UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Collings Wins at Dardanelle

Collings Wins at Dardanelle
Sheldon Collings

Though only 18 years old, Sheldon Collings of Grove, Okla., made a major career move by winning the FLW Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger at Lake Dardanelle.

It was Collings' first victory.

Despite unseasonably warm and dry conditions, the 182-boat field found that the most famous bass fishery in Arkansas exhibited normal stained water patterns from Oct. 27-29, with current and wind being the dominant factors.

Collings, an Okie Division competitor, forged three formidably consistent days in the Arkansas River tailwater below Dardanelle Lock & Dam to weigh in a final total of 47 pounds, 4 ounces. That was 5 pounds, 7 ounces more than Melvin Dunn of Orange, Texas (41-13), and nearly a 10-spot above Justin Atkins of Florence, Ala. (38-13).

Sheldon Collings

Although he weighed in an impressive limit of 15-13 in the first round, Collings trailed Jeffrey Smith of Knob Noster, Mo. (19-14), by a considerable margin. However, Collings maintained steady pressure in the second round to bring 15-7 to the scale for a two-day total of 31-4. Smith weighed in 9-5 and slipped behind at 29-3.

Collings finished strong on day three with 16 pounds to earn $20,000 and a fully-rigged Ranger boat package.

Rock wing dams are the only structure in the tailwater, but heavy current from the dam attracted big bass to them.

Collings' technique was simple. He threw a chartreuse/black back Strike King KVD 2.5 square-bill crankbait upstream into the current and retrieved it quickly with his 7.5:1 Lew’s Speed Spool baitcaster. He used a 7-foot, 1-inch, medium-heavy-action rod and 15-pound-test Seaguar InvisX line.

“Every spot that I pulled up to, I caught a 4-pounder,” Collings says. “I didn't catch a lot of fish, but I caught some big ones.”

The final weigh-in ceremony was emotional as Collings fought back tears. His mother and father joined him onstage as he uttered his closing remarks.

“I've never done good here before,” Collings said to the crowd. “I fished my butt off. To win this tournament means the world to me.”

 

Melvin Dunn

Dunn cranks, punches to runner-up finish

Melvin Dunn's knowledge of Lake Dardanelle is limited to Delaware Bay and Dardanelle State Park, but the riprap banks in those areas were generous.

“When the wind blew, I could get five fish off the riprap,” Dunn says. “If the wind didn't blow, I'd have to leave and go punch mats. I grinded that square-bill on the riprap. In fact, I grinded the bills off my crankbaits. I had to get a whole new set of them from a buddy of mine who didn't qualify.”

For the first two days, Dunn used a 6th Sense Crush 50X square-bill in chrome threadfin. On the last day he used a 6th Sense square-bill in candy citrus shad. For mats, he used a 1 1/4-ounce weight to ram a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver through the cover.

“I never changed my pattern,” Dunn says. “I kept my boat about 3 feet off the rocks and paralleled them all day. At about 12 o'clock, the dinner bell would go off every day, and I'd get a quick limit.”

Dunn says his Lowrance electronics were important. He used StructureScan to find hard rises near the riprap. That's where the fish were.

A lull on day one was costly. Dunn only weighed in two fish.

 

Justin Atkins

Atkins targets drainage pipes for third

Though he won a tournament at Dardanelle in 2009, memories were of no use to Justin Atkins. Conditions demanded a different strategy, and he found success at a couple of drainage pipes and a shallow stretch of laydowns.

Atkins caught a mess of short fish at the first pipe in the first round, but he caught a 3-pounder and missed three big fish at the second pipe.

Then he made the decision that turned his fortunes.

“I headed upriver to throw a Rat-L-Trap and catch some spotted bass,” Atkins says. “I wasn't going to make the All-American catching spotted bass, so I turned around and went all the way back downriver and fished laydowns on the main river outside of pockets.”

At the start of the second day, Atkins found shad schooling at his first drainage pipe. He caught nearly 12 pounds in the first 30 minutes. He moved to the laydowns and finished the day with 16-14. The pattern faded to 12-5 on the last day, but it was enough to earn a spot at the All-American.

Atkins caught all of his fish on the pipes with a 1/2-ounce blue shad War Eagle spinnerbait. On the laydowns he used a chartreuse/white Stanley VibraShaft spinnerbait that has been out of production since 1991. Atkins has 15 of them.

“That spinnerbait, with its tapered wire, causes the whole wire to move,” Atkins says. “It makes a full wide rotation like a helicopter to make a good, hard thump. You get a lot more bites on that spinnerbait.”

His rod was a 7-3 Abu Garcia Veracity mated to an 8:1 Abu Garcia Revo STX spooled with Berkley 20-pound-test line.

 

Top 10 boaters

1. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 47-04 – $20,000 and Ranger boat

2. Melvin Dunn – Orange, Texas – 41-13 – $10,000

3. Justin Atkins – Florence, Ala. – 38-13 – $5,000

4. Jeffrey Smith – Knob Noster, Mo. – 29-03 – $3,000

5. Roger Fitzpatrick – Eldon, Mo. – 36-10 – $2,100

6. Lane McGaha – Dubach, La. – 35-00 – $1,800

7. Ryan Wilbanks – Wagoner, Okla. – 34-04 – $1,600

8. Jimmy Washam – Covington, Tenn. – 31-10 – $1,400

9. Austin Lowrey – Webb City, Mo. – 31-02 – $1,200

10. Dicky Newberry – Houston, Texas – 27-02 – $1,000

Complete results

 

Montgomery wins co-angler division

Mike Montgomery of Cuba, Mo., won the co-angler division at Lake Dardanelle with a three-day weight of 25 pounds that was worth a new Ranger boat package and a berth in the BFL All-American.

Adapting to the diverse styles of his boaters allowed Montgomery to weigh in catches of 5-4, 10-10 and 8-8, respectively. He fished the first day in Piney Creek, a well-known hot spot where Montgomery caught four Kentucky bass and a keeper largemouth by dragging a 6-inch green pumpkin Zoom Trick Worm through rocks.

He fished the second day far upriver in a remote section of Spadra Creek, where he fished all day with a 1 1/2-ounce white/chartreuse Strike King spinnerbait with a willow-leaf blade and a chartreuse/gold lime River2Sea Biggie square-bill crankbait.

“There were so many shad in there that it looked like it was raining,” Montgomery says of the effect of the shad flitting at the surface.

Montgomery fished with boater champ Sheldon Collings on the third day in the Arkansas River. Montgomery caught his fish off wing dams with a chartreuse/blue River2Sea square-bill.

The co-angler winner expressed deep gratitude to Collings for giving him the freedom to fish.

“He [Collings] had 16 pounds by 9:30,” Montgomery says. “He slowed down and said, 'I've got a really good bag. I'm going to let you get a limit.' He let me fish hard all afternoon. I got four keepers. He treated me as good as gold.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Michael Montgomery – Cuba, Mo. – 25-00 – Ranger Boat

2. Ronald Smith Jr. - Kansas City, Mo. – 16-04 – $5,000

3. Damon Duncan – Kansas, Okla. – 16-01 – $2,500

4. David Lansford – Muskogee, Okla. – 14-14 – $1,500

5. Dennis Meyer – Ballwin, Mo. – 13-14 – $1,100

6. Justin Newell – Muskogee, Okla. – 13-11 – $950

7. Heath Gilmore – Meridian, Miss. – 13-09 – $800

8. Stephen Brown – Arlington, Tenn. – 13-07 – $700

9. Sam Bremmerkamp – Joplin, Mo. – 12-15 – $600

10. Steven Fisher – Lufkin, Texas – 12-03 – $500

Complete results

 

All-American qualification

The Lake Seminole Regional featured the top boaters from the Cowboy, Mississippi, Okie and Ozark divisions. The top six boaters and co-anglers qualified to compete in the 2017 FLW Bass Fishing League All-American, which is a televised event with a six-figure payday and a boater berth in the Forrest Wood Cup on the line.

Tags: bfl-regional  lake-dardanelle  sheldon-collings  bryan-hendricks  headline-story  2016-10-27-lake-dardanelle 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »