UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

At the registration meeting for this week’s Pro Circuit season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, FLW announced that Daniel had been promoted to senior director of tournament operations for the Pro Circuit, FLW Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League, with responsibilities to include directing the Pro Circuit. Bill Taylor, who served as tournament director for the FLW Tour from 2001 through 2019, has been promoted to senior director of operations, where he’ll lend his expertise acquired through more than two decades as a tournament director toward logistics, angler relations and event planning for all FLW circuits. READ MORE »

2020 Pro Circuit Predictions

2020 Pro Circuit Predictions

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John Cox Making Most of Opportunities

John Cox Making Most of Opportunities

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Tackle Warehouse Teams with FLW

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FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with Tackle Warehouse, the sport’s leading online retailer that offers the guaranteed lowest prices on bass fishing tackle from every top brand. Effective immediately, Tackle Warehouse becomes the official tackle retailer of FLW and assumes title sponsorship of the FLW Pro Circuit, professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish-limit tournament series. READ MORE »

Rookie Profile: Laramy Strickland

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How to Prep Like a Pro

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Previewing the 2020 Pro Circuit

Previewing the 2020 Pro Circuit

With the kickoff of the 2020 FLW Pro Circuit coming up January 23 on Sam Rayburn, we've put together previews of every stop of the regular season. Below you'll find an overload of information on the fisheries, prospective patterns and anglers to watch throughout every minute of the season.  READ MORE »

Silver Carp Found In Chickamauga

Silver Carp Found In Chickamauga

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources received a report on Jan. 10 that a silver carp was captured on Chickamauga Lake in October. READ MORE »

The Importance of Having a Mentor

The Importance of Having a Mentor

If you want a chance to have a pro as your personal coach and mentor for 2020, keep reading. READ MORE »

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

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According to FLW Pro Circuit angler Tim Frederick, who’s lived in Florida since he was 4 years old, one of the most important factors for successfully locating both spawning and staging bass in the coming weeks is bottom hardness. In most situations, the harder the bottom the better, but there’s more to it than that. READ MORE »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

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 Matt Becker.  READ MORE »

FLW Series Championship Returns to Cumberland

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FLW (Fishing League Worldwide), in conjunction with the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission, announced today that the 2020 FLW Series Championship will be held at Lake Cumberland in Burnside and Somerset, Kentucky, Nov. 5-7, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW PHOENIX BONUS Announced for 2020

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The Top 19 Stories of 2019

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

From the beginning, 2019 was a good year of fishing. The FLW Tour got off to a rollicking start on Sam Rayburn, and it really stayed pretty great from there, with a lot of good fishing and a killer Angler of the Year race. Beyond the Tour, all the other circuits had plenty of highlights, too. We saw impressive feats accomplished at all levels and some very exciting individual events. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

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Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 6 Airs Tuesday

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Join FLW for a watch party for the premiere of Episode 6 of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire. The episode will air Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. CT. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

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From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

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With a home base of Clear Lake in California, FLW Pro Circuit pro Jimmy Reese is pretty used to phenomenal fishing. But, until Thanksgiving, he’d never sampled the bass fishing in Mexico. Now he has, thanks to a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits trip to Lake Baccarac Lodge that turned into the trip of a lifetime and produced some truly outstanding fishing. READ MORE »

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

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When Tyler Woolcott headed out on Sam Rayburn in January 2019 for his first day of competition as an FLW Tour pro, he took off sandwiched between Brad Knight and Bryan Thrift, two pros starting their 11th and 13th seasons at the front of the boat. In stark contrast, Woolcott was beginning his pro career without having fished as a boater at any level of FLW competition. READ MORE »

Running Ditches for Winter Bass

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There are a lot of excuses to not go fishing this time of year. Though, if you like catching bass and avoiding the crowds, you should definitely consider keeping the boat hooked up to your truck instead of the 4-wheeler. READ MORE »