UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Santee Cooper

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 5 Patterns from Fort Gibson – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Fort Gibson – Day 1
Tommy Biffle

When looking out across Fort Gibson Lake on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury, one word came to mind: stagnant.

For the last couple of weeks, the late-summer doldrums have set in across northeastern Oklahoma with warm, humid conditions. Current is virtually nonexistent in the lake. Aside from a couple of showers this morning and a little afternoon breeze, the lake was calm for much of the day. In all, things were pretty stale.

During the day, anglers struggled to crack the stagnant code. Local pros leaned heavily on their home field knowledge, pulling out all the stops by fishing brush piles, obscure rock formations and anywhere there might be a breath of current.

Local pro Kyle Cortiana compounded his home court edge into the tournament lead with 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Behind him, 11- and 12-pound limits were enough to earn a top-five spot on day one.

Complete results

 

2. Tommy Dickerson – Orange, Texas – 14-7

Tommy Dickerson is not a local, but he knows what kind of early fall patterns start to show up in Oklahoma this time of year. With that, the Texas pro went hunting shallow targets that he could hit with the short string. In doing so, he found one area that treated him especially well this morning.

“I went to my first place, caught a limit by 9 o’ clock, and then I left,” Dickerson says. “The number of fish in there is pretty thin, and there were some other boats fishing the area, so I didn’t see any sense in staying in there catching 2-pounders for no reason. I’m trying to conserve what I have the best I can.”

Dickerson says he has a couple of more areas that are similar in nature to what he fished today, but he didn’t even go to those.

“I’m trying to play the long game here,” he says. “If I can make it to Saturday, then I’ll pressure all my areas harder.”

Dickerson adds that if the water drops any more than it already has, it’s going to hurt his best areas.

 

3. Tommy Biffle – Wagoner, Okla. – 12-15

Legendary pro Tommy Biffle never misses an opportunity to fish on his home lake for big money. Today, he only had four fish, but they weighed enough to put him in third place.

Over the years, Biffle’s strategy on his home pond has changed. Many years ago you were more likely to find him running up the river and jumping sandbars and logs to get into the back end of creeks. These days, you’re more likely to find him out on the main lake dragging his namesake Gene Larew Biffle Hardhead jig tipped with Gene Larew Biffle Bug.

“A lot of the good creeks on this lake have all silted in,” Biffle says. “You can’t even get into them anymore. And the ones you can get in get beat to death. So I’ve started playing the offshore game, dragging around out there on the main lake. You might say I’ve kind of gotten into that kind of fishing. I have about 9,000 waypoints on my unit.”

Of those, Biffle says he hit about 40 offshore spots today.

“I had a real flurry on one spot. I caught two keepers,” he jokes.

Most of his places warrant just a few casts to hit the right stuff, and then he moves on.

“I actually spent too much time on a few places today,” Biffle adds. “If you’re going to play the numbers game, you’ve got to keep moving. The more spots you can hit in a day, the better your chances of running across a wad of them.”

 

4. Ryan Wilbanks – Wagoner, Okla. – 12-5

Ryan Wilbanks is another hometown favorite that has been fishing Fort Gibson for many years. He, too, spent his day rotating among offshore spots, some of which he found when he used to swim in the lake as a kid.

“I’ve got a few places out there I found with my feet,” Wilbanks says. “We swam out there for hours at a time in the summertime when I was little. Every now then, I would find a boulder that I could stand up on. When I got older and started bass fishing, I discovered those big boulders were pretty good fish attractors.”

In all, Wilbanks says he hit about 12 spots. Unlike Biffle, who is trying to hit as many as possible, Wilbanks is trying to do the opposite – slow down.

“I just know so many places, and I get in too big of a hurry and don’t fish the places like I need to,” he explains. “I’ll be fishing one while thinking about another. So my goal this week has been to really fish in the moment and focus on what I’m fishing right now instead of thinking about the next five places I’m going to hit.”

 

5. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 12-1

Casey Scanlon grew up fishing in Kansas where he says many lakes look just like Fort Gibson.

“I’ve spent some time here, and I like this lake,” Scanlon says. “It’s a good dragging lake with a lot of points. The only problem is it gets beat down pretty well by local pressure. You can literally sit and watch boats just fish the same points over and over.”

Scanlon admits that the best points he fished today were all ones that no one had fished for a while.

“I just started watching areas of the lake and keeping up with which points hadn’t been fished in a while,” he says. “When I saw an area that had not been pressured for a couple of hours I’d go fish it.”

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2018-10-04-ft-gibson-lake 

It’s all Upshaw

It’s all Upshaw

As pretty much everyone figured, the final day of the FLW Tour event presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake was a nail-biter. Coming down to the wire, a final-hour cull from Andrew Upshaw was enough to hold off Grae Buck and earn the Tulsa, Okla., pro his first Tour win. Weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces, Upshaw totaled up 67-10 to earn the $100,000 payday and his first trophy after eight years on Tour. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Cherokee Lake

FLW Live Leaderboard - Cherokee Lake

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for stop No. 5 of the 2019 FLW Tour at Cherokee Lake. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw has a chance to go wire-to-wire for the win at the FLW Tour event presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake. The Oklahoma pro has led for three days thanks to his smallmouth pattern. The rest of the pros are catching mixed bags of largemouths and smallmouths. Many of the fish are spawning. READ MORE »

Upshaw Almost There

Upshaw Almost There

Andrew Upshaw is one day away from going wire-to-wire to secure his first-ever FLW Tour victory, and as long as the pressure and the nine pros behind him don’t knock him off course, the Tulsa, Okla., pro has a game plan to make it happen. READ MORE »

Cherokee Day 3 Coverage

Cherokee Day 3 Coverage

It's a catch-fest at Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee, as the top 30 pros enter the weekend with hopes of catching Andrew Upshaw, who has led for two days. Largemouths and smallmouths are both spawning, and they are eager to bite. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 2 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the FLW Tour event at Cherokee Lake was a doozy. Pros hammered impressive numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass on what was a perfect spring day in east Tennessee. Now, it's cut day, and everyone is hoping to make it into the top 30 and fish again on the weekend. READ MORE »

Upshaw Leads Packed Top 10

Upshaw Leads Packed Top 10

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake was a sure enough catchfest. Leading the way, Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Okla., weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces to take the lead, but 13 other pros also weighed more than 16 pounds. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 1 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 1 Coverage

The FLW Tour visits Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee at the perfect time for a spring showdown. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are ready to spawn, and practice reports suggest a lot of fish will be caught. READ MORE »

Gregory, Hudson and Pugh Tie on Smith

Gregory, Hudson and Pugh Tie on Smith

David Hudson of Jasper, and Greg Pugh and Dexton Gregory, both of Cullman, Alabama, ended up in a three-way tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lewis Smith Lake after each bringing five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, to the scale. After contingency awards, Hudson earned $3,001, with Gregory taking home $2,801 and Pugh $2,501. READ MORE »

DeGrandcourt Cranks to Kerr Title

DeGrandcourt Cranks to Kerr Title

R.J. DeGrandcourt of Clarksville, Virginia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division opener on Kerr Lake. For his catch, DeGrandcourt took home $2,585. READ MORE »

Benfield Looks at 'Em on Hartwell

Benfield Looks at 'Em on Hartwell

Brad Benfield of Cornelia, Georgia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell with a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. For his day on the water, Benfield took home $2,977. READ MORE »

Sumter Flips Shallow on Arkansas River

Sumter Flips Shallow on Arkansas River

Brit Sumter of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, brought five bass to the weigh-in stage Saturday totaling 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division opener on the Arkansas River. For his victory, Sumter pocketed $4,315. READ MORE »

Flat Leads Suratt to Pickwick Title

Flat Leads Suratt to Pickwick Title

Boater Trent Suratt of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, brought five bass to the weigh-in stage Saturday totaling 20 pounds, 3 ounces, to earn the win and $4,394 at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake. READ MORE »

Vinita Sacks 22-11 on Texoma

Vinita Sacks 22-11 on Texoma

The Vinita High School duo of Tyler Lake and Jessie Woodward, both of Vinita, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 22 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Texoma Open. READ MORE »

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

With just two fish in the bag, Jake Morris was noticeably nervous at the final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake. Fortunately for him, he didn’t need either one of them, as Morris caught enough the first two days to top the next closest finisher. Catching 5-12 today punctuated the wire-to-wire victory for Morris, who brought in 44-2 in three days. He caught almost every fish on a spinnerbait from one key stretch on Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Morris Still the Man on Top

Morris Still the Man on Top

Jake Morris of McKee, Ky., didn’t have the outing he wanted today. The tournament leader at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake weighed in just three fish for 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Thankfully, his impressive 24-plus-pound day-one performance helped him hold off local ace Cole Floyd, who moved up a few spots to second. Morris leads Floyd by 7-6 going into the final round.  READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake has seen more cloudy skies and a slight rise in temperature. However, the lack of wind presents enough of a difference to fiddle with the power-fishing patterns that produced on day one. After weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces on day one, pro leader Jake Morris carried a lead of 4-9 into today’s competition. He might end up cherishing that big opening round, as the second morning was not as generous. Mostly throwing a spinnerbait, he boated a 5-pounder early, but a lost fish hurt him, and a lack of bites suggests his go-to area might be drying up. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Kentucky Lake Midday Update - Day 1

It looks like the prediction of slim pickings with occasional pots of gold is holding true for day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Kentucky Lake. We covered a lot of water and snooped around the usual haunts, as well as some tucked-away spots; but bent rods were rare. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 1

Most of the top pros found their best action using moving baits such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs to fish shallow water where prespawn bass are starting to slide up and stage for the spawn. READ MORE »

Morris Bags 24-10 on Kentucky

Morris Bags 24-10 on Kentucky

Jake Morris of McKee, Ky., caught 24 pounds, 10 ounces of bass on Kentucky Lake to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Central Division season opener. He has a 4-9 lead over Jimmy Washam. READ MORE »