UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Jig bite triumphs in Titletown

Jig bite triumphs in Titletown

GREEN BAY, Wis. - All week long, limit after limit was caught from the seemingly invincible Geano Reef area of Green Bay. Nearly all of those walleyes were caught by trolling crawler harnesses behind planer boards. But on day four, the jig bite ruled as local pro Wayne Butz stayed away from the crowd and pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in FLW Outdoors history.

Despite having a 13-pound, 10-ounce deficit to overcome, Butz insisted he had a chance to unseat Ted Takasaki.

"Consistency was the key," said an overjoyed Butz.

Co-angler Chad Wertepny and pro Wayne Butz show off their first-place trophies. Each tournament day, the Oneida, Wis., resident set out with a goal of catching at least 25 pounds. Butz accomplished that and then some as his four-day total of 109 pounds, 1 ounce falls just short of Pat Neu's four-day tour record of 111 pounds, 8 ounces.

"We caught a lot of fish throughout the week trolling, and we had a nice jig bite going as well. I probably caught nine of the big fish jigging."

Things weren't going as planned on day four as Butz started trolling just outside the Geano Reef. At noon, he only had one fish in the box, weighing roughly 7 pounds. Thick, floating weeds made the trolling bite difficult. Butz then decided to make the best angling decision of his life and go jig his shallow-water honeyhole, located two miles straight north from the launch.

"I was really sweating it out. The wind kicked up, and that made me nervous. Usually when the wind blows, they bite better on the reef. I thought Ted had it when he put his bag on the scale."

Wayne Butz, the winning pro angler, shows off two of the five walleyes he caught on day four.Butz was using 1/8-ounce yellow and orange jigs tipped with a crawler. When the wind blew, he would upsize to a 1/4-ounce jig to get the bait down deeper.

"I think having local knowledge of the area really helped. Even when I was fishing near Geano's Reef, near most of the field, I still had a lot of water to myself. The nearest boat was probably a half-mile away."

Butz's improbable rise to victory earned him an $85,000 check thanks to $25,000 in contingency money from Ranger Boats. Ironically, it sounds as though a good portion will be immediately returned to Flippin, Ark.

"I've been telling my wife I want a new Ranger."

Takasaki tumbles to second

Takasaki's bid for his first FLW Walleye Tour victory ended abruptly as he managed only a 13-pound limit on day four. Still, the tournament veteran took things in stride after an impressive showing.

Pro Ted Takasaki and co-angler Kristine Szczech managed a five-walleye limit Saturday weighing 13 pounds even."With the cards that were dealt to us, we played them perfectly," said the East Gull Lake, Minn., pro. "It's been a long day. I did everything I possibly could."

With his family in the crowd, the president of Lindy Tackle commented on the life of a tournament angler.

"My family has been supportive," Takasaki said. "It's a great life, but there's lots of travel, hard work and time away from home. If someone had told me before this tournament that I would get second place, I would've taken it in a heartbeat."

Takasaki has been pulling crawler harnesses all week in the Geano Reef area. He credited his getting bites to a proper trolling speed, combined with the right depth presentation.

While he never flat out said it, it appears Takasaki never got the big bites Saturday that were the trademark of his tournament. His limit on day four pushed his combined total to 107 pounds, 12 ounces, which earned him a check for $32,000.

Coincidentally, that was the identical four-day combined weight of second-place pro Pat Schuette from last year's tournament on Green Bay.

Schoenecker sacks four pigs

Pro Ken Schoenecker, who finished in third place, shows off two Green Bay giants.With only four fish, Ken Schoenecker, the pride of tiny Nabob, Wis., brought in the second-largest sack on day four and moved from fifth place to third. Schoenecker's four walleyes on day four weighed 25 pounds, 14 ounces, pushing his tournament total to 100 pounds, 12 ounces.

"Most of the time I could scoot off to the side and pick up one or two," said Schoenecker. "My goal today was not to keep anything under 24 inches. We found a little pod of supertankers, and then we tried and tried for one more. I got most of my fish from 5 to 13 feet down."

While Schoenecker's huge weight earned him $25,000, he said it wasn't always so easy.

"I started prefishing a week and a half ago, and I couldn't even get a mosquito bite. I then started focusing on fish that were higher up in the water column."

Ryan's roll continues

Jeff Ryan caught day fourFinishing in fourth place was Lakeview, Iowa, native Jeff Ryan. Ryan caught the heaviest limit on day four, which weighed 29 pounds, 3 ounces. His four-day combined weight was 99 pounds, 12 ounces.

In his last three tournaments alone, Ryan has now netted $123,500. If not for a 129th-place finish on the Detroit River to start the year, Ryan would likely have been an FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year candidate. As it stands now, he still has a shot for another huge payday at the championship in October.

"It took a lot of patience again today," Ryan said. "We had to move areas to find our fish. When we made our move, we got fish right away."

Ryan said the hot blade colors on day four were purple and silver.

Arnoldussen fifth

Appleton, Wis., residents Dean Arnoldussen and Todd Mueller placed a 20-pound, 6-ounce limit on the day-four scale.Dean Arnoldussen earned $13,000 and finished in fifth place with a four-day total weight of 96 pounds, 6 ounces. On Saturday, Arnoldussen boated five walleyes that weighed 20 pounds, 1 ounce.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists at the FLW Walleye Tour event on Green Bay:

6th: Bill Ortiz of Richland Center, Wis., 92-6
7th: Ross Grothe of Northfield, Minn., 91-12
8th: Paul DeVoss of Dodgeville, Wis., 89-0
9th: Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., 80-12
10th: John Schneider of Shawano, Wis., 78-7

FLW Walleye Tour competition resumes Oct. 4-7 as the top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers compete in the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Lake Oahe in Pierre, S.D.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2006-07-12-green-bay 

Culbertson Wins Wild Card

Culbertson Wins Wild Card

Boater Austin Culbertson of Columbia, Missouri, brought a two-day total of eight bass to the scale weighing 25 pounds, 9 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Wild Card Championship on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Fish-Intel.com. For his victory, Culbertson earned one of the final berths into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship. READ MORE »

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

FLW media staff and anglers provide unofficial weight estimates for the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Cody Huff didn’t even plan on fishing the final Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock, but being it’s only on 45 minutes from his house and he already filled a deer tag he figured why not. That decision turned out to be the right one as he’d take the lead on day one with 16 pounds, 15 ounces and never look back. READ MORE »

Poche Wins on Seminole

Poche Wins on Seminole

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole was tough on the folks heading down the lake and fishing around the grass. It was not tough on Keith Poche, who turned his small aluminum boat up the Flint River each day of the event to target shoal bass and largemouths north of Bainbridge. READ MORE »

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

After two days on Table Rock Lake for the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season, Cody Huff is in command, backing up his Thursday weight of 16 pounds, 15 ounces with a solid 13-15 for a 30-14 total overall. READ MORE »

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Walloping 24 pounds, 4 ounces on day two, Dillon McMillan surged into the lead of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. With a 37-4 total, Dillon is ahead of Jared McMillan, his older brother, by a hair more than 4 pounds going into the final day. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

A head-scratcher. That’s the best way to describe the day two morning at the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. If you wonder why so many pros talk about how sensitive Lake Seminole is to fishing pressure, look at the second day of just about any event held there. For some reason, Seminole fish are just smart like that. They might bite well the first day, but they clam up the second day. READ MORE »

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Jumping out to a lead over a tightly packed top 10, Cody Huff weighed 16 pounds, 15 ounces on day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock Lake. Huff, who is a Bethel University student, has already won one Toyota Series event this year, and he’s now starting off another on exactly the right foot. Behind him, Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit superstar Spencer Shuffield is tied with Corey Cook for second place with 14-5 and Dale Andrews is in third with 14-1. READ MORE »

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Jared McMillan dropped 21 pounds, 10 ounces on the scale to kick off the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. The only pro to cross the 20-pound barrier, McMillan is ahead of Jason Smith, who weighed 19-3, and MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Keith Poche and Mikey Keyso, who both brought in 17 pounds or better. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

There was plenty of fish catching happening on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole; the problem was they were not the size fish Lake Seminole is known for. Instead of 5- and 6-pounders, there was an unusual number of line-burners being deposited in livewells READ MORE »

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Adam Wagner is approaching legend status in central Tennessee. Storming to the win from fifth place on the final day, Wagner put a limit for 16 pounds, 1 ounce on the scale for a 34-6 total and the win in the Toyota Series Central Division event on Dale Hollow. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

You’re not going to find a better day to be out on the lake in the fall. Unfortunately, the warming trend paired with bluebird skies, plenty of sun and very little wind hasn’t produced very good conditions for catching fish. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow is fishing tough. That’s about the only constant across the field in the Toyota Series Central Division finale. Everyone in the top 10 has made it to this point by finding a way to battle the difficult conditions and tricky timing, and many have done that extremely well. READ MORE »