UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Quick Bites: EverStart Challenge, Day 4

The Charlie Daniels band gave an enthusiastic performance before and after the EverStart championship weigh-in.

EverStart Series Invitational Challenge
Cypress Gardens, Winter Haven, Fla.
Final Round, Day 4
Nov. 11

All the way back ... 2000 Challenge pro winner Alister Johnson had his work cut out for him this week. After day one the Cottondale, Fla., native was in 65th place; but he bounced back on day two, hooking a 5-pounder on his last cast of the day that helped pull him all the way up to 8th place. In the semifinal round on day three, he caught another 5-pounder that sent him into the finals. But it was his 8-pound behemoth - his first catch of the final round - that sent him over the top for the victory. The catch was impressive since a cold front moved through central Florida Friday night, decreasing the catch weights significantly today. But Johnson knew how to adjust. He dug deep into his tackle box for a Mark Davis Flat A crankbait that he had seen work in cooler weather before. Fun to watch was when the crankbait succeeded, he landed the big bass and collapsed onto the deck of his tournament Ranger.

All walks of life ... They come from everywhere, don't they? Three of today's finalists have very unique "real jobs" when they're not out on the water. Guess what each of these pro anglers does for a living: Jim Short, Darrel Robertson and Alister Johnson. Answers are below.
A. Farmer
B. Retired attack pilot for the Marines
C. Nuclear service technician
Pretty cool, huh?

All hail Darrel ... It was a good run for Robertson, the man I like to call the Cypress Gardens guru. The Jay, Okla., native bagged 4 pounds, 11 ounces of fish and finished third today at the Challenge. While it wasn't a win, his domination over the first two days and his dramatic, by-just-ounces weigh-in to make the final-round cut on day three make him the obvious choice for captain of the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes pro fishing team - if there was one. Robertson himself demurs when it comes to talk of his fishing ability. "I'd rather be known as the blessed angler than the best angler," said the million-dollar angler. "I had a great time. You know, I made it into the top five." We know, Darrel, and congratulations. It was a good show.

The unkindest cut of all ... Young Al Gagliarducci of Agawam, Mass., was excited when he found a nice patch of grass that helped produce his winning weight of 10 pounds on day three. When he returned to the spot, he was dismayed to find six guys in the water cutting out the grass. Undaunted, he went elsewhere and still managed to catch three fish for a weight of 4-1 today.

Quick Number:

4: Place in which Chip Harrison of Bremen, Ind., finished both the 2000 EverStart Series Invitational Challenge tournament and the 1999 Ranger M1 Millennium tournament, both of which were held at Cypress Gardens.

Sound Bites:

"I hope this one will get me over the hump. ... Yeah, I think this'll make it."
- Johnson, as he pulled out his huge 8-pound largemouth for the victory.

"Surrounded by all this beauty, I feel like a weed in a flower patch."
- Country music legend Charlie Daniels, who was escorted onto the EverStart weigh-in stage by the Cypress Gardens Southern Belles.

Jim Short - B
Darrel Robertson - A
Alister Johnson - C

Click for results, press releases, photos and headlines.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  quick-bites  2000-11-08-cypress-garden-s 


Eric Jackson Q&A

We caught up with Jackson just prior to his Tour debut on Lake Okeechobee to learn more about his background in the outdoors and how he got started in tournament fishing. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 111 - Bradley Hallman



An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »


Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 110 - JT Kenney and Kyle Monti



Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »


Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »





Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman



John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »


Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »


FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »


Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »


How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »


High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »


FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »


Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert



BFL Choo Choo Division Postponed

The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 has been postponed due to impending inclement weather. READ MORE »