UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Sanders Brings it Home at Barren River

On what turned out to be a very tough third day at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance at Barren River Lake on Saturday, Eric Sanders delivered his best performance of the week. The Lexington, Ky., angler brought in the tournament’s second biggest stringer – 14 pounds, 9 ounces – to vault up the leaderboard from ninth place to first for his first FLW victory.

Complete results

Sanders, who supervises a trio of McDonald’s restaurants, says he has fished Barren River quite often for about 15 years. So he was prepared for a tough autumn scenario in which the lake was being drawn down to winter pool, and many of the fish were on the move.

“The drawdown just started about a week ago, and it kind of screwed up the shallow bite,” Sanders says. “Barren River is a flood-control lake. They draw it down 25 to 30 feet.”

His strategy was to target brush piles, as well as some deep rock, in about 25 feet of water. He says the fish often move to these spots once the shallows go dry, and the crowd of 169 boats on the 10,000-acre reservoir only pushed the better fish farther out into the depths.

“With the pressure, I just knew we had to fish out deep,” Sanders says. “A lot of the guys were sitting on the fish. They’d leave, and we were able to go in behind and catch fish.”

Sanders’ best brush was located off the ends of bluffs outside main-lake pockets. He had little trouble locating fish in these areas in practice or day one, when he weighed a 12-pound, 12-ounce limit. The wind switched on day two, which temporarily fooled the champ, but he countered to catch two keepers for 6-5 and make the cut in ninth place.

“I finally found a pocket that had the wind blowing into it,” Sanders says of day two. “I thought the wind was blowing the bait off the main lake into the wood.”

Another weather change, from sunny to overcast conditions, on day three made Sanders wonder about his chances, but it turns out that the rest of the field struggled, and his bite was on again. Sanders was the only top-12 boater to bring in a limit.

All week, Sanders slowly dragged a 1/2-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Booza Brush Bug jig through the brush and rock, “sort of hopping it up the wood.”

“As soon as you felt the wood and pulled it off of it, that’s when they ate it,” he says.

For his victory, Sanders earned a $65,000 prize package that include a new Ranger bass boat and an entry into the 2018 BFL All-American.

 

Cranking pattern carries Rhoades to runner-up spot

Tim Rhoades put himself in the perfect position to win the Barren River Lake Regional this week, even earning the lead going into the final day. Unfortunately, he suffered a rash of lost fish and broke off his last Strike King 6XD crankbait at about 10 a.m. on the final day, and the combination of factors probably cost him the W. Rhoades brought in only four keepers the final day and finished the tournament 8 ounces back of Sanders with 33 pounds, 2 ounces.

Rhoades, of Bowling Green, Ky., says he only landed two keepers in four days of practice, so during the tournament he decided to fish the technique that produced the better of his two practice keepers. Cranking 6XDs (he used a variety of colors), Rhoades targeted offshore spots all around the lake, burning about 25 gallons of fuel each of the first two days.

“I kept the boat sitting in 18 feet,” says Rhoades, who never fished a spot for more than about 15 minutes. “The fish would come out of 6 to 12 feet.

“For me, it was the depth [that dictated the pattern]. And I tried to fish breaks leading into creeks, or right outside the creeks – deep water where the bait was going to go.”

 

Bissonett banks on bluffs for third

Though Clint Bissonett describes his practice as terrible, he learned enough during his prep period to fish his way into third place and an All-American qualification.

The Beavercreek, Ohio, angler weighed in 12 bass in three days for 27 pounds, 1 ounce by targeting bluff walls with a homemade spinnerbait made by Fisherman’s Headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, and a Strike King 6XD crankbait in a shad color pattern.

“It’s definitely not my style of fishing,” says Bissonett, a self-described shallow-water angler. He says he turned his front depth finder on for the first time this season at this tournament. “On day one I started trying to catch a limit of spots. I ended up catching two largemouths and two spots.”

He caught those four in the morning with the spinnerbait by fishing tight up against bluffs and making parallel casts along the rock. At the end of the day, he landed a 3 1/2-pounder to fill his limit by backing off the bluffs into about 23 feet of water and casting the 6XD. He repeated that in-and-out strategy the next two days.  

“I’d throw the spinnerbait until about 9:30. Then I’d go throw that 6XD on deep bluff walls,” he says. “The bluff had to have at least 12 to 18 feet of water touching it. It seemed like in the morning they’d be right on it [the bluff]. Then they’d slide off after the sun got up.”

Bissonett says the 6XD produced his bigger bass, and one bluff in particular produced several of his better fish.

 

Top 10 boaters

1. Eric Sanders – Lexington, Ky. – 33-10 (12) – $65,000

2. Tim Rhoades – Bowling Green, Ky. – 33-2 (14) – $10,000

3. Clint Bissonett – Beavercreek, Ohio – 27-1 (12) – $5,200

4. Jack Dalzell – Elyria, Ohio – 27-0 (12) – $3,100

5. Kyle Weisenburger – Ottawa, Ohio – 25-11 (11) – $2,000

6. Brad Leifermann – Andover, Minn. – 25-3 (11) – $1,800

7. Ronny Webb – Dyersburg, Tenn. – 25-2 (10) – $1,600

8. Dick Shaffer – Rockford, Ohio – 24-11 (11) – $1,400

9. Brandon Houston – Burlington, Ky. – 24-7 (11) – $1,200

10. Heath Wagner – Angola, Ind. – 23-15 (12) – $1,000

Complete results

 

Stone breezes to co-angler win

Michigan Division co-angler Jim Stone weighed in only one keeper on the final day, but it turns out he didn’t even need it. He took the hot seat at the start of weigh-in and never relinquished it, earning his first FLW victory and a new Ranger bass boat with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 5 ounces.

Stone, a welder/fabricator who had used up most of his vacation time earning his way to the Regional in the first place, had to work on Wednesday while many of his competitors practiced, but he made it to Barren River Lake in time to spend the last two and a half hours of prep time with his tournament partner Mark Peiser. That’s all it took for him to figure out his eventual winning pattern.

“I caught two about 4 1/2-pound fish,” says Stone, of Greenwood, Ind. “I thought, ‘That’s a start, right there.’”

He caught the combo kickers on a green pumpkin Right Bite Baits jig with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw trailer with its tails dipped in chartreuse dye. He wound up fishing the Right Bite jig – 1/2 or 3/4 ounce – the entire tournament.

When possible, Stone cast the jig toward key structural elements, but when his boater partner was fishing along the bank, he pitched his jig behind the boat and slowly dragged it back. He says the presentation was key to getting bites in tough conditions.

“Instead of bouncing the bait, I was dragging it,” he says.

On the final day, Stone was paired with boater Tim Rhoades, who was fishing a crankbait.

“I didn’t even have a crankbait rod, and that’s all he did. I stuck with it [the jig], and I got three bites and landed one keeper.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Jim Stone – Greenwood, Ind. – 23-5 (8) – $45,100

2. Philip Borsa – Redford, Mich. – 20-2 (11) – $5,000

3. Andrew Gilliland – McArthur, Ohio – 16-9 (9) – $2,500

4. Danny Nicklin – Highland, Ill. – 15-9 (8) – $1,500

5. Paul VonWald – La Crosse, Wis. – 14-11 (5) – $1,000

6. Joseph Gulash – Edwardsville, Ill. – 14-2 (5) – $900

7. James Wathen – Royal Oak, Mich. – 13-1 (6) – $800

8. Mark Saunders – Medina, Ohio – 12-2 (6) – $700

9. David Dieling – Eddyville, Ky. – 11-5 (5) – $600

10. Hunter Fillmore – Waynesville, Ohio – 11-5 (5) – $550

Complete results

 

Tournament details

The Barren River Lake Regional featured the top boaters from the Buckeye, Great Lakes, LBL and Michigan divisions. The top six boaters and co-anglers qualified to compete in the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American, which is a televised event with a six-figure payday and a boater berth in the Forrest Wood Cup on the line.

 

Tags: curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2017-10-19-barren-river 

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

How to Fish Power Plant Lakes in Winter

How to Fish Power Plant Lakes in Winter

Some of the power-plant lakes throughout the Midwest are borderline legendary. If you live near one or are willing to travel to keep your open-water season alive, Colby Schrumpf’s system could work on just about any of them that have grass. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »