UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Mitchell

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga
Miles Burghoff

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles "Sonar" Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up.

That’s no longer the case. Fellow rookies Bradford Beavers and Ron Nelson are less than 40 points behind Burghoff, meaning the young pro will need to catch ’em at the season finale at Lake Champlain to win the title that had looked like it was his all along. If he does, Burghoff will take home the trophy and a Polaris Sportsman 570. If he doesn’t, Beavers or Nelson might be able to sneak up on him and steal the title at the buzzer.

Here’s a look at the three contenders for the title.

Complete standings

 

Miles Burghoff

Miles Burghoff – 971 points

Finishing 117th at Chickamauga dropped Burghoff out of the Angler of the Year race and back into the ROY race. After finishing 46th or better in every other Tour event, Chickamauga was essentially the only time all season that the rookie has stubbed his toe, and it was his worst finish ever in a multi-day tournament. Now he needs to prove he can come back strong at Champlain.

Burghoff doesn’t need to do too much to lock up the title. He leads Beavers by 31 points, so making the day-three top-30 cut would do it. Even a finish in the 40s might get the job done.

Burghoff has fished Champlain for Bassmaster Opens twice before, in 2014 and 2018, and he finished 41st or better both times. Of course, both those events were held in the late summer, as opposed to the late spring. The Champlain he’ll see this time around isn’t going to be the same as the one he’s got experience on. Even so, he ought to be able to adjust, and maintaining his average should safely lock the award away.

 

Bradford Beavers

Bradford Beavers – 940 points

We’ve been looking forward to Beavers’ debut on Tour for a while now, and his year so far has more than lived up to the promise he showed in the Costa FLW Series and the FLW Cup. Finishing 121st at Sam Rayburn was an awful start to the year, but since then, Beavers has rolled, finishing 54th at Lake Toho and then banking a pair of top-10 finishes at Seminole and Grand Lake. Now, with one to go, Beavers is just 31 points off the ROY lead and basically locked into the FLW Cup.

After winning the Costa FLW Series event on Santee Cooper and then making the cut in the Tour event on Chickamauga, Beavers is heading up to Champlain with a lot of momentum. He may need it all, because it’s going to be his first-ever trip there.

The South Carolina rookie has shown himself to be more than adaptable through the years, and he’s got a real affinity for grass fishing, but Champlain is a lot of water to figure out in a few days. If he does figure it out and Burghoff stumbles a little, Beavers will have accomplished something awfully impressive.

 

Ron Nelson

Ron Nelson – 932 points

In much the same way Scott Martin is lurking in the AOY race, Nelson is circling like a shark in the ROY race. Just 39 points back, Nelson has fished four Costa FLW Series events on Champlain. Two were in mid-July, and he finished 62nd and 36th. The others were in June of 2017 and 2018, and Nelson won them both. He’s one of the favorites at the finale.

On Tour, Nelson has turned it on recently, knocking out a 16th-place showing at Cherokee, and earning his first top 10 and leading day three at Chickamauga. That surge has pushed him from a solid rookie season into range of ROY.

Having fished the Northern Division of the Costa FLW Series for five years and never finished outside of the top 10 in AOY, Nelson has more Northern experience than Beavers and Burghoff combined. He’s undoubtedly got a big advantage in history and comfort up north over the rookies ahead of him. However, finishing 120th at Sam Rayburn and 74th at Grand Lake is going to require some heroics to overcome, and he’s gonna need a little help from the leaders. But, it’s not inconceivable that Nelson could end up fishing on Sunday with an ROY and a win on the line.

 

Here’s how the top 10 rookies sit in the overall AOY standings:

10. Miles Burghoff – 971 points

13. Bradford Beavers – 940 points

15. Ron Nelson – 932 points

28. Wade Strelic – 857 points

31. Dakota Ebare – 844 points

32. Joel Willert – 844 points

37. Tyler Woolcott – 830 points

39. Ryan Salzman – 826 points

41. Dickey Newberry – 821 points

44. Nick LeBrun – 807 points

Complete standings

Tags: miles-burghoff  -sonar  -bradford-beavers  -ron-nelson  jody-white  post-tournament  2019-05-02-lake-chickamauga 

How to Catch Tailrace Smallmouths

How to Catch Tailrace Smallmouths

The reservoirs strung along the Tennessee River are tremendous fisheries, but they perhaps don’t get as much shine for being smallmouth producers as they should. READ MORE »

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

We’re almost halfway through the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit schedule, which means we’re far enough along now for a little retrospective on what’s happened thus far. READ MORE »

Vlog: Becker's 3 Patterns from Martin

Vlog: Becker's 3 Patterns from Martin

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Matt Becker recently shared a great video that details the three patterns he used to earn a fourth-place finish at the season’s third stop on Lake Martin. Becker, who’s currently second in the Angler of the Year race, caught both largemouth and spotted bass and capitalized on a variety of tactics for a top finish. His patterns included targeting staging and spawning spotted bass on shoals, skipping docks and sight-fishing for spawning largemouths.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Martin

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Martin

Spotted bass dominated the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Lake Martin, but they didn’t win it. Sure, the sheer abundance of spotted bass in Martin left most pros’ thumbs bloody and raw from catching so many fish. Yet, it was the key largemouth that really separated the field, and what helped Jason Abram earn his first victory. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Bites were easy to come by at Lake Martin. It was getting the quality bites that separated the field. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Though the total weights didn’t live up to some expectations, the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was still a lot of fun. The weather was great, there were plenty of fish caught the first two days, and there was a truly dramatic race for the win on the final day. READ MORE »

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Hailing from Ocean Springs, Miss., Andy Niles has now won on Okeechobee two years in a row. In 2019, he picked up the win in the Southeastern Division event on Okeechobee, and this year he got the win in the second Toyota Series Southern Division event of the year. Weighing a total of 44 pounds, 7 ounces, Niles takes home a new Phoenix bass boat for his efforts. Friday was Niles’ son Cooper’s 8th birthday, and though he’s probably not going to get the boat for a present, he’ll at least get a very happy dad. READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

The weather is still splendid, but day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been tougher than day one. While keepers were pretty easy to come by early yesterday, that hasn’t quite been the case today. Still, the weather is good and there’s plenty of time left for the lake to turn on. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee was great from a fish-catching standpoint, but somewhat lacking from a big fish perspective. In the lead, Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla., put 19 pounds, 14 ounces on the scale. Behind him, three other pros also managed 19 pounds or better, and there is an absolute stack of anglers in the mid-teen range. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been a beauty so far. Takeoff went off without a hitch in the morning, and there’s basically been just a light breeze and sunny skies all day. Though it hasn’t been oppressively hot, it has been quite warm, and after setting down on their first spot, many anglers probably never put their hoodies back on. READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

Tallying up 1,752 points for the season, ETBU beat out Tarleton State-Stephenville by 16 points to earn the Southern Conference School of the Year title. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Hartwell

Because of high water and cooler conditions, bass on Lake Hartwell haven’t quite gotten fully into the mood to spawn. During the Toyota Series Eastern Division opener on Lake Hartwell, there were plenty of shallow fish to be had, but catching them wasn’t as simple as finding one pattern or one primary bait. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Hartwell

Early March on Lake Hartwell can be feast or famine. The bite often depends on weather patterns, as both largemouth and spotted bass are staging before the spawn. MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Marty Robinson pulled off a wire-to-wire win, but the victory wasn’t easy. The final field of 10 contained a lot of local knowledge and experienced anglers who were ready to knock Robinson off should he falter. Here’s a look at how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their paychecks. READ MORE »

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

Pre-tournament optimism can be hard to find, but this year, if the weather holds, the fishing might be really good for the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

The kickoff event of the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division takes place on Douglas Lake on March 7. One of the most scenic lakes in the country, Douglas promises some good prespawn fishing. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Harris Chain 

AOY Update: Harris Chain 

Through two events, the leader of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year race isn’t unexpected, but the standings behind Ron Nelson are in absolute turmoil. With Lake Martin and Cherokee Lake on tap, things could begin to clarify a bit as spotted bass, smallmouths and lakes that actually have rock become factors. So, while we’re about to run through the top contenders, it’s highly likely that the next few events really reshape the standings.  READ MORE »