UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Mitchell

Top 10 Baits from Pickwick Lake

Top 10 Baits from Pickwick Lake

Summer is near, as evidenced by the schools of bass pushing offshore on Pickwick Lake this past week in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State and hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism. However, that wasn’t the deal across the board, and many of the top 10 fished near the bank or on shallow grass flats leading to the ledges. Winner Buddy Gross was part of that group. If you plan on hitting the Tennessee River in the next few weeks, you might want to give these baits a try.

Gross’ winning pattern

Top 10 patterns

Compete results

 

 

1. Buddy Gross took the title in his rookie season with a variety of baits. A Tennessee River Tackle Tremor Head with a Zoom Super Fluke, a Fringe Tackle  Company swimbait rigged on a 5/0 Owner Flashy Swimmer and a 1/4-ounce spinnerbait helped produce some bites. The main player was a 1-ounce Hog Farmer Baits hair jig worked in eelgrass. Gross fished the majority of the baits on either a 7-foot, 3-inch or 7-foot, 6-inch, extra-heavy Hammer rod with a Lew’s Tournament Pro reel (6.8:1 gear ratio) and 17-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon.

 

2.  Michael Neal worked offshore with a Big Bite Baits BB Kicker swimbait (5 1/2 inch) in blue shad rigged on a 1-ounce TrueSouth Custom Lures jighead and a homemade bucktail jig made by his friend Gary Hurley. He threw those on a 904 Cashion rod with an Ardent reel spooled with 20-pound-test Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon.

 

3. Scott Suggs carried a few weapons to target both the shad spawn and deeper fish. He rigged a swing-head jig (7/16, 5/8 or 3/4 ounce, depending on depth) with a Zoom Z Craw, Zoom Magnum Trick Worm or Gene Larew Biffle Bug. A Berkley Digger crankbait also produced, as did a War Eagle spinnerbait. A 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy Abu Garcia Veracity rod with an Abu Garcia Revo Premier spooled with 15-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon was his go-to setup.

 

4. To land in fourth, Jamie Horton targeted the shad spawn early with a 3/4-ounce Nichols Pulsator double-willow spinnerbait tipped with a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. He ran that on 20-pound-test Seaguar InvizX and fished it on a 7-foot, 2-inch, medium-heavy Phenix rod with a Daiwa Tatula reel. Horton also caught some kickers cranking a Strike King 10XD and 6XD. To toss the magnum baits, he used an 8-foot Phenix flipping stick with 15-pound-test Seaguar InvizX and a Tatula reel.

 

5. Veteran Mike Surman rallied on the final day thanks to a Yo-Zuri 3DB square-bill (chartreuse and black), as well as an old 3/4-ounce Gambler spinnerbait. For the crankbait, he reached for a 7-foot Witch Doctor rod and 20-pound-test Yo-Zuri Hybrid line, while he used a 6-foot, 10-inch Witch Doctor rod for the spinnerbait with 15-pound-test Yo-Zuri Hybrid. Both rods are 50 percent graphite and 50 percent fiberglass.

 

6. Barry Wilson stayed close to the ramp working a 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait with a YUM Pulse Swimbait – both white. He fished the combo on a Team Lew’s Pro Magnesium Speed Spool Series reel (7.5:1 gear ratio), Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite 7-foot, 2-inch Mag Hammer rod and 15-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon.

 

7. Wesley Strader netted another top 10 thanks to a 5/8-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Company Bango Blade spinnerbait (chartreuse and white) with a Zoom Split Tail Trailer. He ran that on a Powell Max 3D rod with 16-pound-test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon and a Lew’s Pro Magnesium reel.

 

8. Travis Fox kept on a roll after his top 10 at the Costa FLW Series event on Kentucky Lake by pitching a Zoom Brush Hog (green pumpkin) with a 1/2-ounce VMC tungsten weight and 20-pound-test Sufix line matched with a Lew’s Tournament Pro reel and Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Mag Pitching rod. He also caught some deep on a Rapala DT-16 in Helsinki shad.

 

9. For his first top 10, Stephen Patek stuck with a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Custom ChatterBait tied to 16-pound-test Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon. A Phenix X13 Crankbait rod and Shimano Curado (6.3:1 ratio) did the heavy lifting. 

 

10. Peter Thliveros had a few offerings that produced. A 1/2-ounce double-willow spinnerbait and an Allen Lures Milo lipless bait caught some fish. Peter T fished the spinnerbait on 17-pound-test Lew’s APT Fluorocarbon Speed Line and the Milo on 14-pound-test of the same. Both lures were fished with Lew’s crankbait rods (TP-1 Crankbait rod for the spinnerbait and Dave Fritts Perfect Crank Stick for the Milo) and Lew’s BB1 Pros. He also caught some on his namesake “Petey Rig” rigged with a Zoom Super Fluke in green pumpkin.

Tags: pickwick-lake  kyle-wood-and-garrick-dixon  post-tournament  2016-05-05-pickwick-lake 

Vlog: Becker's 3 Patterns from Martin

Vlog: Becker's 3 Patterns from Martin

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Matt Becker recently shared a great video that details the three patterns he used to earn a fourth-place finish at the season’s third stop on Lake Martin. Becker, who’s currently second in the Angler of the Year race, caught both largemouth and spotted bass and capitalized on a variety of tactics for a top finish. His patterns included targeting staging and spawning spotted bass on shoals, skipping docks and sight-fishing for spawning largemouths.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Martin

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Martin

Spotted bass dominated the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Lake Martin, but they didn’t win it. Sure, the sheer abundance of spotted bass in Martin left most pros’ thumbs bloody and raw from catching so many fish. Yet, it was the key largemouth that really separated the field, and what helped Jason Abram earn his first victory. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Bites were easy to come by at Lake Martin. It was getting the quality bites that separated the field. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Though the total weights didn’t live up to some expectations, the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was still a lot of fun. The weather was great, there were plenty of fish caught the first two days, and there was a truly dramatic race for the win on the final day. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Hartwell

Because of high water and cooler conditions, bass on Lake Hartwell haven’t quite gotten fully into the mood to spawn. During the Toyota Series Eastern Division opener on Lake Hartwell, there were plenty of shallow fish to be had, but catching them wasn’t as simple as finding one pattern or one primary bait. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Hartwell

Early March on Lake Hartwell can be feast or famine. The bite often depends on weather patterns, as both largemouth and spotted bass are staging before the spawn. MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Marty Robinson pulled off a wire-to-wire win, but the victory wasn’t easy. The final field of 10 contained a lot of local knowledge and experienced anglers who were ready to knock Robinson off should he falter. Here’s a look at how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their paychecks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

In February, with water temperatures in the high 40s, no one expected a fast and furious bite during the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. What everyone hoped for was quality fish. There were two 10-pound-plus bass brought to the weigh-in stand, but it appeared consistency was the name of the game, at least for the winner, Jim Neece Jr. of Bristol, Tenn.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

In past FLW events on the chain, the grass was best in Griffin and Harris, but this time Dora, Beauclair, Eustis and Harris provided most of the top bags. Targeting hydrilla, eelgrass and hard spots, prespawn and postspawn fish were the focus for the vast majority of the top schools. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

It was February, so low temperatures were the norm for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Water temperatures were in the high 40s, which meant the bass were generally not overly aggressive or active. Not all, but most fish were taken in shallow water where the bass were moving up to feed and/or take advantage of warmer, shallower water. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Between cold fronts and pressure, the Harris Chain has been a tough nut to crack, yet the top teams in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance got it done with a combination of plastic and hard baits. Certainly, the teams learned a thing or two from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event held the week prior on the chain, but you still can never go wrong with a Texas-rigged worm, vibrating jig or lipless crankbait in Florida. READ MORE »

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Warren “Butch” Kritsberg has only lived in Florida for a few years, and he’s still learning a lot about fishing the Harris Chain of Lakes. Fortunately, he now has a lot of new intel about where and how to catch giants after riding along with Laramy Strickland on the second tournament day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event, which was presented by Bad Boy Mowers. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes was markedly different from the day prior. Most of the field struggled a bit, and the final 30 anglers were left scrambling to figure out how to find and catch fish in the post-frontal conditions that are often so detrimental for Florida largemouths.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

At Florida’s Harris Chain, in late winter, it’s a good bet the same handful of baits are going to produce more than any others, from Lake Harris down to Apopka. During the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, presented by Bad Boy Mowers, it was Texas rigs with black and blue plastics, jerkbaits, Carolina rigs and a few other moving baits that most often got the call.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

The Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River potentially missed some stellar fishing opportunities. Despite being the time of year when big green fish start to move up to the banks en masse to spawn, changing weather conditions and multiple cold fronts kept fish coming and going all week, opening small windows on which pros and co-anglers needed to capitalize. READ MORE »

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Winning a tournament is always pretty cool, but winning the way Anthony Sharp did in the second Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event in the Cowboy Division presented by A.R.E. is next-level. Weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces of Sam Rayburn bass, the Village Mills, Texas, angler beat second place by more than 21 pounds. For the win, which was his first with FLW, Sharp took home a total of $7,000.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

The St. Johns River was in a bit of a funk for the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. Instead of a full-on spawning slugfest, a couple cold fronts and quickly changing wind and water conditions kept fish moving in and out. The anglers chasing them had to stay on their toes. Plenty of pros did find quality fish, though, and they did so with a lot of familiar baits when it comes to late-winter fishing in Florida. Right now, it’s all about the black and blue plastics on the St. Johns. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

The general consensus before the first Toyota Series Southwestern Division stop on Toledo Bend was that local knowledge could go a long way being the Sabine River impoundment was a little fickle. That was spot on. Aside from winner Cody Huff, the rest of the top 10 was an all-star cast of locals.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Fishing offshore was the way to go for the majority of the top pros and because of that a Carolina rig, football jig and deep-diving crankbait were the main players for most of the field. Getting the win, Cody Huff relied on a jigging spoon and his graphs to hunt down suspended fish, proving that heavy metal never goes out of style for bass. READ MORE »

Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

You’re never too old to try something new. Just ask Ron Wooten. Wooten, who’s 71 years old and retired from the offshore oil construction industry, heard about the FLW Marshal program from a couple friends who had previously marshaled FLW events. They recommended it, he took their advice, and now he has an extra $2,500 to show for it. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Even when the bite is tough, Sam Rayburn is a power-fishing lake through and through. Sure, a spinning rod showed up here and there throughout the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener, but it was Carolina rigs, lipless crankbaits and vibrating jigs that dominated in the hands of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »