UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

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 

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

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Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

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Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

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Montevallo Takes College Open Title

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As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

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Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

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Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

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Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

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Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

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Houchin Gets Hamilton W

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Foutz Claims Chick Title

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Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

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Amerson Wins First BFL

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Morgan Wins No. 3

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Smith Scores Close to Home

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Maupin Takes Potomac Title

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Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

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The leaderboard definitely saw some shuffling on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, but Wayne Vaughan managed to keep the top spot thanks to another solid day. Weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces today, Vaughan’s total now stands at 31-10 and gives him a nearly 5-pound lead over second place. If he can put it together for one more day, Vaughan will take home his second Toyota Series title in just as many years. READ MORE »