UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead
Buddy Gross

We’ve seen some incredible bags weighed in through three days of competition at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho, but it seems like every angler who’s weighed a mega-bag has also had at least one mediocre day.

Complete results

Day three FLW Live  

Consistency has eluded everyone except Buddy Gross. While the Georgia pro hasn’t landed the kind of Florida hawg that it takes to weigh in a mid-20s bag, he’s stacked together quality limits of 21-7, 20-13 and 19-12 to put himself in the lead going into the final day.

With 62 pounds, Gross is up on Florida’s Darrell Davis by just 1 pound, 1 ounce.

Of the 15 fish the leader has brought to the scale so far, 14 have come from one spot on the outside edge of the grass in Lake Toho.

“It’s very precise,” he says. “It’s almost like a little funnel where the wind’s blowing the bait and stuff up in, and it just goes up there and dead ends. They’re just sitting there, kind of hovering.”

Gross figures both prespawn and postspawn bass are moving through this spot. He hit the spot five or six times today, mixing in some other holes and hard spots in the grass in between. No other area produced anything of value until, on the way in, Gross swung by a secondary area he’s been checking on all week. There, he caught a 4-pounder to cap his limit.

“I’ve fished it every day on the way back in, and I’ve been having bites,” he says of the final spot. “They just ain’t been takin’ it. They’ve been knocking it. Today, I didn’t fish it 10 minutes and caught a 4-pounder. I’m hoping there might be some fish that are pulling out to that one.”

Gross has high hopes that with only 10 boats on the water tomorrow and another day of windy, cloudy weather in the forecast, he might be able to cash in on the secondary spot again using the mix of two swim jigs, a swimbait and a Nichols spinnerbait that he’s been chucking all week.

“In practice I caught a 5-pounder, and then I caught a 7 in the general area,” he adds. “So there’s some good quality there. The deal is it was kind of close to where everybody’s been running. I think it kind of had them scattered out. So today there wasn’t as many people running across the top of them. I’m thinking that might be the deal.”

Several anglers behind him in the standings have been improving throughout the week and could likely catch a big bag tomorrow. If Gross wants to hold them off, consistency might do it, but he might also need to finally connect on the one thing that’s evaded him so far this week: a Toho giant.  

 

2. Darrell Davis – Dover, Fla. – 60-15 (15)

Darrell Davis continues to improve in his quest to get the W in his home state. The Dover, Fla., pro has hauled in 14-5, 20-14 and 25-12 and appears situated to test out Gross’ Lake Toho honey hole on Sunday.

Davis is fishing in an area down south that hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as where some other top 10 anglers are fishing, but angling pressure is still a big factor.

“These fish are spawning,” he says. “Some of the big ones are spawning so shallow that they can’t handle the boat pressure. The other competitors that didn’t make the cut, now that they’re not in there, those fish are moving up later in the day. That’s when I’m getting bit because the fish are starting to do what they’re supposed to do.

“There are only a couple key areas where they do their thing,” Davis adds. “I’m staying on the calmest side, but the whole lake is on.”

Davis is flipping, throwing topwater and winding moving baits. He’s keying on a particular type of bottom and knows exactly where to find it and how to fish the various types of vegetation once he gets there.

 

3. Josh Douglas – Isle, Minn. – 60-3 (15)  

Today was the toughest day so far for Minnesota’s Josh Douglas. He weighed in 18 pounds to surpass the 60-pound mark and keep himself in the perfect position to tackle Gross on Sunday.

Douglas is making the run to Kissimmee and fishing a two-part program.

“I’m fishing some hydrilla where they’re staging and pads if they move into them to spawn,” he says. “Today we didn’t have the sun. I don’t think it was that cold, but if we can get the sun then I can get those females to pull up with the bucks.”

Each morning, Douglas picks off about 7 pounds worth of bucks to start his day, then chips away at the females with a BioSpawn ExoStick as they move in to the pads. Today, the bigger bass just didn’t show up like he’d hoped, so he spent more time in the hydrilla targeting staging fish with a ChatterBait and Zoom Speed Worm.

 

4. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 57-8 (15)

John Cox, who continues to battle some kind of respiratory illness, seems to be at his wits’ end with these Kissimmee Chain bass. Nothing worked for him today, and he brought in only 8-11, relinquishing the lead for the first time all tournament.

Cox spent a few minutes fishing Toho this morning to give the faster boats freedom to run at top speed in the canal that connects Toho to the other lakes in the chain (they’re not allowed to pass in the canal) before he pushed his chips in and gambled on Tiger Lake, which connects to Kissimmee via a narrow, winding creek. That venture lasted only about 90 minutes but did produce a few small keepers. 

“It didn’t work. I went down there and saw a couple really big fish blow up,” he says. “I mean, they looked like they were about 9- or 10-pounders. I Power-Poled down and cast all around there and couldn’t get anything. I kind of thought this weather was going to be here sooner, but it’s still nice down there. It still felt right. I felt like any second I was going to catch one.”

Tiger landed on Cox’s radar during practice.  

“The water was still really cold in there,” he says of his first trip in, “so it [the spawn] wasn’t quite ready yet. I caught a really big one and saw some big ones chase bluegills. It had potential.”

