UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Texoma

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Texoma
Ray Hanselman celebrates an early keeper.

Ray Hanselman

With his win on Lake Texoma, Del Rio, Texas, pro Ray Hanselman made Rayovac FLW Series history by sweeping the Texas Division. Hanselman did most of his damage with a Strike King Sexy Frog, although he made a few flips and pitches here and there with plastics.

Recent rains had pushed Texoma to about 2 feet above normal pool, and Hanselman used this to his advantage by targeting overlooked areas that had been muddy during practice. Working flooded brush in the backs of secondary coves, he found bedding fish, as well as postspawners ready to chew in the clearing water.

Most of the other top 10 finishers also targeted a mix of spawning and postspawn fish. The changing water level, plus a mild cold front that pushed through the first day of the event, made for tough fishing under mostly high, bright skies. Anglers reported super-tough conditions, and many struggled to get daily limits.

Here’s a look at the second- through 10th-place finishers:

 

Bradley Hallman

2. Hallman Hammers ’Em for Second

After seeing enough solid bed fish in practice and calculating the likely influence of a full moon a day after the tournament, Bradley Hallman says he was “all in for sight-fishing” the entire tournament. The plan worked well on day one for 14 pounds, 8 ounces, a little less so on day two with 12 pounds. The third day, Hallman stormed up the standings on the strength of a 20-pound, 5-ounce sack that put him in second with 46-13.

Needing light and warmth to facilitate this game, Hallman started his mornings by looking for a topwater bite before transitioning to pitching presentations.

“I started off throwing a frog and had a limit probably by 9:30 to 10 o’clock, but then the sun got high enough around 10 and I started looking for them,” he says.

Targeting beds with a Texas-rigged Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, Hallman fished flooded brush and found his areas reloading daily.

“I was fishing the same areas. We were getting new fish every day,” he says.

Hallman notes that his Power-Poles were essential in holding his position to work stubborn bed fish. Also important: bait color.

“All week, I sight-fished with a green pumpkin bait, but I also used a white tube if I was having a hard time telling if a fish was eating the bait,” he says. “You obviously don’t want to foul-hook a fish [bass hooked outside the mouth while sight-fishing must be immediately released], so with the white, I could tell if she ate the bait.”

 

Nick Lebrun

3. Confidence Bait Leads Lebrun to Third

Nick Lebrun from Shreveport, La., caught only four keepers on day three, but they were the right ones. He weighed in 21 pounds, 13 ounces – the day’s heaviest sack and the tournament’s second heaviest – and finished just 7 ounces behind Hallman with 46-6.

Earlier in the tournament, Lebrun caught his fish on a V&M Cliff’s Wild Craw (Bama bug color) Texas rigged with a 1/2-ounce Elite Tungsten weight and a 3/0 Gamakatsu hook. Day three saw him switch to a SPRO Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog in sexy shad – a choice he says gave him supreme confidence.

“I tried to fish the frog with ‘X-ray vision,’” Lebrun says. “I tried to picture the holes in these bushes and pretend there was a 5-pounder lying there.

“I’d make the precise cast and work the frog like she was staring at it the entire time. That confidence and mind-set are important – especially when it’s really tough.”

Lebrun says a basic walk-the-dog presentation served him best. He’d give the bait four to five twitches, let it sit and then repeat.

As for his specific targets, Lebrun likened his Texoma experience to the previous Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn. In that event, flood conditions pushed bass deep into shoreline timber and brush.

“I had several blow-ups [on day three], and they were in places that reminded me of Rayburn, where you should never be able to get a fish out,” he says. “But they came right to the net, so the good Lord was with me.”

 

Joe Don Setina

4. Power-Poles Key to Setina’s Program

After leading day one with 20 pounds, 9 ounces, Joe Don Setina slipped on day two when he lost some key fish to the heavy brush he was pitching. Day three saw him recover and turn in 15-2 for a three-day total of 45-13.

On day three, Setina caught one small keeper on a frog, but boated all of his other bass while bed-fishing. He alternated between two Reaction Innovations baits – a Little Dipper and a Sweet Beaver. He liked the sun gill color for the Dipper and green pumpkin for the beaver. Dipping the tails of baits in chartreuse dye enhanced their appeal.

“I just drove around the backs of pockets looking for them,” Setina says. “I found some really stubborn ones, and one thing that was really important was having my Power-Poles. That was just as important as having the fishing pole. I could tuck in there and hide from them and stay still. The fish were spooky, so I was really thankful to have my Power-Poles.”

 

Jeff Reynolds

5. Reynolds Sight-Fishes for Fifth

Jeff Reynolds, of Calera, Okla., devoted his tournament to sight-fishing and turned in a fifth-place total of 39 pounds, 4 ounces. Working marinas and flat, grassy pockets, he pitched a Zoom Z-Hog in green pumpkin or white.

“The bigger fish were in the marinas, but the fish in the grassy pockets weren’t getting as much pressure,” Reynolds says. “The lake was coming up, and the fish were moving back into that grass.”

Reynolds caught most of his fish in less than 3 feet of water. He says he caught fish throughout the day, and while sunlight helped his sight-fishing, he found success in the shadows as well.

“I caught my biggest fish – a 6-15 – in the first five minutes of the second day,” Reynolds says. “We took off at 6:30 a.m., and it was about 6:50 when I caught that fish. I had found this one the day before, so I knew where she was, and I got her in probably three pitches.”

 

Cody Bird brought a solid smallmouth to the scales.

6. Big Day Two Buoys Bird

Like an Oreo, the sweet stuff came in the middle of Cody Bird’s three days on Texoma. The Granbury, Texas, pro weighed bags of 10 pounds, 5 ounces and 6-4 on the first and third days, with a big spike of 21-9 on day two.

Bird had a couple of patterns going this week. He found some quality smallmouths that would eat a Kicker Fish Hightail Holeshot finesse worm on a shaky head in the morning. After that, he’d look for bedding largemouths with the Kicker Kraw that he designed for Kicker Fish.

Unfortunately, he only found cooperative bedding bass of any quality on that second day and ended up sixth with 38-2.

 

Brian Ankrum is the the second angler in the top five that only weighed in four fish. Getting the right quality bite Ankrum finished the day with 15 pounds, 13 ounces to round out our top five.

7. Boat Problems Sink Ankrum

He was remarkably consistent the first two days, with weights of 15 pounds, 13 ounces and 15-12, respectively, but an engine malfunction in the afternoon of day two limited Brian Ankrum’s mobility. The Natalia, Texas, pro thought he had the problem fixed by the day-three takeoff, but after a morning of mechanical woes, he had to trailer his boat, borrow another and try to make something of the day.

The time loss left Ankrum with one final-day keeper and a seventh-place total of 33-3. All of his fish came on a Koppers LIVETARGET Frog in the leopard frog pattern.

 

Robert Brown sits just outside the top 5 with 15 pounds, 10 ounces.

8. Brown Fishes Fast for Eighth

Robert Brown of Round Rock, Texas, took eighth place with 32 pounds, 9 ounces. He caught his fish on a 3/8-ounce Strike King spinnerbait in the sexy shad color with an Indiana and a willow-leaf blade. He also threw a weightless white soft jerkbait.

“I was working them really fast,” Brown says of his two go-to baits. “I fished them around laydowns and submerged cover. I was just trying to get them in front of the right ones.”

 

Russell Cecil caught the big bass on day 2 that weighed 7 pound, 6 ounce.

9. Cecil Bed-Fishes for Ninth

Sight-fishing specialist Russel Cecil stuck with his signature strength and earned a ninth-place finish with 31 pounds, 8 ounces. Cecil gave the fish two different looks by pitching a Big Bite Baits WarMouth on a 1/4-ounce weight and a Big Bite Baits YoMama with a 5/16-ounce weight. He rigged both on 4/0 hooks.

 

10. Craig Frilot committed to throwing a white ChatterBait throughout the event.

10. Frilot Gets Chatty for 10th

Hailing from crawfish central – Breaux Bridge, La. – Craig Frilot chatted openly with Tournament Director Ron Lappin about his hometown’s seasonal abundance of this tasty crustacean. On the lake, Frilot did his talking with a Z-man ChatterBait accented with a Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke trailer – both in shad colors.

 

Click here for complete results.

Tags: flw-series  lake-texoma  david-a-brown  post-tournament  2015-04-30-lake-texoma 

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 »

Arkansas' Dylan Hays Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

Arkansas' Dylan Hays Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Beginning the day in fourth place, Nitro Boats pro Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces, to jump to the top of the leaderboard and win the three-day Costa FLW Series at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude... READ MORE »

Newberry Wins Southwestern Division AOY

Newberry Wins Southwestern Division AOY

It was sweet redemption in many ways for the Texas legend who still owns and operates his Houston-based HVAC company despite spending so much time on the tournament-fishing circuit. Redemption for missing out on the FLW Cup in his first season. Redemption for what Grand did to him earlier this year on Tour (dropping from sixth to 41st with only one fish on day two). And, in a way, validation for a career filled with big accomplishments. 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 »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Rose, Oklahoma's Warren wins Costa FLW Series Tournament at Grand Lake presented by T-H Marine

Rose, Oklahoma's Warren wins Costa FLW Series Tournament at Grand Lake presented by T-H Marine

GROVE, Okla. – After starting the day in third place, pro Curt Warren of Rose, Oklahoma, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard and win the three-day Costa FLW Series at Grand Lake presented by T-H Marine... 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 »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. 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 »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. 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 »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Costa FLW Series Closes Out Regular Season at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

Costa FLW Series Closes Out Regular Season at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – The 2019 Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Series Central Division will wrap up their season next week at Lake of the Ozarks, Oct. 10-12, with the Costa FLW Series at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. Hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association, the three-day tournament will feature more than 230 of the best regional bass-fishing pros and... 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 »

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Grand Lake has been flooded for most of the summer, and, as a result, it hasn’t received as much fishing pressure as is typical for one of the premier fisheries in the region. Weights for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, have the potential to be outstanding for this time of year, but it may all come down to what the weather decides to do leading up to the event. 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 »