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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 3 Patterns – Lake Cherokee Regional

Top 3 Patterns – Lake Cherokee Regional
Map of Lake Cherokee.

1st Place – Tim Smiley – 34 Pounds, 7 Ounces

Tim Smiley of White Pine, Tenn., won the Oct. 9-11 Walmart BFL Regional on Lake Cherokee with a three-day total weight of 34 pounds, 7 ounces. For his efforts, Smiley was awarded a Ranger Boat with a 200 horsepower engine and Chevy 1500 Silverado.

Consistency is great, but with the fall transition scattering fish all over Lake Cherokee at the Oct. 9-11 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional, Tim Smiley took a mix-it-up approach and sacked up a winning total of 34 pounds, 7 ounces. Topping competitors from the LBL, Mountain, North Carolina and Savannah River divisions, the boater from White Pine, Tenn., earned a Ranger boat with a 200-hp outboard and a Chevy 1500 Silverado.

“For the most part, the deep pattern was the one I relied on, but I did mix it up,” Smiley says. “I started the first day shallow, went deep and then later on came back shallow. The second day I started deep and then went shallow. On the third day I started deep on another part of the lake and then went shallow. Then, I changed ends of the lake and went shallow again.”

Smiley says his deep game was most productive, with eight of his 15 fish coming off a series of three humps in 25 feet. Offshore, he caught fish by mixing up his presentations with a 3/4-ounce football-head jig with a green pumpkin twin-tail trailer, a 5/16-ounce football-style shaky head with a green pumpkin finesse worm, a Strike King 6XD crankbait and a Rapala DT-16 crankbait.

Up shallow, Smiley flipped a homemade 9/16-ounce green pumpkin jig with a green pumpkin chunk trailer around cover in the Holston River. On the main lake and in backwater cuts, he threw a bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook. The latter proved most productive, especially under overcast skies on days two and three.

 

2nd Place – David Williams – 33 Pounds, 9 Ounces

David Williams of Maiden, N.C., relied on a “nothing” strategy. That is, he targeted “nothing banks” with very little obvious cover that many other anglers overlooked, and his strategy paid off with a second-place total of 33 pounds, 9 ounces.

“Everyone was fishing the pretty banks and bluff walls,” Williams says, “but I tried to get away from what everyone else was doing.”

Working the mid-lake region, Williams says that banks with overlooked rocks or stumps were most productive. Most of his fish came shallow in a foot or 2 of water, but he also spent some time offshore in as deep as 25 feet of water.

“There was a big variation; the fish were scattered everywhere,” Williams says. “The first day, the sun brought them up shallow, but on the next two days, the clouds and the rain scattered them.

“Some were out suspended, but it was trial and error,” he continues. “I’d start shallow every day, and if I didn’t get bit, I’d move out deeper.”

On the bank, Williams used a 1/2-ounce shad-colored spinnerbait with a split-tail trailer and a 2/0 trailer hook. He fished this bait from the surface down to 15 feet, depending on the position of bait schools in his areas.

Williams also caught shallow and deep fish on a 3/8-ounce white buzzbait and a 1/2-ounce Shooter jig with a green pumpkin Zoom Chunk trailer.

 

3rd Place – Todd Walters – 32 Pounds, 13 Ounces

After practicing from one end to the other on Lake Cherokee, Todd Walters determined that his best opportunities were waiting up the Holston River. There, he committed three days to the riverbanks to net a third-place finish with 32 pounds, 13 ounces.

Past experience told Walters, of Kernersville, N.C., that the main-lake bite would be inconsistent, so focusing on remaining shoreline cover in the river’s more narrow confines proved an effective strategy. He fished anywhere from 2 to 12 feet deep, staying about a boat’s length off the bank.

“The fish were positioning on whatever wood was still left in the water, but it had to have rock around it,” Walters says. “I think they had such limited cover that they were keying on those rocks.

“If you could find rock and wood on a 45-degree bank, you were almost guaranteed to catch fish,” he adds. “I’d fish some spots two to three times a day, and I caught fish on them multiple times.”

Noting that the action spiked when the current was flowing, Walters says he caught all of his fish on a homemade flipping jig with a killer craw Living Image skirt and a green pumpkin Zoom Super Chunk trailer. He used a 7/16- to 9/16-ounce head, depending on current strength.

Essential to his success, Walters says, was using 17-pound-test Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon to resist rocky abrasion.

Tags: david-a-brown  post-tournament  2014-10-09-lake-cherokee 

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 »

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 »

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 »