Cox describes his return trip to Toho as awful. He spent the rest of the day fishing the outside grass line.

“I ran everything I could in the wind. It’s just hard to fish in the wind. A lot of the stuff I’m doing is a real precise cast.”

He’s not sure what to do on Sunday. Cox says the best days he’s had on Toho have been in the rain, and there’s rain in the forecast, but he liked what he saw on the lower lakes, too.

 

 

5. Aaron Britt – Yuba City, Calif. – 57-7 (15)

One spot on Lake Toho got Aaron Britt into the top-30 cut, and one spot is all he fished today. The California pro never fired up his big motor until it was time to return to weigh-in, where he checked in a limit for 12-3.

“It was brutal,” he says. “The wind was blowing straight into it all day. I really thought that I could catch them on that trap [lipless crankbait]. I thought if it was going to hurt anybody it would be the guys in the pads. Apparently, it did not.”

Like yesterday, Britt debated running to some fish he found on Kissimmee, but a 5 1/2-pounder midday changed his mind.

“That basically told me to sit down,” he says. “That was my third fish. Then I only caught two more dinkers after that.

“It’s such a big area,” Britt adds. “It’s 1,000 yards long and 500 yards wide. I don’t think it’s out of fish. I think the conditions changed. It wasn’t necessarily very cold, but it was cloudy and windy, and I think those fish are aimlessly swimming or they’re hunkered down or something. There’s still fish in there. There’s no doubt about it.”

 

News and Notes

 

Thrift Kryptonite: Landing Nets?

Bryan Thrift has been gimping around for the last two days due to an errant misstep while climbing into his boat Friday morning. Thrift stepped on the handle of his landing net and rolled his ankle. It appears to be a pretty severe injury, but he says David “Doc” Wootton, a practicing chiropractor, checked it out and deemed it wasn’t broken. Thrift has toughed it out through the pain, accepting some help from friends and anglers to get his boat in and out of the water the last two days, and was able to keep his active streak of consecutive limits in FLW Tour competition alive through one more derby. Thrift, who finished 26th, says he plans to see his doctor when he returns home to North Carolina.

 

Britt on Live

If you watched Aaron Britt on FLW Live today, you might have noticed some unusual vocalizations, including him repeating the word “huh” frequently at times. Several fans commented on it throughout the broadcast. Britt has Tourette syndrome, which is characterized by “tics,” or repetitive, involuntary vocalizations and movements. The Californian, admittedly, is a unique guy, with his collage of tattoos and a high level of intensity. His story is very interesting, in fact, and if you want to know more, you can read about it in a profile written by FLW contributor Sean Ostruszka that will run in the Spring 2019 issue of FLW Bass Fishing magazine.

 

24 20-plus

The current total of 20-pound-plus stringers weighed in here at Toho stands at 24. Keep an eye out for a complete breakdown of the catch stats next week at FLWFishing.com.

 

Early AOY contenders

Ten FLW Tour pros have already earned two top-30 finishes through two events, positioning themselves as early contenders for the 2019 Angler of the Year title. The list includes: Bryan Schmitt, Bryan Thrift, Casey Scanlon, Chad Warren, Colby Schrumpf, David Dudley, Jeremy Lawyer, Joseph Webster, Scott Martin and Terry Bolton.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Buddy Gross – Chickamauga, Ga. – 62-0 (15)

2. Darrell Davis – Dover, Fla. – 60-15 (15)

3. Josh Douglas – Isle, Minn. – 60-3 (15)

4. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 57-8 (15)

5. Aaron Britt – Yuba City, Calif. – 57-7 (15)

6. Wade Strelic – Alpine, Calf. – 57-3 (15)

7. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 54-12 (15)

8. Tommy Dickerson – Orange, Texas – 54-3 (15)

9. Tyler Woolcott – Port Orange, Fla. – 53-1 (15)

10. Joseph Webster – Winfield, Ala. – 51-6 (15)

Complete results

­­­­­

Tags: curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2019-02-07-lake-toho 

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga featured good fishing with a lot of pressure put on the offshore fish. Making the most of his local knowledge, Jacob Wheeler weighed 24 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead on day one. Behind him, John Cox weighed in 23-6 for second place. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fourth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Several Patterns in Play at Ouachita BFL

Several Patterns in Play at Ouachita BFL

FLW has a long history of hosting multiple-day summertime tournaments on Lake Ouachita, where pros have to grind it out for three days in what are usually tough conditions. On June 27, when the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division takes to Ouachita, the Natural State’s best bass anglers will need to game plan a little differently. With only one day to fish and a three-bass limit, they’ll have to swing for the fences with big-bass patterns to have a shot at winning. READ MORE »

HS Championship Will be a Frog-Fest

HS Championship Will be a Frog-Fest

If you wanted to design the perfect frog-fishing tournament, you might host it at Guntersville or the Cal Delta, but you could also copy the agenda for the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis. READ MORE »

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Boater Wayne Dixon of Morrilton, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale totaling 10 pounds, 11 ounces to win Saturday’s event and earn $5,127, but Mabelvale’s Quincy Houchin was the big winner on the weekend. Houchin finished second Saturday – good for $3,139 – then backed it up with a win on Sunday, which earned him the top prize of $12,309, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. READ MORE »