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

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Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage
John Cox getting it done on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake.

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Day 2 Coverage

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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 

Mastodons Win at Wabasha

Mastodons Win at Wabasha

The Purdue University Fort Wayne duo of Connor Landis of Edgerton, Ohio, and Blake Spurgeon of Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River presented by Evinrude Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Mastodon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Hahne Flips, Frogs on Mighty Miss

Hahne Flips, Frogs on Mighty Miss

Darren Hahne of Ottawa, Illinois, brought in a three-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River Saturday. Hahne earned $6,466 for his victory. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

While day two was windy and rough, day three has pretty much been calm from the get-go. It has also been hot as blazes. It’s made fishing a little tougher than expected, with a lot of anglers reporting missed or lost fish and a generally slower bite. That said, a slow bite on Champlain is a great bite most everywhere else, so we’re still going to see plenty of bass. READ MORE »

Thrift All the Way on Champlain

Thrift All the Way on Champlain

Taking the win in wire-to-wire fashion, Bryan Thrift tallied 18 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for an even 57-pound total in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain. For the win, Thrift earned $44,200 and a new Ranger boat, and it’s his 11th win with FLW. The Northern Division is presented by Gajo Baits and the tournament was presented by Polaris.  READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

One of the windier tournament days in recent memory did a lot to reshape the leaderboard of the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The run south to Ticonderoga was not impossible, but the wind up north kept a lot of pros from effectively fishing their best stuff. That made weights drop pretty much across the board on day two. READ MORE »

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Champlain featured a bunch of wind and a lot of turnover on the leaderboard. Though he struggled to replicate his massive day-one success, Bryan Thrift still managed 16 pounds, 6 ounces for a 38-12 total to retain the lead. Behind him, Scott Dobson rose from ninth to second with a robust bag of smallmouths worth 18-10 for a 37-14 total. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Polaris on Lake Champlain is going to be quite a swing from day one. Typically turnover in the standings is common on Champlain because the weights stay so tight, but today’s turnover is going to have a lot to do with the weather. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Takeoff was a little blustery, but overall, it’s been a perfect start to the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The event is the kickoff of the Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, and the tournament itself is presented by Polaris. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Last year, every event in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, was won entirely with smallmouth bass. This season, the kickoff event on Champlain, which is presented by Polaris, looks destined to involve some largemouths. Everyone in the top five weighed green ones on day one, though somewhat surprisingly, the south end down by Ticonderoga didn’t play an overwhelming role, as only three of the top 10 anglers made the long run southward. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.  READ MORE »

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on the James River after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Elrod took home $3,637. READ MORE »

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair presented by Navionics Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win. READ MORE »

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Representing Lew’s, the team of John Carman, Peter Thliveros and Matthew Mattingly won the 2019 ICAST Cup at Lake Toho this morning with a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces. It’s the first time in the ICAST kickoff event’s five-year history that a team has won two titles, and they come back-to-back – though this time it was an outright win.  READ MORE »

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Andy Kilgore of Kingston, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Neely Henry. Kilgore pocketed $4,426 for his win in the event and earned 250 points in the Bama Division Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. The winner of the division’s AOY title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Experience Carries Siggers

Experience Carries Siggers

Dennis Siggers of Danville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Siggers earned $2,585 for his victory. READ MORE »

Melton Wins on Rough River

Melton Wins on Rough River

John Melton of Corydon, Indiana, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Melton netted $4,838 for his win. READ MORE »

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory. READ MORE »

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the rescheduled T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake presented by Navionics Sunday after catching four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Campbell earned $5,703 for his win. READ MORE »

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Michael Harlin of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Harlin pocketed $4,463 for his win in the event and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »