UPCOMING EVENT: FLW College Fishing - 2015 - Carlyle Lake

Self squeaks out co-angler victory on Sam Rayburn

Eric Self, right, reacts as he's named the co-angler champion by weighmaster Chris Jones. Self collected $20,000.

LUFKIN, Texas - If you are 24 years old and recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte there are endless options for what you could be doing. But for Eric Self, you would be fishing as a co-angler in the Walmart FLW Tour on Sam Rayburn taking home a cool $20,000 for capturing the top prize - not a bad graduation present. Co-angler champ Eric Self with one of his better fish caught Saturday. His stringer weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces.Self - who is coming off a top-10 finish at the last event on Lake Hartwell - came out swinging to start the week after cracking 18 pounds, 4 ounces on day one to sit tied atop the leaderboard. He slid to his lowest position of the week on day two when he dropped to second with just three bass that weighed 8 pounds even. He managed a limit today that tipped the scales at just 7-7 yet it gave him the victory by just three ounces with a three-day total of 33-11. "I'm pretty excited," said an overwhelmed Self. "I have to say that I never would be here without FLW College Fishing. I fished the very first FLW College event and never looked back. I wasn't that into fishing until I got to college and joined the club at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. From that point on I couldn't get enough and now I'm doing this (fishing as co-angler on the FLW Tour) and own a boat so it is pretty awesome." You would never have guessed that Self is a relative new-comer to bass fishing with his five years of collegiate fishing being his primary source of knowledge. Considering that in that time he captured seven top-10 finishes, two of which were wins in the 2013 Southeastern Division events on Wheeler Lake and Lake Guntersville. Self recently turned down his chance to fish in the FLW College Fishing National Championship in order to compete on Lake Hartwell for the Tour event just a few weeks ago. The Lawndale, N .C., co-angler had little experience with fishing grass until he began fishing at the college level. It was that experience that helped him on Rayburn this week. "The first two days of the tournament I fished up shallow around the grass," explained Self who majored in criminal justice. "I threw traps and vibrating jigs and would rip them through the vegetation when I got hung. I liked throwing moving baits to get the bigger bites." For the first two days of competition Self used a 5/8-ounce XCalibur Rattle Bait in Rayburn Red on 14-pound line. His main weapon was a hand-tied vibrating jig - bluegill colored - thrown on 20-pound test. It wasn't until today that he made the switch to an ER Lures football jig and shaky head. The football jig was Jason's Magic Craw colored with a Big Bite Bait's flipping plastic - due to the fact he didn't bring any jig trailers. He threw a Zoom Magnum Finesse worm (green pumpkin) on the ER Lures shaky head. With a tournament win under his belt so early it in his career it provides some relief with thoughts of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup but also financially as well. "I have been dating my girlfriend Chelsea for 6 years now and I promised her that if I won an event I would buy her a ring. But it won't all towards the ring, I still need to buy a bunch of fishing tackle." Barnett second Kerry Barnett placed second in the co-angler standings. The Arkansas fisherman had 33-pounds, 8 ounces and collected $7,500.For the second week in a row Kerry Barnett of Waldron, Ark., has found himself within the top five in FLW competition. His three-day total of 33 pounds, 8 ounces earned him the second spot in the FLW Tour on Same Rayburn just one week after taking fourth as a co-angler in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Toledo Bend. "This has been a blessed two weeks," said Barnett of his back-to-back top 10 appearances. "I just have had a lot of confidence in what I was doing on the water and I think that helped a lot." His main bait of choice was a perch-colored Z-Man ChatterBait with a Big Hammer swimbait on the back on day one. After that he switched to swimming a Yamamoto Senko on 20-pound line. The fish were active enough that he could steadily reel it through the grass on day two and when a fish would come up to eat it he would pause the Senko allowing the fish to eat it. Today he had to slow the presentation down to more of a pump and pause type of approach where he would lift the bait and let it fall. Day one found Barnett with four fish that weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught a limit on day two that hit the scales at 11-15. While he only caught two fish on the final day they were the right ones considering they weighed 10-13. "I caught my big one on my second cast and the other fish shortly after that," said Barnett. "It was just a great day and I couldn't be happier." Considering he overcame a case of pneumonia just months ago, Barnett is taking life in stride. Sadly, he lost his brother Emmet to pneumonia back in December of 2013. "Emmet and I used to fish a lot together. We fished club tournaments and eventually started to fish team tournaments and Emmet started what we called `Team Barnett'. He got shirts made and we just loved spending time together. I know he is in a better place and is watching over me." For his efforts, Barnett took home a check for $7,500. Crawley third Stephen Crawley of Bush, La., had a productive weight in the co-angler ranks. He collected $5,000 for third place.After grabbing the lead on day two, Stephen Crawley of Bush, La., slipped from the lead by just 7 ounces with a three-day total of 33-5. Crawley got things rolling with a 15-pound, 4-ounce limit on Thursday. He backed that up with another limit weighing 11-15 on day two. Today, his four fish weighed 6-15 putting him just ounces from victrory. The Louisiana co-angler is another former FLW College angler who has embarked on his first season on the FLW Tour. He actually decided to fish the Tour this year because of the reality series "Circuit Breaker" that FLW started in 2013. "I wish I had just one more fish today but what can you do," said Crawley. "I fished clean all week so I'm happy about that." Crawley used a variety of baits this week including an XCalibur Rattle Bait, Spro frog, D&M Custom Baits vibrating jig and some assorted soft plastics. A 735c Dobyns was his main rod of choice for the tournament with a Shimano Curado. He used 12- to 17-pound Seaguar InvisX depending on the bait. He works on his parents horse farm when not fishing and will be heading home with an extra $5,000 for his efforts. Billeaud, Kavros round out top five Billy Billeaud of Lafayette, La., hauled a total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces of bass from Sam Rayburn this week despite catching just two fish on the final day to land in fourth place. He was awarded $4,000 for his catch. Chuck Kavros has made it to the top 10 once this season already back on Lake Okeechobee and he kept the momentum rolling this week with a fifth-place finish. His 30-15 three-day total earned him a check worth $3,000. For complete co-angler results click here.

Tags: co-angler-headline 


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Co-angler Honeycutt triumphs in James River debut



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 »