UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Setzer Sets Seminole Pace

Setzer Sets Seminole Pace
Braxton Setzer

After a cold front passed through the region during practice, day one of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole, which is presented by Costa, was better than most expected. A chilly start to the day gave way to sunny, mild conditions, and the bass responded. Braxton Setzer got off on the right foot with a 25-pound, 15-ounce limit to hold just a 6-ounce lead over Joseph Webster.

Complete results 

Setzer is fresh off a top-30 finish at the previous Tour stop on Toho, where he worked offshore hydrilla for some stout bags of fish. He kept that same mentality this week, and so far, it’s paying off.

“I committed myself to the offshore before practice even started,” says Setzer. “I just know [on Seminole] that when you find them offshore you can find where they are coming to and going back to, and you can get right in a hurry in one spot. It was fun today.”

Though he only caught eight or nine fish all day, the quality is there for the Montgomery, Ala., pro. And believe it or not, he didn’t even get to fish the main spot he wanted to.

“Things kind of started slow this morning,” he continues. “I started short of where I wanted to this morning since nobody was around and figured I’d work my way up to my waypoint. Well, I look up, and Webster pulled in right on the spot and started beating on them. I thought, ‘You dummy, you should have started on the waypoint.’

“I struggled a little after that, but started to pick apart the area I was in because it is a bigger area than where I wanted to go, so I had more water to cover. The spot I wound up catching them on is basically a ditch that leads to a flat with a clean spot on it. That clean spot is where I caught the majority of my fish.”

With a limit around 9:30 this morning, he kept picking apart water around the area until the bite dried up at 11 o’clock. From there, Setzer ran to another likely spot he had eyes on to see what it could offer.

“I had one more little area I wanted to check and I got over there and culled up two more times. It’s just so slow in the area I went to second today. It’s hard to get bit in that area, but it seems to be a good one when you do.”

Setzer remained quiet on baits for now, but says that two presentations did the bulk of his damage.

While he isn’t completely sure that lightning will strike twice, Setzer does feel confident that his areas have both prespawn and postspawn fish in them. While just one of his keepers today was postspawn, Setzer is prepared for fish to push shallow in the coming days with the warmer weather, and he’s optimistic more postpawn fish will show up.

“I have one or two more areas I can go to if I need to, but it’s going to be interesting to see what the boat pressure does to my main spot,” he admits. “I may have to run around a bit tomorrow.”

 

2. Joseph Webster – Winfield, Ala. – 25-9 (5)

Keeping the momentum train rolling after a top 10 on Toho, Joseph Webster wasted no time getting to work this morning and wound up hauling in one of three bags that would surpass the 25-pound mark.

Webster spends a fair amount of his time on the Tennessee River, so fishing grass in the spring of the year isn’t anything new to him. In fact, he says Seminole this week resembles Guntersville in some ways. Still, the Alabama pro was dead set on flipping all day long for just a few bites, but decided to give one offshore spot a try first thing in the morning.

“I pulled in on my first spot and Jordan [Osborne] was already down there,” Webster says. “We stayed about 50 yards apart and I had five fish for 18 pounds in my first five casts. They were in there thick.”

Webster caught about eight keepers off the juice before pulling back from it to go check some other water. He came back at 1 o’clock and culled again.

“I only caught a 1 1/2-pounder and a 3 1/2-pounder off that in practice,” he adds. “I was glad to know there are good ones there. It just made me sick to have to throw a 4-pounder back this afternoon with that cull.”

All of Webster’s bass were fat, prespawn fish. That does concern him slightly heading into tomorrow with warmer weather on the horizon.

“I just hope they don’t all leave and go to spawn. They’re just so big and fat that you know they want to.”

 

3. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 25-2 (5)

If there’s ever a time to have your best day on a given body of water, it’s during competition of an FLW Tour event. That’s exactly what happened to Tour rookie Bradford Beavers today as he sacked up over 25 pounds and got off to his best start this season.

Beavers is one of few pros who have experience on Seminole, and surprisingly enough, none of his history really helped.

“I’ve never really fished this way on Seminole before,” says Beavers. “I’ve seen other cold front tournaments play out like this, and I figured what I’m doing is the best way to win. Today was by far my best day ever on this lake.”

While he can’t let off the gas just yet, Beavers also knows that things can change in a hurry on this pond.

All of his fish were prespawn today, which, as is the case with Webster, gives him a bit of concern.

“Guys that caught them good today may not catch them tomorrow, and the same goes for guys that didn’t catch them today — they could catch them tomorrow,” he explains. “You’ve got to stay one step ahead of the fish right now and adjust. I’m going to try to do what I did today, but I think I’m going to have to figure out how to catch fish getting back into the spawning mode.”

 

4. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 23-14 (5)

Second year Tour pro Sheldon Collings also didn’t waste any time this morning putting fish in the boat. While others were still working on keeper No. 1, Collings was trying to cull.

“I found a spot in practice where I caught two 7s and a 6-pounder,” Collings says. “I pulled up there this morning and fished around for a bit, and when I got on the right place, I had one try to eat my bait at the trolling motor as I was bringing it up. I missed it and when I looked at my graph it was lit up. So, I backed off and caught them for 25 or 30 minutes straight.

“There are so many fish on that spot. I told myself I found a Kentucky Lake school of bass.”

Once the action died off, Collings prospected the area around him hoping to dial in on some other active fish. With no luck, he returned to where he started and caught a 5-pounder.

He notes that one reason he believes the area is so stacked with bass is because the wind has been blowing into it all week. The other thing that he has going for him is the lack of other boats fishing the same area. Needless to say, Collings is pretty fired up to get back out on the water tomorrow.

 

5. Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ark. – 23-3 (5)

Longtime Tour pro Rob Kilby ran a pattern to the tune of 23 pounds, 3 ounces, which is more than enough to keep his name in the hat for the title this week.

While many of the other top pros are relying on a number of certain spots to catch their fish, Kilby is more dialed on where to find the fish and what to throw at them.

“I have a little stretch where I caught most of my fish,” says Kilby. “I didn’t have anyone around me doing what I’m doing.

“I had to get everything right to get one to bite in terms of presentation and color,” he adds. “The scary thing is that I lost two big ones today, and I caught a 12-pounder in practice fishing the way I am.”

Getting a big bite is certainly the way to make moves on Seminole, and Kilby seems to have that dialed, though getting all of them to the boat is another story. He’s got a handful of areas where he can run his pattern. One stretch has proven to be the juiciest so far.

Kilby is targeting prespawn fish, and though he’s fished Seminole numerous times over the years, past experience hasn’t helped him much this time around.

“This week was like starting over,” Kilby says about fishing history. “I had to get over what used to be and just fish the fish.”

News and Notes

 

Big bags abound

Since there isn’t much for Tour history on Seminole, the Costa FLW Series is the best resource for weights and tournament statistics. In the last three years of Costa tournaments on Seminole just one bag has been weighed on day one of competition bigger than Setzer’s opening-round limit of 25-15. Last year, Rick Tindell weighed a stout 26-7 bag and the closest to Setzer’s mark was John Duvall’s 25-pound bag in 2017. Even though there was plenty of griping to be heard in practice, things seem to be off to a rocking start.

 

Rookies playing strong

Lack of experience on Seminole may be an advantage this week for many, and a good point to illustrate that is the fact that eight rookies currently reside in the top 30 on the leaderboard. Beavers leads the charge with his third-place bag of 25-2, while Tyler Woolcott (seventh with 19-14) and Dicky Newberry (ninth with 19-7) help carry the squad atop the leaderboard.

 

Thrift continues his streak

As if 70 consecutive FLW Tour limits isn’t crazy enough, Bryan Thrift notched another limit today to bring the streak to 71. Though it may not be his strongest limit in a while (10 pounds, 6 ounces), it’s more than enough to keep the ball rolling for another day.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Braxton Setzer – Montgomery, Ala. – 25-15 (5)

2. Joseph Webster – Winfield, Ala. – 25-9 (5)

3. Bradford Beavers- Summerville, S.C. – 25-2 (5)

4. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 23-14 (5)

5. Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ark. – 23-3 (5)

6. Kurt Dove – Del Rio, Texas – 20-5 (5)

7. Tyler Woolcott – Port Orange, Fla. – 19-14 (5)

8. Miles Howe – San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – 19-13 (5)

9. Dicky Newberry – Houston, Texas – 19-7 (5)

10. Brian Latimer – Belton, S.C. – 19-1 (5)

Complete results 

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2019-03-07-lake-seminole 

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Andre Dickneite of Freeburg, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Dickneite earned a total of $3,794. READ MORE »

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Boater Mike Wallis of Hallsville, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Wallis earned a total of $5,009. READ MORE »

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Boater Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hamilton. For his victory, Houchin earned $13,460, which includes the lucrative FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency payout. READ MORE »

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »