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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

5 Pros to Watch at Lewis Smith

5 Pros to Watch at Lewis Smith
Dawn is breaking and pro Jacob Wheeler gets ready for takeoff on day one of the FLW Tour on Lake Toho.

The second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour season rolls to Lewis Smith Lake – or “Smith” as most refer to it – which is located in northern Alabama. It offers a stark contrast to the first event held on Toho, as the fishery is a clear, deep impoundment with little grass to speak of.

Traditionally spotted bass have dominated this tournament due to their abundance and better average size. That will likely be the case again this week, however, largemouths may surprise some people since water temperatures are prime for them to swarm the bank.

Smith Lake is often overshadowed by its neighboring lakes of Guntersville and Wheeler but has pumped out several world-class spotted bass over the years. In fact, back in the 1970s and 1980s several world record spots were produced in Smith, and the current 8-pound, 15-ounce Alabama state record was caught from here.

Water temperatures are rising into the 60-degree range, and bass of both species are pushing shallow. Largemouths will flock to the bank quicker than the spots, which means many anglers will be targeting deep docks, main-lake points and rocky bluffs where spots are staging just behind the largemouths. The middle portion of the lake will receive most of the attention by anglers pursuing spotted bass this week. On the flip side, the shallow wood cover found in the east branch of the lake, and the Sipsey River will be a major player for largemouths. Cooler weather up in the week could hinder the shallow largemouth bite, but if someone can dial them in it could be the ticket to carry him throughout the week. Also, if the fish start to set up on beds then some solid weights could be brought to the scale.

If you haven’t finalized your FLW Fantasy Fishing team then head over to FantasyFishing.com and make your picks.

 

1. JT Kenney – The hot hand right now goes to Kenney, who started his season out with a well-deserved victory on Toho. Smith might not be the ideal lake for Kenney, but he is actually one of the most versatile anglers on Tour. It wouldn’t be surprising for him to catch all spotted bass one day and bring in a limit of largemouths the next. Whether it’s flipping bushes, sight-fishing or using a drop-shot, Kenney can do it all. He has a tendency to get on a roll and ride that momentum throughout the season, so it’s a solid bet that he won’t stumble here.

Fantasy Verdict:  For just $29 there is no reason to not have Kenney on your team, especially if you are looking for someone who can adapt to changing conditions.

 

Dave Lefebre headshot

2. Dave Lefebre – After a tough season last year, Lefebre has a new mindset and is ready to make it back to the Forrest Wood Cup. This tournament is a prime place for him to gain some valuable points to do just that. Back in 2013, Lefebre had a strong finish on Smith with a combination of spots and largemouths. This time things are shaping up better for him to target solely largemouths, which is more in his comfort zone. He is a strong shallow-water fisherman and is skilled with a crankbait – both should be big players this week. Look for Lefebre to do especially well if he can get fish going on a Rapala Shad Rap.

Fantasy Verdict: Lefebre might be slightly overpriced at $33, but with conditions shaping up the way they are it seems like he would be a strong addition to any Fantasy Fishing team.

 

Jimmy Reese headshot

3. Jimmy Reese – Lewis Smith is the perfect lake for this California rookie to show the field what he can do. Reese is a well-known angler back in his home state and knows a thing or two about catching spotted bass. Though the fish may not be out deep where graphing plays a role, Reese has years of experience targeting spots as they move toward the bank. A Californian won this tournament the last two times, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another West Coast guy bring home the hardware. In a pre-practice trip to Smith, Reese located some better-than-average spots, and you can bet he didn’t loose track of them. This is his best chance to date to break through in a major event.

Fantasy Verdict: Reese is almost an automatic pick for just $10. He is one of the more experienced spotted bass anglers in the field for a price that is too good to be true.

 

Jacob Wheeler Headshot

4. Jacob Wheeler – Back in 2013 Wheeler barely missed the top-10 cut, finishing in 11th place. He got tuned into a largemouth pattern late in the event and couldn’t make up the ground to break into the top 10. A competitor like Wheeler won’t make that same mistake again. The former Forrest Wood Cup champion can do it all, but when the fish get shallow he is in his element. Expect to see him fish a little bit of everything and utilize his instinct to fish the moment. From fishing a jerkbait to sight-fishing, Wheeler should make things interesting in this tournament. The dock talk says junk-fishing will be the way to go, and Wheeler is one of the best.

Fantasy Verdict: He is almost at the top of the price range at $35, but Wheeler would be a great base for building your team.

 

5. Mark Daniels Jr. – Talk about a man on a mission. Daniels is determined to prove that professional fishing is where he belongs, and he is doing a standup job of it. In his first three tournaments of the year he has claimed back-to-back-to-back top-10 finishes (two Rayovac FLW Series tournaments and the Tour stop on Toho).  Daniels, who is in his second year as a pro on Tour, seems to be in that groove that anglers such as Jason Christie and Andy Morgan have experienced in the past. The best part is that he is having fun and fishing relaxed, which has shown to be the ultimate combination for success. Daniels has no issues with chasing spots but is just as likely to find largemouths in the shallows. As long as he is in the zone there is seemingly no stopping him.

Fantasy Verdict: At just $18, you better get him while his price is low because if he stays hot this could be his lowest price all season.

Tags: flw-tour  lewis-smith-lake  spotted-bass  kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake 

Upshaw Breaks Down Cherokee Lake on Bass Edge Radio

Upshaw Breaks Down Cherokee Lake on Bass Edge Radio

FLW Tour pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, appeared on the latest Bass Edge Radio podcast to discuss his recent win at the FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake... READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

With just one keeper from his three primary pockets, leader Jake Morris might have left the door open on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament at Table Rock Lake. His frog pattern might be fizzling out due to clear water and changing conditions. READ MORE »

Latimer, Upshaw to Discuss Wins with Radio Host Jerry Kripp

Latimer, Upshaw to Discuss Wins with Radio Host Jerry Kripp

FLW Tour pros Brian Latimer of Belton, South Carolina, and Andrew Upshaw, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, are set to appear on the Outdoor Connection with Jerry Kripp, the evening of Sunday, May 12, to,,, READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing pressure and a cold front have shut down the bite at Table Rock Lake for stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division season. The lake's largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are not coming easy. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

A few spawning bass are making their way to the scale in the top pros' bags, but most of the consistent action has come flipping or fishing topwater for largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass at Table Rock. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 1

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 1

Catching fish is hardly the problem right now at stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division at Table Rock Lake. It seemed like every pro our on-the-water crew pulled up on today, be it on the lower end or up the rivers, was setting the hook with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, the quality has been extremely lacking. READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division should shape up to be quite the catchfest. Coming off of the division opener on Kentucky Lake, where pros were challenged with tough fishing, this week’s event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, should be stellar in terms of both numbers and quality of fish.  READ MORE »

John Cox Wins FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

John Cox Wins FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

DAYTON, Tenn. – Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, won $100,000 at the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude Sunday with a four-day total of 83 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory was the fourth FLW Tour win of Cox’s career – moving him to a tie at No. 7 for the most Tour wins all-time... READ MORE »

Michigan's Nelson Moves Into Lead at FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

Michigan's Nelson Moves Into Lead at FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

DAYTON, Tenn. – FLW Tour rookie Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan, caught four big largemouth late in the day Saturday to anchor his 25-pound, 15-ounce limit and jump to the top of the leaderboard after Day Three of the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude in Dayton, Tennessee. Nelson’s five-bass limit was one of just four brought to the scale Saturday... READ MORE »

Florida's Greenblatt Takes Lead on Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

Florida's Greenblatt Takes Lead on Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

DAYTON, Tenn. – Yamamoto Baits pro Matt Greenblatt of Port St. Lucie, Florida, brought a five-bass limit of largemouth to the Dayton Boat Dock scale Friday weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces, to vault into the lead after Day Two of the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude in Dayton, Tennessee. Greenblatt’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 43 pounds, 2 ounces gives... READ MORE »

Cox Grabs Lead at Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

Cox Grabs Lead at Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude

DAYTON, Tenn. – A field of 165 of the best bass-fishing professionals in the world began their four-day competition for a top award of $125,000 at the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude Thursday in Dayton, Tennessee... READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live is back for 2019 FLW Tour stop No. 6 on the big-fish waters of Lake Chickamauga. The event, which is presented by Evinrude and hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, runs Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

The FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season is Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee. One of the gems of the South for hunting monster bass, the Lake of the Giants promises big fish – and lots of them – and perhaps the best chance of seeing the century mark broken this season. READ MORE »

Hunting Offshore With Setzer

Hunting Offshore With Setzer

If Braxton Setzer wins the FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season fishing offshore, he has a faulty trolling motor to thank for it. READ MORE »

FLW Tour Rookie Ryan Salzman Featured on latest episode of Anglers Channel Rookie Podcast

FLW Tour Rookie Ryan Salzman Featured on latest episode of Anglers Channel Rookie Podcast

FLW Tour Rookie Ryan Salzman is the featured guest on this week's episode of the Anglers Channel Rookie podcast. Salzman talks about his career from College Fishing to being a full time guide on the TN River to now a FLW Tour Rookie trying to qualify for the 2019 FLW Cup... READ MORE »

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee is a big-bass playground where anglers regularly catch trophy fish that surpass 10 pounds. In early May, it'll host the FLW Tour for the third time in six years. Previous events were held in June, so this stop promises to offer a different look at the Chick. READ MORE »

The Miles Burghoff Master Plan

The Miles Burghoff Master Plan

Miles Burghoff is in a rare position. He’s a rookie on the FLW Tour, and he’s leading the 2019 Angler of the Year race with two tournaments left to fish. Traditionally, the AOY frontrunners are veteran pros in the prime of their careers, not rookies who are often still trying to learn their way around a full season of Tour competition. Burghoff, however, isn’t your traditional rookie. READ MORE »