UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Weekend Wrap-Up

Weekend Wrap-Up
Look at that lift-off.

The season is well and truly under way now. More than half of the Rayovac FLW Series divisions and FLW College Fishing conferences have now seen action, and over $1.1 million has been awarded to anglers – and that’s before the Walmart FLW Tour has even started. 

Here’s a recap of last weekend’s tournament action.

 

Ray Hanselman says he caught a fish with each of the 20 rods he had rigged, but the baits that produced the bulk of his catch were a Top Shelf swimbait, a Bill Norman DD22 deep-diving crankbait in a baby carp-imitating color and a Wahoo Lures Wing Ding. The Wing Ding produced the most keepers, but the swimbait duped Hanselman's biggest fish.

Ami-stingy

Ray Hanselman was the first to win a 2015 Rayovac FLW Series event on a true scrappers pattern. He came out on top of a studded field in a very tough event and managed to cobble together  a complete tournament with a secret spot and a really fun variety of patterns and baits. It is worth delving into the tournament coverage if only to remember that tail-spinners are still a thing and that long and harrowing runs can pay off in a big way.

More broadly, Amistad was a prime example of how dang hard fishing can be. Everyone in the tournament acknowledged that the big bass that Amistad is famous for still exist, but the entire pro field caught only 50 limits over three days of fishing. Amistad figures to be an interesting lake to follow in the coming years. If the water comes up again and the fish move shallow we could be in for a fun resurgence. Alternately, we could see the lake become a hotbed of innovation like many of the tough Western fisheries. 

 

The University of Alabama team of Charles Hurst and Ethan Flack brought home the hardware on Lake Seminole.

College Record Falls Again

The Southeastern Conference showed up in a big way Saturday on Lake Seminole when 109 teams entered the tournament, breaking the field-size record that was previously set this season when 89 teams fished at Sam Rayburn in the Southern Division opener. The University of Alabama also showed up, as Crimson Tide anglers Charles Hurst and Ethan Flack hammered 25 pounds, 3 ounces and took home their first win as a team.

For 'Bama, preparation really paid off. The team identified a few areas well in advance of the tournament on the south end of the lake that would be protected from the wind and offered the bass everything they needed to spawn. During the event, Hurst and Flack ended up concentrating on two stretches of thick grass in 3 to 6 feet of water in one of Seminole’s backwater ponds. They started the day tossing weightless shad-colored Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper swimbaits and moved up to Houdini-colored Big Dippers to cull later in the day.

Also of note, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga placed three teams in the top 12, which is something the school has never done before. However, in a 2011 tournament on Okeechobee, UT Chattanooga placed first and second – they didn’t have a third team in that event.

 

Jeremiah Kindy Benton, Ark., won the Arkie Division event on Lake Ouachita with a 19-pound, 1-ounce limit.

The BFLs Creep North

Last weekend on the Walmart Bass Fishing League circuit the Arkie Division fished on Lake Ouachita and the South Carolina Division hit Lake Murray. Kyle Giella picked up the win on Murray with an impressive 25-8, proving again that the big ones really like to bite on Murray when it isn’t the middle of summer. Happily, “the jewel of South Carolina” wasn’t stingy for the rest of the field either. Eighteen boaters brought limits to the scale.

Jeremiah Kindy caught 19-1 for the Ouachita win, and he did it all with a lipless crankbait. Kindy once fished the Walmart FLW Tour, and he spoke as though he might be eyeing a return if he can make it back to and be successful at the All-American (typically a great predictor of success on Tour). Here’s hoping he keeps catching them.

 

The Week Ahead

The coming weekend is light on tournament action, with an FLW College Fishing event set for Lake Texoma (where we could see some very impressive catches if things break right) and a BFL tournament on Lake Okeechobee.

With no tournament weigh-ins scheduled for FLW Live, this weekend seems prime for getting on the water if you’re blessed with nice weather, or for following FLW pros like Shin Fukae and Jacob Wheeler at the Bassmaster Classic if you can’t get out.

Tags: jody-white  article 

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