UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Upshaw and Watkins tops on Somerville

Upshaw and Watkins tops on Somerville
Stephen F. Austin's Andrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins were the only team to break 20 pounds on day one.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - It must have looked like a limbo contest to Andrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins. The Stephen F. Austin partners opened the show by setting a high bar and then watched each competing team cross the stage under that mark on day one of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Series Texas Regional Championship, presented by Mercury.

One of 11 teams to pluck a 5-fish limit from Lake Somerville, Upshaw and Watkins were the only duo to break the 20-pound mark. Their 21-pound, 5-ounce bag was anchored by Watkins' 6-plus pounder. Keeping it real, Watkins pointed out that theirs was no easy course, thanks to today's shifting weather.

"Just because we got a good bag doesn't mean we had an easy day by any means," he said. "ThatAndrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins put Stephen F. Austin in the top spot by a margin of 2 pounds, 5 ounces. front passed through and it got tough, so we had to change up."

The leaders held their cards low on specific baits and tactics, but Watkins said that the conditions required them to trash the initial game plan and shift gears.

"All week long we've been fishing in stable conditions but they changed today," he said. "We got high pressure, the water color changed and the wind picked up a little bit. We just adapted to the conditions, but that's the way tournaments are won. It's about the decisions on the water, not off the water."

The SFA anglers fished all over the lake today and hit about eight main areas. Upshaw said that faster presentations were most productive.

"The thing that we're doing different is that we're throwing more reaction baits than a lot of the other Ryan Watkins loads a big bass for Stephen F. Austin.teams and we're sticking with it all day," Upshaw said. "We're not stopping on one specific spot. We have eight 300-yard areas. We covered a whole lot of water today and I think that played to our advantage.

"We stayed around wood and rock mainly. We didn't really target one specific thing. With a lake this small, you just hit everything you see and anything you see on your depth finder. Hard bottom is always good - something different is always going to have fish on it."

With Lake Somerville standing about 10 feet below normal pool, the resident bass have been confined to a much smaller range. It's not surprising then, that competitors saw a lot of each other today.

"I'm very thankful for (our day-one weight), but three of the top-five teams are fishing within 75 yards of one another," Watkins said. "It's already a small lake and it fishes small. I'm glad we got what we got, but we have to go back and do it tomorrow because I know these guys are going (for big weights)."

Big bass anchors second for Bates and Collins

Texas A&M's Kyle Bates and Cody Collins sit in second place with a limit worth 19 pounds. They, too, had a kicker - Bates' 9-pound, 12-ounce toad, that stood as the day's biggest bass.

"That was very early in the morning," Bates recalled. "It was our second spot - our second fish of the day. That was definitely the way to get some momentum going. It was amazing. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Bates said that his big fish, like most of his team's other bass, bit a reaction bait. The scenario, heThis second-place catch by Texas A&M said, was rather surprising.

"It was fairly shallow water - a non-typical spot for a big fish to be," he said. "I think it just pulled up at the right time and I had my bait in front of it. The lake is so low right now and usually these big fish like to have some deep water pretty close. There was some deep water, but it was pretty distant. There was quite a bit of shad on the bank so I figured it was in there feeding."

The Aggies generally got off to a good start, but their second-place performance didn't crystallize until late in the day. Collins explained: "We caught most of our fish early this morning and then we struggled the rest of the day to get some more bites. We caught some little fish, but we actually caught our fifth keeper that we brought to the scales on the last cast of the day. That was a pretty exciting way to end the day.

"We started out with reaction baits, but then we had to slow down and pick apart our spots once the wind picked up. We covered a lot of water today - we saw both ends of the lake, both sides, deep, shallow - we fished it all."

Texas A&M third

Third-place Weston Brown and Andrew Shafer gave the Aggies double representation in the top-5. Giving the Aggies a double dose of top-five representation, Andrew Shafer and Weston Brown trail their Texas A&M teammates by 7 ounces with a third-place weight of 18-9. Shafer said their day played out fairly close to the game plan they had formulated. However, they never dialed in a specific pattern or area.

"There weren't really any keys - maybe the color of bait we were using and maybe how we were presenting it to them," he said. "We didn't get a kicker today, but we caught a lot of fish, so other than that it was a good day for us."

Brown said that he and Shafer caught their fish on a mix of reaction baits and soft plastics.

"Once we figured out what the fish wanted, we adjusted accordingly."

Shafer said he's thrilled to see two of the hometown teams in the top five, but he'd like to see the order change on day two.

"Hopefully, we'll get a big kicker fish tomorrow and pull out of this."

Oral Roberts fourth

In fourth place, Zach Vankeulen and Mark Johnson sacked up 17-7 for Oral Roberts University.Oral Roberts University Vankeulen said that after finding productive areas about three weeks before the tournament, they laid off their good stuff during the tournament's official practice so they could fish it fresh today.

"We stuck really close to our game plan and it's really nice that it worked out for us," Vankeulen said.

They too caught most of their fish on reaction baits and Johnson said that fishing the south side of coves proved most productive. The anglers targeted points and brush at a variety of depths.

Lamar lands in fifth

Lamar UniversityMatt Morrison and Danny Iles of Lamar University claimed the fifth-place spot with a limit catch of 15-14. Iles said his team carried a diverse set of options into the day and ended up leveraging one of them for their heaviest fish.

"We had about four different patterns," he explained. "One of them is good for (big fish) but it didn't work today. With two other patterns, you catch a bunch of fish all day long but you have to catch 12-inchers to get a 3-pounder. The best thing that we found was also found by (two other top-five teams). We're all fishing the same shallow stuff."

Iles said that, despite their success fishing plastics slowly in practice, he and Morrison could only get bit by fishing faster-moving reaction baits today.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 leaders at the Texas College Regional Championship:

6th: LSU, Timothy Morris and Richard Murdock, 15-14
7th: University of Oklahoma, Paul Muzljakovich and Tyler Nipper, 15-0
8th: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Jacob Heath and Kennedy Schwartzburg, 12-12
9th: Lamar University, Justin Royal and Troy Luce, 11-5
10th: Texas A&M-Kingsville, Jerod Hawkes and Cody Burell, 10-4

Day two of National Guard FLW College Fishing action continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. (Central Time) at Lake Somerville Marina located at 505 Marina Drive in Brenham, Texas.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2011-10-13-texas-regional-somerville-lake 

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 »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »