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

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead
Christopher Capdeboscq & Sam Acosta

Turning in one of the most consistent performances thus far, Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta of Northlake Christian High School added 12 pounds, 14 ounces to their day-one limit of 13-7 for a 26-5 total weight that put them in the lead going into the final day of the High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. This event is being held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals presented by The Bass Federation and FLW. 

Improving from third place on day one, Capdeboscq and Acosta focused mostly on the offshore ledge fishing. They had plenty of company, but chose to focus only on the factors they could influence.

“We just put our heads down and tried to not worry about the other boats out there,” Capdeboscq says. “We tried to find places that were less pressured and get the fish fired up quick so we could get as many good bites as we could and then get out of there because we didn’t want to beat them up; we’re trying to save fish.”

Essential to his team’s success, Acosta says, was constant attention to precision presentations.

“If the boat’s not in the right spot, you’re not going to be pulling on the schools effectively,” he says. “The fish are really picky out here, but if you put the boat in the right spot and cast in the right places, you can definitely land into some good ones and get them feeding.

“We fished our offshore spots early and in the afternoon. If the fish are there, they’re willing to bite.”

The only real challenge the leaders faced was accessing key spots.

“Yesterday, the first six schools we pulled up to had boats on them, so we had to dig deep in there,” Capdeboscq says. “Today, we had to bounce between six to 10 schools and just hit ’em here and there.”

The leaders also caught fish along shorelines with a mix of rock and wood. In both scenarios, they used a mix of reaction baits and slower presentations.

“This is one of the best junk-fishing lakes around,” Capdeboscq says. “Everything we’d throw, they’d eat; so we just tried to mix it up.”

 

Dustin Williamson & Nathan Boatwright

Williamson and Boatwright get creative for second

Asked if they used slow presentations or reaction, Nathan Boatwright and Dustin Williamson of North Augusta High School said they kind of did both at once. Doing so enabled the anglers to improve two spots with a 25-8 total.

“We used slower baits, but we used them in a way to get a reaction bite,” Boatwright says. “It’s a new technique we’ve never done. It’s something new we tried, and it’s clearly working. 

“You just have to give that bait more action and find ways of making it look as natural as possible. Sometimes, the bigger fish really aren’t that active; they want something that’s right there in their face with a little action, but not much.”

Williamson says he and Boatwright targeted depths of 17 to 25 feet and looked for river \-channel bends, sharp drop-offs or the tips of points facing into the current.

In third place, Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin of Cedar Bluff High School made a big move on day two by improving from a three-way tie for 46th place on day one. Adding 16-2 to their first-round weight of 9-1 gave them a 25-3 total.

The fourth-place team of Sara Morehead and Hunter Valerius gained eight notches today by catching a second-round limit that went 13-6 and pushed their total to 24-10. 

J.D. Bedford and Walker Brown of Alabama’s Lawrence County High School, who led day one, slipped to fifth with 23-9.

 

Top 10 teams – National Championship

1. Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta – Northlake Christian – 26-05 (6)

2. Dustin Williamson and Nathan Boatwright – North Augusta High School – 25-08 (6)

3. Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin – Cedar Bluff High School – 25-03 (6)

4. Sarah Morehead and Hunter Valerius – McCracken County High School – 24-10 (6)

5. JD Bedford and Walker Brown – Lawrence County High School – 23-09 (6)

6. Dalton Smith and Hayze Hutzel – Bass Tactix – 22-14 (6)

7. Easton Fothergill and Nick Dumke – Grand Rapids Thunderhawks – 22-07 (6)

8. Grady Johnson and Dawson Turner – Harmony High School – 21-09 (6)

9. Dalton Barnard and Parker Stalvey – Clay High School Blue Devils – 21-08 (6)

9. Brooks Anderson and David Britt – Mount Bethel Christian Academy – 21-08 (6)

 

Will Daniels & Kade Suratt

Slowing down puts Daniels and Suratt atop World Finals

After a solid day-one performance in which their 14-3 limit put them in second place in the High School Fishing World Finals, Will Daniels and Kade Suratt stepped on the gas with a day-two limit that weighed 15-12 and pushed them into the top spot with 29-15. Leading the field by a margin of 3-4, the anglers enjoyed a late-day rally that allowed them to make two key culls that significantly boosted their total.

“I feel like, as it got hotter in the afternoon and the current increased, the bite kicked in,” Suratt says. “Also, as we saw the shad gathering in the current, we tried moving baits, but couldn’t get bit, so we slowed it down in those big balls of bait and that worked.”

The key bait was a Strike King Bullworm on a magnum shaky head. This rig yielded their biggest fish – a 5 1/2-pounder – at around 9:30 out of a big laydown.

“We just had to work it as slowly as we could. If we worked it fast, they wouldn’t eat it,” Suratt says. “If you bumped it over a log, you’d probably get a bite.”

 

Blake Cobb & Luke Mchan

Cobb, McHan catch big kicker for second

In second place, Fannin County High School’s Blake Cobb and Luke McHan caught a 15-pound limit that enabled them to gain 16 spots from 18th place with a total of 26-11. Anchoring their bag was 6-pound, 9-ounce largemouth that rewarded their patience.

“There had been someone on our spot fishing swimbaits, but we pulled on to the spot once they left, and on my first cast I caught that big fish around 9 o’clock,” McHan says. “That was a big motivation.”

Cobb says his team could never generate a consistent bite and, instead, had to diligently pick one here and one there.

“We had to get right on the spot and throw 100 casts,” he says. “When they’d get fired up, we were good. It’s a waiting game. They never really heated up, but the bites we got were the right ones.

“We had several spots within a 50- to 75-yard area. We’d go back and forth, back and forth.”

 

Top 10 teams – World Finals

1. Will Daniels and Kade Suratt – Lawrence County High School – 29-15 (6)

2. Blake Cobb and Luke McHan – Fannin County High School Rebels – 26-11 (6)

3. Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta – Northlake Christian – 26-05 (6)

4. Dustin Williamson and Nathan Boatwright – North Augusta High School – 25-08 (6)

5. Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin – Cedar Bluff High School – 25-03 (6)

6. Maddux Walters and Hayden Gaddis – North Georgia Anglers – 25-02 (6)

7. Sarah Morehead and Hunter Valerius – McCracken County High School – 24-10 (6)

8. JD Bedford and Walker Brown – Lawrence County High School – 23-09 (6)

9. Luke Glasgow and Chandler Holt – Winfield Pirates – 23-02 (6)

10. Dalton Smith and Hayze Hutzel – Bass Tactix – 22-14 (6)

 

Cory Elks & Drake Hamilton

The 7-pound club

Pickwick turned up several quality fish in the 5- to 6-pound range, including a 6-10 caught by East Beauregard’s Dylan Guillory and Hayden Farmer that was tops for the National Championship field. However, the biggest fish of the week weighed 7-10 and fell for a soft plastic fished by Cory Elks, who fishes with Drake Hamilton on the Obion Central team.

“I cast my bait into deep water, worked it a couple of times and thought I was hung on a log or a rock because it wasn’t moving,” Elks recalls. “About the time I was popping the line, trying to get it loose, the line shot across the water, and I knew I had a fish on, but I didn’t know how big yet.

“I fought that sucker for about four minutes. He had my rod bent completely under the boat. We were spinning the boat and trying to get him out from underneath. It was a fight.”

Jerry Brumbaugh of Central High School also broke the 7-pound mark with a 7-4.

 

Tournament format

All participants are automatically entered in the World Finals’ invitational format, while National Championship competitors qualified through SAF-sanctioned events. After two days of full-field competition for both events, the National Championship field is cut to the top 10 for day three, which is the final round of that tournament. The winner is determined by heaviest three-day cumulative weight on Friday.

Each member of the winning team receives a $5,000 scholarship to the school of his or her choice, or a four-year $40,000 scholarship to Kentucky Christian University. All 10 finalists automatically advance to Saturday’s final round of the World Finals.

Teams are also competing for more than $2 million in scholarships and prizes at the World Finals. 

The World Finals field is cut after two days to the top two teams from each state. Those anglers compete on Friday (when weights are zeroed) in the semi-final round.

Any teams that missed the cut in the National Championship or World Finals will compete on Friday in a separate second-chance round for a shot at making it back into the World Finals competition on Saturday.

Saturday’s field will consist of the 10 National Championship finalists, the top 10 teams from Friday’s semi-final round, and the next 10 teams (highest day-three weight) from the semi-final round and second-chance rounds combined. A Friday night party will include a Lucky Dog Last Chance Wildcard drawing for one team, not already qualified, to compete on day four – bringing the total to 31 teams. Weights are zeroed on the last day, and the World Finals winners are determined by the heaviest catch.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2019-06-19-national-championship 

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram Out Front on Martin

Abram Out Front on Martin

Same story, different day on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. When it comes to catching fish, Martin is on fire at the moment. However, just like on day one, big bites are tough to come by on the Alabama fishery. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Adams Leads at Martin

Adams Leads at Martin

Catching fish wasn’t going to be the issue for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin and after day one that certainly was the case. With the entire field catching a limit, the weights are stacked with a little over 4 pounds separating 100th and 10th. Finding a Lake Martin kicker was Barron Adams, who sacked 17 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead – thanks in large part to his 8-13 Berkley Big Bass. Just 15 ounces back is Derrick Snavely and the weights tighten up a lot from there. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin kicks off a day early from Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the third stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW announced today that this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin, originally scheduled to start Thursday, has been shifted and will now begin competition Wednesday. Hosted by the Alexander City Chamber, the tournament will remain a four-day event and will now run through Saturday. This decision is based on a desire to allow pros, who began practicing for the tournament March 15, to safely complete the event and return home as quickly as possible amid evolving COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. For his victory, Dice earned a total of $5,246. READ MORE »

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Cory Steckler of Rocky Mount, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Steckler earned a total of $13,457, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the second win of Steckler’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Helton Wins on Dale Hollow

Helton Wins on Dale Hollow

Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mountain division opener at Dale Hollow Reservoir in Byrdstown, Tennessee. For his victory, Graham earned a total of $6,000. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  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 »

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Tournament leader Tai Au managed to stay in first place by recognizing key environmental factors and knowing when to change up his baits. Yesterday, four of the five bass that Au weighed in were bass he caught sight-fishing. Today, he didn’t look at any of the bass he brought to the scale. Au still managed to weigh in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, taking his two-day total to 44-4. He’s searching for his first FLW victory this week.  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 »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 2

After an afternoon and evening of intense rainfall yesterday, the Lake Havasu City area finally got a break from the precipitation today. But instead of rain, the anglers fishing the Toyota Series Western Division opener on Lake Havasu have had to deal with a stiff southerly wind that’s made it tough to sight-fish, some dirtier water in areas (particularly in the upper end) and a drop in water temperature of a couple of degrees. Not surprisingly of a post-frontal day, the fishing has been much more difficult so far on Friday.  READ MORE »