UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American.

Complete results  

Thanks to 12 bass worth 31 pounds, Myers can finally cross qualifying for the All-American off his bucket list.

Myers is a long-time BFL Great Lakes Division competitor, having fished events since 2005. Along the way, he has competed in several BFL Regionals, including several at this year’s venue. A change in his approach is what he attributes to his success this time around.

“I am a deep-water finesse angler, and I always tried to make it work on Kentucky Lake, and it never does for me. This time I abandoned that and committed to shallow water,” says Myers, who won last year’s FLW Tour stop on Lake St. Clair as a co-angler.

He spent two days practicing for the event with fellow Great Lakes Division angler Matt Finkeldei who fished the event as a co-angler. They split their time with the first day near New Johnsonville and the following day around Paris. 

“We only had a handful of bites the first day, but they were all in a short period in the same area. The second day, we caught some around Paris, but they were skinny and sick looking and I knew they wouldn’t weigh much,” he says.

After what he found in practice, he committed to making the long run each day to New Johnsonville. What he had found was a backwater slough off the main river channel with a shallow flat and a ditch running through it. In this area were scattered stumps, wood, and, most importantly, bass feeding on baitfish. 

The first day Myers made the hour-long run to his winning location, put the trolling motor down, and then never picked it up the rest of the day. 

“I was fishing a bone-colored Heddon Super Spook and caught five fish, about one every hour. I had my limit at 12:30 and then went searching for new areas,” he says.

Myers fished the topwater on a Falcon Rods 6’10” heavy “Head Turner” rod paired with an 8.5:1 Shimano Curado K. Myers spooled it with 30-pound PowerPro braided line with a short 15-pound Berkley Trilene Big Game monofilament leader.

The second day brought different conditions, and he was only able to muster two fish for 4-5.

“I caught a 13-inch spotted bass right away, and then it went dead. The first day they were hitting my topwater aggressively, but on the second day, they were coming up and rolling on it and missing it,” Myers recalls.

Around midday, he noticed shad being pushed near the bank, and he edged his trolling motor as far as it could go in the shallow water. Myers then made a long cast with a bone-colored River2Sea Whopper Plopper 90 and hooked a 3-pounder. Then, near the end of the day, he broke off a solid keeper on a finesse jig, which gave him a clue for the final day.

Myers found himself in 8th place going into the third day. The morning arrived with less fog, and that allowed him to get to his area much more quickly than he had the previous two days. Myers also changed his approach to getting into the backwater. He attributed these two factors for a better morning bite that led to his come-from-behind win.

“There were two ways to get in, and I went in the opposite direction of how I had been entering, and that allowed me to get to the prime areas much sooner. When I got there, I caught two spotted bass in the first 15 minutes, and the caught a largemouth close to six pounds shortly afterward,” Myers says.

With three quick fish in the livewell, Myers assured himself that his All-American berth was sewed up and committed to finishing out his tournament in the backwater.

He added one more spotted bass on a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper and then went back to the log where he broke off a bass the previous day and added a 3-pounder on a jig. 

“I was using a Lethal Weapon Lethal Bug in green pumpkin/orange with a green pumpkin  Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw. That is my ultimate confidence lure. I use it everywhere,” he says.

When asked for the key to his victory, Myers had two answers.

“The first thing was picking the right area of the lake. I knew that place had big fish potential,” he says. “The other key was that there are more spotted bass on that end of the lake. In low weight tournaments like this one, they really help, and that was part of the strategy.”

Out of his 12 keeper bass, eight were largemouths, and four were spotted bass.

 

Sam Caron

Caron Rides PB to Second 

Pleasant Lake, Michigan’s Sam Caron, has been traveling to Kentucky Lake over the past several years for a variety of different tournaments, and he used that knowledge to develop a plan going into this event, where he ended up in second place with eight bass for 28-0.

He keyed on a typical Kentucky Lake pattern of fishing shallow bars with topwater baits and was able to locate several productive locations between Kenlake and Paris during his four days of practice.

“I realized that not all shallow bars are created equal; you couldn't just cast to any of them and catch fish. After the first day of practice, I was able to refine what I was looking for and look for bars with baitfish present,” says Caron.

He realized that whenever he caught a bass, small one to two-inch shiners were present, and not threadfin or gizzard shad. With that in mind, he narrowed down his locations for the tournament.

The first day Caron brought in just two bass for 5-5, but he was not discouraged.

“Usually, when you bring in five pounds, you are in 90th place or worse, but with how tough things were, I was sitting in 34th place. I knew I still had a chance,” says Caron.

Both of his bass came on walking topwater baits that he relied on throughout all three days of competition. A Berkley Cane Walker and Evergreen Shower Blows 125 in emerald shiner. He used both the bone and maverick color Cane Walker during the tournament.

“I would rotate between the different color baits based on water clarity and sunlight,” he says.

On the second day of the event, Caron had three fish in the livewell when 1 o’clock rolled around, and shortly afterwards he landed the biggest bass of his life.

“That fish weighed 8-11, and it is my new personal best,” he says.

The fish of his lifetime anchored his four-fish bag weighing 16-15, which was also the biggest single-day catch of the tournament. Heading into the final day, Caron lead the event by one ounce.  

For the third day, he continued to target the shallow bars and was able to catch two more bass for 5-12 to finish up in second place.

Throughout the tournament, he would cycle through the different shallow bars that he had found. They all had water less than three feet deep, and as the event wore on, he narrowed his locations down to just four spots.

“I fished more places the first day, but several of the places got muddied up. By the second and third day, I was rotating through four key areas that were 200-yard stretches,” he says. “My primary area was a 50-yard stretch that I kept going up and down every day.”

 

Kerry Frey

Frey Sticks to Topwater

Kerry Frey of Middlebury Ind., is still a little surprised that he was able to finish third at the BFL Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. The first day he brought in four bass for 13-1, and he followed that up with two for 7-2 on day two. On the final day, he weighed three bass for 7-7, bringing his total to 27-10 on nine bass for the tournament.

“I don’t know how I pulled it off after the practice I had. It took me almost two full days of practice before I finally caught a bass,” Frey says.

That bite gave him a clue, and he was able to expand on it the rest of practice. What he found was that topwater was the only thing working for him. Frey found two areas, one for keeper bass and another that produced two 5-pound bass for him during the event.

“I found a channel swing with a little ledge in three to five feet of water that the bass were using to push baitfish. I was able to catch numbers of fish there but nothing big,” says Frey. “Later in the day, I would go to a shallow flat and try for a big one.”  

The key to his finish, according to Frey, was sticking with his topwater plan.

“I just put my head down and fished topwater. Each day was a little different, and I used different baits each day,” he says.

On the first day, a Heddon Super Spook Jr. in chrome/black back was the top producer until he stuck a five-pound bass on the River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130 in Bone. On day two, it was the Whopper Plopper in monkey butt. On the final day, a ¼-ounce buzzbait with a 3.3-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT in electric shad was the ticket, and he fished the bait without a skirt.

Still riding high from his finish, Frey is excited about his chance to fish the All-American.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, and I am just starting to realize the accomplishment of getting to fish that event,” he says.

 

 Lenny Bays

Bays Goes Wire-to-Wire for co-angler W

Going into the Regional, Lenny Bays knew what he was up against at Kentucky Lake.

“I knew it was going to be tough with how the fishing has been on Kentucky Lake lately, and I figured that whoever could make the most casts would win this event,” he says.

Bays also had some additional motivation this week as he recently lost his mother, Judy Bays, which forced him to miss his division’s Super Tournament. Luckily, he was high enough in points that the missed event only dropped him to 27th and allowed him to qualify for a shot at the Regional. 

“I made up my mind that I was going to fish harder than anyone else this week. My mom was definitely looking over me for this event, and this win is dedicated to her,” says Bays.

While practicing for the event with Eric Moore, he was able to catch a few fish on a buzzbait recommended by his brother Michael Bays. He stuck with it, and it allowed him to lead after the first day with four bass for 11-4 while fishing with Michigan Division boater Jamie Elliott. 

Three of the bass fell for a black Accent Jacob Wheeler Finesse Buzzbait with a matching King Rage Twin Tail Menace attached in place of the skirt. The fourth came on a Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer in the spot remover color with a 3.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbait in sexy shad serving as the trailer.

“We were targeting sandy banks that had some wind, but still protected from heavy winds. If I missed one on the buzzbait, I would follow it with the Jack Hammer, and that is how I caught one of my fish,” said Bays. 

After finding himself in the lead after the first day, he was even more committed to the buzzbait when day two rolled around. He was paired with Rober Lefere, also of Michigan. He landed one bass for 2-7, but remained in the lead. 

On the third and final day, Bays was paired with Sam Caron, another boater from the Michigan Division. At approximately 8:30 a.m., he had his only bite for the day, but it was a big one. While fishing a bone-colored Heddon Super Spook over a shallow bar, he landed a 5-11 bass that was the difference-maker in his victory.

“It came up and smoked it. We weren’t sure how big it was at the time, but I knew it was a really good fish,” Bays says.  

Bays is happy to be headed to the All-American. 

“This is my first time qualifying, and I am still shocked that it happened,” he says. “All of my boaters were from Michigan, and they were all great anglers and even better people. It was a magical week.”

Tags: tyler-brinks  headline-story  2019-10-17-kentucky-barkley 

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 »

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 »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Iowa's Myers Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes presented by Evinrude

Iowa's Myers Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes presented by Evinrude

BUCHANAN, Tenn. – Boater Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, brought a three-day total of 12 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds even to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes presented by Evinrude Saturday. For the win, Myers earned $70,000, including a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude... READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »