UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Eight over 30 equals Falcon feast

Eight over 30 equals Falcon feast
Pro leader Richard Cathey holds up part of his 39-pound, 1-ounce stringer.

ZAPATA, Texas - September rainfall has dramatically changed the fishing on Falcon Lake. The bushes that produced at last year's Stren Series Texas Division event are now submerged and hidden. Productive stretches of bank once used for spawning are now considered deep ledges. Amid all this change, there is one constant - Falcon Lake is loaded with giant largemouth bass.

Just as predicted, the high water frustrated some anglers. Only 111 pros and 38 co-anglers registered five-bass limits. A 20-pound limit last year would have put a pro in 66th place. This year, a 20-pound limit puts a pro in 43rd.

But there is a select group of fishermen that has identified key areas. Within theses areas, huge prespawn bass are grouped up, and a 30-pound limit can be caught in a hurry. Capitalizing on one of these schools was Rick Cathey, who on Thursday caught the second-heaviest limit in FLW Outdoors history - five bass weighing a staggering 39 pounds, 1 ounce. The only heavier single-day catch came from Greg Hackney (39-8), not surprisingly on this very lake two months ago.

Although Cathey lives in San Antonio, Texas, he owns and operates the Fish Texas Guide Service and spends approximately six to 10 days a month guiding on Falcon. He's fished the Walmart BFL in the past, but this is his first Stren Series event.

"This is kind of what I expected," Cathey said of his day-one catch. "That's not so much me; it's more of a reflection of the lake."

Cathey has discovered five productive areas located in a quarter section of the lake - one of which he calls his big-fish spot. All of these spots hold prespawn bass, and the pro leader is pitching and dragging to entice strikes.

"You're either really, really on them, or you're really, really not. The ones we are catching are quality, but we aren't catching a ton."

To this point, Cathey culled only three times. His smallest fish weighed just less than 7 pounds, and his largest went 9-3. Oddly enough, all of these fish were boated without the aid of a net.

It sounds unbelievable, but Cathey caught a 56-pound limit on Falcon last week while guiding. In that trip, he managed seven fish over 10 pounds. For those that want to see what a five-bass limit of 56 pounds looks like, visit www.rickcathey.com. Once the Stren Series event concludes, the pro leader will upload both photos and video of his astonishing 56-pound catch.

With nearly a 6-pound lead, Cathey is just looking to be consistent tomorrow.

"If I can catch 25 pounds, I think I'll be happy."

Haralson second with 33-11

ICharles Haralson is in second place in the Pro Division with a limit Thursday that went 33-11.n second place is Laredo, Texas, pro Charles Haralson, another angler who frequently guides on Falcon Lake. Haralson finished fourth at last year's season-opening Texas Division event. Unlike Cathey, who works in the pharmaceutical field, Haralson guides full time with Bassin on the Border and spends approximately 250 days a year on Falcon.

On day one, he calmly caught 33-11, nearly all of which were identical 7-pounders. Haralson is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable fishermen in southern Texas and has won several fully rigged bass boats from fishing local tournaments.

"I didn't really know what I could catch," he said. "I haven't been catching them in practice - I've just been looking for them. But overall, I'm pleased."

Like Cathey, Haralson is fishing deep and slow, as he probes for prespawn largemouths.

"We were done fishing at 8:30 this morning. I culled two 5-pounders, and then I decided I was done. You've got to manage what you have. If I get beat, I get beat. But nobody can beat me on the first day."

If Haralson reaches 30 pounds early tomorrow, he will again quit fishing. During the opening round, 30 pounds each day is his benchmark. If he makes it to Saturday's final round, he will try to catch everything he can.

"All of those fish came out of one spot. This morning the bite was on, and we just had a blast. I tried to relax for a second, and I realized I was shaking."

Schoonveld third

Pro Dan Schoonveld, a Texas Division veteran from Mansura, La., caught a limit weighing 33 pounds, Third-place pro Dan Schoonveld holds up a Falcon Lake kicker bass.9 ounces for third place. Like Haralson, Schoonveld had a stringer in which every fish was nearly identical in size. His biggest bass weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, which was caught on a soft-plastic bait.

"We quit fishing at 10 a.m. and sat there all day until weigh-in," said Schoonveld, who also guides in the area. "The fish are everywhere right now - from the bank all the way back to 30 feet. But the bank fish are getting pressured real hard."

Not only did Schoonveld manage an incredible catch, his co-angler reeled in 31 pounds, 9 pounces. Clearly, the third-place pro is around tournament-winning bass.

"I just hope I get some respect tomorrow. I just put on a clinic this morning, and about four other boats saw me. The fishing is really good right now, but in another week it's going to be unbelievable. A week later and we would have broken every record there is."

Le rides a hot streak

Fresh off a second-place finish at the Clarks Hill FLW Series BP Eastern Division event and a head-to-Pro Than Le is in fourth place after catching 31 pounds, 4 ounces Thursday.head victory at the East-West Fish-Off, Than Le is back at it. Le is a well-known Western stick and a top performer on the FLW Tour. However, the Arizona pro has never fished a Texas Division event.

"It's true; I came down here for the Fish-Off, and I haven't gone home to Lake Havasu City. I've been fishing every day, and I've found that the deeper and more scattered a tree is, the more productive it is. I've been fishing one spot for over a month, and I've been averaging 25 to 30 pounds a day."

Le believes he is targeting mainly postspawn fish, not prespawn, as he flips bushes. On day one the plan worked to the tune of 31 pounds, 4 ounces.

"With the wind blowing tomorrow, I might not be able to stay on my fish. There's a lot there, but it's all about getting the right ones to bite."

Since Le is not fishing any other Texas Division events, his goal is to take home the title. Maybe then he will finally leave the town of Zapata.

Vining fifth

Gary Vining of Morgan City, La., rounded out the top five in the Pro Division with a limit weighing 29 pounds, 9 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one on Falcon Lake:

6th: Dicky Newberry of Houston, 29-2
7th: Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, 28-15
8th: Jerry Green of Cullman, Ala., 28-11
9th: Joe Don Setina of Pittsburg, Texas, 27-15
10th: Robert McFarlane of San Antonio, Texas, 27-3

The Pro Division Big Bass went to Richard Cremo of Laredo, Texas, who caught a 9-pound, 11-ounce giant and earned $450.

Kreuzer crushes co-angler weight record

Co-angler leader Dean Kreuzer holds up two Falcon Lake hogs.Competing in his first Stren Series Texas Division event, Dean Kreuzer of Mesa, Ariz., caught five bass weighing 34 pounds, 3 ounces to lead the Co-angler Division after day one on Falcon. Not only is he leading the tournament, his 34-3 also set the co-angler record for the heaviest single-day catch in FLW Outdoors history.

"My buddy Steve Czerniski and I came down just to give the lake a try," said Kreuzer. "If neither of us makes the cutoff, then we're going to fish the Bass Champs team tournament on Lake Amistad Saturday. Neither of us wanted to be the pro for this event, so we flipped a coin and I ended up as the co-angler."

Kreuzer had an eventful morning, complete with engine problems and big fish.

"Last night I drew Jim Lancaster as my pro partner. On the way down to our first spot, we had motor problems. We eventually got there and kept working a 120-yard stretch of bank, back and forth."

Kreuzer caught eight fish total, but he gave much of the credit to Lancaster.

"It wouldn't have happened without Jim. We get to our spot after a 30-mile run, and he immediately starts making arrangements for getting back. Luckily, Steve (Czerniski) was in the area, and he brought us both in along with our fish."

The Kreuzer family is no stranger to tournament fishing as Dean's wife, Tanya, competes as a professional on the Women's Bassmaster Tour.

"I get to go play this time because I've been hauling her around for three years."

Slate second
Kevin Slate is second in the Co-angler Division after day one with 32 pounds, 6 ounces.
Currently in second place for the co-anglers is Kevin Slate with 32 pounds, 6 ounces. That weight is third among the all-time heaviest single-day catches in company history for a co-angler. Slate, an electrical engineer for Boeing, is fishing in just his second Stren Series season.

"It was a wild day," he said. "At noon I think I had three decent fish. Then I picked up a good one at about 1 p.m., and then at 2 p.m. the big fish hit."

That fish weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces and would be the last of Slate's day. The Choctaw, Okla., native received only five bites in total, but he certainly made the best of them.

Slate said he worked plastics throughout the water column while fishing with pro Buz Craft.

Pennington third

In third place was Chris Pennington of San Diego with 31 pounds, 9 ounces. His day-one San Diego, Calif., co-angler Chris Pennington is in third place after the first day of competition.stringer is fourth of all time among the co-anglers, just behind Slate. Pennington was partnered with Schoonveld, who guides on Falcon and knows the lake well.

"That was the biggest sack of my life," he gasped. "I flew all the way out here with a buddy just to fish this lake, and believe me, it was worth it. Dan (Schoonveld) was amazing. I just keyed in on what he was doing. It was amazing - you could be five yards off the spot and you don't get anything."

Tomorrow Pennington is paired with Kellogg's pro Jim Tutt.

Rest of the best

Kenneth Pellerin of Pasadena, Texas, placed fourth for the co-anglers with five bass weighing 30 pounds, 7 ounces.

In fifth place is Keith Honeycutt with 26 pounds, 13 ounces. Honeycutt, a Temple, Texas, native, won the 2007 Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., and made the top-10 cutoff at last year's championship on Table Rock Lake.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day one on Falcon Lake:

6th: Paul England of Brookeland, Texas, 24-6
7th: Allen Wares of Austin, Texas, 23-11
8th: Jimmy Brumfield of Madison, Miss., 23-4
9th: Billy Yelverton of Baton Rouge, La., 22-4
10th: Bennie Anderson of Grand Prairie, Texas, 21-11

Kenneth Wilson caught the Co-angler Division Big Bass. His Falcon monster weighed 10 pounds, 4 ounces and was worth $225.

Day two of Texas Division competition on Falcon Lake begins as the field of 200 boats takes off from the Zapata County Boat Ramp at 7:30 a.m. Central time Friday. Following Friday's weigh-in, the field will be cut to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2009-01-15-falcon-lake 

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

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 »