Live now : Sam Rayburn Reservoir - FLW Live Coverage

Ericksen extends Clear Lake lead

Ericksen extends Clear Lake lead
Pro Steve Ericksen will take a 7-pound lead into the final day of Stren Western competition at Clear Lake.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - An 11th-hour decision Thursday led to nearly a 7-pound lead Friday for Steve Ericksen, which he will carry into the final day of the Stren Series Western Division event on Clear Lake.

After a middling practice, held mostly on the southern end of the lake and yielding 15- to 16-pound bags, the San Jose, Calif., pro said he gambled on day one by expanding his search: "I decided I had to change up. I said, `I'm either going to come in the top 10 or bottom 10.'"

The gamble paid off big time: 51 pounds over two days. Today he added a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to his 27-7 sack from yesterday to firmly place him in the driver's seat of the Stren Western season opener.

Ericksen plucked a couple to the south yesterday in deeper water, but found his comfort zone in several areas in the northern arms of the lake. Today he said he quickly moved around his best areas, targeting tules, docks and other standing structure in "a combination of shallow and deep water, fishing fairly fast."

Like Thursday, Ericksen cast creature and imitation baits today, as well as some jigs and swimbaits in natural and dark colors - all of them "big." But he abandoned his methodical presentations today and sped up.

"If I'm not getting bit fast, I move on," he said.

His travel partner and fellow pro Adam McAndrews likely wishes he would have moved on too. McAndrews stuck to their practice pattern, fishing in deeper water to the south to give Ericksen a run for his money with 26-11 on day one. But with the recent warmup, bass have been moving in shallower, and McAndrews zeroed today.

Pro Randy McAbee Jr. is in second at Clear Lake."We were doing opposite things yesterday," Ericksen said with a mischievous grin (his new game plan came as a surprise to McAndrews). "Hopefully, this holds up."

Former AOY vaults 10 places into second

Randy McAbee Jr. is the 2007 Walmart FLW Series Angler of the Year in the Western Division; he was ranked 11th last season in that circuit; he ended the 2006 Stren Western Division season ranked 12th (his only season in that circuit until this year); and he has four top-10 finishes to his credit.

About the only thing he hasn't done out West is win an FLW Outdoors tournament, and if there's anyone who can catch Ericksen tomorrow, McAbee is probably a good bet.

"This lake fishes the way I like to fish," he said (fifth place on Clear Lake in the FLW Series in 2007).

But McAbee said tomorrow's forecast for even sunnier skies, warmer temperatures and calmer conditions may thwart his attempt at a first win: "If that sun shines through tomorrow though, it could be all over for me. I'm not even getting any big bites until the sun goes behind the clouds like this afternoon."

That's when they started biting for the Bakersfield, Calif., pro, his biggest coming on a 7-inch Osprey swimbait in "dark hitch" color. He said he's fishing his swimbait arsenal "deep and slow," but also burning crankbaits.

McAbee worked hard for his 23-pound, 2-ounce limit today, which he added to his 20-15 from day one for a total of 44-1. He fished all over the lake - from the midlake area of the north side to the Rattlesnake arm to Redbud (tomorrow's launch site in Clearlake).

Pro Jeff Billings is in third going into the finals at Clear Lake."I've been running and gunning," he said. "I'm making an 80-mile run on a 15-mile lake."

Billings climbs six places

Local pro Jeff Billings of Clearlake leveraged a 7-9 kicker fish to climb half a dozen places into third Friday. Adding his 21-15 limit from today to his 21-11 from Thursday, he is 7 pounds, 6 ounces off the lead.

"I'm not catching a lot of fish, just getting quality bites," he said.

Billings caught eight largemouth bass Thursday and six today, so he said he hopes that doesn't mean an under-limit four tomorrow. His bass are coming later in the day on a green-pumpkin Senko with red flakes - "just throwing it out there and letting it sit" - in anywhere from 5 to 20 feet of water. He is fishing to the south of Kinocti Harbor, but relatively close.

Pro Mathew Saavedra will head out in boat No. 4 on the final day of Stren Western action on Clear Lake."There have been a lot of guys around me, so less pressure tomorrow might help."

Saavedra climbs a slot

Redding, Calif., pro Mathew Saavedra said Thursday he hoped for more sun on day two. He got his wish and was able to add an 18-pound limit to his 24-10 sack from day one for a two-day total of 42-10 and fourth place.

Saavedra fished both ends of the lake on days one and two, but tapped a couple of newly productive honeyholes near Lakeport today.

"I fished the same areas," he said, "but I did hit a couple of new areas that opened up a whole new light."

Today Saavedra mostly fished 1/2-ounce jigs and Senkos, fished weightless, in brown and purple Chad Martin landed the Pro Division Big Bass on day one at Clear Lake. It weighed 9-12.colors.

Martin fifth

Pro Chad Martin of Plumas Lake, Calif., added an 18-10 limit today to his 23-4 from day one, anchored by yesterday's Folgers Big Bass that weighed 9-12. His two-day total stands at 41 pounds, 14 ounces, good enough for fifth place.

Martin has been fishing to the north near Lakeport with Senkos and spinnerbaits in shallow water. He caught his Thursday kicker in about 3 feet of water on a Senko, green-pumpkin color, on 8-pound-test.

Big Bass

Matt Newman of Agoura Hills, Calif., earned today's Folgers Big Bass honors in the Pro Division with an 8-12 largemouth worth $333. He caught it south of the launch, fishing shallow with a green-pumpkin Picasso Fantasy Football Jig.
Matt Newman caught the biggest bass, this 8-12 beauty, and limit in the Pro Division on day two at Clear Lake to rocket from 69th place to seventh.
And if there was a heat-seeker award, he would have won that too: His 26-6 limit was the day's largest and the third largest of the tournament so far, launching him from 69th after day one into the top 10 at seventh.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros to make the cut after day two in the Stren Western at Clear Lake:

6th: Rob Riehl of Tracy, Calif., 10 bass, 41-13
7th: Newman, 10 bass, 41-10
8th: Roy Hawk of Salt Lake City, Utah, 10 bass 40-7
9th: Michael Tuck of Antelope, Calif., 10 bass, 40-4
10th: Sean Minderman of Spokane, Wash., 10 bass, 39-7

Goldston still man to beat in Co-angler Division

Things are a little tighter atop the co-angler leaderboard, but Tommie Goldston of Gardnerville, Nev., is Tommie Goldston leads the Co-angler Division after day two of the Stren Western at Clear Lake.still leading the pack. He brought in a five-bass limit from the back of the boat Friday weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces to give him a two-day total of 37-11.

"I was shaking soft plastics again ... green ones, watermelon and pumpkin," he said, adding that he didn't want to be any more specific than that until after Friday's finale.

Goldston fished with pro Zach Thompson today in the midlake area in 15 to 25 feet of water.

When asked if he could remain consistent to close out the tourney, he said, "I'm going to do it again tomorrow."

Baker inches closer

Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calf., is closing the gap on Goldston, finishing runner-up again Thursday after fishing with pro Noble Moore. Baker brought in a five-bass limit weighing 15-11 for a two-day total of 36-10, shaving 12 ounces off Goldston's lead.

Baker said Moore was a great partner, taking him "pretty much everywhere ... he made sure I got my five fish."

Baker is fishing a Zoom finesse worm on a shaky head to land his bass.

"Hopefully I just have to capitalize on my strikes," he said of his chances tomorrow.

Garmeson gets third

Jeff Garmeson of Rancho Cordova, Calif., fished in the midlake area behind Mark Casey today to sack a 19-pound limit for a two-day total of 35-1 and third place. Garmeson said he fished "really, really slow - Michael Hong caught the day-two Folgers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division at Clear Lake.almost dead-sticking it" with ¾-ounce brown and green-pumpkin jigs in 5 to 20 feet of water.

Big Bass

Michael Hong of San Francisco snared the Folgers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division worth $166. He caught it in 30 feet of water on the south end of the lake on a drop-shot rigged with a 6-inch Roboworm in "Margarita Mutilator" color.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers to make the cut after day two in the Stren Western at Clear Lake:

4th: Christopher Ricci of Bend, Ore., 10 bass, 34-13
5th: David Keithahn of Patterson, Calif., nine bass, 34-1
6th: J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif., 10 bass, 33-14
7th: David Bush of Sonoma, Calif., 10 bass, 33-13
8th: Mark White of Tucson, Ariz., 10 bass, 33-10
9th: Thomas Wang of Saratoga, Calif., 10 bass, 33-1
10th: Craig Smith of Truckee, Calif., 10 bass, 33-0

The final takeoff will take place tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. at Redbud Park, located at 14655 Lakeshore Drive in Clear Lake, Calif. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 15960 Dam Road in Clearlake beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Tags: patrick-baker  headline-story  2009-03-05-clear-lake 

Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

John Cox was coasting through days one and two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener on Sam Rayburn. It wasn’t luck, but Cox simply had a spot that was doing a lot of the work for him. One cast, repeat, repeat again. That spot failed him on day three, and he scrambled just to scrounge up enough weight to retain the lead going into Championship Sunday. Now, Corey Neece and Darold Gleason are hot on his trail after both having put together spectacular performances yesterday. Either one could challenge Cox with ease today if their patterns and spots hold steady.  READ MORE »

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

The final 30 anglers are blasting off and headed to their first spots of the day. By the time the smoke clears this evening, we'll have 10 pros left to fish tomorrow, all chasing that $100,000 check and a huge jump start on the Angler of the Year points race. READ MORE »

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Sam Rayburn offered fairly tough conditions, but the cream of the crop still caught a lot of Texas bass. In first, John Cox stayed steady with an 18-pound, 12-ounce limit to get up to a 40-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

After an overcast and calm start to the first day on Sam Rayburn, day two looks to be offering much different weather conditions. The forecast calls for sunny skies all day, though it should be as windy, or windier, than it was to close day one. That's potentially good news for a good portion of the field, as conditions should more closely resemble what anglers had to work with during practice. READ MORE »

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

In what had to be an ironic sight, while Cox watched others around him beat Sam Rayburn’s shallow brush, the DeBary, Fla., pro sacked up 21 pounds, 7 ounces and take the day one lead by focusing out deeper with a crankbait to kick off the new Pro Circuit season. READ MORE »

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn provided plenty of fish, but none of the mega-bags that hit the scale in 2019. As is often the case, John Cox is in the lead after day one, with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Behind him, are a strong collection of tour veterans, up-and-coming pros and local talent. In second with 21-4 is Greg Bohannan and close behind him is Darold Gleason with 21-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season is officially underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas. With the new season comes some fresh faces and familiar favorites, all of whom are looking to get a head start on the rest of the field in the 2020 Angler of the Year points standings. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the first stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

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 »