Co-angler Cup quest continues with tight race

Day two saw several co-anglers weighing nice catches. Here, sixth place John Niedosik holds his 3-pound, 7-ounce bass against a backdrop of the coveted Forrest Wood Cup he and 29 others hope to win.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - For competitive anglers, "culling" means replacing a particular fish with a larger one. So, then, it may seem odd to hear of a Forrest Wood Cup competitor taking the opposite approach. No to worry, co-angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C. knows what he's doing and he implemented a selection strategy that led him to the top spot on Lake Lanier. Moving up two spots from third on day one, Rodgers fished dropshots and caught one of only two co-angler limits - a 9-pound, 1-ounce bag that boosted his opening weight of 8-15 to an even 18-pound total. His tackle selection was intrinsic to his success. "I went out there today with more dropshots; different varieties of weight and colors of worms and itDearal Rodgers leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 18 pounds. paid off," Rodgers said. "I'm using darker colors in the morning and lighter colors in the afternoon. I'm culling my (terminal tackle) also - that's a very important point. "Once the sun gets out, the fish are reacting to the line - I can tell that. They're reacting to the weight and they're reacting to the size hook you use. So, as the sun gets higher and higher, I start downsizing. I even have 4-pound line that I could go to if I had to." As Rodgers noted, having multiple tackle levels ready to go helped him avoid the mental trap of thinking a spot was dead when, in some cases, the fish had simply become too wary. Trailing the lead by 12 ounces, Frank Divis Sr. found his fish over scattered brush."Once you sit over a brush pile and you fish it, fish it, fish it; the fish don't leave, they just quit biting after you catch a couple," he said. "I just realized in my mind that the fish were still down there and I just kept downsizing until I got one to bite." Divis improves to second On day one Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark. placed fourth and trailed Rodgers by 3 ounces. Today, he also gained two spots, although the gap widened to 12 ounces. Pairing 8 pounds, 8 ounces with his day one score of 8-12 gave Divis a 17-4 total. Divis worked a dropshot and found a certain color of Zoom finesse worms that the fish couldn't resist. The law of supply and demand nearly squashed his hopes for continued improvement, but help from a friend has Divis optimistic about the co-angler finale. "There's s certain color that Zoom doesn't make anymore and I had four worms (in this color)," Divis said. "On my first cast, I caught one about 3 pounds. The next cast, I catch another one; the very nextDay one leader, J R Wright slipped a couple of notches to third. cast, I catch my third one." Divis said that after this flurry of activity, his pro partner Ish Monroe insisted that partners share baits. So, pro and co-angler shared the four worms the Divis had and caught all of their fish on that quartet. By day's end, Divis was down to a single battle weary worm, but pro Greg Bohannan, who missed the top-30 pro cut, found a bag of the exact color Divis needed. "Greg Bohannan saved the day," Divis said. "With (these worms), I can win tomorrow." Divis said he caught his fish by working the perimeter of the brush piles Monroe targeted. "I forced myself to fish a little deeper away from the brush piles. I think the bigger fish feed around the brush piles and I think it's the smaller fish that are in (the structure)." Wright catches the right "one" He led the co-angler division on day one, but J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif. managed only one fish today Starting the day in 15th place, Chad Pipkens rose 11 spots to place fourth.and slipped two spots to third. Pairing a 2-pound, 8-ounce fish with his day one limit catch of 12-5 gave him a 14-13 total. Wright caught his day one fish on a dropshot with a Robo Worm (margarita mutilator) and an undisclosed bait that he used to target suspended fish. His day one pro, Greg Pugh fished slow and methodically, parking over brush piles for lengthy presentations. Day two found Wright struggling with a much different approach. "I fished with Andy Morgan today and he was fishing the fastest of anyone I've ever fished with," Wright said. "We'd pull up, two or three drops and he was gone. I never had the chance to throw the bait that worked (best) yesterday. I had to go with a drop shot and a heavier weight. "I caught my one fish and that was it. But it was a pleasure to fish with (Morgan). That's fishing - it could happen to anyone." Pipkens makes big move into fourth Fourth place co-angler, Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich. missed his limit by one fish, but he rose 11 spotsThe biggest bass of the day, a 4-6, belonged to fifth place Brandon Hunter. from his 15th place day one finish. Pipkens caught 8-11 on day two for a 13-12 total. "I only had four, but we caught big fish today," he said. "I had a 4 1/2-pounder in the first 10 minutes. I got four bites and caught four fish." Paired with FLW legend, Larry Nixon, Pipken caught his fish by dropshotting over scattered brush. Hunter hauls in hefty spot for fifth Typically, following a second place performance with a one-fish day would send a competitor tumbling Defending 2009 Forrest Wood Cup co-angler champion Brad Roberts shows off a nice bass to his son Landon, 18 months.down the standings. However, Brandon Hunter of Benton, Kentucky can attest that the right fish can minimize the loss. Fishing a Zoom Baby Brush Hog on a Carolina Rig, Hunter hauled in the largest co-angler fish thus far - a plump 4-pound, 6-ounce spot that paired with his day one weight of 9-5 for a fifth place total of 13-11. "I only caught that one fish, but 4-6 is like catching two or three fish here," Hunter said. "I wasn't getting the bites on the dropshot today. I just wasn't feeling it, so I changed it up a little bit, threw the rig and got a bigger bite." Notably, John Niedosik of Avondale, Ariz., also had a one-hit wonder kind of day. His only catch weighed 3-7 and landed him in sixth place with 11-14. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Forrest Wood Cup were: 7th: Alan Hults of Gautier, Ms., 11-2 8th: Brad Roberts of Nancy, Ky., 11-2 9th: Gayle Janes of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., 10-12 10th: Matt Peters of Gainesville, Ga., 9-15 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 


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Triplett Takes Co-Angler Crown On Grand



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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Callaghan Wins Co-Angler Title

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – James Callaghan got matched up with the right pros when it counted the most here in the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Lake Wheeler and his three-day total weight of 24 pounds, 3 ounces won him the co-angler title and the Ranger Z117 boat package that went with it. READ MORE »


Cifuentes wins Co-angler Title

ZAVALLA, Texas – Imagine traveling FLW Outdoor’s fishing circuits as a co-angler with legendary pro Larry Nixon…practicing with him…rooming with him…and just talking bass fishing 24-7 with one of the most decorated bass fishing pros in the modern world. READ MORE »


Gillespie Claims Co-angler Crown

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Carl Gillespie of Old Hickory, Tenn., couldn’t have asked for a better week. It seemed hard enough for many of the pros to connect with quality bites, let alone the co-anglers. But Gillespie stayed focused and posted double-digit limits every day of the event en route to his first title as a co-angler. READ MORE »


Co-Angler Crocker Sweeps James River

RICHMOND, Va. – Coming to the scales with only two bass on the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the James River had Michael Crocker a little nervous, but strong performances the first two days enabled the Maryland co-angler to complete the wire-to-wire victory. READ MORE »


New Crowned Co-angler Champ

COLUMBIA, S.C. – When Bryan New left the dock at Dreher Island State Park this morning, he could hardly control his excitement. Before him lay an opportunity, and it was an opportunity he believed he could seize. After catching 7 pounds, 9 ounces on day one of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, New came into today’s competition atop the co-angler leaderboard by more than 2 pounds. All he needed to do was catch a couple of solid fish and he’d have a shot at the win. Three keepers would almost certainly seal the deal. After two consecutive top-five finishes at the Forrest Wood Cup, this was New’s best shot at the title. And he went out and earned it. READ MORE »


New Nets Co-angler Lead

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Calling your day on the water a “grind” is one of the biggest clichés in the sport of bass fishing. However, it is probably the best way to describe day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country. When the scale closed Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., set the bar with four bass that weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead by 2-5. READ MORE »


Kelley Crowned Co-angler Champ

PARIS LANDING, Tenn. – The third time was indeed the charm for Cody Kelley here at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Kentucky Lake, as the Arkansas fisherman won the co-angler title with a combined stringer weight of 54 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »


Crowder Clinches Potomac Win

MARBURY, Md. – Kermit Crowder, of Matoaca, Va. completed his wire-to-wire victory with the largest sack of day three, 12-15, and tallied a total of 39-8 in the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the Potomac River. READ MORE »