UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

Consistency is hard to beat in Florida and when you are dealt with cold-front conditions it’s even more coveted. 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. With 42-12 overall, Doty and Louis will take a 5-1 lead over Bryan College’s Conner DiMauro and Cole Sands into the final day. 

Complete results

Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis

Having never fished in Florida before, the McKendree duo knew they’d have to lean hard on the two small areas they found in practice. They knew they could get bites from their offshore spots, but didn’t know the caliber of fish that lived there. As it turns out, good fish live there, and they've had both their places entirely to themselves so far. 

“We showed up on our first spot and we sat there all day,” says Doty.

Yesterday, McKendree’s bag had a kicker – one over 7 pounds – though today, they caught all quality. That can be a rare feat in Florida.

“Yesterday we had one that was quite a bit bigger than everything else, 7 ½, 8 pounds, but everything today seemed to be about the same quality,” Louis says. “We had one 12-incher left about 11:30 and we figured we might as well get rid of it and caught our smallest one we ended up weighing – probably right under 3 pounds. The fish in the area are all prespawn and pulling up.

“Yesterday we actually caught them out off the spot farther, it’s not deeper, just farther out in the lake. Today it wasn’t happening out there, we had two little 12-inchers at 10 o’clock and we started inching up on the spot and the grass started getting thicker and they were sitting in there today.”

Aside from moving closer to the bank to catch their fish, the Bearcats also had to tweak their techniques to match the changing conditions.

“We didn’t have to change the bait, but the bait style,” Doty explains. “Yesterday we caught a lot of fish on a Speed Worm, but cranking it. Today, with that cold morning, we had to slow down a bunch.”

Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis

Doty is throwing a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm, while Louis is using a Gambler Burner Worm. They don’t plan on changing anything heading into Friday, where they’ll be fighting for a shot at a national title.

While all the teams competing this week had high hopes for a chance at the championship crown, McKendree is one day away from actually accomplishing their goal. What makes it even sweeter is that this is Louis’ final college event since he graduated last year.

“I figured we could probably do well,” says Doty. “We like to flip a lot and thought the fish may be spawning when we came down here. The weather came and threw some things off, but I had high expectations. I know this is [Louis’] last tournament, so we were going to give it our all no matter what and as of now it’s turning out.”

 

Conner DiMauro and Cole Sands

2. Bryan College – Conner DiMauro & Cole Sands – 37-11 (10)

Dayton, Tenn., may be a long ways from the Harris Chain, but Bryan College’s Conner DiMauro and Cole Sands aren’t lacking experience on this pond. DiMauro actually grew up outside of Orlando, so the duo already had an idea of what they should look for this week.

During practice, they spent the majority of their time idling and looking for offshore grass, and actually caught the bulk of their 20-1 day-one bag from places they didn’t even fish in practice. Today, they just kept an open mind. 

“Today we went to our limit-hole and only caught one fish – a 3 ½-pounder – and that was at 11,” Sands says. “Then we pulled up to a patch of eelgrass we didn’t fish in practice and I caught one over 6 off it, hopped a couple lakes over and caught one off a dock, then scooted out and fished grass. We’re just junk fishing and doing whatever feels right.”

The best part about their strategy is that they feel confident they can catch fish all across the chain, while other teams are committed to certain lakes. That may come in handy tomorrow if fishing gets tough.

“We've got a lot of stuff to run, we haven’t even hit all of our stuff yet,” DiMauro adds. “We’ve gotten lucky each day with a couple things going right for us, like a big fish yesterday, so we just need some more stuff to go right for us tomorrow and we’ll be OK.”

 

Jayce Garrison and Mason Hoke

3. Sam Houston State – Jayce Garrison & Mason Hoke – 37-3 (10)

Moving up one spot, the Bearkats duo brought 16-10 to the scale to go with their 20-9 from day one, and though their weight slipped some, they are still around the right quality.

“We changed areas today,” Garrison says. “We fished a bank line we fished in practice, but haven’t fished in the tournament yet and I caught a 4 and (Hoke) had like an 8 follow his bait to the boat on the same cast. We had another magical hour like we did the first day.”

Like McKendree, Sam Houston only has two primary areas. If they can get the quality that lives there to bite, they could have another 20-something-pound bag, or more.

“We pulled up on our first stretch and fished for five casts,” Garrison adds. “Our first stretch got blown out, so we moved to a new stretch.”

Also like McKendree, changing techniques was crucial on the cold, blustery day.

“We actually went a little more finesse than what we’ve been doing,” Hoke says.

“We’re around them, dude,” says Garrison. “We had like three bites that were all giants and just none of them made it to the boat. If it happens tomorrow it’ll be fun and we’re just excited to get out there.”

 

Rudy Pearson and John Garrett Pearson

4. Georgia College – John Garrett Pearson & Rudy Pearson – 37-2 (10)

Another school climbing the leaderboard on day two, Georgia College’s John Garrett Pearson and James Pearson were one of the few teams to improve upon their day-one bag. Catching 18 even Wednesday, the Pearson cousins sacked 19-2 to make a solid move.

“We caught them the same way as yesterday,” says John Garrett. “We’re just flipping a black and blue [Yamamoto] Senko in the bank grass, it's pretty straight forward.”

“The bite this morning was slow, but it definitely picked up and the fish have gotten bigger since we were there in practice,” adds Rudy, who’s a sophomore management major.

Flipping is right up the Pearsons' ally given that their home lake is Seminole. While the duo has never fished a tournament solely within the state of Florida, the two knew to stick to their strengths and what they like to do and it’s paying off.

While other teams are working offshore grass and making decent runs, the Georgia College duo are basically the polar opposite. That’s got them hopeful they can keep improving their bag for one more day.

“We fished in Harris and Little Harris on the first day, but today we stuck to Little Harris and just fished it all day,” John Garrett continues, who’s a sophomore marketing major.

“If we just get some sun up and a little bit of wind, it helps us out a lot,” Rudy says. “Today we found two or three spots we hadn’t fished at all and caught two or three of our keepers there, so hopefully we can pound these four or five spots all day tomorrow.”

 

Nathan Quince and Cody Neal

5. Slippery Rock University – Nathan Quince & Cody Neal – 36-6 (10)

Sitting just outside the top-10 cut on day one with 17-7, Nathan Quince and Cody Neal improved their bag on day two and climbed all the way to fifth thanks to a nearly 19-pound limit.

Quince has been to Florida a handful of times and even came down for a week of prepractice, but despite the prep work the pair wound up stumbling on something during the first day of the tournament. They caught their weight the first day and left them biting. Today, they picked up right where they left off.

“We didn’t change anything today really,” Quince says, who’s fishing in his fourth straight National Championship. “We just kinda dialed in more where they are sitting in the area we are fishing. Same bait, same everything as yesterday. We thought it was going to be tough, but we pulled in there this morning and caught them pretty quick and then [Neal] caught a big one and we had a limit by 9:20 and it kept rolling from there.”

They are fishing an area they’ve had all to themselves, likely due to the fact they are making an hour and a half run. They leaned on their school of fish pretty hard today, and though they learned more about where the fish are setting up, they aren’t sure what it has left to offer. But they’re more than ready to make the run one last time and find out.

 

Top 10 teams:

Complete results

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

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize

Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Laufenberg earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Butler Runs Brush for Cherokee Win

Butler Runs Brush for Cherokee Win

Boater Josh Butler of Hayden, Alabama, brought a three-day total of 12 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Cherokee. For his victory, Butler earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds even, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Savannah River Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Fish-Intel. For his victory, Morrow earned $6,415. READ MORE »

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boater Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 11 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Boggs earned $61,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Daves Wins James River Regional

Daves Wins James River Regional

Pro Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River. For his victory, Daves earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

He put his name on the map as one to watch on day one. Today, Corey Cook put his name on the hardware as one of the best on Lake of the Ozarks right now. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lady Luck shines on us all sometimes, but sometimes she doesn’t. For this morning, at least, she sure wasn’t shining on Corey Cook READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Scrapping plans and making long runs can be a scary deal, but the risk can be worth the reward. READ MORE »

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Corey Cook stumbled a bit on day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. Bringing in 15 pounds, 4 ounces, Cook weighed an average bag and boosted his total of 38-13, which is still more than 4 pounds ahead of second place. Behind Cook, Andy Newcomb is in second with 34-6, and Shane Long is in third with 31-9. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division on Lake of the Ozarks has started out pretty much like yesterday – pretty weather but pretty short on fish. READ MORE »

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks was pretty tough by the standards of the fishery, with just one angler cracking the 20-pound barrier. Blowing the doors off the competition, at least on day one, Corey Cook hammered out 23 pounds, 9 ounces to take more than a 6-pound lead over second place. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

When the fish are on the move, it can make life miserable for anglers. Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks showcased that pretty well. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

The Toyota Series visited Lake of the Ozarks this exact same week in 2019, and it launched under torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe light's worth of lightning that delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m. A year later, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful for the second stop of the Plains Division. READ MORE »

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Louisiana’s West Monroe High School duo of Jay Cash and Jackson Lemoine caught four fish Saturday weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Ouachita River Open event in Monroe, Louisiana. READ MORE »

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

The East Texas Baptist University team of Grant Hendrix of Livingston, Texas, and Josh Manuel of Burleson, Texas, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the Ouachita River event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces. READ MORE »