Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Qualifiers

The Full Field
Now that the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour has wrapped up and the Angler of the Year race is final, the full 50-angler roster for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup is set.
The Cup, which is presented by Walmart, will take place at Wheeler Lake Aug. 4-7. Its roster is made up of the top anglers from all of FLW’s tournament circuits plus The Bass Federation national champion.
Here’s how the roster breaks down:
2015 Forrest Wood Cup Champion
1. Brad Knight, Lancing, Tenn.
2015 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year
2. Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla.
2016 FLW Bass Fishing League All-American Champion
3. Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo.
2016 FLW College Fishing National Champion
4. Hampton Anderson, Anderson, S.C.
2016 The Bass Federation National Champion
5. Joseph Webster, Fulton, Miss.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chris Johnston Wins FLW Tour Rookie of the Year!

Out of a huge class of 28 new Walmart FLW Tour anglers, Chris Johnston came out on top as the 2016 Rookie of the Year. He was recognized with the ROY trophy at Friday’s day-two weigh-in at the Walmart FLW Tour finale on Lake Champlain. He currently is in third place and will fish against the top 20 anglers on Saturday.
Banner year of Johnson. (Photo: FLW)
An accomplished angler near his home in Peterborough, Ontario, and throughout the northern United States in Costa FLW Series competition, Johnston can attribute some of his success to good timing.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Scott Martin Wins 2016 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Champlain Wire to Wire!

Martin LOVES N.Y.

In 2004, Scott Martin won a Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain by catching smallmouths off beds in practice, weighing them, letting them go and then returning during the tournament to catch the ones that weighed just a little bit more than their neighbors.
This is Scott's third victory on Champlain. (Photo FLW)
In 2009, Martin returned to Champlain and scored another Tour victory by catching largemouths from offshore rock reefs in Missisquoi Bay.
In 2016, Martin once again claimed victory on Champlain, this time by combining a little bit of his smallmouth savvy from 2004 with a little bit of his reef reconnaissance from 2009.
With this win, Martin becomes a six-time FLW Tour winner – the most in FLW Tour history – and backs up his reputation as a closer in Tour events. He rarely gives up a lead once he claims it.

Kevin Van Dam Wins 2016 BASS Elite Cayuga Lake Event with 71-13lbs!

KVD is King again!
By Bryan Brasher
KVD is BACK! (Photo BASS)
A little over six weeks ago, many professional fishing fans were wondering out loud, “What’s wrong with Kevin VanDam?”
Now those same fans must be wondering just how many gigantic moments VanDam has ahead of him.
After recording his 21st career victory at Louisiana’s Toledo Bend Reservoir in May, VanDam won again Sunday, coming from behind to claim the $100,000 first-place prize in the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. After going five years between victories, the Michigan superstar has now won twice in seven weeks.
VanDam, went into Sunday’s final round in third place, almost 2 pounds out of the lead. But a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces put him over the top with a four-day mark of 71-13. Jordan Lee, a 24-year-old Alabama angler who led going into the final round, finished second with 70-12.
“You just never know how things are going to go out here,” said VanDam, who extended his own B.A.S.S. record with his 22nd career win. “I’ve said it many times before. It’s really hard to win against these guys.
“I feel pretty lucky today, for sure. I didn’t have a great day today.”
Unlike Toledo Bend, which he described as the “toughest tournament he ever won,” VanDam went into the Cayuga Lake event with a lot of confidence based on what he’d seen in practice. He used a variety of patterns throughout the week and exploited the lake’s solid populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Champlain Day 3: Scott Martin Continues to Dominate!

Chris Johnston falls to 5th. 

Scott working his northern spots to continue the lead.
(Photo: FLW)
Unexpected mechanical issues, complications and difficulties can easily derail a pro angler’s day – especially if that pro angler is leading a Walmart FLW Tour event.
But when tournament leader Scott Martin encountered mechanical issues this morning, forcing him to obtain an official restart from FLW Tour Tournament Director Bill Taylor, Martin never missed a beat. He took it all in stride and kept his composure. As the old saying goes, “cooler heads will prevail,” and Martin demonstrated that perfectly today.
Despite his setback of nearly two hours in fishing time, Martin salvaged his day with a 16-pound, 5-ounce catch that kept him in the lead of the Walmart FLW Tour presented by General Tire on Lake Champlain with a total of 58 pounds, 10 ounces.

2016 BASS Elite Cayuga Lake Day 3: Jordan Lee Continues to Lead with 58-02lbs.

Lee living large.
By Bryan Brasher
As an Alabama resident and former member of the Auburn University Bass Fishing Team, Jordan Lee has spent plenty of time on Lake Guntersville.
Drop shot key for Lee during calm conditions.
(Photo: BASS)
On that famed Alabama fishery, largemouth bass wallow out holes in aquatic grass to make their spawning beds — and that’s where Lee always looks for them during the spring.
The fish are doing the same thing on Cayuga Lake this week, and Lee’s hard-earned, home-grown knowledge has put him on the verge of his first career victory on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
The 24-year-old angler caught 17 pounds, 10 ounces of largemouth during Saturday’s semifinal round and maintained the lead in the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. His three-day total of 58-2 gave him a narrow lead over Arizona angler Brett Hite (57-3) and Kevin VanDam (56-6) — a Michigan superstar who fished his first event with B.A.S.S. in 1987, four years before Lee was born.
“I’m honestly just a little bit disappointed in the way things went today,” said Lee, who won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic qualifying event in 2013. “I was hoping to catch a couple of more big ones. I fished clean and probably caught about 25 fish, but I just never had any big bites today.”

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Greg Hackney's Day 1 Catch DQ due to Illegal Fishing in Marina

AOY Drama! 

Louisiana angler Greg Hackney came into this week’s Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake with a commanding lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race — and it seemed for a while on Day 1 like he had maintained that lead.
Hackney caught 17 pounds, 8 ounces to land in 36th place, but it was announced after Thursday’s weigh-in that his catch had been disqualified.
“Greg Hackney’s Day 1 catch was disqualified for fishing in an off-limits area,” said B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon. “ There are several of these off-limits areas on Cayuga Lake. These areas were marked and confirmed with law enforcement. Then we took several steps to make the anglers aware of the areas, including posting them at the pre-tournament meeting Wednesday night.”
Hackney could not be reached for comment.
On glacier lakes in New York, state law says all man-made marinas and boat basins are private property. There are 11 such areas on Cayuga.
After the disqualification, Hackney fell from first place to fourth in Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, 37 points behind new leader Gerald Swindle. Jacob Powroznik is second, followed by Takahiro Omori.

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Champlain Day 2: Scott Martin Extends Lead with 42.05lbs.

At halftime in the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, which is presented by General Tire, Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., has comfortably settled into the pole position going into the weekend. Martin is now the only pro to reach the 20-pound mark two days in row, giving him a total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces and a 3-pound, 9-ounce lead over Bryan Schmitt going into Saturday.
On path for his third win on Champlain.
(FLW Photo)
Martin, who already has two FLW Tour wins at Lake Champlain, is the model of composure when it comes to fishing on the New York-Vermont border. It’s as if the waters in Champlain were custom-made to suit his fishing styles.

2016 BASS Elite Cayuga Lake Day 2: Jordan Lee Jumps into Lead with 40-08lbs.

Lee Marches to Top.
By Bryan Brasher
Like many of the anglers taking part in the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake, Jordan Lee found plenty of bedding smallmouth bass in practice.
Jordon grabs his first lead.
(BASS Photo)
The young Alabamian relied on those smallmouth during the first round for a solid catch, and he planned to do the same during Friday’s second round.
But a couple of hours after takeoff Friday, Lee could tell things just weren’t working out. So he went looking for largemouth and put together a catch of 21 pounds, 7 ounces that pushed his two-day total to a tournament-best 40-8.
Lee’s plan for Saturday is now clear.
“I’m done with the smallmouth,” he said. “I’m just going to go fish largemouth all day tomorrow.”
Lee, who is six days shy of his 25th birthday, keyed on one small grassy area of the lake. He said he was surprised to find as many fish there as he did.
In practice, the area only produced a handful of bites. But a change in weather conditions made the area easier to fish Friday.

Friday, June 24, 2016

BASS Elite Tour Angler of the Year Points Leader Greg Hackney DQ at Cayuga!

AOY Scrabbles!
By Luigi De Rose

AOY point leader and past Cayuga winner has be DQ! More to come.

2016 BASS Elite Cayuga Lake Day 1: Shimizu Smashes into Lead with 23!

5 Big Mammas!
By Bryan Brasher
As a native of Osaka, Japan, Morizo Shimizu doesn’t speak quite as much English as the average angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
But he knows the words “Big Mama” very well.
That’s the nickname he uses for the size bass he likes to catch — and on Thursday, he caught five of them.
Big largemouth key for Japanese pro.
(Photo: BASS)
Shimizu, an 11-year veteran of the Elite Series, brought 23 pounds, 6 ounces to the scales and took the first-round lead in the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. His catch was anchored by a 6-3 largemouth that he said came during the afternoon hours.
“I catch about eight fish all day,” Shimizu said in his usual broken English. “But I only catch five big ones. I caught fish early and late — all day long — from about 5 feet of water. But the biggest one came during afternoon.”
Including Shimizu’s mammoth catch, the 107-angler field produced 12 bags that weighed 20 pounds or more. It took 19-5 to make the Top 20 and 16-15 to make the Top 50 — the highest Day 1 mark needed to make the Top 50 this year.
Spawning smallmouth played a role for many anglers, but Shimizu opted to fish for largemouth because the smallies he located during practice had disappeared.
“I saw some on beds, but they had gone,” he said. “I don’t know if somebody caught them or if they just left. But they weren’t there anymore.”
New Jersey pro Michael Iaconelli was second with 21-15 — and like Shimizu, he chose to concentrate mainly on largemouth.

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Champlain Day 1: Scott Martin Leads with 22, Chris Johnston in 2nd!

All Canadians faired well today. 
by Rob Newell
It has been a few years since the Walmart FLW Tour visited Lake Champlain, but it did not take Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., very long to reconnect with some familiar history in the north end of the “Sixth Great Lake” and catch 22 pounds, 5 ounces of largemouths to take the day-one lead this time around.
Largemouth key for Martin. (FLW Photo)
Martin’s familiarity with the north end comes from his FLW Tour win in 2009 on Champlain, when he tapped into an offshore largemouth bite for victory. Martin is fishing the same areas again, but has changed his bait selection.
“It’s a little different this time,” Martin says. “There is not as much grass covering stuff up. As a result, I’m fishing some different baits than I did last time.”
Martin caught about 15 bass on the day, with his biggest weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce. He is fishing isolated cover out off the bank and believes the lower water levels this year might be helping to usher the postspawn largemouths out his way.
“There are a lot of fish up there,” says Martin, who also won a Tour event on Champlain in 2004. “It’s a great largemouth area because of the shallow habitat. I have a lot of good memories from it, and maybe I can make some more good memories this week.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lowrance Network Analyzer and Service Assistant

Now be notified of system software updates
Lowrance®, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957, recently announced the release of the Lowrance Network Analyzer and Service Assistant with integrated wireless diagnostics tools. Available in a free software release, the new tools are designed to ensure optimal marine-electronics performance for Lowrance multifunction displays. Available on HDS Gen3, HDS Gen2 Touch, Elite-5 and Elite-7 Ti multifunction displays with GoFree™ connectivity, the tools allow anglers to easily send system information to the service team at Lowrance to improve troubleshooting and customer service. No matter how far a boat is from land, as long as the system can connect to a wireless network, this new update gives immediate access to the latest features and the best support and service.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Drop Shotting Tips with Cory Johnston FLW & Shimano Pro and IBASSIN

Learn from one of the best!
By Joel Isenberg

Do you want to catch big smallmouth bass? Then listen to Cory Johnston. One half of the Johnston brothers, he's a whizz at catching smallmouth bass anywhere they swim. Cory has won multiple tournaments on several of the Great Lakes plus is ripping up the FLW Tour. Listen to how he rigs a drop shot for smallmouth and you cannot go wrong!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Casey Smith Wins 2016 Northern FLW Costa Series Potomac River with 51-06lbs!

Opportunity knocked and Casey Smith did not allow thoughts of a later appointment to prevent him from capitalizing on another opportunity — one that ultimately lead him to victory at the Costa FLW Series presented by Plano on the Potomac River.
Keitech king for Casey. (FLW photo)
With limits each day, Smith caught 14 pounds, 14 ounces on day one to place 22nd, but rocketed into the lead on day two by whacking a 20-pound sack. In the final round, the pro from Macedon, NY added 16-8 and earned his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 51 pounds, 6 ounces.
“This is incredible,” Smith says. “I’ve been wanting to step up to this level for a while."
Smith caught most of his weight from a broad grass flat in 4-6 feet of water along Aqua Po Beach, just south of Aquia Creek. Location, he said, was the key to his success.
“I found a ditch that led down into a hole and the fish were sitting right on the corner of where the ditch met the hole,” he says.
TOP Ten Below


To my dad and all the other special dads that introduced us to fishing. Have a great day!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

2016 Northern FLW Costa Series Potomac River Day 2: Casey Smith Grads Lead with 34-14!

Photo: FLW
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, well, let’s just say that Casey Smith was having none of that idiom. He made a significant shift in strategy that allowed him to make a big day-two move into first place at the Costa FLW Series event presented by Plano on the Potomac River.
After placing 22nd on day one with 14 pounds, 14 ounces, the pro from Macedon, NY caught a 20-pound limit that pushed his two-day total to 34-14.
Water flow, Smith says, was the key factor in his performance.
“Just when you think you have the tide figured out, you don’t,” he says. “That was the case yesterday on the negative side and today, that was the case on the positive side.
“I thought I had something figured out yesterday and I was wrong. It was the opposite of what I did today and things went differently.”
Smith says that yesterday he tried to “run the tide” — a strategy through which an angler perpetuates a particular window of water level by moving up or down the tidal range. As the desired stage starts to dwindle, moving ahead for incoming cycles or back with outgoing tides keeps an angler on the productive scenario.

Friday, June 17, 2016

2016 Northern FLW Costa Series Potomac River Day 1: Chapman Leads with 17-15!

Johnston Brothers 3rd &4th!
Chapman leads with tight race.
(Photo: FLW)
Some see delays as irritations. Others see them as opportunities. Choosing the latter, Bill Chapman made the most of a scheduling hiccup in practice and discovered an eye-opening detail that put him atop the day-one standings of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener presented by Plano on the Potomac River with 17 pounds, 15 ounces.
“When I came over here to practice last Friday, I had to wait on my buddy who was a couple of hours behind me,” says Chapman, who is 1 ounce ahead of second-place pro Jeff Coble of North Carolina. “I got out on the water, and in about an hour I figured out what they were doing. I’ve been spanking them ever since.”
Although he opted to keep most details of his pattern under wraps for now, the Salt Rock, W.Va., pro noted that a particular combination of tide and location was the key to his success.
“If you don’t have the right tide, they’re not there,” Chapman adds. “When you get on the right spots, you can just about call your shots. In practice, we probably caught 50 good fish, but today I only caught 30. But still, it was a fun day.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Avoid 3 Common Ledge Fishing Mistakes with Lunker Hunt pro Michael Neal ...

The recent Walmart FLW Tour event at Kentucky Lake was a ledge fishing fest with huge creels bring brought to the scales. It looks so easy until you try it. Here's FLW Tour pro Michael Neal to explain how to avoid common errors made while fishing for big schools of bass.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Top Bass Live Release Tournament Cancelled!

TOP BASS Stopped!
By Joel Isenberg

Due to deteriorating health reasons, Ted, the owner and operator of Top BASS has cancelled the 2016 season. Ted had run this "blue collar" tournament series since 1993 with great success. In the past few years, while other events have had very poor attendance, TOP BASS had been growing. 
Little details are know at press time. The press release is below. All 93 pre-paid teams will be reimbursed their payments. 

Top Bass Press Release

June 12, 2016.
TOP BASS Fishing Series
It is with great sadness that I have to make the hardest business decision of my life. Due to health reasons I will be unable to operate the TOP BASS Fishing Series for the 2016 season.
At this time the TOP BASS Fishing Series is not permanently being shut down. After I return to good health I look forward to bringing the TOP BASS Fishing Series back as one of the most popular tournament series in Ontario.
To those who have sent in your deposits, all payments will be returned within 3 weeks.
Also, I would like to thank the 93 teams which have pre-registered for the 2016 season and I would also like to thank “ALL” of the anglers that have supported the TOP BASS Fishing Series since its first event in 1993.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the TOP BASS Fishing Series staff that has made this series possible for so many years.
Once again, I would like to thank each and every one of you that has supported the TOP BASS Fishing Series over the past 23 years.
Teodoro (Ted) Gallone                                                                                                                                                     TOP BASS Fishing Series

Greg Hackney Wins 2016 BASS Elite Lake Texoma Tournament with 66-2lbs

Giant jig key to win. 
Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., started the day in third place, but weighed in 17 pounds, 15 ounces on Championship Sunday to increase his four-day winning total to 66-2 at the GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest presented by Choctaw Casino and Resort at Lake Texoma.
A win plus lead of BASS Angler of the Year! (Photo: BASS)
With his win, Hackney earned the $100,000 first-place prize and a berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. Hackney’s final limit of bass helped him slip past Brandon Card of Caryville, Tenn., by a slim margin of 1-15.
Hackney, the 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year, knew he needed to have a solid day to contend for the win. As a result, he fished his spots in reverse order because the larger fish were biting later in day.

Jason Lambert Wins 2016 Walmart FLW Tour with 97-2!

Jason Lambert had a small chip on his shoulder. That chip was named Kentucky Lake.
The grudge match with Kentucky Lake started back in 2012 when Lambert finished third in a Costa FLW Series. At the time, he brushed it off. After all, a third place finish was a solid finish for a guy who was just starting to break into the big leagues of bass fishing.
Focusing on small schools pays of big time for Jason. (Photo: FLW)
However, things got a bit more personal with Lambert and Kentucky Lake in 2014 when he finished second in the Costa FLW Series held there.
And the chip really grew in size at the FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake in 2014 where, in his rookie FLW Tour season, he finished runner-up again, missing his first Tour win by 1 pound, 2 ounces.
What bothered Lambert most about his two previous runner-up finishes was that he brought in his biggest limits of those tournaments on the final day and still didn’t win on Kentucky Lake.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hackney Wins 2016 BASSfest!

Flipping a 1oz. jig all week vaults Greg Hackney to victory and extends his AOY lead.  
More info to come. 

Lambert Wins 2016 Walmart FLW Tour Event at Kentucky Lake!

Wild day at the 2016 Walmart FLW Kentucky Lake tournament! Jason Lambert bags a 29 Sunday limit to win the event. More info to come.

2016 Walmart FLW Kentucky Lake Day 3: Lambert Leads Legion of Ledge Masters

Things are really starting to heat up at the Walmart FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake presented by Mercury and hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau – literally and figuratively.
Focused on small schools help Jason grab lead.
(Photo: FLW)
Not only have the daytime temperatures reached 95 degrees, but Tennessee River ace Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tenn., is also bringing the heat in the form of giant bags of Kentucky Lake bass.
Yesterday, Lambert weighed in the biggest limit of bass to that point in the tournament – 24 pounds, 4 ounces. Today, he cranked up the thermostat even higher with a whopping 25-pound, 5-ounce catch that earned him the day three lead with a total of 68 pounds, 2 ounces. He now leads the event by a pound and a half going into the final day.
Today, Lambert remained committed to what he has dubbed the “outlier pattern,” referring to his program of idling around the fringes of traditional megaschool locations to find fragmented groups of bass that have pushed away from the main school to seek safe haven from the constant barrage of fishing pressure being applied on Kentucky Lake.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

2016 BASSfest Lake Texoma Day 3: Casey Ashley Grabs Lead Again with 51-15!

Ashley surges ahead 
Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., bounced back to reclaim the lead today after bringing 17 pounds, 5 ounces to the scale during the semi-final round of GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest presented by Choctaw Casino and Resort at Lake Texoma.
Ashley's limit of bass bumped his three-day total to 51-15, which is more than 3 pounds ahead of Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala., who now sits in second.
Early morning bite key for Casey. (Photo: BASS)
"The morning hours are very important to producing a solid limit," Ashley said. "Once the sun gets high, the fish seem more reluctant to bite. It's flat-out challenging to cull up during the afternoon."
Even after three days of competition and several official practice days, the 2015 Bassmaster Classic champion said that he still isn't locked in on a specific pattern, but the fishing remains good in his area.
"During most tournaments you can often predict when and where the fish will bite, but here it's not that way at all. The fish are setting up in submerged bushes that are typically on dry land. When one does bite, it's very random compared to how and where the last fish did."
Ashley said that covering water and keeping his lure in the brush is the best way to find and catch active fish.