Ray reigns supreme

Co-angler champion Dante Ray takes it all in as he is announced the winner of the EverStart Series Western Division event on Clear Lake.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - Every angler experiences that moment when they realize they can handle the fierce competition they face. For co-angler Dante Ray of Sparks, Nev., that time was today as he won his first EverStart event since he began fishing FLW in 2003. The lowest position Ray saw all week was after day one when he sat in third place with a weight of 19 pounds, 6 ounces. After catching the biggest stringer seen in the Co-angler Division all week on day two - 24-6 - he claimed the lead. Though his weight slipped some today, Ray still brought 18-12 to the scales giving him a three-day total of 62-8 and a margin of victory of 12-5. "I feel so blessed right now," said Ray. "I am speechless. It means everything to me and solidifies how far I have come since 2003." Ray spent some time prefishing on his own before the tournament started to help get dialed in as to what was working on Clear Lake. He found a schooling fish pattern in shallow grass that he hoped he would be able to take advantage of during the tournament. Co-angler Dante Ray holds a pair of fish from his 18-pound, 12-ounce bag on Saturday."One bait I relied on this week was an Atomic Baits 3-inch Pot-Bellied Shad," the winning co-angler said. "That thing resembles the silversides perfectly. I'd just throw it up shallow at the schooling fish and they'd eat it. The other bait I used this week - especially yesterday and today - was a Tailspin made by Dave Nollar. They just couldn't resist it." Ray was in contention to win earlier this year on the California Delta but in the end it wasn't meant to be. Having come so close already, it meant even more to try and get it done Saturday. "I was actually pretty relaxed when I woke up this morning, or as relaxed as I could be. I knew I had to just go out there and give it my best. The Lord truly blessed me." One thing that played into Ray's hands was that he got paired with pro leader Jason Borofka. When the two met up to discuss the final-day gameplan Ray discovered that Borofka was on good fish but it wasn't until later in the day when they would bite. "I told my pro what I had found in practice and he kind of raised his eyebrow at me. This morning he said that we could stay up north until he felt like his fish would start biting. When we pulled up there, it was on. I was using that Tailspin with 6-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon with an iRod Genesis II and a Shimano Sustain. The fish I caught this week were in 12 to 21 feet of water. I was able to cover a lot of water with that bait and find those schools. "This is my second year of fishing all four tournaments. By winning here it told me that I'll be OK. God blessed me and hard work really does pay off." Ray has never owned a boat before, until today. For winning the event he is now the proud owner of a Ranger Z117 with a 90 horsepower outboard. Stewart Jr. leaps to second Co-angler John Stewart Jr. weighed an impressive 21 pounds, 13 ounces with four fish to settle in second.It's not too often you see a co-angler increase their weight as a tournament rolls on. It's even more impressive when you never weigh a five-fish limit the entire week. John Stewart Jr. of Glendale, Ariz., started his week off with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce. Day two saw another four bass but this time they hit the scales at an impressive 18-5. Remarkably, his final-day catch was another four bass weighing 21-13 to catapult him to second place with 50-3 for three days. Stewart also made it out to practice this week, though he wasn't as successful as Ray. "My practice was rough this week," he said. "I caught two fish in three days of practice and they were small." The Arizona co-angler got off to a slow start each day. He never boated a fish before noon during all three days of competition. "It's tough watching your boater catch fish all day long," laughed Stewart. A River2Sea Bottom Walker did the damage this week. "I caught a 5- and 7-pounder on that River2Sea Bottom Walker yesterday. My boater actually turned me onto it. So I just stuck with it today. My boater won the Triton tournament out here last weekend and we were on some good fish. It was getting late in the day and my boater was fishing shallow so I turned to cast deep and caught a 5-, 7- and 9-pounder in five casts." For his efforts, Stewart walked away with a check for $3,892. Janes, Nourot, Kunde round out top five Gayle Janes takes third with a three-day total of 42 pounds, 12 ounces.Gayle Janes of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., managed 13 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to move up a notch to third place. His three-day total stood at 42-12 to earn a check worth $3,113. Nick Nourot of Benicia, Calif., made a big jump from eighth place on day two all the way to fourth thanks to three bass weighing 12 pounds, 6 ounces. With a three-day total of 40 pounds, Nourot netted a check for $2,724. Jordan Kunde of Palo Cedro, Calif., rounds out the top-five co-anglers with a three-day total weight of 35 pounds, 13 ounces. Kunde added one fish weighing 5-12 to his days one and two weights of 12-0 and 18-1, respectively. He was awarded $2,335 for his efforts. Rest of the best Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series Clear Lake event: 6th: Christopher Dixon of Granada Hills, Calif., three-day total of 34-13, $1,946 7th: Richard Crine of Anaheim, Calif., three-day total of 31-11, $1,687 8th: O'Neal Martin of Roseville, Calif., three-day total of 30-2, $1,168 9th: Kevin Marcheschi of Santa Rosa, Calif., three-day total of 29-7, $778 10th: Spencer Moran of Carmel, Calif., three-day total of 27-2, $623

Tags: co-angler-headline  kyle-wood 

/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 »

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5 Pros to Watch at Lewis Smith

The second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour season rolls to Lewis Smith Lake – or “Smith” as most refer to it – which is located in northern Alabama. It offers a stark contrast to the first event held on Toho, as the fishery is a clear, deep impoundment with little grass to speak of. Traditionally spotted bass have dominated this tournament due to their abundance and better average size. That will likely be the case again this week, however, largemouth may surprise some people since water temperatures are prime for them to swarm the bank. Smith Lake is often overshadowed by its neighboring lakes of Guntersville and Wheeler but has pumped out several world-class spotted bass over the years. In fact, back in the 1970s and 1980s several world record spots were produced in Smith, and the current 8-pound, 15-ounce Alabama state record was caught from here. READ MORE »

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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 »

/tips/2015-03-17-weekend-wrap-up

Weekend Wrap-Up

A recent warming trend and resulting rising water temperatures across the country had many anglers targeting fish that were moving back into spawning areas. Both the LBL and Okie division tournaments proved that the big girls are moving shallow. READ MORE »

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

Randles Takes Co-angler Crown

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5 to Watch at Toho

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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 »

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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 »

/news/2014-10-04-cifuentes-wins-co-angler-title

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 »

/news/2014-09-20-gillespie-claims-co-angler-crown

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 »

/news/2014-08-23-co-angler-crocker-sweeps-james-river

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 »

/news/2014-08-15-new-crowned-co-angler-champ

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 »

/news/2014-08-14-new-nets-co-angler-lead

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Co-Angler Setzer Steals the Show

FLORENCE, Ala. – At just 26 years old, Braxton Setzer of Auburn, Ala., is experiencing a phenomenal sophomore season on the Walmart FLW Tour from the back of the boat. He already holds two top-10 finishes from Hartwell and Beaver Lake – where he came close to grabbing the title – and now he gets to taste victory after crushing 21 pounds, 5 ounces today to claim the $20,000 check. READ MORE »

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Sward Swings, Connects on Wilson

FLORENCE, Ala. – Everyone wants to be on top – and Justin Sward eventually got there at the BFL All-American presented by Walmart on Wilson Lake. But entering the final round one notch off the lead gave the co-angler from Birmingham, Ala., a sense of tranquility that no doubt contributed to his banner day READ MORE »

/news/2014-05-17-vieira-wins-delta-nail-biter

Vieira Wins Delta Nail-biter

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. – In the final round of Rayovac FLW Series Western Division action on the California Delta, Darren Vieira learned how to through a punch. Actually, a punch bait, is more accurate and the co-angler from Martinez, Calif., used this knowledge to lock up his first FLW victory with a 3-day total of 42 pounds 2 ounces. READ MORE »