UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn
Kris Wilson

Yesterday afternoon, Kris Wilson was starting to show a tad bit of doubt in the pattern that had landed him in the lead for two days at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He was worried that his fish were leaving, or that they might not set up on his offshore spots in a way that he’d be able to continue his streak of 20-plus-pound bags.

All uncertainty left him today when Wilson pulled into his starting spot, saw that the waters were calm and the bass were there, and he quickly put a couple of 5-pounders in the boat. As the day went on, Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to replace his doubt with a no-doubter of a win by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8. 

Complete results

Top 10 patterns 

Wilson, who works as a pipeline controller, is a regular contender here on Sam Rayburn. He says this year the fishing in early summer has been totally different than normal. By now, the bass are usually already set up on the main lake in 20 to 25 feet. However, due to high water this spring and summer, there’s a ton of brush, cypress trees and other shallow cover still in the water, and all that cover has delayed the transition from shallow to deep.

Wilson actually started out his practice looking for a bite in the brush.

“I came over here kind of expecting all the fish to be in the bushes with the water high,” he says. “I started out doing some flipping. I was catching some pretty good fish.”

As practice went on and Wilson expanded his search, he eventually realized the shallow bite might actually be petering out.

“I ended up kind of driving across a couple schools of fish I saw on my graph, so I started catching some 2- and 3-pounders. A lot of the fish I was catching in the bushes were small. I could get an occasional 4-pounder. I just kind of kept working more and more out. It evolved as the week went on. I think more fish were moving out. I think that was the whole key is I had fish coming to me all week.”

Though the water is still high at Rayburn, it’s been on a steady fall since practice started. A lot of the fish that were up in the far reaches of the floodwater have been moving out to brush on the edges. Others are trickling onto deep main-lake structure already. 

But Wilson figured out that many of the bigger bass are still in between both extremes. He caught his fish on a series of hard-bottom spots near the mouths of large creeks where bass were stopping off on their way from the brush and wood to the main lake.

The primary spot where he started each morning produced 10 of the 15 keepers that Wilson brought to weigh-in this week. 

“I think it was definitely replenishing is one big deal,” says Wilson of the productiveness of that spot. “Fish were coming out, and it had a couple bream beds around and some stumps – a tree line with an isolated patch of stumps right next to the bream beds. It was probably 12 to 15 feet deep, and that’s where most of the bigger ones were. It seemed like they were hanging around the stumps on that hard-bottom drop.”

To catch his fish on that spot as well as a few other hard-bottom points – places where he caught key afternoon kickers each day – Wilson dragged a Carolina-rigged red bug creature bait that resembles a Zoom Brush Hog. It’s a bait poured by his tournament partner, Harold Moore.

Wilson kept his eyes on his forward-looking sonar and cast to wherever he saw the fish set up in front of him.

“I could see the fish moving around,” he says. “There’d be little groups of them.” 

In addition to the Carolina-rig pattern, Wilson also used a homemade red bug ribbontail worm on a Texas rig. He fished it on a couple of different spots, but they also had the necessary hard bottom substrate.

“I had a couple stretches of hay grass that had some underwater bushes in front of the hay that I caught some pretty good fish off of,” he says. “I was Just throwing a Texas rig on those. The bushes were in 5 feet or so.”

Wilson’s doubt coming into today stemmed from the way the bass were set up on his starting spot yesterday. They weren’t grouped together as much but were roaming due to the heavy winds pushing waves across the surface. 

“I think yesterday those rollers coming in there is what messed it up,” he says. “Today, when I got in there and it was calm, I knew I was going to catch them. I told him [co-angler Zack Freeman], it was going to be on when we pulled up.”

He was right. More than anyone else, Wilson did the best job of dialing in on the fish in their transition during what has been a very unusual month of June on Rayburn. While other pros gave it a shot in the bushes or by fishing out in typical summertime zones, Wilson worked the in between for one of the more impressive wins of the season.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Kris Wilson – Montgomery, Texas – 72-8 (15) – $37,586

2. Josh Bensema – Willis, Texas – 58-9 (15) – $13,910

3. Justin Morton – Etoile, Texas – 50-0 (15) – $10,692

4. Cole Moore – Anacoco, La. – 47-6 (15) – $8,910

5. Albert Collins – Nacogdoches, Texas – 47-1 (15) – $8,019

6. Cory Rambo – Orange, Texas – 46-15 (15) – $7,128

7. Dicky Newberry – Houston, Texas – 44-0 (15) – $6,237

8. Matt Pangrac – Broken Arrow, Okla. – 43-0 (15) – $5,346

9. Bob Vote – Kingwood, Texas – 41-3 (15) – $4,455

10. Eric Wright – Balch Springs, Texas – 40-15 (15) – $3,812

Complete results

Tags: sam-rayburn  -carolina-rig  -texas-rig  curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2019-06-13-lake-sam-rayburn 

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on the James River after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Elrod took home $3,637. READ MORE »

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair presented by Navionics Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win. READ MORE »

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Representing Lew’s, the team of John Carman, Peter Thliveros and Matthew Mattingly won the 2019 ICAST Cup at Lake Toho this morning with a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces. It’s the first time in the ICAST kickoff event’s five-year history that a team has won two titles, and they come back-to-back – though this time it was an outright win.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. READ MORE »

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Andy Kilgore of Kingston, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Neely Henry. Kilgore pocketed $4,426 for his win in the event and earned 250 points in the Bama Division Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. The winner of the division’s AOY title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Experience Carries Siggers

Experience Carries Siggers

Dennis Siggers of Danville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Siggers earned $2,585 for his victory. READ MORE »

Melton Wins on Rough River

Melton Wins on Rough River

John Melton of Corydon, Indiana, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Melton netted $4,838 for his win. READ MORE »

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory. READ MORE »

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the rescheduled T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake presented by Navionics Sunday after catching four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Campbell earned $5,703 for his win. READ MORE »

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Michael Harlin of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Harlin pocketed $4,463 for his win in the event and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Day 4 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 4 Coverage

Yesterday saw the crowning of the FLW Tour 2019 Angler of the Year (David Dudley) and Polaris Rookie of the Year (Ron Nelson). Today, there's nothing left to do but crown a champion for the Tour's last stop of the season. READ MORE »

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Running south to Ticonderoga each day, Casey Scanlon weighed 19 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain. With a total of 76-2, Scanlon earned the win in the final event of the season and pocketed $102,700 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Oklahoma pro Kyle Cortiana was involved in an accident near Indianapolis on his way home from the FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain on Saturday. He has since been released from of a local hospital and is now in a hotel room recovering and waiting for a ride home to the Sooner State.  READ MORE »

Nelson Wins ROY

Nelson Wins ROY

Ron Nelson blanked on the first day of his first FLW Tour event. Then he got things on track – so on track that he finished the season ninth overall in the standings and above every other rookie to earn the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award. Winning ROY is typically a career-setting accomplishment, and to go with the hardware Nelson will also receive a Polaris Sportsman® 570 ATV. READ MORE »

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Taking to the second to last day of the 2019 FLW Tour season, David Dudley finally did it again, triumphing over John Cox to win a historic fourth FLW Tour Angler of the Year title. Winning his first AOY in 2008, and then going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, Dudley is now the only pro with four titles to their credit, surpassing both Clark Wendlandt and Andy Morgan. READ MORE »

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

After three days of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain, all but one of the top five pros are turning south from Plattsburgh to chase largemouths at Ticonderoga. In the lead, Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., bagged up another 18 pounds, 5 ounces to boost his total to 58-6. In second and just 1-14 behind, Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark., Mo., weighed 18-13 on day three for a 56-8 total. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

We're down to 30 anglers in the FLW Tour's last stop of the 2019 season. The Angler of the Year and Polaris Rookie of the Year races are still up for grabs, and second-year pro Tyler Stewart is haflway to his first win on Tour. There will be storylines apletny today. READ MORE »

A Three-Angler Race for AOY

A Three-Angler Race for AOY

By making the top-30 cut, John Cox, David Dudley and Joseph Webster are all still in the 2019 FLW Tour Angler of the Year race. Scott Martin, who also made the cut and started the week in fourth place in the standings, cannot mathematically earn enough points to win AOY. READ MORE »