UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

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 

Swindle Wins on Guntersville

Swindle Wins on Guntersville

Boater James Swindle of Parrish, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 7 ounces to top 223 boats and win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Guntersville in Scottsville, Alabama. Swindle earned $6,000 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Cox Wins Again

Cox Wins Again

There’s no other way to say it: John Cox is clutch. There were times he made it look easy during the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener on Sam Rayburn, and there were times he was in full-blown scramble mode. But when he needed it most, Cox once again made the right call late on the final day to go wire-to-wire for the fifth Pro Circuit victory of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

John Cox was coasting through days one and two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener on Sam Rayburn. It wasn’t luck, but Cox simply had a spot that was doing a lot of the work for him. One cast, repeat, repeat again. That spot failed him on day three, and he scrambled just to scrounge up enough weight to retain the lead going into Championship Sunday. Now, Corey Neece and Darold Gleason are hot on his trail after both having put together spectacular performances yesterday. Either one could challenge Cox with ease today if their patterns and spots hold steady.  READ MORE »

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

The final 30 anglers are blasting off and headed to their first spots of the day. By the time the smoke clears this evening, we'll have 10 pros left to fish tomorrow, all chasing that $100,000 check and a huge jump start on the Angler of the Year points race. READ MORE »

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Sam Rayburn offered fairly tough conditions, but the cream of the crop still caught a lot of Texas bass. In first, John Cox stayed steady with an 18-pound, 12-ounce limit to get up to a 40-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

After an overcast and calm start to the first day on Sam Rayburn, day two looks to be offering much different weather conditions. The forecast calls for sunny skies all day, though it should be as windy, or windier, than it was to close day one. That's potentially good news for a good portion of the field, as conditions should more closely resemble what anglers had to work with during practice. READ MORE »

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

In what had to be an ironic sight, while Cox watched others around him beat Sam Rayburn’s shallow brush, the DeBary, Fla., pro sacked up 21 pounds, 7 ounces and take the day one lead by focusing out deeper with a crankbait to kick off the new Pro Circuit season. READ MORE »

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn provided plenty of fish, but none of the mega-bags that hit the scale in 2019. As is often the case, John Cox is in the lead after day one, with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Behind him, are a strong collection of tour veterans, up-and-coming pros and local talent. In second with 21-4 is Greg Bohannan and close behind him is Darold Gleason with 21-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season is officially underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas. With the new season comes some fresh faces and familiar favorites, all of whom are looking to get a head start on the rest of the field in the 2020 Angler of the Year points standings. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the first stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

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 »