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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Dortch Wins on Wheeler

Dortch Wins on Wheeler
Bradley Dortch

In the discourse of tournament talk, bass pros speak about patterns that are “coming to” or patterns that are “going away.”

Essentially, patterns that are coming to are getting stronger and those going away are deteriorating. The beauty of a three-day tournament, such as the Costa FLW Series Southeastern event presented by Mercury and hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism on Lake Wheeler this week, is that the concept of this “coming to” or “going away” can be seen in weight trends as anglers ply the waters over multiple days.

Today, Bradley Dortch of Bay Minette, Ala., tapped the peak of a pattern that had been gaining strength during the week to sack up the final day’s biggest limit – 16 pounds, 11 ounces. His catch pushed him from fifth place to the winner’s circle with a three-day total of 45 pounds, 10 ounces.

Top 10 baits

Top 10 patterns

Complete results

Bradley Dortch

Dortch shared the upper stretches on the Elk River with several other top-10 pros. And while others found success in the backwater ponds and pockets up the Elk earlier in the week, Dortch essentially waited at the mouths of the ponds for a wave of post-spawn fish to come to him – and it worked.

Dortch’s success was aided to some degree by dropping water levels today, which essentially forced the bass out of the shallow ponds and into the main river of the Elk.

“What a crazy day,” Dortch says of how the tournament ended. “The conditions changed up there, things started to go my way and I ended up on top. I couldn’t be happier.

“I was basically fishing where the mouths of those pockets and cuts that emptied into the river,” he continues. “Every day my bite seemed to get better while the weights of those guys fishing in the pockets got less.”

Dortch’s premium combination was to find logs and laydowns along the Elk River that were positioned near the mouths of the shallow ponds.

Bradley Dortch

“If there was a channel swing bank that hit near a pocket or pond entrance and it had a laydown on it – that was it,” he says. “The best laydowns weren’t necessarily on the steepest part of the bluff, but rather where the bank started to have a bit more of a 45-degree taper to it. I really think those fish were pouring out of those ponds with the dropping water and setting up on the first spot they came to. I had about six key stretches and they all included a pond entrance, a channel swing bank and laydowns or overhanging bushes.”

Interestingly, Dortch never tapped into the shad spawn, which was also a player in the top-10, saying that he tried shad spawn baits, but could never make them work. Instead, he pitched a 3/8-ounce Picasso Straight Shooter jig, teamed with a NetBait Paca Craw in a standard green pumpkin color. He also pitched a Paca Craw on a Texas rig with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight, also in green pumpkin. He fished the jig on 60-pound test Sunline FX2 Braid and the Texas rig on 17-pound test Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon.

“Earlier in the week, I had to fish the jig all the way out to the ends of the laydowns to get a bite and the bites were very sporadic,” he says. “But this morning, I hit one stretch of 150 yards and it was on. They were right up there on the bank and they were feeding. I guess a bunch of them had just moved out of the nearby pocket and were feeding. I caught them all early and fast.”

For his win, Dortch took home $40,200 and his first Costa FLW Series trophy.

Tags: wheeler-lake  bradley-dortch  rob-newell  headline-story  2016-05-12-wheeler-lake 

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

On the flip side, Josh Bensema, who’s 4 pounds, 10 ounces behind Wilson, thinks he might have found the kind of Sam Rayburn motherlode that could earn him a come-from-behind victory. And while most of the rest of the top 10 are well behind Wilson, several of them hinted at being on the trail of some truly mammoth bags. READ MORE »

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

A 9-plus-pound bass anchored Kris Wilson’s day-two limit to help him stay in the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Wilson weighed in 21 pounds, 12 ounces today to go with 26-11 yesterday. His 48-7 two-day total has Wilson 4 pounds, 10 ounces ahead of Josh Bensema and miles ahead of the rest of the top 10.   READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, which is presented by Mercury, has certainly lived up to expectations. Plenty of fish are out there to be caught, yet finding quality is the key to separating yourself from the pack. Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas certainly distanced himself after hauling in 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the Umphrey Family Pavilion stage. It may not be the Texas-sized bag Rayburn is known for, however, given the conditions it is absolutely impressive. Wilson will hold a 6-7 lead over Josh Bensema heading into Friday. READ MORE »

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek Saturday with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Campbell netted $6,718 for his victory. READ MORE »

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed $4,071 for his day on the water. READ MORE »

Fox Claims No. 8

Fox Claims No. 8

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Fox netted $2,941. READ MORE »

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Ganey took home $6,362. READ MORE »

Walser Nets 13th Title

Walser Nets 13th Title

Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. With his win – his 13th on the BFL circuit – Walser tied the BFL all-time wins record held by Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

As expected, the fishing has been great for the final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. Sunny skies and moderate winds have set everyone up for success, and so far the top 10 teams are making the most of it. READ MORE »

Racers Lock Up National Championship

Racers Lock Up National Championship

The final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River was quite the show, especially if you watched FLW Live. After catching the biggest limit of the event worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to take the lead, the Murray State duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson gave it all they had on the final day to squeak out their smallest, yet most important limit of the week. Today, Murray State caught 15-8, which was enough to edge out the Bethel University team of Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce by just 3 ounces to bring home the title. Along with winning a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower motor for the club, Puckett and Albertson also get entry into the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., this August 9-11. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River had a wide variety of patterns in play among the leaders. Today, with overcast skies and gusty winds, the folks fishing grass started to pull ahead. In the lead, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State have managed more than 16 pounds each day, but the rest of the top-10 crew is hot on their heels. Additionally, the fishing seems to be getting better by the day, so a big bag from a team down the standings a little bit wouldn’t exactly be a shock on the final day.  READ MORE »

Murray State Races Ahead

Murray State Races Ahead

Thanks to a day-two limit worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State University have the lead going into the final round of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Racers weighed 16-13 on day one to place seventh, but moved up the leaderboard today with the tournament’s biggest limit so far. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River has been quite different from day one. With strong souths winds kicking up the main channel and keeping the tide back, teams have had to adjust. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - College Championship

FLW Live Leaderboard - College Championship

Anglers and FLW staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Though the fishing seems markedly better than it was just a few days ago, the techniques getting it done are just as mixed as before. Unlike some years on the Potomac, slightly underdeveloped grass beds have the river fishing in a pretty diverse way. If all you want to do is fish grass, that isn’t ideal, but it has made for a lot of opportunity elsewhere. READ MORE »

Minor, Raines Lead College Field

Minor, Raines Lead College Field

Nolan Minor and Thomas Raines of West Virginia University have the day-one lead at the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Mountaineers’ 18-5 bag gives them a 9-ounce cushion over second-place anglers Jarrett Martin and Nickolas Marsh of Adrian College.  READ MORE »