UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hester Claims Co-Angler Title

Alex Hester

When you’re a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League co-angler, the boater you draw as a partner can help you or hurt you. He might not fish the way you like to fish, or have enough bass staked out somewhere for the both of you to catch. On the other hand, he might be perfect, or nearly so, on all counts.

Alex Hester of Crossville, Tenn., hit the trifecta here in the T-H Marine BFL All-American this week as he drew three partners who helped him claim the co-angler championship on Pickwick Lake with 49 pounds. Hester pocketed $60,000 in prize money and in Saturday’s championship round earned the distinction of having caught the biggest fish of the three-day event: a 9-pound, 2-ounce largemouth. Missouri angler Jacob Harris was runner-up in the co-angler standings with 36-10.

Winning boater pattern

Complete results 

The 29-year-old Hester fished with local stick Lloyd Pickett Jr. on day one and Hester knew he had found a kindred spirit as soon as Pickett unlimbered his Carolina rig rod. Hester caught a limit of 12-15 – good for seventh place – and took the lead on the second day with a 15-pound, 3-ounce limit he boated while fishing with South Carolina angler Brad Fowler.

Marhsall Deakins and Alex Hester

The capper came Saturday when Hester fished with Marshall Deakins, the eventual winner on the boater side. Within an hour of taking off from McFarland Park, Hester boated a 5 ½-pound bass on a Zoom Trick Worm rigged on a YUM Standup Jighead. Minutes later, the 9-pounder gulped down a black Zoom Brush Hog being dragged along in a Carolina rig. The anglers were fishing a ridge that ran parallel to a submerged creek bed in about 12 to 15 feet of water.

Marhsall Deakins and Alex Hester

“When I caught the 5-pounder, I thought ‘well, I’ve got the kicker and if I can just fill out my limit, I’ll have maybe 15 pounds and that might do it,’ recalls Hester. “Then, when I caught the big one, I figured it couldn’t get any better. I was free-falling happy.

“Of course, I had three great partners who kept me around fish the whole time. It just worked out and that’s what makes fishing so great.”

Hester says he will fish out of the front of the boat next season. Last year was the first year that he got to fish an entire BFL season (in the Music City Division) and he finished second in points. He went on to win the co-angler division at the Lake Hartwell Regional, which earned him a ticket to the 2017 All-American.

Alex Hester

Tags: colin-moore  co-angler-headline  2017-06-01-pickwick-lake 

Niles Rallies for Co-angler Title

Niles Rallies for Co-angler Title

The Southeastern Division event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole was a grind no matter if you were in the front of the boat or back. Bites were few and far between, and as a co-angler just catching a keeper or two kept you in the hunt. Niles started strong with an opening-day limit worth 18-9 to have him in the lead. On day two, he cooled off and brought a goose egg to the stage. Still, his day-one weight carried him to the final round where he started the day in fourth. Paired with Brett Preuett, Niles got to work Saturday. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of day three at the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »

Co-angler Traba Completes Dream Season

Co-angler Traba Completes Dream Season

The fall of 2018 will stand out as a milestone season for Pacifica, Calif., co-angler Jacob Traba. In a span of just a few weeks, he won the Costa FLW Series Western Division finale on the California Delta, earned the Western Division Strike King Co-angler of the Year title and won the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »

Walters Punches for Guntersville Win

Walters Punches for Guntersville Win

Kyle Walters of Grant Valkaria, Fla., won the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Guntersville with a two-day total weight of 44 pounds, 3 ounces. Walters punched grass mats for two days, utilizing the same approach in the same area as when he won the 2013 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional on Guntersville. The champ dropped 24-4 – the biggest limit of the event – on the scale today to hold off a charge by Bryan Thrift. READ MORE »

Jocumsen Glides to Guntersville Lead

Jocumsen Glides to Guntersville Lead

For the last four or five years, FLW pro Carl Jocumsen has been tinkering and testing, experimenting and dialing in ways to incorporate glide baits into his tournament arsenal. He’s been trying to figure out how it can shift gears from being a big-bass bait to a tournament tool. Apparently, he’s getting really close to nailing down those details. Today, Jocumsen used a glide bait to pound out a 20-pound, 2-ounce limit at Lake Guntersville to establish the lead at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship. “It’s one of those days you’ll never forget,” he says. “I hope I can back it up tomorrow.” READ MORE »

Freeman Best From the Back

Freeman Best From the Back

The first time Steve Freeman of Eddysville, Ky., laid eyes on Lake of the Ozarks was just a few days ago. Now, he’s heading back to Kentucky with some hardware and a certificate for a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard, plus $5,000 cash for being Ranger Cup qualified for winning the co-angler side of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. READ MORE »

First Top 10 is a Win for Burke

First Top 10 is a Win for Burke

For three years, Johnny Burke, a 63-year-old retired county commissioner from Creek County, Oklahoma, has been fishing the Costa FLW Series as a co-angler just hoping he might score a top 10. Today, Burke not only scored his first top-10 finish, but he took it all the way to the top spot for the win. READ MORE »

Troughton Triumphs on Cal Delta

Troughton Triumphs on Cal Delta

Despite a slow day that yielded only 12 pounds, 13 ounces, Gregory Troughton of Discovery Bay, Calif., held on to his day-two lead and won the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta with a three-day total of 60-2. Days one and two saw Troughton catch all of his fish on a heavy punch rig. Day three brought challenging post-frontal conditions, and he had to vary his presentations. A popper and a ChatterBait added key fish today. READ MORE »

Traba’s Big Bag Earns Delta Win

Traba’s Big Bag Earns Delta Win

Talk about saving the best for last. Jacob Traba sacked up a limit of 17 pounds, 6 ounces — the tournament’s heaviest co-angler bag — to win his division at the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Traba’s three-day total was 40-2. READ MORE »

Tiano Claims Co-angler Title

Tiano Claims Co-angler Title

Catching fish from the back of the boat isn’t a big concern at the 1000 Islands where smallmouths swim around by the millions. Drew Tiano of Hudson, N.Y., took the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series tournament presented by Navionics with 23 pounds, 9 ounces and never looked back. He sacked another 20-11 on day two to maintain the pole position and added another 15-1 on a tough day three to claim the biggest title of his career. With 59-5 overall, Tiano earned a Ranger Z175 with a 90-hp outboard and $600. READ MORE »

Davis Bounces Back … And Then Some

Davis Bounces Back … And Then Some

By his own admission, Clent Davis came close to being the Forrest Wood Cup champion that wasn’t. Davis, of Montevallo, Ala., was crowned the 2018 Cup champion Sunday evening in Hot Springs’ Bank OZK Arena by virtue of a three-day sack that totaled 36 pounds, 13 ounces. In his remarks before the standing-room-only crowd of 9,000, however, Davis noted that he almost decided to forego the 2018 season and return to a job with an Alabama power company. He attributed his change of heart to a phone conversation he had with Bill Taylor, FLW’s senior director of tournament operations, last fall. Taylor convinced the 32-year-old Davis that instead of giving up a promising career as an angler, he return to the FLW Tour fold. READ MORE »

Go Big or Go Home Worked for Farlow

Go Big or Go Home Worked for Farlow

In any tournament on the eastern end of Lake Erie, a competitor’s flight number often dictates whether he goes after numbers or size first thing. When Neil Farlow left Safe Harbor Marina in boat 156 on the opening morning of the Costa FLW Series North Division event presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, his was an easy choice to make: He opted for quality over quantity. READ MORE »

One and Done on Lake Erie

One and Done on Lake Erie

A stubborn weather front packing westerly winds lingered overnight in the eastern basin of Lake Erie near Buffalo and forced the cancellation of the final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament presented by Polaris. Ron Lappin, Costa FLW Series tournament director, made the call at about 4 a.m. after boating out to the mouth of the protected harbor where the tournament was headquartered. READ MORE »

Day Two on Lake Erie is Cancelled

Day Two on Lake Erie is Cancelled

High winds that churned up the eastern basin of Lake Erie overnight and prompted a small craft advisory also forced cancellation of day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament presented by Polaris. Sustained southwesterly winds of 14 mph and gusts up to 26 mph were forecast for Friday, making boating conditions untenable. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Friday’s semi-final round is expected to produce more exceptional stringers, and perhaps changes in the top 10, where only a pound and an ounce separate 10th place from first place. Meanwhile, here’s a look at some of the anglers trying to tip Farlow out of the top spot. READ MORE »

Smallmouths and the wind are cooperating in Costa Erie Event

Smallmouths and the wind are cooperating in Costa Erie Event

Lake Erie lived up to its billing as a top smallmouth destination Thursday morning, much to the satisfaction of anglers competing in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Polaris. By midmorning, several limit stringers had been reported by FLW reporters and photographers as anglers fishing in the shadow of the Buffalo, N.Y., skyline were in the process of culling their weights from the mid to high teens into the 20s. READ MORE »

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Stop two in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division got underway under clear skies this morning on Lake Erie out of Buffalo. The event, which drew 169 boats, is presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. The field features some of the top smallmouth sticks in the Northeast. The big question at game time was not whether anglers would catch plenty of fish, but how many and of what size. READ MORE »

Another Smallmouth Smackdown?

Another Smallmouth Smackdown?

A lot can change about a fishery in seven years, and not always for the best. The consensus on Lake Erie at Buffalo, N.Y., site of the second Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament this weekend, is that the smallmouth fishing is better than 2011 when the Series last visited. This year’s event, presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, begins Thursday morning at 6 a.m. ET out of Buffalo’s Safe Harbor Marina and will involve about 180 pros and an equal number of co-anglers. READ MORE »

Myers Gets Redemption

Myers Gets Redemption

Back in 2011, Mark Myers finished second in a Costa Series event on St. Clair thanks to losing the winning fish in the final hour of the event. Seven years later, he kept that late big one pegged and got his redemption. READ MORE »