UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Vatalaro takes over as FLW Series leader

Vatalaro takes over as FLW Series leader
After bagging the tournament's biggest limit of 18-5, Iams pro Vic Vatalaro off Kent, Ohio, took the lead of the FLW Series on Lake Dardanelle with a two-day total of 27-12.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - At the day-two takeoff of the FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Dardanelle this morning one angler commented that things were going to be "tougher" on Dardanelle today to which another pro immediately replied, "That's impossible! It can't get any tougher!"

And perhaps the pro was right as Lake Dardanelle produced almost identical numbers and weights of fish today as compared to yesterday.

Yesterday's numbers on the pro side were 6 limits, 231 fish weighed in with a total weight of 544 pounds, 3 ounces. Today's pro totals were 6 limits, 227 fish weighed in with a total of 545 pounds, 2 ounces.

A quick survey of the top-10 reveals three basic ways bass are being caught on Dardanelle right now.

One is to shimmy across silted flats into backwaters where creek ditches are prominent as day-one leader Jimmy Houston did yesterday.

Two is to fish offshore on main channel breaks and swings as Kevin Snider (2nd) and Tommy Martin (3rd) are doing.

And three is to fish current breaks up in the river as Iams pro Vic Vatalaro did today to sack up a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces - the biggest limit of the tournament. His two-day total of 27 pounds, 12 ounces now puts him in the lead of the BP Eastern Division event.

Vatalaro said he has four very small places in the river breaking current and caught seven keepers from those four spots today.

"These are little single-cast current breaks," he said. "Well, three of them are small; one is a little bigger with maybe room for 10 different casts across it. But they're all current breaks with eddies and I'm fishing a Berkley Power Worm and a jig with a Berkley Chigger Craw behind the breaks in about 6 to 12 feet of water. Basically I'm just catching a fish off a break and then waiting for another one to move up on it."

"There are hordes of shad trapped in these breaks and eddies and the bigger bass are up underneath them picking them off," Vatalaro added.

Snider second Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky., moved into the second place position on day two thanks to a five bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. Snider now has a two-day total of 25 pounds, 7 ounces.

Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky., moved into the second place position on day two thanks to a five bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. Snider now has a two-day total of 25 pounds, 7 ounces.

Snider is in the offshore group, finding success by dragging soft plastics around in 10 to 15 feet of water.

"I went to one of my best places first thing this morning and did not get a bite," Snider said. "Then I checked it again at 1 o' clock and caught five keepers by 2:30."

Snider said most of his bites came in 14 feet of water along scattered rock on the drop.

"What's strange is there is a couple of premium brushpiles right there along that ledge, but I did not get a bite out of those," he said. "But when I just cast out along the ledge, I catch one. All my bites came from a 50-yard stretch, but it's not like they were all on one piece of cover, they're just scattered out."

Martin third
Tommy Martin of Hemphill, Texas, continued to work his offshore ledge plan for a day-two catch of four-bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce. He now has a two-day total of 22 pounds, 2 ounces for third place.
Tommy Martin of Hemphill, Texas, continued to work his offshore ledge plan for a day-two catch of four-bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce. He now has a two-day total of 22 pounds, 2 ounces for third place.

"This fishing here is kind of weird," Martin said. "The places I got bit on yesterday did not produce much today, yet the places where I did not get a bite yesterday produced. I pulled up on one place where I did not get a single bite yesterday and it was bam, bam, bam - three keepers."

Martin has about 50 places and he hit a lot of them today.

"I'm fishing each spot for about 10 or 15 minutes and then moving on to the next," he said. "But the problem is I can't really narrow it down to a few places because the places I think might not be any good one day could be on fire the next day, so I feel obligated to hit them all.

Clausen fourth

Luke Clausen of Gainesville, Ga., hauled in an 11-pound, 12-ounce limit today for a two-day total of 20 pounds, 10 ounces for fourth place.Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Gainesville, Ga., hauled in an 11-pound, 12-ounce limit  for a two-day total of 20 pounds, 10 ounces for fourth place.

Clausen said the best pattern he has found is really no pattern at all.

"I'm fishing new water each day," he said. "And there is no rhyme or reason to it. It's crazy. The best thing here is to ditch the logical. I went way back in a creek this morning and by this afternoon I ended up way up the river. The only thing I can put together is to avoid the obvious. If I see a really good looking place - like some nice laydowns along a bank - I don't even bother with it because it's been beat up so bad. I'm looking for places that no one else would fish because they look so plain."

Houston fifth

Day one leader Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., slid back to fifth place today with a two-day total of 20 pounds, 8 ounces.Day one leader Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., slid back to fifth place on day two with a two-day total of 20 pounds, 8 ounces.

Houston revisited his backwater hotspot again today and after losing a couple of good fish he did boat a single fish weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces.

"I think there are some good fish still back in that place; I just did not keep them hook up today," he said. "I'm going back again tomorrow to see if I can catch two or three of those big ones that live back there."

Big bass

Jeff Magee of Mendenhall, Miss., caught the Folgers big bass in the Pro Division on day two weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Dardanelle after day two:

6th: Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., two-day total of 18-10
7th: Daniel Kweekul of North Little Rock, Ark., two-day total of 18-9
8th: Ray Scheide of Dover, Ark., two-day total of 18-5
9th: Dave Lefebre of Union City, Penn., two-day total of 18-3
10th: J.T. Palmore of Gasburg, Va., two-day total of 18-1

Hults leads co-anglers

Surprise, surprise: Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., now leads the Co-angler Division of the FLW Series on Lake Dardanelle with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 9 ounces.Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., now leads the Co-angler Division of the FLW Series on Lake Dardanelle with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 9 ounces.

Okay, so maybe the folks who know the Hults fishing family from Mississippi are not surprised to learn that Hults brought in a four-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces today.

For those that do not know, the Hults family, including his brother Chris, has absolutely dominated the Co-angler Division of FLW events in recent years.

In the last two years, Alan has claimed four wins including three Stren Series victories and a BFL win while his brother Chris has six wins with four BFL titles, a Stren victory and a FLW Series win. Clearly these boys know how to catch fish from the back of pros' boats.

Today Alan fished with pro Ricky Mclemore of Pine Bluff Arkansas and both anglers boated twin bass, each weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces. Hults' bass went on to claim the Folgers big bass award in the Co-angler Division today.

"I can't catch them unless I'm around them and Ricky really put me on the fish today," Hults said. "He was extremely gracious in explaining the area to me, how it laid out and what was on the bottom. From there I just fished really slow with a worm."

Despite their success, you can bet that there is at least a bit of sibling rivalry going on among the two bass-catching brothers.

"Yeah, the guys from work were kind of ribbing me this week," Alan said. "When they found out that Chris was not fishing this tournament they immediately said, `Well, at least now you have a chance.'"

BP Co-angler Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., climbed to second place today with an 11-pound, 10-ounce catch, which gave him a two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces.

Day-one co-angler leader Derek Yasinski of Senoia, Ga., is now in third place with a with a two-day total of 15 pounds.

Larry Hosteller of Floyds Knob, Ind., is in fourth place with a two-day total of 11 pounds, 2 ounces.

Pat Lay of Cleveland, Tenn., rounds out the top 5 in the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 pounds, 15 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Dardanelle after day two:

6th: Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., two-day total of 10-15
7th: Gene Roe of Montmorenci, S.C., two-day total of 9-13
8th: Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Ill., two-day total of 9-5
9th: Ronald Aikin of Valley Station, Ky., two-day total of 9-2
10th: Bill Lawrence of Russellville, Ark., two-day total of 8-8

Day three of the FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Dardanelle will begin Thursday at 6:30 a.m. at Lake Dardanelle State Park.


Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2009-08-12-lake-dardanelle 

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