When we last saw Jake Gipson, he was hoisting the FLW National College Fishing Championship Trophy above his head.
From shoeing horses to running with the pros
Patrick Bone now has switched to the pro side in the Walmart FLW Tour, and his first test will come at Lake Okeechobee in February. He’ll be fishing out of a Ranger Z119 pushed by a Mercury 225-horsepower engine.
A trick of the calendar put Thanksgiving and Christmas closer together than usual this year, but that seems appropriate to Kristopher Queen. In fact, as far as he’s concerned, Santa Claus has already visited and left him with plenty of reasons to be thankful.
Karl White hasn’t set up a display booth at the Forrest Wood Cup for a couple of years, but he’ll be back this year when the FLW Expo opens its doors in the Shreveport Convention Center Aug. 16-18.
EverStart Series Tournament Director Ron Lappin attended a meeting of stakeholders the other day in which the only topic of discussion was what has become known in colloquial fishing language as “jumping carp.”
If you stepped outside Tyler Stingley’s house and looked around, this is what you’d see: Toward the west, the Absaroka Range of the Rocky Mountains hang like smoke on the far side of a rippling ocean of hills; to the east loom the snowcapped Bighorn Mountains with their green skirt of lodgepole pines; north and south, a vast plain checkerboarded by verdant farmlands and barren badlands stretches beyond sight in either direction.
Doug Hannon passed away at his home on the Thursday before Easter when the world’s attention was focused elsewhere. That would suit him. Doug never sought the spotlight and the way he dressed and carried himself said so.
What’s the hottest bass lake in the country now? Okeechobee? Guntersville? Clear Lake? Close, but no cigars; as good as they are, probably none can hold a candle to Lake Chickamauga at the moment. The Tennessee River impoundment near Chattanooga has had heads shaking in disbelief lately because of the size of the stringers winning local tournaments.
After long hiatus, Crain getting back in the game in an attempt to make history
The last time Shirley Crain fished a tournament, there were no Alabama Rigs or rods with micro guides and nobody had won $1 million in a single tournament. Ranger’s Z-Comanche series was a year old, Jacob Wheeler was a high school kid and if you spotted a boat with a Power-Pole mounted at the stern, chances are it was floating in salt water.
He left quietly – perhaps too quietly considering who he was and what he had accomplished. He also left graciously, leaving behind an army of anglers who benefited from his example and his expertise. When Denny Brauer decided to retire from the pro ranks earlier this year, a huge chunk of fishing history went with him, a remarkable legacy established over a span that stretched from 1980 to the present time.
Fritts’ focus wavers momentarily from bass and tackle. This time of year, he’s in to pumpkins – big time. Back home in the Carolina Piedmont, the Fritts family is known far and wide for the quality and quantity of the pumpkins it grows: large ones and little ones in every shape, texture and hue. Pumpkins seemingly bubble out of the ground on the Fritts farm near Lexington, N.C., and most of them – upwards of 75,000 per year – will wind up on somebody’s stoop at Halloween or in somebody’s home at Thanksgiving as a decoration or in a pie.
Just as the Battle of Plattsburgh was a pivotal moment in the War of 1812, the latest confrontation there will settle some important issues as well. American forces turned back a British invasion of New York on the Lake Champlain corridor in 1814 with lots of noise, nail-biting and close calls. This year’s struggle will be a good deal less sanguine, but no doubt just as dramatic to the combatants.
Travis Loyd doesn’t want to think about carp when he goes bass fishing, but sometimes he can’t help it. At the Walmart FLW Major at Beaver Lake a couple of weeks ago, visions of Asian carp leaped into Loyd’s mind even as he was trying to win the event. He wound up finishing 35th, about a pound and a half out of making the Saturday cut but good enough for a $10,500 check, and perhaps he would have done better had he not been preoccupied with thoughts of carp.
When Scott Steil isn’t thinking about the weight he needs to win a walleye tournament, he’s thinking about the weight it will take to win the world championship in his other favorite type of competition. The magic number is 2,000 pounds – not as in fish, as in pumpkin.
From now through Easter, it’s FLW Week on eBay, where several autographed jerseys worn by FLW team pros are being auctioned to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. According to organizer Paul Strege, a freelance contributor to FLW Bass Fishing Magazine, he hopes to beat last year’s total of $8,400. Original owners of the jerseys being auctioned off include:
If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. In the parking lot of Breakaway Lodge on the Apalachicola River one hot summer morning, Shag Shahid put on a casting demonstration. He stood a volunteer with his back turned and his feet slightly spread apart about 10 yards away. Then Shag asked the volunteer to hook his shirt pocket open with his right thumb.
It’s been said that dogs are the only creatures that get to see God without having to die first. That’s because, to a dog, its owner is God: good, kind, all-knowing entertaining, perfect – irrespective of the occasional baths and unpleasant visits to the veterinarian.
It was a question posed by a man whose familiarity with the White River country compelled him to ask it: Why can’t minimum flowage be maintained in the river below Bull Shoals Dam?
Tournament fishing can be a grueling sport, especially in the summer. The temperature ranges from hot to sizzling, and the humidity-laden air barely stirs. The only relief you get is when you run from one spot to the next. As tough as it is for you, though, imagine what it must be like for Adam Koch.
Lancen Halbert is going pro this year in the ranks of the Walmart FLW Tour, but not for long. It’s not because Halbert isn’t a good fisherman, because he is. However, a recent change of plans will force the South Carolina angler to put his fishing career on hiatus after this season.
Andrew Upshaw is 5-7, weighs 155 pounds and was an all-conference tight end in high school at Hemphill, Texas. That should tell you something about his determination to succeed. Because his team ran the ball “24-7,” as he puts it, the only way he was going to get any playing time was to become a lineman or a back. There was no shortage of backs, so Upshaw learned how to block. He became so good at it that he won accolades despite his lack of size.
Perhaps you’re a young, aspiring FLW fisherman steeped in bass-fishing history. Since you were a kid, you’ve followed the careers of all the greats of the sport, and maybe you pattern your fishing style after one or more of them. In fact, maybe you’re confident you could hold your own against any of them. Wouldn’t it be cool to have had the chance to fish against some of those heroes and role models from that first generation of professional bass fishing?
By his own reckoning, Alex Davis has caught no more than 15 bass or so on a spinnerbait this year, which doesn’t help explain his nickname: the Spinnerbait Kid.
Some things are pretty much a cinch: Green Bay will play in a Super Bowl, the Yankees will represent the American League in a World Series, and Adam Wagner will fish in a Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American.
Texas native Jim Tutt holds record for most events fished in FLW Outdoors history
Football has its Brett Favre and baseball its Cal Ripken – tough guys who hold records for consecutive starts in their respective sports. If there’s a parallel Iron Man in the ranks of FLW Outdoors, his name is Jim Tutt.