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Posted By The Bass Hog
Gillespie leads co-anglers
 
FLORENCE, Ala. (Oct. 30, 2014) – Pro angler George Kapiton of Inverness, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Thursday weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces to grab the lead after day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship at Wheeler Lake. Kapiton now holds a 7-ounce lead heading in to day two of the three-day event, hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, that features 140 anglers from across the country casting for a top cash award of $50,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup qualified.
 
“I thought I could catch a good bag today,” said Kapiton, who just finished his sophomore season as a professional. “I had a tough practice, but I stumbled onto something on the third day, so I knew the potential was there.
 
“It could have been even better,” Kapiton said of his 18-pound stringer. “I left my area when I had four bass, and I had lost a big one. Then, I stumbled onto a 6-pounder on a bluff on the main lake right before the end of the day.”
 
Despite changing weather conditions being forecasted, Kapiton was confident that he could carry his day-one success forward.
 
“I have one area that I have to myself, but it is very small,” he said. “My other main area has about a half dozen boats in it, but nobody is doing what I’m doing. It’s a long ride to my area – it took me 45 minutes to get there today, and it might take twice as long tomorrow. I‘m really trying to manage my fish each day. I don’t know how many fish are there and that is the only thing I have going.”
 
Kapiton was understandably coy about his presentation details, but did say that he caught all of his fish on one bait, though he used others throughout the day.
 
Overall there were 585 bass weighing 1,121 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 140 boaters Thursday. The catch included 97 five-bass limits.
 
Boaters are competing for a top award of $50,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Additionally, 10 boaters will qualify for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup – the top five tournament finishers as well as the top five finishers from each Rayovac division. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 20-23 on Lake Ouachita. The winning angler in that event will win $500,000 – professional bass-fishing’s richest prize.
 
Carl Gillespie of Old Hickory, Tennessee, leads the co-angler division with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces followed by Richard Predmore of Bainbridge, Georgia, and Dante Ray of Sparks, Nevada, who are tied for second place, each with five bass weighing 10-1.
 
 Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens tournament series will span nine months, visit nine states and possibly provide nine professional anglers a ticket to the Super Bowl of bass fishing — the Bassmaster Classic.
 
B.A.S.S. announced the three-division, nine-tournament Opens schedule today, noting that it kicks off with the Jan. 15-17 Southern Open No. 1 on Lake Tohopekaliga at Kissimmee, Fla., and concludes Oct. 22-24 with the final Southern Open on Lake Seminole at Bainbridge, Ga.
 
The company also announced that the eighth Bassmaster Elite Series tournament for 2015 — the St. Clair Elite at Detroit, Mich., has been moved from its originally announced dates of Sept. 24-27 to Aug. 27-30, 2015.
 
“These lakes and rivers are all outstanding, legendary waters that are steeped in bass fishing history,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Four of the lakes and rivers have hosted the Bassmaster Classic in years past, and seven are ranked on Bassmaster’s Best 100 Lakes list for 2014. The Bass Pro Shops Opens have become extremely popular among tournament anglers over the years, and the selection of fisheries this year should make it even more attractive.”
 
B.A.S.S. Senior Tournament Manager Chris Bowes noted that tournaments in each of the three divisions typically fill rapidly, with waiting lists forming in a matter of hours.
 
“We expect spots in the Opens to go just as quickly this year,” said Bowes, who noted that the events reward anglers in several ways.
 
“Many fish the Opens in hopes of winning a berth in the Bassmaster Classic,” he said. “Some are trying to qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series, and of course everybody is fishing for the payouts.” The winner of each event will get $46,400, including a bass boat and motor, plus an invitation to compete in the 2016 Classic, contingent upon the winner fishing all three events in that division.
 
At each of the stops, weigh-ins will be held lakeside during the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday of each tournament week. The 12 finalists who earn the right to fish on Saturday will weigh their catches in front of large crowds at nearby Bass Pro Shops stores.
 
Registration for B.A.S.S. Nation and Life members begins online on Nov. 4. Other details and complete registration information will be posted on Bassmaster.com. 
 
Courtesy of BASS Communnications


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

PLATA, Md. (Oct. 12, 2014) – The West Virginia University team of Mathew Gibson of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Edward Rude III of Falling Waters, West Virginia, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational tournament on the Potomac River Sunday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

 
Gibson and Rude were the only team to bring a limit over 16 pounds to the scale during the tournament, and they managed to do it twice en route to back-to-back FLW  College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational wins.
 
The pair caught all but one of the bass they weighed-in off of one key spot.
 
“It was the mouth of a smaller creek in one of the main creeks,” said Rude. “There were a ton of crawfish there, and the grass was in isolated clumps instead of a big flat. We caught fish all day long, but when the tide was going out they would feed like crazy.
 
“Saturday we caught most of our limit there, but we left early to try and save fish,” Rude explained. “Today we went back and spent the whole day there and burned it out.”
 
“(Rude) is familiar with the river and wanted to check the spot in practice,” said Gibson. “He knew that in the fall the bass can really stack up in there.”
 
“It feels really good to win,” said Rude. “I consider the Potomac to be my home water, and I really wanted to win at home.”
 
“As soon as we started fishing together we knew we would be sticking together for a while,” said Gibson. “It feels great to win and qualify for the National Championship. But, it is bittersweet because that will be my last College Fishing tournament.”
 
The pair said that they landed more than 20 bass over 2 pounds on the second day of the tournament and caught almost all of their fish on brown craw-colored Mann’s Baby 1-Minus crankbaits in 1 to 3 feet of water.
 
Courtesy of BASS Communications.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 9, 2014) – FLW announced today the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League schedule, which includes 120 regular-season tournaments spread across 24 divisions, each with four one-day qualifying tournaments that pay as much as $8,000 to the winning boater and $3,000 to the winning co-angler, plus a two-day super tournament offering top awards of $11,000 and $4,500, respectively, and one of the longest-running championships in the history of tournament bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American.
 
The BFL is the nation’s largest and most lucrative weekend bass-fishing circuit. No other circuit offers more opportunities to win. The Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year from each division earn $1,000 and $500, respectively. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division also receive priority entry into the Rayovac FLW Series while All-American champions may advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour, the world’s top professional bass-fishing circuit.
 
For the complete 2015 BFL schedule, click here.
 
Complete rules and entry dates will be announced soon. For more information about getting started in tournament fishing or to find a tournament near you visit FishFLW.com.
 
Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — From the muddied waters of Georgia’s Lake Seminole, to the heart of the fifth most populous city in the U.S., to the windy shores of Lake Michigan, the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series has made bass fishing history and left some impressions in its wake.
 
With a record-setting total of 128,600 people in attendance throughout the eight regular-season events and the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, the Elite Series has reached new heights in attracting fans to the sport of bass fishing.
 
“This year was so successful because we have been able to establish and strengthen our relationships with each venues’ host organizations,” said Eric Lopez, director of events at B.A.S.S. “In addition to what B.A.S.S. brings, we look to the host cities to provide traditional event entertainment such as concerts and fireworks — anything that you would normally see at a weekend festival. It’s clearly working and enticing more individuals and families to come out for two and three days to see all the fishing action.”
 
At all Elite events visitors are invited to enjoy an outdoors expo, where the newest boats, motors, fishing tackle, lures and other sporting goods are on display. Fishing fans and their families are invited to discover everything bass fishing, and all Bassmaster events are free and open to the public.
 
This year B.A.S.S. introduced its premier professional fishing league to a new market at the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pa. This event marked the first time B.A.S.S. had held an Elite Series tournament in a truly metropolitan area, exposing a variety of different people to bass fishing.
 
“Philadelphia, by far, was our most successful tournament with attendance because we weren’t sure what to expect going into it,” Lopez said. “Everyone we worked with, from the city to the venue, was great. We knew it would be a good event, but we didn’t know it would end up being our third highest attended event in Elite Series history.”
 
B.A.S.S. has set the bar high for the 2015 Elite Series tournament trail and is looking forward to continuing the attendance trend.
 
“I’m as nervous as I am excited,” Lopez said. “When you have a year like this, you celebrate for five minutes, and then you start thinking, ‘Oh, no! How do we top this?’”
 
With the ever-present goal of continuous improvement, the Bassmaster Elites will head West in 2015. The third Elite of the year will be staged out of Sacramento, Calif., were the most competitive anglers in the sport will battle it out on the Sacramento River April 30-May 3. Following the California event, the Elite anglers will converge on Lake Havasu City, Ariz., May 7-10, for a chance to prove their skills on Lake Havasu.
 
“I’m most excited about B.A.S.S. continuing to expose the sport to new markets,” Lopez said. “And, looking at our 2015 schedule, we’re really going to be afforded that opportunity. We don’t travel out West that often, so when we do, it’s a big deal for our anglers and our fans. We definitely anticipate next year’s schedule is going to be very popular.”

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog
Kline wins co-angler title
 
LAKEPORT, Calif. (Oct. 11, 2014) – Aaron Britt of Yuba City, California, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 70 pounds even. For his victory, Britt earned $32,448.
 
“I fished a crankbait all week,” said Britt, who earned his first FLW win. “I practiced for four days prior to the tournament and found some fish shallow on a squarebill crankbait, but on the last day of practice I found some cranking fish deep.
 
“The first day of the tournament I went with my gut and cranked deep,” Britt continued. “I caught a big bag on day one and that made me stick with that pattern for the duration of the tournament. On day two I had some really big fish on that came off, but that just told me I needed to keep doing what I was doing.
 
“I had three spots that I just rotated through all day,” said Britt. “One of the spots was a rock ledge that runs along Highway 20, and the other two were very popular spots on the lake.”
 
Britt said that he threw Spro Little John DD, Bill Norman DD 22 and Damiki DC-400 crankbaits in 9 to 15 feet of water all week, starting the day with crawfish colors and changing to shad patterns as the sun rose higher.
 
“Generally the water temperature this time of year in Clear Lake is about 4 degrees lower than it is now,” Britt explained. “A lot of the fish are suspending and still out deep in their summer haunts and they haven’t moved shallow. That’s why stuck to my spots so much, because I knew the fish would move up and I wanted to be there when they did.
 
“This win is very emotional for me,” said Britt. “To be able to come out and compete with guys I grew up watching like Brett Hite, Ish Monroe and Jared Lintner is a great feeling. I put so much hard work and effort into this, and I’m very, very happy.”
 
Jennings caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday – a 9-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $212.
 
Todd Kline of San Clemente, California, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 56 pounds, 10 ounces.  
 
Ray caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – an 8-pound, 10-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $141.
 
 Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 7, 2014) – FLW has announced the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series schedule, which will again consist of three events in each of the five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western – along with the no-entry-fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship to be held on the Ohio River in Paducah, Ky.
 
2015 Rayovac FLW Series Schedule
 
Central Division
April 16-18             Grand Lake, Grove, Okla.
May 7-9                 Kentucky Lake, Gilbertsville, Ky.
Sept. 10-12           Lake Dardanelle, Russellville, Ark.
 
Northern Division
June 4-6                James River, Henrico, Va.
July 9-11               Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Aug. 27-29            Lake Erie, Sandusky, Ohio
 
Southeastern Division
Jan. 22-24             Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, Fla.
March 19-21         Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Ala.
May 21-23             Lake Seminole, Bainbridge, Ga.
 
Texas Division
Feb. 12-14             Lake Amistad, Del Rio, Texas
April 9-11               Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Brookeland, Texas
April 30-May 2      Lake Texoma, Pottsboro, Texas
 
Western Division
Feb. 5-7                 Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
May 7-9                 California Delta, Bethel Island, Calif.
Sept. 24-26           Clear Lake, Lakeport, Calif.
 
Rayovac FLW Series Championship
Oct. 29-31             Ohio River, Paducah, Ky.
 
Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
Burdette wins co-angler title
 
HENRICO, Va. (Oct. 6, 2014) – Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, weighed a three-day total of 15 bass totaling 33 pounds even to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the James River Saturday. For his victory, Daves took home a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy 1500 Silverado as well as entry into the 2015 BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Northeast, Piedmont, Shenandoah and South Carolina divisions.
 
 
“I would start up the James River, because the tide was lower up there in the morning, and then run down to Chickahominy Creek around lunchtime,” said Daves, who earned the third BFL win of his career. “The tide was coming in during the morning, and the further down the river you went the higher it got. But, it would start to fall in the afternoon down in the Chick. We had an east wind that kept the water high, and that’s what made the conditions so tough.”
 
Daves said that he caught about half of his fish in the James River, and the rest in Chickahominy Creek.
 
“I targeted wood with a Lucky Craft RC 1.5 squarebill crankbait in the James, and I caught some key fish on a homemade buzzbait with a gold blade and a white, blue and chartreuse-colored skirt in the grass in the Chick,” said Daves. “Up in the James River I was fishing the same places every day, because there was a lot of bait and they replenished. In the Chick I ran new water every day. I was just covering as much water as I could with the buzzbait. I wasn’t catching many fish on the buzzbait, but when I did it was a good one.
 
“The first day I caught a lot of keepers and the tide was good, but I didn’t catch much weight,” Daves continued. “The second and third days I only caught five keepers each day. It was hard to scratch out a limit. I caught two 4-pounders on the buzzbait on the second day, and that really was the key to my win.
 
“I knew it was going to be tough,” finished Daves. “I figured if I caught 10 pounds per day I would make the All-American, and that was my goal. It feels great to win. I’ve been fishing for over 20 years, but I always seem to end up finishing second or third. I’ve been doing it a long time and this was a well-deserved win.”
 
Daves said he also caught a few fish on a ½-ounce black and blue-colored jig.
               
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
 
Dennis Burdette of Lindside, West Virginia, won the co-angler division with a three-day total of 11 bass totaling 22 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Adair took home a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the 2015 BFL All-American tournament.
 
Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog
Cifuentes wins co-angler title
 
LUFKIN, Texas (Oct. 4, 2014) – Albert Collins of Nacogdoches, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event presented by Evinrude on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52 pounds, 7 ounces. For his victory, Collins earned $31,071.
 
“Going into day three, it wasn’t a sure thing that I would win,” said Collins, who won by a near 11-pound margin. “I wasn’t even sure that I would catch a limit because of that cold front that came through. Luckily the first three fish I caught in the morning were my biggest, and I got to cull a couple of times throughout the day, so it all worked out really great.
 
“I have a lot of knowledge about Sam Rayburn and it helped,” said Collins, whose win was the first of his career with FLW. “Once I keyed on something, I knew where more like it was. I didn’t have to spend my practice finding spots, I just had to run and check them.
 
“I was mostly concentrating on main-lake points and channel swings,” Collins continued.  “I fished the bottom all week and threw Texas-rigged worms. I just tried to keep in contact with the bottom, but that was pretty tough with the wind.
 
“I was targeting breaks. Most of the breaks had stumps and brush on them, but that was just for a target,” added Collins. “I think the fish were relating to the drop off. I fished some areas that ranged from 8 to 12 feet deep, and some areas that were from 20 to 22 feet deep. 
 
“It feels great to win,” Collins finished. “I’ve been to Wheeler Lake before and I’m looking forward to going back for the Rayovac Championship.
 
Collins said that his primary bait was a blue fleck-colored Missile Baits Tomahawk worm, but he also threw a Mister Twister HANG 10! worm. He Texas-rigged both with a ½-ounce weight.
 
Crelia caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday – a 7-pound, 13-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $200.
 
Joey Cifuentes of Clinton, Arkansas, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 40 pounds, 10 ounces.  
 
Mark Mowery of Longview, Texas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – an 8-pound, 13-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $133.
 
Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

 
Posted By The Bass Hog

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — South Carolina Elite Series pro Andy Montgomery made the right adjustments and claimed victory by sacking three solid limits that totaled 37 pounds, 10 ounces. He outfished David Williams on Saturday, the last day of the tournament, after Williams held the lead on Days 1 and 2. Williams finished the tournament in eighth place with 32-3.

Montgomery excels at skipping jigs under docks, and this tactic duped most of his bass on Lake Norman. A 1/2-ounce Shooter Elite Series Jig dressed with a Strike King Rage Bug accounted for most of his bass. “I caught a lot of bass under the walkways of docks on flat banks,” Montgomery said.

A white buzzbait also accounted for a portion of Montgomery’s catch. He cast it to flat, rocky banks when the sky was overcast.

Montgomery knows Lake Norman well and typically has his best luck here in autumn. “I thought I could outlast the field in a three-day event this time of year,” Montgomery said.

Along with the trophy, Montgomery received $5,980 and a Skeeter ZX200 rigged with a Yamaha VF200LA outboard and prop, a Skeeter Single Axle Trailer, a Minn Kota Max 80F 42” 24v Trolling Motor and an in-dash Humminbird 788.

Montgomery had already qualified for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic via the Elite Series. He did not double qualify after winning Saturday's Southern Open as he had not fished the previous two events in the division.

Floridian Richard Howes claimed second place Saturday with three five-bass limits that weighed a total of 36 pounds, 2 ounces. Unlike Montgomery, Howes was new to Norman and had to start from scratch.

A jig was his primary lure, but Howes also brought a few bass to the scales that were caught on a spinnerbait and a Heddon Super Spook Jr.

Lake Norman has far more spotted bass than largemouth, but the odds of catching a heavy kicker bass are with the largemouth. “I knew I would need at least one good largemouth a day to have a chance to win,” Howes said.

Howes started each day fishing docks near the mouths of creeks with the goal of boxing a limit of spotted bass. After securing his limit, he fished docks in the shallower backs of creeks where he was able to cull with bigger largemouth bass.

Ronald Farrow, of Rock Hill, S.C., came in third place with 35 pounds, 1 ounce. This was the first Bassmaster Open he had ever fished. On Thursday, he boated less than 6 pounds of bass. “I had to give myself a pep talk Friday morning,” Farrow said.

That must have been some pep talk. He proceeded to catch the biggest limit of the tournament Friday, which weighed 16 pounds, 10 ounces. It jumped him from 101st place Thursday to 10th place Friday.

And apparently, Farrow gave himself another pep talk Saturday, as he landed the biggest limit of the day, 13 pounds, 1 ounce. “The calm weather on Thursday killed my bite,” Farrow said. “I needed the wind.”

The wind blew Friday and Saturday, and Farrow slammed the bass by casting a square bill crankbait and a spinnerbait to windblown banks. “The best banks today were in the shade,” Farrow said.

Alabama’s Tyler Boyle was one of four co-anglers to catch a three-bass limit each day of the Norman Open. The 19-year-old’s winning total of 19 pounds, 8 ounces earned him a Triton 17 Pro rigged with a Mercury 115 Pro XS and prop, a Triton single axle trailer, a MotorGuide FW46 42” 12v trolling motor, Lowrance Mark 5 graphs on the dash.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.