UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

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 (more on their violation below). Weighing the biggest bag of the day at 20 pounds, 8 ounces, Harrison and LeGare totaled 56-5. For the win, Harrison and LeGare will take home a Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Suzuki outboard and qualification into the 2020 Toyota Series Championship as pros.

“It’s honestly a lot of mixed feelings right now,” says LeGare. “It doesn’t feel like a true win, but at the end of the day that’s what it’s classified as and we’re pretty excited about it.”

“It’s been a dream, an utter dream,” Harrison says of being crowned champion. “I can’t believe it. I’m absolutely speechless and utterly excited.”

While it may not be an outright win, you can’t argue with the fact that the Lumberjacks strung together three solid days of fishing on a challenging Harris Chain. They kicked the event off with 21-15 to sit in third. On day two, the cold front hurt them a bit and they slipped to sixth weighing 13-14. Today, they were the only team to crack 20 and it paid off as they won by an ounce over the Sam Houston State team of Jayce Garrison and Mason Hoke.

Complete results

Living in Texas has supplied the Lumberjacks with more than enough experience fishing offshore and lakes with grass. That helped play a big role this week.

“We were fishing the last grass flats on points with super easy access to their spawning bays,” says LeGare, who’s a sophomore majoring in marketing. “We had three main areas. One in Beauclair, one in Dora and one in Eustis.

Basically, they positioned themselves between prespawn and postspawn fish to maximize their chance of encountering big bites. The stable, warm weather on day one let them catch fish off of moving baits, but after the cold front the duo really needed to slow down to milk their spots.

A 6th Sense squarebill and 6th Sense Provoke jerkbait got it done for them on day one. On day two, they realized the cold front had taken its toll and after forcing the moving bait bite, switched to a split-shot rig and Texas rig with either a Zoom Salty Super Fluke (watermelon red) or soft plastic stick worm (California 420 with gold fleck). Today, they kept things finesse and added a Carolina rig with a ¼-ounce weight and drop-shot to the mix.

“Yesterday having 13-14, we adjusted positively, but not enough,” Harrison says of their decision to go slow. “We were going into today sitting in sixth place and we knew we needed a bag, so we went out today with that mindset.

“Every single day, whether we were fishing fast or slow, we had to find the cast,” continues the junior marketing major. “We were moving around these points trying to find the cast. We just had to go fishing and pick our spots apart.”

Relocating the fish every day was a tough task, but very doable given the homework they did with their Lowrance electronics. Knowing where every grass clump, bare spot and contour change was allowed the two to more effectively locate the right cast on the given day.  

With a decent bag in hand on the final day, the team started working their way back towards takeoff from Dora and stopped on their point in Eustis with about 15 minutes left and LeGare busted out a drop-shot rigged with the soft plastic stick worm and caught a fish on the first cast. With under two minutes to go, LeGare stuck their biggest fish. 

“The key this week was keeping our heads down and slowing down and adapting,” says LeGare. “We knew we had the areas to well in this tournament, we just had to pick them apart and today we did that. We didn’t give up and we fished until the last second.”

Along with their Phoenix boat, the pair also gains entry into the Toyota Series Championship this fall on Lake Cumberland with a shot at winning $200,000 for first place.

“I don’t have a single bit of an idea of where Cumberland is,” laughs Harrison. “I promise, give me two weeks and ask me again and I’ll know something about it. We’re very excited.”

 

McKendree violation explained

As the weigh-in concluded, it originally appeared that the McKendree University team of Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis were the winners. It was later determined, however, that the pair had inadvertently violated Rule No. 12, which states in part that all fish must be caught in a conventional sporting manner, and their day three catch was disqualified.

The team broke off a bass and approximately an hour later snagged a line. They pulled in the line, which had a bass they believed to be the one they had broken off, hooked to a lure they believe to be their original lure. There is no way, however, to know if the fish on the line was the original fish that broke off, nor was the fish hooked with a rod and reel in a conventional sporting manner when it was brought into the boat. Thus, their catch was disqualified. McKendree University finished in 8th place with a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 42-12.

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

Au Best in the West

Au Best in the West

While 2020 has been a year to forget for many people, Tai Au will cherish it forever. Though Au has dabbled in Toyota Series competition over the span of nearly a decade, this was the first year he went all-in to fish the entire division. In doing so, he won the season opener on Lake Havasu, banked a top 10 on the California Delta and closed it out with another win on Clear Lake to handily win the Western Division Strike King Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »

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

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Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

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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

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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

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Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

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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

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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

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