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

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 

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Moving and transitioning fish, changing winds, long runs that didn’t always pan out and a 1-ounce lead at the top. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, certainly hasn’t lacked storylines. READ MORE »

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

There were no 25-pound mega-bags coming across the stage at weigh-in of the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division. The event on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, hasn’t been the slugfest many expected after one day of fishing. There were still plenty of 20-pound bags, though, and the St. Lawrence on a bad day is still a tremendous fishery. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River opened to perfect conditions for anyone looking to burn some gas. Yes, it was a crisp 40 degrees at takeoff, but it was clear and calm. In fact, the current is ripping so hard it’s keeping the river as flat as most anglers have ever seen. Most pros should’ve been able to run all 95 miles to Lake Ontario (and into the lake if they wanted to) with little trouble. READ MORE »

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

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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

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