UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Christie crush session

Christie crush session
Diet Mountain Dew pro Jason Christie is in charge on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell with a five bass limit topping the scales at 22 pounds, 4 ounces.

ANDERSON, S.C. - Like many of the 150 Walmart FLW Tour pros, Jason Christie knew a good portion of the Lake Hartwell bass were spawning. But instead of sight-fishing for them, Christie is throwing reaction baits to get their attention. The reason: the males and females are too interested in each other to eat a slow presentation.

Christie started on his best stretch of water this morning hoping to catch three quality keepers. Instead he filled the boat with an 18- or 19-pound limit. Then he left and spent the rest of the day oscillating between new water and other promising stuff he found in practice. The end result was a 22-pound, 4-ounce stringer - all of which came via largemouths.

"I'm catching spawners, but I'm not looking at them," said the Diet Mountain Dew pro. "The water is a little dirtier, but they are really paired up and tough to catch. Once they separate the bite should improve. I didn't catch a lot of fish today, but I caught good fish."

Christie believes several of the dozen or so keepers he boated and weighed were males.

"There are a ton of big fish in this lake - lots of 4s and 5s. They've moved up and once they separate this could get crazy."

Christie is understandably tight lipped about his presentation and location, allowing only that he is throwing Booyah reaction baits.

"I don't think they're conducive to being caught while you're looking at them right now. Some guys are going to catch them and there is probably going to be somebody that comes in with 25 pounds. But they are too interested in each other right now. You just have to get them on a reaction strike and I can do that better fishing than I can looking at them. I caught some off wood, some off docks, just stuff they normally spawn around."

The Park Hill, Okla., native said he had a productive practice, but was still worried heading into today.

"It was good, I caught some big weights, but it was very random - one here, one there. Today was the first day I caught several in one small area.

"I have had good bags on day one like this before. What I want to do is do that at the end. Today I had most of what I had by noon. So I pretty much ran around and looked. Some of that stuff I will go to tomorrow, but who knows if they will bite."

Reynolds working `special' pattern
Mike Reynolds caught a 21-pound, 15-ounce limit Thursday and finished the day in second place.
Modesto, Calif., pro Mike Reynolds weighed in five bass for 21 pounds, 15 ounces to begin the tournament in second place. Reynolds got a 10- or 11-pound limit early this morning and then pulled up to a dock and caught two of his biggest fish on back-to-back casts.

"I've got something pretty special going," Reynolds exclaimed. "It's pretty good and it's a West Coast deal. That's all I'm really going to say for now."

Reynolds later admitted he's targeting prespawn fish and running and gunning in an attempt to duplicate a specific pattern. He didn't sight-fish at all and in total he managed a dozen keepers.

"I've been doing this for over 30 years and I'm still shaking. What a day."

Dudley does some sight-fishing

Castrol pro David Dudley holds down third place with 20 pounds.The highest-finishing pro who sight-fished on day one was Castrol angler David Dudley. The 2003 Forrest Wood Cup champion caught a 20-pound limit Thursday. Of the five he weighed, three came via sight-fishing.

"The first day in a sight-fishing tournament is always critical," he said. "So I'm happy with what I caught but I didn't do anything special. I don't think I'm on anything great either. I just move around in between docks until I see one."

Dudley said this time of year it's important to be versatile because the fishing changes constantly.

"I've always said you need to fish where the fish are going. So I really focused on sight-fishing where I think a lot of other guys are fishing dying patterns. The cold front might hurt some, but the ones that are up and committed are staying, there just might not be another wave."

Dudley said his other two keepers came via wacky rigging and throwing a shaky head.

Thomas fourth with Big Bass

Fourth-place pro Joe Thomas caught 19-10 on day one, including a 6-10 brute, the Snickers Big Bass of the day.Milford, Ohio, pro Joe Thomas owns the fourth-place spot after day one with 19 pounds, 10 ounces. Like many of the other leaders, he's not sight-fishing. Instead, he's pattern fishing - working baits fast through shallow water targeting prespawn largemouths. He only caught 10 keepers, but clearly they were the right ones.

"I found one pattern in practice and I expanded on it," said Thomas. "I'm a little worried because what I did today was wind-orientated."

The one exception to Thomas' pattern was a 6-pound, 10-ounce largemouth, the Snickers Big Bass of the day.

"I caught that one on a random piece of cover. That was a lucky fish and sometimes luck plays a part in this."

Houston fifth
Chevy pro Jimmy Houston holds up part of his 19-pound, 3-ounce limit.
Chevy pro Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., is in fifth place with 19 pounds, 3 ounces. Houston explained that he had a tremendous practice and that day one of the tournament was actually much slower.

"In practice I was catching twice that many," said Houston, who caught eight keepers Thursday.

Houston said he fished dirty water with Booyah spinnerbaits and jigs around docks and points.

"The only time I saw them was when I put them in the boat."

Houston tempered his excitement because he thinks his bite is deteriorating with the colder weather.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell after day one:

6th: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 18-9
7th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 18-2
7th: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., five bass, 18-2
9th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., five bass, 17-8
10th: Randy McAbee Jr. of Bakersfield, Calif., five bass, 17-5

Honeycutt tops co-anglers
Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas leads the Co-angler Division of the Walmart FLW Tour Major on Lake Hartwell.
Veteran co-angler Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I drew Larry Nixon as my partner and we caught the snot out of them this morning," said Honeycutt, the 2007 EverStart Series Championship winner. "Larry was absolutely dialed in."

Honeycutt said he used the new Berkley Havoc straight tail worm on a 1/4-ounce shaky head. He tied this to 10-pound Fireline with a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.

"I'm just real comfortable with a spinning rod in my hand. In fact, it's the only rod I used all day today."

Honeycutt's limit consisted of three largemouths and two spotted bass. He said he didn't sight-fish, instead targeting bass in slightly deeper, dirtier water.

"I've never won a Tour event and there's no doubt it's a goal of mine. But I know it's not about just catching a big day one day; it's about being consistent."

Wright second

JR Wright of Truckee, Calif., is in second place with five bass weighing 16-3. Like Honeycutt, Wright is JR Wright of Truckee, Calif., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with 16-3.finesse fishing.

"I want to give a lot of credit to Tim McDonald, my pro partner," said Wright, who finished second at last year's Forrest Wood Cup. "He was dialed in on the spot but didn't really have the right bait."

For Wright, that bait was a 6-inch Jackall worm (green pumpkin/candy) on a 3/16-ounce shaky head.

"It was really all about finesse-ing them; they're really skittish."

With permission from McDonald, Wright would periodically fire back to the beds McDonald previously fished.

"I used lighter line and my Powell Endurance rod was sensitive enough to feel extremely light bites."

His limit consisted of three largemouths and two spotted bass.

Keeton, Bae, Scholz, round out top five

Jade Keeton of Florence, Ala., caught a five-bass limit Thursday weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces. The 2009 BFL All-American champion starts tomorrow in third place.

West Friendship, Md., co-angler Moo Bae caught a 13-pound, 15-ounce limit for fourth.

In fifth place with 13-7 is Reno, Nev., co-angler Andy Scholz. Anchoring Scholz's stringer was a 5-pound, 6-ounce largemouth, the Snickers Big Bass of the day.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the Walmart FLW Tour after day one:

6th: Mike Helton of Jeffersonville, Ind., five bass, 13-3
6th: Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., five bass, 13-3
8th: Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., five bass, 12-13
9th: Doug Caldwell of Kane, Pa., five bass, 12-12
10th: Patrick Bone of Cleveland, Ga., five bass, 12-9

Day two of the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell will begin Friday at 7:30 a.m. from Portman Shoals Marina located at 1629 Marina Rd. in Anderson.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2011-03-24-lake-hartwell 

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

FLW media staff and anglers provide unofficial weight estimates for the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Cody Huff didn’t even plan on fishing the final Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock, but being it’s only on 45 minutes from his house and he already filled a deer tag he figured why not. That decision turned out to be the right one as he’d take the lead on day one with 16 pounds, 15 ounces and never look back. READ MORE »

Poche Wins on Seminole

Poche Wins on Seminole

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole was tough on the folks heading down the lake and fishing around the grass. It was not tough on Keith Poche, who turned his small aluminum boat up the Flint River each day of the event to target shoal bass and largemouths north of Bainbridge. READ MORE »

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

After two days on Table Rock Lake for the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season, Cody Huff is in command, backing up his Thursday weight of 16 pounds, 15 ounces with a solid 13-15 for a 30-14 total overall. READ MORE »

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Walloping 24 pounds, 4 ounces on day two, Dillon McMillan surged into the lead of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. With a 37-4 total, Dillon is ahead of Jared McMillan, his older brother, by a hair more than 4 pounds going into the final day. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

A head-scratcher. That’s the best way to describe the day two morning at the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. If you wonder why so many pros talk about how sensitive Lake Seminole is to fishing pressure, look at the second day of just about any event held there. For some reason, Seminole fish are just smart like that. They might bite well the first day, but they clam up the second day. READ MORE »

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Jumping out to a lead over a tightly packed top 10, Cody Huff weighed 16 pounds, 15 ounces on day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock Lake. Huff, who is a Bethel University student, has already won one Toyota Series event this year, and he’s now starting off another on exactly the right foot. Behind him, Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit superstar Spencer Shuffield is tied with Corey Cook for second place with 14-5 and Dale Andrews is in third with 14-1. READ MORE »

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Jared McMillan dropped 21 pounds, 10 ounces on the scale to kick off the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. The only pro to cross the 20-pound barrier, McMillan is ahead of Jason Smith, who weighed 19-3, and MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Keith Poche and Mikey Keyso, who both brought in 17 pounds or better. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

There was plenty of fish catching happening on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole; the problem was they were not the size fish Lake Seminole is known for. Instead of 5- and 6-pounders, there was an unusual number of line-burners being deposited in livewells READ MORE »

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Adam Wagner is approaching legend status in central Tennessee. Storming to the win from fifth place on the final day, Wagner put a limit for 16 pounds, 1 ounce on the scale for a 34-6 total and the win in the Toyota Series Central Division event on Dale Hollow. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

You’re not going to find a better day to be out on the lake in the fall. Unfortunately, the warming trend paired with bluebird skies, plenty of sun and very little wind hasn’t produced very good conditions for catching fish. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow is fishing tough. That’s about the only constant across the field in the Toyota Series Central Division finale. Everyone in the top 10 has made it to this point by finding a way to battle the difficult conditions and tricky timing, and many have done that extremely well. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 2

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 2

Despite some hopeful optimism that the cold front that moved in overnight might turn on the bite, day two of the Toyota Series Central Division finale on Dale Hollow has been as slow as – or slower than – day one, and that’s saying something. READ MORE »