UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Lake Erie

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Cup Top 10: Felix Keyed on Clear Water

Cup Top 10: Felix Keyed on Clear Water
Austin Felix

Eden Prairie, Minn., pro Austin Felix finished sixth in this year’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, but he’s convinced that if the engineers operating Blakely Mountain Dam had released water on a more consistent schedule, the results might have been even better for him. Felix spent most of the tournament keying on the clear waters of Hamilton’s upper end.

“If they’d have pulled water like they did the first day, I’m pretty confident it would’ve been won up there by either myself, Dakota [Ebare] or Scott [Martin],” Felix says, “just because there were so many nicer fish up there swimming around and actually feeding.”

Felix wasn’t relying on current to position fish in any particular way. Rather, he wanted cold, clear water. He thinks the bass living in that cold water had a slower metabolism and where therefore a bit heavier. And they just bit better where it was gin clear.

In practice, Felix found clear water about five miles downstream from the dam. Yet, every day of the tournament, due to the release being later each day, the clear-water line slid farther upstream. Felix had to adjust and move with it.

Austin Felix

“It was crystal clear up there during practice,” he says. “I was able to go down the bank, and you could see them cruising around up there. It just gave me confidence that there were fish there. But as the clear water moved, you had to move with it because either the fish wouldn’t bite in the dirty water or they just moved with the water.”

His weights slipped as a result. Felix weighed in 13 pounds, 5 ounces on day one, then followed with 9-4 and 7-13. His three-day total of 30-6 earned him his best Cup finish to date.

Felix spent most of the week fishing the main lake. While he had about four different patterns that he tested each day, on day one he did most of his damage skipping docks with a wacky-rigged 4-inch Yamamoto Senko and throwing to schoolers with a 2.8 Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbait on a 3/16-ounce All-Terrain Tackle Smallie Smasher Swimbait Head, which produced two nice fish. He also weighed in a 2 1/2-pounder from under a culvert.

On the second day, Felix made his adjustments, which included more brush pile fishing.

“I did some of that every day with a shaky head and that same swimmer,” he says. “I’d swim it over the top and get some of those fish that were sitting up high. They’d snatch at it once in a while. I never caught any good ones doing that, but on day two I filled out my limit doing that because I only had two at like 11 o’clock.”

Austin Felix

To start day three, Felix ran to within about a half mile of the dam to check the conditions.

“The water was still like 85 degrees and dirty. I knew they hadn’t started pulling water, so I bailed on it early and didn’t go up there until later in the day when they started pulling current,” he says.

Once he saw the conditions at the dam, Felix ran back to the culvert, where he quickly landed four keepers with a 5-inch Senko. He bounced around midday on some brush, but when he talked to Josh Douglas, Jeremy Lawyer and Jordan Osborne and found out they were all struggling in the brush, even though they were mostly committed to it all week, he decided to ditch the brush entirely.

Eventually, Felix ran back up to the clearer flowing waters and caught one more 2-pounder on a Senko. He says by the time the water started flowing, it was just too late. To make matters worse, when he ran back to his culvert that afternoon there was a cow standing in it.

All in all, Felix describes the tournament as a “super grind.” He knew several ways to catch fish, but it almost took a junk-fishing approach to figure out which way to catch them each day based on the conditions and the clear-water line.


Thrift's winning pattern 

Walters' second-place pattern 

Ebare's third-place pattern 

Lawyer's fourth-place pattern 

Martin's fifth-place pattern 

Webster's seventh-place pattern 

Salzman's eighth-place pattern 

Douglas's ninth-place pattern 

Osborne's tenth-place pattern 

Complete results

Tags: lake-hamilton  -flw-cup  -austin-felix  -senko  -keitech  curtis-niedermier  post-tournament  2019-08-09-flw-cup-lake-hamilton 

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Late summer on the Potomac is often tough fishing, so the contenders in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event had to pull out all the stops. Fishing everything from grass to docks and rocks, the anglers mixed up all sorts of power and finesse presentations to get the job done in the second stop of the season presented by Lowrance. READ MORE »

Curveballs at the Cup

Curveballs at the Cup

When the field of 52 anglers arrived in Hot Springs, Ark., for the official practice period for the 2019 FLW Cup, they were greeted with sunshine, humidity and brutal daytime temperatures in the upper 90s. Early in the week, there was little mention of anything other than the same – a typical Arkansas summer forecast of sunny and hot. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Osborne Fished Finesse

Cup Top 10: Osborne Fished Finesse

Osborne spent the early visit graphing for brush in Hamilton’s lower end. In practice, it was more of the same, as Osborne spent only a couple of hours beating the bank. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Douglas Fished Brush and a Buzzbait

