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Posted By The Bass Hog

TROUT CREEK, Mont. — Chris Felty’s day didn’t go as planned, but he’s OK with that. The Idaho angler found his groove on Montana’s Noxon Reservoir and now leads on Day 1 of the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Western Divisional.
“This morning, I went to my No. 1 spot from practice,” said Felty of Caldwell, Idaho, “but all the good fish were gone. So I moved into current and just started looking for smallmouth.”
His Plan B paid off, and he brought in a bag of 13 pounds, 11 ounces, nearly a pound heavier than anyone else in the field.
“It was a grind to get my weight,” Felty said, but he managed it with a mixed bag of four smallmouth and one largemouth.
Felty has been a member of Boise Bass, an Idaho B.A.S.S. Nation club, for two years, and this is his first B.A.S.S. Nation divisional.
“I’ve never led a tournament before,” he said. “It’s tough. You can lose on the first day, but you can’t win on the first day.”
Now, Felty has pressure on him.
“I’m just going to go back and chase smallmouth tomorrow,” he said. “The water will get dirtier, so I have to have enough patience to get it going and wait for the bite to happen.”
Although no one is right on his heels, the rest of the anglers in the Top 12 have more than 12 pounds, so they’re not that far back. Half the field caught five-fish limits, and a handful of the anglers weighed in bass on Day 1 that exceeded 3 pounds. His 1-pound margin is healthy but doesn’t give him much wiggle room.
Felty’s overall lead helped his state team to a second-place standing after Day 1. Idaho has a cumulative weight of 106 pounds, 5 ounces, and throughout the weigh-in, it swapped the top spot back and forth with Montana. Montana, the host state, ultimately ended the day in first place with 114 pounds.
“Last time we hosted the divisional, we didn’t do that well,” said Curtis Spindler, Montana B.A.S.S. Nation president. “We had good anglers then, and we have good anglers now. So we’re going to try our best to win this time.”
In the lead for Montana is Tim Johnston of Kalispell, Mont., who won the top spot on Montana’s team last year and went on to compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic after winning the West at the national championship. He’s vying for another top spot and potential trip to the Classic.
“I still can’t get over the fact that I was in the Classic,” said Johnston. “I had dreams about it for three weeks afterward. I want to go back.”
If Johnston maintains his lead for Montana, he’ll compete in the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Louisiana’s Ouachita River, Nov. 6-8. Currently on deck to join him are Felty for Idaho; Eric Hammer, Arizona; Dwayne Fochler, California; Scott Sheldon, Colorado; Kevin Wiggins, Nevada; Kyle Price, New Mexico; Michael Gibney, Oregon; Don Allphin, Utah; Mitch Ratchford, Washington; and Bill Golightly, Wyoming.
On Thursday, will continue coverage of the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Western Divisional. Takeoff is at Lakeside Motel and Resort Boat Launch in Trout Creek, Mont., at 6 a.m. MT. Competition concludes on Friday, May 23.
                               Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog


FLW Series Logo

Vieira wins co-angler title
BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. (May 17, 2014) – Mark Daniels Jr. of Fairfield, Calif., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event on the California Delta presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 72 pounds, 7 ounces. For his victory, Daniels Jr. earned $38,664.
      “I’m just speechless,” said the reigning TBF National Champion on stage immediately after finding out he had secured the win. “Looking out in the crowd, there are so many people here who supported me. It’s great to get home and relax and get a win in this tournament.
      “I came home to surprise my mom and I hooked up with a couple of my buddies. We went out fishing and had a really good day,” said Daniels Jr. “We caught a really good fish that I posted on Instagram, and that gave me an idea of what I could do to win the tournament. I made up my mind and signed up for the tournament the next day.
      “I was targeting pre-spawn fish,” Daniels Jr. explained. “I was targeting fish that wanted to actually bite. I don’t like looking at them on beds. There are so many different ways you can catch them pre-spawn on the Delta. That was the way to go.
      “Today, I didn’t have any really big ones,” said Daniels Jr. “I had some six-pounders, though. I started out throwing topwaters and I was just catching small fish. Around 8 o’clock in the morning I swapped over and started flipping and immediately caught a four-pounder. After that I pretty much locked that rod in my hand the whole day.”
      Daniels Jr. said he caught most of his fish on a white-colored River2Sea Bully Wa Frog, a black-colored D&M Custom Baits Slow Roller Buzzbait, a Yamamoto Senko and an undisclosed beaver-style bait.
          Darren Vieira of Martinez, Calif., 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 42 pounds, 2 ounces.
                                         Courtesy of

Posted By The Bass Hog

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Saturday, after holding on to the lead in the May 15-18 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Dardanelle by 13 ounces, Greg Hackney said he might be left with too many choices for Sunday’s final round.
“I honestly couldn’t even say what I’m going to do tomorrow,” he said after weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces for a three-day total of 56-8 and the tournament lead for two days running.
“I know too many places,” said the Arkansas native now living in Gonzales, La. “Should I go here, should I go there? You’re liable to pull up and catch them anywhere, with the good conditions we have right now — if you’re doing the right thing. The lake is full of fish.”
Born in Star City, Ark., Hackney cut his fishing teeth on the Arkansas River, including its Lake Dardanelle impoundment. That ingrained knowledge of the river fishery has helped him immensely at this Elite event.
Every bass angler knows the name of the angler Hackney led by 13 ounces: Rick Clunn. From Ava, Mo., Clunn is a 32-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and holder of 14 Bassmaster titles, including four prestigious Classic crowns.
In the Dardanelle event — the 401st Bassmaster competition of his storied career — Clunn moved up from fifth place after posting 19 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday for a three-day weight of 55-11, enough to launch a serious bid for the win. It would be his first Bassmaster victory since 2002.
Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, bettered his position Saturday by one tick, inching up into third place. He brought 17-11 to the scales for a three-day tally of 54-3.
In fourth place was Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., who has moved steadily up the leaderboard each day. He was in 26th place after Day 1, and in 10th place after Day 2 before nailing fourth place at 53-1.
Keeping a remarkable recovery going, Cliff Crochet ended the third round in fifth place at 52-5. The pro from Pierre Part, La., produced 19-plus-pounds two days running to pull out of his 70th place standing on the first day.
Those five pros lead the 12 who qualified for the championship round on Sunday. First prize is $100,000 and an instant-in to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.
Hackney will start the final day with just 13 ounces on Clunn and 2-5 on Combs. The spread between first and 12th place is 7-15. Making all the right choices from the many options in his mind could prove to be his biggest challenge.
There’s one thing Hackney feels sure about as he heads to the final round and a possible second Elite victory of his career: He won’t go home with the girl he brought to the dance.
“I feel like I worked my two areas over pretty good, and I’d be surprised if I’d be able to go back in there and get a bunch of bites,” Hackney said. “I fished really slow and thorough for two days there. But I probably won’t go too far.”
And he isn’t likely to beat the riprap along Dardanelle’s many bridges, a strategy of many pros in the Dardanelle event.
Hackney was cryptic about what he has been doing; Elite pros know they can’t give up any information that might help their competitors. But he did say that so far, he hasn’t burnt much gas to get to his productive areas.
His Saturday bag of five largemouth bass weighing 16-10 contained all “litter mates,” he said. Those were the best of about the 20 keepers he landed.
He said everything is going according to his master plan formulated in the event’s three days of practice.
Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Jacob Pr

MANY, La. — With a one-two, the rookie won.
Jacob Powroznik delivered that punch Sunday in the form of two good-sized bass in the last hours of competition of the four-day Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend.
“I’m speechless. That doesn’t happen very often,” said Powroznik as he accepted his first Bassmaster Elite Series trophy after competing in only four events in his first year on the top-level tour — and on a fishery on which he had never before competed.
From Port Haywood, Va., Powroznik claimed the first-place prize of $100,000 and an instant-in for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, his first world championship qualification.
“To get into the Classic feels like someone just gave me a million dollars,” said Powroznik after he stepped off the stage and got his voice back. “You don’t get many opportunities to win one of these events. It’s so hard to do. To do it my first year is a blessing.”
After leading on Friday, Powroznik was stumped in Saturday’s round by a disappearing shad spawn bite that had helped him considerably in the early morning hours of competition. Then he was smoked out of a promising spawning bass area by a controlled burn of Texas shoreline forest. Going into the Sunday finals, Powroznik had dropped more than 2 1/2 pounds behind the leader, two-time Bassmaster Toledo Bend champ Dean Rojas.
But Powroznik recovered nicely. In the final round, he decided to concentrate solely on bass on spawning beds. His strategy worked to the tune of 19-11, and a 79-12 tournament total.
Thanks to his two key keepers, he won by a margin of 2 pounds, 6 ounces over Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., who made a last-hour lunge at the trophy by producing 21-14, Sunday’s heaviest bag of bass. Rising from 10th place, Morgenthaler ended in the runner-up spot with a total of 77-6.
With the almost 8-pounder in his livewell, Powroznik said he was able to put the frustration of the previous day behind him.
Although smaller at about 5 pounds, his second key catch was “the highlight of my tournament,” Powroznik said. He caught it on his very last flip of the day.
“I found it earlier, and it would not take my bait,” he said. “I eased back in there later, and backed up into some shade. I had 10 minutes left to fish. I hopped the bait one time, and she ate it.”
The 5-pounder allowed him to cull a 1 1/2-pound bass, giving him the margin of victory.
Powroznik’s go-to lure for spawning bass was a 4-inch Berkley Power Hawg in the green pumpkin or red bug color. He rigged it with a 4/0 Mustad hook and 1/2-ounce Elite Tungsten weight.
“It’s my favorite bed-fishing bait. The thing I like about it is it falls straight down, it doesn’t veer off to the left or right,” he said.
The Toledo Bend event was the fourth of nine that will determine the 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner. Now with 392 points, Davis leads Lintner by 42 points, Todd Faircloth by 52 and Powroznik by 65. While a 42-point lead is considered healthy, Davis isn’t making room on his trophy shelf just yet. He doesn’t really want to even talk much about it.
“It’s still too early,” Davis said.
Powroznik held his lead in the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race. Going into the Toledo Bend event, Powroznik had five points on Morgenthaler; Powroznik now leads by six points.
Courtesy of BASS Communications.