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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lucas leads funky Eufaula

Lucas leads funky Eufaula
Justin Lucas leads the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula with 22 pounds, 6 ounces.

EUFAULA, Ala. - To say Lake Eufaula is currently in transition is a gross understatement. Bass are spawning, guarding fry, gobbling shad and hanging out on deep structure. The diversity offered is great, but none of the patterns are particularly reliable and strong right now. That's why pro leader Justin Lucas sampled both shallow and deep water on day one.

Capitalizing on unexpected cloud cover, Lucas started his day close to the bank and caught a solid 17- or 18-pound limit, which included one that was still on a bed.

"I don't think anyone was expecting it to be this good in the morning," Lucas said of the early bite. "The clouds rolled in and stayed for a long time. It really helped."

Within the first hour, Lucas had nearly 16 pounds. The former Californian who now resides in Guntersville, Ala., said he caught a 5-pounder on a frog, he sight-fished the 4 1/2-pound female off her nest and his other shallow fish came from "fishing slow."

A fish gives Justin Lucas attitude...and he gives it back."I still have a lot of 2-pound bucks on bed, I just didn't catch them because they wouldn't have helped me today. But they could definitely help me tomorrow or on the weekend if I make it that far."

Lucas then paid a visit to his most productive offshore spot, a spot he described as "magic."

"Right away I double hooked with two 4 1/2-pounders but one came off before I got it in the boat. So I immediately threw back and caught a 3-pounder and that's when I realized I should probably leave it alone."

Lucas described his offshore area as a hard spot out in the middle of nowhere in about 5 to 8 feet. To reach bottom, he cranks a Lucky Craft LC 2.5 DD. He tried to Carolina rig as well, but the crankbait was the only producer.

"They've got nothing else to go to out there, so it's a magnet for them. I found some more offshore spots late too. So we'll see what's on them the next few days."

Lucas estimates in total he caught a dozen keepers. After an ordinary practice, he's happy to be leading - even if it is only day one.

"Getting that limit early just relaxes you and settles your decision making down."

Setina second

Second-place pro Joe Don Setina holds up part of his 22-pound, 3-ounce stringer. While Lucas went both shallow and deep, Joe Don Setina knew exactly what he was going to do before he even got to Eufaula. The Texas pro and winner of the 2009 EverStart Series event on Falcon Lake is solely focused on deep water.

"I didn't fish shallow at all because I don't believe it can be won shallow," said the Pittsburg, Texas, native.

Setina had a limit with three big ones by 9:30 this morning, but then the action slowed considerably. He finished the day only culling once, but said the gamble for big fish is worth it. His five best bass weighed 22 pounds, 3 ounces.

"I probably fished eight or 10 spots that are around 17 feet deep. The most you get from each spot is a fish or two. It's really all about timing. You can go somewhere and not catch a thing, but come back two hours later and catch a 5-pounder."

Setina said everything he caught came from custom baits painted by fellow Texas pro Lamonte Loyd.

"I just have a lot of confidence in his baits and I'm confident in my ability this time of year."

Thrift third

Third-place pro Bryan Thrift weighed a five-bass limit Thursday worth 20 pounds, 6 ounces.Third-place pro Bryan Thrift caught the third 20-pound bag of the day, his weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces to be exact. Despite the success, the 2010 Angler of the Year termed his performance a "gift day."

"I did not have a great practice by any means," said the Chevy pro.

Thrift then decided to do what he does best - run and gun, covering water from the dam to the river.

"I did a lot of two- and three-cast deals today," Thrift said of his pattern. "The way I feel, if the bass is there, he should bite it in the first cast. In the postspawn, it's not like you're going to sit there and make them bite. I fished docks, grass, lily pads, steep banks, flat banks, off the bank, I fished everything."

Thrift declined to name lures, but did say he caught his two biggest fish on back-to-back casts around 10 a.m.

"Those were fish No. 4 and No. 5 and I was a happy man right then."

In total, Thrift boated nine keepers, seven of which were largmouths.

"I don't know what tomorrow will bring but I'm just glad to finally get a big bite."

Morgan fourth

Fourth place Andy Morgan shows off an early keeper.Like Thrift, Andy Morgan has a pretty solid track record at Eufaula and he knows the lake well after fishing several EverStart Southeast events. And like Thrift, he didn't let a poor practice affect his performance when the chips were down come tournament time.

Once Morgan saw the cloud cover this morning, he made a move to the shallow grass and caught some bonus fish.

"I really took advantage of that early bite and then I ran around and fished some postspawn stuff," he said. "In practice, I was catching only like four or five fish a day, but they were quality. So I'm pleased to start with 20 pounds. I figured something out late and I'm kind of surprised I did to be honest with you."

Morgan, also employing the run-and-gun strategy, sampled 30 places on the day. While the forecast calls for continued hot weather, the Dayton, Tenn., pro doesn't plan to completely give up on the shallow fish.

"I don't think the shad will quit spawning so everyday you'll have a shallow bite. What happens after that, who can catch them after 9 a.m., is the key."

Morgan's official weight was 19-15, which places him fourth.

Coulter fifth

Sitting in fifth place with 19 pounds, 15 ounces is Knoxville, Tenn., pro Brandon Coulter.Fresh off a top-10 finish at Beaver Lake, Brandon Coulter is back at it - this time without an Alabama rig. His day-one limit on Lake Eufaula weighed 19 pounds, 14 ounces.

"I had a terrible practice," said Coulter. "Every fish I caught in three days of practice wouldn't have weighed 19 pounds. So I went to a different area and went back to basics in terms of lures."

Coulter wouldn't pinpoint what those lures were, but he did say he's targeting shallow fish that are guarding fry.

"By 10:30 I had all that weight and I caught probably 10 or 11 keepers. I just fished whatever looked right and got into a groove. The problem is that I'm catching fry guarders and they don't replenish unless I find a new batch. But I'm going to keep looking."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Eufaula after day one:

Seventh-place pro Scott Martin holds up a 7-pound, 9-ounce Lake Eufaula largemouth. 6th: Todd Hollowell of Fishers, Ind., five bass, 18-6
7th: Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 18-4
8th: JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 17-13
9th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., five bass, 17-12
10th: Randy Haynes of Counce, Tenn., five bass, 17-3
10th: Tommy Martin of Hemphill, Texas, five bass, 17-3

Martin claimed the 3M ScotchBlue Big Bass Award with a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth.

Johnson back in front

After leading day two at Beaver Lake, co-angler Jason Johnson has wasted little time returning to the limelight. On day one at Eufaula, the Gainesville, Ga., native caught a 15-pound, 3-ounce stringer to Leading the co-anglers after a tough first day on Eufaula is Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., with a 15-pound, 3-ounce limit. regain the top spot.

"I had probably the worst practice I've ever had," said Johnson. "I just went out there and did what I have confidence in."

His three biggest fish came on a Gambler Southern Swim Jig tipped with a Gambler EZ Swimmer. Johnson filled out his limit with a drop-shot and 8-pound-test line.

"We weren't right up on the bank, we were targeting more of the mid-depths," added Johnson, who was paired with Canadian pro Jeff Gustafson. "I caught my big fish, a 4-14, late in the day and that made all the difference."

Even though Beaver is still fresh in his mind, Johnson isn't looking at this as a redemption tournament.

"I'm just fishing with a lot of confidence right now both on Tour and on my home lakes."

Peek second

Richard Peek sits second among the co-anglers with a limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces.Richard Peek continued his string of success from the back of the boat - catching a limit Thursday worth 14 pounds, 9 ounces. Anchoring that stringer was a 6-pound, 6-ounce brute, the 3M Peltor Big Bass among the co-anglers.

"We fished deep all day and I was thankful we did," said Peek, an Auburn graduate who frequently fished Eufaula during college. "That big one bit within the first 20 minutes and I caught my fifth keeper with 20 minutes left in the day."

Peek said he's fishing slow and three of his five keepers came on Tightlines UV soft plastics. The Centre, Ala., native sits second in the tournament and second in the Co-angler of the Year race.

"Honestly, I'm trying not to think about COY. Practice was so tough I just wanted to make sure I caught a keeper and got some points for the Forrest Wood Cup. Fourteen-nine should be enough for a check either way, so I'm happy."

New, Moser, Blaylock round out top five

Third-place co-angler Bryan New holds up a nice Lake Eufaula largemouth.Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., caught a 14-pound, 7-ounce limit for third place among the co-anglers. New mainly threw a 1/8-ounce shaky head with a Charlie's Worms finesse worm. New caught his big fish, a 5-12 largemouth, on the 10th cast of the morning.

"I only caught five keepers and my last one came at 3:45 on a Brian's Bee's B12," said New. "I weighed all largemouths except that last one, which was a spot."

Kenny Moser of Alba, Texas, caught a 12-pound, 10-ounce limit for fourth.

Two-time FLW Tour co-angler champion Keeton Blaylock of Benton, Ark., rounds out the top five with 12 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rest of the best

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

6th: Mark Horton of Nicholasville, Ky., five bass, 11-10
7th: Justin Jones of Apex, N.C., five bass, 11-8
8th: Andrew Owens of Dividing Creek, N.J., five bass, 11-6
10th: Randy Clark of Pascagoula, Miss., five bass, 11-1
10th: James Mignanelli of Harmony, Pa., three bass, 11-1

Day two of the FLW Tour on Lake Eufaula will begin Friday at 6:30 a.m. from Lakepoint Resort State Park located at 104 Lakepoint Drive in Eufaula.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2013-05-16-lake-eufaula 

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 »