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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Running a Spot Spawning Pattern

Running a Spot Spawning Pattern
Bryan Thrift caught over 15 pounds of spotted bass for 17th place after day one.

In lakes where there are spotted bass, smallmouths and largemouths, the spawn can get complicated. Largemouths tend to bed in shallower, warmer water, but smallmouths and spotted bass might bed anywhere from the shallows to so far out it’s hard to see their beds.

In lakes with spotted bass and lots of docks, you’ll often find the fish bedding around the dock poles (pilings), especially if that’s about the only shoreline cover there is. Before the poles are set, the holes will be drilled out with an auger, which will bring up hard clay or shells that will get spread around the poles. I believe it’s that type of bottom and the vertical structure of dock poles that draw the spots. So, when you’re easing around looking for bedding fish, key things to watch for are patches of shell under docks and around the poles. You’ll know you’re at least in the right area.

Another thing to make note of is the location of the docks. They don’t have to be in the back of coves and creeks; they can be on the main lake. Smallmouths and spots seem to like main-lake docks near deeper water better as long as they’re not in places that get swept by current a lot.   

A spot and a smallmouth kind of behave the same in a lot of ways. Usually they’re running the same course through spawn and postspawn. From what I’ve seen, spots will bed in water a little cooler than largemouths, and smallmouths about the same as largemouths. That’s when you tend to find more of the main-lake smallmouths and spots – later on in the spring in deeper water and under main-lake docks.

Most of the time you can run a pattern on bedding spots. If I fish a dock all the way out, but only get bit on the third dock pole from the bank in 3 to 5 feet of water, that’s a clue. If I go to the next dock and the same thing happens, it tells me that I need to spend my time fishing the same depth of water. So I don’t waste time fishing every dock from the deep end to the bank. I just put the trolling motor on high and fish the areas of the dock where the spots might be bedding, and then I keep moving.    

I’ll be throwing a 3-inch Damiki Air Craw on a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce shaky head, depending on how deep they’re bedding. As far as the colors go, I like watermelon candy, black with blue flake and white with silver flake.

Tags: spotted-bass  spawn  bryan-thrift  pro-tips-weekly 

How to Find the Best Docks in Early Fall

How to Find the Best Docks in Early Fall

While there’s almost no bad time of year to find a dock pattern, early fall is a prime season for it. The catch is that as shad transition throughout a reservoir in the fall, some bass go on the move with them. So dialing in a key stretch of docks or a dock pattern can at times be challenging, particularly on lakes with a lot of docks. 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 »

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift, of Shelby, North Carolina, the newest FLW Cup champion, will break down his career-defining week... READ MORE »

Thrift Goes Wire-to-Wire, Wins Professional Bass Fishing’s 2019 FLW Cup

Thrift Goes Wire-to-Wire, Wins Professional Bass Fishing’s 2019 FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces, Sunday to claim the title of FLW Cup Champion at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. Thrift, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 38 pounds, 7 ounces, won... READ MORE »

Thrift Extends Lead at Day Two of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

Thrift Extends Lead at Day Two of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Aug. 10, 2019) – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, crossed the stage with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces, for a two-day total... READ MORE »

Thrift Leads Day One of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

Thrift Leads Day One of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Fifty-two of the best bass anglers in the world began their three-day competition for a top cash award of $300,000 at... READ MORE »

Thrift Eyeing Final Feather in His Cap

Thrift Eyeing Final Feather in His Cap

Another year, another FLW Cup. Which means, once more, one of the top storylines going into the championship is, “Will this be the year Bryan Thrift finally wins it?” When you have the pedigree of Thrift – arguably the top angler in the sport – it’s bound to come up. After all, he’s won Rookie of the Year, two Angler of the Year titles (and finished in the top 10 another 11 times) and 11 tournaments (six tour, five Costa FLW Series). READ MORE »

Thrift Goes Wire-To-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Polaris

Thrift Goes Wire-To-Wire, Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Polaris

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces, to lead the event from start to finish and win the three-day Costa FLW Series on Lake Champlain presented by Polaris... READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

National Championship Gets Going

National Championship Gets Going

Bright and early this morning, 148 teams of the best college bass anglers in the country rolled out for day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. The 10th annual National Championship is the culmination of the 2018 season, and the winning duo qualifies for the 2019 FLW Cup and earns a new Ranger boat for its club.  READ MORE »

 How to Rig a Kayak Fish Finder

 How to Rig a Kayak Fish Finder

One of the biggest aftermarket purchases a kayak angler can make is a fish finder. At the start of the kayak-fishing boom, many laughed at the idea of putting a graph on a kayak. Now, it seems almost standard practice, especially for the avid kayak angler. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

It really didn’t matter what pros threw at Table Rock. The fish were probably going to eat it. Yet, despite a banner practice, things certainly got tougher throughout the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which was presented by Power-Pole. Thus, pros needed to continually adapt to the conditions with their offerings.Here’s a look at the lures that helped the top 10 anglers.  READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

With just one keeper from his three primary pockets, leader Jake Morris might have left the door open on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament at Table Rock Lake. His frog pattern might be fizzling out due to clear water and changing conditions. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing pressure and a cold front have shut down the bite at Table Rock Lake for stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division season. The lake's largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are not coming easy. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

A few spawning bass are making their way to the scale in the top pros' bags, but most of the consistent action has come flipping or fishing topwater for largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass at Table Rock. READ MORE »