UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

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- 

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Andre Dickneite of Freeburg, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Dickneite earned a total of $3,794. READ MORE »

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Boater Mike Wallis of Hallsville, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Wallis earned a total of $5,009. READ MORE »

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Boater Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hamilton. For his victory, Houchin earned $13,460, which includes the lucrative FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency payout. READ MORE »

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Boater Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla.,brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Gator Division Super-Tournament at Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Honnerlaw earned $6,817. READ MORE »

Amerson Wins First BFL

Amerson Wins First BFL

Boater Keith Amerson of Bethel Springs, Tenn.,, brought a two-day total of six bass to the scale weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine LBL Division Super-Tournament at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. For his victory, Amerson earned $5,376. READ MORE »

Morgan Wins No. 3

Morgan Wins No. 3

Boater Brian Morgan of Mooresville, N.C., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine North Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Lake Norman. Morgan earned a total of $5,831 for his victory – his third win of the year in the North Carolina Division. READ MORE »

Smith Scores Close to Home

Smith Scores Close to Home

Boater Michael M. Smith of Andalusia, Ala., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bama Division Super-Tournament at Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Smith earned $6,329. READ MORE »

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

The dock talk all week at the Potomac River for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again today as the wind help stall the tide making things tough for most of the top 10. James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from second to first with 40 pounds, 11 ounces overall. For the win, Maupin earns his first FLW trophy and over $24,000.  READ MORE »

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

The leaderboard definitely saw some shuffling on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, but Wayne Vaughan managed to keep the top spot thanks to another solid day. Weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces today, Vaughan’s total now stands at 31-10 and gives him a nearly 5-pound lead over second place. If he can put it together for one more day, Vaughan will take home his second Toyota Series title in just as many years. READ MORE »