UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Every ounce counts

Every ounce counts
Pro winner Thanh Le weighs in one of his tournament-winning bass.

HENDERSON, Nev. - Thanh Le has a lot of people to thank for his first EverStart Series victory.

The personable pro won this week's Western Division event on Lake Mead by a scant 1-ounce margin over opening-round leader Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nev., who caught 19 pounds, 1 ounce to Le's 19-2.

Over the course of three seasons in the EverStart Series, Le has had boat trouble - many, many times. This week was no exception, and luckily for Le, part of his prize package included an Evinrude-powered Ranger boat.Thanh Le is congratulated for his victory while runner-up Tim Klinger looks on.

"My boat broke down this time after the second day," he said. The list of people who have loaned him boats includes Jim Wickham, the 2003 co-angler points champion. Wickham won a fully rigged Ranger as the '03 EverStart/Evinrude Co-angler Champion, and Le took that very boat out on the rough waters of Lake Mead this week to claim his second top-10 finish and his first win.

After the final weigh-in, Le had only one request: to give props to the long list of folks kind enough to let him borrow a rig during all the times his boat has failed him over the last couple of years. Including Wickham, those people are Dan Unten, Jeff Wilkie, Richard Davies, Steve Brecko and Justin Hanold.

As for Wickham, "I helped him win that boat," Le said. "He won the '03 Clear Lake tournament out of the back of my boat, so it's payback."

Short run pays off

Le began the tournament Wednesday in the top 10 and never fell out of it, ending day one in sixth place and earning a trip to the final round by finishing fifth on day two.

He was fourth after day three with a 7-pound, 7-ounce catch that lagged behind leader Gabe Bolivar by a seemingly insurmountable 4 pounds, 9 ounces. But Bolivar brought in only 6 pounds, 11 ounces on the final day, while Le improved his catch by more than 4 pounds. Le's final tally on day four was 11 pounds, 11 ounces, which earned him $8,400 plus the Ranger.Thanh Le poses with his trophy.

"I was basically targeting cuts in the back of bays and coves," he said. "The first three days I fished the Echo area, which is about 30 or 40 miles (away)."

For the final day, Le moved to one of his favorite Lake Mead hot spots, the Finger Cove area located not far from the launch site at Callville Bay Marina.

"Today I went less than a minute, to the next cove," he said. "Late yesterday around 2 p.m. I went there - it's an area I fish every year this time of year."

Le said he declined to fish the Finger Cove area the first two days due to excessive boat traffic, and he did not wet a line there yesterday either, merely checking the area out to gauge its quality for day four.

"Yesterday I kept looking at it, but I had fish," he said. "After struggling today, I came back there. Yesterday I had spotted 30-something fish on the bank. Some were on beds, and some were cruising along the bank."

Le entered the area this morning, hoping against hope that he'd have it to himself. Luckily for him, there was no one there except for two pleasure boats.

"I had the place to myself all day long," he said.

Le undeterred by mighty winds

Le reported that this week's ever-changing weather conditions did not change the way he fished.

This week's tournament has seen hot sun that later cooled off as much as 20 degrees over two days. The winds have also gone from calm to what felt close to gale-force, whipping around at upwards of 30 mph. Finally, the anglers also dealt with rain on the last day, although not for very long.

"It's common knowledge that the fish get more active in the wind and clouds on this lake," Le said. "They get more aggressive."

For that reason, Le counted himself among the anglers who welcomed the wind. Some wanted it while others, like runner-up Klinger, wished it would go away.

Lessons learned

Overall, Le prefished the area for nine and a half days, coupling that knowledge with a few things he learned in the past to catch his winning fish.A look at Thanh Le

"Two years ago I fished a WON bass tournament here," he said. "I fished with a local who came out with a tube in his hand. He put two (bass) in the boat and taught me a lesson."

Le caught his tournament-winning bass throwing a 3 3/4-inch green pumpkin tube. He's also the new Pro Division points leader, taking the position away from Scott Mascadri, who finished the tournament in sixth.

Klinger's near-miss

After leading the two-day opening round with a combined catch of 27 pounds, 9 ounces, local pro Tim Klinger slipped to second place on day three with a limit of bass that weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Although he - along with everyone else - had a lot of ground to make up with Gabe Bolivar's commanding 12-pound catch, Klinger was certainly never out of the hunt.

Klinger fished with eventual co-angler winner Lewis Milligan on day four and handed him the bait that earned him the title. With Klinger's bait tied on, Milligan brought in four fish that gave him the co-angler win by 8 ounces.Tim Klinger led the opening round on Lake Mead and ultimately finished the tournament in second place.

All week, Klinger has utilized a reaction-bait pattern that located the fish, switching to a soft bait once the bass began following the reaction bait. This sight-fishing pattern blew away in the wind, although Klinger managed to adjust well enough to come within an ounce of victory.

"Today I switched up and left my primary area," he said. "I caught seven or eight fish - missed a few, broke some off."

Klinger caught his bass today on a 3/4-ounce brown/red Yamamoto jig mixed with purple and admitted that the gusty winds affected his performance.

"With the wind blowing, I couldn't fish the way I did the first couple of days," he said. Klinger's performance this week on Lake Mead helped him secure a fourth-place ranking heading into the Western Division's final event on the California Delta.

Kolender takes third place

Add Dennis Kolender to the list of anglers earning their personal-best EverStart finish this week on Lake Mead. The Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League veteran took third place with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 11 ounces that earned him $8,000.

Kolender tied for second on day one and was third after day two with an accumulated weight of 23 pounds, 1 ounce. He remained in third on day three with 9 pounds, 2 ounces and held on to that position on the final day with another 9 pounds, 9 ounces. Dennis Kolender took third place on Lake Mead.

"I made a big run today," he said. "I hadn't been there in over a year."

Kolender had been fishing past the Virgin Basin earlier in the week, but moved today to Gregg's Basin to catch his bass. Several anglers had trouble with losing fish this week, and today, Kolender was no exception.

"I broke off two fish, and that probably hurt me," he said. "I had a shallow pattern, throwing a Fluke and a brown jig and drop-shotting a Tiki-Drop."

Bolivar moves down, Meyer moves up

No. 4 pro Gabe Bolivar shocked the crowd when he brought in only three fish today after building up a solid lead after day three. His three bass today weighed more than 5 pounds less than his day-three catch, but his two-day weight of 18 pounds, 11 ounces was enough to earn him $7,350. (Kolender, who also caught 18-11, earned the better standing due to the day-two-standings tiebreaker. He finished third after day two, while Bolivar finished fourth.)

Clayton Meyer, who won the season opener on Lake Havasu, moved up from ninth to fifth on the strength of the day's heaviest catch. Meyer caught only 1 pound, 15 ounces on day three, but brought in 11 pounds, 12 ounces on day four to take fifth place and $6,850 with a two-day total of 13-11.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Mead:

6th: Scott Mascadri of Sacramento, Calif., nine bass, 12-13, $5,850
7th: Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., seven bass, 11-8, $4,850
8th: Shane Meisel of Alta Loma, Calif., seven bass, 10-15, $4,350
9th: Sean Andrachick of Marion, Mont., three bass, 5-2, $3,850
10th: Johnny Parks of Aztec, N.M., one bass, 1-13, $3,350

What's next

Coming up next on the EverStart trail is a Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks April 20-23. The Western Division will wrap up the regular season May 4-7 with an event on the California Delta.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2005-04-06-lake-mead 

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

The final 30 anglers are blasting off and headed to their first spots of the day. By the time the smoke clears this evening, we'll have 10 pros left to fish tomorrow, all chasing that $100,000 check and a huge jump start on the Angler of the Year points race. READ MORE »

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Sam Rayburn offered fairly tough conditions, but the cream of the crop still caught a lot of Texas bass. In first, John Cox stayed steady with an 18-pound, 12-ounce limit to get up to a 40-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

After an overcast and calm start to the first day on Sam Rayburn, day two looks to be offering much different weather conditions. The forecast calls for sunny skies all day, though it should be as windy, or windier, than it was to close day one. That's potentially good news for a good portion of the field, as conditions should more closely resemble what anglers had to work with during practice. READ MORE »

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

In what had to be an ironic sight, while Cox watched others around him beat Sam Rayburn’s shallow brush, the DeBary, Fla., pro sacked up 21 pounds, 7 ounces and take the day one lead by focusing out deeper with a crankbait to kick off the new Pro Circuit season. READ MORE »

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn provided plenty of fish, but none of the mega-bags that hit the scale in 2019. As is often the case, John Cox is in the lead after day one, with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Behind him, are a strong collection of tour veterans, up-and-coming pros and local talent. In second with 21-4 is Greg Bohannan and close behind him is Darold Gleason with 21-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season is officially underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas. With the new season comes some fresh faces and familiar favorites, all of whom are looking to get a head start on the rest of the field in the 2020 Angler of the Year points standings. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the first stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

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 »