UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tuesday Tour Update: Shuffield seeking signature win

Tuesday Tour Update: Shuffield seeking signature win
Spencer Shuffield sets up on a St. Clair smallmouth.

Over the past five years, Spencer Shuffield has steadily climbed the ranks of bass fishing. After getting his feet wet as an FLW Tour co-angler, Shuffield proved he was the best from the back of the boat in winning the 2011 Co-angler of the Year award. The following season he made his pro debut and experienced mixed results. This year, he cashed checks in all but one of the regular season events, qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup and finished ahead of his legendary father in the standings for the first time.

With mixed emotions, the 24-year-old Shuffield said he was satisfied with his 2013 performance.

"I don't know; I guess I'm pleased with how it went," he said. "Qualifying for the Cup was important, but I think the next step for me is winning a tournament. I've had my chances over the past two years. I mean, I would have won Table Rock if a swivel wouldn't have opened up on a 5-pounder. I feel like if I keep putting myself in position it will happen eventually. To win one, everything has to go right; it's not easy. I think about it every tournament when I'm idling around during practice. Is this going to be the Spencer Shuffield flips toward the bank Thursday afternoon. one? I think about holding the check and trophy. I want it so bad."

Shuffield said he's slowly learning to tweak his focus and balance fishing to win versus fishing for a payday. He said harnessing his passion to win took a different mentality.

"This year I fished a little more for checks," Shuffield explained. "Last year I fished for big ones pretty much all day every day. This year I tried to fish for quality. I practiced for what I thought it would take to get a check. Don't get me wrong, I still want to win. But I approached the 2012 season as though I had to win one to stay fishing. I'm doing all this out of my own pocket and I fished every tournament to win thinking it could be my last chance at being a pro."

While Shuffield finished 12th in the FLW Tour points race, his season took some wild swings. For example, he experienced an awesome practice at Okeechobee - catching several kickers in excess of 6 pounds. Come tournament time, he caught the same numbers of bass in the same areas, but the big girls never appeared. Instead of leaving for a new area with five in the livewell, Shuffield stuck with it, thinking the next bite would be the kicker. Instead, he just wore out the 2- and 2 1/2-pounders.

A similar situation played out at Grand Lake, where Shuffield experienced the best practice day of his life on a frog and a buzzbait. Right after takeoff he hit a floating log, even though he was following the trail of another competitor. The impact knocked off his lower unit and Shuffield didn't make it back on the water until 12:30 p.m. At that point the sun had popped out and stayed out the next day - essentially killing his topwater bite.

Spencer Shuffield caught a 21-pound, 8-ounce stringer from Lake St. Clair Thursday.Those two touranaments were the worst finishes of his season, but he still managed to overcome adversity and avoid a bomb.

"I've fished my entire life, but I'm still learning. I'm not afraid to say that I made some bad decisions this year. Little decisions make a big difference out there. But I look back at some of the best pros like Jason Christie, Brent Ehrler and Randall Tharp. In their first couple years, they struggled. I think I'm going to have a much better season next year."

While Shuffield is proud of his progress on tour, he said he's been fishing poorly back home, a stark contrast from what he's used to. That has taught him that he's better at fishing patterns than spots.

"What I've noticed is that I can go to a lake I've never been to and do better than I would at a lake around the house that I fish all the time. It's frustrating to not win a bunch of tournaments back home, but it also makes me more confident going to lakes I'm not real familiar with."

Shuffield also credited the presence of his wife Kelsey and daughter Aubree as a stabilizing force in 2013.

"They traveled with me and I think that's a big part of why I did better this year. Whether you had a good or a bad day, they helped me get a break from fishing. I would take my mind off of fishing for a few hours and start fresh every day."

Notes:

While Shuffield had considerable success with the Alabama rig, he was elated to see it banned.

Spencer Shuffield scores on an Alabama Rig"A lot of people think I'm an A-rig fisherman. But I got good at it because our lakes set up perfect for it. Around here, you just have to throw it and that's the way it is at every tournament. You can't win a tournament on a football jig anymore. So I learned how to fish it and got really good. I think even won like nine tournaments in a row at one point. But even then, I didn't want to pick it up and I hated throwing it. Now I don't even have to think about it. I hated last year going into Beaver knowing it was going to be won on it. It's just a dang hassle."

Shuffield still seeks the advice of his father, but ironically, the two have contrasting fishing styles. The guidance he receives is broad and rarely has to do with specific tactics or techniques.

"Dad taught me how to fish and he's the one that got me started, but now I'm my own man. People might think of me as just Ron Shuffield's son, but I'm out there on my own. Any success or failure I have is of my own doing."

Tags: brett-carlson  article 

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. READ MORE »

2019 BFL AOY Winners

2019 BFL AOY Winners

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) has long been one of the hardest-fought grassroots tournament circuits and the breeding ground for future pros and local legends. With five tournaments in each division, anglers have to contend against the best in their local area, often fishing against full-time guides or local anglers with dozens of tournament wins to their name on a given body of water. As such, winning the season-long Angler of the Year title in one of the 24 divisions is a monumental feat, something that only a couple BFL anglers have done more than a few times. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

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 Missouri pro Jeremy Lawyer.  READ MORE »

Adrian College Wins School of the Year

Adrian College Wins School of the Year

The bass-fishing club at Adrian College is the best in the country, capping off the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing season in first place overall with 2,350 points, and earning the team the title of 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year.  READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 4 Airs Wednesday

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 4 Airs Wednesday

Join FLW for a watch party for the premiere of Episode 4 of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire. The episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. CT. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Costa FLW Series Championship

FLW Live Schedule for Costa FLW Series Championship

FLW Live is back for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky. The event will feature daily weigh-in broadcasts, as well as the full FLW Live studio broadcast, with live feeds from top anglers' boats, on the final two days. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Series Schedule and Details

2020 FLW Series Schedule and Details

Major League Fishing (MLF) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) recently announced the expanded 2020 FLW Series details, schedules, rules, entry fees and payouts. READ MORE »

2020 T-H Marine BFL Schedules and Details

2020 T-H Marine BFL Schedules and Details

Major League Fishing (MLF) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) recently announced the 202 BFL details, schedules, rules, entry fees and payouts. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Series and BFL Details

2020 FLW Series and BFL Details

Major League Fishing (MLF) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) announced today the expanded 2020 FLW Series and T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) details, schedules, rules, entry fees and payouts, highlighted by lower entry fees in both circuits and an expanded FLW Series schedule, along with upping the FLW Series Championship payout to $200,000 for first place and adding a $10,000 bonus for the highest-finishing pro from each of the eight U.S. FLW Series divisions and the International Division. READ MORE »

Ebare Eyes Strong Finish

Ebare Eyes Strong Finish

Ebare loves to fish. A lot. And he’s fished in 20 FLW events so far in 2019. His 21st will be the Costa FLW Series Championship at Lake Cumberland at the end of October, at which he hopes to earn his first win in FLW competition. READ MORE »

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Last weekend, Floyd added to his already lengthy list of accomplishments with a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional victory on Lake Guntersville – the tournament was presented by Mercury – with a 44-pound, 15-ounce three-day total, and it all came down to consistency and some really good decision-making. READ MORE »

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. are best friends off the water, and it looks like they’ve got the makings of a deadly team on the water. Weighing five smallmouths for 21.16 pounds in the first session and 23.92 pounds in the second session, the pair totaled 45.08 pounds to win the individual competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. READ MORE »

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Though Team USA locked up the top three places, Team Canada placed six teams in the top 10 and averaged 38.98 pounds to win the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. Results were tallied based on the average weight brought in by each team in the two sessions of fishing, which almost guaranteed an extremely close finish. Earning a silver medal, Team USA finished just a hundredth of a pound back with a 38.97 average. READ MORE »

Canada Leads at Pan Am

Canada Leads at Pan Am

The first session of competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis was a roaring success. After the morning weigh-in, Team Canada is leading with an average of 21.16 pounds, Team USA is in second with a 19.6 average, Team Akwesasne First Nation is in third with 18.62 and Mexico had an up and down morning to accrue a 17.24-pound average. READ MORE »

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Austin Felix has been running a generator for a few years now, and his primary use is during the spring in the North, when he’s spending mega-days on the water practicing for tournaments that feature bedding smallmouths. READ MORE »

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Because of steady rain and hard winds at around 20 mph or more, day one of the Pan American Bass Championship has been canceled. With gusts up to 40 mph in the forecast, the organizers have decided to fish two sessions on Friday instead. READ MORE »

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

With the official training day in the rearview, the Pan American Bass Championship starts Thursday, Oct. 16, on Lake St. Francis in Cornwall, Ontario. Teams from Mexico, the Akwesasne First Nation, Canada and the United States will be competing the next two days for glory and country, but also to help along the movement to make bass fishing an Olympic sport. READ MORE »

How to Find Big-Water Smallmouth in Fall

How to Find Big-Water Smallmouth in Fall

The key to finding smallmouth bass on big water in the fall is to know where they’re coming from and where they’re heading, then connecting the dots in between. Swimbaits, blade baits, ChatterBaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, drop-shots and Ned rigs all put bass in the boat. READ MORE »

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

It’s not often an angler wins a Strike King Angler of the Year title in a Costa FLW Series division by chance, and while skill is what carried Jake Morris to his first Costa AOY title, chance definitely brought him to the opportunity. READ MORE »

Umbrella Rigs for Great Lakes Smallies   

Umbrella Rigs for Great Lakes Smallies   

The days of catching seemingly infinite bass on an umbrella rig are mostly gone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't fish with one. The rig is a great tool for catching fall smallmouth bass on the big waters of the Great Lakes and elsewhere up north. READ MORE »