UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wiggins-Tanner win wire-to-wire in Panama City

Wiggins-Tanner win wire-to-wire in Panama City
Blair Wiggins of Cocoa, Fla., and Travis Tanner of Titusville, Fla., dominate the Redfish Series event in Panama City Beach with a three-day total of 45-04.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - If the bigger one had just bit...If the wind had not changed that last day...If that one fish had not been just over 27 inches.

In professional redfishing winning weights are usually so close that the "what if's" normally pour out on stage of the final day of a Redfish Series weigh-in as redfish teams miss the winning mark by ounces.

However, there were few "what if's" muttered at the final weigh-in of the FLW Redfish Series in Panama City Beach this afternoon.

That's because Blair Wiggins of Cocoa, Fla., and Travis Tanner of Titusville, Fla., dominated the event from start to finish. When the final-day weigh-in scales came to a close with Wiggins and Tanner's fish, the team had amassed a three-day total of 45 pounds, 4 ounces to take a commanding win by 3 pounds, 14 ounces.

That now stands as the largest margin of victory in a Redfish Series Eastern Division event.

Despite the gloomy downpour that doused the weigh-in ceremonies, Wiggins and Tanner's smiles could probably be seen beaming out into the Gulf of Mexico from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Panama City Beach.

"What an awesome week," said a rain-soaked Wiggins. "I've had this same rush only twice in my life: once when I got to fly an F-15 jet for 45 minutes when I was in the Air Force, second when Tadd and I won the FLW Series Championship in 2006."

All week long, Wiggins talked in disbelief about the size of the redfish school he and The teams watch intently as Wiggins and Tanner are declared winners.Tanner fished for the win.

And while it would be easy to say that the school alone gave the team victory, there were other teams that found the same school. Yet, each of the first two days, Wiggins and Tanner were able to pull the biggest slot fish from the school.

"We fished for the biggest fish in the school that we could see," Wiggins explained. "It really boiled down to a game of keep away from the smaller fish. At times we would speed reel our D.O.A. Bait Buster over the top of the water to keep the little ones from eating it. But when a big one flashed up there to get it, we'd drop it down and let it eat."

Wiggins also credits his dedication of time during practice for the win. He scouted the Panhandle coastline for two weeks prior to tournament time.

During that time he found several schools of reds but the biggest one was located some 60 miles to the east of Panama City. And even after he found the school, his work was not done.

"I spent several hours a day just watching this school," Wiggins said. "As the tide came up the school would move in. But the best time to catch them was when the tide started to go out. That's when the fish would fracture off into smaller packs and use certain gulleys and potholes to migrate back off the flat."

Wiggins acknowledged that the fish were very aggressive. He did not have to resort to any finesse tactics and instead hunted them down with a D.O.A Bait Buster tied to 65-pound braid on his signature edition Wright and McGill rod, which is 8-feet in length.

For the win, the team took home $50,000 including contingencies.

Shaw-Vandemark runner-up

Kevin Shaw of Corpus Christi, Texas and Tadd Vandemark of Key Largo, Fla., finished second with a three-day total of 41-06.Finishing in the second place spot was Kevin Shaw of Corpus Christi, Texas and Tadd Vandemark of Key Largo, Fla., who is Wiggins' former Redfish Series Partner.

Shaw and Vandemark ended up with a three-day total of 41 pounds, 6 ounces, worth $11,740.

The Florida-Texas duo ran nearly 80 miles to the east each day to catch their fish.

"We couldn't see the schools as good today because of the clouds," Vandemark said. "And we still had an awesome day of fishing - we probably caught 50 fish."

Since they could not target specific sight-fish with soft plastics, the team relied on Sebile Flat Shads (a rattle trap style lure) tied to 10-pound test Power Pro braid and 30-pound test Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.

"We knew Blair was pretty much uncatchable so we were fighting for second place and that's where we ended up," Vandemark said. "It was an unbelievable week of fishing - like a dream. And my former teammate won so I can't complain."

Segraves-Edwards third

Terry Segraves of Kissimmee, Fla., and Bill Edwards of Pembroke, Ga., caught the Terry Segraves of Kissimmee, Fla., and Bill Edwards of Pembroke, Fla., finished third with a three-day total of 41-01.biggest stringer of day three weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces to move into third place with a three-day total of 41 pounds, 1 ounce worth $4,987.

Segraves and Edwards located a large school of reds in East Bay during practice and did not realize how many fish they were on until today when they caught all they could catch - an estimated 100 redfish.

"This has been the most incredible fishing day in my life," Edwards said. "I bet we caught 100 reds. Terry and I doubled up 24 times in a row."

Edwards fished the school all week but was extra cautious in catching only what he needed each day and then guarding the school for the next day.

"I figured it was a small school of just 20 or 30 fish and I was pretty worried about catching too many and running the school off," he said. "We took it real easy on them for two days. Since today was the last day, we went in with guns blazing and caught them and caught them and caught them until our arms were cramping up. That school was a lot bigger than I had estimated. What an incredible fishery this is."

As far as lures, Edwards said a ¾-ounce gold spoon was all that was needed to catch the schoolers.

Jackson-Espenlaub stay close for second

Capt. Frank Jackson of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Charles Espenlaub of Lutz, Fla., finished fourth with a three-day total of 38-04.Frank Jackson of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Charles Espenlaub of Lutz, Fla., get the unofficial award for least number miles ran during the event to make the top 5.

Jackson and Espenlaub were fishing just 11 miles from the launch site and finished the event in fourth place with a three-day total of 38 pounds, 4 ounces worth $3,056.

"Frank and I love visual fishing," Espenlaub said. "We came here, saw all this pretty, clear water and looked for a shoreline where we could stake down, keep quiet and let the fish come to us. It worked out all week. The clouds and wind hindered our sight-fishing today so we just had to blind-cast with the faith that the fish were there."

Ochs-Crafton

John Ochs of Englewood, Fla., and Roger Crafton of Boca Grande, Fla., finished John Ochs of Englewood, Fla., and Roger Crafton of Boca Grande, Fla., finished fifth with a three-day total of 37-03.fifth with a three-day total of 37 pounds, 3 ounces worth $2,500.

Ochs and Crafton were sharing the same enormous school of fish that Wiggins and Tanner were on.

"It was a lot tougher in there today," Crafton said. "It was much slower to get going. There was a lot of local boat traffic first thing, which always makes redfish a little more wary. But once things settled down there was a lull in the boat traffic about mid morning and that big school showed up and we caught them pretty good for about an hour and a half."

Crafton said lure choice was irrelevant.

"We used spoons and Gulp, but the fish were so thick you could have probably thrown a bare jighead in there and caught them," he added. "It's truly been an incredible few days of fishing. I literally had a Charlie horse in my arm yesterday from reeling in so many."

Coming up

The fourth and final Redfish Series event in the Eastern Division for 2008 will be held in Fernandina Beach Sept. 4-6.


Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-05-01-panama-city 

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 »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

FLW Tour pro Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell Sunday. Beavers earned $6,345 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Sac State Wins on the Delta

Sac State Wins on the Delta

The Sacramento State University duo of Ilya Guryanov of West Sacramento and Will Karnthong, of Antioch, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the Hornets’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Carolina Rig Carries Lewellen

Carolina Rig Carries Lewellen

Kyle Lewellen of Byhalia, Mississippi, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division super-tournament on Pickwick Lake Sunday. Lewellen earned $5,690 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Stracner Wins Again, Clinches AOY

Stracner Wins Again, Clinches AOY

Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 35 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division super-tournament on Lake Eufaula Sunday. Stracner earned $6,694 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Turner Ran Brush on Lanier

Turner Ran Brush on Lanier

Brock Turner of Jasper, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division super-tournament on Lake Lanier Sunday. Turner earned $8,266 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Bateman Flips, Cranks Wood for Win

Bateman Flips, Cranks Wood for Win

Scott Bateman of Jasper, Indiana, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division super-tournament on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek Sunday. Bateman earned $4,718 for the victory. READ MORE »