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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Why the Wheels Fell Off: Lake Murray

Why the Wheels Fell Off: Lake Murray
Into the net!

Hot spots run out, get moved in on by others and change with conditions, but the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup wasn’t about spots. Lake Murray’s deep fish followed roving herring, and shallow fish were widespread. Therefore, most pros changed areas daily, moved frequently through the day or stayed on the move all the time. Some ran specific patterns, while others junk-fished.

Unpredictable action, including inexplicable hero-to-zero days, began during practice, and everyone knew the uncertainty would continue through the tournament. Of course, knowing that today’s action promises nothing about tomorrow doesn’t make it any easier when the bite actually tapers and keeps you out of a cut or prevents you from finishing the job, especially when you’re fishing for half a million dollars and the title of world champion.

We asked several pros that experienced a costly drop-off to share their perspective on what went wrong.

David Dudley

Day 1: 17-14 (1st place)

Day 2: 6-1 (6th place)

Day 3: 1-6 (15th place)

David Dudley was looking for any kind of shade to fish on the start of a scorching day two.

I’m still scratching my head. I was talking with my dad about it, and he asked me if I would change anything. I don’t think so. Of course, when you have a day like that first one, the second day you aren’t going to change anything. I did exactly the same thing, and I actually got just as many bites. I just didn’t get the quality bites. And then on the third day, they just didn’t bite. I tried the same thing and other things. I really don’t know.

Brent Ehrler

All the on the water reports indicated that Brent Ehrler whacked them on day three. He could be gunning for his second Forrest Wood Cup title tomorrow.

Day 1: 13-5 (6th place)

Day 2: 12-7 (2nd place)

Day 3: 13-5 (1st place)

Day 4: 11-10 (3rd place)

Every morning on the first three days I was able to catch at least three fish early. They were schooling fish that I was catching with a Yamamoto D Shad. On day four I was only able to catch one. For some reason they weren’t hitting the same way that morning. It was only about a 45-minute window. I landed right on top of the school, but they would not bite. The trick was landing the bait on the schoolers when they came up, and I did that. They just wouldn’t bite that day.

I had enough brush piles to run and fish the rest of the day to catch “limit fish.” I had about an hour and a half left after I got my limit, and I decided to gamble and run up the river to try to get a big fish because I thought I needed more than I did. Had I stayed with drop-shotting those brush piles, I really think I could have culled one more by a little at least. But hindsight is 20/20, right?

Bryan Thrift

Day 1: 14-9 (2nd place – tie)

Day 2: 10-7 (3th place)

Day 3: 13-14 (2nd place)

Day 4: 5-8 (7th place)

Chevy pro Bryan Thrift was followed by an octocopter as he worked his way into the back of a cove.

The last day for me was kind of like the second day. I was catching my better fish on a Zoom Horny Toad, and on the second day they were hitting at it but never really getting it, so I didn’t get the bigger fish. On the last day, the first two bites showed me they weren’t acting right again. The first one barely nipped at it, and the second one took the legs off. I knew then that they weren’t hitting that bait right, so I switched to a Damiki D-Pop 70, and I managed a few keepers on it. It was just one of those unexplainable things.

Cody Meyer

Day 1: 14-9 (2nd place – tie)

Day 2: 0 (26th place)

Repel pro Cody Meyer is on the move. He started day two of the Forrest Wood Cup in second place.

My first day actually was a struggle. I only had five keeper bites and five undersized fish. Then one brush pile produced a 3-pounder and a 5-pounder, and that was the key to my big bag. I felt good going into the second day. I didn’t have a ton of stuff, but I felt like I could catch another limit. I did the same thing as the first day, fishing a little of the same water and some new water that was like it. I caught a dozen fish, but none of them was a keeper. I really don’t know why. I didn’t miss or lose any fish or change anything. If I had to do it again, I’d try the exact same thing.

Andy Morgan

Day 1: 12-10 (8th place)

Day 2: 10-4 (8th place)

Day 3: 3-12 (14th place)

Andy Morgan tangles with an acrobatic largemouth on the opening morning of competition at the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

I started each morning with a buzzbait or other topwater, and I was able to get one decent fish in that first hour or so each morning. After that I’d lay down the topwater, although I’d still pick it up occasionally. I stayed shallow, fishing every laydown, dock, log or whatever else I came to. I was covering a lot of water, but in certain areas. I was able to make that first cut and save a couple of areas for day three, but I’d kind of fished out those primary areas.

There was one little backwater hole that could have been really good, but it didn’t pan out at all, and the others just didn’t produce what I’d hoped. I think my backup areas might have been someone else’s primary areas. That could have been guys who didn’t make the cut but fished the same areas on the first two days, or it could have been someone fishing ahead of me on day three. Sometimes that happens. You just get a bad rotation. You get behind a Bryan Thrift, Scott Canterbury or Matt Herren, and those fish are just gone.

Tags: jeff-samsel  post-tournament  2014-08-14-forrest-wood-cup-lake-murray 

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. READ MORE »

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

June is typically ledge-fishing season in the Tennessee Valley, especially at Pickwick, but the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship was a more diverse event than most folks might have expected. Patterns ranging from junk-fishing the bank to targeting docks and other shoreline cover to working the main-lake ledges all worked. Here are the baits used by the top 10 teams during the week. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Pros caught fish everywhere from in the middle of flooded jungles of brush to deep main-lake drops. The top finishers pretty much all power fished with soft plastics, crankbaits and frogs. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

The top 10 fished a little of everything, but mostly stuck to areas within a few miles of the 147 bridge. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Though there was some carryover from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, the fishing on the Potomac River was a lot better for the anglers in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance. With better fishing came more robust grass patterns, but plenty of bass (some of the biggest of the event) were caught off hard cover as well. All in all, it was a mixed week of very good fishing on the Potomac. READ MORE »

National Championship Top 10 Baits

National Championship Top 10 Baits

Competitors in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance undoubtedly took some cues from the top finishers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, but they also blazed some new ground. With better fishing overall and a better grass bite, a few more winding baits got mixed into the fray. READ MORE »

Best Hair from the College Championship

Best Hair from the College Championship

Inspired by the Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair videos, we thought we’d take a little time to break down some of the best hair from this year’s YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship. This article is not meant to criticize the hair the college anglers brought to the Potomac; rather, we want to recognize the unsung heroes and the flair they brought to the tournament. Since the college anglers can compete in the tournament solo or as a pair, we allowed the same rules on our list. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

With notably less developed grass than usual on the Potomac River, the anglers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American had a slightly different river to deal with. The tournament, which was presented by General Tire, featured a lot more hard cover action than grass bed fishing, and that trend was reflected in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

The T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American, which was presented by General Tire, featured a mixed bag of staple river tactics. As such, a pretty good variety of jigs, vibrating jigs and plastics came into play, with some finesse and hard baits mixed in. READ MORE »

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 »

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 »

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Fishing at Table Rock during the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, presented by Power-Pole, was pretty remarkable, at least until it wasn’t. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

It really didn’t matter what pros threw at Table Rock. The fish were probably going to eat it. Yet, despite a banner practice, things certainly got tougher throughout the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which was presented by Power-Pole. Thus, pros needed to continually adapt to the conditions with their offerings.Here’s a look at the lures that helped the top 10 anglers.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

The timing of the FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga was both a curse and a blessing for the top 10 finishers. There were plenty of fish to be had – and on a multitude of patterns – but the big double-digit females Chick is known for were hard to track down. READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Santee Cooper

Top 10 Patterns from Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is full of 30-pound stringers. It’s also been known as a lake that will humble an angler quick. Bradford Beavers had experienced that before, having twice before weighed in 30-plus-pound stringers in tournaments on his home lake only to bomb the next day. Well, third time was the charm. After weighing in 31-02 on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by Power-Pole, he managed to back it up on day two by fishing both lakes for his first signature victory. Of course, he had to hold off some hard charges from some veteran locals to do it. Here’s how they and the other top pros managed to carve out their own patterns and stay consistent on Santee. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Santee Cooper

Top 10 Baits from Santee Cooper

There were three predominant patterns at Santee Cooper: Pitching wacky rigs to cypress trees, sight-fishing and the shad spawn. Yet, they weren’t the only patterns, as a couple locals managed to do plenty of damage with some locals-only offshore patterns at the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season finale presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Targeting spawning smallmouth bass was by far the dominant pattern when the FLW Tour visited Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee in April. With a few exceptions, the top 10 pros targeted various combinations of rock and gravel banks where the fish were bedding. Finesse baits such as shaky heads, Ned rigs and small swimbaits saw the most work. READ MORE »