UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

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 

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize

Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Laufenberg earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Butler Runs Brush for Cherokee Win

Butler Runs Brush for Cherokee Win

Boater Josh Butler of Hayden, Alabama, brought a three-day total of 12 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Cherokee. For his victory, Butler earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds even, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Savannah River Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Fish-Intel. For his victory, Morrow earned $6,415. READ MORE »

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boater Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 11 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Boggs earned $61,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Daves Wins James River Regional

Daves Wins James River Regional

Pro Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River. For his victory, Daves earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

He put his name on the map as one to watch on day one. Today, Corey Cook put his name on the hardware as one of the best on Lake of the Ozarks right now. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lady Luck shines on us all sometimes, but sometimes she doesn’t. For this morning, at least, she sure wasn’t shining on Corey Cook READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Scrapping plans and making long runs can be a scary deal, but the risk can be worth the reward. READ MORE »

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Corey Cook stumbled a bit on day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. Bringing in 15 pounds, 4 ounces, Cook weighed an average bag and boosted his total of 38-13, which is still more than 4 pounds ahead of second place. Behind Cook, Andy Newcomb is in second with 34-6, and Shane Long is in third with 31-9. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division on Lake of the Ozarks has started out pretty much like yesterday – pretty weather but pretty short on fish. READ MORE »

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks was pretty tough by the standards of the fishery, with just one angler cracking the 20-pound barrier. Blowing the doors off the competition, at least on day one, Corey Cook hammered out 23 pounds, 9 ounces to take more than a 6-pound lead over second place. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

When the fish are on the move, it can make life miserable for anglers. Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks showcased that pretty well. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

The Toyota Series visited Lake of the Ozarks this exact same week in 2019, and it launched under torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe light's worth of lightning that delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m. A year later, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful for the second stop of the Plains Division. READ MORE »

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Louisiana’s West Monroe High School duo of Jay Cash and Jackson Lemoine caught four fish Saturday weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Ouachita River Open event in Monroe, Louisiana. READ MORE »

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

The East Texas Baptist University team of Grant Hendrix of Livingston, Texas, and Josh Manuel of Burleson, Texas, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the Ouachita River event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces. READ MORE »