UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

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Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

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Go-Time Again on Champlain

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Each of the last three years have seen the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits kick off on Champlain. This tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but the dominant pattern certainly won’t be spawning smallmouths. Instead, it could be a largemouth slugfest, as the fishing has continued to prove strong on the south end of the lake. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

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Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

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McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

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Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

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Nelson Wins ROY

Nelson Wins ROY

Ron Nelson blanked on the first day of his first FLW Tour event. Then he got things on track – so on track that he finished the season ninth overall in the standings and above every other rookie to earn the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award. Winning ROY is typically a career-setting accomplishment, and to go with the hardware Nelson will also receive a Polaris Sportsman® 570 ATV. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

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Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

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Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

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Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Buddy Gross.  READ MORE »

Check-in Time: David Williams 

Check-in Time: David Williams 

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with David Williams. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

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This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

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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 »

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

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Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

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