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Posted By The Bass Hog



Fellow North Carolinian Self Wins Co-Angler Title, $20,000


LUFKIN, Texas (March 30, 2014) – Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 17 pounds even to overtake Walmart pro Mark Rose and win the Walmart FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Chevy. Thrift’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 73 pounds, 3 ounces earned him the top cash award of $125,000 in the event that featured 176 of the world’s best bass-fishing anglers competing in the four-day competition. The tournament will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network in June.
     “The first morning of the tournament I decided that I needed to fish slow and steady,” said Thrift, who earned the third Walmart FLW Tour victory of his career. “I had been catching a lot of fish on moving baits – crankbaits and ChatterBaits. I got up to my area on the morning of day one and two hours in I hadn’t had a bite. I knew something had changed. I started to slow down and pick everything apart.”
     Thrift said that he fished an area that was about five miles long up the Angelina River. He estimated that he covered new water for about 3 hours each day of the tournament, targeting cypress trees and grass patches.
     “Today I really focused on 10 particular trees,” Thrift said. “I would put my Power-Poles down on those trees and flip very slowly, every two inches, all the way around that tree. I was spending 15 to 20 minutes on each tree.”
     Thrift said that his key bait this week was a Texas-rigged Damiki Knock Out with a 5/16-ounce weight and 20-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon line. He flipped the Knock Out in both green-pumpkin and junebug colors. Thrift also said that he caught two or three key fish Sunday morning on a Z-Man Original ChatterBait.
     “I hadn’t caught any fish on a ChatterBait until today,” Thrift said. “I caught two 3-pounders on it this morning and it calmed me enough that I could pick that Knock Out up and fish slow like I needed to.
     Eric Self of Lawndale, N.C., won the co-angler division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 33 pounds, 11 ounces, followed by Kerry Barnett of Waldron, Ark., in second place with 11 bass weighing 33 pounds, 8 ounces worth $7,500.  
Courtesy of

Posted By The Bass Hog

FLW Series Logo

MANNING, S.C. (March 15, 2014) – Lindwood Thornhill of Pineville, S.C., weighed five bass totaling 24 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event presented by Evinrude on Santee Cooper with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 72 pounds, 4 ounces. For his victory, Thornhill earned $40,000.
      “I feel wonderful. It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Thornhill of his win. The South Carolina native was the only pro in the field to bring more than 20 pounds to the scales each of the three days of competition and he won by a stunning 12-pound, 4-ounce margin.
      Thornhill said that he mined one spot that was good for all of his fish, plus the 64 pounds, 7 ounces that co-angler winner Marvin Reese caught.
      “I’ve fished there for over 40 years,” explained Thornhill. “Sometimes there are fish there and sometimes there aren’t. I checked it in practice and they were there. It is somewhat off a drop-off. It goes from 5 to 25 feet, and the fish were in 12 to 14 feet of water.
      “I went several places just like it, but the fish just weren’t there,” continued Thornhill. “I fished it last weekend and I didn’t get a bite. But the fished moved up there this week.
      “I was using ¼-ounce football jigs. I don’t remember the brand name, but they worked really good for me,” finished Thornhill. “I was just dragging them really slowly.”
      Jeff McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla. caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday – a 10-pound, 5-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $300.               

      Perhaps the bigger story of the day was Marvin Reese of Gwynn Oak, Md., who won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 64 pounds, 9 ounces.  Reese's next closest competitor was 33 POUNDS behind him, thereby breaking the record for the largest win by a co-anlger in FLW history.  In addition Reese had the tournament's largest bass at 10 lbs. 2 ounces, which earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $200.


   The next Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament will be April 24-26, at Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala., and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Courtesy of

Posted By The Bass Hog

chris lane
PALATKA, Fla. — You’d think with a 12 1/2-pound lead, you could relax.
Not in a Bassmaster Elite Series competition. Not when it’s on a big-fish factory like the St. Johns River. And not if you’re Chris Lane.
“I have to go out there and do the very best that I can,” said Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champ from Guntersville, Ala. “Anything can happen on the St. Johns River. There’s no safe lead here.”
Lane, who jumped from 15th into first on Friday after producing a monster bag of five bass weighing 37-9, brought in 19 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday for a three-day leading total of 75-13.
Lane’s 12-8 lead was over runner-up Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C., who weighed 24-13, Saturday’s largest catch. It beefed up his total to 63-5, moving him into second place from 10th.
Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., anchored in third place with 61-7 over three days. Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, was fourth with 60-9. Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas, who won the 2012 Elite event on the St. Johns, rose from eighth place into fifth with 59-4. First-day leader Randy Howell of Springville, Ala., was sixth with 58-14.
Those six head up the 12 finalists who will compete in Sunday’s final round for $100,000 and a 2015 Bassmaster Classic berth. Notable jumps into the Top 12 were Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, from 20th to 10th with 54-13, and David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., who rose from 17th to be last man into the 12-cut at 54-3.
Lane’s 12-8 lead was one of the widest margins in the Elite Series’ nine-year history. The largest was 12-15 by Idaho’s Brandon Palaniuk at the 2011 Bull Shoals event in Arkansas after three days of competition. (Palaniuk won by 12-14.)
Lane was not entirely pleased with Saturday’s conditions.
“I still caught quite a few fish today, but to me the bite was off,” Lane said.
While he had a productive St. Johns lake to himself for two days, where he’s been flipping and pitching into vegetation, he had company Saturday. Lane said they were recreational anglers who showed up to fish what was probably their favorite place.
Other factors came into play too.
“It’s shallow where I am, and the water was murkier. One of my areas I didn’t even get to fish today because the wind was blowing so hard out of the west, making that water difficult to fish,” Lane said.
Lane weighed a 9-10 as his largest bass of the day.
“I’m going to concentrate on my area tomorrow and see if I can’t put enough weight in the boat to bust this thing out, maybe get five of those 9-pounders,” he said.
Lane said he wants to hit the “century” mark, or 100 pounds in one event. Twenty-five pounds would get him there. And once he had 25 pounds, he’d come back to the docks, he said, even if hours were left in the competition day.
Hite was in second place on Day 1, then plunged to 10th on Day 2. He recovered nicely to recapture second on Day 3, thanks in part to an 8-pounder, his largest of the day.
“I caught a lot more fish, and I lost a nice fish or two, and still had almost 25 pounds,” he said. “I think tomorrow I can catch 30 pounds. I would not have said so yesterday, but now I feel like I can. Chris did it yesterday.”
Hite said he’s boating prespawn bass and postspawn bass. He said he caught about 20 keepers Saturday.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog
The Maryland Division 21 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will open its 2014 tournament season March 29 on the Potomac River. The competitors will launch at Smallwood State Park, located at 5700 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 28 at Smallwood State Park. To register for this tournament, see enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100. Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Anglers planning to throw an Alabama rig or other multi-bait rig in Maryland waters may only use up to two hooks. Anglers may use either a Maryland or a Virginia license to fish in most of the Potomac River. However, anyone fishing north of the Interstate 95 bridge must buy a Washington, D.C. fishing license. For a Virginia fishing license information, call 1-866-721-6911 or see For Maryland fishing license information, call 1-855-855-3906 or see For a Washington, D.C. license, call 800-855-1000 or see In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co- angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses. One of the best bass lakes in the nation, the Potomac River ranks Number 19 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. The Potomac runs 383 miles from the mountains of West Virginia to Chesapeake Bay. The river drains an area of about 14,700 square miles, making it the fourth largest river on the Atlantic coast and 21st largest in the United States. The river passes between Washington D.C. and Virginia, within sight of many national monuments and historic landmarks. The river produces good numbers of small fish and quite a few bass in the 3- to 8-pound range. Many anglers fish the thick grass mats. To fish the grass, anglers need to either go over or through the mats. Many anglers work buzzing frogs, senkos or flukes over the grass tops. If a fish blows up at a frog, but misses, immediately follow up with a more subtle Texas-rigged stick bait. Anglers also work the grassy edges with Texas-rigged worms or punch heavy jigs through the pads. Peg or glue the weight to a plastic creature bait or use a jighead rig. Drop the baits vertically between pads and bounce them up and down a bit before slipping it through another crack in the vegetation. Anglers also flip plastics under shady docks or work swimbaits parallel to grassy edges. During a March 23, 2013, tournament on the Potomac River, Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 19.35 pounds. He fished deep water near a small rock pile just off the main river channel with a 1/2-ounce jig. Christiana D. Bradley of Bealeton, Va., won the tournament big bass title with a 5.38-pounder. In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Anthony Lohr of Hamstead, Md., landed a three-fish division limit going 7.83 pounds. He capped his catch with a 3.39-pounder. Lohr caught most of his fish on rattle baits and chattering baits. David A. Zimmerman of Bristol, Pa., won the Co-Angler Division lunker competition with a 4.41-pounder. For more information on this tournament, call Gary Conner, tournament manager, at 256-230-5627 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see Courtesy of ABA/David Hagood

Posted By The Bass Hog
ABA to offer Sponsorship into the Opens or Everstart to Champions. ATHENS, Ala. – The Virginia Division 19 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will open its 2014 season on March 22 with a tournament on Kerr Lake near Boydton, Va. The competitors will launch at North Bend Marina, located at 64 North Bend Drive in Boydton. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 21 at the Comfort Inn in South Hill. To register for this tournament, see To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co- anglers paying $100. In addition, ABA members enjoy these other these other benefits: - No more dual membership to fish the Weekend Bass Series. - No more credit card processing fees for tournament entries. - Liability insurance requirements have been reduced to an acceptable level for weekend anglers. - Increased payback at divisional events from 20 percent of the field to 25 percent of the field. - 2014 Champions will win sponsorship that includes Entry Fees and support in the either the 2015 Opens or 2015 Everstart! Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Since the lake borders Virginia and North Carolina, anglers may use a license from either state. For North Carolina fishing license information, see or call 888-248-6834. For a Virginia fishing license information, call 866-721-6911 or see In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co- angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses. At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships. One of the best bass lakes in the nation, Kerr Lake ranks Number 83 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. Officially called John H. Kerr Reservoir, but also known as Bugg’s Island Lake, the impoundment straddles the Virginia-North Carolina line and can produce bass exceeding eight pounds. The largest lake in Virginia dates back to 1947 with the construction of the John H. Kerr Dam on the Roanoke River, called the Staunton River in Virginia. Kerr Lake covers nearly 50,000 acres of Vance, Granville and Warren counties in North Carolina and Mecklenburg, Charlotte and Halifax counties in Virginia. The lake offers anglers more than 850 miles of shoreline. The Dan River and several smaller tributaries feed into the system. During a May 25, 2013, tournament on Kerr Lake, Rob Digh of Denver, N.C., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 14.18 pounds topped by a 3.57-pound kicker. Digh caught most of his fish on a chatterbait, a jig and a few on a topwater bait fished in water three to five feet deep. Kent “Goat” Medlin of Jacksonville, N.C., set the tournament lunker standard with a 4.50-pounder. Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood.

Posted By The Bass Hog
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Could be J Todd Tucker is the most pumped pro in the 108-man Bassmaster Elite Series field. He has good reason to be: The Moultrie, Ga., angler’s home water is Lake Seminole, the fishery for the first Elite Series event of the season, the Dick Cepek Tires Bassmaster Elite Series at Lake Seminole presented by Hardee’s. The 2014 season kickoff will take place March 13-16 out of Bainbridge, Ga. The pros are vying for a first-place prize of $100,000 and an automatic berth in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. All pros are fishing to earn points that count toward the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award and Classic qualification. Tucker is focused on all those prizes, but he, of course, also wants to make a good showing in front of a home-state crowd. Not that a Georgia jinx is on his mind. He gives no credence to the adage that competitions on home water come with inflated expectations that pressure the home-state angler to stumble or even fall. “I’m not saying I will win, but my experience on Seminole will help,” said Tucker, who’s been fishing the lake since his family moved to Georgia when he was 13 years old. “There are places I’ve caught fish consistently for 20 years. But the stars have to align to win an Elite tournament, no matter where you’re from.” Lake Seminole is in prime shape to produce big bags of bass, Tucker said. “The lake has been very, very strong for the past four or five years, exploding with good quality fish. I can just about guarantee you right now that our average fish weighed in will be 3.75 pounds,” he said. One reason is that the bass have had time to grow. Several years ago, overgrown hydrilla cut off access to many of the fishery’s sweetest spots. Fishing pressure was minimized. “Now, rain and cold dropped the hydrilla back some,” he said. “It’s still plentiful, but a lot of those good spots we used to fish are now exposed again.” Even the male bass are big in Seminole, he said. That fact will contribute to five-fish limits and big daily bags for most in the Elite field, he predicted. “We’ll see a lot of five 5-pounders,” he said. “And a lot of 22-, 23-, even 26-pound bags.” Tucker, like everyone in the Elite field, hasn’t been allowed on the lake since the official off-limits period began Feb. 13. But he suspects that the recent cold weather delayed the spawn. That means sight fishing, as well as flipping to vegetation could factor into success. “In past years, we’ve had a spawn in January, but water temperatures stayed below 50 degrees this January,” he said. “That’s the coldest water I remember in the last 15 years. I’m guessing some of those fish are just moving up now.” Recent rains have muddied Seminole’s water. Yet there are so many backwater ponds and spring-fed spots, Elite pros will be able to find clear water. Tournament waters include Spring Creek and the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers as well as the main lake. Seminole is described by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as having 37,500 acres and 376 miles of shoreline. That gives Elite anglers many choices — perhaps too many. “You can spend too much time eliminating a lot of ‘dead’ water,” Tucker said. “The fish are big, but they’re just not everywhere. Patterns are hard to establish.” Even with his strong home-lake advantage, Tucker will face fierce competition. Although the Elite Series has never stopped at Lake Seminole, 13 Bassmaster events have been held on the fishery since 1995, giving many Elite Series anglers a history there. Three have claimed wins in tour-level events: Shaw Grigsby (2000), Michael Iaconelli (2002) and Gary Klein (2003). Two other Elite pros — Cliff Prince and Randall Tharp — made the Top 5 in the most recent Bassmaster tournament on Seminole, the 2010 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open presented by Allstate. The Elite Series’ first Seminole competition will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET March 13. Courtesy of BASS Communications.