UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Deffner does the impossible

Deffner does the impossible
Pro Brian Deffner and co-angler Bob Miller hold up their 19-pound, 11-ounce day-two catch.

OSHKOSH, Wis. - The bite on day two of the FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Winnebago improved substantially. But in all honesty, the fishing had nowhere to go but up. On day one, the entire field managed only 36 keeper walleyes. That number was nearly doubled to 71 on Friday.

The four biggest fish of the day all came from the same person. That individual was Eland, Wis., pro Brian Deffner. After striking out at his first four spots, Deffner hit the jackpot at 11 a.m. Within the next three hours he had keepers that measured 23, 24, 25 and 26 inches in length. Fish No. 2 and 3 came at the same time - a trolling double. His day-two weight was 19 pounds, 11 ounces, by far the heaviest stringer of the tournament.
Pro leader Brian Deffner waits to weigh in his fish Friday afternoon.
"I wasn't expecting that (19-11), but I was expecting more than caught I yesterday," said Deffner, whose lone keeper Thursday weighed 1 pound, 2 ounces. "That's a personal best for me and I didn't even have five."

To catch his fish, Deffner is making 1/2-mile passes over main-lake mud. While many of the others near the top of the leaderboard are struggling to stay on specific structure, the pro leader said the windy conditions experienced in the opening round don't hurt him.

"A lot of guys have had a tough week. We caught some fish in practice - enough where I thought I could get a limit. But the big storms that rolled through here two nights ago really messed things up. It's been kind of a tough bite down here all year, but hopefully we can get them tomorrow. Winnebago is Winnebago, you never know. What happened today might not happen tomorrow."

With the Wisconsin no-cull rule in place, Deffner plans to keep any keeper he hooks.

"Oh yeah. If I can come in with 12 or 13 pounds I'll take it."

Pro Brett Wilkens and co-angler Randal Sterr hold up part of their day-two catch.Wilkens slips to second

On an ultra-stingy Winnebago system, there have been three limits weighed in during the entire tournament. Two of those three have come from Brett Wilkens, yet the Kiel, Wis., native trails by 13 ounces heading into the final day.

"I'm happy with that weight; I'm not happy with the conditions," said Wilkens, who caught 11-11 yesterday and 8-5 today. "I need the wind to lay down. I'm fishing all the way on the other side of the lake and I can't hold with an anchor because the bottom is all gravel. And my water looks like chocolate milk."

Like yesterday, Wilkens caught his limit in two places. But those were not the same two places.

"Today they all came on 1/8-ounce jigs with either a leech or a crawler. These are small little areas in like 8 to 12 feet of water. The ones that produced yesterday did not produce today."

After seeing Deffner's big sack, Wilkens was noticeably disappointed. But he hasn't given up on his title aspirations.

"I don't think I can catch fish like that," he said. "But if it calms down I think I can get a limit of 17 to 21 Paul Meleen patiently waits to weigh in his three walleyes Friday.inchers. There are so many spots on this lake that I haven't fished yet."

Meleen slips to third

After catching 8 pounds, 8 ounces yesterday, Paul Meleen managed three keepers worth 4 pounds, 8 ounces today - bringing his total weight to 13 pounds even. The Isle, Minn., pro is fishing small bottlenecks in the Wolf and Fox rivers - attempting to target walleyes positioned on small ambush points.

"Elements are dictating what I can and can't do. Today I had a big weed problem in my area. They cleared up as the day went on though so I'm really excited about tomorrow. I think the fish are still coming to me."

Despite fishing in current that is ripping at 3 to 4 mph, Meleen is using 1/8-ounce jigs and three-way rigs with live bait. He's identified small pockets that he makes precise casts to with his boat positioned 30 feet away. He's paired this little pattern down to a science.

"Any heavier with the jig and it will blow them out and any closer with the boat won't work either."

Pro Stephen Gaston and co-angler Derek Navis caught a 12-pound limit Friday.Gaston goes from zero to hero

Montegut, La., pro Stephen Gaston rose from a last-place tie to fourth Friday, courtesy of a 12-pound limit. And ironically, his big stringer came from the same area where he zeroed the day prior.

"When I got there yesterday I knew it was done," said Gaston. "But today it looked like it had a chance. We rolled in there and caught a 13-incher almost right away and decided to stay. From then on it was about one an hour all day long."

This area Gaston describes is a 200-yard stretch of undeveloped bank. He works the area back and forth by casting Rapala Shad Rap crankbaits. Depending on the specific location, he'll use anything from a No. 4 to a No. 7. Generally speaking, the water is 5 to 7 feet deep.

"I tried trolling in practice, but couldn't get it together. But I prefer casting anyway."

Like Meleen, Gaston has this area all to himself and is excited for tomorrow.

Pro Chris Gilman rallied on day two with an 8-pound, 4-ounce stringer.Gilman fifth

Chris Gilman, the reigning Angler of the Year, made a nice comeback on day two. After catching only one squeaker Thursday, he managed four fish Friday that weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces - bringing his total weight to 9-6.

Last year on Winnebago Gilman pitched crankbaits over weed beds for a fifth-place finish. This year the Chisago City, Minn., native said he's trolling mud flats with the new Evinrude E-TEC 15 H.O. kicker engine.

"I'm happy with that weight; I really am," Gilman said.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros who made the cutoff after day two:

6th: Don Loch of Iron Mountain, Mich., two-day total of 9-4
7th: Gregory Dekalb of Franklin, Wis., 9-3
8th: Mark Keenan of Appleton, Wis., 8-2
9th: Ryan Jirik of Rhinelander, Wis., 7-14
10th: Steve Lotz of Lena, Ill., 7-6

Miller widens co-angler lead

Local co-angler Bob Miller could probably sleep in tomorrow and still win the tournament. After catching a limit on day one weighing 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Miller came in with a 19-pound, 11-ounce stringer (on four fish) today. Both those catches were the heaviest of the day and gave Miller a total weight of 31 pounds, 6 ounces. Unbelievably, Miller has accumulated an 18-pound, 2-ounce lead.

"I should be sitting pretty for tomorrow," he laughed. "I've just been really fortunate to draw two very good partners. Both of those guys know this lake really, really well."

After using slip bobbers and jigs yesterday with Wilkens, Miller went trolling the mud flats today with Deffner.

Tomorrow he'll be reunited with Deffner as boat No. 1.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers who made the cutoff after day two:

2nd: Derek Navis of Waupun, Wis., two-day total of 13-4
3rd: Steve Beasley of Macomb, Mich., 13-0
4th: Mike Taylor of Midland, Mich., 10-1
5th: Randal Sterr of Oconomowoc, Wis., 9-7
6th: Tim Depooter of Rock Island, Ill., 9-4
7th: Collin Martin of Appleton, Wis., 9-3
8th: Eugene Little of Milton, Wis., 8-4
9th: Bob Allen of Brookfield, Wis., 8-2
10th: Brian Boelter of Colgate, Wis., 7-6

The final day of FLW Walleye Tour competition on Lake Winnebago begins as the top-10 pros and top-10 co-anglers take off from Pioneer Resort Marina, located at 1000 Pioneer Drive in Oshkosh, at 7 a.m. Central time Saturday.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2010-07-15-lake-winnebago 

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 »