UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

FLW Tour Recap: Lewis Smith Lake

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre was part of a 3-way split for fourth place.

(Editor's note: Veteran bass pro Dave Lefebre has agreed to take time to share his insights into each FLW Tour event of the 2013 season. After every event, Lefebre will give his thoughts on tournament strategy, winning techniques and other behind-the-scenes stories/information that is compelling to our readers. The following blog represents his second installment of the season. Lefebre ultimately finished the Lewis Smith Lake event in 15th place with a three-day total of 31 pounds, 3 ounces and walked away with $12,500 in winnings.) Our second FLW Tour event was on Lewis Smith Lake near Jasper, Ala., and I must say it was a tough one. The weather during our three-day practice period was horrible. Temperatures were in the 20s in the mornings and 30s during the day. It was cloudy, windy, it rained and even snowed one day. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the cold weather, but it does make finding fish harder for sure. The weather gradually got better each day and even reached the mid-70s by Sunday afternoon. But overall the conditions were difficult because you not only have to find some fish, but you also have to try and predict where they are going to move to as the water temperatures warm. It was tough for sure, but that is one of t+he challenges and strategies of the game that I love. In a nutshell, my practice period was not very good. I figured out how to catch tons of smaller spots out deep, but as far as the bigger fish were concerned, all I had were some theories. I wound up riding a strong first day to eventually finish 15th. I was in second place after day one with 17 pounds and very easily could've had 23 pounds if everything would've worked out perfectly ... but it didn't. I started the morning on day one on a deep point and caught a bunch of spots on a 4-inch Storm Pro Paddle Tail Swimbait. I actually caught a limit in 15 minutes, including two 3-pound spotted bass. The swimbait was one of those theories I was talking about because up until that point I had only drop-shotted those deep fish. After catching a good limit early, I was able to relax a little and spend the rest of the day trying to catch a kicker largemouth. I had found a few in practice on the ends of the last bluff or two in a couple creeks. But after hitting two of my best places without a bite and noticing the water had cleared quite a bit since practice, I decided to wash my slate clean and tie on some baits I hadn't had success with at all in practice ... in an attempt to take advantage of another one of those theories. I love jig fishing, and though I was unable to make it work in practice, I had a feeling that, as the water warmed in the afternoons, it might work. I started flipping around noon and caught a 4-1/2 pounder off of a shallow log right away, then another 4-pounder down the bank under a dock. Then I flipped under the same dock again and broke my line on a 6-pounder. I quickly retied and flipped back under the dock and hooked another giant, which got off. I couldn't believe it! I was happy to get what I did, but replacing a 2- and 3-pounder with a 5- and 6-pounder would have been awesome to say the least. I fished that area and dock several times over the next two days without any luck, only to find out the locals were cleaning it out every evening after work. On Saturday (day 3), a lady on the dock told me that they had taken a dozen big bass over 4 pounds during the week, including an 8-pounder, all caught using minnows and all filleted ... sickening. Smith Lake is huge. It is a perfect place for a pro tournament because there are so many ways to catch fish and there are also the two species - largemouths and spots - which makes it rather unique. Ehrler won with all spotted bass, which I would have thought impossible. I had a photoshoot at the take-off ramp on Sunday morning and got to watch Brent catch his first five bass of the day on a drop-shot, including one that looked to be in the 3-pound range. There were several of us standing on the dock watching him so it was pretty cool. Fish were literally caught everywhere on the lake, but the typical popular creeks did not disappoint. I was in Rock Creek as was Jay Yelas, David Fritts and several others in the top 20. A few guys were in Brushy Creek and the rest went into Ryans and Simpsons or stayed on the main lake between the dam and Duncan Bridge. There were tournament boats on steep bluffs, shallower inside bends, out in the middle and way back in the backs of skinny creeks and pockets. I saw a bunch of guys out deep fishing drop-shots on deeper points around the lake, which is how most of the 9- to 12-pound bags were caught each day. Fishing 20 to 40 feet deep with 4-inch green-pumpkin finesse worms and Shad Shape worms was popular with the guys I know. Umbrella rigs worked big time of course, and as far as I know everyone in the top 10 utilized one (or 5 depending on how you look at it) during the week. Small jigs and Shakey Head worms played big roles and so did Rapala Shad Raps, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and Wiggle Warts. I fished close to a competitor on day one who caught a bunch on a jigging spoon in 50 feet too. Like I said, fish were caught literally everywhere and with a ton of different techniques - which is why I like places like Smith Lake and hope we go back again soon. The people are great and the folks helping with takeoff and the weigh-ins worked like a well-oiled machine. I just wish they could just follow us all around the country. We were all impressed with how smoothly the event was run and I didn't hear anyone complain about the golf cart rides to the weigh-in stage either! Our next event is on Beaver Lake in Rogers, Ark., and I've got some practicing to do before then. Not fishing, but drumming, lol. I may have the opportunity to sit in with Dylan Scott and his band on Sunday afternoon at the Expo if I don't make the top 10. I'll keep you all posted on that through my Facebook page as that event approaches. Follow Dave Lefebre on Facebook by clicking here.

Tags: blog  dave-lefebre 


Fishing Through the Stress

For some of us, the Forrest Woods Cup’s memories are still fresh. They come back again and again to give us moments of satisfaction and joy as we’re reminded of the great times we had during those hot summer days at Hot Springs. READ MORE »


True Sportsmanship

In recent years it seems I’ve read an increasing number of stories about bass anglers and their lack of common courtesy: hole-jumping, waypoint-stealing, cutting off other anglers – you get the picture. With that in mind, I want to relate an incident that happened to me during the 2015 BFL Regional on the Potomac River. READ MORE »


6 Rules for Fishing Safely in a Kayak

There will never be a replacement for the almighty bass boat. It has secured its place as the tool for the trade on so many types of waters. But there are also places where the fishing kayak reigns supreme, and many of the “who’s who” of bass fishing are discovering that a kayak is a great addition to their fishing and fun tools. READ MORE »


Mom’s Fishing Lessons

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great fishing friends and mentors who helped me become a better angler. However, the best inspiration for my fishing career was my mother, Cheryl, and she also gave me the best advice regarding it. She was a mother who only fished a handful of times in her life, and who was always sure she was going to fly out of my bass boat anytime I got it over 35 mph. But, boy, did she help guide me. READ MORE »


An Unexpected Gift

What a year it has been! As I begin my very first blog post, I am thankful, humbled and extremely proud to call myself a breast cancer survivor. Not necessarily the club one expects or wants to be part of, but I am here to tell you that it has been a gift in so many ways. I know, many of you are thinking a "gift" to be diagnosed with cancer? The answer is yes. READ MORE »


How to Catch Big Fall Smallmouths

What's the best time of year to catch lots of big smallmouth bass in the northern United States? Well, get ready, because it's going to happen in the next couple of weeks and continue until the lakes freeze solid. And the best part about it is that often times you will have entire lakes to yourself since most anglers switch gears and start their hunting seasons, leaving the lakes almost completely void of pressure. READ MORE »


Weekend Angler: Off the Water Practice

Of all the excuses I hear fisherman use when it comes to fishing tournaments, the one that intrigues me the most is, "I haven't been out that much, so I couldn't practice." There is no substitute for time on the water – that is not debatable – but there are things that can be done to assist you in your weekend efforts if you can’t spend every free moment on the water. Below you’ll find just a few tips to hopefully help you become a more efficient angler. READ MORE »


The Good Ol' Days

It’s hard to believe that the dog days of summer will soon be coming to an end, seen in the shortening of days and frigid mornings. For some, fall means hanging up the rods and picking up the bow or shotgun in preparation for the upcoming hunting seasons – for others, falling water temps signify hungry bass stocking up for the descending metabolism of winter. READ MORE »


Frog fishing 101

People often ask me about what frog I use and when. It’s a good question, because there are many, many frogs available to anglers these days. The answer depends on the situation you expect to encounter. READ MORE »


A Fisherman or Fisher of Men?

It was a series of ups, downs and way downs, though I ended my season with a nice check at the Potomac River. I thought squaring off against a prehistoric reptile in its own backyard was tough, but I have to tell you that fishing against these FLW guys was tougher than dealing with alligators back home. READ MORE »


Rhinos, Bass and Great White Sharks

Tournament fishing in South Africa is pretty solid, with about 500 serious tournament anglers in the country. There are many more recreational anglers in the region too. READ MORE »


Getting Whipped by the Young Bucks

It really goes against all logic, but logic flew out the window again at the recent Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Take the example of Brandon Cobb and Dion Hibdon. Cobb, at the tender age of 25, not only qualified for the Cup (the most difficult championship in the world to qualify for, much less win), but he finished in the top five. READ MORE »


SOAR Derby a Success

Be it children or adults, we all want others to be able to experience the pure joy that we feel when hooked up and battling a fish that we have worked so hard for. READ MORE »


Shifting Gears

I am stripping the big line off the Halos and re-spooling with 6- and 8-pound-test Berkley flouro, and reflecting on how much fun it was catching all those fish with all these relatively new baits, how hard some of the strikes were and how easy it was catching fish on baits that they haven't seen before. Well, that's all over now – back to smallmouth fishing. READ MORE »


Do You Really Need So Much Stuff?

Lures and clothes have a lot in common. Just like clothing evolves and new styles come out and old styles come back, so goes fishing lures. The difference between the two, however, is that you can outgrow your old jeans, but you can never get rid of your old baits. READ MORE »


Never Miss a Bass Again

Do you ever listen at the weigh-in at how many guys talk about all the fish they missed? I can’t accept that it’s part of the job at hand. It’s one of my pet peeves. Most of us would do much better if we would just ask the simple question “why?” In prefishing we have already done most of the hard work. During the tournament, a missed fish can’t be accepted. I consider it a good tournament when I come back to the ramp with no missed fish, regardless of my finish. How does that happen? It starts way before the tournament. READ MORE »


Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division Event Set For Lake Champlain

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 21, 2015) – The Rayovac FLW Series is headed to Lake Champlain July 30- Aug. 1 for a tournament presented by Plano when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the second stop of 2015 in the Northern Division... READ MORE »


A Bass is a Bass, But Not Always

Amigos, as you may remember, we left the past blog with a big question mark on the well-known saying, “A bass is a bass, no matter what.” Well, it’s time to give you a different point of view. A lot of you, while reading these lines, might start questioning my ideas. READ MORE »


From Kayak to Bass Boat

Like many anglers, I am a fanatic about my equipment for the things I do. For example, I’m a four-time world champion whitewater kayaker and have won three of them in a boat of my design. I started Jackson Kayak to take kayak design to the next level and to do things that the bigger company I was working for wasn’t willing to do. I am also a long-time bass fisherman, which led me to fishing 2015 Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler. READ MORE »


More Than a Fisherman

The competitive fishing world is a small one, and when narrowed down to the competitive bass fishing world, it is even smaller in the grand scheme of things. This, of course, isn’t to say that this small group doesn’t have an absolutely huge impact. It does. READ MORE »