PAA Anglers Bring Impressive Accomplishments to Pittsburg

By Pete Robbins

Pittsburgh, Penn. – When the 77 contenders blast off Thursday morning for the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup in search of a one million dollar top prize, 42 of them will be members of the Professional Anglers Association (PAA) among their ranks. That’s 55 percent, thereby demonstrating the PAA’s increasing dominance in the world competitive angling.

For some of them it will be “déjà vu all over again.” Ten of the 47 anglers in the 2005 Bassmaster Classic field, held at this same venue (with some slight differences in the actual playing field) will get another shot at glory this week. They include Mike Iaconelli, David Walker, Stacey King, Tommy Biffle, Luke Clausen, Larry Nixon, Takahiro Omori, Chris Baumgardner, Greg Hackney and Jay Yelas. Among that group, Iaconelli (5th) was the only one to finish in the top 10. Yelas and Hackney were the lowest finishers – they tied four other anglers with a goose egg.

The following presents a few key facts about the PAA members shooting for the big prize this week:


Shinichi Fukae, of Japan, hails from the longest distance away (unless you count Takahiro Omori, a Japanese native who currently resides in Texas);

Dave Lefebre is the only home-state contender;

Nearby New Jersey has two anglers in the field, Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek;

The other northeastern angler is Terry Baksay of Connecticut;

The field includes one itinerant fisherman, Luke Clausen;

Texas has produced the most anglers in the field, six;

Arkansas and Tennessee each have five representatives;

The Northwest is represented by two anglers, Ken Wick or Idaho and Jay Yelas of Oregon (three if you count Clausen, a Washington native);

Nine states have one representative a piece.


38 of the PAA representatives have previously qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup;

Among those 38 anglers, they’ve previously fished a total of 166 FWCs;

The group includes three FWC winners, Scott Suggs, Luke Clausen and Anthony Gagliardi;

Andy Morgan and Clark Wendlandt have fished the most FWCs, 11 apiece;

Larry Nixon and Dan Morehead are the only other two in double digits, with 10 apiece;

David Walker and Wesley Strader have fished 8 apiece;

Tommy Biffle and Anthony Gagliardi have fished 7 a piece.


Twelve different anglers have won a total of 25 FLW Tour regular season events;

Anthony Gagliardi, Larry Nixon and Clark Wendlandt have won three regular season FLW Tour events apiece:

Shinichi Fukae and Dan Morehead have won two regular season FLW Tour events apiece;

Fourteen different anglers have won a total of 25 Stren tournaments;

Koby Kreiger has won the most Strens, four;

Dan Morehead and Bryan Thrift have each won three Strens, although two of Thrift’s victories were on the co-angler side of the tournament;

Pete Gluszek, Andy Morgan and Craig Powers have each won two Strens;

Four different anglers – Sean Hoernke, Mike Hawkes, JT Kenney and Mark Rose – have won a regular-season FLW Series tournament;

Greg Hackney is the only member of the group to have won the FLW Series East/West Fish-Off

David Curtis is the only PAA member in the field to have won a Texas Tournament Trail tournament – he claimed victory on that now defunct circuit three times.


Four PAA anglers in the field fish full-time on the Bassmaster Elite Series trail – Tommy Biffle, Greg Hackney, Mike Iaconelli and Takahiro Omori;

Twenty-two of them combine for 133 Bassmaster Classic Appearances

Luke Clausen, Larry Nixon, Jay Yelas, Takahiro Omori and Mike Iaconelli have all won the Bassmaster Classic;

Nixon’s Classic victory came on the Ohio River system, the same system this tournament will be on;

Nixon has been to the Classic the most times, 25;

Other anglers in the group with double-digit numbers of Classic appearances are Jay Yelas (16), Tommy Biffle (15), Stacey King (12) and Mike Iaconelli (10).

Fifteen of the anglers have combined for a total of 53 BASS wins, including Bassmaster Classics;

Nixon has the most BASS wins of the group, 14, including a Classic and three Megabucks titles;

Yelas, Omori and Iaconelli have eight, six and five BASS wins, respectively.

Six other anglers have multiple BASS wins to their credit – Biffle (4), Hackney (3), King (2), Mann (2), Morehead (2) and Art Ferguson (2);

Twelve of the anglers have won both BASS events and FLW Outdoors tournaments (not including BFLs). They are Pete Gluszek, Tom Mann Jr., Larry Nixon, Jay Yelas, Chris Baumgardner, Tommy Biffle, Greg Hackney, JT Kenney, Koby Kreiger, Dan Morehead, Takahiro Omori and Mike Iaconelli.


• Tracy Adams

• Terry Baksay

• Chris Baumgardner

• Tommy Biffle

• Brennan Bosley

• Scott Canterbury

• Jason Christie

• Luke Clausen

• Keith Combs

• David Curtis

• Ott Defoe

• Jim Dillard

• Craig Dowling

• Art Ferguson

• Shinichi Fukae

• Anthony Gagliardi

• Pete Gluszek

• Greg Hackney

• Mike Hawkes

• Sean Hoernke

• Mike Iaconelli

• Stacey King

• Koby Kreiger

• Dave Lefebre

• Tom Mann Jr.

• Andy Montgomery

• Dan Morehead

• Andy Morgan

• Larry Nixon

• Takahiro Omori

• Craig Powers

• Greg Pugh

• Mark Rose

• Shad Schenck

• Wesley Strader

• Scott Suggs

• Bryan Thrift

• David Walker

• Clark Wendlandt

• Ken Wick

• Jay Yelas