UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Shaffer goes wire to wire in victory

Shaffer goes wire to wire in victory
Pro Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio, proudly displays his first-place check after winning the Stren Series title at Fort Madison, Iowa.

FORT MADISON, Iowa - Heading into the Stren Series finals on the Mississippi River, neither the weather nor the stiff competition could knock Dick Shaffer from his perch atop the leaderboard. For two straight days, Shaffer proved to be the man to beat. And guess what? Today was no different.

While the majority of the top 10 pros struggled once again to bring quality limits to the scales, Shaffer blew away the competition when it mattered most in the finals - boating a 9-pound, 3-ounce limit to boost his three-day total to 27 pounds, 10 ounces. As a result, Shaffer cruised to a tournament title, walking away with over $15,000 in cash as well as a brand-new, fully rigged Ranger boat worth an estimated $40,000.

"It's great," said Shaffer of his 5-pound, 4-ounce margin of victory. "I've led these types of events plenty of times before, but not on the final day. I just wanted to come here, cash a check and get some points. So, to get a win feels great."

Pro Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio, sits in the hot seat patiently awaiting the conclusion of the Stren Series event at Fort Madison, Iowa.Ironically enough, Shaffer said the key to the entire tournament happened in the moments shortly before day-one takeoff.

"I actually came within three seconds of going the wrong direction on the first day of the tournament," said Shaffer. "I was going to head in an entirely different direction, but the wind was blowing so hard that I changed my mind. Honestly, within 30 seconds of calling my boat number on that first day, I made the decision to head in a different direction. And that decision won me the tournament."

Shaffer, a resident of Rockford, Ohio, said he had found his general fishing area at a previous tournament, but that the exact spot he fished all week materialized only during some practice forays.

"I found the area in practice, but the water was too low to get into," he said. "Basically it was a little shallow slough, and I fished there every day. I probably wore the bark off all of those seven logs in that spot this week."

Keying on timber with a combination of Zoom Speed Craws, jigs and spinnerbaits, Shaffer managed to haul out bass after bass on his key spot. However, heading into the finals, Shaffer admitted that he thought there weren't many fish left to catch - if any.

"I was worried that, if the water dropped too low, I'd have a hard time getting into that area," he said. "But I was determined to get in there no matter what today. And I was really surprised that there were still some big fish left. The fish in that area were all resident fish, so I knew that new fish wouldn't be coming in to replenish the area. I'm still surprised there were as many fish in there as there were."

Pro Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio, shows off his winning catch at the Stren Series event at Fort Madison, Iowa.Upon arriving at his spot, he knew within minutes that he might be in store for victory.

"I got bit on that Speed Craw in about the first 10 casts, and I decided I wasn't going to put that rod down all day," he said. "Heading back to weigh-in (with a 4-pound lead from the previous day), I knew I was in pretty good shape. I figured if somebody caught more than me, they would really deserve to win."

In the end, nobody really came close to Shaffer's totals.

"It's a great feeling to get this win," he said. "I just had a great week."

Hometown favorite nabs runner-up position

Crowd favorite Chad Kerr of Burlington, Iowa, proved to be as consistent as Shaffer, finishing in second place overall in each of the three days of the Mississippi River tournament.

"It's been a great week," said Kerr, who boated a total catch of 22 pounds, 6 ounces to win over $6,000 in prize money. "I gave it all I had, and I really didn't expect to be in the top 10 this week. So it's been a good tournament."

Crowd favorite Chad Kerrof Burlington, Iowa, proudly displays part of his second-place catch during the Stren Series event at Fort Madison.Amazingly enough, Kerr only decided to fish the event at the very last minute. In addition, he was so confident that he wouldn't be in any position to qualify for the top 10 that he didn't ask his boss if he could take Saturday off from work.

"I really had to do some serious calling yesterday so I could get off work today," said Kerr.

Not surprisingly, Kerr said that the conditions made fishing extraordinarily difficult all week.

"I've run around this river for three straight days like a chicken with its head cut off," said Kerr. "The conditions changed so much that I really had to throw a little bit of everything. I wound up doing a lot of junk-fishing. So I'm pretty happy with the way everything turned out."

Kerr said he used a combination of Lucky Craft crankbaits, River Killer spinnerbaits, tubes and flipping techniques to land the majority of his catch.

Stetich cements third-place status ... again

For three straight days, Shaffer and Kerr finished in first and second places, respectively. Apparently not wanting to be left out in the consistency category, Michael Stetich of Omaha, Neb., managed his third straight third-place finish in the standings as well - completing a statistical anomaly that might never again be duplicated in the history of FLW Outdoors.

Pro Michael Stetich of Omaha, Neb., finished the Stren Series event at Fort Madison in third place overall.However, statistics are one thing, but making the top-10 cut in one of the most difficult tournaments of the year is quite another.

"It's been a good year so far," said Stetich. "I just wanted to come here and catch a couple of fish for points. But it wound up being a lot better than that."

Stetich, whose primary fishing strategy was to cover as much water as possible, said he targeted bass with a 3/8-ounce Dirty Bait Company swim jig in a black-and-blue color, coupled with a Senko trailer.

"This whole week I had the trolling motor down and covered as much water as possible," said Stetich, who walked away with over $5,000 in prize money. "It was a tough tournament. But it was a good experience overall."

Stetich ultimately boated a total catch of 18 pounds, 9 ounces.

Fryrear nets fourth place

On the strength of a total catch of 18 pounds, 2 ounces, pro Steve Fryrear of Stronghurst, Ill., finished the Mississippi River event in fourth place, winning $4,400 in the process.On the strength of a total catch of 18 pounds, 2 ounces, Steve Fryrear of Stronghurst, Ill., finished the Mississippi River event in fourth place, winning $4,400 in the process.

"It's been a long, hard week, and I feel pretty beat up right now," said Fryrear. "But it was an awesome week as well. I never dreamed I'd get this far."

Jenkel grabs fifth place overall

Derek "Duke" Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Ill., recorded a successful top-five finish after recording a total catch of 17 pounds, 12 ounces worth over $3,700.

"I'm as fine as a frog's hair split three ways," said Jenkel of his performance. "We've had a lot of fun this week. And when you're fishing (in the finals) on Saturday, it doesn't get any better than that."

Jenkel said that he landed the majority of his catch fishing a Lucky Craft crankbait.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 Stren Series pro finalists:

6th: Chris Aswegan of Lisbon, Iowa, 17-5
7th: Todd Schmitz of Goshen, Ind., 16-7
8th: George Jeane Jr. of Evans, La., 14-9
9th: John McGinnis of Clarkson, Ky., 12-9
10th: Lloyd Pickett Jr. of Bartlett, Tenn., 11-8

Stren Series Central Division action resumes Oct. 1-3 at Lake of the Ozarks, scheduled to take place at Osage Beach, Mo.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2009-08-20-mississippi-river 

Culbertson Wins Wild Card

Culbertson Wins Wild Card

Boater Austin Culbertson of Columbia, Missouri, brought a two-day total of eight bass to the scale weighing 25 pounds, 9 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Wild Card Championship on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Fish-Intel.com. For his victory, Culbertson earned one of the final berths into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship. READ MORE »

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

FLW media staff and anglers provide unofficial weight estimates for the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Cody Huff didn’t even plan on fishing the final Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock, but being it’s only on 45 minutes from his house and he already filled a deer tag he figured why not. That decision turned out to be the right one as he’d take the lead on day one with 16 pounds, 15 ounces and never look back. READ MORE »

Poche Wins on Seminole

Poche Wins on Seminole

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole was tough on the folks heading down the lake and fishing around the grass. It was not tough on Keith Poche, who turned his small aluminum boat up the Flint River each day of the event to target shoal bass and largemouths north of Bainbridge. READ MORE »

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

After two days on Table Rock Lake for the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season, Cody Huff is in command, backing up his Thursday weight of 16 pounds, 15 ounces with a solid 13-15 for a 30-14 total overall. READ MORE »

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Walloping 24 pounds, 4 ounces on day two, Dillon McMillan surged into the lead of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. With a 37-4 total, Dillon is ahead of Jared McMillan, his older brother, by a hair more than 4 pounds going into the final day. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

A head-scratcher. That’s the best way to describe the day two morning at the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. If you wonder why so many pros talk about how sensitive Lake Seminole is to fishing pressure, look at the second day of just about any event held there. For some reason, Seminole fish are just smart like that. They might bite well the first day, but they clam up the second day. READ MORE »

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Jumping out to a lead over a tightly packed top 10, Cody Huff weighed 16 pounds, 15 ounces on day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock Lake. Huff, who is a Bethel University student, has already won one Toyota Series event this year, and he’s now starting off another on exactly the right foot. Behind him, Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit superstar Spencer Shuffield is tied with Corey Cook for second place with 14-5 and Dale Andrews is in third with 14-1. READ MORE »

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Jared McMillan dropped 21 pounds, 10 ounces on the scale to kick off the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. The only pro to cross the 20-pound barrier, McMillan is ahead of Jason Smith, who weighed 19-3, and MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Keith Poche and Mikey Keyso, who both brought in 17 pounds or better. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

There was plenty of fish catching happening on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole; the problem was they were not the size fish Lake Seminole is known for. Instead of 5- and 6-pounders, there was an unusual number of line-burners being deposited in livewells READ MORE »

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Adam Wagner is approaching legend status in central Tennessee. Storming to the win from fifth place on the final day, Wagner put a limit for 16 pounds, 1 ounce on the scale for a 34-6 total and the win in the Toyota Series Central Division event on Dale Hollow. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

You’re not going to find a better day to be out on the lake in the fall. Unfortunately, the warming trend paired with bluebird skies, plenty of sun and very little wind hasn’t produced very good conditions for catching fish. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow is fishing tough. That’s about the only constant across the field in the Toyota Series Central Division finale. Everyone in the top 10 has made it to this point by finding a way to battle the difficult conditions and tricky timing, and many have done that extremely well. READ MORE »