UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Blow out

Blow out
Pro Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., caught four bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday to capture the day-two lead in the Stren Series Western Division tournament on Lake Mead.

HENDERSON, Nev. - Fighting a scouring desert wind that swept most anglers off their good fish Thursday, Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., managed to squeeze out another solid sack of bass from Lake Mead and took over the pro lead in Stren Series Western Division action after two days.

To say the least, the wind was relentless Thursday afternoon, blowing at a steady 25 to 30 mph. The battered anglers came off Lake Mead with stories of 6- to 8-foot swells, upended boats and speared waves on their return runs this afternoon. It's a testament to these anglers' boat-handling skills that there were no mishaps, but the bumpy ride undoubtedly left more than a few competitors with aching kidneys.

Thanks to the breeze, it's no surprise that an already stingy, wintertime Lake Mead became even less generous with her bass. Out of a total 354 anglers, just two competitors, second-place pro Tom Phillips and 14th-place co-angler Stacy Gee, managed to catch five-bass limits.

However, some of the top pros from Wednesday, like Michels, managed to hook into a few solid three- and four-fish stringers to stay in contention. Michels, in second place heading into the day, caught four bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday and took a relatively commanding lead over Phillips with a two-day total of 21-11.

The flag on the official fish-release boat flew straight out, a testament to the windy conditions - and that was within the confines on Callville Bay. The anglers idling in from Lake MeadMichels started the day using the same approach that delivered him one of the top stringers on day one, employing a drop-shot with 4-pound-test line and a little worm. However, things didn't quite go as planned early on.

"If it hadn't been for my co-angler partner (Kyle Clement of Anderson, Calif.), who had a little local knowledge, I really think I would have blanked today," Michels said. "I didn't have a fish until 12 o'clock. I started throwing the same bait at the same place I did yesterday and got nothing. My co-angler said he went prefishing on a day just like this and caught some fish on this spot. So we went there and I caught two fish on back-to-back casts. I ended up catching four on that spot."

Michels said there was nothing fancy about the location; he fished breaklines in 10 to 20 feet of water. However, the wind made keeping his light tackle down a chore.

"At times, I actually put two drop-shot weights on there to keep it down," he said.

Grateful for Clement's help today, Michels readily admits that he "could blank in a second tomorrow," especially with the forecast calling for more adverse conditions. However, he's optimistic about his pole position now, especially with Lake Mead acting so fickle.

"To tell the truth, I won't know what I'm going to do until I take off tomorrow and see what's happening with the wind and weather," Michels said. "But this is my first time on this lake, so I'm ecstatic to be where I'm at."

Pro Tom Phillips' limit Thursday - the only one in the Pro Division - weighed 12 pounds, 2 ounces and was the heaviest catch of the day. The veteran from Corona, Calif., ascended into second place with a two-day total of 20-6.Phillips pops sole pro limit, climbs into second

Also buoyed by a fortuitous fishing hole, Phillips' limit Thursday - the only one in the Pro Division - weighed 12 pounds, 2 ounces and was the heaviest catch of the day. The veteran from Corona, Calif., ascended into second place just under a pound and a half off the lead with a two-day total of 20-6.

"You'd be surprised. I just have a wonder spot," Phillips said. "I got bit there in practice, so I went there yesterday and got four bites in four casts. Today, I made five casts and caught three fish. My co-angler couldn't believe it. I can fish miles down the bank one way and miles up the other way and get absolutely nothing. But this one spot is a miracle spot, and it keeps replenishing."

Phillips said he caught his limit on a ¾-ounce jig with 12-pound fluorocarbon line. He said the window of opportunity at his honeyhole is small, but it is productive.

"The bite there was a 10- to 12-minute thing, and then it was over. Why did they turn on like that? I have no idea, but they did," he said. "If it's got five more fish in there tomorrow, I'm going to do some whuppin'."

Pro Tom Matsunaga of Gardena, Calif., took third place with a two-day total of 20 pounds even. He caught three bass weighing 8-5 Thursday.Matsunaga third

Tom Matsunaga of Gardena, Calif., also climbed a spot in the Pro Division, taking third place with a two-day total of 20 pounds even. He caught three bass weighing 8-5 Thursday.

"On my second cast, I caught a 4 ¼-pounder. So I was thinking the day's starting off great," he said. "But then the wind picked up."

Matsunaga eventually caught two more bass by dead-sticking jigs in pockets and holes on outside reefs. He said the five spots he's rotating through are kind of exposed, and that a little wind is good for him, but not as much as he saw today.

"If it does blow tomorrow, I'm going to have to change my game plan," he said.

Pro Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., posted another solid limit for the second day in a row and climbed to fourth place with 17 pounds even.Reese steady, takes fourth

Reigning Western Division pro points champion Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., posted another solid limit for the second day in a row and climbed to fourth place with 17 pounds even. He just-more-than equaled his day-one weight, 8-5, with a four-bass catch of 8-11 on day two.

"I left my primary area today because I think the fishing pressure hurt it more than anything," he said. "There were 23 boats in the area I was fishing, so I was happy to go to my second spot. I was just pitching plastics in shallow water."

Ward hangs on for fifth

Pro Fred Ward of Phoenix caught just one fish Thursday, but still managed to stay in the top five with a two-day total of 16 pounds even. His one-bass weight was a stout 3-15.

"I didn't get anything going in my spot. It was just too busy, and then the wind blew me off of it," he said. "I'm going to do something a little different tomorrow, make some adjustments."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros after two days at Lake Mead:

6th: Doug Riha of Thousand Oaks, Calif., 14-9
7th: Mike Nichelini of Napa, Calif., 13-13
8th: Michael Tuck of Antelope, Calif., 13-9
9th: Clint Johanson of Benton City, Wash., 13-1
10th: Alex Dombrowksi of Duvall, Wash., 12-9 (day-one leader)

Notably, the second-heaviest catch of the day belonged to local pro favorite Tim Klinger. After weighing in just one short bass Wednesday, the Boulder City, Nev., native popped a four-bass, 10-pound, 12-ounce sack Thursday and climbed all the way into 11th place with 12-3.

Also of note, right behind Klinger sits Dennis Kolender in 12th place. Kolender hails from Henderson, Nev., and is another local favorite.Jamie Cyphers of Las Vegas, Nev., won the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division Thursday thanks to this nice 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.

Despite a low catch rate not seen in pro fishing since the days of the Pascagoula River - or the last Lake Mead tournament, for that matter - this lake does yield a few pigs here and there. Jamie Cyphers of Las Vegas won the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division Thursday thanks to a nice 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.

Scott Christenson of Hollister, Calif., caught just one bass Thursday  - 3 pounds, 14 ounces - which launched him into the Co-angler Division lead with a two-day total of 11-8.Teenager Christenson leads co-anglers

Scott Christenson of Hollister, Calif., caught just one bass Thursday. However, it was a good one - 3 pounds, 14 ounces - and launched him into the Co-angler Division lead with a two-day total of 11-8.

The wide-eyed Christenson, who is just 17 years old, said it was a rough day, but he seemed more than happy with the outcome.

"I was a little nervous because I had no fish until 11 o'clock. I got one bite all day and just one fish," he said. "And those 6-foot swells coming back were pretty nasty."

Rest of the best

Russell Schmidt of Martinez, Calif., placed second for the co-anglers with a two-day weight of 10 pounds, 11 ounces. He caught one bass worth 1-9 today.

Wednesday's co-angler leader Tom Pryor of Kingman, Ariz., slid to third place with 9 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught no fish Thursday.

Richard Garlock of Alexandria Bay, N.Y., placed fourth for the co-anglers with 9 pounds, 11 ounces. He also zeroed today.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers was Ronald Schneider of Sandy, Ore., with 9 pounds, 3 ounces. He caught three fish worth 6-9 Thursday.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:

6th: Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif., 8-9
7th: Gayle Janes of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., 8-5
8th: Ron Frye of Dixon, Calif., 8-2
9th: John Bitting of Westminster, Calif., 7-10
10th: Whitney Uyeda of Buellton, Calif., 7-7

Bitting also won the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass.

Day three of Western Division competition at Lake Mead begins as the field of 127 boats takes off from Callville Bay Marina at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time Thursday. Following tomorrow's competition, the fields will be cut to the top 10 anglers apiece based on three-day cumulative weight.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2007-02-21-lake-mead 

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

The final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a bit tougher than expected. After putting over 30 pounds on the scale on day two of the weather-shortened derby, Laramy Strickland worked up 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for a 61-4 total to earn the win. For the win, the Bushnell, Fla., rookie took home $100,000 and a big win over a stacked top 30 that included some of the best anglers in the country and some superstar Floridians. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

The weather-shortened Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers at the Harris Chain wraps up today with the top 30 pros. Follow along all day to see who can take home the hardware and $100,000. READ MORE »

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Florida cold fronts are supposed to shut the fishing down, but that wasn’t the case for many of the leaders through two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain. Rocketing into the lead from 35th place, Laramy Strickland popped a 31-pound, 6-ounce megabag to put his leading total at an even 46 pounds. In second, Jimmy Washam stayed steady, weighing 21-13 for second and a 41-13 total. In third, Hunter Freeman also made a big jump, hammering out 25-14 on day two to get up to 39-6. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

The weather has made a 180 here in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain has been postponed due to high winds. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, many pros believe staying off the water today was the right call. READ MORE »

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bab Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a catchfest, but it wasn’t quite the sight-fishing showdown that some hoped for. In the lead, Rusty Salewske weighed 26 pounds, 10 ounces. Just ounces behind him, Miles Burghoff wrangled 26-8. In third, Jared McMillan put 22-1 on the scale to kick things off. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Anglers are enjoying near-perfect conditions for a day-one slugfest in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the second stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes. READ MORE »

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

Boater Scott Guyot of Fayetteville, North Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 23 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Guyot earned a total of $4,359. READ MORE »

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

Local boater Jackie Flack of Cullman, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman. For his victory, Flack earned a total of $6,011. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., moved ahead one spot in the standings on the final day of competition at the St. Johns River to earn his first Toyota Series victory. His three-day catch of 57 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a 6-pound margin. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

Day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River brought more fish, bigger fish and eight bags over 20 pounds – a marked improvement over what we saw on day one. Day three could go either direction, though, as a small cold front overnight left behind bluebird skies and abundant sunshine today. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

It’s been a question of when, not if: When is the first big wave of spawners going to move up on the St. Johns River? That question may have been answered on day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, as more and more anglers brought big fish across the weigh-in stage, with many of the bass coming from beds or shallow cover where fish are staging to make their big move. READ MORE »

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Jason Blair caught 22 pounds, 3 ounces – the biggest limit of the tournament so far – to take over the lead at the Toyota Series Southern Division season opener on the St. Johns River. The West Palm Beach, Fla., pro has a two-day total of 39-15 and a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead over yesterday’s leader, Trevor Fitzgerald. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

After a warm but windy day to start the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River, day two brought lower temperatures, rain and a shifting wind that blew right up the chute early this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

The St. Johns River is fishing tough, and while weights were down across the board on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, the top five found a way to get the job done with some impressive stringers of big Florida bass. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up. READ MORE »

Littich Nets Big O Title

Littich Nets Big O Title

Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of $7,220, including a $2,500 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Dover Wins on Keowee

Dover Wins on Keowee

Boater Randy Dover of Buford, Georgia, brought five to the scale Saturday totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. For his victory, Dover earned a total of $5,627. READ MORE »