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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hartwell Practice with Brandon Cobb

Hartwell Practice with Brandon Cobb

After a great sophomore year on Tour that was capped by a third-place finish in the Forrest Wood Cup, Brandon Cobb is looking to follow up with even more success in 2016. Now, with new sponsors and coming off a tough finish at Okeechobee (91st place), the Greenwood, S.C., pro is faced with the task of getting his season on track at the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on Lake Hartwell, his home lake.

 

We start dark and early at Green Pond Landing, where Cobb adds some oil to his boat, dons his bibs to keep the wind and wet off, and then drops his rig in the lake.

“On this lake, you’ve got about 45 minutes to find them feeding in the morning,” says Cobb, referring to the schooling activity than can occur when bass and blueback herring intersect.

After idling a little ways to warm up his motor, Cobb puts the hammer down and streaks off toward Georgia to begin making the most of that critical early-morning window.

 

Once he arrives at the first stop – a rocky outcropping along a ditch – the young pro makes a few casts with a homemade under-spin before breaking it off and digging into his tackle bag for more. Then, it’s on to the next spot.

 

At the next spot, after running flat out to make good use of the waning darkness, Cobb works his under-spin along a ditch and then follows it back, quickly working a jerkbait down the center of the cove and around some of the floating docks that are so common at Hartwell.

“I almost feel like I shouldn’t have practiced,” says Cobb. “In BFLs here I never practice, so I purposely haven’t fished any places I usually fish. I’m just hoping I can find the mother lode.”

Despite avoiding the prime stuff, Cobb is still familiar with nearly every inch of the lake. He’s scored eight top-10 finishes in BFL competition on Hartwell (the first coming in 2007, when he was just 16 years old) and could point out a landmark of some tournament finish, be it his, another pro’s or a friend’s, all across the lake.

 

Once the sun cracks above the tree line Cobb modifies his approach slightly, moving to some other likely cuts, but largely tossing aside the hope of finding a herring bite. Instead, he begins to zero in on the docks, shooting a Duel Hardcore Minnow Flat parallel to all the long edges in an effort to draw out a bass or two and identify a dock holding a school of fish.

Along the way, he explains his theory about the current state of the bass at Hartwell, lamenting that because spring has progressed so quickly, about one-third of the bass are in each phase of the spawn, and the big schools of deep bass that had been present just a few weeks ago are broken up now.

Though he still has a home field advantage, he’d like to have more, especially because he views this as one of his best chances to get a win to really solidify his burgeoning career.

 

After working another pocket or two of docks, Cobb digs out a big bag of Zoom Trick Worms and gets to work slinging one around to look for spawning bass. Instead of heading right into one of Hartwell’s many pockets, Cobb favors flats and coves that are more open to the main lake and just a touch deeper. He calculates that the fish out farther are likely to be both bigger and less pressured. The downside is that they’re more exposed to the elements and harder to see.

 

Cobb has a healthy mix of Falcon Rods on deck with hard baits and soft baits alike. Even though he’s running hard between spots and fishing quickly, he never appears to fish flustered or in a hurry, typically spending just enough time on a cast or area and no more before quickly donning his life jacket and rolling on.

 

The next move for Cobb is a long shot, and he runs way up a creek to make it. On the hunt for the elusive prespawn bite, Cobb seeks some dirty water in hopes of replicating a few glimpses of glory he had earlier in the week. Unfortunately, though he goes so far to fish water that he has literally never seen before, he can’t produce.

“I never catch them in practice,” Cobb says. “I can’t recall a Tour event where I did. I seems like I do better in the tournament running around by the seat of my pants than when I have a plan.”

In that sense, his first Tour stop at Hartwell in 2004 is a prime example. Back then, in his rookie season, Cobb stumbled below 100th place on the first day fishing a game plan. The second day, by just going fishing in the moment, he caught nearly 14 pounds and surged to 36th.

 

After a few more stops on docks, Cobb hammers back to the ramp and drops me off. He goes back to work, relishing the sun beating down, with hopes of putting his eyes and his Trick Worm to work prospecting for spawning bass. 

Tags: brandon-cobb  lake-hartwell  jody-white  pre-tournament  2016-03-17-lake-hartwell 

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

With just one event left in the FLW Tour season, time is almost out to qualify for the FLW Cup, which will be held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton. The last event at Lake Chickamauga produced plenty of shakeup in the races for Angler of the Year and Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, and it also set everyone up for the final push to the Cup. READ MORE »

Hodges’ Burroughs Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Hartwell

Hodges’ Burroughs Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Hartwell

ANDERSON, S.C. (May 13, 2019) – Boater Jason Burroughs of Hodges, South Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds... READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing pressure and a cold front have shut down the bite at Table Rock Lake for stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division season. The lake's largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are not coming easy. READ MORE »

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division should shape up to be quite the catchfest. Coming off of the division opener on Kentucky Lake, where pros were challenged with tough fishing, this week’s event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, should be stellar in terms of both numbers and quality of fish.  READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

There’s usually some drama at the end of the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, but often the leading pro has managed to accumulate a pretty good cushion by the final event. This year the cushion is virtually nonexistent. After they booked a win and a fifth-place finish at Lake Chickamauga, respectively, John Cox leads David Dudley by just one point heading into the finale on Lake Champlain. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell to Host 2020 BFL All-American Championship

Lake Hartwell to Host 2020 BFL All-American Championship

ANDERSON, S.C. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) announced Monday that the 37th annual T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American will be... READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live is back for 2019 FLW Tour stop No. 6 on the big-fish waters of Lake Chickamauga. The event, which is presented by Evinrude and hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, runs Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

The FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season is Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee. One of the gems of the South for hunting monster bass, the Lake of the Giants promises big fish – and lots of them – and perhaps the best chance of seeing the century mark broken this season. READ MORE »

Hunting Offshore With Setzer

Hunting Offshore With Setzer

If Braxton Setzer wins the FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season fishing offshore, he has a faulty trolling motor to thank for it. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee is a big-bass playground where anglers regularly catch trophy fish that surpass 10 pounds. In early May, it'll host the FLW Tour for the third time in six years. Previous events were held in June, so this stop promises to offer a different look at the Chick. READ MORE »

Big Weights Expected at Santee Cooper

Big Weights Expected at Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finishes up its 2019 season at the Santee Cooper lakes, Marion and Moultrie, in South Carolina this week. Forty pros and co-anglers will qualify for the championship, and an Angler of the Year will be crowned as the field fishes for hefty postspawn largemouths. READ MORE »

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Built to FLW Tour pro Aaron Britt’s specifications, the iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer rod is a mid-priced spinning rod that’s specifically designed for tossing small swimbaits on light heads. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

This year’s FLW Tour Angler of the Year race is hurtling toward one of the most dramatic finishes ever. After finishing 46th at Cherokee Lake, rookie pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff took advantage of a stumble by Terry Bolton to move into the top spot in the standings. If Burghoff can hold on through the final two events, he’ll be the first rookie since Shinichi Fukae in 2004 to win the AOY award. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Cherokee Lake

FLW Live Schedule for Cherokee Lake

FLW Live is back for 2019 FLW Tour stop No. 5 at beautiful Cherokee Lake. The event, which is presented by Lowrance and hosted by the Jefferson County Economic Development Alliance, runs Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14. READ MORE »

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

The fifth stop of the FLW Tour is presented by Lowrance and sure to be fun if you like east Tennessee, smallmouths and good fishing (who doesn’t?). Cherokee Lake plays host and promises to both challenge and delight anglers. READ MORE »