Co-angler title taken by McDonald

Co-angler champion Mike McDonald takes it all in as he claims the title on Beaver Lake.

ROGERS, Ark. - Winning on the Walmart FLW Tour from the back of the boat is no small feat and often time highlights a career for that lucky person. This week, that honor belongs to longtime FLW angler Mike McDonald who tackled a tough Beaver Lake and came out on top. His week began with catching just three fish that tipped the scale at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. He found more fish on day two but his weight stayed the same with a limit weighing 8-6. Though he hauled just four bass to the stage on Saturday they weighed 8-2 to bring his three-day total to 24-10 - earning him the title of champion and a check for $25,000. "This has been a phenomenal week," said McDonald who resides in Randleman, N.C. "I got to fish with two legends of the sport this week in Jimmy Houston and Larry Nixon. I had a blast with Jimmy on the first day and got the privilege to go out with Nixon yesterday. Larry has to be the most professional guy I have been in the boat with, and I have been doing this (tournament fishing) for 40 years. I can't say enough about how he treated me. He even called me last night to congratulate me for making the cut. "And to top it all off I got to fish with my practice partner Matt Arey today. You couldn't dream of a better situation." Co-angler Mike McDonald canMcDonald spent 25 years of his life on Table Rock Lake located just down the White River from Beaver. His experience on both Beaver and Table Rock were invaluable when he arrived with Matt Arey (current leader on the pro side) for practice on Sunday. "I have fished Beaver Lake half of my life," said McDonald. "So I knew what to look for around this time of year. "Matt (Arey) bet me dinner that I wouldn't catch five bass in three days of practice, and I didn't so I guess I owe him. But we did end up figuring something out that helped us both this week. There was one bait that worked well for us and I decided not to use it this week so that Matt could take advantage." McDonald utilized a green pumpkin and brown Obsession jig. He tipped it with a Whackem craw and threw it on 12-pound-test line. His rod of choice was an 853 GLoomis with a Shimano Chronarch reel. He went on to explain that backing the drag off helped him from breaking that light line during the hookset. "I have won three other FLW tournaments, but this one is by far the jewel. This win will make my career no matter what happens. When it is your time, it's your time and it was meant to be for me. I didn't lose any fish this week and that needs to happen to win." Winning this event is quite the feat considering he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer close to six years ago. For McDonald, the shear fact that he still gets to enjoy tournament fishing is the biggest title he could hold. "I'm wearing my good friend Ralph Mylhousen's jersey today because his daughter is going through some tough times right now. Everyone at my church is praying for his daughter and I want to dedicate this victory to her." Lee lands in second Todd Lee took second place on Beaver Lake this week for the co-anglers with the help of these fine smallmouth.It's hard to find an angler that loves Beaver Lake more than Jasper, Ala., resident Todd Lee. Before this tournament Lee held four top-10 finishes at Beaver Lake - three of which were top five performances. Today, Lee notched another top 10 in his belt with a three-day total weight of 24 pounds, 10 ounces. "This lake (Beaver) is special to me," explained Lee. "It fishes a lot like the lake by my home because it has spotted bass and it's deep. Beaver is full of fish. You just need to keep your head down and fish hard and you can catch a limit." Lee fished hard on day one to bring in a limit worth 8-7. His second day was tougher with just four bass weighing 5-9 and he backed that up with another Beaver Lake limit today weighing 9-1. Lee's finish this week was enough to earn a check for $7,500 for his second runner-up title in a row this season. "I fished different every day. All of my pros were on fish which makes it easier. Today, I was with Casey Ashley and he was fishing a way that makes it so a co-angler can actually fish." Lee sampled all three water colors present on Beaver Lake this week. On day one he fished the dirty water in the river and threw a crankbait. Day two found Lee in some stained water and he elected to use a drop-shot. He ended the tournament down by that dam in the clear water and chose a swimbait to land his largest weight of the week. "Beaver Lake is deep, clear and beautiful. I just absolutely love it. I hope it is on the schedule every year." New nets third Bryan New caught just three fish on the final day to end the week with a three-day total of 22-13 to take third place.One of the hottest co-anglers on the Tour right now - Bryan New - kept his streak alive adding another top-10 finish to his resume with a third place showing this week on Beaver Lake. His total weight for the event went 22 pounds, 13 ounces to claim his $5,000 check. "I came into this event having never weighed a limit on Beaver Lake," said New. "I was really dreading coming here. "I set my mind for the fact that to do well here from the back of the boat you have to throw a jerkbait, swimbait and shaky head." On day one New fished in the dirtier water with a jerkbait and a 3/8-ounce Charlie's Worms jig head and Zipper Dipper. He caught around 30 fish and made four or five culls but weighed a small limit of 6-2. New fished clear water on the second day and made the change to a Charlie's Worms Zipper Dipper swimbait in gray ghost color weighing most all of his 12-10 limit on it. The final weapon in his arsenal for the week was 3/16-ounce Charlie's Worms Superbowl shaky-head jig with a Charlie's Worms Finesse Worm - watermelon colored - which helped a couple keepers on the final day that totaled 4-1. "My goal for this season is to win another event and win the Co-Angler of the Year title. I slipped in the first event of the year and I think that may hurt me. Otherwise, I have been doing everything I need to do. I know a lot of guys fish hard but I can promise you that nobody will fish as hard as I will." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake: 4th - Nick Hensley - 22-11 - $4,000 5th - Nick Loeffelman Jr. - 22-2 - $3,250 6th - Braxton Setzer - 21-3 - $2,500 7th - James Jewett - 19-14 - $2,000 8th - JR Wright - 19-4 - $1,800 9th - Michael Smith - 18-13 - $1,700 10th - Hunter Hicks - 18-8 - $1,600 For complete results click here.

Tags: co-angler-headline 


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Acree wins Co-angler Division

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – What’s the fastest way to learn the most about bass fishing? Become a co-angler in FLW Outdoors events. READ MORE »


Co-angler Parker prevails at Grand Lake

GROVE, Ok. – Topping the Co-angler Division, Charles Parker, of Broken Arrow, Ok. caught three fish for 10-7 to push his tournament total to 35-9 and secure the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division win on Grand Lake. READ MORE »


Self squeaks out co-angler victory on Sam Rayburn

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. READ MORE »