UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top-10 Patterns from Pickwick Lake

Top-10 Patterns from Pickwick Lake
Colby Chapman & Will Smith

The morning bite proved essential for North Augusta’s Kyler Mckie and Chad Champy, who compiled a 3-day total of 57 pounds, 10 ounces and completed the wire-to-wire victory at the 2018 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Defeating 383 other teams, the high school juniors earned $10,000 in scholarships ($5,000 each).

Champy and McKie caught their fish on shaky heads over humps near the river channel. Worm selection made a positive difference in their productivity.

Champy and McKie’s Winning Patterns

Complete results

 

 

2. Redman and Brown Take a Close Second

While most of the field relied on a mix of crankbaits, shaky heads, Carolina rigs and dropshots, Avery Brown and Hunter Redman of George Rogers Clark High went big and bold and caught several of their fish on 1 1/2-ounce spoons. Adding a day-three limit of 10-11 to their first two days’ weights – 17-08 and 20-03 – gave them a second-place total of 57-6.

Brown says their choice of baits was intended to stand out from the crowd.

“It’s something different; something the fish hadn’t seen this week,” Brown notes. “So, it was something they were not used to.”

Redman says he and Brown used 7-foot-6 heavy action casting rods and 20-pound-test fluorocarbon for launching the big baits on long casts and for making the most of each bite.

“You just rear back and let her rip,” he says of the requisite casting effort. “You have to get the bait out there as far as you can, but at the same time, you don’t want to cast too far because you have to have enough backbone in that rod to get a hook in that fish.”

Spending most of their time near the Natchez Trace Bridge, Redman and Brown targeted fish in a creek channel. Along with the spoon, they also boated keepers on a custom jig made by Redman’s father. The GRC anglers fitted the jig with a green pumpkin Cabin Creek creature bait and dipped the tails in chartreuse for extra appeal.

Despite finishing a mere 4 ounces behind the winners, Redman says he and Brown aren’t mulling over what might have been.

“We lost a couple of key fish, but we’re going home with no regrets,” he says. “This was our first High School National Championship, so it was a great event. Today (final round) we had nothing to lose, so we swung for the fence.”

 

3. Key Spot Sends Gordon Lee To Third

It’s safe to say that Colby Chapman and Will Smith  will remember a particular little spot on Pickwick Lake for the rest of their fishing careers. Not only did the rock-strewn flat propel the Gordon Lee High team to a third-place finish with 53-01, it gave up a trio of milestone bass.

“We caught three personal bests in three days,” Chapman recalls. “I caught my personal best largemouth (8-12) and Will caught his personal best smallmouth (6-2) and largemouth (8-2). It’s a pretty special spot to us.”

After placing 40th on day one, the Gordon Lee team caught 20-3 on day two and improved to sixth. In the final round, they added 20-6 — the day’s biggest bag — to finish third with 53-01.

“When we started, we had a lot of schools found and that one was our best,” Smith says. “It was a 100-yard stretch of different types of rock amid this flat.

“We set up in a creek channel and threw up on the flat. We started with moving baits and then slowed down as the day went on, according to what the bite told us.”

Dragging a jig and a shaky head with a plum-colored worm produced all of their weight.

 

4. Consistency Key for Fourth-Place Fannin County

Luke Mchan and Bake Cobb kept themselves near the top of the standings with a ninth-place effort on day one, followed by an improvement to fifth on day two and a final placement at number five. Their consistent weights of 16-06, 16-05 and 16-09 gave them a final tally of 49-04.

Mchan says they targeted ledges with shell beds. Current was critical for their bite, as the increased flow of mid-morning positioned their baitfish to the liking of hungry bass. As soon as the TVA started pulling water, the Fannin anglers could count on their windows of opportunity.

“We caught them on a shaky head and a jig,” Cobb says. “When that current ran, you just had to buckle down and drag as slowly as you possibly could.

“Today (day three), we didn't have a limit until 9:30, but once current started, we got a limit pretty quick and then we culled with a 5-pounder about noon.”

The team from Georgia’s Blueridge country says their Peach Tree State home water helped them enjoy the opportunity to sample Pickwick’s quality fishery.

“My favorite memory will be the size of fish we caught,” Cobb notes. “Where I’m from, a 3- or 4-pounder is a big one, but a 5-pounder is nothing here.”

 

5. Grand Rapids Drags Into Fifth

For Grand Rapids High School’s Easton Fothergill and Alex Timm, slow, methodical dragging was the key to their fifth-place finish. The anglers posted weights of 15-03, 18-03 and 15-05 to finish with a tournament total of 48-11.

The team’s bait selection included a Texas-rigged twister-tail worm in plum color and a 3/4-ounce jig with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer. Effective as it was, Timm says their strategy came about by default.

“We couldn’t get bit power fishing,” he says. “That’s what we did the first two pre-fish days and we didn’t catch a single fish over 15 inches. So we switched it up the third day and got a few bites.

“We didn’t have too much confidence until the first day of the tournament. Then we gained more and more confidence as the tournament went on.”

Fothergill says a cadence of slow-dragging with long pauses seemed to be most effective retrieve. Timm says they identified their best spot during practice, compliments of the Pickwick food chain.

