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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Helton heads to the top

Helton heads to the top
A day of junk fishing pushed Mike Helton into the co-angler lead on day two of the Forrest Wood Cup.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - With Lake Ouachita returning to its typical summer complexion after a cloudy, rainy and much cooler day one, Forrest Wood Cup co-anglers knew their standings would likely change, but few could have predicted the tight groupings at the top end.

Mike Helton, of Jeffersonville, Ind. moved up two notches to take the lead with 21-11, while day-one leader Spencer Shuffield slipped to second, just 7 ounces back at 21-4. Chris Hults follows in third with 20-9 - only 8 ounces ahead of fourth-place Jeffrey Cummins who had 20-1. Fifth-place Patrick Stines trails by a mere 1 ounce at 20 pounds.

Mostly sunny skies prevailed today, but Helton found the moderate morning conditions conducive toMike Helton holds a 7-ounce margin over Spencer Shuffield. the surface bite. Initial success had his hopes high, but the day slid into an arduous task of looking for fish willing to bite in the bath water.

"This morning, we went out and I caught a couple good fish early with the cloud cover," he said. "I thought that might be the ticket, but that died out, so we went to a couple of other locations and I ended up catching one on a dropshot and a couple of them on a worm.

"We kind of just junk fished around but my partner today, Jeff Michels did everything he could to get me everywhere I needed to be. He's a great guy and I really appreciate it."

Helton held his cards low on the topwater specifics, but he said he was dropshotting a Zoom trick worm and Texas rigging a 10-inch worm - both in plum color. The big worm produced his biggest fish of the day.

"Today, the better catches were right at the end of the day," he said. "The bigger fish came with an hour to go. The ones I caught this morning were smaller fish and I was able to cull at the end of the day, which helped out. My fifth fish was my biggest - it was close to three pounds. That was a good upgrade."

Shuffield sinks to second

Day-one leader Spencer Shuffield had a tough time sticking his topwater fish today.Hailing from Bismark, Ark., Shuffield caught just three keepers for 6 pounds, 2 ounces on day two, but his strong day-one weight of 14-8 buoyed his total and kept him within striking distance. Nevertheless, Shuffield said he was disappointed with his second-round performance.

Like his pro partner, Bryan Thrift, he threw a topwater all day - his was a Luckycraft Sammy in American shad. He managed to attract plenty of attention, but most of the fish that rose for a look were either non-committal or lackadaisical in their attempts.

"I actually had the opportunity to have another 14 and a half pounds like I did yesterday," he said. "They just wouldn't commit to it today. They'd just nip at my bait. Honestly, I was lucky to get the three that I got."

Shuffield said his day started slowly and the late morning hours held his only streak of productivity. "I didn't catch my first keeper until probably 10 o'clock today and I caught my third one at 11:30 and I never caught another keeper after that.

"I had a 3 1/2-pounder this morning right off. It was hooked for a second and it came off. I had a couple more that would come up and grab the bait bait but I didn't get a hook in them. It's kinda funny that you have six hooks on that bait and a fish can grab it and not get hooked. I don't know how that can happen."

Consistent Hults improves to third

Hults, who makes his home in Vancleave, Miss., has been Mr. Consistency over two days of fishing.Another 10-pound bag on day two moved Chris Hults up five notches to third. After posting a day-one weight of 10-3, he bagged 10-6 today. The same could not be said for the day-two weather, so Hults had to make an adjustment from his topwater tactics of day one. Day two again saw him seeking the surface bites, and while he wouldn't divulge his lure selection, he did say that it differed significantly from what he threw yesterday.

"I had to catch them a different way because it was really bright and sunny," Hults said. "I caught all but one of my fish on a topwater but it was a different topwater than yesterday."

Hults said that a shad-colored bait worked best. He caught one of his topwater fish in about 35 feet of water and the rest came in three to four feet. Three of his fish bit around old bridge rubble.

"It was a grind, so I just had to keep my head down," Hults said. "I caught five keepers yesterday and I caught the last keeper with a few minutes left to go. It was the same thing today. The last keeper came with about five minutes left to go."

Fourth place

The biggest comeback of the tournament belonged to Jeffrey Cummins who rose 42 spots to fourth place with the dayCummins, of Marion, Ohio, got off to a disappointing start on day one with a single fish that weighed 2 pounds, 6 ounces. Today, he overcame what was nearly a self-defeating outlook and rallied to a huge comeback by catching 17-11 - the day's biggest sack - and jumping from 46th place to fourth.

"Words really can't describe this," said an emotional Cummins. "I was planning on going home last night. I was packing things up. This is my first time at the Forrest Wood Cup and it's an honor to be here. I just couldn't believe I could make this big of a comeback today.

Paired with day-one leader Scott Martin, Cummins fished Texas-rigged plastics today. A creeping pace, he said, was essential to getting his bites.

"I was fishing really slowly," Cummins said. "It's hot out there. I'm not used to this heat and I know these fish aren't either."

Sunshine helps Stines

Stines, who moved up from 11th place, caught his fish by working a ¼-ounce shaky head with a greenWorking a shaky head around brush piles was the ticket for Patrick Stines. pumpkin Zoom trick worm around brush piles. Today's sunny weather had the fish holding tighter to cover and that worked in his favor.

"I don't know if it was the cloud cover yesterday that pushed the fish off the brush, but today, I just happened to get a couple of key bites," Stines said. "I caught one early in the morning but it got better as the day went on."

Best of the rest

Hometown angler Dakota Lucy bagged a 5-pounder that helped him make the final cut in ninth place.Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Forrest Wood Cup were:

6th: Paul Mueller, of Southbury, Conn., 19-6
7th: Shane Winchester, of Glasgow, Ky., 18-5
8th: Matthew Nadeau, of Grass Valley, Calif., 17-0
9th: Dakota Lucy, of Hot Springs, Ark., 16-15
10th: Guy Williams, of Menifee, Calif., 16-5

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. Central time from Brady Mountain Resort & Marina located at 4120 Brady Mountain Rd. in Royal, Ark.

Tags: david-a-brown  co-angler-headline  2011-08-11-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita 

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

Billy McCaghren spends a lot of his free time coaching 8- to 10-year-old boys on how to swing and catch; but when the FLW Cup visits Hot Springs August 9-11, the Arkansas pro is hopeful that some of his young baseball players will be able to swing by and see the Lake Hamilton bass he plans on catching. READ MORE »

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

June is typically ledge-fishing season in the Tennessee Valley, especially at Pickwick, but the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship was a more diverse event than most folks might have expected. Patterns ranging from junk-fishing the bank to targeting docks and other shoreline cover to working the main-lake ledges all worked. Here are the baits used by the top 10 teams during the week. READ MORE »

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Anthony Cicero IV and Dakota Snyder went right to their spot, locked up a big limit early and about six and a half hours later, brought what would be the winning sack of 16 pounds, 6 ounces to McFarland Park where the Elizabethtown High School duo won the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

Pickwick is big lake, but even this 53-mile long TVA reservoir gets weary and the first half of the day told a tale of occasional opportunity, but a lot of waiting and hoping as 31 teams competed in the final day of the 10th annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian High School’s Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces (three fish) on the final day to win the High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. With a three-day total weight of 35-12, Capdeboscq and Acosta had just a 1-ounce margin over the second-place team of Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin who tallied 35-11 for Cedar Bluff High School. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update - Day 3

High School Midday Update - Day 3

Timing is typically the key to success on most TVA reservoirs and Pickwick Lake seems to be dishing out the lessons during day three of the High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals.  READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 2

High School Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick showed off its impressive diversity during day two of the High School Fishing National Championship, which is held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. End-to-end, this Tennessee River reservoir stretches about 53 miles, and, while the offshore ledge game gets most of the attention, anglers were also leveraging the lake's many other fishable features. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Weights are stacked tight atop the standings of the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Moving into the lead position is the Northlake Christian team of Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta, who added 12 pounds, 14 ounces today for a two-day total of 26-5. Will Daniels and Kade Suratt added an impressive three-bass limit worth 15-12 today to move up one spot and into the lead in the High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

Co-angler Crown Goes to Freeman

Co-angler Crown Goes to Freeman

Three solid draws and three solid days of adjusting to different areas of the lake helped Arkansas co-angler Zack Freeman earn his second FLW win and his first at the Costa FLW Series level this week at the Sam Rayburn event, which is presented by Mercury. READ MORE »

Co-angler Dacey Wins Wire-to-Wire

Co-angler Dacey Wins Wire-to-Wire

Winning the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American is a feat in itself, but to win wire-to-wire from the back of the boat is a whole different level. With 11 pounds and 11 ounces on the final day, Ben Dacey of Chesterfield, Va., closed out his win with a total of 38-2. For the win, Dacey earned $50,000 and also qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship this fall. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. 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 »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. 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 »