Live now : TOYOTA SERIES 2020 Chickamauga

Meyer mauls ‘em on Columbia River

Meyer mauls ‘em on Columbia River
Clayton Meyer of San Diego, Calif., used a 16-pound, 13-ounce catch to finish in first place overall in the Pro Division at the FLW Series event on the Columbia River.

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Although FLW Outdoors had never hosted a tournament in the state of Washington until this week, if FLW Series anglers have any say in the matter, it's pretty clear the organization will be returning to the Columbia River for the foreseeable future. Yes, the fishing was that good.

When all was said and done on day one of the National Guard Western Division event, 172 out of 173 pro anglers weighed in fish, producing a staggering 136 five-fish limits in the process. The overall length of the weigh-in, which clocked in at nearly three and a half hours, also served as a testament to the overall strength and depth of the fishery. However, it wasn't until the 344th angler had weighed in when the bass-fishing faithful finally got a glimpse of the tournament's day-one pro leader: Clayton Meyer of San Diego.

Meyer, who produced the only 16-pound stringer of the day (16 pounds, 13 ounces to be exact), shook up the tightly packed leaderboard in the final minutes of the weigh-in, ultimately recording a 1-pound, 5-ounce lead over his nearest competitor.

"I'm happy," said Meyer. "I came here and did what I hoped to do."

What Meyer had hoped to do was merely finish the tournament in the top 50. Obviously, he exceeded expectations - and then some.

"I had a decent practice, but I didn't expect to land in first place," he said. "I was hoping I'd finish first, don't get me wrong, but I really thought it would take 18 or 19 pounds to be leading. I haven't fished this body of water since 2001 or 2002, so, overall, I'm pretty happy right now."

Meyer said that he only had seven keepers all day, but at least one fish (4 pounds, 14 ounces) was good enough to capture a piece of the day's Snickers Big Bass award, which Meyer ultimately shared with fellow competitor Jim Jeffords of Tualatin, Ore.

"I did a lot of running around today," said Meyer. "Mostly, I was fishing pretty slowly. I had a limit at around 11 a.m., and I had my main area pretty much to myself, which was nice."

Meyer said that he threw only plastics throughout the day, targeting ridges and outside breaks just off the shoreline to land the majority of his catch.

As for tomorrow's game plan? Like everyone else, Meyer said it depends on the wind.

"I'm pretty much going to do the same thing, depending on the wind," he said. "I'm going with the same game plan, but if the wind really blows hard, I'm obviously going to have to change things up. The wind could completely end this tournament for me. But if we get some medium wind, around 15 to 20 mph, that will make it better for me. So, it all depends."

Hickey lands in second ... at very last minute

Pro Jason Hickey, 15-8, second placePity Jason Hickey of Weiser, Idaho. As the 343rd angler to weigh in, Hickey grabbed the overall lead at the Columbia River event with an impressive catch of 15 pounds, 8 ounces. However, just as Hickey was basking in the limelight as the clear front runner, Meyer (the very next angler and third from last to weigh in) walked to the scales and snatched the lead away.

"I've got good news and bad news for you," teased FLW Outdoors tournament host Chris Jones. "The good news, Jason, is that we let you onstage first. So at least you had the lead for a little while. The bad news, Clayton Meyer is now your leader."

While Hickey didn't walk away with first place, he did appear to have plenty of confidence going forward.

"For once, I actually have a good pattern going," he said.

Stutzman grabs third place

Pro Bill Stutzman, 15-2, third placeBill Stutzman of Nampa, Idaho, used a 15-pound, 2-ounce catch to finish the day in third place overall.

"It feels pretty good," said Stutzman. "The bite was a little slower than I expected. But I didn't lose any fish. So, overall, it was just a good day all the way around."

Stutzman said he targeted smallmouth bass using a combination of crankbaits, soft plastics, jigheads and drop-shots. And like most anglers, Stutzman said depth wasn't really a factor as he landed fish anywhere from 4 to 25 feet, targeting a variety of offshore structure in the process.

Wick stays in contention

Pro Ken Wick, 15-0, fourth placeKen Wick used a nearly flawless day of fishing on the Columbia River to net fourth place overall, landing a total five-fish catch of 15 pounds.

"It was just a fantastic day," he said. "I fished really well and capitalized on every single bite. Before I even pulled up to the locks this morning, I already had a 3-pounder in the boat. It was just a great day."

Wick said that he ran a full 65 miles one way in order to get to his primary fishing location.

"It's definitely a haul," he said. "Basically, I was just running and gunning all day. I'd pull up to a spot, make about 10 to 15 casts and then leave. The key was that you definitely had to be on some kind of grass to get those quality bites."

Dispensiero rounds out top five

Pro Cory Dispensiero, 14-14, fifth placeOn the strength of a 14-pound, 14-ounce catch, Cory Dispensiero of Palmdale, Calif., finished the day in fifth place overall.

"I basically went out there and fished for five bites," said Dispensiero. "I wound up burning about a half a tank of gas, so I'm definitely running around out there. But, overall, I'm stoked. You have to be happy when you're doing this well against the caliber of competition we're facing here."

Dispensiero said that he used a Carolina rig and a few other baits to land his catch, targeting fish in 10 to 40 feet of water.

"And tomorrow I'm going to do the same thing," he said. "I might fish a little more conservatively at first - try to catch a limit and get around 10 pounds in the boat. Then I'll try to go for a 15-pound limit."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Wal-Mart FLW Series National Guard Western event on the Columbia River:

6th: Michael Bennett of Roseville, Calif., 14-6
7th: Neil Russell of Nampa, Idaho, 14-4
8th: Gary Dobyns of Yuba City, Calif., 14-0
9th: Charlie Weyer of West Hills, Calif., 13-15
10th: Jim Jeffords of Tualatin, Ore., 13-11

DeHart stays mentally tough en route to co-angler lead

Billy Dehart of Pleasanton, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13-12.Although Bill DeHart of Pleasanton, Calif., only hooked into six bites all day, they proved large enough to take the overall lead in the Co-angler Division. But DeHart will tell you, waiting around all day for six bites isn't exactly the easiest thing to do with so much money at stake on the Columbia River.

"It turned out to be a great day," said DeHart, who landed a total catch of 13 pounds, 2 ounces. "But I only had six fish total, and I didn't cull my last fish until after 3 p.m. So that was kind of hard. When you have days like this, you really have to be paying attention. When you get one bite basically every one and a half hours, you can't be sleeping or you'll lose out. But, overall, I can't complain."

DeHart said that he only used one fishing rod all day and just stayed patient.

"I was working finesse baits really slowly, and that was key," he said. "Tomorrow, I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to fish slow and steady and keep a strong mental game going."

DeHart said he primarily targeted bass on current breaks and rock in approximately 4 to 20 feet of water.

Stafford snares second place

Co-angler Brian Stafford of Fairfield, Calif., is in second place with five bass weighing 13-0.Brian Stafford of Fairfield, Calif., used a 13-pound catch to finish the day in second place.

"It was a wonderful day," said Stafford. "My pro put me on some great fish, and we had plenty of bites. I wound up missing one really big fish early in the day, or my weight would have even been better. Overall, I'm happy to be where I'm at right now."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top five co-anglers at the FLW Series Western event on the Columbia River:

3rd: Rodney Rinta of Chehalis, Wash., 12-2
4th: Larry Fugate of Rathdrum, Idaho, 11-10
5th: Christopher Ricci of Bend, Ore., 11-9
5th: Ronald Schneider of Sandy, Ore., 11-9

James Castillo of Grandview, Wash., took home the day's Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division with a 4-pound, 14-ounce smallmouth. Castillo's catch was worth $269.

FLW Series competition on the Columbia River resumes Thursday at 6:30 a.m. Pacific at Columbia Point Marina, located at 660 Columbia Point Drive in Richland, Wash.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2007-09-19-columbia-river 

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

“Tough” was the catch word during the first morning of the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. The overnight cold front that moved in brought a dusting of snow on the surrounding mountaintops and freezing temperatures everywhere. The bass seemingly did not appreciate the quick change in the weather. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 2

College Championship Updates - Day 2

Day two of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. The link to yesterday's top patterns is below, and we'll try to check in here about every hour with updates from around the field.  READ MORE »

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain certainly didn’t disappoint. The consensus from many of the teams during practice was that the chain was fishing tough, yet would kick up some solid bags on Tuesday. With 10 bags over 18 pounds and six over 20, it’s safe to say the Harris Chain is living up to it’s potential. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 1

College Championship Updates - Day 1

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. READ MORE »

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 »