UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Quick Bites: FLW Championship, Day 4

(from left) Pro Dion Hibdon, FLW announcer Charlie Evans, pro Tommy Biffle and ESPN host Tommy Sanders anxiously watch the final fish being weighed in. Hibdon won the FLW Championship. Biffle took second.

Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship
Red River, Shreveport, La.
Day 4, Pro Division Final Round
Sept. 16

A true championship ... As far as pro bass fishing championships go, it couldn't have been any sweeter than today's final round. Dion Hibdon, Tommy Biffle, Craig Powers, Larry Nixon and Darrel Robertson have combined for 35 top-10 appearances, 4 wins and $1,720,994 in career earnings on the Operation Bass tournament circuit. Said winner Hibdon, "This was as good a crew of guys this week as I've ever been around. Just to be onstage with these guys a great privilege."

Better late than, well, just better late ... Hibdon of Stover, Mo., admitted that he did not find his fish until just before the tournament started. After practicing five days, he didn't locate his quarry until Monday - one day before competition began. Hibdon, the son of fishing legend Guido Hibdon, has his father to thank for his persistence. "If my father taught me one thing, it's patience," Dion said ... Hibdon also has his father to thank for another thing: his lure. He said, in the two major events he has won, including today's championship, Hibdon has fished his "favorite way": throwing a jig in a current. In today's final round he caught his winning fish using a Gambler Ninja jig with a Guido's Original Crawfish trailer.

Terrible twos ... What a heartbreak it must have been for Biffle, of Wagoner, Okla., to come in second - yet again - at an FLW Championship. This was Biffle's third second-place finish at the championship in four years, his previous seconds coming in 1997 and 1998. To put it into perspective, a mere 13 ounces (see results) more and the $25,000 he received for second place would have increased tenfold to $250,000 for first place. Still, there's no reason for Biffle fans to lose heart. With this year's finish, he officially has more top-5 appearances in the championship than anybody else. Plus, he earned the Energizer Keeps on Going award for coming back from 22nd place on day one to make the final round. Said Biffle, "I didn't miss any fish this week. It just wasn't my turn."

But he did get one ... When Robertson, of Jay, Okla., worked his way into the final round today, it looked like the 1999 FLW Championship winner might just pull off another upset in a big tournament - his specialty. But Robertson came up short today with only one fish for 1 pound. Like many anglers in the tournament, the wily pro found the Red River to be just a bit too tricky. "I had no preconceived notions any day," Robertson said. "When I went out this morning, I didn't know if I could catch anything. It's been that way all week."

Mud in the eye ... Yesterday's leader Nixon was hoping windy conditions would help him in the final round, but he found it only made things worse. The wind had stirred up the water at his location, and he said that hurt his chances. "When I got there, the water was muddy. I hunted for fish three different times today," he said. "Sometimes the fourth day will get you, and I got it."

Quick Number:

3 million: Number of Kellogg's cereal boxes printed with Land O'Lakes Angler of the year Clark Wendlandt's image on them.

Sound Bites:

"It's the hardest job I've ever had in my life, but, at the same time, it's the greatest job I've ever had."
- Powers, describing his pro fishing career.

"It's the greatest compliment in the world that you guys come out here and watch us weigh in some silly fish. Without you all, this wouldn't be possible."
- Powers, addressing the enthusiastic capacity crowd at the weigh-in tent.

"Bernie Shultz told me that when you see the big N coming out of a creek, you know there's fish up there."
- ESPN's Tommy Sanders, recounting a conversation he had with Shultz about Nixon. Shultz led after day two, but missed the final cut, and Nixon led after day three and placed fourth.

Click for results, Saturday's headline and more tournament news.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  quick-bites  2000-09-13-red-river 


FLW Podcast 128 - Mark Rose



1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update



1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST



2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »


Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »


5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin



Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »


Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »


2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »


FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »


FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer



Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »


Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »


Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »


How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »


Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »


Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »