UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

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.

Leading the charge with 24-11 is the Sam Houston State duo of Bryton Kurtz and Jackson Carrell. While the team is obviously pumped to kick the championship off with a solid bag, it also came as nice birthday gift to Kurtz.

Complete results 

Bryton Kurtz and Jackson Carrell

“I made a joke with [Kurtz] this morning that wouldn’t it be something if we caught 24 (pounds) on your 24th (birthday),” Carrell says.

Though the Texas school team has never been to Florida, it didn’t take much adjusting to get used to the Sunshine State.

“We caught one fish off a bed this morning and then the rest came just fishing in a canal,” says Carrell.

“We just 100 percent stumbled on her,” Kurtz says of their 7- to 8-pound kicker.

The bonus bed fish was a welcomed addition considering things didn’t start off as great as the pair would have liked.

“We didn’t have a fish, well, we had one 12-incher, at 10 o’clock and we rolled into a new area where we got a couple bites in practice and Jackson got bit and I pitched back in there and caught a 4-pounder,” Kurtz explains, who is a senior majoring in agriculture engineering technology with a minor in construction management. “We just kept on fishing and got bite after bite on this one 150-yard stretch in a canal.”

“I don’t know if they were sitting there waiting to pull up with this warm night we had, it’s kind of like a staging spot,” adds Carrell, who will graduate this May with a degree in agriculture engineering. “Tomorrow hopefully they won’t leave, but we don’t know how they’ll react to this cold front since we’ve never been to Florida before.”

Not knowing what the cooler weather that’s pushing into Florida will do to their fish, the Sam Houston team caught six quality fish and left their canal. While canals can be fickle in Florida, the plus side for them is that they don’t have any other anglers fishing near them. The downside is that the canal is about all they have to work with.

So, hopefully that birthday magic can last a little longer for Kurtz and Carroll.

“We have just that one magical area,” Kurtz says. “We got an early boat number tomorrow and we're gonna head there and see what happens. The canal is pretty long and we only fished about 100 yards of it and there’s about 700 yards of it we didn’t even touch, so we’ll see.”

 

Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis

2. Nathan Doty & Jacob Louis – McKendree University – 22-10 (5)

For Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis, things couldn’t have played out any better to start their championship campaign, especially since they didn’t think they were on the bag they brought to the scale this afternoon.

“We found two schools of fish on an offshore spot and we caught a couple little ones in practice and that’s all we had,” says Louis, who graduated last May with a degree in environmental science. “We went back to that this morning, and bam, caught a limit of little ones right away. We hit that spot a little later in the day and those big ones showed up on the spot and it happened.”

The McKendree team isn’t fishing a specific spot, rather a bigger general area that is holding a decent school of fish.

“It is a decent size area and we’re catching fish all around, so we’re fan-casting a lot and grinding it out,” Doty says, who’s a junior majoring in environmental studies.

Catching roughly a dozen fish throughout the day, Doty and Louis culled almost their entire bag in the afternoon. Once they caught their big fish - including one close to 8 pounds - they left to let the juice rest.

While they aren’t sure what to expect tomorrow, having just the one area will force them to commit to it.

“Fishing changes regardless, whether the weather stays the same or not,” Doty says. “So this front has our nerves up a little bit, but I tell you what, we’re going to go out there and give it our all.”

 

Ethan Legare and Hank Harrison

3. Hank Harrison & Ethan LeGare – Stephen F. Austin – 21-15 (5)

Florida may be a long way from Texas, but Ethan LeGare is feeling right at home and along with partner Hank Harrison the two scrapped together over 21 pounds to land in third.

LeGare actually called Florida home for six years, and though he didn’t spend much time on the chain, he learned a lot about how Florida bass behave. But, Florida experience aside, the duo also spends plenty of time on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, so they know their way around grass. 

In practice, the dual sampled almost all of the lakes on the chain. 

“We covered most of the lakes except for Griffin because we heard all the pros from the Pro Circuit were in there, so we ruled that out even though it has some of the best grass,” LeGare says.

“It got to the point where we got picky finding our spots and were able to do some early-stage practice with technology – Google Earth and the Humminbird FishSmart app – so we were able to have a decent game plan before we got here,” Harrison adds.

Because of the homework they put in, the two were able to dial in a pattern that they could run with ease around the chain.

“We had our bag by about 11 o’clock and once that rain started to hit we moved off and didn’t hit our spots hard and went looking again to find more stuff in different areas,” says Harrison, who’s majoring in marketing.

As far as tomorrow goes, the Stephen F. Austin crew isn’t too concerned about the weather or their fish moving. The want to stick with their plan and adjust tactics if need be, but not areas they’re catching their fish.

“We got the idea today that they are living there and are prespawn and from that we think they’re going to stay and maybe hunker down a little,” Harrison says. “But we’re excited to see what tomorrow brings.”

 

Jace Garrison and Mason Hoke

4. Jayce Garrison & Mason Hoke – Sam Houston State – 20-9 (5)

The second of three Sam Houston schools in the top five, Jayce Garrison and Mason Hoke made sure to put their time in practicing for this event, though it wasn’t in Florida. They opted for a lake close to home that sets up a lot like the Harris Chain in order to shorten the learning curve.

“We got a little home lake at home called Sheldon that sets up just like this place and we put in a couple hours out there,” Garrison explains.

“It helped us find a pattern, but other than that, man, we had to fish,” Hoke adds. “We got like eight bites.”

Hoke admits that focusing their efforts in one lake made the most sense for the few days of practice they got and so far, so good.

Like many of the other top teams, Hoke and Garrison caught the majority of their weight early before the rain set in. Even though they only got one bite in the afternoon, the two are confident that they can catch fish again tomorrow.

“We know our fish aren’t going to leave, all they’re going to do is hunker down,” says Garrison. “So, we’re probably just going to run the exact same pattern we’re doing and just slow down.”

 

Matthew Sewell and Joshua Perrin

5. Matthew Sewell & Joshua Perrin – Sam Houston State – 20-9 (5)

Finishing out the hat-trick for Sam Houston in the top spots, Matthew Sewell and Joshua Perrin were first team to weigh a 20-pound bag on Wednesday. While their lead didn’t last, they didn’t fall far and are in prime position to keep their name in the conversation for national champions.

“We focused on Lake Griffin and found an area we liked and thought it would be pretty heavily pressured, got in there today and there was nobody in there,” says Perrin, who is a senior majoring in agriculture engineering. “Around 9:30 I was spun out, not catching them, but the sun came out and I looked down and probably about a 7-pounder was locked on a bed. On the first flip I broke off on her, then I picked up another rod and on the third flip I caught her.

“I went a little further down and I saw one at the trolling motor and kicked mud all over her bed. I came back 10 minutes later and she swam off. I backed off and sat there for about an hour and started to think I was stupid, but I knew it was a giant. I caught the buck and in the next three flips I caught her and she was probably an 8 or a 9.”

The pair left Griffin with only three fish and were running short on time before they had to check in for the day, so they made a stop not far from takeoff and it panned out to produce the two other fish they needed for a limit.

With only five keepers on the day, two of which were bed fish they had no idea were there until today, the duo is optimistic about repeating another 20-pound day.

“I know there are giants in there and I saw a couple people swing on some big ones in [Griffin], so we’ll see,” Perrin says.

 

Top 10 teams 

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2020-02-26-national-championship 

Rogers Wins from 8th on Erie

Rogers Wins from 8th on Erie

Starting the final day in eighth place, Lee Rogers of Newton, N.J., rocketed up the leaderboard with the biggest limit of the day to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. With the field confined to the area around Sandusky Bay due to wind, Rodgers brought 15 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale for a total of 48-12 to earn his first win with FLW. For his win, Rogers gets the trophy and a $32,439 paycheck. READ MORE »

Erie Midday Update – Day 3

Erie Midday Update – Day 3

With big winds present even before putting boats in the water, it was obvious that day three of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie was going to throw the anglers a curveball. After a short delay, the new boundaries were set from Marblehead Lighthouse to Cedar Point, and the pros blasted off in search of bass. READ MORE »

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

The final day of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie is likely to change things up quite a bit. With many of the top pros making long runs, there’s a chance much of what happened on days one and two will be physically impossible on day three. READ MORE »

Erie Midday Update – Day 2

Erie Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event has been pretty slow across the board, and particularly for the leaders. Though the weather isn’t too bad and the wind is fairly manageable, the fishing in Erie is slower than it was yesterday. READ MORE »

Stokes Pulls Ahead on Erie

Stokes Pulls Ahead on Erie

One of a number of pros who elected to make the run from Sandusky to the Detroit River, Troy Stokes pulled into the lead on day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie was not dominated by St. Clair as some expected. Though St. Clair did produce the lead for Scott Dobson, a hodgepodge of techniques and locations got it done for the other top pros on Erie. READ MORE »

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

There’s nothing better than clear water and big smallmouths, and that’s exactly what the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Michigan Division plans to deliver this year. The division, which is presented by ARE, is set to open the season July 18 on Lake St. Clair in what should be a heavyweight showdown of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Dobson Takes Slim Lead on Erie

Dobson Takes Slim Lead on Erie

The weights on day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie were about what folks expected: plenty of quality fish, but a lack of the plump 4- and 5-pounders that Erie is so known for. Weighing one of only two bags over 20 pounds, Scott Dobson put 20-12 on the scale after a day of fishing that took him as far from Sandusky as the mouth of the St. Clair River. READ MORE »

Hoosier Division Heads for Ohio River

Hoosier Division Heads for Ohio River

After kicking off the season on Lake Monroe with a double-header at the end of June, the Hoosier Division of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine turns east for stop No. 3 on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek. READ MORE »

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

The Mississippi River is the staple venue of the Great Lakes Division in Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine competition. Come July 18, the division will take its first crack at the Mighty Miss in what could shape up to be a diverse event. READ MORE »

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

On June 27, 16-year-old Noah Crogan’s big wish came to fruition at the Apple Island Marina on Lake Champlain when he became the owner of a brand-new Tracker aluminum bass boat. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Vermont, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and local anglers – including Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series angler Cole Harris – Crogan was surprised at the marina with the boat, along with plenty of rods and tackle to get him on the water. READ MORE »

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »