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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Stefan Sticks 18

Stefan Sticks 18
Matthew Stefan

Muddy, rising water has been the bane of the FLW Tour recently. After a rising-water event at Lake Cumberland, then a mega rising-water event at Beaver Lake, the pros once again find themselves in a familiar predicament at the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on the Mississippi.

After a warm, sunny practice where bass were moving up by the droves to spawn, a cold front dumped plenty of rain in the river basin Wednesday. For FLW Tour pros, it was like déjà vu all over again. And with many Tour pros having very little prior experience on the Mighty Mississippi, things can get even more confusing.

Complete results

Day one coverage blog

Top five patterns from day one

But even just a little experience on the river goes a long way, as day one tournament leader Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Wis., demonstrated Thursday.

Stefan took the early lead with five smallmouths weighing 18 pounds even.

“I am by no means a river stud over here on these pools, but I do fish here about five days a year,” says Stefan, who lives about two hours away from La Crosse. “I’ve never fished here in May, but on this place, just knowing how to get around in these backwaters and how to gauge barge traffic for locking is a big help. So, comparatively speaking, I probably do have a little bit of an advantage on guys who have never seen this place before this week.”

Stefan sampled pools 8 and 9 for his catch Thursday. He weighed in all smallmouths, a rarity for day one limits.

“I really didn’t come here specifically to target smallmouths this week,” he says. “But I just couldn’t get much going with the largemouths in practice and I found there were still a few quality smallmouths on beds, so that’s the direction I went.”

Matt Stefan

Stefan started his day by plucking a couple of bedding brownies that he had marked in practice. From there he mostly fished banks where smallmouth bedding is more probable.

“I know two of the ones I weighed were on beds, but the other three came just fishing,” he says. “Could they have been on beds? Maybe so, but I don’t know that for a fact.”

Stefan was understandably not very detailed about what kinds of banks he’s targeting, but did say he’s fishing the same way he does back home on the Wisconsin River.

“The Wisconsin is like a little mini Mississippi River,” he adds. “The fish set up the same way. So I’m fishing similar type banks that I would fish back home. It’s stuff that feels comfortable to me.”

Like others, Stefan is on edge about locking again on Friday.

“I’m going to start in 8,” he says. “And if I can get to the cut weight by staying here, then I’ll save 9 for the weekend. But if I can’t get it going here [8], I might have to risk it and go down there for a bit.”

 

 

Top 10 pros

1. Matthew Stefan – Junction City, Wis. – 18-0 (5)

2. Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 17-14 (5)

3. Todd Auten – Lake Wylie, S.C. – 16-11 (5)

3. Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 16-11 (5)

5. Matt Greenblatt – Port St. Lucie, Fla. – 16-1 (5)

6. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 15-14 (5)
7. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 15-13 (5)

7. Jeff Sprague – Point, Texas – 15-13 (5)

9. Josh Weaver – Macon, Ga. – 15-9 (5)

9. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 15-9 (5)

Complete results

 

Tim Beale

Beale takes day one co-angler lead

Tim Beale of Hernando, Miss. sits atop the day one co-angler leaderboard with a five-fish limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Beale, who fished day one with Maiden, N.C., pro Drew Montgomery, says he caught his fish dragging plastic baits in shallow water in a backwater area off the main river.

“We fished a combination of muddy and clear water,” says Beale. “It was tough fishing at first, and it took us a while to get the bites.” 

Complete results

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2017-05-18-mississippi-river-pools-7-8-9- 

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 »