UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win
Mike Devere holds up two Lake Hartwell studs.

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method  was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell.

“They really like that Booza Bug here,” says Mike Devere of Berea, Ky. Devere fished exclusively with a 1/2-ounce Stan Sloan Booza Bug matched with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk to catch 21 pounds, 11 ounces from Lake Hartwell over the course of tournament.                  

Devere, who has three wins and more than $140,000 in earnings in an FLW career that includes extensive time at both ends of the boat, had fished Lake Hartwell three other times in tournaments. Therefore, he had learned some things about the fish’s normal behavior. Devere’s brother John also had fished Hartwell before and is a big fan of the lake.                    

“When [John] learned where the Wild Card would be, he said, ‘I’ll go with you to practice. I like that lake.’” Devere says.                   

The Deveres began practicing in the upper part of Lake Hartwell, and they caught eight fish on the first practice day. The next day they fished the middle part of the lake and caught 20 keepers. That told Mike Devere much of what he needed to know. After a couple of days of added learning, he settled on the lake’s mid-section where the water is clear and the terrain is fairly steep overall.                  

He primarily targeted rock structure 8 to 20 feet of water. The most productive areas overall were mud banks that had a little bit of rock mixed in. Sticking with a single strategy, he caught 8 fish each day by slowly dragging the Booza Bug along the bottom.                     

A key factor for Devere was simple persistence. His brother caught fish on a drop-shot during practice and wanted him to fish that, and Devere began practice thinking a buzzbait would be important. Once he figured out that the bass wanted the jig, though, he resolved to stick with the Booza Bug.

For his efforts, Devere took home over $3,800 as well as an invitation to the 2016 Walmart BFL All-American.

 

Jim Eakin locks down second place at the BFL Wild Card.

2. Jim Eakin – Clarksville, Tenn. – 20 pounds, 8 ounces  

Learning to adapt and adjust is what it takes to be successful in fishing and for Jim Eakin that meant learning to fish a brand new technique.                  

“Before this week, I didn’t know you could catch largemouth bass 45 feet deep, but that’s exactly what I did,” says Eakin, whose 20-pound, 8-ounce bag earned him second place in the Wild Card.

Not only had Eakin never caught bass so deep, but he had never used a drop-shot rig before the Wild Card event. He knew drop-shotting often played an important part at Lake Hartwell, so he entered practice with the idea that he was going to learn to drop-shot and put it to use during the tournament. He must a quick study because Eakin used a drop-shot exclusively throughout the event.

Eakin’s drop-shot rig featured a 4 1/2-inch Roboworm Straight Tail Worm in Aaron’s Morning Dawn. On day one, when the wind blew hard, he used a 3/8-ounce weight. On day two, with little to no wind, he dropped back to a 1/4-ounce weight.                   

Eakin explained that there was a very specific depth that the fish were holding on day one – 23 feet to be exact. “Not 22 feet. Not 24 feet,” he says.                   

Later in the day the best action moved to 35 feet and then to 45 feet. The same basic thing occurred on the second day, although the fish moved deeper earlier with less current in the lake that day. Eakin got a limit in the shallow water, but he culled every fish from out deep in the afternoon.

 

Scott Towry grabbed third place in the 2015 BFL Wild Card.

3. Scott Towry – Lawrenceburg, Tenn., 20 pounds, 4 ounces

Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn. credits his wife Belinda with figuring out the bait he needed to use during the Wild Card. Belinda Towry, a former All-American qualifier who ended up on the Wild Card waiting list and was unable to compete, caught bass on a Texas-rigged watermelon candy worm while fishing with Scott during practice. Towry started practice with a drop-shot rig and tried to make a jig work, but a Texas rig turned out to be the most productive lure and he wound up sticking with it during the tournament.

Towry caught 15 keeper bass on day one and 20 on day two and compiled a two-day total weight of 20 pounds, 4 ounces for third place.                  

Towry fished in fairly clear water in the middle section of Lake Hartwell, in the vicinity of where the lake’s river arms join forces to form the Savanah River. He fished in 15 to 32 feet of water, working his worm though sunken brush.

A change in wind conditions and the amount of current caused the fish to move after day one forcing Lowry to relocate schools.                   

“I owe it all to my Lowrance. That’s how I found everything,” Towry says.

  

Co-angler Wesley Smith came out on top in the Wild Card on Lake Hartwell.                  

Smith Mixes it up for Co-Angler Win

Wesley Smith of Vinemont, Ala., used a few different baits to bring in three fish on day one and a good limit on day two to win the co-angler division by more than 4 1/2 pounds. His two-day total was 18 pounds, 12 ounces which earned him a check worth over $2,000.

Vital to the win, according to Smith, was the helpful nature of his second-day boater, who told Smith he was passing along a favor from when he had fished as a co-angler.

“I had the best boater you could ever ask for today,” Smith says about James Bird of Florence, Ala. “He knew I could be in it and he pretty much just put his rods down and took me to his spots.”

On day one, Smith used both a Zoom Magnum Shaky Head worm on a shaky head and a Zoom Fluke on a Fishhead Spin, with the latter producing a 4-pound-plus fish. He and his boater mostly fished brushpiles away from the bank. On the second day, he used the shaky head to catch some small fish early, but his larger fish, which included two 3 1/2-pound spotted bass, came on a War Eagle Finesse Jig. Day two locations include both deep and shallow water.

For complete results from the Wild Card, click here.

2016 Walmart BFL All-American Qualifiers

The top six boaters and co-anglers qualified to compete in the 2016 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, which features a six-figure payday and berth in the Forrest Wood Cup. The All-American will be held June 9-11 at Lake Barkley.

 

Boaters

Mike Devere of Berea, Ky.

Jim Eakin of Clarksville, Tenn.

Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.

Mike Morris of White, Ga.

Thomas Helton of Charleston, Tenn.

Chris Darby of Hot Springs, Ark.

 

Co-Anglers

Wesley Smith of Vinemont, Ala.

Matt Webb of Newnan, Ga.

William Dorr of Easley, S.C.

March Glenn of Decatur, Ga.

Charles Hatherill of Vero Beach, Fla.

Rex McTier of Endeavor, Wis.

Tags: bfl-wild-card  lake-hartwell  jeff-samsel  headline-story  2015-11-13-wild-card 

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

The Bowling Green State University team of Jamesen Simion of Saline, Mich., and Cameron Wilt of Alvada, Ohio, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Erie event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Bowling Green bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Bishop Hartley wins Erie Open

Bishop Hartley wins Erie Open

Ohio’s Bishop Hartley High School duo of Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open. READ MORE »

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Boater Buck Mallory of Lawton, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, Michigan. For his victory, Mallory earned a total of $4,652. READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

After two days of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are as tight as can be. Moving into the lead on day two is Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who weighed a second 14-pound bag for a 28-11 total. In second, Scott Wiley is one of seven anglers with 27 pounds and some ounces in the top 10, making the tournament anyone’s game in the final two days. READ MORE »

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day. Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake has turned out to be beyond stingy to the anglers fishing the second event in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division today. After visiting with some 20 pros this morning, the most fish reported caught by a pro was just two keepers. The rest either had just one bass or an empty livewell. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

As expected on the river, the weights are bunched together after the first day of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries. More than a quarter of the field are in the 11-12-pound range, and 10 pounds marked the exact halfway point of the field. That means leader Scott Wiley only has a 5-pound, 3-ounce lead over half the field after weighing in 15-3. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fifth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Cayuga Double-Header Shows Out

Cayuga Double-Header Shows Out

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Union Springs with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cayuga events. READ MORE »

Estes, Pike Tie for Potomac Title

Estes, Pike Tie for Potomac Title

Boaters Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va., and Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Va., both brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces to tie for the win at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Potomac River in Marbury, Md. Estes earned a total of $4,262 after contingency awards, while Pike took home $10,262, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Buntin By 3 Ounces on Alabama River

Buntin By 3 Ounces on Alabama River

Boater Sean Buntin of Satsuma, Ala., brought a five-bass limit bass to the scale Saturday totaling 12 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala. Buntin topped his nearest competitor, Ben Weldon of Petumpka, Alabama, by just 3 ounces and earned $4,296 for his victory. READ MORE »