UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

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 »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »