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GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (May 19, 2018) – Pro Jason Lambert of Michie, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 30 pounds, 8 ounces – surpassing the record that he already owned for the largest single-day limit ever caught on Kentucky Lake in FLW Tour competition– to catapult into the lead at the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses. Lambert will bring a commanding 19-pound, 3-ounce lead into Championship Sunday, where the final 10 pros will compete for up to $125,000.

Lambert trailed Day Two leader Randy Haynes by 2 pounds, 4 ounces, starting today’s competition, but gained his massive lead after Haynes, in an unprecedented move, decided to withdraw himself from the competition.

Shortly after takeoff, Lambert and Haynes both arrived on the same area – a well-known community hole at the north end of the lake, and a spot that both anglers fished on days one and two. Lambert arrived first, and the two anglers fished side-by-side for several minutes. Lambert caught several keepers quickly. Frustrated by the situation, Haynes chose to leave the area, return to the ramp and withdraw from the event. Haynes finished the tournament in 12th place and received $12,000.

Lambert ended up catching a limit from the area, but landed an additional three largemouth – including a 9-pounder – at his next stop that upgraded him past the 30-pound mark.

“I actually found those fish [at the second location] yesterday afternoon. It’s a place that I’ve fished in the past, but I hadn’t seen them there [this week] until I pulled up on them and they were eating some gizzard shad,” said Lambert, who was also crowned champion when the FLW Tour last visited Kentucky Lake in 2016. “I hadn’t caught anything there, but when I saw that happen I knew there were some fish down there.”

Lambert said he used 5- and 7-inch Castaic Jerky J soft jerkbaits on a Scrounger Head jig to catch his fish, a bait he’s relied on all week. It’s also the exact lure that caught the bulk of his weight in 2016.

“I probably wouldn’t have gone to my second area this morning had I not caught a good limit early on,” said Lambert. “I had around 20 pounds when I left the first spot, so I went there and idled over them and found that there were more fish down there than I thought. I got a couple 5-pounders and was done after I caught the giant.”

The Tennessee pro said he plans to go out Sunday and finish strong, even with his commanding lead.

“I’m going to start out tomorrow at the second stop from today. If I can catch two or three good ones in the morning, we’re going to have some fun and try and break the 100-pound mark.”

The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Kentucky Lake are:

1st:          Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 15 bass, 74-6

2nd:         Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 55-3

3rd:          General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 14 bass, 52-2

4th:          Josh Douglas, Isle, Minn., 15 bass, 51-4

5th:          Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 51-1

6th:          John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 15 bass, 50-11

7th:          Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 14 bass, 48-14

8th:          Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 47-9

9th:          Pennzoil Marine pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 47-1

10th:        Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 13 bass, 47-0

Finishing 11th through 30th are:

11th:        John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., 15 bass, 46-9, $12,000

12th:        Randy Haynes, Ripley, Miss., 10 bass, 46-2, $12,000

13th:        Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 45-12, $12,000

14th:        Costa pro Dylan Hays, Sheridan, Ark., 15 bass, 45-11, $12,000

15th:        Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 15 bass, 45-8, $12,000

16th:        Bill McDonald, Greenwood, Ind., 14 bass, 45-6, $12,000

17th:        Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala., 14 bass, 45-3, $12,000

18th:        Tyler Stewart, West Monroe, La., 14 bass, 44-2, $12,000

19th:        Brandon Mosley, Choctaw, Okla., 15 bass, 43-13, $12,000

20th:        Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, 14 bass, 43-10, $12,000

21st:        Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 11 bass, 43-2, $10,000

22nd:       Koby Kreiger, Bokeelia, Fla., 14 bass, 42-13, $10,000

23rd:        Jim Dillard, West Monroe, La., 15 bass, 42-4, $10,000

24th:        Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., 12 bass, 41-15, $10,000

25th:        Cabela’s pro Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 15 bass, 41-8, $10,000

26th:        Kid Casters pro Charlie Evans, Berea, Ky., 15 bass, 40-3, $10,000

27th:        Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 12 bass, 36-12, $10,000

28th:        Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., 11 bass, 35-10, $10,000

29th:        Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 11 bass, 34-15, $10,000

30th:        Abu Garcia pro Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 11 bass, 32-13, $10,000

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Overall there were 123 bass weighing 401 pounds, 7 ounces, caught by 29 pros Saturday. The catch included 21 five-bass limits.

Ronny Webb of Dyersburg, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 26 pounds, 14 ounces, followed by Stephen Crawley of Bush, Louisiana, who finished in second place with eight bass totaling 25-4, worth $7,600.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros now continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses is more than $930,000. The event is hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

The final 10 anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CDT Sunday from Kentucky Dam State Park, located at 7792 U.S. Highway 641 N. in Gilbertsville. Sunday’s weigh-in will be held at the park beginning at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-in Sunday, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Kentucky Dam State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is the perfect opportunity for fishing fans of all ages to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, meet characters from the “Paw Patrol” children’s television show, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) June 27 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

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Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., takes the lead on the third day of the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department out of Jonestown, Texas, with a three-day total weight of 51 pounds. 

                                                                                                                              Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

JONESTOWN, Texas — Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., caught an impressive five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces during today’s semi-final round to take command of the top spot at the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at Lake Travis.

Benton, the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year, pushed his three-day total weight up to 51 pounds.

With $1 million in total payout, $100,000 of which to be paid to the top finisher, the tournament champion will also earn a coveted berth in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in Knoxville, Tenn.

Benton said he’s focusing on the Lake Travis bass and not the blue championship trophy or the paycheck.

At least not yet.

“I’ve still got a full day of fishing ahead of me, so I can’t afford to think about how much winning would mean to me at this point,” Benton said. “Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it is to win on the Elite Series, and I want it badly. It’s just important that I stay focused throughout the day.”

Benton said he was able to isolate a couple of productive fishing patterns over the past three days of competition — both time-of-day dependent.

“The low-light action early in the morning has been critical to my limits,” he said. “The morning bite has been lasting longer each day, and with a chance of rain and cloud cover likely all day tomorrow, I think my early pattern could stay strong for quite a while.”

The 30-year-old pro explained that during the afternoons when the sun was out, he caught his fish along banks where the water was calm.

“When the wind and boat traffic would push waves against the shore, the water would get muddy, and the fish would stop biting,” Benton said. “Today I learned I could replicate that pattern in more protected stretches of water once the waves became more regular. It paid off this afternoon.”

Benton believes if he can catch 15 to 17 pounds, he’ll be tough to beat.

“This lake can be unpredictable. One day you could catch 25 pounds, and the next, only 6 pounds for five bass,” he said. “I’m keeping that in mind during the final day, but I think I’m on the right fish in the right locations. Things just have to go right tomorrow, and I’m confident.”

Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., dropped back to second place following today’s competition. He produced a five-bass limit that weighed 12-15, bumping his total weight up to 48-6.

“I had a pretty good day,” he said. “I caught more fish than I could count, but I just never caught a big bass. This lake is full of fish, and they love to bite. I think there are so many small bass that dominate the feeding, you really have to cover water to find the big ones.”

Wheeler said he’d be starting Championship Sunday right where he likes to be — in the hunt.

“I have a shot at the win tomorrow, that’s all I can say,” he said. “It’s really hard to predict what I need to win this tournament — it could be only 12 pounds, it might be 26. I do think the right fish are in my fishing areas, and I think I can catch them. But we’ll have to see how it shakes out.”

Cliff Pirch weighed in the biggest bass of the day, a 7-1 largemouth, but that fish trails the heavyweight of the tournament, a 10-pound, 5-ounce bass caught the first day by former Classic champion Cliff Pace. If no one catches a heavier bass Sunday, Pace will win a new Toyota Tundra pickup truck valued at $50,000.

Pace held down third place for the third day in a row, this time with a total of 46-3. Rounding out the Top 5 are Brent Chapman in fourth place with 43-5 and Bobby Lane in fifth with 43-2.

Takeoff will begin at 6:15 a.m. CT Sunday morning at Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown, Texas, and final weigh-in will take place at the same location beginning at 3 p.m.

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Title and Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Berkley

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Elite Partner: Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Beneficiary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Local Hosts: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Gulf States Toyota and the City of Jonestown, Texas

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 5/17-5/20
Lake Travis, Jonestown  TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         15  51-00  110
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   20-04
2.  Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN            15  48-06  109
Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   18-03     Day 3: 5   12-15
3.  Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               15  46-03  108
Day 1: 5   19-08     Day 2: 5   13-04     Day 3: 5   13-07
4.  Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        15  43-05  107
Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   11-08     Day 3: 5   15-12
5.  Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            15  43-02  106
Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   09-02     Day 3: 5   12-14
6.  Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX             14  42-15  105
Day 1: 5   21-15     Day 2: 4   12-02     Day 3: 5   08-14
7.  Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              15  42-03  104
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   15-08     Day 3: 5   15-01
8.  Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             15  41-12  103
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   15-05     Day 3: 5   15-00
9.  Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           15  41-02  102
Day 1: 5   10-10     Day 2: 5   21-13     Day 3: 5   08-11
10. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          15  40-06  101
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   10-10     Day 3: 5   17-06
11. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC               14  40-04  100
Day 1: 4   13-07     Day 2: 5   15-05     Day 3: 5   11-08
12. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA            15  39-10   99
Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   13-07     Day 3: 5   13-01
13. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           15  38-13   98  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   14-11     Day 3: 5   08-09
14. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             14  37-13   97  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 4   11-10     Day 3: 5   11-03
15. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       15  37-07   96  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   08-11     Day 2: 5   16-07     Day 3: 5   12-05
16. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX              15  37-05   95  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-01     Day 2: 5   16-12     Day 3: 5   10-08
17. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               15  37-02   94  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 5   11-12     Day 3: 5   12-02
18. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               15  36-13   93  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   07-05     Day 3: 5   13-12
19. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             15  36-11   92  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   14-03     Day 3: 5   09-10
20. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          15  36-06   91  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   14-13     Day 3: 5   06-12
21. Jake Whitaker          Fairview, NC            15  36-05   90  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-11     Day 2: 5   17-00     Day 3: 5   08-10
22. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           15  36-02   89  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   11-06     Day 3: 5   08-13
23. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL            15  36-02   88  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   13-01     Day 3: 5   13-02
24. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              13  36-01   87  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   13-07     Day 3: 3   09-04
25. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 15  35-12   86  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   08-06     Day 3: 5   08-01
26. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ      15  35-07   85  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   08-02     Day 3: 5   08-00
27. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 15  35-05   84  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   10-15     Day 3: 5   10-13
28. Mike McClelland        Bentonville, AR         15  35-04   83  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   11-08     Day 3: 5   13-13
29. Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA            15  35-03   82  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   14-03     Day 3: 5   07-13
30. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            15  34-13   81  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-08     Day 2: 5   12-02     Day 3: 5   09-03
31. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI             14  34-10   80  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   12-00     Day 3: 4   10-13
32. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              15  34-08   79  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   09-05     Day 3: 5   09-06
33. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             15  34-05   78  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   13-15     Day 3: 5   10-07
34. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             15  34-02   77  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   13-13     Day 3: 5   09-04
35. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            15  33-12   76  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-10     Day 3: 5   09-13
36. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         15  33-11   75  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   14-13     Day 3: 5   07-01
37. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         15  33-11   74  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   09-13     Day 3: 5   12-02
38. John Murray            Spring City, TN         15  33-09   73  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   08-01     Day 3: 5   11-13
39. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA            14  33-08   72  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   14-06     Day 3: 4   07-09
40. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        15  33-00   71  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   08-08     Day 3: 5   10-03
41. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          15  32-13   70  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   08-06     Day 2: 5   14-15     Day 3: 5   09-08
42. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               15  32-13   69  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   12-15     Day 3: 5   07-08
43. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          15  32-01   68  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   14-10     Day 3: 5   06-11
44. Shin Fukae             Palestine TX JAPAN      15  31-07   67  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   10-06     Day 3: 5   07-10
45. Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID              15  30-13   66  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   06-13     Day 3: 5   08-03
46. Jonathon VanDam        Gobles, MI              14  30-10   65  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-05     Day 2: 5   11-14     Day 3: 4   08-07
47. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ            15  30-07   64  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   08-10     Day 2: 5   14-07     Day 3: 5   07-06
48. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        15  30-02   63  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   08-06     Day 2: 5   13-02     Day 3: 5   08-10
49. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        15  29-15   62  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   07-01     Day 3: 5   08-05
50. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV            14  29-14   61  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   08-12     Day 2: 4   14-12     Day 3: 5   06-06
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        91       507      1173-03
2        91       502      1110-04
3        46       245       524-03
———————————-
228      1254      2807-10

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As part of the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, the 12 Bassmaster High School All-Americans presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods were paired with 12 Bassmaster Elite Series anglers and earned a chance to fish with the pros on Inks Lake. Spencer Childers (right), a Georgia angler representing Pickens High School, won the one-day event with his Elite Series partner, Mark Menendez. The pair caught 9 pounds, 12 ounces.

                                                                                                                Photo by James Overstreet/B.A.S.S.

JONESTOWN, Texas — Spencer Childers caught the most weight in the Bassmaster High School All-American Bass Tournament, and his real prize was getting to fish with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Menendez.

Childers, a senior at Pickens High School in Jasper, Ga., was among the 12 standout high school anglers selected as members of the exclusive Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Elite Series anglers served as teammates and “coaches” of the student anglers in the tournament.

The anglers fished Inks Lake, a picturesque 768-acre reservoir on the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department waived fishing license requirements for the anglers and entrance fees into the launch site at Inks Lake State Park.

“Fishing with Mark was a great experience,” said Childers, who is 18 years old. “Before today, my dock fishing and flipping skills weren’t as good, and now they are much better.”

Menendez was among 28 Elite Series pros volunteering for the event should they not have made the top 50 cut on Saturday at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“Those kids are the next generation, the future of our sport,” said Menendez. “I have done this for so long that I wanted to be around them, remind me about what fishing truly is all about.”

Each pro and high school angler weighed one bass apiece. Childers’ catch weighed 3 pounds, 12 ounces, and the fish caught by Menendez tipped the scales at 6 pounds. The combined 9 pounds, 12 ounces ranked as the heaviest weight of the week. The anglers weighed their catches on the same stage used for the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Childers and Menendez focused on boat docks. A 1/4-ounce Buckeye Lures Spot Remover Pro Model Jig Head with Zoom Trick Worm was the top producer for Childers.

“He called the shots and took the lead, and it was a great day with a fine angler,” added Menendez.

Following are heaviest weights by weight for the top anglers. Randy Howell and Ethan King caught a combined weight of 9-9. Alton Jones and Jacob Woods caught the third heaviest weight of 8-9. Next came Brock Mosley and Samuel Vandagriff with 7-9, followed by Alton Jones Jr. and Dalton Smith with 5 pounds.

More than 465 applications from students in grades 10-12 were submitted from 38 states across the nation. Of those, 64 were chosen as Bassmaster All-State anglers. After reviewing tournament résumés, community service activities and recommendations from coaches and school officials, a panel of judges further narrowed the field to the Top 12 high school anglers in the country.

Childers earned five wins in high school tournaments, including the B.A.S.S. Nation Georgia State Championship and Bass High School tournament. He also has three Top 5 finishes to his credit, each with 100-plus-boat fields.

In addition to his tournament success, Childers is a volunteer at the Pickens County Fishing Rodeo, an event in which children and adults with disabilities get the opportunity to fish in a stocked stream. Childers spent the day baiting hooks and helping members of the community experience the joy of catching fish. He is also a volunteer with his high school’s Special Olympics program.

