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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Morgan clinches AOY, Martin moves into lead

Casey Martin took the lead on day two after catching a 27-pound limit of Lake Chickamauga bass.

DAYTON, Tenn. - One of the most consistent anglers in bass fishing finally clinched the prestigious Angler of the Year title as Andy Morgan put in a workmanlike effort on Lake Chickamauga, his home water, to seal the deal. Meanwhile, a Walmart FLW Tour rookie desperately seeking to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup jumped into the lead at the halfway point in the tournament.

The hometown crowd got exactly what they wanted Friday afternoon. Not only did Morgan clinch AOY, but the other two prominent local pros, Michael Neal and Wesley Strader, caught 20-pound plus stringers and sit near the top of the leaderboard.

For Morgan, the AOY win was special, but not surprising. For the better part of a decade the Dayton, Tenn., native has threatened for AOY, but with no true smallmouth fishery and the season ending in east Tennessee, this was clearly Morgan's year.

Andy Morgan celebrates after learning he won the 2013 Angler of the Year award."You called it earlier in the year, my chances at winning without a smallmouth lake and with us finishing up the season here in the southeast were so much greater," Morgan said. "Looking back over the years where I've done better than others, it seems like the years when we've had really wet springs is when I've done well. This year, we've had plenty of water everywhere, other than Beaver, so I guess it was the perfect scenario. But believe me, after Beaver, where I took 68th, I thought I had no chance, no chance. Usually there is one person who goes all year without a slip-up."

Morgan gained some ground on Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler at Lake Eufaula and then surged into the lead at Grand Lake. On his home pond, he never looked back - fishing mainly deep brush and stumpy ledges.

"I took it slow, one cast at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. How sweet it is to win it right here in the hills and hollers of Dayton."

While the AOY race is over, Morgan isn't done fishing as he made the top-20 cutoff in 14th place.

"I couldn't have scripted it any better, other than winning the tournament. It was pretty sweet. It's great to win, but it's even better to win at home and have everyone come out to support you."

Martin surges into the lead

Coming into the final qualifier of the year in 54th place in the points race, Casey Martin knew he'd have to catch them to make the Forrest Wood Cup in his rookie season. While he's extremely comfortable fishing deep patterns in the summertime, not even Martin expected a start like this. After catching 22-15 on day one, the New Market, Ala., pro caught 27 pounds on day two, the heaviest limit of the tournament thus far. Martin's 49-15 gives him a 7-pound, 9-ounce lead at the halfway point in the tournament.

Casey Martin hauls in what he thinks is a giant bass.."It was crazy," said the pro leader, who shared water with Mark Rose, JT Kenney and Anthony Gagliardi. "On my third cast this morning I caught one and then it was one after another. I left that spot with about 17 pounds and culled once on my next stop. Then I visited a place I caught two big ones yesterday and I caught a 6 and that 7-11. I spent a total of six minutes there and I left. And as far as I know, nobody is fishing it."

The 7-11 was the 3M ScotchBlue Big Bass of the day. While his other areas have bigger fish, Martin likes to start on the crowded ledge, which shouldn't be crowded tomorrow as none of the other three made the top-20 cut.

"That first spot is a mega school. Having a limit there before I go hop around really puts me at ease."

Martin said he's catching his fish on a Picasso School-E Rig, a 3/4-ounce Omega football jig (Ozark special color) and a Strike King 10XD (sexy blueback herring color). The School E-Rig produced the early flurry and accounted for three of his five weigh fish.

With a sizeable lead Martin is beginning to change his mentality from qualifying for the Cup to winning the tournament.

"When I was leading at Okeechobee, I admit I was a little star struck. I think I'm more prepared for this one. And the lake is setting up exactly like Guntersville. Believe me, I want to win."

Nixon second

Larry Nixon sits in second place with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 6 ounces.Trailing Martin is legendary angler Larry Nixon, who has already qualified for the Cup through last year's Opens. Nixon said he didn't have much found when the tournament started, but he's slowly figuring things out.

"I have two real good spots, but it took me a long time to find the sweet spot on my second one," said Nixon. "In fact, after an hour, I almost left."

Nixon stayed, got lined up and caught three big ones in four casts and decided to pull up the trolling motor and leave.

"The current is so fast the fish have to have somewhere to tuck and hide. I basically started hitting the eddy. If you don't hit it just right, your bait gets pushed downstream. You have to figure out just the right drift."

His best spot today hadn't been fished by anyone else to his knowledge. He believes that is partly because the fish aren't really showing up on the screen. Nixon now thinks that's because they're tucked so tight in the eddy.

"I've seen folks on both sides, but not right on it," he said. "It's a booger to find the right cast, but when you do they just thump it."

Nixon weighed 22-8 after opening the tournament with 19-14. His key baits thus far have been a 3/4-ounce Jewell football jig and a Carolina-rigged Senko.

Neal rises to third

Local pro Michael Neal rose to third after catching 22 pounds, 14 ounces Friday.After a frustrating first day, Neal got in a groove Friday and caught a 22-pound, 14-ounce limit.

"Yesterday I hit more cover," explained Neal. "Today I fished more schools. Yesterday I ran around and hit probably 75 to 100 places - stuff like brush piles and stumps."

Neal caught four good ones off one school he has to himself. At one point he caught a bass on almost every cast for 15 minutes straight. But several other fish came off community areas.

"Now since we're in the cut, I should be able to move around on these community schools. They're community for a reason; they're full of fish."

With his second top-20 cut of the season, Neal also punched his ticket for the Forrest Wood Cup, a first for the young Tennessee pro.

Clausen fourth

Chevy pro Luke Clausen improved on his day-one weight to catch 20-9 on day two. His two-day total stands at 39-11 and puts him in fourth place. Luke Clausen feared the worst with no fish in his livewell around 1 p.m.

"I pulled up on one place and caught six in like 8 minutes," he said. "After that, I left and didn't catch anything else. But I'm pretty sure I've got it to myself."

Clausen has been bouncing back and forth between shallow and deep all week. Today the two-hour fog delay essentially killed his early-morning shallow bite.

"I weighed three shallow yesterday and I'll probably start shallow tomorrow believe it or not. There's a good opportunity in the first hour or two to catch a few big ones."

Clausen's best five weighed 20 pounds, 9 ounces, giving him 39-11 for the tournament.

Wendlandt fifth

Clark Wendlandt rallied to second place after catching a 22-pound, 14-ounce stringer Friday.Rounding out the top five was three-time Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt with a two-day total of 39 pounds, 9 ounces. Wendlandt weighed 22-14 Friday and said one big one came shallow and one big one came deep.

"I'm fishing mainly deep, but I am catching some shallow," said the Leander, Texas, pro. "I actually got fewer bites, I just got the big bites today."

While he weighed all largemouths today, there was a brown bass in his bag yesterday.

"I caught two big ones in the first two hours and then I changed up, made a move and caught three more and then I was pretty much done. I'm not sure what is left, but I'm pretty sure I've got it all to myself.

"One spot I know bigger fish live there. When you get a bite, it's a 3 1/2 or bigger."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Chickamauga after day two:

6th: Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., 38-13
7th: Shinichi Fukae of Palestine, Texas, 36-13
8th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., 36-6
9th: Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., 35-11
10th: John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., 35-4

Reagan takes co-angler lead

Co-angler Jerry Reagan of Byrdstown, Tenn., takes a slim lead heading to the final day with a two-day total weight of 30 pounds, 1 ounce. Jerry Reagan of Byrdstown, Tenn., caught 18 pounds, 5 ounces on day two and rallied to take the top spot among the co-anglers with a total weight of 30 pounds, 1 ounce.

"On day one I fished with Chris Baumgardner and we caught a ton of fish shallow, but a lot of them were small fish," said Reagan. "With about 5 minutes left in the day, I caught one about 5 pounds.

"Today I fished with John Devere and John and I know each other from fishing the BFL Mountain Division. John was on big fish and my first cast of the day resulted in a 4-14. I didn't catch as many, but the ones I caught were a lot bigger. I did cull several times."

While Devere fished specific targets, Reagan dragged his baits around slowly.

Reagan went out of his way to thank Baumgarnder and Devere, both of whom he called "great guys."

"I may not catch a fish tomorrow, but from what I know about Casey Martin (his day-three partner), he seems like a great guy too."

Harkness second

Second-place co-angler Rick Harkness holds up his two biggest bass from day two.In second place is co-angler Rick Harkness of St. Mary's, W.Va., with 29 pounds even.

Harkness caught 13-4 on day one and followed that up with 15-12 today.

Watson, Winchester, Norris round out top five

Wesley Watson of Bracey, Va., rose to third after catching four bass on day two weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces. Combined with his day-one weight of 15-12, Watson has an opening-round total of 27 pounds, 2 ounces.

Shane Winchester fell from second to fourth after catching three bass Friday worth 7 pounds, 6 ounces. His total weight stands at 26 pounds, 1 ounce.

Oklahoma co-angler Eddie Norris rounds out the top five with 26 pounds even. Chickamauga marked Norris' first FLW Tour top-20 cutoff.

Rest of the best

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

6th: Ken Coats of Tulsa, Okla., 25-1
7th: Andrew Owens of Dividing Creek, N.J., 23-6
8th: John Kite of Festus, Mo., 23-5
9th: Nick Hensley of Cumming, Ga., 23-5
10th: Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., 23-0

Day three of the FLW Tour on Lake Chickamauga will begin Saturday at 6:30 a.m. from the Dayton Boat Dock located at 175 Lakeshore Drive in Dayton.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2013-06-27-lake-chickamauga 

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 »

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 »

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 »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

Roder Out Front on Big O

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »