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Paul in the News

Oklahoma’s Fred Roumbanis edges out Paul Elias to win the PAA Tournament Series on Alabama’s Neely Henry Lake

Gadsden, AL – Fred Roumbanis started the final day of competition in the Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series presented  by Carrot Stix on Alabama’s Neely Henry Lake in a bit of a funk.

After finishing the second day of the tournament in sixth place with a two day total weight of 25.76 pounds, the Bixby, Oklahoma pro was less than two pounds off the pace set by Greg Hackney, but felt as though he’d let a golden opportunity slip through his fingers after failing to boat three key bites that would have increased his total weight by over four pounds.

Friday’s lost fish were a distant memory by the conclusion of Saturday afternoon’s final weigh-in, which was held at Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama.   With a limit weighing 12.95 pounds, Roumbanis edged out Mississippi’s Paul Elias by a mere .24 pounds to hoist the PAA Tournament Series trophy with a final weight of 38.71 pounds. Story - Results


Elite Series Pro, Paul Elias, discusses his feelings about the Alabama Rig and the possibility of banning the AR on the tours.

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Just about everybody who threw the newfangled Alabama Rig at the Guntersville FLW Tour Open had success with it. Nobody used it as effectively as Paul Elias, though.

The grizzled veteran, who won the Bassmaster Classic during Ronald Reagan's first term as President, had been intrigued by the umbrella-style device's potential since seeing it for the first time over the summer. Read More

The 2011 Guntersville FLW Tour Open will forever be known as the coming-out party for the Alabama Rig, and 60-year-old Paul Elias will go down as the supreme guest of honor.

The Mississippian, whose long career includes a host of accolades, wrapped up a stunning wire-to-wire victory on Sunday with a 23-00 stringer that gave him a 4-day total of 102-08. In a tournament that many predicted would be a low-weight event – especially for hawg-rich but highly pressured Guntersville – he compiled the second-highest aggregate in Tour history and won by more than 17 pounds. Read More

Paul Elias caught his lightest bag of the Guntersville FLW Tour Open in Alabama today. It was still heavier than anyone else's, though, and it added a couple of ounces to his already-massive lead.

The 60-year-old Mississippian moved a step closer to his long-awaited first win at Guntersville with a 24-05 stringer that gave him a 3-day total of 79-08. If he catches 20 1/2 pounds tomorrow he'll crack the 100-pound mark for the event – a feat that seemed almost impossible earlier in the week. Read More

The idea that somebody might threaten the 100-pound mark at the Guntersville FLW Tour Open seemed preposterous just a couple of days ago, but Paul Elias is well over halfway there at the midway point.

The veteran from Mississippi backed up his 26-pound day-1 sack with a monstrous 29-03 bag today. His 55-03 total gave him a 14 1/2-pound lead – the equivalent of a solid stringer at a time when the lake isn't at its best. Read More

Elias is no stranger to huge stringers – he holds the B.A.S.S. 4-day weight record with 132-08 from Falcon in 2008. The one he caught today was a surprise to most, however, as slumping Guntersville was considered incapable of surrendering such weights in its present state.

He did it without the benefit of a true giant – his biggest fish was a 6 1/2-pounder. He wouldn't reveal how he caught them, but said his boat was in at least 20 feet of water throughout the day. Read More

23.Oct.2011 GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Pro Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds even Sunday to lead wire-to-wire and win $100,500 at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 102-8.

The catch gave him the win by an amazing 17-pound, 3-ounce margin over Robert Behrle of Hoover, Ala., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 85-5 and earned $34,021.

Elias came up just short of the previous FLW Tour total tournament weight record of 106 pounds, 10 ounces that was set by Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., at the 2011 season opener in February at Lake Okeechobee. Elias said the Guntersville event marked the fourth time he has cracked the 100-pound mark in tournament competition.

“Somehow the Lord blesses me and I manage to win one of these things every three or four years,” said Elias, who boosted his career winnings to $1.29 million. “To be 60 years old and to be able to compete against these young guys … it’s great.

“I am worn slam out,” Elias added. “I’ve only won one other tournament where I led every day, and it’s exhausting.”

Elias opened the tournament Thursday with five bass weighing 26 pounds even that he caught on a little-known method called an Alabama Rig. On Friday he added another five bass weighing 29-3 and word about the Alabama Rig began to leak out. He then caught five bass weighing 24-5 Saturday and talk about the Alabama Rig dominated conversation on stage. On Sunday, a day that saw the majority of the final 10 competitors use the Alabama Rig at one time or another, he sealed his victory.

The Alabama Rig consists of a hard-bait body that trails four or five wires that have a swivel attached to the end of each wire. Fishermen then tie a variety of baits – swimbaits, grubs or a variety of other artificial baits – to the swivels. The baits fan out and are retrieved and mimic a school of baitfish.

Elias said he fished the Alabama Rig on a 7-foot, 11-inch Pinnacle flipping rod, a Pinnacle reel and 65-pound-test Spiderwire Ultracast FluoroBraid line. Elias baited the Alabama Rig with either 5-inch swimbaits on 3/8-ounce jigheads or 6 ½-inch swimbaits on ¾-ounce jigheads. Elias said he started the competition using Mann’s HardNose Swimbaits but ran out of those and ended up using three different swimbaits during the course of the tournament.

“The fishing started out a little slow and I said, ‘You big dummy, you better catch at least enough to win this thing after you’ve led it this far,’” Elias said. “They finally started biting and I got comfortable.”

Elias said he keyed in on fish on ridges and quick-dropping points near the causeways around current that was causing the fish to stage to ambush shad. Elias positioned his boat in 25 to 40 feet of water and was catching suspending fish in 20 to 30 feet of water. Elias said he estimates he caught almost 100 keepers during the course of the event.

“That Alabama Rig was awesome,” Elias told the weigh-in crowd. “It’s going to be crucial to practice catch-and-release on these fish because when you get that bait in your hand you’re going to catch a lot of fish. So please take care of your lake. You’ve got one of the greatest lakes in the country.”

The remaining top 10 pros finished the tournament in:

3rd: Russell Lane, Prattville, Ala., 20 bass, 74-4, $29,154

4th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 74-1, $24,288

5th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 73-7, $19,421

6th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 18 bass, 70-6, $16,501

7th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 20 bass, 69-2, $15,528

8th: Duracell/Gillette pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 20 bass, 68-1, $14,554

9th: Chevy pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 19 bass, 63-8, $13,581

10th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 20 bass, 62-10, $12,608

22.Oct.2011 GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Pro Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., endured a 1-hour, 45-minute fog delay Saturday morning and caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces to continue his domination of the field at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury and advance to the top 10 as the crucial No. 1 seed. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 79-8, he now holds a 14-pound, 9-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.

“This is one awesome lake,” Elias said. “I’ve had some great Octobers on this lake.”

Elias said he relied on the Alabama Rig again on the third day of competition to land another massive Guntersville limit of bass.

“This rig I’m throwing is crazy,” Elias said. “A lot more guys were throwing it today than were the first two days. It’s obvious by the weights. A bait comes along every now and then and it just makes a lot of sense, and this is just one of those kinds of baits.”

The Alabama rig consists of a hard-bait body that trails four or five wires that have a swivel attached to the end of each wire. Fishermen then tie a variety of baits – swimbaits, grubs or a variety of other artificial baits – to the swivels. The baits fan out and are retrieved and mimic a school of baitfish. Elias said he has been fishing the rig in deep water for suspended fish and has eight spots he wanted to target during the tournament. He’s hit five of those spots during the first three days of competition.

“I’ve tried other stuff, but it just wasn’t working,” Elias said. “I think I can catch another good bag tomorrow. I’ll feel comfortable with 15 or 16 pounds. But I feel like if I catch another limit the way I’ve been fishing I’ll catch another 20-plus-pound bag.”

Pro Robert Behrle of Hoover, Ala., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 64-15.

Rounding out the top 10 pros and advancing to the final day of competition are:

3rd: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 59-4

4th: Duracell/Gillette pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 15 bass, 51-10

5th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 15 bass, 51-1

6th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 50-15

7th: Russell Lane, Prattville, Ala., 15 bass, 49-15

8th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 49-8

9th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 15 bass, 47-5

10th: Chevy pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 14 bass, 44-7

Finishing in 11th through 20th are:

11th: Christopher Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 43-3, $12,121

12th: National Guard pro Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 14 bass, 42-12, $12,121

13th: Kelley Jaye, Dadeville, Ala., 14 bass, 41-12, $12,121

14th: Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tenn., 12 bass, 41-9, $12,121

15th: Trevor Fitzgerald, Belleview, Fla., 15 bass, 41-4, $12,121

16th: Christopher Brasher, Spring, Texas, 12 bass, 39-6, $11,634

17th: National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 12 bass, 36-4, $11,634

18th: Wesley Helton, Calhoun, Tenn., 12 bass, 36-4, $11,634

19th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 10 bass, 32-1, $11,634

20th: Snickers Peanut Butter Squared pro Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 11 bass, 31-13, $11,634

Overall there were 77 bass weighing 265 pounds, 12 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 12 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify. Complete Story

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Jake Lands 7.7 Largemouth Fishing with Paul


Paul, Wanted to drop you a line and again thank you for the great time Lance and I had. The time spent with you on the electronics was amazing,but the real deal was when we put that knowledge and applied it out on the water on Friday.We guessed our best 5 would of been in the 42 lb range, with both of us catching our personal best fish of our lifes.We had 2 over 10 and 1 around 9 from your lake. We are getting ready to start into the Everstart series this year and your class will definitely help us out.

Thanks again, Frank

In Depth Fishing Lessons Click Here

Just a quick email to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Pachuta. As an avid angler I found In-Depth Fishing to be a master's level course in the sport of bass fishing.  I learned a great deal and it was fun to apply the lessons while catching lunker bass (see photos).  Lake Eddins is an extraordinary fishery! Click Here

David McLarnon
Natick, MA

Fisherman – What a remarkable opportunity to fish and learn from a legend in bass fishing! Fellow bass fishing enthusiasts my name is Robert Chandler who works as an engineer day to day down in southwest Louisiana and I am just your average weekend angler aspiring to locate and put more fish in the livewell more consistently. Recently, I read an article in the Bassmaster magazine that Paul Elias who when I was a teenager had just started his fishing career Click Here