“One of the things that makes Spencer stick out from most high school kids is his ability to lead,” wrote Bo Page, bass fishing coach at Pickens High School. “His leadership in the classroom is a rare and welcomed sight to his teachers. Spencer has never missed a meeting; he’s never missed a tournament; and most importantly, he’s never missed a chance to give back to our school and community.”

On tournament eve, a banquet was held for the High School All-Americans. Each received special All-American jerseys from B.A.S.S. and a prize package valued at over $400. Abu Garcia, Mercury, Skeeter Boats, Toyota and Yamaha Outboard provided the gifts.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

2018 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Pairings

All-American Angler        Angler Hometown            Bassmaster Elite Series Pro


Alec Berens                Channahon, Ill.            Tommy Biffle
Spencer Childers           Jasper, Ga.                Mark Menendez
Cal Culpepper              Hamilton, Ga.              Bernie Schultz
James Gibbons              Timmonsville, S.C.         Caleb Sumrall
Karson Hamilton            Hot Springs, Ark.          Bradley Roy
Ethan King                 Wilsonville, Ala.          Randy Howell
Tyler Lubbat               Wheeling, Ill.             David Fritts
Thomas Martin              Marquez, Texas             Darrell Ocamica
Garrett McWilliams         Florence, Miss.            Cliff Prince
Dalton Smith               Brandon, Miss.             Alton Jones Jr.
Samuel Vandagriff          McMinnville, Tenn.         Brock Mosley
Jacob Woods                Loudon, Tenn.              Alton Jones
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Here it is… the day 3 Mer-Guck Report from Lake Travis! The real inside story and you can only get it here! Be sure to download the new Bass 365 Live app for more exclusive content.

Mer Guk Day 3 2018 Lake Travis - YouTube

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GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (May 18, 2018) – Pro Randy Haynes of Ripley, Mississippi, caught a five-bass limit Friday weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces, to extend his lead at the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses. Haynes’ two-day total of 10 bass weighing 46 pounds, 2 ounces, gives him a 2-pound, 4-ounce advantage heading into Saturday over second-place pro Jason Lambert of Michie, Tennessee, who has 10 bass weighing 43-14. The field is now cut to the final 30 pros, with only 10 anglers advancing to championship Sunday where the winner will take home the top prize of up to $125,000.

Haynes returned to the same area he fished Thursday, putting a couple of keepers in the boat right off the bat. Later in the morning he said he hit a flurry that produced five or six good bites to cap off a limit.

“It was a struggle out there today. I had to relocate my fish and catch them a totally different way,” said Haynes, who has two career wins on Kentucky Lake in Costa FLW Series competition and finished 14th when the Tour last visited Kentucky Lake in 2016. “It was better in terms of numbers, but I didn’t catch the size.”

One of the key changes Haynes made Friday was switching from crankbaits to swimbaits.

“I caught them all, including a couple that upgraded me, on a Zoom Swimmer and a couple of other swimbaits,” said Haynes. “I slowed down, and that’s probably the reason I caught more fish today. I’m just blessed to have caught what I did and hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow.”

The top 30 pros that made the first cut and will fish Saturday on Kentucky Lake are:

1st:          Randy Haynes, Ripley, Miss., 10 bass, 46-2

2nd:         Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 10 bass, 43-14

3rd:          Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 37-14

4th:          Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., nine bass, 37-5

5th:          Josh Douglas, Isle, Minn., 10 bass, 37-2

6th:          Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala., 10 bass, 36-13

7th:          Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-15

8th:          John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., 10 bass, 32-1

9th:          Tyler Stewart, West Monroe, La., 10 bass, 32-1

10th:        Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., 10 bass, 31-15

11th:        John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 31-12

12th:        Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 31-9

13th:        Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 31-7

14th:        Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 31-5

15th:        Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., nine bass, 31-0

16th:        Costa pro Dylan Hays, Sheridan, Ark., 10 bass, 30-14

17th:        Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., eight bass, 30-11

18th:        Pennzoil Marine pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 30-10

19th:        General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., nine bass, 30-4

20th:        Abu Garcia pro Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 10 bass, 30-4

21st:        Brandon Mosley, Choctaw, Okla., 10 bass, 10 bass, 30-2

22nd:       Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 10 bass, 30-0

23rd:        Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, nine bass, 29-9

24th:        Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 29-5

25th:        Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., nine bass, 29-4

26th:        Kid Caster’s pro Charlie Evans, Berea, Ky., 10 bass, 28-9

27th:        Cabela’s pro Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 28-5

28th:        Koby Kreiger, Bokeelia, Fla., nine bass, 28-4

29th:        Jim Dillard, West Monroe, La., 10 bass, 28-2

30th:        Bill McDonald, Greenwood, Ind., nine bass, 28-1

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, earned the $500 Simms Big Bass award in the Pro Division Friday after weighing a 7-pound, 8-ounce bass.

Overall there were 577 bass weighing 1,708 pounds, 11 ounces, caught by 165 pros Friday. The catch included 64 five-bass limits.

Ronny Webb of Dyersburg, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 26 pounds, 14 ounces, followed by Stephen Crawley of Bush, Louisiana, who finished in second place with eight bass totaling 25-4, worth $7,600.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:          Ronny Webb, Dyersburg, Tenn., nine bass, 26-14, $25,000

2nd:         Stephen Crawley, Bush, La., eight bass, 25-4, $7,600

3rd:          Benjie Seaborn, Guin, Ala., eight bass, 23-3, $5,000

4th:          Chatfield Smith, Minnetonka, Minn., nine bass, 22-9, $4,000

5th:          Rex Jaeger, Hamilton, Ohio, eight bass, 22-3, $3,050

6th:          Keith Gunsauls, El Cajon, Calif., seven bass, 21-5, $2,500

7th:          Bradley Smith, Saint Jacob, Ill., seven bass, 20-3, $2,000

8th:          B.J. Nelson, Louisa, Ky., eight bass, 19-14, $1,800

9th:          Craig Middleton, Harrodsburg, Ky., seven bass, 19-14, $1,700

10th:        Mike Gabel, Saint Charles, Ill., seven bass, 19-11, $1,600

Jim Hippensteel of Rochester, Indiana, earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division with a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass.

Overall there were 282 bass weighing 761 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 136 co-anglers Friday. The catch included seven five-bass limits.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight now advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses is more than $930,000. The event is hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CDT each day from Kentucky Dam State Park, located at 7792 U.S. Highway 641 N. in Gilbertsville. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, May 19-20, will be held at the park beginning at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Kentucky Dam State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is the perfect opportunity for fishing fans of all ages to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, meet characters from the “Paw Patrol” children’s television show, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at Kentucky Dam State Park on Saturday, May 19, from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to youth (18 and under) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) June 27 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and

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JONESTOWN, Texas — Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., fished “a hodge-podge of lures, techniques and depths today to earn 18 pounds, 3 ounces of largemouth bass and take command of the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Lake Travis.

“The way I’ve been catching my bass this week has been through a long list of tactics, lures and locations,” he said. “I’ve been fishing ‘hodge-podge.’ That’s the best way I can explain it. But that’s really how I like to fish, and it’s been working well for me.”

This isn’t the first time the second-year Bassmaster pro has been in the lead. Wheeler has two Elite Series victories to his credit, but Texas Fest carries more weight than a regular-season Elite Series tournament.

His two-day total weight of 35-7 moves him closer to the $100,000 first-place payday and a coveted berth into the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.The 27-year-old pro admitted to having 18 rods on the deck of his boat during Friday’s second round of competition, but he claimed to have learned more about his pattern as the day went on.

“I dialed in on them a little more today,” Wheeler said. “Not enough to say I’m confident in winning this tournament. Not just yet. I used most of the rods I had out, and I caught fish from 6 inches of water to 40 feet and I hit a bunch of spots. It was a hodge-podge day.”

Most pro anglers keep their cards close to the vest at this point in major tournaments, but he did say he his big fish were coming from a couple specific structural elements.

“I still think it’s going to take 15 to 17 pounds a day to win on Lake Travis,” he said. “I’ve kept myself in position to potentially win even if I have a tough Saturday or Sunday. I’m very happy with how my day went, and I hope I can stay consistent into tomorrow.”

After leading on Thursday’s opening round, Ray Hanselman Jr. of Del Rio, Texas, fell back to second place after producing only four bass that weighed 12-2, pushing his two-day total to 34-1.

“Today was definitely tougher,” Hanselman said. “I didn’t get any of the big bites I had hoped for, and only bringing in four fish certainly hurt. I think I could have caught another keeper somewhere else, but I was focusing on big bass only.”

In hindsight, Hanselman said he should have spent more time fishing docks for his limit bass.

“The dock thing was working for me, but I left it too soon. In looking back I should have downsized my lure while I was there,” he said.

Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., stayed consistent and held down third place for the second day in a row.

“Catching that 10-5 yesterday sure helped, but I was able to stay on quality fish again today,” Pace said. “This lake is receiving a lot of fishing pressure right now, but I think it will get better tomorrow with fewer fishermen on the lake.”

If no one catches a bass heavier than Pace’s 10-plus-pounder in the final two rounds, he’ll win the big bass prize, a new Toyota Tundra pickup truck.

The full field of 108 anglers has been cut to the Top 50 pros for Saturday’s semi-final round of competition.

Rounding out the Top 5 are Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., with 32-7 in fourth place and Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., with 30-12 in  fifth place.

Takeoff will begin at 6:15 a.m. CT each morning at Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown, Texas, and weigh-ins will be at the same location each afternoon beginning at 3 p.m.

The Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo will take place at the park on Saturday and Sunday. The event will feature boat demo rides, an aquarium, free prizes and the latest fishing products on the market. The fan-favorite kid’s area, Bassmaster Get Hooked on Fishing presented by Toyota and Shakespeare, will also include catfish-casting ponds and a chance to meet the pros. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area will welcome visitors of all ages to try out archery, learn ways to contribute to conservation and participate in other fun outdoor activities.

Also taking place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is Bassmaster University. Bassmaster Elite Series pros will be teaching seminars at the park on a variety of topics related to fishing including techniques, gear, electronics and more. All activities are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit Bassmaster.com.

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Title and Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Academy Sports + Outdoors

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Elite Partner: Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Beneficiary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Local Hosts: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Gulf States Toyota and the City of Jonestown, Texas

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 5/17-5/20
Lake Travis, Jonestown  TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN            10  35-07  110
Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   18-03
2.  Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              9  34-01  109
Day 1: 5   21-15     Day 2: 4   12-02
3.  Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  32-12  108
Day 1: 5   19-08     Day 2: 5   13-04
4.  Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  32-07  107
Day 1: 5   10-10     Day 2: 5   21-13
5.  Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  30-12  106
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   16-13
6.  Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            10  30-04  105
Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   09-02
7.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           10  30-04  104
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   14-11
8.  Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          10  29-10  103
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   14-13
9.  Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                9  28-12  102
Day 1: 4   13-07     Day 2: 5   15-05
10. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 10  27-11  101
Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   08-06
11. Jake Whitaker          Fairview, NC            10  27-11  100
Day 1: 5   10-11     Day 2: 5   17-00
12. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        10  27-09   99
Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   11-08
13. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ      10  27-07   98
Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   08-02
14. Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA            10  27-06   97
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   14-03
15. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  27-05   96
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   11-06
16. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  27-02   95
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   15-08
17. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             10  27-01   94
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   14-03
18. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX              10  26-13   93
Day 1: 5   10-01     Day 2: 5   16-12
19. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  26-13   92
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   13-07
20. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             10  26-12   91
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   15-05
21. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              9  26-10   90
Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 4   11-10
22. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  26-10   89
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   14-13
23. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA            10  26-09   88
Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   13-07
24. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA            10  25-15   87
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   14-06
25. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            10  25-10   86
Day 1: 5   13-08     Day 2: 5   12-02
26. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  25-06   85
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   14-10
27. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               10  25-05   84
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   12-15
28. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       10  25-02   83
Day 1: 5   08-11     Day 2: 5   16-07
29. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  25-02   82
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   09-05
30. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               10  25-00   81
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 5   11-12
31. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  24-14   80
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   13-13
32. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 10  24-08   79
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   10-15
33. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  23-15   78
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-10
34. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             10  23-14   77
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   13-15
35. Shin Fukae             Palestine TX JAPAN      10  23-13   76
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   10-06
36. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI             10  23-13   75
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   12-00
37. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             9  23-08   74
Day 1: 5   08-12     Day 2: 4   14-12
38. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          10  23-05   73
Day 1: 5   08-06     Day 2: 5   14-15
39. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               10  23-01   72
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   07-05
40. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ            10  23-01   71
Day 1: 5   08-10     Day 2: 5   14-07
41. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL            10  23-00   70
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   13-01
42. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  23-00   69
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   10-10
43. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        10  22-13   68
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   08-08
44. Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID              10  22-10   67
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   06-13
45. Jonathon VanDam        Gobles, MI              10  22-03   66
Day 1: 5   10-05     Day 2: 5   11-14
46. John Murray            Spring City, TN         10  21-12   65
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   08-01
47. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        10  21-10   64
Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   07-01
48. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         10  21-09   63
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   09-13
49. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        10  21-08   62
Day 1: 5   08-06     Day 2: 5   13-02
50. Mike McClelland        Bentonville, AR         10  21-07   61
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 5   11-08
51. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           10  21-06   60
Day 1: 5   15-14     Day 2: 5   05-08
52. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  21-06   59
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   07-13
53. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         10  21-06   58
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   09-10
54. Dustin Connell         Clanton, AL             10  21-05   57
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   08-02
55. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  21-02   56
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   07-11
56. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              10  21-02   55
Day 1: 5   11-06     Day 2: 5   09-12
57. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                9  20-09   54
Day 1: 4   05-06     Day 2: 5   15-03
58. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       8  20-08   53
Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 3   05-08
59. Ott DeFoe              Blaine, TN              10  20-07   52
Day 1: 5   08-07     Day 2: 5   12-00
60. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        10  20-05   51
Day 1: 5   07-12     Day 2: 5   12-09
61. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            8  20-03   50
Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 3   05-01
62. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL       10  20-01   49
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   08-08
63. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             10  19-13   48
Day 1: 5   07-15     Day 2: 5   11-14
64. Alton Jones Jr.        Waco, TX                10  19-12   47
Day 1: 5   07-00     Day 2: 5   12-12
65. Darrell Ocamica        New Plymouth, ID        10  19-12   46
Day 1: 5   08-10     Day 2: 5   11-02
66. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           10  19-08   45
Day 1: 5   09-10     Day 2: 5   09-14
67. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        10  19-08   44
Day 1: 5   09-13     Day 2: 5   09-11
68. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          8  19-06   43
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 3   05-04
69. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  19-06   42
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   06-14
70. Roy Hawk               Lk Havasu Cty, AZ       10  19-06   41
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   08-15
71. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             10  19-06   40
Day 1: 5   09-14     Day 2: 5   09-08
72. Kyle Monti             Okeechobee, FL          10  19-02   39
Day 1: 5   11-06     Day 2: 5   07-12
73. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           10  19-01   38
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   06-10
74. Wesley Strader         Spring City, TN         10  18-15   37
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   08-12
75. Brandon Card           Knoxville, TN           10  18-10   36
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   07-10
76. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL             10  18-07   35
Day 1: 5   09-07     Day 2: 5   09-00
77. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            9  18-04   34
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 4   06-00
78. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL           10  18-04   33
Day 1: 5   06-13     Day 2: 5   11-07
79. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        10  17-12   32
Day 1: 5   06-05     Day 2: 5   11-07
80. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  17-09   31
Day 1: 5   08-10     Day 2: 5   08-15
81. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          10  17-06   30
Day 1: 5   07-14     Day 2: 5   09-08
82. Hunter Shryock         Newcomerstown, OH        9  17-05   29
Day 1: 4   09-01     Day 2: 5   08-04
83. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              10  17-03   28
Day 1: 5   08-15     Day 2: 5   08-04
84. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         9  17-02   27
Day 1: 4   06-12     Day 2: 5   10-06
85. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          6  17-01   26
Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 1   01-07
86. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  17-01   25
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   06-14
87. Tyler Carriere         Youngsville, LA          9  16-10   24
Day 1: 5   11-02     Day 2: 4   05-08
88. Bill Weidler           Helena, AL              10  15-15   23
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 5   07-02
89. David Fritts           Lexington, NC           10  15-15   22
Day 1: 5   08-00     Day 2: 5   07-15
90. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            7  15-14   21
Day 1: 5   12-12     Day 2: 2   03-02
91. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             7  15-00   20
Day 1: 2   05-06     Day 2: 5   09-10
92. Randy Sullivan         Breckenridge, TX         8  14-15   19
Day 1: 3   03-14     Day 2: 5   11-01
93. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          7  14-11   18
Day 1: 5   07-14     Day 2: 2   06-13
94. Chris Groh             Spring Grove, IL         7  14-02   17
Day 1: 2   03-01     Day 2: 5   11-01
95. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           7  14-01   16
Day 1: 2   03-08     Day 2: 5   10-09
96. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        10  14-00   15
Day 1: 5   06-10     Day 2: 5   07-06
97. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              9  13-14   14
Day 1: 5   06-00     Day 2: 4   07-14
98. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  13-14   13
Day 1: 5   06-11     Day 2: 5   07-03
99. Fred Roumbanis         Russellville, AR         9  13-03   12
Day 1: 4   05-00     Day 2: 5   08-03
100. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               6  13-03   11
Day 1: 3   07-06     Day 2: 3   05-13
101. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              7  13-02   10
Day 1: 2   02-04     Day 2: 5   10-14
102. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                 8  13-00    9
Day 1: 3   04-14     Day..

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Casey Ashley caught a solid limit amid Thursday’s sweltering heat to sit near the top of the leaderboard. The always easy-going 2015 Bassmaster Classic Champ took a minute prior to Friday’s launch to talk about Lake Travis, Toyota Trucks, swimbaits, and even a mention of Texas native Willie Nelson.

Q: What was the biggest surprise amid Day 1 of competition here at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest to benefit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department?

Casey: The biggest surprise was that I actually caught a decent limit, because while you may catch 100 fish a day here, the randomness of catching a big one is truly an unknown.

Q: Your biggest fish yesterday was a 4 pound 5 ounce largemouth. How did you catch it?

Casey: I caught it on one of my absolute all time favorite lures – a green pumpkin Zoom trick worm rigged on a Casey Ashley Shaky Head from Greenfish Tackle.

Q: This week’s tournament is title sponsored by Toyota, and you’ve bought a bunch of Tundras. How many Toyota Tundras have you owned throughout your Elite Series career?

Casey: I’ve bought five Tundras, and my daddy has bought two as well – so seven Tundras total between the two of us.

Q: You’re a music man. You recorded a demo CD in Nashville a few years back, and you’ve sang the National Anthem on a handful of occasions before blast-off at an Elite Series tournament. What song is stuck in your head this morning?

Casey: Kenny Chesney’s “Lucky Old Sun” – which is pretty fitting for the hot weather we’re having here, and the fact it features Texas native Willie Nelson singing along with Kenny.

Q: Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest helps raise money that Texas Parks and Wildlife uses to fund urban youth fishing initiatives. You have a youth angler of your own – a 5-year-old son named Troy. Tell us about fishing with him?

Casey: I’ve learned from taking Troy fishing that size and species don’t matter. It’s all about getting a bite. And still there are times when I can be catching one crappie after another, and he’ll still lose interest. So when they tell you they’re done, don’t make them stay, or you’ll ruin the experience.

I will say here at Lake Travis would be a great place to take a kid fishing, because there’s so many fish in here. I’d just tie on a little 3” swimbait for him, and let him cast and wind it on a Zebco reel. And as many little 12 to 13” bass that swim here – I’ll promise ya he’d have a real good chance of catching one.

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Here is your day two Mer-Guk Report from Lake Travis.

Mer Guk Day 2 2018 Lake Travis - YouTube

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GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (May 17, 2018) – Pro Randy Haynes of Ripley, Mississippi, weighed a 26-pound, 3-ounce, limit of bass Thursday to take the early lead at the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses. Haynes’ limit – tied for the third largest single-day limit ever caught on Kentucky Lake in FLW Tour competition – will pace the field heading into Day Two of the four-day event that features the world’s most best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

Right behind Haynes is second-place pro Jason Lambert of Michie, Tennessee, a fellow ledge-fishing expert who was the 2016 FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake Champion. With Haynes and Lambert both catching their fish out deep and separated by less than 2 pounds, the stage could be set for a potential offshore shootout.

“My first five holes were tough, but I hit a good one and stayed there most of the day. I caught a couple, left for a little while, came back and culled a couple more times,” said Haynes, who is seeking his second career win in FLW Tour competition. “It was pretty tough out there – I only had six keeper bites all day. I’m very fortunate to have what I did. It’s kind of wide open out there right now. I can fish anywhere I want to, and I like that.”

Haynes said he counted 10 bass in his primary location, six of which he put in the boat. He said it took most of the day to put together his limit.

“I just grinded it out and the bites I got were the right ones,” said Haynes. “The spot is burned to the ground now so I’m going to have to go out there and start over tomorrow. It’s all about finding them right now – finding the fresh ones. That’s the whole deal right now.”

The top 10 pros after day one on Kentucky Lake are:

1st:          Randy Haynes, Ripley, Miss., five bass, 26-3

2nd:         Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., five bass, 24-6

3rd:          Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala., five bass, 21-5

4th:          Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., five bass, 19-13

5th:          Josh Douglas, Isle, Minn., five bass, 19-10

6th:          Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., five bass, 18-6

7th:          Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 18-5

8th:          Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 17-14

8th:          Tom Redington, Royse City, Texas, five bass, 17-14

8th:          Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 17-14

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, South Carolina, earned the $500 Simms Big Bass award in the Pro Division Thursday thanks to a 6-pound, 15-ounce bass.

Overall there were 641 bass weighing 1,804 pounds, 13 ounces, caught by 169 pros Thursday. The catch included 76 five-bass limits.

Ronny Webb of Dyersburg, Tennessee, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces, followed by Keith Gunsauls of El Cajon, California, who weighed five bass totaling 15-2, good for second place.

The top 10 co-anglers after day one on Kentucky Lake are:

1st:          Ronny Webb, Dyersburg, Tenn., five bass, 17-7

2nd:         Keith Gunsauls, El Cajon, Calif., five bass, 15-2

3rd:          Greg Ravitsky, Ashburn, Va., five bass, 14-10

4th:          Mike Gabel, Saint Charles, Ill., five bass, 14-4

5th:          Michael Yoder, Texarkana, Ark., five bass, 14-1

6th:          Rex Jaeger, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 13-11

7th:          Chatfield Smith, Minnetonka, Minn., five bass, 13-8

8th:          Roger McQueen, Eagar, Ariz., four bass, 13-4

9th:          Craig Middleton, Harrodsburg, Ky., four bass, 11-12

10th:        Michael Weimann, Murfreesboro, Tenn., four bass, 11-9

Christopher Kanute of Clover, South Carolina, earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division with a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass.

Overall there were 292 bass weighing 769 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 137 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses is more than $930,000. The event is hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CDT each day from Kentucky Dam State Park, located at 7792 U.S. Highway 641 N. in Gilbertsville. Friday’s weigh-in, May 18, will be held at the State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, May 19-20, will also be held at the park, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Kentucky Dam State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is the perfect opportunity for fishing fans of all ages to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, meet characters from the “Paw Patrol” children’s television show, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at Kentucky Dam State Park on Saturday, May 19, from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to youth (18 and under) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa Sunglasses will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) June 27 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and

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Mike Iaconelli sat eating his traditional sausage, egg and cheese croissant in the dawn’s early light of Day 1 at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest to benefit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department showing off a Molix spinnerbait and a swimbait he hoped would lead to a fast limit of bass during the early morning shad spawn, and then a chance to upgrade his weight throughout the day.

Iaconelli is a grinder. Always believing that even amid a stellar career that includes a Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and a Bassmaster Classic Championship that he has to work harder than a lot of pros in order to stay competitive. So the over-the-top 14 hour practice days he logged in the 90-degree Central Texas heat this week comes as no surprise.

It’s also no surprise that amid bites of breakfast sandwich and the obvious stress that arises from contemplating the day’s challenges – like bright 96 degree sunshine over Lake Travis’ clear water – that Iaconelli’s thoughts always seem to center on getting more kids involved in fishing.

Along with the love he has for his wife Becky, his four children, old school hip hop music, collecting antique glass bottles, and Philadelphia sports teams – is an absolute passion for introducing youth anglers to the sport he loves.

“Lake Travis is a fun lake. It’d be the perfect place to take kids bass fishing, because there’s so many bass swimming here, you know they’d get a bite,” says “Ike” with excitement. “One day of practice here at Travis, I caught 120 bass. Now look, only 10% of those were keepers. But still, 120 bass in one day! That’s phenomenal!”

Speaking of numbers, two days before traveling to Texas, “Ike” hosted over 250 kids at Haddon Lake near his New Jersey home as part of the Ike Foundation Hook ‘Em Early Kids Event.

“It was awesome, man. We stocked bass, catfish and bluegill, and gave every kid a free Flambeau tackle box, plus a free Abu Ike Dude rod and reel combo. And every fish they caught counted, because we awarded prizes for total inches of fish caught in three age divisions,” he reflected. “And the best part … roughly 40% of the kids who attended had never been fishing before!”

Iaconelli’s passion couldn’t have been expressed on a more fitting morning, because the very focus of Texas Fest is to raise money that is ultimately funneled to fund Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s youth fishing initiatives in 11 major metro areas.

The effort is estimated to introduce roughly 50,000 new anglers per year to the sport Iaconelli and everybody within sight of the giant American flag hanging over Jones Brothers Park Boat Ramp on Lake Travis Thursday morning loves so soulfully.

“My hope is that we can take our Ike Foundation tournaments to a lot more locations, and use them as an opportunity to do supplemental stocking in those small lakes. That way the kids that come to our events catch lots of fish, have a great experience, and become anglers for life. Plus we leave those lakes in better condition than we found them,” he concluded with passion and purpose.

The same exact passion and purpose shared by all those involved with Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest to benefit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department this week on Lake Travis.

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