Live now : HIGH SCHOOL FISHING 2019 Arkansas River Open

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Stewart Strokes 22 on Champlain

Stewart Strokes 22 on Champlain
Tyler Stewart

Impressive is the best way to describe the collective day-one performance by the pros competing in this week’s FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine at Lake Champlain. The top 13 all caught 19 pounds or better, the top 25 weighed at least 18 and the top 38 caught at least 17. 

Most impressive of them all on day one was Louisiana’s Tyler Stewart, who’s competing in his first-ever tournament on the big natural lake that straddles the New York-Vermont border. Stewart weighed in a five-bass limit worth 22 pounds, 3 ounces, which is by all means stout on Lake Champlain.

Complete results

He’s one of a number of pros who spent the day targeting largemouths in order to get over that 18-pound mark, but he had one bonus smallmouth in his bag today, too.

“I had about 21 pounds probably, and I was on my way back, and I stopped and threw a Keitech around and ended up catching some smallmouth that culled one of my smaller largemouths,” Stewart says. “I was actually just planning on going all in on largemouth, but I had a little extra time, so when I got back I messed around with that and ended up making a cull, which was pretty crucial.”

Stewart says he didn’t have much company in his primary area today. His most notable challenge was a yacht wake that he hit on the way to his starting place. The impact resulted in a busted front graph and some damage to his Power-Pole bracket. 

The damage not only cost Stewart a little time, but it made him question whether he ought to stay closer to the ramp in Plattsburgh. Thankfully, Stewart trudged on and ended up getting into decent action pretty quickly. 

With a flipping stick in his hand, Stewart caught most of his limit by 10:30, replaced a 2-pounder with a 4-pounder around 11, and then left his largemouth waters alone the rest of the day. 

Even without that bonus smallie, he knew he already had a good enough limit to be in contention. There was no reason to wear out his best water.

“In practice I wasn’t getting many bites at all – just quality – so I really didn’t want to catch anything that I might need tomorrow,” Stewart adds. “I only have a couple small areas, so that’s basically what I’m doing; just flipping them up in pretty shallow water.”

Day one coverage blog

 

Tom Redington

2. Tom Redington – Royse City, Texas – 20-7 (5)

Tom Redington calls Texas home, but it’s more of an adopted home, if you will. He grew up in Illinois and lived awhile in Wisconsin. These Northern largemouths are nothing new to him, as he proved on day one with a 20-pound, 7-ounce limit of all green bass.

Redington actually stopped over at Cayuga and Oneida on his way to Champlain to “try and get in the smallmouth rhythm.” It wasn’t happening, so he reset and dialed in on largemouths.

“When I’ve done well here in the past, it’s always been a largemouth deal,” Redington says. “I grew up in the Upper Midwest. This largemouth fishing is what I grew up doing. It’s really similar.”

According to Redington, there are still largemouths in all three phases of the spawn, likely due to the inconsistent weather this spring and fluctuating water temperatures around the lake. He caught some that he thinks were on beds, some guarding fry and some still coming in to prepare to spawn. 

While Redington would like to find a wad of postspawners – the kind of fish he says he can Power-Pole down on and load the boat with – most of what he’s found has been less predictable and a little more scattered. 

“I would say it’s not a location pattern, and it’s not a lure pattern; it’s a spot deal,” Redington adds.

Critical to his limit was a pair of 4 1/2-pounders. He spent part of the day trying to catch another and upgrade, but when he was pitching back 3 1/2-pound fish, Redington decided to let his best waters rest and save the fish for the coming days.

He’ll start Friday’s cut-day round tied for second with John Voyles.

 

John Voyles

2. John Voyles – Petersburg, Ind. – 20-7 (5)

Indiana pro John Voyles reversed the trend set by the other two pros at the top of the standings and weighed in four smallmouths and one 4-pound largemouth that he caught right at the end of the day.

“I caught some fish early, and then I fished for two or three hours and finally pulled on a spot, and, I mean, it was lights out,” he says.

The smallies Voyles found were schooling and feeding aggressively. He caught them every cast for a while.

“I hope they keep coming,” he adds. “What I caught them on today, I hadn’t even been throwing in practice.”

Voyles says he just had a feeling that he needed to pick up something different to try and get a bigger bite. His feeling was right on. 

Tomorrow, he’ll see if the spot can produce similar results to get him into the weekend within range of a W. 

“There are a lot of fish there,” he says of his main spot. “I don’t know how many big ones are there, but we’re going to find out tomorrow.”

 

Casey Scanlon

4. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 20-0 (5)

Casey Scanlon, who was the fourth pro to crack 20 pounds, was in the “all largemouth” club today. 

“I just kind of bounced around,” he says. “I had several different places I had some confidence in. I didn’t get bit very good early and made a few small adjustments and started catching them. I didn’t catch them out of any one area; just kind of bounced around and got some of the right bites. I’ve got some stuff left that I didn’t touch. I think, hopefully, some of these spots will reload.”

Scanlon is incorporating three patterns into his game plan, each one based on the type of cover he encounters in the parts of the lake he’s fishing. Covering water and throwing a variety of baits, he says, was key. 

 

Kurt Mitchell

5. Kurt Mitchell – Milford, Del. – 19-15 (5)

Lake Champlain has Delaware pro Kurt Mitchell feeling right at home this week. He also weighed in five largemouths and has been committed to the green fish all week long.

“This is just on the tail end of the smallmouth spawn, and that’s usually when the smallmouth start dropping off a little bit,” he says. “Plus, I love fishing for largemouth up here. This is my favorite place in the world to catch largemouth.”

Mitchell says most of the largemouth bass are postspawn.

“Right now they’re just trying to feed up,” he adds. “They’re gorging on big shad, and there’s a little bit of an alewife spawn going on. They’re all going up in that stuff.

“It’s easy to catch small ones, but to get the bigger ones you’ve got to work for it a little bit.”

Mitchell basically weighed in a bag full of 4-pounders by keying on a mixture of rock and grass – not just one or the other. 

“The biggest deal with largemouth is getting a kicker. I didn’t get a kicker today,” he adds. “There’s a lot of 5- and 6-pound largemouth in this lake, and I just didn’t get one today.” 

 

Top 10 pros

1. Tyler Stewart – West Monroe, La. – 22-3 (5)

2. Tom Redington – Royse City, Texas – 20-7 (5)

2. John Voyles – Petersburg, Ind. – 20-7 (5)

4. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 20-0 (5)

5. Kurt Mitchell – Milford, Del. – 19-15 (5)

6. Hensley Powell – Whitwell, Tenn. – 19-14 (5)

7. Daryl Biron – South Windsor, Con. – 19-12 (5)

8. Jeff Dobson – Bartlesville, Okla. – 19-9 (5)

9. Tommy Dickerson – Orange, Texas – 19-8 (5)

10. Kurt Dove – Del Rio, Texas – 19-5 (5)

Complete results

Tags: curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2019-06-27-lake-champlain 

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 2

Four of the top seven anglers in the Angler of the Year points race for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits made the top-10 cut, and three of them – Scott Dobson, Casey Smith and Wayne Vaughan – are in the top five with real chances at winning both the tournament and AOY. READ MORE »

Kelley Grabs Lead with 43 Pounds

Kelley Grabs Lead with 43 Pounds

Down near Ogdensburg, N.Y. – roughly 45 miles from takeoff – was the area on day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale presented by Gajo Baits, as the majority of the top bags came from there. A day later, it was the anglers who ran 75 miles or more down to Clayton, N.Y., and beyond who scored big, while the Ogdensburg bunch either capitalized in small windows or not at all. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Moving and transitioning fish, changing winds, long runs that didn’t always pan out and a 1-ounce lead at the top. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, certainly hasn’t lacked storylines. READ MORE »

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

There were no 25-pound mega-bags coming across the stage at weigh-in of the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division. The event on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, hasn’t been the slugfest many expected after one day of fishing. There were still plenty of 20-pound bags, though, and the St. Lawrence on a bad day is still a tremendous fishery. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River opened to perfect conditions for anyone looking to burn some gas. Yes, it was a crisp 40 degrees at takeoff, but it was clear and calm. In fact, the current is ripping so hard it’s keeping the river as flat as most anglers have ever seen. Most pros should’ve been able to run all 95 miles to Lake Ontario (and into the lake if they wanted to) with little trouble. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Matt Reed

Check-in Time: Matt Reed

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Texas pro Matt Reed.  READ MORE »

Seal Sticks to River

Seal Sticks to River

Zackery Seal of Findley Lake, New York, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division super-tournament at the 1000 Islands Sunday. Seal earned $6,066 for his efforts. The Northeast Division is presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division super-tournament on the James River Sunday. Elrod earned $3,542 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob super-tournament on Lake of the Ozarks Sunday. For his victory, Fitzpatrick earned $6,891 for his efforts. READ MORE »

No. 6 for Schroeder

No. 6 for Schroeder

Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Kentucky, brought a two-day total of seven bass to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division super-tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Schroeder earned $6,122 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division super-tournament on Watts Bar Lake Sunday. Murray earned $7,334 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, added another BFL victory to his impressive resume Sunday, bringing a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell. Rampey earned $5,665 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Jim Leary of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division super-tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Cortland Line Sunday. Leary earned $5,869 for his efforts. READ MORE »

7 Ways to Fish the Megabass Dark Sleeper

7 Ways to Fish the Megabass Dark Sleeper

The Megabass Dark Sleeper is definitely a niche bait that most bass anglers ought to have in their arsenal. It’s a swimbait, but its size, shape, dorsal fin hook guards and action allow it to be applied in a similar manner as a jig. READ MORE »

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

In April, FLW Associate Editor Justin Onslow documented how Gross likes to cut the belly of his two favorite hollow swimbaits – the Scottsboro and the Zoom Swimmer – when rigging on a weedless hook to achieve a high hook-up ratio. However, that article didn’t break down where and why Gross prefers to use the Beast Flashy Swimmer hook versus a standard weighted, weedless swimbait hook. So we reached out to Gross for more info. READ MORE »

How to Make a Swimbait a Line-Thru

How to Make a Swimbait a Line-Thru

Jake Lawrence thinks the line-thru swimbait is more versatile than many tournament anglers realize. The Kentucky Lake and Pickwick guide and 2018 Costa FLW Series Lake Barkley champion frequently chucks one any time bass are shallow to not only put big fish in the boat, but to catch five good ones in a day. READ MORE »

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Bill Humbard of New Market, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Cherokee Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts on the water, Humbard took home $6,337. READ MORE »

Youngstown Wins on Erie

Youngstown Wins on Erie

The Youngstown State University duo of Jeffrey Jardine of Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots of McDonald, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds even. The victory earned the Penguins’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championshi READ MORE »

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Charles Williams of Clarksville, Arkansas, won this weekend’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Lake Dardanelle presented by Navionics after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Williams took home $4,868. READ MORE »

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Mark Shadowens of Kiefer, Oklahoma, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. For his finish, Shadowens pocketed $5,704. READ MORE »