UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Lots of Tournament Action on Tap

Lots of Tournament Action on Tap
Barry Wilson

With seven T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League events, one Costa FLW Series event and a Bass Pro Shops High School Fishing Open on the docket this week, tournament season is well underway, and the schedule is creeping northward. Across the board, the fishing should be good, with plenty of prespawn bass making their way shallow to be caught.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming up.

Complete FLW tournament schedule

 

Costa FLW Series

March 22-24

Southwestern Division – Grand Lake

Grove, Okla.

Moving up to Oklahoma from the opener on Sam Rayburn, the second stop of the Southwestern Division should feature strong fishing. Grand Lake is typically pretty good during the prespawn period, and historically jigs and crankbaits have done a lot of the damage. Umbrella rigs and jerkbaits could also play, but based on the recent weather it seems like the winter patterns will be fading come derby day. Back in 2016, Zack Birge won a tough prespawn FLW Series event on Grand with a 51-13 total, and it’d be no surprise to see better weights this time around based on recent results. It also wouldn’t be a shock to see Birge with a chance to win again, as the young pro has been on quite a roll of late. 

The most recent tournament on Grand was an Okie Division BFL held Saturday, and Nathan Asbill weighed 18-8 for the win. Though nobody smashed ’em, plenty of bags in the teens hit the scale, and it seems like the fishing was pretty good.

Anglers will take off from Wolf Creek Park, located at 963 N. 16th St. in Grove at 7:30 a.m. CT each day of competition. Weigh-in will be held at Wolf Creek Park on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Cabela’s in Rogers, Ark., at 2300 Promenade Boulevard, and will begin at 4:30 p.m. All takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

With a full field of more than 150 boats, pros will fish for a top prize of $85,000, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-hp Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a brand new Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-hp Evinrude or Mercury outboard, and $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.

Fans can follow weigh-ins remotely via FLW Live at FLWFishing.com all three days.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

Arkie Division – Millwood Lake

Ashdown, Ark.

The second stop of the Arkie Division figures to be a pretty big changeup from the opener on Lake Ouachita. Coming back down after a period of impressive flooding, Lake Millwood could present a challenge. Though the water conditions might not be ideal, the weather leading up to the event is going to be good, and the weather on tournament day should be fine as well. Water temperatures should be ticking up into the low 60s by tournament, and while some fish will likely be on beds, the majority will probably still be prespawn. The last time the Arkie Division fished Millwood it took 15-4 to win, and a winning weight around that seems likely this time around.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

Choo Choo Division – Wheeler Lake

Rogersville, Ala.

Historically, the Choo Choo Division hasn’t strayed much from Guntersville, but this year it’s branching out, with a dose of fisheries from all across the north Alabama region. The fishing on the Tennessee River has been pretty excellent of late, and the fishing on Wheeler should be good for the Choo Choo competitors. It’s going to be mostly prespawn, and, with any luck, a fairly wet week on tap might get the current rolling by the weekend. Though Wheeler isn’t as good as some of the other Tennessee River impoundments, now is as good a time as any to be on it, and a number of 20-pound bags should come to the scale, with some true giants always being a possibility on the Tennessee River.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

Hoosier Division – Lake Patoka

Birdseye, Ind.

Kicking off on Patoka, the Hoosier Division should be in for a decent prespawn bite to start the season. Patoka has a pretty good variety of cover in it, so anything from jerkbaits to jigs and spinnerbaits could catch a bass. Winning weights on Patoka usually run close to 20 pounds, and that should hold true this time, though the weather forecast for Saturday looks pretty miserable right now.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

Mississippi Division – Ross Barnett

Brandon, Miss.

Starting a little late for a division based in the Southeast, the Mississippi Division is kicking things off at Ross Barnett. Being that it is late March in Mississippi, there are plenty of fish on beds, and there should be even more getting on the bed this week. The water level has been jumpy on Ross Barnett of late, so anglers might have to deal with that in the more riverine portions. Otherwise, the conditions look great.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

Mountain Division – Dale Hollow

Byrdstown, Tenn.

The Mountain Division rolls back to Dale Hollow for the second stop of the season. It took more than 20 pounds to win the opener on Dale Hollow, and that should be the case again. The water level is up around full pool now, and the prespawn bite should really be good for the tournament. Expect umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits, jigs and other power-fishing springtime baits to do work on largemouths and smallmouths in the mountain reservoir.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

Piedmont Division – Smith Mountain Lake

Huddleston, Va.

It’s still pretty wintery in the mountains of Virginia, but that won’t hold back the Piedmont anglers during their second stop. Smallmouths and largemouths will both make an appearance at Smith Mountain, and the fishing should be pretty good. Jerkbaits, swimbaits, umbrella rigs, jigs and finesse crankbaits will all probably play. Though SML has plenty of bass, and some big ones at that, she doesn’t give them up easily, so a limit in the upper teens will probably get the job done.

Complete details

 

T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League

March 24

South Carolina Division – Lake Murray

Prosperity, S.C.

The second event of the South Carolina Division should be amazing. Lake Murray fishes really well during the spawn and prespawn, and fish ought to be catchable both staging up and actually on beds. It’s supposed to be a fairly cold week in the Carolinas, and that might keep the majority of the bass prespawn, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Crankbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits and all the usual finesse options are in play on Murray. Based on previous BFL events in March on Murray, it’s almost sure to take more than 20 pounds to win.

Complete details

 

Bass Pro Shops High School Fishing Open

March 25

Ross Barnett Open

Brandon, Miss.

Rescheduled from the Columbus Pool earlier in the year, this high school tournament will take place the day after the BFL event wraps up. Though the fish might be a little smartened up, the fishing should still be decent – it nearly always is in the spring – and Ross Barnett is a good proving ground for the high school anglers. Though early, the weather looks fantastic for Sunday, with light wind, mild temperatures and perhaps a little rain on the docket.

Complete details

 

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