UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

A Clear Challenge

A Clear Challenge
Anglers blast off into a beautiful sunrise on Clear Lake for the final event of the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Western Division.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Challenging conditions including low water, abundant baitfish and a late-season algae bloom set the stage for an epic bass battle among the 212 pros and co-anglers vying for top honors Oct. 9-11 in the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division Clear Lake tournament, which kicked off this morning at 7:30 a.m. PT.

Presented by Evinrude, the three-day event promises plenty of drama. Anglers are competing for lucrative paybacks, including $32,448 in cash for first place on the pro side, plus a fully rigged Ranger Z518C with 200-hp Evinrude outboard if the winner is Ranger Cup compliant, for a total purse worth more than $80,000. On the co-angler side, the victor claims a fully rigged Ranger Z117 with 90-hp Evinrude, plus $5,000 in Ranger Cup cash if entered in that contingency program.

Adding to the excitement, this is the third and final 2014 Western Division tournament, which means Strike King Angler of the Year honors and 30 coveted invitations to the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship are up for grabs at this event.  

Points leader Roy Hawk of Havasu City, Ariz., was ready to get the showdown started.

Western Division AOY leader Roy Hawk will need to overcome tough conditions this week if he wants to walk away as the season's best out West.“It’s exciting being here on Clear Lake for the season finale,” he says. “I have a lot of things on my mind today, though. For one thing, it’s my 44th birthday. Plus, my mom is visiting Japan right now where the typhoon is getting ready to hit. I’m in a constant state of prayer.”

Winter Springs, Calif., pro Jimmy Reese, who is currently sitting in sixth place in the points race, considers Clear Lake his home waters. He explained that recent warm weather, which resulted in high water temperatures and massive algae blooms, has largemouths in a state of transition, making dialing in consistent patterns tricky.

“There’s also a ton of silverside minnows, shad, panfish and baby bass in the lake right now,” he adds.

California pro Jimmy Reese is looking to make a run at the Western Division AOY title. He sits in sixth place coming into the last event.Reese expects to see at least 10 limits top 20 pounds on day one, and close to 70 pounds for three days to be the winning weight. He believes this event will boil down to a battle between shallow-water anglers wielding punch baits in weed mats or worming the rocks, and deep-water warriors throwing reaction baits including crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

“I think the field will be evenly split between deep and shallow water,” he adds. “And the great thing is that on Clear Lake, any cast, all day long, can produce a game-changing 10-pound bass.”

Pro Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., is also a longtime Clear Lake fan.

“I love this lake dearly,” he says. “It’s a shame to see it so low. It’s a little tough out there, but I think we’ll see at least a half-dozen or so 20-plus limits.”

For his part, Lyon plans to target deep fish off points and rocks with a drop-shot rig.

“But if we get any wind at all, the crankbait bite will heat up,” Lyon says.

Another Clear Lake veteran, pro Greg Gutierrez, of Red Bluff, Calif., is fighting to make the top-30 cut in the points race. Despite an intimate knowledge of the lake, he’s been struggling to put a strategy together.

“It’s been tough to find a concentration of fish and a sound pattern,” he says, noting that fishing pressure from end-of-the-season tournaments has also made Clear Lake’s famed largemouths more challenging to catch than normal. “Combined with the low water eliminating so many fishing areas, abundant forage and the cloud of an algae bloom, it’s really a tough puzzle to figure out. I can’t have any errors. I need to go out and execute today.”

Veteran Western pro Jim Lyon expects tough fishing but solid weights this week amid low water levels, abundant baitfish and an algae bloom.

Thursday’s Conditions

Takeoff: 7:30 a.m. PT

Temperature at takeoff: low 50s

Expected high temperature: low 80s

Water temperature: 68 to 72 degrees

Wind: light

Moon phase: full moon

 

Rayovac FLW Series event information

Takeoff

Location: Fifth Street Launch Ramp, #15 Fifth Street, Lakeport, CA

Time: 7:30 a.m. PT

 

Weigh-in

Location: Lakeside at Fifth Street Launch Ramp, #15 Fifth Street, Lakeport, CA

Time: 3:30 p.m. PT

 

Weigh-in Coverage

For those who can’t catch the weigh-in action in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live, an online application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results, streaming video and audio.

 

Follow FLW

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

Tags: dan-johnson  morning-story  2014-10-09-clear-lake 

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Underway on the Delta

Underway on the Delta

No matter the weather, no matter the environmental concerns, no matter the fishing pressure, the California Delta remains one of the nation’s most diverse and fertile freshwater fisheries — a truth that should play out in dramatic form during the Costa FLW Series Western Division event. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

Weights were already tight going into the final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, which is presented by Gajo Baits. Little more than a pound separated leader Jonathan Kelley from Casey Smith in fifth place. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

With slightly warmer weather and similar sun and wind conditions, day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River should’ve presented optimal conditions for smallmouth. Instead, nearly every angler our on-the-water crew encountered today said the same thing: It’s tougher. READ MORE »

To Run or Not to Run

To Run or Not to Run

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, is primed to be a smallmouth smashfest, as usual. That said, this year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, will launch out of Massena, N.Y., instead of the usual Clayton. So, what was once a 15-or-so-mile run to the mouth of the lake from takeoff – and roughly 30-plus miles to Gallo Island or Main Duck – will now be about a 95-mile run just to get to the lake. READ MORE »

Underway on the Potomac

Underway on the Potomac

For the tournament, the wind isn’t forecast to be too strong any day, and the tides will be fairly standard, but not ideal from a timing standpoint. Today, low tide was at 6:15 a.m., and low tide on Saturday will be at 8:15. That means that pros will mostly be fishing a rising tide through the tournament, with the best windows likely coming early on Friday and Saturday. READ MORE »

Go-Time Again on Champlain

Go-Time Again on Champlain

Each of the last three years have seen the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits kick off on Champlain. This tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but the dominant pattern certainly won’t be spawning smallmouths. Instead, it could be a largemouth slugfest, as the fishing has continued to prove strong on the south end of the lake. READ MORE »

Let the Rayburn Catchfest Begin

Let the Rayburn Catchfest Begin

We’re five months later into the year now, and while the water level at Rayburn has fluctuated in the months since the Tour event, it’s still about 4 1/2 feet above full pool as anglers take to Big Sam for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury. READ MORE »

National Championship Gets Going

National Championship Gets Going

Bright and early this morning, 148 teams of the best college bass anglers in the country rolled out for day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. The 10th annual National Championship is the culmination of the 2018 season, and the winning duo qualifies for the 2019 FLW Cup and earns a new Ranger boat for its club.  READ MORE »

All-American Underway on the Potomac

All-American Underway on the Potomac

Winning the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American is a lifetime accomplishment, and this week, 49 boaters and co-anglers will have the chance to do it on the Potomac River. Presented by General Tire, the crowning event of the BFL season runs May 30 through June 1, and the winner on the boater side will walk away with $120,000 and a trip to the FLW Cup. 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 »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

A squad of 147 boaters and their co-anglers partners enjoyed a pleasant spring morning in western Kentucky for the start of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine is underway, and by all indications, the fishery is set up to churn out some mega-bags throughout the event. Even during practice, with the water falling well below normal levels, 7-, 8- and 9-pounders weren’t uncommon. Now, with the best anglers in the southeast hard at it, you can expect fireworks. READ MORE »

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake was phenomenal in terms of the fishing, and while that may be the case for day two, strong winds forced FLW officials to cut the tournament short by a few hours. READ MORE »