UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Lake Erie

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

AOY Update: Lake Toho

AOY Update: Lake Toho
Terry Bolton

 With the first two events of the 2019 FLW Tour season in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the Angler of the Year race is shaping up. At Sam Rayburn and Lake Toho the pros were tested with very different conditions, and the standings include anglers different specialties and skill sets than at this time last year, when the Tour’s first two events were both held in Florida.

As of now, the usual suspects are right in the hunt, but there’s a strong mix of other veteran pros in the top 10 as well. The third event of the season is at Lake Seminole, and there are enough similarities between it and Toho and Rayburn that it’d be no surprise to see some of the pros who’ve had a lot of success thus far continue to roll.

Complete standings 

 

382 points – Terry Bolton

Leading the way so far is Benton, Ky., pro Terry Bolton, who won the first event on Sam Rayburn and then followed it up with a 19th-place showing at Toho. Historically, Bolton hasn’t been an AOY contender, despite qualifying for the FLW Cup 13 times during his career. This year, he’s off to as hot a start as any, and when you consider his career accomplishments, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him stay strong throughout the season. Nonetheless, the folks in his rearview figure to keep the pressure on.

 

378 points – Joseph Webster

After winning the TBF National Championship and the Living the Dream package in 2016, Joseph Webster has really never looked back. In two full years on Tour, the affable pro has made the Cup with relative ease each time, and he made the top 10 on Lanier in his second year. Finishing 17th at Rayburn and seventh at Toho, he’s going strong again and proved that he can catch ’em pretty much everywhere. Last year Webster stubbed his toe at St. Clair, and he’s not exactly loaded with Northern experience, but if you’re looking for reasons he’ll succeed at Seminole, Grand, Cherokee and Chickamauga you’ll find plenty of them.

 

373 points – Bryan Thrift and Scott Martin

Lurking in a virtual tie for third are the big guns – Bryan Thrift and Scott Martin. Thrift has two AOY titles to his name already and would love to join the group with three, and Martin would surely like to add a second. With the next event at Seminole, both pros figure to be forces. Thrift has finished second and 25th the last two times the Costa FLW Series has hit Seminole, and the grassy lake on the Florida-Georgia border ought to fit Martin’s style perfectly.

With both pros off to really good starts there’s only one concern – Thrift’s ankle. Early in the morning of day two of the Toho event, Thrift stepped on his net and badly sprained his ankle. That didn’t stop him from making the cut and finishing 26th, but if he isn’t fully healed by Seminole it does have the potential to slow him down. Luckily, he’s got a solid three weeks ahead of him to take it easy and heal up before practice starts in Georgia.

 

370 points – Chad Warren and Bryan Schmitt

Bryan Schmitt and Chad Warren have arrived at a tie with remarkably different backgrounds. Though both have been standout regional sticks, Schmitt has been a hammer on Tour for a while and has developed a reputation as one of, if not the best in the business when it comes to winding grass. Warren, on the other hand, is back on Tour after a pretty disastrous rookie season in 2017 that was saved by a top 10 in the final event on the Potomac.

Schmitt will surely go into Seminole as a pre-tournament favorite, and Warren will be a favorite at the next one on Grand, so it wouldn’t be a wonder to see them stay in the hunt the rest of the year. More so than Schmitt, the interesting angler to watch will be Warren. Even if he doesn’t stay in the AOY hunt, he’s got a chance to establish a new height for his fishing. One cool thing: Warren technically has finished in the top four in two of the last three Tour events he’s fished, even if they were separated by two years.

 

368 points – John Cox and David Dudley

Veterans John Cox and David Dudley round out the top group of AOY contenders for now, and the odds are good that they’ll stay in the running the rest of the year. Cox has never won an AOY title, but Dudley has three to his name. Both would love to come out on top this year – Dudley to reestablish himself in the rarified air that he once was in, and Cox to prove that his penchant for aluminum boats and shallow water can triumph over convention through a full season.

 

Anglers to watch

Diving down in the standings a bit, there aren’t any anglers that look extremely out of place considering how early it is in the season. One notable thing is how well some of the rookies are doing. Wade Strelic and Miles Burghoff are both in the top 13 after two derbies. They’re Rookie of the Year frontrunners as of now, but there’s a long way to go and some very talented rookies such as Sam George, Tyler Woolcott and Nick LeBrun not too far behind. Finally, it might be worth keeping an eye on Buddy Gross at Seminole. He’s won a Costa FLW Series event there, and the tournament should be squarely in his wheelhouse. He’s got a better-than-average chance to go back-to-back.

Tags: jody-white  article 

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition on the Potomac in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event the weights haven’t been nearly what the river is capable of kicking out. That said, all the top pros have managed to put at least one good day together, and some have maintained really strong consistency, just at a lesser pace than would be the norm in June or some other time of the year. READ MORE »

Better Day Keeps Reese Out Front

Better Day Keeps Reese Out Front

A lovely morning gave way to a dismal afternoon on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the Potomac River, but despite the difference in conditions, Marvin Reese kept on plugging. Weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces on day one, Reese added 15-14 on day two for a 30-10 total. With his day two bag, Reese has now weighed the two biggest bags of the event, which is presented by Lowrance, and he’s widened his lead over Justin Atkins to nearly 4 pounds. READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 2

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac has been quite a swing from day one. However, despite dramatically different weather, some of the top pros are still catching, and it looks like a tight race is setting up for the final day. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As is so often the case, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the Potomac River wasn’t quite as bad as some predicted in practice. Though it was hot and humid as all get out, plenty of limits hit the scale and enough pros weighed 12 pounds or better to make things really interesting READ MORE »

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Day one of the Potomac River event, which is the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, featured plenty of limits, but getting quality bites was definitely an issue for some. In the lead after day one, Marvin Reese of Randallstown, Md., weighed 14 pounds, 12 ounces to get things underway. Behind Reese, Justin Atkins and Jason Kervin both weighed 14-5, and Robert Grike rounded out the 14-pound brigade with 14-4. Overall, just 11 pros cracked the 12-pound mark on day one of the tournament, which is presented by Lowrance, but 8- and 9-pound limits weren’t too hard to come by.  READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

As predicted, day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River has been fairly tough. Though most folks have a fish or two, and many will undoubtedly fill limits by weigh-in, it certainly hasn’t been a catch-fest. READ MORE »

Underway on the Potomac

Underway on the Potomac

For the tournament, the wind isn’t forecast to be too strong any day, and the tides will be fairly standard, but not ideal from a timing standpoint. Today, low tide was at 6:15 a.m., and low tide on Saturday will be at 8:15. That means that pros will mostly be fishing a rising tide through the tournament, with the best windows likely coming early on Friday and Saturday. 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 »

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. 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 »

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Jeremy Lawyer’s fourth-place finish at the FLW Cup on Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton was enough to earn him an extra $1,000 from LEER Cover Cash and $3,500 from Toyota Bonus Bucks. The third year FLW Tour pro used a two-prong approach of fishing shallow with a topwater and probing deep brush piles with a drop-shot to notch his best finish to date in the Cup. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Set to Air Wednesday

Rapala Varsity Bass Set to Air Wednesday

The second episode of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire will air today at 2 p.m. CT. In Episode 2, Noah Ezickson and his teammate Connor Walsh journey to the fabled Alabama fishery of Lake Guntersville. Utilizing his diverse fishing experience from his travels around the world, can the Wake Forest University team qualify for the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing Championship? READ MORE »

FLW Marshal Don White Wins New Ranger Boat

FLW Marshal Don White Wins New Ranger Boat

Angler Don White of Columbus, Mississippi, was announced as the first winner of a brand new Ranger Z521 courtesy of the FLW Marshal Program. READ MORE »

Henderson Holds Steady to Take FLW-KBF Cup Crown

Henderson Holds Steady to Take FLW-KBF Cup Crown

Even with day-one leader Eric Jackson taking a massive lead into the final day of competition and 70 more of the best kayak anglers on the planet behind him, Clint Henderson did what he said he was going to do. He won the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack and the $15,000 top prize. READ MORE »

Jackson Crushes on Day One of FLW-KBF Cup

Jackson Crushes on Day One of FLW-KBF Cup

Eric Jackson is simply a hammer fishing from a kayak. The FLW Tour pro and owner of Jackson Kayak is fresh off an individual and team gold-medal-winning performance in the 2019 Pan Am Bass Kayak Championship (not to mention a third-place finish in the final 2019 FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain), and his five-fish limit of 98.25 inches on day one of the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack puts him in stellar position to earn another victory on Saturday. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Tour Schedule

2020 FLW Tour Schedule

FLW announced today its regular-season schedule for the 25th season of the FLW Tour, which kicks off in January 2020. The schedule was revealed to anglers and media at the annual pre-FLW Cup banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. READ MORE »

Alan Reed Dishes on FLW-KBF Cup Practice

Alan Reed Dishes on FLW-KBF Cup Practice

We caught up with Reed after his practice on Wednesday to get the scoop on how Ouachita is fishing and what the outlook is for the two-day event that begins Friday and runs concurrently with the FLW Cup on neighboring Lake Hamilton. READ MORE »

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Casey Scanlon won the FLW Tour season finale at Lake Champlain, which he almost had to do to make the FLW Cup. Now that he’s here at Lake Hamilton, he’s got a shot at $300,000 and a possible edge over the competition due to his momentum and extensive Ozark experience. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for the Cup

FLW Live Schedule for the Cup

FLW Live will air all three days of the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, beginning with on-the-water coverage Friday, Aug. 9. READ MORE »

McCaghren Lives Out Childhood Baseball Dream

McCaghren Lives Out Childhood Baseball Dream

FLW Tour pro Billy McCaghren, who’ll be competing in the FLW Cup this week at Lake Hamilton, says his childhood dream was not to be a pro bass angler. He wanted to play professional baseball. Well, this week, the Mayflower, Ark., angler gets to dabble in both professions. The 2019 FLW Cup qualifier will compete on Lake Hamilton in front of what is practically a hometown crowd, and last night he was honored for his fishing accomplishments by the Arkansas Travelers baseball team, which invited McCaghren to throw out the first pitch in a game against the Springfield Cardinals. READ MORE »