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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Butler Hangs On

Butler Hangs On

Brent Butler weighed in a bag he’ll never forget on day two of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Chickamauga. Not only was the 37-pound, 5-ounce stringer his best ever, it also sent him to day three of the tournament, presented by T-H Marine, with a large enough lead to finish the job with another 16-11.

With a total of 68-8, Butler edged out FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift by 5-8, thanks to a 6-pounder he caught as time was winding down on day three.

Butler's day two pattern 

Complete results 

Butler’s victory is far from devoid of great storylines. The high school teacher and humble family man hammered on Chickamauga giants all week, yes, but the results are only part of the story. His passion for fishing is where it all starts.

“God first, family, fishing, outdoors,” he says, still wrangling back the emotion of the final weigh-in. “All I ever wanted to do was compete. I may never be able to do it for a living and that’s okay. I’m content.”

That desire to compete began early in Butler’s life, ever since he saw a Bassmaster tournament on TV for the first time.

“I used to walk the banks with my dad,” he recalls. “He would take me to the local Thursday night tournament whenever I was 13 or 14 years, and I would stand there with two rods in my hand just wanting to compete … I got turned down so much, but I didn’t quit. I said, ‘someday you’ll know who I am.’”

If that day didn’t come before his win on Chick, it certainly has now. Sacking up a 37-plus-pound bag is an incredible feat. To back it up with two more quality bags and to beat out some incredible anglers (including FLW Tour hammers Bryan Thrift and Buddy Gross) on the final day more than validates it.

As impressive as winning an FLW Series event is, what really stands out about Butler’s win is the way he did it. As he explained on the weigh-in stage in front of an FLW Live camera, each day presented different challenges, and each day he changed his approach to deliver what he needed to win.

“I ended up having to scratch yesterday’s pattern, because the fish changed on me, and I just went with my gut,” he explains. “I scrapped it all at 12 o’clock and took off and went wide open and got what I got.

“Day one it was [throwing lipless crankbaits in shallow water]. Day two was Alabama rigging and jerkbaits. Today was a trap, four jerkbaits, an [umbrella] rig and a swimbait.”

Everything Butler found in practice was gone by day one of the tournament. Changing weather conditions, water levels and current wiped out what was working for him leading up to the event. From that point on, he decided to “just fish,” adjusting to the conditions and changing his tactics in whatever way he had to.

And that’s probably to be expected from someone who coaches a high school fishing team. In fact, his team was competing on Watts Bar at the same time he was waiting at the tanks at Bass Pro Shops on day three. Even on the cusp of a victory, his mind was on how his team might be doing.

That’s just the vibe Butler gives off. Humility. Giving back. Doing it all for the right reasons.

“You look at this guy right here (Bryan Thrift), a straight up hammer,” he says of the final-day competition. “You look back behind you and you see nine of them behind you coming to get you.”

Knowing who he was up against was part of the reason he was able to land 37-plus-pounds on day two. After he landed two double-digit fish in a row, Butler’s co-angler Michael Campbell raised the possibility of laying off his fish to save them for the following day.

“’You got a decision to make,’” says Butler, quoting Campbell. “‘You going to pull off of them or what are you going to do?’” I said, man, you do not understand what caliber of fishermen we're up against.”

Butler had the right mentality. He had the right skills. And above all, he had the right perspective, which allowed him to trust his instincts.

“At 12 o’clock –12:30, 1 o’clock – I had one fish, [my co-angler] had three or four and we took off,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to just go with my gut and put something together today.”

That “something” proved to be a Costa FLW Series win, and another opportunity to prove what he’s capable of and who Butler is.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Brent Butler – Vonore, Tenn. – 68-8 (15) – $45,800 

2. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 63-0 (15) – $17,200

3. Derek Hicks – Rocky Face, Ga. – 61-0 (15) – $12,850

4. Cody Nichols – Fayette, Ala. – 57-11 (15) – $10,750

5. David Gaston – Sylacauga, Ala. – 53-13 (15) – $9,750

6. Rusty White – Harrison, Tenn. – 52-10 (10) – $8,675

7. Dustin Evans – Eads, Tenn. – 49-8 (15) – $7,300

8. Brandon Stanley – Johnson City, Tenn. – 48-12 (12) – $6,300

9. Buddy Gross – Chickamauga, Ga. – 48-3 (14) – $5,300

10. Steve Stanfill – Dawsonville, Ga. – 38-14 (10) – $4,200

Complete results 

Tags: flw  bass-fishing  fishing-tournament  lake-chickamauga  justin-onslow  headline-story  2019-03-21-lake-chickamauga 

FLW Announces Details for 2020 FLW Pro Circuit

FLW Announces Details for 2020 FLW Pro Circuit

TULSA, Okla. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), announced today the full details, including rules, entry dates, schedules and the location for the 2020 Championship. The circuit will feature a field of 150 pro anglers competing across seven regular-season tournaments, which culminate to the FLW TITLE. A new event, the TITLE will showcase the top 50 pros from the FLW... READ MORE »

South Carolina’s Miller Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card Tournament on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

South Carolina’s Miller Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card Tournament on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Michael Miller of Greenville, South Carolina, caught a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds even to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his efforts, Miller earned one of the final berths into the 2020 BFL All-American Championship... 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 »

Major League Fishing Closes Acquisition of Fishing League Worldwide

Major League Fishing Closes Acquisition of Fishing League Worldwide

TULSA, Okla. - Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that the acquisition of Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) has closed. This agreement brings together the league behind the no-entry-fee Bass Pro Tour and the largest grassroots organization... READ MORE »

Adrian College Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year Title

Adrian College Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year Title

TULSA, Okla. – The bass-fishing club at Adrian College is the best in the country, capping off the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing season in 1st place overall with 2,350 points, and earning the team the title of 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year... READ MORE »

Marietta High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open

Marietta High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Marietta High School duo of Carter Koza of Maretta, Georgia, and Paul Marks, of Cumming, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open... READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

Coastal Carolina University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa

HARTWELL, Ga. – The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, and Grant Tattersall, of Sterling, Virginia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College... READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. 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 »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Oklahoma's Upshaw Wins Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

Oklahoma's Upshaw Wins Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

BURNSIDE, Ky. – Strike King pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to claim the title of 2019 FLW Series Champion at the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Upshaw, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 42 pounds, 15 ounces, won by a 1-pound, 10-ounce margin over second... READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Leads at Day Two of Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

Upshaw Leads at Day Two of Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

BURNSIDE, Ky. – Strike King pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, crossed the stage Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, for a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30 pounds even, to lead after Day Two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Upshaw now holds a 1-pound, 13-ounce lead over pro Rob Burns of Plano, Texas, who weighed... READ MORE »

Upshaw Leads at Day Two of Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

Upshaw Leads at Day Two of Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

BURNSIDE, Ky. – Strike King pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, crossed the stage Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, for a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30 pounds even, to lead after Day Two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Upshaw now holds a 1-pound, 13-ounce lead over pro Rob Burns of Plano, Texas, who weighed... READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe Angler Cousens Leads Day One of Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

Zimbabwe Angler Cousens Leads Day One of Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

BURNSIDE, Ky. – A tournament field of 193 boats – each featuring a pro and a co-angler – began their three-day competition for a top cash award of $100,000 at the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, in Burnside, Kentucky, Thursday. The no-entry fee bass-fishing championship, hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside... READ MORE »