Monday, May 20, 2019

Records Continue to Fall During Elimination Round at Table Rock Bass Pro Tour Stage Six

MLF pro Gary Klein was one of 15 anglers who snatched 100 pounds
 or more in two rounds at the Bass Pro Tour
Three days into competition at the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Six presented by TrueTimber, we're starting to run out of superlatives to describe the bite at Table Rock Lake. Choose your favorite - "stellar" and "outstanding" fit - but "record breaking" is still the most accurate.

Cliff Pace became the most recent record breaker, putting 38 fish on SCORETRACKER® for 60 pounds, 1 ounce on the day, giving the Mississippi pro a two-day total of 134-13 and obliterating the existing Elimination Round record of 105-6 held by Zack Birge. Pace's two-day fish total of 89 is another record. The field combined to catch 407 fish in the first period, and weighed 684-9 (both records).

And while all of the above numbers are impressive, the fact that 15 of the 20 anglers advancing out of the round surpassed the 100-pound mark tells the story of just how prolific this impoundment of the White River has been.

"Of all the years I've been around fishing, I don't know if I've ever seen anything like this as far as sheer volume of fish," said MLF NOW! analyst Marty Stone. "I knew when we came here that this lake was in good shape, but I've never seen a like that's so good from one end to the next. We're looking at where guys are catching fish, and we're seeing anglers who are literally 50 miles apart catching them. It's harder right now to find a place where there's not a fish than a place there is."

Pace was followed by Gary Klein (130-2), Birge (129-11), Greg Vinson (125-12), Aaron Martens (121-15) and Jacob Powroznik (116-15). Jesse Wiggins, Michael Neal, Mark Rose, Fletcher Shryock, Russ Lane, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi, Casey Ashley, Dave Lefebre, Andy Montgomery, Fred Roumbanis, Brent Chapman, Randy Howell and Randall Tharp qualified for Tuesday's Knockout Round.

Tharp Escapes Elimination

As has become the daily storyline during Elimination Round competition, the race around the Elimination Line came down to a difference of a single fish. Trailing Jason Christie by 7 ounces entering the final 10 minutes of official competition time, Randall Tharp caught two fish for 2-13 in the final seven minutes, finishing with 94-12 and moving past Jason Christie into 20th. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Advanced TVA Ledge Fishing with John Murray

Ledge fishing is one of the hottest yet most frustrating bite of the year. Get on an active school of bass it can be the best bass fishing trip of the whole year. Learn from MLF Pro John Murray as he explains advance ledge fishing techniques.
John Murray is a legendary deep water angler with a lifetime of tournament knowledge. Listen as he explains how to up your ledge fishing game.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Bass Elite Fort Gibson Event Postponed Due to Flooding

High lake levels at Fort Gibson Lake, Oklahoma, have caused the postponement of the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah Bassmaster Elite tournament — originally scheduled for May 16-19, until September, B.A.S.S. officials announced.
The tournament will be rescheduled during the “Make-Up Week” of September 16-22, which was previously set aside in case a regular-season Elite tournament had to be postponed.
B.A.S.S. officials made the decision to postpone after flood conditions on Fort Gibson forced the closing of launch and weigh-in facilities at Taylors Ferry North Recreation Area in Wagoner. 
Heavy rain and flash flooding covered much of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas the first week of May with some of the heaviest-hit areas within the 11,000 square-mile Grand River Basin, and the outlook heading into the tournament calls for more rainy days. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials told B.A.S.S. that conditions on the lake could be expected to worsen in the coming days.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Ledge Fishing Gear Tips with Keith Combs.

If you fish for post-spawn bass then you need to listen up! Keith Combs is one of the very best at figuring out ledge fishing and one of the best with a deep crankbaits. Listen to Shimano pro and BASS Elite angler Keith Combs as he breaks down the correct gear for fishing ledges for big bass.
Keith lite up the Bass Toyota Big Bass tournament on Lake Fork using these same techniques.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Brandon Cobb Wins 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest with Massive 114lbs!

Canadians Gustafson 5th & Cory Johnston 5th.
By Bryan Brasher

 Brandon Cobb takes home the title at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Lake Fork after catching an impressive four-day total of 114 pounds. This is his second win of the 2019 Elite Series season.
(Photo: BASS)
Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams. It’s the inspiring mantra B.A.S.S. unveiled before the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series season, and it perfectly sums up the last two months for Brandon Cobb.
After earning his first Elite Series victory in April on Lake Hartwell in his home state of South Carolina, Cobb caught one big bass after another at Texas’ Lake Fork to amass a four-day total of 114 pounds. It earned him his second six-figure first-place prize of the season on one of the biggest stages in bass fishing — the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
He’s living his dream — big time.
“It’s absolutely been an amazing season for me,” said Cobb, who also earned an automatic berth into the 2020 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods with the victory. “I had a lot of success on the FLW Tour, but I never could quite put together a win.
“For so many things to go right this season, it’s just been a dream come true.”
Cobb went into the day with nearly an 8-pound advantage over his closest competitor. But after a slow start, he actually lost the lead for a while to Georgia pro Micah Frazier.
Then Cobb, a 29-year-old former college angler at Clemson University, started working the magic that helped him grab the lead during Sunday’s semifinal round with a catch of 37-15.
Cobb put a three-pounder in his livewell at 8:23 a.m. and then added a 4-13 and a 6-5 in the span of six minutes between 9:07 a.m. and 9:13. He added a 3-15 at 9:38 and a 6-2 at 9:43. At that point, he had 24-13 and the tournament seemed to be over.
He kept culling until his five biggest fish weighed 6-5, 6-2, 6-2, 5-10 and 5-12 for total weight of 29-15. All fish were weighed on the water and immediately released.
“It was really boring until you’d run into them,” he said. “Then when you’d hit them, it was amazing.”
Cobb caught the bulk of his weight all week fishing around shallow shellbeds where bass were feeding on spawning shad. His primary bait was a Dual Hardcore Minnow Flat 110 SP jerkbait in ghost pro blue.
“I was basically running points and flats, and the areas I was fishing might be 6 feet deep for 200 yards,” he said. “But the fish, when they were eating, were in 1 to 2 1/2 feet of water up on the tops of the shellbeds.
“I’ve got mud all over me because I had to pick mud off my jerkbait bill just about every cast. I was literally jerking it into the bottom.”
Surface activity always signaled Cobb that the fishing was about to get good.

Monday, May 6, 2019

John Cox Wins 2019 FLW Tour Lake Chickamauga with 83-9lbs!

Spawners, shad spawn and swim jig key to win!
by Justin Onslow
Shallow water spawners key to Cox win!
(Photo: FLW)

John Cox considers Lake Chickamauga his favorite lake in the country. On Sunday, it cemented itself as the lake that gave Cox his favorite and most memorable win.
With 21 pounds on Championship Sunday and 83-9 for the tournament, Cox won the FLW Tour event on Chickamauga, presented by Evinrude, thanks in big part to a couple trees the nine-year Tour pro forgot about until the waning moments of day four.
“I’m telling you, it was an amazing day,” Cox says. “I can’t believe this. All day I kept going and going. Right at the end… the last ten minutes was just unreal.
“It was last-minute. I don’t know why, it just popped into [my] head, ‘Go to the trees,’ and I went to them and it was unreal. It was the first cast to them.”
The first cast he’s talking about is the cast that almost broke his heart. Cox pulled up to the pair of trees he’d fished so many times before – but not once during this tournament – with the clock ticking on the end of his day. He hooked a big fish and lost it. It might have been a $100,000 fish.
Cox then went to the next tree and landed a 4-pounder. And then right back to the previous tree, where he’d just lost a big one, to land another 4-pounder, which ultimately sealed the deal on his tournament-winning bag.
“I’m not going to lie, when I caught those two fish real quick in the last 10 minutes, I got all worked up,” he admits. “I’m running back and tears are coming out. I felt something. It felt better than any other tournament any time I’ve won before. It was overwhelming. I’m getting chills thinking about it. I’ve never felt like that before.”
And Cox has had some amazing wins. He already has more hardware than he knows what to do with, including trophies from FLW Tour wins on Hartwell and the Red River, as well as an FLW Cup win on Wheeler. But this one just felt different.

Dean Rojas Wins Bass Pro Tour Smith Lake with 47lbs!

Location key to fast, flurry of bass.
By Joel Shangle

Dean Rojas takes home the trophy and $100,000 check after winning the Bass Pro Tour.
(Photo: MLF_

Fishing an area on the upper end of Smith Lake that he had found during practice for the Bass Pro Tour Phoenix Boats Stage Five Presented by Mercury, the Arizona pro went to work on the Sunday-morning shad spawn with a mix of baits (primarily a crankbait, swim jig, frog and swimbait). By the end of the first period, Rojas had put 23 fish on SCORETRACKER® for 36 pounds, 5 ounces – enough spotted and largemouth bass that Rojas could’ve put his rods down for most of the rest of the day and still won.
“It’s not too often that you get into a Championship Round where the fish are biting like that and you can use multiple baits to rack up a big lead,” Rojas said. “The conditions were right: we had overcast skies, a breeze, warm temperatures, and the fish were just feeding in the area I was in. It was just about capitalizing on this format. I knew I had to catch as many fish as I could early to put some distance between me and the field.”
Rojas added an additional 9-1 in the second and third periods for good measure, finishing with 47-0 and a 6-plus-pound win over Brent Chapman (40-14), Michael Neal (34-15), Jason Christie (32-6) and Todd Faircloth (32-2). Mark Rose (29-14), Brent Ehrler (26-0), Dustin Connell (24-14), Mike Iaconelli (17-14) and Fred Roumbanis (10-1) rounded out the Top 10.
“At the end of the first period, that was the end of (the bite),” Rojas admitted. “It was a big deal that I caught as many fish as I could to build a big lead. Period 2 and Period 3 were a matter of catching a few here and there, but I was struggling because they just wouldn’t bite.”

Rojas Cashes in on “Money Spot”

Rojas was one of a handful of anglers in the 80-man field who identified his primary area, a stretch of bushes in the Ryan Creek Arm. Rojas hit the area throughout the week of competition, sharing it periodically with Boyd Duckett, etc., but had the whole stretch to himself on Championship morning.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2019 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Day 3: Brandon Cobb Scores 37lb Limit and Lead!

Canadians Gustafson 9th & Cory Johnston 10th.
By Bryan Brasher
This 11 pounder plus 2 8-ponders equal mega limit for Cobb!
(Photo: BASS)
After catching two bass in the 8-pound range by 10 a.m., Brandon Cobb was already having one of the best days of fishing he’s ever had.
Then the bite of a lifetime at 2 p.m. moved the day to the very top of his list.
The giant afternoon bass, which weighed 11 pounds, 1 ounce and ranked as his biggest ever, lifted Cobb’s five-bass limit for the day to 37-15.
Now, with a three-day total of 84-1, he will enter the final day of Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Lake Fork with margin of 7-5 over his closest competition.
“I’ve never had a day like this before — not even close,” said Cobb, who recorded his first Bassmaster Elite Series victory in April on Lake Hartwell. “A 29-pound limit was my best ever until the other day (Thursday), when I caught 31-11. Now this is without a doubt the most amazing day I’ve ever had on the lake.”
Cobb went into the day with two-part game plan.
He expected to spend much of his time fishing shallow shellbeds away from the shoreline where bass have been feasting all week on spawning shad. Then he planned to fish shoreline cover where he’s been catching good numbers of solid bass, but nothing huge.
The shad-spawn bite paid off big time, as he caught an 8-8, an 8-13 and a 4-4 — all before noon. Then when he moved to the shoreline, he found something he wasn’t expecting.
“When I went to fish the bank, honestly, I expected to catch 3-pounders,” Cobb said. “That was my goal for the day — to catch big ones off the shad spawn and then fill a limit fishing the bank.
“But then, when I went to the bank, I caught an 11 and a 5.”
The 11-1 monster not only helped Cobb jump into the overall lead, it put him in first place for Toyota Tundra Big Bass of the Week. The prize for that award is a new Toyota Tundra truck.
Cobb was fishing a frog down a shoreline when he noticed the big bass sitting on a bed. He dropped his Power-Poles, believing the bass weighed 7 or 8 pounds.
Then he proceeded to pester the fish until it bit.
“It was one of those fish that looked like it was gonna bite every cast,” Cobb said. “Every cast I would make, it would kind of nose down and look at it. It took about 20 minutes to finally get it to eat. But with the way she was acting, I knew I could catch her.”
Cobb’s meteoric rise was aided in part by the struggles of Michigan pro Chad Pipkens. After catching 30-plus pounds the first two days and entering Day 3 with more than an 11-pound lead, Pipkens caught just four fish Sunday that weighed 5-8.