UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland
Lane Olson

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point.

This week, Olson is set to compete east of the Rockies for the first time in his life, and next year, he’s planning on fishing the FLW Pro Circuit. Happily, Olson was more than willing to let me tag along for his last morning of practice on Lake Cumberland.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

After a brief mix-up about which ramp to meet at, Olson and I get together at the takeoff ramp and drop the boat in. It’s foggy this morning, but not nearly as socked in as Cumberland was on Monday, when it stayed thick in many places until nearly 11 a.m. After dunking the Ranger, Olson pulls a few rods out and ties up a fresh jig alongside Eric Urstad, a Washington angler who’s also part of the small group of Northwest anglers who made the journey to Cumberland.

Though Olson says he’s had a fairly tough practice thus far, Western anglers have a good, if limited, track record on Cumberland. Back in the fall of 2004, Brent Ehrler won the FLW Series Championship on Cumberland, and seven other Western pros made the top 25.

 

Lane Olson

Rigging done, Olson heads off up the river to get the final day of practice underway. As we idle out before getting on plane, I ask for his read on the lake.

“I like it, but I think the weather is throwing them off a little bit,” he says. “I’ve found some, but it feels like you catch them when you run into them. I feel like a lot of them are chasing bait, so if you pull up where they are, you’re probably going to wreck them.

“I don’t feel like I’m dialed in,” adds Olson, who finished in the top 10 twice this year. “I’ve still got a lot of rods on my deck. But, Lake Mead was the worst practice of my life, and I almost won that.”

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

After a decent run up the river, Olson sets down at the mouth of a creek and begins to work toward the back with a topwater. The water here is 67 degrees and fairly clear with a slight brown stain, and like most of Cumberland, it looks really good.

However, it doesn’t seem to be fishy this morning, as Olson manages to bounce his way from one side to the other all the way to the back without a bite.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

From there, Olson runs back down the river, eventually peeling off at a small pocket on a bluff. After probing it with a jig and a topwater, he continues down the bank, hitting little trees and other pieces of wood with a jig as he goes. This is Olson’s first day fishing up the river, rather than farther down the lake, so while he wants to find new things, he’s got a few clues to go on from previous days.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Pretty quickly, Olson misses a pair of bites, but he connects for the first fish of the day on the third try.

“That first one just swum off with it,” says Olson. “It might have been a largemouth; you usually feel those spots when they thump it.”

Still, the fish up here don’t seem to be giants for the most part, and after a bit more flipping, he rolls again.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Stopping at a bank with small rock leading into a pocket with a waterfall, Olson picks up his jig again and goes back to work. However, despite looking good and having more little trees than anywhere he’s fished so far, the pocket doesn’t produce.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

His next stop is the bridge just below takeoff. Olson idles around it once and then picks up a drop-shot to give it a try.

“We’ll fish it a bit,” he says. “It’d be neat to only have to burn a gallon of gas in the tournament.”

After working about two-thirds of the way around the piing, Olson decides to burn some gas – there’s nothing doing on the bridge.

 

Lane Olson

Running down the lake a bit more, Olson starts jumping around on a few different points, alternating between a topwater, a drop-shot and a swimbait. With the water so low, no grass to speak of and some finesse baits breaking out, the Western vibes are unmistakable. If he was catching fish, it’d be easy to see why Ehrler and the rest of the western crew had so much success back in ’04. However, he’s decidedly not catching fish, and the other boats doing the same stuff don’t seem to be either.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Next, Olson pokes his head into a short pocket off the main drag, and his topwater gets bit right away when he fires into the very back.

“He smoked it,” says Olson. “I thought he was a lot bigger, but he was right where it looks good. I think topwater is going to be good the first day.”

After unhooking the fish, which didn’t get any of the bait in its mouth (but still basically got all of the hooks), Olson straps his rods down and cranks up.

