Live now : Lake Erie Super Tournament - FLW Live Coverage

Merriman moves out front at Wheeler

Merriman moves out front at Wheeler
Brian Merriman of Falkville, Ala., leads the EverStart event on Wheeler Lake with 22-5.

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. - If Wheeler Lake was an electric cord it would be a high voltage wire given the amount of current running through it right now. And current was the name of the game on Wheeler today.

All but one of the top five pros fishing the EverStart Series Southeast event on Wheeler played the current card today for their catches.

Whether it was main points breaking the current down the lake, or small current craters along the main Tennessee River above Decatur, eddies and backwashes were the prime real estate on a sunny and warm day one.

Leading the event is Brian Merriman of Falkville, Ala., who focused his efforts on main-lake points to accrue a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 5 ounces.

"When the water is running like this it builds eddies up somewhere around those points," Merriman said. "It pushes the fish up on those flats around the points. And as long as the water is muddy like this, they usually stay there. If the water was clearer, they could wander around and scatter out more, but with high, muddy water like this it tends to compact the fish into small areas."

Merriman said he fished about eight places total today and he believes a majority of his fish are post-spawners trying to get back out to the main river.

"The key to getting the bigger bites is throwing a really big bait," he added. "I can catch a ton of fish on other baits, but they're all small. So I went to a big bait today and that helped bring the better quality."

Davis second Local TVA pro William Davis of Sheffield, Ala., shares the second place spot with five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces.

Local TVA pro William Davis of Sheffield, Ala., shares the second place spot with five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces.

Davis is picking his way down the banks of the ripping Tennessee River keying on specific current breaks and estimates he caught about 20 fish on the day.

"That current and water color position the fish in the right places," Davis said. "I don't necessarily catch multiple fish in the breaks, it's more of a one-at-a-time thing."

"I've got a couple of key stretches I might revisit tomorrow, but for the most part I'm going to fish new water," he added. "I know the exact kind of break I'm looking for and when I see it, I just pull over and fish it."

Taylor tied for second
Rick Taylor of West Olive, Mich., captured five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces to tie for second place after day one.
Rick Taylor of West Olive, Mich., captured five bass for 20 pounds, 6 ounces to tie for second place after day one.

Taylor is also playing the current for his catches.

"I found these fish in current about 5 days ago," Taylor said. "Back then the water was clear and I was catching them a certain way. Today I got up there and it was mud, I mean as muddy as it could be. I knew the fish could not have gone anywhere so I spent about an hour trying all kinds of things and then finally figured out how they had repositioned in that dirtier water."

Taylor figures he caught about 15 fish on the day.


Fitts fourthJeff Fitts of Keystone Heights, Fla., holds down the fourth place spot on day one with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces.

Jeff Fitts of Keystone Heights, Fla., holds down the fourth place spot with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces.

Fitts is the only one in the top five not playing current seams for his catches. Instead Fitts is on a shallow bush-flipping program where he believes the bass are spawning.

"I'm way back on the flats and in the pockets where they are spawning," Fitts said. "It's a dicey situation though. There's just enough water in the bushes right now. I mean, if the water drops just five or six inches, it's over. If it stays the same or maybe even comes up, I should be okay - maybe more will move in."

Aaron fifth
Former EverStart Series Championship winner Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., is in fifth place with a five-bass limit for 19 pounds, 9 ounces.
Former EverStart Series Championship winner Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., is in fifth place with a five-bass limit for 19 pounds, 9 ounces.

"I'm a little discouraged with my catch today," Aaron said. "I had nine or ten little places where I could catch multiple fish - little post-spawn spots they flock to when they head back out to the river - but today I only caught fish off of four of those spots and that really worried me. I don't know what happened to the other places - they should be on those, too."

Aaron thinks clouds and rain are going to make fishing much better tomorrow.

"The only thing I can figure is the weather kind of hurt a few of my spots," he added. "We are supposed to get some wind and rain tomorrow and that really fires these TVA fish up. I wouldn't be surprised to see some bigger bags caught tomorrow if the weather gets bad."

Big bass

Nicholas Reeves of Moulton, Ala., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake after day one:

6th: JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 19-2
7th: Thomas Helton of Charleston, Tenn., five bass, 18-5
8th: Lionel Botha of Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 18-0
8th: Eddie Jewell of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 18-0
10th: Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 17-15

Cox leads co-anglers

Ethan Cox of West End, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake with a five-bass limit for 18 pounds, 9 ounces.
Ethan Cox of West End, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake with a five-bass limit for 18 pounds, 9 ounces.
Cox spent the day fishing with pro William Davis (2nd) and was able to capitalize on swift current.

"The way he is fishing in that current, he can't really hit everything and he left me plenty of room to fish," Cox said. "I'd pay close attention to where he pitched and I'd try to hit the places in between his pitches."

Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with a five-bass limit for 18 pounds, 6 ounces.

Michael Stewart of Pell City, Ala., is in third place with five bass for 17 pounds, 10 ounces.

Lee Frye of Brooksville, Fla., holds down fourth place with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces.

Nick Thliveros of St. Augustine, Fla., the son of well-known pro Peter T, rounds out the top-five co-anglers with a five-bass limit for 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

Big bass

Curtis Merriman II of Cullman, Ala., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Wheeler Lake after day one:

6th: Tony Prince of Pulaski, Tenn., five bass, 15-15
7th: Eric Cabrera of Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 15-1
8th: McHolley Stokes of Pensacola, Fla., five bass, 14-12
9th: Byron Botdorf of Albany, Ga., five bass, 14-11
10th: Curtis Merriman II of Cullman, Ala., five bass, 14-7

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2013-05-09-wheeler-lake 

Lake Erie Day 1 Coverage

Lake Erie Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Erie August 11-14, 2020. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Lake Erie

Live Leaderboard - Lake Erie

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the final stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit regular season at Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Sisk Grabs No. 6

Sisk Grabs No. 6

Boater Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Ohio River in Cannelton, Indiana. For his victory, Sisk earned a total of $3,718. READ MORE »

Illini Division Goes Back-To-Back

Illini Division Goes Back-To-Back

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Paducah with two Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River events. READ MORE »

Hamilton Takes James River W

Hamilton Takes James River W

Local boater Jeff Hamilton of Henrico, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the James River in Henrico, Virginia. Hamilton earned a total of $3,756 for his victory. READ MORE »

Jordan Tops on Oconee

Jordan Tops on Oconee

Boater Rob Jordan of Flowery Branch, Georgia, brought a three-bass limit bass to the scale Saturday totaling 10 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Oconee in Buckhead, Georgia. Jordan topped his nearest competitor, Kim Carver of Milledgeville, Georgia, by just 4 ounces and earned $5,784 for his victory. READ MORE »

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

The Bowling Green State University team of Jamesen Simion of Saline, Mich., and Cameron Wilt of Alvada, Ohio, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Erie event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Bowling Green bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Hartley wins Erie Open

Hartley wins Erie Open

The Hartley duo of Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open. READ MORE »

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Boater Buck Mallory of Lawton, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, Michigan. For his victory, Mallory earned a total of $4,652. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

As promised, Wheeler Lake turned out to be the stingiest of the two stops on the Toyota Series Southeastern Division so far this season. The dog days of summer put the kibosh on the main-lake bite, leaving Wheeler’s many shallow creeks and tributaries to supply the pounds and ounces at weigh-in. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake was a shallow-water power-fishing showdown in tough summertime conditions. Almost all the fish the top 10 pros caught came from 5 feet of water or less, and a fair amount of those were caught in 3 feet or less. READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Cal Culpepper of Hamilton, Ga., won the co-angler side of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake in impressive fashion. In three days of a tough tournament, Culpepper sacked up limits of 11-11, 5-11 and 11-7 from the back of the boat for a three-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, he takes home a fully rigged Phoenix bass boat. READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Fishing creek ends continued to be the theme on day two of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Although the current was not running as much in the creeks as yesterday, the cooler shadier waters in the back of creeks were still producing for top anglers once again.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »