UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Smith Swims His Way to BFL Co-Angler Crown

Smith Swims His Way to BFL Co-Angler Crown

Although limits eluded him, Wesley Smith put together a three-day effort that tallied 26 pounds, 14 ounces and earned the Vinemont, Ala., co-angler the 2016 FLW Bass Fishing League All-American victory on Lake Barkley.

After placing sixth on day one with four fish that weighed 8-15, Smith moved up the leaderboard on day two with a trio that went 7-06 and moved him into fourth place. On day three, he added four fish for 10-09 and sealed the deal with a winning margin of 1-10.

All three days, Smith caught his fish on a green/orange 1/2-ounce Strike King Structure Jig with a green pumpkin/blue Strike King Rage Craw trailer.

“When I started fishing with that bait, I didn’t know why they were biting it,” Smith says. “My boater clued me in that it looks just like the crawfish swimming in Lake Barkley. I was fishing around bluegill beds too, so I think this jig color imitated bluegill, as well.”

Smith chose to swim his jig, a tactic he felt would best fit the conditions he faced.

“The water was dark and muddy, so I was wanting to key in on a reaction strike,” he says. “If it’s away from them, they can feel it swim by. They can see it better too, so I think that helps.

“I didn’t catch a limit either day, but I feel like swimming the jig keyed in the bigger bites, instead of catching a lot of smaller ones. It was a quality over quantity deal.”

Smith fished offshore and shallow habitats, but only caught fish in the latter. He fared best around woody cover. The majority of his bites came later in the day when the Barkley Dam operators started pulling more current.

“I could not get a bite in the morning,” Smith says. “Today [Saturday], I did not have a bite until 10:30 or 11. The day before, I didn’t have a bite until after 12:30. I think the sun getting up helped with the water clarity. They could see better.”

After coming up one fish short on the final day, Smith recalls an early tragedy that could’ve sunk his ship.

“The first day, I weighed in four fish, and I lost a 4 1/2-pounder,” he says. “The second day, I didn’t really miss anything. Today, I had a couple of fish try to get my jig when I was pulling it out of the water. But I didn’t really have the fifth one on.”

Smith says his victory fulfilled a quest that has dominated his thoughts since earning his All-American berth by winning the 2015 BFL Wild Card on Lake Hartwell.

“I’ve thought about this every day for eight months,” Smith says. “That was all I could think about. I have to thank God for this. There were times in the tournament when you feel like, ‘I’m not going to make it.’ Like day two – at 12:30 I didn’t have a fish. But it’s like God said, ‘All right, it’s your time.’ So if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Complete results

 

Top 10 Co-anglers

1. Wesley Smith – Vinemont, Ala. – 26-14 (11) – $50,000

2. Mike Allen – Crystal Springs, Miss. – 25-04 (8) – $15,000

3. Adam Wood – Guyton, Ga. – 24-03 (9) – $6,000

4. Marvin Reese – Gwynn Oak, Md. – 23-11 (10) – $5,000

5. John Wilkerson – Nashville, Tenn. – 23-05 (9) – $4,500

6. John Duarte – Middle River, Md. – 21-08 (9) – $4,000

7. Randy Smith – Fayetteville, Ga. – 21-04 (8) – $3,500

8. Bill Haunert – Blue Ash, Ohio – 15-09 (7) – $3,000

9. Jesse Parks – Avondale, Ariz. – 14-08 (6) – $2,500

10. Jamie Eynard – Holts Summit, Mo. – 12-15 (5) – $2,000

 

Important links

Tournament details

Day 1 Takeoff Gallery

Day 1 On-the-Water Gallery

Day 1 Weigh-in Gallery

Day 2 Takeoff Gallery

Day 2 On-the-Water Gallery

Day 2 Weigh-in Gallery

Day 3 Takeoff Gallery

Day 3 On-the-Water Gallery

Day 3 Weigh-in Gallery

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the BFL on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

 

 

Tags: all-american  lake-barkley  wesley-smith  david-a-brown  co-angler-headline  2016-06-09-lake-barkley 

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

He got bumped from the top spot by an ounce on day one, and slipped the third on day two. But Erick Fernengel of Lake Waukomis, Mo., finally ended up on top when it mattered most.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta, Jack Farage totaled 37-2 to edge ahead of Cesar Laguna for the co-angler win. The win is Farage's fourth as a co-angler at the FLW Series level and he took home a brand new Ranger boat because of it.  READ MORE »

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Blake Dyer set the pace on day one with a 27-pound, 3-ounce bag and he never relinquished the lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Weighing 15-8 on the final day, Dyer totaled 62-13 to stay ahead of a final-day charge from Jason Borofka. For his win, which is his first with FLW, Dyer takes home $31,114 and a trophy that will last forever. READ MORE »

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Tournament fishing is full of highs and lows and today, the latter may play a key role in determining the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event resented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Specifically, several anglers expressed their hopes of doing their best work during the afternoon low tide period. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Blake Dyer has dominated through two days of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the Cal Delta. With a total nearing 50 pounds, he’s also one of just two pros to bring in back-to-back 20-pound limits. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of the crew hasn’t been doing work, and with the big fish in the Delta, anything is possible on the final day. READ MORE »

Dyer Weighs 20+ Again

Dyer Weighs 20+ Again

Backing up his monster 27-pound, 3-ounce bag from day one, Blake Dyer added 20-2 to for a 47-5 total to pad his lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. In second, Austin Wilson also managed to break the 20-pound barrier again and moved up from fifth place with a 21-14 bag and a total of 42 pounds. READ MORE »