UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Weekend Wrap-up – April 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up – April 13, 2015
Texas pro Jim Tutt gets an assist bringing this kicker to the boat. Tutt spent time flipping in the thick stuff and fishing the outside edge on day one.

The week after the Easter break turned out to be pretty spectacular. We saw incredible feats at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn and the FLW College Fishing event on Table Rock. Plus, BFL competition was hot across the country.

Now we get to look ahead to the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division opener on Grand Lake and the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray this week. It’s a great time for tournament fishing.

Here’s a recap of last weekend’s tournament action.

 

Hanselmania

As I tweeted earlier, I now want a T-shirt with #Hanselmania on it. Ray Hanselman is on a never-before-seen roll. He came in to the Rayovac FLW Series event a little under the radar, but he ended up smashing the field by more than 7 pounds and becoming the first to ever win back-to-back Rayovac events.

Hanselman didn’t have the reputation of being a Rayburn stud going in, but it might be time to start putting him in the conversation. He’s now tallied four top-10 finishes on Sam Rayburn (one in an FLW Tour Open in 2012), and he seems positioned for more.

Perhaps more important that his Rayburn chops, Hanselman is now in the driver’s seat for the Strike King Angler of the Year title. He leads with an even 500 points over Denny Brauer, who has 494 points. With a 12th-place finish at Texoma on record from 2013, we have to believe that Hanselman is in pretty good shape to earn the AOY.

 

Records Tied at Table Rock

While Nick Uebelhor and Lee Knies of the University of Evansville took home the title at the FLW College Fishing Central Conference kickoff on Table Rock, Kansas State University stole the show by claiming four of the top 10 spots.

The top 10:

1: University of Evansville – Nick Uebelhor and Lee Knies – 16-2 (5) – $2,000

2: Kansas State University – Quinn Fowler and Dylan McKee – 15-1 (5) – $1,000

3: Kansas State University – Garrett Cates and Brett Herder – 14-14 (5) – $500

4: Kansas State University – Lance Maldonado and Ethan Dhuyvetter – 14-1 (5) – $500

5: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point – Mark Hugus and Cody Hahner – 13-12 (5) – $500

6: Missouri State University – Brian Bueker and Darin Schildknecht – 13-10 (5)         

7: Murray State University – Mathew Cardani and Jason Shaw – 13-3 (5)

8: Eastern Illinois University – Mitchell Meinhart and Dan Martin – 13-0 (5)     

9: University of Missouri – Daniel Fuhrig and Michael Fink – 13-0 (5)

10: Kansas State University – Kyle Alsop and Taylor Bivins – 12-12 (5)

 

With a team in second, third, fourth and 10th, K-State qualified four teams for the 2016 National Championship in one shot and equaled some historic marks.

Only once before has a school placed four teams in the top 10. It happened back in 2009 when NC State dominated the Northern Regional on Lake Norman. There, Ben Dziwulski and Kevin Beverly took home the title, Will White and Kolby Stockton finished seventh, David Register and Josh Hooks brought home eighth, and Casey Johnson and Chris Wood earned 10th.

Kansas State also put three teams in the top five, a feat that equals the mark set by Chico State in 2013 on Roosevelt Lake and matched by Fresno State last year at New Melones, when they swept the top three spots. We’re still waiting for a school to sweep the top five, but this could be the year now that the field size is unlimited.

 

BFL Action

With six Walmart Bass Fishing League events on Saturday, there was plenty of tournament action across the country, and from the patterns in play it’s clear that spring is definitely in full swing. For a full recap from each event, be sure to go to the BFL page. Here, we’ll dig a little deeper into David Lowery’s Bama Division win on Lake Martin, which was by my estimation the most interesting one of the week.

Fishing with Leandra McClendon Jr., who he described as “the best draw I’ve ever had,” Lowery hammered out 14 pounds, 8 ounces on a frog for one of the coolest wins of the season.

Though Lowery did weigh in two bass he caught off beds on a 5-inch Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog, his primary pattern was throwing a SPRO Poppin’ Frog to catch prespawn bass that were cruising the banks in groups. Lowery ran into about eight groups of bass throughout the day, each with four to five bass in them, and he managed to generate about 14 blow-ups on his frog.

“To get them to eat the frog, they had to be traveling in groups,” says Lowery. “If it was a single fish, it would come up, look at the bait and leave. It was like they preferred to compete with one another for food.”

Perhaps just as remarkable as his initial pattern was that he could typically catch more than one fish out of each group. After boxing one, Lowery would follow the direction of the fish, and he could often catch another before the school broke up or spooked too much.

“I’ve fished that pattern before at Lake Eufaula, but I was really shocked that it was going on at Martin,” adds Lowery.

 

The Week Ahead

This coming weekend is packed.

The Rayovac FLW Series will be taking on Grand Lake in what is shaping up to be a really fun event with a lot of bass on the beds.

The FLW College Fishing National Championship will feature 50 of the best teams in the country battling for a title on Lake Murray. It should be amazing, and Murray is set to offer a very unique spawn and postspawn playing field.

Lastly, BFL action will continue to roll along with five events taking place:

Volunteer Division – Lake Chickamauga  

Choo Choo Division – Lake Guntersville

Gator Division – Lake Okeechobee

South Carolina Division – Lake Wateree

Illini Division – Rend Lake

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