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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Last-minute McMullen

Last-minute McMullen
Despite the falling snow at weigh-in, James McMullen of Quakertown, Penn., turned up the heat on his competition with these two bass to win the EverStart Series event with a three-day total of 86 pounds, 7 ounces.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - James McMullen of Quakertown, Penn., had never fished Lake Guntersville before in his life. It had always been his dream to come to the Tennessee River's most famous fishery, Alabama's crown jewel of big bass, and fish a tournament...or maybe two.

So about eight days ago, McMullen hit the road and traveled from wintery Pennsylvania to wintery Guntersville, Ala., for an extended fishing vacation which would include two tournaments: the BFL on February 23 and the EverStart event this week.

McMullen finished 18th in the BFL, not a bad start for never seeing the lake before. But this week, he found himself in the lion's den of locals - true Lake Guntersville sticks who take out-of-towner's money like his for a living.

On the day-one printout of the EverStart results, his PA home-state designation stuck out like a golf ball in tacklebox. His 28-pound, 4-ounce catch had him in the top five, sandwiched between several G-ville icons from TN and AL.

On day two McMullen sacked another 28 pounds, 13 ounces. And after weighing in the two biggest five-bass limits of his life, he still found himself in second place, trapped in a triad of Guntersville's guns including Chad Aaron, Alex Davis and Justin Lucas.

By the morning of day three, McMullen felt as if he was living in some kind of twighlight zone. For one, he had left Pennsylvania to get away from the miserable cold weather, only to fish in 37-degree weather on Guntersville for two days. And now he was blasting off in a snow flurry in Alabama.After beating the best locals on Guntersville, James McMullen of Quakertown, Penn., cradles his EverStart trophy.

Secondly, he had just fished the two most flawless days of his life, beyond his own expectations, bagging the biggest limits of his life.

Thirdly, despite his surreal catches, he was still being beat and a group of Guntersville sharks were now circling around him, waiting for him to falter.

But McMullen had one goal when competition started this morning: to catch yet another personal-best bag of bass...and he did.

This afternoon, just as the weigh-in started to shape up into yet another local shootout between Guntersville rivals Alex Davis and Justin Lucas amid falling snow, McMullen melted the flakes with 29-pounds, 6-ounce to steal the show, winning the event with a three-day total of 86 pounds, 7 ounces worth $40,000.

And no one was more stunned than McMullen himself.

"I had no idea," he said. "No idea whatsoever. I've never caught bags of bass like this so I honestly had no idea what I had. This is the greatest lake ever. I'm going to try to get my wife to move down here."

While other top finishers targeted more main lake areas, McMullen stumbled onto an untapped "backwater" area. He referred to it as a backwater because it was so far back in a creek that he had to go under a culvert to reach it. The maximum depth of his water was 10 feet and he targeted shallower 5- to 8-foot zones in the area.

With an EverStart trophy sitting on his snow-dusted deck, James McMullen shows off his winning lures: a Yellow Hammer spinnerbait rig with Keitech swimbaits."All I know is that bass were funneling in there by the truckloads, I guess getting ready to spawn," he said. "Each day I was amazed at how many new fish were in there."

McMullen figures the fish were "new" because of how white and uncolored they were.

"Every now and then I would catch a 2-pounder and it would be really bright green with distinct coloring," he said. "But when I hooked those big 6- to 8-pounders, they were just so white looking."

He said the area featured bare shell bars and stumps. Once he identified the specific spots, he could catch multiple fish off them.

"There was also just an enormous amount of bait back there," he said. "At times the gulls would dive on the bait, especially early in the morning. The gulls would come and go, but the bait was always thick back there."

McMullen's bait of choice all week was an umbrella rig, a Yellow Hammer spinnerbait rig featuring "teaser" blades in the middle. He trimmed the rig with 1/8-revenge heads and 4-inch Keitech swimbaits and fished it on a Shimano Crucial Umbrella Rig rod spooled with 50-pound test Suffix 832 braid.

Now, not only has McMullen fished Lake Guntersville, but he is an EverStart Series Champion on the lake of his dreams.

Davis second
Despite weighing in fish like these all week, Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., finished runner-up with a three-day total of 84 pounds, 5 ounces.
Although it does not seem mathematically possible, Alex Davis of Albertville, Ala., weighed in limits of 24-13, 31-11 and 27-13 and finished second with a three-day total of 84 pounds, 5 ounces for $15,000.

Davis won the EverStart event on Guntersville in May of 2012 on an Alabama Rig and this week he fed them the same thing.

His A-rig arsenal included two different rigs. One was a smaller version with 4-1/2 inch Strike King Shadalicious swimbaits for "the numbers" and the other was a bigger rig with 6-1/2-inch Strike King Shadalicious swimbaits on ¼-ounce Strike King Squadron heads for the "big ones."

Both were tied to 65-pound test Vicious braid and fished on a Halo 7-foot, 11-inch XXX heavy action rod.

Davis was fishing ledges in 12 to 16 feet of water on the lower end of the lake, which featured rock and stumps. But he noted that he could not "call his shot" in terms of being able to isolate specific pieces of cover that would produce a bite.

"For me it was more a case of big shad roaming up and down the ledges and the bass following them," Davis said. "I would fish long stretches back and forth and I never knew when one was going to load up on it. I tried to waypoint places where I got bites, but I never could get bit in the exact spot twice."

Lucas third

Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., is getting awfully tired of playing second, and now third, fiddle on his home lake. He finished second last year to Davis.

Despite daily weights of 23-4, 29-13 and 27-15, he had to settle for third with a three-day total of 81 pounds worth $10,000. That's not a misprint - 81 pounds, third place.
Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 81 pounds.
"How can I be mad about that?" Lucas laughed. "I had the best week of fishing I've ever had on Guntersville. I caught the biggest bass I've ever caught on this lake on the last day of the tournament. I mean it was a perfect week and I still got beat, I'm not going to complain about that. I made a small miscalculation the first day when I caught 23-4 and thought that would be enough for the top five. So I left my primary area to look at some other stuff, came in and I was 13th and I knew then I had kind of messed up. But it was an awesome week, no doubt."

Lucas also used an umbrella rig all week in the midlake area. He sweetened the rig with hand-poured swimbaits and jigheads.

"Believe me, I didn't exactly want to become an umbrella rig fisherman," Lucas said. "But how are you going to argue with 81 pounds in three days? I simply don't think there is anything else I can throw on Guntersville this time of year to catch that kind of weight."

Boyd fourth
Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., finished fourth with a three-day total of 76 pounds, 5 ounces.
As predicted, the Alabama Rig certainly did its damage this week. The top three spots were taken on some kind of umbrella rig, proving that over multiple day events on Guntersville in cold water, it's almost impossible to compete with.

But for those interested in non-umbrella rig techniques, that portion of the show begins now with Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., who used crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and single swimbaits to do most of his damage.

Boyd weighed 20-14, 29-4 and 26-3 for a three-day total of 76 pounds, 5 ounces for fourth place worth $9,000.

"I did catch one on an Alabama Rig, but my issue is I just can't throw that thing all day because of my shoulders," Boyd said. "At some point I have to put it down and go to single baits."

Boyd haunted big schools of shad along rip rap in the Sauty Creek area. The first two days he used a Rapala DT-14 and DT-20 as well as a 1-ounce Booyah spinnerbait. Today he stuck to a single swimbait: a Basstrix on a 1/2-ounce jighead tied to 17-pound Vicious fluorocarbon line.

Skey fifth

Sean Skey of Sumter, S.C., finished fifth with a three-day total of 69 pounds, 15 ounces for $8,000.

Skey fished the backs of creeks in 3 to 5 feet of water with a 1/2-ounce Strike King spinnerbait, double-willow leaf, and a Yum Flashmob, Jr., umbrella rig.

"I caught a majority of them on the spinnerbait and a few on the Flashmob with Zoom Swimming Flukes," Skey said.Sean Skey of Sumter, S.C., finished fifth with a three-day total of 69 pounds, 15 ounces for $8,000.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Lake Guntersville:

6th: Kent Ware of Wadmalaw, S.C., three-day total of 66-2, $7,000
7th: Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., three-day total of 65-6, $6,000
8th: Tony Davis of Williston, Fla., three-day total of 60-4, $5,000
9th: Rick Williams of Decatur, Ala., three-day total of 59-12, $4,000
10th: Aaron Hastings of Middletown, Md., three-day total of 46-15, $3,000


Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2013-02-28-lake-guntersville 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. 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 »

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 »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »