UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Vaughan Gets Dream Win on St. Lawrence

Vaughan Gets Dream Win on St. Lawrence

He’s only been fishing for them for maybe 5 years, but Wayne Vaughan is eaten up with smallmouth. 

“They’ve become a burning desire for me,” says the Chester, Va., pro. “I absolutely love them. I make five, six trips a year up north to fish for them.”

Well, this is one smallmouth trip he won’t soon forget. Making a key adjustment on the final day, Vaughan turned a small limit into a tournament-winning 20-pound, 11-ounce stringer to take home the victory in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits. 

“Winning a Costa has been my dream all along,” admits Vaughan, who turned in a three-day weight of 63-5. “And to win it up here on smallmouth makes it even better.”

Winslow gets win on co-angler side

With so much water to fish, Vaughan focused the majority of his practice less on the geographic location and more on whether he was going to fish deep or shallow, as both were equal players for many of the top anglers in the field.

Ultimately, Vaughan made the decision to focus deep after catching a 6-pounder the final day of practice out in the depths of the St. Lawrence. 

“I mainly focused on the tips of island points in 20 to 50 feet of water,” explains Vaughan. “Anywhere with a lot of current.”

Current would play a key role in what ended up being his winning decision on Saturday.

Upon pulling up to his first stop of the morning, Vaughan noticed “slimy grass” floating in the water column, indicating to him that the current was significantly weaker than the previous two days.

“When I saw that, I knew I was in trouble,” says Vaughan. “If there’s one thing I know about smallmouth, it’s they like current.”

While he was able to scrape up a quick limit by 8 a.m., it didn’t weigh much. So, he decided to go fish a spot on the main channel where he knew there would be more current than near the islands (which are off the main channel). It was a spot he’d caught plenty of small fish in practice, but very little quality. 

“I pulled up and saw a big fish on my electronics,” says Vaughan. “I said ‘please don’t be a walleye,’ because I’d caught some big walleye out on the main channel in practice. It ended up being a 5-pound smallmouth. From then on, I knew I needed to stay on the main channel.”

Like he did all week, he then began bouncing around as much as he could – figuring he hit more than 20 spots a day between Morristown, N.Y., and Clayton, N.Y. – picking off a fish or two every so often. He didn’t catch many fish – maybe 10 – but they were the right quality to bring in the lone 20-pound bag of the day.

Considering he stayed deep all three days, Vauaghan weighed in every fish on a drop-shot with a 1/2-ounce weight and either a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Jerk Shad or Redbone-colored Z-Man Jerk ShadZ.

“Making the move to the main channel ended up being the biggest key for me,” says Vaughan, who was one of the few pros fishing deep who didn’t struggle on the final day. “Once I figured that out, I just ran new water and was able to relocate those bigger smallmouth.” 

 

Top 10 Pros

1. Wayne Vaughan – Chester, Va. – 63-5 (15) – $83,340

2. Scott Dobson – Clarkston, Mich. – 61-12 (15) – $14,199

3. A.J. Slegona – Pine Bush, N.Y. – 59-7 (15) – $11,115

4. Casey Smith – Macedon, N.Y. – 58-12 (15) – $9,096

5. Jason Burger – Bridgeton, N.J. –54-10 (14) – $8,186

6. Neil Deleeuw – Fenwick, On. – 54-4 (15) – $7,277

7. Ken Golub – Pittsford, N.Y. – 54-1 (14) – $7,967

8. Brian Hughes – Barrie, On. –,53-8 (15) – $5,458

9. Jonathan Kelley – Old Forge, Pa. – 50-4 (15) – $5,548

10. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 50-0 (15) – $3,638

Complete results

Tags: flw  bass-fishing  fishing-tournament  costa-flw-series  st-lawrence-river  sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2019-09-19-st-lawrence-river 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

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White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

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Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

La Crosse Selected to Host 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE Championship

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LA CROSSE, Wis. – FLW and Explore La Crosse announced Thursday that the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship, will be held Aug. 17-22, 2021, on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Although FLW’s top championship has been held on the Mississippi River once before... READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

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The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Pickwick Lake Named Host of 2021 Toyota Series Championship

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Toyota Series to Host Event on Lake Norman

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Douglas Lake Selected to Host 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship

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DANDRIDGE, Tenn. – FLW announced Tuesday that the 38th annual Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake in 2021. The tournament, scheduled for June 3-5, showcases the nation’s best weekend anglers and awards the winner a $120,000 cash award, but Jefferson... READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

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Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

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Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Grand Lake to Host 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship

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GROVE, Okla. – FLW announced Monday that the 12th annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship will be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in 2021. The tournament, slated for March 3-5, showcases the nation’s best collegiate anglers and awards the winners a... READ MORE »

Georgia’s Rockefeller Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Clarks Hill Lake

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MCCORMICK, S.C. – Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Georgia, brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned... READ MORE »

Great Falls’ Langford Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Smith Mountain Lake

Great Falls’ Langford Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Smith Mountain Lake

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Smithville’s Tramel Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Old Hickory Lake

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GALLATIN, Tenn. – Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tennessee, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of... READ MORE »

Tupelo’s Whitehead Earns Win at Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Pickwick Lake

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IUKA, Miss. – Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Mississippi, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942... READ MORE »

Sellersburg’s Sifers Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Rough River Lake

Sellersburg’s Sifers Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Rough River Lake

FALLS OF ROUGH, Ky. – Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Indiana, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total... READ MORE »