UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Lake leader

Lake leader
Pro Steven Lake of Lowell, Ark., caught four bass weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces Wednesday to lead the four-day, $253,325 EverStart Series Central Division event on Alabama?s Pickwick Lake.

Arkansan tops pros at Pickwick EverStart day one; Wendlandt lands enormous smallmouth

FLORENCE, Ala. - Despite never having fished at Alabama's Pickwick Lake before, Steven Lake of Lowell, Ark., took over the top spot in the Pro Division on opening day of EverStart Series Central Division competition Wednesday. Even further conquering the odds, Lake leads the 63 other pros who caught full, five-bass limits while he managed to catch only four keeper fish.

But they were all solid fish. Lake's four bass weighed in at a collective 15 pounds, 3 ounces, nearly a pound more than second-place pro Clay Fritts' 14-6.

"The fish bit for me today," Lake said. "It feels good."

It must have felt pretty good for Lake. He came to this part of the Tennessee River, his first visit here, never having caught a smallmouth bass before. But he evidently adapted quickly since his leading stringer was anchored by a smallmouth that weighed around 5 pounds. Three other nice largemouths filled out his catch.

"I thought I only had about 13 pounds, not 15," he said.

Competitors are focusing on bass that are still in the prespawn stage on the Wilson-Wheeler-Pickwick chain of lakes. Many had hoped the nice weather that led up to the tournament would continue so the fish would move up to spawn, but that wasn't the case Wednesday morning as a steady drizzle and colder temperatures descended upon the river. So anglers are having to hunt for bass that are still suspended in anywhere from 5 to 15 feet of water.

"I think the rain is messing me up a little bit," Lake said, despite his lead. "Compared to practice, it hurt me. ... I hope to do it again tomorrow. I'm just going to go fishing like I did today."

Second-place Fritts, a rookie angler from Florence who moved up into the Pro Division from the Co-angler Division Tuesday night to fill an empty slot, also battled the shifty weather Wednesday. He didn't catch the final three fish of his limit until the last 15 minutes of the day.

"I've been catching them when it's been pretty, but this cloud cover messed me up," he said. "If the tournament was next week, you could probably get on a pattern. Right now (the bass) are just scattered. But these smallmouth could go up on the bank (to spawn) any minute."

It's not like they're not catching them. A number of 5-pound smallmouths came across the scale on day one, but it was FLW standout Clark Wendlandt of Cedar Park, Texas, who caused jaws to drop when he weighed in a single 8-pound, 4-ounce smallmouth bass to win the Snickers Big-Bass Award Wednesday. Wendlandt placed third with a five-bass weight of 13-8.

"That was the most excited I've ever been to catch a bass - and I've caught a lot of bass," said Wendlandt, who added that several locals told him the fish would have broken the Mississippi state smallmouth record, which currently stands at 7 pounds, 15 ounces. Problem was, he caught it in Alabama just two miles away from the Mississippi state line. The Alabama state smallmouth record is 10-8.

Pro Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., a finalist at last month's Central Division event at Texas' Sam Rayburn Reservoir, came in fourth with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces.

"It's fortunate, that's what I call it," he said. "You've just got to keep chunking it in there."

Past EverStart champion (again, Sam Rayburn, 2002) Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, rounded out the pro top five with a limit weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces.

The rest of the top 10, in fact the top 12, remains a tightly bunched group. Twelfth-place Bill McDonald is within a pound of the top five with a weight of 11 pounds, 1 ounce.

Phillips tops co-anglers

Shane Phillips of Franklin, Ky., took the Co-angler Division lead and big-bass award Wednesday. His catch, also just a four-bass stringer, was anchored by his 5-pound, 10-ounce kicker largemouth and weighed a collective 10-6.

"It feels good. I'm just having fun," he said. "I didn't think he was that big until he got to the boat and he made a run."

Phillips, a tour rookie who's also fishing at Pickwick for the first time, caught all of his keeper largemouth except one on a spinner bait. He said he caught "some early, some late" in the day.

Following Phillips in the Co-angler Division are Tim Krier of Indianola, Iowa, (second place) with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces; Robert Garner of Florence (third) with five bass weighing 8-15; Doug Caskey of Madisonville, Ky., (fourth) with five bass weighing 8-13; and Terry Pettle of Wagoner, Okla., (fifth) with three bass weighing 8-5.

Competition resumes at 6 a.m. Thursday as competitors take off from McFarland Park on James M. Spain Drive in Florence for the second half of opening-round competition. The top 20 anglers in both divisions following tomorrow's fishing will advance to Friday's semifinal round.

Click here for a preview of day two.

Day-one links:

Photos
Results
Tomorrow's pairings
Press release

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2003-03-26-pickwick 

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »