UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Smith Mountain Lake

Britt Claims Top Spot

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 

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Andre Dickneite of Freeburg, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Dickneite earned a total of $3,794. READ MORE »

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Boater Mike Wallis of Hallsville, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Wallis earned a total of $5,009. READ MORE »

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Boater Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hamilton. For his victory, Houchin earned $13,460, which includes the lucrative FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency payout. READ MORE »

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Boater Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla.,brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Gator Division Super-Tournament at Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Honnerlaw earned $6,817. READ MORE »

Amerson Wins First BFL

Amerson Wins First BFL

Boater Keith Amerson of Bethel Springs, Tenn.,, brought a two-day total of six bass to the scale weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine LBL Division Super-Tournament at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. For his victory, Amerson earned $5,376. READ MORE »

Morgan Wins No. 3

Morgan Wins No. 3

Boater Brian Morgan of Mooresville, N.C., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine North Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Lake Norman. Morgan earned a total of $5,831 for his victory – his third win of the year in the North Carolina Division. READ MORE »

Smith Scores Close to Home

Smith Scores Close to Home

Boater Michael M. Smith of Andalusia, Ala., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bama Division Super-Tournament at Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Smith earned $6,329. READ MORE »

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

The dock talk all week at the Potomac River for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again today as the wind help stall the tide making things tough for most of the top 10. James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from second to first with 40 pounds, 11 ounces overall. For the win, Maupin earns his first FLW trophy and over $24,000.  READ MORE »

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

The leaderboard definitely saw some shuffling on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, but Wayne Vaughan managed to keep the top spot thanks to another solid day. Weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces today, Vaughan’s total now stands at 31-10 and gives him a nearly 5-pound lead over second place. If he can put it together for one more day, Vaughan will take home his second Toyota Series title in just as many years. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Saturday’s final round will feature drastically different weather with sunshine in the forecast and with it being a weekend there will be plenty of people out enjoying the resource. READ MORE »

Vaughan Out Front on the Potomac

Vaughan Out Front on the Potomac

Taking the lead after day one with 17 pounds, Wayne Vaughan separated himself from the rest of the tightly-packed top 10 thanks in large part to his 6-5 kicker. Vaughan’s past experience on the river is playing a role this week, but a bite like that helps the cause almost anywhere in the country. READ MORE »