UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Top 10 Patterns from Beaver Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Beaver Lake
Matt Arey is having continued success with the swimbait late on the final day of the Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake.

1. Matt Arey Employed a Swimbait-Finesse Combo

No matter what the conditions are at Beaver Lake, Matt Arey has an uncanny ability to dial up the right baits to match the appetite of the lake’s fickle bass.

This year the Quaker State pro relied primarily on two baits for his win. The first was a 5-inch hand-poured swimbait teamed with a 7/0 Gamakatsu EWG Monster Worm Hook tied to 20-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon. The second was a wacky-rigged Lunkerhunt Lunker Stick impaled on a Gamakatsu 1/0 split-shot/drop-shot hook.

The power/finesse combination provided Arey with a search-and-destroy program. He would use the swimbait as a “search bait” to find fish and then follow up with the finesse of the wacky rig for bedders that would not commit to the swimbait.

His primary targets were laydowns, logjams, docks and bushes in the river portion of the lake.

Arey says the swimbait is like a “line-through” swimbait featuring a very thick body with flat top.

“Last year when I won, it was more of a prespawn-to-spawn deal with a jig,” Arey says. “This year was more of a spawn-to-postspawn program with the swimbait and wacky rig.”

 

2. Tracy Adams Sight-Fished and Targeted Brush

Tracy Adams spent his first day sight-fishing. His primary weapon when bed-fishing was a white Zoom Speed Craw.

Adams’ bedding fish ran out on the second day, and he started running a point-and-pocket combination in the mid-lake area. In the pockets he pitched a Zoom Centipede (watermelon) with a 5/16-ounce weight on 14-pound-test fluorocarbon to pieces of wood and bushes for largemouths. As he rounded the points between the pockets he fired a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm on a 3/16-ounce shaky head tied to 6-pound-test line for bonus smallmouths.

 

3. Andy Morgan Started with Bed Fish, Finished with Spinnerbait

Andy Morgan spent the first two days of the tournament catching spawning fish he could not see. He located the fish in the river section of the lake simply by pitching and flipping laydowns, bushes and logjams in pockets. He shook off every bite he got in practice and promptly marked each one on his GPS. When he returned in the tournament he would persistently pitch to the place where he had a bite until he caught the fish. His primary lure for that job was a Zoom Z-Craw in green pumpkin with a 5/16-ounce weight tied to 16-pound-test Gamma fluorocarbon.

With his bed fish used up, Morgan had to improvise on days three and four by throwing a 1/2-ounce chartreuse War Eagle spinnerbait (double-willow with gold and silver blades) on 14-pound-test Gamma to bushes on flat points and mudlines.

 

4. Bed Fish and Retreads Worked for Cody Meyer

Rayovac pro Cody Meyer spent the first two days of the tournament down in the clear waters of Indian Creek on Beaver’s lower end. He was sight-fishing and casting a drop-shot for spawning smallmouths.

On the final two days he played the Prairie Creek retread game by casting a 4-inch Strike King Swim-N-Shiner on a 1/4-ounce head on 8-pound-test Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon.

“We had a lot of wind those final days, and when the wind blows on this lake, the fish are prone to really suspend,” Meyer says. “A drop-shot is great when it is calm, but if it’s windy I like something swimming through the water column.”

 

5. Bryan Thrift Fished Points and Pockets

Bryan Thrift ran a combination of points and pockets in Prairie Creek and up into the river during the week. When fishing back into the pockets, he skipped a 5-inch Damiki Stinger stick worm pinned to a 2/0 Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap Hook tied to 8-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon.

When fishing around flat points between the pockets he cast swimbaits – a Damiki Anchovy Shad and a Keitech Swing Impact – both rigged on 3/16-ounce jigheads and 8-pound-test P-Line.

 

6. John Cox Ran Way Upriver

On days one and two, John Cox fished for spawners that he knew were there but could not see well.

“A lot of times all I would see was just the tail,” Cox says. “The water was too dirty to really see the beds. But I would just keep pitching over there where I would see glimpses of the fish until it bit.”

Cox found his spawning largemouths around laydown wood and bushes in the White River. When pitching to the spawners he used a Zoom Trick Worm rigged with a 1/8-ounce weight with 15-pound-test fluorocarbon on an MB873-MHX rod.

On the final two days, Cox switched up to a Z-Man ChatterBait fished on flats far up the river. His rod choice for the ChatterBait was a MB843-MHX.

 

7. All Three Species Targeted by Peter Thliveros

Peter T found his comfort zone in the Rocky Branch area of the lake where he felt he had the best shot at all three species of bass. For three of the four days, he weighed in Beaver Lake slams – smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass – but on day two he weighed in all smallmouths.

Thliveros focused on points breaking of into about 10 feet of water with three different baits: a 4-inch swimbait, a Zoom Swamp Crawler (green pumpkin) on a 1/8-ounce shaky head and a jig (brown/purple) with a Zoom Fat Albert twin-tail grub trailer. He fished the lures on 8-pound-test Lew’s APT Speed Line fluorocarbon and 10-pound-test APT braid.

He favored the jig on bluffs, the shaky head on steep banks and the swimbait on windblown points.

 

8. Yamamoto Senko Carried Stetson Blaylock

All week Stetson Blaylock relied mostly on one bait: a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko. He demonstrated just how versatile the Senko is by rigging it three different ways: on a 3/16-ounce shaky head, Texas-rigged with a 1/4-ounce weight and on a weightless wacky rig.

Blaylock focused on spawning bass in the river portion of the lake, and he used each rig according to what he was fishing. If he was just covering water while looking, the shaky head was the choice. If he was fishing around logs and bushes where he suspected a bass to be, but wasn’t sure exactly where they were bedding, he skipped a wacky rig. And if he found one locked on bed, the Texas-rigged Senko got the nod.

For his wacky and shaky rigs, Blaylock used spinning gear spooled with 20-pound-test Seaguar Smackdown braid tied to an 8-pound-test InvisX fluorocarbon leader.

 

9. Vic Vatalaro Milked a Community Hole

Vic Vatalaro haunted a community hole schooling hot spot with a variety of baits to catch a majority of his weight during the week. His primary lures for fooling the schoolers were a Smithwick Elite 8 Rogue, a Reaction Innovations Vixen topwater, a Keitech Swing Impact swimbait on a 1/4-ounce Picasso tungsten jighead featuring a titanium weedguard for working through brush and occasionally a shaky head.

The Vixen played a big role in his day three catch. Interestingly, Vatalaro opted to throw the Vixen on a 7-foot, 4-inch G. Loomis Inshore spinning rod teamed with a Daiwa Steez reel spooled with 40-pound-test braid tied to a 20-pound-test monofilament leader. The reason for the setup was so he could make extraordinarily long casts.

“They would come up schooling a long way away – beyond the reach of ordinary casting tackle,” Vatalaro says. “I could pick up that saltwater rod and Steez and bomb that thing way out there where the fish were popping the surface. Those long casts were key to several of my better fish the third day.”

 

10. Mike Surman Stayed in the Lower End

Mike Surman fished the lower end of Beaver Lake in the clear water all week. His primary lures included a Gambler Gigi Head teamed with either a Gambler Sweebo or Webo worm fished on Yo-Zuri 6-pound-test fluorocarbon and a Yo-Zuri Duel Hardcore suspending jerkbait.

Tags: flw-tour  beaver-lake  rob-newell  post-tournament  2015-04-23-beaver-lake 

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

The Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River potentially missed some stellar fishing opportunities. Despite being the time of year when big green fish start to move up to the banks en masse to spawn, changing weather conditions and multiple cold fronts kept fish coming and going all week, opening small windows on which pros and co-anglers needed to capitalize. READ MORE »

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Winning a tournament is always pretty cool, but winning the way Anthony Sharp did in the second Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event in the Cowboy Division presented by A.R.E. is next-level. Weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces of Sam Rayburn bass, the Village Mills, Texas, angler beat second place by more than 21 pounds. For the win, which was his first with FLW, Sharp took home a total of $7,000.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

The St. Johns River was in a bit of a funk for the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. Instead of a full-on spawning slugfest, a couple cold fronts and quickly changing wind and water conditions kept fish moving in and out. The anglers chasing them had to stay on their toes. Plenty of pros did find quality fish, though, and they did so with a lot of familiar baits when it comes to late-winter fishing in Florida. Right now, it’s all about the black and blue plastics on the St. Johns. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

The general consensus before the first Toyota Series Southwestern Division stop on Toledo Bend was that local knowledge could go a long way being the Sabine River impoundment was a little fickle. That was spot on. Aside from winner Cody Huff, the rest of the top 10 was an all-star cast of locals.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Fishing offshore was the way to go for the majority of the top pros and because of that a Carolina rig, football jig and deep-diving crankbait were the main players for most of the field. Getting the win, Cody Huff relied on a jigging spoon and his graphs to hunt down suspended fish, proving that heavy metal never goes out of style for bass. READ MORE »

Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

You’re never too old to try something new. Just ask Ron Wooten. Wooten, who’s 71 years old and retired from the offshore oil construction industry, heard about the FLW Marshal program from a couple friends who had previously marshaled FLW events. They recommended it, he took their advice, and now he has an extra $2,500 to show for it. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Even when the bite is tough, Sam Rayburn is a power-fishing lake through and through. Sure, a spinning rod showed up here and there throughout the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener, but it was Carolina rigs, lipless crankbaits and vibrating jigs that dominated in the hands of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Sam Rayburn is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, but it sure didn’t show its full potential during the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season opener. Cold fronts, high winds, fluctuating water temps and transitioning fish had the fishing jumbled. The patterns the top 10 pros employed throughout the week followed suit. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Smallmouths dominated at the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Oklahoma’s Andrew Upshaw led the way with brown bass caught on a jig and a Ned rig on bluff bank transitions in the reservoir’s lower end. Behind him, only a couple of pros hedged their bets on targeting largemouths. The rest fished for smallies and considered green bass to be bonus fish and spotted bass to be limit fillers on the tough days. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

In classic Southern smallmouth fashion, crankbaits and jigs dominated the top 10 at Lake Cumberland during the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. The only exceptions were a few finesse baits and the tackle used by two pros who targeted largemouths. Here’s what worked. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Considering this was the fourth year in a row Lake of the Ozarks had hosted a Costa FLW Series Central Division event in October, everyone pretty much knew what to expect. And then the weather happened. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Fall in the Ozarks is prime time to throw a buzzbait. Sure enough, plenty of the top guys did just that during the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Lawrence River

Top 10 Baits from the St. Lawrence River

Regardless of how far anglers ran, whether 95 miles or 5 miles, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River presented by Gajo Baits really came down to a battle of deep versus shallow. Here’s a look at the baits that helped the top 10 get the job done on the St. Lawrence. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River

There were two big choices anglers had to make this week: how far should they run and should they fish deep or shallow. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

On the Potomac, hands down, I want to fish grass. The grass holds the numbers. But if you look at the event this week on the Potomac, the tournament was won on structure. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

The Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River was not the slugfest the season opener on Champlain was or the season finale on the St. Lawrence River is almost sure to be. As has been the case in many of the FLW events on the Potomac this year, the fishing was pretty stingy, and hard cover played an outsized role. READ MORE »