UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

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 


It’s Kline Time Again

The dominance continues for professional-surfer-turned-bass-angler Todd Kline, who won the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship’s co-angler division on the Ohio River this week. READ MORE »


Hicks, Sims Tied for Co-angler Lead

After opening the tournament in 63rd place with two keepers for 2 pounds, 12 ounces, Kirk Sims of Lowell, Ark., rebounded on day two with four keepers that weighed 14 pounds, 3 ounces. And Buddy Hicks of Port Neches, Texas, was even more impressive, following up an opening-day zero with a 16-15 limit. READ MORE »


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 »