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


Barkley All-American Top 10 Patterns

FLW Bass Fishing League All-American champion Jeremy Lawyer compiled his winning weight of 50 pounds, 12 ounces on Lake Barkley by establishing a milk run of sorts that included offshore brush piles, terraced ledges at the mouths of bays and feeder creeks, and stretches of bank that were close to channel drop-offs.

Others in the top 10 followed Lawyer’s script to some degree, with a few notable exceptions. The most important difference between him and his closest competitors was that he was able to count on a few big bites all three days, and get them in the boat.

Complete results


2. Walters skips docks for second

Walmart FLW Tour star Bryan Thrift would have been envious of the way this Tar Heel veteran picked apart docks in the Little River and elsewhere. Todd Walters, who weighed in 44 pounds, 10 ounces and took home $20,000, started the tournament by fishing shallow bank cover with his homemade 7/16-ounce jigs (green pumpkin), but he moved out deeper as the water began to recede slowly by a few inches a day.

In the final round, he skipped the jig under docks in about 6 to 8 feet of water, as well as into adjacent buck brush, with a Lew’s 7-foot, 2-inch, heavy-action rod and Lew’s baitcaster loaded with 20-pound-test Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon.

“I caught eight keepers this morning and had my limit by 10:30,” he said at the championship weigh-in. One of those hefted 6 pounds, 5 ounces – the All-American’s heaviest bass.


3. Johns targets bream beds with a red poppin’ frog

Clabion Johns of Covington, Ga., made the biggest move in the standings, jumping from 11th place with 13 pounds, 13 ounces after the first day to fourth on the second day with another stringer that weighed 13-13. With all those 13s, he was bound to be lucky. A final-round limit of 15-09 moved him into third with 43-03 total.

Johns’ approach was unique. Instead of combing offshore cover, he headed into the backs of coves and feeders to where “there wasn’t anything but willows, bushes, bass and mosquitoes” and fished a SPRO Bronzeye Pop 60 in natural red around bream beds.

“I don’t know if the bass were actively feeding on bedding bream, but they most definitely were associated with the beds and hanging around,” Johns recalls. “It got to where I was calling shots. I’d say to my co-angler, ‘There will be one there,’ and sure enough, the next cast, boom, they would choke it.”

Johns’ tackle included a Big Bear 7-foot, 6-inch extra-heavy flipping rod with an Abu Garcia Revo STX reel and 65-pound-test SpiderWire Ultracast Invisi-Braid.


4. Vanore stays close, flips shallow cover for fourth

Meat and potatoes, Moon Pies and John Vanore – nothing fancy, but they all get the job done. While other competitors were racing around the lake looking for a consistent bite, the New Jersey veteran was flipping bushes and wood piles up the Little River within a couple of miles of the ramp. The results were three limits and plenty of culled fish for a 40-pound, 7-ounce total.

“The shady spots where there was a mix of chunk rock and wood cover in 1 to 3 feet of water were definitely the most productive for me,” says Vanore, who came out of the Bass Fishing League’s Northeast Division. “Of course, I broke off a bunch of fish that probably would have helped me.”

Vanore’s flipping outfit included a Halo 7-foot, 6-inch, extra-heavy rod paired with a baitcaster and 20-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line. On day one, Vanore settled for Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers (black light and hematoma) rigged with 1/2-ounce weights. Alternately, he fished a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm (green pumpkin blue flash) on a 1/2-ounce shaky head. In the championship round, he also boated several on a 1/2-ounce Keitech jig (green pumpkin blue flake).

As noted, Vanore fished shallow except for a few times when he couldn’t pass up good-looking wood cover out deeper. On the last day, he flipped a shaky head into 16 feet of water and caught his biggest fish. As might be expected, he wondered if he should have been fishing deeper more often.  


5. Weisenburger mixes it up for fifth

In his first All-American appearance, Kyle Weisenburger made it to the championship round by fishing shallow, which is his specialty. Late on the second day, however, he decided to switch gears after he caught a couple of keepers out of deeper brush in Hopson Creek on a football jig and took over the third spot in the standings.

The Ohio angler reckoned he might have found something to challenge Lawyer, but it was not to be. His plan was to catch a few bank runners early on a black buzzbait, then switch to the football jig and fill out his stringer in 8 to 12 feet of water. As others in the tournament discovered, however, the offshore bite was an iffy proposition.

Weisenburger wound up going back to his old routine of catch-as-catch-can and cobbled together a decent stringer of 11 pounds, 12 ounces the final day for a 40-05 total. A schoolteacher, Weisenburger relied on a Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy-action rod with a matching reel and 17-pound-test Bass Pro fluorocarbon. The football jig he used was a 3/4-ounce model from Slong’s (peanut butter and jelly).

“The water got hotter and fell some the first two days where I started out down toward Dover [Tenn.],” remembers Weisenburger. “It wasn’t going to get any better in shallow, so I decided to cut off my shallow stuff and fish deeper. It was encouraging on the second day when I was able to add two good fish with the football jig. After I tried the buzzbait with no success [Saturday morning], I went back to the same place and dragged the jig through there. It was like those two fish I caught Friday were the only ones in there, but it was the type of place where more fish should have been coming in.”


6. Boggs lives and dies with the shallow flipping bite

The LBL Division flipping expert is known to focus on quality rather than quantity, but couldn’t count on either in the All-American. After staking out a position right behind Lawyer on day one, Drew Boggs struggled to get a limit on the second day of the event, and it only got worse. He weighed four bass for 10-08 on Saturday to finish with 39-05.

Part of Boggs’ problem was that he spent much of his time fishing up the Little River and was sharing the stained water with the likes of Vanore and Mark Tucker of Missouri, who were also flipping bank cover.

“It turned into a struggle. Usually you’ll catch something – even a small keeper – every once in a while flipping along the bank, but I was going for hours without a bite,” says Boggs. “I started moving around some, not that it made much of a difference. And I lost a couple of big fish during the tournament, but that goes with the territory.”

Boggs fished a Big Bite Baits Tube Craw with a 5/8-ounce Jiggy Weight on a custom-made 8-foot flipping rod and 30-pound-test Seaguar Denny Brauer Signature Series Flippin’ line.


7. Devere junk-fishes into the top 10

Like many who didn’t make it to the top 10, Mike Devere never found a solid pattern to work with, and it was just stubbornness and experience that got the veteran into the top 10. Mainly, Devere was junk-fishing around Barkley’s midsection, cobbling together stringers here and there on main-lake ledges and flats adjacent to the channel, as well as shoreline clusters of washed-up wood cover. He used a variety of baits and presentations and ended up with 38 pounds, 9 ounces for the tournament.

“The first day I had a limit in 30 minutes, and I thought, ‘Oh boy, it’s just going to get better,’” he remembers. “It didn’t though; it got a lot tougher. I think the biggest reason for that is that the current never really got going enough to activate the fish.”

Devere employed Lew’s baitcasters with G. Loomis and Shimano Clarus rods and Gamma or Seaguar fluorocarbon line. His two most productive baits were a 3/8-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Booza Bug (black blue) jig as well as a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm (green pumpkin).

As a consolation, Devere’s last cast Saturday with the Booza Bug produced a 5-pound largemouth.


8. Walker runs two-part cranking, flipping program

Nelson Walker was the only one of seven The Bass Federation representatives to make it to the championship round. He scrambled from 12th place to seventh place on day two, but lacked a fifth keeper in the last round and dropped a place in the final standings with 38-01 total.

Walker had a two-pronged plan of attack. Early in the day, he cranked secondary points and flats adjacent to creek channels with a Rapala DT6 (pearl and green), then switched over to a black-and-blue Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver on a 3/8-ounce weight later in the day. On Saturday, he picked up a Yo-Zuri lipless crankbait (chrome and blue) and proceeded to catch two keepers with it from water about 18 inches deep.

“I caught about 20 fish today, but only four were keepers,” he said at the weigh-in. “I had a big one break off in a willow that would have really helped me, but everybody could say the same thing, I imagine.”

Walker paired the crankbaits with Daiwa rods and Pflueger baitcasters with Sunline fluorocarbon in 12- or 16-pound test, and 20-pound test for the Sweet Beaver.  


9. Helton drags jigs on a roadbed for ninth

Lawyer claimed first place in the opening round and never relinquished it. Thomas Helton did the same, but it was ninth place that he had a lock on. Saturday he took four fish to the scale as the roadbed in the back of a broad cove he was fishing finally stopped producing. He totaled 36 pounds, 2 ounces.

“Back and forth, dragging a 1/2-ounce Brush Puppy jig [green pumpkin with a touch of chartreuse] as slow as possible,” is the way Helton describes his presentation. The roadbed varied from 6 to 8 feet deep. Helton caught his best fish, a 4-pound, 9-ounce toad, the first day of the tournament.

His tackle included a 7-foot Fitzgerald heavy-action rod and Abu Garcia reel with 20-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon.


10. Eakin’s key point carries him to 10th

Jim Eakin’s bread-and-butter spot was a rounded secondary point that descended gradually to about 8 feet deep and had stumps, brush piles, and scattered shell beds and hard bottom at its deepest. It played out Saturday, when the Tennessee fisherman was able to catch just one keeper from it.

In fact, Eakin caught the 1-pound, 12-ounce bass first thing while other tournament boats were still racing out of the Lake Barkley State Resort Park Marina toward parts unknown. He finished with 28-10.

Eakin’s most productive lure during the event that was hosted by Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism was a Texas-rigged Reaction Innovations Kinky Beaver (green pumpkin) with a 3/16-ounce weight. He positioned his boat on the deep end of the broad point, cast toward the bank and dragged the soft plastic back, giving it a shake or two on the way.

“I caught seven [of 11 total] of my keepers off that spot, and I really didn’t have much else to go to,” notes Eakin. “The only way I could get any bites was to fish the Kinky Beaver really slow. It definitely wasn’t a reaction deal.”

Eakin’s tackle included a Denali 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy-action flipping rod with 20-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon and a Lew’s baitcaster.    

Tags: jeremy-lawyer  all-american  lake-barkley  postspawn  colin-moore  post-tournament  2016-06-09-lake-barkley 


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »


Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Retired minister Dan Hughes made the most money he’s ever banked in a fishing tournament, and he did it without even picking up a rod. The 70-year-old Fitzgerald, Ga., resident was the winner of FLW’s marshal contest at the Tour’s second stop of the season at Lake Toho, presented by Ranger Boats. Paired with John Cox on day one and Chris Neau on day two, Hughes’ pros combined for 41 pounds, 10 ounces during his two days on the water to take home the $2,500 top prize. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Whether it was a canal or small sections of the lake, each pro in the top chose to hunker down in an area and milk it for all it was worth in the season opener of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division presented by Power-Pole. Here’s a look at how the action unfolded. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee wasn’t her normal self in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener presented by Power-Pole. Bites were few and far between, but the top-10 pros dialed it in and got it done. Winner Nick Thliveros relied heavily on a crankbait and so did others, but Florida faithful’s like swim jigs, soft plastics and topwaters also fared well. READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn on YouTube

With mandatory POV cameras and marshals this year, there's sure to more video footage than ever from the FLW Tour. In addition to simple fish catches like Andy Wicker's 11-pounder and Terry Bolton's 9-pounder, lots of pros are putting together longer videos and giving fans a front-row seat to practice and the tournament via YouTube. Below is the full gamut of videos pros have put out to this point.  READ MORE »


Beight Rings in Marshal Program in Big Way

Timmy Beight won the FLW Tour Sam Rayburn Marshal prize after marshaling for Jordan Osborne and Terry Bolton. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Fishing crankbaits, Carolina rigs and drop-shots around flooded hydrilla for Sam Rayburn Reservoir largemouths dominated the top 10 at the FLW Tour opener. Check out the top 10 patterns feature to learn more about effective patterns for working grass. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Fishing deep-diving crankbait, dragging Carolina rigs and working finesse baits such as drop-shots were the keys to success at the FLW Tour opener at Sam Rayburn. Here are the bass-fishing baits that the top pros used. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Amistad

Wintertime patterns with just a touch of prespawn action dominated the Costa FLW Series opener presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Amistad. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, umbrella rigs, swimbaits and drop-shots were the go-to baits used by the top finishers. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Lake Amistad

Wintertime bass fishing tactics dominated at Lake Amistad in January, as the top finishers relied on jerkbaits, crankbaits, drop-shots, swimbaits and umbrella rigs to get the job done. READ MORE »


Corn Wins Wild Card

Faced with brutal conditions for the final event of the 2018 T-H Marine Bass Fishing League season, everyone who managed to catch anything in the Wild Card on Old Hickory Lake in central Tennessee accomplished something. READ MORE »


ETBU wins on Toledo Bend

The East Texas Baptist University duo of Brett Clark of Center, Texas, and Cody Ross of Livingston, Texas, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Toledo Bend presented by Bass Pro Shops Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the Tiger’s bass club $2,400 and a slot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, scheduled for June 4-6, 2019 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Lake Guntersville

You can flip it, frog it, punch it and fish any number of moving baits through it. It’s grass, of course, and Lake Guntersville is full of it. That’s why so many grass-fishing baits were in the mix among the top 10 finishers at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship on Guntersville. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Guntersville

Aside from figuring out grass patterns, contestants in the championship had to deal with heavy pressure from another championship derby and major weather swings. Day one was cancelled due to the threat of severe storms, so the entire field fished Friday and Saturday. On day two, windy, overcast conditions forced many anglers to adjust. The wind died and the clouds lingered on Saturday, eventually parting and giving way to a beautiful autumn day on the water. READ MORE »


Feldermann Consistent for Ozark Win

It’s been nearly 20 years since Mike Feldermann of Galena, Ill., has been to the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American. Now, after sacking up 45 pounds, 4 ounces of bass to win the 2018 BFL Regional presented by Mercury on Lake of the Ozarks, he’ll finally make it back to the prestigious championship. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

It may have felt like fall for the final Costa FLW Series Central Division event of the year on Lake of the Ozarks, but it didn’t exactly fish like it. The tournament, which was presented by Evinrude, saw fish caught from deep to shallow and it was clear that the majority of fish were in transition from their summer haunts to where they’ll feed up for fall. READ MORE »


Jeremy Lawyer Wins Costa FLW Series Central Division Finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – FLW Tour pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. Lawyer’s three-day total of 15 bass totaling 46 pounds, 3 ounces, was enough to earn the win by a 3-pound, 3-ounce margin... READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Fort Gibson

The final Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event of the year was a true grinder. In fact, both first and second place only landed 13 keepers all week on Fort Gibson. When it’s that tough, little differences between baits can sometimes make a difference. Below is what the top 10 threw to get it done. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Two heavy-hitting days buoyed Gregory Troughton to a 6-pound, 11-ounce lead going into a tough day three in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. The Discovery Bay, Calif., pro stumbled in the final round with a limit of 12-13, but outlasted the field and secured the win with 60-2. Troughton caught most of his fish by punching a Yamamoto Flappin Hog, but he added a few keepers on a Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jackhammer and a Don Iovino Splash-It popper. Read on to learn about the rest of the top 10. READ MORE »