 

Lane Olson

On plane again, Olson begins running down the lake, poking his head into various pockets and dropping a waypoint when he sees what he likes. Before long, he’s added a half dozen dots to the map and is ready to try his hand at fishing again.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Olson sets down on the main lake and starts working back to an inflow, then picks up his jig again for some more little trees. Though it looks good, this water is more like the early morning stuff, and not quite the same makeup as the most recent pocket he hit.

It also doesn’t seem to have too many fish, and after a fruitless 20 minutes or so, Olson decides to pull the plug.

 

Lane Olson

Lane Olson

Running back to the ramp around noon, Olson actually wants to head back down toward the dam. He’s got a new plan in mind for the afternoon.

“I think I can catch them shallow on day one,” he says. “But, I’m gonna go down now. I want to go try to find more stuff deep in the lower end. I think that’s what you’re going to have to do on day two.”

And with that, I head for lunch and Olson heads off to try to find a few more fish on the other end of the lake.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament 

 Cox Commits to MLF

 Cox Commits to MLF

The announcement of the 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour roster finally makes it official: John Cox will fish the Bass Pro Tour and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Though some largemouth entered the mix by happenstance, you really had to drop down to Jayme Rampey in fourth place to find someone who made a dramatic adjustment to pursue largemouth. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Most of the fish weighed on Hartwell in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP were spotted bass. As such, a lot of finesse baits made the team. Still, a few anglers attempted to mix in largemouths to varying degrees, and even for spots, it wasn’t all spinning rods. READ MORE »

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is shaping up to be a nail-biter. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 2

All-American Midday Update – Day 2

Like day one, day two of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP has thrown a variety at the anglers. The day started with rain, which was heavy overnight, and tapered off after takeoff. Then, cloudy and slick conditions set in. Now, it’s turned into a perfect day, with puffy clouds, lots of sun and a nice breeze. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 1

All-American Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP hasn’t been quite as wet as anticipated, but it’s still offered far from ideal conditions for offshore fishing on Hartwell. So far this morning, nobody has distanced themselves, but there’s still plenty of time before weigh-in. READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Breaking Down the All-American Roster

Breaking Down the All-American Roster

One of the longest-running championships in bass fishing, the All-American is often considered to be the pinnacle of the grassroots level and has launched the careers of anglers like Shaw Grigsby, Jacob Wheeler, Jeremy Lawyer and many more throughout the years. READ MORE »

Previewing the All-American

Previewing the All-American

Originally set for the beginning of May, the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is now slated for November 11-13 on Lake Hartwell. The All-American brings together the best of the best from the Phoenix Bass Fishing League ranks as well as top anglers from the TBF, college and high school ranks.  READ MORE »

Curtis Locks Up Southwestern AOY

Curtis Locks Up Southwestern AOY

This year, things lined up for Curtis to fish a full season of Toyota Series competition for just the fourth time since 2011 (when he finished fifth in the points). With a pair of top fives and a 16th place showing at the finale on Sam Rayburn, Curtis cruised to the Strike King Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »

Previewing Dale Hollow

Previewing Dale Hollow

When the Toyota Series Central Division wraps up its season on Dale Hollow Lake next week – a lake known for its smallmouth fishing, thanks in big part for producing the world record smallmouth back in 1955 – its anglers probably won’t be weighing in masses of brown fish. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

The top finishers in the recent Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn caught the lake when the shallow bite was just picking up. Sticking shallow around hydrilla with a wake bait, Aaron Johnson stayed consistent and won the event. Behind Johnson, there was a lot of room for pros to fish to their strengths, though there’s no doubt that shallow eventually won out. READ MORE »

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Weighing five fish for 12 pounds, 4 ounces, co-angler Anthony Templeton of Beckville, Texas, rocketed up from fifth place to win the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. With a total of 28-3, Templeton takes home a new Phoenix bass boat worth $33,500 and his first winner’s trophy with FLW. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Our crew on the water hasn’t had very good luck tracking the top pros down in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, but the fishing has still been pretty good. With the entire top 10 within striking distance, it’s still anyone’s game, and the good fishing today could help someone run into a mega-bag. READ MORE »