UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - St. Lawrence River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

LeBrun Drops 29 on Rayburn

LeBrun Drops 29 on Rayburn
Nick LeBrun

FLW Tour rookie Nick LeBrun is no stranger to Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but that doesn’t necessarily explain his day one eruption on the Tour’s first stop of the 2019 season. Abnormally high water levels at Rayburn this week have all but eliminated the “local advantage” for the lake’s regulars, but LeBrun still found a way to sack up 29 pounds, 2 ounces to kick off the tournament and pace the rest of the 170-angler field.

Complete results

The Bossier City, La., native has fished Rayburn and Toledo Bend perhaps as much as any southern lake. He considers both to be his home lakes, though his focus for the last month-plus has been on Rayburn and the Tour’s first event of the year. Still, preparation only goes so far when a lake’s water level is nearly 10 feet above full pool.

“The lake’s never been this high, and I really didn’t know what it was going to do,” he says. “Once I knew that some of my fish (from December prefishing) were still there, I had to spend a day or two to find out what’s going to be the deal to get them fired up where you can catch them one after the other.”

LeBrun spent most of the day — and caught most of his fish — throwing a crawfish color Bill Lewis 1/2-ounce Rat-L-Trap. He only needed a couple spots to do his damage.

“My marshal said I had a limit in like seven minutes after I went to the second spot,” LeBrun says. “I probably caught 20 fish today.”

Twenty wasn’t a gaudy total for day one at Rayburn — several anglers mentioned catching upwards of 60 keepers — but LeBrun found the right mix of quantity and quality. He did so to the tune of his best-ever individual limit in a tournament.

And he sure picked a good day to do it.

 

Sam George – 28-5 (5)

LeBrun outpaced fellow rookie Sam George on day one, but not by much. The 23-year-old Athens, Ala., pro appeared to be headed for the top spot at weigh-ins before being bumped to second by LeBrun’s monster stringer. He finished the day just 14 ounces short of the outright lead.

“I really—and I know everybody’s going to think I’m lying—but I really only had one good bite the entire practice,” he says. “It was on a deal that felt like it had potential, but I really only had one area that had what I was looking for.”

George ran around looking for similar areas throughout the day, and he found one at 8 o’clock that produced a near 6-pounder. From there, he continued to roll, filling out his limit and culling up to his eventual 28-pound, 5-ounce stringer, thanks in large part to a 9-3 behemoth.

“They’re pre-spawn fish, but they’re on a very specific kind of grass and a break line,” he admits. “I can’t find enough of it. I found one place in practice that had what I wanted.”

 

Chad Warren – 25-7 (5)

Chad Warren of Sand Springs, Okla., pulled six keepers off his first spot of the day and left plenty of meat on the bone for day one. If conditions hold, there’s a good chance he’ll get another crack at those same schools of fish on Friday that he opted to leave hungry and biting on Thursday.

Shallow ledges and channel swings were the deal for Warren, and while the spots he’s already found produced well, he intends to run some new water and attempt to find some similar areas he was unable to explore during practice.

“My practice wasn’t that great,” he says. “I actually got sick on Tuesday and didn’t even get to fish. I didn’t catch a fish over 4 pounds in practice.”

As it turns out, you don’t always have to find them in practice to crack them when it counts.

 

Jordan Osborne – 25-1 (5)

A 9-pound, 12-ounce monster largemouth helped propel Longview, Texas, pro Jordan Osborne to a 25-1 finish on day one, positioning him well within striking distance of the lead entering day two of the event.

Osborne primarily relied on a Carolina rig, a spinnerbait and a crankbait to piece together his massive bag, and given the fact that he’s taking off in the fourth spot tomorrow morning, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to utilize those techniques again on some of his best spots. Instead of guarding his honey holes — which Osborne admits was a necessity on Thursday — he’ll have time to get there first and clean up before anyone else gets a crack at it.

 

David Dudley – 24-3 (5)

As should be expected after a top-five showing on day one of a Tour event, Polaris pro David Dudley is guarded about how he did his damage on Rayburn. His limit of 24-3, after all, was one of only 10 limits of 20-plus pounds, and the rest of the field should be eager to find out how FLW’s all-time leading money winner got it done.

Suffice it to say, Dudley “caught them shallow and deep” with a variety of baits, a near 5 1/2-pounder anchoring the bag.

“It was a grind,” Dudley says. “It really was.”

A grind to the tune of 24-3 isn’t a bad grind to be on. Good work if you can get it.

 

News and Notes

 

Frog season?

John Cox is called “Tin Man” for a reason. Sure, it has a lot to do with his choice of wheeling and dealing from an aluminum rig, but it has just as much to do with his steely penchant for finding the one shallow-water technique no one else is employing and catching a bunch of fish with it.

Cox treated day one on Rayburn like late-August on, well, Rayburn, by tossing around a frog in what could probably be considered the only true skinny water on the engorged reservoir that is Rayburn right now. And, both surprisingly and unsurprisingly, Cox caught fish – 16-1 to be exact.  

 

The land of giants

Prespawn at Rayburn is essentially a factory outlet store for mount-worthy largemouth. Water levels and a mild cold front did nothing to change that this week.

With a slew of 6-plus-pounders weighed in on Thursday, the shock value of monster bass lessened with each angler’s turn at the podium — almost, anyway.

It’s hard not to be shocked by 9-pounders, and even harder to not be shocked by a pair of 9-pound, 12-ounce hawgs weighed in by Scott Martin and Jordan Osborne. The duo split the day’s big bass payout ($250 each) and used those fish to put together top 10-worthy bags (Martin sits in 8th place with 22-2).

 

Happy accidents

Costa FLW Series stalwart and FLW Tour rookie Ryan Salzman found a stretch of bank Thursday afternoon that produced scores of fish, and while most of them were of the non-culler variety, he did land a 4-pounder on that stretch to aid in compiling a 12-13 limit.

He found that stretch — not entirely by accident — but literally by way of an accident that left him unable to do much fishing during the official practice session at Rayburn.

“I cut my hand with a pair of scissors and I couldn’t fish in practice,” he admits.

Salzman didn’t need stitches—he says the wound was deep but not wide enough to require them—but his sore hand made casting and reeling painful and not altogether a smart idea. Instead, he spent a lot of time idling around and marking fish and structure. One of the areas Salzman graphed was the lucky stretch of bank that produced an abundant supply of limit-fillers.

 

Limits aplenty

Of the 170-angler field at Rayburn, only 44 failed to weigh in five fish. Only Rob Jordan (53rd place) weighed in fewer than five fish and still finished day one inside the top 100 places.

In total, 1,869 pounds and 3 ounces of fish — all of which made it to weigh-ins alive.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Nick LeBrun – Bossier City, La. – 29-2 (5)

2. Sam George – Athens, Ala. – 28-5 (5)

3. Chad Warren – Sand Springs, Okla. – 25-7 (5)

4. Jordan Osborne – Longview, Texas 25-1 (5)

5. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 24-3 (5)

6. Jim Tutt – Longview, Texas – 23-9 (5)

7. Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga. – 22-12 (5)

8. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 22-2 (5)

9. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 20-15 (5)

10. Terry Bolton – Benton, Ken. – 20-10 (5)

Complete results

Tags: justin-onslow  headline-story  2019-01-10-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Fishing just her second full season as a co-angler in the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division, mother of two and first-grade teacher Kate Hough was planning and preparing for a chance to do something no woman has ever done in her division: win Co-Angler of the Year. Instead of preparing for the Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell on Sept. 28, however, Hough is simply fighting to leave her hospital bed. READ MORE »

Seal Sticks to River

Seal Sticks to River

Zackery Seal of Findley Lake, New York, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division super-tournament at the 1000 Islands Sunday. Seal earned $6,066 for his efforts. The Northeast Division is presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division super-tournament on the James River Sunday. Elrod earned $3,542 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob super-tournament on Lake of the Ozarks Sunday. For his victory, Fitzpatrick earned $6,891 for his efforts. READ MORE »

No. 6 for Schroeder

No. 6 for Schroeder

Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Kentucky, brought a two-day total of seven bass to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division super-tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Schroeder earned $6,122 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division super-tournament on Watts Bar Lake Sunday. Murray earned $7,334 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, added another BFL victory to his impressive resume Sunday, bringing a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell. Rampey earned $5,665 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Jim Leary of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division super-tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Cortland Line Sunday. Leary earned $5,869 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Bill Humbard of New Market, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Cherokee Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts on the water, Humbard took home $6,337. READ MORE »

Youngstown Wins on Erie

Youngstown Wins on Erie

The Youngstown State University duo of Jeffrey Jardine of Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots of McDonald, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds even. The victory earned the Penguins’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championshi READ MORE »

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Charles Williams of Clarksville, Arkansas, won this weekend’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Lake Dardanelle presented by Navionics after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Williams took home $4,868. READ MORE »

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Mark Shadowens of Kiefer, Oklahoma, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. For his finish, Shadowens pocketed $5,704. READ MORE »

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Bradley Smith of Saint Jacob, Illinois, took home the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. For his win, Smith pocketed $7,310. READ MORE »

Lobato Sticks to Pool 8

Lobato Sticks to Pool 8

Fernando Lobato of Sparta, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at La Crosse Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 2 ounces. Lobato earned $5,316 for his win. READ MORE »

Hawkins Deep Cranks on Smith Mountain

Hawkins Deep Cranks on Smith Mountain

Rick Hawkins of Roanoke, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division super-tournament on Smith Mountain Lake. Hawkins earned $4,682 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Khourie, Lingnau Win 2019 FLW South Africa Championship

Khourie, Lingnau Win 2019 FLW South Africa Championship

Team Khourie/Lignau, consisting of Pieter Khourie and August Lingnau of the North West region, came roaring back on day three of the 2019 FLW South Africa Championship with a five-bass limit of 10.55 kg (23.25 pounds) to take the top spot and beat out Greg Schluep and Giulio Nolli of Team Secret VC for the title. READ MORE »

Checking in with Walters After the Cup

Checking in with Walters After the Cup

Walters, 41, of Grant Valkaria, Fla., is getting back to business as usual following his remarkable Cup showing, and we checked in with him to find out what his experience in Hot Springs was like and what’s on tap for the future – including a possible FLW Tour career. READ MORE »

Make the Most of Whopper Ploppers

Make the Most of Whopper Ploppers

“For me, I’m slowly but surely starting to get faith [in the Whopper Plopper] in other parts of the country, but from Hot Springs up to the Ozarks, that’s kind of my go-to,” says LeBrun. “When I’m up there in those Ozark-style lakes, it’s one of the first things that pops into my head.” READ MORE »

Trombly Drops 24-13 on Detroit River

Trombly Drops 24-13 on Detroit River

Mike Trombly of Belleville, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River Saturday after catching five bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces. For his day on the water, Trombly took home $4,545. READ MORE »

Reese Goes Wire-To-Wire

Reese Goes Wire-To-Wire

The final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac was one of the most intense of the season. In the end, with just enough to hold on, Marvin Reese weighed four for 8 pounds, 5 ounces to earn the win with a 38-15 total. For his win, which was his first on the boater side, Reese earned $38,026. Finishing second, Troy Morrow rocked up from tenth with 14-7, which was the biggest bag of the day. READ MORE »