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

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour
Terry Bolton's Rapala DT Series Crankbaits

It’s tough to believe that the FLW Tour season is already a wrap and it’s only Independence Day weekend, but that’s exactly the situation. Last week the FLW Tour finished up at Lake Champlain with Casey Scanlon earning the W.

What a season it was in 2019. David Dudley won a record fourth FLW Tour Angler of the Year award. There were six first-time Tour champions, two events won with smallmouths, a smattering of double-digit bass brought to the scales and plenty of drama on FLW Live. 

Before we shift our focus to previewing the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, let’s start with a look back at the baits that were used to win the seven FLW Tour events this season. Lucky for you, TackleWarehouse.com is running a holiday sale that ends Friday evening, so you can stock your tackle boxes at a discount. In the process, you might want to consider adding some of the winning gear from another great year on Tour.

 

Terry Bolton

1. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Jan. 10-13

Rapala DT10, DT14 and DT16 crankbaits were all crucial in Terry Bolton’s first FLW Tour win. To target prespawn bass on the big Texas reservoir, Bolton opted for the demon and Caribbean shad colors and threw his crankbaits with Lew’s BB1 Pro Speed Spool reels with the 5.1:1 gear ratio. The man nicknamed “Blade” for his spinnerbait prowess also caught some quality fish on a white 3/4-ounce Accent spinnerbait and mixed in a few on a Carolina rig with a 5-inch green pumpkin Zoom Lizard. Bolton targeted bare spots on inside grass lines in the mornings. Then, after 11 o’clock, he fished 15 to 18 feet deep on outside grass line drains.

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

2. Lake Toho, Feb. 7-10

Buddy Gross found the winning fish in clumps of grass between two ditches on the main lake. The ditches were situated in a large V-shaped notch in a grass mat. The bass Gross caught were prespawn and postspawn. All but one of his keepers came on two baits: a 5-inch Scottsboro Tackle Co. Swimbait (natural shad) on an 8/0 Owner Beast Flashy Swimmer 3/8-ounce belly-weighted hook with a blade, and a homemade white 1/2-ounce swim jig with a 4-inch Scottsboro (natural shad) trailer. Gross fished with 50-pound-test braid on a Daiwa Tatula SV reel (7.3:1) and a pair of 7-foot, 3-inch Fitzgerald Rods All Purpose Series sticks – extra-heavy for the swimbait and heavy for the swim jig. 

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

3. Lake Seminole, March 7-10

Brian “B. Lat” Latimer got on his way to his first Tour title by cranking a current seam in the Flint River on day one with a Bill Lewis MR-6. That bite faded, and he turned to a main-river flat in the Flint for the remainder of the tournament. There, he flipped grass clumps to target prespawn fish with a Z-Man Palmetto BugZ on a 1/2-ounce weight. To get ’em out of the grass, Latimer used a 7-2, medium-heavy Favorite Phantom rod and an Abu Garcia Revo STX (7.3:1 gear ratio).

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

4. Grand Lake, March 28-31

Falling water and changing conditions throughout the Grand Lake event made it one of the toughest Tour events of the season. Jeremy Lawyer figured out the winning pattern by running new docks every day. He keyed on the backs of docks, particularly where he found wood cover. A spinnerbait fanatic, Lawyer cycled through five different spinnerbaits on any given day, including ones from Freedom Tackle and Nichols Lures, along with a host of homemade versions. Regardless of the spinnerbait, he swapped out all the blades to Hildebrandt blades of varying colors.

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

Andrew Upshaw

5. Cherokee Lake, April 11-14

Andrew Upshaw wacky-rigged a 4-inch Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics Ocho in green pumpkin to catch most of his fish. He was targeting spawning smallmouths behind boulders on main-lake islands for most of the tournament. Key spots were where the bank made a turn. On the final day, he used a 3 1/4-inch Strike King Rage Swimmer for the kickers that he pulled off a rock pile not far from the takeoff ramp.

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

6. Lake Chickamauga, May 2-5

Once again, John Cox made the case that he might be the best bed-fisherman in the world right now by winning on Lake Chickamauga with spawning bass. Cox caught some of his bass sight-fishing, but he also fished around cypress trees and other shallow cover where he couldn’t see the bass but assumed they would be setting up to spawn or actively engaged in the process. When Cox was trying to tempt bedding bass to bite, he did it with a wacky-rigged 6-inch Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General in the baby bass color. He also caught some key fish on a white Dirty Jigs Swim Jig with a white Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk trailer. 

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

7. Lake Champlain, June 27-30

To win the Tour finale, Casey Scanlon made the hour-long run to Ticonderoga at the lake’s south end each day and fished for largemouths that were mostly postspawn, though he figures a few were spawning. Scanlon dialed in on a series of rocky points and shallow inside grass lines to catch most of his bass and used a handful of baits and techniques to catch them. He fished rock and milfoil with a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white Z-Man ChatterBait with a white soft jerkbait trailer, fished rock and lighter grass with a Luck-E-Strike Series 3 (green copper shad) square-bill crankbait, Texas-rigged a Luck-E-Strike Pow Stik with either a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce Bass Pros Shops tungsten weight, flipped a black and blue Bass Pros Shops tube, and targeted pencil reeds and dollar pads with a Trophy Bass Company 1/2-ounce Trophy Swim Jig.

