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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Kapiton Grabs Lead in Rayovac FLW Series Championship

Kapiton Grabs Lead in Rayovac FLW Series Championship
George Kapiton takes the day one lead with 18-2 at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake.

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake shook out about as expected. Numbers of fish weren’t the issue. A contestant’s greater challenge was finding a kicker bite to separate him from all the 10-, 11- and 12-pound limits that were bound to cross the weigh-in stage here at Joe Wheeler State Park. Florida pro George Kapiton did just that thanks to a 6-pound toad that pushed him out front with a limit weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces.

Though Kapiton is at home in shallow, grassy waters, he proved he is no one-trick pony by expanding his shallow-water prowess to this Tennessee River impoundment.

“I really didn’t find anything the first few days of practice,” said Kapiton, who also fishes the Walmart FLW Tour. “On the third day of practice I finally stumbled into some fish. I didn’t really know how good it could be, but I definitely learned some more about it today.”

Kapiton is making a run of about 40 miles run to his primary area. His main concern is how long it will take him to get there at the start of Friday’s second round, taking into account the high winds that are forecast for Halloween. What is normally a 45-minute run could take nearly twice as long in rough water.

“The weather is going to make it interesting to run back up there,” Kapiton added. “I really do really believe that I could smash them back up there tomorrow [Friday]. I feel like the weather change will help the bite.”

Even if he has to take nearly two hours out of his day to run to his spot, Kapiton will benefit from having a longer day than he had Thursday because of his later check-in time.

“I only caught four fish from my spot today, and my co-angler caught five,” continued Kaption. “I think there are more fish in that area than what I first thought, but I don’t want to push it because that is about the only spot I have.”

Toward the end of the day Kapiton decided to make the run back down near the takeoff site. With nine minutes to go in his day he boxed his 6-pounder, which carried him from a respectable 12-pound limit up to his tournament-leading weight.

Reluctant to give up any inside information about his fishing area or baits that he used, Kaption did say that he wasn’t alone on day one. He stated that there were at least half a dozen boats sharing his water, though none of them were dialed into what he was doing.

“I do have one other place all to myself, and I know that because I had to bust some limbs to get back in it. But I really plan to go back up to where I’ve been catching them and put one bait in my hand and see what I can do.”

2nd place – Randy Haynes – 17 pounds, 10 ounces

There is no question that Randy Haynes will be one to beat at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake. The TVA master weighed 17-10 on day one and is 8 ounces off the lead.If ever there were a man who could pull a hefty limit off of Wheeler Lake ledges in the fall, it’s Randy Haynes. The Tennessee pro did what he does best to the tune of a 17-pound, 10-ounce limit that nudged him to  just 7 ounces behind Kapiton.

This was no normal summertime TVA ledge fishing outing for Haynes, however. Where he normally catches 80 to 100 fish a day in June and July, the ledge master boated only eight keepers in the opening round.

“The fish were few and far between,” said Haynes. “You’d catch one here and catch one there but it wasn’t like it should be. It wasn’t even like they bit because they were hungry, it was more of a reaction bite, I think.”

While Kapiton believes that the front rolling through Friday will help the bite, Haynes holds the opposite view.

“It was tough to get bit out there today and that front is going to be bad for me,” Haynes said after weighing his five fish Thursday. “Offshore fishing and fronts are a bad combination.

“I do have another pattern that I couldn’t get going this morning that I will try again tomorrow. But other than that I’m just going fishing. There is no rhyme or reason to what I’m doing. I just fish what looks good on the graph or I like the feel of on the bottom.”

Haynes weighed in three hefty smallmouths and was surprised he didn’t have more. He said Wheeler’s smallmouth bite is usually dependable in the fall and he expects the 68,000-acre lake to live up to expectations on day two.

3rd place – Koby Kreiger – 17 pounds, 6 ounces

Mr. Rayovac, Koby Kreiger, weighed 17-6 on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake. He is hoping to win his third Championship event this year.It’s no surprise to find Koby Kreiger in the mix at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship, especially considering that he owns two titles already.

Kreiger got the nickname “Mr. EverStart” (the previous presenting sponsor of the Rayovac FLW Series) after claiming several FLW Series titles and two FLW Series Championships. He now looks poised to make a run at a hat-trick of FLW Series crowns.

One of the reasons Kreiger has been able to win multiple championships is due to what might be regarded as his instinctive ability to catch fish in the fall.

“There’s just something about this time of year that I get,” said Kreiger. “When fish start relating to bait in the fall I understand what they do and where they go. I can just catch them.”

Another reason Kreiger is so good in autumn is because of his ability to fish the moment – or junk fish, as he refers to it.

“I caught fish all day long,” Kreiger recalled. “I’m just junk fishing. If you throw only one bait, you aren’t going to catch them. Whatever bank I pull up to I throw what feels right. I started out fishing the main lake, then ran all the way up almost to the dam and turned around and came back down to the other dam. That’s basically my plan.”

4th place – Todd Auten – 15 pounds

Todd Auten of Lake Wylie S.C., shows off part of his 15 pound sack caught on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake. He currently shits in fourth place. This is his second championship appearance. Todd Auten is another shallow-water specialist who seems to be in tune with Wheeler’s bass. He brought a 15-pound limit to the scales Thursday.

The South Carolina pro is targeting not only fish close to the bank, but also those suspended off the break – with the same lure in either scenario.

“I noticed that there were fish suspended out over 20 feet of water and I’m trying to throw shallow-running lures to catch them,” said Auten. “I caught fish from just inches of water all the way out to 20 feet today.

“Nearly every one of my bites has come when the bait hits the surface or gets halfway back to the boat. The biggest thing is trying to stay with the baitfish.”

Auten notes that some of the places he fished Thursday got more than one visit, but he did run some new water as well.

“I have a lot of places to fish. I ran back through some of the areas I caught fish from earlier in the day once the sun came out, but I didn’t really catch much. You just have to weed through a lot of small fish to get those quality ones.”

Despite finding numbers, Auten lacked a strong kicker bite. He hopes that will change on day two.

“I did catch some fish off of some areas where I didn’t get bit during practice. So that tells me that maybe this front is pushing some fish up where I want them.

“It’s really just junk fishing 101. I have 10 rods on the deck and I have caught fish on every one of them.”

5th place – Casey Gallagher – 14 pounds, 14 ounces

Representing the Central Division, Casey Gallagher of Pulaski, Wis., rounds out the top five with a 14-pound, 14-ounce limit.

Like much of the field on Wheeler Lake, Gallagher got off to a slow start before boxing a decent keeper. Gallagher then underwent a three-hour dry spell. Around noon, however he got on a flurry of action and boated his limit in a matter of minutes.

“I’m not fishing schooling fish, but they are definitely grouped up when you find them,” confessed Gallagher. “The spot I caught them in was something I found in practice. I saved it for tomorrow – once I had my limit. I also have a bunch of new places to run that I didn’t even touch.”

With a cold front accompanied by strong winds set to push into the region, fishing could be tough for the competitors fishing the main points and structure on Wheeler. Gallagher remains confident that his area should be protected from the wind enough that it won’t bother him.

“I had hoped for 12 pounds today so I’m happy to have reached above that. Hopefully I can repeat on Friday.”

Rest of the best

6th place – Joe Holland – 14-08

7th place – Scott Canterbury – 14-03

8th place – Adrian Avena – 14-0

9th place – Mark Tucker – 13-15

10th place – Mike Brueggen – 13-07

Gillespie nets co-angler lead

Co-angler Carl Gillespie only weighed four bass on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series on Wheeler Lake, but it was enough to take the lead tipping the scale at 10-13.Just weeks after capturing the co-angler title at the Rayovac FLW Series event on the Misssissppi River, Carl Gillespie keeps the momentum rolling to take the lead in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. Though he only had four bass, they were the right ones. His weight for the day was 10 pounds, 13 ounces which puts him 12 ounces ahead of his nearest competition.

“It was an extremely slow day,” said Gillespie. “I think I only had one fish around 1 o’clock. For the final few hours I pitched a Hoppy’s Brush Bug jig around docks and caught my other keepers. I did break one off that I hope doesn’t come back to haunt me.”

Richard Predmore of Bainbridge, Ga., caught a limit weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce sit in second place heading into day two’s competition.

Dante Ray of Sparks, Nev., locks down third place with a 10-pound, 1-ounce limit.

Sunny Hawk of Salt Lake City, Utah, caught five fish weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces to settle in fourth after day one.

Rounding out the top five for the co-anglers is Mitch Reynolds of Petal, Miss., who caught five bass weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rest of the best

6th place – Randy Goiver – 9-01

7th place – Casey Smith – 8-14

8th place – Gabriel Scott – 8-13

9th place – Brett Rachal – 8-10

10th place – Corey Bechtel – 8-07

For complete results, click here.

Stay tuned to FLWOutdoors.com for photos and live updates from the water throughout the competition.

Anglers will take off from Joe Wheeler State Park located at 4601 McLean Drive in Rogersville, Alabama, at 7:30 a.m. each day. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be held at the launch site, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2701 Cloverdale Road in Florence, Alabama, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. 

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2014-10-30-championship-wheeler-lake 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. 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 »

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 »

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 »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »