Clapper wins Chevy Open on Detroit River - Major League Fishing
Clapper wins Chevy Open on Detroit River
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Clapper wins Chevy Open on Detroit River

July 15, 2007 • MLF • Press Releases

DETROIT – Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 45 pounds, 9 ounces to win $200,000 in the $1.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour Chevy Open on the Detroit River. Fishing in his first FLW Tour tournament, Clapper topped his closest rival, Kevin Long of Berkley, Mich., by more than 6 pounds to earn the win.

“I started out drop-shotting,” said the 59-year-old Clapper, who led the event all four days of competition and boosted his career FLW Outdoors earnings to more than $308,000 with the victory. “I fished a lot of miscellaneous Berkley Gulp! baits. We also caught fish on Poor Boys Drop Shot Gobies that we put in the Gulp! bags. It’s unbelievable what that Gulp! does.”

Clapper also caught two keepers on a tube, although he opted not to utilize the more common method of dragging the tube on the bottom. When the waters began to calm, Clapper relied on his experience and a few old tricks.

“I told my camera man, `It’s slicking off, and I’m going to show you something,'” Clapper said. “The fish were still there, but they didn’t want to bite anything. So I made a long cast and whipped it back three times and killed it. And I had a big dude hit the goby-colored ISG Intimidator tube. It wasn’t because he was hungry, but because it was something going by him real quick – like a jerkbait.”

Long caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 39-7 to claim second place and $75,000.

“I was pretty confident I could make the cut,” Long said. “As far as finishing second, I was pretty surprised, to be honest with you. I was on good fish, I just didn’t know what would happen with the wind.”

Long targeted isolated grass beds on Lake St. Clair and fished tubes to make the cut to the final two days of competition, but relied on a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 jerkbait and a crankbait in as shallow as 4 feet of water – and as much as 18 feet of water – on the final day of fishing.

“Most of my big fish I caught on the jerkbait,” Long said. “I like to get shallow and sight fish, and conditions today were perfect for that. This is the only day we had like that. Steve catches them no matter what, but today was perfect conditions for how I like to fish.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were Terry Baksay of Easton, Conn. (10 bass, 39-2, $50,000); Thomas Moleski of Elkhart, Ind. (10 bass, 39-1, $40,000); Team A&W pro Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind. (10 bass, 38-7, $30,000); Team Wal-Mart pro Trevor Jancasz of White Pigeon, Mich. (10 bass, 37-13, $29,000); Josh Myers of Chatham, Ontario (10 bass, 35-10, $28,000); Team Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas (10 bass, 28-6, $27,000); Christopher King of South Amherst, Ohio (five bass, 18-6, $26,000) and Team National Guard pro Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz. (five bass, 16-15, $25,000).

Overall there were 46 bass weighing 175 pounds, 6 ounces caught in the Pro Division Sunday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.

Ken Murphy of Meridian, Miss., won the Co-angler Division and $40,000 Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces followed by Ben Felton of Marshall, Mich., in second place with five bass weighing 18-5 worth $10,000.

Murphy opened the tournament in 10th place Thursday with five bass weighing 17-6 while fishing with pro Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark. On Friday he jumped into fourth place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 16-9 while fishing with Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif. He wrapped up his win while fishing with Baksay.

“It hasn’t hit me quite yet,” said Murphy, who finally secured his first win after posting 10 FLW Outdoors top-10 finishes. “I’ve tried so hard for so long to get to this point. I keep getting to third base, but I can’t get home. Finally I did it.”

Murphy said he caught all of his fish on the same bait – a Golby-colored Erie Darter by Poor Boys. He was drop-shotting the bait in water from 14 to 21 feet deep.

“It’s just stunning what I’ve accomplished this year,” Murphy said. “I’ve had four tournaments where I finished no worse than 11th and I didn’t win the Co-angler of the Year title. That fact should show people what kind of fishermen fish on the co-angler side of the FLW tournaments.”

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Mike Simpson of Dayton, Ohio (five bass, 18-0, $9,000); Scott Leo of Grand Rapids, Mich. (five bass, 15-14, $8,000); James Richardson of Harrison, Ohio (four bass, 12-14, $7,000); Bill Gift of Alix, Ark. (four bass, 10-11, $6,000); Drew Montgomery of Concord, N.C. (three bass, 9-6, $5,000); Jason Sherwood of Damascus, Md. (four bass, 8-3, $4,000); James Dixon of Southfield, Mich. (zero bass, 0-0, $3,000) and Truman White of Myersville, Md. (zero bass, 0-0, $2,000).

Overall there were 35 bass weighing 112 pounds, 2 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Saturday. The catch included four five-bass limits.

The top 40 pros and the top 35 co-anglers from the 2007 season will now compete in the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol in Hot Springs, Ark., where the winner will earn as much as $1 million – the biggest award in bass fishing – Aug. 5. For complete standings and a list of Forrest Wood Cup qualifiers, visit

Coverage of the Chevy Open will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit