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

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer
Jeremy Lawyer

With his win at Grand Lake barely in the rearview, Jeremy Lawyer is in the midst of the best season of his career. After finishing 28th in points in his first season on the FLW Tour in 2017, the Sarcoxie, Mo., pro missed the FLW Cup in 2018. However, he’s come back with a vengeance in 2019, making three top-30 cuts and sitting ninth in the Angler of the Year race with just two to go.

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Putting the boat in at Dayton around 6:30 a.m., Lawyer starts his day with a PB&J and 20 minutes of relaxation, waiting for practice to officially begin at sunrise. As he and a handful of other pros wait, most of them are talking and pulling out rods, readying for the day. Lawyer is not; he’s simply waiting.

“The first tournament of the year Brandon McMillan made fun of me for not getting any rods out,” says Lawyer with a smile. “So, now I don’t get any out if he’s around. It don’t take but a minute anyhow.”

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Finally, it’s go time. Electing to let the other pros roll out ahead of him, Lawyer trails the pack as everyone runs down the lake, branching off at various creeks and ledges along the way. Eventually, a few miles below the TN-68 bridge, Lawyer branches off himself.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Lawyer starts at a little marina where he pulls out a white swim jig in hopes of capitalizing on a shad spawn. After running through a few docks and seeing no signs of shad, he hops across the pocket to the other side and pulls out a few more rods.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

After a handful of casts with a buzzbait, Lawyer picks up a Zoom Z Craw to drop into a laydown. In no time flat, he’s on the board in a big way.

“Well, I definitely wanted to set the hook on at least one, but I didn’t know it would be the biggest one of practice,” says Lawyer after releasing the bass. “I guess that’s all right though. It gives me confidence I can compete on the bank.”

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Finishing out the pocket, Lawyer pauses to drag a worm for a bit on the point, and then quickly fires his swim jig to the bank toward some shad boiling along the edge. After a quick thump, he brings a shortened jig back, re-rigs a trailer and makes a few more casts with no results.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Lawyer Moves across the creek and digs out a spinning rod then begins tossing around a stick worm. He connects with a small bass fairly quickly and gets another bite flipping wood. After working along the bank until it steepens up a bit and he runs out of laydowns, Lawyer elects to run farther back.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Once in the back, Lawyer eases the Ranger down off plane at another stretch of laydowns and pulls out his Z Craw again. He quickly gets another bite.

“We’re fixing to get hosed here,” he says, alluding to the chance of accidentally hooking a big one. So, he pulls out a pair of clompers and cuts the hook point off to eliminate the possibility.

As we fish along, I ask why Lawyer isn’t out idling now, or why he’s not really gunning for a win. After all, he finished second on the ledges in the 2015 T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American on Kentucky Lake, so he surely knows the offshore game on the Tennessee River.

“I’m not sure if it’s the professional way to go, but I don’t want to screw up and take a chance to win and mess up the Cup,” says Lawyer. “I can screw up plenty. I’m phenomenal at that. I’m telling ya, if I can just weigh in five each day I’ll be satisfied. I just want to roll on to the Cup and try to swing big there.”

With just two events to go, the temptation to lay up and not risk things is definitely there for some pros. Of course, the risk is that you might do just all right and get lapped by other folks who are crushing. Lawyer doesn’t want that to happen either. 

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Moving across the lake, Lawyer ducks into a smaller pocket off the main drag at the mouth of a small creek. Flipping along, he doesn’t manage a bite, so he moves farther back into the creek.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Before coming to his next wood-studded target, Lawyer doctors up a Zoom Brush Hog by slicing up the flappers for more action and dying the tips of the tails with a shot of chartreuse. It doesn’t seem to do anything special though, and the dry stretch continues for a bit.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

The next stop is small indentation on his bank of choice, where Lawyer spots a stump in the middle and flips his worm over to it. In a second he hooks up with a decent Chickamauga largemouth – perhaps not one the winner will weigh, but not a bad one for sure.

A minute later, he gets another bite flipping, drops a waypoint and pulls the trolling motor.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

After ducking across the creek to fish a bluffy bank for a minute, Lawyer rolls out, pausing to call up Joseph Webster in a no-wake zone. He and Webster share information, and Webster had said that he was going to head to Watts Bar, though it turns out that he didn’t and is instead hunting around offshore.

Lawyer stops in a small main-lake pocket and flips a little and then tosses a shaky head at the point. Musing about the possibility of a ledge bite, Lawyer isn’t sad that he’s up shallow.

“Boy, I bet it’s busy down there scanning today,” he says. “I almost did it, but I hate to get too strung out, and I had just enough going on up here to get me interested. I know I’ve done well in the past out there on the ledges, but I don’t 100 percent enjoy it, especially when there aren’t many there.”

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Moving and grooving, Lawyer makes a few quick stops, pulling into another little pocket for a minute, fishing a main-river bank and then flipping the edge of a long island. None of it is particularly productive, and he soon finds himself back to the TN-68 bridge.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Heading back into a pocket, Lawyer uses a shaky head to pop one chasing shad on the bank, but gets only one more bite on the shaky head as he works his way back along the steep side. Once it flattens out, Lawyer picks up his flipping stick again, but puts it down and elects to leave when a quality bass blows up nearby.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

The next stop is on up the river in another pocket. Lawyer starts getting bit right away, flipping along from laydown to laydown. He’s gaining some confidence as he goes, but is still not overly optimistic.

