UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Catching up with Terry Tucker

Catching up with Terry Tucker
Terry Tucker

Terry Tucker wasn’t always a fan of grass lakes, but with a Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener win on Florida’s iconic Lake Okeechobee and two more vegetation-heavy lakes remaining in the season, he’s eyeing a course to the Series Championship on one of the nation’s top grass lakes — Guntersville.

This course continues through Lake Seminole, where day one was canceled due to high winds. When competition commences on Friday, a mix of hydrilla, coontail and peppergrass will give Tucker a scenario that sets up similar to what he fished during his Okeechobee victory.

Tucker's Okeechobee pattern 

“I used to hate grass lakes, to be honest,” the pro from Gadsden, Ala. admits. “I was raised on Neely Henry Lake, which is a woody lake (on the Coosa River) and I had to learn how to fish Guntersville when a tournament would come there. I would go up to Guntersville two or three times a year.

“I was raised on the river system where you power-fished up close and shallow the whole time. Grass lakes are a different game, but I’ve learned to do it and I’ve learned to like it.”

Suffice it to say that with his biggest fish coming from grass lakes — a 12-pounder on Lake Toho and a 10-pounder on Okeechobee — Tucker’s a fan. He caught both of those with his preferred grass tactic — flipping a small creature bait.

He’s also fond of flipping jigs and slow rolling a big spinnerbait over submerged grass, but a forage item common to southern grass lakes keeps him committed to modest profiles.

“I use bigger baits certain times of the year, but mostly I’m going to use a 3- to 3 1/2-inch creature bait because a lot of these grass lakes have a lot of grass shrimp and smaller creatures that live in the vegetation and I think a smaller bait helps me sometimes,” says Tucker. “And I’ll use the lightest weight I can get by with. You have to have enough weight to penetrate the grass, but you don’t want your bait to fall too fast.”

 

GROWING IN THE GRASS

Tucker, who fished the FLW Tour from 2003-2007, has been a regular on the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) circuit since the late 90’s and has fished the Costa FLW Series since 2000. He’s notched 50 top-10 finishes with 10 victories, including a 2013 win at the BFL Choo Choo Division event on Guntersville and his recent Costa FLW Series win on the Big O.

Between tournaments, he works as a drywall estimator; a job with flexible scheduling that allows him plenty of time to hone is skills and deepen his understanding of grass lakes. For him, it’s all about perspective.

“I look at it like deer hunting,” Tucker explains. “The biggest bucks always go for the thickest cover. That’s what I relate my fishing to; I try to find an area that has everything I need and then I concentrate on the thickest grass I can find to get the biggest bite.”

The exception, of course, comes during the spawn when fish avoid the heavy sunlight-blocking canopies. However, Tucker’s Okeechobee victory illustrated the multi-level strategy necessary for grass lake success.

“What I have learned over the years is to play the wind and the cold fronts in the early part of the year,” he says. “I was looking at the long-range forecast and I knew a cold front was coming so I practiced in areas that may not have been very good at the time, but I knew I had a protected area where muddy water from all the wind wouldn’t be a factor.”

 

SEASON EXPECTATIONS

So, what’s Tucker’s outlook for the Southeastern Division’s remaining events?

Seminole: Practice showed him a tougher scene than last year’s event, mostly because a harsh winter has the grass growth a little behind schedule. Also, he’s not liking the fluctuating water levels of recent weeks.

“It’s no secret that the fish want to pull up and bed, but everything has to get right; the water has to stabilize a little bit and the grass isn’t topped out like it should be,” Tucker says. “I think the fish will be caught out in that deeper grass.”

Santee Cooper: When the season concludes, Tucker expects to find a combination of prespawn, spawn and postspawn fish; all of which will relate to grass.

“The grass will keep the fish in an area longer,” he says. “If you can find that right place where a wave of fish had been there to spawn and another wave is coming in, that’s the place you want to be.”

 

Looking down the road, Tucker says he’s anticipating a textbook grass lake throw down for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Depending on what November on Guntersville brings, in terms of weather and water level, Tucker says he’s looking for a mix of swimbait, spinnerbait, crankbait, buzzbait, frog and flipping action during the Championship.

“I think Guntersville’s going to be a good event and you can kind of tell that because of all the participation in the Division,” Tucker says. “There’s a lot of good grass fishermen out there and everyone wants to get to Guntersville. I think this is an awesome Division this year.”

Tags: david-a-brown  pre-tournament  2018-03-01-lake-seminole 

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

Billy McCaghren spends a lot of his free time coaching 8- to 10-year-old boys on how to swing and catch; but when the FLW Cup visits Hot Springs August 9-11, the Arkansas pro is hopeful that some of his young baseball players will be able to swing by and see the Lake Hamilton bass he plans on catching. READ MORE »

Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

For three years running now, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits has kicked off on Lake Champlain. The tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but it’s going to be far different than the last two FLW Series tilts on the big Northern lake. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live is back for the season finale of the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain. The event, which is presented by T-H Marine and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau runs Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

June is typically ledge-fishing season in the Tennessee Valley, especially at Pickwick, but the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship was a more diverse event than most folks might have expected. Patterns ranging from junk-fishing the bank to targeting docks and other shoreline cover to working the main-lake ledges all worked. Here are the baits used by the top 10 teams during the week. READ MORE »

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Anthony Cicero IV and Dakota Snyder went right to their spot, locked up a big limit early and about six and a half hours later, brought what would be the winning sack of 16 pounds, 6 ounces to McFarland Park where the Elizabethtown High School duo won the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

Pickwick is big lake, but even this 53-mile long TVA reservoir gets weary and the first half of the day told a tale of occasional opportunity, but a lot of waiting and hoping as 31 teams competed in the final day of the 10th annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian High School’s Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces (three fish) on the final day to win the High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. With a three-day total weight of 35-12, Capdeboscq and Acosta had just a 1-ounce margin over the second-place team of Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin who tallied 35-11 for Cedar Bluff High School. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update - Day 3

High School Midday Update - Day 3

Timing is typically the key to success on most TVA reservoirs and Pickwick Lake seems to be dishing out the lessons during day three of the High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals.  READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 2

High School Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick showed off its impressive diversity during day two of the High School Fishing National Championship, which is held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. End-to-end, this Tennessee River reservoir stretches about 53 miles, and, while the offshore ledge game gets most of the attention, anglers were also leveraging the lake's many other fishable features. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Weights are stacked tight atop the standings of the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Moving into the lead position is the Northlake Christian team of Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta, who added 12 pounds, 14 ounces today for a two-day total of 26-5. Will Daniels and Kade Suratt added an impressive three-bass limit worth 15-12 today to move up one spot and into the lead in the High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

The 2019 FLW Tour season comes to a close later this month on Lake Champlain, a lake that just about guarantees a fun finish and lots of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

In today’s morning story, James Biggs made several predictions for the first day of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Based on what our media team saw this morning, Biggs’ predictions are basically spot on. Two-thirds of the field is fishing up shallow, and there aren't many big bass to speak of. READ MORE »