FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
“I’ll take the memory of that day to my grave,” said Jason Johnson, the day after he and Repel pro Cody Meyer put together a 38-pound limit of spotted bass. Little did he know that limit would turn out to be the “smaller” limit of spots just a couple of days later. Johnson, a longtime co-angler on the Walmart FLW Tour who plans to compete as a rookie pro in 2015, has been planning to make it out west, away from his native Lake Lanier, for a while. So far, the trip has been worth it. After cracking a 30-pound limit on a local largemouth lake to start the trip, Meyer and Johnson never returned to it – the lure of the region’s magnum spotted bass was too strong, and the spotted bass fishing has been far too good. They shared their story, which has been playing out on Meyer and Johnson’s Facebook pages this week.
It seems that 2014 was a good year for tech junkies who love to fish. Not only did Apple release the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but Lowrance just unveiled its new HDS Gen3 system, which includes a trio of touch-screen units. Best of all, the third generation of HDS technology now allows you to synch data wirelessly with your other devices.
Tour Talk is a regular column where members of FLW’s media team and industry professionals – pundits, if you will – answer questions regarding tournament results, top pros and industry trends. On the agenda in this installment are the Rayovac FLW Series Championship, changes to the Walmart FLW Tour and the future of FLW College fishing.
Rod lockers require extra tugging to loosen frosty grips, and your shadow swells with the layers of fleece and hooded sweatshirts. Nevertheless, bass will still bite when frosty air nips at your nose. Walmart pro Wesley Strader knows that despite the shivering conditions, this time of year is ripe with big-bass potential.
David A. Brown
In the wake of recent news that Bass Pro Group has acquired Ranger Boats, as well as Triton and Stratos brands, from Platinum Equity, folks in the industry immediately began asking questions about the future of the iconic boat builder, its relationship with FLW, and whether or not the acquisition would lead to positive change for the industry.
FLW, the world’s largest bass fishing tournament organization, has announced a sponsorship agreement with Navionics, a leader in electronic navigation charts and systems for marine and outdoor sporting use.
Bass Pro Group announced today an agreement to acquire Fishing Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer of fishing boats that include Ranger Boats and the Stratos and Triton boat brands from Platinum Equity.
With Philip Jarabeck
In Episode 57, hosts Jody White and Kyle Wood cover some recent FLW news, talk about Jody’s recent trip to Ranger Boats and give a tip about jerkbait fishing. Additionally, Jody talks with FLW Tour pro Philip Jarabeck about his 2014 season, how he made his way to the FLW Tour, fishing in Florida and his five favorite hardbaits.
Brush Pile Basics
December and January are the two months when anglers really start preparing for the coming season, whether it’s firming up sponsorships, planning tournament schedules or restocking baits and equipment. This is also the time of year when a lot of anglers plant cover in the lake or the lakes where they fish so they’ll be productive the following year.
Don’t let the chill of Jack Frost dissuade you from getting out on the lake this winter. Fish are still catchable, and bass will often congregate in schools this time of year, so the action can be faster than you’d expect once you find them.
A comparison of fishing styles
The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup will always be remembered as one of the most intense championships in FLW Outdoors history. In the end, a single ounce separated winner Anthony Gagliardi from runner-up Scott Canterbury.
FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, has announced a multiyear sponsorship renewal with Strike King Lure Company, an industry-leading manufacturer of lures, baits and fishing apparel.
With Matt Arey
In Episode 56, hosts Jody White and Kyle Wood talk with FLW Tour pro Matt Arey about his 2014 season, the recent co-angler rule changes, hunting, tackle organization and his plans for 2015. Then they dig into some recent news, ranging from Yamamoto Baits signing with FLW to their respective Thanksgiving breaks.
MINNEAPOLIS – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a continued partnership with JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems. 2015 will mark the fifth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FLW announced today that Buck Knives has signed a multiyear sponsorship agreement with the company.
The late fall-early winter period finds Walmart FLW Tour pro Jonathon Newton snooping around the creeks of Pickwick Lake and other Tennessee River impoundments in search of bass rounding up remaining shad.
David A. Brown
Consider the following fishermen who have reasons to be especially grateful this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving usually brings a lot of family time, but it can also give you a little time to get on the water, either on a local lake that has been left alone while many outdoorsmen focus more on hunting season, or on a relative’s farm pond. If you do decide to go fishing during the holiday, the tips from these pros might help you put a few more in the boat or on the bank.
The fishing season can be quite a grind, and almost everyone on Tour has had to fish through some type of ailment for at least a little while. The pros below all had some more serious issues, and they took time in the offseason to address them.
FLW and Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, a leading manufacturer of premium fishing tackle, have announced a sponsorship agreement for the 2015 season. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
FLW’s senior director of tournament operations highlights what’s coming in 2015
For a lot of FLW anglers, it’s crunch time in regards to sewing up sponsorships for 2015. Whether you’re fishing at the high school or college level, in BFLs, the Rayovac FLW Series or on the Walmart FLW Tour, gaining some form of sponsorship is critical to enabling you to make a profit from competitive fishing.
Todd and Troy Hollowell each filming fishing show
Todd is the Type A older brother with an obsession for bass fishing. Troy is the Type B younger sibling that enjoys the whole buffet, whether it’s bass, crappie, walleye, muskie or whatever.
Sometimes even the bad things that happen to people have unintended consequences that are good.
With Michael Neal
In Episode 55, hosts Jody White and Kyle Wood talk with FLW Tour pro Michael Neal about his 2014 season, how he fishes umbrella rigs on Lake Chickamauga, his Thanksgiving plans and his outlook for 2015. Then they dig into some recent news and talk about their own Thanksgiving plans.
A strong, gusting wind can really have a negative effect on fishing. If you’re sight-fishing, fishing drop-shots or fishing targets in clear water that you need to see, wind definitely works against you. It affects the action of a lure, your ability to feel the bait and how you present it.
We spent an afternoon with Walmart pro Mark Rose on Kentucky Lake this Fall. Rose discusses fall fishing tactics, his career, and his Outdoor Ministry.
With Troy Hollowell
In Episode 54, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with FLW Tour pro Troy Hollowell about his rookie season, his recent shoulder surgery, the new Big Humble crankbait from CP Baits and his outlook for 2015. Then they dig into some recent news, talk about ranking anglers and play a game on Joe’s final episode.
For some reason, this time of year smallmouths like to hang around objects in the water, whether it’s just a small feature or something as big as a car. They’ll still move around, but it’s like they move from rock pile to rock pile – or whatever – instead of just swimming around aimlessly. So you’re target-casting at objects that are likely to be holding fish.
Even the best pros take a wrong turn in the road once in awhile
The top pro anglers “lose” far more than they win. Even making the top 10, which is considered a good finish, still isn’t winning. After all, who remembers the guy who finished sixth a Beaver Lake nine years ago?
Stop number 5 of the Walmart FLW Tour brings JT Kenney and Chad Grigsby to Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. Tensions rise during ledge fishing events, when multiple boaters often crowd around the same choice spots. Can the guys each muscle their way in and turn around their lackluster 2014 season?
It’s been a couple months since I fished my last FLW event, the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., where I got to watch history in the making. The championship weigh-in was very exciting as it featured the local favorite Anthony Gagliardi taking home the top prize with a 1-ounce margin of victory.
Another year gone, and another off-season flying by. I’m still trying to catch up on all the stuff around the house that I let go during the season. Chores like painting the garage or little fix-it-up jobs around the house and yard seem to never end. By the way, I am currently fighting it out with fire ants, and even though they seem to have won most of the battles so far, I guarantee they will not win the war.
With Jason Johnson
Today’s Lowrance sonar/GPS combos are so powerful, even the entry-level units are waaaay more advanced than what was available just a few years ago before we had GPS, SideScan or DownScan.
Forrest Wood Cup Champion, Anthony Gagliardi appeared on Good Morning Columbia to discuss his win on Lake Murray and how he has spent his winnings.
In late summer, one fishing pattern is to flip and pitch jigs or soft plastics, or to fish frogs, in matted grass where bass are hunting for bluegills and minnows to eat. When does this pattern stop?
In terms of depth, there’s not much difference between 3.2 feet and 4.8 feet – a bit over a foot and a half. In fish-catching terms, however, the difference in the fall could amount to 20 pounds of bass.
With Adrian Avena
In Episode 50, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena about fishing his way up from college, his practice for the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake and his 2015 goals. Then they review the FLW action on Clear Lake, break down the Northern Conference Invitational on the Potomac River, look ahead to the weekend’s slate of tournaments, and give the BFL Weekly Update.
Take a in depth look at Frog Fishing with Ish Monroe.
With Clent Davis
With Jay Yelas
In Episode 48, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with Chevy pro Jay Yelas about the upcoming Rayovac on Sam Rayburn and his season on Tour. Then they cover some recent news, make picks for the Rayovac Rumble, talk with FLW Tour pro Clent Davis about his new puppy, preview the weekend’s slate of BFL Regionals and give the BFL Weekly Update.
Right now a lot of tournament fishermen are trying to land sponsor deals for 2015. Consequently, I guess it’s pretty accurate to say that the No. 1 question any long-term pro angler gets asked this time of year is, “How do I get sponsors?”
With Travis Fox
In Episode 47, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with FLW Tour pro Travis Fox about getting into fishing, his finish in the Rayovac on the Mississippi River and winning the Strike King Angler of the Year title in the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division. Then they review the Rayovac on the Mississippi, congratulate Greg Hackney, play a little Over/Under and give the BFL Weekly Update.
Fishermen are starting to catch on to the importance of profile when using buzzbaits, especially in the fall when the fish are more particular. When you’re fishing a buzzbait and the fish either miss it or just swirl at it, usually it’s a speed thing or the profile in the water isn’t right. They’re keying on something, and you’ve got to figure it out.
Tournament season is a busy time for professional anglers. For the wives they leave behind at home, life is busy too, especially if the wives are also moms. For our family, the 2014 season was one full of trials.
To begin my ridiculously long off-season, I’ll reflect on my 2014 tournament season. The Walmart FLW Tour was hard on me. Of course, it started with that mechanical disaster en route to the first-day weigh-in at Okeechobee (the season-opener) and concluded with my first whiff on the Forrest Wood Cup in 13 years. I’ve erased it completely already, so I can’t reflect on any of it. It was atrocious!
With Greg Bohannan
In Episode 46, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan about his season, the upcoming Rayovac FLW Series event on the Mississippi River, the Everett Chevrolet Big Bass Tournament and a variety of other topics. Then they review the College Fishing Invitational on Kentucky Lake, preview the Rayovac, talk about a few other FLW topics and give the BFL Weekly Update.
We’re still not done with summer yet, but the season is changing and putting the fish closer to the bank again. My three go-to baits for this time of year are a Brian’s Bee, a small Yamamoto buzzbait rigged with a Zoom Horny Toad instead of a skirt and a Yamamoto Chikara 100 square-bill.
The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame (The Hall) in Hayward, Wis., recently announced its 2015 class of Hall of Fame inductees, and the list includes FLW President of Marketing Trisha Blake and FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. The Bass Federation, FLW’s partner in fishing, was also inducted as an organization.
When David Dudley was a kid, he started playing football, basketball and baseball with the same intensity that he eventually brought to tournament fishing. From the time he was 6 until he graduated from high school, he was involved in intermural sports every season: flat-out and full speed ahead.
Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” might be too dramatic a description, but the message of a man’s commitment to individuality and doing things his way certainly fits Walmart FLW Tour pro Scott Martin.
David A. Brown
With Bill Taylor
In Episode 45, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with FLW Tour Tournament Director Bill Taylor about putting together schedules, the date change for the FLW Tour event at Chickamauga, his appearance on the "Scott Martin Challenge" and a few other topics. Then they review the College Fishing event on New Melones, preview the College Fishing Central Conference Invitational on Kentucky Lake and give the BFL Weekly Update. ?
I knew I was going to fish the Forrest Wood Cup on March 8, 2014, when my University of Minnesota teammate Austin Felix and I won the FLW College Fishing National Championship and earned a spot in the biggest tournament of the year. The Cup is a tournament every angler dreams of fishing, but I had no idea what the implications of a berth in this legendary tournament would bring.
FLW announced Friday that the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga, originally slated for June 4-7, 2015, has been rescheduled to take place the following week, June 11-14, 2015 to avoid a conflict with the recently announced 2015 B.A.S.S. Elite Series. Take-off and weigh-in locations remain unchanged.
When the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour kicks off, California pro Jimmy Reese will be embarking on his first season – a rookie in the strictest sense of the term, but hardly a novice.
With Peyote Perryman
In Episode 44, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with Peyote Perryman, Executive Producer of “FLW” the TV show, about how the show is made, some of his favorite moments from his time filming, the future of bass-fishing television and a variety of other subjects. Then they preview the weekend’s slate of FLW events, from the FLW College Fishing event on New Melones to the six BFL super-tournaments.
A lot of the guys in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray caught fish by skipping buzzbaits under docks. A buzzbait isn’t a lure that you would normally associate with skipping docks, but you can’t argue with success. The only rule is that the flatter the bait, the better you can skip it – like a flat rock skips better than a round one.
Many miles up the Saluda River arm of Lake Murray, where the channel narrows and the shorelines are lined with thickets of shady willow trees, Steve Kennedy nearly made history on the final day of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.
You’ve heard about Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi’s storybook season, and the techniques he used to win the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. Beyond that, we thought it was time to get to know the South Carolina pro himself.
Bass fishing: the sport that we all love so much. It has been a huge part of my life for many years. In fact, it’s been a huge part of my life for almost all of my years.
With Bryan New
In Episode 43, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with Forrest Wood Cup co-angler champion Bryan New about his experience at the Cup, practicing with Chevy pro Bryan Thrift and his future plans. Then they break down some recent FLW tournament news, talk about Anthony Gagliardi’s place in history, who will be the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion and then recap the BFL Weekly Update.
This past week, Bryan fished his eighth Forrest Wood Cup. Wylie and I joined him in Lexington for the entire week, practice included. We normally just come the Wednesday before a tournament starts, but this one was close to home, and with so much to do in nearby Columbia, we thought it would be a great idea to go early.
Hot spots run out, get moved in on by others and change with conditions, but the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup wasn’t about spots. Lake Murray’s deep fish followed roving herring, and shallow fish were widespread. Therefore, most pros changed areas daily, moved frequently through the day or stayed on the move all the time. Some ran specific patterns, while others junk-fished. Unpredictable action, including inexplicable hero-to-zero days, began during practice, and everyone knew the uncertainty would continue through the tournament. Of course, knowing that today’s action promises nothing about tomorrow doesn’t make it any easier when the bite actually tapers and keeps you out of a cut or prevents you from finishing the job, especially when you’re fishing for half a million dollars and the title of world champion. We asked several pros that experienced a costly drop-off to share their perspective on what went wrong.
Anthony Gagliardi didn’t even have time to savor his Forrest Wood Cup victory on Lake Murray before the naysayers started showing up. He isn’t a good sportsman, say some. His victory should be nullified, say others.
With Anthony Gagliardi
In Episode 42, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with Forrest Wood Cup champion Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi about his experience at the Cup, his day four, his future goals and plans for the $500,000. Then they break down the Cup, from the weigh-in to Lake Murray, before previewing the Rayovac FLW Series event on the James River and the College Fishing event on Lake Chautauqua.
I understood Anthony Gagliardi’s strategy as I watched him on the final morning of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup, but it still was odd to watch. He wasn’t casting at all. Just standing, watching and waiting. He was waiting to cast to largemouths when they busted blueback herring on the surface. Fish feeding on herring during the summer only come up for an instant, and the only way to catch them is to cast immediately to the spot where they break. Gagliardi didn’t want his bait a cast’s distance away to the left when he really needed to make a cast to the right. And so he waited. “That’s the best way to do it when they’re schooling,” Gagliardi said during the press conference right after he won the championship. “When one breaks you have about three seconds to put the bait there.”
Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi achieved what had been considered by many to be an impossible goal here Sunday in bass fishing’s richest championship tournament. After disqualification from the season-opening Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee because of an inadvertent rules infraction, the South Carolina angler completed a five-tournament comeback in regular season to qualify for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. Finally, here before a standing-room-only crowd in Colonial Life Arena, Gagliardi capped off his comeback by winning the four-day test on Lake Murray, his home fishery. Gagliardi’s four-day weight of 51 pounds, 2 ounces earned him $500,000 For the complete story of Gagliardi’s championship victory, click here. Visit ForrestWoodCup.com for complete results. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 earned their share of the $1.2 million tournament purse.
Curtis Niedermier and Kyle Wood
Watch South Carolina's Anthony Gagliardi win the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Murray.
With the Forrest Wood Cup in town, the mention of bass is no rarity for Columbia, S.C. But how about salmon, trout, pike, sunfish, triggerfish, sailfish, catfish and marlin? Well, thanks to the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art contest, the town is enjoying a good dose of piscatorial diversity. Now in its 16th year, the contest is open to kindergarten through high school students. Contestants were judged on their artwork, along with accompanying essays explaining the related conservation thoughts behind their work. Students throughout the U.S. and Canada can focus on any official state fish, regardless of where they live. Entries from Spain and the Philippines were also accepted. Wildlife Forever (wildlifeforever.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving America’s wildlife heritage by developing stewardship, hosts the annual event for state finalists in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup. Doug Grann, the group’s president, says that teaching aquatic education through the arts provides a natural bridge to young minds.
David A. Brown
How much is enough? For Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, it was an ounce. That’s what it took to edge Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury and win the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country with 51 pounds, 2 ounces. Gagliardi hoisted the Cup before a packed house at Colonial Life Arena. Details on top finishers will follow, but here’s the upshot: Just 11 ounces separated first and fifth places. For fans of this sport, a weigh-in like this delivers memories not soon forgotten. Safe to say, that sentiment runs a good bit deeper for the local favorite from Prosperity, S.C. “It just falls in line with everything else that happened this year,” he says. “I made it into the (Cup) by one ounce. It’s just fitting.”
David A. Brown
Day 3 interviews with Brent Ehrler, Bryan Thrift, Anthony Gagliardi, Scott Canterbury, and Casey Ashley from the Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Murray, SC.
Get ready Arkansas because the Forrest Wood Cup is returning to Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita Aug. 20-23, 2015. FLW and Visit Hot Springs made the official site announcement tonight at the day-three weigh-in of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C. The event will be held at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, formerly known as Summit Arena.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun,” wrote British poet Rudyard Kipling. Obviously, he didn’t know any bass fishermen. Philip Jarabeck is sweltering as waves of invisible UV rays from the overhead sun scorch any exposed layers of his skin. If that weren’t bad enough, he’s also feeling the heat of a.) leading the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup here on Lake Murray on day three, and b.) not catching any bass on a regular basis in this, the semi-final round of 20 aspiring pros. Time is ticking away, and the day is getting hotter. Around his Castrol flagship, eight boatloads of faithful fans wait patiently for him to rear back on his rod and bring a quality fish to the boat. The one bass presently residing in his livewell isn’t going to keep him in the game, much less in the Cup’s spotlight, as only the top 10 anglers from today’s competition will move on to the championship round.
Calm conditions served up a tough bite for the young guns competing in day one of The Bass Federation Junior World Championship on Lake Wateree in South Carolina. Sean King of Villa Hills, Ky., brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces to take the overall lead among the field of youths competing in 11-to-14 and 15-to-18-year-old age groups. King is competing with the older anglers, while James Fields of Anthem, Ariz., tops the 11-to-14-year-old age group with three bass for 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
Day 2 interviews with Philip Jarabeck, Brent Ehrler, Bryan Thrift, Michael Wooley, Jacob Wheeler, and Anthony Gagliardi from the Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Murray, SC.
“I’ve often said there are a lot more good people than bad people. The bad ones just get all the publicity. We wanted to give attention to a good one,” said Forrest L. Wood, the namesake of the Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award, as he helped honor this year’s award recipient, Rich Dalbey, on stage before the day-two weigh-in at the Forrest Wood Cup. The annual award recognizes a Walmart FLW Tour pro who exemplifies ideals of sportsmanship and community leadership. Dalbey, who just completed his second year on Tour as a professional angler, was selected in part based on the task he took on of coordinating food drives at every FLW Tour stop.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – When Bryan New left the dock at Dreher Island State Park this morning, he could hardly control his excitement. Before him lay an opportunity, and it was an opportunity he believed he could seize. After catching 7 pounds, 9 ounces on day one of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, New came into today’s competition atop the co-angler leaderboard by more than 2 pounds. All he needed to do was catch a couple of solid fish and he’d have a shot at the win. Three keepers would almost certainly seal the deal. After two consecutive top-five finishes at the Forrest Wood Cup, this was New’s best shot at the title. And he went out and earned it.
Suffice it to say that Philip Jarabeck has admired the accomplishments of his uncle, Castrol pro David Dudley, but today he showed there’s plenty of talent in the family by taking over the lead Dudley set on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country. Dudley, a past Forrest Wood Cup champion, posted the event’s heaviest sack with his first-round weight of 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Today, Jarabeck hauled in 17 pounds and raced up the standings from his 19th-place finish on day one. “I was just super-blessed today,” Jarabeck says. “I had a great day today. I culled three or four times. I had multiple keepers that I threw back.”
David A. Brown