UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wood out front on Smith Mountain

Joseph Wood of Westport, Mass., takes the early lead with 18 pounds, 13 ounces.

HUDDLESTON, Va. - Throughout the first day of competition in the EverStart Northern Division on Smith Mountain Lake, the sun came out and the wind laid down - making for near perfect sight-fishing conditions. Although many of the anglers in the first flight struggled, the latter flights took full advantage of their longer days, including the current leader Joseph Wood of Westport, Mass., who caught 18 pounds, 13 ounces today.

Wood planned to do some sight-fishing and wasn't pleased with the gusty wind that stuck around from a mild cold front that passed through last night. But he persevered.

"My day started off terribly," said Wood. "The first fish I started on was so locked on the bed that it was practically turned over on its back. When I hooked her, my line broke and I couldn't get it to bite again. The next fish I went to I broke off too. It took me a while to find some other fish because of the wind, but around 11 o'clock I caught my first fish."

Getting a big bite on this lake is crucial, and that is exactly what Wood did.

"I found my big one (5-10) and (had to work on) her for over an hour," Wood continued. "She bumped a drop-shot after about 20 minutes of working her, but then she got spooky. I switched up baits and finally got her to eat."

Wood is sight-fishing but not necessarily for fish on beds. He has been targeting some of the cruising bass as well, making repeated casts in front of the fish until they bite.

The one thing Wood noticed was the amount of pressure his prime fishing locations received today.

"There were guys on everything today. I really think that pressure is going to get to these fish in the clear water. I might switch it up and try to fish some of the dirtier water tomorrow; I'll see how I feel in the morning. It's just tough to leave areas where you can see good fish swimming in front of you."

Johnston, Sheffey Jr. tied for second

Cory Johnston bested his brother on day one with 18 pounds, 4 ounces to sit in a tie for second. Back on the heels of Wood is Peterborough, Ontario, pro Cory Johnston who sacked up 18 pounds, 4 ounces to land just ounces behind the leader.

Johnston figured that this lake could get beat up pretty quickly so he decided to practice in a way that would help him avoid that.

"I spent a lot of time in practice trying to find areas that were out of the way," said Johnston. "I really put my time in and it seemed to pay off today."

Johnston also did some sight-fishing, but took a different approach for his key bites.

"I did a bit of sight-fishing today to catch the two smallmouth I weighed," Johnston went on to say. "I have a couple spots that are loaded with prespawn bass, but they are hard to get to bite. I just kept covering water. I hit probably 80 spots and have no gas left in my boat.

"I have a deck full of rods and most of them are for sight-fishing, only two of them are for prespawners," Johnston continued. "If they don't eat of those two baits then they can starve because I don't want any more rods on my deck."

Most of the fish that Johnston has on bed are smallies. He says they are more of a filler fish for him as he wants to spend more time on the bigger, fatter prespawn largemouth.

Donald Sheffey Jr. of Concord, Va., sits locked in a tie with Johnston after bringing 18-4 across the stage today. He is playing the sight-fishing game this week as well.

Sheffey Jr. started his day by catching a 4-pounder off of a wind-blown point on a spinnerbait. After that he went to work catching his next four keepers off of beds - including two nice smallmouth. By 11 a.m. he had the weight he brought in for the day.

"I had my limit pretty early and then decided to try and look for another pattern," said Sheffey Jr. "I threw a swimbait around and a shaky head by some docks but never got any bites. I only caught five spawners from my areas and I didn't have much boat traffic near me, so there should be some more fish left."

Johnston's brother in fourth

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, sits in fourth after the first round of competition with 18-2. Just 2 ounces behind his brother sits Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario with a day-one weight of 18 pounds, 2 ounces.

In similar fashion to his brother, Johnston also spent the majority of his time going after prespawn bass.

"I went bed fishing early. A few of the ones I wanted I got beat to. I think I only kept one fish from sight-fishing," said Johnston. "I spent the rest of the day catching prespawners. I ran a ton of water, maybe 70 places, and I knew that most of them had a good fish or two around the area. I even think that a few of the fish I caught today were post-spawn because of how skinny and beat up they looked."

Like many of the anglers chasing cruising fish, Johnston says that they are hard to catch and that he can only get them to bite in certain places on the lake.

"Tomorrow I may try to pick one or two off beds, but I want to spend the majority of my time going after those prespawners."

Hudson fifth

Derik Hudson of Hurt, Va., rounds out the top five with 17-9. Rounding out the fifth spot after day one is Derik Hudson of Hurt, Va., who weighed in 17 pounds, 9 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros after day one of the EverStart Series event on Smith Mountain Lake:

6th: Philip Jarabeck of Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 17-5
7th: John Vanore of Mullica Hill, N.J., 17-1
8th: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., five bass, 16-15
9th: Trevis Towe of Daleville, Va., five bass, 16-13
10th: Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., five bass, 16-5

Burdette in co-angler top spot

Dennis Burdette of Lindside, W.V., poses with his pro on day one Brandon Coulter who helped put him on his 13-pound, 15-ounce limit. Dennis Burdette of Lindside, W.V., claimed the leader spot after day one on Smith Mountain Lake with a 13-pound, 15-ounce limit.

"I was fortunate enough to get paired with Brandon Coulter who was on some fish," said Burdette. "He was fishing the way I like to by covering water looking for prespawn fish."

Burdette did catch some smallmouth today, but culled them out of his bag before the end of the day.

Having experience on Smith Mountain and being able to fish here often, Burdette noticed that he could catch them the same way he has for the past week. So what might that be?

"I'll tell you how I `m catching them maybe tomorrow or Saturday," laughed Burdette. "Tomorrow should be a lot like today weather wise so I'm excited to get back out there."

Chapman second

Brent Chapman of Union Hall, Va., found the second-place position with 11 pounds, 4 ounces worth of Smith Mountain Lake bass. After catching 11 pounds, 4 ounces on day one, Brent Chapman of Union Hall, Va., rides in second place.

He spent most of his day blind casting to the bank because his pro was trying to sight-fish. He does think that some of the fish he weighed may have been on bed because when he got a bite, the fish simply was swimming off with the bait in its mouth.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers after day one:

3rd: Scott Howard of Evington, Va., five bass, 11-1
4th: Jerry Gray of Glen Allen, Va., five bass, 10-4
5th: Manuel Cruz of Clifton, N.J., four bass, 10-0
6th: Wil Dieffenbauch of Hundred, W.V., five bass, 9-9
7th: Thomas Hassler of Strasburg, Va., five bass, 9-4
8th: Justin Hicks of Roanoke, Va., three bass, 9-0
9th: Chris Schomaker of Pineville, W.V., five bass, 8-12
10th: Andy Dick of Wilmington, Del., three bass, 8-9

Day two of the EverStart Northern Division on Smith Mountain Lake will begin Friday at 7 a.m. from Parkway Marina, located at 16817 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway in Huddleston, Va.

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2013-04-25-smith-mountain-lake 

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

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 »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. 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 »