UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tidwell tops on Smith

Co-angler Hoyt Tidwell celebrates with his wife after winning the Walmart FLW Tour event on Smith Lake.

JASPER, Ala. - After taking the lead yesterday, Hoyt Tidwell of West Point, Tenn., knew that he had a chance to pull out a victory if he could fish deep. Tidwell got his wish as pro leader Brent Ehrler maintained his lead allowing the two to be paired up. Tidwell hauled in a 12-pound, 8-ounce catch to make his total for the week 34-1, providing him with his first ever win on the Walmart FLW Tour.

"This is awesome, I don't know what to say; I'm just super excited," said Tidwell. "This game is full of highs and lows and I have been doing this for a long time. This is my biggest tournament win ever; it just feels awesome."

Co-angler champion Hoyt Tidwell holds up his two biggest bass from day three on Smith Lake.Tidwell, who is in the Air Force reserves and a poultry farmer, had to take a few years off from fishing due to deployment. He had never fished the tour for a whole season, so last year he made the commitment and ended up qualifying the Forrest Wood Cup. It was at the Cup where he received some baits from Ehrler that would help him to victory on Smith Lake.

"I got some Roboworms from him (Ehrler) at the Cup last year. I ran out of them so I ordered some for this tournament and they showed up Tuesday for me. It's a 4 1/2-inch worm and the color is called Halogram Dawn. There is no doubt that the fish wanted that color this week. Yesterday, when I fished with Jacob (Powroznik) I tried throwing different colors after I had a good limit but couldn't get any bites. When I put that one (Halogram Dawn) back down I would get bit.

"I fished right below the boat all week. I would just sit there shaking that bait, trying to stay focused on exactly what the worm was doing down there. When you fish with guys like Stacey King, Jacob Powroznik and Brent Ehrler you know you are going to be around fish. That made it easier for me to focus on my fishing."

Tidwell utilized a drop-shot essentially the entire week. He used a ¼-ounce weight on the first day because he was fishing in shallower water, but switched to a 3/8-ounce weight on days two and three when in much deeper water. Matched with that Roboworm, it made a deadly spotted bass rig. One other key for Tidwell was to keep the bait on the bottom and keep it moving. He would constantly let out or reel up line to adjust to depth changes.

"You just learn so much when you travel with these anglers. If you surround yourself with good anglers you can become a good angler."

Tidwell earned a cool $20,000 for his efforts on Smith Lake this week.

"This has been a long time coming for me and I couldn't do any of this without the support I get from my wife."

Goggins rallies to second

Co-angler Anthony Goggins caught a 15-pound limit on day three and finished the Smith Lake event in second place.When 28-year-old Walmart FLW Tour rookie Anthony Goggins came to the Walmart parking lot today he could almost smell the title. Towards the end of the weigh-in today the only person standing between him and his first victory was Hoyt Tidwell. Though he didn't come out on top, Goggins put up one heck of a fight.

The Auburn, Ala., resident managed to increase his weight every day going from 4 pounds, 2 ounces on day one, to 10-3 on day two and finally recording the largest bag brought in by a co-angler all week with a 15-pound sack on the final day. His three-day total weight settled at 29-5 and earned him a check worth $7,500.

"I fished with a fairy wand (spinning rod) the last two days," said Goggins, who is coming off a fifth-place finish on Okeechobee. "I had been fishing off of the back graph those days because the pro was nice enough to leave them on for me. Today my boater had some electrical problems and had to shut the graph off, so I decided that since I couldn't look at what I'm doing I should cast a big jig."

His plan to fish big baits on the final day was an excellent decision for the young rookie. The jig was a 1/2-ounce homemade jig green pumpkin in color with some red mixed in. He also threw a Carolina rig with a Cold Steel Walking Stick that produced three fish for him today. He threw both on 12-pound fluorocarbon.

"I just want to thank FLW and the boaters. Also, the volunteers at the boat ramp made this the best experience I have had at a boat ramp, thank you."

Rest of the Best

Third-place co-angler Mike Hardin shows off two nice Smith Lake bass.Mike Hardin Sr., of Robertsdale, Ala., shuffled around the leaderboard this week before finally settling into the third position. His week started out strong with 10 pounds, 5 ounces on day one. He slipped on day two with only 2-15 and rebounded on day three with 12-0. His total weight for the week was 25-4, enough to earn a check for $5,000.

"It was just a slow day," said Hardin Sr. "I got a lucky charm from my grandson and I think it helped me today."

Local co-angler favorite Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala. , is no stranger to winning big events with FLW. Lee fished hard hauling in 8 pounds, 3 ounces the first day. He brought 5-1 to the scales on day two and added 8-13 to that, giving him a three-day total weight of 22-1. His fourth-place effort earned him a $4,000 check.

Josh Smith of Hamilton, Ohio rounded out the top-five co-anglers from Lewis Smith Lake. One of the more consistent co-anglers in this event, Smith posted 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 6-12 and 7-5 on days one, two and three, respectively. His total weight of 21-15 was good enough to earn $3,000 this week.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake:

6th: Tom Stark of Angola, Ind., 21-13, $2,500
7th: Jesse Wiggins of Cullman, Ala., 21-12, $2,000
8th: Rick Bowen of Jackson, Tenn., 21-0, $1,800
9th: Bryan Partak of Rockdale, Ill., 20-3, $1,700
10th: Alan Woodford of Winslow, Ind., 18-15, $1,600

Tags: kyle-wood  co-angler-headline  2013-03-07-lewis-smith-lake 

Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

FLW Tour rookie Miles “Sonar” Burghoff kicked off his freshman season with a strong performance on Sam Rayburn, where he just missed fishing the final day with a 12th-place finish. Now, the Tour is on a system he is more than familiar with, having spent countless hours on Lakes Toho and Kissimmee while attending college at the University of Central Florida. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Whether it was a canal or small sections of the lake, each pro in the top chose to hunker down in an area and milk it for all it was worth in the season opener of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division presented by Power-Pole. Here’s a look at how the action unfolded. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee wasn’t her normal self in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener presented by Power-Pole. Bites were few and far between, but the top-10 pros dialed it in and got it done. Winner Nick Thliveros relied heavily on a crankbait and so did others, but Florida faithful’s like swim jigs, soft plastics and topwaters also fared well. READ MORE »

Niles Rallies for Co-angler Title

Niles Rallies for Co-angler Title

The Southeastern Division event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole was a grind no matter if you were in the front of the boat or back. Bites were few and far between, and as a co-angler just catching a keeper or two kept you in the hunt. Niles started strong with an opening-day limit worth 18-9 to have him in the lead. On day two, he cooled off and brought a goose egg to the stage. Still, his day-one weight carried him to the final round where he started the day in fourth. Paired with Brett Preuett, Niles got to work Saturday. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The third and final day of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole has the weather anglers have been hoping for since they started practice. A light breeze, plenty of sun and temperatures near 80 degrees have the top 10 pros and co-anglers licking their chops for a chance at the biggest bag of the tournament. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

Every ounce counts in a tournament, and that will certainly ring true today. The second day of Costa FLW Series competition on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole may be off to a better start, but big bites are still few and far between. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

Roder Out Front on Big O

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Power fishing and flipping lead the charge for the first few hours of fishing on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

A Different Okeechobee

A Different Okeechobee

Cold fronts, dirty water and lower water levels make for an interesting start to the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season. READ MORE »

Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Florida is a familiar place for FLW competition, and Lake Okeechobee is probably the best-known fishery the Sunshine State has to offer. So there shouldn’t be many surprises when the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division kicks off the season Jan. 31–Feb. 2 on the Big O with an event presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »

How to Bass Fish High Water in Winter

How to Bass Fish High Water in Winter

High water isn’t unusual in the spring or summer, but dealing with rising water this early in the year was somewhat of a new experience for many of the pros – as it is for the weekend warrior. Therefore, the Rayburn Tour event is a case study on how to handle this situation and still put loads of bass in the boat. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of day three at the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »

Rookie Profile: Jacob Wall

Rookie Profile: Jacob Wall

Looking ahead to 2019, Wall will not only embark on his rookie campaign on the FLW Tour, but also make the move to Alabama in order to make travel much more convenient for the season. READ MORE »

Webster’s Late Fall Scenarios

Webster’s Late Fall Scenarios

By Late November across the country, a lot of people have switched their focus from chasing bass to watching football and going hunting. Certainly, this time of year can lead to some hit or miss fishing, but don’t give up just yet. As the doldrums of winter creep closer, FLW Tour pro Joseph Webster has a simplistic, yet efficient approach to putting bass in the boat. READ MORE »

Find Ciscoes to Catch Big Smallies

Find Ciscoes to Catch Big Smallies

Catching the biggest bass in a given body of water usually doesn’t happen by accident. Finding the right mix of forage and structure – along with other ingredients – can make all the difference. When it comes to big smallmouths up north in the fall, to truly put the odds in your favor you might need to veer off the beaten path and look for forage that doesn’t get a ton of attention all year. READ MORE »