UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Lady(bug) luck

Lady(bug) luck
Having won the Stren event at Clear Lake in March, Roy Hawk is the first angler to score back-to-back Western division victories.

PAYSON, Ariz. - Ladybugs are bad news for aphids, but good news for bass anglers. There may be little scientific evidence for the latter premise, but it seemed plausible for Salt Lake City, Utah, pro Roy Hawk in his commanding victory at the Stren Series Western Division tournament on Lake Roosevelt.

Like a savvy gardener, who appreciates the pest-controlling appetites of the red shelled flying insects, Hawk smiled when he saw one of those aphid eaters in the weigh-in tank. Standing next to CliffordJoined by his son Sonny and girlfriend Chariti Wilkins, Roy Hawk shows off one of his winning bass. Pirch, the local pro who had taken the lead with 38-3, Hawk said: "I hate to tell you this Clifford, but there's a ladybug in my (tank). Maybe that's good luck."

Notably, Hawk and Pirch both caught the same weight (13-14) on day three. However, Hawk's heavier bags on days one and two (14-12, 13-12) gave him the edge going into the final round. Placing third on day one, he took over the lead on day two and finished with 42 pounds, 6 ounces - a winning margin of 4 pounds, 3 ounces.

Throughout the tournament, Hawk caught most of his fish by slow-rolling an ounce spinnerbait along deep ledges in 10 to 16 feet with sparse brush at the mouth of the Tonto River. Since he helped design A signature series spinnerbait and a half-ounce jig were Roy Hawkthe bait for Pepper Custom Baits, it's only fitting that the color is named "Hawk's Secret." He also caught fish on a Pepper jig with a green-pumpkin Yamamoto trailer.

Hawk, who won the Stren Series Western Division event on Clear Lake in Kelseyville, Calif., in March, became the first angler to win back-to-back tournaments in this division. He's also leading the division's Angler of the Year points race. For his victory, Hawk earned $20,423 cash and a fully rigged Ranger boat.

Hawk said his personal faith plays a significant role in his success: "Glory be to God. He gives me the peace and comfort to not worry about the small issues so I can just go out there and go fishing. I'm not worried about the money; I'm not worried about the pressure. I don't care if I blank. This is a dream come true to be able to stand up here and do this."

Pirch finishes strong, moves to second

Despite his inherent advantage of local knowledge, Pirch admitted that he had a tough tournament for the same reason as everyone else. The cold front that pushed into the area a day before the tournament torched many of the plans established during practice.

"I really had to scratch around," he said. "That cold front changed things for me. I expected to be able toNational Guard pro Clifford Pirch caught his biggest bag of the event on day three and advanced to second place. sight-fish all week. I was looking at some big fish (in practice), but it just never happened."

Pirch said he got most of his fish on weightless, wacky and Texas-rigged Berkley Power Worms fished around flooded brush. Exemplifying the "never give up" mentality essential to competitive fishing, Pirch recalled a moment of last-cast heroics.

"At the end of the day, I had about a minute and a half left before I had to leave for the weigh-in," he said. "I had run out of targets, and I had one about 100 yards ahead, but it would have taken all of my time to trolling motor to it. I pulled my trolling motor up, threw my vest on and idled up to the spot.

"This was the last target on the whole bank, so I said a prayer: `Lord, I have to get one more good fish.' I threw out toward this log and let it go down about 5 feet. I was just about to pull up the trolling motor when my line (came tight). I set the hook and got my last fish over the slot limit."

Pirch earned $8,169.

Meyer maintains third place

California pro Cody Meyer endured mechanical problems and a painful scorpion sting on his way to third place.You wouldn't know that Redding, Calif., pro Cody Meyer was new to Lake Roosevelt by his solid performance. Combining a 10-pound, 12-ounce effort on day one with a big day-two bag of 15-7 and a final-round limit weighing 7-14, Meyer finished with 34-1 worth $6,536.

Meyer said he'd hoped to replicate the topwater action he enjoyed on day two, but that never materialized, so he switched to soft plastics. The fish that did rise on his surface baits only looked at the plug without striking.

Adversity plagued Meyer throughout the tournament in the form of navigational issues, trolling motor malfunctions on two consecutive days, and a scorpion that snuck into his sleeping bag and delivered a nonvenomous, albeit painful, sting.

"I'm just happy to have made the top 10," Meyer lamented.

Stachowski steps up to fourth

Gaining a notch from day two, David Stachowski of Tucson, Ariz., caught a limit weighing 10-13 to Despite breaking a rod on a large fish, David Stachowski still managed to find a nice limit that moved him into fourth place.finish with 33-12 worth $5,719. Stachowski fished a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin brush hog and surmised that the cold front actually helped his cause by positioning fish tighter to cover.

On his first spot, Stachowski flipped his bait next to a tree and came tight on what felt like the bass of a lifetime. The fish wrapped up deep and Stachowski ended up losing the giant and breaking his flipping rod in the process.

Demoralized, Stachowski recomposed himself and went back to work. On his next cast to the same spot, his rod doubled with another huge fish. This time the angler prevailed, but when the fish rolled topside, the sight of its whiskers helped Stachowski get past the previous loss.

"That made me feel better knowing that the first fish was probably a big catfish also," he said. "That helped me calm down and get back to fishing."

Kerr chatters into fifth
Using a chatterbait and a drop shot, Justin Kerr moved up two spots to fifth place.Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., caught a limit weighing 10 pounds 10 ounces in the final round to finish with 33-4 worth $4,902. In the first two rounds, he posted weights of 11-3 and 11-7. Kerr said he used a ChatterBait to cover water and locate fish, after which he'd work a drop-shot. This strategy yielded 30 to 50 fish each day.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at the Stren Series Lake Roosevelt event:

6th: Duane Dunstone of Reno, Nev., 33-0
7th: Michael Wright of Grass Valley, Calif., 32-14
8th: John Fuqua of Port Hueneme, Calif., 32-9
9th: Jimmy Savoini of Prescott, Ariz., 29-4
10th: Matt Shura of Gilbert, Ariz., 27-13

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2009-04-16-lake-roosevelt 

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 »