UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Old Hickory Lake

Butler Blasts 37-5 on Chickamauga

Butler Blasts 37-5 on Chickamauga

Day two of the Costa FLW Series presented by T-H Marine on Lake Chickamauga was fairly humdrum until Brent Butler walked to the weigh-in stage. Weighing in 37 pounds, 5 ounces, Butler rocketed up from 40th to first with a 51-13 total, and made his mark on the record books in the process. Though the top four one-day catches of all-time in the Costa FLW Series are all from Falcon Lake, the Vonore, Tenn., angler is now fifth on the list, and the first to put a lake outside of Florida, California or Texas in the top 10.

Heaviest one-day catches in Costa FLW Series history

1 Keith Combs 41-1 Falcon Lake 1/7-1/9/10
2 Richard Cathey 39-1 Falcon Lake 1/15-1/17/09
3 Joe Don Setina 38-14  Falcon Lake 1/15-1/17/09
4 Michael Yoder 38-4 Falcon Lake 1/7-1/9/10
5 Brent Butler 37-5 Lake Chickamauga 3/21-3/23/19
6 Mike Andrews 36-3 California Delta 5/14-5/17/08
7 Larry Peacher 35-12 Falcon Lake 1/15-1/17/09
8 Brandon Medlock 35-7  Lake Okeechobee 1/19 - 1/21/12
  Steve Sapp 35-7  California Delta 5/3-5/6/06
10 Bob Ramsdell 34-13 Falcon Lake 1/9-1/11/08

 

Going into the final day, Butler will have a 5-6 lead over day-one leader Rusty White. That seems like a good margin, but Butler himself showed no lead is comfortable on Chickamauga.

Complete results 

Top five patterns 

“To be honest with you, I was trying to [crack 40] because these guys here, man…” says Butler. “I went out today swinging for the fences. I knew I had ground to make up. Like [day-one leader Rusty White], he had 28. If he busts another 28 or 30 or what I had, it’d be way out there. I thought I needed to catch all I can catch. I just swung for the fence and fished big-fish holes just looking for five big bites.”

Those bites came, and they came often. Butler’s largest fish, which he caught on an Alabama rig, came in just shy of 12 pounds.

“I thought it was a rockfish,” he explains. “I was like, ‘man it’s a rockfish,’ and then I caught a glimpse of it and I thought it was a drum, and then as it got up closer I was like, ‘it’s a largemouth and it’s a giant.

“I thought it might weigh more than 11, but my scales, the clip wouldn’t fit on it.”

Brent Butler

Surprisingly – or unsurprisingly for a guy who fishes Chickamauga a lot – that’s not the biggest bass Butler has caught on the famed Tennessee River fishery. He previously caught a 12-7 on Chick, where he fishes a lot of team tournaments.

While Butler has weighed 36-plus bags in team tournaments on Chick (and five total over 30 pounds), 37-5 is easily his biggest solo stringer to date. Day two of this tournament was a good time to do it.

Butler may have a little luck rolling over from his last Costa FLW Series finish on Chick. The last time around, in 2017, he took fifth place with a 41-1 two-day total. He says he used some of that $11,000 in winnings to pay his entry fee to fish this event. He’s been saving that money for just such an occasion.

Brent Butler

Coming anywhere close to replicating his day-two performance on Saturday will be a tall task for Butler, though. Conditions on the lake have changed drastically each day, with water rising, current settling and the sun doing just about everything but what anglers want it to do. It’s been so inconsistent that Butler completely scrapped everything he found in practice and “just fished” the last two days.

“Everything is changing,” he explains. “I had a good practice. Everything I found in practice, it’s gone. I just went fishing. Every time you have a high-pressure system, I kind of know what it does to them here.

“I went from fishing the banks and shallow bars and all that to just offshore. That’s how I love to catch them – offshore.”

Butler is on a pattern, and it’s working well enough that he doesn’t want to give anything away. He does admit, though, that he’s working just two baits: an Alabama rig and a jerkbait, which he calls his “one-two punch.”

The spots Butler has been fishing are areas in which fish are cycling through to spawn. He has multiple spots – 15 he didn’t even run on day two – and his three best produced all his big fish on Friday. But, as the last two days have shown, everything can change in less than a day.

“I’m just going to go fishing,” he repeats. “That’s all I’m going to do, just like today. I scrapped everything I found in practice and went fishing.”

One more day of “just fishing” and Butler will be hoisting the first-place trophy on Saturday.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Brent Butler – Vonore, Tenn. – 51-13 (10)

2. Rusty White – Harrison, Tenn. – 46-7 (8)

3. Brandon Stanley – Johnson City, Tenn. – 43-15 (10)

4. Derek Hicks – Rocky Face, Ga. – 41-4 (10)

5. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 40-1 (10)

6. Steve Stanfill – Dawsonville, Ga. – 38-14 (10)

7. Cody Nichols – Fayette, Ala. – 38-12 (10)

8. David Gaston – Sylacauga, Ala. – 37-6 (10)

9. Dustin Evans – Eads, Tenn. – 36-13 (10)

10. Buddy Gross – Chickamauga, Ga. – 35-14 (9)

Complete results 

 

Scott Ostmann

Ostmann moves into co-angler lead

Co-angler leader Scott Ostmann hauled in an 8-pound, 14-ounce monster largemouth to bolster his 22-8 bag on day two and pull into the lead with an impressive 37-3 total. 

Despite fishing different conditions in a different area with a different boater than on day one, Ostmann was able to find and catch some quality fish with just one bait – a bait he’s remaining tight-lipped about until after the event.

Ostmann and his boater, Frank Clark (12-9 on day two), spent much of the day targeting fish on current breaks in the mid-lake area of the main lake. Sticking with that one bait, he “milked it all day” and made the most of the fish Clark put him on.

“He put me on fish and it was great,” says Ostmann. “This is my fourth time down here. I fished the Costa here two years ago and didn’t do very well. This is a little redemption trip for me.”

With a sizeable lead heading into the final day of competition – and only nine other co-anglers to compete with – that redemption trip could prove to be much more for the Cincinnati, Ohio native.

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Scott Ostmann – Cincinnati, Ohio – 37-3 (10)

2. Michael Leach – The Woodlands, Texas – 29-7 (9)

3. Doug Iorio II – Kennerdell, Pa. – 29-5 (10)

4. Captain Don Lewis – Jacksonville, Fla. – 27-6 (8)

5. Kevin Gordon – Aiken, S.C. – 26-13 (8)

6. Stephen Kocell – Waxhaw, N.C. – 23-13 (8)

7. Josh Lockhard – Somerset, Ky. – 22-10 (10)

8. Tony Prince – Pulaski, Tenn. – 22-7 (9)

9. Alan Hults – Gautier, Miss. – 21-15 (8)

10. Josh Womack – Gallatin, Tenn. – 21-12 (9)

Complete results 

Tags: justin-onslow  headline-story  2019-03-21-lake-chickamauga 

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

The final day of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie is likely to change things up quite a bit. With many of the top pros making long runs, there’s a chance much of what happened on days one and two will be physically impossible on day three. READ MORE »

Erie Midday Update – Day 2

Erie Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event has been pretty slow across the board, and particularly for the leaders. Though the weather isn’t too bad and the wind is fairly manageable, the fishing in Erie is slower than it was yesterday. READ MORE »

Stokes Pulls Ahead on Erie

Stokes Pulls Ahead on Erie

One of a number of pros who elected to make the run from Sandusky to the Detroit River, Troy Stokes pulled into the lead on day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Tap at Pickwick

Big Bags on Tap at Pickwick

After a four-month hiatus, it’s almost time for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division to get back after it. The season resumes on July 18 and July 19 with back-to-back tournaments on Pickwick Lake. While each tournament may fish a bit like a two-day event, each day of competition is a standalone tournament with a winner crowned after each day. READ MORE »

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie was not dominated by St. Clair as some expected. Though St. Clair did produce the lead for Scott Dobson, a hodgepodge of techniques and locations got it done for the other top pros on Erie. READ MORE »

Dobson Takes Slim Lead on Erie

Dobson Takes Slim Lead on Erie

The weights on day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie were about what folks expected: plenty of quality fish, but a lack of the plump 4- and 5-pounders that Erie is so known for. Weighing one of only two bags over 20 pounds, Scott Dobson put 20-12 on the scale after a day of fishing that took him as far from Sandusky as the mouth of the St. Clair River. READ MORE »

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »