UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Williams All the Way

Williams All the Way
David Williams

David Williams has dreamed of this moment all his life, but even he couldn’t have dreamed how well his first major victory would come together.

While many anglers struggled to cull, the Maiden, N.C., pro was catching more than 25 bass a day and upward of 50 on some days. Best of all, he was doing it on one of his favorite patterns from back home – skipping a swim jig around docks to capitalize on a shad spawn.

The end result rarely seemed in question after day one, as he sacked up a tournament-leading 18-11 by 10 a.m. and never looked back. He extended his lead by roughly 2 pounds each of the next two days, and then simply shut the door with a 13-13 limit on day four to win the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Smith Lake with 64-9 total. For the win, Williams takes home $102,700. 

Day four coverage blog

Complete results

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Williams of his first major win. “I’m glad people didn’t give up on me.”

Williams’ dream week actually didn’t get off to the best start.

He began practice with the mindset of fishing toward his strength: targeting largemouths up shallow. The recent rains had raised the lake up to create miles of flooded cover and trash piles far up the various creek arms. Plus, with the full moon and water temps, there was still a chance to find fish on beds. That seemed to line up perfectly for what Williams wanted to do.

After looking at the map for areas he felt would offer the most flooded cover, he began looking for water with just the right amount of color. The best combination was in White Oak Creek, but while everything looked perfect, bites were hard to come by as the water may have come up too much. Still, it was his best bet going into day one. Little did he know everything would change Thursday morning.

“I was fishing some bushes when I started seeing shad swimming around them,” says Williams. “Once I saw that I knew the shad spawn would be the deal.”

Immediately, Williams picked up a swim jig – a white Queen Tackle Swim Jig with either a Bizz Baits Cutter Craw or Zoom Speed Craw trailer – and began skipping it around and under any floating docks nearby.

“I went from nothing to all my first-day weight by 10 a.m.,” says Williams. “We fish a lot of docks in the Carolinas, and I’ve made a lot of money off the shad spawn. So it was right up my alley.”

As for which docks produced better, there was no rhyme or reason to it. Williams simply had to hit as many docks as possible in White Oak Creek. Eventually, he expanded his pattern to nearby Crooked Creek and a stretch of docks farther up Rock Creek, with the one constant being just the right water color.

While he often re-hit the same docks each day, Williams says he was never worried about his areas running out of fish. The shad spawn at night, which causes more largemouths to move up each and every night to eat them. Then he’d just pick off the ones still hanging out first thing in the morning.

Williams figures he was catching more than 20 keepers each morning off the docks, and if that wasn’t ideal enough, Williams also did a little flipping with a TrueSouth Shimmy Jig and threw a TrueSouth V-Twin buzzbait some around flooded cover in between docks. That accounted for at least another few key bites each day. On day three, he even picked up a frog, and he pitched a spinnerbait around docks on day four.

While Williams says his adrenaline might have been running a little higher this morning, it sure didn’t change his outcome. He quickly sacked up his limit and his calm, even-keeled demeanor returned, with him even joking with our on-the-water crew about going back to the dock to order some pizza and wait for everyone else to get back.

Considering Williams has been fishing T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) events since 1995, Costa FLW Series-level events since 1998 and top-level events since 2009 on the Bassmaster Elite Series, you can understand him basking in knowing he was going to finally get that elusive win.

“The good Lord blessed me to be able to do this,” says Williams. “It [to finally get a win] is a good feeling.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. David Williams – Maiden, N.C. –  64-9 (20) – $102,700

2. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 59-12 (20) – $30,000

3. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 59-2 (20) – $25,000

4. Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 57-6 (20) – $20,100

5. Jordan Osborne – Longview, Texas – 54-10 (20) – $19,000

6. Jason Reyes – Huffman, Texas – 54-8 (20) – $18,000

7. Clent Davis – Montevallo, Ala. – 52-2 (20) – $17,000

8. Matt Becker – Finleyville, Penn. – 51-12 (20) – $16,000

9. Todd Auten – Lake Wylie, S.C. – 50-9 (20) – $15,000

10. Jimmy Reese – Witter Springs, Calif. – 50-5 (20) – $14,000

Complete results

 

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2018-04-26-smith-lake 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »