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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Considering this was the fourth year in a row Lake of the Ozarks had hosted a Costa FLW Series Central Division event in October, everyone pretty much knew what to expect. And then the weather happened. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Fall in the Ozarks is prime time to throw a buzzbait. Sure enough, plenty of the top guys did just that during the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. 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 »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »