UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Lake Champlain

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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 

Bowling Top Dog on Broken Bow

Bowling Top Dog on Broken Bow

John Bowling of Broken Bow won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Broken Bow Lake after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Bowling earned $6,440. READ MORE »

Wilson Works Slow at Barren River

Wilson Works Slow at Barren River

Jeffrey Wilson of Lancaster, Kentucky, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on the Barren River Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces. For his day on the water, Wilson pocketed $3,753. READ MORE »

Johns Flips on Eufaula

Johns Flips on Eufaula

Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Georgia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Eufaula Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces. Johns netted $6,237 for his win. READ MORE »

Rosario, Greene Tie at St. Clair

Rosario, Greene Tie at St. Clair

Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, and Angel Rosario of Kalamazoo, Michigan, each caught five bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces, to tie for the win at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division opener on Lake St. Clair. For their efforts, Greene took home $3,376 while Rosario pocketed $5,176 after contingency awards. READ MORE »

Villa Junk Fishes to Title

Villa Junk Fishes to Title

Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on High Rock Lake after catching a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Villa pocketed $3,932. READ MORE »

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Anthony Cicero IV and Dakota Snyder went right to their spot, locked up a big limit early and about six and a half hours later, brought what would be the winning sack of 16 pounds, 6 ounces to McFarland Park where the Elizabethtown High School duo won the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

Pickwick is big lake, but even this 53-mile long TVA reservoir gets weary and the first half of the day told a tale of occasional opportunity, but a lot of waiting and hoping as 31 teams competed in the final day of the 10th annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian High School’s Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces (three fish) on the final day to win the High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. With a three-day total weight of 35-12, Capdeboscq and Acosta had just a 1-ounce margin over the second-place team of Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin who tallied 35-11 for Cedar Bluff High School. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update - Day 3

High School Midday Update - Day 3

Timing is typically the key to success on most TVA reservoirs and Pickwick Lake seems to be dishing out the lessons during day three of the High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals.  READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 2

High School Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick showed off its impressive diversity during day two of the High School Fishing National Championship, which is held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. End-to-end, this Tennessee River reservoir stretches about 53 miles, and, while the offshore ledge game gets most of the attention, anglers were also leveraging the lake's many other fishable features. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Weights are stacked tight atop the standings of the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Moving into the lead position is the Northlake Christian team of Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta, who added 12 pounds, 14 ounces today for a two-day total of 26-5. Will Daniels and Kade Suratt added an impressive three-bass limit worth 15-12 today to move up one spot and into the lead in the High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Illinois, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes with five bass weighing 15 pounds even. For his win, Samo took home $5,794. READ MORE »

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Matt Robertson of Kuttawa, Kentucky, swept the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division this weekend after winning back-to-back tournaments on Kentucky and Barkley lakes presented by Navionics, the first on Saturday and then again on Sunday. For his wins, Robertson earned a total of $7,842. READ MORE »

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Michael Sentore of Gloucester City, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament presented by Gajo Baits on the Chesapeake Bay Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds even. For his finish, Sentore netted $3,362. READ MORE »

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Corey Sullivan of Brandon, Mississippi, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces. For his win, Sullivan pocketed $3,377. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »