UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Scanlon Wins it at Ti
Casey Scanlon

Coming into the 2019 FLW Tour finale at Lake Champlain, Casey Scanlon figured he needed to finish 12th or better to lock up a berth in the FLW Cup. He’d previously strung together four consecutive finishes of 90th place or worse leading up to the Champlain event, which was presented by T-H Marine, and he knew he had to turn it around on a lake that he’d never been to before, where weights are notoriously close throughout the standings and anglers constantly weigh the odds of targeting smallmouths or largemouths. 

Despite the complexities of a Champlain tournament and his inexperience on the fishery, Scanlon rattled off four days worth of consecutive quality stringers to rally his season and earn his first FLW Tour win and a spot at the Cup on Lake Hamilton come August.

Complete results

Top 10 baits 

Top 10 patterns 

“Man, I needed it,” Scanlon says. “I’m not that old, but I’ve been at it a long time. I’ve been fishing tournaments since I was 15. It’s not easy out here, and days like this make it all worth it.”

The Missouri pro made the 50-minute run to Ticonderoga every day to target largemouths in the shallow, murky waters of Champlain’s southern end. For three days, all of the pros that ran to Ti, including seven of the top 10, enjoyed mild winds and smooth water on the way down and back. Today, getting to Ti was easy, but getting home involved a battering ride against a stiff north wind that riled up the big Northern fishery. 

Scanlon had to leave Ti at 1:15 to make it back in time for the 3:30 check-in with a limit weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. His four-day total of 76-2 beat runner-up Eric Jackson’s weight by 1 pound, 11 ounces.

Casey Scanlon

The biggest key to Scanlon’s win was his willingness to adjust each day to stay on the fish. Early in the tournament, most of his bass came off shallow rock inside of a milfoil edge. Yet, each day he caught more fish from the grass. By Sunday, all of his keepers were caught in the grass.

In order to stay consistent, the champ mixed up his presentations with a handful of rods and visited a half-dozen or so areas within a few miles of Fort Ticonderoga.

“I did junk it up a little bit, but I got myself in some decent areas, and I tried to make the most out of them by switching baits and trying some different stuff throughout the tournament,” Scanlon adds.

Each morning, he started on a pair of main-lake points along Champlain’s eastern shoreline. The points were swept by current, and together they comprised his primary area.

“My primary area was just a place that I had gotten a few good bites in practice,” he says. “Basically, in practice they were keying in on rocks on the inside of the grass line, and they were on every point, it seemed like, down the lake.

“You could see the current coming around the corner. They were obviously using the current to feed, and there was bait there, which was a big key. You’d see a lot of activity in the grass. That’s probably the main reason those fish were there.”

The first three mornings, Scanlon was able to put together early limits, but today started off slower. He didn’t catch any on his starting spot. 

“Today I showed up to my primary area and nothing was working,” he says. “I could pretty much call my shots there the first three days, and I never got a bite there today. I just put my head down, put the trolling motor down, fished hard and ended up with a good bag.”

The fish that sealed the deal was a 4-pound bass that Scanlon caught while ripping a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white Z-Man ChatterBait with a white soft jerkbait trailer through scattered milfoil just 10 minutes before he pulled the trolling motor and started the harrowing ride back north. 

The ChatterBait probably produced most of Scanlon’s weight throughout four days. He fished it on rock and through scattered milfoil, pumping the rod to rip the bait free of the vegetation.

Casey Scanlon

“I was looking more for isolated patches of milfoil; not the huge stretches, and it was basically to make it easier on myself,” he says.

He used a Luck-E-Strike Series 3 (green copper shad) square-bill crankbait on the rocks and in looser grass. A few fish early in the tournament bit a Luck-E-Strike Pow Stik rigged with either a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce Bass Pro Shops tungsten weight or a black and blue Bass Pro Shops tube – his only two bottom baits. 

Scanlon tossed around a walking topwater bait only when he saw some surface activity on his primary point. The last tactic that worked was swimming a 1/2-ounce Trophy Swim Jig made by Scanlon’s own business, Trophy Bass Company, through lily pads and pencil reeds in very shallow water.

“That bite was not there for me yesterday, but it was there the first two days, and I caught a couple on it today,” he says. “I think what was happening is the fish were spawning in the lily pads and pencil reeds – just in the little holes in them – but I think less and less of them were there each day.” 

By tournament’s end, it was clear that Ticonderoga was the place to be in this year’s Champlain showdown. Six of the top seven fished at Ti, as did Tyler Stewart, who led for three days and eventually finished ninth. 

Largemouths won out over the north end’s spawning smallmouths. To finish at the top of the pack, Scanlon exhibited a tremendous amount of focus. He fired casts repeatedly and wasted little time throughout competition hours. He also fished to his strengths and eventually made all the right adjustments.

Scanlon did what winners do, and now he’s $100,000 richer for it.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 76-2 (20) – $102,700

2. Eric Jackson – Walling, Tenn. – 74-7 (20) – $30,000

3. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 73-15 (20) – $25,100

4. Christopher Brasher – Longview, Texas – 73-15 (20) – $20,000

5. Hensley Powell – Whitwell, Tenn. – 73-12 (20) – $19,000

6. Daryl Biron – South Windsor, Con. – 72-6 (20) – $18,000

7. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 72-4 (20) – $17,000

8. AJ Slegona – Pine Bush, N.Y. – 71-9 (20) – $16,000

9. Tyler Stewart – West Monroe, La. – 68-10 (19) – $15,000

10. Tom Redington – Royse City, Texas – 62-3 (18) – $14,000

Complete results

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

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

In what had to be an ironic sight, while Cox watched others around him beat Sam Rayburn’s shallow brush, the DeBary, Fla., pro sacked up 21 pounds, 7 ounces and take the day one lead by focusing out deeper with a crankbait to kick off the new Pro Circuit season. READ MORE »

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn provided plenty of fish, but none of the mega-bags that hit the scale in 2019. As is often the case, John Cox is in the lead after day one, with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Behind him, are a strong collection of tour veterans, up-and-coming pros and local talent. In second with 21-4 is Greg Bohannan and close behind him is Darold Gleason with 21-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season is officially underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas. With the new season comes some fresh faces and familiar favorites, all of whom are looking to get a head start on the rest of the field in the 2020 Angler of the Year points standings. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the first stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

At the registration meeting for this week’s Pro Circuit season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, FLW announced that Daniel had been promoted to senior director of tournament operations for the Pro Circuit, FLW Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League, with responsibilities to include directing the Pro Circuit. Bill Taylor, who served as tournament director for the FLW Tour from 2001 through 2019, has been promoted to senior director of operations, where he’ll lend his expertise acquired through more than two decades as a tournament director toward logistics, angler relations and event planning for all FLW circuits. READ MORE »

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Big Prespawn Potential at Toledo Bend

Big Prespawn Potential at Toledo Bend

Toledo Bend is a legendary reservoir that straddles the border between Texas and Louisiana. It spans some 65 miles along the impounded Sabine River, which runs north to south, and sprawls across about 185,000 acres at full pool. Though Toledo Bend has a number of major tributaries along its length, the bulk of the reservoir is its straight, wide-open main-lake span. READ MORE »

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

According to FLW Pro Circuit angler Tim Frederick, who’s lived in Florida since he was 4 years old, one of the most important factors for successfully locating both spawning and staging bass in the coming weeks is bottom hardness. In most situations, the harder the bottom the better, but there’s more to it than that. READ MORE »

Gator Division Kicking off at St. Johns River

Gator Division Kicking off at St. Johns River

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League’s popular Gator Division, which is presented by A.R.E., kicks off its 2020 season on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the St. Johns River near Palatka, Fla. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

When FLW pro Alex Davis isn’t hunting trophy bucks in the fall, he spends a lot of days fishing for big bass that are binging on shad in the reservoirs of north Alabama. In particular, fall is a killer time to fish jerkbaits with high-speed, aggressive tactics in clear-water reservoirs for spotted bass – for both size and numbers. READ MORE »

Why You Should Crank Current Breaks Now

Why You Should Crank Current Breaks Now

“It’s almost like a wintertime pattern already,” Salzman says. “It’s kind of interesting. Because it’s been so hot and then so cold, the fish kind of got into the mouths of the creeks this year and never fully pushed into them. The majority of the bait is on the main lake on every lake in Alabama. The water temp was falling so quickly that the back bays were too cold, so the most stable water is on the main lake.” READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Smallmouths dominated at the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Oklahoma’s Andrew Upshaw led the way with brown bass caught on a jig and a Ned rig on bluff bank transitions in the reservoir’s lower end. Behind him, only a couple of pros hedged their bets on targeting largemouths. The rest fished for smallies and considered green bass to be bonus fish and spotted bass to be limit fillers on the tough days. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

In classic Southern smallmouth fashion, crankbaits and jigs dominated the top 10 at Lake Cumberland during the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. The only exceptions were a few finesse baits and the tackle used by two pros who targeted largemouths. Here’s what worked. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »