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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hometown Hanselman

Hometown Hanselman
Ray Hanselman

He told the weigh-in crowd that he was tired of being a bridesmaid. He’d had enough of finishing runner-up. He was ready for his time in the limelight and wanted it to happen on this stage, in Del Rio, Texas, in front of family and friends in the town where he grew up.

Finally, it happened. At the day-three weigh-in for the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division Lake Amistad event presented by Frabill, Ray Hanselman was crowned a champion.

All that an emotional Hanselman could get out as he tried to hide his sobs was a one-line thank you when Tournament Director Ron Lappin handed him his trophy: “I want to thank everybody who’s out here today.”

With that, Hanselman pulled his hat down over his eyes and the hometown crowd exploded with applause.

Hanselman took the lead in this derby on the second day with the tournament’s second-biggest stringer – 19 pounds, 6 ounces – by running almost 65 miles up the Rio Grande to a couple of warm-water springs in the back of a spawning pocket. Getting there was a gamble – Hanselman burned more than 40 gallons of gas a day and gave up crucial hours of fishing – but one that he was willing to make again today, and it paid off with a final stringer of 15-4.

Hanselman was easily the most consistent pro in the field this week due to his vast local knowledge of Lake Amistad and his willingness to go where he knew the big ones lived.

His three-day total of 50 pounds, 14 ounces bested second-place finisher Brian Ankrum by 5 1/2 pounds. Hanselman earned $33,300 for his victory.

“I caught two big ones in that spot yesterday and one today,” Hanselman says about the springs. “There weren’t many [kicker bass]. I didn’t know if it was worth the run.”

Located in the back of a canyon, the springs warmed the water in this area up into the low to mid-60s, while most other parts of the lake hadn’t hit 60 degrees. To get there, Hanselman had to “jump rapids” and snake through some narrow waters.

The springs are just visible due to a slight surface disturbance where they bubble up from the rocks. Hanselman cast a Top Shelf swimbait to big boulders and trees in 2 to 10 feet of water near the springs.

While the spot far up the Rio Grande was Hanselman’s big-fish hole, he actually caught more keepers fishing farther down the lake in a series of grass-lined ditches and drains where bass were staging alongside spawning flats.

Hanselman caught more keepers on a Wahoo Lures Wing Ding Tail Spinner than any other in his boat – and he used almost 20 rods this week. The Wing Ding has a compact minnow-shaped body with a tail-mounted Colorado blade and a single treble hook. Hanselman cast it out and hopped it back to the boat, ripping it out of the grass any time it snagged.

“It’s great when it’s cold,” he says. “It’s a small bait and a dang good reaction bait. We don’t get to throw it much when the lake’s at normal pool because there’s too much brush in the water. But at low pool it gets those ‘dead fish’ fired up, and then I can throw a crankbait out there and catch them.”

Hanselman’s best crankbait was a Bill Norman DD22 in a color that he says resembles a baby carp. Other productive baits were a drop-shot and umbrella rig.

Today, his bite slowed on the drains, but Hanselman stuck it out and caught a late-day 3-pounder that sealed up the win.

“I could see them in the grass [on my depth finder],” Hanselman adds. “They weren’t eating. The water is still ‘cold to the core.’ The unit was showing 58 degrees on the surface, but I think the water at the bottom is still too cold.”

Cold or not, Hanselman finally has his big win – his first with FLW.

This tournament really fit the old tournament angler’s cliché: It was a grind. Hanselman landed only seven keepers each of the last two days. Yet, as most pros predicted, winning this tournament wasn’t about catching numbers of bass. It was all about catching the right ones. And no one did it better than Hanselman.

Click here for video of Hanselman explaining some aspects of his tournament

 

Brian Ankrum

2nd – Brian Ankrum – 45 pounds, 6 ounces

All week long it seemed like Natalia, Texas, pro Brian Ankrum was heating up. He caught 14 pounds, 6 ounces on day one, then brought in 19-6 on day two to establish the tournament’s heaviest limit.

Both of those days, Ankrum had just one keeper by 10 o’clock but was able to fill out his limit within the next two hours.

Today, it was the same story: One keeper at 10. That keeper was an acrobatic hawg that made for some epic on-the-water photography and hinted at a come-from-behind victory.

Alas, his midday fish just never showed up. Ankrum blasted one more giant, even bigger than the first, but couldn’t catch another keeper. His two-bass total today was 11 pounds, 3 ounces, and he came up 5 1/2 pounds shy of Hanselman’s mark.

“I lost one with about a minute left today fishing right across from the launch,” Ankrum says. “Along with those two big ones, that’s really about the only bites I got.”

Ankrum caught all his fish from four spots, with just a couple of them giving up all of his kickers. He targeted steep rock drop-offs in 18 to 36 feet near the main lake where bass were sliding up from the depths to stage before heading for spawning grounds.

His very best spot was located where a ditch mouth intersected a larger creek channel, with a sheer drop on one side and a more gradual 45-degree slope on the other.

All of his fish came on a drop-shot rig comprised of a 3/8-ounce weight, a No. 2 Gamakatsu drop-shot hook, a nose-hooked Zoom Finesse Worm, an 8-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon leader and 20-pound-test PowerPro Super Slick 8 braided main line. Ankrum fished his rig on an iRod “power finesse” spinning rod.

 

Denny Brauer

3rd – Denny Brauer – 43 pounds

Day-one leader Denny Brauer, the Missourian who moved to Del Rio a few years ago, unfortunately trended the wrong way this week. His weights slipped from 17 pounds, 1 ounce on day one to 14-12 yesterday and 11-3 today. He was never able to reconnect with the big fish that boosted his limit on the first day.

All week Brauer targeted main-lake breaks located “next to the ocean” where prespawn bass were just starting to move up. He tossed a 3/4-ounce Strike King Denny Brauer Structure Jig with a Rage Chunk trailer and a Carolina-rigged Strike King lizard.

“My deepest fish came from a little more than 30 feet,” Brauer says. “It seemed like a lot of the good ones were around that depth. My spots were steep – practically cliffs.

“I think the bite just got a little funky,” he adds. “There are a ton of them out there. They’ve just not moved up. Today they backed off and suspended. It’s scary what’s out there. If they ever move up, it’s going to open a lot of eyes. All these fish are really healthy.”

 

Brendan Kennell

4th – Brendan Kennell – 39 pounds, 12 ounces

Young Del Rio pro Brendan Kennell quietly advanced to the top five this week with limits weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces, 12-9 and 14-12.

“The key for me was covering water,” Kennell says. “I was fishing main-lake stuff, from 38 to 45 feet next to 100 feet.

“I know a lot of guys went shallow, but I love to live in that ‘ocean,’” he says. “You never know what’s going to happen [when you’re offshore]. Any bite could be a giant.”

Kennell threw a “pretty standard” umbrella rig and a drop-shot Aaron’s magic Roboworm.

His best spots were intersections between the main river channel and creek mouths. They were the first spots where deep bass set up after leaving their winter haunts. Most of his fish were suspended up 20 or 30 feet in about 50 feet of water.

 

Russell Cecil

5th – Russell Cecil – 38 pounds, 4 ounces

After a slow start on day one where he brought in only 9 pounds, 1 ounce, Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, dialed in and fished his way to a top-five finish with daily limits of 16-6 and 12-13.

Cecil says he had to fish deeper than he prefers this week and compensated by relying on slow-moving bottom baits: a Big Bite Baits 8-inch finesse worm on a 1/2-ounce Buckeye Lures Magnum Spot Remover jighead, a Big Bite Baits creature bait on a Carolina rig and a Big Bite Baits Jerk Minnow on a Carolina rig.

“My fish were on points,” Cecil says. “I caught them as deep as I have ever caught them here. Some were 70 feet deep. They were definitely staging fish getting ready to spawn.”

Cecil had to back off because most of the 15- to 20-foot-deep cover that he would normally fish during Amistad’s prespawn season is high and dry due to the low water level. He instead targeted rock with a mix of grass (he wasn’t sure of the type) and deep hydrilla. Cecil gradually whittled down his 30 or so spots to just seven that he fished today.

 

Top 10 Pros

1st – Ray Hanselman – 50 pounds, 14 ounces

2nd – Brian Ankrum – 45 pounds, 6 ounces

3rd – Denny Brauer – 43 pounds

4th – Brendan Kennell – 39 pounds, 12 ounces

5th – Russell Cecil – 38 pounds, 4 ounces

6th – Wade Hudgens – 37 pounds, 5 ounces

7th – Stephen Johnston – 36 pounds, 7 ounces

8th – Joe Don Setina – 30 pounds, 6 ounces

9th – Gene J. Eisenmann – 27 pounds, 4 ounces

10th – Albert Collins – 24 pounds, 15 ounces

 

Complete Results

Click here for the full results.

Tags: curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2015-02-12-lake-amistad 

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 »

2019 BFL All-American Roster

2019 BFL All-American Roster

The 98 best boaters and co-anglers from FLW’s grassroots ranks will compete on the Potomac River May 30-June 1 in the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American presented by General Tire. 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 »