FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
As an angler, you do everything right, plan and prepare for weeks leading up to an event. You have everything in order, and everything is set. You found fish in practice – good ones, and they are biting. You’re pumped, you’re ready and the tournament is finally here.
Whether it involves fishing or anything else in life, you’ll be better off if you can eliminate negative thoughts. Life is a lot like a battery: For every negative there needs to be a positive in order to complete the circuit. I choose to take the negative and complete the cycle by looking for the positives!
Castrol pro David Dudley
Bridgford pro Randy Blaukat gives his insight on what to expect at the upcoming Walmart FLW Tour presented by Rayovac event at Beaver Lake.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Lufkin, Texas, getting ready to head over to the FLW Expo to work the Keystone Light booth while the Sam Rayburn tournament goes on without me. After a rough finish at Hartwell, where I managed a $4,000 check, I was hoping to turn things around on Sam Rayburn.
I have lived in the Southeast for the past 10 years and I feel that this year’s transition from winter to spring is quite a bit different than in the past. It is cooler than usual. That gets me confused on both the mental and the fishing side of things.
It’s been a big few weeks for a country boy. I was honored and humbled to receive two fantastic awards over the past month. First, the Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame selected me as the 2013 Co-Male Athlete of the Year. The Chattanooga area is rich in sports tradition, and I am proud to have received this recognition from its members.
The winter of 2014 was extreme virtually everywhere, and Grand Lake and the tri-state area of Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas was not spared from the deep freeze. I live about 35 minutes from the lake, and during the 40-plus years I’ve been fishing Grand, only on two occasions have I seen the lake almost completely frozen over. One of those times was this winter.
Editor’s note: After a good practice on Sam Rayburn, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre had mixed results in the tournament and finished 61st, just one spot out of the “big money.” It’s a feeling similar to being punched in the gut. Missing a $10,000 check by an ounce is an experience I don’t ever want to have again. I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time in my 12 1/2 years on tour that I’ve finished one place out of the “big money.” I’ve been the last one in a time or two before, though, so I guess I can’t really complain.
Bridgford Foods pro Randy Blaukat muses on what’s likely to happen when the Walmart FLW Tour makes its third stop of the season, this time on Sam Rayburn Lake in east Texas.
As many anglers who have been there know, there’s something special about driving through the pine forest-laden areas of east Texas in March, especially when the destination is Sam Rayburn Lake.
Wow. Something is happening that I surely never thought would: Me writing. The great Beelzebub himself better get his forked tail down to the Walmart for a pair of snow boots because I feel a hard freeze coming on in Hades.
Wow, 50 straight days with a limit – it’s so incredible to me to have that record. Obviously, when I started fishing the Walmart FLW Tour in 2010, I never thought of breaking the record for most consecutive limits weighed in. My focus was just on trying to get a limit every single day I fished so I could do well.
I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of family, friends and my employers over the last 10-plus years, which has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a professional angler. It was with that same goal in mind that I joined the University of Minnesota bass team last year. I quickly realized that finishing even moderately well in nationally recognized college tournaments gave me more press than winning any number of regional tournaments back home.
Cold winter - How long will it delay the spawn
Every place I’ve been this year – with the exception of Florida, which exists in its own little bubble – has had a really cold winter. It’s a winter that seemingly just won’t end. Just when you think it’s about to warm up, boom, there’s another bout with ice and really cold temperatures. As such, there are some intriguing questions developing: How delayed will the spawn be; how long might it last; and is water temperature the only variable that will be affected?
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes team pro Dave Lefebre provides an inside look at the latest FLW Tour event in Seneca, S.C.
It feels pretty good to get out of South Carolina with a decent finish, but I’ve still got a pretty big mountain to climb to make this year’s Forrest Wood Cup, back in South Carolina on Lake Murray.
Japanese native and Cheez-It/Pringles team pro Shinichi Fukae weighs in on his performance during the first Tour stop of the 2014 season
Heading into the opener of 2014 Walmart FLW Tour event at Lake Okeechobee, I pre-fished for several days before the cut-off. Usually, pre-fishing helps me find the best areas to fish as well as the best methods for targeting those fish, but Lake Okeechobee is a bit different than a lot of other bodies of water since the lake conditions can often change dramatically in a few weeks.
Ramapo College qualifier Joe Zapf details his team’s long journey to college fishing’s ultimate tournament
In less than two weeks the top 50 college teams in the country will compete for the biggest title of the college season, the FLW College Fishing National Championship. It is the most important tournament for any college angler, and the winning team will have the chance to move on to the biggest tournament in bass fishing, the Forrest Wood Cup. As I am sitting up here in northern New Jersey at Ramapo College, I cannot wait to head down to South Carolina’s Lake Keowee and get the tournament started.
Joe Zapf - Ramapo College Bass Fishing Team
Bridgford Foods pro Randy Blaukat provides an inside look at the March 6-9 Walmart FLW Tour event in Seneca, S.C.
The second Walmart FLW Tour event of the 2014 season on Lake Hartwell (March 6-9) will be a radical departure from the Tour opener last month on Okeechobee.
FLW Tour pro Tom Redington provides some tips for catching bass in cold-water conditions
In spring, cold fronts are the norm, not the exception. So instead of griping about it, top anglers adapt and still catch them well. Having to stay on bass with new customers every day while guiding on Lake Fork for the past decade, I’ve found a basic gameplan that might help you get pointed in the right direction on your lake too.
Scott Martin: It’s more than just fishing along the FLW tournament trail
With the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour under way, there’s a lot more to do than just go fishing every day. I just finished up the Lake Okeechobee event in my hometown of Clewiston, Fla., where I snuck out of town with a 17th-place finish.
So, you want to be a fishing TV star like Jimmy Houston, Hank Parker or Mark Zona? Sounds like a dream life being a Hollywood fishing celebrity, right? Well, not so fast. There is a ton of work – and cost – associated with producing a television show.
Thrift blogs about Okeechobee opener, previews Lake Hartwell and talks about filming television commercial with family
As I sit down to write this blog we’re in the middle of a rare North Carolina snowstorm. It’s kind of fun to watch it from the warmth of home, but it also makes me want to head right back to Florida where it’s warm.
Our first FLW Tour event from Lake Okeechobee is now in the books, and the season is under way. When I received my text from FLW with the results from day one showing me in 142nd place, it was obvious that it wasn’t exactly the way I had envisioned my season starting off. I lost one big fish early that morning that would have put me in the top 25.
Castrol pro David Dudley weighs in the dangers of staying in cruise control
I was recently in a conversation with a friend of mine about people who seem to have a knack for making things happen. As I was listening, he made a statement that made me stop him dead in the middle of a sentence and go back to repeat. “It’s all about finding your fuel,” he said.
Sophomore pro blogs about season opener, scouting Hartwell and his new title sponsor
The first FLW Tour event of the season at Lake Okeechobee is in the books. It wasn’t the tournament I had hoped for but I squeaked out of there with a small $4,000 check. The first day of the tournament was just one of those days where if it could go wrong, it did. At takeoff I had an issue with my hot foot and had to come back in to get it fixed and lost the only two decent bites I had in the event. Although I had some issues, at this level you need to be able to overcome those things and still catch them. Tharp had the same problem with the hot foot and still managed to whack ‘em and finish in the top five.