UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Hartwell

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1
Chris Keeble

As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up right now.

We touched base with several anglers across the field throughout the day, and while few reported limits, there’s still a lot of time left to fish. Among those limits is one from Anthony Ford, who had 13 pounds or so by around 11:30. He’s clearly on some fish, as his co-angler, Kenneth Hunnicutt, also reported a limit of about 10 pounds.

Lonnie Oneal also reported a limit a little before noon. He managed to pull about 12 pounds from the St. Johns throughout the morning.

Elsewhere, Christopher Keeble had three fish for about 4 pounds before we found him, and nearly doubled his weight with one cast shortly thereafter. The Lenoir City, Tenn., angler managed to land a nice 4-pounder on a white ChatterBait around some lily pads and laydowns in one of the St. Johns’ many backwaters.

As tough as the fishing has been to this point, there aren’t a lot of boats just running around. Anglers have some good areas to fish, with a lot of the field stacked between takeoff at Palatka down to the northern end of Lake George. The wind has picked up quite a bit, though, and making a long run back to weigh-in could be a little time-consuming for pros such as Tim Frederick, who planned on making a long southward run to start the day. 

We found Dakota Ebare first thing this morning, but he hadn’t had any luck yet. He was flipping some docks north of Lake George, reporting only one bite (that he missed) at the time. Ebare’s best bite in practice this week came on a wind- and current-related deal, and he expected to probe his best area later in the day once the wind picked up.

With so many canals on Lake George, it’s no surprise many anglers in the field opted to fish in or at the mouths of those backwaters. Dennis Cameron started his day doing that, but he wasn’t having much luck when we found him around 9 o’clock. He was slinging a buzzbait and flipping a wacky-rigged worm to no avail. Cameron says he caught some good ones in canals in practice, and that he really needed the sun to start poking through. 

Luckily, it did just that around 11 o’clock, with clouds starting to thin out a bit and the temperature increasing. That’s right in line with the warming trend we saw all week, which should continue to stabilize the fishery and prompt more fish to move up shallow.

It seems like one of the predominant patterns we’ve seen develop today is the shell-bed bite. Several anglers, including Oneal, seem intent on targeting those bits of offshore magic – Oneal with a Carolina rig and a spinnerbait. Elsewhere, there’s a lot of flipping going on around docks and lily pads. There isn’t a massive mount of grass in the St. Johns, but there are plenty of pads to be found. 

Among the anglers flipping pads is Steve Young, who had about 4 pounds around 10:30. He says it’s hard to pattern his area because there are some stretches of pads holding multiple fish and then long stretches of fishless foliage. 

As tough as the fishing seemed to be this morning, it could be equally strong this afternoon. The sun is out, the temperature is rising, and the wind and current remain consistent and steady. As things continue to stabilize across the fishery, there’s a good chance we see more fish moving up shallow throughout the tournament and increasingly larger bags on the weigh-in stage.

To see how things shake out on day one, be sure to tune in to the live weigh-in on FLWFishing.com at 3 p.m. ET.

Tags: flw  toyota-series  st-johns-river  justin-onslow  headline-story  2020-02-13-st-johns-river 

Elder Takes Over at Chickamauga

Elder Takes Over at Chickamauga

Brian Elder of Locust Grove, Ga., took over the lead at the Toyota Series Central Division event at Lake Chickamauga today with a five-bass limit that weighed 25 pounds, 4 ounces. His limit today is the biggest of the tournament so far and gives Elder a two-day total of 37-6. He’s just 10 ounces ahead of second-place pro Jim Neece Jr. and 1 pounds, 9 ounces ahead of third-place pro Brent Butler, who was tied for first after day one. The top 10 pros and co-anglers compete in tomorrow’s final round.  READ MORE »

SFA Wins National Championship

SFA Wins National Championship

After an exciting final weigh-in, the Stephen F. Austin team of Hank Harrison and Ethan LeGare were crowned champions of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain. Due to an inadvertent violation of Rule 12, the leading McKendree University team of Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis had their final-day weight disqualified. Weighing the biggest bag of the day at 20 pounds, 8 ounces, Harrison and LeGare totaled 56-5 to win. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 2

Friday morning at the Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga was not for the faint of heart. At the 7 a.m. takeoff all was good, other than the thermometer hovering around the freezing mark. About 8:30, however, a small front moved in, bringing with it a bitter wind and a “wintry mix” to the Tennessee Valley. It began as snow with winds stout enough to blow the flakes sideways. But it soon turned into sleet and then a light, cold rain. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 3

College Championship Updates - Day 3

Day three of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. The link to yesterday's top patterns is below, and we'll try to check in here about every hour with updates from around the field. Today is the final day, and at the end, one team is going to walk away with a new Phoenix boat and the title of National Champions. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

This story is supposed to be about the top five pros’ patterns, but it’s tough to write much when virtually every angler is fishing the exact same pattern. Miles Burghoff from Soddy Daisy, Tenn., and Brent Butler from Vonore, Tenn., both ended up with exactly 21 pounds, 9 ounces, creating a two-way tie for first place going into day two. They were mostly throwing lipless crankbaits. Here’s what the remaining top five anglers were doing. READ MORE »

McKendree University Moves to Top at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain

McKendree University Moves to Top at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. – Illinois’ McKendree University’s team of Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis moved to the top of the leaderboard Thursday on Day Two of the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Harris Chain of Lakes after... READ MORE »

Butler, Burghoff Tied for Chickamauga Lead

Butler, Burghoff Tied for Chickamauga Lead

Brent Butler, who won the 2019 Toyota Series event on Lake Chickamauga, is aiming for back-to-back victories this week in the 2020 Central Division opener on the same lake. His opening-day limit of 21 pounds, 9 ounces has him in first place and in prime position to have a shot at a second Chickamauga title. If he wants to do it, Butler will have to outlast Tennessee transplant Miles Burghoff, who’s coming off a top-10 finish at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at the Harris Chain of Lakes and is tied for the lead on Chickamauga after one day.  READ MORE »

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

After two days on the Harris Chain for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance, McKendree University’s Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis backed up their 22-pound, 10-ounce performance from day one with another 20-2 today to take the lead. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

“Tough” was the catch word during the first morning of the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. The overnight cold front that moved in brought a dusting of snow on the surrounding mountaintops and freezing temperatures everywhere. The bass seemingly did not appreciate the quick change in the weather. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 2

College Championship Updates - Day 2

Day two of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. The link to yesterday's top patterns is below, and we'll try to check in here about every hour with updates from around the field.  READ MORE »

Sam Houston State University Takes Early Lead at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain

Sam Houston State University Takes Early Lead at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. – The Sam Houston State University duo of Bryton Kurtz and Jackson Carrell grabbed the early lead Wednesday after Day One of the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance. The Bearkats team brought a five-bass... READ MORE »

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain certainly didn’t disappoint. The consensus from many of the teams during practice was that the chain was fishing tough, yet would kick up some solid bags on Tuesday. With 10 bags over 18 pounds and six over 20, it’s safe to say the Harris Chain is living up to it’s potential. READ MORE »

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Warren “Butch” Kritsberg has only lived in Florida for a few years, and he’s still learning a lot about fishing the Harris Chain of Lakes. Fortunately, he now has a lot of new intel about where and how to catch giants after riding along with Laramy Strickland on the second tournament day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event, which was presented by Bad Boy Mowers. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 1

College Championship Updates - Day 1

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes was markedly different from the day prior. Most of the field struggled a bit, and the final 30 anglers were left scrambling to figure out how to find and catch fish in the post-frontal conditions that are often so detrimental for Florida largemouths.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

At Florida’s Harris Chain, in late winter, it’s a good bet the same handful of baits are going to produce more than any others, from Lake Harris down to Apopka. During the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, presented by Bad Boy Mowers, it was Texas rigs with black and blue plastics, jerkbaits, Carolina rigs and a few other moving baits that most often got the call.  READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Set to Host Toyota FLW Series Tournament

Lake Hartwell Set to Host Toyota FLW Series Tournament

SENECA, S.C. – The 2020 Toyota Series will continue its season next week at Lake Hartwell, March 3-5, with the Toyota Series at Lake Hartwell tournament. Hosted by Visit Oconee, the three-day tournament will feature the best regional bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to... READ MORE »

Elberton’s Partain Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell

Elberton’s Partain Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell

LAVONIA, Ga. (Feb. 24, 2020) – Boater Kerry Partain of Elberton, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Hartwell in Lavonia. For his victory, Partain earned $5,336... READ MORE »

Local Rookie Strickland Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

Local Rookie Strickland Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2020) – Pro Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers Sunday. Strickland’s three-day total of 15 bass totaling 61 pounds, 4 ounces gave him the... READ MORE »

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

The final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a bit tougher than expected. After putting over 30 pounds on the scale on day two of the weather-shortened derby, Laramy Strickland worked up 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for a 61-4 total to earn the win. For the win, the Bushnell, Fla., rookie took home $100,000 and a big win over a stacked top 30 that included some of the best anglers in the country and some superstar Floridians. READ MORE »