UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

John Cox getting it done on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake.

Quick Links

Live On The Water Twitter stream (scroll to the bottom)

Day 3 On The Water Gallery

Day 3 Takeoff Gallery

Day 2 Coverage

Day 1 Coverage

 

2:22 p.m.: Scott Martin on the Largemouth Bite Too

He was left out of the last update, but he's certainly not out of the hunt to win this tournament. Scott Martin has been on a sight-fishing tear ever since he left his spotted bass schools early this morning, after picking up a 5-pounder, of course.

Martin just caught a 4-pounder that probably upgraded his limit by about 2 pounds. We're calling his weight at 16 pounds right now. 

 

2:10 p.m.: The Race is on as the Shallow Largemouth Bite Gets Hot

Wow, where to begin ... pretty much everyone is smashing them right now, but the anglers targeting largemouths are really shining. John Cox is hammering away at shallow largies with a ChatterBait. He has a 6-pounder and 5-pounder in the livewell and a total catch of about 16 pounds. He came into today in 20th place, but it sure looks like he's going to live to fish another day.

Leader Zack Birge has upgraded several times this afternoon. He has 13 to 15 pounds right now, which could be enough to hold on to his lead. He caught a 4-pounder just a minute ago to cull up once again.

Clark Wendlandt has sight-fished his way to about 14 pounds, and Drew Benton has a good limit of largemouths in the boat. Benton left the shallows to try and upgrade with some deep spotted bass, though he's almost sure to return to the banks soon.

The most noteworthy discovery today is that largemouths will lock on the bed and actively defend it when they're ready to spawn even when the temperature is below freezing. And now that the sun has been up for about six hours, the shallow largemouth bite is red-hot.

 

Clark Wendlandt doing everything he can to make sure this is not the one that got away on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake.

12:53 p.m.: Plenty of Pros Entering the "Teens"

Gagliardi, Cox, Arey, Wendlandt, Lefebre, Batts, Birge ... all of them have weights in the low to middle teens, meaning two interesting story lines are starting to develop. First, the lead is up for grabs, though Birge is probably safe at the moment. Second, the fight for the top 10 could come down to ounces. The weights are that close.

Wendlandt is doing all he can to close the gap. He's sight-fishing and finally upgraded a limit that he put together early today. He has about 14 pounds.

The momentum is still with Arey, who really sacked them up over the last two hours. He could be fishing tomorrow. Meanwhile, Benton had a flurry of action but is still hunting his limit. He's still in a great spot thanks to a 5-pounder.

While putting together this update, Birge caught a fish that helped him cull up to about 13 pounds. That really helps his cause.

The wind is still blowing, and it's still mighty chilly out there. However, the sun is shining bright. As a result, the shallows are warming and the Expo is starting to fill up. Of course, the smell of BBQ here at the marina helps attract a crowd. Fans will get to see a pretty good show this afternoon.

Check back at FLWFishing.com in a few minutes for a midday video update.

 

Zack Birge rips a line early on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake.

12:15 p.m.: Birge Back on Top, Lefebre with 14

Well, that didn't take long. As soon as we declared Benton and Birge tied for the lead, Birge culled out a 12-incher with a 2 1/2 pounder. He's probably sitting with 12 or so pounds.

Also, Dave Lefebre is making a strong case toward fishing tomorrow. He has a 14-pound stringer, which is the biggest one reported thus far today. He came into the day in 12th place.

 

12:00 p.m.: Several Pros Jammed in at About 13 Pounds at Noon

The hottest stick on the FLW On The Water feed right now is Matt Arey, who's managed to cull up with a steady flow of 3-plus-pound fish. He's sitting at about 13 1/2 pounds, and you can see a couple of his spotted bass pigs over on the OTW feed.

Slightly behind Arey on the day is Tracy Adams, who's still on the sight bite for bedding largemouths. He just popped a 4-pounder less than an hour ago, and with the sun shining bright today, he could get stronger as the day goes on.

Andy Morgan's bite has slowed a bit, but he's transitioned from spots to largemouths, so he could be setting himself up to improve.

Precise weights are hard to come by right now, but Drew Benton and Zack Birge are about as close as can be. Benton has one better than 5 pounds, plus a 2 and a 3. He started the day 1 pound behind Birge, who does have a limit today but is sitting somewhere around 10 pounds.

John Cox has also filled out his limit. He has more than 11 pounds. We've got a reporter on the way there to get some photos, so stay tuned for that.

 

11:00 a.m.: Mini-Lull Slows Action Temporarily, but the Quality Bites are Steady

Since the last update about 45 minutes ago, the action slipped into a "mini-lull" without many updates from the water. But don't worry, it's already picked up again, just not at the same pace as this morning.

It seems overall the morning bite was fantastic, especially for spotted bass. Heck, Scott Martin caught a 5-pound spot on his first stop. Now we're seeing a pretty steady flow of 2- to 3-pound fish (mostly spots) being caught by Cox, Strader, Benton, Birge, Avena and others. Those fish will keep someone competitive to make the top 10. But to have a shot at Birge will take better quality fish. 

Right now, Andy Morgan and Jayme Rampey are the most consistent as far as getting bites, but they're hunting and pecking through small fish. John Cox is catching slightly larger largemouths, but he hasn't reported a keeper for about an hour now.

Sight-fishing for spawning largemouths and running and gunning for spots on deep banks and around docks are the primary patterns.

The sun is out, warming up the FLW Expo site. We're all set up and ready to open the show in an hour. If you're in northern Alabama come out and check out the show.

 

 

Bonus Video from Day 2

 

10:10 a.m.: Three of the Top Four are Throwing Down on Giants

Zack Birge better get on his game, because the three pros behind him are gaining ground fast. Drew Benton just blasted a 5-pounder to get his day started finally. That's a potential game changer if he can lock down four decent keepers to go with it. 

Clark Wendlandt in third has reached 13 pounds and was beyond confident yesterday and this morning that he was going to be able to catch a big limit again today. 

Tracy Adams is playing the bed-fishing game with pretty solid success. He's at about 11 pounds now, and while he'll need more than that, the important thing is that his fish are biting despite the cold and he's around plenty of beds.

 

Bonus Videos from Day 2

Adrian Avena and Clark Wendlandt have both been consistent in this event, and are fishing in the top 20 today. Take a look at these videos from day two to see how they made the cut.

 

8:53 a.m.: Everybody's Catching Fish Early

The latest update is pretty simple: Fishing is great on Lewis Smith Lake. Everyone's catching them. The stream of reports coming in from marshals and On The Water reporters has been steady all morning. 

Right now, John Cox seems to be on great quality largemouths, and Scott Martin still has the biggest fish of the day so far at 5 pounds. Andy Morgan has a limit and has culled, and Jayme Rampey has a small limit too. They're catching spots.

Zack Birge and Tracy Adams are working bedding fish. Adams has had better success so far. He has four keepers. Birge is spending quite a bit of time with his better fish, trying to figure out how to pester them to bite, but mostly he's waiting for this afternoon when the action should pick up.

Ish Monroe left his shallow pattern and has been running and gunning on deep points, while Clayton Batts has landed two spots, one of them a pretty nice fish.

The spotted bass contingent is doing work mostly with finesse baits, though several pros have reported seeing schooling fish. How cool is that on a day when the air temperature is in the mid-30s?

Finally, this morning at takeoff, Batts joked that Drew Benton had way too many rods on his deck to be sight-fishing. Benton laughed and said, "There's not going to be any sight-fishing. Those are my 'just-winging-it' rods." Maybe he is "just winging it" this morning, but if the sun stays up, and the early action is any indicator, there'll be a strong sight bite by lunchtime.

 

7:50 a.m.: Fast Start for Martin, Cox and Wiley

Wow, that didn’t take long. On a frosty 32-degree morning, most pros’ fingers might be cold, but the fishing is heating up fast. Scott Martin was the first to score on a keeper, and boy is it a doozey. The 5-pound spotted bass gives him a seriously strong start as he came into day three almost 6 pounds behind Zack Birge’s lead. Martin is working a school of spots that he has pegged on his depth finder.

John Cox also scored quickly on a 3-pound largemouth. We’re waiting for a report back on how he caught it, though considering Cox doesn’t even have a transducer on his boat, we can assume he’s fishing shallow. Also, Scott Wiley checked in with a 3 1/2-pounder. Expect more updates on him shortly.

About a third of the top-20 field didn’t run farther than three miles from the ramp. Most are chucking shaky heads or drop-shots for spotted bass, and it’s likely they’ll transition to largemouths later in the day once the shallows have had a chance to warm up. Andy Morgan, Wesley Strader, David Dudley, Matt Arey and several others already have their first keeper in the boat.

Right now the sun is shining, so despite the cold, the bedding bite could get good by lunchtime. This could be a very interesting day as pros try to decide whether to hedge their bets on largemouths, spots or both. 

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

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Retired minister Dan Hughes made the most money he’s ever banked in a fishing tournament, and he did it without even picking up a rod. The 70-year-old Fitzgerald, Ga., resident was the winner of FLW’s marshal contest at the Tour’s second stop of the season at Lake Toho, presented by Ranger Boats. Paired with John Cox on day one and Chris Neau on day two, Hughes’ pros combined for 41 pounds, 10 ounces during his two days on the water to take home the $2,500 top prize. READ MORE »

Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Sunday... READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After an exciting day of movement atop the leaderboard, FLW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, took the lead Saturday... READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Cox Holds Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Cox Holds Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces, to hold the lead after day two of the FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Ranger Boats. Cox’s two day total of 10 bass weighing 48-13 will give him... READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Cox Catches 31-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Cox Catches 31-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, hauled in a massive five-bass limit weighing 31 pounds, 9 ounces – the largest limit ever weighed in FLW... READ MORE »