AC Insider Podcast - "Welcome Home"

 

This week Chris and the boys welcome in the Champlain Champ, Mr. Brandon Palaniuk to the show to talk about his recent Elite Series win on lake Champlain! Michele joins the crew again for the Sportsmans Wrap up and more!


Bishop Hartley High School Wins FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open

 

SANDUSKY, Ohio (Aug. 3, 2020) – Ohio’s Bishop Hartley High School duo of Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open.

For their win on Lake Erie, the team now advances to the 2021 High School Fishing National Championship.

The top two teams that qualified for the 2021 High School Fishing National Championship are:

1st:    Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus, Ohio – Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott, five bass, 15-15

2nd:   A1 Angler Development Club – Derek Rodriguez of Okemos, Mich., and Cougar Fagan of Albion, Mich., five bass, 15-2

Rounding out the top 10 were:

3rd:    Wheelersburg High School, Wheelersburg, Ohio – Matthew Strickland and Pete Newman, five bass, 14-1

4th:    Bag 5 Bassin’ – Brock Sauder of Carlock, Ill., and Brayden Blunier of Roanoke, Ill., five bass, 13-14

5th:    St. Francis Desales High School, Columbus, Ohio – Nicholas Seitz and Brock Vogel, five bass, 13-2

6th:    Renegades Bass Club – Rance Eddleblute of Stockport, Ohio, and Levi Jarvis of McConnelsville, Ohio, five bass, 12-1

7th:    Renegades Bass Club – Brant Moore and Eli Ponchak, both of McConnelsville, Ohio, five bass, 12-5

8th:    Shelby High School, Shelby, Ohio – Brayden Hoehn and Joel Berelsman, five bass, 11-5

9th:    Howell High School, Howell, Mich. – Owen Januszewski and Mathias Dahline, four bass, 10-10

10th:  Chambersburg High School, Chambersburg, Pa. – Dylan Barefoot and Carson Forrester, five bass, 10-0

Complete results from the event can be found at FLWFishing.com.

The event launched from the Shelby St. Public Boat Launch in Sandusky, Ohio, and was hosted by the City of Sandusky.

The FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open was a free, two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12 and open to any FLW and Student Angler Federation-affiliated high school club. The top 10 percent of teams at each Open event along with the TBF High School Fishing state championships will advance to the 2021 High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest open high school bass tournament, the 2021 High School Fishing World Finals, held in conjunction with the National Championship. More than $2.8 million in scholarships and prizes were offered at the 2020 World Finals.

Full schedules and the latest announcements are available at HighSchoolFishing.org and FLWFishing.com.

 


Bowling Green State University Wins Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Tournament on Lake Erie

SANDUSKY, Ohio (Aug. 3, 2020) – The Bowling Green State University team of Jamesen Simion of Saline, Michigan, and Cameron Wilt of Alvada, Ohio, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Erie event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Bowling Green bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship.

The Falcons duo won by a thin 2-ounce margin over the second-place team of Blake Johnson and Zachary Graham from Adrian College, who weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 15 ounces. The tournament launched from the Shelby Street Boat Launch in Sandusky, Ohio.

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship are:

1st:       Bowling Green State University – Jamesen Simion, Saline, Mich., and Cameron Wilt, Alvada, Ohio, five bass, 16-1, $2,000

2nd:      Adrian College – Blake Johnson, Mooresville, Ind., and Zachary Graham, Gallipolis, Ohio, five bass, 15-15, $1,000

3rd:       Adrian College – Alex Henderson, Adrian, Mich., and Griffin Fernandes, McCordsville, Ind., five bass, 15-10, $500

4th:       Adrian College – Tyler VanBrandt, Morenci, Mich., and Jarrod Layton, Maybee, Mich., five bass, 15-2, $500

5th:       Kent State University – Tanner Ward, Coshocton, Ohio, five bass, 14-13, $500

6th:       Adrian College – Shane Nelson, Wadsworth, Ohio, and Sean Mercier, Brighton, Mich., five bass, 14-10

7th:       Adrian College – Hunter Schneider, Milin, Ind., and Brayden Federer, Deerfield, Mich., five bass, 14-7

8th:       Adrian College – Cody Batterson, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and Matthew Davis, Coloma, Mich., five bass, 14-1

9th:       University of Rio Grande – Eli Daniels, Portsmouth, Ohio, and Evan Bowman, Gallipolis, Ohio, five bass, 14-1

10th:     Ramapo College – Alex Johnson, Milltown, N.J., and Zachary Potter, Haddon Township, N.J., five bass, 13-13

Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

The Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event on Lake Erie was hosted by the City of Sandusky. It was the second of three regular-season qualifying tournaments for Northern Conference anglers. The next events for College Fishing anglers will be on Aug. 21 – the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the California Delta in Oakley, California.

Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

 


BREAKING DOWN POCHE’S DISQUALIFICATION

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Rule No. 12 regarding Boat and Horsepower Regulation recently came under scrutiny after Major League Fishing pro Keith Poche’s day one weight was disqualified at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries.

The rule is written as follows:

12. BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATION • All boats must be propeller-driven, a minimum of 18 feet in length and have a rear deck. All boats must be equipped with wheel steering; no other steering device will be permitted. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass. Minimum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 150 horsepower. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 250 horsepower, not to exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below. (Abbreviated for this article; full rules for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit can be found at FLWFishing.com.)

Poche fished out of an aluminum boat with a 90-horsepower outboard motor on day one of the event, not meeting the minimum 150-horsepower outboard motor requirement for all anglers on the Pro Circuit.

“We have an obligation to our anglers and the sport to enforce the rules, in letter and intent, without exception,” says Kathy Fennel FLW Executive Vice President and General Manager. “These rules are readily available to all competitors and the general public. It’s unfortunate that Keith was unaware of our rule regarding the minimum outboard horsepower requirements, but we would have been doing a disservice to the other 199 anglers competing in the event had we not disqualified his weight for the day.”

The 150-horsepower outboard requirement rule was instituted in 2012, after pro John Cox used a 17-foot aluminum boat with a small 75-horsepower outboard engine to win the 2011 FLW Tour event at the Red River. The rule was implemented at the request of the FLW Tour pro field and has been reviewed by the advisory board every year since. It has never been brought up to be eliminated.

The rule regarding minimum outboard requirements only applies to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. There are no minimum outboard requirements for any other FLW circuits, including the Toyota Series, the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

Rules are evaluated on an annual basis through the angler board and released each fall for the following year’s events. Updated rules and details for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit are expected to be finalized in mid- to late-October 2020.


Lawton’s Mallory Claims Title at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake St. Clair

Indiana’s Bauer Wins Co-angler Division

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Aug. 3, 2020) – Boater Buck Mallory of Lawton, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, Michigan. For his victory, Mallory earned a total of $4,652.

" src="blob:https://anglerschannel.com/7c178de2-44fb-426c-953a-abd3f3bb97c3" alt="A person wearing a helmet Description automatically generated" align="right" hspace="12" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_2" class="Apple-web-attachment Singleton" style="width: 4in; height: 2.25in; opacity: 1;">The tournament was the second of five events in the Michigan Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps.

“I was fishing in the main lake on St. Clair,” said Mallory, who earned the first victory of his career. “The key was sticking around and grinding it out. I didn’t leave a 100-yard stretch the whole day.  I just did circles and circles and circles until I couldn’t do them anymore. And then I did it five more times and caught one more good one that got me the win.”

Mallory said that his key bait was a drop-shot rig with a Strike King ElazTech Z Too soft jerkbait with an Eco Pro Tungsten Full Contact drop-shot weight.

“I didn’t realize that I would be so emotional when I finally got a win,” Mallory went on to say. “I was so due. I’m really excited.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:

1st:       Buck Mallory of Lawton, Mich., five bass, 25-5, $4,652

2nd:      Mike Raber of Wolcottville, Ind., five bass, 24-10, $2,326

3rd:       Heath Wagner of Angola, Ind., five bass, 23-3, $1,318

4th:       Beau Bickford of Findlay, Ohio, five bass, 23-3, $1,318

5th:       Hugh Cosculluela of The Woodlands, Texas., five bass, 22-12, $894

6th:       Wyatt Walker of Parma, Mich., five bass, 22-9, $820

7th:       Robert Lefere of Jackson, Mich, five bass, 22-1, $708

7th:       Wayne Macklin of Linden, Mich., five bass, 21-10, $708

9th:       Chris Stanford of Omaha, Neb., five bass, 21-6, $596

10th:     Andrew Smith of Chesterfield Township, Mich., five bass, 21-3, $496

10th:     Chase Morgan of Danville, Ind., five bass, 21-3, $496

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Smith earned the day’s Boater Big Bass Award of $685 after bringing a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass to the scale.

Cosculluela was also the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Tom Bauer of Martinsville, Indiana, won the Co-angler Division and $2,326 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:

1st:       Tom Bauer of Martinsville, Ind., five bass, 23-10, $2,326

2nd:      Austin Freed of Wolcottville, Ind., five bass, 22-14, $1,163

3rd:       Kenneth Lesner of Westland, Mich., five bass, 22-4, $777

4th:       Davis Stutzman of Shipshewana, Ind., five bass, 21-12, $543

5th:       Daniel Hechler of Franklin, Ohio, five bass, 21-4, $465

6th:       Marvin Washington of Canton, Mich., five bass, 21-3, $426

6th:       Aaron Stahley of Batavia, Ohio, five bass, 20-12, $388

8th:       Matthew Kime of Holland, Ohio, five bass, 19-14, $349

9th:       Scott Sims of Morgantown, Ind., five bass, 19-13, $310

10th:     Bill Miller of Metamora, Mich., five bass, 19-12, $613

Miller caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch added to his winnings as he earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $342.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Michigan Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 15-17 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, hosted by Explore La Crosse. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

 


Georgia’s Carter Wins Toyota Series Tournament on Wheeler Lake

DECATUR, Ala. (Aug. 2, 2020) – Boater Kip Carter of Mansfield, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series at Wheeler Lake tournament in Decatur, Alabama. Carter’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 41-14 earned him the win by a comfortable 4-pound, 11-ounce margin over second-place angler Harry Peyton of Guntersville, Alabama, and earned Carter the top payout of $22,286 in the second tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Southeastern Division.

Carter’s win this week was particularly special to him since he used his 2002 aluminum tunnel hull “beater” rig to help him get the job done.

“I’ve had that tunnel hull for 16 years,” said Carter, who has 50 career top-10 finishes in FLW competition. “It’s a special boat to me. I bought it to fish the Ocmulgee River, which is a shallow, shoaly-type river, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that it worked pretty darn good in a lot of lakes that have shallow backwaters and silted-in creeks.

“To be able to just run in out of creeks – over those big silted-in flats – at will, without worrying about hitting anything makes it an invaluable tool here on these lakes in the southeast.”

When it comes to shallow, silted-in creeks and backwaters, Wheeler Lake fits the bill, and Carter knew his tunnel hull would be an asset this week.

After running a lot of creeks in practice, Carter settled on Limestone Creek as his best shot at winning. Limestone has multiple tiny creeks seeping into it, and Carter utilized several of them throughout the week.

“I would fish back in the true creeks when it was sunny and slick,” he says. “And I did catch a few fish that way, but if the wind got up and we got some clouds, I’d go back out into the flats. When it got right in those flats, I could catch those better 4-pound fish out there.”

During the week, Carter did most of his damage with two lures: a 3/8-ounce Dirty Jigs buzzbait teamed with a black Zoom Horny Toad and a 3/8-ounce white swim jig with a Zoom Super Chunk, also white.

“The first couple of days, the swim jig was the key player,” Carter said. “Today, it was all about the buzzbait. The wind and clouds probably helped that bite – and I had some vicious bites on it today.

“This win has been a long time coming,” Carter went on to say. “I did a lot of celebrating out on the water today with some special fish catches. It’s something to finally pull one of these tournaments off; I get choked up just thinking about it.”

The top 10 pros on Wheeler Lake finished:

1st: Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., 15 bass, 41-14, $22,286

2nd: Harry Peyton of Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 36-15, $8,636

3rd: Dustin Smith of Grand Island, Fla., 14 bass, 34-8, $7,686

4th: Andrew Johnson of Glencoe, Ala., 15 bass, 34-2, $5,572

5th: Lavoyd Lemmond of Decatur, Ala., 15 bass, 32-8, $5,214

6th: Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., 14 bass, 31-8, $4,514

7th: Josh Bragg of Jacksonville, Ala., 15 bass, 30-3, $3,900

8th: Lynn Johnson of Attalla, Ala., 13 bass, 29-12, $3,343

9th: Dustin Neat of Dunnville, Ky., 14 bass, 27-10, $2,786

10th: Bill Spratlin of Rockford, Ala., 12 bass, 26-9, $2,229

A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Smith took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Millsaps brought a 5-pound, 5-ounce largemouth bass to the scale Thursday – the largest fish weighed by a boater in the event.

Cal Culpepper of Hamilton, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 28 pounds, 13 ounces. Culpepper took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor.

The top 10 co-anglers on Wheeler Lake finished:

1st: Cal Culpepper of Hamilton, Ga., 15 bass, 28-13, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard

2nd: Flint Davis of Leesburg, Ga., 14 bass, 25-7, $2,909

3rd: Lew Moore of Roanoke, Ala., 13 bass, 24-13, $2,367

4th: Jeffrey Ford of Trion, Ga., 11 bass, 19-0, $2,037

5th: Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., 10 bass, 18-11, $1,746

6th: Hayden O’Barr of Gurley, Ala., 11 bass, 18-0, $1,705

7th: Ryan Methvin of Leoma, Tenn., 10 bass, 15-15, $1,164

8th: Josh Webster of New Market, Ala., nine bass, 14-11, $1,018

9th: James Littich of Davidson, N.C., eight bass, 14-3, $873

10th: Ryan Arnold of Gadsden, Ala., seven bass, 11-3, $727

The Toyota Series at Wheeler Lake was hosted by Decatur Morgan County Tourism. It was the second of three regular-season tournaments in 2020 for Southeastern Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will be the Toyota Series at Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, Aug. 18-20. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.

The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Palaniuk Comes From Behind To Win Bassmaster Elite Event At Lake Champlain

Brandon Palaniuk, of Rathdrum, Idaho, has won the 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with a four-day total of 80 pounds, 1 ounce.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
August 2, 2020

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Turning in his best performance of the week, Brandon Palaniuk leveraged a blistering afternoon bite to sack up 21 pounds, 6 ounces and win the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with a four-day total of 80-1.

This is the fourth B.A.S.S. win for the 2017 Angler of the Year from Rathdrum, Idaho. He earned a first-place prize of $100,000.

After a strong start yielded a pair of 4-pound-class fish by 8:30 a.m., Palaniuk continued catching quality smallmouth throughout the day. A key move and a heads-up response led him to the gold mine that produced a 4-4, a 4-6 and a 4-8 between 12:10 and 1:56 p.m.

“I had one boulder and I shut down before I got to it and as I came off pad, I see a dot on my (Humminbird) Down Imaging and I’m like, ‘Holy cow, that looks like a giant smallmouth,’” Palaniuk said. “I grabbed my rod, threw my bait back before I even dropped my trolling motor.

“The boat’s drifting away, I drop my trolling motor, I pick up and my line’s swimming off. I set the hook and a 4 1/2-pounder goes airborne — way back there. After I caught that fish, I rolled up to the boulder and they were stacked on top of it. Then, every single boulder on that flat in 28 to 32 feet of water had a 4-plus-pounder on it.”

Sticking with what produced the majority of his bites this week, Palaniuk caught his final-round fish on a drop shot with a green pumpkin/blue fleck X Zone Finesse Slammer. He used a No. 2 drop-shot hook and a 3/8-ounce VMC tungsten teardrop weight.

After three days of mostly calm conditions, Championship Sunday brought strong winds, clouds and occasional showers. Noting that the wind likely moved schools of baitfish into the areas he fished, Palaniuk said his game plan came together as well as he’d hoped.

Keeping himself within striking distance all week, Palaniuk placed eighth on Day 1 with 19-12, slipped to 11th on Day 2 with a limit of 18-10 and made the final Top 10 cut on Day 3 by rising to fifth with 20-5.

“It was just one of those days where everything worked out,” he said. “All week long, I said, ‘Just give me a shot,’ because I looked at the weather and I knew we were going to get that windy weather we got in practice.

“I had a really good practice and I felt like I could literally drive around, look at my (Humminbird) LakeMaster charts, pull up on a spot and catch big ones. I think the wind this morning helped push those baitfish up and it moved a lot of those fish up. Those fish aren’t resident fish; they chase schools of bait.”

Spending his day targeting flats with scattered rock and boulders within the Inland Sea (Champlain’s northeast section), Palaniuk said his pattern was so reliable he actually moved with the bait schools. He started on a likely spot and drifted with the wind until he no longer spotted fish on his Humminbird 360.

“When I started not seeing them, I’d jump to the next place and catch another big one,” Palaniuk said. “I hit one magical school this afternoon and every single boulder I could see on with Mega 360 (Imaging) had a big one on it.

“I literally started laughing while I was fighting them, because it was that good.”

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., finished second with 78-14. After mixing it up with largemouth and smallmouth for three days, he focused on the latter Sunday and caught a limit of 19-14 to go with his previous bags that went 20-1, 21-7 and 17-8.

Feider caught his bass on a flat with a grassline point in 12 feet. He used a medium-diving crankbait and a Carolina-rigged Zoom Speed Craw.

“It’s where I’d been starting every day and then leaving and going largemouth fishing (around marina docks),” Feider said. “I knew with the cloudy skies my largemouth bite was out today, so I leaned on it as hard as I could.

“I got really lucky and caught two great big ones that gave me a chance. It just wasn’t enough.”

Jamie Hartman of Russellville, Ark., finished third with 78-5. Hartman took the lead on Day 1 with 22-1 — the event’s biggest bag — and held the top spot for two more days with bags of 20-3 and 17-8. He added 18-9 Sunday.

Focusing on a rocky point with grass, Hartman caught his fish on a Carolina rig with a craw bait and a 3/8-ounce peanut butter and jelly color Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper jig with a twin-tail trailer. Today’s dim weather seemed to stifle the hot morning bite he had experienced the previous three days.

“The bites were slow; very spaced out — it took me until 11 before I had a decent weight,” Hartman said. “The mornings had been slow, but when the sun would come up, it was like a light switch and they started eating good. We didn’t get that today.”

Feider won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with a 6-6 largemouth he caught on Day 2, earning an additional $1,000.

Hartman took home $3,000 for being the highest-placing entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program, and Jason Williamson earned $2,000 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

The tournament was hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, City of Plattsburgh and Clinton County with support from the Office of the Governor of the State of New York.

2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain 7/30-8/2
Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh  NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4
 Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            20  80-01  100 $100,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-12     Day 2: 5   18-10     Day 3: 5   20-05     Day 4: 5   21-06
2.  Seth Feider            New Market, MN          20  78-14   99  $28,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-01     Day 2: 5   21-07     Day 3: 5   17-08     Day 4: 5   19-14
3.  Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             20  78-05   98  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   22-01     Day 2: 5   20-03     Day 3: 5   17-08     Day 4: 5   18-09
4.  David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           20  77-13   97  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   19-04     Day 3: 5   20-10     Day 4: 5   18-02
5.  Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             20  76-11   96  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   19-07     Day 3: 5   19-09     Day 4: 5   19-07
6.  Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            20  76-01   95  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-04     Day 2: 5   19-13     Day 3: 5   17-15     Day 4: 5   19-01
7.  Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                20  75-04   94  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-01     Day 2: 5   22-00     Day 3: 5   19-01     Day 4: 5   16-02
8.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        20  74-02   93  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   19-02     Day 3: 5   18-09     Day 4: 5   16-10
9.  Cory Johnston          Cavan CANADA            20  73-13   92  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   21-08     Day 3: 5   18-11     Day 4: 5   16-07
10. Taku Ito               Chiba JAPAN             20  73-10   91  $15,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-08     Day 2: 5   19-06     Day 3: 5   19-07     Day 4: 5   16-05
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Bryan Schmitt            Deale, MD           06-02      $1,000.00
2   Seth Feider              New Market, MN      06-06      $1,000.00
3   Shane LeHew              Catawba, NC         05-05      $1,000.00
4   Seth Feider              New Market, MN      05-01      $1,000.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Seth Feider              New Market, MN      06-06      $1,000.00
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Monsoor Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi Rive

La Crosse Pro Catches Four-Day Total of 54 Pounds, 10 Ounces to Win $125K

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Aug. 1, 2020) – The man deemed the “Godfather of the Mississippi River” finally got it done at home. La Crosse’s own 71-year-old Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win $125,000 at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 54-10.

The limit gave him the win by a narrow 1-pound, 12-ounce margin over the No. 1 ranked angler in the world, pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 52-14 and earned $35,000.

“I can’t believe it. Winning at home is the neatest thing in the world. I’m going to remember this moment forever,” said Monsoor, who broke his own record as the oldest angler to ever win an FLW pro-level event. “This tournament had 50 of the best guys from MLF, and the top guys from FLW – it doesn’t get any harder than that. I am the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do what I love. To win at home – I can’t believe it.”

Monsoor caught the majority of his fish this week doing exactly what the Mississippi River legend is known for – throwing a swim jig. His jig of choice this week was a white Humdinger Tom Monsoor swim jig with a 3½-inch Yamamoto Swim Senko (pearl with silver flake). Monsoor also mixed in a homemade football-head jig with a Yamamoto Cowboy trailer and a homemade Bitsy Bug-type jig with a Fat Baby Craw to put together his winning limits.

“I caught two or three fish this week on the Bitsy Bug, but other than that everything came on the football jig and the swimming jig,” Monsoor said. “Gravel bars and drops with weeds seemed to be the two key areas this week.”

Now that the 71-year-old pro has finally earned the big win at home that had seemed to elude him for most of his career, he plans to spend a relaxing Sunday right where you’d expect to see him – back out on the water.

“I can’t wait to go out there tomorrow and see if those two schools of largemouth that I had found in practice are still there,” Monsoor went on to say. “I’m going to sleep in until 9 a.m. or so and recuperate, then I’m getting back out there.”

The top 10 pros on the Mississippi River finished:

1st: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., 20 bass, 54-10, $125,000
2nd: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 20 bass, 52-14, $35,000
3rd: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., 20 bass, 52-5, $30,000
4th: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 20 bass, 50-15, $25,000
5th: Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., 20 bass, 50-7, $22,000
6th: Cody Meyer of Auburn, Calif., 19 bass, 48-12, $21,000
7th: Bailey Boutries of Daphne, Ala., 20 bass, 48-11, $19,000
8th: Clark Reehm of Elm Grove, La., 20 bass, 48-9, $18,000
9th: Kyle Hall of Granbury, Texas, 20 bass, 48-7, $17,000
10th: Scott Wiley of Bay Minette, Ala., 15 bass, 42-6, $16,000

Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Overall there were 46 bass weighing 102 pounds, 15 ounces caught by pros Saturday. Nine of the final 10 pros weighed in five-bass limits.

Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River will premiere at 7 p.m. EDT, Sept. 11 on the Outdoor Channel. Running now through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down the final rounds of each regular-season competition. Episodes premiere in Friday night primetime slots on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries was hosted by Explore La Crosse. The event featured a field of 200 anglers from FLW and Major League Fishing competing for $1.3 million.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament competition, the full field of 200 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Wednesday and Thursday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to Friday. Only the top 10 pros continued competition on Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 24-29.

MLF pros competing in the Pro Circuit Super Tournaments fish for prize money only. No points will be awarded toward any championship or title to MLF competitors. Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will compete for the AOY title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on Pro Circuit anglers finishing order. The top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, and so on.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Hughes & Stewart win over $21,000 with 21.86 lbs. Huckabee & Johnson win AOY in the East

Place Boat Truck Angler 1 Angler 2 Fish Big Bass Wt. Prize Amt.
1 MARSHALL HUGHES
HEMPHILL , TX COLE STEWART
HEMPHILL , TX 3 10.62 21.86
$21,350 w/ Big Bass, CaptainsCash, Atlas, SureLife
2 JOE WILKERSON
MANY , LA HALLECK WILKERSON
NOBLE , LA 3 7.62 16.91
$4000.00
3 MATTHEW BENEFIELD
HUFFMAN , TX LARRY BENEFIELD
HUFFMAN , TX 3 0 16.06
$3000.00
4 BENJAMIN GULETT
CONVERSE , LA DUSTIN RIVERS
NOBLE , LA 3 0 15.87
$2000.00
5 SKEETER FOWLER
GRAND SALINE , TX BEN MATSUBU
MILAM , TX 3 0 15.83
$8800.00 w/ Skeeter Bonus Cash , James Wood Motors
6 ANDRE MARTIN
LENA , LA GLEN FREEMAN
ZWOLLE , LA 3 0 15.54
$1200.00
7 RICHARD CHUMLEY
JOAQUIN , TX MILES MCDANIEL
MILAM , TX 3 0 14.41
$1100.00
8 BJ HESTER
DEVILLE , LA DAVID CZUDEK JR
LEESVILLE , LA 3 9.69 14.36
$1040.00
9 KRIS WILSON
MONTGOMERY , TX BRYAN LOHR
LUMBERTON , TX 3 0 14.35
$1025.00
9 RONNIE BLAND
BURKEVILLE , TX MALCOLM FRANKS
FLORIEN , LA 3 0 14.35
$1025.00
11 GERALD MITCHELL
JENA , LA JASON LEBRUN
CHOUDRANT , LA 3 0 13.88
$1010.00
12 SAM HUCKABEE
SHREVEPORT , LA TOBY JOHNSON
BOSSIER CITY , LA 3 0 13.06
$1000.00
13 CHARLES HICKMAN
HUNTINGTON , TX TERRY HICKMAN
KINGWOOD , TX 3 0 12.50
$1000.00
14 NOLAN GASKIN
BROUSSARD , LA CHRIS TORRY
YOUNGSVILLE , LA 3 0 12.44
$1000.00
15 SEAN MECHE
LAKE CHARLES , LA RODNEY OWENS
RAGLEY , LA 3 0 12.42
$950.00
16 ROBERT HENDERSON JR
STONEWALL , LA CODY NORRED
GLOSTER , LA 3 0 12.00
$1900.00 with Skeeter Bonus Cash
17 CHRIS GABLE
BILOXI , MS STEVEN RAMSEY
DIBERVILLE , MS 3 0 11.67
$850.00
18 JUSTIN COOPER
ZWOLLE , LA ROBERT LAFITTE
MANY , LA 3 0 11.62
$850.00
19 CHARLIE MCGEE
WESTLAKE , LA KEVIN COMEAUX
SULPHUR , LA 3 0 11.59
$800.00
20 HORACE FRAZIER
MANY , LA ED MELTON
HOUSTON , TX 3 0 11.43
$800.00
21 JONATHAN SIMON
ORANGE , TX COREY STANLEY
ORANGE , TX 3 0 11.10
$1300.00 with Skeeter Bonus Cash
22 IKE STEPHENS
SIMPSON , LA LEE BROWN
LEESVILLE , LA 3 0 11.02
$800.00
23 JODY HOLT
JASPER , TX RAYMOND BALCEROWICZ
CROSBY , TX 3 0 10.78
24 ROBERT NAQUIN JR
DEVILLE , LA STEPHEN TRAIL
RECTOR , AR 3 0 10.68
25 CODY PITT
MANY , LA LANE MASTERS
FISHER , LA 3 0 10.66
26 JACOB LOVELADY
NOBLE , LA JOSEPH KEZERLE
NOBLE , LA 3 0 10.54
27 KEN SMITH
RICHARDSON , TX KEVIN LASYONE
DRY PRONG , LA 3 0 10.37
28 LARRY WEPPLER
HOUSTON , TX DENNIS FIKES
HOUSTON , TX 3 0 10.33
29 HAROLD ALLEN
SHELBYVILLE , TX MATT LOETSCHER
MANY , LA 3 0 10.15
30 MICHAEL BEDGOOD
COUSHATTA , LA JERRY HESTER
COUSHATTA , LA 3 0 9.94
31 JACOB JOHNSON
LAKE CHARLES , LA SHANE CORMIER
RAGLEY , LA 3 0 9.93
32 JUSTIN CHILDRESS
MANSFIELD , LA ROY LOVE JR
STONEWALL , LA 3 0 9.89
33 RICHARD STEPHENS
HINESTON , LA RUSSELL MILLER
ELMER , LA 3 0 9.86
34 MATHEW ARMAND
HESSMER , LA JARRED WILLIAMS
BUNKIE , LA 3 0 9.77
35 BOBBY VICE
GROVES , TX RICKY GUY
HUMBLE , TX 3 0 9.76
35 BILL STARK
EVADALE , TX DAVID MORGAN
SILSBEE , TX 3 0 9.76
37 MARTIN ELSHOUT
ABITA SPRINGS , LA MARK PRICE
RUSTON , LA 3 0 9.70
38 MARKUS ELDER
NEW WAVERLY , TX ROBERT MIKES
SHINER , TX 3 0 9.16
39 JOHNNY VINES
GROVES , TX SHANNON PRICE
PORT ARTHUR , TX 3 0 9.09
40 SCOOTER CLARK
CENTER , TX RYAN PINKSTON
CENTER , TX 3 0 9.07
41 JERREL PRINGLE
HEMPHILL , TX KEITH KEELE
TENAHA , TX 3 0 8.85
2 Pair Amphibia Sunglasses Early Entry Drawing
42 MICHAEL MITCHELL
LAKE CHARLES , LA NATHAN MITCHELL
LAKE CHARLES , LA 3 0 8.60
43 PETE LOWE
WOODWORTH , LA DAVID ROSHTO
ALEXANDRIA , LA 3 0 8.53
44 WILL CARSTENS
ALEXANDRIA , LA ROSS BRYANT
ALEXANDRIA , LA 3 0 8.52
45 SHELBY SHAW
HUNTSVILLE , TX WESLEY LEWIS
KIRBYVILLE , TX 3 0 8.51
46 CHARLIE BROWN III
FLINT , TX TIM BAKER
FLINT , TX 2 0 8.41
47 MATTHEW BOYT
CONVERSE , LA JENNIFER CARTER
CONVERSE , LA 3 0 8.30
48 JOEL MAYFIELD
PERKINSTON , MS RYAN PATTERSON
PASCAGOULA , MS 3 0 8.24
49 DEAN LEWIS
BOSSIER , LA JOHNNY COSTELLO
BOSSIER CITY , LA 3 0 8.22
50 CORY RAMBO
ORANGE , TX RUSTY CLARK
SAM RAYBURN , TX 3 0 8.14
51 CRAIG MASSEY
HOUSTON , TX SCOTT HOLIFIELD
GRAND BAY , AL 3 0 8.13
52 DOUG MCCAIN
LAKE CHARLES , LA MASON MCCAIN
LAKE CHARLES , LA 3 0 8.02
53 JOSPEH NORRIS
BOSSIER CITY , LA BARTON BLAKELOCK
WAELDER , TX 3 0 7.59
53 MATTHEW WRIGHT
BRIDGE CITY , TX CAMERON MALLETT
BUNA , TX 3 0 7.59
55 JAMES DAVIS JR
FERRIDAY , LA CEDRIC JACKSON SR
FERRIDAY , LA 3 0 7.36
56 BRANNON MIRE
BLOUSSARD , LA DENNIS NARCISSE
ST MARTINVILLE , LA 3 0 7.34
57 CLAY DARDEAU
RAGLEY , LA CRAIG BEAN
LAKE CHARLES , LA 3 0 7.18
58 TYLER TATE
BEAUMONT , TX BLAKE CAIN
BEAUMONT , TX 3 0 6.97
59 DAMON BOREL
HEMPHILL , TX
3 0 6.82
60 AUSTIN ROACH
BIG SANDY , TX BRADLEY DASSONVILLE
DIANA , TX 3 0 6.15
61 DARRELL LYONS
HEMPHILL , TX BILLY GATWOOD
HATTIESBURG , MS 3 0 5.53
62 TIM BOYES
LEAGUE CITY , TX
3 0 3.82
63 JOHNATHANE ALMEIDA
ORANGE , TX DANNY THIBODEAUX
ORANGE , TX 1 0 3.64
64 DOMONICK POULLARD
HOUSTON , TX MELVIN DUNN
ORANGE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 SHANE MITCHELL
HORNBECK , LA TYLER MITCHELL
COUSHATA , LA 0 0 0.00
64 MIKE RICHARDSON
THORNDALE , TX JANA RICHARDSON
THORNDALE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 ERIC PHILLIPS
KERENS , TX JAMIE PHILLIPS
KERENS , TX 0 0 0.00
64 KALEB LASYONE
DRY PRONG , LA JAMES BURGE
PINEVILLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 CAVIN COURVILLE
LAKE CHARLES , LA CAMERON BASS
LAKE CHARLES , LA 0 0 0.00
64 JASON WILLIAMS
NEDERLAND , TX RICK WILLIAMS
NEDERLAND , TX 0 0 0.00
64 RANDY MILLENDER
TEAGUE , TX KENNETH NICHOLS
TEAGUE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JEFFERY LOFTIN
COUSHATTA , LA JT HINDS JR
COUSHATTA , LA 0 0 0.00
64 PHILIP HANKS
BUNA , TX MARK OSBORNE
NEDERLAND , TX 0 0 0.00
64 QUINTON MCKNIGHT
WELLS , TX JERRY MCKNIGHT
WELLS , TX 0 0 0.00
64 BEN SOUTH
JASPER , TX MARC WOOLEMS
JASPER , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DENNIS COURTNEY
LAKE CHARLES , LA GRADY MAYEAUX
RAGLEY , LA 0 0 0.00
64 TYLER WALKER
BURTON , TX STEVEN WALKER
BURTON , TX 0 0 0.00
64 TED PRIESING
DALLAS , TX VIRGIL CHANEY
JASPER , TX 0 0 0.00
64 ROBBIE JOHNSON
GOODRICH , TX JARROD CLARK
SANTA FE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 MIKE EDWARDS
ETOILE , TX MIKE GREER
DERIDDER , LA 0 0 0.00
64 MATTHEW LEE
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS , TX CHRIS BAUGH
PROSPER , TX 0 0 0.00
64 GARY KINARD
FORNEY , TX JACOB KINARD
FORNEY , TX 0 0 0.00
64 TERRY STEVENS
HUTTO , TX LAYNE STEVENS
HUTTO , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DANNY BENNETT
HUNTSVILLE , TX
0 0 0.00
64 ALLEN SHELTON
FARMERS BRANCH , TX JOHN MCCALMONT
ROCKWALL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 LAMARCUS MCCRAY
HOUSTON , TX JAMES ROZELL
HOUSTON , TX 0 0 0.00
64 RICKY BLANKINSHIP
MANY , LA DAVID CURTIS
BROOKLAND , TX 0 0 0.00
64 RICKY MADOLE
MANY , LA RONNIE MADOLE
SHREVEPORT , LA 0 0 0.00
64 EASTON HEIGLEY
BROOKELAND , TX BLAKE SCHROEDER
WHITEHOUSE , TX 0 0 0.00
$500 Cash Conservation Bonus
64 DANIEL HICKMAN
HUNTINGTON , TX PATRICK GAMMILL
LUFKIN , TX 0 0 0.00
64 PHILIP CRELIA
CENTER , TX TJ GOODWYN
CENTER , TX 0 0 0.00
64 ROBERT MORE
LEESVILLE , LA JERRY COUTEE
MONTGOMERY , LA 0 0 0.00
64 CHRIS CLEMENS
LUFKIN , TX DALLAS COLE
LEESVILLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 ADAM DUNN
HOUSTON , TX JOSHUA WARE
NEW CANEY , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CHRIS HUEBEL
NEDERLAND , TX DON GOULD
MAURICEVILLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 PHIL MARKS
DALLAS , TX BRET STAFFORD
TEMPLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 MIKE LOTT
MONTGOMERY , TX JIMMY ROZELLE JR
PORTER , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JEDIDAH HOLT
LIVINGSTON , TX CODY MILLER
LIVINGSTON , TX 0 0 0.00
64 SIDNEY AUCOIN
PATTERSON , LA ROBERT GANN
FLORIEN , LA 0 0 0.00
64 KIRK LELEUX
KIRBYVILLE , TX ROGER JOHNSON JR
VIDOR , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DONNIE MARTIN
JOAQUIN , TX MATTHEW JONES
HUMBLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 GREG OSTERTAG
MT VERNON , TX BRENT EDWARDS
MIDLOTHIAN , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CHAD KEMP
BRIDGE CITY , TX BRENT KEMP
ORANGE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CADE DURIO
LAKE CHARLES , LA JOHN DURIO
HEMPHILL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 TREY BURFORD
GLOSTER , LA CHARLES YOUNG
GRAND CANE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 ROY GEESEY
CROWLEY , LA JEFFRY NICKEL
CROWLEY , LA 0 0 0.00
64 DANNY LASHLEY
BOYCE , LA MICHAEL IVEY
OTIS , LA 0 0 0.00
64 DERRICK LABORDE
HESSMER , LA RAYFORD LABORDE
HESSMER , LA 0 0 0.00
64 ANDREW GOLDEN
CENTER , TX JOHN BARRERA
MILAM , TX 0 0 0.00
64 BOB SIGNORIN
OAKHURST , TX TRAVIS SIGNORIN
WILLIS , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CODY CLARK
HERMPHILL , TX CODY JORDAN
HEMPHILL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 KEITH DELANEY
POLLOCK , LA TED PATE
ALEXANDRIA , LA 0 0 0.00
64 CODY WOODS
JACKSONVILLE , TX ROBERT JONES
JACKSONVILLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JOEY CANTRELL
SADLER , TX SHANE ALLISON
COLLINSVILLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 GEORGE RINKLE
DALLAS , TX WILSON BASDEN
STREETMAN , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DEVIN BUSHLAND
ALLEN , TX CARSON KIRKHUFF
COLLEYVILLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 RICH REMEDIES
ZWOLLE , LA TRAYCE EZERNACK
ZWOLLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 MARLIN LANGTON
ROWLETT , TX JOE WHIDDON
TERRELL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 KRISTOPHER PICKETT
COUSHATTA , LA CHRISTOPHER GORDON
CLARENCE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 JONATHAN EDWARDS
HEMPHILL , TX BRENT EDWARDS
HEMPHILL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 REID TALLEY
MIDLAND , TX THOMAS MCCOMIC
MIDLAND , TX 0 0 0.00
64 MIKE WINSLOW
NEWCANEY , TX ZACHARY BAKER
SPLENDORA , TX 0 0 0.00
64 COLE GARRETT
WINNFIELD , LA DANNY KELLOGG
CALVIN , LA 0 0 0.00
64 CHARLES GALLAGHER
LAWTON , OK JEANNE GALLAGHER
LAWTON , OK 0 0 0.00
64 WILLIAM LAPRARIE
BALL , LA JAMES MAXWELL
PINEVILLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JONATHAN LANCASTER
QUITMAN , TX JOSH PRIEST
QUITMAN , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JAMES BENEDICT
TOLBERT , LA GARRETT BENEDICT
TOBERT , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CASEY BURLEIGH
ORANGE , TX CAMERON ROANE
BEAUMONT , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JACOB BAKER
TERRELL , TX MATTHEW KIRKLIN
HAWKINS , TX 0 0 0.00
64 RICHARD BACON
BASILE , LA COLE MOORE
ANACOCO , LA 0 0 0.00
64 GARY BOURN
BULVERDE , TX RUSTY REEDY
SPRING BRANCH , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JACE GREEN
BUNA , TX DEREK TORTORIS
VIDOR , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JEFF MANOUS
HEMPHILL , TX BILLY EDDINS
BROADDUS , TX 0 0 0.00
64 LUKE ILES
PRARIEVILLE , LA
0 0 0.00
64 JORDAN BREAUX
SULPHUR , LA DANIEL BREAUX
SULPHUR , LA 0 0 0.00
64 COLLIN BODE
CONROE , TX JACKSON CARRELL
BEDIOS , TX 0 0 0.00
64 ERIC BRIGMAN
BRYAN , TX HAROLD MOORE
CALDWELL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 SHANNON HALE
NACOGDOCHES , TX TODD NEWMAN
NACOGDOCHES , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CHANCE ARCENEAUX
LAKE CHARLES , LA DWIGHT ABSHIRE
SANTA FE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 BRIAN SHOOK
CHINA , TX JOHN ILES
LUFKIN , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DAVE REDINGTON
WINNSBORO , TX LEE SANDERS
HILLSBORO , TX 0 0 0.00
64 MIKE SOLIZ
ORANGE , TX EDDIE CHOATE
BEAUMONT , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JACK TINDEL III
ORANGE , TX DALTON SOLIZ
ORANGE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 PHILLIP STRAHAN
MARTHAVILLE , LA NOLAN POWELL
MARTHAVILLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 WILLIAM WALKER
JENA , LA SAMUEL CANOE
GEORGETOWN , LA 0 0 0.00
64 SHAWN VERINSKY
LUMBERTON , TX BLAKE COLE
ORANGE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JOHN WALKER
BROOKELAND , TX KIRK MCCARTY
BROOKELAND , TX 0 0 0.00
64 RICKEY ELLIOTT
SPRING , TX JOHNNY GRICE
ARP , TX 0 0 0.00
64 BILL DAIGLE
LAFAYETTE , LA ANDRE CHAPMAN
CHURCH POINT , LA 0 0 0.00
64 BRANDON DAVIDSON
LITTLE ELM , TX JIM FURR
HEMPHILL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 LARRY DEAN
HUMBLE , TX DENNIS GAU
MAGNOLIA , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JIMMY DUCK III
CENTER , LA BENJI DUMAS
MINDEN , LA 0 0 0.00
64 MIKE TAYLOR
JASPER , TX RANDY DEARMAN
ONALASKA , TX 0 0 0.00
64 ANDREW FATERKOWSKI
MONTGOMERY , TX BILLY DRIGGERS
HUNTSVILLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DUANE PITTMAN
PRAIRIEVILLE , LA DWIGHT MINOGUE
KEITHVILLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 HEATH CROCKER
CALHOUN , LA JUSTIN WEBB
CALHOUN , LA 0 0 0.00
64 DEREK MONG
MANY , LA CD MONG
MANY , LA 0 0 0.00
64 MATTHEW DELANEY
POLLOCK , LA MATTHEW NUGENT
DRY PRONG , LA 0 0 0.00
64 COLBY BASCO
CHENEYVILLE , LA DEREK BASCO
CHENEYVILLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 LESLIE HARPER
HEMPHILL , TX GARY FRICK
HEMPHILL , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DOUG PERKINS
PORTER , TX BRAD HENSLEY
CLEVELAND , TX 0 0 0.00
64 MARK MARTIN
VIDOR , TX JIMMY MOORE
ORANGE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CLAYTON BOULWARE
ZAVALLA , TX ALBERT COLLINS
NACOGDOCHES , TX 0 0 0.00
64 COLE BREWER
LEESVILLE , LA ROB RICHARDS
SPRING , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DALE BOREN
FORT WORTH , TX RICK SCOTT
HUMBLE , TX 0 0 0.00
64 DON DICKERSON
PINEVILLE , LA JASON FOUNTAIN
PINEVILLE , LA 0 0 0.00
64 WESLEY DAWSON
CHESTER , TX TEDDY CLOIDE
VIDOR , TX 0 0 0.00
64 JERE BICE
LAKE CHARLES , LA MICHAEL MCDONALD
IOWA , LA 0 0 0.00
64 GENE BAGLEY
BEAUMONT , TX MITCH STEPHENSON
BEAUMONT , TX 0 0 0.00
64 CODY NAQUIN
THIBODAUX , LA BLAKE NAQUIN
THIBODAUX , LA 0 0 0.00
64 CHET SLAYDON
DE RIDDER , LA JOHNNIE FRANKS
HEMPHILL , TX 0 0 0.00


Hartman Overcomes Hardship To Hold Lead In Bassmaster Elite At Lake Champlain

Jamie Hartman, originally of Newport, N.Y., is leading after Day 3 of the 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 59 pounds, 12 ounces.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
August 1, 2020

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Despite a potentially disastrous impediment, Jamie Hartman of Russellville, Ark., held on to his lead at the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 59 pounds, 12 ounces. After taking the Day 1 lead with 22-1 — the event’s heaviest bag — Hartman added 20-3 on Friday and followed with 17-8 Saturday.

Hartman, who leads second-place angler Dave Mullins by only an ounce, lost an hour and a half of late-morning fishing time to a mechanical issue. A service technician identified a battery problem and a replacement got Hartman back on his way around Noon.

“I tried to shake it off on the way in and said, ‘Okay, let’s go get this done, get back out here and catch up,’” said Hartman, a native New Yorker who moved to Arkansas two years ago. “I tried to do that, but mentally it just spins you out.

“I’ll take what I have, but I had a little fish in my bag that I couldn’t cull. But I’ve made it to Championship Sunday, so I’ll try to make these New York home-state people proud.”

Fortunately, Hartman enjoyed a fast start to his morning with a 15-pound limit by 8:30. He caught all of his fish on the point where he ended Day 1 and started Day 2.

Hartman caught one of his five smallmouth on a drop shot when he spotted the fish on his electronics. A Carolina-rigged craw with a 1-ounce weight produced his other keepers.

“It was all kinda different today; the fish weren’t on the end where they were [on Days 1 and 2] where it sets up perfectly,” Hartman said. “They moved to the middle where there’s more moss, so it was really hard to work the bait through there. They had to hit it right away because I wasn’t getting to drag it much.”

After returning to the water, Hartman went back to his starting spot. But he couldn’t improve on his last upgrade, which he made at 9:47 a.m. Moving to “The Gut” — a popular area between Champlain’s northwestern branch and the Inland Sea — he tried various presentations over an area with shallow rock and grass.

After fishing flawlessly the first two days and most of Saturday, Hartman suffered a costly loss toward the end of the semifinal round when a broken wacky rig leader cost him a solid fish that looked like it would have helped his cause.

“I hadn’t retied that leader after yesterday and it broke right at the knot,” Hartman said. “I know it was a good one; I know what lives there. That one good fish would have been a difference-maker.

“It was just an all-around frustrating day. I just had a rough, rough day. It was just one thing after another.”

With cloudy, rainy conditions and southeast winds of 10 to 20 mph forecast for tomorrow, Hartman said he believes his heavily weighted Carolina rig will still produce. He also believes the rough water will limit the weekend recreational traffic.

Mullins, who hails from Mt. Carmel, Tenn., improved from fifth place to second by adding 20-10 to his previous weights of 19-13 and 19-4 for a three-day total of 59-11.

Depth, he said, was the key variable today.

“The first two days, I caught them all shallow cranking,” Mullins said. “But today, I started deep because the shallow bite hadn’t started turning on until about Noon. I caught four 4-pounders and lost one big one.

“Then, I went shallow for about three hours and never got a bite; but I went back out deep with about an hour left and caught another big one.”

Mullins caught his Day 3 fish on a drop shot with a goby-style bait over rock structure in 30 feet.

Koby Kreiger of Alva, Fla., is in third place with 59-2. He missed several fish on the Zara Spook that produced his first two days’ weights of 18-1 and 22-0, but he made a key adjustment and added 19-1 Saturday.

“The difference between yesterday and today was that yesterday, I caught everything that bit and today, I had a chance at a 22-pound bag and it just didn’t happen,” Kreiger said. “Yesterday, when I’d catch a fish, it would come up with what I call ‘friends’ with it. But today it was just singles. Maybe there wasn’t as much competition to eat the bait as there was yesterday.

“They wouldn’t eat my Spook, so I had to switch to a smaller profile with a Rebel Pop-R and they ate it. The bad thing is, the popper is so slow to fish, you can’t cover as much water as you can with the Spook.”

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., fell to fourth place with 59-0, but is still in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with the 6-6 largemouth he caught Friday.

Only the Top 10 anglers will compete Sunday for the $100,000 first-place prize — and with less than 3 pounds separating 10th place from first, the event is as wide open as any in recent memory.

Sunday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET at Plattsburgh City Marina. The weigh-in will be held back at the marina at 3 p.m.

Live coverage of the event will be available starting at 8 a.m. on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com with simulcasts on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Check local listings for ESPN2 times.

The tournament is being hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, City of Plattsburgh and Clinton County with support from the Office of the Governor of the State of New York.

2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain 7/30-8/2
Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 15 59-12 100
Day 1: 5 22-01 Day 2: 5 20-03 Day 3: 5 17-08
2. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 15 59-11 99
Day 1: 5 19-13 Day 2: 5 19-04 Day 3: 5 20-10
3. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 15 59-02 98
Day 1: 5 18-01 Day 2: 5 22-00 Day 3: 5 19-01
4. Seth Feider New Market, MN 15 59-00 97 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-01 Day 2: 5 21-07 Day 3: 5 17-08
5. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 15 58-11 96
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 18-10 Day 3: 5 20-05
6. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 15 57-08 95
Day 1: 5 19-13 Day 2: 5 19-02 Day 3: 5 18-09
7. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 15 57-06 94
Day 1: 5 17-03 Day 2: 5 21-08 Day 3: 5 18-11
8. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 15 57-05 93
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 5 19-06 Day 3: 5 19-07
9. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 15 57-04 92
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 5 19-07 Day 3: 5 19-09
10. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 15 57-00 91
Day 1: 5 19-04 Day 2: 5 19-13 Day 3: 5 17-15
11. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 15 56-04 90 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-03 Day 2: 5 20-02 Day 3: 5 16-15
12. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 15 55-04 89 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-02 Day 2: 5 17-06 Day 3: 5 16-12
13. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 15 55-02 88 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-08 Day 2: 5 17-14 Day 3: 5 16-12
14. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 15 55-01 87 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 16-08 Day 3: 5 19-03
15. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 15 54-15 86 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-03 Day 2: 5 18-05 Day 3: 5 19-07
16. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 15 54-05 85 $11,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 18-11 Day 3: 5 20-05
17. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 15 54-01 84 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 18-08 Day 3: 5 17-09
18. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 15 53-12 83 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-00 Day 2: 5 19-04 Day 3: 5 18-08
19. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 15 53-12 82 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 17-11 Day 3: 5 18-01
20. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 15 53-10 81 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-12 Day 2: 5 18-13 Day 3: 5 16-01
21. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 15 53-00 80 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-03 Day 2: 5 16-11 Day 3: 5 18-02
22. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 15 53-00 79 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-05 Day 2: 5 18-00 Day 3: 5 17-11
23. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 15 52-13 78 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 18-08 Day 3: 5 15-12
24. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 15 52-13 77 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-10 Day 2: 5 17-10 Day 3: 5 17-09
25. Frank Talley Temple, TX 15 52-11 76 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 18-11 Day 3: 5 17-15
26. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 15 52-09 75 $11,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 18-04 Day 3: 5 14-15
27. Hunter Shryock Newcomerstown, OH 15 52-06 74 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-00 Day 2: 5 19-06 Day 3: 5 16-00
28. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 15 52-06 73 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 18-05 Day 3: 5 18-00
29. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 15 52-06 72 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-07 Day 2: 5 18-00 Day 3: 5 16-15
30. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 15 52-04 71 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 16-12 Day 3: 5 16-02
31. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 15 52-03 70 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 17-05 Day 3: 5 15-02
32. Drew Cook Midway, FL 15 50-14 69 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-12 Day 2: 5 17-11 Day 3: 5 16-07
33. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 15 50-09 68 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-01 Day 2: 5 17-05 Day 3: 5 16-03
34. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 15 50-04 67 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-12 Day 2: 5 17-08 Day 3: 5 15-00
35. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 15 50-01 66 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-14 Day 2: 5 19-11 Day 3: 5 14-08
36. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 15 47-00 65 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 5 16-02 Day 3: 5 12-10
37. Rob Digh Denver, NC 15 46-13 64 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-06 Day 2: 5 17-09 Day 3: 5 10-14
38. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 15 44-11 63 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-09 Day 2: 5 16-10 Day 3: 5 10-08
39. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 15 44-07 62 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-11 Day 2: 5 17-02 Day 3: 5 10-10
40. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 12 40-02 61 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 5 17-13 Day 3: 2 03-13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 06-02 $1,000.00
2 Seth Feider New Market, MN 06-06 $1,000.00
3 Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 05-05 $1,000.00


Hartman Maintains Lead At Bassmaster Elite Series Event On Lake Champlain

Jamie Hartman, originally of Newport, N.Y., is leading after Day 2 of the 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with a two-day total of 42 pounds, 4 ounces.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
July 31, 2020

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Reversing his game plan, Day 1 leader Jamie Hartman of Russellville, Ark., added 20 pounds, 3 ounces to Thursday’s weight of 22-1 and retained the top spot in the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with a two-day total of 42-4.

