UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - St. Lawrence River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Powers Taps Barkley in Wild Card

Powers Taps Barkley in Wild Card
Kevin Powers

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card is a last-chance shot at the All-American for BFL anglers that didn’t qualify for a Regional. It’s the official end of the season for FLW, and this year Kevin Powers of Unicoi, Tenn., earned the last win of the year. Weighing limits for 17 pounds, 14 ounces on day one and 14-11 on day two, Powers’ 32-9 total was plenty for the win and qualification for the 2018 All-American on Cross Lake. Because Powers entered the optional side pot, he took home $4,373 in addition to the winner’s trophy.

The fishing on Kentucky Lake has been uniformly tough this fall, culminating on the final day of last week’s Costa FLW Series Championship when Bradford Beavers was the only angler in the top 10 who managed a limit.

The Wild Card took off from Kentucky Dam Marina, so running over into Barkley for a change of pace was a reasonable proposition for the competitors.

“The last time I was here was probably 10 years ago. I fished a Regional here, and it was pretty tough back then, too,” says Powers, who practiced with his father for the tournament. “We came here Monday and stayed over by Eddyville on Barkley, and we started catching some on topwater until the lake muddied up. But, my dad is a slow fisherman, and he likes fishing out a little off the bank a little more than I do, and that was the key this week.”

Kevin Powers

Throwing a Lunker Lure Rattleback Jig matched with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk as well as a homemade 5/8-ounce spinnerbait, Powers totaled up 17 keepers over two days of fishing.

“I looked for deeper banks on the main channel that had some laydowns on them,” says Powers. “With the water being down right now, and me not knowing the lake, I was just looking for the same things we’d fish back home in east Tennessee.”

Kevin Powers

Powers fished a number of different banks, but he did a lot of his work with his jig on one magical laydown tree. Finishing out in about 13 feet of water at its end, the tree produced five keepers on day one (four that made it to weigh-in) and an astonishing seven keepers on day two.

“Me and dad were fishing up the bank above it in practice and I caught a 3-pounder, so I pulled up the trolling motor and idled by,” says Powers. “I hadn’t ever fished it before until yesterday [Friday]. I thought it looked good, but I never imagined that.”

Powers’ biggest fish of the week was a hefty smallmouth he caught on the spinnerbait on day one. Fishing the same types of woody banks he targeted with the jig, Powers tried to keep his blade as tight to the bottom as possible. In practice it produced a 6-pounder, but the jig was definitely the key to the week.

“It feels great; that’s what I keep fishing for,” says Powers of his second All-American qualification. “I didn’t have a very good year fishing regular BFL tournaments, so this is a great way to finish it off. This is my fifth win fishing FLW stuff. Hopefully it won’t be my last.”

 

Steve Ruff

Ruff runs south

Making a long run south of New Johnsonville each day, Steve Ruff caught steady limits for a total of 28-2 to lock up qualification for the All-American.

“I wound up finding my fish where there was a current break. It changed every day. The fish actually got deeper today [Saturday], and I wound up catching them on a Strike King Series 5 and an Alabama rig, and I hadn’t thrown an Alabama rig all week.”

Ruff says he caught all but one of his keepers off one spot, sitting his boat in the channel in about 20 feet of water and fishing up in 2 to 6 feet of water. On day one his primary baits were a Strike King Series 3 (sexy shad) and a 1/2-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad (chrome sexy shad), with a shaky head mixed in. His biggest fish that day came on a topwater on a shallow bar that he hit on the way back from his limit hole. With the fish sitting a bit deeper on day two, Ruff turned to a Strike King Series 5 (sexy shad) and a three-wire bladeless umbrella rig with 1/8-ounce heads and 4.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbaits.

Ruff experienced some motor trouble on the ride down south on day two, and after getting his limit he cut the day short at only 10:45 a.m. Despite not getting to fish his good stuff the rest of the day, he still had more than enough to earn his second trip to the All-American.

 

Freddy Palmer

Day one does it for Palmer

Freddy Palmer led the whole deal with 19-10 on day one, but he failed to catch a keeper on day two and settled into third place for his first All-American qualification.

“Everything came out of the canal, and it burned me today [Saturday],” says Palmer, who fished the canal that connects Lake Barkley to Kentucky Lake on day one. “I had about a 50-yard stretch where I caught a couple in practice, and that’s where four of mine came from. Then I started venturing out a little farther away from that 50 yards, and I caught my biggest one about 100 yards away. Yesterday the current was coming out of Barkley and into Kentucky, which brought the color with it. Today it was crystal clear. The current was flowing from Kentucky into Barkley.”

Palmer’s primary bait was a Tennessee shad-colored Strike King 5XD, and he fished it in 8 to 12 feet of water along the riprap bank. Palmer actually caught five keeper smallmouths on day one, but later culled two of them out with largemouths.

On day two, Palmer fished the canal for two hours and then started to run, hitting spots in Jonathan Creek and Blood River with no success. Palmer has finished seventh in BFL Regionals twice, just one spot out of making the All-American, but one great day of fishing in the Wild Card was enough to send him on to Cross Lake this time around.

 

Top 10 boaters

1. Kevin Powers – Unicoi, Tenn. – 32-9 (10) – $4,373

2. Steve Ruff – St. Charles, Mo. – 28-2 (10) – $2,386

3. Freddy Palmer – Estill Springs, Tenn. – 19-10 (5) – $1,474

4. Danny Holloway – Corinth, Miss. – 18-6 (5) – $1,288

5. Billy Schroeder – Paducah, Ky. – 17-11 (5) – $932

6. Justin Royal – Vidor, Texas – 16-8 (7) – $808

7. Steve Hatfield – Ashland, Ohio – 15-6 (7) – $713

8. Mel Kennedy – Cumming, Ga. – 13-4 (5)

9. Taylor Ramey – Purvis, Miss. – 12-9 (4) – $665

10. Willie Rentmeister – Mount Pulaski, Ill. – 12-8 (7) – $618

Complete results

 

Scott Stallings

Stallings drags for co-angler win

Scott Stallings has been a fairly prolific co-angler over the years with FLW, but he’d never earned a win until the Wild Card. In addition to the $2,235 from the side pot, Stallings also locked up his first All-American qualification.

“I caught ’em on a Carolina rig,” says Stallings, whose three bass on day two keyed his win. “Yesterday [Friday] I caught my fish on a Senko. Today it was points and steeper banks back in the cuts, and most of them came in 8 to 12 feet.

“I’d been here a long time ago this time of year, maybe 2005. I did basically the same stuff then. Every time I come to Kentucky Lake I do basically the same thing,” relays Stallings. “I have some back problems, so after I do a lot of chunkin’ and windin’ I have to do something different. And the Carolina rig is something I can work slow and isn’t hard on me.”

Stallings caught one keeper with a Yamamoto Senko on day one, but the bulk of his weight ate a Carolina-rigged 8-inch Zoom Lizard in watermelon with the tail dyed chartreuse. 

“I know a lot of guys that have fished these for years and years and have come close and never made it,” says Stallings of his All-American qualification. “This is just my second year fishing the BFLs, so I consider it an awesome thing.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Scott Stallings – Glencoe, Okla. – 11-12 (4) – $2,235

2. Dave Roberts – Indianapolis, Ind. – 8-2 (3) – $1,017

3. Robert Pillow – Campbellsville, Ky. – 7-14 (2)

4. Cory Miller – Blanchard, Okla. – 7-4 (2) – $684

5. Andrew Nickeson – Valdosta, Ga. – 6-10 (3) – $603

6. Carl Lingle – Dongola, Ill. – 6-7 (2) – $434

7. Sank Payton – Bay Springs, Miss. – 5-15 (2) – $376

8. Taylor Wisniewski – Lexington, Ky. – 5-10 (2) – $332

9. Chris O’Bryan – Harned, Ky. – 5-9 (3) – $310

10. W.K. Luckett Jr. – Ridgeland, Miss. – 4-12 (2) – $288

Complete results

 

Tournament details

The Wild Card on Kentucky Lake featured BFL anglers who paid an entry fee prior to each of the five tournaments in a division, fished at least two of them and did not qualify for a Regional in any division. 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: jody-white  headline-story  2017-11-10-kentucky-barkley-lakes 

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 »

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

“I’m pretty wild on color selection,” says Schmitt. “I always have my shad colors. I always have my black and blues. But I fall in love with trying to find a niche color. Especially when you get into the fall of the year on the Potomac. I love to find a crayfish pattern, and I feel like then a crayfish-imitating ChatterBait out-fishes anything else. And I also like to find a bluegill pattern at times, so I play with the colors.” 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 »

Hawkins Deep Cranks on Smith Mountain

Hawkins Deep Cranks on Smith Mountain

Rick Hawkins of Roanoke, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division super-tournament on Smith Mountain Lake. Hawkins earned $4,682 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

STIX Fishing is a relatively new company started by FLW Live host Travis Moran and Nick Smith that sells fishing rods with a bit of a unique plan. Instead of picking and choosing a rod or two at a time, STIX wants to sell you six rods at a time (the STIX PAX) for $500, which comes out to about $83 per rod. According to the company, the STIX PAX is a complete set of bass rods and will do everything you need rods to do. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

On the Potomac, hands down, I want to fish grass. The grass holds the numbers. But if you look at the event this week on the Potomac, the tournament was won on structure. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

The Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River was not the slugfest the season opener on Champlain was or the season finale on the St. Lawrence River is almost sure to be. As has been the case in many of the FLW events on the Potomac this year, the fishing was pretty stingy, and hard cover played an outsized role. READ MORE »

Trombly Drops 24-13 on Detroit River

Trombly Drops 24-13 on Detroit River

Mike Trombly of Belleville, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River Saturday after catching five bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces. For his day on the water, Trombly took home $4,545. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Late summer on the Potomac is often tough fishing, so the contenders in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event had to pull out all the stops. Fishing everything from grass to docks and rocks, the anglers mixed up all sorts of power and finesse presentations to get the job done in the second stop of the season presented by Lowrance. READ MORE »