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Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage
Quaker State pro Jimmy Houston flicks a spinnerbait under an overhanging tree.

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2:30 p.m.: Weigh-in Could Reveal a Game of Ounces

That's it for the rolling Day 1 coverage feed. FLW Live begins in just 30 minutes on the FLWFishing.com home page. Check back then to see how your favorite pros performed today, or scroll through the updates here to get up to speed on what's gone down so far.

As of now, it looks like the first day of competition has been a game of ounces. Much of the field should be packed into the 8- to 11-pound range, but there are likely a few pros with heavy weigh-in bags who managed to dodge our On The Water team.

Pros with late check-in times still have a great opportunity to grab a big keeper in the waning minutes of competition. The sun is shining bright, the shallows are warming and our shore-bound crew literally watched bass move in on the bank here at the marina at Smith Dam shortly after lunch. One of those fish was a 5-pounder that was still cruising small stretch of shelf rock. If a pro can find a fish of that size in tournament waters, he'll make a big late-day move. 

 

1:40 p.m.: Pros Scramble to Make Up Ground in the Afternoon

Weights aren't adding up to what many pros expected, and that has many in the field scrambling to make up ground. They're running and gunning, stopping in shallow pockets to tempt bedding bass and hitting every channel swing or point that looks good in between. Jerkbaits, shaky heads, swimbaits and even topwaters are in play right now. 

The most consistent big-bass reports continue to come from Ish Monroe, who has about 16 pounds and has missed several opportunities to upgrade. Adrian Avena also cracked a giant spot to get into the game, and a handful of other pros are in that low "teens" range and looking for one crucial kicker. 

 

12:35 p.m.: Spotted Bass Drawing the Most Attention, Ish Leads with Both Species

It looks as if our report from 10:30 was pretty accurate: Spotted bass are definitely getting a lot of attention, and some of the pros chasing shallow largemouths have stated that they’re considering changing gears. One On The Water reporter thinks that most of the spawning largemouth bass have already been caught, but it's challenging to know for sure.

Nick Hensley has about 13 pounds of all spots. Leader Ish Monroe, with about 16 pounds, has a mix of both species: three largemouths and two spotted bass. He’s on a very interesting pattern and is around a lot of really good fish. He asked to keep the details quiet for now, so you’ll have to stay tuned to FLW’s coverage later this week to learn more about it.

 

12:10 p.m.: Ish Monroe and Nick Hensley Take the Early Lead

Your unofficial leaders at lunchtime on Lewis Smith Lake are Ish Monroe with about 16 pounds and Nick Hensley with 13. Hensley’s 13-pound limit comes without a real kicker, which is the difference in his weight and Ish’s. Ish caught the big bass of the tournament so far, a 5-pounder. They’re your pacesetters right now. 

 

11:00 a.m.: Reports of 3-Pound Spots Starting to Trickle In

Jason Johnson, Barry Wilson and a few others have checked in with 3-pound spotted bass. That seems to be the magic size. Most anglers are having no trouble catching 1 1/2- to 2-pound fish (largemouths and spotted bass), but a couple of 3-pounders would really help someone make a move. And if a pro can average 3 pounds per fish, he’s got a legit shot at leading on day one.

Now … catching those 3-pounders is the challenge because, forgive the fishing cliché, this one is definitely a grind. 

 

10:30 a.m.: Spotted Bass Action Steady, Could Bed-Fishing Fizzle Out?

OTW reporter Rob Newell just checked in with a few midday updates. He believes the “low-hanging fruit” of largemouths on beds likely won’t last past today. Pros will need to catch what they can and move on. Interestingly, he spent the morning following last season’s top two pros, Andy Morgan and Cody Meyer, the former being a world-class junk-fisherman and the latter being a renowned spotted bass expert, and both are strictly targeting spotted bass.

Meyer thinks that just a few spots have started to bed, but they’re not spawning in full force just yet. He and others who are targeting spots are using pretty standard tackle for the task: shaky heads, drop-shots, swimbaits, etc.

With the spots close to the spawn, many are staging along deep banks and shoreline structure such as points, and a few are being caught around docks. Also, most of the anglers who have checked in with a limit thus far are the guys who are exclusively targeting spots. But will their limits weigh enough to make the top 20? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

Evinrude pro Scott Martin fights one off a bed.

10:00 a.m.: Sunshine Slows the Bite

Fishing has slipped into a bit of a lull in the last 45 minutes. The sun is out now, and while that makes it easier to locate largemouths on beds, it also makes the deeper patterns more challenging. Basically, bass, especially spots, tend to become more active in cloudy, windy conditions, and they're more willing to chase. Sunshine calls for slower finesse tactics and often pinpoint presentations. This morning, everyone expected to be fishing in the rain by the end of the day, but the latest forecast predicts that the rain won't fall until about 4 p.m. and there'll be very little wind. Cloud cover moving in midday should help the bite a little, but we'll have to wait to see how everything shakes out on Lewis Smith.

 

9:15 a.m.: Tim Malone on the Right Quality

The challenge in practice this week has been to catch quality fish ... catching numbers of small spotted bass has been easy. Thus far, it appears that Tim Malone is on the right program. He caught two spotted bass early that totaled 6 pounds. He then added another 2-pounder. Those aren't giants in many lakes, but here on Smith that's a great start. Still, a pro will need bigger bites than that to win this week.

9:00 a.m.: Sight-Fishing Popular Early, But Spotted Bass are Biting

The sun is finally trying to burn through the cloud cover over Lewis Smith Lake, but the gloomy conditions early didn't dissuade anglers from heading to the backs of spawning pockets to hunt for fish on beds. A few of our On The Water reporters watched anglers chase schooling fish or spotted bass, including Andy Morgan, who landed three chunk spots right off the bat. But by and large the spawning largemouths are getting the most attention.

Pros will need to capitalize on the spawners while they can. A major weather system is headed for Smith Lake, which will leave behind much cooler conditions the rest of the week. Plus, the spawners don't seem to be hanging around the shallows for very long. 

Travis Fox reported that he spent too much time on a bedding fish this morning, and by the time he left it, his other bedders had bugged out. Angling pressure is also mopping up the easy bedders. Scott Martin, Robbie Dodson and a few others piled into one particular spawning area this morning, and it's a sure bet that there are crowds forming in other popular spawning areas too.

Tags: flw-tour  lewis-smith  headline-story  2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake 

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

FLW Tour pro Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell Sunday. Beavers earned $6,345 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Sac State Wins on the Delta

Sac State Wins on the Delta

The Sacramento State University duo of Ilya Guryanov of West Sacramento and Will Karnthong, of Antioch, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the Hornets’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Carolina Rig Carries Lewellen

Carolina Rig Carries Lewellen

Kyle Lewellen of Byhalia, Mississippi, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division super-tournament on Pickwick Lake Sunday. Lewellen earned $5,690 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Stracner Wins Again, Clinches AOY

Stracner Wins Again, Clinches AOY

Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 35 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division super-tournament on Lake Eufaula Sunday. Stracner earned $6,694 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Turner Ran Brush on Lanier

Turner Ran Brush on Lanier

Brock Turner of Jasper, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division super-tournament on Lake Lanier Sunday. Turner earned $8,266 for his efforts. READ MORE »