UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - California Delta

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- 

Co-Angler Winslow Goes Light to Win

Co-Angler Winslow Goes Light to Win

Fishing with eventual winner Wayne Vaughan on the final day, Winslow utilized a light-weight technique to catch 15 pounds, 2 ounces (and 50-11 total) to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Vaughan Gets Dream Win on St. Lawrence

Vaughan Gets Dream Win on St. Lawrence

Making a key adjustment on the final day, Vaughan turned a small limit into a tournament-winning 20-pound, 11-ounce stringer to take home the victory in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 2

Four of the top seven anglers in the Angler of the Year points race for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits made the top-10 cut, and three of them – Scott Dobson, Casey Smith and Wayne Vaughan – are in the top five with real chances at winning both the tournament and AOY. READ MORE »

Kelley Grabs Lead with 43 Pounds

Kelley Grabs Lead with 43 Pounds

Down near Ogdensburg, N.Y. – roughly 45 miles from takeoff – was the area on day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits, as the majority of the top bags came from there. A day later, it was the anglers who ran 75 miles or more down to Clayton, N.Y., and beyond who scored big, while the Ogdensburg bunch either capitalized in small windows or not at all. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Moving and transitioning fish, changing winds, long runs that didn’t always pan out and a 1-ounce lead at the top. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, certainly hasn’t lacked storylines. READ MORE »

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

There were no 25-pound mega-bags coming across the stage at weigh-in of the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division. The event on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, hasn’t been the slugfest many expected after one day of fishing. There were still plenty of 20-pound bags, though, and the St. Lawrence on a bad day is still a tremendous fishery. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River opened to perfect conditions for anyone looking to burn some gas. Yes, it was a crisp 40 degrees at takeoff, but it was clear and calm. In fact, the current is ripping so hard it’s keeping the river as flat as most anglers have ever seen. Most pros should’ve been able to run all 95 miles to Lake Ontario (and into the lake if they wanted to) with little trouble. READ MORE »

Seal Sticks to River

Seal Sticks to River

Zackery Seal of Findley Lake, New York, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division super-tournament at the 1000 Islands Sunday. Seal earned $6,066 for his efforts. The Northeast Division is presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division super-tournament on the James River Sunday. Elrod earned $3,542 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob super-tournament on Lake of the Ozarks Sunday. For his victory, Fitzpatrick earned $6,891 for his efforts. READ MORE »

No. 6 for Schroeder

No. 6 for Schroeder

Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Kentucky, brought a two-day total of seven bass to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division super-tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Schroeder earned $6,122 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division super-tournament on Watts Bar Lake Sunday. Murray earned $7,334 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, added another BFL victory to his impressive resume Sunday, bringing a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell. Rampey earned $5,665 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Jim Leary of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division super-tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Cortland Line Sunday. Leary earned $5,869 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Bill Humbard of New Market, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Cherokee Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts on the water, Humbard took home $6,337. READ MORE »

Youngstown Wins on Erie

Youngstown Wins on Erie

The Youngstown State University duo of Jeffrey Jardine of Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots of McDonald, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds even. The victory earned the Penguins’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championshi READ MORE »

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Charles Williams of Clarksville, Arkansas, won this weekend’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Lake Dardanelle presented by Navionics after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Williams took home $4,868. READ MORE »

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Mark Shadowens of Kiefer, Oklahoma, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. For his finish, Shadowens pocketed $5,704. READ MORE »

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Bradley Smith of Saint Jacob, Illinois, took home the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. For his win, Smith pocketed $7,310. READ MORE »

Lobato Sticks to Pool 8

Lobato Sticks to Pool 8

Fernando Lobato of Sparta, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at La Crosse Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 2 ounces. Lobato earned $5,316 for his win. READ MORE »