UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Quick Bites: Stren Series Championship, Day 4

2007 Stren Series Championship Mobile Delta, Mobile, Ala. Final round, Sunday Cup bound ... The 2007 Stren Series season is complete, and with that comes five pro berths into the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. Representing the Central Division will be Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark. Representing the Southeast Division will be Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla. Mathew Saavedra was the only pro from the Western Division to make the top-10 cutoff, so he clinched his Cup berth on Friday. Fittingly, TTT Championship winner David Curtis will represent the Texas Division, and Nick Gainey will fish for the Northern Division. Young Yang of Los Angeles was the first of five co-anglers to secure a spot as the Pro winner Mike Jackson holds up his first-place check worth $90,000. only Western Division fisherman to make the top-10 cutoff. Kevin McKnight of Versailles, Mo., finished 11th, missing the cut by 3 ounces, but still advanced to the Forrest Wood Cup as the highest-placing finisher from the Central Division. Chris Hults took the Southeast Division berth, Josh Clark of Horton, Mich., took the Northern Division berth, and co-angler champion Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, will represent the Texas Division. What am I doing in the water? ... On day two, pro Jason Knapp was feeling a little woozy while fishing from the deck of his boat. The Uniontown, Pa., angler was sick during practice, but with a $1 million total purse at stake, he decided to suck it up and fish. "I remember telling my co-angler that I was feeling dizzy, and then, the next thing I know, I'm tasting saltwater," Knapp told the Mobile Press-Register. His co-angler partner, Ed Piwonski, saw him tumble face-first into the Delta. Thankfully, he bobbed up immediately, and no rescue was needed. The first thing Knapp said when he popped up was, "What am I doing in the water?" Fishing your strengths ... It's interesting to note how different anglers approached a diverse tidal fishery such as the Mobile Delta. Noted southern flippers Bobby Lane, Gainey and Jackson stuck to their roots and flipped mats near Mobile. Bohannan, who calls Beaver Lake home, went with a spotted-bass pattern, while the lone Western pro, Saavedra, was throwing swimbaits. The lone Pro Greg Vinson finished fifth and earned $16,620.exception was Curtis, who stepped out of his comfort zone of burning a big DD-22 and picked up a spinning rod and a shaky head. Curtis said that particular rod was at the bottom of his locker and hadn't been used in over two years. Record runs ... A handful of the top 10 pros stayed close to the launch this week and fished mats for marsh bass. Another handful of anglers traveled 60 miles each way to catch their fish. And yet another group of fishermen ran to unthinkable distances, some as far as 112 miles each way to the Claiborne Lock and Dam. Curtis was one of those pros to make the really long run, the run that required him to purchase fuel twice each day. The big question all week was where these anglers were purchasing their fuel. Curtis said there is a retail gas station 53 miles from the Chocolotta Bay Ramp. The station is on the water, but is located in the back of a river oxbow. "Getting gas quickly was really important because we were all competing for the best spots. It was basically like a NASCAR pit stop." Big stage next for Bohannan ... Without question, Bohannan will be one to watch next season on the FLW Tour. From an outsider's perspective, this young pro has his head on straight and is fully prepared to compete against the best bass fishermen in the world. Bohannan quit his job last March to start fishing professionally full time, a story often heard from many anglers who make the same sacrifice in pursuit of their dreams. That story doesn't always have a happy ending, but the early results look promising for the Yamaha pro. "My goal next year is to win Rookie of the Year," he said. "I already have the Cup berth, and that was goal No. 2, so that's a huge burden off of me." Greg Bohannan smiles Sunday morning at the prospects of earning a six-figure payday. Cochran's best friend ... George Cochran may owe Bohannan a huge Christmas present this year. Bohannan was the No. 12-ranked BP Eastern Division pro from the FLW Series, meaning he was set to compete in the East-West Fish-Off. But he already qualified for the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup through the Stren Series, so it might not make sense to travel all the way to Lake Amistad. If he chose not to go, No. 31-ranked Cochran would presumably take his place. "George is a real good friend of mine, and if it created a spot for him, I don't think I would go," Bohannan said. Quick numbers: 50: Number of push-ups tournament official Tim Porter claims he does each morning. Pro David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, earned $35,355 for his third-place finish. 1,000: Estimated number of miles traveled during the tournament each day, in total, by Curtis, Greg Vinson and Saavedra. 1,250: Estimated number of dollars Curtis spent on gasoline this week during practice and the four-day tournament. 137,280: Number of dollars earned by Curtis this season in FLW Outdoors competition. Amazingly, Curtis did not fish any tour-level competition in 2007. 2: Number of FLW Outdoors victories for Bohannan in 2007. He won the third Stren Series Central Division qualifier on the Columbus Pool and a BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Sound bites: "I played college football at Arkansas Tech, and I used to throw up before every game. I kind of feel like that now." - Bohannan, shortly before weighing in his day-four catch. David Curtis earned an additional $15,000 from the Ranger Cup program."I'm going to go back to the boat and wonder why I just won another $15,000." - Curtis, who won the Stren Series Ranger Cup program and apparently doesn't pay attention to contingency details. "Nineteen of the 20 fish I caught came on the Davis Shaky Head." - Vinson. "Would you have ever thought 5 pounds, 6 ounces would make you a hero?" - Charlie Evans, to Gainey, who trailed Lane by 5 pounds, 5 ounces before weighing in. "That lack of current up there really hurt me today." - Curtis.

Tags: quick-bites  brett-carlson 


Hartwell’s hometown hero

SENECA, S.C. – With the disappointment of the 2008 Bassmaster Classic still fresh in his mind, Casey Ashley crafted a meticulous revenge strategy for the next major tournament held on Lake Hartwell – one that was bulletproof and could withstand cold, wind, rain and fog. In doing so, he had to fish against his shallow-water strengths. Armed with some of the best deep brush piles on the lake, Ashley crushed the second Walmart FLW Tour event of the year from start to finish. READ MORE »


Carlson blog: A plea to tackle companies

Tournament bass fishing season is in full swing, even if the weather in most of the country may not feel like it. From now until mid-summer, culminating with ICAST in July and the Forrest Wood Cup in August, tackle companies across the industry will be launching their newest mouse traps – all guaranteed to catch more fish than the others. READ MORE »


Carlson blog: Tharp oozes confidence, not arrogance

I recently watched some behind-the-scenes footage of the Forrest Wood Cup dinner banquet, which is held the night before the championship commences. The footage was being used for the final episode of the Circuit Breaker reality show series starring FLW Tour rookie Casey Martin. But I was most struck by what I saw from Randall Tharp, who would go on to win the Cup in impressive fashion. READ MORE »


Farewell to the Alabama rig

It seems like just yesterday nearly all members of the bass fishing media were writing about this new bait/system that mimicked an entire school of baitfish. It’s hard to believe that it was almost two years ago that Paul Elias introduced the Alabama rig with his domination on Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »


Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 4

In 2011, EverStart team pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Fla., thought he had fished the perfect Forrest Wood Cup only to lose out at the very end to FLW Tour pro Scott Martin on Lake Ouachita. Although Tharp walked away from that tournament $100,000 richer, he couldn’t help but think of what might have been. READ MORE »


Thrift, Tharp flip flop at top

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – Thanks to a late-day kicker, Bryan Thrift and Randall Tharp swapped places at the top of the standings at the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. Instead of Tharp leading by 4 ounces, Thrift sits perched at the top by the same margin with one day remaining on the Red River. READ MORE »


Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 3

A change at the top … For two straight days, EverStart team pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Fla., had led the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. Well today that all changed … just barely. READ MORE »


Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 2

By the start of day two, the new conventional wisdom was that the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup was now simply a two-man duel between Tharp and Thrift. While that narrative made perfect sense at the time, multiple-day, high-stakes bass-fishing tournaments sometimes have a tendency to veer off from a carefully written script. READ MORE »


Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 1

Heading into today’s competition, the conventional wisdom was that it would take anywhere from 11 to 12 pounds a day to win the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. However, apparently EverStart team pro Randall Tharp and Chevy team pro Bryan Thrift weren’t listening. READ MORE »


Hippensteel victorious in Detroit

TRENTON, Mich. – Jim Hippensteel has been around the block enough to know how hard it is to win a tournament from the back of the boat. Numerous things have to go right, including several that are out of your control. That’s why when Hippensteel’s pro partner Heath Wagner turned around and retreated from a rough Lake Erie this morning, Hippensteel was convinced another opportunity at victory had slipped away. READ MORE »


ICAST impressions 2013

LAS VEGAS – The curtain has been pulled at ICAST 2013 as hundreds of new baits, rods, reels and accessories have officially been unveiled. Manufacturers, buyers and media members are all calling the event a success as both the number of attendees and the number of exhibitors were up from last year. Below is a look at many of the new products that caught my eye. READ MORE »


Dudley loses bet, favorite topwater to Wheeler

After an incredible practice, David Dudley thought it would take a whopping 17 pounds a day to get a top 50 and a big check at Lake Chickamauga, the site of the final FLW Tour qualifier, even going so far as to call it “Falconesque”. While the fishing on the TVA impoundment was good, just about everybody thought Dudley was crazy. READ MORE »


Telling the untold: Jaye’s unconventional jerkbait pattern

Admittedly, we at FLWOutdoors.com have a pretty standard approach to covering bass tournaments. Following weigh-in, a story is posted each night that includes interviews from the top five pros. In general, this method works as fans are naturally drawn to those who are catching the heaviest stringers. Occasionally, the system fails to capture an interesting story. At Lake Eufaula, sixth-place finisher Kelley Jaye was that interesting story. READ MORE »


Flawed A-rig argument

Yep, just what we need – yet another Alabama rig opinion piece. I promise mine will offer a different perspective, one coming from a writer with no vested interest. In a nutshell, I contend that one of the main arguments against the A-rig is completely unfounded. Let me start with a quick story. READ MORE »


Rapala’s next big lures

The company that introduced the Original Floater, Shad Rap and DT Series says its newest line of lures could be its most successful yet. And so far, action is speaking louder than words as all the major industry retailers, including Walmart, have purchased a piece of the action. READ MORE »


Arey aims higher in 2013

All too often in professional fishing the limelight goes to those who make the top-10 cuts and hoist the six-figure checks above their heads. Matt Arey never made any of those cuts, nor did he win a tournament in 2012, yet he still had by any standard a “career year.” READ MORE »


When second best is a success

I’ll admit it; I’m a Senko aficionado. My friends, family and even co-workers chide me for how often I throw Yamamoto’s famous soft-plastic stickbait. Guess what? I don’t care. Mock me all you want, but if you’re a serious bass fisherman, you appreciate the efficacy of the Senko. It’s simple, and in the spring, it’s nearly impossible to beat. READ MORE »


Auburn clinches long-awaited SEC Championship

ROCK HILL, S.C. – While the weather changed from bright sunshine to thick clouds on day three of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Conference Championship, it wasn’t nearly enough to derail the powerhouse Auburn University fishing team. With several deep schools of bass located, the Tigers put on an offshore clinic and dominated the three-day tournament wire-to-wire. READ MORE »


Nixon surges to St. Clair lead

WOODHAVEN, Mich. – Bucking the normal trend of diminishing weights, Larry Nixon has improved his catch each day of the Walmart FLW Tour Open. After sitting in relative obscurity on day one with 17 pounds, Nixon rallied on day two with nearly 23 pounds. Today he upped the ante to 23 pounds, 11 ounces and is one day away from his second tour title on Lake St. Clair. READ MORE »


Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 4

In the end, the 21-year-old upstart from Indianapolis, Ind., was just too much for the rest of the field. Bolstered by an 11-pound, 15-ounce catch on the final day of competition, FLW Tour rookie Jacob Wheeler blew away four former Forrest Wood Cup champions, three FLW Tour Angler of the Year title holders as well as the rest of the top-10 field to claim the most prestigious title in bass fishing. READ MORE »