UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Old Hickory Lake

Wright on

California co-angler JR Wright jumped to an early lead with a 3-pound advantage going into day two.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - He hails from the California town of Truckee and J.R. Wright made the locals proud by driving right past his competition to secure a hefty day one lead at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier. Bagging a limit weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces, Wright sits a comfortable 3 pounds ahead of his nearest competitor. Wright achieved his position by wisely giving a certain undisclosed bait a second chance. Seems he threw this bait in practice with pro and fellow Californian, Cody Meyer (fourth place, 14-3) and it failed to impress many fish. Nevertheless, the 2-inch bait held enough promise for Wright to show it to the fish on game day. "I threw this one little bait every day in practice and caught one fish, so I didn't have much confidence inAltering his presentation with a bait he used in practice enabled JR Wright to top the co-angler division. it," Wright said. "But I threw it today and I was watching how (pro partner Greg) Pugh was working his bait. His was a totally different bait, but he was fishing for suspended fish, so I changed my presentation a little and they ate it. I got four bites (on this bait) and they happened to be the quality bites." Wright said that altering his retrieve speed was the change he needed: "(Initially) I was just throwing it out there and reeling it back, but now my cadence has changed a little bit and that's what the bites are coming on." Once the fish started biting Wright's bait, he would have been happy to close out his day with this rig. However, fate crashed his party - at least temporarily. "Luckily, they ate this bait - the only problem is, I only brought one hook," Wright lamented. "It's a special hook and I broke it off around 1 o'clock. But I had four on it and then I caught my fifth fish on a drop shot with a Margarita Mutilator Robo Worm." Fortunately, Meyer has plenty of spare hooks and Wright has a good supply of the baits. Hunter hunts his own structure for second Second place co-angler Brandon Hunter used a dropshot to locate scattered brush behind where his pro was fishing. Co-anglers fishing with pros focused on specific structure can often feel like they're (unintentionally) left of the party. Such was the case for second place co-angler Brandon Hunter of Benton, Kentucky when his pro put the nose over brush piles and launched a tightly focused assault. Balancing respect for his pro's right to chose the approach with his own ambitions, Hunter worked a dropshot - as much for catching fish, as for a manual bottom recorder. "It's really tough as co-anglers to get bites behind these guys because we're fishing so deep - 30 to 40 feet of water sometimes," Hunter said. "When (my pro) is fishing an individual brush pile, he's got the nose of the boat right over that brush pile, vertically fishing and watching the fish on the graph. The guy in the back is just kind of dragging around. "I had an idea of where the brush was, and to stay out of his way, I just stayed back doing my own thing and luckily, it worked out. I just tried to feel where some of that older, broken up brush was and when I felt something, I would work the spot more with the dropshot." Hunter's plan worked well and he sacked up a limit of 9-5. He baited his dropshot with Roboworms inDownsizing his dropshot rigs proved effective for third place co-angler Dearal Rodgers. the morning dawn color. "It's not my style of fishing," Hunter admitted. "I live on Kentucky Lake and I'm used to throwing big baits - crankbaits and big worms - so using a spinning rod is just not something I do all the time, but it worked out for me." Rodgers downsizes and takes third Like many of his fellow co-anglers, Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C. fished a dropshot to catch his third place limit of 8-15. Rodgers, however, took his finesse game to another level by downsizing his tackle and fishing a Robo worm on 6-pound line and 3/16-ounce weight. Essential to the dropshot game is spinning gear and Rodgers said he nearly found himself ill-equipped. While preparing for the Forrest Wood Cup, he realized that he could not locate his spinning rods. Fortunately, serendipity smiled and he found himself back in the game. Although power fishing is his preferred game, Frank Divis Sr put a dropshot to good use and finished fourth."Last year, FLW gave my kids some spinning rods," Rodgers recalled. "Some of my fish today came on those rods." Fourth place Divis trades power for finesse Paired with legendary California pro Mike Folkestad, fourth place co-angler Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark. knew it would be a day of contrasting styles. However, adapting a little enabled him to sack up a trio of fish that weighed 8-12. "He's a west coast guy, a finesse fisherman, and here I am from Arkansas and I'm a power fisherman," Divis said. "But I picked up a drop shot and caught my first fish on it. I've made most of my money on a football head jig and I figured, if I'm going to crash and burn, I'm going to do it with a football head. I picked up a ¾-ounce PJ's finesse football head jig and just started dragging it." Notably, Divis caught his biggest fish of the day on a dropshot. Niedosik fan casts into fifth With his pro focusing on brush piles, John Niedosik of Avondale, Ariz. decided to make the most of hisFan casting a shaky head and a Texas-rigged worm produced a fifth place bag for John Niedosik. positioning and fan cast the surrounding water with a Texas-rigged worm and a shaky head worm - both in green pumpkin. His strategy produced three fish weighing 8-7 for fifth place. "I just wanted to cover some ground instead of drop shotting," Niedosik. "I didn't catch my first fish until 10:30, the second fish was at 1:30 and the third fish came at 2:30." Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Forrest Wood Cup were: 6th: Gayle Janes of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., 8-0 7th: Taylor Thompson of Half Moon Bay, Calif., 7-14 8th: Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., 6-12 9th: Paul Mueller of Southbury, Ct., 6-11 10th: Jeff Grant of La Mirada, Calif., 6-9 Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. Eastern time from Laurel Park, located at 3100 Old Cleveland Hwy. in Gainesville, Ga .

Tags: co-angler-headline 

/news/2015-08-29-hicks-tops-co-angler-field-on-erie

Hicks Tops Co-angler Field on Erie

At 8:30 a.m., Justin Hicks turned to the camera boat following him and Jared Rhode – who split the day-two lead with Dave Lefebre – and said: “I sure would like to win this.” Eight hours later, the young man from Roanoke, Va., lifted the first place trophy at the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-21-sunny-skies-at-the-top

Sunny Skies at the Top

It was his first and the Forrest Wood Cup’s last. With the Cup going exclusively to professionals next year, Sunny Hawk, like the rest of the co-anglers, knew this was the last chance for someone to be crowned a co-angler Cup champion. While many made a run at the title – including three past co-angler champions – Hawk made the most of it, weighing in three fish for 6 pounds, 5 ounces on day two for a tournament total of 19-11 to claim his first career win. “For my first win to be at the Cup, I’m pretty pumped,” Hawk said while holding the $50,000 first-place check. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-20-sunny-s-day-on-the-back-deck

Sunny’s Day on the Back Deck

It’s almost as if Roy and Sunny Hawk switched bags. The father-son duo came to the Forrest Wood Cup with big aspirations – Roy on the pro side and Sunny as a co-angler. So when a Hawk weighed in a limit for 13 pounds, 6 ounces on day one, that was exactly what they hoped would happen, though they probably didn’t think it would be Sunny who did it from the back of the boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-01-shafer-takes-co-angler-title

Shafer Takes Co-Angler Title

Scott Shafer picked up the win on the co-angler side in the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano on Lake Champlain with 17 pounds, 12 ounces on the final day for an even 50-pound total. He took home a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-hp outboard as a reward. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-jones-wins-potomac-co-angler-crown

Jones Wins Potomac Co-angler Crown

With a two-day total of 25 pounds, 2 ounces, Jim Jones of Big Bend, Wis., won the co-angler title at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River by just 1 pound, 3 ounces over Kyle Prskalo of Illinois. After opening the event in fifth place, Jones bagged a 13-03 limit to climb into the lead. Jones fished with pros Scott Wiley on day one and Ish Monroe on day two. His pro partners worked similar strategies, which allowed Jones to dial in a pattern. “It was all grass fishing,” he says. “I was mostly throwing a swim jig but caught a couple on a ChatterBait and one on a worm. I threw some chartreuse dye on my trailers as well.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-burgess-tops-all-american-co-angler-field

Burgess Tops All-American Co-Angler Field

If Bob Burgess could have picked three better partners to fish with in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, it might have been illegal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-12-lafleur-earns-co-angler-win

LaFleur Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Paul LaFleur of Benton, Ark., earned his first top-10 finish and first win with FLW on the back of a 17-pound, 2-ounce day-two bag that gave him a tournament total of 31-04 at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga. “I threw a big worm and a drop-shot the whole time,” says LaFleur. “Today was mainly the big worm. The ledge bite wasn’t good. I caught two real quick, and then it went dead and I caught all the rest up shallow.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-06-co-angler-honeycutt-triumphs-in-james-river-debut

Co-angler Honeycutt triumphs in James River debut

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/news/2015-05-15-sweet-as-honeycutt

Sweet as Honeycutt

Keith Honeycutt knows how to fish his way to the tournament podium. The veteran Texas co-angler has won multiple FLW tournaments, including the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour event at Grand Lake. Still, when Honeycutt hoisted the FLW Tour co-angler champion’s trophy over his head on stage this afternoon at Lake Eufaula, he celebrated with great joy because he knows how difficult it is to attain that level of success against the best amateur anglers in the world. “It doesn’t come around very often,” says Honeycutt, who edged out Japan’s Hiroyuki Watanabe by just 2 ounces with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 12 ounces. “It’s hard to get two pro partners who fish a way that you can catch them too.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-09-farage-dominates-delta-co-anglers

Farage Dominates Delta Co-anglers

Adapt or die. That pretty well sums up co-angler Jack Farage’s runaway win at the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats on the California Delta this week. Obviously, the Discovery Bay, Calif., co-angler adapted – he changed baits every day – and made all the right moves. Farage opened the tournament with a massive 26-pound limit, followed with 11-11 yesterday and then blew the competition away with 16-14 today. His three-day total of 54-09 is 15-07 better than second-place co-angler Todd Kline’s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-02-big-day-one-catch-sets-up-lejeune-s-texoma-win

Big Day One Catch Sets Up Lejeune’s Texoma Win

No doubt, co-angler Ryan Lejeune, of Eunice, La., would have preferred two more days like his first, but a big opening effort set up his wire-to-wire win in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-co-angler-dunkin-nearly-perfect-at-beaver-lake

Co-angler Dunkin Nearly Perfect at Beaver Lake

Having all the right lures and executing proper presentation are what catches fish in a tournament. However, Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Luke Dunkin knows that to win a Tour event and its $20,000 prize from the back of the boat, everything has to be darn near perfect. “It [perfection] starts with getting to fish your style of fishing, the right pro partner and not losing a fish during the tournament,” Dunkin says. Check, check and … almost check. Dunkin, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., experienced as close to perfection as is possible this week on the way to winning the co-angler competition at Tour stop No. 3 on Beaver Lake. His only misstep was a single lost fish that he worried would cost him. It didn’t, and in the end his total weight of 18 pounds, 2 ounces was enough to hold off Tour veteran Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., by just 3 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-triplett-takes-co-angler-crown-on-grand

Triplett Takes Co-Angler Crown On Grand

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/news/2015-04-11-wilson-tops-co-anglers-on-rayburn

Wilson Tops Co-anglers on Rayburn

Dan Wilson caught one of only three co-angler limits on the final day of competition to come back from fourth place and win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. Consistency was key for Wilson, who weighed in 11 pounds, 1 ounce on day one, then followed with 13-04 and 14-15 on days two and three, respectively. His three-day total of 39-04 bested day-two leader Bryan New of North Carolina by 3 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-day-2-remember

Day 2 Remember

Brad Roberts didn’t just catch more weight than his pro. By the time day two was over, the co-angler had weighed in the biggest bag of any angler on the day. Leading the co-angler side going into the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Lewis Smith Lake, Roberts sacked a giant 18 pounds, 13 ounces to complete a two-day sweep with an impressive 32-1. “This feels awesome,” Roberts says. “I could only fish three [FLW Tour] events this year, and I picked this one because it’s a lot like Dale Hollow and Lake Cumberland back home. Obviously, I picked the right one.” How impressive was what the Faubush, Ky., angler pulled off? His 18-13 beat the biggest pro weight on day two by 9 ounces (Jason Reyes, 18-4), and his 32-1 cumulative weight would have put him in fourth on the pro side after two days. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-o-donnell-earns-co-angler-win

O’Donnell Earns Co-angler Win

“Every time I would think “oh no, this isn’t going right,” I would catch a big one,” says O’Donnell. “I guess it was meant to be.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-06-randles-takes-co-angler-crown

Randles Takes Co-angler Crown

The whole premise behind being a successful co-angler is to fish the spots that the guy in the front of the boat hasn’t already hit. Here on Lake Toho and connected lakes – with their miles of lily pad fields and vast mats of various types of aquatic vegetation – finding such targets of opportunity is never a problem, though some co-anglers are better than others at mining the ones that actually have bass in them. Chad Randles of Elkhorn, Neb., proved he had what it takes to pry bass out of their Toho cubby holes as he won the co-angler title here in the Walmart FLW Tour season-opener presented by Mercury. Randles weighed in a pair of limits over two days that totaled 29 pounds, 15 ounces. Mark Holman of Cornelius, N.C., was second with 27-11, while John Hunter of Shelbyville, Ky., placed third with 27-7. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-14-carrillo-cool-in-victory

Carrillo Cool in Victory

He’s probably the most relaxed competitor this writer has ever encountered in tournament fishing. Just don’t mistake his cool demeanor on the outside for a lack of intensity deep down inside. Ricardo Carrillo of Laredo, Texas, was all business on the water at this week’s Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Amistad presented by Frabill. Carrillo caught 11 pounds, 15 ounces, 6-10 and 5-4 in three days for a tournament total of 23-13 to win the co-angler division by more than 3 pounds. For his efforts, Carrillo earned his very first bass boat, a Ranger Z117 with 90-hp outboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-07-leue-lands-co-angler-title

Leue Lands Co-angler Title

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Believe it or not, Daniel Leue of Colusa, Calif., was the only co-angler to bring in a five-bass limit every day of competition this week in the first Western Division event on Lake Havasu presented by Mercury. Though, that doesn’t mean the second victory of his career came easy. The average quality of fish in Havasu kept Leue on his toes but thanks to his 16-pound, 2-ounce limit (the largest of the tournament) on the final day he walked away victorious. READ MORE »

/news/2015-01-24-clewiston-native-wilson-is-co-angler-champ

Clewiston Native Wilson is Co-angler Champ

He was born and raised in Clewiston, and for the last eight years Moses Wilson has been pouring his heart and soul into building a professional fishing career on his hometown waters of Lake Okeechobee. Today, Wilson took a long step forward in his quest by winning the co-angler division of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Okeechobee. Wilson caught 13 pounds, 7 ounces today while fishing with pro Mark Daniels Jr. for a three-day total of 38 pounds, 2 ounces. READ MORE »