UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Murray Leads Wheeler by an Ounce

Murray Leads Wheeler by an Ounce

Five years ago legendary western pro John Murray moved from Arizona to Spring City, Tenn., for one very specific reason: to learn how to fish Tennessee River lakes, especially to better understand the Tennessee River’s current and bass’ relationship to it. Today, Murray’s move to Tennessee paid off as he took the day-two lead in the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake. On day one Murray weighed in a respectable 16 pounds, 4 ounces. Today, he added 22 pounds, 10 ounces for a two-day total of 38 pounds, 14 ounces. He now has a slim one-ounce lead over Jacob Wheeler going into the final day.

Top five patterns

Complete results

“Tennessee River tournaments invariably are always on tournament schedules,” Murray says. “And nearly every time I’d go to a Tennessee River lake in the summer, I just bomb. I finally got tired of it and moved out here to learn these lakes.”

Murray gave credit to his Spring City, Tenn., neighbor Wesley Strader for teaching him some of the finer points of fishing Tennessee River current. Today, Murray utilized those lessons well.

“I’m not out there fishing the deep places and the deep schools,” Murray says. “I’m fishing more of the 7- to 10-foot range, on top of bars. I think this heavy current has the fish and shad pushed up on those places. If this current wasn’t running this hard, I don’t think they would be up where I’m catching them. Those shallower places are providing the necessary breaks that I’ve learned are so critical on these lakes.”

In addition, Murray believes there is some sort of shad spawn going on up on the shallower bars he is fishing. He can’t physically see visible evidence of the shad spawning, but he can electronically see them thanks to his forward-looking sonar.

“My boat is setting out, but I’m using that to scan across the tops of those bars and I every now and then a flurry of activity come across the screen,” he explains. “I believe that activity is big schools of shad spawning on and crossing those bars. At times I can literally see them being chased by bass.”

John Murray

Hence Murray’s 22-pound, 10-ounce catch, which started with three 5-pounders first thing this morning. His key baits have been a big worm and big jig cast up into the areas where he sees the activity on the screen, about 45 feet in front of the boat.

“I have to make the casts at the right angle in that current to get the bite,” he says. “If I cast across the bar, that fast current bows the line too much. So I have to cast more parallel with the bar so I can bring the lure down the bar with the current.”

Obviously, Murray’s Tennessee River current lessons are starting to pay off. With another big bag tomorrow, he could get one of the biggest paydays of his storied career: winning a tournament on the river system that has been a thorn in his side for so long.

 

Top 10 pros

1. John Murray – Spring City, Tenn. – 38-14 (10)

2. Jacob Wheeler – Harrison, Tenn. – 38-13 (10)

3. Buddy Gross – Chickamauga, Ga. – 37-2 (10)

4. Michael Brewer – Lawrenceburg, Tenn. – 36-15 (10)

5. Ricky Robinson – Greenback, Tenn. – 36-14 (10)

6. Michael Bean – Bowling Green, Ky. – 35-14 (10)

7. Brent Anderson – Kingston Springs, Tenn. – 35-5 (10)

8. Justin Atkins – Florence, Ala. – 35-1 (10)

9. Marshall Deakins – Dunlap, Tenn. – 34-13 (10)

10. Jimmy Washam – Covington, Tenn. – 33-2 (10)

Complete results

 

Josh Lockard

Lockard leads co-anglers 

Josh Lockhard of Somerset, Ky., now leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 3 ounces. On day one Lockhard caught 12 pounds, 12 ounces and today he added 16 pounds, 7 ounces – the biggest catch in the co-angler division yet. He will enter tomorrow's final round paired with pro leader John Murray with a 3-pound, 9-ounce advantage.

Complete results

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2020-05-28-pickwick 

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., 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 »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., 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 $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., 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 »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., 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 $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., 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 $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., 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 of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. 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 »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  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 »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Dickneite Again on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Andre Dickneite of Freeburg, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Dickneite earned a total of $3,794. READ MORE »

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Wallis Sacks 19-14 on Truman

Boater Mike Wallis of Hallsville, Mo., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Missouri. For his victory, Wallis earned a total of $5,009. READ MORE »

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Houchin Gets Hamilton W

Boater Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hamilton. For his victory, Houchin earned $13,460, which includes the lucrative FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency payout. READ MORE »

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Foutz Claims Chick Title

Boater Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Foutz earned $5,126. READ MORE »