UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Low water levels playing field

The top-10 pro and co-anglers blast off Saturday morning for one final day of competition.

RED WING, Minn. - With the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour preparing to kick the 2012 season off on the mighty Mississippi River there is one noticeable difference. What happened to all of the water? With the surprising lack of snow and ice throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin it has left water levels below average for this time of year. On the river low water means low current which is vital in positioning the fish on certain types of structure. It's as if the river has become a whole different animal. Normally most guys would be targeting backwater areas where the fish would spawn and then slide to deeper water to recover. But low water means most of the prime areas are not accessible. Mercury pro Perry Good holds up a good walleye"It takes most of the backwaters out of the game," said Mercury pro Perry Good, "I think with the water down it will bring the lake more into play." Going into the tournament the bite has been tough due to a few key factors. With the recent full moon and warm weather preceding it, many of the fish have spawned out. Match that with the cold front that has hung around this week and it's no wonder the fishing has been difficult. The water is also fairly clear by river standards, throwing another unusual element at the anglers. Lake Pepin has also seen high numbers of recreational fishermen spending more time on the water. The mild winter put anglers on the river much earlier this year leading to increased pressure. With the bite changing from day to day along with the river conditions it should make things interesting come tournament time. A slight warming trend is predicted for next week which could be what it takes to get these fish feeding. Pro Dusty Minke placed fifth on Lake Oahe."It's a matter of time; things are changing so fast," said pro Dusty Minke of Forest Lake, Minn. Water temperatures are averaging around 52 degrees, though warmer water can be found. Add that in with the majority of fish in postspawn mode, and walleyes can be found all over - meaning multiple presentations and adjustments could be key. "I've got 40 rods rigged," Minke stated. "It's not unlikely to see guys doing four to five different presentations in one day." The way the tournament is setting up should allow for any presentation to produce fish - from trolling Fireline with crankbaits, to dragging 3-way rigs, to vertically employing a plain-old jig and minnow. Having fish in different stages of the spawn should allow anglers to play to their respective strengths. Rapala Shad RapWhile the low water has changed many areas, some of the usual battle grounds should still play a role. Don't be surprised to see good bags come out of Buffalo Slough or Katrina as these commonly produce good fish, especially the bigger females. What remains to been seen is how the fish will set up for anglers in the lake. Some anglers do remain confident that Pepin will produce a lot of fish. In years past, Pepin has always been the ticket for a check but rarely has the quality needed to win a three-day event. As far as weights for this tournament go, Minke believes 14- to 16-pound days should be average. What about weights to win? Compared to normal years the weights could be slightly lower, though Good still thinks 60 pounds for three days (or more) will take home the prize.

Tags: pre-tournament 

/news/2015-08-26-smallmouth-slugfest-on-tap-at-erie-

Smallmouth Slugfest on Tap at Erie

Florida pro Glenn Browne leads the race with 492 points, largely due to his win at the previous divisional event on Lake Champlain. Following well within striking distance are Canadian pro Cory Johnston (484 points) and Louisianan Gerald Spohrer (483), who found his way into the Northern Division quite incidentally. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-19-boat-tour-of-lake-ouachita

Boat Tour of Lake Ouachita

The FLW media staff brought a few Rangers over to Lake Ouachita for this week’s festivities, so we decided to take one for a drive around the lake to get a feel for what the anglers will be facing this week. Here is what we found. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-17-scouting-with-stetson

Scouting with Stetson

“I don’t know where or how to win it yet, but I know this lake as good as anyone,” says Stetson Blaylock. “I might not be due, but nobody wants to win this as bad as I do.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-16-practice-with-zack-birge

Practice with Zack Birge

Zack Birge qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup twice – first by winning the Rayovac FLW Series Championship in the fall of 2014 and subsequently by crushing it in his rookie season on the Walmart FLW Tour. Regardless of how he got here, Birge figures to be a threat on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-16-cup-practice-begins

Cup Practice Begins

Welcome to Hot Springs, Ark., and the Forrest Wood Cup. Today, Sunday, marks the start of the official three-day practice period for the 2015 Cup. Right now is when pros start to piece together the puzzle that is summertime fishing on Lake Ouachita. To find out how the pros are preparing for this championship event, I head down to Brady Mountain Resort way too early in the morning to pester a few of them before they back their boats into the lake. I find out that for some pros, this morning is the first time they’ve launched a boat in Lake Ouachita this season – or ever. For others that made pre-practice trips, it’s the first time they’ve seen the lake since it went off limits earlier this month. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-12-central-division-aoy-race-concludes-on-dardanelle

Central Division AOY Race Concludes on Dardanelle

Currently, Quaker State pro Matt Arey is in the driver’s seat, but the field behind him is close and pretty stacked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-06-ouachita-pre-practice-report

Ouachita Pre-Practice Report

Lake Ouachita officially went off-limits to all Forrest Wood Cup competitors on Monday, Aug. 3. That means that from now until the official three-day practice period opens on Aug. 16, no Cup competitor can be on the lake and competitors may only gather information about Ouachita from publicly available resources and fellow qualifiers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-01-a-country-music-festival-at-the-cup-

A Country Music Festival at the Cup

It’ll be quite the country music festival atmosphere, complete with an extensive hunting and fishing expo featuring the top tackle and outdoor brands in the country, plus the second annual Bass & BBQ Festival, where fans can sample the wares of the world’s finest low-and-slow cookers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-flw-anticipating-largest-expo-of-all-time

FLW Anticipating Largest Expo of All Time

Bass fishing history and Arkansas walk hand-in-hand it seems. The Natural State was home to the first bass tournament. It’s where Ranger Boats was founded. And it’s hosted some of FLW’s most noteworthy events. READ MORE »

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Previewing Champlain

Year in, year out, Lake Champlain presents a challenge that is almost totally unique. When the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division competition gets under way on Champlain later this week, competitors will have about 100 miles of water to choose from. The win could come from anywhere, and limits will be plentiful. The event, which is presented by Plano, is likely to be an exciting one to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-27-fishing-the-cup-for-a-cure

Fishing the Cup for a Cure

n his first year fishing the Walmart FLW Tour, Jason Meninger placed 41st in the standings, earned more than $30,000 and qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup. Oh, yeah, he also found out he had cancer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-22-college-fishing-rolls-to-the-mighty-miss

College Fishing Rolls to the Mighty Miss

FLW College Fishing is headed to the Mississippi River July 25 for the third and final regular-season tournament in the Central Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Central Conference Championship tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-shane-lehew-gets-his-chance

Shane Lehew Gets His Chance

In 2014, Lehew began his Tour pro career by capturing 24th place in the first event of the year on Lake Okeechobee. His performances on the Big O last year and at Lake Toho this spring reflect his preference for fishing shallow water with mixed cover. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-09-ohio-river-event-rescheduled-for-august

Ohio River Event Rescheduled for August

The Walmart BFL tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek slated for July 11 has been rescheduled to August 29 due to extremely high water levels. All takeoff and weigh-in locations and times will remain the same. Anglers will takeoff and weigh-in at the Lawrenceburg City Ramp, located at Tanner’s Creek Drive in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing for top awards of up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively in the one-day event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-08-2015-forrest-wood-cup-co-angler-qualifiers

2015 Forrest Wood Cup Co-Angler Qualifiers

Along with their pro colleagues, 50 of the best co-anglers in the country will take to the waters of Lake Ouachita Aug. 20-23 for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup. Here’s the official list of qualifiers, in alphabetical order and by source of qualification. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-02-things-to-do-at-the-2015-cup

Things to do at the 2015 Cup

When 50 of the world’s best bass anglers arrive in Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup next month, they’ll be competing for the biggest honor in bass fishing – Forrest Wood Cup champion – and the biggest winning payday in bass fishing – $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-30-2015-forrest-wood-cup-field-announced

2015 Forrest Wood Cup Field Announced

READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-24-practice-with-alex-davis

Practice with Alex Davis

The final stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on the Potomac River is a homecoming of sorts for pro Alex Davis. Though Davis now spends his time guiding on Lake Guntersville, his early years were spent about 45 miles west of the Potomac in Strasburg, Va., where he learned to bass fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-24-historical-potomac-river-tour

Historical Potomac River Tour

While the field for the Walmart FLW Tour event was out looking for bass on the Potomac River we decided to see the sights as well. Launching at Smallwood State Park, we rolled out for a self-guided tour of the area in a Ranger Z520c. Below is a sampling of what we saw. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-23-practice-with-adrian-avena

Practice with Adrian Avena

Adrian Avena might not have the years on the water that some of the other locals have, but he’s currently sitting eighth in the AOY race and calculates that he only needs to catch one keeper to make the Forrest Wood Cup. I was happy to jump in the boat with him and co-angler Ian Renfrew for a few hours on the final day of practice for the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac. READ MORE »