UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Why I Chose FLW

Why I Chose FLW
Richard Dunham

Hi everyone. My name is Richard Dunham, but most people know me as Dicky D. I currently live in Palm Harbor Florida where I work for the Folsom Corporation, one of the largest fishing distributors in the country. In 2020 I am fishing as a boater in the Southern Division of the FLW Series.

I still remember the first time I won a tournament. I guess that’s something most people don’t forget. It was a seven-boat tournament that my college club hosted on Crab Orchard Lake near Carbondale Illinois. I hadn’t had a bite all day. With twenty minutes left to go, I made the decision to run to a bank that had some matted bank grass. It was a gutsy decision as it only left me a few precious minutes to fish. I took my time, positioned the boat to make the right cast, and fired my bait into the heart of the thickest mat. I still get a jolt of adrenaline thinking about how hard that bass hit my lure. That lone 5-pounder was enough to take the win on a brutally tough day. Even after fishing for 25 years, my passion for the competition has never faded.

My passion for tournament angling has led to a career in the fishing industry. For the last fifteen years, I have worked in a variety of positions. Most of that time has been working for the country’s largest fishing distributors. I have been able to completely immerse my life in fishing. I literally live and breathe fishing. My personal goal has always been to help people become more successful at catching more fish.

I have also been fortunate enough to participate in just about every level of tournament fishing. I have competed in just about every college series, I was a boater and co-angler in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL), a boater in the B.A.S.S. Opens, a boater and co-angler in the FLW Series and a co-angler on the FLW Tour. Except for fishing the highest levels as a boater, I’ve just about done it all over the last fifteen years.

My career has moved me all over the eastern half of the country. These moves have given me the opportunity to spend time on some of the country’s most storied lakes. These lakes include Lanier, Erie, Guntersville, the Harris Chain, Hartwell, Kissimmee, Logan Martin, Kentucky Lake, Okeechobee and many more. Each career move has allowed me to study these different types of lakes, observe the habits of different species of fish, learn new techniques, and gain valuable lessons about how to adapt.

Today I want to talk about why, after fishing so many different tournaments, I’ve decided to come back to fish the FLW Series.

A couple months ago, FLW announced a lot of changes to the 2020 FLW Series that favor the angler. Among other things, they lowered entry fees (for both boaters and co-anglers), added three divisions (from five to eight divisions in 2020) and increased the payouts at the championship.

For most of us at the Series level, we do not make our living from fishing. While you can make money fishing the FLW Series, it is meant to be a stepping stone on the way to the FLW Pro Circuit and MLF Bass Pro Tour. By lowering entry fees, FLW has taken some of the financial burden off of my shoulders. At the same time, payouts are still as strong as ever with the boater of each regular season event leaving with $40,000.

The addition of the three new divisions keeps tournaments closer to home. The tournament series I fished in 2019 required 5,600 miles of travel just to get to the events. That is over 80 hours behind the wheel. In 2020 I will travel 1,200 miles, which works out to about 20 hours of driving. TOTAL! Staying closer to home keeps costs down, allows for more practice time, and reduces wear on my truck and trailer.

Finally, and best of all I think, FLW increased the prize for winning the FLW Series Championship to $200,000! The top 25 anglers from each of the eight divisions will qualify for this event. This will be the largest payout that most of us will ever fish for. Additionally, FLW is also paying the top finisher from each division another $10,000. In total, the championship is going to pay out over a half a million dollars.

Today anglers are fortunate to have choices where they can fish. Lower entry fees, less travel, and bigger opportunities made my decision to fish the 2020 FLW Series a no-brainer.

I look forward to bringing you all along with me in 2020, as well as bringing you some insight into what it is like to work inside of the fishing industry.

Tags: florida  -st-johns  -okeechobee  richard-dunham  blog 

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

The Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River potentially missed some stellar fishing opportunities. Despite being the time of year when big green fish start to move up to the banks en masse to spawn, changing weather conditions and multiple cold fronts kept fish coming and going all week, opening small windows on which pros and co-anglers needed to capitalize. READ MORE »

Belleview’s Trevor Fitzgerald Wins Toyota Series Tournament on St. Johns River

Belleview’s Trevor Fitzgerald Wins Toyota Series Tournament on St. Johns River

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PALATKA, Fla. – Pro Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Florida, brought a 19-pound, 8-ounce limit to the weigh-in scale Saturday to reclaim the top spot on the leaderboard and win the three-day Toyota Series at the St. Johns River. Fitzgerald’s three-day total of 15 bass... READ MORE »

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Despite the solid start to the year, and the confidence that comes with overcoming adversity, Miles Burghoff knows very well how a good start to a season can either create positive momentum, or open the door to complacency, which often can result in a loss of motivation and focus. With the Harris Chain event kicking off this week, he's determined to keep that focus and motivation. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

The St. Johns River was in a bit of a funk for the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. Instead of a full-on spawning slugfest, a couple cold fronts and quickly changing wind and water conditions kept fish moving in and out. The anglers chasing them had to stay on their toes. Plenty of pros did find quality fish, though, and they did so with a lot of familiar baits when it comes to late-winter fishing in Florida. Right now, it’s all about the black and blue plastics on the St. Johns. READ MORE »

Bartlett Gets Revenge on the St. Johns

Bartlett Gets Revenge on the St. Johns

Edwin Bartlett fished the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns River in January, an event at which he fished as a boater and blanked after pre-practicing for five days. Today, he got his revenge. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., moved ahead one spot in the standings on the final day of competition at the St. Johns River to earn his first Toyota Series victory. His three-day catch of 57 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a 6-pound margin. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

Day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River brought more fish, bigger fish and eight bags over 20 pounds – a marked improvement over what we saw on day one. Day three could go either direction, though, as a small cold front overnight left behind bluebird skies and abundant sunshine today. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

It’s been a question of when, not if: When is the first big wave of spawners going to move up on the St. Johns River? That question may have been answered on day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, as more and more anglers brought big fish across the weigh-in stage, with many of the bass coming from beds or shallow cover where fish are staging to make their big move. READ MORE »

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Jason Blair caught 22 pounds, 3 ounces – the biggest limit of the tournament so far – to take over the lead at the Toyota Series Southern Division season opener on the St. Johns River. The West Palm Beach, Fla., pro has a two-day total of 39-15 and a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead over yesterday’s leader, Trevor Fitzgerald. READ MORE »

New Year, Same Feel

New Year, Same Feel

Ending 2019 on a bad note wasn’t how I pictured last season going. I was in contention to qualify for the FLW Cup going into the last FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, but after coming in 97th at the finale I finished the season 51st in the Angler of the Year points and missed my chance for the Cup. Not going to lie, it stung a little bit and made for a LONG drive home, but it also made me hungry for 2020. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

After a warm but windy day to start the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River, day two brought lower temperatures, rain and a shifting wind that blew right up the chute early this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

The St. Johns River is fishing tough, and while weights were down across the board on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, the top five found a way to get the job done with some impressive stringers of big Florida bass. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up. READ MORE »

Littich Nets Big O Title

Littich Nets Big O Title

Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of $7,220, including a $2,500 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Cape Coral’s Littich Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

Cape Coral’s Littich Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of... READ MORE »

St. Johns River Readies for Toyota FLW Series Tournament

St. Johns River Readies for Toyota FLW Series Tournament

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PALATKA, Fla. – The 2020 Toyota Series will continue their season next week at the St. Johns River, Feb. 13-15, with the Toyota Series at the St. Johns River. Hosted by the Putnam County Tourist Development Council, the three-day tournament will feature the best regional... READ MORE »

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Josh Douglas and his wife, Bri, created this baller recap video from Sam Rayburn and the first Pro Circuit event of 2020. In the video, which includes footage from practice and the tournament, Josh dishes on how he used his practice time to eventually uncover a productive trap pattern that helped him earn a 42nd-place finish, which is a big improvement on the 114th he posted at Rayburn in the 2019 FLW Tour event. READ MORE »

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

In tournament fishing, you can beat yourself up for days with the “what if” scenarios that cause you to second-guess your gut. Well, in this case, I guessed wrong. I finished the Lake Champlain event in 145th place. It knocked me all the way down to 60th in points and out of Cup contention. READ MORE »

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

People talk a lot about the offseason in professional bass fishing, but when you do this for a living you pretty quickly realize there really isn’t much of an offseason anymore. READ MORE »