UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Sanders Brings it Home at Barren River

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 

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga featured good fishing with a lot of pressure put on the offshore fish. Making the most of his local knowledge, Jacob Wheeler weighed 24 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead on day one. Behind him, John Cox weighed in 23-6 for second place. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fourth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Several Patterns in Play at Ouachita BFL

Several Patterns in Play at Ouachita BFL

FLW has a long history of hosting multiple-day summertime tournaments on Lake Ouachita, where pros have to grind it out for three days in what are usually tough conditions. On June 27, when the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division takes to Ouachita, the Natural State’s best bass anglers will need to game plan a little differently. With only one day to fish and a three-bass limit, they’ll have to swing for the fences with big-bass patterns to have a shot at winning. READ MORE »

HS Championship Will be a Frog-Fest

HS Championship Will be a Frog-Fest

If you wanted to design the perfect frog-fishing tournament, you might host it at Guntersville or the Cal Delta, but you could also copy the agenda for the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis. READ MORE »

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Boater Wayne Dixon of Morrilton, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale totaling 10 pounds, 11 ounces to win Saturday’s event and earn $5,127, but Mabelvale’s Quincy Houchin was the big winner on the weekend. Houchin finished second Saturday – good for $3,139 – then backed it up with a win on Sunday, which earned him the top prize of $12,309, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. READ MORE »