UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

FLW Tour Recap: Lake Guntersville

Kellogg's team pro Dave Lefebre.

(Editor's note: Veteran bass pro Dave Lefebre has agreed to take time to share his insights into each FLW Tour event of the 2011 season. After every event, Lefebre will give his thoughts on tournament strategy, winning techniques and other behind-the-scenes stories/information that is compelling to our readers. The following blog represents his 11th installment. Lefebre ultimately finished the FLW Tour Lake Champlain event in 32nd place with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 6 ounces. For his efforts, Lefebre walked away with over $10,000 in winnings.) Can you say Alabama rig? We wrapped up the 2011 FLW Tour season this weekend on Lake Guntersville and a new, strange way of fishing showed up ... big time. It's actually called an umbrella rig, nothing new to striper and saltwater fishing, but until now, it was unheard of in tournament bass fishing. The rig has five thin wires, each with a snap swivel attached to them so that you can use whatever lure you wish on each wire. It has been named the Alabama rig and if you weren't throwing it you weren't winning; it's as simple as that. Paul Elias threw it every day of the tournament and won the event with 103 pounds. Very few others were throwing this rig on day one, but by day three practically everyone in the top 20 had the rig tied on. And on day four, eight of the top 10 were using it. I personally saw Jacob Powroznik and Anthony Gagliardi throwing the rig on day one as both came through the area I was fishing. Both went on to make the top 10. As far as I know, the others wisely jumped on the Alabama rig bandwagon as the event progressed. I had an interesting practice to put it mildly. I blew my powerhead (motor) at 6 am on Sunday, the first morning of practice. Since it was Sunday, I couldn't get a hold of anyone to get it fixed, so I basically lost that day. Art Ferguson was nice enough to take me out in his boat for a few hours so I could at least get a general look at the lake. We caught a few fish, but mostly just rode around. On day two I decided to fish out of my boat with just the trolling motor. I planned on launching at several different boat ramps to just try to make the best of it. Well as soon as I got a mile away from the first ramp at 7 am, the dealership called and told me to get my boat there as soon as possible. So I got the boat on the trailer and drove two hours north to Chattanooga Fish n Fun. I dropped my boat off there with Mr. Hass and the boys and headed back to Guntersville. A co-angler fishing in the tournament heard I needed a boat and offered me his rig, so Tom Rizzo (my practice partner), Dan Ferguson, and I went out in the afternoon for a couple hours. I checked a couple spots and had four bites but we caught nothing. Thankfully, Dan was nice enough to offer Tom and I his boat for the next and final day of practice. Finally I was able to spend a full day on the water, but after it was over I still didn't feel confident that I could catch a limit anywhere. I basically started the tournament as if it were another day of practice. I now had my own boat, which was good, except I had to break in my new motor. I could only go about 30 mph all day. It was painful, but around noon I managed to find a little area and catch a good limit of around 15 pounds. On day two, I went back to that area and caught 11 1/2 pounds to finish 32nd in the event, about 2 1/2 pounds out of the cut. I found that area by seeing the shad flickering on the surface from a couple hundred yards away. There were a few small white bass busting the shad, but when I slow-rolled a small swimbait under the bait I found out that there were bass there. It took a lot of switching weights, sizes, and colors of swimbaits, but once I got the right combination they ate it. It was awesome! I had the best action on a 3 1/2-inch gizzard shad Berkley Hollow Belly with a 3/0 belly weighted hook. They ate it better when I used a smaller 3/16-ounce weight and a red hook too. I was casting it as far as I could in 6 to 8 feet of water, letting it sink all the way to the bottom, and then reeling it as slowly as could. The fishing at Guntersville was bar far the toughest I've ever seen, but the grass was by far the best I've ever seen. The key for this event was fishing around the shad out off of the grass. There will always be some success flipping the mats and throwing surface frogs here. But this time the baitfish pattern, with shad-imitation baits, like swimbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and spoons prevailed. Overall, it was stressful week, but a rewarding end to the season. I didn't win, but my goal was to make the top five in the FLW Tour Open Angler of the Year standings and qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier, Ga., next summer. I ultimately finished in second place, so I'll be going to Lake Lanier and fishing the 2012 FLW Tour season with a little less pressure on my shoulders. In closing, I had a great time recapping this 2011 FLW Tour season and giving you an inside look into my year. I'm looking forward to starting fresh in 2012! To read more about Dave's life on the road, check out On Tour With Dave and Anne, sponsored by Chevy. Throughout the 2011 FLW Tour season, Dave and his wife, Anne will be keeping a detailed blog of their experiences while traveling the country in their Chevy Trucks.

Tags: blog  dave-lefebre 

/tips/2015-07-29-do-you-really-need-so-much-stuff-

Do You Really Need So Much Stuff?

Lures and clothes have a lot in common. Just like clothing evolves and new styles come out and old styles come back, so goes fishing lures. The difference between the two, however, is that you can outgrow your old jeans, but you can never get rid of your old baits. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-22-never-miss-a-bass-again

Never Miss a Bass Again

Do you ever listen at the weigh-in at how many guys talk about all the fish they missed? I can’t accept that it’s part of the job at hand. It’s one of my pet peeves. Most of us would do much better if we would just ask the simple question “why?” In prefishing we have already done most of the hard work. During the tournament, a missed fish can’t be accepted. I consider it a good tournament when I come back to the ramp with no missed fish, regardless of my finish. How does that happen? It starts way before the tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-rayovac-flw-series-northern-division-event-set-for-lake-champlain-

Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division Event Set For Lake Champlain

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 21, 2015) – The Rayovac FLW Series is headed to Lake Champlain July 30- Aug. 1 for a tournament presented by Plano when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the second stop of 2015 in the Northern Division... READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-08-a-bass-is-a-bass-but-not-always

A Bass is a Bass, But Not Always

Amigos, as you may remember, we left the past blog with a big question mark on the well-known saying, “A bass is a bass, no matter what.” Well, it’s time to give you a different point of view. A lot of you, while reading these lines, might start questioning my ideas. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-06-from-kayak-to-bass-boat

From Kayak to Bass Boat

Like many anglers, I am a fanatic about my equipment for the things I do. For example, I’m a four-time world champion whitewater kayaker and have won three of them in a boat of my design. I started Jackson Kayak to take kayak design to the next level and to do things that the bigger company I was working for wasn’t willing to do. I am also a long-time bass fisherman, which led me to fishing 2015 Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-06-more-than-a-fisherman

More Than a Fisherman

The competitive fishing world is a small one, and when narrowed down to the competitive bass fishing world, it is even smaller in the grand scheme of things. This, of course, isn’t to say that this small group doesn’t have an absolutely huge impact. It does. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-01-the-no-excuse-guide-

The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-missed-chances-at-the-finale

Missed Chances at the Finale

The final Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River was a tough event for me. After one of the strongest practices I’ve ever had there, or anywhere, really, I drove home scratching my head. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-16-my-lost-fish-troubles-continue

My Lost-Fish Troubles Continue

Lake Chickamauga is loaded with big bass, and for the first time in three previous visits I felt really good after the practice period was over. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for me, and I ended the event after day two by missing the top-20 cut by a mere 4 ounces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-04-blaukat-on-climate-change

Blaukat on Climate Change

As many of you know, for years I’ve been an outspoken voice on environmental issues. As a result, I’ve been celebrated by some and ostracized by others. But what some think of me being the messenger is irrelevant. It’s not about the messenger – as much as detractors try to make it out to be – it’s about getting the message out. I want to start by saying that the debate of whether or not climate change is man-made is over. It’s real, and it’s right here in our faces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-running-a-college-club

Running a College Club

The sport of college bass fishing is growing at an incredible pace. During my freshman year (2011-2012), tournament fields were limited to 50 anglers, and boats were supplied by Rayovac FLW Series volunteer competitors. During the end of my senior year this season, field sizes grew larger at every tournament, and we saw more colleges providing boats for student anglers – signs of growth for sure. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-blog-i-m-hooked-

Blog: I’m Hooked

When I was 10 years old I could only dream about being a professional fisherman. I would spend all my time outdoors playing sports, hunting and fishing. Then, in high school, I competed in my first bass tournament and I was hooked. From that moment, my goal was to become a professional angler some day. Now, almost three decades later, after much hard work and dedication I’m competing in the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. And I’m more excited than ever. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-26-blog-the-first-time

Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-19-missed-opportunities-at-beaver-lake

Missed Opportunities at Beaver Lake

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-19-blog-what-might-have-been-at-eufaula

Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-blog-frogging-of-a-different-kind

Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-blog-make-a-plan-and-work-the-plan-

Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »