UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

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 

Previewing Dale Hollow

Previewing Dale Hollow

When the Toyota Series Central Division wraps up its season on Dale Hollow Lake next week – a lake known for its smallmouth fishing, thanks in big part for producing the world record smallmouth back in 1955 – its anglers probably won’t be weighing in masses of brown fish. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

The top finishers in the recent Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn caught the lake when the shallow bite was just picking up. Sticking shallow around hydrilla with a wake bait, Aaron Johnson stayed consistent and won the event. Behind Johnson, there was a lot of room for pros to fish to their strengths, though there’s no doubt that shallow eventually won out. READ MORE »

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Weighing five fish for 12 pounds, 4 ounces, co-angler Anthony Templeton of Beckville, Texas, rocketed up from fifth place to win the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. With a total of 28-3, Templeton takes home a new Phoenix bass boat worth $33,500 and his first winner’s trophy with FLW. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Our crew on the water hasn’t had very good luck tracking the top pros down in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, but the fishing has still been pretty good. With the entire top 10 within striking distance, it’s still anyone’s game, and the good fishing today could help someone run into a mega-bag. READ MORE »

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn has been exactly as forecast. Somewhat chilly, with scattered rain and wind in the morning, it’s starting to brighten up now. Though most fished with jackets and bibs on in the morning, it’s now very comfortable and the sun is out pretty steadily. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event has been beautiful so far, with mild weather and apparently decent fishing. Though Rayburn isn’t kicking them out like it can, there seem to be plenty of ways to catch fish and at least one pro has seen some success. READ MORE »

Fall Showdown Starts at Rayburn

Fall Showdown Starts at Rayburn

Takeoff for day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division finale on Sam Rayburn was about as perfect as it gets. Light wind paired with crisp, comfortable temperatures and plenty of sun provided an auspicious beginning to the Toyota Series event on the sprawling Texas reservoir. READ MORE »

Southwestern Division Wraps on Rayburn

Southwestern Division Wraps on Rayburn

The Toyota Series Southwestern Division will wrap up its season this week at Sam Rayburn. Hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner. READ MORE »

How to Catch Bass with Shrimp

How to Catch Bass with Shrimp

Bradley Dortch, who grew up on the Tensaw River and the Mobile Delta, says throwing shrimp for bass is a winner, and a viable tournament technique if you use plastic ones. It all has to do with the seasonal movement of the forage. READ MORE »

Plains Division Heads to the Ozarks

Plains Division Heads to the Ozarks

The 2020 Toyota Series Plains Division will continue with a tournament this weekend in Osage Beach, Missouri, with the Toyota Series at Lake of the Ozarks. Hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

The Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman was a fall grinder. With the lake in fall transition and turnover occurring throughout the lake, some of the popular lure choices included shaky heads, jigs, buzzbaits and jerkbaits. Here is a closer look at the best baits of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Eastern Finale Set for Norman  

Eastern Finale Set for Norman  

The Toyota Series Eastern Division will wrap up its season this week at Lake Norman. Hosted by Visit Lake Norman, Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner. READ MORE »

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

From the Mississippi River to the Peshtigo River, Wisconsin and the surrounding region has miles of flowing water chock full of smallmouth bass. In the recent Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, Matt Stefan targeted rivers flowing into Green Bay for the majority of his catch, and in doing so, he was able to tap into a skillset that he’s groomed for years on the Wisconsin River and other flowages near him. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

With the whole field boxed into the Detroit River for the first two days of the final Toyota Series Northern Division event, it’s natural that the main player was the river itself. But, on the final day, when folks could branch out, Scott Dobson actually ran to St. Clair and many of the other pros ventured into Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Grubb Wins Co-Angler Side at the Detroit River

Grubb Wins Co-Angler Side at the Detroit River

Taking the co-angler win in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River, Tony Grubb weighed four bass for 14 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day for a 46-5 total. For the win, his second as a co-angler with FLW, Grubb takes home a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat worth over $35,000. READ MORE »