UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Guntersville Lake Tour

Guntersville Lake Tour

Winding through Tennessee, north Alabama and Kentucky, the Tennessee River is studded with some of the most legendary reservoirs in bass-fishing history. Many would argue that Lake Guntersville is the best of the bunch, and though that is up for debate on any given year, Guntersville’s place in fishing history is undeniable.

This week, the lake is under heavy pressure from a local championship event, anglers out to have fun and the 198 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Here’s a look at what they’ll encounter on the water.

Costa Campionship Fact Sheet

 

Taking off out of Guntersville City Harbor on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the anglers will have easy access to the lower portions of the lake, but a decent run is ahead of them if they want to run into the upper end. There’s an invisible line somewhere that marks the difference between Guntersville and the Tennessee River, but regardless of that, the farthest folks can go is the Nickajack Dam, which is just a handful of miles upriver from the Tennessee state line.

 

With the history that Guntersville has, some big tournament or another has been won almost everywhere on the lake.

Mark Rose won the FLW Tour event held in the winter of 2017 in Browns Creek. Jay Kendrick fished the bridges on North Sauty and South Sauty when he won the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event in 2015. In the summer of 2012, Alex Davis won a huge-weight Costa FLW Series showdown running offshore places from Honeycomb Creek to Seibold Creek. In 2011, Paul Elias romped with the umbrella rig on Spring Creek Bridge.

Of course, you could still probably buy all of Tackle Warehouse two times over with all the money won north of the main ledges and creeks in the lower end. The part of the lake up from Goose Pond, around B. B. Comer Bridge, is epic and often at its best in the fall time when the ledges of the main lake that dominate the postspawn bite have been beat on all summer.

 

Grass is very often a factor on Guntersville. Historically, it’s had the best and most consistent grass of any Tennessee River lake. In the fall, the frog bite takes off as the grass tops out and cheese mats form. You can find mats throughout the lake, but the best mats are usually formed by topped-out milfoil covered with scum. That sort of mat provides ample cover for the bass, but gives fish and anglers room to play with underneath it.

Heavy rains and high flows throughout the Tennessee River Valley put a dent in the mats in early October, but there are still plenty of mats to be found. Finding bass in them just requires a little more looking than usual, and the fish under them have usually seen a few frogs.

 

There’s also plenty of grass to be found that isn’t matted. Up and down the lake, you can find varying amounts of milfoil, hydrilla and eelgrass in creeks and on the main river. It’s full of life and part of why Guntersville has remained so remarkably productive over the years. Running the edges of grass with a topwater or moving bait could end up being a great pattern, and there’s good stuff to flip as well. Making sense of it all is pretty tricky, as there is an awful lot of the stuff, but there’s no doubt that plenty of bass live in the grass.

 

Schooling bass often play a big role in the fall, and bass will often key more on shad in the fall in general. Running up and down Guntersville, you can see plenty of umbrella rigs soaring through the air – a sure sign that anglers are thinking about bass chasing shad. There’s a pretty good chance that the presence of bait will be a defining factor in a top-10 finish or two this week.

 

Bridges are always a player on Guntersville, and they’re sure to see a lot of traffic this week. Most of the bridges on G-ville are actually causeways with bridges over the gaps. As a result, they funnel everything through a small area. Any bass or bait that wants to move from the back of a creek to the main river is forced to pass through. The bridges also neck down the current, making them prime feeding areas basically all year. 

Though there isn’t a bad time to fish bridges on Guntersville, the pattern is a tough nut to crack. There’s usually a ton of pressure, and it takes a high level of commitment. Sometimes anglers will even use anchors to stake out a section of a bridge as their own. It’s never a surprise to see bridges win on Guntersville, but it’s also a good way to generate sighs and eyerolls from many longtime Guntersville locals.

 

There aren’t really any famous dock lakes on the Tennessee River, but Guntersville has a lot of docks that can be good. If the fishing is tough, a savvy angler might pluck a few off docks throughout the week. Back in 2017, Bryan Thrift caught quite a few fish on docks in the wintertime FLW Tour event, and docks are certainly something to at least throw an eye on this week.

 

Being on the Tennessee River, Guntersville naturally has some ledge-fishing opportunities. Fishing offshore isn’t expected to be a major player this week, but it’s not out of the question.  It seems like there are always at least some bass offshore on the Tennessee River, and anyone who can find a wad (or even just a few big ones) could have a leg up on the competition.

With so many patterns and areas in play, it’s likely that several approaches will produce this week, and the six eventual Forrest Wood Cup qualifiers (the top finishers from each division) could all catch their fish in different ways.

 

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2018-11-01-lake-guntersville 

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Bites were easy to come by at Lake Martin. It was getting the quality bites that separated the field. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Martin

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Martin

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop goes down this week at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Ala. Here's how you can watch the action live. READ MORE »

Practice Report: Lake Martin

Practice Report: Lake Martin

March in Alabama can be boom or bust in terms of weather, but luckily this week’s forecast calls for mostly gorgeous springtime weather for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Though the total weights didn’t live up to some expectations, the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was still a lot of fun. The weather was great, there were plenty of fish caught the first two days, and there was a truly dramatic race for the win on the final day. READ MORE »

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Hailing from Ocean Springs, Miss., Andy Niles has now won on Okeechobee two years in a row. In 2019, he picked up the win in the Southeastern Division event on Okeechobee, and this year he got the win in the second Toyota Series Southern Division event of the year. Weighing a total of 44 pounds, 7 ounces, Niles takes home a new Phoenix bass boat for his efforts. Friday was Niles’ son Cooper’s 8th birthday, and though he’s probably not going to get the boat for a present, he’ll at least get a very happy dad. READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

It was another slow morning on Lake Havasu at the Toyota Series Western Division opener. Though, that was to be expected. Most of the top 10 pros have had their best luck in the middle of the day and early afternoon. Mornings have been tough. READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

The weather is still splendid, but day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been tougher than day one. While keepers were pretty easy to come by early yesterday, that hasn’t quite been the case today. Still, the weather is good and there’s plenty of time left for the lake to turn on. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee was great from a fish-catching standpoint, but somewhat lacking from a big fish perspective. In the lead, Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla., put 19 pounds, 14 ounces on the scale. Behind him, three other pros also managed 19 pounds or better, and there is an absolute stack of anglers in the mid-teen range. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been a beauty so far. Takeoff went off without a hitch in the morning, and there’s basically been just a light breeze and sunny skies all day. Though it hasn’t been oppressively hot, it has been quite warm, and after setting down on their first spot, many anglers probably never put their hoodies back on. READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

Tallying up 1,752 points for the season, ETBU beat out Tarleton State-Stephenville by 16 points to earn the Southern Conference School of the Year title. READ MORE »

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

Pre-tournament optimism can be hard to find, but this year, if the weather holds, the fishing might be really good for the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

College Open Prize Pool Bigger than Ever

College Open Prize Pool Bigger than Ever

The annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open returns to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in mid-March for the sixth consecutive season. This time around, however, the stakes are even higher, as teams compete for a brand-new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat, 20 spots in the 2021 National Championship and 20 spots in the all-new Major League Fishing College Faceoff presented by Wiley X in Raleigh, N.C., later this spring. READ MORE »

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

The kickoff event of the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division takes place on Douglas Lake on March 7. One of the most scenic lakes in the country, Douglas promises some good prespawn fishing. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Harris Chain 

AOY Update: Harris Chain 

Through two events, the leader of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year race isn’t unexpected, but the standings behind Ron Nelson are in absolute turmoil. With Lake Martin and Cherokee Lake on tap, things could begin to clarify a bit as spotted bass, smallmouths and lakes that actually have rock become factors. So, while we’re about to run through the top contenders, it’s highly likely that the next few events really reshape the standings.  READ MORE »

Red-Hot Spawn Bite Expected at Havasu

Red-Hot Spawn Bite Expected at Havasu

Spawning bass and spring break will be the story lines at the Toyota Series Western Division opener at Lake Havasu in mid-March. Well, OK … the spawning bass will certainly be the main focus of the anglers. But dealing with traffic from pleasure boaters will definitely contribute to the pros’ decision-making, particularly on the weekend.  READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 Mississippi Division schedule at Ross Barnett Reservoir on March 7. Ross Barnett is an annual early season stop for FLW and the first crack at gaining essential points in the race to qualify for this fall’s Regional. This time around, anglers might have to navigate tricky conditions due to a wet and rainy winter. READ MORE »