Hartman ended Day 1 by stopping on a rocky point close to the tournament site and catching a 4-pounder 10 minutes before the 3 p.m. weigh-in began. Friday, he started on this spot and quickly lit up the BASSTrakk leaderboard by securing a solid limit of smallmouth in less than two hours.

“I took a lot of pressure off this morning in the first hour and a half, I had 18 1/4 pounds,” said Hartman, a New York native who moved away from his home state to pursue a career in professional bass fishing. “Then I figured I only needed two more 4-pounders, but it took all the way to the last two hours to do it.

“That spot was on my way to a big flat I wanted to fish in the lake’s north end, so I just said I’m going to start there and see if the fish were there, and they sure were. Hopefully, they’ll reload and I’ll get on them tomorrow morning.”

Having fished this spot in years past, Hartman said his nearly immediate bite on Day 1 told him the point held greater potential than he had anticipated. With Friday’s calm, clear conditions contrasting Thursday’s partly cloudy and increasingly breezy complexion, he started Day 2 expecting fireworks and the bass mostly cooperated.

Hartman caught those early fish on a Carolina rig with craw bait on a 3/0 Owner extra-wide gap hook. He used a 1-ounce weight and a 3-foot leader, which helped him keep his bait above the grass.

“The spot had scattered grass and rock, so the Carolina rig was absolutely perfect, and my hookup to landing ratio is really good,” he said. “I said I was going to put it in my hand this week before we started because I lost so many fish last week [at the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite on the St. Lawrence River]. I said I’m going to swing with the big one this time.

“I was using a steady retrieve and whenever I’d come through a patch of grass, I’d pop the rig to snap it out of that grass. They’ll whack it every time when I do that.”

By midmorning, he decided he was not going to upgrade on his starting point, so he made a move to avoid burning up too much of the spot’s population. Heading to his northern flat, he focused on scattered grass in about 10 to 15 feet.

“I didn’t want to keep hammering my starting spot,” Hartman said of his plan to manage the bass. “I didn’t even go back to it on the way in. I didn’t want to catch another one off that spot; I need them for tomorrow.”

When the Carolina rig failed to produce, Hartman went to a 1/2-ounce Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper jig with a swimbait trailer. He was again targeting smallmouth but ended up making a key cull with a largemouth around 2:30 p.m.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., is in second place with 41-8. After anchoring his fourth-place Day 1 catch of 20-1 with a 5-4 largemouth, Feider added a limit of 21-7 Friday that included another huge largemouth that went 6-6.

Feider caught Friday’s big fish by targeting boat docks with milfoil and flipping a 5/8-ounce Outkast Tackle jig with a chunk-style trailer. While largemouth on marina docks produced most of his Day 1 weight, today told a different tale.

“I did most of my damage this morning on smallies; I ended up weighing four smallies and one buckethead (largemouth),” Feider said. “My smallmouth spot was a grass point in 10 to 12 feet on a big flat. I caught two on drop shot and two on a crankbait.”

Koby Kreiger of Alva, Fla., is in third place with 40-1. After posting 18-1 Thursday, he added 22 pounds on Day 2. Noting that a Heddon Super Spook Jr. and two jerkbaits — a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 and a Megabass Vision 110 — produced his fish, Kreiger said today’s calm, sunny conditions plus a cleaner performance yielded a better sack.

“It slicked off, which made it easier for me to see the fish and for them to see my bait,” Kreiger said. “Yesterday, I jumped off a couple and today, I fished clean.

“I’m fishing a great big flat in 10 feet with isolated rocks and isolated grass patches on it. I can see them pretty far out with my Humminbird 360; that shows me what’s in front of the boat when I’m drifting.”

Feider is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-6 largemouth.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET at Plattsburgh City Marina. The weigh-in will be held at the marina at 3 p.m.

Live coverage of the event will be available starting at 8 a.m. on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com with simulcasts on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Check local listings for ESPN2 times.

The tournament is being hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, City of Plattsburgh and Clinton County with support from the Office of the Governor of the State of New York.

2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain 7/30-8/2
Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 10 42-04 100
Day 1: 5 22-01 Day 2: 5 20-03
2. Seth Feider New Market, MN 10 41-08 99 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-01 Day 2: 5 21-07
3. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 10 40-01 98
Day 1: 5 18-01 Day 2: 5 22-00
4. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 10 39-05 97
Day 1: 5 19-03 Day 2: 5 20-02
5. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 10 39-01 96
Day 1: 5 19-04 Day 2: 5 19-13
5. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 10 39-01 96
Day 1: 5 19-13 Day 2: 5 19-04
7. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 10 38-15 94
Day 1: 5 19-13 Day 2: 5 19-02
8. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 10 38-11 93
Day 1: 5 17-03 Day 2: 5 21-08
9. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 10 38-08 92
Day 1: 5 21-02 Day 2: 5 17-06
10. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 10 38-06 91
Day 1: 5 20-08 Day 2: 5 17-14
11. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 10 38-06 90
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 18-10
12. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 10 37-14 89
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 5 19-06
13. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 10 37-11 88
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 5 19-07
14. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 10 37-10 87 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 18-04
15. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 10 37-09 86
Day 1: 5 18-12 Day 2: 5 18-13
16. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 10 37-01 85
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 17-05
17. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 10 37-01 84
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 18-08
18. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 10 36-08 83
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 18-08
19. Hunter Shryock Newcomerstown, OH 10 36-06 82
Day 1: 5 17-00 Day 2: 5 19-06
20. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 10 36-05 81
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 5 17-13
21. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 10 36-02 80
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 16-12
22. Rob Digh Denver, NC 10 35-15 79
Day 1: 5 18-06 Day 2: 5 17-09
23. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 10 35-14 78
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 16-08
24. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 10 35-11 77
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 17-11
25. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 10 35-09 76
Day 1: 5 15-14 Day 2: 5 19-11
26. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 10 35-08 75
Day 1: 5 17-03 Day 2: 5 18-05
27. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 10 35-07 74
Day 1: 5 17-07 Day 2: 5 18-00
28. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 10 35-05 73
Day 1: 5 17-05 Day 2: 5 18-00
29. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 10 35-04 72
Day 1: 5 16-00 Day 2: 5 19-04
30. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 10 35-04 71
Day 1: 5 17-12 Day 2: 5 17-08
31. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 10 35-04 70
Day 1: 5 17-10 Day 2: 5 17-10
32. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 10 34-14 69
Day 1: 5 18-03 Day 2: 5 16-11
33. Frank Talley Temple, TX 10 34-12 68
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 18-11
34. Drew Cook Midway, FL 10 34-07 67
Day 1: 5 16-12 Day 2: 5 17-11
35. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 10 34-06 66
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 18-05
36. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 10 34-06 65
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 5 16-02
37. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 10 34-06 64
Day 1: 5 17-01 Day 2: 5 17-05
38. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 10 34-03 63
Day 1: 5 17-09 Day 2: 5 16-10
39. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 10 34-00 62
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 18-11
40. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 10 33-13 61
Day 1: 5 16-11 Day 2: 5 17-02
41. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 10 33-10 60 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-06 Day 2: 5 17-04
42. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 10 33-08 59 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-09 Day 2: 5 16-15
43. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 10 33-05 58 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-07 Day 2: 5 14-14
44. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 10 33-03 57 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-09 Day 2: 5 17-10
45. Greg DiPalma Millville, NJ 10 33-03 56 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-15 Day 2: 5 16-04
46. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 10 33-01 55 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-03 Day 2: 5 16-14
47. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 10 33-00 54 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 16-15
48. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 10 32-15 53 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-03 Day 2: 5 16-12
49. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 10 32-11 52 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-13 Day 2: 5 16-14
50. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 10 32-11 51 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-05 Day 2: 5 16-06
51. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 10 32-08 50 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 18-08
52. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 10 32-05 49 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-00 Day 2: 5 17-05
53. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 10 32-04 48 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 18-04
54. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 10 32-03 47 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 14-03
55. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 10 32-00 46 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-00 Day 2: 5 17-00
56. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 10 31-15 45 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 17-09
57. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 10 31-15 44 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-04 Day 2: 5 14-11
58. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 10 31-14 43 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-07 Day 2: 5 15-07
59. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 10 31-14 42 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-05 Day 2: 5 15-09
60. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 10 31-14 41 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-14 Day 2: 5 16-00
61. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 10 31-13 40 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-00 Day 2: 5 16-13
62. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 31-11 39 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-08 Day 2: 5 15-03
63. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 10 31-05 38 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-13 Day 2: 5 14-08
64. Wes Logan Springville, AL 10 30-15 37 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 5 12-05
65. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 10 30-15 36 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-09 Day 2: 5 16-06
66. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 10 30-14 35 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-04 Day 2: 5 15-10
67. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 10 30-11 34 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 5 13-09
68. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 10 30-04 33 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-05 Day 2: 5 11-15
69. John Cox Debary, FL 10 30-00 32 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 14-15
70. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 10 29-15 31 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 16-05
71. David Fritts Lexington, NC 10 29-14 30 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-10 Day 2: 5 13-04
72. Jesse Tacoronte Kissimmee, FL 10 29-14 29 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 16-04
73. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 10 29-09 28 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-04 Day 2: 5 13-05
74. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 10 29-01 27 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-03 Day 2: 5 11-14
75. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 10 28-11 26 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 15-12
76. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 10 28-07 25 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-05 Day 2: 5 10-02
77. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 10 28-01 24 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-13 Day 2: 5 14-04
78. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 10 28-00 23 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-14 Day 2: 5 13-02
79. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 10 27-15 22 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-02 Day 2: 5 13-13
80. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 10 27-10 21 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-14 Day 2: 5 14-12
81. Carl Jocumsen Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 9 27-04 20 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-03 Day 2: 4 10-01
82. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 10 26-14 19 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-08 Day 2: 5 15-06
83. Tyler Carriere Youngsville, LA 10 26-04 18 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-11 Day 2: 5 14-09
84. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 10 24-08 17 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 11-09
85. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 9 21-07 16 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 4 11-07
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 06-02 $1,000.00
2 Seth Feider New Market, MN 06-06 $1,000.00


Scum Frog Wins Royal Rumble at 2020 Ultimate Frog Challenge on the California Delta

D’Iberville, Mississippi. (July 29, 2020) – Scum Frog was a late entry into the 2020 Ultimate Frog Challenge (UFC) on the California Delta but the company came to event day swinging to win the coveted UFC Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble is a special competition within the UFC event. The 2020 Royal Rumble saw 7 teams – selected by 7 different frog manufacturers, compete head-to-head for the coveted “Top Frog” trophy which is presented to the highest finishing team - and the frog brand they represent.

 

The team of Kris Huff and Kent Simpson took the “Top Frog” Royal Rumble title, edging out all competitors on the strength of Scum Frog’s Launch Trophy Series Popper – a bait that makes just enough noise when twitched.

 

“We figured that the fish had seen dozens of frogs skip across their head so we agreed to fish slow and let the frog do the work. We also knew because of Scum Frog’s low profile, the fish were seeing more of our frogs than any other. Day one we caught a small, three-fish limit of 8.63 and knew we had ground to make up.” said Scum Frog Pro Staffer Kris Huff

 

Scum Frog has made a significant investment since being acquired by American Baitworks in 2018. The company has designed new frog profiles like the Launch Frog and introduced new color profiles in the Painted Trophy Series. The extensive effort has quickly made Scum Frog a “must-have” for tournament frog fishing.

 

“Day 2 of the tournament we decided to make a big run back towards our “home water” on the Delta. We knew that the early, low light conditions were going to have the fish set up different. We caught multiple smaller fish in the low light in open water around tulies on the new Scum Frog Launch Frog. The Launch Frog moves an incredible amount of water and is heavy enough to bulldog through choppy water. With a small limit by 9 am, we knew it was time to hit the duckweed and after making a few casts I landed a California Delta 7.10lbs hog!. We finished with a two-day total of 22.61 anchoring our 2nd place overall finish and earning us the Royal Rumble top frog award.” said Kris Huff

 

Scum Frog’s sister company Snag Proof took home the overall win and a $5,400 payday thanks to the hard work of Billy Hume and Mike Kuhlman, who showed how incredible the delta fishery can be, as they almost tilted the scales with an amazing two-day, 6-fish limit totaling 30.16 pounds, earning them the UFC6 Championship title!

 

They indicated that the Snag Proof brand of frogs was the key to victory and also playfully explained that “GET THE NET” duties were equally divided, as both caught a good share of the fish that were landed.

 

 

You can see the complete line up of Scum Frog product at www.scumfrog.com and fishing tackle retailers across the country.


RELiON Battery Joins 1% for the Planet – Gives Back to the Environment

Leading global lithium battery provider, RELiON Battery, vows to donate 1% of annual sales to environmental causes

Rock Hill, SC (July 30, 2020) – Today, RELiON Battery announced that they have become a member of the international non-profit organization, 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to fund eco-friendly, earth-conscious causes and organizations around the globe.

“We are thrilled to be a member and support a forward-thinking organization like 1% for the Planet. This partnership is a natural fit for our core values. We, along with our customers, live and breathe adventure and relish the opportunities that our planet provides. Our tagline, Challenge Your Limits, reflects our philosophy to push yourself to greatness. So, it’s only logical to give back and support organizations making a realdifference,” said RELiON CEO Paul Hecimovich.

Members of 1% for the Planet contribute one percent of annual sales directly to any of the approved nonprofit environmental organizations in the network. Nonprofits are approved based on referrals, track record and environmental focus. Thousands of nonprofits worldwide are currently approved.

“Currently, only 3% of total philanthropy goes to the environment and, only 5% of comes from businesses. The planet needs bigger support than this, and our growing network of member businesses is doing its valuable part to increase giving and support on the ground outcomes. We're excited to welcome RELiON Battery to our global movement of over 2,700 businesses," said Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet.

RELiON’s membership with 1% for the Planet is only the start of a long-term mission for positive environmental impact. RELiON calls this quest Limitless Blue – blue battery, blue sky, blue ocean – because action has no limits.“Limitless Blue is about reducing our impact on the planet and using our business for a force of good moving forward. We face a long list of environmental challenges around the world. It is in all of our interests to work towards creating a healthier planet and we believe business has a responsibility to give back,” explained Hecimovich.

RELiON’s lithium iron phosphate batteries offer several advantages over other technologies in terms of resource consumption and safety, and have great potential to help reduce carbon emissions when used in wind and solar power systems. Most importantly, LiFePO4 batteries are inherently stable and non-combustible, and free from dangerous and messy outgassing, fumes and leaks.

“RELiON customers enjoy being in nature, living off-the-grid, fishing, sailing and much more. We feel that given the environmental friendliness of lithium batteries, it is our duty to do better as a business, making our batteries as sustainable as possible for our customers whom enjoy being outdoors,” added Hecimovich.

To learn more about RELiON Battery, visit relionbattery.com and connect on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About RELiON Battery:

RELiON is a global innovator of battery storage ideas. Founded in 2014, the company is on a mission to bring LiFePO4 battery solutions to the global market. RELiON products power a range of applications including, Recreational Vehicles, Marine, Electric Vehicles, Solar Powered Solutions and more. The company offers a full range of services and high-quality products that continue to pave the way forward to a greener and more efficient future for energy storage. For more information on RELiON, visit www.relionbattery.com.

About 1% for the Planet:

1% for the Planet is a global organization that connects dollars and doers to accelerate smart environmental giving. Through our business and individual memberships, 1% for the Planet inspires people to support environmental organizations through annual membership and everyday actions. We advise on giving strategies, we certify donations and we amplify the impact of the network.

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, our members have given more than $225 million to environmental nonprofits to date. Today, 1% for the Planet is a network of more than 2,700 business members, an expanding core of individual members and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries. Look for our logo and visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org to learn more.


B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional Championship At Lake Erie Canceled

July 31, 2020

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2020 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional Championship, scheduled for August 19-21 on Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay, has been canceled. The tournament cancellation was prompted by various state regulations, which would have prevented competitors from several states and B.A.S.S. staff from traveling to and from Pennsylvania for the event.

In addition to teams from Pennsylvania, the Northeast Regional Championship includes teams from Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island.

“We’re obviously disappointed to see an event of this caliber canceled,” said Mark Jeanneret, Executive Director of Erie Sports Commission. “We know that Erie is a world-class bass fishery, but with the various statewide travel restrictions in place, it became obvious that we would not be able to host a full field of participants, significantly diminishing the level of competition.

“B.A.S.S. has been a great partner as we collectively worked through the changing landscape of sporting events this year. We’re looking toward 2021 and remain hopeful that Erie will be able to serve as the host of this prestigious event in the future.”

The top finishing boater and nonboater from each participating state at the Northeast Regional Championship would have advanced to the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship at Lake Pickwick to compete for a spot in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic. Officials say they are working toward a solution for impacted anglers.

“It is disappointing any time we have to cancel a tournament, especially knowing how much these championships mean to our grass-roots anglers,” said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation Director. “I will be working alongside these state presidents to find a fair way to advance anglers from this region to November’s National Championship.”


Quantum Hosting Two High School / College Tournaments this Fall

The 4th Annual Quantum Next Gen High School & College Open returns to Grand Lake, Oklahoma the weekend of September 19th and 20th. For high school anglers we’ve got more good news -- Quantum is extending their support to host a second Next Gen High School Open on one of the best fisheries in the world, Texas’s Sam Rayburn Reservoir the weekend of October 31st and November 1st.

There is no entry fee to participate in either event; every angler that competes receives a free special edition Quantum Accurist cranking rod and more than $20,000 in prizes will be given away to the top teams!

Grand Lake

Registration takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 19th at Wolf Creek Park. Dinner, seminars, and registration prizes will be provided. Competition will take place on Sunday, September 20th at Grove’s Wolf Creek Park boat ramp.

Major League Fishing pro and former Carhartt College fishing champion Matt Lee will be in Grove, OK to help host the event and to share both fishing tips and career advice with all young competitors.

“In 10+ years of being around high school and college tournaments, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an incredible product pay-out in a no entry fee event, not to mention, it is run in a first-class way and the attendance is great,” says Matt Lee.

To register for Grand Lake tournament, please visit:

https://angler-nation.com/nextgen

or call tournament director Joe Davis at 918-831-6970.

Sam Rayburn

Quantum is excited to double down their support for the next generation of anglers by hosting a second High School Open on legendary Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

The event will be similar to the Grand Lake schedule of events with registration taking place Saturday afternoon, October 31st at Cassels-Boykin Park and the tournament being held on Sunday, November 1st out of Cassels-Boykin Boat Ramp.

Follow this link www.texasbassonline.com, to register for the Sam Rayburn event or contact Pete Bruener at (936) 615-1433, the B.A.S.S. Nation Youth Director for Texas.


Monsoor Vaults into Lead on Day Two of FLW Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 30, 2020) – Local pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries in La Crosse. Monsoor’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 28-11 will give him a 12-ounce advantage as the event enters into day three of competition in the four-day Super Tournament that features 200 of the world’s best bass-fishing anglers from FLW and Major League Fishing (MLF) competing for a top cash award of up to $160,000.

After starting the day in seventh place, Monsoor caught a limit in Pool No. 8 consisting of two smallmouth and three largemouth bass Thursday to move into first place. He says that the tournament is still completely up for grabs with two days of competition remaining and the fishery changing each day.

“I can’t believe that the River has been fishing as tough as it has been, but I had more weight today than I did yesterday so I guess it wasn’t too bad,” said Monsoor, a 17-year FLW pro veteran who has 25 previous top-10 finishes on the Mississippi River in FLW competition. “Yesterday I started out in Pool 7 and it did not work out. My two starting spots I didn’t get a bite – and I thought I could catch a limit at both. But that’s La Crosse – it can change overnight.

“Today I hunkered down in Pool 8 and it worked out a little better,” Monsoor continued. “I tried everything. I threw a topwater, I threw a popper, I threw a buzzbait, a football jig, a swimming jig, a Senko, and a homemade Bitsy Bug. All my weight is coming on the jig, but I’m trying other stuff. I see some big fish feeding but they ain’t biting. I don’t know why, yet.”

Monsoor said he remains on the lookout for the “big bite”, and that he almost had it in the boat late yesterday.

“Near the end of the day yesterday I thought I had snagged a stick, because it wasn’t fighting – it wasn’t moving. Then it came to the surface and opened its mouth – it was a 4- or 5-pounder – and the hook flew out. I’ve got good hooks, but the fish just didn’t get all of it. That bass would have been another couple of pounds, at least.

“That’s why this is still anybody’s tournament,” Monsoor went on to say. “I could get nothing tomorrow, and somebody else can catch a big bag. You can just stumble into them. I’m going to keep looking because I haven’t really found them yet.”

The top 20 pros after day two on the Mississippi River are:

1st: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., 10 bass, 28-11
2nd: Scott Wiley of Bay Minette, Ala., 10 bass, 27-15
3rd: Bailey Boutries of Daphne, Ala., 10 bass, 27-14
4th: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 27-13
5th: Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C., 10 bass, 27-9
6th: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., 10 bass, 27-4
7th: Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., 10 bass, 27-3
8th: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-2
9th: Clark Reehm of Elm Grove, La., 10 bass, 26-7
10th: Clayton Batts of Butler, Ga., 10 bass, 26-1
11th: Kyle Hall of Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 25-7
12th: Matt Lee of Bremen, Ala., 10 bass, 25-7
13th: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-7
14th: Mike McClelland of Blue Eye, Mo., 10 bass, 25-4
15th: Jon Englund of Farwell, Minn., 10 bass, 25-1
16th: Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala., 10 bass, 25-1
17th: David Gaston of Sylacauga, Ala., 10 bass, 24-15
18th: Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 10 bass, 24-13
19th: Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 10 bass, 24-12
20th: Jesse Wiggins of Logan, Ala., 10 bass, 24-11

Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, won the $500 Berkley Big Bass award Thursday in the pro division after bringing a fish weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale.

Overall there were 797 bass weighing 1,774 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 190 pros Thursday. The catch included 119 five-bass limits.

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament competition, the full field of 200 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Wednesday and Thursday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight now advance to Friday. Only the top 10 pros will continue competition on Championship Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 24-29.

MLF pros competing in the Pro Circuit Super Tournaments will fish for prize money only. No points will be awarded toward any championship or title to MLF competitors. Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will compete for the AOY title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on Pro Circuit anglers finishing order. The top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, and so on.

Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CDT each day from Stoddard Park, located at 502 Forest Lane, in Stoddard. The weigh-in each day will also be held at Stoddard Park and will begin at 4 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the expanded four-day “FLW Live” on-the-water broadcasts and weigh-in coverage at FLWFishing.com.

Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River will premiere at 7 p.m. EDT, Sept. 11 on the Outdoor Channel. Running now through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down the final rounds of each regular-season competition. Episodes premiere in Friday night primetime slots on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.

The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air on all four days of competition, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by Toyota Series pro Todd Hollowell and MLF’s Marty Stone to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


MILLSAPS GRABS LEAD IN TOYOTA SERIES ON WHEELER

Courtesy of FLW

July 30, 2020 by Rob Newell
Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day.

Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder.

Complete results

Day 1 Midday Update

“That big one came about one hour into the day – it was my fourth fish,” he says. “Once I got it in the boat, I knew I could relax because I had the rest of the day to catch my fifth fish.”

Given the ultra-tough fishing conditions on Wheeler’s main lake, Millsaps chose to do his work in creeks today. He fished two different creeks to catch a total of eight keepers.

“I started the morning fishing topwaters and then switched to slow-dragging a worm once the sun got up,” he says. “I caught my three biggest fish in the first creek I fished. Once I got a limit in there, I decided to leave the area and switch over to another creek. I culled a couple of times in the other creek, which was a big help. After that, I left the primary areas to try to save some fish for the next couple of days.”

Millsaps noted that he picked the two creeks because both of them have a very similar type of structure.

“The two places I’m fishing in the two creeks set up almost identical to each other,” he says. “They both have the right stuff for what the fish use this time of year to feed.”

Millsaps says he will reveal more about the right ingredients tomorrow should he have another good day.

Kip Carter

2. Kip Carter – Mansfield, Ga. – 13-5

One look at Kip Carter’s aluminum tunnel hull boat was a dead give away that he had played the creek game on day one.

“It’s no secret I’m fishing pretty shallow,” Carter says. “I’m fishing three different creeks because I couldn’t find any single one that was super hot. So I’m mixing several different creeks up to make this work, which burns up a lot of time because I have to run all the way out of one and all the way back into another one.

“I probably could use my Ranger to get where I’m going and it would be faster, but this is the boat I brought and it’s the one I’m stuck with – I’m not driving five hours home to get the Ranger.”

Carter says Wheeler is tough, but that’s the way he likes it.

“Tough tournaments are no fun but they’re the ones I seem to do the best in,” he says. “I like it when six or seven bites will get you in the top 10. Today I actually caught about 10 keepers so it wasn’t too bad. But these creeks are small, so I don’t know how much they have left in them.”

3. Lynn Johnson – Attalla, Ala. – 13-1

Lynn Johnson also plied creeks for his third place showing on day one.

“It’s summer, it’s hot, and when it gets this way, I go looking for current and cooler water,” Johnson says. “I’m fishing back in several creeks that all have cooler water. A lot of the main lake is nearly 90 degrees or even higher, so I’m looking for something that’s at least five or six degrees cooler than that. Today I actually found some that was 79 degrees.”

Once back in the creeks, Johnson is fishing a worm around small current breaks.

“Anything that gives them an ambush point in that current,” he says. “Today I had a fish coughed up a couple of those little pumpkin seed bream. That’s what they’re doing – sitting behind those breaks eating any little baitfish that come drifting by in the current.”

4. Lavoyd Lemmond – Decatur, Ala. – 13-1

The creek crew continues with Lavoyd Lemmond, who found several backwater creeks to his liking today.

“It’s all shallow, shallow fishing,” Lemmond emphasizes. “I’m mostly flipping wood and grass. It’s more about the area – it’s loaded with bait and fish. We probably caught 20 or 30 fish today – in fact, my co-angler is leading his side with 12 pounds and something. The water is not necessarily cool; it’s warm stained water, but it’s moving back and forth, which keeps a lot of bait flush in there.”

5. Andrew Johnson – Glencoe, Ala. – 12-8

Make that two Johnsons in the top five – Andrew Johnson is the son of Lynn Johnson (3rd) and both are doing well on Wheeler. Both are fishing creeks, but the creeks are on opposite ends of the lake.

“He wanted one end of the lake, so I went the opposite way,” Andrew says. “We’re probably fishing similar type water: up in a creek somewhere. We like to find that cooler water with some current, for sure. If I can find water temperatures in the low 80s, I’m happy. I did try to focus more on stained water today. If it got too clear, I moved; I actually moved around a lot, bouncing around fishing anything that looked good.”

Top 10 Boaters

1. Jesse Millsaps – Jasper, Ga. – 14-15 (5)

2. Kip Carter – Mansfield, Ga. – 13-5 (5)

3. Lynn Johnson – Attalla, Ala. – 13-1 (5)

4. Lavoyd Lemmond – Decatur, Ala. – 13-0 (5)

5. Andrew Johnson – Glencoe, Ala. – 12-8 (5)

5. Dustin Neat – Dunnville, Ky. – 12-8 (5)

7. Josh Bragg – Jacksonville, Ala. – 11-6 (5)

8. Harry Peyton – Guntersville, Ala. – 11-2 (5)

9. Kyle Glasgow – Guin, Ala. – 10-12 (5)

10. Edward Guice – Decatur, Ala. – 10-10 (5)

10. Bill Spratlin – Rockford, Ala. – 10-10 (5)

10. Logan Johnson – Tuscaloosa, Ala. – 10-10 (5)

Flint Davis

Davis leads co-anglers

Flint Davis of Leesburg, Ga., leads the co-angler side with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces. He fished behind fourth-place pro Lavoyd Lemmond to catch his fish.

“I mostly used a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog to catch all my fish today,” Davis says. “I couldn’t have done it without Lavoyd. He’s a great pro partner and he is around a lot of fish. He let me cast into places a lot of pros might not have – so I couldn’t have caught what I did today without his help.”

Top 10 Co-Anglers

1. Flint Davis – Leesburg, Ga. – 12-10 (5)

2. Cal Culpepper – Hamilton, Ga. – 11-11 (5)

3. Jared Murphree – Toney, Ala. – 9-4 (5)

4. Lew Moore – Roanoke, Ala. – 9-2 (3)

5. Todd Lee – Jasper, Ala. – 9-0 (5)

6. Ryan Methvin – Leoma, Tenn. – 8-12 (5)

7. Hayden Obarr – Gurley, Ala. – 7-15 (5)

8. Jeffrey Ford – Trion, Ga. – 7-14 (5)

9. Jeff Ragsdale – Gardendale, Ala. – 7-10 (4)

10. Ryan Arnold – Gadsden, Ala. – 6-14 (4)


Late-Day Bonus Helps Hartman Take Lead At Bassmaster Elite On Lake Champlain

Jamie Hartman, originally of Newport, N.Y., is leading after Day 1 of the 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with 22 pounds, 1 ounce.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
July 30, 2020

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — An afternoon decision paid off big for Jamie Hartman of Russellville, Ark., who nabbed a day-ending bonus that helped him claim the Day 1 lead of the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain with 22 pounds, 1 ounce.

At the day’s conclusion, Hartman’s name appeared next to three of the Top 10 Big Bass — a 5-pounder, a 4-14 and a 4-4. He also added a 4-0 just 10 minutes before the weigh-ins opened at 3 p.m.

“I upgraded in the last few minutes on the way in; I was pretty much done and I just hit something on the way in, made three casts and caught a 4-pound smallmouth,” said Hartman, a native New Yorker. “That spot was just a steep drop with some grass on top of it.

“I’ve fished it in the past and I’ve never caught a big fish off of it, but I’ve caught some decent fish. I was basically scouting for tomorrow, so after catching a 4-pound smallmouth, I think they’re there.”

Hartman’s late-day bonus spot exemplified the type of habitat he eventually settled into. Finishing his day with a mixed bag of three smallmouth and two largemouth, Hartman actually got off to a slow start but eventually turned his day around by adjusting his location.

“I went up north and the water was so calm that it was tough for me to get bit at all,” he said. “I ground it out for a while, got a couple of bites and made one move. When I finally made the move to go fish what I wanted to fish, it all came together. I bounced around to several different spots within the same area, making decisions on what to fish.”

Hartman generally described his area as a mix of rock and grassbeds in 12 to 15 feet. The key, he said, was targeting the right type of grass, specifically taller patches of milfoil.

“I was watching my electronics and making sure I was around patches of grass,” he said. “I was making sure I was in the high enough grass.”

Hartman caught his bass on a mix of soft-plastic presentations. Although he tried to get the fish interested in reaction baits early, a Carolina rig proved most productive.

“I tried to catch them on a swimbait like I did in practice. But there was no wind, so they wouldn’t eat it,” he said.

With the grassy shallows of the Ticonderoga area at Champlain’s lower end presenting the tempting potential for big largemouth, Hartman admitted he considered making the 70-mile run.

“When I had a slow start, I thought I had made the wrong decision by not running to Ti, but I slowly started to put it together,” he said. “I just kept reminding myself: pick off one at a time. They’re good ones, so we’ll keep going.”

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., is in second place with 21-2. Noting that Champlain’s smallmouth have often confounded him in the past, Gross mainly focused on largemouth Thursday. But with the lake about 4 feet below normal, he caught them in places where he has targeted smallmouth.

“I had spent a lot of time looking for structure for smallmouth, but the largemouth took over some of my spots and it’s really helping a lot,” Gross said. “As low as the water is, it’s pulling the largemouth out to the first places on the drops, and it’s making them a little easier for me to find them.”

Fishing the lake’s north end, Gross caught his fish on a prototype bullethead jig from Nichols Lures with a Zoom Chunk trailer and a Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait with a Zoom Z-Craw trailer. The latter, he said, proved most strategic in finding his bites.

“I used moving baits to cover a lot of water,” he said. “I haven’t been getting a ton of bites, but when I do, it has been quality. So, I’m having to run a whole lot of water.”

Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., is in third place with 20-8. Targeting solely smallmouth, he committed to the lake’s north end where he targeted offshore humps, shoals and boulders in 15 to 40 feet.

“I caught my fish on a drop shot with a Yum Warning Shot and a 3/8-ounce weight,” Frazier said. “I had a midmorning flurry, and then I caught a couple of bigger ones later once the sun came out.”

Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-2 largemouth.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at Plattsburgh City Marina. The weigh-in will be held back at the marina at 3 p.m.

Live coverage of the event will be available starting at 8 a.m. on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com with simulcasts on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Check local listings for ESPN2 times.

The tournament is being hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, City of Plattsburgh and Clinton County.

2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain 7/30-8/2
Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 5 22-01 100
Day 1: 5 22-01
2. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 5 21-02 99
Day 1: 5 21-02
3. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 5 20-08 98
Day 1: 5 20-08
4. Seth Feider New Market, MN 5 20-01 97
Day 1: 5 20-01
5. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 5 19-13 96
Day 1: 5 19-13
5. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 19-13 96
Day 1: 5 19-13
7. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 5 19-12 94
Day 1: 5 19-12
8. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 5 19-12 93
Day 1: 5 19-12
9. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 5 19-06 92
Day 1: 5 19-06
9. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 5 19-06 92
Day 1: 5 19-06
9. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 5 19-06 92 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-06
12. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 5 19-04 89
Day 1: 5 19-04
13. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 5 19-03 88
Day 1: 5 19-03
14. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 5 18-12 87
Day 1: 5 18-12
15. Wes Logan Springville, AL 5 18-10 86
Day 1: 5 18-10
16. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 5 18-09 85
Day 1: 5 18-09
17. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 5 18-08 84
Day 1: 5 18-08
17. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 5 18-08 84
Day 1: 5 18-08
19. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 5 18-07 82
Day 1: 5 18-07
20. Rob Digh Denver, NC 5 18-06 81
Day 1: 5 18-06
21. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 5 18-05 80
Day 1: 5 18-05
21. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 5 18-05 80
Day 1: 5 18-05
23. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 5 18-04 78
Day 1: 5 18-04
23. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 5 18-04 78
Day 1: 5 18-04
25. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 5 18-03 76
Day 1: 5 18-03
26. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 5 18-01 75
Day 1: 5 18-01
27. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 5 18-00 74
Day 1: 5 18-00
27. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 5 18-00 74
Day 1: 5 18-00
27. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 5 18-00 74
Day 1: 5 18-00
30. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 5 17-12 71
Day 1: 5 17-12
31. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 5 17-10 70
Day 1: 5 17-10
32. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 5 17-09 69
Day 1: 5 17-09
33. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 5 17-07 68
Day 1: 5 17-07
34. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 5 17-05 67
Day 1: 5 17-05
35. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 5 17-04 66
Day 1: 5 17-04
36. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 5 17-03 65
Day 1: 5 17-03
36. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 5 17-03 65
Day 1: 5 17-03
36. Carl Jocumsen Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 5 17-03 65
Day 1: 5 17-03
36. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 5 17-03 65
Day 1: 5 17-03
40. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 5 17-02 61
Day 1: 5 17-02
41. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 5 17-01 60
Day 1: 5 17-01
42. Hunter Shryock Newcomerstown, OH 5 17-00 59
Day 1: 5 17-00
43. Greg DiPalma Millville, NJ 5 16-15 58
Day 1: 5 16-15
44. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 5 16-13 57
Day 1: 5 16-13
45. Drew Cook Midway, FL 5 16-12 56
Day 1: 5 16-12
46. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 5 16-11 55
Day 1: 5 16-11
47. David Fritts Lexington, NC 5 16-10 54
Day 1: 5 16-10
48. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 5 16-09 53
Day 1: 5 16-09
49. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 16-08 52
Day 1: 5 16-08
50. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 5 16-07 51
Day 1: 5 16-07
51. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 5 16-06 50
Day 1: 5 16-06
52. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 5 16-05 49
Day 1: 5 16-05
53. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 5 16-05 48
Day 1: 5 16-05
54. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 5 16-04 47
Day 1: 5 16-04
55. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 5 16-03 46
Day 1: 5 16-03
55. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 5 16-03 46
Day 1: 5 16-03
57. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 5 16-01 44
Day 1: 5 16-01
57. Frank Talley Temple, TX 5 16-01 44
Day 1: 5 16-01
57. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 5 16-01 44
Day 1: 5 16-01
60. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 5 16-00 41
Day 1: 5 16-00
61. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 5 15-14 40
Day 1: 5 15-14
61. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 5 15-14 40
Day 1: 5 15-14
63. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 5 15-13 38
Day 1: 5 15-13
64. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 5 15-09 37
Day 1: 5 15-09
65. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 5 15-05 36
Day 1: 5 15-05
66. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 5 15-04 35
Day 1: 5 15-04
67. John Cox Debary, FL 5 15-01 34
Day 1: 5 15-01
68. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 5 15-00 33
Day 1: 5 15-00
68. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 5 15-00 33
Day 1: 5 15-00
68. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 5 15-00 33
Day 1: 5 15-00
71. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 5 14-14 30
Day 1: 5 14-14
72. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 5 14-09 29
Day 1: 5 14-09
73. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 5 14-06 28
Day 1: 5 14-06
74. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 5 14-02 27
Day 1: 5 14-02
75. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 5 14-00 26
Day 1: 5 14-00
75. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 5 14-00 26
Day 1: 5 14-00
77. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 5 13-13 24
Day 1: 5 13-13
78. Jesse Tacoronte Kissimmee, FL 5 13-10 23
Day 1: 5 13-10
79. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 5 13-10 22
Day 1: 5 13-10
80. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 5 12-15 21
Day 1: 5 12-15
80. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 5 12-15 21
Day 1: 5 12-15
82. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 5 12-14 19
Day 1: 5 12-14
83. Tyler Carriere Youngsville, LA 5 11-11 18
Day 1: 5 11-11
84. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 5 11-08 17
Day 1: 5 11-08
85. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 5 10-00 16
Day 1: 5 10-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 06-02 $1,000.00

-----------------------------------------------------


Wiley Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 29, 2020)Wiley, Alabama’s Scott Wiley brought a five-bass limit to the scale Wednesday totaling 15 pounds, 3 ounces, to take the early lead on day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Wiley will bring a slim 5-ounce advantage into day two of the four-day Super Tournament that features 200 of the world’s best bass-fishing anglers from FLW and Major League Fishing (MLF) competing for a top cash award of up to $160,000.

MLF pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, who won the Lake Chickamauga Super Tournament last month, sits in second place, just 5 ounces behind Wiley with 14-14. Local favorite Tom Monsoor of La Crosseweighed in five bass totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces, and currently sits in seventh place.

“I’m happy to be leading, but there is still a lot of fishing left to do,” said Wiley, an eight-year FLW pro with two career top-10 finishes. “I’m having to hit a lot of places, just hopscotching around and catching one here, one there. I’m on a pattern and I hope that what I’m doing can hold up.

“I went to Pool No. 9 this morning,” Wiley continued. “My first area that I went to, I struck out. I ran around a little bit, then went over to this little drain and I caught a limit in about 45 minutes. I locked back up to Pool No. 8 and caught two big ones this afternoon – both around 3½ pounds – and that was pretty much my day.”

Wiley’s limit consisted entirely of largemouth bass. Although he is unsure of whether his pattern can hold up over multiple days, he remains optimistic heading into the second day of competition.

“The guys in this event are good, and you’ve got to do whatever you can to stay on top of the fish,” Wiley went on to say. “I don’t know if I’ve got a lot of fish left down there (Pool No. 9), but we’re going to go down there and see what we can do with them.”

The top 10 pros after day one on the Mississippi River are:

1st:       Scott Wiley of Bay Minette, Ala., five bass, 15-3
2nd:      Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 14-14
3rd:       Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tenn., five bass, 14-8
4th:       Joey Cifuentes of Clinton, Ark., five bass, 14-6
5th:       Jesse Wiggins of Logan, Ala., five bass, 14-5
6th:       Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., five bass, 14-4
7th:       Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 14-3
8th:       Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C., five bass, 14-2
9th:       Robert Nakatomi of Sacramento,  Calif., five bass, 14-1
10th:     Mitch Crane of Columbus, Miss., five bass, 13-15
10th:     Matt Lee of Bremen, Ala., five bass, 13-15

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Kevin Meeks of Smyrna, Tennessee, won Wednesday's $500 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division after bringing a fish weighing 5 pounds even to the scale.

Overall there were 810 bass weighing 1,789 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 191 pros Wednesday. The catch included 126 five-bass limits.

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament competition, the full field of 200 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Wednesday and Thursday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Friday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Championship Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 24-29.

MLF pros competing in the Pro Circuit “Super Tournaments” will fish for prize money only. No points will be awarded toward any championship or title to MLF competitors. Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will compete for the AOY title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on Pro Circuit anglers finishing order. The top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, and so on.

Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CDT each day from Stoddard Park, located at 502 Forest Lane, in Stoddard. The weigh-in each day will also be held at Stoddard Park and will begin at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and at 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the expanded four-day “FLW Live” on-the-water broadcasts and weigh-in coverage atFLWFishing.com.

Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River will premiere at 7 p.m. EDT, Sept. 11 on the Outdoor Channel. Running now through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down the final rounds of each regular-season competition. Episodes premiere in Friday nightprimetime slots on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.

The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air on all four days of competition, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by Toyota Series pro Todd Hollowell and MLF’s Marty Stone to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed onFLWFishing.com.

For complete details and updated information visitFLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.


Life on the Road - BASS Edition!

This week Chris and the boys take a slight detour from their usual guests and welcome in two ladies who are very important to the success of their significant others. Tiffanie McCall, Brandon Palaniuk's girlfriend & Kayla Jocumsen, wife of Elite Series Champ Carl Jocumsen join the guys to talk about life on the road, quarantine and more! Strike King's Mark Copley also joins the show to talk about virtual ICAST & Chris  discuss' his snakebit weekend!


Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Event Returns to Pickwick

Florence, AL. (July 23, 2020) – If last year’s 22-pound limit of winning smallmouth are any indication, Toyota Bonus Bucks members can expect a great weekend of fish catching and fellowship as the 9th Annual Toyota Bonus Owners tournament returns to Pickwick Lake at Florence, Alabama the weekend of September 19th and 20th, 2020.
The tradition-rich weekend kicks-off Saturday afternoon with a registration meeting where Team Toyota pro anglers will be on hand to greet guests and talk fishing. B.A.S.S. tournament staff will conduct the tournament and be onsite Saturday afternoon as well for angler registration.
Launch and weigh-in for Sunday’s competition will take place at McFarland Park. The top 31 teams in the tournament are guaranteed a paycheck, and a free gift bag will be given to the first 200 anglers to sign up for the tournament.
COVID-19 safety measures that adhere to local government guidelines and regulations will be put in place during the Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Event to help provide protection for the health and well-being of all tournament participants. Registered teams will be sent information about the measures prior to the tournament.
Only one of the team members must be currently registered in the Toyota Bonus Bucks Program to be eligible to compete in the Toyota Owners Tournament. (To be eligible to participate in Toyota Bonus Bucks- participant must own or lease a 2016 or newer Toyota Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia, or 4Runner) Visit toyotafishing.com for more Program details. Bassmaster Elite Series, MLF, and FLW Tour pros are not eligible to participate in the Owners Tournament. Teams are required to pre-register by September 7, 2020.
Participants are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible for this prize-rich event. Limited space is available. To register, visit toyotafishing.com. You can also call the Toyota Bonus Bucks Headquarters at (918) 742-6424, or email: [email protected]


Powhatan’s Pike and Spring Grove’s Estes Tie for Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Potomac River

Columbia’s Patkas Wins Co-angler Division

MARBURY, Md. (July 27, 2020) – Boaters Cody Pike of Powhatan, Virginia, and Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Virginia, both brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces to tie for the win at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Estes earned a total of $4,262 after contingency awards, while Pike took home $10,262, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award.

The tournament was the fourth of five events in the Shenandoah Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps.

“Today was a slow grind for me, and everything that I caught came fishing extremely slow in the grass with soft plastics and Strike King creature baits,” said Estes, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “The key was just being patient. I love river fishing – especially when there is an outgoing tide – so I had to wait for the small window at the end of the day with the outgoing water and it paid off for me in the end.”

“I was fishing grass – not the thick matted hydrilla, but the sparser deep grass,” said Pike, who also picked up the second win of his FLW career. “It had to be the deepest grass that you could find. I caught them all on a black-and-blue-colored 3/8-ounce Dave’s Tournament Tackle Swim Jig.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:

1st: Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Va., five bass, 14-14, $4,262

1st: Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va., five bass, 14-14, $10,262

3rd: John Duarte of Middle River, Md., five bass, 14-5, $1,451

4th: Mike Roselle of La Plata, Md., five bass, 14-4, $1,215

5th: Carlton Owens of Franklin, Va., five bass, 14-0, $870

6th: Chris Brummett, Lynch Station, Va., five bass, 13-12, $798

7th: Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., five bass, 13-9, $689

7th: Robert Henderson of King George, Va., five bass, 13-9, $689

9th: Ben Jacobi of Richmond, Va., five bass, 13-8, $580

10th: Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 11-10, $508

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Cavin Young of Prince George, Virginia, earned the day’s $615 Boater Big Bass award with a 5-pound, 8-ounce largemouth.

Pike took home an extra $7,000 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Jonathan Patkus of Columbia, Maryland, earned the win in the Co-angler Division Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces. Patkus earned $2,175 for his victory.

The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:

1st: Jonathan Patkus of Columbia, Md., five bass, 12-10, $2,175

2nd: Cornell Badra of Clarksburg, Md., five bass, 12-0, $1,088

3rd: Matt McCluskey of Ashburn, Va., four bass, 11-2, $726

4th: Richard Hare of Fredericksburg, Va., five bass, 10-3, $507

5th: Mark Blankenship of Christiansburg, Va., five bass, 10-1, $435

6th: Timothy Kinder of Manassas, Va., five bass, 9-14, $899

7th: Austin Burdette of Pembroke, Va., five bass, 9-7, $363

8th: Alex Titus of Annandale, Va., five bass, 9-6, $326

9th: John Poos of Manassas, Va., five bass, 9-1, $272

9th: Bernie Scheiner of Burke, Va., four bass, 9-1, $272

Edward Dustin of Fredericksburg, Virginia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds 4 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $307.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Shenandoah Division presented by A.R.E. based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 8-10 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the James River in Richmond, Virginia, hosted by Richmond Region Tourism. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Brown and Diggs take the win on Neely Henry

By Jason Duran
Photos by Chris Brown

July 25 – Gadsden, AL– The fourth stop of the Alabama Bass Trail North Division at Neely Henry Lake was an exciting win for the team of Adam Brown and Greg Diggs. The team planned to fish skinny water and ended up winning by the skinniest of margins. With 15.67 pounds of Neely Henry bass, they took home the $10,000 prize and qualified for the ABT Championship.

The first-place team of Adam Brown and Greg Diggs originally planned to fish creeks, but since they were boat 183, they expected lots of other teams to be in those creeks. To help them have more areas to fish, they decided to use a shallower running boat to go even more shallow than the competition. They went with that plan until they pulled into their first creek, looked around and noticed hardly anyone else was there. “When we pulled in, we just sat there for a minute and stared at each other in shock that we had it almost all to ourselves,” said Diggs. They were then able to not only fish shallow in the creeks, but also target the mouths of the creeks.

Adam said “the plan all along was to go shallow this time of year.” He shared, “that the deep bite here really is just hard and there are only a couple good areas that are usually covered up with fishermen.” They spent the day rotating between three creeks in a 10-mile radius from take-off, fishing water from 2-6 feet. Both have been fishing Neely Henry a long time and were able to use that history to put together this win. Two key baits that were used: a black and blue Bo’s Jig and a chartreuse and white Bo’s Spinner Bait. “We have lost many times by an ounce and to win by an ounce really feels good after losing that way before.”

Bradley Jones and Broox Goza finished in second place with 15.52 pounds. Broox said they really wanted to “catch them out of the grass, but the grass bite just isn’t working right now.” He shared that he found some fish in practice that were keying in on shad, so they decided to make that the plan and spent most of the day targeting main lake bars with shad. Bradley said that pattern “produced a limit around 10 pounds.” In those areas they used a homemade spinner bait and buzz bait with a Horny Toad trailer. In the afternoon, the weather began to change as the rain moved in hard. With conditions changing, they decided to go shallow “flippin’ shallow gravel bars” according to Broox and were able to catch a key 4-pound fish that helped them upgrade their limit to move them into second place.

 


The third-place team on Neely Henry was Mark McCaig and Tim Hurst with a total of 14.38 pounds. Tim said they “spent most of the morning fishing shallow and had an 8-pound limit around 11:30.” That limit included a really good spotted bass and a 3.75 largemouth. Mark said they covered a lot of water “starting about a mile north of take-off and fishing south all the way to the Neely Henry Dam.” Tim said, “the bite got better in the afternoon when wind started picking up in the area where they were fishing”. During the afternoon they were able to cull three of their morning fish and upgrade to their 14.38 weight. That limit included two spotted bass and three largemouth. They left the area early because the storms were getting closer and “neither of them wanted to get struck by lightning.” They caught over 15 fish all day on three key baits. The large spotted bass was caught on a Reactions Innovations beaver in Green Pumpkin, and Tim caught their largest fish (largemouth) on a Dirty Jigs Canterbury Craw Jig. They also used a Strike King 5 XD Crankbait in Sexy Shad.

The top ten standings are below for a full list of results visit.
https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/nhl-results/

 

 


Johnston Battles Rough Water To Win Bassmaster Elite At St. Lawrence River

Chris Johnston, of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, has won the 2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a four-day total of 97 pounds, 8 ounces.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

July 26, 2020

CLAYTON, N.Y. — His home waters were off-limits this week, but that didn’t stop Canadian standout Chris Johnston from winning the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a whopping four-day total of 20 smallmouth bass that weighed 97 pounds, 8 ounces.

The first Canadian to claim an Elite title, Johnston was the only competitor to break 20 pounds each day. Hailing from Peterborough, Ontario, he placed second on Day 1 with 27-0 and held that position for two more days with weights of 24-12 and 23-0.

Entering Championship Sunday a little more than 2 pounds off the lead, Johnston added a final limit of 22-12 to surge ahead of Connecticut pro Paul Mueller and win by a margin of 1-10. Mueller had led the event all three days going into the final round.

“This has been a crazy year fishing-wise for me; I had two of the worst tournaments probably in my career and to bounce back and win on the St. Lawrence, of all places, is just incredible,” said Johnston, who finished 71st and 59th in the first two Elite Series events this year. “I’ve wanted a big tournament win on the St. Lawrence River bad, and it finally came together.

“I’ve watched Bassmaster my whole life and even if you’d asked me three or four years ago, I didn’t think I’d be here in this position. It’s been surreal. I can’t even describe how cool it feels.”

Throughout the week, Johnston used several baits, including a tube, a Ned rig and a black hair jig. On Sunday, he caught his fish on a drop shot with a green pumpkin Berkley Flat Worm. He needed a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight for proper presentations on Lake Ontario, where steady 6- to 8-foot waves made everything more difficult than it had been the three previous days.

The first two days saw Johnston plucking early keepers from a rocky point inside the river and then moving out to fish Lake Ontario rockpiles in 20 to 40 feet. On Saturday and Sunday, he did the majority of his work in the Great Lake.

The tournament’s first three days offered mostly calm conditions, but Sunday saw strong southwest winds which created conditions so rough that many anglers who qualified for the Championship round elected to stay in the safer confines of the St. Lawrence River. A lifetime of experience told Johnston Lake Ontario held his best opportunity to catch a winning bag, so he committed to one key area with several rockpiles in 20 to 50 feet of water along a 500-yard stretch.

“The biggest thing with the weather is just getting to your spot,” Johnston said of his safety-conscious navigation. “Once I got there, I just went upwind and drifted into the spot and then held on the spot as long as I could. Then I’d blow off the spot and do another drift."

In 2019, Johnston experienced the inverse of this year’s finish, leading the St. Lawrence event for three days before settling for the runner-up position.

“Finishing second last year makes this win all that much sweeter,” Johnston said. “I can’t wait to get home and celebrate with family and friends.”

Johnston earned $102,000 for his victory.

Mueller finished in second place with 95-14. After leading the event for three days, he found the rough waters of Lake Ontario less generous. In the Championship round, he added 18-15 to his previous weights of 27-1, 25-1 and 24-13.

He targeted rockpiles and rock breaks in 17 to 21 feet and caught all of his fish on a drop shot with a Berkley Flat Worm in the natural shad color. Uncertain of how long it would take him to run back through the rough water to the weigh-in site, Mueller left the lake around 1:45 p.m. and ended up with time to fish the river.

“Honestly, I think I feel like I left too early because I didn’t know how rough it was going to be,” Mueller said. “I felt like everything else I did today was flawless. I should have pushed it to the max, but I had no idea how long it was going to take to get back and that’s just inexperience on a body of water with that type of wind.”

Mueller's second prize earnings came to $27,000. He will also take home $3,000 for being the highest-placing entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program.

Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., finished third with 84-2. His daily weights were 24-2, 19-13, 20-4 and 19-15.

Celebrating the birth of his second child on Wednesday, Mosley bucked the overwhelmingly smallmouth-heavy trend and targeted St. Lawrence’s robust, but largely overlooked, largemouth population around residential docks and flat rock shoals.

“I caught all of my fish on a 3/8-ounce green pumpkin Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait because I could cover a lot of water,” Mosley said. “That was the key. I had to cover a lot of water to run into a good one.

“I used a couple of different trailers so I could fish an area with one trailer and then go back through it with a different trailer. I ended up catching a few smallmouth, too, but I caught them fishing for largemouth."

Mueller won the race for Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the week with his 7-13 smallmouth. The bass, which he described as the “fish of a lifetime,” was just 7 ounces shy of the New York state record and is believed to be the largest smallmouth ever caught in a B.A.S.S. event.

The tournament was hosted by Jefferson County in cooperation with the Village of Clayton and the 1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce.

2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River 7/23-7/26
St. Lawrence River, Clayton NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 20 97-08 100 $102,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-00 Day 2: 5 24-12 Day 3: 5 23-00 Day 4: 5 22-12
2. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 20 95-14 99 $27,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-01 Day 2: 5 25-01 Day 3: 5 24-13 Day 4: 5 18-15
3. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 20 84-02 98 $21,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-02 Day 2: 5 19-13 Day 3: 5 20-04 Day 4: 5 19-15
4. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 20 81-03 97 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 23-06 Day 2: 5 24-01 Day 3: 5 22-08 Day 4: 5 11-04
5. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 20 81-01 96 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-12 Day 2: 5 19-13 Day 3: 5 19-11 Day 4: 5 18-13
6. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 20 80-10 95 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-08 Day 2: 5 23-00 Day 3: 5 20-00 Day 4: 5 17-02
7. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 20 80-09 94 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-07 Day 2: 5 19-03 Day 3: 5 25-08 Day 4: 5 16-07
8. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 18 76-11 93 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 26-03 Day 2: 5 21-10 Day 3: 5 18-13 Day 4: 3 10-01
9. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 20 74-10 92 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 19-08 Day 3: 5 21-11 Day 4: 5 14-01
10. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 18 66-01 91 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 21-15 Day 3: 5 20-05 Day 4: 3 06-05
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 07-13 $1,000.00
2 Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CANADA06-05 $1,000.00
3 Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 06-10 $1,000.00
4 Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CANADA04-13 $1,000.00


10.49 Monster Wins Mega Bass on Lake Fork

Tommy Ellis, Athens, LA tops a record field of over 1800 anglers at the
Mega Bass on Lake Fork with a 10.49 lb. monster.
Wins a new Skeeter ZX 200 - Yamaha 200 SHO plus $15,000 Cash.

Top 50 money earners at Mega Bass
for complete results click here
Angler City State Weight Prize Amount
TOMMY ELLIS Athens LA 10.49 Skeeter ZX 200 - Yamaha 200 SHO
Plus
$15,000.00
JERRY DEAN II McKinney TX 10.02
$15,000.00
STEVE TRIMBLE Duncanville TX 9.10
$15,000.00
JOSHUA PEARCE Murchison TX 8.98
$15,000.00
BILLY GILBERT Hot Springs AR 8.73
$15,000.00
BRAD ROGERS Yantis TX 8.63
$15,000.00
TIM WILCOXSON Rockwall TX 8.37
$15,000.00
DARRELL DODD Como TX 9.81
$1000.00
DANNY KRAATZ Azle TX 8.35
$1000.00
ANTHONY JONES Willis TX 8.32
$1000.00
CLAYTON CEGLINSKI Yantis TX 7.72
$1000.00
SHAWN WASURICK Greenville TX 6.46
$1000.00
RORY LAYNE Dallas TX 2.60
$1000.00
JOHN BOISVERT Lewisville TX 2.54
$1000.00
CODY OBRIEN Frisco TX 7.86
$900.00
PENNY LINKINHOKER Kilgore TX 7.84
$900.00
MATT HENRY Milledgeville GA 7.70
$900.00
GEORGE SHIPPEY Mount Pleasant TX 7.37
$900.00
RONNIE JONES Marshall TX 2.78
$900.00
CURTIS DANIELS Emory TX 2.58
$900.00
CORY ANDERSON Fort Worth TX 2.49
$850.00
BOBBY PEEK Greenville TX 2.49
$850.00
RANDALL HORTON Russellville AR 7.52
$800.00
MICHAEL SIERRA San Antonio TX 7.48
$800.00
MARK SHORES Irving TX 6.39
$800.00
BOBBY PEEK Greenville TX 2.69
$800.00
BOBBY PEEK Greenville TX 2.66
$800.00
KADEN WIEDENFELD Boerne TX 2.56
$800.00
BRANDON MARKS Buna TX 7.24
$700.00
JERRET GILCREASE Allen TX 6.95
$700.00
JOSEPH RAINS Gainesville TX 2.53
$700.00
DENISE BRADFORD Emory TX 2.51
$700.00
SAM TRINCA Alba TX 2.47
$700.00
KYLE KEATING Barry TX 2.45
$700.00
JOSEPH LEHEW Fort Worth TX 2.40
$650.00
LARRY COX Wichita Falls TX 2.40
$650.00
JOE DAVID HICKS Wichita Falls TX 6.72
$600.00
DEREK JONES Sunnyvale TX 2.63
$600.00
JEFF BARLOW Garland TX 2.51
$600.00
TYLER DENNIS Mesquite TX 2.44
$600.00
JOE DAVID HICKS Wichita Falls TX 2.41
$600.00
RILEY LAMBERT Rye CO 2.36
$600.00
CHARLES BENEDICT Forney TX 2.82
$500.00
MIKE DORCZ Huffman TX 2.61
$500.00
BRENT CANTRELL Wortham TX 2.43
$500.00
JOSHUA COOK Texarkana AR 2.39
$500.00
TREVOR ROMANS Celina TX 2.39
$500.00
KENNETH MOORE Red Oak TX 2.34
$500.00
MARK ANGELO Richardson TX 2.64
$400.00


MLFNOW! Analyst Marty Stone Joins “FLW Live”

Veteran Pro Angler and MLF Mainstay Appearing as Analyst on FLW Live Broadcasts for Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments and TITLE​

BENTON, Ky. (July 23, 2020) – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, and Major League Fishing (MLF) announced the addition of veteran MLF NOW! analyst Marty Stone to the FLW Live broadcast team. Stone, one of the most respected voices in the sport of professional bass fishing, joins the FLW Live broadcasts for the remaining Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events, as well as the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit Championship.

A person sitting at a table

Description automatically generated“We’re blending both worlds – Major League Fishing and FLW – and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is full of a lot of good, hungry and motivated fisherman. They are some of the most fun events that I have had the opportunity to cover,” said Stone. “My FLW co-hosts Travis Moran and Todd Hollowell are completely different personalities than MLF’s Chad (McKee) and J.T. (Kenney), and they are total professionals and have welcomed me into their world. I know that there was already a ton of talent on the Pro Circuit, and now with the addition of the MLF pros I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.”

“Marty’s extensive experience in our sport, including his many years fishing FLW tournaments, give him a unique voice and great insight into the intricacies of professional bass fishing,” said FLW Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel. “There was a natural chemistry between Marty, Travis and Todd on the Lake Chickamauga Super Tournament broadcast, and we are excited that Marty is able to join our broadcast team for the remaining Pro Circuit events this year.”

Stone becomes a mainstay on the FLW Live on-the-water broadcasts, which air on all four days of competition at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments and six days of competition at the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota. FLW Live features live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Stone joins the FLW Live broadcast team of Travis Moran and Toyota Series pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each competition day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts are live streamed on FLWFishing.com.

A North Carolina native, Stone fished for 17 seasons at the sport’s top levels and amassed nearly $1 million in career earnings. Stone qualified for four Bassmaster Classics, four FLW Cup Championships, was a two-time event winner, FLW Angler of the Year runner-up in 1997 and Bassmaster Angler of the Year runner-up in 2005. Stone has transitioned from retired professional angler into full-time Director Event Research and Program Analyst with MLF.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Mueller Still Setting The Pace At Bassmaster Elite On St. Lawrence River

Paul Mueller, of Naugatuck, Conn., is leading after Day 3 of the 2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a three-day total of 76 pounds, 15 ounces.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

July 25, 2020

CLAYTON, N.Y. — Paul Mueller continued his dominant performance Saturday with another big bag of smallmouth bass that weighed 24 pounds, 13 ounces.

Added to his catches of 27-1 on Thursday and 25-1 on Friday, Mueller now has a three-day total of 76-15 that gives him the lead at the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River for the third straight round.

Sticking with his game plan, the Connecticut pro fished Lake Ontario and targeted rockpiles and breaks but remained shallower than the first two days and caught his fish in about 18 to 27 feet.

“I didn’t really look deep because I was disappointed with the deep fish yesterday,” Mueller said. “I probably could have run around a little more, but you have to make decisions and stick with them.”

Mueller again stuck with the drop shot baited with a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm in the natural shad color. Great Lakes smallmouth bite plenty of bottom-oriented baits, but an abundance of sharp-shelled zebra mussels create constant perils that Mueller wisely avoided.

“Unless you really get on a high rock, you don’t run the risk of fraying your line above the line tie,” he said. “That’s why the drop shot is so effective because your landing ratio is higher than dragging a tube.”

Mueller noted that one of his keepers bit when he deadsticked his drop shot, meaning he applied no shaking motion. He couldn’t replicate that technique elsewhere, but Mueller noted that an overall strategy of slowing down and committing more time to each location seemed to be the right call.

“I told myself I was going to fish fewer places today, but I was going to fish them thoroughly,” Mueller said. “I did pull up on a fresh spot toward the end of the day and caught two 5-pounders, so that was a critical move.”

Each of Mueller’s keepers clearly mattered, but his third keeper of the day produced a highlight-reel moment. The 4-pounder bit right off the bow and immediately bolted to the back of the boat. Dashing around his outboard engine, the fish became entangled on one of his Power-Poles.

Mueller was able to grab his leader and hand line the fish close enough to scoop it into the boat.

“That was a positive thing because it could have been a disastrous deal, and I felt very blessed to be able to land it,” Mueller said. “The fish literally had about 8 feet of fluorocarbon leader attached to the Power-Pole and there was no way I was freeing it.

“Thankfully, I got my hands on the fish and she was still pretty hot. That was a special fish catch, for sure.”

Day 3 began with calm conditions, but wind and waves increased to bow-splashing levels by late morning. Sunday’s forecast for stronger southwest winds will further agitate Lake Ontario, but Mueller said he knows where he needs to fish.

“If I can go, I’m going to go,” he said. “I have some places I should be able to fish. You have to be smart and you have to be safe. That comes first, but if I can go, it’s a no-brainer.

“I have some spots in the river where I think I could put together a good bag, but the caliber of fish is much better in the lake.”

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is in second place with 74-12. After making a couple of unproductive drifts on his river spot, he spent all day on Lake Ontario where he caught his bass over rockpiles in 20 to 40 feet.

“I changed up baits today and caught six or seven when I changed from a drop shot,” Johnston said of a clandestine move that paid big dividends. “I’ve caught them doing this before. It’s a bottom-contact bait, and they ate it really well.

“You can’t drag like you could on Lake Erie because there’s moss on the bottom. It’s a different presentation.”

Chad Morgenthaler of Reed Springs, Mo., is in third place with 69-15. Focusing on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, he fished a drop shot with a Berkley finesse worm and caught his fish in 20 to 26 feet.

“I have areas and then I have some sweet spots in those areas, and that’s what I’m trying to stay around,” Morgenthaler said. “I’m just easing around with my Garmin LiveScope and looking for them. They might be on a rock, they might be out off the rock on a break.”

Mueller is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 7-13 — a bass that is believed to be the biggest smallmouth ever landed in an Elite Series event and possibly the largest caught in any B.A.S.S. event.

In addition to having his third career Elite Series victory within his grasp, Mueller needs 23-1 to earn one of the coveted Century Belts awarded to anglers who catch at least 100 pounds of bass in an Elite Series event. Johnston is 25-4 away from the 100-pound mark — and if either or both reach the mark, they would be the first to receive Century Belts for totals amassed exclusively with smallmouth.

The Top 10 remaining anglers will take off at 6:45 a.m. ET from the Clayton Antique Boat Museum. The weigh-in will be held back at the museum at 3 p.m., with a $100,000 first-place prize on the line.

Live coverage of the event will be available starting at 7 a.m. on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com with simulcasts on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Check local listings for ESPN2 times.

The tournament is being hosted by Jefferson County in cooperation with the Village of Clayton and the 1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce.

2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River 7/23-7/26
St. Lawrence River, Clayton NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 15 76-15 100 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-01 Day 2: 5 25-01 Day 3: 5 24-13
2. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 15 74-12 99 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-00 Day 2: 5 24-12 Day 3: 5 23-00
3. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 15 69-15 98
Day 1: 5 23-06 Day 2: 5 24-01 Day 3: 5 22-08
4. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 15 66-10 97
Day 1: 5 26-03 Day 2: 5 21-10 Day 3: 5 18-13
5. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 15 64-03 96 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-02 Day 2: 5 19-13 Day 3: 5 20-04
6. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 15 64-02 95
Day 1: 5 19-07 Day 2: 5 19-03 Day 3: 5 25-08
7. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 15 63-08 94
Day 1: 5 20-08 Day 2: 5 23-00 Day 3: 5 20-00
8. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 15 62-04 93
Day 1: 5 22-12 Day 2: 5 19-13 Day 3: 5 19-11
9. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 15 60-09 92
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 19-08 Day 3: 5 21-11
10. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 15 59-12 91
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 21-15 Day 3: 5 20-05
11. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 15 59-09 90 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-10 Day 2: 5 20-14 Day 3: 5 21-01
12. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 15 58-03 89 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-06 Day 2: 5 23-02 Day 3: 5 18-11
13. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 15 57-00 88 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-03 Day 2: 5 17-14 Day 3: 5 17-15
14. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 15 57-00 87 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 18-05 Day 3: 5 20-11
15. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 15 56-12 86 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-12 Day 2: 5 21-01 Day 3: 5 18-15
16. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 15 56-11 85 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-11 Day 2: 5 17-13 Day 3: 5 20-03
17. Greg DiPalma Millville, NJ 15 56-00 84 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-00 Day 2: 5 20-07 Day 3: 5 15-09
18. Seth Feider New Market, MN 15 55-04 83 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-05 Day 2: 5 19-03 Day 3: 5 16-12
19. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 15 54-14 82 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-04 Day 2: 5 20-02 Day 3: 5 15-08
20. Carl Jocumsen Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 15 54-03 81 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-13 Day 2: 5 21-14 Day 3: 5 18-08
21. Hunter Shryock Newcomerstown, OH 15 54-01 80 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 18-06 Day 3: 5 14-03
22. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 15 53-10 79 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 19-08 Day 3: 5 12-10
23. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 15 53-04 78 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-12 Day 2: 5 19-06 Day 3: 5 09-02
24. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 15 52-15 77 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-06 Day 2: 5 18-03 Day 3: 5 16-06
25. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 15 52-08 76 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-05 Day 2: 5 13-13 Day 3: 5 18-06
26. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 15 52-03 75 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-04 Day 2: 5 13-12 Day 3: 5 19-03
27. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 15 52-00 74 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-00 Day 2: 5 17-08 Day 3: 5 18-08
28. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 15 52-00 73 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 5 17-14 Day 3: 5 15-14
29. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 15 51-15 72 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 21-07 Day 3: 5 13-00
30. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 15 51-11 71 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-07 Day 2: 5 14-15 Day 3: 5 18-05
31. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 15 51-06 70 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-14 Day 2: 5 19-11 Day 3: 5 15-13
32. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 15 51-02 69 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-02 Day 2: 5 18-09 Day 3: 5 17-07
33. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 15 50-01 68 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 19-10 Day 3: 5 16-02
34. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 15 49-14 67 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-13 Day 2: 5 14-14 Day 3: 5 16-03
35. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 15 49-07 66 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 14-01 Day 3: 5 15-10
36. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 15 49-06 65 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 18-12 Day 3: 5 16-05
37. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 15 49-01 64 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 5 18-08 Day 3: 5 10-07
38. Frank Talley Temple, TX 14 48-14 63 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-02 Day 2: 5 19-14 Day 3: 4 14-14
39. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 15 47-04 62 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 5 15-13 Day 3: 5 12-13
40. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 15 42-13 61 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-05 Day 2: 5 17-15 Day 3: 5 07-09
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 07-13 $1,000.00
2 Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CANADA06-05 $1,000.00
3 Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 06-10 $1,000.00


Despite Slow Start, Mueller Maintains Lead At Bassmaster Elite On St. Lawrence River

CLAYTON, N.Y. — After sacking up 27 pounds, 1 ounce during Thursday’s opening round, Connecticut pro Paul Mueller added 25-1 Friday and maintained the lead in the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a two-day total of 52-2.

Committing his day to the massive waters of Lake Ontario, Mueller started on rock transitions in about 40 feet, but he seemed to struggle in the early going.

“Some of the places I had, they really suspended and those fish got tougher to catch,” Mueller said. “I realized I had to get away from that and once I found fish on the bottom, those fish were easier to catch.

“The fact that the shallower fish didn’t suspend is kind of intriguing, but I also think the deeper fish were feeding on something else other than gobies.”

Mueller got things moving in the right direction around 11:30 a.m. when he boated a 4 1/2-pounder, the first of four big fish he’d catch in about an hour. Moving into shallower areas and fishing rock structure in 20 to 26 feet proved to be the key decision.

He caught all of his fish on a drop shot with a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm in the natural shad and goby colors. Noting that his fish seemed much spookier in the day’s clear, calm conditions, Mueller said he had to transition from vertical drops to a cast-and-drag presentation.

“The fish definitely got a little more finicky, and they definitely got a little more boat shy,” Mueller said. “I think boat shadow, livewell noise and the pinging transducer all contributed to that. The big thing for me today was keeping away from the fish.

“I lost a big fish today because he didn’t eat the bait that well. I marked him under the boat and dropped down to him. If I stayed off of them, they were a lot easier to catch.”

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, is in second place with 51-12. After starting his morning in the St. Lawrence River, Johnston plucked three of his better fish off the rocky point he fished Thursday. When that bite slowed, he again moved to the small rockpiles and breaks in Lake Ontario. Drop shotting produced his bites in both scenarios.

Johnston’s day-maker came during a late-morning move. En route to his next spot, he made a quick detour to a rockpile in 6 feet of water. He was looking for a big fish he’d spotted in practice and caught the 6-5 giant on his third cast with a 1/8-ounce black hair jig.

“The rockpile is 300 yards long, so I can’t throw the drop shot because it’s too slow,” Johnston said. “I can cover water faster with the hair jig, that’s the main thing. They’ll eat that drop shot if I put it in front of them, but I can cover more water with the hair jig.”

Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, is in third place with 47-13. Returning to the same general area in Lake Ontario, Wendlandt started strong with a couple of good fish early but faced a midmorning dry spell before making an adjustment that allowed him to fill out a solid limit.

“I actually went to some new areas that I didn’t fish the first day and caught some there,” Wendlandt said. “I just kind of winged it because I had trouble with my trolling motor and I was struggling earlier. I was trying to fish some ways that were a little easier.”

Mueller is still in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with the mammoth 7-13 smallmouth he caught Thursday. The fish is believed to be the biggest smallmouth ever caught in Elite Series competition.

The tournament will resume Saturday with the Top 40 remaining anglers taking off at 6:45 a.m. ET from the Clayton Antique Boat Museum. The weigh-in will be back at the museum at 3 p.m., with only the Top 10 anglers advancing to Championship Sunday with a chance to win the $100,000 first-place prize.

Live coverage of the event will be available starting at 8 a.m. on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com with simulcasts on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Check local listings for ESPN2 times.

The tournament is being hosted by Jefferson County in cooperation with the Village of Clayton and the 1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce.

2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River 7/23-7/26
St. Lawrence River, Clayton NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 10 52-02 100 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-01 Day 2: 5 25-01
2. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 10 51-12 99 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-00 Day 2: 5 24-12
3. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 10 47-13 98
Day 1: 5 26-03 Day 2: 5 21-10
4. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 10 47-07 97
Day 1: 5 23-06 Day 2: 5 24-01
5. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 10 44-02 96
Day 1: 5 24-12 Day 2: 5 19-06
6. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 10 43-15 95
Day 1: 5 24-02 Day 2: 5 19-13
7. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 10 43-08 94
Day 1: 5 20-08 Day 2: 5 23-00
8. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 10 42-09 93
Day 1: 5 22-12 Day 2: 5 19-13
9. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 10 41-00 92
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 19-08
10. Greg DiPalma Millville, NJ 10 40-07 91
Day 1: 5 20-00 Day 2: 5 20-07
11. Hunter Shryock Newcomerstown, OH 10 39-14 90
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 18-06
12. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 10 39-08 89
Day 1: 5 16-06 Day 2: 5 23-02
13. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 10 39-07 88
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 21-15
14. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 10 39-06 87
Day 1: 5 19-04 Day 2: 5 20-02
15. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 39-01 86
Day 1: 5 21-03 Day 2: 5 17-14
16. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 10 38-15 85
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 21-07
17. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 10 38-14 84
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 5 19-08
18. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 10 38-10 83
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 5 18-08
19. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 10 38-10 82
Day 1: 5 19-07 Day 2: 5 19-03
20. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 10 38-08 81
Day 1: 5 17-10 Day 2: 5 20-14
21. Seth Feider New Market, MN 10 38-08 80
Day 1: 5 19-05 Day 2: 5 19-03
22. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 10 37-13 79
Day 1: 5 16-12 Day 2: 5 21-01
23. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 10 36-09 78
Day 1: 5 18-06 Day 2: 5 18-03
24. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 10 36-08 77
Day 1: 5 18-11 Day 2: 5 17-13
25. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 10 36-05 76
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 18-05
26. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 10 36-02 75
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 5 17-14
27. Carl Jocumsen Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 10 35-11 74
Day 1: 5 13-13 Day 2: 5 21-14
28. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 10 35-09 73
Day 1: 5 15-14 Day 2: 5 19-11
29. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 10 35-04 72
Day 1: 5 17-05 Day 2: 5 17-15
30. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 10 34-07 71
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 5 15-13
31. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 10 34-02 70
Day 1: 5 20-05 Day 2: 5 13-13
32. Frank Talley Temple, TX 10 34-00 69
Day 1: 5 14-02 Day 2: 5 19-14
33. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 10 33-15 68
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 19-10
34. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 10 33-13 67
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 14-01
35. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 10 33-11 66
Day 1: 5 18-13 Day 2: 5 14-14
36. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 10 33-11 65
Day 1: 5 15-02 Day 2: 5 18-09
37. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 10 33-08 64
Day 1: 5 16-00 Day 2: 5 17-08
38. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 10 33-06 63
Day 1: 5 18-07 Day 2: 5 14-15
39. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 10 33-01 62
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 18-12
40. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 10 33-00 61
Day 1: 5 19-04 Day 2: 5 13-12
41. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 10 32-15 60 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 5 14-07
42. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 10 32-09 59 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 20-01 Day 2: 5 12-08
43. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 10 32-06 58 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-06 Day 2: 5 20-00
44. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 10 31-15 57 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 19-01 Day 2: 5 12-14
45. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 10 31-14 56 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 19-00 Day 2: 5 12-14
46. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 10 31-09 55 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-08 Day 2: 5 15-01
47. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 10 31-03 54 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 16-14
48. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 10 31-01 53 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-02 Day 2: 5 14-15
49. John Cox Debary, FL 10 31-00 52 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-05 Day 2: 5 12-11
50. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 10 30-15 51 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-03 Day 2: 5 17-12
51. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 10 30-13 50 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-14 Day 2: 5 17-15
52. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 9 30-11 49 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 4 12-03
53. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 10 30-08 48 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-00 Day 2: 5 12-08
54. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 10 30-08 47 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-14 Day 2: 5 15-10
55. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 10 30-07 46 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 18-07
56. Wes Logan Springville, AL 10 30-01 45 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 14-12
57. Tyler Carriere Youngsville, LA 10 29-09 44 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-12 Day 2: 5 14-13
58. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 10 29-07 43 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-03 Day 2: 5 17-04
59. Rob Digh Denver, NC 10 29-04 42 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-07 Day 2: 5 14-13
60. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 10 28-07 41 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 16-07
61. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 9 28-04 40 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 21-00 Day 2: 4 07-04
62. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 10 28-00 39 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 15-01
63. Jesse Tacoronte Kissimmee, FL 10 27-12 38 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 16-11
64. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 10 27-08 37 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 13-14
65. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 10 27-03 36 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-10 Day 2: 5 12-09
66. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 10 27-00 35 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-00 Day 2: 5 10-00
67. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 10 26-15 34 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 5 13-09
68. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 7 26-13 33 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 21-04 Day 2: 2 05-09
69. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 10 26-13 32 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-00 Day 2: 5 10-13
70. David Fritts Lexington, NC 10 26-12 31 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-01 Day 2: 5 14-11
71. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 10 26-05 30 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-12 Day 2: 5 09-09
72. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 10 26-05 29 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-07 Day 2: 5 13-14
73. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 9 26-02 28 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-11 Day 2: 4 08-07
74. Drew Cook Midway, FL 10 25-13 27 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-03 Day 2: 5 11-10
75. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 10 25-07 26 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-09 Day 2: 5 10-14
76. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 10 25-00 25 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-10 Day 2: 5 13-06
77. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 10 24-08 24 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 11-08
78. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 8 23-10 23 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 09-05 Day 2: 5 14-05
79. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 9 23-07 22 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-10 Day 2: 4 07-13
80. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 8 22-06 21 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-04 Day 2: 3 08-02
81. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 10 22-06 20 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 13-02
82. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 7 22-01 19 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 07-08 Day 2: 4 14-09
83. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 9 21-12 18 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-04 Day 2: 4 08-08
84. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 7 21-05 17 $2,500.00
Day 1: 2 05-01 Day 2: 5 16-04
85. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 8 19-07 16 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-08 Day 2: 3 05-15
86. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 9 18-01 15 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-13 Day 2: 4 00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 07-13 $1,000.00
2 Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CANADA06-05 $1,000.00


Monster Smallmouth Vaults Paul Mueller Into Lead At Bassmaster St. Lawrence Elite

CLAYTON, N.Y. — Tournament wisdom says you can’t win on Day 1, and you can’t win with a single bass.

But one giant bass certainly helped Connecticut pro Paul Mueller to a fantastic start Thursday, as he took the opening-round lead at the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a 27-pound, 1-ounce limit. His bag was anchored by a massive smallmouth that weighed 7-13.

Seeking to add another 2020 Elite win to his season-opening victory on Florida’s St. Johns River, Mueller spent his day in Lake Ontario, where he targeted rock transitions in 15 to 35 feet. His area was thick with gobies — a prime smallmouth forage — but Mueller said his open-minded approach was essential to his success.

“I didn’t get locked into a certain depth, even though I caught more fish deeper in practice,” Mueller said. “Today, I caught fish shallower and my Garmin LiveScope was the key. It told me if they were there or not.

“That’s going to be a big deal for me this week — using that LiveScope to pinpoint these fish daily because these fish move. Smallmouth are here today and gone tomorrow. With good electronics, you’re able to stay with them. I’m hoping I can just be consistent.”

One of 17 competitors to break the 20-pound mark, Mueller caught all of his bass on a drop shot rigged with a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm. He alternated between the natural shad and goby colors and used a custom 3/8-ounce Do-it Molds drop-shot weight.

“Where I’m fishing you don’t get a lot of bites, but they’re good fish,” Mueller said. “I feel like there’s a better average in the lake vs. the river. That’s the key: you just try to get five of those big bites a day.

“Today exceeded my expectations. I thought I could get a 23- to 25-pound bag if everything went right. But when you catch a 7-13, it surely ups your average.”

Mueller’s biggest fish bit around 9 a.m. and gave him every inch of the heart-racing battle for which giant smallies are known.

“That fish fought as big as it was; it didn’t give up,” Mueller said. “I saw it and immediately knew it (would be) the biggest smallmouth I’ve ever caught in my life. When it’s your personal best, there’s more on the line than a fishing tournament. I wanted to land that fish because I’d never caught a 7 before.

“I said ‘Just take your time with this fish.’ It bulldogged me, it gave me a run for my money, and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on it.”

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Canada, is in second place with 27-0. Starting his day on a rock point in 30 feet of water inside the St. Lawrence River, Johnston targeted little sweet spots on the structure and sacked up nearly 22 pounds by 8 a.m.

After his early rally, he transitioned to the lake and fished isolated rockpiles and rock breaks in 20 to 24 feet.

“I started on that (river) spot because I figured a couple people might find it, and I wanted to get what I could because I knew there were some big ones on it,” Johnston said. “I did some damage there, and I knew I had some fish out in the lake if I needed some fillers.

“I didn’t want to lean on them too bad out in the lake because I was trying to save some stuff. A big thing was Garmin LiveScope because I could search for fish that weren’t under the boat. I was looking for fish, and if I saw a fish on the rock, I’d go over and catch it.”

Johnston caught all of his fish on drop shots. He held his cards low on bait specifics, but noted that he had a couple of confidence baits that proved vital to his success.

Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, is in third place with 26-3. Committing his day to Lake Ontario, Wendlandt said he had located bass from 5 to 40 feet but ended up catching most of his weight in the deeper range.

After catching his bass in short order on a drop shot, Wendlandt backed off of his spot.

“I really don’t know what I have because I mostly only fished one spot,” he said. “I had a big bag fairly fast — I had a limit by 8:30 and had my weight by 9:30 — so I didn’t see any point in beating them up for no reason. I just decided I’d go practice.”

Mueller is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 7-13.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. E.T. at the Clayton Antique Boat Museum, with weigh-ins back at the museum at 3 p.m. The 86-angler field will be trimmed to the Top 40 after Friday’s round.

Live coverage of the event will be available starting at 8 a.m. on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com with simulcasts on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Check local listings for ESPN2 times.

The tournament is being hosted by Jefferson County in cooperation with the Village of Clayton and the 1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce.

2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River 7/23-7/26
St. Lawrence River, Clayton NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 5 27-01 100
Day 1: 5 27-01
2. Chris Johnston Peterborough Ontario CA 5 27-00 99
Day 1: 5 27-00
3. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 5 26-03 98
Day 1: 5 26-03
4. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 5 24-12 97
Day 1: 5 24-12
5. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 5 24-02 96
Day 1: 5 24-02
6. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 5 23-06 95
Day 1: 5 23-06
7. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 5 22-12 94
Day 1: 5 22-12
8. Hunter Shryock Newcomerstown, OH 5 21-08 93
Day 1: 5 21-08
9. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 5 21-08 92
Day 1: 5 21-08
10. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 5 21-04 91
Day 1: 5 21-04
11. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 21-03 90
Day 1: 5 21-03
12. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 5 21-00 89
Day 1: 5 21-00
13. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 5 20-08 88
Day 1: 5 20-08
14. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 5 20-05 87
Day 1: 5 20-05
15. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 20-02 86
Day 1: 5 20-02
16. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 5 20-01 85
Day 1: 5 20-01
17. Greg DiPalma Millville, NJ 5 20-00 84
Day 1: 5 20-00
18. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 5 19-12 83
Day 1: 5 19-12
19. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 5 19-07 82
Day 1: 5 19-07
20. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 5 19-06 81
Day 1: 5 19-06
21. Seth Feider New Market, MN 5 19-05 80
Day 1: 5 19-05
22. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 5 19-04 79
Day 1: 5 19-04
23. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 5 19-04 78
Day 1: 5 19-04
24. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 5 19-01 77
Day 1: 5 19-01
25. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 5 19-00 76
Day 1: 5 19-00
26. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 5 18-13 75
Day 1: 5 18-13
27. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 5 18-11 74
Day 1: 5 18-11
28. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 5 18-10 73
Day 1: 5 18-10
29. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 5 18-08 72
Day 1: 5 18-08
30. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 5 18-08 71
Day 1: 5 18-08
31. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 5 18-07 70
Day 1: 5 18-07
32. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 5 18-06 69
Day 1: 5 18-06
33. John Cox Debary, FL 5 18-05 68
Day 1: 5 18-05
34. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 5 18-04 67
Day 1: 5 18-04
35. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 5 18-00 66
Day 1: 5 18-00
36. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 5 18-00 65
Day 1: 5 18-00
37. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 5 17-13 64
Day 1: 5 17-13
38. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 5 17-11 63
Day 1: 5 17-11
39. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 5 17-10 62
Day 1: 5 17-10
40. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 5 17-08 61
Day 1: 5 17-08
41. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 5 17-08 60
Day 1: 5 17-08
42. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 5 17-05 59
Day 1: 5 17-05
43. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 5 17-00 58
Day 1: 5 17-00
44. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 5 16-12 57
Day 1: 5 16-12
45. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 5 16-12 56
Day 1: 5 16-12
46. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 5 16-08 55
Day 1: 5 16-08
47. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 5 16-06 54
Day 1: 5 16-06
48. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 5 16-02 53
Day 1: 5 16-02
49. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 5 16-00 52
Day 1: 5 16-00
50. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 5 16-00 51
Day 1: 5 16-00
51. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 5 15-14 50
Day 1: 5 15-14
52. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 5 15-10 49
Day 1: 5 15-10
53. Wes Logan Springville, AL 5 15-05 48
Day 1: 5 15-05
54. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 5 15-02 47
Day 1: 5 15-02
55. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 5 14-14 46
Day 1: 5 14-14
56. Tyler Carriere Youngsville, LA 5 14-12 45
Day 1: 5 14-12
57. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 5 14-10 44
Day 1: 5 14-10
58. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 5 14-09 43
Day 1: 5 14-09
59. Rob Digh Denver, NC 5 14-07 42
Day 1: 5 14-07
60. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 5 14-05 41
Day 1: 5 14-05
60. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 5 14-05 41
Day 1: 5 14-05
60. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 5 14-05 41
Day 1: 5 14-05
63. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 5 14-04 38
Day 1: 5 14-04
64. Drew Cook Midway, FL 5 14-03 37
Day 1: 5 14-03
65. Frank Talley Temple, TX 5 14-02 36
Day 1: 5 14-02
66. Carl Jocumsen Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 5 13-13 35
Day 1: 5 13-13
67. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 5 13-10 34
Day 1: 5 13-10
68. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 5 13-08 33
Day 1: 5 13-08
69. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 5 13-06 32
Day 1: 5 13-06
70. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 5 13-04 31
Day 1: 5 13-04
71. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 5 13-03 30
Day 1: 5 13-03
72. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 5 13-00 29
Day 1: 5 13-00
73. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 5 12-15 28
Day 1: 5 12-15
74. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 5 12-14 27
Day 1: 5 12-14
75. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 5 12-07 26
Day 1: 5 12-07
76. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 5 12-06 25
Day 1: 5 12-06
77. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 5 12-03 24
Day 1: 5 12-03
78. David Fritts Lexington, NC 5 12-01 23
Day 1: 5 12-01
79. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 5 12-00 22
Day 1: 5 12-00
80. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 5 12-00 21
Day 1: 5 12-00
81. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 5 11-10 20
Day 1: 5 11-10
82. Jesse Tacoronte Kissimmee, FL 5 11-01 19
Day 1: 5 11-01
83. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 3 09-05 18
Day 1: 3 09-05
84. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 5 09-04 17
Day 1: 5 09-04
85. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 3 07-08 16
Day 1: 3 07-08
86. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 2 05-01 15


2nd Place Earns MDJ Bonus Bucks

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

 

Major League Fishing pro Mark Daniels Jr. took home $3,000 of Toyota Bonus Bucks thanks to his second-place finish in the final Bass Pro Tour event of the 2020 season. “MDJ” had an extremely close, back-and-forth battle with eventual winner Justin Lucas on Sturgeon Bay before finishing the Championship Round as the runner-up.

 

“It always hurts to be close and fall short, but this one stung more than usual,“ Daniels Jr. admitted. “I’m just mad at a few lost fish from the final day, but all in all it’s been a great 2020 season. I’m thankful for the life I live and closing the year out with some extra cash from Bonus Bucks definitely softens the sting a bit.”

 

MDJ relied on a Ned Rig dressed with a Z-Man Finesse TRD in both Green Pumpkin Goby and Green Pumpkin to trick dozens of Sturgeon Bay smallmouth throughout Stage 5 of the Bass Pro Tour. These two colors are standbys for him when targeting smallmouth. In fact this combo is the exact same setup he used to win his first Tour level event on Lake Oahe in 2018, which was also dominated by smallies.

 

Daniels Jr. closed out the 2020 BPT season with an impressive Knockout Round win, which saw him catch over 100-lbs of smallmouth in a single day, and a ninth place finish in the overall Bass Pro Tour Standings. He also cashed two Bonus Bucks checks to the tune of $6K throughout the season… 2020 was good to the Bill Lewis pro indeed!

 

“I bought a Tundra in 2015 because I thought they were the best looking gas trucks available,” Daniels Jr. said. “On top of that they support the fishing industry and make a great product. I bought a 2020 Tundra before this season started and I’ve loved the 38-gallon gas tank. That big tank is clutch on long road trips, especially when towing.”

 

Whether you fish FLW BFL’s and team trails on the weekends or you are a full-time touring pro like MDJ, you can earn money through Toyota Bonus Bucks. Payouts are available for hundreds of bass and walleye tournaments, and to be eligible to win you just need to be the highest placing registered participant in a supported tournament.

 

To get registered, for more information on the program, or for a full list of events follow this link: https://www.toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com/.  If you’d rather talk to someone on the phone, just give (918) 742-6424 a ring and ask for Chip or Kendell, they’ll get you taken care of.


Harris Chain Lands Two Bassmaster Championship Events

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Florida’s diverse Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Fla., will host two 2020 championship tournaments, B.A.S.S. officials announced today. College bass anglers eagerly anticipating the return of competition can now mark their calendars for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, which will be held Oct. 29-31. While a spot in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic will be on the line at the Bassmaster Team Championshipand Classic Fish-Off Dec. 9-12.

“On behalf of our great partners at Visit Lake and the City of Leesburg, we are so pleased to welcome the 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College Team Championship and the 2020 Bassmaster Team Championship to Lake County,” said Jason Siegel, CEO & President of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “Our community is appreciative of the opportunity to host the College Championship for the first time and welcome back the Team Championship for the second time to the Harris Chain of Lakes. We look forward to providing a safe and enjoyable atmosphere and are confident that the anglers and their families will have a wonderful experience in Lake County this fall.”

The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship will field as many as 130 teams of anglers representing colleges and universities across the nation. Qualifications are based on the teams’ finishes in four college tour stops being held throughout the country.

Only one College Series tournament was completed before events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That January event on Toledo Bend saw Cody Huff and Dakota Pierce of powerhouse Bethel University go wire-to-wire to not only clinch the victory and earn more than $3,000 for the Bethel bass fishing team, but also secure their berth in the College Championship tournament.

“We’re excited to work with these great partners to offer young anglers an incredible championship tournament experience,” said College Series Senior Manager Hank Weldon. “I am thrilled that we were able to get the regular season and championship rescheduled so that the majority of teams who registered for these tournaments can compete for a national title and chance to fish the Classic.”

The College Championship tournament will crown the national championship team as well as 2020 Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year. Additionally, anglers on the Top 4 teams will earn a chance to compete for a berth in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic at November’s Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket Challenge on Alabama’s Lay Lake.

2019 College Bracket Challenge winner Huff, who fished against three of his Bethel teammates, not only earned a spot in the 50th Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, but made it to Championship Sunday before ultimately finishing 24th.

“Competing in the College Team Championship and winning the College Bracket Challenge turned a dream into a reality,” said Huff. “It seems like such a long shot to win, but it just takes six good days of fishing to be driving your dream truck and boat to the biggest tournament in bass fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.”

Also battling for a berth in the Bassmaster Classic will be the grassroots anglers competing at the Bassmaster Team Championship. The team portion of the event will be held Dec. 9-10 and will feature anglers from 30 states and several foreign countries. The winning duo will not only win a cash prize, but they’ll also lead the charge into the Classic Fish-Off which will take place Dec. 11-12. The Team Championship was last held at Harris Chain in 2018.

The top three teams through Day 2 — six anglers in all — will have their weights zeroed and then compete individually in the Fish-Off. The competitor with the heaviest two-day total of the group will nab the coveted spot in the Classic. Josh Busby, of Rogersville, Mo., won the 2019 Bassmaster Team Championship Classic Fish-Off on Lake Hartwell. Busby was so overcome with emotion at making his childhood dream a reality that the 36-year-old food scientist fell to his knees on stage and wept.

Emotions are sure to run high for both championship tournaments on Harris Chain, part of Lake County, Fla. This scenic area in the Oklawaha River basin north of Orlando features seven interconnected lakes — Big Harris, Little Harris, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair, Carlton and Griffin — dotted with eelgrass, lilypads, reeds and bulrushes.

“We are thrilled to host the 2020 Bassmaster College Championship and the Bassmaster Team Championship,” said Commissioner Tim Sullivan, Lake County Board of County Commissioners. “Lake County is the premier destination for visitors to experience ‘Real Florida. Real Close.’ and is home to the best bass fishing lakes in the southeastern United States.”

The bountiful bass fishing at this storied location is just one reason why B.A.S.S. has hosted 17 major tournaments at the fishery.

“Lake County is excited to continue our successful run of hosting top-tier fishing tournaments with both the 14th Annual Carhartt Bassmaster College Team Championship and the Bassmaster Team Championship,” said Brandon Matulka, Executive Director of the Lake County Agency for Economic Prosperity.We strive to be a top destination for these events and welcome all the anglers, their families, tournament staff and sponsors to stay and enjoy everything our great community has to offer.”

The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops and Bassmaster Team Championship and Classic Fish-Off are being hosted by GO Sports, Visit Lake and the City of Leesburg.


Livin' the "live" Life

 

This week Chris welcomes in Blonde Girl Behind the Scenes host Michele Eichstead to co-host as both Jason and Kenneth are out of town. Intern David comes out of his shell as the gang welcomes in BPT Pro Justin Lucas and new NPFL Angler Scotty Villines on both FB Live and here in the audio version.


Zaldain shares what to expect at St. Lawrence Elite Series

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

 

Chris Zaldain has notched (21) impressive Top 10s in his still young career, and one of them came last year at the site of this week’s Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the St. Lawrence River.

 

The Carhartt/Yamaha pro was gracious enough to phone us Wednesday night with his thoughts as to what fans can expect when competition begins Thursday morning with Live coverage on ESPN2.

 

Q: What’s going to be your biggest challenge this week?

 

Zaldain: The conditions are a lot different than last year. The water is lower, and there’s a lot less current. Plus, 9 of my 10 best spots from last year are located on the Canadian side of the river, and that water is officially off-limits this year.

 

 

Q: Tell us about the goodness of the three lures you’re holding in the photo.

 

Zaldain: Everybody knows the drop shot is a staple here, and the little 3” MegaBass Hazedong Shad is the perfect bite-sized dropshot snack for smallmouth with super realistic eyes and a really natural swimming action. The Vision 110 and the Vision 110 Plus 1 jerkbaits are also excellent for smallmouth – especially when you’re trying to cover a ton of water out on Lake Ontario. The 110 dives to about 6 feet and the 110 Plus 1 gets down to 12 feet.

 

 

Q: Speaking of Lake Ontario, what percentage of all the casts made this week by Elite Series anglers will take place on Lake Ontario versus in the St. Lawrence River?

 

Zaldain: I’ll say 15% Lake Ontario vs. 85% in the St. Lawrence River. Most guys in this field know and understand the river a lot better, and Ontario gets a whole lot rougher with just a little bit of wind.

 

 

Q: Gobies have been described as protein bars for smallmouth bass – never mind how many smallmouth you’ve caught in practice – tell us how many gobies you’ve successfully hooked and landed in three days of practice.

 

Zaldain: I’ve landed three of those dudes, and even though they’re fairly small -- they are tough! I swear they could survive for half-a-day out of water, sprout legs and walk on dry land.

 

 

Q: We started by talking about your Top 10 finish here last year, what will you have to catch each day this year to assure yourself another Top 10?

 

Zaldain: I averaged 19 pounds a day here last year and finished 9th, and while it seems like conditions are making it tougher this year, I think it will take 18 or 19 pounds per day again to make the Top 10.


Justin Atkins - Yamaha Power Pay “Power Paid”

Needing a new outboard in the middle of the season isn’t exactly ideal for a professional angler, but that’s exactly where Justin Atkins found himself leading into three major tournaments on his schedule. Fortunately, Atkins quickly made a decision thanks to the reputation and quality of Yamaha outboards and the popular Power Pay contingency program.

 

The former FLW® Forrest Wood Cup champion added a 250 horsepower Yamaha V MAX SHO® to his Falcon boat and headed to the Bassmaster® Central Open on the Arkansas River, excited for new opportunities.

 

“I’ve always known Yamaha makes a great outboard, but Power Pay is what sold me,” Atkins said. “I’ve never understood why more anglers don’t gravitate towards contingency programs. When a company produces a quality product, supports our industry and offers an incredible program like Power Pay, it’s a no-brainer. I couldn’t be happier with my Yamaha.”

 

Atkins’ decision already proved fruitful. He earned $500 for his 33rd place finish at the Basspro.com Bassmaster® Central Open, and added another $1,000 in Power Pay winnings for a 23rd place showing at the FLW® Tackle Warehouse® Pro Circuit Super Tournament last month. With several Power Pay supported events left on his 2020 calendar, Atkins looks forward to the possibility of more bonus earnings.

 

Anglers don’t need to win a tournament to reap the rewards of Power Pay; they just need to be the highest finishing registered participant in a Power Pay sanctioned event. There are currently hundreds of bass, walleye, and saltwater tournaments eligible for Power Pay.

 

For more information, complete terms and conditions or to register for Yamaha Power Pay, visit yamahapowerpay.com. You can also email Chip Porche with questions at [email protected].


B.A.S.S. Moves August High School And Junior Tournaments To Lake Hartwell

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series at Lake St. Clair presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors and the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior Series, both originally scheduled for August 8, will instead be held on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell August 30, B.A.S.S. officials announced today.

Guidelines in the state of Michigan issued on July 9 limit the size of any outdoor gathering, including fishing tournaments, to 100 people or less. Based on current registration numbers, B.A.S.S. officials expected 195 anglers and their boat captains to participate.

“It is disappointing anytime you have to move a tournament, especially from a fantastic and scenic smallmouth fishery like Lake St. Clair,” said High School Series Senior Manager Hank Weldon. “B.A.S.S. has emphasized for months, though, that we will heed each state’s mandates on crowd sizes and public spaces to ensure both competition and fan activities can resume safely.

“We are thankful to our friends at Visit Anderson to be able to move the event to Lake Hartwell so that the majority of teams who registered for our high school and junior tournaments can compete.”

The current rules do not impact the upcoming Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair Aug. 20-23. Professional sports are allowed in Michigan provided protocols are in place which adhere to guidance from the CDC and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The field of young anglers who launch onto Lake Hartwell — a 56,000-acre impoundment on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers along the South Carolina/Georgia border — will be fishing one of the sport’s most storied bodies of water. Hartwell has hosted three previous Bassmaster Classics and six major B.A.S.S. events as well as a host of B.A.S.S. Nation, college and high school tournaments. Plus, the lake has consistently been ranked as one of the country’s Top 100 Best Bass Lakes in BassmasterMagazine’s annual rankings, making the coveted list four times since 2015. Lake Hartwell was ranked one of the Southeast’s Best Bass Lakes in the recently released all-decade list.

“We are extremely excited to host the high school and junior series at Lake Hartwell and Green Pond Landing,” said Neil Paul, Executive Director of Visit Anderson. “Anderson County has done a tremendous job during this most difficult time to ensure the safety of our community, and we will extend that same effort and passion into welcoming B.A.S.S., the anglers and their families. We have been blessed with a tremendous fishery, great facilities and a very supportive fishing community and we look forward to hosting the high school anglers and their families for this event.”

Any team registered for the event on Lake St. Clair will be refunded their entry fees and given priority registration for the Hartwell events. Registration is now open for the Bassmaster Junior Series and Bassmaster High School Series at Lake Hartwell, and will remain open until Aug. 14. Learn more at Bassmaster.com/High-School or Bassmaster.com/Junior.


Big Smallmouth Will Again Take Center Stage At Bassmaster Elite On St. Lawrence River

CLAYTON, N.Y. — Despite a venue change that avails a completely different scenario, Canadian pro Chris Johnston, of Peterborough, Ontario, will be sticking with his original game plan during the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River Thursday through Sunday.

Initially scheduled to be held in Waddington, N.Y., COVID-19 considerations required tournament officials to move to Jefferson County, which is hosting the event in cooperation with the Village of Clayton and the 1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2017, the Bassmaster Elite Series has held events in Waddington where river fishing was the only option. With Clayton sitting at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, anglers will now have the option of fishing the U.S. side of Lake Ontario (all Canadian waters are off-limits for this event).

Still, Johnston said he’s not leaving the river.

“I really don’t think the lake will (play a significant role),” Johnston said. “From what I’ve experienced the last couple of years, there are giant fish in the river. With tournaments out of the Canadian side, it’s always three-quarters of the field that’s in the river catching them.

“The lake can be so good, but it can be really bad as well.”

Johnston mostly attributes the decline in Lake Ontario's productivity to fishing pressure. Years of publicity have increased recreational traffic and caused behavioral shifts in the bass.

“As soon as the spawn’s done, they go deep; they don’t stick around shallow like they used to,” Johnston said. “Will (Lake Ontario) play a factor? Yes. Will there be guys out there checking it? Yes. Is it a really big gamble? Absolutely.”

Summer weather isn’t the year’s worst, but it doesn’t take a lot of wind to turn a Great Lake into a washing machine. Elite anglers are well-accustomed to safely operating in rough water, but time management becomes an issue as navigational speed decreases. Also, presentation accuracy suffers when riding the Ontario seesaw.

Even if favorable conditions prevail, it’s likely that the majority of the field will remain inside the St. Lawrence River. Why? This pristine waterway is absolutely loaded with big, aggressive smallmouth bass. Considering this year’s conditions, Johnston expects the fish to be fully settled into summer patterns.

“Last week, the water temperature on the lake was 72 degrees, so it’s well ahead of what it should be,” he said. “Last year, there were a few bedded fish still kicking around in the river, but this year’s totally different. The weather here has been exceptionally hot — in the 100s for the last couple of weeks, which is crazy hot for us.

“The fish know that and they’re going to be deep. It’s going to be a slugfest. There’s no doubt about it.”

In this smallmouth-dominated event, the usual river tactics like Ned rigs, dropshots, swimbaits and tubes should account for the majority of the fish. Depending on depth and current, anglers will be dragging baits along measured drifts or dropping on particular targets.

One wildcard to note — largemouth, big largemouth. Northern-strain largemouth don’t grow as big as the Florida-strain beasts of southern latitudes and good numbers of quality smallmouth are typically easier to find throughout the St. Lawrence fishery. That being said, the weigh-ins will likely see a handful of impressive green fish.

“If a guy spends the time to dial in the smallmouth and then goes and looks for one or two giant largemouth each day, there are huge largemouth in the St. Lawrence River and they’re virtually untouched.

“A guy can get a big bag of smallmouth — 22-23 pounds — and then go look for a 6- to 7-pound largemouth. They do exist, and they’re a lot more frequent than a lot of people think.”

Johnston said he believes it will take a three-day total of 64 pounds to make it to Championship Sunday, with the tournament winner needing about 88 pounds to earn the coveted blue trophy. Whatever the final numbers, he’s confident that this stellar fishery will provide anglers and B.A.S.S. fans a much-needed enthusiasm boost.

“I’m excited; anytime we get the northern swing, that’s in my wheelhouse,” Johnston said. “I’m excited not only for that, but to get it back going. It’s been a weird year, and I think we need to be out there on the water doing what we love to do.

“With ESPN2 covering the event and the following week on Lake Champlain, it’s going to be a great couple of weeks for the fans watching there and on Bassmaster Live.”

Under guidelines from the State of New York, no fans or spectators are allowed to attend events, but fans will still have multiple ways to catch live on-the-water action. Like always, the real-time action will be carried on Bassmaster LIVE at Bassmaster.com and ESPN3 beginning at 8 a.m. ET. Coverage will also be broadcast on ESPN2. Check your local listings for details.

Multiple social distancing and safety measures will be used to comply with guidelines issued by the State of New York for professional sports competitions to help keep anglers and staff — as well as the local community — safe from the spread of COVID-19. Prior to the start of the tournament, all anglers, staff and venue personnel will undergo diagnostic testing. Additionally, a new partnership between B.A.S.S. and CrewMinders will allow all anglers and event staff to complete daily health screening via a simple online platform. The daily health questionnaire, delivered via a text link, allows everyone involved with the tournament to perform their safety screening before arriving at the fishery or venue. This helps reduce instances where anglers or staff would potentially be congregated for on-site screening.

Daily takeoffs for the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River are scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET at the Clayton Antique Boat Museum, with weigh-ins back at the museum at 3 p.m., which will be aired on Bassmaster.com. A field of 86 anglers will be competing for a first-place prize of $100,000.

2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite At St. Lawrence River Title Sponsor: SiteOne

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Yamaha

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Carhartt, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Mossy Oak Fishing, Rapala

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Conservation Partners: AFTCO, Huk

2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite At St. Lawrence River Local Hosts: Jefferson County, Village of Clayton, 1000 Islands Clayton Chamber of Commerce


Berkley® Adds a Trio of Frog Baits to its Legendary Lineup - ICAST 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 22, 2020) –Continuing its legacy of leadership in science and technology, Berkley is expanding its lineup of frog baits with the addition of three new baits that are sure to become a staple in any frog fisherman’s tackle box. The new lineup includes two new soft baits infused with the scientifically proven fish-catching PowerBait® formula - the Beat’n Paddle Frog and the Buzz’n Speed Toad, and one new unique bait, the Berkley Power Pop.

A creative spin on a familiar shape, the Berkley Power Pop combines the softness of a soft bait with the high buoyancy of a hard bait. Initially developed by Berkley scientists in Japan, the Power Pop is a super high flotation frog. Uniquely constructed from a durable, ultra low-density material to keep water out, the Power Pop is nearly impossible to sink in most situations. The wide-cupped mouth allows added surface disturbance and the recessed hook pocket keeps the bait weedless. The new Berkley Power Pop is available in 10 unique color designs and comes paired with the proven and popular Fusion19 EWG Hook.

“Frog fishing takes technique and patience and we wanted to emulate the movements and body of a frog as closely as possible with the new soft baits,” said Berkley Marketing Director Jake Dawson. “The PowerBait formula continues to deliver for anglers, and the addition of the new HD Tru color extensions and modifications to the bodies increase the bait’s ability to perform.”

The Berkley PowerBait Beat’n Paddle Frog is designed with paddle tail-style feet that make an easy-to-start rhythmic sound to which bass are immediately drawn. The all-new 3.9-inch ultra-real HD Tru colors make the ultimate frog fishing experience for any angler. The unique perpendicular hook point keepers protect single hook and double frog hook rigs to accommodate fishing around structure. The sturdy body allows for fishing in heavy cover and catching multiple fish per bait.

The 4.25 inch Berkley PowerBait Buzz’n Speed Toad features HD Tru colors, which amplify its lifelike qualities and allow the baits to replicate the look of frogs like the American Toad and Bull Frog. The natural profile delivers outstanding action, and when paired with a buzzbait or when rigged on an EWG hook, the belly slot has an extended leading edge that keeps the bait from sliding up the shank for even more consistent hook sets. Like the Beat’n Paddle Frog, the Buzz’n Speed Toad has a sturdy body able to catch multiple fish per bait.

For more information on the new line of Berkley Frogs visit www.berkley-fishing.com.


Justin Lucas Caps 2020 MLF Season with MaxScent-Driven Domination in Sturgeon Bay

Berkley pros fishing PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worms account for four spots in the Top 10.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 21, 2020) — Pretty much anyone who’s ever wet a line has, upon the completion of an unsuccessful day on the water, been regaled with a story about how good the fishing was at some point in the recent past. But if there’s a place an angler should have been last week, it was at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where Berkley®pro Justin Lucas carved his name into the MLF record books by boating more than 300 pounds of smallmouth bass over the course of three fishing days thanks to Berkley’s leadership in science and research.

Berkley PowerBait® MaxScent Flat Worms were smallmouth kryptonite on Sturgeon Bay last week, where Lucas took a finesse approach, riding his dropshot rig to a convincing win and a $65,000 pay day in the season-finale. Lucas set new MLF records for single-day weight (141 pounds, 9 ounces), two-day weight (205 pounds, 6 ounces) and Championship Round weight (110 pounds, 5 ounces). He also won his qualifying group by 45 pounds on his way to picking up his first professional tour win since a B.A.S.S. Elite Series victory in 2016.

And he had plenty of friends joining him at the top of the standings thanks to MaxScent. A quarter of the 40-angler field that progressed to the Knockout Round at Sturgeon Bay were Berkley pros — all relying on PowerBait MaxScent. Four Berkley pros finished in the Top 10 and Berkley pros accounted for 50 percent of the Top-14 finishers.

“MaxScent is a dominating bait,” Lucas said. “I’ve fished side-by-side with other anglers in other tournaments — so close to each other that our boats are rubbing — and I’ve watched as the other guys literally take their hat off and scratch their head as they try to figure out why I’m catching everything and they aren’t catching a thing.”

This isn’t Lucas’s first brush with success using PowerBait MaxScent: two years ago, he and fellow Berkley pro Josh Bertrand finished first and second on the St. Lawrence River catching smallmouth on MaxScent. Later in the same season, Lucas finished in the Top 10 on Lake Oahe in South Dakota with MaxScent.

“That’s when I knew we could dominate with it,” Lucas said. “When this (Sturgeon Bay) event was announced I was so fired up to be going there. I knew I would catch them on a dropshot with MaxScent.”

Born in the Berkley Test Labs in Spirit Lake, Iowa, the same lab that produced original PowerBait and Gulp!®, PowerBait MaxScent made its way into the bass fishing world in 2016. Berkley scientists spent countless hours to develop a bait that disperses scent as well or better than Gulp! while still being as flexible and durable as PowerBait. The result is a bait that doesn’t dry out quickly, has plenty of fish-attracting action and a flavor that fish bite and won’t let go — just ask the smallmouth in Sturgeon Bay.

“The science is there. It’s not luck when you have that many guys in the Top 10 all fishing the same bait,” Lucas said. “The new colors are also great colors for bass fishing. There’s not a better dropshot bait out there.”

The MaxScent Flat Worm offers a slender baitfish profile and is the most effective dropshot bait on the market thanks to its unparalleled action, which quivers with even the smallest movements. The ribs of the bait provide the additional surface area needed to hold the maximum dosage of PowerBait MaxScent scent and flavor while the unique material used to make the bait releases a super-charged scent field to attract fish in ways not seen with other baits.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how proud we are to have something like (the Sturgeon Bay tournament) blow up. We spent a lot of time and effort looking into what fish like the smell, look feel of and the taste of — we study all the senses,” said Berkley’s Mark Sexton, who leads the company’s Fish Science and Product Testing Team. “Smallmouth are very scent oriented and even though the water is gin clear, you get down in some of that deeper water and they can’t see well down there. It’s the scent drawing the fish in.”

PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worms, while brutally effective on smallmouth, aren’t just for brown bass. The MaxScent line, which includes 14 different shapes in a wide variety of sizes and colors, continues to produce for largemouth anglers, as well. Even walleye and inshore saltwater anglers are in on the secret.

Sexton went on to say, “When we developed MaxScent, we keyed on largemouth (during the development of the bait) as a majority of our anglers are targeting largemouth. But we were ecstatic to see how much smallmouth love the taste of this stuff. And we can prove that it catches more fish than any competitive bait we’ve ever tried.”

Justin Lucas: Winning Gear — Dropshot
Rod: 7-foot medium-action Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier
Reel: Abu Garcia Revo Premier spinning (Size 30)
Mainline/Leader: Berkley x5 braid (8-pound-test)/Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon (8-pound-test)
Hook: Berkley Fusion19 Dropshot Hook (Size 2)
Weight: 3/8-ounce tungsten dropshot weight
Bait: Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worm (Green Pumpkin, Black or Smoke Black Purple)


B.A.S.S. Partners With CrewMinders For Tournament Health Screening

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A new partnership between B.A.S.S.and CrewMinders will allow all anglers and event staff to complete daily health screening via a simple safety check platform, a process that will be implemented across the entire Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Self-screening via CrewMinders will be in place when the Bassmaster Elite Series heads to New York for back-to-back events beginning July 23 on the St. Lawrence River.

“While daily health screenings are mandatory for staff, anglers and venue personnel as part of the State of New York’s guidelines for professional sports, our goal is to ensure those associated with our tournaments across every level of competition — as well as in our host communities — remain healthy,” said Chase Anderson, B.A.S.S. Chairman. “CrewMinders has worked with our tournament team to create an easy and effective solution which adds another level of safety to Bassmaster events.”

The daily health questionnaire, delivered via text, allows everyone involved with the tournament to perform their safety screening before arriving at the fishery. This helps reduce instances where anglers, staff or visitors would potentially be congregated for on-site screening and ensures personal health information is kept private.

“Real-time communication about health and wellness is of paramount concern for businesses everywhere — now more so than ever,” said Rabun Lewis, CrewMinders General Manager. “CrewMinders users are able to deliver automated and targeted safety content that drives positive safety behaviors in employees and offers employers invaluable insight in a simple and private manner.”

The CrewMinders platform also enables event organizers to optimize widescale communication through customizable and rapidly deployable messaging tools, simplifying the processes for employee safety and awareness.

“Throughout our testing process, I have been really impressed with how easy it was for our team to set up CrewMinders to communicate with anyone attending our tournaments as well as how quickly it is to complete the health screening process,” commented Trip Weldon, Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Director.

About CrewMinders
Founded in 2020, CrewMinders is the premier frontline employee engagement platform. Based in Atlanta, CrewMinders builds elegantly simple solutions to help companies communicate rapidly with their teams. We are passionate about our customers and deeply engage with them to understand how we can solve their problems. Our mission is to provide employers with the communication tools necessary to ensure their workers are safe and healthy. Learn more at crewminders.com.


FLW Announces Toyota Series Return to Sandusky

Toyota Series at Lake Champlain Tournament Shifted to Lake Erie for Aug. 18-20 Event

SANDUSKY, Ohio (July 22, 2020) – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that the organization will shift its Aug. 18-20 Toyota Series Northern Division event from Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, New York, to Lake Erie and Sandusky, Ohio. The move was made in response to New York’s expanded travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic

Entries will roll over to the rescheduled event unless instructed otherwise.

Anglers will take off daily at 6:30 a.m. EDT from the Shelby Street Boat Launch Facility, located at 101 Shelby St., in Sandusky. Weigh-ins will also be held at the Shelby Street Launch Facility and will begin at 2:30 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the “FLW Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at FLWFishing.com.

The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.

FLW continues to monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal, state and local guidelines and recommends that everyone follow the guidelines to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

 


Lester makes custom skirts to fool finicky summer bass

 

Courtesy of Alan McGuckin - Dynamic Sponsorships

 

Like a lot of us, Brandon Lester is fishing obsessed. So, if you’re trying to track him down between Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments, there’s a pretty good bet you can find him on a local reservoir near his Fayetteville, TN home. Heck, even on a family beach vacation, he still fishes every day.

 

But if you want to save yourself some trouble locating the Team Toyota pro, just call his sweetheart Kim. She’ll know exactly where he is. “Oh my gosh, it’s 95 degrees here, and no surprise, he’s out in our shop building jig skirts,” she told me on a recent phone call.

 

Sure enough, on one of 2020’s hottest Friday afternoons, there sat a barefooted and slightly sweaty Lester with a color pallet of silicone strands on his lap tinkering to create something summertime schools of heavily pressured largemouth hadn’t seen yet.

“There is no doubt in my mind that playing with custom skirt colors makes a huge difference in getting pressured fish to bite that have seen all the common colors by mid to late summer,” insists Lester.

 

“Most of the time, I’m really not a guy who gets too obsessed with lure color. For example, at the Bassmaster Classic back in early March, I was just throwing a plain brown jig because those fish hadn’t seen near as many baits through the winter months. But by late July, schools of fish on places like Guntersville or Kentucky Lake have seen it all, so color becomes super important,” he believes.

 

Lester began building custom colored jigs a dozen years ago as a college student, and he even used to melt and pour the lead heads himself. But these days he says you can buy the lead heads and hooks as cheap as you can source lead and melt it yourself. Still, he builds custom colored skirts for roughly 75 to 100 football jigs per summer.

 

“I’ve had days on the water where a buddy was throwing a football jig from the back deck of my boat that was a slightly different color than something more standard I was throwing, and he absolutely beat me like it was my first day on the water, so I know color matters,” says Lester.

 

He’ll also tell you it’s the minor color accents that make a huge difference in the number of bites he gets, admitting that green pumpkin constitutes the primary color on 85% of the football jigs he throws.

 

“Another thing I pay close attention to is what color of X Zone soft plastics they’re biting best – and then I’ll build my jig skirts to match that color,” says Lester, who has amassed a highly impressive (34) Top 20 finishes in his young career.

 

Asked to describe the perfect summer football jig scenario – Lester says he’s typically throwing a 3/4 -ounce version on 17-pound Vicious fluorocarbon, and looks for a clean hard bottom on a  hump, a channel drop-off, or a roadbed in 12 to 24 feet of water, and advises brushpiles are far more efficiently probed with sleek Texas rigged worms, not jigs.

 

“Maybe the custom color skirt thing is all in my head, but I fully believe it makes a difference, and if you believe in what you’re throwing then you’ll fish with more confidence – and confidence is everything in bass fishing,” he concludes.

 


B.A.S.S. Postpones Eastern Open Tournament On Oneida Lake

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After conversations with local hosts, Visit Syracuse and Onondaga County Parks, B.A.S.S. has postponed the Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Open originally scheduled for August 6-8, 2020 on Oneida Lake, in Oneida, N.Y.

“Onondaga County Parks and Visit Syracuse join our friends at Bassmaster in expressing our regret over the postponement of this year’s Bassmaster Eastern Open at Oneida Shores,” said Jeff Mickle, Senior Sales Manager of Visit Syracuse. “Bassmaster events have been a large part of our community for many years, and we look forward to hosting all the anglers and their families in the years to come.”

After two spring Bassmaster Opens Series tournaments were initially postponed, the Oneida tournament was due to be the Eastern Division’s second stop of the 2020 season.

Any angler who wishes to cancel their tournament registration completely may email the B.A.S.S. tournament department at [email protected] for a full refund.

B.A.S.S. is working to determine a new date and location for the tournament.


The "Duct Tape" Tour

This week the boys welcome in FLW Tour Pro and Winner of the first ever FLW Tour event Mike Surman to the show to talk all things FLW, past and present and now the new MLFLW and more!! Check it out!


Lucas Lands 100 Pounds to Win Final Stage of 2020 Bass Pro Tour

Photo Credit: Phoenix Moore/Major League Fishing

Jordan Lee Named Points Champion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Justin Lucas scored 110 pounds, five ounces – a record in a Bass Pro Tour Championship Round - to win the Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Title and its $100,000 payout. Today’s finale included drama and record-breaking fish catches as see throughout the six-day event hosted by Destination Sturgeon Bay.

34-year-old Lucas of Guntersville, Alabama won the Qualifying Round for Group A, earning him an automatic berth to today’s Championship Round. This is Lucas’s first major win in four years, which brought much relief and emotion to the final confirmation of his win.

“It took me a while to figure out this MLF format, I didn’t have the best year last year,” said Lucas. “I know I’m not the most natural angler on this Tour, but I work hard and am really competitive. I wanted this so bad and it feels so good to get it.”

In addition to his trophy, Lucas took home three MLF records. Lucas’s catch was today one of 10, 100-pound plus days during this event. He set a new Bass Pro Tour record for the most weight caught during a Championship Day, passing Aaron Martens who scored 86 pounds, 4 ounces during the 2019 event on Table Rock Lake (Missouri).

Lucas also set the most scorable weight in a single day of competition on Friday when he scored 141 pounds, nine ounces. He also scored the most weight in a two-day Round with 205 pounds, six ounces to win Group A. His strategy focused on 20 to 25- deep water for the majority of his score and used the Berkley PowerBait MaxScent almost exclusively.

Cliff Pace caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in five pounds, three ounces earning him $1,000.

The top ten finished the Knockout Round as follows:

Place Angler One-Day Total Weight One-Day Fish Count Largest Fish Payout
1 Justin Lucas 110-05 38 4-06 $100,000
2 Mark Daniels Jr. 102-07 34 4-01 $42,000
3 Josh Bertrand 86-14 29 4-06 $30,000
4 Jordan Lee 79-07 27 4-04 $24,000
3 Alton Jones 78-05 26 4-08 $18,000
4 Andy Morgan 63-10 19 4-14 $16,800
5 Mike Iaconelli 63-02 23 4-08 $15.600
5 Cliff Pace 54-05 15 5-03 $14,400
7 Bradley Roy 30-07 11 3-12 $13,200
8 Ish Monroe 28-04 10 4-04 $12,000

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

29-year-old Jordan Lee is the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Champion, pictured here with wife, Kristen. Photo Credit: Garrett Dixon/Major League Fishing
29-year-old Jordan Lee locked in Points Champion. The angler with the most points at the end of the 2020 season earns the title of “Bass Pro Tour Points Champion.” Each angler earns Points (80-1) awarded by finishing place (1-80) at each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. Coming into Wisconsin, Fletcher Shryock, Jacob Wheeler, Ott DeFoe, and Michael Neal rounded out the top five behind Lee. Upon receiving the trophy today, Lee expressed how much this means to him as a professional angler.

“To win (Points Champion) means you have to be a consistent angler and win or place regularly,” said Lee. “And to win against this group of guys, the best in the world, is really an awesome thing and it really means a lot.”

About the Bass Pro Tour:

The Bass Pro Tour began in 2019 and features 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers, Aaron Martens, Mike Iaconelli, Jordan Lee, and Skeet Reese. Each stage includes six days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over a variable minimum weight, which is two pounds on Lake Fork for Stage Three, toward a cumulative weight total for the day. Variable minimum weights are determined by fishery, akin to a golf course handicap. The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups of 40 (Groups A and B) to compete on days one through four for the Qualifying Round. The winners of each Group earn an automatic berth the Championship Round. The anglers finishing in places 2-20 from each group in the Qualifying Round (40 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five (Tuesday), which determines who will compete on that final day, the Championship Round (Wednesday), for the Stage title and $100,000.

Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour has the following payout schedule: 1st $100,000; 2nd $42,000; 3rd $30,000; 4th $24,000; 5th$18,000; 6th $16,800; 7th $15,600; 8th $14,400; 9th $13,200; 10th $12,000; 11th – 40th $6,000; Big Bass Daily $1,000; Big Bass Overall $1,000.

In addition to the economic impact for the host community, Destination Sturgeon Bay / Door County, Major League Fishing showcases the region through their award-winning, live and linear programming. Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour is broadcast live on the Major League Fishing app, MyOutdoorTV (MOTV), and majorleaguefishing.com, totaling more than 325 hours of original programming. Fans can follow the fast-paced nature of the MLF format as it unfolds on the live leaderboard through “SCORETRACKER® updates.”

Highlights from each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour air on Discovery Network beginning in July 2020 and Sportsman Channel in early 2021. Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia will premiere as two, two-hour episodes on Discovery Channel October 3 and 4, 7 – 9 a.m. ET/PT.

“MLF offers the strongest broadcast presence in the industry to fans and sponsors,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “And with these lakes planned for this coming Bass Pro Tour, we know 2020 will be our best year yet as we continue to capture a broad audience of both longtime fishing fans and those new to the sport, thanks to our fast-paced, fan-friendly format,”


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KVD’s Smallmouth Smorgasbord ICAST 2020

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

 

Few people on this planet know more about northern smallmouth bass than Kevin VanDam. The bronze aquatic torpedoes are just different. Their patterns, preferences, and nomadic nature require a special learning curve VanDam has been perfecting his entire career.

 

With nearly $7 million in tournament earnings that includes 28 pro-level wins, it’s safe to say VanDam has a proven track record. When KVD talks, you’d be wise to listen.

 

The Team Toyota pro suspects he spends 70% of his time targeting smallmouth versus their large-mouthed relatives when fun-fishing around his home in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Following Stage 5 of the Bass Pro Tour we caught up with KVD to talk smallmouth bass and get a glimpse into one of the greatest minds bass fishing has ever known.

 

Two tips for Northern smallies

 

We wanted to quiz VanDam on what his current favorite baits or techniques for bronze-backs were, but the greatest tournament angler of all time couldn’t help but divulge two crucial tips he pays attention to before every smallmouth trip; use a long rod and invest in quality sunglasses.

“Using a longer-than-usual rod helps a ton for northern smallmouth,” VanDam explained. “The water is typically ultra-clear up here, so long casts are extremely important. Light line and a long rod will help you get your bait as away from the boat as possible, and assists with moving a lot of line on your hook set when you get a fish to eat.”

 

VanDam pointed out he practically never uses a rod shorter than 7-feet long when targeting clear-water smallies. He designed his new signature series of Lew’s rods with this in mind, including the 7-foot 4-inch KVD Lew’s spinning rod VanDam trusts for nearly every finesse fishing application.

 

Owning and wearing a good pair of polarized sunglasses was KVD’s next suggestion that’ll help you catch more fish whether you are stalking the bank or covering an offshore flat in a bass boat.

 

“Electronics are important for showing me what’s underwater, but to me a good pair of sunglasses is absolutely critical,” VanDam said. “Smallmouth love transitions or changes in bottom composition. I’m constantly looking for those things when I’m smallmouth fishing. Oakley’s Shallow Water Prizm is hands-down my favorite lens color for northern waters.”

 

Whether he is enjoying time on the water his boys Jackson and Nicholas or in the middle of high-stress MLF competition, VanDam’s eyes are always scanning the water. Looking for indications like transitions, irregularities, individual pieces of cover, or smallmouth themselves. KVD catches a pile of smallmouth each year thanks to the clues he discovers using nothing but his eyes.

 

VanDam’s smallmouth staples

 

The tips KVD provided above will give you a couple steps in the right direction to consistently catching smallmouth, but throwing the right baits helps even more. VanDam graciously offered six northern smallmouth staples he has rigged and at the ready whenever he launches his Nitro boat.

 

3 power-fishing preferences

 

  • ½-ounce Strike King KVD Burner Spinnerbait
  • Strike King KVD Jerkbait (300 series)
  • Strike King KVD Jerkbait Deep (300 series)

 

It’s no secret KVD loves to move fast and power fish. Fortunately, VanDam has found that to be the best way to locate smallmouth. The pace VanDam keeps during competition would make a toddler on a sugar-high sleepy, but there is undoubtedly a method to his madness.

 

If restricted to three choices, these lures are what VanDam would bet the house on for smallmouth in northern waters.

 

“I always start by power fishing if I’m targeting smallmouths,” VanDam said. “Even if I don’t catch the fish on a jerkbait or spinnerbait, oftentimes they’ll show themselves. Smallmouth are notorious for following baits up to the boat, but I’m OK with that. I can always go back and finesse them if I need to. Power fishing not only catches me a lot of smallies, it helps me find a lot of fish, too.”

 

3 finesse frontrunners

 

  • 3/8-ounce Strike King Tour Grade Tube jig with a KVD Pro-Model Tube
  • Dropshot: Strike King KVD Dream Shot with 3/8 – ½-ounce weight
  • 1/8-ounce Ned Rig with a Strike King Ned Ocho

 

 

When the conditions call for it or he simply can’t get fish to react to more aggressive offerings, VanDam has found great success with these three lures / presentations. Relying on these finesse techniques to “cleanup” areas where he has located finicky smallmouth.

 

“I absolutely never go smallmouth fishing without a tube and a dropshot tied on,” VanDam admitted. “While I’d prefer to catch them power fishing, it’s impossible to deny to effectiveness of those three lures. Whether I’m trying to coax more bites from an area, dropping down to a fish that chased my bait to the boat, or the scenario calls for a more subtle presentation I lean on these three lures.”


Jordan Lee Secures 2020 Bass Pro Tour Points Championship!

MDJ Scores 100+ to Win Round;
IKE EEKS Over Elimination Line by 1-ounce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) 38 Pros battled on the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan for the final eight spots in Wednesday’s Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Championship. Mark Daniels Jr. won the Knockout Round with 103 pounds. Mike Iaconelli landed a two-pound, two-ounce smallmouth in the final seconds to push Ott DeFoe out of the Championship by one ounce. 30 Pros fell below the Elimination Line, including Jacob Wheeler, which guarantees the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Title to 29-year-old Jordan Lee who finished third to advance. The tournament hosted by Destination Sturgeon Bay continues Wednesday when the top ten compete for the $100,000 Stage Title.


38-year-old Mark Daniels Jr. joined seven other MLF Pros this week by scoring 100+ pounds in a single day and won the Knockout Round and advance to the Wednesday’s Championship Round. Photo Credit: Phoenix Moore/Major League Fishing

38-year-old Daniels Jr. joined seven other MLF Pros this week by scoring 100+ pounds in a single day and won the Knockout Round and advance to the Wednesday’s Championship Round. A California-native and Alabama-resident Daniels Jr. found the fish early and never let up with his go-to baits - Z-Man Finesse TRD in green pumpkin and green pumpkin goby or Z-Man Finesse WormZ - to secure 103 pounds, five ounces on 32 smallmouth bass.

“I laid off a little at the end, but it was a pretty stellar day,” Daniels said. “My goal was to make it to the Championship Round, and it happened. I got an invite to the big dance; I just hope the smallmouth decide to show up tomorrow.”

29-year-old Jordan Lee secured the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Title with his advancement to the Championship Round. Photo Credit: Garrett Dixon/Major League Fishing
29-year-old Jordan Lee secured the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Title with his advancement to the Championship Round as his final contender, Jacob Wheeler, fell below the Elimination Line today. The Pro with the most points at the end of the 2020 season earns the title of “Bass Pro Tour Points Champion.” Each angler earns Points (80-1) awarded by finishing place (1-80) at each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. Coming into Wisconsin, Fletcher Shryock, Jacob Wheeler, Ott DeFoe, and Michael Neal rounded out the top five behind Lee. With Wheeler’s elimination today, Lee has mathematically won and will receive the trophy tomorrow during the post-game festivities at Sawyer Park, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

“It feels unbelievable to be able to win it against these guys,” Lee said. “To win the points (championship) is a dream come true. Add in that I got to catch 94 pounds of smallmouth today; it was an incredible moment.”

Lee caught 94 pounds exactly on 34 fish to end in third place and advance to tomorrow’s Stage Five Championship Round. With the Points Champion Title locked in, Lee doesn’t plan to let-up on the competition tomorrow in the Championship Round.

“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and to have a chance to win tomorrow,” Lee said.

Despite losing 50 minutes of competition to a weather delay, the field of 38 caught 1,751 pounds, four ounces of scorable (two-pound minimum weight) bass, making today the heaviest day of Stage Five.

The fast-paced action of the MLF format on the waters bordering Door County, Wisconsin made for an exciting end to today’s contest as the field shifted over the Elimination Line until the last seconds when Ott DeFoe and Bobby Lane were knocked out. Daiwa Pro Ish Monroe landed a two-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth with one minute in regulation to leap into sixth place. As the clock ran down, Iaconelli (“IKE”) pulled a two-pound, two-ounce bass over the hull with seconds remaining to knock out DeFoe by one ounce. The 49-year-old Pro known for his energy on the water celebrated with a backspin after learning finished eighth.

Jacob Wheeler caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in five pounds, three ounces earning him $1,000.

The top eight finished the Knockout Round as follows:

Place Angler Two-Day Total Two-Day Total Largest Fish over Two-Day Round
1 Mark Daniels Jr. 103-05 32 4-08
2 Andy Morgan 96-03 28 4-10
3 Jordan Lee 94-00 34 3-11
4 Alton Jones 78-00 29 4-02
5 Bradley Roy 77-02 28 3-14
5 Josh Bertrand 68-03 21 4-12
7 Ish Monroe 61-11 23 3-12
8 Mike Iaconelli 61-01 22 3-15

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The competition continues Wednesday with the Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Championship Round. Today’s qualifiers join Justin Lucas and Cliff Pace, who won their respective Qualifying Rounds to earn an auto-berth into the Championship. The field of 10 begin with zero weight and the angler with the most scorable bass wins $100,000 and Stage Title.

Pending no weather delays, the day begins at Sawyer Park Boat Launch, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., 6:15 a.m. CT when the field reports to pick-up their MLF Officials and camera operators before trailering to the ramp of their choice. With lines in at 8:00 a.m. CT, the competition consists of three, 150-minute periods.

Fans can catch all the action 8a.m. – 4 p.m. CT on MLFNOW! livestream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

After lines-out (4 – 5 p.m. CT), fans can tune-in hear from MLF’s Steven Scott at the General Tire Takeout for in-depth interviews and the trophy presentations to Jordan Lee – 2020 Bass Pro Tour Points Champion – and the winner of Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia

About the Bass Pro Tour:

The Bass Pro Tour began in 2019 and features 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers, Aaron Martens, Mike Iaconelli, Jordan Lee, and Skeet Reese. Each stage includes six days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over a variable minimum weight, which is two pounds on Lake Fork for Stage Three, toward a cumulative weight total for the day. Variable minimum weights are determined by fishery, akin to a golf course handicap. The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups of 40 (Groups A and B) to compete on days one through four for the Qualifying Round. The winners of each Group earn an automatic berth the Championship Round. The anglers finishing in places 2-20 from each group in the Qualifying Round (40 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five (Tuesday), which determines who will compete on that final day, the Championship Round (Wednesday), for the Stage title and $100,000.

Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour has the following payout schedule: 1st $100,000; 2nd $42,000; 3rd $30,000; 4th $24,000; 5th$18,000; 6th $16,800; 7th $15,600; 8th $14,400; 9th $13,200; 10th $12,000; 11th – 40th $6,000; Big Bass Daily $1,000; Big Bass Overall $1,000.

In addition to the economic impact for the host community, Destination Sturgeon Bay / Door County, Major League Fishing showcases the region through their award-winning, live and linear programming. Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour is broadcast live on the Major League Fishing app, MyOutdoorTV (MOTV), and majorleaguefishing.com, totaling more than 325 hours of original programming. Fans can follow the fast-paced nature of the MLF format as it unfolds on the live leaderboard through “SCORETRACKER® updates.”

Highlights from each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour air on Discovery Network beginning in July 2020 and Sportsman Channel in early 2021. Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia will premiere as two, two-hour episodes on Discovery Channel October 3 and 4, 7 – 9 a.m. ET/PT.

“MLF offers the strongest broadcast presence in the industry to fans and sponsors,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “And with these lakes planned for this coming Bass Pro Tour, we know 2020 will be our best year yet as we continue to capture a broad audience of both longtime fishing fans and those new to the sport, thanks to our fast-paced, fan-friendly format,”


Pace Passes Poche to Win Auto-Berth to Friday's Championship:

Bass Pro Tour Season Points Race Heats Up
in Tuesday's Knockout Round

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Cliff Pace won Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Group B Qualifying Round to advance directly to the Championship, joining Group A winner Justin Lucas in one of ten spots. With half the field eliminated, 38 anglers begin Tuesday’s Knockout Round at zero weight to compete over the remaining eight spots in Wednesday’s Championship Round. The 2020 Bass Pro Tour Seasons Points Championship may come down to Tuesday’s Knockout Round with Jordan Lee, Jacob Wheeler, and Ott DeFoe all battling to advance. Competition resumes Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. CT on MLFNOW!

MLF Pro Stephen Browning caught the Berkley Big Bass of the Day and hung on to 20th place to advance to Tuesday's Knockout Round. Photo credit: Phoenix Moore/Major League Fishing
40-year-old Pace caught 107 pounds, nine ounces to climb from seventh place after Day One (Saturday) and win with a two-day total of 174 pounds on 58 bass. Pace advances directly into Wednesday’s Championship Round joining Justin Lucas who won Group A Qualifying Round on Sunday. The HIGH-SEAS Pro said it wasn’t easy this week and he’s grateful for a day off (Tuesday).

“I’m one happy man!” said Pace shortly after MLF Official Mike David confirmed his victory on SCORETRACKER®. “I’m tickled to death to have won today because everything here is such a variable. You don’t know what Mother Nature is going to do and everything can fall out of place. A win today means that I don’t have to compete tomorrow and maybe capitalize on a great event in Wisconsin on Wednesday.”

Pace caught nearly all 58 bass over two days with a wacky worm in clear water – both 20, 25-feet deep and shallow. His told fans that a consistent, long cast was a key to his victory. A Mississippi-resident, Pace won the final Stage of the 2019 Bass Pro Tour in Neenah, Wisconsin last July

Keith Poche started out slow with zero scorable catches in the first three hours of competition and ultimately ended the day with 53 pounds and a two-day total of 165 pounds, 11 ounces. Jordan Lee and Mike Iaconelli led the field at different points in the day before ultimately being out paced by Pace as well.


Stephen Browning caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in at five pounds, one ounce. His two-day total of 82 pounds, 10 ounces was enough to maintain a 20th place finish and secure a spot in Tuesday’s Knockout Round. After finishing Day One in the top 20, Britt Myers and Adrian Avena fell below the Elimination Line in 21st and 26th places respectively making room for Matt Lee and Ish Monroe to advance. After only scoring 12 pounds, 13 ounces on Day One (Saturday), Jared Lintner made the biggest gain of the day by scoring an additional 119 pounds, five ounces to finish in sixth with a two-day total of 132 pounds, two ounces.

The Top Ten of Qualifying Group B finished as follows:

Place Angler Two-Day Total Two-Day Total Largest Fish over Two-Day Round
1 Cliff Pace 174-00 58 4-14
2 Keith Poche 165-11 62 4-03
3 Jordan Lee 155-04 55 4-10
4 Mike Iaconelli 144-05 49 4-08
5 Bobby Lane 132-09 43 4-09
5 Jared Lintner 132-02 44 4-04
7 Cody Meyer 122-11 41 4-07
8 Jason Christie 116-01 42 4-01
9 Alton Jones 112-05 42 4-03
10 Bradley Roy 109-06 39 4-09

20 anglers fell below the Elimination Line ending their respective 2020 Bass Pro Tour seasons, including Chris Lane, Zack Birge, and Brent Ehrler who had all won Qualifying Rounds in previous 2020 Bass Pro Tour stops. For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The competition continues Tuesday when the 38 qualifiers take to the water for the Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Knockout Round, including current Season Points contenders Jordan Lee (276), Jacob Wheeler (267), Ott DeFoe (264), and Jeff Sprague (249). Each angler earns Points (80-1) awarded by finishing place (1-80) at each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. The Pro with the most points at the end of the season earns the title of “Bass Pro Tour Points Champion.” With Fletcher Shryock and Michael Neal eliminated and the remaining four battling out for one of eight spots remaining in Wednesday’s Championship Round, Tuesday’s competition may be the most consequential of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season.

Pending no weather delays, the Knockout Round begins at Sawyer Park Boat Launch, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., 6:15 a.m. CT when the field reports to pick-up their MLF Official and camera operators before trailering to the ramp of his choice. With lines in at 8:00 a.m. CT, the competition consists of three, 150-minute periods.

Fans can catch all the action every day of competition (July 10-15) on MLFNOW! livestream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).


Lucas Tackles Bass Pro Tour Trifecta with 205-Pound, Two-Day Total: Berkley Pro Wins Group A to Advance Directly to Championship Round

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Justin Lucas crushed a third MLF record to win the day and secure an automatic berth into Wednesday’s Championship Round. Eight anglers in Group A scored over 100 pounds in the two-day Qualifying Round, including David Dudley who leapt from 37th place after Friday to finish in 4thplace with a 100-pound day. Bass Pro Tour 2020 Season Points contender Jacob Wheeler moved 15 places up SCORETRACKER® to finish in 12th place and Bass Fishing Hall of Famer Gary Klein landed nearly 70 pounds for the day to move from 39th place to 18th place and secure a spot in the Knockout Round.

MLF Pro Justin Lucas, the winner of Qualifying Round Group A, shows off a catch to MLFNOW! viewers. Lucas earned an automatic berth into Wednesday's Championship Round. Photo credit: Garrett Dixon/Major League Fishing
20 anglers fell below the Elimination Line concluding their 2020 Bass Pro Tour seasons. Fletcher Shryock fell short, which ended his run for the Bass Pro Tour 2020 Season Points Champion. Aaron Martens, who returned to the Tour after undergoing treatment for brain cancer, fell from 12th place to 24th place missing the chance to advance to the Knockout Round by nine pounds.

Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia continues Monday when Group B returns for their final day of Qualifying Round. Keith Poche will start the day 23 pounds over second place.

Berkley Pro Justin Lucas set his third record in two days of competition with a two-day weight record of 205 pounds, six ounces. The 34-year-old set the record for most weight in a single day on Friday with 141 pounds, nine ounces as well as the most weight in a Period with 78 pounds, 12 ounces. With a 45-pound lead over second place finisher Scott Suggs, Lucas won the Group A Qualifying Round, earning him the first of 10 spots in Wednesday’s Championship Round. With his lead locked, Lucas stopped fishing 30 minutes before lines out to search for waypoints he can use Wednesday.

“What an incredible couple of days,” Lucas said. “The Berkley MaxScent Flat worm caught Every … Single … Fish. I can’t wait for Wednesday; I get a couple days off and look forward to getting back out here to fish for the Championship.”

Arkansas-resident Scott Suggs leveraged his 119-pound Day-One weight to maintain his second-place finish with an additional 12 scorable bass for 41 pounds, three ounces. Today’s catch brought Suggs to a two-day total of 160 pounds, seven ounces. Suggs was one of eight anglers who exceeded 100 pounds in their two-day total: Lucas, Suggs, Josh Bertrand (132-03), David Dudley (111-15), Mark Rose (102-03), Randall Tharp (102-03), Fred Roumbanis (102-00), and James Elam (101-05).

Virginia-resident David Dudley, who caught 102 pounds, four ounces today– the only Pro to exceed the century mark in Sunday’s competition –finished in 4th place. Dudley fought back from 37th place after only catching nine pounds on Friday. The 2019 FLW Angler of the Year reflected on the significance of today’s competition for him as a professional angler.

“Today was a really big day for me,” said Dudley. “I made REDCREST; I caught a 4-10 to secure my spot in Heavy Hitters 2021; I passed the two-day ‘Century’ mark and then finally caught 100 pounds in a single day. Today secured a lot of payouts for me in the future and did a lot for my professional career.”

After Dudley, Jacob Wheeler caught the second-highest single-day total at 71 pounds, five ounces, which allowed him to climb from below the Elimination Line at 27th place to finish in 12th place. Wheeler, who came into Stage Five in third place for 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Champion, will advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round furthering his effort toward 2020 Points Champ.

Bass Pro Hall of Famer Gary Klein climbed above the Elimination Line today with 69 pounds, 12 ounces, the third highest in single-day weight of the day. Klein finished Day One in 39th place – next to last – after catching only three fish for eight pounds, four ounces.

The field of 40 Pros caught 453 scorable (2 pounds or greater) bass for a single day total weight of 1,401 pounds, seven ounces in this event hosted by Destination Sturgeon Bay. Randall Tharp caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in five pounds, two ounces.

The Top Ten of Day One, Qualifying Group A finished as follows:

Place Angler Two-Day Total Two-Day Total Largest Fish over Two-Day Round
1 Justin Lucas 205-06 71 4-06
2 Scott Suggs 160-07 45 5-06
3 Josh Bertrand 132-03 43 4-07
4 David Dudley 111-15 41 4-10
5 Mark Rose 102-03 33 4-11
5 Randall Tharp 102-03 31 5-02
7 Fred Roumbanis 102-00 31 4-15
8 James Elam 101-05 33 4-10
9 Jonathon VanDam 98-12 32 4-10
10 Brent Chapman 97-00 32 4-06

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The competition continues Saturday when Group B takes to the water for the second day of their Qualifying Round, including current Season Points leader Jordan Lee and current Group B leader Keith Poche who enters Day Two with a 23-pound lead over Alton Jones Jr.

Pending no weather delays, the day begins at Sawyer Park Boat Launch, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., 6:15 a.m. CT when the field reports to pick-up their MLF Official and camera operators before trailering to the ramp of his choice. With lines in at 8:00 a.m. CT, the competition consists of three, 150-minute periods.

Fans can catch all the action every day of competition (July 10-15) on MLFNOW! livestream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).


Strike King Introduces the Rage Ned Craw for ICAST 2020

Lexington, S.C. – July 10, 2020 – Building on the success created with their entry into the Ned Rigging game in 2019, Strike King introduces the new Rage Ned Craw for the 2021 tackle season.  The scaled down 2.75-inch bait will give Ned Rig fans the legendary action of a Rage Craw, but in a package specifically tailored to the popular finesse application.

 

Built on the foundation of patented Rage Tail flange at the claws, the Rage Ned Craw features a sharply ribbed body that is proportioned to perfectly match the circumference of the Tour Grade Ned Head, and finished with a flat tail piece to present a streamlined, flush pairing when rigged.  The Rage Tail claws are scaled to match the body, yet an exact duplication of the Rage Craw family.

 

Crispin Powley, Strike King’s Director of Product Development said that the Rage Ned Craw presented itself as the obvious direction to take the product line.  “We saw tremendous acceptance of the launch of our Ned Rig lineup by dealers and anglers last season, so adding to the lineup made sense,” said Powley.  “When we were looking for the next product, we landed on a version of the Rage Craw because it is the number one selling soft plastic in our product line, and anglers have begun stepping outside the straight bodied baits that Ned Rigging started with.”

 

Powley added that while designed for Ned Rigging, it is a multi-faceted lure.  “The Rage Ned Craw is also great for using as a trailer on finesse jigs like our Bitsy Bug and Bitsy Flip Jigs,” he said.  “It will also be effective on a drop shot rig, and a number of other finesse applications; it’s a great bait that anglers will find more uses for than we envisioned for it.”

 

The Rage Ned Craw will be available in a variety of Strike King’s popular colors and will be available in the fall of 2020.


Strike King to Debut KVD Tools at ICAST 2020

Lexington, S.C. – July 10, 2020 – As fishing has developed over the years, so has fishing tackle, and as the technology of equipment has advanced, so has the need for implements to maintain them.  With that in mind, Strike King is introducing an entirely new set of hand tools and accessories designed by the most iconic angler in modern bass fishing – Kevin VanDam.

 

For an angler like VanDam, seconds saved in rigging lures or repairing gear can be the difference between a giant win, or an average finish.  So, VanDam partnered with Strike King to develop a set of tools that can help make life easier in the shop, on the boat or at the shoreline.

 

The tools feature everything an angler might need.  The series features everything from scissors, several pliers, braided line cutters, lure wraps, filet knives, a multi-tool and a pair of Ocho Wacky tools for wacky rigging Ocho soft stickbaits.

 

The KVD Tools Collection is as follows:

KVD 5.5” Precision Braid Scissors
Stainless steel construction, exclusive cushioned Combat Grip® handle, fully serrated machined edges for ultimate braid cutting performance - includes sheath and lanyard

KVD 8” Ultimate Angler Scissors

Stainless steel construction, exclusive cushioned Combat Grip® handles, fully serrated machined edges for ultimate braid cutting performance - includes custom KVD sheath

KVD 7” Precision Stainless Steel Pliers

Fully machined stainless-steel construction with exclusive Combat Grip® design, fully serrated jaws with replaceable tungsten carbide braid cutters - includes rubber sheath with swivel clip and coiled lanyard

KVD 7.5” Aluminum Pliers

Exclusive cushioned Combat Grip® handle inserts, stainless steel jaws and replaceable tungsten carbide cutters - includes rubber sheath with coiled lanyard

 

 

KVD 5.5” Split Ring/Braid Cutter Pliers

Dual injected exclusive Combat Grip® handles, stainless steel construction, fully serrated machined edges for ultimate braid cutting performance

KVD 6” Filet Knife

4116 German stainless-steel blade for premium flex and edge retention, precision machined edge for extreme performance, exclusive cushioned Combat Grip® handle - includes ventilated quick release sheath

KVD 15-in-1 Multi-Tool

Quick lock and release tool feature in a nylon sheath with belt loop. Includes the following tools: needle nose pliers, standard pliers, cutter, knife, fish scaler, hook remover, saw, double-sided nail file, bottle opener, can opener, ruler (imperial), Philips screwdriver, small screwdriver, medium screwdriver, large screwdriver

KVD Pro Series Lure Wraps

Durable synthetic fabric construction with hook and loop closure, perfect to conceal your hot baits from the competition or protect your favorite colors and hooks and prevent tangled rods.

KVD Ocho Wacky Tool

Anodized extruded aluminum construction that includes rubber o-rings, with a built-in octagon shape in two sizes to fit your favorite Ocho stickbaits 4 to 5-inch and 6 to 7-inch - includes lanyard

 

The Strike King KVD Tools will debut at ICAST and be available in the fall of 2020.