Full top-10 baits gallery

Three Generations of Chapmans Take on Lake of the Ozarks

Three Generations of Chapmans Take on Lake of the Ozarks

Three generations of the Chapman family competed on Lake of the Ozarks – Brent, his son Mason, and his father Ron. Although they’ve all fished professional tournaments before, it was the first time all three were competing in the same event. Brent fished as a pro, while Mason and Ron fished in the co-angler field. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Our crew on the water hasn’t had very good luck tracking the top pros down in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, but the fishing has still been pretty good. With the entire top 10 within striking distance, it’s still anyone’s game, and the good fishing today could help someone run into a mega-bag. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn has been exactly as forecast. Somewhat chilly, with scattered rain and wind in the morning, it’s starting to brighten up now. Though most fished with jackets and bibs on in the morning, it’s now very comfortable and the sun is out pretty steadily. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event has been beautiful so far, with mild weather and apparently decent fishing. Though Rayburn isn’t kicking them out like it can, there seem to be plenty of ways to catch fish and at least one pro has seen some success. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Tapped for Wild Card

Lake of the Ozarks Tapped for Wild Card

FLW announced Sunday that the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Wild Card tournament will take place on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri, Nov. 20-21. The two-day event, hosted by Fish-Intel, will launch from Public Beach No. 2 in Osage Beach. READ MORE »

How to Catch Bass with Shrimp

How to Catch Bass with Shrimp

Bradley Dortch, who grew up on the Tensaw River and the Mobile Delta, says throwing shrimp for bass is a winner, and a viable tournament technique if you use plastic ones. It all has to do with the seasonal movement of the forage. READ MORE »

Lake Norman Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Norman Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Bass seemed to be a bit more cooperative on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman, especially in the largemouth department. READ MORE »

Lake Norman Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Norman Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series on Lake Norman dawned bright and sunny this morning with a morning low of about 52 degrees. A light breeze had the schooling fish popping early and anglers were taking advantage of the fall feed. A lot of topwaters, swimbaits, jerkbaits and spy baits were being offered to the schoolers on main lake points. READ MORE »

MLF and FLW Unify as One Brand

MLF and FLW Unify as One Brand

To further elevate the sport of tournament bass fishing and align multiple circuits as one company, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today its unification with Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) as one brand, transitioning all FLW brand assets to MLF.   READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

It is the final day here at the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake and another beautiful day with the top 10 pros and co-anglers trying their best to take home the title. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

The second day of the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake began with slightly cooler weather, but it has turned into a beautiful day here in the Golden State. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The first day of the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake started with calm conditions and pleasant weather. Some of the anglers surveyed today were struggling to get bites and others seem to have the fishing dialed in. It appears to be feast or famine so far, but there will be some solid bags crossing the stage starting at 3 p.m. PT this afternoon. READ MORE »

TITLE Coming to the Mississippi

TITLE Coming to the Mississippi

FLW and Explore La Crosse announced Thursday that the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship, will be held Aug. 17-22, 2021, on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Although FLW’s top championship has been held on the Mississippi River once before – in Moline, Illinois in 1998 – this event marks the first time that FLW has hosted its premier event in La Crosse. READ MORE »

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

From the Mississippi River to the Peshtigo River, Wisconsin and the surrounding region has miles of flowing water chock full of smallmouth bass. In the recent Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, Matt Stefan targeted rivers flowing into Green Bay for the majority of his catch, and in doing so, he was able to tap into a skillset that he’s groomed for years on the Wisconsin River and other flowages near him. READ MORE »

2021 Toyota Series Championship Hits Pickwick

2021 Toyota Series Championship Hits Pickwick

FLW and the Hardin County Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Wednesday that Counce, Tennessee, will host the prestigious 2021 Toyota Series Championship, Oct. 28-30, 2021, on Pickwick Lake. READ MORE »

Annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Auction Goes Digital

Annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Auction Goes Digital

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is excited to announce its first Digital Hall of Fame Week, which will be anchored by a massive online auction offering up an incredible selection of fishing-related items not available elsewhere. READ MORE »

2021 All-American Heads to Douglas

2021 All-American Heads to Douglas

FLW announced Tuesday that the 38th annual Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake in 2021. READ MORE »

2021 National Championship set for Grand

2021 National Championship set for Grand

FLW announced Monday that the 12th annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship will be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in 2021. The tournament, slated for March 3-5, showcases the nation’s best collegiate anglers and awards the winners a $33,500 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Toyota Series Championship where they will compete for a top prize of up to $235,000. READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Championship Saturday of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel followed its pattern of the week with anglers failing to capitalize on sparse opportunities. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

With the wind laying down a bit, the top 10 anglers in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River have been able to go wherever they pleased today. With crisp morning temperatures, plenty of sun and a north wind, the conditions have largely been quite good, with mixed results from the anglers. READ MORE »