UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Malone masters Big Muddy

Pro champion Paul Malone holds shares the winner's trophy with a good friend.

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Three weeks ago, Paul Malone took some time off from his job as an applications engineer and drove from Pleasant Valley, Iowa, to La Crosse to practice for the EverStart Series Central Division event on the Mississippi River. He found what he termed the "perfect spot" but he had to nervously wait to see if these tournament-winning bass would stick around.

Two days before the tournament began, Malone revisited the 80-yard stretch of water, located in the mid-lake section of Onalaska (Pool 7). Much to his delight, it was still loaded and looking perfect - holding the ideal combination of lily pads, duck weed, current and baitfish. While Malone loved the setup, he worried cloudy conditions could ruin the frog bite.

On day one, he caught a solid 11-pound, 3-ounce limit and was on pace. Day two brought those dreaded cloudy, cooler conditions. Rather than fight it, he punted and fished Pool 8, bringing a very average 7-pound, 11-ounce stringer to the scale. Malone made the top-10 cutoff, but he'd have to rally from Pro champion Paul Malone holds up a fiesty Mississippi River largemouth.eighth to claim victory.

"I knew I was going to struggle on day two with that weather," he said. "I really thought yesterday killed me. But today the hot sun came back and that positions them perfectly under the mats. I was praying for the hot and the sun and when it came, they bit."

On day three he caught an 11-pound, 7-ounce limit, the second-heaviest stringer of the entire tournament. All of his fish came on topwater frogs, his two best being a heavier River2Sea frog and a lighter Spro Popping frog. Malone would vary the weight based on the density of the cover. The River2Sea frog could move more water, but the Spro "really got their attention in the thin duck weed."

In addition to frogging, Malone tried punching mats, but it wasn't nearly as successful. This was his very first EverStart event and he credited his victory to confidence.

"After that practice, I came up here to win and I was only fishing for those big ones. Several times I thought about leaving but I knew they were still there. When it was good I was only getting a fish an Paul Malone used both a River2Sea frog and a Spro Popping frog to win the EverStart Series event on the Mississippi River.hour. Sometimes I would go two or three hours without a bite. Most guys would have left in that situation. If I didn't have the confidence I would've left too. Usually fish that like don't stick around, but when I checked them again Tuesday they were still there; I couldn't believe it."

Malone finished with a three-day total of nine largemouths weighing 30 pounds, 5 ounces. His margin of victory was 6 ounces and he earned $31,194.

King surges to second

After making the long idle to the Copeland Park landing Saturday afternoon, Zach King was thinking he may have just won the tournament. All week long he was catching 60 to 70 keepers per day and he Second-place finisher Zach King holds up his biggest bass from the final day.saved his biggest bag for the final day.

"Everything went perfect; it was just flawless," said the Clarksville, Ark., pro. "I caught so many today I forgot. I really thought I had a chance, but I have no regrets."

While King weighed a few fish on a Booyah Pad Crasher and a Spook, his main pattern was flipping a Yum F2 tube (black and red color). While he occasionally flipped trees, he mainly focused on a ditch going back into a creek. This ditch, which coughed up well over 100 keeper bass, was located less than a mile from takeoff in Pool 8.

"They would sit on the outside edge of the ditch in like 3 to 4 feet of water, just following the channel. Fishing up here is just unbelievable. It sets up just like my home lake, Lake Dardanelle, except you get way more bites."

King leaves La Crosse as the Strike King Angler of the Year leader in the Central Division.

"That's a goal of mine this year and I also want to qualify for the FLW Tour."

McGarry slips to third

Local angler Dan McGarry finished the EverStart Series event in third place. Dan McGarry caught a solid 8-pound, 14-ounce limit Saturday but still slipped from second to third, earning $8,913. He finished the three-day tournament with nine bass weighing 28 pounds, 14 ounces.

"I had kind of a rough day," said the Tomah, Wis., fisherman. "All week long I've been using a white Lethal Weapon Swim jig with a 5-inch Action Plastics grub. But first thing this morning I got on a real solid Spook bite. I had the right bites, but just didn't get them. It was rough."

McGarry's main pattern was swimming that Lethal Weapon jig through grass flats. The flat itself was in 4 feet of water, but what made it productive was the presence of shad. While it proved to be consistent, McGarry lamented the fact that he never got a truly big bite.

In 2008, McGarry won a pair of BFLs on his home water, but this was his first EverStart event.

Thill, Johnson round out top five

Local anglers Dan Thill of La Crosse and Kevin Johnson of Sparta rounded out the top five. Thill rallied Fourth-place pro Dan Thill shows off an impressive pair of smallmouths.from 10th to fourth after catching three bass Saturday that weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Two of Thill's keepers were quality smallmouths, the other an average largemouth. Thill finished the event with a total weight of 28 pounds, 1 ounce, earning $8,021.

Johnson managed 8-6 on three bass, pushing his cumulative total to 27 pounds, 14 ounces. Earlier in the week he had been catching his fish on a frog, but the river dropped several inches during the tournament and he wasn't able to access some of his better water. He earned $7,130.

"I've been struggling the past year and a half," said Johnson. "So this was a pleasant surprise."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pros at the EverStart Series Mississippi River event:

6th: Dennis Rhead of Elmwood, Wis., 27-11
7th: Richie Eaves of Nauvoo, Ill., 26-15
8th: Shane Long of Springfield, Mo., 26-5
9th: Doug Stanton of Winona, Minn., 26-0
10th: Dave Parsons of Yantis, Texas, 25-7

The next EverStart Series event is slated for Aug. 16 on 1000 Islands in New York. The next Central Division event takes place Sept. 13 on Lake of the Ozarks.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2012-07-26-mississippi-river-lacrosse 

/news/2019-02-12-montevallo-wins-on-seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-12-mount-paran-christian-school-wins-on-seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-anders-chases-shad-for-keowee-w

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-toho-day-4-coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-gross-wins-second-tour-title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-gross-grabs-toho-lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-toho-day-3-coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-cox-stays-ahead-on-toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-toho-day-2-coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-cox-leads-toho-slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-toho-day-1-coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-04-flw-live-schedule-for-lake-toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-thliveros-brings-it-home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-thliveros-in-charge-on-okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-31-roder-out-front-on-big-o

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-anderson-tops-on-tough-okeechobee

Anderson Tops on Tough Okeechobee

David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division opener on Lake Okeechobee. For his win, Anderson earned $4,479.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-pitt-wins-again-on-toledo-bend

Pitt Wins Again on Toledo Bend

Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, La., caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-14-bolton-hangs-on

Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »