UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

The third round of T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament action saw smallmouths, spotted bass and largemouths all make an appearance as six divisions put a bow on the season with their respective two-day events. Here’s a quick recap of what all played out in the action spanning from the Detroit River down to Lake Okeechobee.

 

Gary Ginter

Buckeye Division – Mosquito Lake

To earn his fourth career title, Gary Ginter of Lakeview, Ohio weighed in 26 pounds, 2 ounces over two days for the win and pocketed a cool $4,500 in the process.

Switching between a buzzbbait in the morning and a Texas rig with either a Tequila Sunrise-colored YUM worm or Okeechobee Craw Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver in the afternoon was the main deal for Ginter.

“I was fishing at the north end of the lake,” says Ginter. “I started out day one throwing a buzzbait shallow up in the grass. I caught a limit, but there were a bunch of boats crowded around me, so I worked my way outside into the deeper grass, and that seemed to be where the bigger ones were.”

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Glen Freeman

Cowboy Division – Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Glen Freeman of Zwolle, La., sacked up 43-13 on Big Sam en route to his 11th title in BFL competition. Aside from more bragging rights, Freeman also banked $8,200 for his performance.

Freeman kept it simple on the tackle front, opting for a Texas rig with a 1/2-ounce Elite Tungsten weight with a  Mister Twister worm, which he casted around isolated stumps and brush near sharp breaks.

“I think the key to my win was that I stayed old-fashioned,” says Freeman. “Nowadays, everyone is throwing crankbaits and Carolina rigs, and I feel like the fish hardly see Texas rigs anymore. I was up on the north end – around the Highway 147 bridge, fishing slopes and drop-offs of ridges in 15 to 20 feet of water.”

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Donny Bass

Gator Division – Lake Okeechobee

After making eight top 10s on the Big O, Donny Bass of Naples, Fla., finally grabbed a win with a total weight of 40-9 and was rewarded with a check of $6,100.

To dodge the wind, Bass ran to the north end to flip isolated reed clumps. His bait of choice was the new Gambler Super Stinger to help narrow down the bigger bites.

“It was typical summertime fishing – there was no wad of fish,” Bass explains. “I put the trolling motor down and grinded. I think the key was making the long run and having the areas to myself. It’s tough to get anything to yourself in a tournament on Lake Okeechobee. I think the new Super Stinger definitely played a role as well.”

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Jared Rhode

Michigan Division – Detroit River

Port Clinton, Ohio’s Jared Rhode is no stranger to winning events on the Detroit River, but this was by far his most impressive victory yet. Rhode hauled 49-5 worth of smallmouths to the scale over two days to lock his fourth career win and cash a check worth $7,600.

“The first day I caught over 100 keepers – it was one of the biggest schools of fish that I have ever been on in my life,” says Rhode. “I caught at least 10 20-pound limits of smallmouth. It was pretty awesome.

“I fished near the Lake Erie islands, just rotating through 10 to 12 spots and targeting deeper structure – 18 to 25 feet,” Rhode continues. “The majority came on a drop-shot, but I also caught some throwing a tube and a swimbait.”

His drop-shot baits of choice were a Z-Man TRD worm, a 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Minnow and a 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Fish Fry.

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Adam Wagner

Music City Division – Old Hickory Lake

Adam Wagner continued his dominance of Tennessee highland impoundments over the weekend by catching 27-8 and claimed the 13th win of his career – his third win this season alone. Wagner rode home with another trophy and nearly $5,000 to show for it.

“I caught all of my fish up the lake – in Bledsoe and Bartons Creeks – on both days,” says Wagner. “I caught around eight keepers each day, flipping a green pumpkin-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver to scattered wood on flats in the backs of the creeks.”

He notes that making an effort to fish the smallest piece of wood others would run by helped him catch fish, despite fishing pressure from competitors in his areas.

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Cody Hoyle

North Carolina Division – Lake Norman

Cody Hoyle of Rutherfordton, N.C., caught 26-1 to win his second BFL Super Tournament title, which added $6,800 to his bank account.

Burning docks was the name of the game for Hoyle. He fished a homemade jig tipped with a Zoom Z Craw, but also pitched a drop-shot with a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm for a few keepers.

“I was hitting 50 to 60 docks a day, fishing in the mid-lake area around Mountain Creek,” recounts Hoyle. “I was looking for deeper docks with brush. The fish are getting into wolf packs, and when I found them, I could usually catch multiple fish on each dock.”

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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 »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Anglers said Thursday that current didn’t matter during the first round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel at Lake Dardanelle, but apparently it matters more than they thought. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

With strong wind from the north again, the Toyota Series Northern Division field was again confined to the actual Detroit River. On day one, the fishing was quite good, and several pros crossed the 20-pound mark and plenty of limits hit the scales. Today, things seem a little tougher. READ MORE »

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

FLW learned today that former FLW Walleye pro Tommy Skarlis of Denver, Iowa, passed away after a battle with brain cancer. He was 55. READ MORE »

Smith Wins Southeastern AOY

Smith Wins Southeastern AOY

Originally from Wisconsin and sometimes wearing a Green Bay Packers hoodie on stage, Dustin Smith doesn’t fit the mold of Toyota Series Southeastern Division Strike King Angler of the Year. Still, Smith hammered out a pair of top 10s and a 27th-place showing en route to the title, and his style of fishing was simply perfect for this season in the Southeastern Division. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac

Some of the top 10 pros chose a power approach to cover vast stretches of grass, while others slowed down with some of the finesse tactics that always seem to play on the Potomac. READ MORE »

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

Maupin Takes Potomac Title

The dock talk all week at the Potomac River for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again today as the wind help stall the tide making things tough for most of the top 10. James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from second to first with 40 pounds, 11 ounces overall. For the win, Maupin earns his first FLW trophy and over $24,000.  READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 3

Potomac Midday Update – Day 3

Clouds have lingered throughout the morning, which most of the top 10 were thankful for as the bite has been better than it was during practice when conditions were calm and sunny. READ MORE »

Roten Best from the Back on the Potomac

Roten Best from the Back on the Potomac

James Roten has had a phenomenal year as a co-angler on the Toyota Series. He started it off with a top 10 in the Central Division event on Lake Chickamauga back in February. Then, weeks later he finished second on Hartwell to kick off the Eastern Division. Now, the 53-year-old mechanic claimed the top prize in just his fourth Toyota Series event ever. READ MORE »

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

Vaughan Cruising at the Potomac

The leaderboard definitely saw some shuffling on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, but Wayne Vaughan managed to keep the top spot thanks to another solid day. Weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces today, Vaughan’s total now stands at 31-10 and gives him a nearly 5-pound lead over second place. If he can put it together for one more day, Vaughan will take home his second Toyota Series title in just as many years. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Saturday’s final round will feature drastically different weather with sunshine in the forecast and with it being a weekend there will be plenty of people out enjoying the resource. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 2

Potomac Midday Update – Day 2

Clouds once again greeted the field for day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River and the fish were biting this morning. With low tide this morning around 8:40 a.m. ET – about an hour and a half later than yesterday – more anglers had time to capitalize on the strong bite revolving around that window today. READ MORE »

Vaughan Out Front on the Potomac

Vaughan Out Front on the Potomac

Taking the lead after day one with 17 pounds, Wayne Vaughan separated himself from the rest of the tightly-packed top 10 thanks in large part to his 6-5 kicker. Vaughan’s past experience on the river is playing a role this week, but a bite like that helps the cause almost anywhere in the country. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

September is a tough time to fish almost any body of water and while the Potomac River may not be showing its true colors for the second stop of the Toyota Series Eastern Division the top pros are making do. Wayne Vaughan dropped 17 pounds on the scale to take the lead thanks in large part to his 6-5 kicker. Behind him, however, is a pack of hungry pros – some locals, some not – separated by just a few pounds with their sights set on fishing in the championship round. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac Midday Update – Day 1

It was a gloomy start to the first day of competition for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, and though it seems like a fishy day, so far the fish don’t seem to think so. READ MORE »

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

The 26th season of FLW’s top professional circuit will feature six regular-season tournaments showcasing the best 150 anglers in the world competing for as much as $135,000 in a five-biggest-fish format on top bass fisheries at peak times. The 2020 season culminates in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota, where the top 50 pros will compete for as much as $235,000 in a catch, weigh, immediate-release format. READ MORE »

Wheeler's Wheelhouse

Wheeler's Wheelhouse

The past 20 months of Jacob Wheeler’s fishing career have been nothing less than incredible. In 2020 alone, the MLF pro notched a Bass Pro Tour win on Lake Eufaula, an FLW Toyota Series victory on Pickwick Lake, and dominated the first-ever FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. READ MORE »

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 3

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 3

Cameron Foster began the final day of the 2020 FLW Toyota Series Southwest Division event at Fort Gibson Lake with an 11-pound lead. By 8:00 a.m., Foster had returned to the honey hole that brought him to pole position with $27,070 on the line for crossing the finish line. Thanks to a hot, early bite, Foster is now nursing a four fish total with at least one 4-pounder in the boat. READ MORE »

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 2

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 2

Competitors in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event at Fort Gibson Lake awoke to a completely different waterway than the one they fished yesterday. While day one brought overcast skies and a bevy of baitfish to the surface, day two screamed bluebird skies from the start and has settled into a mostly sunny blanket of blue towards midday. READ MORE »