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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

In the Boat with Reyes

In the Boat with Reyes

The second day of practice for the FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State at Lake Travis dawned almost exactly like the first: cloudy, calm and unseasonably warm, with air temperatures in the 60s and water temperatures hovering right around 60 degrees.

Huffman, Texas, pro Jason Reyes, fresh off a top-20 finish at Guntersville, let me ride along for a few hours Monday morning on what turned out to be his first practice day on the water, having missed Sunday for his son Jesse’s baseball tournament.

 

We put in on a private ramp about midway down the lake, and Reyes almost immediately swerves into a small nearby cove.

Reyes starts off throwing a Strike King Twin Tail Menace Grub in 7 to 8 feet of water off a little point not far from the launch site. The sky is mostly overcast, with a water temperature of 62. Reyes quickly switches to a spinnerbait, then a small swimbait retrieved over the tops of submerged brush.

 

“A couple years ago this lake was like 40 feet down,” he says. “But now all these bushes are submerged, and I think they’re going to be in play this weekend. All these bushes are growing a fair way out into the lake. It’s so early for the lake this year. It feels like spring.”

Reyes continues down the shoreline, occasionally turning to cast to fish busting farther offshore. He hooks a crappie, and as he takes it off the hook Reyes reminisces about his varied catch at Guntersville.

 

“I caught all sorts of stuff,” he recalls. “I caught crappie, catfish, drum, an old net, someone’s lost Rat-L-Trap, and I foul-hooked a water turkey.”

 

Reyes did manage to catch a few bass as well, finishing 13th with a three-day total of 13 fish weighing 42 pounds, 14 ounces.

He catches one small bass, then pulls up for a long run toward the dam area.

“I think both ends of the lake are going to be in play this week,” he says as he motors into one of Travis’ many dock-covered arms. “There are so many docks on this lake that if a guy can get something going on them it’d certainly broaden the horizon a little bit. I like to flip up in the bushes, but over the years I’ve learned to back off and have gained confidence fishing deeper. A guy can be one-dimensional and do well a few times, but there comes a time when that won’t work.”

 

Reyes works a 4-inch green pumpkin finesse worm on a shaky head, skipping it under and around docks, retaining walls, rocks and submerged brush in water that ranges from as deep as 20 feet around the dock ends to 2 to 3 feet right up against the rocks.

 

“I’m just searching around for some reaction bites,” explains Reyes. “A shaky head gives you a good indication of the size of fish in the area. You can catch a 7-pounder on it or a 12-incher.”

A bit later Reyes notices fish busting off a small, gradually sloping finger point jutting into the middle of the cove.

“That’s going to make me pick up my swimbait,” he says, picking up his swimbait rod and making a few exploratory casts across the point. Nothing bites, so he pulls up and goes down the lake a mile or so before pulling up into a small arm containing a shallow, gradually sloping shoreline dotted with scattered clumps of submerged brush leading back into a narrow creek channel.

 

Reyes alternately works the Texas-rigged Menace and a Yamamoto Senko through the brush, which sits in about 4 to 5 feet of water. He misses a couple short strikes. Then, as the sun begins peeking through the clouds and the air temperature slowly climbs into the upper 60s, Reyes switches up to a square-bill crankbait, getting several hits from small bass.

 

Around 10 a.m. he moves across the lake to a long, winding arm where Reyes works the shaky head along the steep bluff shorelines in 10 to 12 feet of water. The arm gets progressively shallower as he works farther off the main lake, until he ends up in a small creek arm in 3 to 5 feet of water with submerged brush and Johnson grass along both sides of the arm. Reyes continues to throw a combination of the shaky head, Senko and the square-bill crankbait. He picks up a few small fish, then misses a nicer one.

 

“I’m just trying to mix it up with a combination of fall baits and motion baits to see what sticks,” he explains. “It’ll be interesting to see how the pre-tournament weather impacts how we’re going to fish this thing. I don’t think the fish are really where we want them to be, spawn-wise. We’re all still trying to figure out if the bass are coming up shallow or if they’re still deeper. It doesn’t seem like a typical spawning setup yet.”

Eventually he pulls up and heads back to the ramp, but not before trying one last spot, a narrow inlet densely packed with docks, boat slips and moored sailboats.

 

“I caught some fish here back in 2007,” he says. “But I haven’t been back here since. I thought I’d give it a cast or two.”

Reyes goes back to his favorite searching bait, the 4-inch green pumpkin finesse worm on a shaky head, and quickly begins catching small bass along the brush behind the marina. As he does he explains his practice philosophy.

“This one’s going to play out a little different from Guntersville,” says Reyes. “We just came off a winding tournament where we were throwing Traps over and over. Then we come here and we may hit it where we’re going to need to slow it down. I’m not a guy that needs to catch a ton of fish in practice. I just need to have an idea of what I need to do. I don’t get nervous if I’m catching 25 a day. I just want to feel comfortable with the technique I settle in with rather than seeing how many pounds I can accumulate in practice.”

 

As for what it will take to win on Travis, Reyes predicts a tight finish.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot in terms of weight between making it and not making it. I think one or two good fish are what’s going to swing it.” 

Tags: chad-love  pre-tournament  2017-02-16-lake-travis 

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing pressure and a cold front have shut down the bite at Table Rock Lake for stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division season. The lake's largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are not coming easy. READ MORE »

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division should shape up to be quite the catchfest. Coming off of the division opener on Kentucky Lake, where pros were challenged with tough fishing, this week’s event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, should be stellar in terms of both numbers and quality of fish.  READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live is back for 2019 FLW Tour stop No. 6 on the big-fish waters of Lake Chickamauga. The event, which is presented by Evinrude and hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, runs Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

The FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season is Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee. One of the gems of the South for hunting monster bass, the Lake of the Giants promises big fish – and lots of them – and perhaps the best chance of seeing the century mark broken this season. READ MORE »

Hunting Offshore With Setzer

Hunting Offshore With Setzer

If Braxton Setzer wins the FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season fishing offshore, he has a faulty trolling motor to thank for it. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee is a big-bass playground where anglers regularly catch trophy fish that surpass 10 pounds. In early May, it'll host the FLW Tour for the third time in six years. Previous events were held in June, so this stop promises to offer a different look at the Chick. READ MORE »

Big Weights Expected at Santee Cooper

Big Weights Expected at Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finishes up its 2019 season at the Santee Cooper lakes, Marion and Moultrie, in South Carolina this week. Forty pros and co-anglers will qualify for the championship, and an Angler of the Year will be crowned as the field fishes for hefty postspawn largemouths. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Cherokee Lake

FLW Live Schedule for Cherokee Lake

FLW Live is back for 2019 FLW Tour stop No. 5 at beautiful Cherokee Lake. The event, which is presented by Lowrance and hosted by the Jefferson County Economic Development Alliance, runs Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14. READ MORE »

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

The fifth stop of the FLW Tour is presented by Lowrance and sure to be fun if you like east Tennessee, smallmouths and good fishing (who doesn’t?). Cherokee Lake plays host and promises to both challenge and delight anglers. READ MORE »

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers started the year off about as badly as he could, finishing 121st at Rayburn, but he’s been on a tear ever since, finishing 54th at Toho before banking back-to-back top 10s at Seminole and Grand. READ MORE »

Scouting Cherokee with LeBrun

Scouting Cherokee with LeBrun

Now in the second half of the Tour season, LeBrun is up against another new lake, and sort of a new species. He says he’s never seen a smallmouth on a bed in his life, and has spent just two days on Cherokee in pre-practice. READ MORE »

2019 Cherokee Lake Preview

2019 Cherokee Lake Preview

Nestled in the hills of east Tennessee, Cherokee Lake is a TVA impoundment on the Holston River, and it sits roughly between Norris Lake (to the northwest) and Douglas Lake (to the southeast). READ MORE »

Prespawn Throwdown on Tap at KY Lake

Prespawn Throwdown on Tap at KY Lake

The Costa FLW Series Central Division hosts its season opener at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley April 4-6. Instead of a postspawn ledge showdown, like is typical of major multi-day bass-fishing tournaments in the region, this derby should be a prespawn or spawn slugfest, with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits, umbrella rigs, swimbait and jigs all playing a major role in the outcome. READ MORE »

Get to Know Grand Lake

Get to Know Grand Lake

The fourth stop of the 2019 FLW Tour is presented by Mercury at Grand Lake. Though the Tour last hit the big Oklahoma lake in 2013, Grand sees plenty of tournament action, especially in the spring, and it never fails to deliver drama. READ MORE »

Poking Around Grand with Cortiana

Poking Around Grand with Cortiana

Since starting to fish Costa FLW Series events in 2016, Kyle Cortiana has banked over $100,000 with FLW and finished in the top 10 of the Southwestern Division three times. On the FLW Tour, he’s been a bit less successful, with no top 10s and no FLW Cup qualifications … yet. This year, he’s sitting 35th in the points, with a good chance to go to the Cup, and the FLW Tour presented by Mercury on Grand Lake finally gives him a shot at a Tour event with home field advantage. READ MORE »

Day 1 Practice on Grand with Warren

Day 1 Practice on Grand with Warren

There’s a good crew of Oklahoma anglers on the FLW Tour, but of them, Chad Warren is definitely one of the favorites at Grand Lake. Stop No. 4 of the 2019 FLW Tour, which is presented by Mercury, heads to Grand in the early spring for a prespawn tournament that might feature really good fishing. READ MORE »

2019 Grand Lake Preview

2019 Grand Lake Preview

Grand Lake is situated in Northeast Oklahoma among the foothills of the Ozarks. The impoundment was created in 1940 when the Pensacola Dam was finished along the Grand River. The 46,500-surface-acre reservoir now hosts plenty of recreational opportunities, but more importantly, is also home to some of the best bass fishing in the country. READ MORE »

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division promises much better fishing than the first. Moving north from a cold front-plagued Florida swing, the field will visit Lake Chickamauga for the middle event of the season. The tournament, which is presented by T-H Marine, should feature excellent fishing, as the east Tennessee reservoir pretty much always kicks out giants. READ MORE »