UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Calvert, Lane Catch 29 at Guntersville Slugfest

Calvert, Lane Catch 29 at Guntersville Slugfest
Houston Calvert and Justin Lane of the University of North Alabama

Lake Guntersville lived up to its hype today at the YETI FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference tournament. Twenty-three teams broke the 20-pound mark, and the entire top 30 had at least 19.

Of course, as good as a 19-pound limit is, catching “just 19” would’ve left you more than 10 pounds back of tournament winners Houston Calvert and Justin Lane of the University of North Alabama.

Calvert and Lane weighed in 29 pounds, 3 ounces to take the top spot among 208 teams (fourth most in College Fishing history) and qualify for the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship.

Complete results

“We just had three or four days of sunshine where it was 60 to 72 degrees, and I think a big wave was pushing up,” says Calvert. “As you can tell, everybody found that. That’s the biggest weights I’ve seen in a college tournament. I really wanted it to be 30 pounds. I really thought we had 30. It was close, but maybe another time.”

“It’s just left me speechless, to be honest with you,” adds Lane. “Today is one of those days you dream about. It’s just incredible that it happened in a tournament for us. That’s the biggest bag I’ve ever caught in my life.

“I grew up about an hour and a half from Guntersville, but I never fished it until my freshman year in college. I always despised the place, actually. Houston, he kind of convinced me we were going to change that. Sure enough, he changed my opinion today.”

The warm spell Houston describes sort of fizzled by the tournament as a cold front brought lower temps and rain, which the team thinks caused some of the fish that were headed for the bank in practice to slide back out into hydrilla beds.

That’s where the Lions found their winning fish, targeting a single pocket all day long.

“We started out throwing a ChatterBait in grass in 6 to 8 feet,” says Calvert, a senior studying marketing. “We probably had, I want to say, 12 pounds within 30 to 45 minutes of blast off. It rained there for two to three hours, and we just moved up on the bank with it raining. He [Lane] threw a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm, and I threw the NetBait Big Bopper. We were swimming them around hydrilla.”

The shallower shift mostly produced smaller bass due to all the bucks up on the bank, so once the rain quit, Lane and Calvert slid back out. Lane added a solid 4-plus keeper with a Rat-L-Trap, and gradually the team chipped away at a nice limit.

What sealed the deal was a pair of kickers late in the afternoon that left Calvert and Lane with a limit comprised of one keeper close to 7 pounds, three 6-pounders and one about 4.

“We saw some shad running in the grass,” Calvert recalls. “We sat down and cut off our green pumpkin and black and blue ChatterBaits and tied on a white ChatterBait with a Keitech FAT on the back of it. Once we changed to white, right before weigh-in we culled two – big time. I know we culled at 2:15, and once we made that last cull we put everything up and went to the ramp.”

Rather than a straight retrieve, the Lions yo-yoed their ChatterBaits through the grass to try and get reaction strikes. Most of their big fish came on the ChatterBait in 4 to 8 feet. The key area had a couple of good ditches running into it and slightly clearer water than surrounding areas. The clean water held a lot of fish, but it attracted other teams to the area.

Hence, the team found it necessary to rotate through baits and colors to overcome the pressure from other teams, plus their own pressure.

“I was kind of changing every 30 minutes to an hour,” says Lane, a junior business management major. “I feel like we had to really stay on our toes about trying to stay with the fish and what they were doing. They changed so many times throughout the day.”

Change is normal for bass in spring. And if this tournament is any indication, there’s a really big change coming to Guntersville as bass prepare to move up to spawn. High water and inconsistent weather that’s tagged along with a bout of storms the last couple weeks won’t be enough to slow down great teams like Calvert and Lane, and we can probably expect more impressive weights from the Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing event to be held on Guntersville on Saturday.

“A lot of people in practice said they were seeing big fish up cruising the bank on the sunny, hot days,” Lane says. “The cold weather brought them back to reality that it wasn’t quite time yet. So they were staging out there in the edge of that grass trying to stay warm, and there was a lot of food in there.”

“I think if the weather was going to be warm next week they would be spawning,” adds Calvert. “They want to spawn so bad. There are a lot of bucks up shallow. We probably caught, I would say, 30 fish. Probably 20 of those were 2-pounders. The other 10 were anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds. Pretty much everybody I talked to caught 30 to 40 fish.”

 

Top 10 teams

1. Houston Calvert & Justin Lane – University of North Alabama – 29-3 (5) – $2,400

2. Dax Ewart & Kristopher Queen – Bethel University – 28-5 (5) – $1,000

3. Nathon Portch & Cully Scroggins – Bethel University – 27-15 (5) – $700

4. Jordan Thompson & Landon Smith – Calhoun Community College – 25-3 (5) – $750 

5. Justin Barnes & Adam Carroll – University of Montevallo – 25-3 (5) – $500

6. Wesley Culpepper & Scout Monteith – Lipscomb University – 24-9 (5) 

7. Chasten Beck & Andrew Pridgen – Lander University – 24-8 (5) 

8. Adam White & Cody Stahl – Savannah College of Art & Design – 24-8 (5) 

9. Tyler Turnage & John Malone-Grippe – University of South Carolina – 23-8 (5) 

10. Isaac Duncan – Blue Mountain College – 23-8 (5)

Complete results

Tags: university-of-north-alabama  college-fishing  guntersville  chatterbait  keitech  rat-l-trap  speed-worm  curtis-niedermier  co-angler-headline  2019-03-01-guntersville 

Big Bags Expected at Bama Division Kickoff on Lake Martin

Big Bags Expected at Bama Division Kickoff on Lake Martin

Big largemouths and lots of spots are the main attractions at Alabama’s Lake Martin, where the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bama Division kicks off its 2020 season Feb. 8. Local hammer David Gaston, who’s won the last two Bama events at Martin, expects a typical wintertime tournament this season with solid weights across the board. READ MORE »

Warm, Wet Winter Setting up Big Weights at Murray

Warm, Wet Winter Setting up Big Weights at Murray

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 South Carolina Division schedule at the Jewel of South Carolina, Lake Murray, which is the former host site for multiple FLW Cup events. Murray is full of big bass and can churn out weights in the upper 20s if conditions line up right. Thus far in 2020, warm, wet conditions have been great for bass fishing. Though patterns might vary slightly from a “normal” winter, competitors can expect to have a good time fishing shallow with power-fishing baits.  READ MORE »

Parrish’s James Swindle Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Guntersville

Parrish’s James Swindle Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Guntersville

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – Boater James Swindle of Parrish, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 7 ounces to top 223 boats and win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Guntersville in Scottsville, Alabama... READ MORE »

Swindle Wins on Guntersville

Swindle Wins on Guntersville

Boater James Swindle of Parrish, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 7 ounces to top 223 boats and win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Guntersville in Scottsville, Alabama. Swindle earned $6,000 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

At the registration meeting for this week’s Pro Circuit season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, FLW announced that Daniel had been promoted to senior director of tournament operations for the Pro Circuit, FLW Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League, with responsibilities to include directing the Pro Circuit. Bill Taylor, who served as tournament director for the FLW Tour from 2001 through 2019, has been promoted to senior director of operations, where he’ll lend his expertise acquired through more than two decades as a tournament director toward logistics, angler relations and event planning for all FLW circuits. READ MORE »

Big Prespawn Potential at Toledo Bend

Big Prespawn Potential at Toledo Bend

Toledo Bend is a legendary reservoir that straddles the border between Texas and Louisiana. It spans some 65 miles along the impounded Sabine River, which runs north to south, and sprawls across about 185,000 acres at full pool. Though Toledo Bend has a number of major tributaries along its length, the bulk of the reservoir is its straight, wide-open main-lake span. READ MORE »

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

According to pro Casey Martin, who once won a BFL on Guntersville with a whopping 40 pounds, 11 ounces, it’s not unreasonable to expect a mid- or upper 20s bag to win this time. READ MORE »

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

According to FLW Pro Circuit angler Tim Frederick, who’s lived in Florida since he was 4 years old, one of the most important factors for successfully locating both spawning and staging bass in the coming weeks is bottom hardness. In most situations, the harder the bottom the better, but there’s more to it than that. READ MORE »

Gator Division Kicking off at St. Johns River

Gator Division Kicking off at St. Johns River

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League’s popular Gator Division, which is presented by A.R.E., kicks off its 2020 season on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the St. Johns River near Palatka, Fla. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

FLW Announces Schedule, Rules and Entry Date For 2020 FLW College Fishing presented by YETI

FLW Announces Schedule, Rules and Entry Date For 2020 FLW College Fishing presented by YETI

BENTON, Ky. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) announced Thursday the schedule, rules and entry dates for the 2020 FLW College Fishing presented by YETI season, highlighted by the FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida, and advancement opportunities for anglers to compete in the Bass Fishing League (BFL) All... READ MORE »

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

When FLW pro Alex Davis isn’t hunting trophy bucks in the fall, he spends a lot of days fishing for big bass that are binging on shad in the reservoirs of north Alabama. In particular, fall is a killer time to fish jerkbaits with high-speed, aggressive tactics in clear-water reservoirs for spotted bass – for both size and numbers. READ MORE »

Why You Should Crank Current Breaks Now

Why You Should Crank Current Breaks Now

“It’s almost like a wintertime pattern already,” Salzman says. “It’s kind of interesting. Because it’s been so hot and then so cold, the fish kind of got into the mouths of the creeks this year and never fully pushed into them. The majority of the bait is on the main lake on every lake in Alabama. The water temp was falling so quickly that the back bays were too cold, so the most stable water is on the main lake.” READ MORE »

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. READ MORE »

Adrian College Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year Title

Adrian College Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year Title

TULSA, Okla. – The bass-fishing club at Adrian College is the best in the country, capping off the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing season in 1st place overall with 2,350 points, and earning the team the title of 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year... READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, and Grant Tattersall, of Sterling, Virginia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College... READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Smallmouths dominated at the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Oklahoma’s Andrew Upshaw led the way with brown bass caught on a jig and a Ned rig on bluff bank transitions in the reservoir’s lower end. Behind him, only a couple of pros hedged their bets on targeting largemouths. The rest fished for smallies and considered green bass to be bonus fish and spotted bass to be limit fillers on the tough days. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

In classic Southern smallmouth fashion, crankbaits and jigs dominated the top 10 at Lake Cumberland during the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. The only exceptions were a few finesse baits and the tackle used by two pros who targeted largemouths. Here’s what worked. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »