UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Weisenburger Wrangles 24+

Weisenburger Wrangles 24+
Kyle Weisenburger

Most everyone said their practice on Grand Lake was brutal; Kyle Weisenburger included. Yet, while many allowed that practice to carry over into the tournament, Weisenburger kicked it aside in a big way.

Grand Lake day one coverage

Get to know Grand Lake

Complete results

The Ohio pro was able turn one “good” bite in practice into 24 pounds, 12 ounces on day one of the FLW Tour event presented by Mercury. That put him almost 5 pounds ahead of second-place Todd Castledine and more than 8 pounds ahead of tenth-place Bradley Hallman.

“Sometimes, you have to go off the cuff and make decisions,” Weisenburger says. “I had to make a decision, and it turned out to be the right one.”

To be fair, after a miserable practice, Weisenburger admits it wasn’t too hard a decision to make a run to the only area that showed even a glimmer of promise for him in practice. Between falling water, falling water temperatures, muddy water and unstable weather, Grand Lake is hardly fishing like the historic fishery it’s known to be.

Thus, Weisenburger opted to hunker in his area and see if he could figure something out on the fly. Sure enough, he found a tiny pocket that allowed him to do that.

Kyle Weisenburger

“I made a little move up shallower and caught one that kind of clued me in on something,” Weisenburger says. “After that one fish I started to play around and put together a pattern.”

Obviously, he’s tight-lipped about what that pattern is right now, but he says it’s a specific combination of location, lure and presentation.

He’s only using two lures, letting the conditions dictate which he throws at any given time. Though, one certainly outperformed the other today. Meanwhile, he has a main area he knows has more good fish in it – he left it after catching a pair of fish that wouldn’t help him, not wanting to burn them for tomorrow – but he was also able to run around his creek arm and replicate his pattern on a couple other spots.

All told, he figures he had a dozen bites, which was “quadruple” what he had in practice, and giving him even more optimism is he was hampered the entire afternoon when he broke his trolling motor cable.

“I’m excited,” says Weisenburger. “I know that one stretch has more good fish in it. Just have to try and duplicate it and adjust if I have to with the weather coming.”

 

Todd Castledine

2. Todd Castledine – Nacogdoches, Texas – 20-2 (5)

If this tournament started a couple days ago, Castledine would probably be a lot more excited about being the only other angler to crack 20 pounds. Unfortunately, it started today, and that means the conditions could cause his pattern to dwindle by tomorrow.

“They keep dropping the water, and that’ll kill my pattern,” Castledine says. “Honestly, I don’t know if I can get it to go tomorrow.”

Castledine figures the lake is dropping 6 inches a day, which would leave his shallow-water pattern high and dry. If that’s the case, he has another pattern that could produce some big bites, but not many.

“My other deal I can catch one or two good ones, but I can’t get a limit,” Castledine says. “So I’ll have to see if I can get one or two on my first deal and maybe one or two on my other deal to try and put together a decent bag. Even four fish, it’d be a good bag.”

 

Miles Burghoff

3. Miles Burghoff – Hixson, Tenn. – 19-12 (5)

It’s amazing what a kicker can do.

Burghoff only had six keeper bites today. The first five went about 14 pounds, which he would’ve been thrilled with, as he still might’ve been sitting in the top 20. Then around 2 p.m. he got his sixth bite – an 8-pounder that took big-fish honors.

“I’d keyed in on a certain retrieve and was running new spots to try it out,” Burghoff says. “I went into this pocket I’d never fished, saw this textbook spot – a pole underneath a dock with shade. When I hooked her, I thought I’d rolled a carp.”

Similar to Weisenburger, Burghoff has a retrieve-location pattern going around areas he feels the fish are staging to spawn.

“I’m pretty confident,” says Burghoff. “Now that I’m keyed in, it’s just a matter of capitalizing.”

 

Billy McCaghren

4. Billy McCaghren – Mayflower, Ark. – 19-9 (5)

Sometimes all it takes is one bite to clue an angler into something. Certainly did for McCaghren.

After going 4 hours without a bite, the Arkansas pro got his first keeper bite around 11 a.m.

“That clued me in on something,” McCaghren says. “Then when my next bite was that big one (he had a 6-6 kicker) I knew I was onto something.”

Once again, it’s a specific location-lure-presentation deal, but making things more interesting for McCaghren is come the afternoon he also figured out another pattern.

“I wanted to fish a certain way that I really enjoy, and I finally was able to make it work this afternoon,” McCaghren says. “So I’ll have to decide which one I want to try first tomorrow.”

 

Bradford Beavers

5. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 19-0 (5)

While Castledine is lamenting the falling water, Beavers feels it’s the only thing that saved him.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to catch anything today,” Beavers says. “I just think the falling water has them moving around. It just must’ve shifted them to me.”

That said, it was hardly a banner day despite the outcome. Beavers only got seven bites all day, and he didn’t fill his limit until minutes left before check-in.

“I just got fortunate today,” Beavers says. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

 

News and Notes

Andrew Upshaw

Faltering Locals

In a tough tournament, locals and their extensive knowledge often have a distinct advantage. Don’t tell that to the locals in this event.

Of the pre-tournament local favorites, few had even decent days. Bradley Hallman managed to put together the best “local” performance (he’s in 10th with 16-5), but he admits he didn’t get a bite until noon. Meanwhile, Sheldon Collings sits just outside the top 20 with 14-5 and Jimmy Houston in the top 30 with 13-11.

That said, you also have pros like Andrew Upshaw (one fish for 1-4), Scott Ashmore (one, 3-8), Kyle Cortiana (one, 3-9) Jeff Dobson (three, 6-8), Chad Warren (three, 6-15), Alton Wilhoit (one, 1-10) and Darrel Robertson (three, 10-9).

 

Ryan Salzman

No Quantity

How tough is Grand Lake fishing? There were only 37 limits brought in on day one. There were almost as many who didn’t bring in a single fish (22 anglers) or who brought in only one keeper (28).

 

Falling Water

While there were no shortage of gripes about the conditions, the biggest worry for many anglers is the falling water. Castledine says he can see two different waterlines in his area and figures the lake is dropping 6 inches a day.

Many pros figured that, above anything else, is causing the fish to be in a funk, as they want to move up but are left in limbo as the water fluctuates.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Kyle Weisenburger – Ottawa, Ohio – 24-12 (5)

2. Todd Castledine – Nacogdoches, Texas – 20-2 (5)

3. Miles Burghoff – Hixson, Tenn. – 19-12 (5)

4. Billy McCaghren – Mayflower, Ark. – 19-9 (5)

5. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 19-0 (5)

6. Dicky Newberry – Houston, Texas – 18-9 (5)

7. Braxton Setzer – Birmingham, Ala. – 17-7 (5)

8. Christopher Brasher – Longview, Texas – 17-0 (5)

9. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 16-12 (5)

10. Bradley Hallman – Norman, Okla. – 16-5 (5)

Complete results

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2019-03-28-grand-lake 

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 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’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. 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 »

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

He got bumped from the top spot by an ounce on day one, and slipped the third on day two. But Erick Fernengel of Lake Waukomis, Mo., finally ended up on top when it mattered most.  READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »