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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Vaughan Stakes His Claim on the James

Vaughan Stakes His Claim on the James
Wayne Vaughan hauls one of his big fish from his day-one bag.

RICHMOND, Va. – He couldn’t figure out the entire puzzle, but the pieces that Wayne Vaughan mastered earned him the day-one lead with 23-7 at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the James River.

A tidal fishery, the James River sees daily water level fluctuations that position fish and greatly influence their feeding tendencies, much the same as dam current stimulates impoundment bass. Today, Vaughan and the rest of the field started with about an hour remaining in the outgoing cycle.

That falling water is typically a key fishing period for a lot of reasons. First, diminishingLeading the pro division is Wayne Vaughan of Chester, Va. water concentrates bass into remaining depths and thereby makes them easier to target. Also, with all the baitfish and crustaceans pulled out of shoreline cover, those bass are keen to feast on all that vulnerable forage.

On the other hand, incoming tides deliver more challenging scenarios as bass have increasingly vast areas in which to hide. Add to this the reality that strong James River tides tend to scream on the rise and that water momentum discourages bass from venturing far from current-breaking cover.

Because of his later flight, Vaughan missed most of the key early morning bite, so he struggled through much of the morning but finally got going in the afternoon when the tide started to fall again.

“Once the tide started moving out, that was the key for me,” Vaughan said. “I caught some this morning but out of the ones I caught this morning, I only weighed in one today.”

Vaughan said he started his day by catching a limit south in the Chickahominy River and then came out to upgrade in the James. The decision to change areas, he said, was prompted by a gut feeling that better quality awaited him elsewhere.

Wayne Vaughan gives us one more look at his big fish.“Practice has been super, super tough,” Vaughan said. “I felt like I had a good little bag, but I didn’t want to sit around there (in the Chickahominy) and fish anymore, so I ran out to the James and I ended up catching some nice fish there.”

Vaughan said he caught his fish on plastics of a particular color, but declined to elaborate on rigging and presentation. He did say that his success was due to particular grass scenarios with strategic tidal influence. This, too, was too specific for him to reveal, but Vaughan did say that paying close attention to surroundings was essential.

“It’s a mixture of the vegetation and what the tide’s doing,” said the pro from nearby Chester, Va. “I had three or four spots that I knew were pretty good and then I just went fishing around to see if I could find something else.”

As it turned out, Vaughan did most of his damage on a single spot. When he got on the key bank, he said he instantly recognized the winning combination of habitat and tidal flow.

“I live here, so I fish the river a fair amount,” he said. “What I figured out was that this was a timing deal. These fish are not eating like that continuously. The water’s hot and it’s summertime. If you can get the timing right and you’re around the right thing, anybody out here can catch them.”

Pratt places second

Kelly Pratt, of Williamsburg, Va. trails Vaughan in second place by a pound and 5 ounces atSecond-place pro Kelly Pratt said that fishing slow was the key to his success. 22-2. He was one of the few anglers who reported catching fish throughout the day’s tidal range.

The morning’s low period and then the late-afternoon outgoing cycle proved most productive, but he also caught fish during the incoming water, which dominated the day.

Pratt said he caught his fish on crankbaits and plastics. The latter was his main offering during the less productive midday period. Presentation strategy, he said, was essential.

“The key is fishing very slowly,” Pratt said. “These fish are not very active during that incoming tide, so you have to fish really slowly.”

Schmitt takes Third

Tidal river expert Bryan Schmitt said he figured out a key deal that put him in third place.Bryan Schmitt, of Deale, Md. has plenty of experience on tidal fisheries, but for much of today, the James River gave him fits. Fortunately, when he found bites, they were good ones and his 18-13 earned him a third-place finish.

“I caught two quality fish in the first 30 minutes and then it just died,” Schmitt said. “The last hour, I caught about 10 more fish and upgraded.”

“There’s a certain thing I’m looking for and if I see it, I can usually catch a couple,” he said. “It’s depth and habitat that I’m looking for. It has to be a mix of things.”

Schmitt said his best bites came early and late, with a lot of frustration in the middle.

“I ran north, south, east and west and everything in between,” he laughed. “I couldn’t catch nothing. Today, I just got a few big bites.”

Timing takes Shelton to fourth

William Shelton III, of Lacrosse, Va. caught a limit that weighed 16-14 and took fourthWilliam Shelton took fourth on day one. place. His productivity he said was a matter of knowing when to stay and when to go.

“For once today, I timed things right with the tide,” Shelton said.

By that, he referred to his strategy of “running the tide” – progressing farther along the river to stay with a certain period in which his bites were coming.

“I took advantage of the tide we had here and then I took advantage of the tide we had south in the James River and the Chick this afternoon,” Shelton said. “Of all the tidal rivers I fish, this one is the most tide-influenced so I was just fortunate today time things right. I burned 47 gallons of gas today running around and trying to figure out what tide situation we had.”

Shelton caught his fish on wood with a flipping baits and topwaters.

Baumgardner takes fifth

Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner found the fifth-place bag on the James River. Chris Baumgardner, of Gastonia, N.C., sits in fifth place with 15-2. He, too, struggled with the midday doldrums, but he took advantage of his opportunities early and late.

“This morning it was good for about an hour and a half and that’s when I caught most of my fish,” Baumgardner said. “Then it was good for about an hour after (the tide) had come in.”

Targeting blowdown trees, he caught his fish by flipping and fishing chatterbaits.

Wil Hardy earned Big Bass honors for his 9-pound, 1-ounce largemouth.Sixth-place pro Wil Hardy found a 9-pound, 1-ounce James River toad.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series James River event:

6th: Wil Hardy, of Harlem, Ga., 15-0

7th: Chris Dillow, of Waynesboro, Va., 14-7

8th: Frank Poirier, of North Prince George, Va., 13-13

9th: Shayne Berlo, of Fairfax, Va., 12-14

10th: Bo Boltz, of New Kent, Va., 12-6

Knocking tree stumps key for top co-angler Crocker

Topping the co-angler division was Wayne Vaughan.In the co-angler division, Michael Crocker reached into his bag of local tricks and ended up catching a bag of bass that topped his field at 12 pounds, 12 ounces. He basically flipped a 4-inch Texas-rigged Dead Ringer worm around cypress knees and did his best to make his presentations as irritating as possible.

“We went back in a couple of little creeks hitting the trunks of the trees,” Crocker said. “That’s a local favorite – an old-timer secret.”

Crocker rigged his purple/blue flake worm on a 2/0 round bend hook and a ¼-ounce weight. He was catching most of his fish in two to four feet of water.

“I only had five bites but at least four of them were the right ones,” he said. “The very last part of the incoming tide and I even caught some on dead slack tide. I think the smaller finesse worm helped and getting it right up in the trunks of those trees.”

In second place, Manuel Cruz, of Clifton, N.J., had 11-4, while Dennis Burdette, of Lindside, W.V., placed third with 10-4. Fourth place went to David Williams, of Fredericksburg, Va., who had 10 even. David Ball, of Durham, N.C. was fifth with 9-8.

John Shultz took Big Bass honors with his 6-pound, 10-ounce largemouth.John Shultz's 6-pound, 10-ounce largemouth earned Big Bass honors for day one.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series James River event:

6th: Robert Bruguiere, of Mechanicsville, Va., 9-6

7th: Stephen Semelsberger Jr., of Mr. Airy, Md., 9-2

8th: Terry Chapman, of Newberry, S.C., 9-1

9th: Junior Allen, of Biscoe, N.C., 8-3

9th: Corey Bechtel, of Macungie, Pa., 8-3

Day two of Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on the James River continues at Friday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (Eastern) at Osborne Landing, which is located at 9680 Osborne Turnpike in Richmond, Va.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2014-08-21-james-river 

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. 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 »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. 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 »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. 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 »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  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 »

Burroughs Dials Blueback Spawn

Burroughs Dials Blueback Spawn

Jason Burroughs of Hodges, South Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds even win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell. For his efforts, Burroughs was awarded $3,572. READ MORE »

Wagner Makes it a Dozen

Wagner Makes it a Dozen

Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tennessee, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Tims Ford Lake. Wagner took home $4,013 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

With just one keeper from his three primary pockets, leader Jake Morris might have left the door open on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament at Table Rock Lake. His frog pattern might be fizzling out due to clear water and changing conditions. READ MORE »