UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Lake Erie

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wilkinson flips into Nickajack lead

Wilkinson flips into Nickajack lead
Top boater Chris Wilkinson shows off his catch while his sons look on.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - With the top end of the day-one standings tightly grouped, leading boater Chris Wilkinson is happy to hold a 1-pound, 14-ounce lead in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American on Nickajack Lake.

After the first round of competition, 12 ounces separates second place from sixth. Only a 3-pound gap separates second from tenth. In other words, this deal is wide open.

Wilkinson, who leads with 20-10, credits the time he spent on Nickajack recon for his productive start.

"I spent some time down here (in pre-practice) and I felt pretty good about what I found and I just stuck with my game plan," he said. "I consider myself a river rat and I like to flip shallow cover so that's what I did all day long. It's a mix of riprap and wood and most of the time my boat was in 10-15 feet of water."

Wilkinson said he started his day with topwater plugs - poppers and walking baits - and then Chris Wilkinson shows his leading catch to the TV camera.switched to flipping plastics as the skies cleared and the sun came out. His day, he said, followed an orderly flow of hitting a list of spots he had identified in practice.

"It seems like I was getting them better on topwater in the morning and then I'd just go back over the same areas (with plastics)," Wilkinson said. "I just had a little milk run."

Wilkinson flipped Hawgback Lures tubes and a Bauer Custom Baits worm in a color made especially for this tournament. He withheld the specifics on this worm color, but said it's a green pumpkin base with a little something special thrown in.

As for the transition from topwater to plastics, Wilkinson said he let the fish tell him when it was time to make that move. "I pulled up on some structure and I flipped some plastic in there and caught one about 3 pounds and that kind of made up my mind and I stuck with it the rest of the day."

In second place on the Boater side Shawn Gordon, of Russellvill, Ark. bagged 18-12.Even after he was deep into his flipping tactics, Wilkinson kept a couple of topwater plugs on his deck.

"The topwater bite seems to last longer here than where I'm from in Indiana," Wilkinson said. "It seems like they'll bite it all day long here. If you'll stick with it, they'll keep biting it.

Realistically, Wilkinson's topwater activity became more about targets of opportunity later in the day. Rather than a focused effort, he would just grab the surface bait when he came across a favorable scenario.

"If I came across something, I'd still throw (the topwater)," Wilkinson said. "There's a lot of stuff out further in the water and I'd bring a topwater across that."

Wilkinson holds a lead of 1-14 over his nearest competitor - second-place boater Shawn Gordon, of Russellville, Ark., who weighed 18-12 on day one.

Botha on point for third

Lionel Botha, of Okeechobee, Fla., said his day started with disappointing results, but making a keyFishing the drop-off side of a point put Lionel Botha in third place. move turned things around in a big way. Once he zeroed in on a promising scenario, he quickly sacked up 18-4 and took third place.

"My first spot that I ran to, I fished there for about half an hour and didn't get any bites, but then I realized that it was because the sun didn't come out (until late morning)," he said. "I moved to another area that was slightly different to where I started off.

"My first spot was a ditch. I realized in practice that you can't catch them in the ditch when it's overcast. They just don't bite well. I had another spot that was a point that rose from 30 feet to about 12 on top. The fish were suspended off the side in about 14-15 feet.

Botha said he caught his fish by running Netbait swimbaits along the drop-off. He ended up catching all of his fish on one particular color.

"The bait would go all the way to the bottom and they were taking it on the way up," Botha said. "I could see them suspended on my graph."

Fourth-place Freeze goes shallow

In fourth place, Maurice Freeze fished a mix of reaction and flipping baits.Maurice Freeze, of Concord, N.C., said that after a slim practice, he wasn't sure what to expect during his All-American appearance. Nevertheless, day one came together well for him with a bag of 18-3 earning him fourth place.

Freeze didn't want to divulge too much about his tactics, but he did say he's flipping and fishing reaction style baits.

"The water was a lot lower today than it had been," he said. "I started out fishing really shallow and I had to move to a little deeper bank and I just kept moving. I fished rock and wood but if you had a combination of both, that was the best."

Freeze said that once the sun came out, he was able to make more targeted presentations.

"I was hoping for the sun and I got the sun," he said. "That puts them more where I can target them easily, rather than being spread out."

Bradley goes deep for fifth

Local boater Corey Bradley works in downtown Chattanooga within eyesight of the tournament Local favorite Corey Bradley stayed out deep and took fifth place.waters. Today, he leveraged his local knowledge and fished deep offshore waters while others jockeyed for position on the bank. Fishing about 30 minutes downriver, Bradley caught his fish on swimbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits in about 18-25 feet of water.

"I caught my limit within the first 15 minutes on a jig and then I used the swimbait and a spinnerbait to cull up," he said.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American:

6th: Kerry Milner, of Bono, Ark., 18-0
7th: Michael Murphy, of Lexington, S.C., 17-6
8th: Daniel Langton, of Haubstadt, Ind., 16-5
9th: Gary Isgrigg, of Mt. Washington, Ky., 15-14
10th: Eric Poindexter, of Eufaula, Ok., 15-12

Shaky head puts Terrell atop co-angler field

Will Terrell leads the co-angler division by a 6-ounce margin.Will Terrell, of Memphis, Tenn., finished day one atop the co-angler division but his lead is significantly less than that of his pro counterpart. Terrell caught a limit that weighed 13-15, but with Tim Cales, of Sandstone, W.V. bagging 13-9, the co-angler lead sits at just 6 ounces.

Terrell fished shallow and found that the day's early cloud cover helped his purpose.

"We were just around the right fish and I got the right bites today," he said. "I had four fish by 10:30 and I finally caught my fifth fish by 10:30."

Terrell caught all of his fish on a shaky head with a finesse worm. Green pumpkin was the productive color. He caught his fish around grass in 2-4 feet of water.

Ernest Stephens, of Orrum, N.C., took third place with 13-pound, 6-ounce. Notably, Stephens took The last angler to weigh on day one, co-angler Ernest Stephens anchored his third-place bag with a 6-pound, 8-ounce bass. this position with only 4 fish - 1 shy of a tournament limit. His catch, however, included a largemouth that went 6-8 and stands as the heaviest fish on day one.

Craig Hulsey, of Park Hills, Mo., took fourth with 13-4 and Jason Howland, of Albert Lea, Mn., was fifth with 12-11.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the BFL All-American:

6th: Nick Angiulo, of Hainesport, N.J., 11-13
7th: Daniel Buswell, of Newnan, Ga., 10-10
8th: William Scott, of Tahlequah, Ok., 10-9
8th: Jeff Williams, of Alexandria, Al., 10-9
10th: Ronald Smith, of Browns Mills, N.J., 10-4

Day two of BFL All-American on Nickajack Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Eastern) at Ross's Landing located at 200 Riverfront Pkwy. in Chattanooga.

Related links:

To read the BFL All-American day-two morning takeoff story, click here.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2013-06-27-nickajack-lake 

Reese Goes Wire-To-Wire

Reese Goes Wire-To-Wire

The final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac was one of the most intense of the season. In the end, with just enough to hold on, Marvin Reese weighed four for 8 pounds, 5 ounces to earn the win with a 38-15 total. For his win, which was his first on the boater side, Reese earned $38,026. Finishing second, Troy Morrow rocked up from tenth with 14-7, which was the biggest bag of the day. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition on the Potomac in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event the weights haven’t been nearly what the river is capable of kicking out. That said, all the top pros have managed to put at least one good day together, and some have maintained really strong consistency, just at a lesser pace than would be the norm in June or some other time of the year. READ MORE »

Better Day Keeps Reese Out Front

Better Day Keeps Reese Out Front

A lovely morning gave way to a dismal afternoon on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the Potomac River, but despite the difference in conditions, Marvin Reese kept on plugging. Weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces on day one, Reese added 15-14 on day two for a 30-10 total. With his day two bag, Reese has now weighed the two biggest bags of the event, which is presented by Lowrance, and he’s widened his lead over Justin Atkins to nearly 4 pounds. READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 2

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac has been quite a swing from day one. However, despite dramatically different weather, some of the top pros are still catching, and it looks like a tight race is setting up for the final day. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As is so often the case, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the Potomac River wasn’t quite as bad as some predicted in practice. Though it was hot and humid as all get out, plenty of limits hit the scale and enough pros weighed 12 pounds or better to make things really interesting READ MORE »

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Day one of the Potomac River event, which is the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, featured plenty of limits, but getting quality bites was definitely an issue for some. In the lead after day one, Marvin Reese of Randallstown, Md., weighed 14 pounds, 12 ounces to get things underway. Behind Reese, Justin Atkins and Jason Kervin both weighed 14-5, and Robert Grike rounded out the 14-pound brigade with 14-4. Overall, just 11 pros cracked the 12-pound mark on day one of the tournament, which is presented by Lowrance, but 8- and 9-pound limits weren’t too hard to come by.  READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

As predicted, day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River has been fairly tough. Though most folks have a fish or two, and many will undoubtedly fill limits by weigh-in, it certainly hasn’t been a catch-fest. READ MORE »

High Tide Takes Langford to Top

High Tide Takes Langford to Top

Todd Langford of Great Falls, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the Potomac River Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Langford took home $2,600 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Mills Works Wood at Ohio River

Mills Works Wood at Ohio River

Craig Mills of Hamilton, Ohio, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Mills took home $5,466 for his win. READ MORE »

Pollak Plays Current for Big Muddy W

Pollak Plays Current for Big Muddy W

Joe Pollak of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Pollack netted $4,586. READ MORE »

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Everyone knew it was only a matter of time, and that time is finally now. Bryan Thrift is an FLW Cup champion. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Bryan Thrift has the lead with one day left to fish in the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. But to make it happen, he needs to hold off Kyle Walters, who's had a magical week so far, along with Scott Martin and a crew of other hammers. READ MORE »

What Happened to LeBrun?

What Happened to LeBrun?

Nick LeBrun cracked 15 pounds on day one of the FLW Cup by throwing a Whopper Plopper around docks and seawalls. Then he caught only two bass on day two. The Louisiana pro says he refused to change his approach on day two because he wanted to fish for the win. Though he failed, he says he wouldn't change a thing. READ MORE »

Thrift on the Brink of First Cup

Thrift on the Brink of First Cup

For the second day in a row, Shelby, N.C., pro Bryan Thrift will go to bed with the lead in the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. Today, Thrift weighed in 12 pounds, 7 ounces for a two-day total of 27-10. He leads Florida pro Kyle Walters by 1 1/2 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 2 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 2 Coverage

Bryan Thrift and Nick LeBrun lead the charge at the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. Today, they work toward making the cut and getting to the final day of competition for a chance at $300,000. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Hamilton

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Hamilton

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 1 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 1 Coverage

The 2019 FLW Cup features 52 of the best bass anglers in the world competing for $300,000 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. READ MORE »

Greene Again on St. Clair

Greene Again on St. Clair

Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair after catching five bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. Greene took home $5,753 for his win. READ MORE »

Buck Drop-shots for Oneida Win

Buck Drop-shots for Oneida Win

FLW Tour pro Grae Buck of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, Buck earned $5,471 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Gallagher Nets Win on Indian

Gallagher Nets Win on Indian

Darrell Gallagher of Maplewood, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on Indian Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces. Gallagher earned $3,553 his win. READ MORE »