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


Morrow Looking for Redemption

Walmart FLW Tour pro Troy Morrow has a score to settle with Lake Hartwell. For Morrow, Hartwell is not just any lake; it’s his home lake. He has fished it since he was a kid, paddling around its shores in an aluminum johnboat.

“I can be at a boat ramp within 12 minutes of my house,” says Morrow, who resides in Eastanollee, Ga. “So yeah, I’d say it’s my home lake.”

Exactly what Morrow wants from his home lake is an FLW Tour win. His first FLW Tour win.

Morrow has proven he can win major tournaments, but he hasn’t gotten it done on Tour. In 2010 he won the FLW Bass Fishing League All-American on DeGray Lake in Arkansas. He also won a BFL Regional on Lake Seminole that same year.

“2010 was a great year for me,” Morrow recalls. “I won those two BFL events and finished fifth in the Forrest Wood Cup at Lanier. I took some of my winnings and entered the 2011 FLW Tour. Hartwell was on the schedule that year, and I wanted to win on my home lake.”

That was six years ago.

Since 2011, the Tour has visited Hartwell three times, and it’s been a downward slope for Morrow in his backyard each time. In 2011 he finished 19th. He finished 40th in 2012 and a dismal 127th in 2014.

“That’s the one that really stings,” Morrow says of the Tour’s last visit. “I really blew that one. I found a monster school of fish the last day of practice, and I just got completely suckered in by them. I spent most of the first day of the event chasing them around, and I could never get them to bite. That’s the tournament that still haunts me. That’s the one I want to get even with.”

Morrow has been close to winning other FLW Tour events in the past. In 2015 he finished second to Bryan Thrift at Lake Eufaula. He has also finished third (Table Rock, 2012) and fourth (Pickwick, 2014).

“Yeah, I’ve finished in just about every spot in the top 10 in Tour events except for this spot,” Morrows grins with his forefinger in the air.

You might say Morrow is due.

“You mean over-due,” he adds with a smirk.

Lessons learned

To get a better idea of how Morrow is tackling his home lake for this season’s second Tour stop, I hop in the boat with him for the final day of practice. As he fishes, he spends some time reviewing his past events on Hartwell. There’s a common theme.

“I got too committed to an area on the first day,” he recalls. “In 2011 and 2012 I had great limits the second day – about 17 pounds – and that’s because I moved around a lot more the second day in both of those events.

“This year I’m not getting bogged down in an area on that first day,” Morrow reveals. “I’m going to keep moving around and doing different things. Instead of pinning my hopes on one big school, I’m going to jump around with a variety of lures on my deck. I want to make specific casts in a lot of different places, not just fish an area.

“I might crank one or two points, fish two brush piles on a dock, throw an under-spin in a ditch a few times, Carolina rig the back of a pocket, and then fish two or three docks with a Zoom Swimmer, and so on,” he continues. “Most of all I want to keep sticking and moving all day long and not get stuck in that elusive area I think holds the mother lode.”

Winter to summer

One thing concerning Morrow is the recent fast warm-up on Hartwell. Over the last 10 days, the Southeast has experienced a generous warming trend that has rocketed the water temperature at Hartwell some 10 degrees in less than a week.

“That’s pretty fast for this part of the country,” Morrow says. “Usually our spring warm-up is more gradual, happening over several weeks. There have not been any cold fronts to slow this heat wave down. I think the fish are a little stunned by how fast this has happened.”

The water level is also brimming full at Hartwell, which is also encouraging fish to move up. With that, Morrow says the field of play has been evened out a bit.

“Now guys can go down the bank throwing spinnerbaits and pitching to flooded bank cover and have a shot at weighing a big bag,” Morrow says. “There are already enough fish up to do that.”

Morrow was planning on fishing out deeper for this tournament, but while graphing about a dozen offshore places on Tuesday morning, what he sees on his Lowrance screens bothers him. Or, rather, what he is not seeing on his Lowrance screens bothers him.

“These deeper fish have left,” Morrow says, studying his array of graphs intently. As his StructureScan and DownScan paint detailed images of the bottom – a roadbed with a culvert running under it – Morrow just shakes his head at the emptiness in the water column.

“They’re gone,” he sighs, hammering down on the throttle. “Let’s go check another spot.”

An underwater view

Several stops later, Morrow graphs a rock pile. It, too, is “empty.” But Morrow isn’t satisfied with the results. He wants a closer look and breaks out his Marcum underwater camera for a live view of the bottom.

Morrow is a big believer in underwater camera technology, and he uses one any time the water clarity permits it. It has been a big player in his offshore success on lakes such as DeGray, Lanier, Pickwick and Eufaula.

“Our electronics are great at marking fish, but I want to know exactly what kind they are,” Morrow says. “Sometimes ‘that huge school of fish’ is nothing but carp, crappie or white bass, so I like to keep them honest.

“Also, electronics are pretty good at showing fish in brush or timber, but rocks are a different story,” he adds. “They can tuck down in rocks, so I always double check rocks to make sure fish are not hiding in between the boulders.”

After several minutes with the camera, Morrow slowly confirms what he doesn’t want to know.

“Yesterday I marked a lot more fish out deep,” Morrow says. “Today I’m not seeing any. I’m afraid even these big spotted bass are making a move. That’s what happens when the nights get warm. As long as the nights are cold, those spotted bass will stay deep. But the last few nights have been warm, and I’m afraid it’s taking its toll.”

A little help from Mother Nature

If Morrow has one ace up his sleeve this week on Hartwell, it might come in the form of the weather.

“It’s nice and sunny and warm right now, but it’s fixing to go the other way,” Morrow warns. “Look at your forecast. It gets colder every day of the tournament, starting Thursday. If we get some weather in here – windy, cloudy, colder conditions – things will change, and it’s a change I welcome.

“I think you’ll see some really nice bags the first day, but after that, it’s going to take consistency to get it done,” he adds. “I’m going to say 17 pounds will be the mark I’ll need to hit every day if I want to finally get even and win on my home lake.”

Tags: troy-morrow  lake-hartwell  rob-newell  pre-tournament  2016-03-17-lake-hartwell 


Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »


Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

FLW Tour rookie Miles “Sonar” Burghoff kicked off his freshman season with a strong performance on Sam Rayburn, where he just missed fishing the final day with a 12th-place finish. Now, the Tour is on a system he is more than familiar with, having spent countless hours on Lakes Toho and Kissimmee while attending college at the University of Central Florida. READ MORE »


A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous. READ MORE »


Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Florida is a familiar place for FLW competition, and Lake Okeechobee is probably the best-known fishery the Sunshine State has to offer. So there shouldn’t be many surprises when the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division kicks off the season Jan. 31–Feb. 2 on the Big O with an event presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »


By the Numbers: Lake Toho

The FLW Tour season opener on Sam Rayburn was a slugfest for sure. Fortunately for fans and anglers alike, the second stop of the season could be just as good, as the Tour heads to Central Florida and Lake Toho and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Kissimmee, Fla., on February 7. READ MORE »


2019 Lake Toho Preview

Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short) is the first of four lakes on the menu for pros in the second stop of the FLW Tour. At the south end of Toho, a lock and a series of canals leads to Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch) and Lake Kissimmee, which are all fair game for the pros. READ MORE »


Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »


FLW Live Schedule for Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Live seasons kicks off on the big bass factory of Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. Watch your favorite stars such as Scott Martin and Bryan Thrift weigh-in at the FLW Tour season opener, and then follow the weekend action live with the top pros. READ MORE »


Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Hensley Powell has quickly and quietly amassed quite a record with FLW. In just three years fishing the Costa FLW Series, he’s earned over $90,000, and he got a win at Table Rock in the Central Division in 2018. READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

This year, the FLW Tour kicks off in Texas with a showdown presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. Big Sam hasn’t hosted too many FLW Tour events in the past, but it’s loaded with bass and bass fishing history. The lake is much higher than normal right now, which will no doubt produce different fishing than is typical for winter on Rayburn. READ MORE »


Practice Starts at Rayburn

Day one of practice for the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn started this morning. We hung around takeoff to see friends we haven't seen in months and to get the season underway.  READ MORE »


Childs Holds on for Co-angler Win

Jay Childs caught two giant largemouths on day one, along with a smaller keeper, to take the early lead at Lake Amistad. Then he survived today for the win with a pair of keepers that included one smallmouth. READ MORE »


High Water will Factor at Rayburn

Typical winter fishing on Sam Rayburn would call for a lot of lipless crankbaits, Carolina rigs and a focus on offshore structure and submerged grass. However, for the FLW Tour opener January 10-13 a lot of that may be out the window – or at least a lot different than many of the Rayburn sticks in the field are used to. Sam Rayburn has risen steadily since December 10th, and as of January 3, the lake is at 171.43 feet, which is 7 feet over full pool of 164.4 feet. READ MORE »


By the Numbers: Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Tour takes to the waters of Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jan. 10-13 for the opening event of the new season. Rayburn can produce some absolute giants in January, and if the weather cooperates, there’s potential for an abundance of massive bags. READ MORE »


Big Bass Expected at Opener on Amistad

Lake Amistad might not kick out quite as many massive stringers of largemouth bass as it used to, but the legendary south Texas border reservoir is still a factory for big fish. According to local guide and always tournament favorite Ray “Hanselmania” Hanselman, there are some real giants to be caught at Amistad, but they’ll be at a premium when the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division rolls into Del Rio to kick off the 2019 season on Jan. 3 READ MORE »


Guntersville Lake Tour

Winding through Tennessee, north Alabama and Kentucky, the Tennessee River is studded with some of the most legendary reservoirs in bass-fishing history. Many would argue that Lake Guntersville is the best of the bunch, and though that is up for debate on any given year, Guntersville’s place in fishing history is undeniable. This week, the lake is under heavy pressure from a local championship event, anglers out to have fun and the 198 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Here’s a look at what they’ll encounter on the water. READ MORE »


Guntersville Showing Out for Costa Finale

Few things are certainties in life, but you can certainly count on anglers catching a ton of huge fish when the Costa FLW Series Championship rolls into Guntersville this week. With bass settled into fall patterns and gobs of vegetation still giving plenty of cover to fish feeding in the shallows, there’s a good chance the lake produces 20-plus-pound limits early and often in the championship event. READ MORE »


Costa Championship Fact Sheet

Up to 430 of the world’s best bass anglers will descend on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville Nov. 1-3 for the no-entry-fee 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Morrow Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the St. Johns River Presented by Ranger

PALATKA, Fla. (Oct. 15, 2018) – FLW Tour pro Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, caught a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 57 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H... READ MORE »


Dock Talk All About Docks at Ozarks

Greg Bohannan, the 2017 Central Division Angler of the Year, believes the warmer-than-usual weather as of late will make the topwater bite a secondary tactic. In his opinion, it’s going to be docks that deliver the winning fish this year. READ MORE »