UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2019 - Pickwick Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Skinner in control on Lake Havasu

Skinner in control on Lake Havasu
Billy Skinner of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., outmuscled the rest of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division field on Lake Havasu to grab first place overall in the Pro Division with a total catch of 21 pounds, 2 ounces.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - While plenty of pros struggled with the blustery winds which peaked at 25 mph during Thursday's opening round of competition, Billy Skinner of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., wasn't one of them. Using his local knowledge to full advantage, Skinner outmuscled the rest of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division field on Lake Havasu with a total catch of 21 pounds, 2 ounces to grab a slim, but noteworthy 9-ounce lead over his next closest rival.

However, despite his strong effort, Skinner acknowledged that the fishing was far from easy.

"Today was great but it's still pretty tough out there," said Skinner. "When you get this hard south wind it really shuts the fish down. But today I got lucky."

Skinner said that today his five years of fishing experience on Lake Havasu really paid off.

"With a full field, this lake fishes really small," he said. "I was basically fishing two different techniques and I found one little deal this morning that was really working so I stuck with it all day. I was only using one rod and really grinding it out. I was just trying to get five bites and I ended up with eight or 10 so I was happy."

While Skinner didn't want to go into great detail about his techniques or prime fishing areas, he did acknowledge that he targeted shallow fish with reaction baits in 5 to 10 feet of water.

"I was fishing manmade cages, weed beds and brush piles mostly," he said.

With a cold front and sunny skies expected to move in, and a change in weather all but guaranteed for Friday's competition, Skinner said that he was ready to adjust as necessary.

"If we get a calm sunny day tomorrow, it should really help me. It will give me more options," he said. "But it's a three-day tournament. You have to deal every day, take what the weather gives you and scratch it out. Realistically, I'm not even sure I have (two) days of fish left. So you really can't relax here."

Skinner also took home the day's big bass award in the Pro Division after netting a 6-pound, 12-ounce largemouth.

Phillips overcomes obstacles to grab runner-up position

Ken Phillips of Antioch, Calif., recorded a total catch of 20 pounds, 9 ounces to grab second place in the Pro Division on Lake Havasu during the opening round of competition.Heading into the Lake Havasu event, Ken Phillips of Antioch, Calif., was really looking forward to fishing one of his favorite tournaments - that was until he got here.

"When I first got here last Friday, I was sleeping in my truck when I heard this noise and decided to get up. It was around 4:30 a.m. But as I climbed out of my truck I wound up breaking my toe," he said.

But the grief didn't end there.

"I wound up getting sick the last two days so I haven't even been on the water since Monday," he said. "So I really wasn't expecting much today. And because of everything that happened to me, I went out fishing with no pressure. I accepted the fact that I had a broken toe, had been sick for two days and really didn't have much pre-fishing time. Realistically, I was already looking forward to the next (Rayovac FLW Series) event on the Cal Delta."

But as fate would have it, Phillips wound up having a banner day on the water. Go figure.

"Man, it was pretty awesome today," he said. "This morning, I didn't even know if I was going to catch them at all. But other than my first stop today, everywhere I went I caught some big fish. I actually wished I could have saved more of them for later on."

Phillips said that he caught all of his largemouth bass early in the morning and then culled his quarry with a number of smallmouth throughout the afternoon to net one of only three 20-plus-pound stringers in today's competition.

Although he was light on specifics, Phillips said that he targeted bass with a full arsenal.

"I went to a few places where I found fish early in practice before I got sick," he said. "I wound up catching fish on about five different techniques. Basically I was just throwing a variety of baits for them to look at."

Clearly Phillips non-strategy tournament strategy worked out well as he seemingly put fish in the boat at every turn to record a total catch of 20 pounds, 9 ounces.

To underscore the kind of day Phillips had, toward the latter part of the day the California native pulled up on a spot in an effort to get his co-angler some more fish. Already happy with his five-fish total, Phillips wasn't even thinking about trying to upgrade.

"So at about 3:45 p.m., I pull up at this spot with all of these boats around me, make two casts and catch a 5-pound smallmouth right in front of everyone," he said. "I couldn't believe it. So yeah, it was a great day."

Pinholster keeps day-one leaders in sight

Pro Gary Pinholster of Lake Havasu, Ariz., netted a 20-pound, 4-ounce catch to finish the first day of Lake Havasu competition in third place.Recording the only other 20-pound-plus catch of the day was Gary Pinholster of Lake Havasu, Ariz.

"It was an awesome day," Pinholster said of his 20-pound, 4-ounce catch. "The weather really changed today and there were a lot of boats so I was fortunate that I got the bites I got."

Unlike most pros, Pinholster said the windy conditions actually worked to his advantage.

"With this many boats on the water, I think what really helped me was having this weather," he said. "I think the wind really threw everyone else off their game. But I got bit all over the lake."

The local pro said that he targeting prespawn fish with a variety of reaction baits to land his catch.

"I was catching them in 10 to 20 feet of water just outside of the spawning points - mainly on staging areas," he said. "I used all reaction baits and did some habitat (cage) fishing as well."

Pinholster said he was cautiously optimistic he could duplicate his efforts over the final two days of the tournament as well.

"If the fish cooperate tomorrow, we should be able to do this for a couple of more days," he said.

Arledge nets fourth place

Using a total catch of 19 pounds, 7 ounces, pro Ed Arledge of Valley Center, Calif., finished the first day of Lake Havasu competition in fourth place.Using a total catch of 19 pounds, 7 ounces, Ed Arledge of Valley Center, Calif., found himself in fourth place when all was said and done.

"It was a great day. I just went fishing and caught seven keepers," he said. "I had my limit by 10:15 a.m. and caught two more after that. So it went perfectly as planned."

Arledge, who will turn 71 years old next Friday, said he didn't mix things up too much during today's competition.

"I stuck with two techniques all day long," he said. "I caught some fish in about 6 to 12 feet of water and some in 23 feet. I don't want to get into too many specifics but I will say that brush came into play."

As for tomorrow, Arledge said he doesn't foresee changing things up too much.

"I'm going with the same gameplan tomorrow," he said. "I'm just going to cross my fingers that I can put it all together."

Goodwin rounds out top-five

Pro Clint Goodwin of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., nailed down fifth place after today's competition on Lake Havasu with a catch of 18 pounds, 9 ounces.Clint Goodwin of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., nailed down fifth place after today's competition with a catch of 18 pounds, 9 ounces.

"I've lived here for 24 years so I've fished this lake a lot," said Goodwin. "I probably caught 20 keepers overall, had six over 3 pounds and one over 4 pounds and had five fish in the boat at 7:45 a.m. So today was a great day."

Goodwin said one of the keys to his success was his understanding of the lake pressure and how to deal with it given the fact that the tournament was boasting a 152-boat field.

"I'm running a long, long way and fishing where there is a lot less boat traffic," he said. "I spent a lot of time the last two weeks getting on some really good patterns - patterns that I knew would be away from other people. And today it paid off."

Goodwin said that he's fishing "a couple of different baits," targeting a combination of tules and rocks in shallow water.

Kline nets co-angler lead

Bolstered by a catch of 15 pounds, Todd Kline of San Clemente, Calif., took over the top spot in the Co-angler Division after the opening round of competition on Lake Havasu.Bolstered by a catch of 15 pounds, Todd Kline of San Clemente, Calif., took over the top spot in the Co-angler Division after the opening round of competition on Lake Havasu.

"I'm really shocked at how well I did today given that the bite was so tough. I'm blessed," he said. "We found some fish during practice so I knew that there were some good fish out there. I just kept my head down and it paid off. I only had five bites but I capitalized on every one of them."

Kline said that he used a combination of jigs and reaction baits to land the majority of his catch.

"When the wind picked up, I threw reaction baits and when the wind died down a little bit, I threw the jig. But I fished it slow. And that was key. When you're fishing as a co-angler you have to get into a groove and I was able to do that today."

Biechman nets second place

Steve Biechman of Redding, Calif., parlayed a total catch of 14 pounds, 13 ounces into a second-place finish in the Co-angler Division after Thursday's opening round of competition.Steve Biechman of Redding, Calif., parlayed a total catch of 14 pounds, 13 ounces into a second-place finish in the Co-angler Division after Thursday's opening round of competition.

"This is the best day I've ever had on this lake. Usually if I get one bite I'm ecstatic," he said.

However, the day didn't start as well as he'd hoped.

"I got my first bite and it got off," he said. "I started thinking, `Here we go again.' I finally get a bite and it gets off. But luckily, things got a lot better from there."

Biechman said he landed all of his fish by about 8:30 a.m.

"But I didn't get another bite after that," he said. "I kept at it but I just wasn't able to get anymore bites the rest of the day. But it was a good time."

The California native said that he ultimately targeted bass with a combination of reaction baits, drop-shots, Shaky Heads and soft plastics.

"You name it and I threw it."

Biechman also netted the Big Bass of the day award in the Co-angler Division after landing a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass.

Best of the rest

Co-angler Roy O. Desmangles of Lincoln, Calif., grabbed third place overall with a total catch of 12 pounds after the first day of competition on Lake Havasu.Roy O. Desmangles of Lincoln, Calif., grabbed third place overall with a total catch of 12 pounds.

Gary Haraguchi of Redding, Calif., used a 10-pound, 6-ounce catch to net fourth place.

Meanwhile, Bradley W. Devett of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., rounded out the top-five co-anglers with a catch of 9 pounds, 6 ounces.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Rayovac FLW Series action continues during Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

A nice crowd soaks in the sights during the opening round weigh-in at Lake Havasu.Fans who can't make tomorrow's weigh-in in person can also tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time to watch live streaming video and audio of Friday's second-day weigh-in.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2014-01-30-lake-havasu 

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Illinois, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes with five bass weighing 15 pounds even. For his win, Samo took home $5,794. READ MORE »

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Matt Robertson of Kuttawa, Kentucky, swept the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division this weekend after winning back-to-back tournaments on Kentucky and Barkley lakes presented by Navionics, the first on Saturday and then again on Sunday. For his wins, Robertson earned a total of $7,842. READ MORE »

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Michael Sentore of Gloucester City, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on the Chesapeake Bay Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds even. For his finish, Sentore netted $3,362. READ MORE »

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Corey Sullivan of Brandon, Mississippi, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces. For his win, Sullivan pocketed $3,377. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

On the flip side, Josh Bensema, who’s 4 pounds, 10 ounces behind Wilson, thinks he might have found the kind of Sam Rayburn motherlode that could earn him a come-from-behind victory. And while most of the rest of the top 10 are well behind Wilson, several of them hinted at being on the trail of some truly mammoth bags. READ MORE »

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

A 9-plus-pound bass anchored Kris Wilson’s day-two limit to help him stay in the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Wilson weighed in 21 pounds, 12 ounces today to go with 26-11 yesterday. His 48-7 two-day total has Wilson 4 pounds, 10 ounces ahead of Josh Bensema and miles ahead of the rest of the top 10.   READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, which is presented by Mercury, has certainly lived up to expectations. Plenty of fish are out there to be caught, yet finding quality is the key to separating yourself from the pack. Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas certainly distanced himself after hauling in 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the Umphrey Family Pavilion stage. It may not be the Texas-sized bag Rayburn is known for, however, given the conditions it is absolutely impressive. Wilson will hold a 6-7 lead over Josh Bensema heading into Friday. READ MORE »

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek Saturday with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Campbell netted $6,718 for his victory. READ MORE »

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed $4,071 for his day on the water. READ MORE »

Fox Claims No. 8

Fox Claims No. 8

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Fox netted $2,941. READ MORE »

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Ganey took home $6,362. READ MORE »

Walser Nets 13th Title

Walser Nets 13th Title

Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. With his win – his 13th on the BFL circuit – Walser tied the BFL all-time wins record held by Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

As expected, the fishing has been great for the final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. Sunny skies and moderate winds have set everyone up for success, and so far the top 10 teams are making the most of it. READ MORE »

Racers Lock Up National Championship

Racers Lock Up National Championship

The final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River was quite the show, especially if you watched FLW Live. After catching the biggest limit of the event worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to take the lead, the Murray State duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson gave it all they had on the final day to squeak out their smallest, yet most important limit of the week. Today, Murray State caught 15-8, which was enough to edge out the Bethel University team of Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce by just 3 ounces to bring home the title. Along with winning a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower motor for the club, Puckett and Albertson also get entry into the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., this August 9-11. READ MORE »