UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Forty-five for Folkestad

Forty-five for Folkestad
Mike Folkestad used a catch of 45 pounds, 11 ounces to head into the semifinals in first place.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - It was an eventful day on Clear Lake, to say the least. After a relatively tame opening day of Stren Series competition Wednesday, bass-fishing fans were rewarded with a number of compelling and dramatic storylines during Thursday's weigh-in.

For starters, a California co-angler came within 5 ounces of setting the all-time record for the largest fish ever caught in a Stren Series event. Then an excitable rookie from Idaho fishing the very first Stren tournament of his career grabbed the overall lead in the Co-angler Division. That was followed up by a runaway train posing as a pro bass angler in the form of Mike Folkestad. When all was said and done, the native of Yorba Linda, Calif., bludgeoned the rest of the field, finishing a full 8 pounds ahead of his nearest pro competitor.

To top things off, pros and co-anglers combined to bring in over 3,886 pounds of fish to the scales as well as 285 five-fish limits. Oh, and by the way, when the top-20 cut was announced, pros needed a full 31 pounds just to survive and fish another day.

Iron Mike Folkestad surges ahead

After capturing the lead in yesterday's competition, Folkestad stated that his goal was to simply catch a 10-pound bag today and qualify for the cut. Well, to the dismay of his rivals, Folkestad decided instead to bring an 18-pound, 15-ounce stringer to the scales and serve notice to the rest of the field.

"I'm ready to go fishing tomorrow," said Folkestad. "It's been awfully good fishing for me, but I'm kind of getting worried that it's too good and that it's got to end sometime soon. But I didn't fish anywhere today that I'd ever been to before, so I've been able to save all of my good spots. I'm kind of on a roll. We'll just see what happens tomorrow."

Folkestad, who won the Stren Series Western Division Angler of the Year award in 2004, said he continued targeting deep-water breaks with a variety of Roboworms including his namesake bait, the Folkestad Special. However, he also acknowledged that, as good as his career has been, he still longs to capture his first Stren Series title.

"I've accomplished a lot of things in fishing over the years, but I've never been able to win one of these," Folkestad said. "I've finished second, but it'd be really nice to finally finish in first place here."

Reese continues climb up leaderboard

Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., finished the day in second place in the Pro Division.Using a 20-pound, 5-ounce stringer in today's competition, Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., leapfrogged from a tie for 16th place into second heading into tomorrow's semifinal round of competition. Reese ended with a two-day total of 37 pounds, 3 ounces and also snagged the day's big-bass award in the Pro Division after netting a 9-pound, 11-ounce largemouth.

Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., dropped one spot to third place with a total catch of 36 pounds, 8 ounces, while perennial powerhouse Gary Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., grabbed fourth place with a 36-pound, 4-ounce catch.

Pro William McAninch of Sylmar, Calif., finished in fifth place with a two-day catch of 36 pounds, 3 ounces.William McAninch of Sylmar, Calif., finished in fifth place with a two-day catch of 36 pounds, 3 ounces.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro semifinalists at the Stren Series Clear Lake event:

6th: Michael Tuck of Antelope, Calif., 35-9
7th: Brett Davies of Sacramento, Calif., 35-7
8th: Jason Borofka of Salinas, Calif., 34-12
9th: Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif. 34-7
10th: Dean McDaniel of Sacramento, Calif., 34-3

Baldwin chasing rookie dream

Perhaps the most enthusiastic angler in the entire Clear Lake event is a little-known fisherman from Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, who goes by the name of Brett Baldwin. After finishing third in yesterday's co-angler competition, Baldwin made sure that he would grab some headlines of his own Thursday after turning in a duly impressive two-day catch of 31 pounds, 2 ounces - which just so happens to be more weight than 180 pro anglers managed to catch at the very same event.

Rookie angler Brett Baldwin of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, grabbed the overall lead in the Co-angler Division with a 31-pound, 2-ounce catch."This is the most exciting feeling that I've ever had," Baldwin said. "This is my very first Stren event, and this has been one of the main goals of my life - to be in a big-time bass tournament and do well. It's a dream come true."

Baldwin said that he owes a good part of his success to the lessons he's learned fishing the frigid waters of Idaho.

"Basically, I'm fishing my own pattern that I brought with me from Idaho," he said. "I put together everything I know about cold-weather bass fishing in Idaho, and I patterned it on this lake. The key is to fish as slowly as you can. You've got to get that bait in front of their face without startling them that much. It doesn't matter what depth you're at or what you're doing, you've got to fish slowly."

Baldwin, who said he's dedicated this tournament to his parents, said his goals are simple: to do well and have fun.

"My goal coming in here was to just make the top 20 and prove to myself that I know how to fish the way I know I can," he said. "Like I said, it's a dream come true."

Philip Garcia of Yuba City, Calif., used a 30-pound, 11-ounce catch to grab second place, while Brandon Craner of Buhl, Idaho, finished the day in third place with a 29-pound, 8-ounce catch.

Fourth place belonged to Jim Tatum of Bishop, Calif., with a catch of 28 pounds, 10 ounces. Meanwhile, Jason Billmaier of Las Vegas took fifth place with a catch of 28 pounds, 5 ounces.

Big bass, big story for Stark

Co-angler Terry Stark of Sacramento, Calif., proudly displays his 12-pound, 7-ounce largemouth. StarkWhen California native Terry Stark hit the water for today's competition, he never dreamed that he'd return to weigh-in with the most dramatic story of the day - or of his bass-fishing career for that matter. But that's exactly what happened.

"It was literally the last cast of the day. My pro had already put down his rod, and we're ready to go back in. But I wanted to make one more cast," Stark said. "I was using a purple Roboworm, I cast out and then it hit. The rod doubled over. I knew it was over 10 pounds right away. It was wild. It blew my mind."

For the next five minutes, Stark battled the fish of a lifetime. It jumped out of the water twice and made two huge runs. But Stark stayed with it all along.

"We got it to the boat, and my pro missed netting it the first time around," Stark said. "I was shaking the whole time. But then we finally netted it. It was the biggest largemouth I've ever caught in my life."

When it was finally brought to the scales, the fish weighed in at a whopping 12 pounds, 7 ounces. And as it turned out, Stark's prized possession was the third-largest fish caught of all time in any Stren Series event - losing out only to Jeary Wheeler's record 12-pound, 11-ounce largemouth caught in a 2003 Stren Series event at Sam Rayburn and Bernie Gaunt's 12-pound, 9-ounce largemouth caught in 2004 on the California Delta. Stark's monster also currently stands as the fifth-largest bass ever weighed in across all FLW Outdoors events.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler qualifiers at the Stren Series Clear Lake event:

6th: Charlie Crawford of Peoria, Ariz., 28-2
7th: Mike Nichelini of Napa, Calif., 27-12
8th: Terry Stark of Sacramento, Calif., 27-3
9th: Marvin Dixon of Willits, Calif., 27-2
10th: Mike Iloski of Escondido, Calif., 26-6

Day three of Stren Series action on Clear Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. PST at Redbud Marina, located just off Old Highway 53 in Clearlake, Calif.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2006-03-01-clear-lake 

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 »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »