UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

5 to Watch on Pickwick

5 to Watch on Pickwick

The fourth stop of the Walmart FLW Tour marks the start of the Tennessee River swing. Pickwick Lake will host the event, which is presented by Quaker State, followed by a stop at Kentucky Lake next month.

The last Tour event on Pickwick was back in June 2014, and it was a whole different animal at that point. Greg Hackney earned the title after sacking up 97 pounds, 7 ounces over the course of four days, including a 31-06 day-two bag that helped separate him from the pack. Hackney opted to target fish gorging on spawning shad in the river, while the majority of the top 10 pounded the ledges down the lake.

Weights this week likely won’t rival those of last time, yet Pickwick is home to some giant 8- to 10-pound-class fish, so you never know what could happen. As usual in early May, there are fish to be found in nearly every stage of the spawn. Practice reports say there are plenty of fish up shallow relating to wood, grass and shell beds. Those opportunities should draw enough anglers shallow to provide the ledge gurus in the field with offshore postspawn spots to have to themselves. When it’s a full-blown ledge bite, the best spots tend to get covered up with boats.

The other curveball in this event is that Wilson Lake (located upstream of Pickwick) is also fair game – unlike last time, when the FLW Bass Fishing League All-American was being held at Wilson at the same time as the Pickwick Tour event. While Wilson is much smaller in size than Pickwick, it can be a fantastic place to target shallow bass for those willing to sacrifice 45 minutes to an hour to get through the lock.

Like the Tour competitors, FLW Fantasy Fishing players have a shot at cashing in on some great prizes this week too. At each Tour event – six regular-season tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup – more than $7,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the top 50 Fantasy Fishing players. There will also be cash prizes awarded to the top 10 teams at the end of the season based on cumulative point totals, including a $10,000 top prize.

To help you finalize your Fantasy Fishing team for the Pickwick Lake event, which starts Thursday, here are five pros to consider.

Head on over to FantasyFishing.com to finalize your team now.

 

Jason Lambert

1. Jason Lambert

Now that the first part of the season and sight-fishing are out of the way it’s time for Lambert to flex his muscles. He’s a Pickwick local, so now is the time to turn around what has been a brutal tournament stretch since his win at the Costa FLW Series opener on Okeechobee. This is the tournament the Pickwick Dam, Tenn., pro has been waiting for. While it might not shake out to be the ledge-fishing slugfest some might have wanted, that’s OK for Lambert. He has so much history and knowledge of this system that the “in-between” nature of the fish might help him dial in on more subtle, off-the-wall patterns that could play. Not to mention he has knowledge of historical areas that congregate fish during this transition time. He’s been quiet so far this Tour season, but expect some noise from Lambert this week.

Fantasy Verdict: Lambert is as competitive as they come, and after taking a beating early in the season it is only a matter of time until he rebounds. Personally, I don’t want to miss the moment when he does, so I can stomach the $36 salary needed to add him to my roster.

 

Robbie Dodson worked his bed-fishing magic on Grand Lake for another top-10 finish winding up in sixth.

2. Robbie Dodson

What makes this Arkansas pro so appealing in this tournament is his surprisingly good track record on Pickwick. Dodson has two top-five finishes in the last two Tour events on Pickwick in 2014 and 2011. Granted, both of those events were held later in the season, but Dodson is a shallow angler at heart and should have a positive outlook for this tournament with shallow patterns in play. Dodson seems to have a knack for finding hidden gems in big tournaments, and with both Pickwick and Wilson to explore he ought to be able to find some quality fish.  

Fantasy Verdict: When you can spend only $31 on a guy with two top 10s on Pickwick it’s hard to pass that up. Conditions seem to be lining up just right for Dodson, so sign him up.

 

Brad Knight (15-06)

3. Brad Knight

The reigning Forrest Wood Cup champion has yet to win a regular-season Tour event in eight years as a pro, but that could change this week. Knight is a Tennessee River rat – Watts Bar and Chickamauga are his home lakes – and he’s pretty in tune with how all of the reservoirs on the river fish. Sure, ledge fishing is one of the many things Knight can do, though he is more comfortable when he can power-fish up shallow. From sifting through shallow grass to keying on a shad spawn, it all fits into Knight’s comfort zone. Plus, there is a chance a big swimbait could factor in this event, and Knight is one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to chucking big baits. All things considered, this looks to be a prime tournament for the champ.

Fantasy Verdict: It’s hard to fathom that only six percent of Fantasy Fishing players have Knight on their team when his salary is only $28. Seems like a good deal for a guy with his experience.

 

4. Michael Wooley

Though Wooley doesn’t live as close to Pickwick as Lambert or Haynes, he still is a stick on this pond – or any Tennessee River lake for that matter. He showed last year with a win on Chickamauga that he can compete with the best in an offshore derby, and he’s fresh off a top 20 in the Kentucky Lake Costa FLW Series event that might have helped clue him into something before he even arrived at Pickwick. Wooley has had strong finishes on Pickwick throughout FLW competition from spring through fall, so he understands how the lake sets up and ultimately how the fish move as they transition.

Fantasy Verdict: Take a look at his resume on Pickwick and you won’t think twice about dropping $30 for this young ledge-fishing master.

 

5. Luke Dunkin

While there are a few rookies to keep an eye on in this tournament, none will be on more radars than Dunkin. After spending the 2015 season as a co-angler on Tour, Dunkin decided to make the jump to pro this season – a decision made easier considering the Tour would be stopping in his backyard at Pickwick. He has spent years practicing techniques on this stretch of river and knows a thing or two about where to find and catch big ones in this area. Dunkin has waited all year for his shot at matching wits with the best in the business on his home lake, and he is more than up for the challenge. Considering how the lake is setting up, a little local knowhow could go a long way. This tournament is a great opportunity for this rookie to show the bass fishing world what he is made of.

Fantasy Verdict: I see no issue with spending $17 on Dunkin for this event. What he lacks in FLW Tour experience, he more than makes up for with time spent on the water at Pickwick, so don’t let his rookie status deter you from adding him to your roster.

Tags: jason-lambert  michael-wooley  robbie-dodson  luke-dunkin  brad-knight  5-to-watch  kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2016-05-05-pickwick-lake 

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Wrapping up the Costa FLW Series Central Division with an early fall stop at Lake of the Ozarks has become a tradition over the last few years. This year, the final stop of the season is presented by Evinrude and takes place Oct. 10-12, which should be good timing for a number of patterns to play. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

The final five T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournaments took place over the weekend, bringing BFL regular-season competition to a close. Regional tournaments will kick off Oct. 10, and by the end of the month the majority of the field for the 2020 All-American will be set.  READ MORE »

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Grand Lake has been flooded for most of the summer, and, as a result, it hasn’t received as much fishing pressure as is typical for one of the premier fisheries in the region. Weights for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, have the potential to be outstanding for this time of year, but it may all come down to what the weather decides to do leading up to the event. READ MORE »

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

This week the Costa FLW Series Western Division will conclude with the final event of the season on the California Delta. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, should showcase a different side of the Delta, given that most of the Western Division tournaments on the famed fishery take place in the spring. That said, last year’s event on the Delta fell on nearly identical dates as this year and could be a good tease for how things may shake out this time around. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

The third round of T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament action saw smallmouths, spotted bass and largemouths all make an appearance as six divisions put a bow on the season with their respective two-day events. Here’s a quick recap of what all played out in the action spanning from the Detroit River down to Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

The second weekend in September saw seven more T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) divisions conclude their seasons with two-day Super Tournament events. From the Tennessee River to the St. Lawrence River and a few places in between, here’s a quick look at how the seven events were won. READ MORE »

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Any tournament with smallmouths in it is a good one, but when the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits heads to the St. Lawrence River it's usually a show-stopper. This year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, shouldn’t be any different as the Northern Division looks to close its season out on one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the world September 19-21. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

College football, hooded sweatshirts and the conclusion of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) regular season are what come to mind as the calendar turns to September. This past weekend, six divisions put a feather in their cap for the year with their two-day Super Tournament events – where the payouts are bigger – but, more importantly, it’s the last chance to accumulate points to qualify for the Regionals this October. READ MORE »

How to Finesse Weed line Largemouths

How to Finesse Weed line Largemouths

When it comes to finesse baits that put fish in the boat, the Ned rig has certainly earned a spot as a go-to for bass anglers across the country. While it catches pretty much everything that swims, most of the attention gets put on catching northern smallmouths or Ozarks-region largemouths and spotted bass with it.   READ MORE »

The Smallmouth-Alewife Connection

The Smallmouth-Alewife Connection

Smallmouths across the Great Lakes region and North Country have no shortage of food to eat, but while they’re very opportunistic, they can also get locked in on certain forage from time to time. One of their favorites, when present, is the alewife. READ MORE »

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. READ MORE »

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Capt. Blake Smith was presented with the 2019 Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship & Community Leadership Award by the award’s namesake, Forrest Wood, at the 2019 FLW Cup pre-tournament banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. Smith, of Lakeland, Fla., has fished the FLW Tour since 2015. READ MORE »

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Casey Scanlon won the FLW Tour season finale at Lake Champlain, which he almost had to do to make the FLW Cup. Now that he’s here at Lake Hamilton, he’s got a shot at $300,000 and a possible edge over the competition due to his momentum and extensive Ozark experience. READ MORE »

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Two terrible tournaments to end the season cost Miles Burghoff his shot at the Polaris Rookie of the Year title. This week at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, he's hoping to apply the lessons learned at the end of the season to his preparation for the championship event. READ MORE »

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

In seemingly any tournament that Bryan Thrift shows up to he is without a doubt one of the favorites to win. With two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles, six Tour wins and five Costa FLW Series wins – including his most recent on Lake Champlain just a few weeks ago – it’s easy to understand why. READ MORE »

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

In a Ranger Z520L with a 250-hp Evinrude G2, it takes about 15 minutes to run from Carpenter Dam, which impounds Lake Hamilton, to the Blakely Mountain Dam that separates Hamilton from Lake Ouachita. If you stop and chat with 11 pros along the way, however, you’ll need most of the morning, but you’ll also wind up with a pretty sound idea of what’s going on at Hamilton for this week’s FLW Cup. READ MORE »

The First Morning with B. Lat

The First Morning with B. Lat

You won’t hear Brian Latimer complain about hot weather and tough fishing in Arkansas during this week’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. For B. Lat, sweating it out on the water is vastly better than working in the heat installing landscaping and mowing lawns for a living, which is what he was doing just a few years ago. A lot’s changed since those days. Now, Latimer is an FLW Tour champion, with a growing fishing media company and his first shot at a Cup title. READ MORE »

How Brad Knight Plans to Win the Cup

How Brad Knight Plans to Win the Cup

Brad Knight’s life changed forever in Hot Springs. In 2015, the Tennessee pro won the FLW Cup on Lake Ouachita, earning $500,000 and thrusting himself into the pro bass fishing spotlight. Now that he knows just what a Cup win can do for a tournament angler’s career, Knight is even more motivated to win the title again, which he’ll have a chance to do Aug. 9-11 on Lake Hamilton, right back in Hot Springs, Ark.  READ MORE »

Review: Storm 360GT Largo Shad

Review: Storm 360GT Largo Shad

While the 360GT Searchbait made some noise in the bass world, the Coastal line offers a swimbait that looks more than juicy for bass of all shapes and sizes. Enter the Largo Shad. After hearing some rumors about how good the swimbait is – and even some comparisons to Keitechs – I got my hands on a few packs and took them for a test ride. READ MORE »