UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Merrill makes it happen

Merrill makes it happen
Pro Kevin Merrill (right) and co-angler Matt Hiller caught five walleyes Wednesday weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

WALKER, Minn. - The rumors of a slow walleye bite on Leech Lake have been greatly exaggerated. Within 15 minutes of the scale opening at the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Championship three stringers over 13 pounds were recorded. By the end of the day-one weigh-in, that number doubled to six.

The heaviest sack came from veteran pro Kevin Merrill of Pierre, S.D. While most of the 40-boat field struggled to catch one keeper over 26 inches, Merrill caught two. Both fish came from the same location, an area he didn't fish all that much during practice.

"I had a poor prefish; I bet I caught only eight or 10 in three and a half days," said Merrill. "But on the last morning I went up to an area and immediately caught an 18, a 14 and I had a few other bites where they chewed up the bait pretty good. So I went there this morning and there were already five or six guys there. But it still worked - just about everyone was wailing on them."

The bite was best early, but Merrill decided to stay in the area - occasionally moving around to certain edges and points. His two overs measured 26 1/4 and 26 1/8 and his unders were all 17s and 16s. He estimated he caught 20 fish total on the day and finished with a total weight of 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

"What a day. I've been doing this for 10 years and it's just a good feeling to be leading a championship. I can't really describe it."

Merrill said that because other boats are present, he wants to keep most of his presentation details quiet for now. He did admit that he was both rigging and jigging.

"My co-angler caught our biggest fish and he caught a few of the unders too so he deserves a lot of credit."

Merrill has a keen eye on tomorrow's forecast, which is calling for high winds and up to 4 inches of rain.

"Our spot isn't too far from the launch, so hopefully if the weather is bad that will be a good thing and we won't have to make a long run tomorrow. I will try and catch my five, but I may not get my overs. I do think there are enough unders that we can get our limit."

Second-place pro Brian Brosdahl holds up a nice over and a nice slot fish.Brosdahl, Filkins tied for second

It's no surprise to see Max, Minn., pro Brian Brosdahl near the top of the leaderboard on Leech Lake. Known as Bro, Brosdahl guides on the area lakes and finished third last year at the June qualifier. Today he planned on hitting eight spots spanning 17 miles of the lake but he only reached five of them.
"I was really only expecting one or two fish from our first spot, but we ended up getting pretty much all of our fish there. At 10 minutes to 8 (a.m.) we had our five. But even after we left that spot we caught fish everywhere we went."

Brosdahl said he used a variety of presentations including chubs, leeches and a Northland Live Forage Minnow Spoon. The spoon he uses specifically for the unders.

"They ate everything today. My partner said he's never caught so many fish and never thrown so many fish back. I know we caught over 40 today."

Bro, a heavy favorite, is doing his best to manage some of his better spots in a four-day tournament.

"I'm glad everybody is catching fish, I really am. I want everyone to come up here and have fun. But I also want to beat them too."

After an 8-ounce penalty for a dead fish, Bro's official weight was 14 pounds, 1 ounce.

Also with 14-1 was Lake City, Minn., pro Terry Filkins. While Bro achieved his weight on five walleyes, Filkins did so with only four.

"We absolutely rifled through them," Filkins said. "We caught five fish that were just under 26 inches (and had to go back) and of course we caught the two overs. I bet we caught 35 fish between 22 and 26 inches. We just couldn't get one more small one."

The first two fish Filkins put in the box were his overs. His next was a 16-incher and then he went three hours without another keeper. He left his primary area at 1:30 p.m. and went to a nearby small-fish spot but it didn't produce. He eventually returned to the area he started on and caught his final under with 20 minutes left in the day.

"We had the fifth fish on too. My co-angler was reeling it and it just came unbuttoned right as I was getting the net ready."

Filkins' primary concern is getting more bait.

"I'm rigging and there's a certain type of live bait I really want. I almost ran out today."

Byle fourth
Pro Pat Byle reels in an
In fourth place is Colgate, Wis., pro Pat Byle. If not for three dead-fish penalties, Byle would be sitting in second. As it stands, he's fourth with a total weight of 13 pounds, 14 ounces.

"I am absolutely thrilled," Byle said of his day-one performance. "I have one spot and its absolutely incredible how many big fish are on it. I've never seen anything like it."

The spot Byle referred to is solely for big fish. Today it produced four overs - the biggest measuring 27 1/2 inches. He caught his three unders in a different area. What he'd like to do is find a spot with bigger unders as his today were barely legal.

"Things can change but right now I like where I'm at. I can't say for sure that I'll get the overs tomorrow but I am pretty confident."

Defending champion fifth
Fifth-place pro Scott Steil caught a five-fish limit Wednesday weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces.
In fifth place was the 2009 FLW Walleye Tour Championship winner Scott Steil. Today the Richmond, Minn., pro caught a limit worth 13 pounds, 6 ounces. While Merrill, Brosdahl, Filkins and Byle all caught two overs, Steil managed only one.

"If I get one over and a limit tomorrow I'll be fine," Steil said.

Steil said he purposely stayed off some of his better stuff in practice. He didn't want to pound the fish for one and he definitely didn't want to give away locations.

"It was nice to actually sit on a spot and see what you can grind out. When you're hopping around, you forget how much fun it is to just sit and fish. I'm happy with that (13-6) but I was hoping for unders between 17 and 18 inches."

Steil said he fished the main lake and used a combination of jigs and rigs.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on day one on Leech Lake:

6th: Dean Arnoldussen of Appleton, Wis., five walleyes, 13-3
7th: Bill Shimota of Lonsdale, Minn., five walleyes, 10-13
8th: Nick Fautsch of Maddock, N.D., five walleyes, 10-9
9th: Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn., five walleyes, 10-4
10th: Don Loch of Iron Mountain, Mich., three walleyes, 9-6

Michigan co-angler seeks second championship win

Also seeking a second championship victory is co-angler Matt Hiller. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native won the 2005 FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill.

Fishing with Merrill on day one, Hiller registered a limit worth 16-5. Merrill mentioned that Hiller was a major contributor as he caught the team's biggest fish, a fat 26 1/4-incher.

"We had quite the flurry early in the morning," Hiller said. "It was a blast."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top five co-anglers on day one on Leech Lake:

2nd: Tim Depooter of Rock Island, Ill., five walleyes, 14-1
2nd: Darrell Martin of Forest Lake, Minn., four walleyes, 14-1
4th: Bryan Bayerkohler of Eagan, Minn., five walleyes, 13-14
5th: Jason Anderson of West Fargo, N.D., five walleyes, 13-6

Day two of the FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Leech Lake begins as the field takes off from Walker City Park at 7:30 a.m. Central time. Thursday's weigh in will also be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2010-09-22-leech-lake 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »