UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Santee Cooper

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hollowell Coming Back from Health Scare

Hollowell Coming Back from Health Scare
Todd Hollowell

Todd Hollowell is normally one of the fittest pros on the FLW Tour. Now in his 40s, the former pro baseball player eats right and exercises. Typically, his health isn’t an obstacle, but a recent diagnosis of viral labyrinthitis, an inner ear disorder, has threatened to derail his Forrest Wood Cup dreams.

The condition has more or less floored Hollowell over the last few weeks. It all started on day two of practice for the FLW Tour season finale at St. Clair, when he suffered an extreme bout of vertigo.

“I went to the 9 Mile ramp on our second day of practice,” Hollowell recalls. “The wind was blowing pretty decent that morning. There were probably 2-foot rollers out there. I remember launching, and Jeremy Lawyer called me over. He and Joe Webster were sitting there contemplating whether or not to go out on the lake because it was blowing pretty good. We kinda laughed about it, and I kinda joked about it. I told them to just go slow. ‘You’re in a Ranger. You’ll get there.’ And I didn’t think twice. I idled out, took off and went about a half a mile, and I thought I was going to get sick. The waves were nothing I’d never seen before. I’ve seen it way worse than that.

“The waves were bad, but I’d lost my whole sense of balance and equilibrium. I tried to stand up, and I fell down. I actually tried to fish. I made two drops with a drop-shot, kneeling on the front deck. I just thought I was seasick. My dad said maybe we should get off the lake, so I idled into a marina. I got into the harbor, and it was slick calm and I felt like I was in 8-foot waves. I asked dad to tie up the boat, and I literally crawled out of the boat on all fours and puked.”

Over the next few hours, Hollowell vomited every 20 or 30 minutes and became dehydrated. Eventually, helped by the members of the marina he’d pulled into, Hollowell and his dad got off the water. His father, Terry, took him to the emergency room at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

“I couldn’t walk straight, and they refused to let me go home,” says Hollowell. “I had all the tests and an MRI, and I had everything done and there wasn’t anything wrong. I spent about 36 hours in the hospital at Detroit. Finally, I got discharged Tuesday night. Nobody knew what was wrong, but I felt OK Tuesday night.

“I figured I had enough experience on St. Clair to get a check, even with no practice. And I had anti-nausea medication and anti-vertigo medicine, and I took that and went fishing. I was somewhat able to fish normally on Thursday, but when I got back Thursday and the medicines wore off, my entire body was sore, I couldn’t move and I had the worst migraine of my life. And then at about 9 o’clock that night I had vertigo again. I know my body, and I just knew something was wrong. I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life, and it’s the first time I’ve ever withdrawn from anything in my life. I told Bill Taylor [FLW Tour tournament director] that the best decision for me would be to not go out on St. Clair on Friday.”

Hollowell ended up going back home to get healthy, but it didn’t happen. By this time, he knew he was a long way from just seasick. A specialist in Indianapolis became nearly certain he had viral labyrinthitis, which can cause hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness and nausea.

“The next two weeks for me were really bad,” he says. “I didn’t leave my house one week. I didn’t drive. I was afraid to drive. I had really bad flulike symptoms. So, quite honestly, only in the last few days have I returned to feeling like a human being.”

At this point, the worst should be behind the Indiana pro, but he’s not entirely out of the woods. Because of some of the lingering symptoms and the possibility of more bouts of vertigo, he’s still on a prescription to reduce fluid in his inner ear, as well as a low sodium diet. Hollowell also has an anti-vertigo medication handy as well as ibuprofen for headaches. If all goes well, he should be fishing his second Forrest Wood Cup in a few days with no major problems, though almost certainly not at full strength.

One very tangible effect that might play at the Cup is his hearing. Since St. Clair, Hollowell has lost about 50 percent or more of the hearing in his left ear. So, if fish are going to school on Ouachita, he’d prefer they come up on the right side of the boat.

“Now I’m having to get my stamina back,” adds Hollowell. “Like, I couldn’t walk to the mailbox without my legs shaking. I’m having to train my body again. I feel great now, but now I have to figure out how to stand up for eight or 10 hours and last in the heat

“We’re all given challenges in life, and we’re all given the choice to see those tests as what they are and let them become your testimony,” says Hollowell. “Everyone has their own challenges and their own problems, but you can let your tests become your testimony and make the most of it. Life is precious to me now. What I’ve learned from this is that there are no guarantees in life. It’s helped me have a newfound appreciation for each day.”

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2018-08-10-forrest-wood-cup- 

Lanier Makes Right Calls on Sinclair

Lanier Makes Right Calls on Sinclair

Justin Lanier of Macon, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog division tournament on Lake Sinclair. Lanier earned $4,399 for his victory. READ MORE »

Joyce Claims Kerr Title

Joyce Claims Kerr Title

Keith Joyce of Apex, North Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont division tournament on Kerr Lake. Joyce earned $7,254 for his victory. READ MORE »

Kicker Makes the Difference for Clark

Kicker Makes the Difference for Clark

Randall Clark of Little Rock, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie division event on Lake Hamilton presented by Geared. Clark earned $3,901 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Smith Flips Senko on Toledo Bend

Smith Flips Senko on Toledo Bend

Ken Smith of Dallas, Texas, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy division tournament on Toledo Bend. Smith earned $8,303 for his victory. READ MORE »

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Built to FLW Tour pro Aaron Britt’s specifications, the iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer rod is a mid-priced spinning rod that’s specifically designed for tossing small swimbaits on light heads. READ MORE »

AOY Update – Cherokee Lake

AOY Update – Cherokee Lake

This year’s FLW Tour Angler of the Year race is hurtling toward one of the most dramatic finishes ever. After finishing 46th at Cherokee Lake, rookie pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff took advantage of a stumble by Terry Bolton to move into the top spot in the standings. If Burghoff can hold on through the final two events, he’ll be the first rookie since Shinichi Fukae in 2004 to win the AOY award. READ MORE »

It’s all Upshaw

It’s all Upshaw

As pretty much everyone figured, the final day of the FLW Tour event presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake was a nail-biter. Coming down to the wire, a final-hour cull from Andrew Upshaw was enough to hold off Grae Buck and earn the Tulsa, Okla., pro his first Tour win. Weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces, Upshaw totaled up 67-10 to earn the $100,000 payday and his first trophy after eight years on Tour. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Cherokee Lake

FLW Live Leaderboard - Cherokee Lake

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for stop No. 5 of the 2019 FLW Tour at Cherokee Lake. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw has a chance to go wire-to-wire for the win at the FLW Tour event presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake. The Oklahoma pro has led for three days thanks to his smallmouth pattern. The rest of the pros are catching mixed bags of largemouths and smallmouths. Many of the fish are spawning. READ MORE »

Upshaw Almost There

Upshaw Almost There

Andrew Upshaw is one day away from going wire-to-wire to secure his first-ever FLW Tour victory, and as long as the pressure and the nine pros behind him don’t knock him off course, the Tulsa, Okla., pro has a game plan to make it happen. READ MORE »

Cherokee Day 3 Coverage

Cherokee Day 3 Coverage

It's a catch-fest at Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee, as the top 30 pros enter the weekend with hopes of catching Andrew Upshaw, who has led for two days. Largemouths and smallmouths are both spawning, and they are eager to bite. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 2 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the FLW Tour event at Cherokee Lake was a doozy. Pros hammered impressive numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass on what was a perfect spring day in east Tennessee. Now, it's cut day, and everyone is hoping to make it into the top 30 and fish again on the weekend. READ MORE »

Upshaw Leads Packed Top 10

Upshaw Leads Packed Top 10

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake was a sure enough catchfest. Leading the way, Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Okla., weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces to take the lead, but 13 other pros also weighed more than 16 pounds. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 1 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 1 Coverage

The FLW Tour visits Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee at the perfect time for a spring showdown. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are ready to spawn, and practice reports suggest a lot of fish will be caught. READ MORE »

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

The fifth stop of the FLW Tour is presented by Lowrance and sure to be fun if you like east Tennessee, smallmouths and good fishing (who doesn’t?). Cherokee Lake plays host and promises to both challenge and delight anglers. READ MORE »

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers started the year off about as badly as he could, finishing 121st at Rayburn, but he’s been on a tear ever since, finishing 54th at Toho before banking back-to-back top 10s at Seminole and Grand. READ MORE »

Gregory, Hudson and Pugh Tie on Smith

Gregory, Hudson and Pugh Tie on Smith

David Hudson of Jasper, and Greg Pugh and Dexton Gregory, both of Cullman, Alabama, ended up in a three-way tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lewis Smith Lake after each bringing five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, to the scale. After contingency awards, Hudson earned $3,001, with Gregory taking home $2,801 and Pugh $2,501. READ MORE »

DeGrandcourt Cranks to Kerr Title

DeGrandcourt Cranks to Kerr Title

R.J. DeGrandcourt of Clarksville, Virginia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division opener on Kerr Lake. For his catch, DeGrandcourt took home $2,585. READ MORE »

Benfield Looks at 'Em on Hartwell

Benfield Looks at 'Em on Hartwell

Brad Benfield of Cornelia, Georgia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell with a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. For his day on the water, Benfield took home $2,977. READ MORE »

Sumter Flips Shallow on Arkansas River

Sumter Flips Shallow on Arkansas River

Brit Sumter of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, brought five bass to the weigh-in stage Saturday totaling 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division opener on the Arkansas River. For his victory, Sumter pocketed $4,315. READ MORE »