers on high and low water.Chris Baumgardner, of Gastonia, N.C., reported catching about 20 fish scattered throughout the day's tide schedule. He had spots for low water and others for high water. Combining the effort yielded a limit that weighed 15-1. Baumgardner said he caught most of his fish on Chatterbaits and Zoom Horny Toads. "The fish are grouped up and when you get around them, you can catch them," he said. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Cal Delta event:Sixth-place pro Omari Navies shows off his catch. 6th: Omari Navies, of Fort Washington, Md., 14-14 7th: Jim Dillard, of West Monroe, La., 14-10 7th: Harold J. Marietta, of Hunker, Pa., 14-10 7th: Chris Novack, of Mansfield Center, Ct., 14-10 10th: Adrian Avena, of Vineland, NJ, 14-7 10th: Shayne Berlo, of Fairfax, Va., 14-7 10th: Bryan Schmitt, of Deale, Md., 14-7 Flipping and finesse key for top co-angler Crowder In the co-angler division, Kermit Crowder, of Matoaca, Va. leads the field with 15-8. For him, the action started when the early morning's falling tide turned and started its upward movement. Top co-angler Kermit Crowder said specific casts to targeted cover was important to his success."I caught all of my fish on the incoming tide," he said. "I caught all throughout the rest of the say and that kept it interesting." Out of courtesy to his pro partner, Crowder declined to reveal where he caught his fish, but he did note that a particular type of habitat proved consistently productive. "It was very precise; very technique-specific," Crowder said he ended up catching his keepers on flipping baits and finesse rigs. He missed a couple of early opportunities when big fish blew up on his topwater frog. Michael Bahnweg, of Union Dale, Pa. and Jeremy Ives, of Burgaw, N.C. tied for second with 14-13 apiece. In fourth place, Johnny Clark, of Fredericksburg, Va. had 14-9 and fifth place went to Gabriel Scott, of, Ruckersville, Va., who had 13-13. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Cal Delta event:Third-place co-angler Jeremy Ives caught the day 6th: Ben Wright, of Peru, N.Y., 13-10 7th: Paul Kimball, of Philadelphia, Pa., 13-7 8th: Doug Caldwell, of Kane, Pa., 12-15 9th: Marvin Reese, of Gwynn Oak, Md., 12-13 10th: Dave Nobles, of Canisteo, N.Y., 12-4 Ives took Big Bass honors with his 7-pound, 7-ounce largemouth. Day two of Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on the Potomac River continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:00 a.m. (Eastern) at Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md.

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/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 »

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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 »

/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 »

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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 »

/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 »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 3 Coverage

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

/news/2015-08-21-ramie-races-into-the-lead

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 »

/news/2015-08-21-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-2

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

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

/news/2015-08-20-wheeler-hunting-history

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 »

/news/2015-08-20-forrest-wood-cup-day-1-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 1 Coverage

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