UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

/news/2019-02-12-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 »

/news/2019-02-12-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 »

/news/2019-02-11-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 »

/news/2019-02-10-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 »

/news/2019-02-10-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 »

/news/2019-02-09-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 »

/news/2019-02-09-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 »

/news/2019-02-08-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 »

/news/2019-02-08-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 »

/news/2019-02-07-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 »

/news/2019-02-07-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 »

/news/2019-02-04-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 »

/news/2019-02-02-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 »

/news/2019-02-02-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 »

/news/2019-02-01-thliveros-in-charge-on-okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-31-roder-out-front-on-big-o

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-anderson-tops-on-tough-okeechobee

Anderson Tops on Tough Okeechobee

David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division opener on Lake Okeechobee. For his win, Anderson earned $4,479.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-pitt-wins-again-on-toledo-bend

Pitt Wins Again on Toledo Bend

Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, La., caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-14-bolton-hangs-on

Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »