UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole
Aaron Britt

Fishing his third year on the FLW Tour, Aaron Britt is off to his best start yet, sitting at 26th in the points and fresh off a top 10 at Toho. As is the case for many of his peers, Britt has never fished Lake Seminole, the site of the third stop of the FLW Tour presented by Costa. Of course, being from California makes almost every eastern fishery a new experience, so the prospect of figuring out a new lake isn’t daunting anymore. Now, all he has to do is the usual – find enough fish to get paid.

 

The final day of practice for Britt starts in the pitch black of morning with rain and a temperature of about 35 degrees. After a breezy, but warm start to practice, it’s been cold and getting colder ever since. So, Britt and his roommate Casey Scanlon grab breakfast before hitting the water. Fueled up by bacon, toast, hash browns and eggs, it’s time to head to the lake. After moving his rods from the house to the front deck, Britt towels the worst of the rain off and then fires up the truck to drive about 100 yards to the ramp.

 

Despite the pause for breakfast, Scanlon and Britt are some of the first pros in the water, and the ramp begins to fill rapidly after they arrive. After dropping the boat in and ferrying Scanlon out to his, the pair take off running, heading out of Spring Creek to a backwater that looks good on Google Earth.

 

Idling into the backwater, Britt scopes out a few stretches he likes the look of before stopping about 50 yards from a patch of reeds and snagging a rod. Scanlon starts nearby and goes the opposite direction.

After the first couple casts turn up grass with scum on it, Britt begins to get discouraged. He only caught one bass all day on day two, and giant catfish aside, his optimism isn’t high. A few casts later, Britt has his first fish of the day – a chunky Seminole bass that slack-lined his vibrating jig.

“That’s what you want, quick bites,” says Britt. “That’s as much as I had all day yesterday. There’s deeper grass out here, that’s where they should go when it’s cold. I just hope it wasn’t a false bite.”

 

“Dude, this is such gnarly hydrilla,” exclaims Britt as he fishes along. So far, practice has been frustrating for him, but a quick bite and then another from a pickerel have him excited early. As he continues to zig and zag over the grass, he picks up a frog for some pads and occasionally mixes in a swimming worm.

 

Around 8:30 a.m., Scanlon idles up for a report, and the two start fishing within earshot, breaking down the grass together. It’s not typical for Scanlon and Britt to cooperate this closely, but so far it’s working this morning.

“There’s a few guys I talk to, but me and Casey [Scanlon] share the most,” says Britt. “In this sport you’ve got to network. I can promise you, not one guy does it on his own.”

 

Flipping a worm in some pads generates another bite for Britt, and then he misses another on the vibrating jig. Then, he switches up to a swimbait and catches another.

“We gotta get out of here,” he says. “I just don’t know where to go, but I’ve gotta find more.”

 

Idling over to Scanlon, the pair talk for a bit while Britt zones in on the satellite map on his phone. After fishing a little more nearby with no success, the pair crank up and Britt leads the way to another nearby backwater.

 

Starting a bit closer to the mouth of the backwater than Scanlon, Britt begins firing around a vibrating jig and quickly gets a bite.

“He jacked it,” says Britt. “I’m so stoked right now. I don’t know why now and why here, but I’m getting so many more bites today. I feel OK now, and coming into this morning I really didn’t.”

 

Winding around in some hydrilla mixed with other grass, Britt pretty quickly gets another bite. This time, he lands it – a small one that he hams it up with before releasing. Nearby, Scanlon catches a good one and stealthily lands it on the back deck. Things seem to be coming together.

 

 

After another quick chat, the two pros fish into the backwater. Inside, the water is cleaner and shallower, and the grass is growing up to the surface in most of it. After a little bit of fishing, Britt kicks the trolling motor on high and visually scans the edge of a mound of reeds on his way out. Now, finally, he and Scanlon are going to go their separate ways.

 

Cranking the Mercury, Britt heads farther up the lake in search of another backwater. It looks good to him on Google, but getting to it proves to be a heck of a challenge. After running out of mapped water, Britt idles for a bit before putting the boat up on plane again and then thinking better of it. Almost as soon as he takes it off plane he hits a stump, proving that any run would be far too risky.

Now it’s time to idle. Giving up for now on the backwater of choice, Britt decides to head to another one that’s farther away, but perhaps more accessible. He just needs to get to a channel he can run. Eventually, we make it to a channel, with Britt cringing at every stump the Ranger rolls over. Once in the clear, it’s go time.

 

Running up the Chattahoochee arm, Britt pulls off into a big backwater after a 10-minute run that feels just as cold as the morning run despite the blazing sun. Settling down, Britt pulls out his flipping stuff to probe a stretch of bank with hyacinths and other mat-like vegetation blown in on it. After flipping along for a bit, he gives it up as a bad job – there’s too much wind, and he’s not feeling it.

 

After a short idle to some grass in the middle of the backwater, Britt picks up the vibrating jig again and goes to work. Casting and winding, he thoroughly seins the area for bites.

“It’s so nice when you get quick bites,” says Britt, as though hoping to elicit one. “You could easily go through a good area and be on the wrong pass and never get bit and not know what you missed.”

Out here, he doesn’t seem to be missing much – with no bites for a hundred yards or so he’s not feeling it.

 

Then, just when all hope seems to be lost, Britt gets bit. Swinging a small bass aboard to break the ice seems to confirm to Britt that he needs to fish back here just a bit longer. After shelving the vibrating jig to flip a worm and toss his frog for just a moment it’s truly time to go.

 

After another chilly run back into Spring Creek to drop me off, Britt heads to the house for a pit stop and a snack before heading back out. Two days of practice had him nothing but frustrated, but this morning has been quite productive. With the afternoon to go, Britt needs to put a few more pieces together, but things are certainly looking up.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2019-03-07-lake-seminole 

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 »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »

Cumberland Practice with Bryan New

Cumberland Practice with Bryan New

Bryan New has steadily been making a case to be considered one of the brightest rising stars of the sport. Five top 10s in T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) and Costa FLW Series events this year proves it, as does his inclusion in the Costa FLW Series Championship field. New gives an inside look at how he’s been tackling the puzzle that is the FLW Series Championship on what might prove to be an unusually stingy fishery. READ MORE »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. READ MORE »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »

2019 Costa FLW Series Championship Roster

2019 Costa FLW Series Championship Roster

The 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship brings together anglers from all over the world to compete for a top prize worth $100,000 on the pro side and $35,000 on the co-angler side. Qualifying from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American, the International Division and five standard FLW Series divisions, a total of 193 pros and 193 co-anglers will descend on Lake Cumberland for a fall showdown to wrap up the fishing season. READ MORE »

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The ninth largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Cumberland is a perfect stage for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Home to all three bass species and over 1000 miles of shoreline, the lake can swallow up a big field with relative ease, and with the fall bite starting to pick up in earnest and the water level lower than usual, the fishing should be pretty good. READ MORE »

Previewing the Costa Championship

Previewing the Costa Championship

When 200 pros (and 200 co-anglers) descend on the southern Kentucky reservoir for the Costa FLW Series Championship, they’ll be facing conditions that might look nothing like what they’ll see as the official practice period opens this weekend. Forecasts call for ample rain over the weekend, and lake levels are likely to fluctuate as a result. READ MORE »

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. are best friends off the water, and it looks like they’ve got the makings of a deadly team on the water. Weighing five smallmouths for 21.16 pounds in the first session and 23.92 pounds in the second session, the pair totaled 45.08 pounds to win the individual competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. READ MORE »

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Though Team USA locked up the top three places, Team Canada placed six teams in the top 10 and averaged 38.98 pounds to win the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. Results were tallied based on the average weight brought in by each team in the two sessions of fishing, which almost guaranteed an extremely close finish. Earning a silver medal, Team USA finished just a hundredth of a pound back with a 38.97 average. READ MORE »

Canada Leads at Pan Am

Canada Leads at Pan Am

The first session of competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis was a roaring success. After the morning weigh-in, Team Canada is leading with an average of 21.16 pounds, Team USA is in second with a 19.6 average, Team Akwesasne First Nation is in third with 18.62 and Mexico had an up and down morning to accrue a 17.24-pound average. READ MORE »

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Austin Felix has been running a generator for a few years now, and his primary use is during the spring in the North, when he’s spending mega-days on the water practicing for tournaments that feature bedding smallmouths. READ MORE »

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Because of steady rain and hard winds at around 20 mph or more, day one of the Pan American Bass Championship has been canceled. With gusts up to 40 mph in the forecast, the organizers have decided to fish two sessions on Friday instead. READ MORE »

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

With the official training day in the rearview, the Pan American Bass Championship starts Thursday, Oct. 16, on Lake St. Francis in Cornwall, Ontario. Teams from Mexico, the Akwesasne First Nation, Canada and the United States will be competing the next two days for glory and country, but also to help along the movement to make bass fishing an Olympic sport. READ MORE »

Umbrella Rigs for Great Lakes Smallies   

Umbrella Rigs for Great Lakes Smallies   

The days of catching seemingly infinite bass on an umbrella rig are mostly gone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't fish with one. The rig is a great tool for catching fall smallmouth bass on the big waters of the Great Lakes and elsewhere up north. READ MORE »

Hunting Big Bronze in Wisconsin

Hunting Big Bronze in Wisconsin

“On a normal day, if the best five aren’t over 25 pounds, it isn’t a good day,” Stefan says. “My best days with a buddy have been where the best five have gone 29 to 32 pounds. We get lots of 6-pounders a year, and we’ve caught some right at the 7-pound mark. I’ve had a few on that we haven’t landed that were bigger.” READ MORE »

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Wrapping up the Costa FLW Series Central Division with an early fall stop at Lake of the Ozarks has become a tradition over the last few years. This year, the final stop of the season is presented by Evinrude and takes place Oct. 10-12, which should be good timing for a number of patterns to play. READ MORE »

How to Fish a Blade Bait for Smallmouth

How to Fish a Blade Bait for Smallmouth

You can catch smallmouths on a lot of baits in the early fall, but one of the most consistent producers later in the year is a blade bait, and Scott Dobson is an expert with it. His go-to is the old-fashioned Silver Buddy, but he has some distinct preferences and tweaks for better success. READ MORE »

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Grand Lake has been flooded for most of the summer, and, as a result, it hasn’t received as much fishing pressure as is typical for one of the premier fisheries in the region. Weights for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, have the potential to be outstanding for this time of year, but it may all come down to what the weather decides to do leading up to the event. READ MORE »