UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - California Delta

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Smith Sets the Pace

Smith Sets the Pace
Bryant Smith

With all the head nodding and shaking from anglers in disbelief of the bite, you’d think Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina was hosting a bobble head convention. But despite Clear Lake’s supremely challenging conditions, Bryant Smith of Castro Valley, Calif., caught a limit of 20 pounds, 15 ounces and took the early lead at the final Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Evinrude.

Indeed, the weigh-in saw plenty of long faces; but despite the limitations of widespread aquatic weed eradication, funky water clarity and a recent fish kill, this western rock star still holds good numbers of bass and a high percentage of quality fish. For Smith, the key was a blend of presentation patience and area ambition.

“I fished slow; as fast as I could,” Smith says. “I made as many casts as I could, but I was still fishing a slow bait. I was covering water and hoping I drop one on a fish’s head.”

Noting a day-long bout with inconsistency, Smith says he caught his fish in a variety of depths and habitat features.

“I’d catch one out of 2 feet, I’d catch one out of 10 feet, I’d catch one out of 12,” he says.

Smith didn’t divulge specifics on his bait selection, but he did note that it was, essentially, a finesse technique. Much of his fishing took place around shallow cover, so he fished with 15-pound fluorocarbon.

“When I get bites around the docks, I need to get them out,” Smith says of his beefed-up finesse technique. “I’ve never fished like that. I’ve fished here a lot, but I’ve never fished the way I had to fish today. It’s really tough for me, but I know the quality is there.”

Smith points to efficiency as a key element of his performance. The fish showed little aggression today and even those that fed were not chasing baits.

“You had to make so many casts and the bait literally has to drop on their head,” Smith says.

Running the entire lake today, Smith says he did his best to hit as many of his familiar spots as possible.

“I was just hitting the key areas that I know hold fish and making as many casts as possible,” Smith says. “I kinda just went down the bank. I have a lot of history on this lake and I know where they should be this time of year; I just had to slow down to catch them.”

In terms of when he caught his fish, Smith says he saw periods of quality and periods of quantity.

“In the morning, I got all my better bites,” he says. “I got more bites in the afternoon, but my quality was better in the morning. I’d been catching a couple of good ones in the afternoon. That’s when I went by them and that’s when they ate.”

 

Top 10 pros:

1. Bryant Smith – Castro Valley, Calif. – 20-15 (5)

2. Clayton Eslick – Gilroy, Calif. – 19-12 (5)

3. Kyle Grover – Trabuco Canyon, Calif. – 19-1 (5)

4. Richard Dobyns – Marysvillle, Calif. – 18-1 (5)

5. Jimmy Reese – Witter Springs, Calif. – 16-7 (5)

6. Carl Limbrick Jr. – Bonita, Calif. – 15-12 (5)

6. Rusty Salewske – Alpine, Calif. – 15-12 (5)

8. Billy Hines – Vacaville, Calif. – 15-11 (5)

9. Greg Huey – McMinnville, Ore. – 14-15 (5)

9. Brett Leber – Dixon, Calif. – 14-15 (5)

 

Co-angler Jack Farage

Prepared Farage tops co-anglers

He practiced north, he practiced south and the diverse range of scenarios and presentations with which Jack Farage of Discovery Bay, Calif., became familiar proved indispensable in his taking the co-angler lead with a limit of 18-9.

“I only had one day of practice, so I fished both ends (of Clear Lake) from daylight ’til dark,” he says. “It took me so long to figure out how to catch them on the north end and it took me so long to figure out how to catch them on the south end. But once I did, I could catch them pretty good.”

Noting that his north and south end tactics varied significantly, Farage says he mixed up his presentations with drop-shots, squarebill crankbaits and vibrating jigs.

“I could get bit in the tules with a ChatterBait,” Farage says. “On the rocks, it was the squarebill and when we stopped moving, I’d pull out the drop-shot and a jig.”

Positioning, Farage says, is critical right now. While he observed a lot of anglers fishing close to the tules, he found his better bites away from the cover in deeper adjacent water.

 

 

Tags: costa-flw-series  western-division  clear-lake  bryant-smith  david-a-brown  headline-story  2017-09-28-clear-lake 

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 »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

Weights were already tight going into the final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, which is presented by Gajo Baits. Little more than a pound separated leader Jonathan Kelley from Casey Smith in fifth place. 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 »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

With slightly warmer weather and similar sun and wind conditions, day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River should’ve presented optimal conditions for smallmouth. Instead, nearly every angler our on-the-water crew encountered today said the same thing: It’s tougher. 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 »

To Run or Not to Run

To Run or Not to Run

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, is primed to be a smallmouth smashfest, as usual. That said, this year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, will launch out of Massena, N.Y., instead of the usual Clayton. So, what was once a 15-or-so-mile run to the mouth of the lake from takeoff – and roughly 30-plus miles to Gallo Island or Main Duck – will now be about a 95-mile run just to get to the lake. READ MORE »

Cal Delta Set to Host Weekend of Fishing League Worldwide Bass-Fishing Tournaments

Cal Delta Set to Host Weekend of Fishing League Worldwide Bass-Fishing Tournaments

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is set to visit the California Delta next week, Sept. 26-29, for three bass-fishing tournaments that will award anglers of all ages and skill levels thousands of dollars in cash and prizes... 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 »