Monday, June 26, 2017

Ron Nelson Wins 2017 Costa FLW Series Northern on Lake Champlain Day!

Chris Johnston 4th & Neil Farlow 7th
By Jody White
Weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces on the final day, Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., totaled up 54-9 for the win in the Costa FLW Series event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Champlain. The win is Nelson’s second at the FLW Series level, and he triumphed over a Northern Division record field of 195 boats.
Nelson mixes largemouth with smallies for win.
(Photo: FLW)
Smallmouths dominated the leaderboard throughout the event, but on the final day four of the 10 remaining pros attempted to gun for the win with some green fish. Nelson, who weighed some largemouths each day of the event, was the most successful, and in perfect position as the smallmouth sight-fishermen tapped their last reserves.
Fishing entirely north of Plattsburgh, Nelson caught spawning smallmouths, like everyone else, and also mixed in some spawning and postspawn largemouths.
“I ran the lake looking for opportunities. When you’re sight-fishing you have to keep running new water,” says Nelson. “I’m usually pretty good about making decisions on when to stay and when to go. It was kind of gutsy today, and I guess every day, to break the norm and not catch all smallmouth. I was blessed to get one of those anchor fish each day, and two today.”

Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 Costa FLW Series Northern Lake Champlain Day 2: McFarlin on Top With 36-10lbs!

Neil Farlow 4th & Chris Johnston in 8th
By Jody White
Shayne McFarlin plopped 19 pounds on the scale on day one of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Champlain, and he followed it up with 17 pounds, 3 ounces on day two for a total of 36-10. In second, Chris Adams of Shrewsbury, Vt., is a mere 2 ounces off the lead with 36-8. Through the tournament, both the leaders have weighed solely smallmouths.
McFarlin steady as leader board changes.
(Photo: FLW)
Starting in the Inland Sea and fishing semi-close to Plattsburgh for the most part, McFarlin has put together two excellent bags of spawning smallmouths through the first two days.
“It was a little slower [Friday]. I ran out of fish pretty quick, but I was still done by 12,” says McFarlin of his day. “Yesterday, I finished by 10:30 a.m., but it took me a little longer to see them today.”
Despite battling weather that was very contrary to sight-fishing for most of the morning, McFarlin says he’s still run through a lot of his fish.
“Numbers aren’t the problem; it’s the weight of them,” says the Georgia angler. “I think I can run down one stretch tomorrow and catch a limit pretty quick. I didn’t think I could do 17 [pounds] today, and it happened. I think there’s some fish coming to me, but I can’t say for sure.”
Champlain is a long way from Georgia, but McFarlin has learned from one of the best smallmouth chasers in the game.

2017 Costa FLW Series Northern Day 1: McFarlin Leads with 19-07lbs!

Farlow 5th, Izumi 7th & Cory Johnston 8th
By Jody White
Plenty of smallies still on beds. (Photo: FLW)
Leading day one of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Champlain, Shayne McFarlin of Martin, Ga., sacked up 19 pounds, 7 ounces of smallmouths to get the ball rolling. Behind him, he’s got a murderer’s row of out-of-town Champlain sticks and locals from Vermont and New York. Though the fishing was good on day one, weights fell slightly short of some pre-tournament expectations. Even so, eight of the top 10 weighed more than 18 pounds, and in true Champlain style, 10th place is only 1 1/2 pounds off the lead.
Like many others up high in the standings, McFarlin relied heavily on spawning smallmouths for his weight and fished the northern half of the lake.
“I pretty much stayed local,” says the Georgia pro. “I’ve got probably 20 fish marked, and I caught three of the biggest I had today. I left a few because I found a few bonus fish. I’m trying to save ’em. I don’t want to be greedy, but honestly I didn’t think I had 19 pounds.”
The forecast for Friday doesn’t look pretty. It’s supposed to blow pretty hard and storm, which could put a damper on some of the sight-fishing. Luckily for the leader he has other options.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Economic Impact of Tournaments

Big league fishing helps locals big time!
By Luigi De Rose

Twenty-five years ago I approached my professor to discuss a possible research project on the social and economic impact tournament anglers have on a lake and the surrounding economy. Unfortunately, there was little to no data on this subject. So the project never left the planning stage but the question still is a good one. We all know how expensive bass tournaments can be. So, how much do tournament impact small town economies? Here's an interesting video that discusses how tournaments have changed one local economy for the better. Well done CBS News.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 FLW Cup Qualifiers

No Canadian make the cut.
By Luigi De Rose

The final event of the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour event concluded this past Sunday. Legendary swim jig angler Tom Monsoor clinched his first Tour event and Bryan Thrift won his second Angler of the Year title. Along with all the accolades, the 2017 FLW Cup qualifiers were determined. Anglers qualified via several FLW avenues to make it to Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina this August.
This list is of the 53 angler who will be fishing in the 2017 FLW Cup.
(* indicated double qualification)

2016 FLW Tour Angler of the Year
 Andy Morgan* (2nd in 2017 points)
2016 Forrest Wood Cup champion
 John Cox* (34th in points)
2016 Norris Lake FLW Tour Invitational winner
 James Watson
2016 Lake Norman FLW Tour Invitational winner
 Bryan Thrift* (1st in points)
2016 FLW Series championship qualifiers
 Pat Fisher (Southeastern)
 Cody Bird (Southwestern)
 Greg Bohannan (Central)
 Joel Richardson (Northern)
 Roy Hawk (Western)
 Hyo chul Kim (International)
 Zack Birge* (35th in points)
 Christopher Jones
 Travis Fox
 Jeremy Lawyer* (28th in points)
 Bradford Beavers
2017 TBF National Championship winner
 Allen Boyd
2017 BFL All-American champion
 Marshall Deakins
2017 FLW College champion
 Kyle Alsop
Top 35 in 2017 FLW Tour points
 Anthony Gagliardi
 Jeff Sprague
 David Dudley
 Shane Lehew
 Bryan Schmitt
 Shinichi Fukae
 Cody Meyer
 Mark Rose
 Brandon Cobb
 Michael Neal
 Wesley Strader
 Clark Reehm
 Jamie Horton

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tom Monsoor Wins 2017 Walmart FLW Tour Potomac River 66-11lbs!

Chris Johnston 3rd! 

by Sean Ostruszka

They say turnabout is fair play. Tom Monsoor certainly agrees.
Four weeks ago, the La Crosse, Wisc., pro was considered a favorite to hoist the trophy on his home waters of the Mississippi River. Instead, he watched Potomac River stud Bryan Schmitt hold it up while he sat at home, having finished a disappointing 105th.
Tom Monsoor wins his 1st FLW Tour event. (Photo FLW)
On Sunday, those roles were reversed. The favorite, Schmitt, sat on the sidelines as Monsoor did just enough to hold off a number of hard chargers to win the FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by Costa Sunglasses. Monsoor’s winning weight of 66-11 bested tour rookie Chad Warren of Sand Springs, Okla., by a mere 5 ounces.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Thanks to all the dads who took us fishing and showed us how to be truly great.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Potomac River Day 3: Tom Monsoor Stills Leads with 51-09llbs!

Chris Johnston in 4th! 

by Sean Ostruszka
Tom Monsoor’s game plan didn’t change, nor did his place in the standings. His mindset and optimism sure have, though.
Don’t be mistaken; Monsoor is excited to be leading after catching 15 pounds, 5 ounces on day three of the FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by Costa Sunglasses. The long-time pro from La Crosse, Wis., has never won a Tour event, and after watching Bryan Schmitt win the last event on Monsoor’s home waters, he’d enjoy returning the favor.
That said, his once-sizable lead has dwindled to a mere 2 ounces over Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, Fla., in large part because a key part of his game plan failed him Saturday, and that has him concerned for tomorrow.
“The big bites just didn’t happen today,” says Monsoor. “I think my big-fish area might be done, and that’s bad.”

Mr. Swim jig working his magic. (Photo: FLW)
Monsoor has been running a two-area pattern based around the tides, and he did so again Saturday, starting on a 200-foot-long grass bed where every morning he’s sacked up a quick limit. That part held true again Saturday, as he switched between his notorious swim jig and a swimbait to catch roughly eight keepers, with two of them being good ones.
At 8:30 a.m. he pulled the plug to go to his big-fish area – a 100-yard grass bed just south of takeoff. For the next 6 hours Monsoor soaked his swim jig in that area, catching only four keepers. Two did cull him up a little, but it was far from what he’d come to expect from the area where he’d been able to make significant upgrades the first two days.
The lackluster bite confirmed what was his lone fear about the area: that it may have been beaten up too badly by fishing pressure the previous days.

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Potomac River Day 2: Tom Monsoor Leads with 36-04lbs!

Bryab Thrift Wins 2017 Angler of the Year!
by Sean Ostruszka
Monsoor grabs lead with hot morning.
(Photo: FLW)
Tom Monsoor is known for two things: swim jigs and rivers. Both may finally be converging perfectly for him after two days of the FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by Costa Sunglasses.
Despite his strengths, Monsoor has had an up-and-down history on the Potomac, in large part due to the tides – he admits he never had really been able to figure them out. On day one, he thought it finally clicked, as he utilized a pattern he felt was tide dependent. Helping the matter was his boat position of 149, which allowed him to capitalize on both key feeding windows brought on by the tide changes in the morning and afternoon.
However, being in the first flight Friday, and with the tides backing up an hour, he knew he really only had the morning window. He made the most of it, cracking 16 pounds, 14 ounces to take over the lead with 36 pounds, 4 ounces.
On Friday the veteran hit the same two areas he caught all his fish Thursday. The first area is only 100-200 feet long, but he’s caught a limit there quickly both days despite it being “packed” with boats. The second area is the one that makes Monsoor grin, as it’s 100 yards wide and has been producing better quality.
“I had a limit by 8 a.m. on the first spot, and then I culled out four of them in the second spot,” says Monsoor. “I was done fishing by noon and just went looking after that.”