UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front
James Watson

James Watson has been in this position twice before. He’s just hoping for a different final day this third time.

The Lampe, Mo., pro sat in third going into the final day of the previous two Costa FLW Series Central Division events on Lake of the Ozarks. Then everything went wrong both times, as he failed to catch a limit on either final day in 2017 or 2018, falling to 10th and seventh, respectively.

Complete results

Top five patterns from day one

Now, this time, he’s leading the event, which is presented by Evinrude, by 2 ounces with 33 pounds, 1 ounce total and he’s just praying for a different outcome.

“The last two years I stubbed my toe on the final day,” says Watson, who weighed in 16-4 today to pair with his 16-13 yesterday. “And I don’t want to do that this time.”

Circumstances presented every opportunity for him to stub his toe today, actually. His boat broke down upon reaching his second spot of the morning, and he had to call a friend to help him out.

“If it wasn’t for Randy Terrell, I would’ve lost three hours of fishing today,” says Watson. “He’s a buddy of mine, and he’s a terrible fisherman, but he lent me his boat. So I can’t thank him enough.”

Because he had to wait around for the on-site repair team to fix his boat, Watson was forced to hunker down close to takeoff and beat up on some areas with a new Tackle HD buzzbait he’s designing with them. Just so happens, while doing so he was able to catch his biggest fish that went over 5 pounds.

Finally, around 1 p.m., Watson was back in his own boat with two fish in his livewell – the kicker and a squeaker that “wasn’t worth weighing in” – and that’s when his day turned around quick.

“I picked up my buzzbait and I went to town on them,” says Watson. “It was all about timing. My best bite has been happening in the afternoon. So I got to my area around 2 p.m. and it was slow, but at 2:30 p.m. it was game on.”

Now, this big question is will the afternoon, or any bite, turn on tomorrow if the weather forecast holds, as Mother Nature has played a significant factor throughout the tournament. Tomorrow brings the tail-end of a cold front, with the forecast calling for freezing takeoff temperatures, bluebird skies and high pressure. In other words, pretty tough conditions.

Fortunately, Watson has plenty of experience fishing those conditions in the Ozarks, and he’s certainly hoping to lean on his experience.

“[My experience] will help big time,” says Watson about facing tomorrow’s conditions. “It’s going to be tough. I’ll have to slow down even more, but the fact I have the history here gives me a lot of confidence that when I’m throwing my bait, I’m throwing it in the right places.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. James Watson – Lampe, Mo. – 33-1 (10)

2. Dale Andrews – Jay, Okla. – 32-15 (9)

3. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 31-4 (10)

4. Dylan Hays – El Dorado, Ark. – 29-8 (10)

5. Lance Williams – Billings, Mo. – 29-0 (10)

6. Cory Steckler – Rocky Mount, Mo. – 28-9 (10)

7. James Dill – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 28-5 (10)

8. Ladd Shannon – Atkins, Ark. – 28-4 (8)

9. Brian Maloney – Osage Beach, Mo. – 28-3 (10)

10. Ben Verhoef – Osage Beach, Mo. – 27-15 (8)

 

Roger Olson Jr

Olson takes command on the co-angler side

Roger Olson Jr. is a long way from Eagle River, Wis., but he’s certainly feeling right at home with how he’s been fishing this week.

Olson brought in the biggest co-angler limit of the tournament – 15-2 – on day two to help build on the 9-2 he weighed yesterday (which was only for two bass). The result was a jump into the lead by almost 3 pounds with 24-8 total.

“Today was just a really good day,” says Olson. “Yesterday I had two good bites and missed one, but today I had five good bites and caught them all.”

After fishing out deeper with pro Dustin Evans on Thursday, Olson drew Kent Priel today, who was fishing up against the bank. Yet, despite the location change, his tactics did not.

“I’ve caught all my fish on a shaky head both days,” he says. “I’ve switched around from a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm to a Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm; the standard fair out here. Everything the locals catch them on is what I’ve caught them on.”

One thing Olson says that really helped him was how accommodating Priel was after the pro weighed in only two fish yesterday.

“He knew he wasn’t in it,” adds Olson. “So he gave me a lot of water to fish. I couldn’t have asked for a better draw.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Roger Olson Jr. – Eagle River, Wis. – 24-8 (7)

2. Jamie Eynard – Jefferson City, Mo. – 21-11 (10)

3. Erick Fernengel – Lake Waukomis, Mo. – 20-11 (8)

4. Justin Hake – Conway, Ark. – 18-3 (6)

5. Rob Crane – Fairview Heights, Ill. – 17-12 (8)

6. Ryan Jobe – De Soto, Kan. – 17-10 (8)

7. Joe Tucker – Osceola, Mo. – 17-8 (7)

8. Andrew Hegerty – Colgate, Wis. – 17-6 (8)

9. Joe Lee – Midlothian, Texas – 16-3 (7)

10. Justin Layton – Forsyth, Mo. – 15-11 (7)

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2019-10-10-lake-of-the-ozarks 

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

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 »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

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

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

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 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Andre Dickneite of Freeburg, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Dickneite earned a total of $3,794. READ MORE »

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Boater Mike Wallis of Hallsville, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Wallis earned a total of $5,009. READ MORE »

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Boater Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hamilton. For his victory, Houchin earned $13,460, which includes the lucrative FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency payout. READ MORE »

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Honnerlaw Nets Big O Title

Boater Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla.,brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Gator Division Super-Tournament at Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Honnerlaw earned $6,817. READ MORE »

Amerson Wins First BFL

Amerson Wins First BFL

Boater Keith Amerson of Bethel Springs, Tenn.,, brought a two-day total of six bass to the scale weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine LBL Division Super-Tournament at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. For his victory, Amerson earned $5,376. READ MORE »

Morgan Wins No. 3

Morgan Wins No. 3

Boater Brian Morgan of Mooresville, N.C., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine North Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Lake Norman. Morgan earned a total of $5,831 for his victory – his third win of the year in the North Carolina Division. READ MORE »

Smith Scores Close to Home

Smith Scores Close to Home

Boater Michael M. Smith of Andalusia, Ala., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bama Division Super-Tournament at Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Smith earned $6,329. READ MORE »

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

The dock talk all week at the Potomac River for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again today as the wind help stall the tide making things tough for most of the top 10. James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from second to first with 40 pounds, 11 ounces overall. For the win, Maupin earns his first FLW trophy and over $24,000.  READ MORE »

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

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 »