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Lucas Wins 160K on Erie

Lucas Wins 160K on Erie
Justin Lucas

From practice on, Justin Lucas felt this was his tournament to win, and he felt it’d take 20 pounds a day to do it.

He came real close to meeting his goal-weight estimate; just a little short with 79-2 for the tournament, which made it real close come weigh-in. But in the end, his feeling held true.

Battling it out in big waves all day, the Guntersville, Ala., pro brought in the biggest bag of the final day (19-10) to take down Jacob Wheeler by just 1 ounce to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie. Because of the FLW PHOENIX Bonus, he took home an additional $35,000 in contingency money for a total paycheck of $160,000.

Complete results 

Top 10 patterns 

Top 10 baits 

Justin Lucas

“Where’s the hospital at?” says Lucas on stage after beating Wheeler by just the single ounce. “I knew Wheeler, he said he had 17 pounds, and I know he’s a little sandbagger. So, I knew it was going to be really close. I thought it was a tie, and I thought he won. I was sitting there deflated, because I thought he won.

“I’m at a loss for words. This one feels good. I’ve never won that much money in my life.”

It’s hard to believe a pro originally from California and now Alabama could be on top of the smallmouth world, but Lucas certainly is right now. Just a couple weeks ago, he won the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour event on Sturgeon Bay crushing smallmouth, and then he kept that momentum rolling with brown fish here. And both wins came using the exact same tackle and pattern.

He was still using the same Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worm (green pumpkin) on a drop-shot with a ½-ounce weight and No. 2 hook. He threw it on a 7-foot Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier rod with a Abu Garcia Revo MGXtreme reel spooled with Berkley X5 Braid Crystal to an 8-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon leader.

And the pattern was just spending the majority of his days glued to his electronics actually looking for fish swimming around large boulders and structure. When he saw one, he’d pitch out to it and often hooked up.

One key difference, though, was just how much tougher it was to get bites here than at Sturgeon Bay. Instead of cycling through dozens of fish a day, Friday was Lucas’ best day in terms of bites, and he only got eight all day.

“It’s really tough out there to get bites,” says Lucas. “So many people were out there in practice where I fished, and they bailed on it because of how tough it was. I just really had to comb everything over, finding every nook and cranny. It wasn’t a lot of bites, but the quality out there is insane.”

Justin Lucas

While many pros risked the 100-mile run to Lake St. Clair in order to get higher numbers of bites, Lucas dedicated himself to two areas around Gull Island Shoal and Kelly’s Island Shoal, both right near the Canadian border. Of course, when the waves steadily got worse throughout the event, Lucas was plenty happy to be staying in Erie as opposed to getting his fillings knocked out on the run to St. Clair. Then again, the big waves didn’t make things easy to start today.

“When I started this morning, I was expecting to get bit [on my first spot],” says Lucas. “When I didn’t, I thought it might be a grinder today. The waves were really big, and it was really hard to move around. Really time consuming. It took me an hour to go 17 to 18 miles.”

Justin Lucas

After a short move produced a 4-pounder, Lucas made what ended up being the winning decision to hit a unique piece of structure the fish “hadn’t really been on that great” but he thought might turn on with the switch to an east wind.

“I tried to start there this morning, but the waves were just too big,” says Lucas of the special spot around Kelley’s Island Shoal. “Honestly, think it’s an old sunken channel marker. It’s a big piece of steel down there. I don’t know if it’s a boat or what it is. It’s not hard to stay on it because of how big it is. It’s like 16 feet long and it’s 5 feet tall. I’ve been calling it a space missile all week.

“They were using the back side of it as a current break. That’s why it was good today as the east wind started blowing on it again, the current would wash over that thing, and they’d be sitting on the back side.”

In short order he was able to get seven bites that ended up being just enough to knock off the best angler in the sport right now. And if that wasn’t special enough, Lucas admits the location and tournament organization added a little extra.

“I came here in 2013,” says Lucas. “That’s when I left FLW after qualifying for the Elite Series because of a good finish here. So, to be back and to win here – I never won an FLW [Tour] event – is really cool.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Justin Lucas – Guntersville, Ala. – 79-2 (20) – $160,000

2. Jacob Wheeler – Harrison, Tenn. – 79-1 (20) – $35,000

3. Josh Bertrand – San Tan Valley, Ariz. – 74-10 (20) – $30,000

4. Scott Dobson – Clarkston, Mich. – 74-6 (20) – $25,000

5. Spencer Shuffield – Hot Springs, Ark. – 73-12 (20) – $22,000

6. Alton Jones Jr. – Lorena, Texas – 72-14 (20) – $21,000

7. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 68-7 (20) – $19,000

8. Jim Moynagh – Shakopee, Minn. – 67-10 (20) – $18,000

9. Russ Lane – Prattville, Ala. – 66-12 (20) – $17,200

10. Jason Lambert – Michie, Tenn. – 53-3 (15) – $16,000

Complete results

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2020-08-11-lake-erie-super-tournament 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

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 »