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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Rose rules on Wheeler

Rose rules on Wheeler
National Guard pro Mark Rose took the day-one lead with 21-6.

DECATUR, Ala. - You wouldn't know it from his weight, but National Guard pro Mark Rose actually had a tough time on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour Open on Wheeler Lake.

Hailing from West Memphis, Ark., Rose sacked up a limit catch of 21 pounds, 6 ounces. The only pro to break 20, Rose established a lead of 3-7, but as he noted, the day was no cake walk.

"It was tough on me today; Wheeler's a tough lake," he said. "I just had one of those blessed days today. God blessed me with five really nice ones." Mark Rose shows off his leading fish for the TV camera.

Entering the tournament, Rose and all of his fellow competitors knew a couple of factors would be working against them. First, voluminous shad schools roam the lake at practically all depths from the bank to the ledges, to the channel, so Wheeler bass lack not for food. Also, the fish are just about ready to make their fall move from deep to shallow, but any early transition is, at best, disjointed, so you kinda have to chase these fish all over the lake. Lastly, and perhaps most immediately impactful, a passing cold front draped northern Alabama with beautiful, sunny conditions - those bluebird skies that are great for tourism but pretty tough for fishing.

Rose said he overcame the tough conditions by remaining mobile and not locking himself into any one pattern. That was actually an easy decision, as no one bait or presentation style delivered any Day-one leader, Mark Rose was the only competitor to break 20 pounds on day one.degree of consistency.

"I just mixed it up," he said. "I'm fishing a little shallow and deep. I caught one on a topwater bait, I caught a couple on a crankbait and a couple on worms. I'm not getting a whole lot of bites. I only caught like seven keepers today but everything really worked out for me today.

"Normally, I could tell you it was this bait, or this pattern, or because of this I did that, but today it was just a blessed day - it just happened today."

Rose said that he caught his fish throughout the day. Keeper bites came about one an hour, right until he had to wrap up and head back for the weigh-in.

Nick surprised by second-place weight

Pro Blake Nick was one of the first few pros to weigh in and his limit catch of 17-15 had a long run in the top spot before Rose arrived. Ultimately, Nick would place second, but even that was aSecond-place pro Blake Nick said he found his better fish around Lake Wheelerpleasant surprise for him.

"I knew the potential was there, but I did not expect to catch (nearly) 18 pounds today," the pro from Adger, Ala., said. "There's basically two places with really good populations of healthy fish (both of the dams) and I just made sure I stayed in one of those places.

"I caught (my weight) in like 10 minutes and I left. They were biting when I left but I didn't want to catch any more 2- or 3-pounders because that's crucial in this place. But I'm really stoked to catch that. To me, that's a really good start."

Nick was clearly guarding with his bait selection and stated only that he's fishing a mix of reaction baits and soft plastics. Wheeler, he said is in a really tough stage, as the fish move toward their fall transition, while maintaining much of their late summer attitude.

"If you find one little deal and you can make it work, you can do well in a tournament this tough," he said. "But I'm stoked and I'll go get back in those areas tomorrow and try to beat it out."

Diversity key for third-place Clausen

Chevy pro  Luke Clausen said he went on a major junk fishing mission to earn third place.By the end of day one, Chevy pro Luke Clausen had a stack of rods on his deck and he gave each one a workout. The effort yielded a limit that weighed 15-15 and put the former Forrest Wood Cup champion from Spokane, Wash., in third place.

"Really, I didn't figure anything out," Clausen joked. "I figured out that not knowing anything is the biggest thing. I had probably 20 rods on my deck and I threw them all today and my trolling motor probably was never below 70 percent all day today.

"I would just pick up whatever looked good and just covered a lot of water. I had some areas where I thought I'd catch some, but they got dirtier and really didn't look right so I abandoned ship. I didn't have a keeper until about 8:30 so I just went fishing. I fished a lot of new stuff and got the right bites today."

Clausen said the gobs of regurgitated crayfish and shad that he removed from his livewells bespoke active feeding by the Wheeler bass. Clausen said this is a clear sign that some bass have started making their fall transition.

"Some of the fish are up shallow gorging," he said. "There's just not many of them up shallow yet."

Fourth-place Lane targets big baitfish

Anglers have no problem finding massive herds of threadfin shad on Wheeler, but Alabama pro RussLooking for the larger gizzard shad led  Russ Lane to fourth place. Lane formulated his plan around finding the larger gizzard shad.

"They're not everywhere, but when you can find them, that's when you find those really good fish."

Lane found five good ones and took fourth place with 15-14 - just an ounce behind Clausen. Like most, he ended up catching fish shallow and deep.

"I got a couple of bites doing a couple of different things," Lane said. "I got a couple of nice ones by flipping a Big Bite Coontail around docks. I got on the ledges later in the day and found a couple of small schools that probably had seven or eight fish in them and I got them on a Spro Fat Papa 70 crankbait."

Lane said he knew he'd probably have to move around from shallow to deep today. "After the big rain we got the other night, I made myself forget about practice. Practice was pretty much a waste of time and I went out and practiced today."

Hackney follows food for fifth

Louisiana pro  Greg Hackney targeted suspending bass on Wheeler Lake.In a classic intercept strategy, Louisiana pro Greg Hackney put himself where he knew the bass would be - right around bait schools. However, he ignored the scenes of obvious bass feeding. His strategy worked and a limit catch of 14-13 led him to fifth-place.

"I'm chasing fish that are chasing shad," Hackney said. "But when I see them breaking, I pretty much forget about them because they're so (focused) on the shad when they're doing that, I can't get them to bite. I'm actually catching them down under the shad when there's nothing going on and I'm not seeing any activity.

"I actually figured that out later on. I had already caught my limit, but I caught some of my better keepers this afternoon, after I figured that deal out."

Hackney caught his keepers on a lipless crankbait, spinnerbait, Strike King Caffeine Shad, a Strike Alabama pro  Clent Davis earned Big Bass honors with his 5-pound, 14-ounce largemouth.King Pure Poison swim jig and a topwater. All baits were shad colored.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake:

6th: Marty Stone, of Fayetteville, N.C., 14-4
7th: Chad Grigsby, of Maple Grove, Minn., 13-11
8th: Justin Lucas, of Guntersville, Ala., 13-10
8th: Scott Suggs, of Bryant, Ark., 13-10
10th: Art Ferguson III, of St. Clair Shores, Mich., 13-8
10th: Brett Hite, of Phoenix, Ariz., 13-8;

Clent Davis, of Montevallo, Ala. earned Big Bass honors for his 5-14.

Topwater bites give Martin co-angler lead

Co-angler leader  Casey Martin also had his divisionCasey Martin, of New Market, Ala., topped the co-angler field with a day-one limit weighing 12-11. Martin's catch included his division's Big Bass winner - a 4-pound, 10-ounce largemouth.

"It was really tough out there today - I only had five keeper bites," Martin said. "I probably caught about 10 fish, but only five would measure."

Martin caught his fish on a new Boing topwater bait, a Picasso Shad Walker and a chatterbait. His big fish ate the Boing and the Shad Walker produced another in the 4-pound range.

"We were fishing the bank and my boater was (apologizing for not leaving me much to fish)," Martin said. "But I said I'll catch what I can catch and I caught those two big ones pretty quickly. That was about 1 o'clock. I only had three fish around noon and I just started grinding because I needed two more bites. Luckily, I got the right two."

Jonathan Henry, of Grant, Ala., took second place with 12-5, while Ben Todd, of Pierson, Fla., placed third at 10-14. Fourth place went to Jim Krieder, of North Vernon, Ind., who weighed 8-9. George Yund, of Albany, N.Y., took fifth with 8-1.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake:

6th: Mark Horton, of Nicholasville, Ky., 8-0
7th: Kenny Beale Jr., Blairs, Va., 7-10
7th: Patrick Bone, of Cleveland, Ga., 7-10
7th: Richard Peek, of Centre, Ala., 7-10
10th: Todd McBride, of Huntsville, Ala., 7-9
10th: Richard Rhodes, of Calvert City, Ky., 7-9

Day two of the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (Central) at Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson St. in Decatur.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2012-09-20-wheeler-lake 

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 »