“One thing about it, we haven’t seen too many people doing this today,” he says, sounding hopeful after another bite. “But, that’s probably a true testament to the size of fish we’re on.”

After another call from Webster and another bite in wood, it’s time to hit up another pocket.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

Lawyer cruises to another decent-sized pocket and goes back to flipping wood. He gets nearly to the back before striking gold. There, at the end of a laydown, is a 4- or 5-pounder sitting on a bed.

“That fish is very catchable,” Lawyer opines after a minute of watching it. “Let’s John Cox it for a minute and see if we see another one.”

So, Lawyer lays down his rod and kicks his trolling motor up, whisking through the back of the pocket and out the other side on high alert for possible beds. Unfortunately, it seems like that’s the only one home today.

 

Jeremy Lawyer

After finishing out the pocket, it’s nearly noon and time for me to head back. Lawyer makes the short run back to Dayton to drop me off, and then heads back out to hunt around some more. He’s still got plenty of afternoon left to ‘John Cox it’ or do something a little more up his alley.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2019-05-02-lake-chickamauga 

Rogers Wins from 8th on Erie

Rogers Wins from 8th on Erie

Starting the final day in eighth place, Lee Rogers of Newton, N.J., rocketed up the leaderboard with the biggest limit of the day to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. With the field confined to the area around Sandusky Bay due to wind, Rodgers brought 15 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale for a total of 48-12 to earn his first win with FLW. For his win, Rogers gets the trophy and a $32,439 paycheck. READ MORE »

Erie Midday Update – Day 3

Erie Midday Update – Day 3

With big winds present even before putting boats in the water, it was obvious that day three of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie was going to throw the anglers a curveball. After a short delay, the new boundaries were set from Marblehead Lighthouse to Cedar Point, and the pros blasted off in search of bass. READ MORE »

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 »

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

There’s nothing better than clear water and big smallmouths, and that’s exactly what the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Michigan Division plans to deliver this year. The division, which is presented by ARE, is set to open the season July 18 on Lake St. Clair in what should be a heavyweight showdown of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Erie Midday Update – Day 1

Erie Midday Update – Day 1

From a weather standpoint, day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie has been almost too perfect. Slick and hot from the start, anglers have been able to go wherever they want and fish however they want. 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 »

Ready to Rock on Erie

Ready to Rock on Erie

The Toyota Series Northern Division has undergone more than its share of schedule shuffling this year, but the kickoff is finally here. Taking off out of Sandusky, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, the time to chase smallmouths has arrived. READ MORE »

Piedmont Division Heads to Kerr

Piedmont Division Heads to Kerr

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division continues its season with back-to-back tournaments on Kerr Lake on July 18 and 19. READ MORE »

Hoosier Division Heads for Ohio River

Hoosier Division Heads for Ohio River

After kicking off the season on Lake Monroe with a double-header at the end of June, the Hoosier Division of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine turns east for stop No. 3 on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek. READ MORE »

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

The Mississippi River is the staple venue of the Great Lakes Division in Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine competition. Come July 18, the division will take its first crack at the Mighty Miss in what could shape up to be a diverse event. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Could be Won Deep or Shallow

Kentucky Lake Could be Won Deep or Shallow

As we saw a couple weeks ago at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga, the Tennessee River is capable of churning out big bags of bass both deep and shallow. We’ll probably be reminded of the Chickamauga event on July 18, when the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine LBL Division competes on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Conditions should be similar, with both deep and shallow patterns in the mix.   READ MORE »

Review: Strike King Popping Perch

Review: Strike King Popping Perch

The frog world is pretty stacked with good options these days, but the Strike King Popping Perch still manages to stand out. READ MORE »

Northern Division Heads to Sandusky

Northern Division Heads to Sandusky

Swiftly rescheduled due to New York’s recently announced travel restrictions, the Toyota Series Northern Division is now kicking off on Lake Erie, launching out of Sandusky, Ohio, July 9-11. The event is the first of three in the division, with the others scheduled for August on Lake Champlain and on the Detroit River in September. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

Though Jacob Wheeler won the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga in grand style, his win didn’t impact the Angler of the Year standings. Only the original Pro Circuit anglers were competing for AOY points. That means the AOY focus is still on Ron Nelson, who slipped off his blazing pace a bit, but still holds the lead heading into the final two regular-season events in July and August on the Mississippi River and the Detroit River, respectively. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Toyota Series Northern Event to Lake Erie

FLW Shifts Toyota Series Northern Event to Lake Erie

Due to New York’s recently announced travel restrictions, FLW will shift its July 9-11 Toyota Series Northern Division opener from the St. Lawrence River at Massena, N.Y., to Lake Erie at Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Chickamauga

When so many anglers are throwing similar baits and running similar patterns, doing something a little different can be quite the advantage. Sure enough, the pros who made the top 10 at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga all had techniques or tactics of their own to set themselves apart. READ MORE »