UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Brauer Sets the Pace

Brauer Sets the Pace
Del Rio, Texas, pro Denny Brauer jumped into the lead early on Lake Amistad with a 17-pound, 9-ounce limit that included this 9-7 hawg.

Denny Brauer used to spend his winters on Lake Amistad, but he and his wife loved the area so much that they sold the farm in Missouri and permanently relocated to Del Rio a few seasons ago. Now a local, Brauer says he’s spent enough time on Amistad to know that the bite can change overnight, and an angler can go from zero to hero in a hurry.

No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but today Brauer definitely played the role of hero on his adopted home fishery by hauling in a 17-pound, 9-ounce limit on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Amistad presented by Frabill. He jumped into the early lead largely thanks to a 9-pound, 7-ounce gorilla that took the day-one Big Bass honors.

Brauer’s competition might have dodged an early bullet. He lost another giant late in the day that, considering the lack of big bass that came across the stage today, could have opened up a gap between him and the field as wide as the canyon that spans the width of this Rio Grande impoundment. Instead, he’ll go into day two 1-7 ahead of local guide Ray Hanselman, who caught two limits worth of keepers today.

The recent plight of Lake Amistad has been well documented in FLW’s pre-tournament coverage. Many anglers have been struggling to piece together five bites. Today, the challenge was even more daunting due to rain, cold and a crisp north wind that built over the course of the day to the point that anglers were burning up their trolling motor batteries just trying to stay on their offshore spots. The water temperature dropped a few degrees, and many pros came to weigh-in soaked to the skin.

“It was a struggle,” Brauer admits, “but hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow. I lost a great big one, so that was a disappointment right at the end of the day. I just didn’t get a lot of bites. I was lucky I got the big one that I did.”

Denny Brauer

Brauer’s 9-7 hawg was his first fish of the day. He caught it within the first hour of competition, but it took until 10 minutes before 4 p.m. to fill his limit.

His strategy was to hole-hop through a series of about 30 places where he located fish in practice. Not all the fish he found were actively feeding. Timing was a factor in getting bites.

“If you pull up at the right time when the fish are ready, they’ll bite,” Brauer says. “Other times, they’ll bump it but just won’t get it. They’re moving up at times to feed.”

A little variety in both location and techniques also helped the Strike King pro to track down willing fish.

“I’m doing a little of both [finesse and power fishing],” he says. “I’m throwing some big baits, and also doing some drop-shotting. The spot dictates the technique, mostly based on the depth. I was fishing from 15 feet to 70 feet deep. I ran one shallow spot at the end of the day where I’d seen a good fish in practice, mostly because I was getting desperate, but I didn’t find her.”

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies, with a high of 69 degrees and winds swinging around from the southeast at 5 to 10 mph. No one’s really sure how the conditions will affect the bite. But for Brauer, the changeup is very welcomed.

“Physically, I’ve had five back operations, so when I’m out there on that ocean rocking around it gets that scar tissue all fired up,” he says. “I hope the weather is nicer. It’ll help me, I know.”

 

Ray Hanselman2nd – Ray Hanselman – 15 pounds, 10 ounces

Veteran Lake Amistad Guide Ray Hanselman relied on a similar strategy as Brauer. He burned 40 gallons of gas while running a milk run of about 15 spots that he knows will reliably hold fish even in tough conditions and slow years. If a spot failed to produce a keeper within five or 10 minutes, Hanselman packed up and moved out.

Compared to a lot of his competition, Hanselman enjoyed a productive day.

“I thought it was pretty good,” he says. “I probably caught two limits. I’ve been living here so long that when it’s tough, it actually helps me because I have so many spots that I know I can run and catch one here and one there.”

Hanselman fished from 4 feet deep to 60 feet deep. He dealt with spooky fish that fled at the sight of an overhead boat and withstood waves crashing over the bow on his starting spot this morning.

In addition to handling those challenges, Hanselman is literally prepared for pretty much anything. He’s using 20 rods rigged with everything from spoons and drop-shots to an umbrella rig, which produced his best fish. Each time he pulls into a different type of area, he pulls a new “layer” of rods out of his rod locker and puts the original layer back in.

“I did a lot of looking deep and fished a half-dozen schools on ledges. I’ve got a couple spots in the grass and a couple of schools in hardwoods in true prespawn creek channels,” Hanselman adds. “Unless the fish dictate me staying in a spot, I’m going wherever I think I can get a bite. That’s not the best way to fish, but if you know you can catch one, you have to go catch one.”

 

Kevin Gressett 3rd – Kevin Gressett – 14 pounds, 7 ounces

Of the pros in the top 10, Kevin Gressett might be the most dialed in on a specific pattern.

“All I’m doing is working the edge of grass lines in the middle of the lake from 17 to 25 feet,” he says. “I’m sticking to the outside edge because it seems like every time I cast up where it’s thicker I can’t get bit. And it helps if it’s sparse grass. I’m pretty much relying on one bait. I only have two rods on the deck.”

Gressett landed six keepers today and might have managed a few more if not for the force of the wind and waves building up over the lake.

“We couldn’t stay out there very long past 12:15,” he says. “We were taking water over the front of the boat. I’m ready for tomorrow. I’m hoping for about a 7 mph wind and sunny skies.”

 

Brian Ankrum4th (tie) – Brian Ankrum – 14 pounds, 6 ounces

Brian Ankrum’s first day on Amistad mirrored the ups and downs that this lake has experienced recently.

“I caught five, but it wasn’t for proper execution,” says Ankrum, who weighed in a 5-pound, 11-ounce kicker. “That big one was the first of the day. Then I went through a stretch where I lost three out of four fish. I was pretty down in the dumps, but then it happened all of a sudden. I think I caught four on four consecutive casts to fill my limit and cull a small fish.”

The key to Ankrum’s success was a productive practice period.

“I ran around a lot in practice,” he says. “Using my Lowrance electronics I was able to find some areas that held fish. There are not a lot of reliable spots. They’re really isolated. After I found them I left them alone in practice and came back today and they were there.

“I’ve been getting bites all week [in practice],” he adds. “If they cooperate like I think they will it could be good tomorrow. But I think I could just as easily zero as catch a limit.”

 

Trevor Rogge4th (tie) – Trevor Rogge – 14 pounds, 6 ounces

One of the first anglers to walk across the FLW stage on day one enjoyed his spot in the lead for a good chunk of the weigh-in. Trevor Rogge thinks that, while today lacked in creature comforts for the anglers, the conditions actually helped his bite.

“With the sunshine [in practice], I was starting to get worried, but I think this wind helps,” he says. “Though I don’t know if it’s so much the wind, considering that my trolling motor batteries died, but the overcast conditions did position the fish.”

Rogge says he’s fishing deep – deeper than most anglers – and he knew where to find a lot of fish today.

“Will they be there tomorrow? I don’t know,” admits Rogge, who landed seven keepers all day. “I kind of took my foot off the gas after I culled. Then I went big-fish hunting with a jig.”

 

Tomorrow’s Forecast

  • high of 69 degrees
  • 0 percent chance of precipitation
  • high, sunny skies
  • winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph

 

Top 10 Pros

1st – Denny Brauer – 17 pounds, 1 ounce

2nd – Ray Hanselman – 15 pounds, 10 ounces

3rd – Kevin Gressett – 14 pounds, 7 ounces

4th (tie) – Brian Ankrum – 14 pounds, 6 ounces

4th (tie) – Trevor Rogge – 14 pounds, 6 ounces

6th – Alton Wilhoit – 14 pounds, 3 ounces

7th – Albert Collins – 14 pounds

8th – James Stricklin Jr. – 13 pounds, 14 ounces

9th – Charles Dubroc – 13 pounds, 5 ounces

10th (tie) – Brendan Kennell – 12 pounds, 7 ounces

10th (tie) – Jeff Sprague – 12 pounds, 7 ounces

 

Ricardo CarrilloCarrillo Holds Slim Co-angler Lead

Only 4 ounces separate Ricardo Carrillo, who currently leads the co-angler division, from Chase Hux in second place. The anglers are dueling it out for a spot in Saturday’s top 10 and a chance at a brand-new Ranger Boat.

Carrillo’s action today came in two spurts, early and late.

“I caught the first two in the first hour, and then it slowed down,” he says. “It picked up in the last hour. I caught my last keeper in the final 20 minutes.”

The Laredo, Texas, angler knew exactly how he was going to fish today and stuck to his strategy through a wet, dreary round of competition.

“I knew it was going to be rough,” Carrillo says. “I came in with the mentality of trying to just get a limit and to fish small. All of these fish came on a drop-shot.”

Carrillo and Cox both weighed five-bass limits and were joined only by fourth-place co-angler Anthony Ferdinando in that regard.

 

Top 10 Co-anglers

1st – Ricardo Carrillo – 11 pounds, 15 ounces

2nd – Chase Hux – 11 pounds, 11 ounces

3rd – Denny Wilkins – 10 pounds, 10 ounces

4th – Anthony Ferdinando – 9 pounds, 8 ounces

5th – Jimmy Ballard – 9 pounds, 7 ounces

6th – Jason Chance – 9 pounds, 5 ounces

7th – Tommy Conner – 8 pounds, 11 ounces

8th – Ryan Lejeune – 8 pounds, 9 ounces

9th – Justin Hallmark – 8 pounds, 3 ounces

10th – Nathan Harbison – 7 pounds, 3 ounces

 

Complete Results

Click here for complete results.

 

Details

Format:

All 250 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

 

Takeoff Time: 7:30 a.m. CT

 

 

Takeoff Location:

Diablo East Boat Ramp

Highway 90 West HCR 3

Del Rio, Texas

 

Weigh-in Time:

Days 1 and 2: 3:30 p.m.

Day 3: 4 p.m.

 

Weigh-in Location:

Days 1 and 2:

Diablo East Boat Ramp

Highway 90 West HCR 3

Del Rio, Texas

 

Day 3:

Del Rio Walmart

2410 Dodson Ave.

Del Rio, Texas

 

More Information

For complete details and updated information visit the Rayovac FLW Series tournament page. 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: curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2015-02-12-lake-amistad 

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on the James River after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Elrod took home $3,637. READ MORE »

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair presented by Navionics Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win. READ MORE »

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Representing Lew’s, the team of John Carman, Peter Thliveros and Matthew Mattingly won the 2019 ICAST Cup at Lake Toho this morning with a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces. It’s the first time in the ICAST kickoff event’s five-year history that a team has won two titles, and they come back-to-back – though this time it was an outright win.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. READ MORE »

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Andy Kilgore of Kingston, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Neely Henry. Kilgore pocketed $4,426 for his win in the event and earned 250 points in the Bama Division Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. The winner of the division’s AOY title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Experience Carries Siggers

Experience Carries Siggers

Dennis Siggers of Danville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Siggers earned $2,585 for his victory. READ MORE »

Melton Wins on Rough River

Melton Wins on Rough River

John Melton of Corydon, Indiana, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Melton netted $4,838 for his win. READ MORE »

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory. READ MORE »

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the rescheduled T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake presented by Navionics Sunday after catching four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Campbell earned $5,703 for his win. READ MORE »

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Michael Harlin of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Harlin pocketed $4,463 for his win in the event 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 »

Lake Champlain Day 4 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 4 Coverage

Yesterday saw the crowning of the FLW Tour 2019 Angler of the Year (David Dudley) and Polaris Rookie of the Year (Ron Nelson). Today, there's nothing left to do but crown a champion for the Tour's last stop of the season. READ MORE »

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Running south to Ticonderoga each day, Casey Scanlon weighed 19 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain. With a total of 76-2, Scanlon earned the win in the final event of the season and pocketed $102,700 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Oklahoma pro Kyle Cortiana was involved in an accident near Indianapolis on his way home from the FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain on Saturday. He has since been released from of a local hospital and is now in a hotel room recovering and waiting for a ride home to the Sooner State.  READ MORE »

Nelson Wins ROY

Nelson Wins ROY

Ron Nelson blanked on the first day of his first FLW Tour event. Then he got things on track – so on track that he finished the season ninth overall in the standings and above every other rookie to earn the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award. Winning ROY is typically a career-setting accomplishment, and to go with the hardware Nelson will also receive a Polaris Sportsman® 570 ATV. READ MORE »

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Taking to the second to last day of the 2019 FLW Tour season, David Dudley finally did it again, triumphing over John Cox to win a historic fourth FLW Tour Angler of the Year title. Winning his first AOY in 2008, and then going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, Dudley is now the only pro with four titles to their credit, surpassing both Clark Wendlandt and Andy Morgan. READ MORE »

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

After three days of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain, all but one of the top five pros are turning south from Plattsburgh to chase largemouths at Ticonderoga. In the lead, Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., bagged up another 18 pounds, 5 ounces to boost his total to 58-6. In second and just 1-14 behind, Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark., Mo., weighed 18-13 on day three for a 56-8 total. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

We're down to 30 anglers in the FLW Tour's last stop of the 2019 season. The Angler of the Year and Polaris Rookie of the Year races are still up for grabs, and second-year pro Tyler Stewart is haflway to his first win on Tour. There will be storylines apletny today. READ MORE »

A Three-Angler Race for AOY

A Three-Angler Race for AOY

By making the top-30 cut, John Cox, David Dudley and Joseph Webster are all still in the 2019 FLW Tour Angler of the Year race. Scott Martin, who also made the cut and started the week in fourth place in the standings, cannot mathematically earn enough points to win AOY. READ MORE »