UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tuesday Tour Update: Amerson biding time until summer

Tuesday Tour Update: Amerson biding time until summer
Keith Amerson holds up a 6-pound, 13-ounce Lake Hartwell largemouth, the biggest bass caught on day one.

Keith Amerson didn't know what to expect in his rookie season on the Walmart FLW Tour, but the opening salvo has been remarkable. All the 44-year-old mail carrier knew was that fishing professionally has always been his dream. Thus far, it's been a dream that he doesn't want to wake up from. After making the top-20 cut at Okeechobee, Amerson finished 52nd at Hartwell, earning yet another five-figure paycheck. With one third of the season complete, it's likely his best is still yet to come.

Growing up, Amerson's passion for bass fishing was instilled by his grandfather. Living approximately 30 miles from the Tennessee River he began fishing small club tournaments and then team tournaments. Amerson got his first major break in 2001 when he claimed the Fishers of Men Team National Championship with partner Jason Martindale. Numerous FOM accolades followed - including winning Team of the Year honors and claiming the 2007 Legacy Series National Championship with his daughter Kelcey. Fifth-place pro Keith Amerson holds up an Okeechobee giant.

"After that I started fishing the BFLs and the Rayovac FLW Series," Amerson explained. "I've just been working my way up. Strike King was my first sponsor in 2002 and I have a friend who wanted to help me with entry fees this year. That's how I got to where I am today."

Amerson opened eyes when he caught a 10-pound, 6-ounce behemoth at Okeechobee, the largest bass of the season's first tournament. Sharing an area with pro Leon Williams, Amerson eventually ran out of fish on day three and finished 19th.

"I only caught one 6-pounder in practice at Okeechobee. I didn't fish that area hard in practice, but I was on a lot more than I realized. I've never caught a 10-pounder in my entire life."

Amerson caught another giant on Hartwell exactly a month later, this one weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Again, it was the heaviest bass of the entire event. Two tournaments - two big bass awards from one rookie pro. Even veterans of the sport started asking the obvious question, "Who is this guy?"

"At Hartwell I knew I was on big fish," Amerson clarified. "I knew I wasn't going to get many bites, but they were big - mostly 3- and 4-pounders. When the 2014 schedule came out, I figured this would be a great year to try it because I had fished every lake except for Hartwell. Then my first fish of the tournament was that 6-13 and I thought thank you God. It's a big relief to have Hartwell over with. After my prepractice, I've never left a lake more confused."

Strike King pro Keith Amerson pitches to the Kissimmee grass. Back home in the town of Bethel Springs, Tenn., Amerson is known as "The Big Deal." It started as a joke among friends - playing off the popular line from Will Ferrell's character Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman, but somehow it stuck. The nickname will stick with fishing fans across the country if Amerson continues his penchant for coaxing kickers.

"I don't know how to explain it, but I'm proud of those two fish. The recognition that I've gotten is neat and it's helping me get my name out there, but it's more about the adrenaline rush of playing those big ones."

Amerson currently sits 19th in the points race. His No. 1 goal for the season is to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray Aug. 14-17 in Columbia, S.C. Goal No. 2 is to cash as many big checks as possible.

"I've fished my whole life, but honestly, I didn't know how I'd do out here. I didn't know if I was good enough to compete with these guys. I realize I'm a nobody in the fishing world, but the pros, the guys I've seen on TV for years, they've accepted me with open arms. That's one thing I never expected and that's really humbled me."

Salivating for summer

Perhaps most impressively, the early part of the season was supposed to be about survival. As a summertime specialist, Amerson is especially looking forward to the final two qualifiers of the year on Pickwick Lake and Kentucky Lake.

Keith Amerson finished fourth on day one with 20 pounds."I prefer to set up over a shell bed and cast a 10XD or drag a Strike King football jig. I expect to do well at those two. I'm looking for top-20s and anything less I will be upset with myself because I didn't do what I needed to do. Kentucky Lake is the one I'm looking forward to the most. I like Pickwick, but it scares me too because it fishes so small. In the summer there are only 40 or 50 schools of fish. If you get a bad (boat) number, you can be in trouble and not get to fish where you want."

While he dreams of offshore ledge fishing in the warm June sun, Amerson realizes there is immediate work ahead - namely the Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Beaver Lake. For now, he's grateful for the opportunity in front of him - thanks largely to sponsors.

"I need to thank Ranger Boats, Mercury, Power-Pole, Strike King, Lew's, Lowrance, Daiichi, MotorGuide, Lofton Chevrolet, Rayjus and the entire Amerson Fishing Nation. I don't know if I'll be able to come back next year or not, but right now I'm living my dream."

Tags: brett-carlson  article 

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 »

Takeoff Delayed at Lake of the Ozarks

Takeoff Delayed at Lake of the Ozarks

The final Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks – which is presented by Evinrude – was originally slated to begin at 7 a.m. CT this morning, but Mother Nature had other plans. A massive thunderstorm has been rolling through Osage Beach, Mo., this morning bringing heavy downpours and lots of lightning. READ MORE »

Major League Fishing to Acquire FLW

Major League Fishing to Acquire FLW

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. The Letter of Intent (LOI) sets in motion the most significant brand merger in competitive bass fishing history, linking a tour and original, award-winning programming featuring the top professional anglers in the world to an extensive grassroots organization that serves tens of thousands of competitive anglers from high school and college students to weekenders and tour pros.  READ MORE »

How the MLF Acquisition will Affect Me

How the MLF Acquisition will Affect Me

The Thursday announcement of Major League Fishing’s acquisition of FLW signifies a historic shift in the landscape of competitive bass fishing. Here’s an overview of how the competitive circuits of FLW will operate. READ MORE »

Newberry Wins Southwestern Division AOY

Newberry Wins Southwestern Division AOY

It was sweet redemption in many ways for the Texas legend who still owns and operates his Houston-based HVAC company despite spending so much time on the tournament-fishing circuit. Redemption for missing out on the FLW Cup in his first season. Redemption for what Grand did to him earlier this year on Tour (dropping from sixth to 41st with only one fish on day two). And, in a way, validation for a career filled with big accomplishments. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 3 Airs Friday 

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 3 Airs Friday 

Join FLW for a Rapala Varsity Bass watch party on Friday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. CT for the premiere of Episode 3 in the series. READ MORE »

Valdivia is Best in the West

Valdivia is Best in the West

California pro David Valdivia has consistently finished near the top of the standings in the Costa FLW Series Western Division. This year he finally won his first Strike King Angler of the Year award, and he did it by just one point in the standings. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

The final five T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournaments took place over the weekend, bringing BFL regular-season competition to a close. Regional tournaments will kick off Oct. 10, and by the end of the month the majority of the field for the 2020 All-American will be set.  READ MORE »

Wild Card set for Kentucky Lake

Wild Card set for Kentucky Lake

Fishing League Worldwide, the world’s largest tournament fishing organization, announced Sunday that the 2019 T-H Marine BFL Wild Card tournament will take place on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, Nov. 8-9. The two-day event, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, will launch from the Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville. READ MORE »

Dobson Wins First FLW Series AOY

Dobson Wins First FLW Series AOY

Scott Dobson has earned a pile of accolades up north, but this year, he earned his biggest title yet. Winning the Strike King Angler of the Year in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, the Clarkston, Mich., angler finished third at Lake Champlain, 13th on the Potomac River and wrapped the season and the title with a second-place showing on the St. Lawrence River. READ MORE »