UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Nixon Frogs His Way to Hartwell Win

Nixon Frogs His Way to Hartwell Win
Jason Nixon

It was a tournament of firsts for Jason Nixon and Alex Hester, the winners of the boater and co-angler divisions, respectively, at the Lake Hartwell FLW Bass Fishing League Regional in Seneca, S.C., which took place Oct. 27-29. Although both anglers had won their share of money and trophies in past tournaments, but neither had won a boat before this tournament, and neither had ever qualified for the BFL All-American.

Both anglers completed those tasks over the weekend, qualifying for the All-American to be held at Pickwick Lake in May 2017, and leaving Lake Hartwell with a new Ranger boat.

Nixon, of Wetumpka, Ala., weighed in a five-bass limit on Saturday that pushed the scale to 13 pounds, 5 ounces to take first place with a three-day total weight of 31 pounds, 2 ounces. He earned a check for $20,000 on top of the new boat.

Nixon clawed and scraped his way into the top spot. Although he fished a consistent tournament, he wasn’t in particularly good shape after day two, as he sat in 10th place and All-American slots are reserved for the top six finishers. Luckily for Nixon, he saved his best bag for the last day, when the weights of most other anglers dropped off.

The majority of Nixon’s fish came on a SPRO Popping Frog in rainforest black. Most of his fish were caught in just two spots throughout three days of the tournament.

“I found three places during practice that had stained water, which is what I was looking for,” says Nixon, noting that stained water suits his style of fishing. “I rode all over the lake during practice, and those were the only three I found where there was stained water, and I caught fish in all three spots in practice. Then on the first day of the tournament, the water in my first spot wasn’t stained any longer. It was clear, and I didn’t catch a single fish on it. I went to my second spot and caught four fish. Then I went to my third spot and caught two more. Then on day two, I didn’t even go back to my first spot. I just fished the other two, and luckily caught what I needed.”

Nixon’s primary areas were shallow, and brush tops provided specific targets.

“Some fish would just swirl at it [the frog] but not touch it. But the ones that bit, they hit it hard and just about swallowed it,” he says. “One of my spots was in the middle of the lake, and the other one was in the lower end.”

 

Jason Wilson

Wilson jigs his way to second place

Jason Wilson of Lincolnton, N.C., took second place with a total weight of 28 pounds, 12 ounces, winning $10,200, which included the $200 Costa contingency prize money. Although he used a different lure than Nixon, Wilson’s tournament was similar, as he caught most of his fish on one lure throughout all three days of the tournament.

“I caught almost all my fish on an ER Lures Jig that is actually named after me. It [the color] is called Jason’s magic craw,” he says. “It’s a green pumpkin brown color, and it works pretty much anywhere.”

Using the jig, Wilson caught his fish by skipping docks. His strategy didn’t rely on finding a particular depth of water or docks that were near any other type of structure. His goal was simply to put his jig under as many docks as he could.

“I’m from North Carolina, and if you want to compete in our lakes, you’ve got to be able to skip docks, so that’s what I did here. I’ve found that if you put that jig under enough docks, you’re going to catch your share of fish,” he says. “I did notice that I caught a few fish on docks in deep pockets, but I didn’t have any preference for what was nearby. I just tried to hit as many docks as I could. I usually just make one cast on a dock, and if I don’t catch one on that cast, then I move on to the next dock.”

 

Conrad Bolt

Bolt places third

Hometown angler Conrad Bolt of Seneca finished third with a total weight of 28 pounds, 9 ounces, pocketing $5,100, including Costa’s $100 prize package.

 

Top 10 boaters

1. Jason Nixon – Wetumpka, Ala. – 31-02 (15) – $65,000

2. Jason Wilson – Lincolnton, N.C. – 28-12 (15) – $10,200

3. Conrad Bolt – Seneca, S.C. – 28-09 (15) – $5,100

4. Barry Hooper – Monticello, Ga. – 28-02 (15) – $3,000

5. Brad Fowler – Townville, S.C. – 28-00 (15) – $2,000

6. Todd Harris – Clemmons, N.C. – 27-07 (14) – $1,800

7. Joseph Marks – Duncan, S.C. – 26-15 (15) – $2,600

8. Clabion Johns – Covington, Ga. – 25-09 (8) – $1,400

9. Randy Gillespie – Sanford, N.C. – 25-06 (15) – $1,200

10. Michael Anders – Anderson, S.C. – 24-08 (15) – $1,000

Complete results

 

Alex Hester

Hester wins co-angler title

Alex Hester of Crossville, Tenn., earned his first trip to the All-American by winning the co-angler division of the Hartwell BFL Regional with a three-day total weight of 19 pounds, 12 ounces. Hester won a Ranger boat with an Evinrude outboard worth $45,000.

Hester’s top lure for the tournament was a shaky head, which he says he never goes fishing without, especially as a co-angler.

“It’s tough to fish three days with three different anglers and be able to fish a certain dominant pattern all three days,” says Hester. “You don’t know what angler you’re going to draw, or what style of fishing they’re going to want to do. So a shaky head is one of those lures that can give you a chance to make it to the final day no matter what kind of water you’re fishing. It’s not my favorite lure to fish, but it’s the one I know I can fish no matter what my angler decides to do.”

This certainly held true, as Hester caught fish in deep water, shallow water, stained water and clear water throughout the tournament.

He says two things surprised him during the tournament. First, he was surprised that his angler on day one, Riley Yeargan, found some dirty water that was very productive. Second, Hester caught one of his fish in 30 feet of water.

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Alex Hester – Crossville, Tenn. – 19-12 (14) – $45,000

2. Clarence Raney – Murfreesboro, Tenn. – 19-09 (12) – $5,000

3. Pat Kendrick – Bumpass, Va. – 19-04 (15) – $2,500

4. Richard Young – Ellenboro, N.C. – 18-12 (13) – $1,500

5. Jeff Scism – Shelby, N.C. – 17-08 (11) – $1,100

6. Greg Ravitsky – Ashburn, Va. – 17-05 (11) – $950

7. Marvin Godard – Charlotte, N.C. – 17-01 (11) – $800

8. Nicholas Ireland – Raleigh, N.C. – 16-12 (12) – $700

9. Radney Atchison – Prattville, Ala. – 15-11 (11) – $600

10. Keith Lynch – River Falls, Ala. – 14-14 (11) – $500

Complete results

 

All-American qualification and double-qualification

The Lake Hartwell Regional featured the top boaters from the Bama, Music City, North Carolina and Piedmont divisions. Per FLW rules, 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. However, in this particular event, sixth-place co-angler Greg Ravitsky had previously qualified through the Kerr Lake Regional, so FLW extended an additional invite to seventh-place co-angler Marvin Godard.

Tags: jason-nixon  lake-hartwell  bfl-regional  brian-cope  headline-story  2016-10-27-lake-hartwell 

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

In what had to be an ironic sight, while Cox watched others around him beat Sam Rayburn’s shallow brush, the DeBary, Fla., pro sacked up 21 pounds, 7 ounces and take the day one lead by focusing out deeper with a crankbait to kick off the new Pro Circuit season. READ MORE »

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn provided plenty of fish, but none of the mega-bags that hit the scale in 2019. As is often the case, John Cox is in the lead after day one, with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Behind him, are a strong collection of tour veterans, up-and-coming pros and local talent. In second with 21-4 is Greg Bohannan and close behind him is Darold Gleason with 21-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season is officially underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas. With the new season comes some fresh faces and familiar favorites, all of whom are looking to get a head start on the rest of the field in the 2020 Angler of the Year points standings. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the first stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

Built on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a fairly typical example of a Southeastern spotted bass and largemouth fishery. Though there are shad and bream, the primary forage is blueback herring. Hartwell has very little vegetation outside of flooded dog fennel, and the primary cover types are docks, rock, shoreline wood, brush and cane piles. READ MORE »

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

Running Ditches for Winter Bass

Running Ditches for Winter Bass

There are a lot of excuses to not go fishing this time of year. Though, if you like catching bass and avoiding the crowds, you should definitely consider keeping the boat hooked up to your truck instead of the 4-wheeler. READ MORE »

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 »

Marietta High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open

Marietta High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Marietta High School duo of Carter Koza of Maretta, Georgia, and Paul Marks, of Cumming, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open... READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, and Grant Tattersall, of Sterling, Virginia, 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... 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 »