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

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage
Jason Abram

QUICK LINKS

FLW Live Leaderboard – click here 

FLW Live schedule – click here

Tournament Preview – click here

Tournament Details – click here

FLW press release announcing earlier start date, other COVID-19 details – click here

Jason Abram leader story from day three – click here

 

1:30 - That's it from Lake Martin

With 90 minutes left to fish, we're shutting down the Lake Martin blog. Thank you so much for following along, and for cutting us some slack on the lack of updates. We're running a skeleton crew this week due to COVID-19 situation. 

At this point, it's officially too close to call. We estimate that Abram has the lead, but Nelson and Shuffield are barely a pound behind. One big bite, one key fish, one perfect cast could mean the difference in winning ... or not. 

FLW Live will continue to broadcast until 2 p.m. CT. Then the final weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. CT. Please join us as we crown a champion. 

 

1:10 - Shuffield again

Spencer Shuffield was able to cull out that 1.82-pound fish with a 2.29. That improved his weight by a half pound, now 1 pound back of Abram. Shuffield doesn't have a fish smaller than 2 pounds in his limit.

Greg Bohannan has drastically changed his approach. He's throwing a buzzbait around docks on the main lake, where he figures some fish have backed out due to falling water.

"The only way I know to catch a big one is with a buzzbait or flipping docks," he says. "I'm going to stick with the buzzbait a little while with the cloud cover coming in. It only takes one bite. One bite."

 

12:54 - Shuffield culls

Spencer Shuffield caught a 2 3/4-pound fish to cull up to around 13 pounds for the day. He needs a couple more like that and he'll be right there with Abram. "I've got to get rid of a 1.82. I've got two hours," he says.

 

12:45 - Everything stable right now

It's been a little quiet since our last update. You should definitely go watch FLW Live right now. Spencer Shuffield is breaking down his forward-looking sonar strategy. He says the water has stabilized today, and that's changed his bite a little. He's targeting spotted bass in drains. The fish are prespawn and postspawn, ganged up and suspended over 18 to 35 feet of water. 

 

12:18 - Ron Nelson makes it interesting

Ron Nelson just made a move. He made a long cast with a Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbait to a little "roll-off," or drop-off, out off the bank with a piece of brush and hooked a 3-pounder. Nelson is now in second place and just a pound and change off Abram's lead. He's going to make this very, very interesting this afternoon. Tune in to FLW Live to see Nelson and company in action on Lake Martin. 

 

11:26 - Spencer Shuffield upgrades

"I'm coming into the best part of the day for this bite."

That's what Spencer Shuffield said right after catching his last keeper, which bumped him up to 11 pounds, 12 ounces and into second place. He trails Abram by only 2 1/2 pounds. 

Abram better watch out, because Shuffield seems to be getting stronger. The offshore bite in general is strong. Greg Bohannan increased his weights every day mostly by fishing offshore. 

UPDATE: Shuffield upgraded again. He's got about 12.

 

Matt Becker

11:13 - Becker finds a flurry

Matt Becker got on a quick flurry thanks to a little school of fish tucked up in a pocket. He caught one that helped him, then a short and then busted off a 2-plus because he "got too excited and set the hook too hard." He says there's a 3-pounder cruising this area too. 

 

11:05 - Nelson gets No. 5; Bohannan culls to 11

Ron Nelson caught a small keeper from a bed. "I don't want to keep it, but I'll take it along for a while," he says. Nelson knows he needs to cull those runts to have a chance at winning.

Meanwhile, Greg Bohannan culled up to 11 pounds. He says the lower end of the lake where he's fishing has the biggest spots, and that's typical of a reservoir like this. He's going to run through his best stuff another time or two, hopefully get another fish to upgrade, and then switch to his largemouth water. 

Bohannan has been throwing a Carolina rig and a Strike King Jointed Structure Head with a Strike King Rage Bug

 

Ron Nelson

10:57 - Weights remain tight

The top five pros are all within 5 pounds of each other with four hours left to fish. Still, no one has managed to catch a fish weighing more than 3 pounds. If someone can get a 4 or 5, that could be a real difference-maker. 

Nine of the top 10 pros have a limit. The one exception is Ron Nelson, who's still in fourth place and 4 pounds, 4 ounces off Abram's lead. A big one for Nelson could have the AOY leader in prime position for a shot at his first Pro Circuit win. He's working one on a bed right now with a Strike King Dream Shot

"They don't really want a big bait. I'm seeing them chase lots of minnows around the beds," he says. 

Nelson was considering abandoning this pattern and running his spotted bass locations, but now that he's seen some females on the bed he's reconsidering. 

 

10:25 - Shuffield scores a 3

Spencer Shuffield has landed his two best fish in the last 15 minutes. His latest was a 3-pounder. He's still in third but closing the gap.

 

Laramy Strickland

10:15 - Strickland jumps up with 12

Laramy Strickland appears poised to make a big move today. The Florida pro has 12 pounds in the livewell. His sight-fishing program is on point today. He's now in second place.

However, Jason Abram is working hard to distance himself. With 10 pounds so far today, Abram still leads Strickland by almost 3 pounds for the tournament. 

 

Greg Bohannan

10:00 - Carolina rig working for Bohannan

Greg Bohannan has 10 to 11 pounds. He's keeping it simple, dragging a Carolina rig on long gravel and clay points.

“Old school," he says. "You can’t beat it for spotted bass.

 

Tom Monsoor

9:50 - Monsor still slingin' that swim jig

Tom Monsoor has surprised absolutely no one this week by throwing a swim jig from start to finish. He's working his jig at a pretty good clip.

“The longer the cast the more bites you get,” says Monsoor. “There ain’t no slackin off, even if you’re 70. You’ve either got to go all in or go home.”

 

9:45 - Bohannan cracks double digits

Greg Bohannan is the first pro of the day to surpass double digits. His limit is right at 10 pounds. 

Tom Monsoor has five fish now, too. His limit is pretty small.

 

9:40 - Becker, Milner have limits now, too

Matt Becker and Kerry Milner now have limits. That makes six pros so far. Greg Bohannan has the best bag of the day at 9 pounds. 

 

Jason Abram

9:25 - Abram culls

After missing a few fish, Jason Abram finally landed a quality keeper to cull up to 7 1/2 pounds. He leads Ron Nelson in second by a pound and a half unofficially.

"I just need that one biggun," Abram says. "We can make it tough on 'em today."

He's shooting for 8 1/2 to 10 pounds per day with spotted bass in the morning before he goes to his docks and slings around a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm

 

9:15 - Abram misses two

The Phoenix Replay on FLW Live usually shows positive, exciting moments. But sometimes it replays heartbreaking moments. This morning, Jason Abram's losses played out on the replay. He lost a pair of good fish, one on the way to the boat and the other as he was getting ready to swing it in. That's bad news for the tournament leader, but it's early enough to recover, and this lake is full of fish. He'll hopefully be able to recover. 

 

9:00 - Shuffield and Strickland on different programs, have limits

Spencer Shuffield just filled his limit using forward-looking sonar to spot fish out in front of his boat, make pinpoint casts and and catch fish. It's a really cool way to fish. You can see him in action on FLW Live right now.

Laramy Strickland has a limit as well, but he's catching them sight-fishing. He had a misfortunate misstep this morning, though. Strickland was leaning too far forward to peer at a bed and slipped off the bow into the lake. 

 

Ron Nelson

8:50 - Nelson lands a 3-pounder

Ron Nelson caught himself a dandy. It's a 3-pounder. The area he's fishing is really crudded up with pollen. It's pretty gross, too - thick matty gunk along the bank. Spring is here, it appears.

UPDATE: Nelson just added a 2-pounder as well.

 

Jordan Osborne

8:45 - Swimbaits, topwater, dragging and dock fishing

You can still sight-fish for them on Lake Martin, but that's not all. Throwing swimbaits and dragging Carolina rigs offshore is working, as is dock fishing and slinging a topwater.

Jordan Osborne is throwing a swimbait this morning and just had a 4-pounder follow his bait to the boat without biting. That offshore pattern is intriguing. It's definitely consistent, and it seems like it has the potential to produce a big limit. Several pros speculated that it might be the winning pattern in the end. 

 

8:30 - Abram and Strickland limit out

Jason Abram, Laramy Strickland and Greg Bohannan are the current top three in the unoffiical standings, and not surprisingly they are the only three pros with five-bass limits so far today. Strickland leads everyone today with 8 pounds. 

 

8:10 - A limit for Bohannan

Greg Bohannan now has a limit for about 7 1/2 pounds. He's the first to get five.

Jason Abram, the leader coming into today, is slinging a topwater around this morning. It produced a 2-pounder to get his day started. "I did not throw a topwater bait all week," he says, "not a single cast." Making smart adjustments is what it takes to win. Maybe the topwater is the right adjustment for Abram today. You can watch him in action on FLW Live right now. 

 

Derrick Snavely

8:00 - Bohannan gets another

Greg Bohannan landed a 3-pounder to keep his momentum rolling this morning. He's up to 7 pounds now. 

Jason Abram, Ron Nelson and Kerry Milner have one runt apiece.

Matt Becker and Jordan Osborne each have three little keepers, and Spencer Shuffield has two. 

It appears that there could be another tournament on the lake today. That, or a whole lot of people are practicing social distancing by going fishing on Lake Martin. There's a busy boat ramp down by the 63 bridge.

Snavely has started off out deep, dragging a Carolina rig and swimbait on points. It's a strategy that worked pretty well for a few guys yesterday.

 

7:35 - Watch this insane Matt Becker fish catch video from day 3

 

7:30 - Bohannan gets started early

Greg Bohannan already has three keepers in the livewell for about 4 pounds. That's a good start. 

 

Greg Bohannan

7:00 - Here we go

It rained last night in Alexander City, Ala., but probably not enough to have a major impact on the outcome of this tournament. Maybe a few pockets will be stained. Maybe the rate at which the water is falling will have slowed down. We'll have to wait and see. 

Today promises to be a showdown of sorts. Jason Abram's strategy of targeting spots in the morning with a swimbait and then fishing docks wiht a floating worm has landed him in the lead for two straight days. But Ron Nelson and others have sight-fished their way into the top 10 on the backs of quality spawning largemouths, and they're hoping to catch Abram and squash his dreams of a win. 

Then there's Spencer Shuffield, who's fishing offshore using forward-looking sonar to locate and catch suspended fish. His pattern has been consistent for three days.

Or will it be Greg Bohannan who gets the win this week. Bohannan's father dad died last week from cance, and he says he’d sure like to win one for his dad.

“It’s fishing just like Beaver Lake in the old days," Greg says about Lake Martin. "I’m just dragging a Carolina rig out where the fat spots are spawning. Guys are talking about getting 50 bites, and I’m getting 15.”

Yesterday, Greg fished for largemouth for four hours and had a 4-pounder hit his buzzbait and not hook up. He's going to swing for the fences with the topwater again today and see if the combination of patterns can land him at the top.

Stick around today to see how this plays out. FLW Live starts at 8 a.m. CT. It should be a good one. 

 

CONDITIONS

Temperature at takeoff: 62 degrees

Forecast high: 72 degrees

Sky: cloudy

Precipitation: zero percent chance of rain

Wind: NNW at 6 mph

 

TOURNAMENT DETAILS

Hosted by Alexander City Chamber

Takeoff: 7 a.m. CT at Wind Creek State Park, 4325 Alabama Highway 128, Alexander City, AL 

Weigh-in: 3 p.m. CT at Wind Creek State Park

FLW Live weigh-in show: 3 p.m. CT to end of weigh-in

Tags: headline-story  2020-03-18-lake-martin 

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

After two days of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are as tight as can be. Moving into the lead on day two is Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who weighed a second 14-pound bag for a 28-11 total. In second, Scott Wiley is one of seven anglers with 27 pounds and some ounces in the top 10, making the tournament anyone’s game in the final two days. READ MORE »

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day. Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake has turned out to be beyond stingy to the anglers fishing the second event in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division today. After visiting with some 20 pros this morning, the most fish reported caught by a pro was just two keepers. The rest either had just one bass or an empty livewell. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

As expected on the river, the weights are bunched together after the first day of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries. More than a quarter of the field are in the 11-12-pound range, and 10 pounds marked the exact halfway point of the field. That means leader Scott Wiley only has a 5-pound, 3-ounce lead over half the field after weighing in 15-3. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fifth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Cayuga Double-Header Shows Out

Cayuga Double-Header Shows Out

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Union Springs with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cayuga events. READ MORE »

Estes, Pike Tie for Potomac Title

Estes, Pike Tie for Potomac Title

Boaters Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va., and Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Va., both brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces to tie for the win at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Potomac River in Marbury, Md. Estes earned a total of $4,262 after contingency awards, while Pike took home $10,262, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Buntin By 3 Ounces on Alabama River

Buntin By 3 Ounces on Alabama River

Boater Sean Buntin of Satsuma, Ala., brought a five-bass limit bass to the scale Saturday totaling 12 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala. Buntin topped his nearest competitor, Ben Weldon of Petumpka, Alabama, by just 3 ounces and earned $4,296 for his victory. READ MORE »

Baker Sweeps on Kerr

Baker Sweeps on Kerr

It was a double-header for weekend bass anglers this past weekend in Henderson with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Kerr Lake events. READ MORE »

Wieczorek Locks up on Mighty Miss

Wieczorek Locks up on Mighty Miss

Randy Wieczorek of Buffalo City, Wisconsin, brought a three-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. For his victory, Wieczorek earned $5,463. READ MORE »

Seal Stays Close

Seal Stays Close

Boater Mike Seal of Richmond, Indiana, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. For his victory, Seal earned a total of $4,127. READ MORE »