UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag
Laramy Strickland

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.

Kritsberg, a 69-year-old retiree who served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force before transitioning to the private sector in the telecommunications field, was Strickland’s marshal that day. He watched the local rookie take a huge step toward his first Pro Circuit victory in the form of the 31-pound, 6-ounce mega-bag Strickland pulled from mats in the marsh on Lake Griffin.

“I got really lucky getting with Laramy,” Kritsberg says. “That was so much fun to watch, and he is such a nice guy – just plain salt-of-the-earth kind of guy.

“In the morning before we took off, [Strickland] said they were going to be up under the mats. ‘In a cold front condition like this, the big ones will get right up underneath there.’ He had 31 pounds, 6 ounces in the boat by 10 o’clock in the morning, and that’s after an hour-long run to get there.”

With Strickland’s 31-6 bag, paired with AJ Slegona’s 17-2 on day one (Kritsberg was Slegona’s marshal that day), Kritsberg totaled 48-8 for the FLW Marshal Program contest and took home $2,500 as a result.

The money is nice, but the Upstate New York transplant, who moved to Florida in 2016 and calls Leesburg home, was happiest about having a great experience and learning so much from his pros.

“It was really weird because, me being from Upstate New York, [Slegona] was the only angler in the field of 154 from New York, so that was interesting,” he says. “He and I know a whole bunch of the same people. 

“We had tons to talk about and had a really great day.”

Both anglers also clued in Kritsberg on some techniques for catching big Florida bass.

“The big thing was the way he fishes all the weeded areas,” Kritsberg says of Strickland’s winning techniques. “Everybody was fishing a Speed Worm, and I fish a worm a lot, but not the way these guys fish it. They just chuck it out there with a 1/4-ounce weight and rip it through the weeds. I’d never seen that technique before, so that was good.

“Laramy was using a 2-ounce punch weight with a Spicy Beaver and was punching some of the heaviest stuff I’ve ever seen. That’s where all the big fish were living.”

Laramy Strickland

It was eye-opening for the new-to-Florida angler, who spent years fishing 20 or more tournaments per year in local bass clubs and The Bass Federation tournaments in New York. An avid bass angler, Kritsberg is always looking for ways to improve.

“Since I’ve been down here, I’ve really struggled trying to figure out these waters and techniques,” he adds. “That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to do the Marshal Program. I thought, if nothing else, I could at least get some pointers and see some new waters.”

Kritsberg definitely did that, and he’s quick to point out how much fun he had doing it. He says he also enjoyed getting to know both his anglers and especially being around Strickland and his family on the second and final days of the tournament.

“It was incredible how many people he had there supporting him,” Kritsberg says of being around Strickland during the week. “That was lot of fun.”

It’s also fun winning money, though Kritsberg admits he doesn’t have any big plans for his winnings. He did give $100 each to two of his friends who he convinced to participate in the Marshal Program with him – to cover their fees – and a portion of the remainder went to his wife to “pay the taxes” on the winnings. As for the rest, he’s keeping his options open. There’s always plenty of bass fishing-related gear to be bought.

While this was Kritsberg’s first experience marshaling in a tournament, it probably won’t be his last. He’s hoping the Pro Circuit makes its way back to the Harris Chain soon.

“I’ve been talking about being a marshal for 10 years or longer,” he admits. “When this opportunity came up here, I thought, ‘why not?’ The ramp is three miles from my home. It would have been crazy not to do it.

“If it’s close by, I definitely will again, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a great time.”

 

Marshal prizewinners

1. Warren “Butch” Kritsberg – Leesburg, Fla. – 48-8 – $2,500

2. Sean Wooten – Umatilla, Fla. – 36-12 – $1,000

3. Steve Helmberger – Leesburg, Fla. – 34-14 – $750

4. Jim Opetaia-Williamson – Dunnellon, Fla. – 31-15 – $500

5. Gary Saxarra – Tavares, Fla. – 31-10 – $250

6. Greg McDaniel – Naples, Fla. – 31-9 – $100

7. Katie Jackson – High Springs, Fla. – 30-8 – $100

8. Sean Ripley – Lakeland, Fla. – 28-8 – $100

9. Dean Jackson – High Springs, Fla. – 27-13 – $100

10. Roger Robinson – Brodhead, Ky. – 27-6 – $100

 

Want to be a marshal?

Thank you to all who participated in the Marshal Program at the Harris Chain of Lakes. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a marshal, please call 270.252.1000, or visit flwfishing.com/marshals. Openings are available for the upcoming event at Lake Martin. 

Tags: flw  harris-chain  tackle-warehouse-pro-circuit  marshal-program  justin-onslow  post-tournament  2020-02-20-harris-chain 

Pickwick Lake Named Host of 2021 Toyota Series Championship

Pickwick Lake Named Host of 2021 Toyota Series Championship

COUNCE, Tenn. – FLW and the Hardin County Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Wednesday that Counce, Tennessee, will host the prestigious 2021 Toyota Series Championship, Oct. 28-30, 2021, on Pickwick Lake... READ MORE »

Toyota Series to Host Event on Lake Norman

Toyota Series to Host Event on Lake Norman

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – The 2020 Toyota Series Eastern Division will wrap up their season with a tournament next week in Huntersville, North Carolina, Oct. 1-3, with the Toyota Series at Lake Norman. Hosted by Visit Lake Norman, Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, the three-day... READ MORE »

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

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

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 »

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

With the whole field boxed into the Detroit River for the first two days of the final Toyota Series Northern Division event, it’s natural that the main player was the river itself. But, on the final day, when folks could branch out, Scott Dobson actually ran to St. Clair and many of the other pros ventured into Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Dardanelle

Top Patterns and Baits from Dardanelle

The beginning of the fall transition coupled with dirty water from end to end created difficult fishing conditions at the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel, but anglers focused their attention to the backs of creeks and used a variety of baits to solve the riddle. READ MORE »

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

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

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

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

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

HUDDLESTON, Va. - Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Virginia, 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... READ MORE »

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

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

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

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

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 »

Galesville’s Trim Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Mississippi River in La Crosse

Galesville’s Trim Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Mississippi River in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wisconsin, 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 »

Conway’s Lieblong Wins Toyota Series Tournament at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel

Conway’s Lieblong Wins Toyota Series Tournament at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Conway, Arkansas’ Jason Lieblong weighed five bass totaling 15 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday – the largest limit of the event – to win the three-day Toyota Series at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel tournament in Russellville, Arkansas. Lieblong’s three-day total of 15 bass... READ MORE »

Clarkston’s Dobson Wins Toyota Series Event on Detroit River

Clarkston’s Dobson Wins Toyota Series Event on Detroit River

TRENTON, Mich. – Pro Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series at the Detroit River event in Trenton, Michigan. Dobson’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 59-3 earned him the win by a 1-pound, 7... READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake has the potential to churn out some big bags – look no further than the 2019 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, when 21 teams weighed in more than 20 pounds on day one alone – but the 2020 iteration wasn’t as friendly to the college anglers who took to her waters this week. Here’s the skinny on how the top 10 teams caught their fish this week and what they caught them with. READ MORE »

University of Montevallo Wins Sixth-Annual  Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open  on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

University of Montevallo Wins Sixth-Annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2020) – The University of Montevallo team of Grayson Morris of Birmingham, Alabama and Jacob Pfundt of Canton, Georgia won the sixth-annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Thursday with a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass... 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 »

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 »

Plains Division Kicks Off on Dardanelle

Plains Division Kicks Off on Dardanelle

All the major bass tournaments Lake Dardanelle has hosted since 2004 have followed different scripts, and the Toyota Series Plains Division event that kicks off today will be no different. With a schedule full of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first event of the Plains Division season, and it’s the last division to kick off in 2020. READ MORE »

High Water on Tap for College Open

High Water on Tap for College Open

By mid-September, Kentucky Lake can be absolutely lights-out when you find a big school up on its many shallow bars. This week, during the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, that’s probably not going to be the case – instead of locking a topwater in their hands, college teams are likely to take a much more varied approach. READ MORE »