UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Faith Carries Fitts to the Top

In a field of 190, going from 90th place to first isn’t exactly a zero-to-hero deal, but c’mon – how could you not be impressed with the incredible comeback victory Jeff Fitts orchestrated with a winning weight of 48 pounds, 10 ounces at the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Mercury on Lake Dardanelle.

When Tournament Director Ron Lappin announced Fitts’ victory, the winner’s head-in-hands expression bespoke an obvious convergence of joy, relief and amazement. Tournament winners are always happy, yes, but this win was different. It was an unabashed, odds-defying triumph for which Fitts ultimately thanked divine intervention.

A recap will help solidify the story: Day one, Fitts weighs three fish for 7 pounds, 7 ounces. He follows a day later with 23-15 – the event’s heaviest limit – and races up from 90th to sixth. In the final round, Fitts turns in the top performance and seals the deal with a 17-pound, 4-ounce limit.

“After the first day, I would’ve said, ‘No way I’d be standing here the winner,’” says the champ, who now has 10 top-10 finishes with FLW. “From my practice, I knew I had the potential to catch a 25-pound bag, but until you do it, that’s just potential.”

A slow start in the lower end of the lake on day one prompted him to run up the Arkansas River to the heralded backwaters of Spadra Creek. That’s when things started heading downhill.

“I picked up a rod with 12-pound line and started pitching treetops,” Fitts recalls. “I broke off a 5-pounder in a treetop, and I lost a couple of 3-pounders. I don’t even know why I had 12-pound line on my rod. I was down on myself because I knew I should have had 16 to 17 pounds.”

Fitts eventually scratched up three keepers on day one, but as if starting the second day in 90th place weren’t tough enough, he experienced engine trouble right out of the gate on Friday morning.

Bummer … or was it?

Unable to run, Fitts limped over to a couple of pockets between Lake Dardanelle State Park and Illinois Bayou. Noting that these adjacent areas produced all of his day-two and day-three fish, Fitts says he instantly liked what he saw.

“I’m from Florida, so grass plus cold front equals bass,” the Keystone Heights resident says. “When I pulled into the first pocket, I saw grass mats, and I knew I could catch fish there.”

Armed with a 7-foot, 8-inch Vexan heavy flipping rod and 65-pound-test Seaguar Smackdown braid, he flipped and pitched a Strike King Rage Bug in black/blue or summer craw rigged on a 5/0 Trokar Big Nasty flipping hook with a 1 1/2-ounce Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten weight. The day-two bite started quickly and ended up delivering a dream day for an angler who really needed a shot of positive.

“On my third flip, I caught a 3-pounder. I went 10 feet and caught a 5. I went another 10 feet and caught a 5 1/2,” Fitts recalls. “By then I had 13 to 14 pounds in the boat, and I hadn’t been fishing 10 minutes. I was on top of the world.

“At 10:10, I put my fifth fish in the boat, and at 3:10 I flipped my last 4-pounder and culled the 3-pounder that was my first fish. That gave me the 23-15.”

With no compelling reason to ditch what was working, Fitts ran back to those special pockets on day three and closed out a Cinderella performance with a 12-ounce margin of victory over second-place pro Daniel Kweekul.

“In my opinion, it was 100-percent God talking to me, because I was on my way to Spadra Creek,” Fitts says of his day-two turnaround. “I was going to come back down around 12 o’clock and finish out the day flipping. I couldn’t go, so I went flipping, and there it was.”

Complete results

 

Top 10 Pros

1. Jeff Fitts – Keystone Heights, Fla. – 48-10 (13) – $48,000

2. Daniel Kweekul – Bryant, Ark. – 47-14 (15) – $19,500

3. Teddy Bogard – Pine Bluff, Ark. – 47-00 (15) – $14,000

4. Todd Castledine – Nacogdoches, Texas – 45-03 (11) – $12,000

5. Evan Barnes – Hot Springs, Ark. – 44-12 (15) – $11,000

6. Zach King – Clarksville, Ark. – 43-00 (13) – $9,000

7. Christopher Jones – Bokoshe, Okla. – 40-02 (14) – $7,800

8. Greg Jones – Wentzville, Mo. – 39-07 (13) – $6,800

9. Joe McClary – Kirkwood, Mo. – 32-02 (11) – $5,800

10. Brandon Hunter – Benton, Ky. – 31-14 (11) – $4,400

 

Tags: lake-dardanelle  flw-series  jeff-fitts  david-a-brown  headline-story  2016-03-31-lake-dardanelle 

Lake Mead Set For Weekend of Fishing League Worldwide Bass-Fishing Tournaments

Lake Mead Set For Weekend of Fishing League Worldwide Bass-Fishing Tournaments

HENDERSON, Nev. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is set to visit the Las Vegas and Henderson area next week, Feb. 28- March 2, for three bass-fishing tournaments that will award anglers of all ages and skill levels thousands of dollars in cash and prizes... READ MORE »

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Costa FLW Series Western Division Opener

Costa FLW Series Western Division Opener

The recent government shutdown put the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener on Lake Mead in a holding pattern, but FLW has received clearance to proceed with the event as planned, regardless of the current or future status of government operations. READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Nick Thliveros Wins Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole

Nick Thliveros Wins Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole

CLEWISTON, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2019) – Florida boater Nick Thliveros of Saint Augustine, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 10 pounds, 15 ounces – enough to win the 2019 Costa FLW Series at Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole. Thliveros, son of legendary bass angler Peter Thliveros, weighed in 15 bass over three days of competition totaling 46 pounds, 1... READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »