UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - St. Lawrence River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

FLW anglers set to conquer Lake Martin

FLW anglers set to conquer Lake Martin

Alabama lake makes debut on Wal-Mart FLW Tour

In January, the FLW Tour kicked off the 2001 season at Lake Okeechobee amidst much fanfare. However, despite the cooler-than-normal conditions and lower-than-average lake levels, the nation's premier bass anglers managed to reel in a parade of monster bass and hefty five-fish limits. In the end, David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., walked away with first place and a $100,000 check.

The following month, the 2001 tour moved to the Pascagoula River in D'Iberville, Miss. With dense fog, cool conditions and gusting winds dominating the landscape of the Pascagoula and Biloxi Rivers, anglers battled the rough elements and endured some of the smallest catch totals in recent memory. However, when all was said and done, Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., went on to capture his first-ever FLW tour victory.

So what does Lake Martin - the third FLW Tour stop in 2001 - have in store for the nation's top anglers? Well, if you listen to the experts, it appears that the March 21-24 FLW Tour event on Lake Martin almost certainly will be a hybrid of the first two tour stops. In essence, anglers can expect to catch lots of fish, just not a lot of big fish.

Lake facts and history

After dam construction was completed in 1926, Lake Martin earned distinction as one of the largest reservoirs in the world. With a surface area of 40,000 acres, and more than 700 miles of shoreline, Lake Martin is the second deepest in the state. Located in east-central Alabama in Tallapoosa, Elmore and Coosa Counties, Lake Martin is commonly referred to as the cleanest lake in Alabama.

Lake Martin and its tributaries form part of the Tallapoosa River watershed that extends all the way into Georgia covering more than 3,000 total square miles. The Tallapoosa River joins the Coosa River just north of Montgomery, Ala., to form the Alabama River. The waters of Lake Martin eventually flow to the Gulf of Mexico through Mobile Bay.

While Lake Martin is an excellent largemouth fishery, it is estimated that spotted bass comprise approximately 70 percent of all bass found in the lake.

Big numbers, small stringers

With Lake Martin expected to be in a pre-spawn phase heading into the tournament, anglers are expecting some exciting competition on the water.

"It should be a good tournament," said Trip Weldon, a native Wetumpka, Ala. "Lake Martin's not a great lake for catching large fish, but I think there will be a lot of fish caught."

And Weldon should know. After all, he won the EverStart Series tour event on Lake Martin in 2000 and has been fishing the lake for the last 25 years. In fact, Weldon arguable possesses more knowledge about Lake Martin than any other angler of the circuit today.

"By the start of the tournament, the lake is likely going to be in its pre-spawn phase," said Weldon. "The creeks will be heavily stained, but the main lake will be pretty clear. And unlike a lot of lakes on the FLW circuit, the whole lake is extremely fishable - which makes it a perfect lake for tournament fishing. Unlike Lake Okeechobee, where everyone basically fishes in two locations, you can catch a fish anywhere on Lake Martin. The FLW Tour is definitely hitting the lake at the right time of the year."

Weldon believes that anglers will be able to use a wide variety of fishing styles as well.

"The fish are going to be caught on many different patterns," he said. "Sight-fishing, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastics ... people are definitely going to catch a lot of fish."

Although Weldon remains one of the pre-tournament favorites, given his extensive knowledge of the lake and past tournament success on Lake Martin, he believes the tournament will be wide open.

"For starters, when I won the EverStart tournament on Lake Martin, it was during the winter (February 2000) and the water level was down about 9 feet," said Weldon. "So, it's going to be a very different tournament this time around. In mid-March, the fish will be spawning, which means that they'll most likely be on the beds. It's a big equalizer when the fish are shallow. Not to mention the fact that FLW anglers are some of the best fishermen in the country."

Ten pounds a day could do it

Like Weldon, FLW angler Dale Teaney also believes that Lake Martin will produce a large number of five-fish limits.

"If we get some warm weather, the fishing will be pretty good," said Teaney, who leads the FLW Tour overall points standings despite fishing the FLW circuit for the first time this year. "There are a lot of fish in this lake and there are going to be many limits caught. However, the weights are not going to be huge. My guess is that 10 pounds a day will be enough to make the top-10 cut."

Terry Bolton, a native of Paducah, Ky., echoed the sentiments of Weldon and Teaney.

"There will be lots of fish caught and a lot of five-fish limits," he said. "But you probably won't see a lot of big fish. My guess is that a really good stringer of fish will be in the 12- to 15-pound range."

Although approximately 70 percent of the bass present in Lake Martin are of the spotted variety, Bolton believes that largemouth bass will ultimately tip the scales in the final outcome.

"You're going to see anglers bring in a lot of spotted bass," said Bolton. "But I think you're going to need to catch some bigger largemouth bass to win this tournament. It should be a very interesting tournament from both an angler and spectator standpoint."

After battling the difficult and frustrating conditions on the Pascagoula River, many anglers said they were looking forward to the third stop on the 2001 FLW Tour.

"I can't sleep already," said Teaney, who finished in 13th place during the EverStart Series event on Lake Martin last February. "I'm very anxious to say the least."

Weldon, anxious to get in his first dose of FLW tournament action this year, said he just might have some trouble sleeping as well.

"I'm really excited," he said. "I'll be there with both barrels blazing for this one."

Related links:
Tournament field
Event details
Wal-Mart FLW Tour anglers heading to Lake Martin
Tournament preview: FLW Lake Martin, March 21-24











Tags: gary-mortenson  article 

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

In April, FLW Associate Editor Justin Onslow documented how Gross likes to cut the belly of his two favorite hollow swimbaits – the Scottsboro and the Zoom Swimmer – when rigging on a weedless hook to achieve a high hook-up ratio. However, that article didn’t break down where and why Gross prefers to use the Beast Flashy Swimmer hook versus a standard weighted, weedless swimbait hook. So we reached out to Gross for more info. READ MORE »

FLW Mourns Passing of T. Boone Pickens

FLW Mourns Passing of T. Boone Pickens

Businessman T. Boone Pickens, who in 2010 partnered with FLW to promote an alternative energy plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, passed away Wednesday at the age of 91.  READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

College football, hooded sweatshirts and the conclusion of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) regular season are what come to mind as the calendar turns to September. This past weekend, six divisions put a feather in their cap for the year with their two-day Super Tournament events – where the payouts are bigger – but, more importantly, it’s the last chance to accumulate points to qualify for the Regionals this October. READ MORE »

Harris Chain to Host 2020 College Championship

Harris Chain to Host 2020 College Championship

Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes will host the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship. The tournament, set for Feb. 26-28, will showcase the top collegiate anglers from across the nation. READ MORE »

Martin Makes Young Angler’s Wish Come True

Martin Makes Young Angler’s Wish Come True

A feature published this morning by Dennis Anderson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (startribune.com) details the story of a 10-year-old Minnesota boy named Colby, whose wish was to get to meet and fish with FLW Tour pro Scott Martin. Colby, who suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder, got his wish on Wednesday thanks to Martin, Minnesota-based 3M and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Together, they treated Colby’s family to a weeklong vacation, and Martin guided the young angler to a day of fishing for bass and northern pike on Mantrap Lake near Park Rapids, Minn. Martin has been in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the last week or so filming for various video projects. READ MORE »

Khourie, Lingnau Win 2019 FLW South Africa Championship

Khourie, Lingnau Win 2019 FLW South Africa Championship

Team Khourie/Lignau, consisting of Pieter Khourie and August Lingnau of the North West region, came roaring back on day three of the 2019 FLW South Africa Championship with a five-bass limit of 10.55 kg (23.25 pounds) to take the top spot and beat out Greg Schluep and Giulio Nolli of Team Secret VC for the title. READ MORE »

Checking in with Walters After the Cup

Checking in with Walters After the Cup

Walters, 41, of Grant Valkaria, Fla., is getting back to business as usual following his remarkable Cup showing, and we checked in with him to find out what his experience in Hot Springs was like and what’s on tap for the future – including a possible FLW Tour career. READ MORE »

FLW Zimbabwe Championship Recap

FLW Zimbabwe Championship Recap

The 2019 FLW Zimbabwe Championship took place Aug. 23-25 on Lake Mteri. The Walking Dead team led by Roger Cousens won the event with a three-day total weight of 101.83 pounds. For the win, Cousens will fish as a boater at the Costa FLW Series Championship Oct. 31-Nov. 2 on Lake Cumberland, and Miles Bennet (from team Keepnet) will compete on the co-angler side. READ MORE »

A Tribute to Irwin Jacobs

A Tribute to Irwin Jacobs

Jacobs’ dreams were bigger. Bolder. He saw bass fishing’s potential to reach beyond the traditional fishing consumer and to the masses. Through his corporate savvy and hard work, Jacobs manifested a new era of professional bass fishing where anglers became household names, represented major national brands and competed for enormous payouts. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: John Cox

Check-in Time: John Cox

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with John Cox.  READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 3

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac has offered chamber of commerce weather and some up and down fishing. The event, which is presented by Lowrance, has featured pretty tough fishing overall, and it seems like some of the top 10 may fall victim to it today. READ MORE »

Curveballs at the Cup

Curveballs at the Cup

When the field of 52 anglers arrived in Hot Springs, Ark., for the official practice period for the 2019 FLW Cup, they were greeted with sunshine, humidity and brutal daytime temperatures in the upper 90s. Early in the week, there was little mention of anything other than the same – a typical Arkansas summer forecast of sunny and hot. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Jeremy Lawyer’s fourth-place finish at the FLW Cup on Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton was enough to earn him an extra $1,000 from LEER Cover Cash and $3,500 from Toyota Bonus Bucks. The third year FLW Tour pro used a two-prong approach of fishing shallow with a topwater and probing deep brush piles with a drop-shot to notch his best finish to date in the Cup. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Set to Air Wednesday

Rapala Varsity Bass Set to Air Wednesday

The second episode of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire will air today at 2 p.m. CT. In Episode 2, Noah Ezickson and his teammate Connor Walsh journey to the fabled Alabama fishery of Lake Guntersville. Utilizing his diverse fishing experience from his travels around the world, can the Wake Forest University team qualify for the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing Championship? READ MORE »

FLW Marshal Don White Wins New Ranger Boat

FLW Marshal Don White Wins New Ranger Boat

Angler Don White of Columbus, Mississippi, was announced as the first winner of a brand new Ranger Z518L courtesy of the FLW Marshal Program. READ MORE »

Henderson Holds Steady to Take FLW-KBF Cup Crown

Henderson Holds Steady to Take FLW-KBF Cup Crown

Even with day-one leader Eric Jackson taking a massive lead into the final day of competition and 70 more of the best kayak anglers on the planet behind him, Clint Henderson did what he said he was going to do. He won the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack and the $15,000 top prize. READ MORE »

Jackson Crushes on Day One of FLW-KBF Cup

Jackson Crushes on Day One of FLW-KBF Cup

Eric Jackson is simply a hammer fishing from a kayak. The FLW Tour pro and owner of Jackson Kayak is fresh off an individual and team gold-medal-winning performance in the 2019 Pan Am Bass Kayak Championship (not to mention a third-place finish in the final 2019 FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain), and his five-fish limit of 98.25 inches on day one of the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack puts him in stellar position to earn another victory on Saturday. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Tour Schedule

2020 FLW Tour Schedule

FLW announced today its regular-season schedule for the 25th season of the FLW Tour, which kicks off in January 2020. The schedule was revealed to anglers and media at the annual pre-FLW Cup banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. READ MORE »

Alan Reed Dishes on FLW-KBF Cup Practice

Alan Reed Dishes on FLW-KBF Cup Practice

We caught up with Reed after his practice on Wednesday to get the scoop on how Ouachita is fishing and what the outlook is for the two-day event that begins Friday and runs concurrently with the FLW Cup on neighboring Lake Hamilton. READ MORE »