UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Bolton Bearing Down on First Tour W

Bolton Bearing Down on First Tour W
Terry Bolton

Terry Bolton has done a great many things in his professional fishing career. He has 46 top-10 finishes in FLW competition, 29 of which were also top fives. He has a Costa FLW Series victory and another in T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) competition. With over $1.1 million in career earnings and 13 FLW Cup appearances to his name, there’s not much Bolton can say he hasn’t done in the sport of bass fishing.

Save for a victory on the FLW Tour.

Luckily for Bolton and the fans watching him at Sam Rayburn this week, the Kentucky pro is just a day away from reaching that goal. With a total of 73 pounds, 13 ounces, he’s nearly 5 pounds ahead after weighing 19-10 on day three of the FLW Tour event presented by Polaris.

Still, don’t expect Bolton to put any pressure on himself to get his first win — or even to chase down the elusive century mark with a 26-plus-pound bag tomorrow. Both would be nice, he admits, but that’s not what it’s all about for the 23-year pro from Benton, Ky.

“If it’s your time to win, you cannot stop it,” Bolton says. “I’ve been in this position. If it’s your turn, it’s your turn. If it’s not, it’s not. You might as well go enjoy it. You’re going to get to fish the final day on a great fishery. Would I love to win? Sure. It would be big for me. Is it the end-all if I don’t win? No.”

That’s been Bolton’s approach all week, even on Friday when he walked onto the weigh-in stage with a megabag of bass good for 33 pounds and 9 ounces. On Saturday, when Big Sam was fishing a little tougher than it had the previous two days, Bolton took the same approach and landed enough big fish to retain the lead.

With any luck, that same laid-back approach will produce enough big bass to earn him a win.

Bolton has done many of the same things all week. He’s relied on a Rapala DT 14 and DT 16 for some deep fish at several of the same spots, though he did mix in a 3/4-ounce Accent spinnerbait — his favorite technique — to land one keeper that made his final five.

Tomorrow will be business as usual for Bolton. He’ll run some of the same spots and throw some of the same baits, but who knows? According to the crafty vet, he may try some new things if that’s what the lake is asking for. And he won’t feel one ounce of pressure while he’s out there.

 

Nick LeBrun – 69-1 (20-13 day three)

FLW Tour rookie Nick LeBrun went swinging for the fences Saturday and legged out a triple. He didn’t clear the fence, but he sure put a charge into one with a 20-pound, 13-ounce bag that was one of only two 20-plus-pound stringers on the day.

“I went swinging early,” he admits. “I thought, man, if I can get one of those big ones to bite… I caught one little spot on that deep stuff, and then I went to my third spot and jacked them.”

After a pleasant but foggy morning on Rayburn, the sun came out in the early afternoon and wind came with it. When the wind picked up the fish laid down, but LeBrun still made the most of his time on the water. And even if Sunday turns out to be another windy affair, LeBrun has some juice on standby.

“I have a little bit of fresh stuff on the other side of the lake,” he says. “I didn’t go to it today because of the wind. I’m going to do the same thing I did today. I’m going to go and try to get a limit and hopefully it’s a decent limit, and then go swinging the rest of the day for a decent bite.”

 

Bryan Thrift – 68-14 (24-15 day three)

With the largest stringer of day three on Rayburn, Bryan Thrift closed the gap and positioned himself less than five pounds off the lead and one day away from his seventh win on the FLW Tour. He also moved into sole possession of the record for most top-10 finishes on Tour (42) and extended his consecutive limits streak to 66 Tour competition days.

What Thrift is doing right now — and has been doing most of his career — is just unfair.

Bolton and LeBrun are excellent anglers who could very easily beat down Rayburn Sunday and take home the victory, but doubt certainly starts to creep in when the best bass angler on the planet is right on their heels.

On Saturday, Thrift repeated his spots and patterns from days one and two—mostly dragging a Carolina rig around – though he admits he caught his biggest fish of the day, a 7-pounder, on a football head with a Damiki Stinger.

 

Jim Tutt – 62-13 (17-9 day three)

In his decades fishing Rayburn, 58-year-old Jim Tutt has learned a lot. Even with the lake flooded sky high, he’s been able to put that knowledge to work for what is guaranteed to be his best finish on Tour since at least 2008.

“I fished the same stuff [today],” he says. “My two best areas didn’t produce today. I only caught one fish off one of them; it’s getting muddied up right now [from steady winds]. But I’ve got two others and one I could catch 20 pounds off of.”

Tutt just kept cranking most of the day Saturday, which certainly produced for the Longview, Texas pro on days one and two. He bagged 17-9, and his focus now is on finding the winning spots, which could be few and far between given the fact that his best ones didn’t quite produce today.

“You hate to go hunting on the last day, but I’m not afraid to do that,” he adds.

Asked what his mindset is heading into Sunday, Tutt was quick to quip, “I hope the wind doesn’t blow.”

 

Chad Warren – 60-11 (16-5 day three)

Chad Warren is still chasing his first Tour victory, but he isn’t a stranger to top fives. He has a second-place finish at the Tour’s 2017 stop at the Potomac River to his name, and he also has a fair shot at topping that Sunday.

Sure, besting Bolton and LeBrun and Thrift and Tutt sounds like a tall order, but everything has been falling in place for Warren this week. Even after missing part of the official practice period due to illness, the Sand Springs, Okla., pro is right in the thick of it. And worst-case scenario, he’s looking at a mighty fine payday.

“I feel good,” he says. “I’m hoping some big fish move into my area [Sunday]. Every fish is more money.”

 

News and notes

Mother Nature fighting back

When winds between 10 and 15 miles per hour rolled in Saturday afternoon, Big Sam went quiet. Anglers still caught their share of fish, but the bounty Rayburn had been providing up to that point seemed to dry up a bit.

“The wind seemed like it turned them off,” says Thrift.

“I hope the wind doesn’t blow like it did today,” adds Tutt.

Bolton and LeBrun each admitted the wind had a big impact on fishing Saturday as well, and all signs indicate that Rayburn could produce significantly smaller limits on day four if winds decide to pick up early in the day.

“I had issues,” Bolton admits. “I think I culled once during the wind. That was it. I couldn’t make the right cast. The wind was a factor and I thought they’d bite better once the sun came out.

In addition, choppy water churned up by winds on Rayburn force anglers to take their time running to and from the takeoff ramp and between spots, which might mean less time to bulk up limits on Sunday.

 

The rooks

Five FLW Tour rookies made the top-30 cut at Rayburn this week, led by LeBrun and Athens, Ala., pro Sam George, both of whom made the top-10 cut and will fish on Sunday.

Miles Burghoff (12th), Derek Fulps (23rd) and Jon Englund (29th) joined them in fishing on Saturday, and all five will come away with a payday and valuable points in the Angler of the Year standings.

 

Monsoor’s big catch

La Crosse, Wis., pro Tom Monsoor was praying for a big fish Saturday. After turning in a huge 26-4 bag on day two, he was in position to make a run at a top-10 finish, or perhaps more.

He got that big fish, but it wasn’t quite what he had in mind.

“I needed one big bite,” he explains. “All the sudden I feel something in the weeds. I felt the tug. I knew I had a good one. I fight it and fight it and out comes a 15-pound carp.”

Monsoor, as it turns out, didn’t need as big a bite as he expected. He finished just 11 ounces from making the top-10 cut and fishing on Sunday, which has to make catching that carp sting just a bit more. He finished 11th and walks away from Rayburn with a $12,000 payday.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Terry Bolton –Benton, Ky. – 73-13 (15)

2. Nick LeBrun – Bossier City, La. – 69-1 (15)

3. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 68-14 (15)

4. Jim Tutt – Longview, Texas – 62-13 (15)

5. Chad Warren – Sand Springs, Okla. – 60-11 (15)

6. Jordan Osborne – Longview, Texas – 56-12 (15)

7. Tom Redington – Royse City, Texas – 54-13 (15)

8. Sam George – Athens, Ala. – 54-3 (15)

9. Colby Schrumpf – Highland, Ill. – 52-9 (15)

10. Charles Sim – Nepean, Ontario – 52-3 (15)

Complete results

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

Ostmann bags 54-12 for Co-angler Win

Ostmann bags 54-12 for Co-angler Win

Scott Ostmann’s last tournament on Chickamauga wasn’t what he knew he was capable of. He found out just what he could really do on Chick this week with a 54-12 three-day total in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, and a huge dose of redemption on a lake that beat him up in 2017. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits From Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits From Chickamauga

Prespawn on Lake Chickamauga usually means a healthy dose of lipless crankbaits and umbrella rigs, so it wasn’t surprising that those were exactly the baits that dominated for the top 10 at the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine on the east Tennessee fishery. Square-bill crankbaits had their place, as did vibrating jigs and a variety of other baits. In the end, though, the common thread connecting many of the anglers in the top 10 was either a trap or a rig. READ MORE »

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 3

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 3

With bluebird skies and a little breeze, day three conditions on Chickamauga almost mirror those of day two, which saw a 37-pound, 5-ounce bag caught by current leader Brent Butler. Weights might have been down a bit across the board, but there are enough anglers in the top 10 that are on enough fish to make today’s weigh-in interesting. They’re all out there chasing down some Chick giants today. READ MORE »

Butler Hangs On

Butler Hangs On

Brent Butler weighed in a bag he’ll never forget on day two of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Chickamauga. Not only was the 37-pound, 5-ounce stringer his best ever, it also sent him to day three of the tournament, presented by T-H Marine, with a large enough lead to finish the job. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 2

Day-one leader Rusty White caught his fish on Thursday throwing a variety of lipless crankbaits at transition points where fish are moving up to spawn. He did the exact same thing in the same locations on day two, but he struggled to get the same quantity of bites this time around. READ MORE »

Butler Blasts 37-5 on Chickamauga

Butler Blasts 37-5 on Chickamauga

Day two of the Costa FLW Series presented by T-H Marine on Lake Chickamauga was fairly humdrum until Brent Butler walked to the weigh-in stage. Weighing in 37 pounds, 5 ounces, Butler rocketed up from 40th to first with a 51-13 total, and made his mark on the record books in the process. READ MORE »

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 2

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 2

Despite improving weather conditions – including abundant sunshine and rising air temperature – the fishing seems to be as slow on Chickamauga today as it was on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

On a lake like Chickamauga, there are usually a lot of ways to catch fish. The top five after day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine proved that. READ MORE »

White Leads with 28-11 on Chickamauga

White Leads with 28-11 on Chickamauga

Overall, the fishing wasn’t quite what some expected out of Chickamauga on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event. However, even a slightly off Chickamauga is really impressive, and Rusty White of Harrison, Tenn., put it to them to the tune of 28 pounds, 11 ounces to take the day-one lead. READ MORE »

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Despite indications that Chickamauga might be ready to churn out a bunch of mega-bags on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine, early returns suggest the fishing has been a lot tougher than expected so far. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine is underway, and by all indications, the fishery is set up to churn out some mega-bags throughout the event. Even during practice, with the water falling well below normal levels, 7-, 8- and 9-pounders weren’t uncommon. Now, with the best anglers in the southeast hard at it, you can expect fireworks. READ MORE »

Terescenko Swims for Big O Title

Terescenko Swims for Big O Title

Alex Terescenko of West Palm Beach, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 20 pounds, 8 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee presented by Navionics. For his win, Terescenko pocketed $3,792. READ MORE »

Lippe Goes Back-to-Back on Table Rock

Lippe Goes Back-to-Back on Table Rock

Dustin Lippe of Lampe, Missouri, caught five bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division tournament on Table Rock Lake. Lippe earned $6,229 for his efforts and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. Should he go on to win the division’s Angler of the Year title, he will earn another $3,000. READ MORE »

Singleton Works Laydowns for Title

Singleton Works Laydowns for Title

Aaron Singleton of La Grange, Kentucky, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Dale Hollow Lake. For his catch, Singleton took home $6,319. READ MORE »

Jewell Camps on Point for Wheeler W

Jewell Camps on Point for Wheeler W

Eddie Jewell of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake. Jewell earned $3,747 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Stacey Has Big Plans for Marshal Winnings

Stacey Has Big Plans for Marshal Winnings

Holice Stacey has a little more spending money in his pocket after taking home the top prize in the FLW Tour Marshal program contest at Lake Seminole last week — money he plans to pump right back into his passion for fishing. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Crankbaits were the deal on Kentucky Lake during the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing Open. Springtime on the Tennessee River impoundment usually means traditional prespawn tactics, and we saw a bunch of that during the tournament. Anglers in the top 10 relied heavily on lipless and diving crankbaits, as well as umbrella rigs, jigs and jerkbaits.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Like the winning team, many others in the top 10 targeted main-lake points and rock-to-gravel transitions – and pretty much anything that served as a current break. With the wind whipping and the water being drawn down at a rapid pace, there were a couple predominant patterns that developed throughout the event. READ MORE »

McCarty, Pennington Win College Open

McCarty, Pennington Win College Open

University of North Alabama anglers Hunter McCarty and Sloan Pennington weighed in the second-largest bag of the tournament on day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake and finished with 45 pounds, 14 ounces total to edge out Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce of Bethel University by just 1 pound, 10 ounces. McCarty and Pennington also managed to upgrade their day one total of 22-2 with the 23-12 day-two bag – something few other teams were able to do on a day shortened by heavy winds. READ MORE »

College Open Midday Update — Day 1

College Open Midday Update — Day 1

Kentucky Lake is showing out in a big way on day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open. Cool but fairly calm conditions have paved the way for a lot of quality fish and some impressive stringers so far. READ MORE »