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/2015-03-27-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 »

/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 »

/news/2014-06-28-kelley-crowned-co-angler-champ

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 »

/news/2014-06-21-crowder-clinches-potomac-win

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 »

/news/2014-06-07-sward-swings-connects-on-wilson

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 »

/news/2014-04-26-acree-wins-co-angler-division

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 »

/news/2014-04-12-co-angler-title-taken-by-mcdonald

Co-angler title taken by McDonald

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. READ MORE »

/news/2014-04-05-co-angler-parker-prevails-at-grand-lake

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 »

/news/2014-03-29-self-squeaks-out-co-angler-victory-on-sam-rayburn

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 »