UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Dardanelle

Powers prevails despite mental error

Powers prevails despite mental error
Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., used a two-day catch of 27 pounds, 2 ounces to grab the overall lead in the Pro Division heading into the semifinals.

Tennessee pro grabs hold of top spot heading into FLW semifinals on Lake Ouachita, Morgan nets co-angler lead

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Despite inadvertently throwing back a keeper largemouth that could have cost him dearly, Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., still managed to turn in a performance good enough to capture the overall lead in the Pro Division heading into tomorrow's all-important semifinal round of FLW competition. Although Powers' mental lapse ultimately caused more embarrassment than harm for the angler, it underscored the reality that sometimes even the best of pros can get a little too caught up in the day's action.

"I went upriver and caught four fish on crankbaits and then I came back down and caught a 5-pound largemouth flipping," said Powers, carefully reliving the fateful incident. "I was so happy to catch that fifth fish that I reached into my livewell and started culling fish."

The problem for Powers was that he had only four fish in the boat at the time, even though tournament rules dictate that anglers can weigh in as many as five fish.

"I looked into my livewell and realized that I'd thrown out my fifth fish," said Powers. "I couldn't believe it."

Adding insult to injury was the fact that Powers didn't manage to catch another keeper bass all day.

"Clearly, I wasn't thinking," said Powers.

However, despite the faux pas, Powers had plenty to be thankful for. In addition to grabbing the overall lead on Lake Ouachita and staying in the hunt for the top prize of $110,000, the Tennessee pro snapped a long streak of sub-par FLW performances dating all the way back to his last tour victory in May of 2001.

"I've had a bad year so far, so it feels great to be back," said Powers, after recording a two-day stringer weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces and qualifying for his first top 20 of the season. "I just hope I can continue to do well tomorrow."

With five top-10 FLW appearances under his belt, Powers said he is determined to approach the final two days of the tournament a little more determination than he has in the past.

"The first couple of times I made it to (the semifinals), I felt that the pressure was really off. I was just happy to be there." he said. "But what I've learned over the years is that if you have that kind of attitude, guys like Kevin VanDam and Rick Clunn will stomp all over you. I mean, those guys come here to win. And that's how you have to approach these tournaments.

"Getting to the top 20 is great, but you'd better have your head screwed on right and bear down once you get here," Powers continued. "Because the good pros don't let up."

Hackney jockeys for position, locks onto second place

By his own admission, Greg Hackney of Oak Ridge, La., is exactly where he wants to be. After turning in a first-place performance in yesterday's competition, Hackney was determined to come back today with a double-digit stringer and a little more knowledge of Lake Ouachita. Consider both goals accomplished.

"It's all good right now," said Hackney, who recorded an 11-pound, 9-ounce stringer to bring his two-day total to 27 pounds, 1 ounce. "By making the top 20, the pressure is off. There are no losers now. I'm happy."

Hackney, who continues to target largemouth bass with jigs in deep water, said he is confident about tomorrow's action as well.

"I spent a lot of the day looking for a few new places," he said. "And now, I've got three or four pretty good spots. Tomorrow, I'm going back to fish the middle of the main lake. And I don't really care what the wind does. If it blows, it's going to be harder to fish where I want to fish. But I'm not going to change what I'm doing."

However, Hackney is under no illusions that it will be easy to advance past tomorrow's semifinals either.

"It could take 13 or 14 pounds to get to the finals," he said. "And there are a lot of good fishermen out there who are starting to figure things out. I'm definitely not going to feel comfortable unless I come back with a limit."

So far, only 9 five-fish limits have been caught during the entire tournament - an unofficial FLW record.

Best of the rest

Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind., found himself back where he started after the second day of competition - all alone in third place. Schenck turned in a two-day total weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces.

Rounding out the top five were Rick Clunn (fourth) of Ava, Mo., with a total catch of 20 pounds, 2 ounces; and Jim Tutt (fifth) of Longview, Texas, with a catch of 18 pounds, 9 ounces.

Morgan experiences case of deja vu

When the top-20 cut was announced at the FLW tourney on Lake Wheeler last month, co-angler Armil Morgan of Mineral Springs, Ark., was standing onstage in first place. By the time today's competition had concluded on Lake Ouachita, there was Morgan once again standing onstage in first place.

"It's like a dream come true," said Morgan, who already has three top-10 FLW appearances to his credit. "It feels really good. To have back-to-back first-place finishes (in the opening round), I would never have imagined it."

While Morgan said was pleased with today's performance, he said he would approach the co-angler finals a little bit differently than he did on Lake Wheeler.

"I finished in seventh place on Lake Wheeler and my goal is to beat that finish here," said Morgan, who has already turned in a two-day stringer weighing 11 pounds, 9 ounces. "But unlike Lake Wheeler, I'm not holding anything back this time. Last time, I kind of let my pro dictate a lot of the action. But this time, I'm going to be a lot more aggressive."

Morgan, who has been throwing rattletraps near grass and "underwater islands," said that he is sticking with a similar plan in tomorrow's competition.

"I don't plan on changing up my pattern tomorrow," he said. "Other people are using the same bait as me, but they're fishing it too fast. I'm just throwing my rattletrap out there, letting it sink and cranking it in slowly. And I'm going to do to the same thing in the finals."

While Morgan said he is getting more and more accustomed to fishing in pressure-packed situations, he acknowledged that the nerves are still there.

"I still get butterflies," he said. "When you stop getting nervous, that's when you need to start worrying because it means you're getting overconfident."

Unlike the Pro Division, which begins final-round action on Saturday, the co-angler champion is crowned at the end of tomorrow's competition. Co-anglers will be competiting for the top prize of $15,000.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Kentaro Amagai (second) of New Port Richey, Fla., with a total catch of 9 pounds, 15 ounces; Bobby Hendricks (third) of Bullard, Texas, with a catch of 9 pounds, 9 ounces; Don Carpenter (fourth) of Anniston, Ala., with a catch of 9 pounds, 7 ounces; and Kelly Greer (fifth) of Green Forest, Ark., with a catch of 8 pounds, 9 ounces.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7:45 a.m. at Mountain Harbor Resort, located 2 miles off Highway 270.

Related links:

Quick Bites: FLW Lake Ouachita, Day 2
Photos
Results
Results of day-two pairings
Day-three pairings
Press release

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2002-03-13-lake-ouachita 

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Andre Dickneite of Freeburg, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Dickneite earned a total of $3,794. READ MORE »

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Boater Mike Wallis of Hallsville, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Wallis earned a total of $5,009. READ MORE »

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Boater Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hamilton. For his victory, Houchin earned $13,460, which includes the lucrative FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency payout. READ MORE »

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Boater Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla.,brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Gator Division Super-Tournament at Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Honnerlaw earned $6,817. READ MORE »

Amerson Wins First BFL

Amerson Wins First BFL

Boater Keith Amerson of Bethel Springs, Tenn.,, brought a two-day total of six bass to the scale weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine LBL Division Super-Tournament at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. For his victory, Amerson earned $5,376. READ MORE »

Morgan Wins No. 3

Morgan Wins No. 3

Boater Brian Morgan of Mooresville, N.C., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine North Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Lake Norman. Morgan earned a total of $5,831 for his victory – his third win of the year in the North Carolina Division. READ MORE »

Smith Scores Close to Home

Smith Scores Close to Home

Boater Michael M. Smith of Andalusia, Ala., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bama Division Super-Tournament at Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Smith earned $6,329. READ MORE »

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

The dock talk all week at the Potomac River for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again today as the wind help stall the tide making things tough for most of the top 10. James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from second to first with 40 pounds, 11 ounces overall. For the win, Maupin earns his first FLW trophy and over $24,000.  READ MORE »

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

The leaderboard definitely saw some shuffling on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, but Wayne Vaughan managed to keep the top spot thanks to another solid day. Weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces today, Vaughan’s total now stands at 31-10 and gives him a nearly 5-pound lead over second place. If he can put it together for one more day, Vaughan will take home his second Toyota Series title in just as many years. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Saturday’s final round will feature drastically different weather with sunshine in the forecast and with it being a weekend there will be plenty of people out enjoying the resource. READ MORE »

Vaughan Out Front on the Potomac

Vaughan Out Front on the Potomac

Taking the lead after day one with 17 pounds, Wayne Vaughan separated himself from the rest of the tightly-packed top 10 thanks in large part to his 6-5 kicker. Vaughan’s past experience on the river is playing a role this week, but a bite like that helps the cause almost anywhere in the country. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

September is a tough time to fish almost any body of water and while the Potomac River may not be showing its true colors for the second stop of the Toyota Series Eastern Division the top pros are making do. Wayne Vaughan dropped 17 pounds on the scale to take the lead thanks in large part to his 6-5 kicker. Behind him, however, is a pack of hungry pros – some locals, some not – separated by just a few pounds with their sights set on fishing in the championship round. READ MORE »

Foster Dominates at Ft. Gibson

Foster Dominates at Ft. Gibson

Throughout the week on Fort Gibson for the second stop of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division, the field found tough fishing with big bites few and far between. And then there was local pro Cameron Foster. READ MORE »