UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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Lake Eufaula Day 1 Coverage

Clent Davis is slingin' on an offshore spot.

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2:30 p.m.: Haynes, Avena and Davis are out in front

There's a logjam of weights in the low to mid-teens right now, but it's a three-man runoff for the lead among Clent Davis, Rayndy Haynes and Adrian Avena. They're all pushing toward the 20-pound mark with just a few minutes left before weigh-in begins.

A light breeze picked up this afternoon, but it's too little to offer any creature comforts for the anglers still out on the water. Weather aside, the current flowing through Eufaula this afternoon is really the story. Dam managers were scheduled to start the flow from 12 to 8 p.m. They turned it on as scheduled and simultaneously turned on the bite for the offshore contingent.

The unknown right now is how the sunshine and heat will affect the shallow bite in the final minutes. If someone can snatch up a shallow kicker or two, he could make a charge after the leaders.

That's it today for the coverage blog. Tune in to FLW Live at 3 p.m. CT to watch the day-one weigh-in.

 

1:42 p.m.: Step aside, Haynes and Avena. Clent Davis takes over the lead.

It's a conservative estimate, but Clent Davis thinks he has about 21 pounds. His limit includes a 6-pounder and a 7-pounder. He's fresh off a top 10 at the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event at Kentucky Lake and has some momentum going into the heart of summer, which is when he shines brightest.

Davis is part of a group of pros who have gotten their hands on a new Nichols ledge-fishing swimbait that was designed by ledge expert Ben Parker. We prodded Davis for some info on it at weigh-in, but he wouldn't say much - though that's not to say that he was actually using it today. We'll find out more at weigh-in.

 

12:51 p.m.: Haynes and Avena dueling it out

Let's get right to it: Ledgemaster Randy Haynes had 15 pounds before he caught another 4-pounder just minutes ago. And Adrian Avena has what we think is just shy of 19 pounds. He's definitely in the lead right now.

Behind those two are Zack Birge and Ramie Colson Jr. with 14 pounds each. Birge and Colson had their fish early, but Haynes and Avena have been working on their limits throughout the day.

Expect to see a few others in that mid- to upper teens range now that they're pulling current in the lake. The ledge bite is getting stronger now.

 

12:23 p.m.: Conditions are changing at Eufaula

There's a little more current flowing through Eufaula now, and that has the offshore fish snapping just a little more. If it keeps up, someone should be able to track down a few active fish in brush piles or on drop-offs and get them to bite.

The shad spawn pattern was good early, then gave way to the run-and-gun anglers such as Adrian Avena, who is still the unofficial leader. Now it seems like the offshore contingent should get its chance. Several pros fishing offshore said their bite was better in the afternoon during practice anyway, so now they're due to start catching them. We're less than three hours from the start of weigh-in. Now's the time to make a move.

 

11:10 a.m.: Adrian Avena sets the pace

He practiced late into the night. He's running and gunning like a mad man. He's due for a major tournament win.

"He," in this instance, is Adrian Avena, and right now "Jersey Boy" has about 19 pounds in the livewell, making him the unofficial leader. Avena is hopping from one spot to the next and making no more than about five casts per stop - we call that the Bryan Thrift style of fishing.

This feels like the type of tournament where that system would work best, since the fish are in transition, offshore fish are not schooled up but are in isolated brush, and the shallows aren't replenishing. In those conditions, maybe just running around and hoping to intercept five good fish is the best program. It has been so far.
 

10:45 a.m.: Pros wondering when the current will flow

Updates have been fairly slow over the last hour. Some shallow fish are still being caught, and the offshore bite is steady for small bass. The big ones just aren't biting - though it seems like a dozen or so pros have reported losing good quality fish.

The shallow contingent is hoping that the lake level will stay up and that dam managers won't pull out any water. The offshore crew is still waiting on some more consistent current to fire up the deep fish. Randy Haynes was wrenching on them on an offshore school, but he's not around the kind of fish needed to win just yet.

It's going to be a greuling, hot day, as pros try to find one or two quality bites that can bump them up into top 20 range.

 

9:54 a.m.: Birge and Colson with 14 apiece, but Randy Haynes just fired up a school

Randy Haynes says that on the Tennessee River ledges, it's possible to fire up a school of fish and catch a winning stringer in minutes. Lake Eufaula isn't part of the Tennessee River chain, and its offshore bite is a little different, but apparently Haynes knows how to fire them up here too. He has a small limit, and one of FLW's On The Water crewmembers reports that he just fired up a school of fish. He won here last time the Tour came to Eufaula. If he gets them going offshore in the next couple hours, he could very well be in the hunt once again this year.

Haynes will have to upgrade though if he wants to catch Zack Birge and Ramie Colson Jr. They've both already reached the 14-pound mark, which isn't too far from the 15 to 17 pounds that most pros think will be needed each day in order to win this tournament.

The offshore bite is definitely starting to pick up. There's absolutely no wind, and the sun is shining. That could drive the fish into the brush piles, and with new bass leaving the shallows as the water continues to drop, the brush bite just might be the way to win this derby.

 

9:00 a.m.: Plenty of catching, but the big-fish bite is slowing down

There's plenty of fish-catching going on at Lake Eufaula right now, but the big-fish bite is tapering off. It could be because the morning bite - specifically, the shad spawn bite - has died for the day. But also, there's some current in the lake, and that's hurting the shallow bite.

If the current stops, the shallow fishing should pick up because there's plenty of sunshine. The bright conditions will position fish in shallow cover where they can be caught on a frog.

Todd Auten hasn't upgraded since the last post. Zack Birge has already culled. He's got about 14 pounds. Those two are the unoffical leaders, though it's way, way too early to worry about that.

 

7:55 a.m.: The Lake Eufaula hawgs are showing up

Todd Auten's morning bite continues to fire. He's got a limit and added a second 4-pounder to the livewell.

Ramie Colson Jr. is also off to a good start. Colson caught a 6-pounder, and his co-angler, David Hudson, landed a 4-pounder.

So maybe the bite isn't hot everywhere, but at least a few big ones are ending up in livewells this morning.

 

7:20 a.m.: Todd Auten off to a hot start

Despite not getting out on the water until about 45 minutes after sunrise, it appears as if several pros have managed to get on the shad spawn bite, which typically ends shortly after daybreak. Leading the pack is Todd Auten. The South Carolina pro caught a 4-pounder on his first spot, then followed it up with a couple more small keepers. However, in the last 15 minutes the reports have stopped, so maybe that bite is finished until tomorrow morning.

 

7:10 a.m.: The water level continues to drop

Falling water has been part of the story here at Eufaula during practice. As the water level descends, the bass tend to leave the lake's shallow cover. Where they go, no one seems to have figured out yet because they're not showing up on offshore spots like they should be. And it means that the offshore stuff will be more crowded.

Let's see if the shallow guys can get on any fish in the early hours.

 

7 a.m.: Decision time at Lake Eufaula

The Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State at Lake Eufaula has begun, and pros had to make a quick decision this morning: try to find the shad spawn bite, run straight to the best brush piles or try and pull a good fish from the shallows.

The sun was already up by the time the pros idled out of the marina, which means that the shad spawn bite will either be done or nearly done by the time most anglers arrive at their first spots.

Some of the more popular offshore community holes and brush piles have been uncovered by many competitors, so getting there early might be smarl. Though, the shallows don't seem to be replenishing, so if anyone has located a pocket with some quality fish, the smart move could be to run straight there and catch what he can catch.

A very light breeze is rippling the trees outside of Lakepoint Marina, where FLW's website crew is headquartered for the event. Air temperature is in the mid-60s, with a forecast high of 86 and a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Stay tuned throughout the day for updates, or follow us at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

 

Tags: flw-tour  lake-eufaula  headline-story  2015-05-14-lake-eufaula 

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