UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Lake Champlain

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 

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Buddy Gross.  READ MORE »

FLW Spain Championship Recap

FLW Spain Championship Recap

The 2019 FLW Spain Championship took place June 1-2 in the waters of the Garcia Sola reservoir. The event, which was the qualifying route to the Costa FLW Series Championship, was hosted by the municipality of Herrera del Duque. The team of Mario Sánchez and Juan Luis Sánchez topped the field with a total weight of 19 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: David Williams 

Check-in Time: David Williams 

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with David Williams. READ MORE »

Reserve Your FLW Cup VIP Pass Now

Reserve Your FLW Cup VIP Pass Now

If you’re an FLW member, now is the time to start planning your trip to Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2019 FLW Cup Aug. 9-11. Act now to take advantage of special members-only VIP benefits by signing up for a special VIP pass. READ MORE »

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

With the number of great crankbaits on the market or discontinued and still in high-demand, new crankbaits have to be pretty good to earn a space in a tacklebox. While I wouldn’t say the LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw is a surefire classic, after a few days of fishing it, I know I’ll be throwing it a lot more. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

Cox and Dudley on their AOY Chances

Cox and Dudley on their AOY Chances

Every angler starts his season with the hope of being in contention for AOY by the final tournament. Mathematically, only a handful of anglers are still in it this year, but realistically, as the FLW Tour heads to its final stop of 2019 at Lake Champlain, it’s a two-angler race. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Premieres at 2 p.m. CT

Rapala Varsity Bass Premieres at 2 p.m. CT

The long-awaited premiere of Rapala Varsity Bass is here. In Episode 1, college fishing competitor Tyler Anderson takes on Lake Texoma. Along the way, Tyler offers an intimate portrait into his life as a YouTuber, tournament angler and senior at Texas A&M. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Though there was some carryover from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, the fishing on the Potomac River was a lot better for the anglers in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance. With better fishing came more robust grass patterns, but plenty of bass (some of the biggest of the event) were caught off hard cover as well. All in all, it was a mixed week of very good fishing on the Potomac. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Josh Douglas

Check-in Time: Josh Douglas

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they've been up to, what they're listening to, who they're following and where they're heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Josh Douglas.  READ MORE »

National Championship Top 10 Baits

National Championship Top 10 Baits

Competitors in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance undoubtedly took some cues from the top finishers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, but they also blazed some new ground. With better fishing overall and a better grass bite, a few more winding baits got mixed into the fray. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

As expected, the fishing has been great for the final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. Sunny skies and moderate winds have set everyone up for success, and so far the top 10 teams are making the most of it. READ MORE »

Racers Lock Up National Championship

Racers Lock Up National Championship

The final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River was quite the show, especially if you watched FLW Live. After catching the biggest limit of the event worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to take the lead, the Murray State duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson gave it all they had on the final day to squeak out their smallest, yet most important limit of the week. Today, Murray State caught 15-8, which was enough to edge out the Bethel University team of Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce by just 3 ounces to bring home the title. Along with winning a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower motor for the club, Puckett and Albertson also get entry into the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., this August 9-11. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River had a wide variety of patterns in play among the leaders. Today, with overcast skies and gusty winds, the folks fishing grass started to pull ahead. In the lead, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State have managed more than 16 pounds each day, but the rest of the top-10 crew is hot on their heels. Additionally, the fishing seems to be getting better by the day, so a big bag from a team down the standings a little bit wouldn’t exactly be a shock on the final day.  READ MORE »

Murray State Races Ahead

Murray State Races Ahead

Thanks to a day-two limit worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State University have the lead going into the final round of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Racers weighed 16-13 on day one to place seventh, but moved up the leaderboard today with the tournament’s biggest limit so far. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River has been quite different from day one. With strong souths winds kicking up the main channel and keeping the tide back, teams have had to adjust. 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 »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Though the fishing seems markedly better than it was just a few days ago, the techniques getting it done are just as mixed as before. Unlike some years on the Potomac, slightly underdeveloped grass beds have the river fishing in a pretty diverse way. If all you want to do is fish grass, that isn’t ideal, but it has made for a lot of opportunity elsewhere. READ MORE »