Cup Top 10: Douglas Fished Brush and a Buzzbait

Minnesota pro Josh Douglas is regarded as an electronics expert. But while he put his Lowrance units to the test at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton to find offshore brush piles, even Douglas couldn’t resist spending some time in the mornings hunting shallow bass. READ MORE »

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift, of Shelby, North Carolina, the newest FLW Cup champion, will break down his career-defining week... READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Salzman Went Shallow to Deep

Cup Top 10: Salzman Went Shallow to Deep

Ryan Salzman earned an eighth-place finish at the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton with a well-executed two-part strategy. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Webster Wormed Brush

Cup Top 10: Webster Wormed Brush

Among the FLW Cup pros that committed the entire tournament to one pattern was Joseph Webster, who weighed in a three-day total of 28 pounds, 2 ounces at Lake Hamilton. He finished seventh. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Felix Keyed on Clear Water

Cup Top 10: Felix Keyed on Clear Water

Eden Prairie, Minn., pro Austin Felix finished sixth in this year’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, but he’s convinced that if the engineers operating Blakely Mountain Dam had released water on a more consistent schedule, the results might have been even better for him. Felix spent most of the tournament keying on the clear waters of Hamilton’s upper end. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Martin went up the River

Cup Top 10: Martin went up the River

Prior to practice, Scott Martin had no idea that the far upper end of Lake Hamilton, where the cold waters from the bottom of Lake Ouachita flow in through Blakely Mountain Dam, was such a drastically different mini-fishery within the reservoir. Then he started scouting it in practice and realized there was potential to win the tournament in the tailrace in areas where the water temperature was below 60 degrees. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Lawyer Mixes it Up for Fourth

Cup Top 10: Lawyer Mixes it Up for Fourth

Fourth-place pro Jeremy Lawyer was the highest finisher to utilize the shallow-early, brush-later strategy. Lawyer stacked together limits of 12 pounds, 1 ounce and 12-5 on the first two days to go into the final day in fourth place. He weighed in just 7 pounds on Sunday. READ MORE »

Green Has Experience of Lifetime at Cup

Green Has Experience of Lifetime at Cup

Winning $2,500 might be the highlight of a trip for a lot of people, but for Leroy Green, winner of the FLW Tour Marshal program at the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, the cash prize was secondary to the relationships he forged out on the water. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Ebare Fished the Tailrace

Cup Top 10: Ebare Fished the Tailrace

Most of the time, fishing Southern impoundments in August is all about slowly dragging worms through brush piles. That’s what Dakota Ebare planned to do at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. How he wound up catching enough fish to finish in third place felt more like Southern stream fishing. Ebare spent three days fishing the tailrace below Blakely Mountain Dam where the cold, clear waters drained through from the bottom of Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cup at Hamilton

Top 10 Baits from the Cup at Hamilton

While there weren’t too many patterns in play at the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., the nature of an August tournament in the South forced most of the top finishers to mix in a bunch of baits to catch their fish. Here’s what the top 10 used to catch schoolers and ply brush, docks and various types of shallow grass. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Walters Committed to Brush

Cup Top 10: Walters Committed to Brush

Coming into the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, Florida pro Kyle Walters figured the only chance he had to win was to stay away from the bank, where competing with the best in the sport was a tall order, and commit to finding as many brush piles as he could. READ MORE »

Thrift Goes Wire-to-Wire, Wins Professional Bass Fishing’s 2019 FLW Cup

Thrift Goes Wire-to-Wire, Wins Professional Bass Fishing’s 2019 FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces, Sunday to claim the title of FLW Cup Champion at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. Thrift, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 38 pounds, 7 ounces, won... READ MORE »

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Everyone knew it was only a matter of time, and that time is finally now. Bryan Thrift is an FLW Cup champion. READ MORE »

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Bryan Thrift has the lead with one day left to fish in the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. But to make it happen, he needs to hold off Kyle Walters, who's had a magical week so far, along with Scott Martin and a crew of other hammers. READ MORE »

What Happened to LeBrun?

What Happened to LeBrun?

Nick LeBrun cracked 15 pounds on day one of the FLW Cup by throwing a Whopper Plopper around docks and seawalls. Then he caught only two bass on day two. The Louisiana pro says he refused to change his approach on day two because he wanted to fish for the win. Though he failed, he says he wouldn't change a thing. READ MORE »

Thrift Extends Lead at Day Two of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

Thrift Extends Lead at Day Two of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Aug. 10, 2019) – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, crossed the stage with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces, for a two-day total... READ MORE »