UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Locals scale peak at Sam Rayburn

Locals scale peak at Sam Rayburn
Local pro Chris McCall of Jasper, Texas, earned first place on day one at Sam Rayburn with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 11 ounces.

JASPER, Texas - The Lone Star of Wednesday's opening-day weigh-in at the Stren Series Central tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir was perhaps the nearby town of Jasper, which is hosting the event. But this East Texas town had a strong supporting cast consisting of residents Chris McCall, who leads the Pro Division with a 22-pound, 11-ounce limit of bass, and co-angler leader Bill Guillory, who netted a 21-2 sack.

Texans hold'em

Rounding out the Jasper ensemble is Bill Rogers, who currently holds the runner-up position in the Co-angler Division. Texans, in general, have a grip on 80 percent of the top 20 slots in that division and 75 percent of the top 20 on the pro side.

McCall leads all

Despite local knowledge admittedly lending acumen to McCall's sizable catch, it should be noted that the seasoned bass fisherman preceded his success today with a rough practice period on his home waters and that he capitalized on changing weather conditions that thwarted a good portion of the other 196 pros fishing Sam Rayburn. And while the average weight of a single bass brought to the scale Wednesday, including co-angler catches, was a meager 2-6, McCall tipped the scale with a massive 8-11 that not only anchored his stringer but earned him $725 for the day's Snicker's Big Bass award.

"I didn't even catch them that well in practice," McCall said. "Things really turned around for me today. I'm just running my milk run."

But his "milk run" wasn't producing in the lead-up to today's tournament kickoff. McCall credits the drastic change in weather - heavy weekend rains followed by a cold front moving in - with part of his reversal of fortune. He added that he would welcome cloudy conditions, cool temperatures and wind - the very things that have stymied many of the other anglers - for the rest of the week.

"It helped me a whole lot," he said of the cold front.

McCall said his game plan today was "just covering a lot of water with a lot of baits," offering up spinnerbaits, square-billed crankbaits and Senkos as examples. He is catching fish "both going in (to spawn) and coming out," and he is fishing "anywhere from the bank" out to a depth of 8 or 9 feet.

Pro Bob Weaver of Lawton, Okla., is in second place after day one on Sam Rayburn with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces.Weaver looms large in second

Bob Weaver is hot on the heels of McCall, only 3 ounces out of the top slot thanks to his five-bass catch of 22 pounds, 8 ounces. Though the Lawton, Okla., pro wouldn't divulge the specifics of his effective technique, he said Wednesday's considerable wind played into the pattern, whether he liked it or not.

"I'll say this much - we were in 3-foot swell on the rocks," he said.

Whatever his method, Weaver said he had a limit by 7:30 a.m. and that he caught his two toads - a 6-8 and a 6-5 - on back-to-back casts, while fishing somewhere on the south end of the reservoir. Even though he and his co-angler missed an hour of fishing due to boat maladies, which he said were quickly cured by skilled Ranger and Evinrude representatives, he still culled three limits' worth of bass.

Weaver is hoping to see some of the success this week on the pro side that his son, Chris, saw during the Central Division season opener on Lake Amistad, where he won $5,000 plus a Ranger boat for topping the Co-angler Division.

Pro Derek Remitz of Hemphill, Texas, is in third place at the Stren Central on Sam Rayburn with five bass, 21 pounds, 4 ounces.Remitz in third

Holding down the third position is pro Derek Remitz of Hemphill, Texas, who weighed in a limit worth 21 pounds, 4 ounces. Though Remitz is part of the Texas contingent topping the charts after day one on Sam Rayburn, he was probably less likely to shiver during the chilly afternoon weigh-in than his Southern counterparts as he is a relatively recent transplant from Minnesota. In fact, Remitz's family made the trip south to see him compete on one of Texas' most renowned fisheries; they also watched him compete in a BASS tourney on Sam Rayburn last week.

Remitz said he caught his bass doing "a little bit of everything," which included fishing spinnerbaits, Senkos and Rat-L-Traps. He caught his fish in 2 to 4 feet of water.

Pro Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, is in fourth with five bass, 20 pounds, 8 ounces.Tutt takes fourth

Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, held down the fourth spot by the end of Wednesday's weigh-in, having anchored his 20-pound, 8-ounce limit with an 8-plus-pounder. Like fellow veteran Stren Central and Wal-Mart FLW Tour pro McCall, Tutt said he also had a sketchy practice.

"I finally had a good day today," he said. "I did what you're supposed to do when fishing is this tough: I slowed down, filled in my area and just kind of picked it apart."

Tutt said he is fishing grass with Senkos in 2 to 5 feet of water, on the north end of the reservoir.

Pro Jerry Dolezal of Bullard, Texas, is in fifth with five bass, 19 pounds, 7 ounces.Dolezal gets five for fifth

Jerry Dolezal's five bass, weighing 19-7, were good enough for fifth place.

The Bullard, Texas, pro said he changed plans today to adjust for the weather. He caught his fish flipping jerkbaits and hardbaits.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros competing in the Stren Central event on Sam Rayburn:

6th: Ron Hopkins Sr. of Mounds, Okla., five bass, 19-1
7th: Art Garza of Buna, Texas, five bass, 17-7
8th: Trent Huckaby of Fort Stockton, Texas, five bass, 17-4
9th: Chris Slopak of Prairie Grove, Ark., five bass, 16-2
10th: Wesley Dawson of Silsbee, Texas, five bass, 15-8

Bill Guillory of Jasper, Texas, leads the Co-angler Division after day one of the Stren Central event on Sam Rayburn with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 2 ounces.Guillory grabs massive co-angler lead

Bill Guillory of Jasper, Texas, made surmounting the tough fishing conditions of his hometown fishery look easy Wednesday, hauling in the fourth-heaviest sack of the day - including pros - constituting five bass that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. He carries nearly a 4-pound lead over the co-angler competition heading into day two on Sam Rayburn.

"It was just fortunate that I got the bites," he said humbly.

Once those bites started coming, Guillory and his pro partner, Andy Coffman, stayed put in an area on the south end of the reservoir. He said he "slowed way down" to catch his bass with spinnerbaits in 4 feet of water.

The second half of the Jasper, Texas, two-step in the Co-angler Division was taken by Bill Rogers, who caught a five-bass limit worth 17-3. He said he caught his fish shallow on a bait to be identified later, "casting it out and bringing it back."

Rogers' pro partner, Rick Turner, summed up the native's prowess on Sam Rayburn thusly: "Now I know why these pros get a funny look at the pretournament meetings when they draw Bill Rogers. I was so busy netting fish, I didn't have time to catch any myself."

Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., earned $245 for the Snicker's Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division on day one of the Stren Central event thanks to an 8-pound, 4-ounce bass.In third place among co-anglers is Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., who anchored his 14-pound, 12-ounce four-bass sack with an 8-4 kicker worth $245 as the Snicker's Big Bass of the day in his division. Blaylock was the youngest angler to ever qualify for the FLW Tour Championship in 2005.

Billy Yelverton of Baton Rouge, La., holds down the fourth slot in the Co-angler Division with a limit weighing 14-4.

Co-angler and FLW Outdoors Magazine writer Matt Williams of Nacogdoches, Texas, took fifth place with four fish weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers on day one of the Stren Central event on Sam Rayburn:

6th: Thomas Szwankowski of Hope, Ark., five bass, 12-12
7th: Doug Barton of Pittsburg, Mo., five bass, 12-5
8th: Kirk Broussard of Mauriceville, Texas, five bass, 11-15
9th: Stephen Francis of Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 11-9
10th: Kenta Kimura of Livingston, Texas, five bass, 11-8

Stren Central action resumes Thursday at 6:30 a.m. Central when 197 boats launch onto Sam Rayburn Reservoir from Umphrey Family Pavilion outside of Jasper, Texas.

Tags: patrick-baker  headline-story  2006-03-22-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

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 »