UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Britt Claims Top Spot

Aaron Britt of Yuba City, Calif., claims first place at Clear Lake Rayovac FLW Series event.

LAKEPORT, Calif — Undaunted by dire predictions of tough fishing due to unseasonably high water temperatures, hordes of appetite-killing baitfish and a lake-darkening algae bloom of Biblical proportions, the 212 pros and co-anglers fishing the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division Clear Lake event roared out of the gate on day one.

Collectively, the field racked up more than 90 double-digit bags and 78 five-bass limits during the opening round of the three-day event. While many competitors acknowledged the mettle-testing conditions, most proved that persistence and versatility could trump Mother Nature’s best attempts to foil their carefully laid plans.

On the pro side, 16 anglers broke the 20-pound barrier—far more than pundits had predicted against the brutal backdrop. In fact, it took 19-2 to make the top 20, and landing in check-cashing territory, which extends to 28th place, required a 16-9 limit.    

Leading the charge of pros rising to the challenge was Aaron Britt, of Yuba City, Calif. A veteran of the tournament trenches for nearly a decade, Britt is an old hand at battling for bass on hallowed Golden State lakes such as Clear, Oroville and Berryessa.

Britt sacked a five-bass limit weighing an impressive 29 pounds to top the leaderboard. But the catch didn’t come easy.

“It was tough,” he admitted. “I started out in my opening spot, where I’ve been catching big ones all week—and didn’t get a single bite.”

Bent but far from broken, Britt abandoned the area, at least for the moment. “I left and hit another prime area,” he said. “I loaded up four keepers real quick, then came back to where I started out and caught two 7 1/2-pounders. So it ended up working out well.”

The weight eclipsed Britt’s previous personal-best limit at a Rayovac FLW Series event—an 18-pound, 1-ounce benchmark set on the California Delta — and left him anxious to see what day two holds in store.

“I’m beyond stoked for tomorrow!” he grinned as he left the weigh-in area.

Second Sweet For SweatDan Sweat sits in second place with 28 pounds, 7 ounces, on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Clear Lake.
Dan Sweat of Pleasant Hill, Calif., weighed in ahead of Britt, and briefly held the lead with a mega-bag of his own. Sweat’s 28-pound, 7-ounce limit lit up the crowd of bass fans gathered lakeside at scenic Fifth Street Landing.

Though he slipped to second when Britt took the stage, Sweat still relished a successful day of competition. “I’m excited about this weight,” he said.

Understandably, he declined to share specifics of his strategies. But he did acknowledge that his best bites came early in the day.

“When you get your fish in the morning, it makes for a long, hot day,” he said. “I weigh in at 5 tomorrow, so I think it’s going to be another long day, too.”

Crutcher’s Crusade

Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., grabbed third place on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Clear Lake.Mark Crutcher, of Lakeport, Calif., battled for every bite to finish the day in a solid third place with five fish for 25 pounds, 11 ounces.

“I’ll take it!” he beamed. “It was a grind. I caught eight fish all day, out of a total of just 12 to 13 bites.”

Crutcher confided that targeting bass cruising skinny water was his opening tactic. "I fished shallow early in the morning and then went deep later in the afternoon,” he said.

Looking ahead, he expects to work for every bite on day two as well.

“I left late today and am heading out early tomorrow,” he said. “I’m just going to keep it wet, not do a lot of running around and grind it out.”

Spencer Scores Big BitesPatrick Spencer of Penn Valley, Calif., weighed 24 pounds, 13 ounces, for fourth place at the Rayovac FLW Series event on Clear Lake.
Buoyed by a pair of big bites, Patrick Spencer, of Penn Valley, Calif., powered to fourth place with a five-fish limit that tipped the scale at 24 pounds, 13 ounces.

“The wind blew early this morning, which really helped,” he said. “I just covered water and got lucky and got a couple of good bites.”

Whether similar good fortune will smile on Spencer tomorrow remains to be seen.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I found some good fish and hopefully they’ll bite again. My last cast was a 4-pounder, but tomorrow is a new day.”

Meyer’s Gamble Pays Off

Henderson, Nev., pro Clayton Meyer took fifth place on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Clear Lake.When Clayton Meyer of Henderson, Nev., identified a productive pattern early in the day, he gambled that it would pay off on similar spots—even if those areas hadn’t proven themselves in practice. The risk paid off, however, as he ended the day in fifth with five bass weighing 24 pounds, 11 ounces.

“I caught some fish early from one area, and just kept going with it,” he said. “I moved to another spot that looked the same but hadn’t produced in practice, and we got three or four bass there.”

Flush with confidence, he rolled the dice a second time.

“I moved to another similar spot that hadn’t given up any bass yet, either, and ended up getting my big fish on it,” he laughed.

When asked to explain what might have livened up those previous dead zones, Meyer speculated, “I think the temperature drop and wind the last day of practice and today made them a little bit better.”

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Rayovac FLW Series after day one:

6th: Kyle Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., five bass, 24-01

7th: Steve Ericksen of Palo Alto, Calif., five bass, 23-12

8th: Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., five bass, 22-14

9th: Gary Collins of Upper Lake, Calif., five bass, 22-11

10th: Ishama Monroe of Hughson, Calif., five bass, 22-07

 

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  headline-story  2014-10-09-clear-lake 

/news/2019-02-18-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 »

/news/2019-02-18-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 »

/news/2019-02-18-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 »

/news/2019-02-12-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 »

/news/2019-02-12-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 »

/news/2019-02-11-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 »

/news/2019-02-10-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 »

/news/2019-02-10-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 »

/news/2019-02-09-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 »

/news/2019-02-09-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 »

/news/2019-02-08-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 »

/news/2019-02-08-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 »

/news/2019-02-07-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 »

/news/2019-02-07-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 »

/news/2019-02-04-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 »

/news/2019-02-02-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 »

/news/2019-02-02-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 »

/news/2019-02-01-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 »

/news/2019-02-01-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 »

/news/2019-01-31-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 »