UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Chasing water

Chasing water
Anglers will enjoy pleasant conditions during EverStart competition on Lake Amistad.

DEL RIO, Texas - You know the water's dropping briskly when anglers spot fresh, green hydrilla lying high and (nearly) dry. That report from Ranger pro Stephen Johnston frames the scenario facing EverStart Series Texas Division competitors on Lake Amistad.

For the past several days, the International Boundary Water Commission has been dropping the lake to provide for downstream agricultural irrigation needs. Johnston said that given the lake's seasonal patterns, the effects of this falling water have been profound.

"I've been here right at about a week and the water has fallen about 2 1/2 feet," Johnston said. "The To counteract short-striking fish, Ranger pro Stephen Johnston will fish a V&M chatterbait with no trailer.water had just started falling the day after I got here and now it's at the point where it's falling 4 to 5 inches a day.

"What we have is warming temperatures and we're coming up to a full moon so a lot of fish are coming in trying to spawn. But with the falling water, the fish are kind of at a stopping point. There's hydrilla all over the lake, but the falling water is pulling them out of the (grass). They want to be in the hydrilla, but the current is so (strong) with the water pulling out that you can find green hydrilla lying up on the bank, still wet."

Now, falling water does tend to concentrate fish, but Johnston said that Amistad's current conditions have left bass rattled.

"The fish are really spooky - when you catch one, they're nervous. These fish live in big schools here and when you catch one, there's usually 5 to 10 behind it, but you're not seeing that right now."

Ritter Ferguson, who won the 2012 EverStart event on Lake of the Pines, hopes a crawfish colored squarebill crankbait will produce for him.Ritter Ferguson, who topped the EverStart event on Lake of the Pines in October, agrees: "The way they're dropping the water, those fish don't know if they want to come up or stay deep. I've heard of guys catching them anywhere from 2 feet to 80 feet."

Johnston hopes to find quality fish by targeting the outside grass edges with a V&M Lightning Blade. Because the fish have been short-striking, he's fishing his bait with no trailer. A smaller profile, he surmises, should make the fish more willing to gobble the entire bait.

Ferguson said his practice was hit-and-miss, with deeper spots producing best for him. He'll start his day with a squarebill crankbait and then move offshore with a football-head jig and a Carolina rig.

Texas pro Dave Parsons said he fared well doing practice by working bluff walls adjacent to deep water. Employing a crankbait, Carolina rig, Senko and jig, he'll expect the midday period to produce his best action.

"From about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. seems to be when I'm catching the majority of my fish," Parsons said. "If weWith the lake level dropping daily, Texas pro Dave Parsons will focus his efforts out deep. can get that 7- to 12-mph wind, that seems to help. On this lake, if the wind blows, you catch 'em."

Most agree that Amistad will likely yield several big bags today - multiple catches of 20-plus pounds are the expectation. However, this lake has a way of hiding its bounty, so it won't be any cake walk. Nevertheless, anglers like Ryan Lovelace and Strike King pro Denny Brauer reported catching fish over 10 pounds in practice, so the potential for fireworks definitely exists.

Logistics

Anglers will take off from the East Diablo Launch Ramp located at Highway 90 West HCR 3 in Del Rio, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-in will be held at the East Diablo Launch Ramp on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2410 Dodson Street in Del Rio beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Ryan Lovelace cleans the screen on his sonar unit prior to takeoff.Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Amistad is being hosted by the Del Rio Chamber of Strike King pro Phil Marks hopes to crank up a few big ones with the monstrous 10XD.Commerce.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:36 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 55 degrees
Expected high temperature: 77 degrees
Water temperature: 55-57 degrees
Wind: SE 5-10 mph
Humidity: 63 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2013-01-24-lake-amistad 

Plains Division Kicks Off on Dardanelle

Plains Division Kicks Off on Dardanelle

All the major bass tournaments Lake Dardanelle has hosted since 2004 have followed different scripts, and the Toyota Series Plains Division event that kicks off today will be no different. With a schedule full of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first event of the Plains Division season, and it’s the last division to kick off in 2020. READ MORE »

High Water on Tap for College Open

High Water on Tap for College Open

By mid-September, Kentucky Lake can be absolutely lights-out when you find a big school up on its many shallow bars. This week, during the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, that’s probably not going to be the case – instead of locking a topwater in their hands, college teams are likely to take a much more varied approach. READ MORE »

Southwestern Division Hits Fort Gibson

Southwestern Division Hits Fort Gibson

The Toyota Series Southwestern Division rolls on with the Toyota Series at Fort Gibson Lake. Hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner. READ MORE »

Southeastern Div. Wraps on Neely Henry

Southeastern Div. Wraps on Neely Henry

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division is wrapping its 2020 season with the third and final stop at Neely Henry Lake out of Gadsden, Ala., this week. While Neely Henry is often a perennial stop on Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine schedules, this is the first time the Toyota Series has visited the winding reservoir along the Coosa River in northeast Alabama. READ MORE »

Curveballs Ahead for Cal Delta Field

Curveballs Ahead for Cal Delta Field

The California Delta is a frequent stop for anglers in the Toyota Series Western Division. The storied fishery has hosted countless FLW tournaments over the years, but this year is different, as the event was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of the traditional May or late-September dates for the stop, the rescheduled date is this week, right in the middle of August. The new time of year will surely make things different than previous years. READ MORE »

Another Erie Battle Begins

Another Erie Battle Begins

The Toyota Series Northern Division is going out of Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie once again. This week’s event takes place on August 18-20, and it is the second stop of the Northern Division. Like the last event out of Sandusky, Erie is in play, as well as the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, with all Canadian waters being off-limits to fishing. READ MORE »

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

The second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division is off and running this morning on Wheeler Lake out of Ingalls Harbor. Many pros fishing the Southeastern Division this season agree that Wheeler will be the most challenging of the three events in 2020 due to the timing of the tournament. READ MORE »

Ready to Rock on Erie

Ready to Rock on Erie

The Toyota Series Northern Division has undergone more than its share of schedule shuffling this year, but the kickoff is finally here. Taking off out of Sandusky, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, the time to chase smallmouths has arrived. READ MORE »

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

For the second week in a row, FLW’s Toyota Series is visiting one of Alabama’s premier bass fisheries at the perfect time of year for pros to hammer on big bags of postspawn largemouths. READ MORE »

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

With the start of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake this morning, today marks the first day back to competition in the world of professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

The weatherman did it again. About two weeks prior to today’s kickoff for the Toyota Series Western Division season at Lake Havasu, the forecast called for highs in the mid-80s and sunshine for three straight days during the tournament. Instead, practice was rainy, and the current forecast calls for precipitation for at least the first two days and highs that likely won’t top 70 degrees.  READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell kicks off the 2020 Toyota Series Eastern Division season this week with a three-day, mid-week showdown of the area’s best bass anglers, hosted by Visit Oconee South Carolina. Hartwell definitely has the potential to produce 20-plus-pound bags, but Mother Nature has decided to create some havoc with lake levels this winter, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how well the fishery shows out. READ MORE »

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Freezing temperatures greeted anglers for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga this morning. As usual on Lake Chickamauga this time of year, every angler is hoping for a 30-pound-plus bag of bass during the Feb. 27-29 tournament. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

The cold front that moved through northeast Florida last week shut down the fishing on the St. Johns River in a big way, just as bass were starting to move up to the banks to begin spawning. With the weather that came through, many of those fish pulled back off the bank to wait for more stable conditions. Fortunately, stability arrived this week in the form of warmer weather, but it remains to be seen if those three or four days of warm, stable conditions are going to be enough to get fish back up on beds. For now, it’s safe to assume anglers are going to have to be adaptable over the next few days in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. READ MORE »

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

It’s been nearly six years since the Toyota Series has been to Toledo Bend, but this week the Sabine River impoundment takes center stage to kick off the Southwestern Division season. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. 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 »