“In pre-fishing, we found a spot that didn’t look like it had any fish, but bass were pushing shad up in front of us, so we marked the spot,” he says. “We came back in the tournament and on the first day, we only got one fish; but the second and third days, we got pretty much our whole limits there.”

 

6. West Sabine Works Sweet Spot on Ledges

Call it a happy medium — the midzone of a steep ledge where Hunter Muncrief and Landen McCary found enough fish to earn a sixth-place finish with 48-09 for West Sabine High.

McCary says their main spot dropped from about 14 feet into 40. The fish were positioning about halfway up, in about 20 to 22 feet.

“We just ground that spot,” McCary says. “They were positioned like they weren’t really ready to go out deep, but they were halfway there.

“The first day, we caught almost 20 pounds there. We fired up a school of 4-pounders that we knew were in the area. The second day, we couldn’t fire that school, but we got a 7-pounder there. On the last day, we went back and ground, but we could only get four.”

A 1/2- to 5/8-ounce football head jig with a V&M Wild Thang Craw Jr. or a V&M J-Bug trailer produced all of their fish. Muncrief says the right cast was throwing upstream from a downstream position and dragging up the ledge.

“Those fish being a little deeper and stationed about halfway helped, because not many people could find that spot and fire up that school,” Muncrief says.

 

7. Too Much Current for B&B Fishing Team

Too much of a good thing can end up become a bad thing. Just ask Garrett Bartlett and Henry Bryan, who turned in a top-tier performance from the start, but saw their hopes dimming with the final day’s conditions.

“They pulled a lot of current today (final round) and it cleared out all the big fish and the little fish moved in,” Bartlett says. “We didn’t catch nearly as many fish as we did on day two, but we did have a few keeper bites.”

Bartlett and Bryan placed eighth on day one with 16-14 and gained a spot the next day when they added 15-09. Unfortunately, they only found three keepers in the final round and finished at seventh with 41-13.

Bryan said he and his partner caught their fish on a crankbaits, spinnerbaits and a 5/18-ounce hair jig. They matched their baits to habitat and depth – cranking deep rocky bottom, using hair jigs on steep drops and spinnerbaits up shallow for limit fish.

 

8. Obion County Scrambles Into Eighth

After a 25th-place effort day one, Obion County High School’s Cody Gregory and Thomas Mathis gained 15 spots on day two and secured their final-round berth at tenth with 41-12. The anglers entered day one with what they considered a solid game plan, but as the event progressed they were compelled to take more of a run-and-gun approach.

“The weekend before the cut-off, we did some pre-fishing and were catching 16 to 18 pounds a day, which we knew would be enough to keep us in the running,” Mathis says. “We pre-fished those areas before the tournament and we caught fish, but we were lacking the size. We had eight schools of fish located, but on tournament morning we could only get on one of them.

“Rather than fish community holes, we’d go scan and try to find our own new spots. We ended up stumbling onto a big school of fish and that’s where we caught our two biggest on day two. We went back on day three and the school was nowhere to be found, so we had to just go scratch up a limit and it was good enough for eighth place.”

Gregory says he and his teammate caught their fish on dropshots with Roboworm straight-tail worm and a Strike King KVD Dream Shot – both in the morning dawn color – as well as a jig plus a Carolina rig with a 3/4-ounce tungsten weight and Missile Baits D Stroyer in watermelon red.

 

9. McCracken County Slips on Day Three

Ethan Hayes and Harper Burkeen caught 15-15 on day one to place 13th, then secured their final-round berth by moving up to ninth on day two with a limit of 13-15. On day three, they added 9-13 to finish ninth with 39-11.

“We started fishing ledges, but we went into the backs of some coves where we started seeing a bunch of shad busting,” Hayes says. “We were really just trying to get on some schooling fish.”

Burkeen described their most productive area as an old road bed with about 7 feet of water on top, 13 on the bottom.

“We found this spot in practice and the first day of the tournament we had a limit by 7:30,” he says. “Today [third day], there was a bunch of bait on it, but there was a bunch of shorts on it.”

Hayes thinks the lack of wind and current on their spot made for a tougher day three and they ended with only two keepers. Texas-rigged Zoom Old Monster worms with 1/2-ounce tungsten weights produced most of their fish, with a jig adding a couple more.

 

10. Experience

Addison Yates and Garrett McWilliams, of Discovery Christian School, placed 46th on day one with 11-08, but sacked up 18-12 on the second day and ascended to eighth. They struggled in the final round and after catching a lone keeper for 3-01, finished tenth with 33-05.

Targeting ledges in 20 feet was their game plan all week and Yates says their experience in last year’s National Championship – also on Pickwick – provided helpful reference.

“We decided to go with a green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko on a shaky head,” she reveals. “We fished slowly on the bottom. That’s what we’re used to back home in Mississippi, so it worked here too.”

McWilliams says they were sitting in 18-24 feet of water and throwing onto 13- to 15-foot flats. They’d drag their baits toward the edge, with most of their bites occurring close to the drop. The morning bite was most productive for them.

 

 

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2018-06-27-national-championship 

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »