UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2019 - Pickwick Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wind blows down weights on Detroit River

Wind blows down weights on Detroit River
Eric Struif extended his lead into day two with a combined weight of 42 pounds.

TRENTON, Mich. - When the wind blows in these parts - namely, the Detroit River, the St. Clair River, and lakes Erie and St. Clair - it creates a few more problems than just having your cap blown in the water or your hair messed up. No, when the wind blows around here, you're looking at potential 8-foot swells and torn-up equipment.

So it was on day two of EverStart Series Northern Division competition on the Detroit River, as angler after angler crossed the stage bemoaning the rough waters they had to navigate just to make it back on time. Stories were told of boat and motor pieces snapping off and water crashing over the bow, and the numbers suffered - competitors brought in almost 600 pounds less than they did yesterday.

The anglers took off this morning with the sun rising in the sky and storms forecasted for the afternoon. But at least in Trenton, it was raining by 10 a.m. and very windy by noon, with the sun eventually coming back out in time for weigh-in. To say it was rocky out there on the big water today would be an understatement.

Still leading the pack after two days of competition is day-one leader Eric Struif of Lake Villa, Ill., who brought in 19 pounds, 6 ounces today despite claiming he wasn't getting the big bites. Struif, too, suffered from the rough conditions, saying he felt certain he wouldn't make it back to the weigh-in site, but he did - with an interesting story to boot.

"Yesterday I caught a 5 1/2-pound fish, and in my excitement I dropped my rod over the edge of the boat," Struif said. "Today, after two hours of fishing that same spot, I thought I had a fish on, and here comes this rod tip. It was my rod."

Making the story even more unbelievable is that Struif cleaned the rod off and went on to catch four of his five-bass limit on that rod.

"I had mixed emotions," he said. "I was glad to see my rod, but I thought it was a fish."

Struif's two-day total of 42 pounds put him at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the day, and he will go out in boat No. 1 tomorrow, when weights for the top 10 finalists are cleared to zero. Though he had a terrible day, boat-navigation-wise, Struif says he'll brave the swells tomorrow to go back to the sweet spot he shared with at least four other competitors, none of whom made the cut.

"The wind was terrible," he said. "The fish weren't biting as well, and we weren't catching the big ones. The ride back was probably the worst experience I've ever had, but I'll go back again tomorrow. They were still catching them when I left."

Struif says he guesses the swells were 8-footers. "They were whitecaps," he said. "If (the weather) stays the same, I'll have a hard time getting out there, but the odds are against it being that bad (twice)."

He's been catching all his bass on a tube, not an uncommon bait around here for sure, but his method is a little different than what he tends to use.

"Normally I drop-shot, but I haven't caught a fish on a drop-shot in days," he said.

Struif was the runner-up at the July Northern Division event held on this same fishery.

Goodman good enough for second

Patrick Goodman finished the opening round in second with a two-day total catch of 41-2.Yesterday's No. 5 pro Patrick Goodman of White Pigeon moved up a few slots to end the opening round in the No. 2 position with a two-day total of 41 pounds, 2 ounces. He caught 21-4 yesterday and followed that up with 19-14 today to earn his fourth FLW Outdoors Detroit River top-10 finish.

Goodman, whose front pole seat snapped off in the wind, fished the same area he fished yesterday - a spot he wasn't quite sure could hold up.

"It was really rough," he said. "I went back to the same rock pile, and thank goodness it still had them. Both my co-anglers got good sacks, so now I'm even more worried if they're still there."

If they are, Goodman should be in good shape, as he had his limit by 10 this morning. Goodman says he's catching his bass on tubes.

Wellman jumps to third

Nate Wellman earned his first EverStart top-10 with an opening-round catch of 38-14.Jenison pro Nate Wellman caught 18 pounds, 2 ounces of bass today to bump his two-day total to 38-14, good for third. This is his first EverStart top-10 appearance, and he too got here the hard way.

"My motor about fell off," he said. "The only thing holding it on is the trim."

Wellman says he made it about 2 miles out this morning before the incident occurred, and luckily for him, his co-angler partner, Clayton Reitz, had a boat they could use.

"It was made before I was born," Wellman joked. "It was an old-school Ranger, but it made it to Pelee Islands."

Wellman only fished about an hour and a half today before quitting while he was ahead. That was probably a good decision no matter what, though, since he says it took him two hours and 45 minutes to make the return trip.

"It's a brand-new spot I found in practice," he said. "I could have had 20 pounds today. I've got a good chance to win."

Wellman, 22, is catching his bass on a goby and says his spot can easily continue to produce as long as he can make it all the way there.

Moleski, Ferguson advance to finals from top five

Finishing the opening round in fourth place is Thomas Moleski of Elkhart, Ind. Moleski caught 20-14 on day one and brought in another 17-9 today - a four-bass total - to bring his two-day weight to 38-7.

Art Ferguson, a Detroit River powerhouse, is the No. 5 pro after day two with 37-13 over two days.Landing in fifth is St. Clair Shores pro Art Ferguson, who started the tournament with a day-one catch of 20-13 and followed that up today with 17 pounds for a two-day total of 37 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I went to St. Clair, and in shallow areas there were 5-footers - that's unusual for that area," Ferguson said. "I'm running around because the wind is affecting stuff - it changes the current."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pros who will advance to Friday and Saturday's competition on the Detroit River:

6th: Mark Dowd of Westland, 10 bass, 37-6
7th: Joe Balog of Harrison Township, 10 bass, 36-5
8th: David Reault of Livonia, 10 bass, 35-3
9th: Kevin Vida of Clare, 10 bass, 35-1
10th: Tony DeFilippo of Lake Ann, 10 bass, 34-15

Eight of the final 10 pros are Michigan residents.

Ameling leads Co-angler Division

Dwight Ameling leads the co-angler pack after day two with an accumulated weight of 32-13.Taking first on the co-angler side is Fremont, Ind., angler Dwight Ameling, no stranger to the top 10. Ameling improved his day-one catch by more than 4 pounds for a two-day total of 32 pounds, 13 ounces.

"The first thing we had to do was survive the boat ride out there," said Ameling, who fished from the back of Goodman's boat on day two. "We hit one spot, and I caught six keepers."

Ameling caught his bass today on tubes and Poor Boy gobies.

Neves slides into second

Nick Neves ended the day as the No. 2 co-angler thanks to a two-day catch of 30-10.Nick Neves of Jerome is enjoying his first EverStart top-10 thanks to a two-day total catch of 30 pounds, 10 ounces.

"It was different today - we fished the Detroit River, and yesterday I fished Lake St. Clair," Neves said. "My big fish came on a tube at the mouth of Lake Erie."

His biggest one weighed in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces.

Best of the rest

Ryan Hopping of Lake St. Louis, Mo., ended the opening round as the No. 3 co-angler with a two-day catch of 29 pounds, 12 ounces. Behind him in fourth is yesterday's leader James Richardson Sr., who stumbled today with 6 pounds, 3 ounces but was strong enough on day one to bring his two-day total to 27 pounds, 4 ounces. Mike Lawrence of Toledo, Ohio, ended the day in fifth with a two-day catch weighing 26 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers who will fish tomorrow and Saturday on the Detroit River:

The day6th: Andrew Bray of Clinton Township, nine bass, 25-9
7th: Jeff Harris of Grand Blanc, seven bass, 25-7
8th: Craig Brannon of Crooksville, Ohio, eight bass, 24-1
9th: Mark Myers of Minneapolis, nine bass, 24-0
10th: Neil Heiden of Blissfield, 10 bass, 24-0

Harris caught the day's only 20-pound-plus stringer - quite a contrast to yesterday's tally of 14 - and jumped 72 spots up the leaderboard, from 79th to 7th.

Competition continues tomorrow for the top 10 pros and co-anglers, who will start over at zero and compete for two days, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day weights. Friday's takeoff begins at 7:30 a.m. from Elizabeth Park, located at 200 Grosse Ile Parkway in Trenton.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2005-09-21-detroit-river 

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

On the flip side, Josh Bensema, who’s 4 pounds, 10 ounces behind Wilson, thinks he might have found the kind of Sam Rayburn motherlode that could earn him a come-from-behind victory. And while most of the rest of the top 10 are well behind Wilson, several of them hinted at being on the trail of some truly mammoth bags. READ MORE »

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

A 9-plus-pound bass anchored Kris Wilson’s day-two limit to help him stay in the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Wilson weighed in 21 pounds, 12 ounces today to go with 26-11 yesterday. His 48-7 two-day total has Wilson 4 pounds, 10 ounces ahead of Josh Bensema and miles ahead of the rest of the top 10.   READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, which is presented by Mercury, has certainly lived up to expectations. Plenty of fish are out there to be caught, yet finding quality is the key to separating yourself from the pack. Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas certainly distanced himself after hauling in 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the Umphrey Family Pavilion stage. It may not be the Texas-sized bag Rayburn is known for, however, given the conditions it is absolutely impressive. Wilson will hold a 6-7 lead over Josh Bensema heading into Friday. READ MORE »

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek Saturday with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Campbell netted $6,718 for his victory. READ MORE »

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed $4,071 for his day on the water. READ MORE »

Fox Claims No. 8

Fox Claims No. 8

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Fox netted $2,941. READ MORE »

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Ganey took home $6,362. READ MORE »

Walser Nets 13th Title

Walser Nets 13th Title

Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. With his win – his 13th on the BFL circuit – Walser tied the BFL all-time wins record held by Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

As expected, the fishing has been great for the final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. Sunny skies and moderate winds have set everyone up for success, and so far the top 10 teams are making the most of it. READ MORE »

Racers Lock Up National Championship

Racers Lock Up National Championship

The final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River was quite the show, especially if you watched FLW Live. After catching the biggest limit of the event worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to take the lead, the Murray State duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson gave it all they had on the final day to squeak out their smallest, yet most important limit of the week. Today, Murray State caught 15-8, which was enough to edge out the Bethel University team of Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce by just 3 ounces to bring home the title. Along with winning a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower motor for the club, Puckett and Albertson also get entry into the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., this August 9-11. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River had a wide variety of patterns in play among the leaders. Today, with overcast skies and gusty winds, the folks fishing grass started to pull ahead. In the lead, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State have managed more than 16 pounds each day, but the rest of the top-10 crew is hot on their heels. Additionally, the fishing seems to be getting better by the day, so a big bag from a team down the standings a little bit wouldn’t exactly be a shock on the final day.  READ MORE »

Murray State Races Ahead

Murray State Races Ahead

Thanks to a day-two limit worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State University have the lead going into the final round of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Racers weighed 16-13 on day one to place seventh, but moved up the leaderboard today with the tournament’s biggest limit so far. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River has been quite different from day one. With strong souths winds kicking up the main channel and keeping the tide back, teams have had to adjust. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - College Championship

FLW Live Leaderboard - College Championship

Anglers and FLW staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Though the fishing seems markedly better than it was just a few days ago, the techniques getting it done are just as mixed as before. Unlike some years on the Potomac, slightly underdeveloped grass beds have the river fishing in a pretty diverse way. If all you want to do is fish grass, that isn’t ideal, but it has made for a lot of opportunity elsewhere. READ MORE »

Minor, Raines Lead College Field

Minor, Raines Lead College Field

Nolan Minor and Thomas Raines of West Virginia University have the day-one lead at the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Mountaineers’ 18-5 bag gives them a 9-ounce cushion over second-place anglers Jarrett Martin and Nickolas Marsh of Adrian College.  READ MORE »