UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Potomac River

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 

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Day one of the Potomac River event, which is the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, featured plenty of limits, but getting quality bites was definitely an issue for some. In the lead after day one, Marvin Reese of Randallstown, Md., weighed 14 pounds, 12 ounces to get things underway. Behind Reese, Justin Atkins and Jason Kervin both weighed 14-5, and Robert Grike rounded out the 14-pound brigade with 14-4. Overall, just 11 pros cracked the 12-pound mark on day one of the tournament, which is presented by Lowrance, but 8- and 9-pound limits weren’t too hard to come by.  READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

As predicted, day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River has been fairly tough. Though most folks have a fish or two, and many will undoubtedly fill limits by weigh-in, it certainly hasn’t been a catch-fest. READ MORE »

Underway on the Potomac

Underway on the Potomac

For the tournament, the wind isn’t forecast to be too strong any day, and the tides will be fairly standard, but not ideal from a timing standpoint. Today, low tide was at 6:15 a.m., and low tide on Saturday will be at 8:15. That means that pros will mostly be fishing a rising tide through the tournament, with the best windows likely coming early on Friday and Saturday. READ MORE »

High Tide Takes Langford to Top

High Tide Takes Langford to Top

Todd Langford of Great Falls, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the Potomac River Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Langford took home $2,600 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Mills Works Wood at Ohio River

Mills Works Wood at Ohio River

Craig Mills of Hamilton, Ohio, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Mills took home $5,466 for his win. READ MORE »

Pollak Plays Current for Big Muddy W

Pollak Plays Current for Big Muddy W

Joe Pollak of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Pollack netted $4,586. READ MORE »

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Everyone knew it was only a matter of time, and that time is finally now. Bryan Thrift is an FLW Cup champion. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Bryan Thrift has the lead with one day left to fish in the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. But to make it happen, he needs to hold off Kyle Walters, who's had a magical week so far, along with Scott Martin and a crew of other hammers. READ MORE »

What Happened to LeBrun?

What Happened to LeBrun?

Nick LeBrun cracked 15 pounds on day one of the FLW Cup by throwing a Whopper Plopper around docks and seawalls. Then he caught only two bass on day two. The Louisiana pro says he refused to change his approach on day two because he wanted to fish for the win. Though he failed, he says he wouldn't change a thing. READ MORE »

Thrift on the Brink of First Cup

Thrift on the Brink of First Cup

For the second day in a row, Shelby, N.C., pro Bryan Thrift will go to bed with the lead in the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. Today, Thrift weighed in 12 pounds, 7 ounces for a two-day total of 27-10. He leads Florida pro Kyle Walters by 1 1/2 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 2 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 2 Coverage

Bryan Thrift and Nick LeBrun lead the charge at the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. Today, they work toward making the cut and getting to the final day of competition for a chance at $300,000. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Hamilton

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Hamilton

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 1 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 1 Coverage

The 2019 FLW Cup features 52 of the best bass anglers in the world competing for $300,000 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. READ MORE »

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Casey Scanlon won the FLW Tour season finale at Lake Champlain, which he almost had to do to make the FLW Cup. Now that he’s here at Lake Hamilton, he’s got a shot at $300,000 and a possible edge over the competition due to his momentum and extensive Ozark experience. READ MORE »

Greene Again on St. Clair

Greene Again on St. Clair

Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair after catching five bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. Greene took home $5,753 for his win. READ MORE »

Buck Drop-shots for Oneida Win

Buck Drop-shots for Oneida Win

FLW Tour pro Grae Buck of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, Buck earned $5,471 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Gallagher Nets Win on Indian

Gallagher Nets Win on Indian

Darrell Gallagher of Maplewood, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on Indian Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces. Gallagher earned $3,553 his win. READ MORE »

Crowder Camps for Potomac W

Crowder Camps for Potomac W

Kermit Crowder of Matoaca, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the Potomac River presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. For his day on the water, Crowder earned $4,454. READ MORE »