UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

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Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage
Ish picked up a flipping stick and went looking for a kicker or two late in the day.

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Final Update - 2:30 p.m.: Closing Minutes Will be Key for Making the Top-20 Cut

We're 30 minutes out from the start of the day-two weigh-in, and what happens in the closing minutes (or hours for pros in the later flights) will have a big impact on today's top-20 cut. Fishing was slow this morning, and no one was able to push ahead. Yet, ample sunshine midday and into the early afternoon warmed the shallows and really turned on the largemouth bite. In fact, several On The Water reporters were surprised at just how good the largemouth fishing was after lunch. As a result of the uptick in shallow action, a lot more pros have begun to run and gun around the lake. They're scrambling to find a spawning cove with largemouths (or spots, or both) on beds that they can pluck just in time for the ride to weigh-in. Of course, you can never expect consistent weather in the springtime, and right now a haze of grey clouds are sliding in over Smith Lake, threatening to shut it all down.

A few important updates: Clayton Batts' limit isn't quite as big as originally reported. He's in the double-digits, but probalby not in the teens yet. Andy Morgan is still sitting strong with at least 14 pounds. We lost Drew Benton about an hour ago, and he was still stuck on 8 pounds. He caught his fish quickly yesterday morning and will need to match that flurry in the waning moments to defend his lead today. Lendell Martin Jr. and Jim Tutt, who came into today tied for 10th place, have had mediocre outings, which could put them right around the Buck Knives Cut line at 20th place. We haven't been able to find Birge since this morning, and he wasn't having much luck then. Stay tuned to see if he turned it around. Bryan Thrift, an AOY favorite this season, was also running and gunning to try and pick up a few key bites to boost a small limit and stay in the top 20. Finally, Scott Martin, who was one of the first pros in the top 10 to locate a kicker on a bed, could have himself in a good position to move up today if he can cull with a couple of 3-pounders in the afternoon. 

It's going to be a close, wild weigh-in, so click on the FLW Live link on the home page to watch it all go down.

 

 

Jayme Rampey hauls a feisty spotted bass into the net.

1:15 p.m.: Afternoon Action is Picking up, and Benton's Lead is in Trouble

Yesterday, Drew Benton was very confident in his bed-fishing pattern. But then, how confident can you really be when dealing with bedding bass? They're fickle and undpredictable, and they'e very difficult to rely on for a four-day tournament. Right now he does have a limit, but the last report from the On The Water crew said Benton's catch weighs only about 8 pounds. That's not going to cut it when many of the pros in the top 20 behind him are figuring out the afternoon bite.

The sun is shining bright right now, which is warming the shallows again and motivating new fish to slide in to spawn. A lot of the field is catching them, so there could be another logjam of pros in that 10- to 13-pound range today. Plus, Andy Morgan, Jayme Rampey and Clayton Batts all are working their way up into the middle "teens" with plenty of prime fishing time left to go. 

As long as a spawning cove is protected from the wind, Mother Nature is giving anglers perfect sight-fishing conditions, so as new spawners show up, you can bet that they'll be found quickly. The reaction baits are still producing too, including spinnerbaits, topwaters and even crankbaits. Also, the spinning rod has worked for pros targeting deep spotted bass (though this sun might hinder that bite), and even Morgan has been in on the fairy wand game. He's fishing a shaky head around docks.

 

11:55 a.m.: The Leader Has a Limit as Fishing Across the Lake Starts to Improve

The fishing has really picked up over the last hour. Leader Drew Benton has locked up a limit now and is back to sight-fishing. The midday sun has done him a lot of good.

Andy Morgan has reached 14 pounds. He was tied for eighth place coming into today. Interestingly, he's actually catching spotted bass with a spinning rod around docks, which is far from stereotypical shallow-power Morgan fishing.

Clayton Batts has had a limit for a while and has made a couple of great upgrades. We're calling Batts the unofficial leader right now, though it's almost too close to call. Batts is targeting largemouths with reaction baits.

Down the standings, Jayme Rampey is picking up steam. He's located several big fish on beds and has figured out how to make them bite. His water is quickly warming back up, as more and more fish move in with every degree increase. Rampey is almost exclusively bed-fishing now and has a real shot at moving up from 43rd place to make the top-20 cut.

 

10:50 a.m.: Benton Changes it Up, Batts Getting Hot

Leader Drew Benton has just two small largemouths in the livewell, and he has abandoned his bed-fishing pattern, at least for now. He's changed to cranking rock and wood cover and pitching docks. (Update: The OTW reporter following Benton says he's about to head to another bedding area to sight-fish. It sounds like he's mixing it up a little.)

Meanwhile, Clayton Batts in second place is starting to heat up on the largemouth bite. He has a small limit and is excited for the afternoon. It seems like he's dialing in a little more with a topwater and jerkbait. (Update: Within 10 minutes of posting this update, Batts culled with a 3-pounder.)

Elsewhere, anglers are throwing swimbaits, crankbaits and topwaters on the bank and around docks as they cruise along looking for beds. It's a real mixed back right now. Every pattern out there has had an up or a down moment today, as reflected in the various updates posted here this morning. Timing will be really critical as the day progresses.

 

10:12 a.m.: The Sun is Shining Now. Will the Action Pick Up?

It's not lunchtime yet, but already the cloud cover from last night's front has passed over the Jasper area, leaving behind bright blue skies and strong winds. The air is finally warming now thanks to the sunshine, so anticipate some fish-catch updates from the pros chasing bedding bass.

A quick leader update: Batts just landed another good keeper. Birge is on small fish and needing a big bite. Drew Benton has seen a little action, though he just lost one right at the boat. He's way off his pace from yesterday, when he landed five keepers on his first spot. 

The spotted bass contingent is split between pros looking for spots on beds and others who are tossing jerkbaits. Though, a few anglers, including Californian Jimmy Reese and Kentucky pro Keith Amerson, have located schools of spots in deep water. Reese is parked over one school and dropping straight down to the fish on the graph. If that bite picks up, some of the deep-water experts such as Cody Meyer and Jason Johnson might get back in the game as well. 

 

9:30 a.m.: No Clear Leader at this Point

Nobody in the top 20 seems to be making a real move right now. Benton has just one keeper. Birge has one. Batts has two. Right now, Scott Martin seems to be the most consistent. He's caught a few fish and has had a look at at least one quality keeper. 

The biggest factor is still the weather. The wind has picked up significantly. It's blowing at 10-plus-mph, according to Weather.com, though it feels faster than that here at the marina. It's unclear why the spotted bass haven't really turned on. Perhaps the high pressure of this post-front day has them shut down still. 

Stay tuned to the OTW stream, because several contenders are starting to run to their back-up spots and are trying to put together the pieces this morning. Our crew of reporters is on their trail.

 

8:54 a.m.: Big Fish Hard to Find Early, Some Pros Wishing for Sunshine

While a few anglers were happy with the conditions today, since the wind should turn on the spotted bass, several of the leaders are hoping for sunshine midday today because they're still relying on the shallow bite. Zack Birge has just one keeper and says his water got cold overnight. He's eyeing the window from noon to 4 p.m. as his prime time to sack 'em up. Right now he's chucking a spinnerbait around shallow bushes. Scott Martin has caught a few and found one nice fish on a bed that he's working right now, but most of his big bedding fish vanished overnight. Drew Benton spent about 90 minutes on his first bass this morning. It just wasn't willing to bite, and the cloud cover was making it difficult for him to watch and get a read on the fish. 

The field is catching a few right now. If the sun does pop through, expect the fishing to get good real fast.

 

A whole lotta Evinrude E-Tec G2 motors are on the water this week. What a sweet power source for a Ranger bass boat.

8:10 a.m.: Despite Lower Water Temperatures, Bedding Bass are Biting ... for Some

"It's gonna be a good day. That was a tough one, but that was my indicator bass. I can catch them on beds." 

Those words were spoken by Evinrude pro Scott Martin after dueling with an ornery bass on a bed this morning. He missed the fish several times but finally figured out how to get it to eat the bait well enough that he could set the hook. 

Does that mean that all the pros pursuing the bed-fishing game are going to light up the leaderboard? Hardly. But it's a good sign that the cold front last night didn't knock all the spawners off the banks, and that they're still active enough to defend their nests.

Across the lake it sounds like the water temperature has fallen quite a bit. It's 5 degrees lower in parts of Ryan Creek. Day-one leader Drew Benton says it's 9 degrees lower where he's fishing. The cold snap and wind have prompted quite a few pros to pick up jerkbaits and chase spotted bass that should activate in these conditions once they get over the pressure change. Elsewhere, a few pros are tossing wake baits for shallow fish. It's a very interesting combination of tactics that we're seeing this week.

 

7:30 a.m.: Wind, Cold and a Bit of Uncertainty

The pros blasted out of the Smith Dam access about 30 minutes ago for day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude. Air temperature at takeoff: a chilly 41 degrees. The cool air and steady winds blowing today are good for the spotted bass fishing, according to most, but could make for a tougher day for anglers targeting spawning largemouths. Texan Clark Reehm thinks every 2 1/2- to 3-pound largemouth that was on a bed yesterday has been caught. It's questionable whether more will move in today due to the chilly post-front conditions. Reehm believes the weights will fall today. Perhaps they will, but several top pros, including Ish Monroe who's in sixth, claim to be on patterns that won't be negatively affected by the weather change.

Stay tuned to the FLW On The Water Twitter stream througout the day for nonstop updates.

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

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

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 »