UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

‘Fritts Blitz’ hits Clarks Hill

‘Fritts Blitz’ hits Clarks Hill
The Fritts Blitz returns: Chevy Pro David Fritts gets a little help from Tournament Director Chris Jones in showing off his whopping 23-9 catch on day one of the Clarks Hill FLW Series.

APPLING, Ga. - Everything was going according to plan at the day-one weigh-in of the Walmart FLW Series BP Eastern on Clarks Hill.

A lot of 7- to 10-pound limits were being weighed in; respectable catches in the 12- to 13-pound range garnered applause from the crowd; and as predicted, a couple of 14-pound limits took the early lead.

The Clarks Hill weigh-in was humming along nicely, just as anticipated.

But then the unexpected happened: Chevy pro David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., climb the weigh-in stage and threw down 23 pounds, 9 ounces of bass into the scales.

The patented Fritts Blitz had reigned over the weigh-in crowd, leaving a stunned field in awe.

That's not to say that David Fritts catching a load of bass was unexpected, but rather that 23 pounds, 9 ounces would be the leading weight at Clarks Hill in the fall of the year.

Many pros predicted seeing a leading weight of 17 or 18 pounds after day one - even a possible limit pushing the 20-pound mark - but it's safe to say that very few expected what Fritts mined up from Clarks Hill's depths today.

What was expected, however, was that Fritts would be extremely tight-lipped about his massive catch.

"I'm not saying anything," Fritts said with a chuckle. "You can forget that; there's too many people that will look at the Internet tonight."

What Fritts did give up is that he has found about a dozen key fish-holding locations, and he only hit three of them today.

"I have not even been to my best place yet because there were too many boats in the area today," he said. "And once I culled a 3-pounder on my third spot, I quit fishing and just went practicing."

Fritts noted that his best day of practice rendered about 17 pounds, and to catch 23 pounds, 9 ounces was a bit of a surprise.

As for Fritts catching his giant limit on his favorite cranking technique, he held true to his word and would not reveal what he caught the fish on.

"Well, as you know, I always throw a crankbait," he teased. "But I will say this; the one thing I threw a lot today falls really fast."

Hackney second

Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., reeled in 15 pounds, 8 ounces for second place after Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., reeled in 15 pounds, 8 ounces for second place after day one.day one, but the Hack Attack was still a full 8 pounds behind the Fritts Blitz.

Hackney's plan is to cover new water each day, and some of his pattern centers on grass.

"Half the fish I caught today came off places where I never even wet a hook in practice," Hackney said. "I think it's important to keep moving on these clearwater lakes like this because these fish get fished for a lot, and they wise up to baits in their area pretty quickly; so I don't think there's much need in repeating water.

"I really like fishing new water like this because it keeps me filled with anticipation," he continued. "I'll fish through a lot of dead water, but then I'll hit the right deal and catch three or four in a row; I probably went through 20 keepers today."

Gibbs third
Local pro Dale Gibbs of Martinez, Ga., landed in third place after day one with a five bass limit for 14 pounds, 15 ounces.
Local pro Dale Gibbs of Martinez, Ga., landed in third place after day one with a five-bass limit for 14 pounds, 15 ounces.

"I basically fished about three places today," Gibbs said. "I started the day looking for some big bites, but that didn't pan out, so I changed up and secured a limit. Then late in the day I went back to some of my big-fish stuff and got it working. At about 2:55 this afternoon, I got two bigger bites that helped me cull up."

Ashley fourth

Another local pro, Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., is in fourth place after Pro Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., is in fourth place after day one with 13 pounds, 15 ounces.day one with 13 pounds, 15 ounces.

Ashley is very familiar with Clarks Hill's grass beds and blueback herring, but he chose to avoid both today.

"This time of year I get as far away from that grass as I can, and the bluebacks are pretty much a nonfactor for me," Ashley said. "This is the time of year the threadfin shad start working into the backs of the creeks, and the bass start keying on them."

Scott, Wellman tied for fifth

Ricky D. Scott of Van Buren, Ark., and Nate Wellman of Jenison, Mich., round out the top five with limits weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces, tying them up for the fifth-place position.

Big bass

Chip Harrison of Bremen, Ind., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Series event on Clarks Hill after day one:

7th: Pat Golden of High Point, N.C., five bass, 13-7
7th: Kim Stricker of Howell, Mich., five bass, 13-7
9th: Jake Deeds of El Dorado, Ark., five bass, 13-5
9th: Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 13-5

Lowe leads co-anglers

Matt Lowe of Walhalla, S.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the FLW Series Matt Lowe of Walhalla, S.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the FLW Series event on Clarks Hill after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces.event on Clarks Hill after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces.

Jacques Fleischmann of Shell Knob, Mo., is in second place with five bass for 7 pounds, 15 ounces.

Robert Rikard of Lexington, S.C., is in third place with a limit weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

Kim Fischer of High Ridge, Mo., and Kenneth Hunnicutt of Jacksonville, Fla., are both tied for the fifth-place spot in the Co-angler Division at 7 pounds, 10 ounces.

Big bass

National Guard co-angler Michael McGhee of Fredericksburg, Va., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 4 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the FLW Series event on Clarks Hill after day one:

6th: Ron Fabiszak of South Bend, Ind., four bass, 7-6
7th: Eddie Laster of Morton, Miss., four bass, 7-3
8th: Wally Coward of Beech Island, S.C., five bass, 7-2
9th: Chuck Thurlow of Auburn, Ala., five bass, 7-0
9th: Derek Yasinski of Senoia, Ga., four bass, 7-0

Day two of the FLW Series event on Clarks Hill Lake will begin Thursday at 8 a.m. from Wildwood Park located at 6212 Holloway Road in Appling.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-10-22-clarks-hill-lake 

Sisk Grabs No. 6

Sisk Grabs No. 6

Boater Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Ohio River in Cannelton, Indiana. For his victory, Sisk earned a total of $3,718. READ MORE »

Illini Division Goes Back-To-Back

Illini Division Goes Back-To-Back

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Paducah with two Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River events. READ MORE »

Hamilton Takes James River W

Hamilton Takes James River W

Local boater Jeff Hamilton of Henrico, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the James River in Henrico, Virginia. Hamilton earned a total of $3,756 for his victory. READ MORE »

Jordan Tops on Oconee

Jordan Tops on Oconee

Boater Rob Jordan of Flowery Branch, Georgia, brought a three-bass limit bass to the scale Saturday totaling 10 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Oconee in Buckhead, Georgia. Jordan topped his nearest competitor, Kim Carver of Milledgeville, Georgia, by just 4 ounces and earned $5,784 for his victory. READ MORE »

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

The Bowling Green State University team of Jamesen Simion of Saline, Mich., and Cameron Wilt of Alvada, Ohio, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Erie event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Bowling Green bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Hartley wins Erie Open

Hartley wins Erie Open

The Hartley duo of Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open. READ MORE »

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Boater Buck Mallory of Lawton, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, Michigan. For his victory, Mallory earned a total of $4,652. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

As promised, Wheeler Lake turned out to be the stingiest of the two stops on the Toyota Series Southeastern Division so far this season. The dog days of summer put the kibosh on the main-lake bite, leaving Wheeler’s many shallow creeks and tributaries to supply the pounds and ounces at weigh-in. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake was a shallow-water power-fishing showdown in tough summertime conditions. Almost all the fish the top 10 pros caught came from 5 feet of water or less, and a fair amount of those were caught in 3 feet or less. READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Cal Culpepper of Hamilton, Ga., won the co-angler side of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake in impressive fashion. In three days of a tough tournament, Culpepper sacked up limits of 11-11, 5-11 and 11-7 from the back of the boat for a three-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, he takes home a fully rigged Phoenix bass boat. READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Fishing creek ends continued to be the theme on day two of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Although the current was not running as much in the creeks as yesterday, the cooler shadier waters in the back of creeks were still producing for top anglers once again.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

After two days of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are as tight as can be. Moving into the lead on day two is Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who weighed a second 14-pound bag for a 28-11 total. In second, Scott Wiley is one of seven anglers with 27 pounds and some ounces in the top 10, making the tournament anyone’s game in the final two days. READ MORE »

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day. Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder. READ MORE »