Co-Angler Setzer Steals the Show

Braxton Setzer nets the co-angler title thanks to his final day limit weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces.

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. Co-angler champion Braxton Setzer holds aloft his trophy.Setzer got off to a slow start on day one with a catch of 12-11. He made a leap of day two thanks to his 17-7 limit to overtake the seventh position. Setzer was paired with Casey Ashley on the final day and managed to put together the largest bag to hit the scale from a co-angler this week. His three day total sat at 51-7 to give Setzer the win by 15 ounces. "I've been wanting to win so bad but the guys in the back of the boat are so good," says Setzer. "I came to close (to winning) at Beaver and it feels good to be able to seal the deal here." Consistently putting fish in the boat is a difficult task as a co-angler. Often times during tournaments where pros pound the bank the co-anglers struggle to put fish in the boat. But when the pros get offshore on large schools of fish it opens up plenty of opportunities for the anglers in the back. "There is a learning curve to fishing from the back of the boat," Setzer explained. "I think I have figured it out and what I'm doing seems to be working. I have been fishing more relaxed and it shows. One of the biggest things for me was learning to slow down and adapt. I have become a more versatile fisherman and realized that a spinning rod goes a long way. That's why I put one in my hand this week to make it happen." A professional assist from Casey Ashley helped co-angler Braxton Setzer get this keeper in the boat today. It contributed to his co-angler division-winning three-day total of 51 pounds, 7 ounces.Tied on the other end of his spinning rods this week were a drop-shot and shaky head. He used 10-pound line for the drop-shot with a 6-inch Roboworm (morning dawn color). For the shaky head, Setzer used either a 1/2-ounce head with a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm or a 1/4-ounce head with a Zoom Trick Worm - both rigged on 8-pound line. The primary colors for the worms were either green pumpkin or watermelonseed. Setzer also noted that he caught a few fish on a G Money football jig rigged with 14-pound line. All of his presentastions were run on Phenix rods. "Fishing was awesome all week. I caught a lot of fish each day. You just really had to try and find some structure on the bottom like shells or stumps and make repeat casts to it. That's really what I did today. I had a small window to cast to avoid getting in the way of Casey (Ashley) and Shad Schenck who was fishing behind us. "I'm a fisheries biologist for Auburn University so I do a lot of work on the Tennesse River. It's cool that I got my first win on this system. My goal was to make one more (day three) cut than I did last year, and this was it. "I have to thank my girlfriend Amy for putting up with my fishing for the past two years," says the Alabama co-angler. "And thanks to all my sponsors - The Fish Ranger, Typhoon, Phenix rods, Ranger Boats and FLW for putting on such a great event. "Really, I just can't wait to get home and get my tackle ready for Kentucky Lake." Jacobs drops to second John Jacobs of Birmingham was runner-up among the co-anglers. He fished with Greg Hackney in the championship round.He took the lead on day two, but after some final-day heroics by Braxton Setzer long-time Tour veteran John Jacobs' reign wouldn't last. Jacobs would haul in a final-day limit weighing 15 pounds to take the runner-up position and a $7,500 check. Jacobs started the week paired with Texas pro Jason Reyes and found himself fishing deep. Jacobs' first thought was to throw a worm but after Reyes caught better sized fish from a jig, he made the switch. The Birmingham, Ala., resident knew it was the right choice when he put his fifth fish in the boat - a 7 1/2-pounder. The following day he would encounter a similar fate when he caught a 6-pounder to round out his limit which only reinforced the fact that the jig was the deal. Jacobs' streak of filling his limit with a kicker would end today, though he did have a fish break off that could have made the difference. "I did break one fish off today that would have won it for me," says Jacobs. "I was fishing around some shell beds and my line must have had a nick in it. When I set the hook I knew it was a good one but then it broke off. "Other than losing that fish, I had a wonderful week. It was really a lot of fun." Jacobs caught his fish on a jig in two colors - peanut butter and jelly as well as green pumpkin. Combined with his catches from days on and two - 18-2 and 17-6, respectively - Jacobs' total weight for the week was 50-8. Smith remains third Grayson Smith of Clarksville wound up third in the co-angler race.Grayson Smith of Clarksville, Tenn., locked down the third spot on the leaderboard today with a three-day total weight of 47 pounds, 2 ounces. Smith caught limits of 14-3, 18-4 and 14-11 over the course of the week to earn his $5,000 payday. This is Smith's first year fishing the Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler and he currently sits ranked 11th in the Co-Angler of the Year standings. It's an impressive feat considering the 24-year-old rookie didn't get into competitive fishing until the fall of 2008. "I got into fishing tournaments when I entered my first one in the fall of 2008," said Smith. "I went to the University of Tennessee at Martin and fished for them. I loved every minute of it and have been addicted ever since." Like many of the other competitors, Smith employed a variety of techniques but the football jig was the main player. A 3/4-ounce Strike King football jig teamed with a Strike King Rage Craw (both in green pumpkin) was his weapon of choice. Smith also used a Strike King 10XD, Strike King Thumper Worm and a Strike King Shadalicious swimbait. "I was paired with great boaters all week," stated Smith, who is a civil engineer. "In these tournaments the pros can really handicap the co-anglers but this week I never had an issue with it. That was huge to my success." Smith spent his time offshore - where he prefers to fish - however, he fished deeper than most. He said that he had to fizz half of the fish he caught this week due to them being caught in water in the 30-foot range. Most of these ledges featured shells on top that were crucial to getting bites. Being that Smith is a fan of offshore fishing he is chomping at the bit to get out on Kentucky Lake. "I have been biding my time for these last two events. I love to throw a football jig and that's what I plan to do. Fishing a little slower with that jig helped put fish in the boat this week and I hope to do the same on Kentucky Lake. "I want to thank Odom's Blue & Gray Marine, DBS & Associates Engineering, Cumberland Bank & Trust, Wyatt Johnson Automotive, Mercury and Triton. Without them I couldn't be chasing my dream to move to the front of the boat." Johnson, Edel round out top five Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., took fourth place with a three-day total weight of 46 pounds, 8 ounces to walk away with a $4,000 check. Claiming the fifth spot was Brandon Edel of Hendersonville, Tenn., who ended the week with a total weight of 46 pounds, 5 ounces. Edel was awarded $3,000 for his finish. Rounding out the top co-anglers at Pickwick Lake: 6th - J.P. Sims - 45 pounds, 10 ounces - $2,500 7th - Chad Randles - 45 pounds, 6 ounces - $2, 250 8th - Stephen Smith - 44 pounds, 3 ounces - $1,800 9th - Nick Hensley - 43 pounds, 11 ounces - $1,700 10th - Kyle Monti - 43 pounds, 9 ounces - $1,600 Complete co-angler results can be found here.

Tags: co-angler-headline 

/news/2015-06-26-jones-wins-potomac-co-angler-crown

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 »

/news/2015-06-20-burgess-tops-all-american-co-angler-field

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 »

/news/2015-06-12-lafleur-earns-co-angler-win

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 »

/news/2015-06-06-co-angler-honeycutt-triumphs-in-james-river-debut

Co-angler Honeycutt triumphs in James River debut

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/news/2015-05-15-sweet-as-honeycutt

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 »

/news/2015-05-09-farage-dominates-delta-co-anglers

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 »

/news/2015-05-02-big-day-one-catch-sets-up-lejeune-s-texoma-win

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 »

/news/2015-04-24-co-angler-dunkin-nearly-perfect-at-beaver-lake

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 »

/news/2015-04-18-triplett-takes-co-angler-crown-on-grand

Triplett Takes Co-Angler Crown On Grand

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/news/2015-04-11-wilson-tops-co-anglers-on-rayburn

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 »

/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 »

/news/2015-03-21-o-donnell-earns-co-angler-win

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 »

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

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 »

/news/2015-02-14-carrillo-cool-in-victory

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 »

/news/2014-11-01-callaghan-wins-co-angler-title

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 »