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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Barkley

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Barkley
Marcus Sykora

Taking off out of Lake Barkley, the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Central Division turned out to be a battle on Kentucky Lake. Running way down past Paris Landing, Jake Lawrence came out on top by a lot. Other than Ramie Colson Jr. and Andy Morgan, the rest of the top 10 also hit Kentucky hard, largely focusing on fish offshore on ledges.

Lawrence’s winning pattern

Top 10 baits

Complete results

 

2. Paquette plies a jig

Garrett Paquette had a terrible practice round. “The worse I’ve ever had,” the Michigan angler says. Still, he went into day one with a handful of spots offshore to fish – unfortunately, the first two places he tried on the first day were occupied.

He finally found an accessible spot and went to work with Queen Tackle Hammerhead Rattlin Football Jig.

“I just started running around the lake,” he says.” I found a little area and got in there and ground it out. Bites were few and far between. But it was all ledges and most (bites) were between 15 and 17 feet.”

Paquette did not enjoy aggressive action and also dabbled in Barkley.

“I did stop on one spot in Barkley and each day I or my co-angler caught one big one from that spot.”

 

3. Drop-shot does it for Roller

Missourian Mike Roller was the model of consistency during the tourney. He had planned to fish several spots, but his first stop was so good he never moved. He found a productive stretch of ledge on the north end of Kentucky Lake near the used a drop-shot with a 6-inch Roboworm Straight Tail Worm (morning dawn) or a Zoom Z3 Swamp Crawler in pro blue neon.

“I fished the same spot all three days,” he says. “We were catching 18-20 fish a day at 26 to 31 feet. I didn’t know that spot was that good.”

Fish were tentative. Then aggressive.

“In the morning until about 9:30 it was like crappie biting. Then from about 9:30 until 11 or so it was game on. They’d jerk it out of your hand,” says Roller.

He fished a drop-shot to show the fish something different and all his places were on the East side of the lake.

“All the good drops I found were on the East side,” says Roller. “I think the current really helped.”

 

4. Sykora drop-shots up north

Marcus Sykora also broke with the power fishing approach and used a touch of finesse.

“You think power-fishing when you think ledge fishing, but it just worked out that it was really more of a finesse game than anything else,” says Sykora. “Mostly it was ledge fish on the north end of the lake. The first day they were around 22 feet and later we got them at 31 feet. I think the current helped because if the current wasn’t there bunching them up they wouldn’t stay. I stayed downstream and threw up on them, fishing south to north with the current.”

 

5. Colson stays home

Ramie Colson Jr. lives about a rifle shot from the Lake Barkley State Park weigh-in site. He decided to stay at home, ignored the ledge bite wisdom and landed in fifth place with more than 55 pounds of fish, most of which came on a Texas-rigged Zoom Ol’ Monster. It was Bass Fishing 101.

“I stayed on Barkley. I was targeting brush. I live right over there,” he adds, pointing to a distant hillside. “I have pulled some good stringers out of here. I stayed in the creeks on brush. I did exactly what I intended to do.”

 

6. Another top 10 for the GOAT

Veteran pro Andy Morgan also concentrated his efforts on Barkley. The reason: relative solitude.

“Everybody knows about the 101 over there last month,” says Morgan, referring to Jason Lambert’s recent FLW Tour win. “I didn’t want to fight the crowd.”

Morgan played the run and gun game, zipping from ledge to ledge with a Texas-rigged Zoom Ol’ Monster.

“I wasn’t on any schools,” he says. “I was just catching singles. Covering a lot of ground. Bouncing around a lot. Burning a lot of gas, but not running a tremendous distance.

“Where there was current present I was going against the current,” he adds. “But in the bays I just made sure I was going into the wind so I could fish slow enough. Once you got to a spot you worked it slowly, then got to the next spot as fast and you could and hit as many places as you could in a day.”

On the final day, Morgan mixed in a little flipping and caught a few of his weigh-in fish on a jig.

 

7. Hunter makes another top 10 on Kentucky

Brandon Hunter lives in Benton, Ky., and knows Barkley and Kentucky as well as anyone – in fact, this was his fourth Costa FLW Series top 10 on the twin lakes.

Hunter took a run and gun approach, fishing some places without idling and idling over others before deciding whether to fish or not.

“I worked the ledges all week,” he says. “I’m a power fisherman. I like to chunk and wind. I don’t drag, and I don’t sit on one spot long. Big crankbaits. Big swimbaits. Big spoons.”

Hunter primarily fished on the north end of Kentucky Lake and didn’t catch many fish each day. On the final day his refusal to lay up and toss a drop-shot bit him, as he fished with big stuff for nearly the entire day and came up shy of a limit.

 

8. Harrison goes to Paris

Cody Harrison did the Kentucky thing as well, running as far south as Paris Landing each day.

“I ledged fished Kentucky,” the Alabama angler says. “Anywhere from 10 to 25 feet. I had four main schools that I tried to get on every day.”

Harrison’s primary weapons were a raspberry shad-colored Zoom Magnum Trick Worm on a big shaky head and a 99 problems-colored True Bass Hollow Body Perfect Head swimbait.

 

9. Craig samples Barkley on the final day

Fishing his third Costa FLW Series event, Adam Craig hammered Kentucky Lake’s ledges on days one and two then decided to divide and conquer.

He moved to Barkley for the final round, which he knew would be something of a gamble.

“I was trying to find fish that weren’t real pressured,” he says. “But, there was no current. When there’s no current you can’t hardly catch them on Barkley. And we didn’t get current until 11 o’clock. I gambled and it didn’t pay off. But I made the top 10 and I’m not complaining.”

Craig did notice something peculiar when working his ledges on Kentucky

“If you picked it up they didn’t bite it. It had to be dragged,” he says. “If you picked it up they wouldn’t touch it.”

Craig mostly used a ¾-ounce Omega Football Jig throughout the week.

 

10. King makes back-to-back top 10s

Moving into the Angler of the Year lead in the Central Division, Stacey King booked his second top 10 of the season on Barkley.

“I didn’t have very many places that had fish, so I just tried to fish slow and thorough and milk those places for as much as I could,” says the veteran pro.  “And I was not the only one fishing those places. I fished the north end of Kentucky Lake and took a real slow approach with the plastics. Most of the guys were power fishing. I’m getting too old to power fish all day, so I like to slow down and fish worms and jigs and stuff that I can drag across the bottom.”

King’s dragging bait of choice was a big shaky head with a 6-inch Bass Pro Shops Stik-O Worm in blue craw.

 

Tags: gary-garth  post-tournament  2018-06-07-lake-barkley 

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. 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 »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Pros caught fish everywhere from in the middle of flooded jungles of brush to deep main-lake drops. The top finishers pretty much all power fished with soft plastics, crankbaits and frogs. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

The top 10 fished a little of everything, but mostly stuck to areas within a few miles of the 147 bridge. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Though there was some carryover from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, the fishing on the Potomac River was a lot better for the anglers in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance. With better fishing came more robust grass patterns, but plenty of bass (some of the biggest of the event) were caught off hard cover as well. All in all, it was a mixed week of very good fishing on the Potomac. READ MORE »

National Championship Top 10 Baits

National Championship Top 10 Baits

Competitors in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance undoubtedly took some cues from the top finishers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, but they also blazed some new ground. With better fishing overall and a better grass bite, a few more winding baits got mixed into the fray. READ MORE »

Best Hair from the College Championship

Best Hair from the College Championship

Inspired by the Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair videos, we thought we’d take a little time to break down some of the best hair from this year’s YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship. This article is not meant to criticize the hair the college anglers brought to the Potomac; rather, we want to recognize the unsung heroes and the flair they brought to the tournament. Since the college anglers can compete in the tournament solo or as a pair, we allowed the same rules on our list. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

With notably less developed grass than usual on the Potomac River, the anglers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American had a slightly different river to deal with. The tournament, which was presented by General Tire, featured a lot more hard cover action than grass bed fishing, and that trend was reflected in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

The T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American, which was presented by General Tire, featured a mixed bag of staple river tactics. As such, a pretty good variety of jigs, vibrating jigs and plastics came into play, with some finesse and hard baits mixed in. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Fishing at Table Rock during the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, presented by Power-Pole, was pretty remarkable, at least until it wasn’t. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

It really didn’t matter what pros threw at Table Rock. The fish were probably going to eat it. Yet, despite a banner practice, things certainly got tougher throughout the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which was presented by Power-Pole. Thus, pros needed to continually adapt to the conditions with their offerings.Here’s a look at the lures that helped the top 10 anglers.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

The timing of the FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga was both a curse and a blessing for the top 10 finishers. There were plenty of fish to be had – and on a multitude of patterns – but the big double-digit females Chick is known for were hard to track down. READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Santee Cooper

Top 10 Patterns from Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is full of 30-pound stringers. It’s also been known as a lake that will humble an angler quick. Bradford Beavers had experienced that before, having twice before weighed in 30-plus-pound stringers in tournaments on his home lake only to bomb the next day. Well, third time was the charm. After weighing in 31-02 on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by Power-Pole, he managed to back it up on day two by fishing both lakes for his first signature victory. Of course, he had to hold off some hard charges from some veteran locals to do it. Here’s how they and the other top pros managed to carve out their own patterns and stay consistent on Santee. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Santee Cooper

Top 10 Baits from Santee Cooper

There were three predominant patterns at Santee Cooper: Pitching wacky rigs to cypress trees, sight-fishing and the shad spawn. Yet, they weren’t the only patterns, as a couple locals managed to do plenty of damage with some locals-only offshore patterns at the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season finale presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Targeting spawning smallmouth bass was by far the dominant pattern when the FLW Tour visited Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee in April. With a few exceptions, the top 10 pros targeted various combinations of rock and gravel banks where the fish were bedding. Finesse baits such as shaky heads, Ned rigs and small swimbaits saw the most work. READ MORE »