UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Norris Lake Day 1 Coverage

Norris Lake Day 1 Coverage
Michael Milton

Quick Links

Live On The Water Twitter stream (scroll to the bottom)

Live weight estimates

Tournament details

How the lake lays out

Smallmouths?

 

2:30 p.m.: It’s about time to weigh some bass!

We’re 30 minutes from weigh-in with not a lot new to report. Matt Arey has filled his limit, but otherwise it’s been slim pickings in the final minutes. All that means we’re headed for a wicked tight weigh-in and that tomorrow could be anyone’s game. So get on out to Anderson County Park or flwfishing.com at 3 p.m. to see some beauty smallmouth and find out who takes the lead on day one!

 

2:00 p.m.: One hour to go until weigh-in starts

It’s crunch time. Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. ET and there are plenty of pros well shy of a limit. For any of them a keeper would go a really long way. Even for some in the top 10, a keeper or two would make a big difference. Because of the service on Norris, it’s likely that we’re missing updates from some pros, but even so, as the day winds down, the fishing looks to have been pretty tough.

Out on the Loyston Sea, the wind is rolling pretty good and has folks optimistic. Around takeoff, it’s easy to hear the whine of an outboard – pros are moving and grooving looking for that final bite or two to finish off the day. 

 

Matt Arey

1:30 p.m.: The fishing might be getting better

You might have noticed that the fishing on Norris hasn’t exactly been gangbusters today. Heck, Brandon Card doesn’t have any fish – if there’s any indication of how tough it is that oughta do it. Nonetheless, things might be turning on as the afternoon wears on. In practice, Todd Hollowell had one stellar afternoon, and there have been plenty of instances when the last minutes are the most key. Just recently, Sam Smith, Bill Dunn, Chris Gerrein, Luke Dunkin, Nick LeBrun and Trevor Windgassen have all boxed keepers. If the bite picks up around the lake, we could be in for an interesting afternoon. 

 

1:05 p.m.: Williams has culled

David Williams is crushing it today. He just culled up with a 3-pound smallie and is probably up to about 14 pounds. That puts him at least a pound ahead of second (either Lambert, Watson or Hollowell) and really marks him as the only pro to catch any kinds of solid numbers all day. 

 

12:40 p.m.: Talking Williams

David Williams has had a pretty good day so far. He’s unofficially in third with about 11 pounds, but he says he has around 12 pounds, which might put him in the lead. Regardless, he just threw back a keeper that wouldn’t help him and is one of just three pros with a limit. Williams started his day in a marina and says that he has had a couple 5-pounders either on or almost commit to his bait. If he had managed to get even one of them in he’d be having a transcendent day. Now, he’s left his marina and is running a gravel bank with a little wind and a spinnerbait. 

 

12:30 p.m.: Milton isn’t catching them

Going into the event, Michael Milton was one of the most talked-about locals. A tournament veteran who’s won a lot on Norris this year alone, he’s got a reputation as one who understands the ways of the smallmouths in Norris. Today, he’s sitting on a goose egg so far. He says the water temperature is off from what he’d like it to be, but if he can’t catch brown ones, that should signal that it will be tough on anyone looking for smallmouths. Nonetheless, he's still chosen to chase smallmouth, and caught two shorts a little while ago on a grub from more than 50 feet of water. 

 

James Watson

11:55 a.m.: Watson and Lambert are together at the top

James Watson is off to a solid start for sure. He’s got more than 11 pounds in the boat and should be feeling right at home. Todd Hollowell comped Norris to Beaver Lake and if Watson is good anywhere, it’s in the Ozarks. With that in mind, he might be poised for a very strong week. Today, Watson has been burning the bank up with a topwater and occasionally flipping to a dock when one presents itself. 

 

Jason Lambert

11:40 a.m.: Lambert is in the lead

Fishing way up the Clinch, we’ve not got Jason Lambert with the lead. So far, he’s got a limit for about 12 pounds (perhaps even more) and is on the hunt for more. Fishing as far up the Clinch as he is, he’ll likely need to ride at least 40 minutes to weigh-in, and that means he’s got to head back well before 3 o’clock in all likelihood. If he can get up into the low teens, based on the rest of the reports, he’ might have a decent cushion for at least making the cut. 

 

11:28 a.m.: Weather update

Most of the morning the wind stayed calm, but that’s beginning to change now. At takeoff, a decent breeze is ruffling the water and the number of leaves drifting off the trees is noticeably increasing. Out in the Loyston Sea, there’s a good chop building that might well activate the fish. That said, there are a lot of pockets and creeks on Norris, so if a pro wants to, it should be easy enough to find slick water. 

 

David Williams

11:10 a.m.: David Williams has a limit and the lead

David Williams has been plugging away all morning in a marina (he’s a dock expert form the Carolinas after all), and that decision has paid off pretty well so far. Minutes ago, he completed the first limit of the tournament so far with a 2-pound smallmouth. That fish brought him up to about 11 pounds and gives him the lead by about 3 pounds. 

 

Wesley Strader

10:25 a.m.: Look out for Hollowell and Strader

Streaking out into the lead with four fish apiece, Todd Hollowell has about 8 pounds and Wesley Strader has about 7 pounds. Interesting, Hollowell has caught at least one of each species, while Strader has all largemouths. They still have limits to fill, but it looks like Hollowell and Strader are poised for another good time like they enjoyed at Norman. 

 

10:02 a.m.: The pros are creeping toward limits

The most successful at catching numbers so far are David Williams, Wesley Strader, Todd Goade, Matthew Pain and Michael Neal. We’ve got each of them with three keepers and a touch behind Jim Moynagh who has just two. Many pundits predicted that the winner of this event would weigh less than a limit at least one day, but that doesn’t seem likely right now. When you consider that there are still five hours of fishing left for most, it looks like a lot of limits will hit the scale today. 

 

Jim Moynagh

9:45 a.m.: Moynagh is cooking

Jim Moynagh, all the way down south from Minnesota, is currently in the lead. After starting the day with a 2+, he added a 3+ to the mix and has about 6 pounds for a total. There’s obviously a long way to go, but most of our reports say the fishing has gotten tougher in the afternoons, so that’s a good little start to have. So far, he's spent the day fishing shallow and caught his big one off a dock. 

 

David Williams

9:15 a.m.: More updates

We expected the Loyston Sea to play a lot for smallmouths, and so far a lot of pros are in there. There’s not a whole ton of catching coming from that part of the lake though. Mostly, it’s running around with topwaters on points and chasing schoolers.

Very early on, the unofficial leaderboard looks pretty decent.

 

Wesley Smith – 4.0 (2)

Greg Werner – 3.5 (1)

David Williams – 3.2 (3)

Matt Arey – 3.0 (1)

Todd Hollowell – 3.0 (1)

James Watson – 3.0 (2)

James Mignanelli – 2.8 (1)

Ray Philhower – 2.75 (1)

Tracy Adams – 2.5

 

8:50 a.m.: Neal and Arey are cooking

Whenever you mix Tour pros with anglers drawn from the lower ranks you expect to see the better, more experienced anglers show out. So far today, that’s proving true, despite the fact that not many of the Tour anglers have experience on Norman. As of now, Matt Arey has a 3-pounder to start and Michael Neal is on the board with two keepers. 

 

8:25 a.m.: A few updates

So far, in addition to the first three pros on the board, we’ve got Mitch Crane, Stephen Patek and Ray Philhower on the board with keeper bass. Notably, Greg Werner has a 3.5-pound smallie to start his limit out. For a tournament that is supposed to be tough, that’s a key bass.

One thing to consider is that because of Norris’ size, some pros are only just getting to their first fishing spots. It’s a long run way up the Clinch or Powell and there might well be action all the way up them. 

 

8:00 a.m.: We’re rolling

The first three pros on the board are David Valdivia (with an 18-inch smallmouth), Matthew Pain with a small keeper largemouth and David Williams with a 1-pounder. It’s calm and serene all over the lake now and the sun is just starting to rise and light up the fall foliage. So far, we’re off to a great start. 

 

Scott Canterbury

7:30 a.m.: Fall is on the way and the final Walmart FLW Tour Invitational of the year is upon us

Taking out of Anderson County Park on Norris Lake, the start of the final Walmart FLW Tour Invitational presented by Quaker State was warm and calm. Sometime soon, that’s all going to change. Today’s highs are forecasted to reach into the 80s, on day two, the lows are set to be in the 40s with the high only barely scraping past 60 degrees. Though a front is on the way for sure – the first big cold front of fall for east Tennessee – most of today should be pretty good for fishing.

Norris is a sprawling fishery. It winds for miles up the Clinch and Powell Rivers and has a whole slew of creeks and coves on it to boot. For the 98 pros fishing this week, finding fresh water shouldn’t be much of an issue. Today, they’re mostly looking for largemouth and smallmouth bass (which need to be at least 18 inches to keep), though some spotted bass will undoubtedly be weighed in. Like many mountain reservoirs in this part of the country, it fluctuates a lot seasonally and is currently about 20 feet low. Besides taking some cover out of the water, that shouldn’t faze the fish too much.

One of the main questions this event is if largemouth or smallmouth will triumph. We won’t have that answer until the final weigh-in on Saturday, but today will go a good ways toward showcasing a fishery that is a mite tough now, but outstanding when the water temperature is cold. 

 

Tournament details

Format: All pros will compete for the first two days. The top 20 pros based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:30 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: Anderson County Park, 2191 Park Lane, Andersonville, Tenn. 37705

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. ET

Weigh-In Location: Anderson County Park

Complete details

 

Practice Coverage

Practice with Chris Gosselaar

Practice with Todd Hollowell

 

Conditions - Five-Day Forecast

Temperature at takeoff: 6 degrees

Forecast high: 81 degrees

Sky: overcast

Precipitation: 20 percent chance of showers in the morning, 50 percent chance of thundershowers in the afternoon

Wind: calm 

Tags: headline-story  2016-10-20-norris-lake 

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »