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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Keowee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Keowee

Contending with ultra-clear water and picking through loads of small fish presented a challenge for the 54 teams competing in the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Keowee.

The University of South Carolina’s Chris Blanchette and Hampton Anderson won the event by targeting spotted bass with Yamamoto Senkos fished around stumps in 5 to 7 feet of water on clay banks, and by looking for largemouths bedding and cruising in creeks with lots of woody cover.

Other finalists experienced varying levels of productivity. Here are the details on their patterns, as revealed after the final weigh-in Saturday.

 

Complete results

 

2. Colorado Mesa – Worth and Kinkade mix it up for second

Using a diverse arsenal of baits, Colorado Mesa’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade improved from fourth place to second on day three and finished just 14 ounces behind the University of South Carolina with 38 pounds, 1 ounce.

On days one and three, a Zoom Trick Worm wacky rigged on an Owner Mosquito Hook with a homemade nail weight produced their bigger fish. A wacky-rigged 5-inch Senko yielded the better bits of day two.

Worth and Kinkade caught good numbers of spotted bass on a Rapala Shadow Rap Deep Diver and a deep-diving Lucky Craft Pointer jerkbait. They also added the occasional keeper by flipping a 3/8-ounce Pepper Custom Baits jig with a Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver trailer.

“The jig came into play around docks,” Kinkade says. “The fish were targeting those bluegills, and the jig was a perfect bluegill imitation with the purple and chartreuse skirt. We’d switch between the jig and the worms around wooden docks and picked up some good spots doing that.”

A mixed bag of species was essential to their success.

“We had to have big largemouths to be able to do this,” Worth says. “The spots also played a huge roll. Once you got those big largemouths, you had to have some good spots or a couple smaller largemouths so you didn’t have those 12- to 13-inch squeaker spots [in your limit]. That’s where the jig came into play.”

 

3. Auburn – Ward and Jennings get wacky for third

For two days, Timmy Ward and Mitchell Jennings could count on starting their day with at least one good fish on an umbrella rig baited with Reaction Innovations Little Dippers. In the final round, that bite went away, but the Auburn team found something else that helped it fish its way into third place with 38 pounds.

“We transitioned and ran to South Cove across from the launch site, and we fished floating docks with wacky-rigged, nail-weighted Zoom Trick Worms in green pumpkin,” Ward says. “We’d let them sink all the way to the bottom. You’d just pick up, and they’d be there.”

Notably, the Auburn anglers employed creativity for their rigging. They used a piece of a plastic drinking straw en lieu of an O-ring to keep their wacky hook in place on the worm.

The Auburn anglers complemented the wacky rigs with Trick Worms on shaky heads to occasionally give the fish a different look.

 

4. Henderson State – Gross and Wingfield go up top for fourth

Picking up on a key tactic turned things around for Michael Gross and Cobey Wingfield, who earned fourth place for Henderson State with 35 pounds, 14 ounces.

“The first day, we caught a lot of fish on a Megabass jerkbait, but we didn’t get the memo until the second day that the fish were on topwaters,” Gross chuckles. “Yesterday, the clouds rolled in, Cobey picked up a topwater and landed a 4-pounder. From there, we figured out another pattern, and it was on.”

That topwater, a clear Heddon Zara Spook, produced all of their fish on days two and three. Wingfield says that accenting their topwaters with Gamakatsu feathered trebles made the bait more attractive to the fish.

“I just think it adds more color to the bottom of the bait and gives it that little contrast,” he says. “I’d been throwing that clear Spook, so I just think that contrast helped. They would just hammer it.”

Wingfield also thinks the pulsing feathers at the bait’s tail end created a lifelike appearance that enticed aggression.

“I had the confidence to pick up that bait, and once I did, it was lights out,” he says.

The anglers fished their Spooks over shallow spots with rocks and brush.

“There were a lot of little ones that would come up and smack at it, but the bigger fish would come up and inhale it,” Wingfield realls. “Because the water’s so clear here, we tried to stay off the bank as far as possible and make really long casts and work the baits really slowly over the brush.”

 

5. North Alabama – Lenz and Tate employ “shady” tactics for fifth

Dawson Lenz says he and Andrew Tate had to adjust every day of the event, but this flexibility delivered a fifth-place finish for North Alabama with 35 pounds, 2 ounces.

“We started in different areas and just kind of followed our gut the whole week just because conditions were changing,” Lenz says. “The water was warming up, and we knew the fish would be moving. We covered a lot of water.”

North Alabama started its morning fishing jerkbaits over main-lake structure to get a small limit and then went on the hunt for upgrades. Later in the day, once the sun got high in the sky, Lenz and Tate transitioned to fishing shade lines with a wacky-rigged Big Bite Baits Trick Stick.

“We’d throw it up in the shade and work it really slowly,” Lenz says. “We were catching staging fish – fish that were pulling out from the beds because the water was falling.”

Tate pointed to patience as the key ingredient in his team’s top-10 finish.

“Most of our bites weren’t happening quickly. They were coming on little finesse techniques,” he says. “I think that’s where we capitalized. We caught a lot of fish under docks with a slow fall. It seemed like they liked a subtle fall. That’s how we caught our bigger fish.”

 

6. Illinois State University – Wegman and Umland settle for sixth

After topping the field on day two with 17 pounds, 1 ounce, the event’s heaviest sack, Bryce Wegman and Taylor Umland struggled with mechanical issues on day three and found only a small limit. They dropped to sixth with 34-14.

“Our boat broke down. We spun a prop around 9 o’clock, and we lost a couple hours of fishing,” Wegman says. “That really hurt us because we missed out on the morning bite. Also, the fish weren’t where they were the day before. I think it was the cloudy weather that had them spread out.”

The anglers ended up catching their fish on a War Eagle buzz bait and a shaky head with a Bizz Baits Dizzy Diamond Worm. Umland says that most of his team’s action came early in the morning before the breakdown.

Notably, Texas A&M’s Josh Bensema and Matt McArdle were fishing nearby and obtained permission from the tournament director to switch boats with Illinois State to allow the leaders the chance to fish out the rest of their day. Unfortunately, Wegman and Umland were unable to reestablish any consistency.

 

7. Adrian College – Martin and Bayer rely on jerkbait to finish seventh

Belief in their plan got Adrian College’s Jarrett Martin and Jacob Bayer to the top 10, and the slightly windy and partly cloudy conditions of day three seemed to line up well for their tactics. However, with quality fish eluding them, they added a small final-day limit and finished seventh with 34 pounds.

Fishing Rapala Shadow Raps, Martin and Bayer started each morning on a main-lake hump before working a few smaller bars and points. On day three, their most productive area was a horseshoe-shaped bar system extending off a windblown riprap point.

“The fish could get down between those two humps and stay there and wait for bait to be blown overtop of them, and then they could come up and get it,” Martin says. “They were definitely there today [Saturday]. The big fish just didn’t eat for us.”

When they worked shorelines within pockets, Martin threw the jerkbait along docks, laydowns, etc., while Bayer slow-rolled a spinnerbait through the middle for any fish coming or going.

Martin says the key to his team’s jerkbait productivity was a rapid erratic retrieve. In Keowee’s clear water, giving fish time to inspect the bait was a guaranteed denial. Faster motions made the fish commit or lose.

The Adrian College anglers also checked a few spots where they’d seen bed fish and pulled one keeper with a white Strike King Rage Craw on a 3/16-ounce Buckeye Spot Remover shaky head. They dipped the craw’s pincers in chartreuse dye.

 

Texas A&M brings their first keeper to the boat.

8. Texas A&M – Bensema and McArdle scramble for eighth

Josh Bensema and Matt McArdle got off to a strong start with a second-place day-one performance, but waning opportunities chipped away at their productivity, and the Texas A&M anglers settled into eighth place with 31 pounds, 7 ounces.

“In practice and the first two days, we caught a lot of fish on beds,” McArdle says. “A lot of them pulled up in the tournament for us, and we were able to catch the ones that were still on beds.

“We tried to do the same thing on day three, but we were on a dying pattern,” he continues. “We started out with a lot of bed fish early in the week, but it kind of dwindled on day three.”

The Aggies caught two of their day-three fish on windy points where a 6th Sense Crush Mini 25X square-bill and a Z-Man ChatterBait with a 4 1/2-inch Lake Fork Magic Shad trailer proved effective. As they traversed the banks, they kept watch for bed fish. McArdle managed to find one cooperative spawner, which fell for an Xcite Baits Raptor Tail Jr. Texas rigged with a red bead under a 1/8-ounce tungsten weight.

 

9. Dallas Baptist University – Hines and Foster slip to ninth

Dallas Baptist University’s Zackery Hines and Reed Foster led day one, but after catching only three keepers on the final day, they finished in ninth place with 30 pounds, 5 ounces. The DBU anglers did most of their work on bed fish, but also found several keepers by throwing swimbaits for cruisers. In the final round, time and fishing pressure caught up to them.

“Today [Saturday], we stuck to what we knew, so we went out there and threw the swimbaits and Flukes we were throwing all week, and Zack was on the bed fish with his Strike King Rage Twin Tail Menace Grub,” Foster says. “It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.

“Maybe we could’ve done better if we’d had another hour because our fish were in the afternoon,” he adds. “But no excuses; we had the fish on for a limit. It just didn’t fall for us.”

The DBU anglers had plenty of targets the first couple of days, especially those that yielded their limit of 15-3 on day one. They’d hoped to ride the wave into the third round, but quickly realized they were out of fish.

“Some of our spots were wiped out, so we had to run and gun and go look for new water,” Hines says. “When you start doing that you’re behind the 8-ball because you don’t know if you’re in productive water or not.”

For the two bed fish he caught, Hines prefers a white Menace so he can clearly see it and visually detect bites.

 

10. Kansas State University – Maldonado and Dhuyvetter finesse fish for top-10 finish

Day three was give-and-take for Lance Maldonado and Ethan Dhuyvetter. Unfortunately, Keowee took back all the opportunities she gave. Blanking in the final round, the Kansas State duo finished 10th with 25 pounds, 3 ounces.

Working docks with wacky-rigged Snack Daddy soft stick baits and finesse worms on drop-shots, as they did all week, they had their shots, but none of those fish took a ride to the weigh-in.

“We had a good start and several opportunities to put fish in the boat,” Maldonado says. “Ethan missed a 2-pounder on a wacky rig. We cast again to the same dock and missed another one. Two casts later, I lost a 4-pounder on a dock wire. We just went downhill from there.”

Tags: lake-keowee  flw-college-fishing  college-fishing  national-championship  david-a-brown  post-tournament  2016-03-17-lake-keowee 

Chesapeake Bay Readies for Weekend of FLW Youth Bass-Fishing Tournaments

Chesapeake Bay Readies for Weekend of FLW Youth Bass-Fishing Tournaments

BEL AIR, Md. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is set to visit Harford County next week, May 31- June 1, with the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at the Chesapeake Bay presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Open at the Chesapeake Bay presented by Costa. The tournaments, hosted by Visit Harford, will showcase some of the... READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Chico State Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Western Conference Tournament on Clear Lake presented by Costa

Chico State Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Western Conference Tournament on Clear Lake presented by Costa

LAKEPORT, Calif. (May 20, 2019) – The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Fishing at Table Rock during the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, presented by Power-Pole, was pretty remarkable, at least until it wasn’t. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

It really didn’t matter what pros threw at Table Rock. The fish were probably going to eat it. Yet, despite a banner practice, things certainly got tougher throughout the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which was presented by Power-Pole. Thus, pros needed to continually adapt to the conditions with their offerings.Here’s a look at the lures that helped the top 10 anglers.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

The timing of the FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga was both a curse and a blessing for the top 10 finishers. There were plenty of fish to be had – and on a multitude of patterns – but the big double-digit females Chick is known for were hard to track down. READ MORE »

Clear Lake set for Weekend of Fishing League Worldwide Bass-Fishing Tournaments

Clear Lake set for Weekend of Fishing League Worldwide Bass-Fishing Tournaments

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is set to visit Clear Lake next week, May 16-19, for three bass-fishing tournaments that will award anglers of all ages and skill levels thousands of dollars in cash and prizes... 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 »

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 »