UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

AOY Update: Lake Seminole
Terry Bolton

Bryan Thrift’s bomb at the third stop of the FLW Tour on Seminole may ripple through the minds of fans for a while, but the other contenders for Angler of the Year pretty much stayed on fire. In the lead, Terry Bolton banked his second top 10 of the year and padded his lead. Behind him, Scott Martin earned his second top 10 in a row to push him into the runner-up spot as he pursues his second AOY title on Tour.

With Grand Lake and then Cherokee next on the schedule, here’s how the race is shaping up.

Complete standings  

 

579 points – Terry Bolton

Leading the way, Terry Bolton is without a doubt off to the best start of his long career. After winning at Sam Rayburn (his first career Tour win), Bolton made the cut and finished 19th at Toho. At Seminole, the Kentucky pro snuck into the top 10 via tiebreaker and then dropped the biggest bag of the tournament on the final day to move up to 4th and pad his lead over Martin with a few more points. 

After Toho, Bolton led by just four points, but he’s ticked his lead up to 11 points now. That’s not a wide margin, especially this early, but he’s got the potential to keep working on that margin. Known for his prowess with a crankbait and a blade, Grand Lake could set up very well for him. Cherokee seems well within his skillset, and he made the cut when the Tour last hit Chickamauga and Champlain.

 

568 points – Scott Martin

Moving up to second from a third-place tie with Thrift, Martin is in a great position to earn the second AOY of his career. Back-to-back top-10 finishes at Toho and Seminole have him rolling into Grand Lake, but how he’s positioned there is a bit of a mystery. Martin finished 36th in June of 2013 (the last time the Tour stopped there), but the tournament is much earlier in the season this time around. One good indicator might be his success at Beaver Lake – historically, the two have enough similarities that it wouldn’t be out of the question to suggest that Grand is in Martin’s wheelhouse as well.

 

555 points – Joseph Webster

Had Joseph Webster not caught just one fish on day three at Seminole, he may have had a shot to push Bolton for the lead. As is, he’s finished inside the top 30 in every event and earned one top 10 so far. Webster seems primed to do it big this year, but he’s never been to Grand before. Of course, it’s still easy to buy into a Webster AOY run – he’s demonstrated such a variety of skills throughout his short career that nothing seems really outside his abilities.

 

534 points – Billy McCaghren and Miles Burghoff

Sitting 45 points off Bolton and wrapped up in a virtual tie for 4th place are veteran Billy McCaghren and rookie Miles Burghoff. McCaghren has made every top 30 this year, but never closed and made it to the final day. Burghoff missed day three at Toho, but fished on Saturday at Rayburn and Seminole. McCaghren would appear to have a head start at Grand based on his previous Ozark experience and veteran status. Other than Toho, Burghoff hasn’t really had a local advantage anywhere this year, so it’s probably easiest to assume he’ll just keep on doing what he’s doing until he doesn’t.

 

In the wings

Rounding out the top 10 of the AOY race are Buddy Gross, John Cox, Braxton Setzer, Jeremy Lawyer and Tyler Woolcott. Gross and Cox each have tournaments decidedly in their wheelhouse coming up, but Lawyer may be the biggest threat to move up fast. With Grand and Cherokee next up, he’s got a chance to put his Ozark skills to serious use, albeit on fisheries that he doesn’t call home.

 

Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year update

The race for the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award is pretty incredible this year. Miles Burghoff is in the top five in points and in the lead. Behind him, Tyler Woolcott is in the top 10 and Ryan Salzman is in the top 15.

Overall, the ROY hunt is very close and very exciting, as you’d expect with more than 30 rookies on Tour. Looking ahead, a lot of rookies lower in the standings have some home cooking coming up, so Burghoff should probably plan to keep crushing if he wants to win that Polaris Sportsman® 570 and the accompanying trophy.

 

Here’s how the top 10 rookies are shaping up in the overall AOY standings:

5. Miles Burghoff – 534 points

10. Tyler Woolcott – 498 points

15. Ryan Salzman – 492 points

27. Jon Englund – 452 points

29. Corey Neece – 449 points

30. Sam George – 447 points

34. Wade Strelic – 438 points

39. Austin Wilson – 431 points

44. Ron Nelson – 442 points

46. Bradford Beavers – 420 points

Complete standings  

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

Riding Rayburn with Tutt

Riding Rayburn with Tutt

One of the nicest and most experienced pros on the FLW Pro Circuit, Jim Tutt has fished about everywhere, but he calls Texas home. Last year, Tutt finished fifth in the season-opener on Sam Rayburn, and it’s also where he earned one of his three FLW Series-level wins. READ MORE »

How to Prep Like a Pro

How to Prep Like a Pro

When it comes to getting ready for a season of tournaments, there are plenty of ways to do it. But, there’s no denying that for most people, being prepared will lead to better performance on the water. READ MORE »

2020 Harris Chain Preview

2020 Harris Chain Preview

One of the most fun places FLW visits, the Harris Chain is a collection of lakes in central Florida that includes Lake Harris, Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham and Lake Beauclair. In all, the pros have the run of 10 lakes, plus the myriad residential canals, rivers and backwaters that spread out off of them. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

Built on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a fairly typical example of a Southeastern spotted bass and largemouth fishery. Though there are shad and bream, the primary forage is blueback herring. Hartwell has very little vegetation outside of flooded dog fennel, and the primary cover types are docks, rock, shoreline wood, brush and cane piles. READ MORE »

2020 Detroit River Preview

2020 Detroit River Preview

Though the Pro Circuit finale takes off from the Detroit River, that’s hardly the only place the pros will be fishing. Takeoff is near the southern mouth of the river, giving pros easy access to the west end of Lake Erie. At the other end of the river is Lake St. Clair, which has been home to some of the most epic smallmouth beatdowns on record in recent years. READ MORE »

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Perhaps the hottest spotted bass lake in the East, Lanier should be rocking for the Bulldog Division opener. With lots of plump wintertime spotted bass coming to the scale, along with some largemouths, it would be no surprise to see a winning weight in excess of 20 pounds.   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 »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Matt Becker.  READ MORE »

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

From the beginning, 2019 was a good year of fishing. The FLW Tour got off to a rollicking start on Sam Rayburn, and it really stayed pretty great from there, with a lot of good fishing and a killer Angler of the Year race. Beyond the Tour, all the other circuits had plenty of highlights, too. We saw impressive feats accomplished at all levels and some very exciting individual events. 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 »

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

With a home base of Clear Lake in California, FLW Pro Circuit pro Jimmy Reese is pretty used to phenomenal fishing. But, until Thanksgiving, he’d never sampled the bass fishing in Mexico. Now he has, thanks to a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits trip to Lake Baccarac Lodge that turned into the trip of a lifetime and produced some truly outstanding fishing. READ MORE »

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

When Tyler Woolcott headed out on Sam Rayburn in January 2019 for his first day of competition as an FLW Tour pro, he took off sandwiched between Brad Knight and Bryan Thrift, two pros starting their 11th and 13th seasons at the front of the boat. In stark contrast, Woolcott was beginning his pro career without having fished as a boater at any level of FLW competition. READ MORE »

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

In recent years, fishing a lipless bait, a spinnerbait or a vibrating jig in offshore grass in Florida has lit up the leaderboard in many tournaments. Tyler Woolcott, a second-year pro from Port Orange, Fla., has plenty of experience tracking the bass in offshore grass throughout the seasons, and you might be able to learn a thing or two from him. READ MORE »

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

“It’s hard to pass up smallmouths in the winter,” Slegona says. “When they get bunched up out there you can have a lights-out day. So, when that water temp drops below 50, I break out the hair jig box, and I put it away again in the spring when the water gets warm.” READ MORE »

Less Stress and More Fun

Less Stress and More Fun

After qualifying for the FLW Tour out of the FLW Series Northern Division for the second time in 2018, Slegona finally had the money lined up and hit the big leagues. So, he pointed his Tundra and Skeeter toward Texas in December to start an adventure that was a lifetime in the making. 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 »

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 »

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 »