UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Korostetskyi Crowned Kayak Champ at Nickajack

Korostetskyi Crowned Kayak Champ at Nickajack

It was tough. It was stressful. And it was close. But by a 2-inch margin, 23-year-old Michigan angler Bogdan Korostetskyi managed to get the historic win in the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Kayak Open presented by YakAttack at Nickajack Lake.

Throughout most of the day today, it looked like in-state favorite Ryan Lambert was going to earn the upset and bump Korostetskyi, the day-one leader, from the top of the standings. Lambert had a banner day. But even though Korostetskyi suffered an incredibly slow morning and had to fight and claw for every keeper bite, he proved that he was on the better quality fish. Korostetskyi totaled up 174.25 inches in two days for the win. 

A college student in Michigan who was born in Ukraine, Korostetskyi pocketed $5,000 for winning the tournament and added a $2,500 Dee Zee gift card for being the highest-finishing angler in the Dee Zee contingency program. 

“It’s been tough; stressful. I did not expect to be here on this stage, but I’m very thankful to be here,” Korostetskyi says.

During practice, the champ says he struggled to find a consistent bite anywhere but on the bank, but he didn’t want to focus his tournament where he was afraid most of the rest of the 103 anglers in the field would be fishing. Eventually, he tracked down a couple of grassy offshore humps. 

“That’s pretty much what we fish in Michigan, so I felt right at home,” he adds.

On day one, Korostetskyi found his fish schooling on his two best spots and caught fish quickly. He had a limit by 7:15. Today, he fished the same places, but reversed the order, starting on a hump that took him 48 minutes to reach then finishing on another hump about halfway between the first hump and his launch point. 

The bass weren’t schooling today, and Korostetskyi encountered muddier water and a wind direction that had flipped 180 degrees from the day before. He needed time to figure out the best way to hold in the wind and line up for the right casting angle to get them to bite. 

“It took me one hour to catch my first keeper,” he adds.

His strategy was to fish his primary hump, slide off it to some nearby grassy structure to let the good spot rest, then return to it and catch more. Then he finished on his second spot on the way back. 

The best humps were about 8 feet deep, with grass that was about 4 feet tall. Korostetskyi caught his fish with a 1/2-ounce Evergreen/Z-Man ChatterBait Jackhammer with a Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ trailer.

On day one, he slow-rolled the bait in the morning, reeling it through the grass if it snagged. After Saturday’s thunderstorms, a yo-yoing presentation was more effective. Today, Korostetskyi went back to slow-rolling.

Now, the champ, along with the rest of the top 100 anglers in the tournament, is qualified for the FLW/KBF Kayak Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., in conjunction with the FLW Cup this summer. He and all the top 20 finishers earned free entry into the tournament.

More importantly, he’s now the first-ever champion of an FLW/KBF joint event.

“It feels surreal,” Krostetskyi says. “I still don’t know what’s going on. I’ve been going on three hours of sleep. 

“I was not expecting that. My goal was just to do my best. It was very stressful. I think I had high expectations, but it just worked out.”

 

Top 10 finishers

1. Bogdan Korostetskyi – Livonia, Mich. – 174.25 inches

2. Ryan Lambert – Chattanooga, Tenn. – 172.25 inches

3. Jordan Marshall – Maryville, Tenn. – 170 inches

4. Cody Milton – Heber Springs, Ark. – 169.75 inches

5. Jason Cassetty – Morgantown, Ind. – 169 inches

6. Cory Dreyer – Randleman, N.C. – 166.75 inches

7. Joshua Howell – Cold Spring, Ky. – 166.75 inches

8. Jody Queen – Rocky Gap, Va. – 166.5 inches

9. Brian Coyne – Hilliard, Ohio – 166 inches

10. Ron Champion – Richmond Hill, Ga. – 164.75 inches

Complete results

 

Tags: nickajack  bogdan-korostetskyi  chatterbait  largemouth  kayak  bass-fishing  curtis-niedermier  article 

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

We’re almost halfway through the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit schedule, which means we’re far enough along now for a little retrospective on what’s happened thus far. READ MORE »

Sight-Fishing with Swimbaits

Sight-Fishing with Swimbaits

Ron Nelson, the Pro Circuit Angler of the Year leader and a renowned sight-fisherman, used a Keitech Swing Impact FAT for blind-fishing and sight-fishing at Martin and earned a runner-up finish. California’s Kevin Hugo took seventh at Lake Havasu and caught some of his biggest bass sight-fishing with a Little Creeper All American Trash Fish or Sunfish. Though the reasons why they settled on swimbaits varied, both pros can offer valuable lessons for any angler tackling a spawning scenario. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Martin

AOY Update: Lake Martin

Through three events of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, second-year pro and 2019 Polaris Rookie of the Year Ron Nelson remains atop the Angler of the Year standings after a second-place finish at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Postpones Events Through April 5

FLW Postpones Events Through April 5

Out of an abundance of caution and the uncertainty of venue availability amid rapidly evolving restrictions, however, FLW will reschedule all tournaments through April 5, except for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama, for which practice has already begun and extra precautions have been instituted.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Co-angler Farage Gets Win No. 5

Co-angler Farage Gets Win No. 5

If you weren’t already aware, you need to be paying attention to the name Jack Farage. This week, the Discovery Bay, Calif., co-angler won his fifth Toyota Series Western Division tournament since 2013 by catching 43 pounds, 3 ounces at Lake Havasu. For his latest win, Farage earned a Phoenix 518 Pro with a 115-hp Suzuki outboard. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  READ MORE »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

It was another slow morning on Lake Havasu at the Toyota Series Western Division opener. Though, that was to be expected. Most of the top 10 pros have had their best luck in the middle of the day and early afternoon. Mornings have been tough. READ MORE »

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Tournament leader Tai Au managed to stay in first place by recognizing key environmental factors and knowing when to change up his baits. Yesterday, four of the five bass that Au weighed in were bass he caught sight-fishing. Today, he didn’t look at any of the bass he brought to the scale. Au still managed to weigh in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, taking his two-day total to 44-4. He’s searching for his first FLW victory this week.  READ MORE »

FLW Postpones College and High School Events

FLW Postpones College and High School Events

FLW, the world’s largest tournament fishing organization, announced today the cancellation and postponement of multiple Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing events due to travel restrictions implemented by universities and high schools nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 2

After an afternoon and evening of intense rainfall yesterday, the Lake Havasu City area finally got a break from the precipitation today. But instead of rain, the anglers fishing the Toyota Series Western Division opener on Lake Havasu have had to deal with a stiff southerly wind that’s made it tough to sight-fish, some dirtier water in areas (particularly in the upper end) and a drop in water temperature of a couple of degrees. Not surprisingly of a post-frontal day, the fishing has been much more difficult so far on Friday.  READ MORE »

MLF, FLW Suspend Public Gatherings

MLF, FLW Suspend Public Gatherings

Major League Fishing and FLW announced the suspension of all public gatherings associated with their events through April 12, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

Au Clobbers 26-1 for Havasu Lead

Au Clobbers 26-1 for Havasu Lead

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu with a five-bass limit that weighed 26 pounds, 1 ounce. Au heads up a roster of Western hammers that managed to tally 12 limits of more than 20 pounds today.  READ MORE »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 1

The fishing is hot at Lake Havasu. By 9:30, many of the anglers we’d seen on the water for day one of the Toyota Series Western Division season opener already had limits or had kicker largemouths in the box. Most of those fish were caught off beds, with the majority being caught sight-fishing and the rest coming just by fishing through likely spawning areas. Others were caught out in front of spawning areas and around marinas. The fishing should only get better, too. Currently, there are scattered rain showers, but the sun is shining across many parts of the reservoir, making it a little easier to spot fish on beds.  READ MORE »

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

The weatherman did it again. About two weeks prior to today’s kickoff for the Toyota Series Western Division season at Lake Havasu, the forecast called for highs in the mid-80s and sunshine for three straight days during the tournament. Instead, practice was rainy, and the current forecast calls for precipitation for at least the first two days and highs that likely won’t top 70 degrees.  READ MORE »

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

Tallying up 1,752 points for the season, ETBU beat out Tarleton State-Stephenville by 16 points to earn the Southern Conference School of the Year title. READ MORE »

Bank Battle Set for Lake of the Ozarks

Bank Battle Set for Lake of the Ozarks

When it comes to prespawn in the Ozarks, there may not be a better place to catch a giant bag of bass in the spring than on Lake of the Ozarks. And though the weather has been a little up and down over the last several weeks, things are setting up for a solid start to the Toyota Series Plains Division season March 26-28. READ MORE »

Bradenton’s Batson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Toho

Bradenton’s Batson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Toho

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Boater Clay Batson of Bradenton, Florida, brought a huge five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 34 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida. For his victory, Batson earned a total of... READ MORE »

Wheeler Should Produce Mega Mixed Bags in March

Wheeler Should Produce Mega Mixed Bags in March

If you love mixed bags of big largemouth and smallmouth bass (and who doesn’t?), you’re going to want to pay close attention to the Toyota Series Southeastern Division opener on Wheeler Lake March 26-28. Local pro Sam George, who fishes the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, expects to see mid-20-pound limits cross the weigh-in stage, and predicts the winner will almost certainly weigh both green and brown fish. READ MORE »

Big Weights Headline FLW South Africa Event

Big Weights Headline FLW South Africa Event

With 38.03 pounds, the duo of Robbie Olivier and Neels Beneke of Team Gamakatsu Outdoors 365 took home the hardware in the FLW South Africa KZN Region Cast-for-Cash tournament on Feb. 20. Their five-fish limit was more than 12 pounds heavier than the second-place stringer (25.39 pounds) weighed in by Marc Meyer and Oliver Field of Team Stoner Farm. READ MORE »