UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2019 - Pickwick Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1
Austin Felix

Everyone knows Lake Champlain has got ‘em, but nobody has seen anything quite like this in a major tournament on the big northern lake. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener presented by Power-Pole was windy and rough, but the pros absolutely blasted the fish. Brett Carnright leads with 21 pounds, 7 ounces, but the rest of the pack isn’t far behind at all.

It may have happened before, but it’s certainly been a long time since a big tournament has hit the smallmouth spawn on Champlain with such precision. For some reason, the lake is a little behind this year, even more than it was in 2017, and the smallies are all over the beds. Of the top 10, only Cory Johnston caught any largemouth at all, and everyone targeted smallmouths on beds.

Smallmouth don’t usually win on Champlain – they’re part of the puzzle – but, this year could be the year. Even so, some of the top pros are still thinking green, and that may end up being the difference if the smallmouth spawn pattern falters at all.

Carnright’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

2. Austin Felix – Eden Prairie, Minn. – 20-15

The last time Austin Felix fished an FLW event on Champlain was the 2016 FLW Tour season finale. Then, he banked the first pro top 10 of his career with spawning smallmouths amid a fiasco of broken down boats.

By 9:30 a.m., Felix had boxed up four bedding smallmouths for about 17 pounds. Shortly thereafter he caught a 3-pounder to get to around 19 pounds. Then he found one more 4-pounder in the afternoon to get up over 20.

“I think I can still go 17.5 tomorrow, but a lot of my 3.75 and better are gone,” says Felix of his prospects going forward. “But, I’ve got a lot of 3-pounders that I’ve marked and then I’ll just go looking again and catch what I can.

“The wind slowed me down a lot to get to five,” adds the Minnesota pro. “Usually you can just run up to them and catch them. But it took me a while to find where they were sitting and you’d get beat to hell using the flogger in the waves.”

How Felix plans the smallmouth spawn

 

3. Ron Nelson – Berrien Springs, Mich. – 20-11

Last year’s Champlain champ, Ron Nelson got off to another great start with five big smallies. The only issue is that it could have been even better – around 10:45 a.m. he briefly hooked and lost a largemouth that he says was over 5 pounds.

“Today was strictly spawning fish,” says Nelson. “I ran a section of the lake today and caught my five by about 8 o’clock. I think I caught one new 4-pounder today, so I guess I caught six. And anything that was around 3 pounds I let my co-angler catch.”

Nelson says that with calmer water on day two he may chase largemouths more, but seems pretty confident in his ability to catch a bag of smallmouth in the upper teens with relative ease.

 

4. Cory Johnston – Cavan, Ont. – 20-6

Three-time Northern Division Angler of the Year Cory Johnston is looking awfully dangerous after day one on Champlain. The elder of the dynamic Canadian duo, Johnston weighed-in a 5-13 largemouth for his kicker and actually only brought two smallmouths to weigh-in.

“I went to some bedded fish, and there were some guys already on the two I was going to start on,” says Johnston. “So that threw a wrench in my game plan. I ended up catching about 17 pounds of smallmouths and then went largemouth fishing for about an hour and caught three big ones and left them alone.”

Johnston says he’s “pretty dialed in” on the largemouths, and if he can keep it up the ability to add a 5+ kicker could be a game changer for him.

“I’m doing something a little different than everyone else,” reveals the Canadian pro. “I’m covering water and catching them on reaction baits. I’m going to do a bit of both tomorrow, my biggest smallmouth is still on a bed, but I want to save as many as I can. I’m definitely going to fish for some largemouths and try to get a kicker.”

 

5. Stephen Estes – Auburn, N.H. – 19-13

Fishing his first Costa FLW Series event since 2013, Stephen Estes got in on the bedding game too.

“It was a rough start to the day, there was a lot of wind,” says Estes. “But I had my fish marked and I just went to them and I was done by 8:45. They’re kinda spread out all over the place, one here, one there, so I had to run some. I’m not a largemouth guy – I came into this one looking for all smallmouth.”

Estes says he hit them pretty hard today. While he doesn’t have 18 or another 19 pounds just waiting for him, Estes believes he can rustle up something in the neighborhood of 17 pounds tomorrow. That said, there seems to still be fish pulling up, so there’s a good chance he could stumble on some more quality fish once he begins looking around.

 

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2018-06-21-lake-champlain 

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. 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 »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

On the flip side, Josh Bensema, who’s 4 pounds, 10 ounces behind Wilson, thinks he might have found the kind of Sam Rayburn motherlode that could earn him a come-from-behind victory. And while most of the rest of the top 10 are well behind Wilson, several of them hinted at being on the trail of some truly mammoth bags. READ MORE »

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

A 9-plus-pound bass anchored Kris Wilson’s day-two limit to help him stay in the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Wilson weighed in 21 pounds, 12 ounces today to go with 26-11 yesterday. His 48-7 two-day total has Wilson 4 pounds, 10 ounces ahead of Josh Bensema and miles ahead of the rest of the top 10.   READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, which is presented by Mercury, has certainly lived up to expectations. Plenty of fish are out there to be caught, yet finding quality is the key to separating yourself from the pack. Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas certainly distanced himself after hauling in 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the Umphrey Family Pavilion stage. It may not be the Texas-sized bag Rayburn is known for, however, given the conditions it is absolutely impressive. Wilson will hold a 6-7 lead over Josh Bensema heading into Friday. 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 »

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek Saturday with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Campbell netted $6,718 for his victory. READ MORE »

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed $4,071 for his day on the water. READ MORE »

Fox Claims No. 8

Fox Claims No. 8

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Fox netted $2,941. READ MORE »

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Ganey took home $6,362. READ MORE »

Walser Nets 13th Title

Walser Nets 13th Title

Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. With his win – his 13th on the BFL circuit – Walser tied the BFL all-time wins record held by Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio. 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 »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

As expected, the fishing has been great for the final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. Sunny skies and moderate winds have set everyone up for success, and so far the top 10 teams are making the most of it. READ MORE »

Racers Lock Up National Championship

Racers Lock Up National Championship

The final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River was quite the show, especially if you watched FLW Live. After catching the biggest limit of the event worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to take the lead, the Murray State duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson gave it all they had on the final day to squeak out their smallest, yet most important limit of the week. Today, Murray State caught 15-8, which was enough to edge out the Bethel University team of Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce by just 3 ounces to bring home the title. Along with winning a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower motor for the club, Puckett and Albertson also get entry into the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., this August 9-11. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River had a wide variety of patterns in play among the leaders. Today, with overcast skies and gusty winds, the folks fishing grass started to pull ahead. In the lead, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State have managed more than 16 pounds each day, but the rest of the top-10 crew is hot on their heels. Additionally, the fishing seems to be getting better by the day, so a big bag from a team down the standings a little bit wouldn’t exactly be a shock on the final day.  READ MORE »

Murray State Races Ahead

Murray State Races Ahead

Thanks to a day-two limit worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State University have the lead going into the final round of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Racers weighed 16-13 on day one to place seventh, but moved up the leaderboard today with the tournament’s biggest limit so far. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River has been quite different from day one. With strong souths winds kicking up the main channel and keeping the tide back, teams have had to adjust. READ MORE »