UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Norman

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hanselmania 4.0

Ray Hanselman shows off his winning fish.

In the world of tournament bass fishing there are two types of learning. One is the mechanical side of the sport, which involves tactics and techniques. The other is learning how to win tournaments, which is so abstract and visceral it simply can’t be taught.

On Saturday, Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, proved that he has mastered both versions of the tournament-fishing learning process by accomplishing the unthinkable: In a single Rayovac FLW Series season, Hanselman not only won all three Texas Division regular-season events, but he completed the Rayovac Grand Slam by winning this week’s Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. The tournament was hosted by the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Paducah.

Top 10 patterns

Winning co-angler pattern

“This is epic,” Hanselman says. “I really don’t know how else to explain it. I’m in shock. It’s so hard to put into words.

“In the past, I’d have a really good first day in a tournament and something would go wrong and I’d just spin out,” he continues. “But this year when things went wrong, I maintained composure and stayed focused on finishing the game without losing it before it ended.”

Hanselman says he takes a lot inspiration from watching professional golf.

“In the game of golf, the guys who do that professionally are so strong mentally,” he explains. “Look at what Jordan Spieth has done [finishing first or second in all four major golf tournaments in 2015 at age 22]. It’s amazing. They have the focus to see the game all the way to the end, and that’s really what I’ve tried to do in my fishing this year – see it all the way to the end.”

Hanselman says his Texas Division victories on Lake Amistad, Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Lake Texoma lined up perfectly, with each one landing in his wheelhouse for power techniques with big baits. As the year progressed, his confidence only grew stronger.

Hanselman brought that same big-bait confidence to the Ohio River. During the pre-practice period he had several big smallmouths follow a big swimbait to the boat. Once he saw the bruiser bronzebacks react to a swimbait, he knew exactly how he would fish the Championship.

During the four-day official practice, Hanselman refined his technique to lobbing umbrella rigs on current breaks, and he was off to the races, or better yet, the tailraces.

Hanselman spent most of his tournament week fishing the Tennessee River at the base of Kentucky Dam.

On the surface, Hanselman’s tactics on the Tennessee River looked like tailrace fishing 101: He tucked in behind obvious current breaks such as barge tie-ups and bridge columns to sling repetitive casts into the eddies formed by the structures.

But the subtleties of Hanselman’s technique went a little deeper than that. For starters, Hanselman says he was hunting a unique form of smooth, “slate-type” flat rock. The hard, flat slate surface bottomed out in about 9 feet of water and broke off behind it into about 14 feet, into holes and pockets where big smallmouths would tuck down to ambush prey.

His primary weapon to target the rock was an umbrella rig that he modified specifically for the Tennessee River. He intentionally varied the weights and sizes of the swimbait bodies on the umbrella rig to make it perfectly balanced for the rate of the current flow.

Of the five wires on the rig, the top two were dummies with no hooks and 3-inch swimbaits. The two lower wires were adorned with 1/2-ounce Strike King Squadron jigheads and 4-inch swimmers. Finally, the middle wire was specially sweetened with a 3/4-ounce head and a larger, “lazier” 5-inch swimmer that gave the impression of a minnow that was just a little too fat and sluggish to keep up with the rest of the swimbait school.

“The combination of the two 1/2-ounce heads on the bottom and the 3/4-ounce head on the middle wire was the perfect amount of weight to sort of keel the umbrella rig in the current and make it run true,” Hanselman says. “It was also just the right amount of weight to just tick the bottom without hanging up.

“The key was to get the rig to fall in behind the current breaks,” he explains. “I would hold tension on the rig in current, and I could always feel the current sort of pulling on it. But if it ever fell in behind one of those rips behind the rock, the whole rig would sort of collapse and go slack. That’s when my hair would stand up because I knew I was fixing to get slammed.”

By combining the pothole breaks and the umbrella rig for three days, Hanselman dialed up the right combination to fool 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 11 ounces for his historical win.

For the victory, he added another $50,000 to his winnings for the year, which now total almost $150,000. In addition, Hanselman is going to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, where he will fish against 49 other guys for the top prize of $300,000 – not bad odds for a guy who obviously knows how to win.

 

Top 10  Pros

1. Ray Hanselman – Del Rio, Texas – 46 pounds, 11 ounces – $50,000

2. Brandon Perkins – Counce, Tenn. – 38 pounds, 9 ounces – $20,000

3. Trevor Fitzgerald – Belleview, Fla. – 38 pounds, 2 ounces – $15,000

4. Brian Holder – Belmont, N.C. – 37 pounds, 4 ounces – $14,000

5. Nick Prvonozac – Warren, Ohio – 36 pounds, 10 ounces – $11,000

6. Tyler Suddarth – Valdosta, Ga. – 35 pounds, 14 ounces – $8,000

7. David Barnes Sr. – China, Maine – 35 pounds, 4 ounces – $7,000

8. Jeff Hippert – Hamburg, NY – 35 pounds, 3 ounces – $6,000

9. Bill Chapman – Salt Rock, W.Va. – 34 pounds, 8 ounces – $5,000

10. Denny Brauer – Del Rio, Texas – 33 pounds, 4 ounces – $4,500

Complete results

 

Forrest Wood Cup Qualifiers

Ten pros qualified for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup via this week's Rayovac FLW Series Championship. FLW first extends a bid to the top-finishing pro in each of the five Rayovac FLW Series divisions at the Championship. Once those five anglers are in, the next five highest-finishing anglers, regardless of division, receive invites.

The list:

1. Texas Division - Ray Hanselman (1st place)

2. Central Division - Brandon Perkins (2nd place)

3. Southeastern Division - Trevor Fitzgerald (3rd place)

4. Northern Division - David Barnes Sr. (7th place)

5. Western Division - Charlie Weyer (12th place)

6. Brian Holder (4th place)

7. Nick Prvonozac (5th place)

8. Tyler Suddarth (6th place)

9. Jeff Hippert (8th place)

10. Bill Chapman (9th place)

 

 

Tags: ray-hanselman  ohio-river  tennessee-river  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-10-29-ohio-river 

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »